NaNoRenO Game Show: Princess Yanyu’s Cute Date with an Adorkable Troll

Header for Princess Yanyu's date with Chase in the 2016 NaNoRenO Game Show.
PREVIOUSLY:
Banality Man takes Ambrosia on the most scandalous date of her life.  Now, it’s time for Princess Yanyu to choose which bachelor to woo.  What route will she end up on?


[Princess Yanyu looks intently at all the male hosts. After a couple minutes, she clasps her hands together.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, a free English visual novel game by Stardust Soda for NaNoRenO 2016.
Princess Yanyu:
I’ve narrowed it down to either Sir Arsenik or Sir Chase.

Zheng from Reflections on the River, free English VN game.
Zheng:
You can’t choose both.

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English VN for Reflections on the River.
Princess Yanyu:
Well…

Zheng of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel for NaNoRenO 2016.
Zheng:
Got it, I’ll use my tried and true method of making decisions.

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
Yes, it would be helpful if you could divine the better choice with a spell.

Zheng from Reflections on the River, free English VN game.
Zheng:
A spell? I was thinking more along the lines of you picking a number.

nanorenoprofiles22
Princess Yanyu:
What? How is this “tried and true”?!

[She heaves a sigh, as if knowing better than to waste time arguing with them.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, a free English visual novel game by Stardust Soda for NaNoRenO 2016.
Princess Yanyu:
…Alright. Seven.

nanorenoprofiles25e
Zheng:
An odd number. Okay, then — Chase it is.

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English VN for Reflections on the River.
Princess Yanyu:
Well, then…

[Princess Yanyu turns towards the host.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
Sir Chase, would you like to accompany me on a romantic excursion?

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
What?  Me?

[As he scratches a cheek, Wildfire shakes her head with a chuckle.]

Wildfire of the Valkyrie from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and VN.
Wildfire:
Look at that, Ambrosia.  She talks like you.  ‘Sir this’ and ‘Sir that.’

Ambrosia from free English visual novel, War (X Playing Pieces), in Queen Elsa cosplay.
Ambrosia:
Her manners are indeed befitting a princess!

Wildfire of the Valkyrie from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and VN.
Wildfire:
You’re comparing yourself to a princess now?  I know you’re dressed up as a queen, but the only royal thing about you is your ego.

Ambrosia of free English otome, War (X Playing Pieces), cosplaying as Elsa from Frozen.
Ambrosia:
No, no, you misunderstand me, Lady Wildfire.  I only meant that she is as gracious as one would expect from royalty.  While I pride myself on being well-behaved –

Wildfire of the Valkyrie from free English visual novel game and otome, War (X Playing Pieces), cosplaying as Elsa from Frozen.
Wildfire:
More like on being prissy.

Ambrosia from free English visual novel, War (X Playing Pieces), in Queen Elsa cosplay.
Ambrosia:
I’m sure my manners are quite unpolished compared to hers!

Wildfire of the Valkyrie from War (X Playing Pieces), free English visual novel and otome game.
Wildfire:
One priss is enough, thank you very much.  Anyway, Chase, did you just change out of your Kenny costume?  What happened there?

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Oh, I changed it.

Wildfire of the Valkyrie from free English visual novel game and otome, War (X Playing Pieces), cosplaying as Elsa from Frozen.
Wildfire:
Obviously.  I’m asking why you did.  Pay attention.

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Ah-ha, well…I just thought if I were chosen, it’d be kind of hard to…date.  It’s a little stuffy in there, and it was making my ears hot.  It felt like my head was suffocating.

Wildfire of the Valkyrie from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and VN.
Wildfire:
Just be sure to keep your face covered.  Okay, champ?

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Right.

Ambrosia of free English otome, War (X Playing Pieces), cosplaying as Elsa from Frozen.
Ambrosia:
Oh, Lady Wildfire, there’s no need to give him such unpleasant advice.  Sir Chase’s face is –

Wildfire of the Valkyrie from War (X Playing Pieces), free English visual novel and otome game.
Wildfire:
Why not?  He’ll take it if he knows what’s good for him – and his priss of a date.  Man, I really hope she isn’t like you or this date won’t end fast enough.

