Nada: I... can't... do it anymore...
Nada: I can't keep dragging myself on like this... I'm so tired...
Nada: This place is cursed, it's heavy... it doesn't want me around...
Nada: I guess this is good night...
???: Ugh...
???: Hey, Taffy.

Have you been assigned a tourist for today?

Taffy: What do you think? Do I look like I'm doing anything, Menemi?
Menemi: Well, not really.

I just figured you would've been assigned someone, considering how busy everyone else is. You've been hanging out here all day...

Taffy: Yes? Aaaaand?

I've done pleeeeenty of work. And now I'm quite enjoying my vacation~!

Taffy: So, you can just leave me alone.

And go back to your job. Or whatever.

Menemi: Ah... sorry.

You just look... bored? And maybe a bit upset?

Taffy: Not at alllllll~!

Do you even know me?

Taffy: Doing nothing... having nothing to do... is just what I've always wanted!

So, bye.

Menemi: Oh, is that so? Well, in that case, I hope you have a good break!

Having time off is always splendid.

Menemi: I've got to get back to work, so farewell.
Taffy: Tch...
Taffy: I really don't know what's wrong with the secretaries here.

I haven't been assigned a tourist in weeks.

Taffy: It's whaaaateverrrr, though, I guess...

More me time! No one to boss me around!

Taffy: But I'm still so bored. Ughhh...
Taffy: Maybe I should go on vacation with all this time on my hands!
Taffy: I wonder if I could visit Paris—
The sky flashes white.
Taffy: ...Huh?
Taffy: What was that?
Taffy: Wait—

Did the teleprisms just disappear?!

Menemi: Taffy! Hey!

Are you alright?

Menemi: Something in the sky flashed just now...

What happened?

Taffy: If they're gone, then...

No... NoooOOOOO...

Taffy: How am I gonna teleport?!

Aaahhhgggghhh!!

Taffy: Hey. You.

What're you doing here?

Are ya just gonna sleep through all this commotion?

Nada: ...

...Huh?

Oh, sorry—

Taffy: You're a tourist, right?

I'm guessing you've never been here before.

Nada: No, I don't think... Where is this?
Taffy: The first nexus!
Taffy: ...Have you even been to the Dream World before?
Nada: ...No. I'm kind of lost.
Taffy: Huh? Really?!
Taffy: Oh, awesome, awesome!!

Put everything on hold, I get to do my introduction!

Taffy: I'm Taffy, and welcome to the Dream World!

I'm just one of the many beautifully talented and charming Dream Guides of this realm.

Taffy: Us Dream Guides are assigned to loners like you that don't know how to get around here!

There's all sorts of things to see in the Dream World, so we can show you anything your heart desires~!

Taffy: You're currently located in the first Nexus, which is used as a teleportation hub to the other Nexi... um, normally, that is.
Taffy: See, those green prisms that vanished are used to channel teleportation magic...

I'm not sure what's up with them, but if they're not working, then there's really no choice but to go to another Nexus!

Taffy: Sooooo... I take it if you're here to sightsee, you'll have to go to another Nexus~
Taffy: You probably got here by sleeping in a sketchy place, RIGHT?

Nothing escapes me. You should tell me ALL about that, weirdo.

Nada: What? I wasn't sleeping somewhere weird, I...
Nada: I mean, I don't really remember what happened before I showed up here.
Taffy: You don't remember?

Did you fall asleep or did you bonk your head?

Nada: I don't think that's it.
Taffy: Did you slip into a coma or something?!
Nada: No!

That's not it... I just don't know what happened before I fell asleep.

Taffy: Ohh, I see, I see.

Partied a little too hard, huh?

Nada: No!!

That's not it!

Taffy: Psshhhh.

Lighten up, I was only teasing.

Nada: Ugh... well, whatever.
Nada: How do you get to the next... Nexus... thing?

I don't really know my way around here.

Taffy: Huh?

Oh, here, lemme uhh, poof you a map.

Taffy: It's basically just a straight path... through the mountains... and some scary woods...

Not that hard, right?

Taffy: Speaking of, that sure reminds me I've got places to be!

To fly.

With my wings.

Taffy: I really oughta be off cuz you know how long traveling to the second Nexus takes~

Tata for now~~~!

Nada: Huh?

Whoa whoa whoa, wait, I don't know how to get to the second Nexus by myself...

Nada: You're not just gonna make me go there alone, are you?!
Menemi: Hey, Taffy!
Taffy: Oh, hi~~~
Menemi: Is this your tourist?

