Dusk: Dawn and Dusk

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Operator Record
Dawn and Dusk
Dusk icon.png

He only has tonight.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Dusk to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Dusk.
Bitey icon.png
Male Yumenite B icon.png
Mr. Ruan/Guest
Yanese Villager Male icon.png
Blank icon.svg
Nameless Ink Spirit
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Blank icon.svg
Wealthy Person
Yan Alley Night
Yan Indoor B
Painted World Landscape
Yan Indoor A
The storyteller chances to hear the "unbearable truth" of a painter. He decides to take a look for himself.
<Background 1>
Proprietor Hey, don't go anywhere.
Storyteller You've fooled me once already. What am I going to stay for?
Mr. Ruan might not be any giant of the ages, but it is his absolute, exact control of his brush's weight that makes him one of the most lauded out there.
This painting shows the study of Mr. Ruan's energy, and has attained three, perhaps four-tenths of it, but the strokes are crooked. The bodies fray from the form, and the form makes no attempt to adjoin. You have a sense of humor to tout this as a genuine work, don't you?
Proprietor Just hold it, hold it, okay!
I didn't lay out the whole, unbearable truth because I knew you'd hate hearing it... but this really is a genuine article of his!
Storyteller Unbearable truth? He lives in this city. He's a fellow man of yours. You would ostracize him like that?
Not to mention, no matter how unbearable things are, he wouldn't produce a work this shoddy.
Proprietor His sight has gone.
Storyteller ......
Proprietor I am absolutely not lying about this! The painting I possess here is a consequence of Mr. Ruan going blind!
[The storyteller turns back toward the proprietor.]
Storyteller Mr. Ruan was frequently ill in his youth, that I've heard.
But being so prideful in spirit, how could anything, even going blind, have him let this sort of thing out into the realm, to ruin his own fame?
Proprietor Just... listen to me.
Mr. Ruan's eye disease kept getting worse and worse in recent years, to the point he could take ever so slightly small print, put it up against his face, and he couldn't make it out.
He'd rather have died than admit he can't see, precisely because of his pride.
There was a scoundrel who found out as such, played coy around him, tricked their way into his good favors, and then shoved some finely crafted contract before him and goaded him into signing.
And just like that, not only is Mr. Ruan in massive debt, even knowledge of his eye disease is getting out.
He's been ill for several months since then. Some say he's gone completely blind.
Storyteller ...Is the human soul truly that venomous?
Proprietor So it goes.
Here, if that was as far as it went, and he'd simply fallen for some swindler's scheme, I wouldn't be throwing around the word "unbearable."
But he's been ruined ever since then, forced to the worst ends to meet his debt.
Storyteller The worst ends?
Proprietor His painting has lost all value since going blind. The experts won't give him a second look. He even started going by the 'blind painter' circus act, soliciting the wealthy here to watch him paint, in exchange for their charity.
To be fully honest, nothing he paints now goes for much of anything–not any more than what those socialites tip him, even. This painting I have here now was procured from one of those–
Eh? Where'd you go?
<Background 2>
Wealthy Person A colorful character you are, old Ruan, small enough you look amazingly like my grandson here! And this light ink on your head, it's not so far off the birthmark on my grandson's! Are you really blind, sir?
Mr. Ruan ...I am.
Wealthy Person I suppose as much. How would you miss even the big bold print on that contract if you weren't? Hahah.
Mr. Ruan ...Hah.
Wealthy Person Here's your painter's pay, and I do bid you accept. Farewell for now.
[The storyteller enters the house as the wind blows from outside.]
Storyteller So the proprietor was not wrong. The state of Mr. Ruan truly is unbearable.
Mr. Ruan Who's that?!
Storyteller A storyteller, no more.
Mr. Ruan A storyteller..?
Storyteller I merely know that Mr. Ruan is a prideful one, who would pursue utmost realism in better years, who would fixate on scenery for days on end. Yet I didn't know he would resign himself now as a peacockerel within the cage, a sideshow of a beast.
Mr. Ruan ......
If you're a sharer of the passion here to give me a wake-up call, I appreciate your kindness.
But ambitions are one's own. I'm blind in both eyes, unable to tell any longer what's fake and what's real. I'm simply struggling in my swansong. It beats falling dead on the roadside, that's all.
[A speculater rushes into the house.]