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
So, Princess, what do you want to do?

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
I propose a small tour of the capital of my kingdom.

[He hesitates like he’s thinking.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Okay.  Do you want me to show you how to use the room?  Or has Onyx already done that?

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
Yes, if you would be so kind as to show me, I would be very grateful. I’m afraid I don’t understand too much of how that sort of magic works. …Or any sort of magic, I suppose.

[With a nod, Chase begins to step towards the room, leading the way.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Haha, this is maybe the second or third time I’m hearing about magic.  What’s it mean?

Cut-out of Princess Yanyu sprite from Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game.
Princess Yanyu:
Oh, my apologies. I’d just assumed that the room was powered by magic… Where I come from, at least, certain individuals are born with magic — supernatural powers that allow them to accomplish things regular people cannot. Things like creating illusions, for example. I’m not sure how it works in other places, though… Maybe it’s different in this world?

[She trails off, a little unsure of herself. She probably wasn’t very practiced in explaining things like magic to the royal dignitaries she was used to hosting. She shoots a quick, nervous glance at her companions before turning back to Chase with a smile.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River by STARDUST SODA.
Princess Yanyu:
If I am being honest though, I’m not the best person to ask on this matter… I hardly understand it myself!

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Well, if I’m understanding you correctly…magic is when someone is able to do something extraordinary that you can’t.  So, that must mean everyone has magic of their own, even you.

[The collar of his poncho hides his smile, along with the entire bottom half of his face, but the shine in his hazel-brown eyes makes it more than clear.

Princess Yanyu can’t help but smile at his reasoning.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
That’s a beautiful way of seeing it, but… as much as I like your description, there are probably more nuances to it that we could never imagine.

[When they finally reach the room of illusions, Princess Yanyu gestures towards it.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, a free English visual novel game by Stardust Soda for NaNoRenO 2016.
Princess Yanyu:
After you, please, Sir Chase.

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Ah, right!  Of course.

[He stares back at her blankly for a beat, almost as if he had forgotten how the room did work.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Uh…

[He scratches at his cheek through the fabric covering it before giving a nod.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Okay, so what you have to do is talk to the room.   Tell it what you want it to do, and it should work.

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English VN for Reflections on the River.
Princess Yanyu:
Just talk to the room…?

[She looks around the blank room, unsure but determined.]

Worried Princess Yanyu from Reflections on the River, free English VN game for NaNoRenO 2016.
Princess Yanyu:
I… I wish to go to the palace gardens in Jiangcheng.

[The first difference she notices is the smell of magnolias in full bloom. Then, once her eyes had adjusted to bright sunlight, she realizes she is standing by the front entrance of the palace gardens, with the main hall to her back.

Chase’s eyes roam around the area a few dozen times, his mouth dropped wide open.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Wow…

[He grins at Princess Yanyu.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
This is really neat.

[He jerks a thumb in the direction of the main hall.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Where does that go?

nanorenoprofiles22e
Princess Yanyu:
Oh, that leads to the main hall. The throne room is through there — in spring, we leave the doors open so that we can admire the gardens even while we are holding court!

[She pauses at her own mention of court, tensing ever so slightly — before seemingly realising that this is an illusion, and that there would be no additional dignitaries to tread carefully around within the palace walls.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
If it pleases you, we can take a tour of the royal gardens first, and then I can show you around the palace interior. Have you got magnolias and peonies in your home world, too?

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Uh…I guess?  I’m not really all too familiar with plant names.  Arsenik probably would be.

[At the mention of Arsenik’s name, he frowns.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
But if you’re talking about what’s around here, we do have flowers that look kind of like that.  Except they’re usually not so…dull?  I mean, not that there’s anything wrong with your garden!  It’s, heh, it’s…uh…well, it’s just that the flowers on Virgo Island are usually shinier and made of rubies and stuff.

Cut-out of Princess Yanyu sprite from Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game.
Princess Yanyu:
Wow! Flowers made of rubies? That sounds amazing! I’ve never seen something like that before.