Are you leaving them by themself? You know you can't do that...

Taffy: Who, me?

Uhehehe, no, I was just messing around...~

Nada: ...
Menemi: Uh-huh, I don't believe that for a second.
Menemi: Anyway, it looks like you've already been assigned, so why don't you take care of that?
Menemi: The rest of us have to get this Nexus running, so you should be grateful you get an easy task in the meantime.
Taffy: Assigned?! I wasn't assigned yet!
A loud beep emanates from what looks to be Taffy's cellphone.
Taffy's Cellphone: Taffy has been assigned to Nada as their Dream Guide.
Taffy's Cellphone: Taffy, you better do your job this time, you slick little shit.
Taffy: Uhuh... uhhhuhuhuh...
Nada: Are you... crying?
Taffy: I'm not CRYING!

Get your ass off the ground so we can get going already!

Nada: Oh... whoops.
Taffy: God, of all the tourists I could be assigned, it had to be you...
Taffy: And I can't even teleport out of here!

Whyyyy meeeeee?!?!

Nada: ...Uh, anyway...

Exactly how far is it to the next Nexus?

Taffy: It's a long walk...

Personally, I can fly.

Taffy: But you?

You've got those measly looking legs, so you're gonna slow me down even more.

Nada: Maybe we should get going, then...?

I just need to teleport so I can get back home.

Taffy: Maybe so. But before we do that...

I have some "grievances" to make.

Nada: You're making air quotes with your hands... I don't think I'm following.
Taffy: Actually, you're following me to the tourism center.
Taffy hurriedly makes her way to the tall building in the plaza and slams the doors open dramatically.
Taffy: WHO'S MY SECRETARY?!?
Preview: Good morning, dearest Taffy.
Taffy: Hi, Preview.

Can you not get in my way? I need to talk to my secretary.

Like right now.

Preview: And you'd snub me so soon?

Who do you think your secretary is?

Taffy: Oh, no...

Oh noooooooOOOOOooo...

Preview: I'm not saying it's me, I'm just asking.

As a friendly question.

Taffy: Oh, thank FUCK it's not him.

Is it Yenna this time?

Yenna: ...No, sorry hun.

I'm assigned to someone else right now.

Preview: Excuse me? You're snubbing me again?
Preview: I know you're not one much for math, Taffy, but are you REALLY not putting two and two together right now?
Taffy: Oh, no...

Oh nooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...

Preview: Good to see you, too, Nada.
Nada: Huh—?

Don't get me caught up in this, I just met her...

Preview: Yes, I'm aware.

After all, I'm the one who assigned you as Taffy's tourist.

Taffy: NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
Preview: What was that you were saying, "thank fuck it's not Preview"?
Taffy: Whyyy meeeeee?!?

Don't you have other Dreamborns to be tyrannical to?!

Preview: Ah, as a matter of fact, I don't!

You'll be psyched to hear this: Queen Nuigerita herself requested that I take care of your task today!

Preview: No need to fill me in... I know you've been slacking.
Preview: So no more!

I'll see to it that you finish this task to the very bitter end, and anything else that Queen Nuigerita requests!

Taffy: Nuigerita?!

Whyyyy... she did me so dirty...

Nada: Uh, sorry to intervene, but...

Do I personally have anything to do with this ordeal?

Nada: I don't know who Nuigerita is, so I don't know what this is about.
Preview: Y-Y-Y-Y-YOU—?!
Taffy: Oh, thanks Nada. That was totally the greatest question you could ask.
Nada: It's no problem, I j—
Preview: Nuigerita is the one responsible for creating this divine realm.

Without him, we would be NOTHING.

Preview: She's the one who created every Dreamborn; every secretary, every guide, every explorer.

He carved this world from utter nothingness and orchestrated every detail into the perfection that it is today!

Preview: She knows everything and anything! Not a thing gets past her!

He made the air that you're breathing, the ground that you're walking on, the sky that illuminates your path!

Preview: To speak with him personally is a remarkable honor of the highest grade!

To receive a task from her personally is to receive a mission from a GOD!!!

Nada: Uh... whoa.

Um.

Okay.

Nada: I just thought she was like, your boss.
Yenna: Preview, your coffee's gone cold.
Preview: I would pour all the coffee in this establishment down the drain for Queen Nuigerita.
Taffy: Literally why does he have to be my secretary.
Taffy: So like, Yenna...

What exactly happened with the teleprisms? Why's this friggin' Nexus out of order?

I've never seen this happen before.