Speculator Ruan, old Ruan!
Mr. Ruan Who are you...?
Speculator I'm the one that came to see you for a painting a few days ago. Did you forget so fast?
Mr. Ruan Mr... Chu, I presume.
Speculator Yes, that's me!
Speculator What under Heaven is this "Scene of Flower Plumage" you painted?
The fowlbeast's feet look like they're in pieces, and the coloring on these petals is turbid at best! You may well have flipped your palette straight onto the canvas!
I showed what you drew to some experts and asked them what technique this was, how your consciousness of form held, and can you guess what they said?
They said any "form-conscious" part of you had long devolved into "bone-obsequious!" Everything you paint wobbles and warps! When was the last time you laid a single firm line?!
Mr. Ruan Bone-obsequious?!
Storyteller ......
Mr. Ruan Mr. Chu, we agreed at the start that you'd pay as you saw fit, that any amount would be fine as long as you didn't regret it afterwards.
Speculator If I knew this was how you ended up, then forget painter's pay, you wouldn't pay me to take your works! If you don't refund me today, I'll go to the authorities and tell them you're passing off shoddy goods!
Storyteller Mr. Chu, in light of the fact you made your agreement, the authorities would not pay mind.
Speculator Does this have anything to do with you?
If the mandarins won't listen, I have other ways. No matter what, this geriatric's going to cough up my money!
Storyteller If you try your "other ways," that will be cause to trouble the authorities.
Speculator You–?!
Hmph. Fine, I'll swallow this loss.
The visitor lifts up the painting, asserts himself, and viciously begins to tear.
Mr. Ruan What are you doing?!
Throwing all his strength into his hands, he tears the painting into shreds in but a few short motions.
He tosses them up into the air, the scraps falling down like snow, all over Mr. Ruan.
Speculator Ruan, even beggars would be ashamed to act the way you do! They were right, you're bone-obsequious! Utterly depraved!
[The speculator leaves in anger.]
Mr. Ruan Me... obsequious? Depraved?
Storyteller Said as such, no, I cannot refute him.
Mr. Ruan No, no!
Storyteller "No?"
You keep on repeating how you're blind, but are you truly, fully sightless?
Playing the jester for coin is unbearable enough as is, but still you have to feign some for your comedic act. And you have the conscience to speak the word "no?"
Mr. Ruan This... What do you mean?!
Storyteller I need not mention the infant's birthmark. Further, you made a cry before that Chu fellow actually began to tear up your painting.
If my guess is correct, your sight is largely gone. The written word is a lost cause, and you can hardly even tell light shades from dark, hence the total suffering of your brushwork.
But full blindness? There sits a subtle lie.
Mr. Ruan ......
Sir... you are observant.
[Ruan turns away.]
Storyteller Where are you going?
Mr. Ruan With even this final lie dead, what grants me any standing to cling to life?
I may as well find a quiet place... and be done with it all. It'll be clean!
Storyteller Clean?
With your death, Mr. Ruan henceforth will be immortalized as the bone-obsequious, utterly depraved man. What of that do you call clean?
Mr. Ruan But what else ought I do? What else can I do?
Storyteller Full sightlessness or not aside, even if you are blind, does that render you unable to paint?
Mr. Ruan Render me... unable to paint?
I can... perhaps I can...
–Forgive my dullness! I ask you impart your teachings upon this blinded painter's method!
Storyteller That which I have heard is not as you have heard; which I have touched is not as you have touched; which I have tasted is not as you have tasted. To what end would I teach you?
Mr. Ruan Heard... touched... tasted?
Storyteller Hm.
I am tired for today. Fare well by yourself.
[The storyteller leaves as the winds blow into the house.]
<Background 1>
[Ruan walks through the alley...]
Mr. Ruan ......
[...as the wind blows...]
Mr. Ruan Sir?
[...and the cicadas chirp...]
Mr. Ruan I must have misheard–
[...and the storyteller reveals himself.]
Storyteller Do you refer to me?
I imagined we should have nothing left to talk about.
Mr. Ruan I'd be remiss! Your great grace will ever be engraved on my heart!
Storyteller Hmph, interesting.
What grace have I done you?
Mr. Ruan You imparted upon me the painting style of sound, touch and taste, for which I was finally in these months able to paint a steadfast work.