[She scratches her cheek, thinking.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
Do they have any significance? For us, peonies symbolise the royal family, so we adorn ourselves with accessories in its image. They’re usually made of gold though, and sometimes includes jade pieces. We do not tend to have any with other precious stones.

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Oh, really?  Why’s that?

Worried Princess Yanyu from Reflections on the River, free English VN game for NaNoRenO 2016.
Princess Yanyu:
We use jade as a charm to protect ourselves from harm. At least that’s what they told me when I was a child. Though I’m not sure how effective it really is after what happened…

[She turns to look at the flowers blooming on the nearest magnolia tree, remembering Zheng’s first visit to the palace. A breeze gently drifts through and loose petals float towards the ground.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River by STARDUST SODA.
Princess Yanyu:
I suppose I was never really in any danger during that whole ordeal and now everything’s sorted! Anyway…

[She looks at Chase and smiles.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
Let me show you my favourite spot in the garden!

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
All right!  I wonder what it is.

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English VN for Reflections on the River.
Princess Yanyu:
This way!

[She leads the way along a gently winding path. The garden was broken up into sections by simple white walls, which served to offset the bright vegetation. Occasionally there were large, circular openings in the walls — some of them served as doorways, which Yanyu would walk through with confidence, but others seemed to be there for the sole purpose of selectively framing choice parts of the garden’s scenery, as though one was looking at an ink-and-watercolour painting.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, a free English visual novel game by Stardust Soda for NaNoRenO 2016.
Princess Yanyu:
I apologize for it being a bit of a walk. The garden is designed as such so that you cannot see all of it from the beginning. We should be there soon, though!

[A reassurance is on his tongue (“don’t worry, this is nice!”), but it never manages to leave his lips.

The winding path ended at a stone bridge that elegantly arched over a pond. Following the bridge, they soon arrive at a square-shaped wood-and-stone pavilion, open on all four sides towards the rest of the garden. Each side of the pavilion offered a different view: the lotus pond to one side, plum blossom trees to the second, lush green man-made mountains and stone sculptures to the third, and an assortment of brightly blooming flowers to the last.

Worried Princess Yanyu from Reflections on the River, free English VN game for NaNoRenO 2016.
Princess Yanyu:
This is my favourite spot in the garden. I was told that this area was designed with particular care — harmony and balance are things we do not take lightly in Nantu, but if I’m being honest…

[She laughs as she gestured towards the lotus pond, which was shimmering in the sunlight.  Watching her, a smile tugs on the corners of Chase’s mouth.]

nanorenoprofiles22e
Princess Yanyu:
It’s the goldfish that are my favourite! Growing up in the palace, whenever I felt overwhelmed by my studies, I would come here to cheer myself up. It’s relaxing to watch them swim around, without a care in the world… Except for when they squabble over food!

[She walks over to the wooden table in the middle of the pavilion, withdrawing a small pouch tied to the underside.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
I’ve kept fish food hidden for my occasional retreats here since I was little… The maids in charge of the lotus pond used to swear that the fish were getting bigger, but everyone denied sneaking them extra portions.

[Smiling, she holds out the bag to Chase, who blinks a few times in surprise.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
Would you care to feed them? You can toss food in the pond and watch them fight, but it’s also pretty fun to try and get the fish to eat from your hand — they will if you keep very still. It’s quite a ticklish feeling!

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Sure, I never thought about doing that before.  Sounds like fun.

[He reaches into the offered pouch and scoops out a handful.  Crouching beside the pond, he lowers his balled fingers into the cool water.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
So, I just do it like this?

nanorenoprofiles22e
Princess Yanyu:
Yes, exactly! I think the fish are taking to you already, Sir Chase.

[True enough, the fish in the pond begin to swarm around his hand. Yanyu, too, scoops out some fish food into her hand and offers it to the fish, who start peeling off from the pack surrounding Chase to move towards her outstretched hand.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River by STARDUST SODA.
Princess Yanyu:
Unfortunately, the fish are rather fickle with their affections. They go where the food is, with no loyalty whatsoever.

[She follows the sentence up with a laugh, as if realizing, belatedly, that it sounded perhaps a little negative.

If it bothers him, it doesn’t show in the smile that lights up his face.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Well, that’s animal nature for you.  Say, have you ever caught a fish barehanded before?