Yenna: Well, if you're asking for my opinion, I think they've been stolen.
Yenna: It seems likely that an outside party desired their powers and siphoned them for their own motives.

Perhaps someone from the Waking World?

Yenna: But who knows, maybe they're from somewhere else?

Huhu, mystery~...

Yenna: We don't know for sure, though.

All we're certain of is that the teleprisms are, without a doubt, gone.

Yenna: It's been a bit hectic here in the meantime.

You're lucky you got that task from Nui.

I wish I could skip town, too, but I'm stuck back here managing the fallout~...

Preview: Taffy, if you want to get today's task completed properly, you'll have to listen to Nada and see to it that their wishes are met until they're done dreaming.
Preview: Not that that ever stopped being your obligation as a Dream Guide... but I'll REMIND you, since Queen Nuigerita is overseeing this particular assignment.
Taffy: I already know all that.

Plus, Nada just wanted to teleport right back to the Waking World as soon as they can, so I'm sure this'll be over in a jiffy.

Taffy: Right, Nada?
Nada: Yeah, basically.
Preview: Truly?

...Really and truly, Nada?

Nada: Uh... yeah.

I just wanted to get back home.

Preview: You don't have to lie to make things easier on Taffy, even after what I've told you about Queen Nuigerita, you know.
Nada: I'm being for real, though... I don't really have much to do here.
Preview: Hm, that's curious...

I wonder why Queen Nuigerita assigned this task in the first place.

Preview: Not that I would ever question him!

I'm sure he knows much more than I do!

Taffy: Hey, so like, is there a shorrrtcuuutttt that I can maybe possibly use to get to the second Nexus just an eensy-teensy tiny bit faster instead of having to walk there myself?
Preview: No.
Taffy: But like, are there any ways I can h—
Preview: No.
Taffy: I didn't even finish asking!!
Yenna: Taffy, you can't "hack the Dream World and travel at hyper-speed by taking advantage of a terrain glitch."

Even if that was a thing, you'd have to take Nada with you, y'know.

Taffy: You are just no fun...
Taffy: Whatevs, I'm out.
Yenna: Hey hey, Nada and Taffy, before you go~
Yenna: If you visit Nuigerita, wouldja mind taking a picture for me and Preview~?

I haven't seen her castle in ages, huhu.

Preview: You say that as if Queen Nuigerita would invite them before ME...
Taffy: We're not visiting her, Nada just wants to go home!!
Yenna: Oh, I know, I mean like...

If you just HAPPEN to end up there... Y'know...

Just a pic so I can see how he's got it done up nowadays... Huhu.

Taffy: Ugh... You two are so weird. Fine.
Nada: She has her own castle?
Taffy: Less talking, more walking.

This-a way.

Taffy and I left the Nexus and started heading up the mountain.
It's hard to keep track of time here, but it's definitely been awhile...
Taffy: Ughhhhh. My feet hurt already. I hate this.
Nada: Hm...
Taffy: We should really get public transit around here.

I never noticed we needed it till the whole entire NEXUS went out of order! This is the worst...

Nada: Hey, Taffy, what is Nuigerita like?

Have you ever met them?

Taffy: Are you still stuck on that?

Whaddaya want me to do, review everything Preview just spieled on about endlessly?

Nada: I mean, you don't HAVE to... buuuuuuut...
Taffy: Ugh, don't ask in that tone of voice.
Taffy: ...God. Fuck you.

Fine.

Taffy: It's basically what Preview already said.

I always just think of her as our boss, but she's more than that, too... I guess.

Taffy: She's called the "Dream God" but I dunno what that actually entails.
Taffy: Like... I think she just manages everything up top?

And she made a bunch of the Dream World herself.

Taffy: I don't know if that actually means she like, made everything, or just rules it...
Taffy: If she was a god she could see me right now.
Taffy: She could like.

Instantly kill me.

Taffy: She could pass my final judgment.

She—

Nada: Oh, cool!! What's she look like?
Taffy: That's a good question.

I've never actually seen her in person.

Nada: Oh, but... what's the hearsay?

Has anyone else you know seen her?

Taffy: Are you just gonna keep racking me for all I know?
Nada: I mean... you don't have to, but if you WANT, y'know...
Taffy: ...Fuck your enthusiastic need to hear gossip.
Taffy: Well, from what I hear, she looks kinda spider-like.

And she's got a bunch of claws, and wings, and horns... or something like that.