Truth be told, I was planning to invite my fellow artists to judge my new work, but didn't expect to meet you here. Now I think of it, you should be the first to appraise my painting, sir.
Storyteller That need not happen.
What I'd like to know is, what is it that you've heard, that you've touched, that you've tasted?
Mr. Ruan After you left that day, I pondered carefully at how the wealthy man jeered at me, how the merchant berated me, how you advised me...
I may not see clearly, but to put the forms and expressions that I hear onto paper, though it may not be so easy, was in the end a followable path.
Storyteller Then how would I, as you hear me, appear within your painting?
Mr. Ruan You'd be lean and tall, an aloof man of middle age, faintly bearded, eyes lively and flickering.
Storyteller This counts for little. You still hold onto some vision. To gauge my figure and silhouette would not be hard.
Mr. Ruan That said, should I shut my eyes and listen carefully, you occasionally seem too like a woman of cold face and warm heart...
Storyteller Ahem.
Mr. Ruan I blurted that out. Don't mind it.
Storyteller I don't, I don't. Or rather, I have a mind for how amusing it is.
Then what of touch? And taste?
Mr. Ruan Touch is the simplest of all. What I want to draw, I toy with in my hands, carefully feeling all around it.
That which is too large, I can simply move my desk to the side, and feel, think and draw alternately.
As for taste... it's funny to say, but I've given the flavors of ink cakes and paints a sample.
Knowing only a single paint's flavor isn't enough. I've mixed paints according to my previous experiences painting, had someone compare, and once the color was a perfect match, I took a few drops into my mouth, and committed the flavor to heart.
Storyteller You... do not fear poisoning yourself?
Mr. Ruan To pick up the brush once again is my blessing as great as Heaven. The poison of a drop of paint is little to fear.
Storyteller ......
Enough. Knowing you've strived so greatly, the painting is bound not to fall short.
I'll disturb you no longer. Go.
<Background fades out and in>
[Ruan runs into the storyteller again.]
Mr. Ruan Were you... waiting for me all this time here, sir?
Storyteller Not exactly.
I was simply whiling time away on this street, saw you coming from afar, face pale, and came to greet you.
What happened?
Mr. Ruan My fellow artists pointed out many a shortcoming in this painting of mine... no more.
Storyteller No more?
This was your first earnest painting since going blind. It's only natural it should hold shortcomings. Why so downcast all of a sudden?
Mr. Ruan Trifles, just... trifles.
You needn't concern yourself for me, sir, I'll... be going home.
[Ruan leaves.]
<Background 2>
Mr. Ruan ......
That much is right.
And incisive!
Of course a second-rate man would set his brush to a second-rate work, haha, hahah!
Hahah... hahaha...
So why is this painting second-rate?! What part of it is? How many years do you want my half-blind self slaving to see it?!
Forget it... My bone-obsequious self's impossible to shake now.
I'm worn, I'm tired. All good things come to an end. This was long overdue.
I just hate to let down that good sir... but I'm at the end of my rope.
Background-Yan Indoor B.png
The painter, eyes clouded, raises his head and looks to the ceiling rafters.
By his desk are the several bolts of tough silk that he resolved to purchase months ago.
After he finished painting, before setting out, he imagined scenes of all kinds. Warm ones, ice-cold ones, ones that would make one blush with shame.
The one scene he didn't imagine was that they would look at his painting, then look at him, and fall silent for a good while, before one among them–whoever it was–indifferently muttered the words "second-rate."
The others seemed to feel that excessive, and began to make addendum to those two words. However, after they'd finished doing so, not one of them had actually dissented to those two words.
And now, no longer does he see a need to paint anything on these silks.
<Background fades out and in>
The painter stands up, and throws one silk bolt to the rafters.
[The storyteller shows up with the wind...]
Storyteller Mr. Ruan, I'd thought you were full of prospects. What are you doing here, still, seeking death after all?
[...as Ruan noticed him.]
Mr. Ruan Sir, what do you intend now by visiting me?
Storyteller Whether a painting is good or bad should, first and foremost, be for its painter to appraise, shouldn't it?
Mr. Ruan I know you mean to encourage me, sir, but at this time, I can't hear anything but mockery in it.
Storyteller Mockery?
Mr. Ruan, I merely ask you one question. Do you want to see how exactly the painting you made turned out, or not?