[Hearing the question leave his own mouth, he freezes.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Wait, scratch that.  That was a stupid –

[Without thinking, he began to raise his hand to the back of his neck in his customary nervous gesture and completely forgot about the fish food left in his palm.  The little morsels slipped straight down his collar and into his poncho.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Whoa-ho!

[He literally hops skyward, as if ants had started marching down his back.  As he does, his hand flies up and knocks into the pouch in her grip, scattering even more feed.  When his feet return to the ground, the back of his right heel catches on a stray pellet that makes him wobble.

His arms pinwheel in a fierce but futile effort to regain his balance just before he begins to tumble backwards into the pond.

Yanyu instinctively reaches out to stop him from falling, grabbing hold of his arms.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English VN for Reflections on the River.
Princess Yanyu:
Sir Chase, are you quite alri-

[Her sentence is cut off by the realization that she does not have enough strength to pull him back up, and she is, instead, being pulled down into the pond as well.]

Cut-out of Princess Yanyu sprite from Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game.
Princess Yanyu:
Oh!

Princess Yanyu having fallen on Chase of the Trold in the NaNoRenO Game Show.

Fabulously illustrated by Silky-Starry-Heart

[She lands in the water with a splash, scaring off the fish to the far reaches of the pond. She brushes her wet hair out of her eyes, surveying the damage done to her robes, in shock for a brief moment before bursting into laughter.

At first, Chase looked entirely like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar, but once Princess Yanyu expressed her tinkling amusement, his own laughter joined hers.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Heh, are you all right?  Here, let me help you back up.

[Placing one hand on the small of her back and the other on her upper arm, he begins to rise back up with her.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Sorry about that.

[He casts a glance at the scattered fish on the opposite side of the pond.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
You too, little buddies.

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River by STARDUST SODA.
Princess Yanyu:
At least they were well fed before we fell.

[A slight breeze passes and Princess Yanyu instinctively wraps her arms around herself.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English VN for Reflections on the River.
Princess Yanyu:
Now might be a good time for a tour of the palace, wouldn’t you agree? We should also try to find a change of clothes. That wouldn’t be a problem for me, but for you…

[She contemplates as she leads him out of the pond and onto solid ground, whether it would be appropriate for him to wear the king’s robes.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, a free English visual novel game by Stardust Soda for NaNoRenO 2016.
Princess Yanyu:
Oh! Maybe Prince Shun’s room will have something for you.

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Are you sure he would be okay with me wearing one of his clothes?

[He pauses, playing back his words inside his head.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Wait, this is the room of illusions or whatever Arsenik called it.  Never mind.  But okay, sure, that’d be fine.  I just feel kind of bad about you walking around freezing.

[Just then, his eyes light up.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Oh, I know.  How about I carry you to your room or wherever you have a change of clothes?  I’m really fast, trust me.  You just have to point me in the right direction.

[Princess Yanyu could feel the heat rising up to her cheeks.]

Cut-out of Princess Yanyu sprite from Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game.
Princess Yanyu:
Carry me? Isn’t that a bit… I mean is that… Ah…

[She takes a deep breath in and out before sorting out her thoughts.]

Worried Princess Yanyu from Reflections on the River, free English VN game for NaNoRenO 2016.
Princess Yanyu:
Excuse me for that blunder, but I am not used to such customs. Though if it does speed up the process of getting into dry clothing, then I suppose, we could give it a try.

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Uh…okay, are you sure? I don’t want to force you into anything you’re not comfortable with.

[He’s partly glad that the collar of his poncho covers his face because he can feel his cheeks heating up.  However, he can’t keep his eyes from darting between the floor and her gaze.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
H-How about we…I mean, if you want, I could try…carrying you piggyback instead?  If that’s any better?

[His shoulders are rigid, as if afraid that every word was a mistake and she would smack him for it at any moment.

She frowns ever so slightly as she considered his suggestion.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Princess Yanyu:
Ah… That may be a little difficult, considering my attire…

[She gestures to her robes, which reached to the floor.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River by STARDUST SODA.
Princess Yanyu:
They aren’t exactly designed for the task… So, if you wouldn’t mind, Sir Chase, I’ll take you up on your first offer…?