Nada: ...
Nada: Oh.
Taffy: You seem disappointed.
Nada: Idon'tlikespiders.
Taffy: No?
Nada: No.
Taffy: I dunno. Preview says she's drop-dead gorgeous, but he's Preview.

Nuigerita's basically always up in her castle.

Taffy: I don't think she invites tourists usually, and Dreamborns rarely have a seat with her unless they're personally called for...

I guess that's the way the cookie crumbles.

Nada: So, I guess there's no chance I'd ever see her anyway, huh...
Taffy: Sorry, that's the way the cookie crumbles.
Nada: ...

...That's the way the... the...

Taffy: What?
Nada: Nothing.

Never mind.

Taffy: No, you totally have to finish what you were gonna say now.
Nada: Um.

I was gonna say.

Nada: "That's the way the taffy pulls."

Like "that's the way the cookie crumbles."

Nada: You get it, cuz, uh... they're both... sweets... and a cookie crumbles, but taffy, uh... you pull it... it, um...
Taffy: You do not pull Taffy.
Nada: YES! UNDERSTOOD!!
*CLUNK*
Nada: WAHAH?!
Tulip: Oh, sorry.

Didn't mean to make ya jump outta your skin.

Taffy: Then maybe you should keep it down?
Tulip: I've got repairs to do.

It's noisy work.

Don't like it, then leave.

Taffy: You're blocking the exact path we're traveling through.
Tulip: Uh huh. Yup.
Tulip: *CLUNK*
Tulip: That's too bad.

Maybe you should use a different road.

Taffy: You know as well as I do that this is the ONLY road to NX2.
Tulip: Huh.

That's too bad.

Tulip: *CLUNK*
Tulip: Maybe you should complain to the secretaries about it.
Tulip: *CLUNK*
Nada: What on earth are they doing?
Tulip: I'm right—
Tulip: *CLUNK*
Tulip: —here you know, you can ask me—
Tulip: *CLUNK*
Tulip: —to my face.
Nada: Oh... sorry.
Tulip: *CLUNK*
Nada: What the hell are you doing.
Tulip: What—
Tulip: *CLUNK*
Tulip: —does—
Tulip: *CLUNK*
Tulip: —it—
Tulip: *CLUNK*
Tulip: —LOOK—
Tulip: *CLUNK*
Tulip: —LIKE?
Tulip: *CRASH*
Nada: Uh.
Nada: ...I would say repairs, but you've just been hammering the same rock for a good minute straight.
Tulip suddenly throws her hammer to the ground in an unbridled rage.
Tulip: THAT'S BECAUSE IT'S MY JOB!!
Taffy: Are you out of your mulleted little mind?!
Tulip: NYA!

HEYAUH!

YYYAAAAAAHHHHAAAAARRGGGHHHHHH!!!!

Tulip: I'M LOOKING FOR THE TELEPRISMS, THAT'S MY JOB RIGHT NOW, AND EXACTLY WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO HELP?!?
Nada: ...In this rock.
Taffy: In that rock.
Tulip: Yes. Where else. Would. They. Be.
Taffy: Did a secretary even assign you this job or did you just choose to go looking yourself, I don't think that's—
Tulip: WHERE ELSE.
Nada: I'm, uh, no expert, but I think if I was teleprisms, maybe I'd hide somewhere you can teleport to, or somewhere convenient to teleport to.

You know?

Tulip: Are you...
Tulip: Are you telling me I'm doing my job wrong?
Nada: No, I-I-I... I think a rock in the middle of the road is too easy, if someone stole them, like maybe the teleprisms were put in... a bigger rock... like...
Tulip: Like... the moon?
Nada: Yeah.
Nada: NO.

I MEAN NO.

Tulip: You're really sleuthing here...

You think someone put the teleprisms on the moon?

Nada: I'm just saying, they could be anywhere.

But... probably not in this rock.

That's not a good hiding spot.

Tulip: You're...
Taffy: They're...?
Tulip: ...You're right...
Taffy: They're right...?!?
Tulip: I'm... sorry about all this.

I got so stressed out, I wasn't even thinking, I just started smashing things...

Nada: Yeah, I can see that...
Tulip: This is so unbecoming... I'm so frazzled.

I just don't know what to do about this mayhem with the Nexus breaking down...

Tulip: Can you do me a favor and not tell anyone about this... li'l incident here.
Taffy: Oho? A favor, huh?

What's my motivation not to tell everyone?

Taffy: Maybe a negotiation can be reached?

A bribe~?

Nada: Taffy... Don't be an asshole, cut that out.
Tulip: Taffy's her name, huh?