Mr. Ruan I'm tired. Don't let me keep you, sir.
Storyteller Tell me.
Mr. Ruan How could I not want to?!
Storyteller Then that makes things easier.
Simply listen to me, and this evening after the Hour of Yu, before tomorrow morning at the Hour of Ch'en, you will be sure to see clearly and think clearly.
Mr. Ruan ......
I'm endlessly thankful for your kindness, sir. But while this staving off may save me for a time, it won't save me for the rest of it.
If the Hour of Yu comes, and all I see is still an impression, what will you do then?
These eyes of mine ail at their core. I've tried remedies one and all, none of which were any use. And you can restore my sight with a simple utterance? Can something so fine be true?
Storyteller Do you think I'm some sage doctor?
Let me tell you this. If you truly want to see clearly tonight, then come the Hour of Ch'en tomorrow, you will lose all sight, all of it. It won't be an impression, it will be jet-black.
Mr. Ruan Is that... the solemn truth?
Storyteller True and false are for you and you alone to determine.
If you're willing, you can go to bed right now, and you will naturally wake at the Hour of Yu. After the sun breaks at the end of night, at tomorrow's Hour of Ch'en, you will be cut off from light altogether.
If you're unwilling, then simply do not sleep. Sit at home doing nothing, or go out and bide your time. Either way, your eyes will not be getting better.
Mr. Ruan This... this is so sudden. If you could explain a little more thoroughly, sir...
Storyteller There's nothing to explain. Sleep if you like to, wake if you like to. It's not as if anyone can tell you what to do.
Think it over by yourself.
[The storyteller leaves.]
The painter gazes to the white bolt of fabric fluttering in the rafters, then looks back at the scroll upon his desk, and adds no words more to the air.
He simply takes off his shoes, lies down on his couch fully clothed, and quickly falls asleep.
<Background black>
Storyteller Once you regain your eyesight, and see your painting, you'll understand that it was not you that was lowly, but the prejudice living among them.
After that... peruse well.
Peruse books, peruse paintings, peruse the scenery tonight.
Even in a city this small, seeing it all in just a single short night is far too much of a rush.
A single short night–perhaps too short to finish even a dream.
For you, and for me, it's just too rushed.
It's gotten late, and I don't want to waste a moment.
I don't want to waste a moment, but it has... gotten late, after all.
[A light shines.]
<Background 2>
Mr. Ruan It's–
It's the Hour of Yu, I'm sure, right now is the Hour of Yu!
The painter springs up from the couch, rushes to his desk, and opens the painting scroll ridiculed as second-rate, burning to see it and take it in.
Mr. Ruan This line here is crooked, this expression here is oblique, this coloring here is somewhat gaudy–
But these are all things you could fairly point out without hesitation.Why would they call this painting "second-rate?"
This painting is about on par with the works from my auspicious twenties. How is it second-rate?
I'm going to find them and discuss–
I only have tonight... I only have tonight!
[Ruan works on the painting.]
Background-Village Outskirts.png
The sun dusks, the room dim and waning, but in the painter's eyes, every lamp shines bright as the sun, so dazzling he can barely keep his eyes open.
The gold, glistering light stabs to the point he drips with tears.
How he would love once again in this light to take in his own paintings, and his treasured masterpieces, gaze at the beautiful scenery and the common masses beyond the edges of the canvas.
But he only has tonight.
He drags the silk bolt down off the rafters, pulls off a length and mounts it on his board, and in a frenzy cleans his brushes, grinds his ink, and mixes his paints.
He lifts his fine brush, and before he's even thought about what to paint, his hand so accustomed to linework involuntarily begins to move.
Just as how hounded by the night that chases relentlessly, man will involuntarily desire to flee.
Just as how on seeing the madder sun that sinks gently, man will involuntarily desire to give chase.
Following contours and forming likenesses, he suddenly remembers an absurd story he heard long ago.
As night fell, a man chased the setting sun, running without stop.
He ran until his sweat rained down, until he'd drunk a stream dry, a lake dry, a great river dry.
But he still continued to run without stop.
Because he only had tonight.
The painter becomes aware of the parched sensation in his mouth, and picks up the brush-cleaning bowl by his side.
The water within is mixed with the ink from the brushes, one muddy mess by now.