[Noticing how tense he seems, she tries her best to give him a reassuring smile, all while failing to keep the flush out of her cheeks.

He bobs his head in a nod.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
S-Sure.  Okay.

[Moving forward, he hesitates once more before looping an arm around her slender waist and scooping up her legs.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Here we go.

[He smiles behind the upraised collar of his poncho before racing in the direction of the main hall.  He has some trouble remembering where it last was, but it scarcely makes a difference.  He runs with supernatural speed on par with the wind, and if he has to double back or circle around, it doesn’t take more than a few seconds.]

Cut-out of Princess Yanyu sprite from Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game.
Princess Yanyu:
Ah-!

[A small cry of surprise escapes her lips as she was caught off guard by the speed he took off at, before she laughed a bit, delighted by the surprise. Before she knew it, they had arrived at the main hall.]

Worried Princess Yanyu from Reflections on the River, free English VN game for NaNoRenO 2016.
Princess Yanyu:
We should leave from the right-side doors, follow that hallway down, and take the first left. The royal family’s living quarters are just through the doors at the end of that hallway.

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Uh…all right.

[With a nod, he begins to follow her directions.  As he speeds through the corridor, he can’t keep his gaze from flickering left and right.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Wow.  You really live here?  It’s like you’re a princess.  I-I mean…I mean, of course you are!  You’re the princess of…of that place.  Um…which way am I supposed to go again?

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English VN for Reflections on the River.
Princess Yanyu:
Make a left turn here!

[She holds onto him by putting one arm around his neck for stability, while pointing to the left with her other arm.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
‘kay.

[In no time at all, he bursts through the doors at the end of the hallway and slows to a stop.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Is this it?

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
Yes!

[She heads towards Prince Shun’s room.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
Wait here! I’ll get you something.

[She disappears into the room and emerges a few moments later with some robes.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, a free English visual novel game by Stardust Soda for NaNoRenO 2016.
Princess Yanyu:
Sorry for the wait! It was a little difficult to to find some robes that may be easier for one person to put on by themselves, as our usual clothes requires us to be dressed by our attendants. I hope this is alright!

[She presents to him a neatly folded set of robes and sashes, in blues and blacks]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Of course!  It looks great, thanks.

Worried Princess Yanyu from Reflections on the River, free English VN game for NaNoRenO 2016.
Princess Yanyu:
Oh, hmm. I guess you can change in Prince Shun’s room. I’ll be going to my room for clothes.

[She hurries down the hallway, and Chase nods to himself.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Okay, right.  Shun – Prince Shun’s room.

[With the clothes bundled in his arms, he spins around once, looking around the area several times.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
It’s – I think it’s the one she just walked out of, right?  I’m sure it is.

[Shrugging, he heads into the prince’s chambers.  Before long, he emerges, dressed appropriately save for one exception.  He had done his best to tie the sash around his waist and, keeping Wildfire’s warning in mind, the lower half of his face as if it were a scarf.

Soon enough, Yanyu emerges from her quarters, clothed in slightly less extravagant robes than before.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English VN for Reflections on the River.
Princess Yanyu:
Did everything fit alright?

[She turns the corner, coming back to where she had last left him. Her eyes immediately land on the unique way he had dressed himself.  He flashes her a thumbs up.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
It sure did.

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
Oh, I’m glad you seem to have had no trouble with the clothes. I’ve never seen anyone wear a sash in that manner, but it suits you very well!

[This sentence is punctuated with a light laugh.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English VN for Reflections on the River.
Princess Yanyu:
But would you rather I fetch you a proper scarf? It might be a bit more comfortable! It’s not a problem — just wait here!

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Uh…

[Without waiting for a response, she darts into her own living quarters and quickly returns with a long silk scarf — a much softer material than what the waist sash was made of.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
Here you go!

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Thanks…

[He reaches out to accept the piece of fabric.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
I hope you don’t think I’m being weird.  I just…

[As he winds the scarf around the bottom of his countenance and rearranges his sash, he faces away from her.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
I don’t want to scare you.  Anyway, I’m ready now, so just lead the way.  I can’t wait to see what the rest of this place looks like.