I feel like I've heard it before...

Taffy: W-what?

I mean, yeah, I'm Taffy.

Tulip: Taffy the Dream Guide... Wasn't it—

Oh, I remember now.

Tulip: It was last year... Valentine's Day. Right?

We were celebrating it in the third Nexus, and then—

Taffy: YOU WOULDN'T.
Tulip: So we've reached a deal then, right?
Taffy: Blackmail for blackmail, huh?

Oh... I see...

You do DIRTY work...

Tulip: My job is dirty work.
Nada: Oh... I see...

They're both assholes...

Tulip: I've gotta be off.

Have fun going wherever y'all are headed.

I gotta actually figure out this mess at NX1 now.

Taffy: ...Sheesh.
Nada: ...What on earth was that about?
Taffy: Nothing that concerns YOU.
Nada: I-I didn't mean about that...
Nada: I mean, what was up with that girl?

She seemed a bit... chaotic.

Taffy: Oh, that's probably cuz she's a dream explorer.

Chaos is kind of in the job description, y'know?

Taffy: Normally, smashing a bunch of rocks would be right up her alley.

But explorers don't usually work in busy places.

She sticks out like a sore thumb here.

Nada: Oh... uh, what're they smashing things for?
Taffy: The Dream World doesn't curate itself, you know...

Explorers destroy obstructions and ruins, so this place always looks neat and tidy.

Nada: Sounds noisy.
Taffy: Yeah, it probably is. That's just what they do.

It's why they have those giant tails they can swing around and bash things with.

Nada: Oh, gotcha.

Then what's the reason for dream guides like you having wings?

Taffy: Duhhhh.

So we can fly away and ditch tourists that keep dragging us down.

Nada: Are explorers the only ones that get tails?
Taffy: No, secretaries and guides have them too.

Even if we aren't swinging them around like wrecking balls, like explorers do.

Nada: Oh, I see, I see...

Why don't you have a tail, then?

Taffy: Rude! Rude!!

Asking a girl about her tail!!!

Nada: Whoa, excuse me...
Nada: Are there any other types of Dreamborns?
Taffy: Nope, it's just those.

Dream guides, dream secretaries, and dream explorers.

Taffy: And dream guides by far have the most insanely boring job.
Taffy: Hm... but that reminds me...

Hey, before you wake up, can you fill out this questionnaire for me?

Taffy: Just rate everything a 5, sign your name here, and put the dream guide name as "Taffy."

Thanks a bunch~!

Nada: You mean... give you 5 stars all across the board for your job... before we've even made it to the second Nexus?
Nada: I'm not going to lie for you...
Taffy: ...You are so rude.
Taffy: Oh, but it looks like we've reached the summit of the mountains.
Taffy: That's the Red Forest we're looking at.
Taffy: Ah, I honestly love the view up here.

It's so breathtaking.

Nada: What's that huge tower over there?
Taffy: Huhuhu...

Ohh, I have PLENTY to tell you about the Red Forest...

Taffy: Since you've never been here before, I guess you wouldn't know that a demon lives there, would you?
Nada: Um, no?!

D-d-do we have to go through there if a demon lives there?!

Deep woods aren't exactly where I wanna run into a demon!

Taffy: Ohhhh, Nada, Nada, Nada...

Of COURSE we have to go through there.

It's the only way to the second Nexus, after all.

Taffy: And what if I told you that the demon doesn't let travelers through the forest unless they pay her a visit?
Taffy: And, uh... she set up an evil magic around the whole forest so you can't go around it?!
Nada: OH NOOOOOOOO I DON'T WANT TO RUN INTO A DEMON!!
Taffy: Pssshhhh.

Come on, you don't really believe that, do you?

Nada: ...
Taffy: Uh, Nada, I was just joking.
Taffy: We have to go through there but like, I don't want you to be crying the whole time.

Chill.

Nada: Are you just trying to scare me?

And here I was, contemplating giving you five stars on that questionnaire...

Taffy: HUH?!

Now WAIT JUST A SECOND, DON'T WRITE THAT DOWN—

Nada: Then tell me what's up with that tower!!
Taffy: Yeesh, fine, fine, lay off.
Taffy: It's just a girl who lives there.

She's not really a demon, just an insufferable prankster.

Nada: A girl?

What's her name?

Taffy: Do I have to spoil everything?!

We're gonna meet her, but... whatever.

Taffy: Her name's Charisma.
Nada: ...Okay, fine.
We made it to the Red Forest...

This is almost the second Nexus, right?