He stares at this black water for a moment, then drinks it dry in one gulp, and after that thinks about nothing else.
He only has tonight.
<Background 2>
The east is bright.
If the painter so cared, he would surely notice the storyteller's figure hidden in the shadows all along, gazing at him blankly, daring not even to breathe loudly, having watched the entire night.
But he long since had no mind to care.
Mr. Ruan I've... finished.
I've painted...
Upon the fabric meticulously ink-washed and detailed again and again, there in the painting is Mr. Ruan reclining by his desk, gazing out of the window and to far away.
What lies there?
Looking at the eyes of the Mr. Ruan within the painting, the Mr. Ruan outside knows. There is every light he has ever seen, from his birth to this very moment.
<Background black>
Mr. Ruan ......
He carefully picks up the completed painting, and relying on his familiarity with the arrangement of his room, ventures forth a step–
Storyteller Careful not to knock anything over.
Mr. Ruan Sir?!
Storyteller I'll go and hang the painting for you.
<Background 1>
[Ruan and the storyteller head to a place.]
Mr. Ruan That friend of mine lives right here. You don't need to take me any further now, sir.
Storyteller You're sure you can rely on him?
Mr. Ruan If even he can't be depended on... then there's no one in this entire city I can trust anymore.
Storyteller Mr. Ruan, this work of yours can be said to have both body and soul, to be a pinnacle of an achievement. Will you only be content if there are truly others to nod their approval?
Mr. Ruan (Chuckle)
In the end, I just can't get away from my bone-obsequious self.
Storyteller (Mutter) Even now... bone-obsequious?
[Ruan heads out by himself to a place, and after a while...]
Male Voice Mr. Ruan, what's wrong with–
Help! Someone's thrown up blood and fainted!
Female Voice Ah Qi, run to the clinic and fetch a doctor!
What did you do to him? What happened to him?
Male Voice I didn't do anything! All I did was say a few words!
Female Voice What did you say?
Male Voice His character was unbearable, and no matter how realistic his painting was, it would never be brilliant, not to mention the fact it was a self-portrait, which practically screamed him blowing his own horn...
I'd just invited Mr. Zhang from the city's painting circles over, and that's what he quietly told me before he left.
Female Voice Well, at least Mr. Zhang knew to be quiet! And you said all that straight to him?!
Male Voice No! I was just thinking about it–how could I tell him any of that?! I only said, his painting was...
The very top of the... bottom end.
Storyteller The very top of the bottom end?
Oh, okay, great, fine, the very very top of the bottom!
Not like anyone even needs to care about this stupid city.
[The wind blows as...]
<Background 3>
Dusk How can a being from my brush be so malicious?
Nameless Ink Spirit ......
Dusk Forget it. You're not really malicious, you just have more on your mind than the Biteys. The real scary sight is someone who hasn't slept properly.
Nameless Ink Spirit ......
Dusk I'll just call you "Envy."
Now go!
The newly named Ink Spirit wriggles its body, turns around and heads over to the back.
The Biteys and Angrys huddled there appear duly fearful, and scatter in a snap like smoke.
[Someone walks toward Dusk...]
Dusk Footsteps?
(Mutter) The old bastard's in way too much of a hurry...
(Mutter) I was just adding a few more strokes inside my own painting. Is anything ever not interest to...?
[...who is revealed to be Ruan that somehow made his way into the painted world.]
Guest Sir?
Dusk No, wait, you're not the old bastard–
You're... Mr. Ruan?
It's been over twenty years. You're still alive?
Guest Much thanks to your blessing, I'm technically still alive for now.
[Dusk takes Ruan together with her into another of her painted worlds.]
<Background 4>
Dusk Take a seat.
Guest I'll be fine.
The mountain rock's ice-cold, and the air's frigid and thick. These old bones of mine won't hold up to much flailing.
Dusk Mountain rock?
(Mutter) Right, he's totally blind. Of course he couldn't see it...
(Mutter) So how exactly... did he get inside my painting?
Guest Am I interrupting?
Were you talking about something important? Did I eavesdrop?
Dusk No, no.
I'm just curious. How have you pulled through, over these past twenty years?
Guest It's a funny story, come to mention.
That day, after I woke up in hospital, the doctor said I'd practically ended up half-dead, and that I absolutely needed to recover my presence of mind, and was never to get angry again.
