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Old 06-03-2022, 12:38 PM   #41
ShadowDRGN
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It takes everything in Goto’s power to hold back his laughter as Lyle explains his place here at the gala. The contradiction of an anonymous benefactor surrounded by such enthralled men and women is so very plain to see, it simply must be a joke. What next, would the man of the hour claim that he’s just so naturally charming if Goto were to press him on his apparent surge in recognition?

“I see. How magnanimous of you,” he replies, smothering his utter incredulity with another sip of champagne. The man leans hunches forward in his chair, appearing to scrutinize the roulette wheel before him.

In truth, he’s already lost all interest in betting for the next round. Unlike his star-shaped friend, Goto knows his limits—here in the devil’s house, he can’t believe in strokes of fate. Best to save his chips and make the process of buying back his Dawn Stone a little less painful.

Despite his disenchantment with the wheel, there’s still one more gamble to consider. The more he observes Mr. du Pont, the more he recognizes the familiar sense of a calculated performance behind his hedonistic smile. Perhaps his initial suspicions were a product of the... complicated feelings being back in high society evoked, but the man’s answer has dangled a proverbial thread before him:

The ‘charitable investor’, of course that’s what they all say... Not an uncommon component of the corporate underworld, really. Big promises of turning around the lives of the inexperienced and desperate, when in truth, the board is carefully arranged so as to merely be a matter of time before the only person walking away with fortune—or even their life—is the one who set-up the pieces.

A part of him wants to reach out and unravel the truth, as far as it will go—a part of him that only grows stronger as his inhibitions get weaker. Perhaps this is some sort of urge to make right on his own wrongs, or maybe he wishes to keep others from experiencing what he had to.

Downing his drink, Goto sighs, relaxing himself before he ruins his pretty face with a permanent scowl. Supposing he is correct, it would be a bet far more risky than anything he could place down on this table. He glances at those around him; Diana and Marv, the two seem like a genuinely lovely couple. It would be a shame to see a knife to their throats as a consequence of his speaking tactlessly.

The tailor rises from his seat, and begins collecting his unspent chips. Mercury glances over his shoulder just as he’s about to place his next bet, and rather than disappointment, the Clefairy regards his Trainer with a look of concern. Helping his Trainer pack everything away into a bag, the Fairy-type gives Lyle an almost unsatisfied look before retreating into his ball for the evening.

“It’s been a pleasure, but I’ve been pining for some fresh air,” Goto says, trying his best to hide the weariness in his voice. He bows first to Lyle, and then to the pair of reporters sitting off to the side, offering his hand to each of them, “Mrs. Macks, Mr. Liss. I look forward to meeting you again soon. I have immense respect for your work, and I'd love to hear more about it.”

Tucking his arms into his sleeves, Goto strides off into the labyrinthine expanse of the slots section, and with it, he tries to leave his muddled thoughts behind at the table. Not that he could even think, standing here amidst the din of the rigged wheels whirling, and glittering tokens of avarice pouring forth from the cogs of this well-oiled machine.

---

After a bit of aimless wandering, Goto finally makes his way up to the balcony overlooking the Racetracks. Tightening his kimono against the chilly night, he leans against the ornate railing, and lights up a cigarette to take some of the edge off after his gambling spree of indeterminate length.

Between puffs, the tailor peers down at the abandoned tracks below, and the row of empty stands that surround them at every angle. A remnant of this place in its heyday, now reduced to little else but a playground for Trainers. Not really the kind of place to attract any interest, tonight.

Perhaps, right now, that’s what he needs...

Last edited by ShadowDRGN; 06-03-2022 at 05:06 PM.
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