I was sure hoping so since that ominous tower was getting closer.

But... I guess there's no turning back now, anyway.

Taffy: La-dee-da, la-dee-da~~
Taffy: There's nothing better than traveling down a beautiful forested mountainside, wouldn't you say?
Nada: Huh?

...Oh.

Um, yeah, i-it's beautiful...

Taffy: You can hear the river bubbling~

And the birds chirping~

Taffy: And... teeth... chattering?
Taffy: Nada, can you shut up?!

I'm trying to take in nature's beauty here.

Nada: S-sorry!!
Taffy: Glue your mouth together if you can't stop making that horrid sound.
Nada: Sorry!

It's kind of your fault though...

I just need something to take my mind off of... um, you know.

Taffy: Take your mind off of what?
Taffy: Oh, waaait, you mean the BIG SCARY DEMON that lives here?
Nada: SHUT UP! SHUT UP!
Taffy: Pffft. Okay, okay.

Why don't we play a game, then?

Nada: Like... what?
Taffy: I spy with my little eye—
Nada: You're kidding.
Taffy: Hey, it's either that or you can deal with the dreadful silence.

Maybe you want it to be quiet so you can listen for anything creeping up on us though, right?

Taffy: How noble of you to make sure nothing happ—
Nada: You know what, I Spy is fine by me!
Taffy: Heh. Okay...

Then, I spy... somethingggggg... red.

Nada: Is it a tree?
Taffy: Yeah.

Your turn.

Nada: Um.

I spy something... purple.

Taffy: Is it grass?
Nada: Yeah.

It's grass.

Nada: I feel like this game isn't panning out well.
Taffy: I don't suppose you have any better ideas?
Nada: Don't you have magic or something?

I thought this was a dream, so you can do anything, right?

Taffy: Magic?

You wanna see MAGIC?

Taffy: I'll show YOU magic... get ready for a SHOW!!
Taffy stops dead in her tracks.

She seems to be focusing all of her energy on a huge spell.

Taffy: YAHHHHHHH!!
A glowing pink light emanates from her hands for a brief moment, and...
...It looks like she's summoned a hair bow.
Nada: ...Eh?

Was that it?

Taffy: Yeah.

Now we can play I Spy again.

Nada: Wh...
Taffy: I spy something yellow.
Nada: Yellow...

I don't see anything yellow here.

Nada: You're not making stuff up, are you?
Taffy: Look closer.
Nada: Wait, is it the sun?

Are you even allowed to look at that?!

Taffy: Yup, it's the sun.
Nada: That doesn't count.

That's not how you play I Spy.

Taffy: Fine, I'll go again then!

I spy something... black!

Nada: The tower?
Taffy: No.

I don't think so, at least.

Nada: Umm... the shadow of the trees?
Taffy: No, it's everything.

I can't see shit right now.

Nada: You really shouldn't look at the sun.
Taffy: Sometimes you make sacrifices for the ones you love.
Taffy: Wait, what's that sound?
Nada: Knock it off, I'll play your cheater's version of I Spy if that's what you want!
Taffy: No, for real! I'm serious!

...Do you hear that?

Nada: N-n-no?! Stop joking around!
Now that I listen, I think I hear something, but I'm too afraid to look behind me.
Taffy: Listen... I think it's—
???: BOO!
Nada: EEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!
???: Well, well, well... If it isn't Taffy.
Taffy: So it's YOU...
???: You've foolishly intruded upon my forest once again, I see.
???: Then I hope for your sake that you've kept up your end of the bargain?
Taffy: But of course!

I-I don't want any trouble!

Taffy: I've been offering my sacrifices, I promise!
???: Nyehe... I knew that already.

I can smell it on you.

Taffy: That's so wei— um, I mean!

Yes!

Taffy: I offered them at your altar as per your request!!

So please let me and my tourist pass through these woods!

???: Ah, if only it were that easy... tsk, tsk, tsk.

You know my rules, Taffy.

???: Your tourist has to pass my tests before I deem them worthy of passage.
Nada: What?

...Me?

What tests?!

???: Nyeheheheh!

You'll find out soon enough...

Taffy: No, not your dreaded tests!

You're too cruel!!

Taffy: Nada will never make it!

Please, isn't there anything else we can do to appease you?

Nada: Uhh, w-w-what exactly do these tests entail?

I feel like I'm missing something important here?

Nada: ...Hello?
???: Nada, tell me...

On a scale from 1-10, how much do you value your life?

Nada: HUH?

TEN, TEN, TEN!!!