[She gives him a puzzled look.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English VN for Reflections on the River.
Princess Yanyu:
Why would I think you’re being weird? We’re pretty used to entertaining visitors from foreign countries, all with their own unique customs and conventions in regards to clothing. Don’t worry!

[She offers him an encouraging smile, before glancing down the hallway in thought.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
Is there anything in particular you would like to see first, Sir Chase? We could go up the observation tower, or have a look in the art and music wings. Otherwise, we also have a tea room, if you would rather sit down for a bit.

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Uh…whatever you want to do is fine with me.

[He pauses, running her choices through his mind again.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
What’s the observation tower like?

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English VN for Reflections on the River.
Princess Yanyu:
Hm… It’s a bit hard to describe, but it’s a tall, wooden tower with many floors. I’m not too sure what the initial purpose of the building was anymore, but it’s been repurposed to house a good portion of the palace’s collection of books, scrolls, carvings, and paintings. Once you reach the topmost floor, however, there is an outdoor walkway which wraps around the entire floor. It overlooks all of Jiangcheng, the capital of our kingdom.

[She pauses, wondering if her explanation was sufficient, and whether or not the tower would even have a view — just how far did the magic of this “room of illusions” extend?]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
…It might be easier to just show you, actually. Would you care to pay it a visit? It’s just over this way.

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Sure.  I’d like to see how your kingdom looks.

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
Alright! Just follow me!

[She leads them down winding corridors that turned into open walkways, heading towards a tower standing on the edges of the palace grounds.]

nanorenoprofiles22e
Princess Yanyu:
While we make our way there, however, would you mind telling me a little about the world you come from? It must be a fascinating place, with flowers made of jewels! I’d like to hear more about it, if you would indulge my curiosity.

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Sure.  All right, let’s see…where to start…

[What did young ladies like hearing about?  Not about the ugly parts and bloodshed, that’s for sure.  She mentioned flowers, so he figured that plants were as good a place as any to begin.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
I don’t know if you have this in your world, but there’s this big tree.  It’s smack dab in the middle of the island, and it’s all red, except for the leaves – those are crystal.  It doesn’t ever stop growing, so we have to hack at it every now and then.

Cut-out of Princess Yanyu sprite from Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game.
Princess Yanyu:
I see! That’s amazing! Though, I guess you must be quite used to the sight…

[She frowns slightly, thinking.]

Worried Princess Yanyu from Reflections on the River, free English VN game for NaNoRenO 2016.
Princess Yanyu:
The crystal leaves, and the jewelled flowers… Are there limits as to who can approach the plants? Otherwise, if such precious gems are so easily obtained, are they considered valuable still, in your land? How does such an abundance of natural wealth affect your world’s economy? Or are other things used in place of currency?

[She then catches herself, realizing it was probably not the best to start asking about currency and economy.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River by STARDUST SODA.
Princess Yanyu:
Oh, please forgive me if I was asking too much — your world sounds beyond anything I’ve ever encountered before, so I got a little over-excited…

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
No, it’s fine.  Be as excited as you want!  I mean, uh…I’m glad you’re interested in where I come from.  But rather than describe it to you, why don’t I take you there for a visit when everything’s over?

[He tilts his head in sudden thought.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Huh, I wonder if the prince will allow it…

nanorenoprofiles22e
Princess Yanyu:
If it is at all possible, I would like that very much, Sir Chase.

[She smiles brightly at him, trying her best to keep the childish excitement out of her voice — but failing.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
Ah — we’re here!

[True enough, the two of them now stand before a tall, wooden structure. She pushes the door open, leading them into the building. The first room that they enter is home to an impeccable collection of jade carvings, each crafted to look like an animal from the zodiac — 12 in total. Aside from the carvings, the only other thing in the room is a staircase.

Chase turns his head to regard everything with eyes as wide as saucers.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English VN for Reflections on the River.
Princess Yanyu:
It’s a bit of a climb, but I think the view is worth it! Would you prefer if we made haste to the top floor, or would you like to have a look around some of the floors, first?