I felt disheartened myself, anyway. I abandoned my fame, gave up on painting, sold off all my property, refunded that one sum of money, and left the city.
Even that painting I'd spilled my blood, sweat and tears over, I sold at the lowest price to someone else.
In my heart at the time, I thought, wherever I ended up, that'd be where my bones would lie.
Dusk In that regard, I shouldn't have interfered so much back then. You would've been better off if I left you alone.
Guest You needn't feel apologetic, sir.
Dusk When did I apologize to you again?
Guest You try to cover it, but the art of listening you imparted on me back then, I've never once let slip in the years since.
Dusk *cough* Ahem.
Guest After I left, I quickly ran out of travel funds, but I wasn't six feet under quite yet. It pains me to say, but I had to take up the brush once again.
Only, this time I don't seek out any noble or the like anymore. As long as I sit in the street with my canvas and brush, people will naturally come to me for still life portraits.
Dusk And you're still the "blind painter?"
Guest Haha. The painter may truly be blind now, but those requesting paintings may not necessarily see it, that's all.
Dusk You don't tell them?
Guest If they're satisfied with what I paint, that's good enough. What does it matter if the painter's blind or not, really.
People often think I paint well, and want me to draw something dead and lifeless like their courtyard, and all I can do is confess my blindness at that point, and give them a fright.
Dusk ......
So it sounds to me like their praise still inflates you with pride?
Guest You've asked me so many questions, sir, but that one is the best.
The mountain winds blow through, a light rustling from the room's furnishings in response.
Guest Do you remember that funny term, "bone-obsequious?"
Dusk I'll never forget it.
Guest I sought others' recognition by every means I could back then, as if I wouldn't survive without the nod from them. My mind to flatter seeped into my bones. They nailed me with those two very words, 'bone-obsequious.' It left me tossing and turning at night.
But only afterwards, once I'd left home, and that narrow little patch of world, did I find that it was far from just me. Everyone's either looking to please or be pleased.
Is there truly anyone who'll take it all in stride? Maybe. But I haven't met them.
Your life starts in infancy following everything your parents say, then comes youth and bowing down to your sweetheart, then you're swept up in the prime of your life trying to cater yourself to the current style, and once you're old, you might well still be going gentle as you can on your children.
We please and please and please, but we only do it so those we worry about give us their recognition, and that recognition's only for our own self-comfort.
I've not a care now. When I'm flattered, yes, I'm tickled pink. When I'm berated, yes, I'm the most ashamed in the land.
But after a nap, I feel easy again, and what others say crosses my eyes and vanishes like smoke.
At this point, only my heart's left carrying on my old bone-obsequious self. Just the heart.
Dusk ......
A great swig of wine should've followed hearing your piece.
Only at these times do I think it's a shame that sister of mine isn't here.
[The wind blows.]
Dusk I have nothing to give in return after hearing your cautionary tale.
Let me show you out.
Guest No rush, no rush.
Besides, you did me that kindness after all, sir. How could I have the nerve to be taking a present from you?
[A Bitey appears before Dusk.]
Bitey ......
Guest There seems to be some sound coming from your side.
It's like the wind blowing a painting scroll, yet like an animal's movements, yet with some of your own feelings too.
I couldn't repay you for your great grace back then, no matter how. Let me at least draw a portrait of this being, and gift it to you? How would you feel about that, sir?
Dusk Go ahead.
The painter makes a few scarce strokes, the technique neither the meticulous, nor the freehand kind.
Guest How's my painting?
Dusk Alike. Extremely alike.
Guest Haha! Good, that's good!
You don't need to see me off too far, I'll be on my way now.
[After Ruan (somehow) leaves the painted world...]
Dusk How many remain out there who can enter and leave my paintings as freely as him? He... couldn't even see anything.
So long as the realm still holds characters like him, who'd want to sleep, and who'd want to wake up?
I was thinking I'd choose a good day out of the next few to get some proper sleep, but now...
Upon her desk, the painter's parchment, brushed with rough ink a moment before, becomes spotless white again, and the Bitey by Dusk's side has become two of them without her realizing.
Bitey & Bitey? (Tilting their heads at each other)
The two identical Biteys stare each other down for a moment, seemingly confirming the other is the same as them, and then shoulder to shoulder, they happily wander off.