Taffy: Please, frightful demon from fire and brimstone!
Taffy: ...And smoke.

And ash.

Uh, and darkness and moonlight and all that jazz.

Taffy: Tell me what will satisfy you so that Nada doesn't have to take your horrible tests!!
???: You already know what I desire, Taffy.
Taffy: ...Huh?

I do?

???: Yes.

...You DO.

Ahem.

Taffy: Ummm...

I only have two dollars and a nickel...

???: ...You aggravate me. Did I not give you a list beforehand?

You KNOW what I desire, Taffy...

Taffy: Wait, let me think...

You don't want money, you want... uh... umm...

Taffy: ...Uhhh, can I just leave you an I.O.U. note for now?
???: Taffy, I gave you a list SPECIFICALLY so you knew what to sacrifice to me!
Taffy: Oh, I thought that was just for your birthday...
???: NO!

That was so you knew what sacrifices to offer!!

???: You didn't lose it, did you?

Oh, good grief...

Nada: Wait, is this that Charisma girl?
???: I am not "that Charisma girl"...

BEHOLD!

Charisma: I am that TRULY FEARSOME, ALMIGHTY CHARISMA GIRL!!
Nada: Haha... very funny.

Taffy already told me there was a girl in these woods who liked to scare people for fun, and it's clearly you!

Nada: So... case closed!

Mission failed!

Y-you can't scare me, so give it up!!

Charisma: That's right.
Nada: YEAH, that's right!

So you admit it...

At least you're not a sore loser—

Charisma: That's right, that's exactly what I wanted you to think.
Nada: H-h-huh?
Charisma: I put Taffy under a hex so that she would say exactly as I wished...
Charisma: And she told you to lower your guard, so that YOU WOULD WALK RIGHT INTO MY LITTLE TRAP!
Charisma: CATCHING PREY LIKE YOU WAS FAR TOO EASY, AND NOW YOU'RE ALL CAUGHT UP IN MY WEB!!
Nada: OH NO, NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!
Taffy: For fuck's sake...
Charisma: Now then, NADA...

Are you ready to take my TEST?

Nada: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
Charisma: ...Aheheh, good.

Because I don't actually have one.

Nada: THEN, THEN WHAT AM I GONNA DO?!
Charisma: There's not actually a test, because I'm not really a demon.

I've never actually gotten someone to believe me for this long...

Nada: ...
Nada: Oh, right.

Y-yeah, that's on account of, um, I'm just such a good actor.

You're w-w-welcome.

Taffy: Wow, Nada, you must be a REALLY good actor.

Did you practice that blood-curdling scream before we got here?

Nada: AHE-HEM.

...So then, Charisma, what are you really doing in the middle of this silent, isolated forest?

Nada: Lurking in the darkness for as long as you were. And all that.
Charisma: I live in that mansion over there.

Giving people a fright is just a good use of my time since I'm in such a remote area.

Charisma: ...But, I feel sort of bad since I scared you so much.

The least I could do is invite you over and give you a tour of the place.

Taffy: Ooohh, yes!!
Charisma: Come on in, then.

I'll unbind the ancient magical locks...

Somehow, the interior of Charisma's house is even more gaudy than the exterior.
At least the door didn't ominously lock behind us...
Nada: This place is ridiculously huge...

You really live here by yourself?

Charisma: Yes.
Charisma: ...Unless you count the millions of spirits of my departed ancestors, that is.
Nada: S-spirits, you say?
Charisma: Sorry, I'm just messing around.

No, it's just me living here. I don't even have any pets or anything, you can be rest assured.

Taffy: Hey, do you still do that party trick where you do a seance with all your ancestors at once?
Charisma: Rude!

Right in front of the guest!

Charisma: ...No, I don't.

I'm trying to keep my story straight, and that doesn't fit in.

Nada: So... you're not really a demon, are you?
Charisma: Nyehehe...

No, I'm not. I'm a ghost.

Nada: You look like a person, though...

You're not one of those poltergeists that can walk through walls and stuff, right...?

Charisma: No, don't worry.

I'm as solid as you are in the Dream World.

Nada: Wait, does that mean you're from somewhere else, then?

Like... where I'm from?

Taffy: Nada, knock it off.
Charisma: It's, um... complicated.
Nada: Oh— my bad...
Taffy: Hey, Charisma, did Lotus happen to pass through here earlier?
Charisma: Ms. Paris?

No, not to my knowledge.

Charisma: Though there's usually no mistake when she's arrived, so I don't think I missed her...
Taffy: Aww, dammit.