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
No way, I want to see it all!  Show me everything.

[She laughs, relieved that he isn’t bored by the prospect of looking through an old tower full of artifacts.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
Alright then! We can start with this room, then?

[She steps closer to one of the jade carvings — the one immediately to the left of the door, which was a rat.]

Worried Princess Yanyu from Reflections on the River, free English VN game for NaNoRenO 2016.
Princess Yanyu:
These animal carvings have been in the royal family’s possession for over a hundred years. They’re each meant to depict a member of the zodiac.

[She pauses, considering how different his world seemed to be.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English VN for Reflections on the River.
Princess Yanyu:
Does your world have a zodiac system? Is it the same as ours, or is it different?

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
A zodiac?  Could you describe what that is?  We might have something like that, but maybe we don’t call it that.

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, a free English visual novel game by Stardust Soda for NaNoRenO 2016.
Princess Yanyu:
Hm… I guess the most simple way to put it is that it’s a way to keep track of the years?

[She doesn’t quite feel as though that explanation was quite sufficient, but can’t help but wonder whether she’d be droning on too much if she continued.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English VN for Reflections on the River.
Princess Yanyu:
We have a cycle of twelve years, and each year is represented by an animal. It’s a general belief that you take on the personality traits of the animal whose year you are born under, and that’s regarded as your zodiac animal. Fortune-telling, compatibility, and the like are based off of your animal.

[She slowly leads them around the room as she speaks, stopping so that he can see each animal carving up close.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
Of course, since a year is quite a large range for everyone to be exactly the same, there are also ways to calculate your animal through the month, day, or even hour you were born. In fact-

[She catches herself, realizing that she is actually droning on now, and laughs, instead.]

Cut-out of Princess Yanyu sprite from Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game.
Princess Yanyu:
Um! Well, that’s the gist of it.

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Ohh, I see!  For us, it’s all about the moons.  See, if you’re born under the Wolf Moon – that’s the first one…er, month of our year – you’re supposed to be…tough and savage, I think?  Like a wolf, basically.  I don’t actually believe in that stuff, so I don’t remember it all.  Sorry.

[He figured that Ambrosia would know, but unfortunately, she wasn’t there to explain it.  If he thought about it, the two of them would probably get along.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
Ah, I see! So similar systems exist in other worlds, despite all the other differences.

[As they make their way around, Chase occasionally reaches out to brush his fingers against the carvings.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
What moon were you born under?  Or, rather…what’s your zodiac animal, I guess?

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, a free English visual novel game by Stardust Soda for NaNoRenO 2016.
Princess Yanyu:
Oh, I was born under the d- rabbit. It is said that those born under this sign are particularly lucky.

[She laughs, thinking back on her misadventures ever since she encountered Zheng.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River by STARDUST SODA.
Princess Yanyu:
Perhaps these superstitions don’t hold too much truth, but I did love the stories about the twelve animals as a child.

[That definitely catches his attention.  He wants to ask what they were but even he can tell that it isn’t the time or place.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Aww, man, I wish we had more time, so I could hear them all.  You have to promise to tell me those stories when we meet again next time.  Hopefully, on my island.

[He keeps thinking that the prince would squash that plan, but it didn’t matter.  He would find a way to make it happen.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Is there anything you’re particularly interested in?  A type of plant, jewel – oh, you like goldfish, right?  You should see the kind of animals we have back home.

Cut-out of Princess Yanyu sprite from Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game.
Princess Yanyu:
Oh, what are they like?

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
Well…

[He lets the word hang in the air for a suspenseful moment.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
You’ll have to come find out.  Oh, I bet you’re curious now, aren’t you?

nanorenoprofiles22e
Princess Yanyu:
Oh, that’s cruel for you to tease me like that, but of course I am!

[She laughs.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
I’ll be looking forward to when I can visit your world, Sir Chase — so don’t think that I won’t be holding you to that offer! But for now, let us be on our way.

[She leads them through floor after floor with a smile on her face, passing by floors featuring watercolour paintings, calligraphy, instruments, and more. Occasionally, she pauses for Chase to get a closer look at some items that she thinks would be to his interest.