I dunno where she ran off to...

Charisma: You're sure she's not just back in the Waking World?
Taffy: Pfft.

No way, not her.

Charisma: Ahh, but that reminds me, hasn't it been awhile since you've visited here yourself?

You and your tourists always make rounds through my woods.

Taffy: Oh, welp— that's because I haven't gotten as many assignments recently...

Nada's my first one in weeks, actually.

Nada: Eh? Shouldn't that worry me?
Charisma: You're not slacking off, are you, Taffy?
Taffy: Pssshhhh, no wayyyyyyyy...
Taffy: I'll have you know, I organized everyone in the first Nexus when the teleprisms disappeared!

Yeah, I'm just a natural-born leader like that...

Nada: That definitely didn't happen.
Charisma: So, I take it you have been slacking...
Taffy: ...
Taffy: It's not all me, though!

First, I wasn't getting assigned for weeks, and now my secretary's Preview, so...

Basically, it's all his fault.

Charisma: Well, then maybe you should take care of this assignment for now?

Here, I'll send you two off with some home cooking.

Charisma procures a basket with a loaf of bread and some pastries, still warm.
Nada: Ohh, thank you!

These look delicious!

Taffy: Charisma, you... you even remembered that I love conchas...

Thank you so much...

Wuhuh... uhuhuhuh...

Nada: Are you... crying?
Taffy: M-maybe...
Charisma: You said something about the teleprisms not working at the first Nexus, yes?

The next Nexus isn't far off from here, if that's where you're headed.

Nada: Yup... I dunno much about it, but that's where we're going.
Taffy: Yeah, we're foing fo fhe fecond Nexfuf.
Charisma: Don't talk with your mouth full, Taffy, that's bad manners.
Taffy: I said we're headed to the second Nexus.

Nada wanted to go home, and since the first one isn't running, we have to go there to teleport.

Charisma: Oh? The first Nexus isn't working?
Taffy: Yeah, that's what I said.

The teleprisms are gone, so of course you can't teleport from there.

Charisma: Oh... maybe I just don't know enough about how it works.

I suppose I do usually stay in the Red Forest.

Nada: I don't understand anything that's ever going on here.
Charisma: Well, I hope everything works out for you two.

Have a good trip to the second Nexus!

Nada: Thanks, Charisma!

It was nice meeting you.

Taffy: Bye-bye, Charisma~!
After leaving Charisma's house, Taffy and I walked for a short while until we reached a bustling plaza.
Taffy: Fiiiiinally...

We made it in one piece.

Nada: Oh, we're here?
Taffy: Yup, this is the second Nexus!

And not a minute too soon. I feel like my legs are gonna give out...

Nada: This place looks a lot different than I expected...
Taffy: Well, it's definitely different from the first Nexus.
Nada: I think I liked the first Nexus better.

It looks... weird here.

Taffy: Oh, but that's the charm of it!

This place is well-known as a tourist attraction.

Taffy: There's a luxury spa overlooking the sea, a gourmet restaurant, a seaside hotel, and even a souvenir shop if you're into that kind of thing.
Nada: Hmm... well, you're good at talking it up, I'll give you that.
Taffy: You think so?

Even "five stars" good?

Nada: Hmmmmmm...
Taffy: Oh, boo.

You're no fun.

Nada: I guess we finally made it, though.
Nada: Um, Taffy...

Thank you for helping me make it here.

Taffy: Yeah, yeah, what are dream guides for, blah blah blah.

If you wanna leave me a raving review, you should write it on the questionnaire, right?

Nada: Oh...

Oh! Right.

Nada: It feels like I've hardly been here any time at all, but it was fun.

Maybe I'll visit again when things have calmed down?

Taffy: Of course, of course, of course!!

If Nuigerita sees I did a good job AND you come back to visit again, that'll look SUPER good on my report... heh...

Nada: Yeah... I'm sure we'll see each other again soon.
Nada: ...So then...
Nada: ...Uhh, I don't actually know how to teleport from here, since you only told me I have to go to the next Nexus...
Taffy: Teleporting is a piece of cake!

First, though, I was thinking we should check you out at the tourism center just to make sure the paperwork is taken care of.

Nada: Sure, whatever works.
Taffy: It's right over here~!

Once we get you sent off, I think—

The sky flashes white.
Taffy: ...Um, hey, Nada, I know YOU'RE the one dreaming, but do you think you could pinch me just to make sure this is really happening right now?
Nada: Ow... ow...