She tells many little stories as they go along: how she loved playing the guzheng, but she was never allowed to touch the one on display here, as it was prized for its craftsmanship and the royal attendants thought she might break it; how she and Prince Shun both had to take calligraphy lessons, but where he dazzled their tutors she kind of fizzled — her chicken scratch not impressing anyone. They aren’t the sort of anecdotes she would usually tell visiting dignitaries — it wouldn’t be prudent to admit that she was not the most well-behaved child growing up, but Chase was very different to the usual nobles she hosted at the palace, and it was refreshing to be in the company of someone who didn’t seem to care about such things. She laughs as she recounts these stories, though sometimes the joke is at her own expense.

Finally, they arrive at the topmost floor. She slides open the doors on each side of the room with a flourish, opening the space up to an outdoor walkway. To her relief, it seems that the magic of this room was able to recreate the familiar view overlooking the entire city of Jiangcheng. She wonders for a moment how far this room of illusions spanned — for all she knows, she could be looking at nothing more than an elaborate vista painted on a screen partition — but decides that it doesn’t really matter.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
I think that this is the best way for you to see the most of my home. We can’t possibly take a tour of the entire city, but at least we will be able to look over it.

[She gestures for him to step out onto the walkway as she does the same. It is just as she remembers it — right down to the distant sounds coming from the markets and bustling streets far below.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English visual novel game for NaNoRenO.
Princess Yanyu:
I’m actually quite relieved that the view is the same! This room of illusions is truly a wonder to behold.

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
I think so, too.

[As she looks out into the distance, she notices that the sun is beginning to set.]

Princess Yanyu of Reflections on the River, free English VN for Reflections on the River.
Princess Yanyu:
Ah, I suppose time still passes here, all the same, though. It seems we have reached the end of our tour, Sir Chase.

[She glances over at him, smiling brightly.]

nanorenoprofiles22e
Princess Yanyu:
I do hope you had fun today! There were some slight bumps in today’s itinerary, but I wouldn’t trade this for anything else.

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase: Aww, really?  Well, I’m glad you enjoyed yourself.  To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d like walking around the palace – no offense!  It just didn’t seem like my kind of thing, but I liked talking to you. You’re nice being around with.

[He figures that he should rate her now, but it was strange to give it out in front of her face.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
I’ll, uh, see you around.  On the island, definitely.

[He takes a step back but hesitates.  Did he really want to rate her in front of Wildfire and the others?  Well, mostly Wildfire.  Although, he wasn’t sure if he was all that comfortable saying it in front Ambrosia either.  Or Arsenik and his calculating stare.  Or Onyx and his Vi buddy.  All right, maybe it was all of them.

He lingers for a little while, debating this in his head before finally reaching a decision.]

Chase of the Trold from War (X Playing Pieces), free English otome and visual novel game.
Chase:
The date was…4 stars.  And my interest in you is the same.

[With his face all fired up and red like an overripe tomato, he turns to jog out of the room as fast as his legs will take him, which was fortunately beyond any human means.  When she blinked once, he would be gone.]


Date’s interest: 4
Date’s satisfaction: 4

Team Nantu’s overall score for now is 8.

Did Princess Yanyu and Chase’s date melt your heart and wow you?  Then, don’t forget to vote for them at the end of the Love Challenge!  Help ’em to win the whole shebang.

If you have any questions or comments, you know the drill. Give me a shout on twitter or Facebook.  I’ll be sure to keep you up to date on the NaNoRenO Game Show!  Until next time…hasta la vista, baby.

NEXT: Ooh, the Princess’s Royally Charming Date with Night…!

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3 thoughts on “NaNoRenO Game Show: Princess Yanyu’s Cute Date with an Adorkable Troll

  1. Pingback: NaNoRenO Game Show: Banality Man’s Crazy Date with Ambrosia (feat. top hats) | Dreamgazer

  2. Pingback: NaNoRenO Game Show: Ooh, the Princess’s Royally Charming Date with Night…! | Dreamgazer

  3. Pingback: NaNoRenO Game Show: Vote for the Winner of the Love Challenge ♥ | Dreamgazer

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