Utage: The Game of Chic

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Operator Record
The Game of Chic
Utage icon.png

Utage's not too happy, but she's not gonna let you know that before this is over.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Utage to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Utage.
Leithanian Nobleman B icon.png
Bodyguard icon.png
Event/Party Security Detail
Noblewoman icon.png
Female Designer
Nobleman A icon.png
Salaryman A icon.png
Staff Worker
Female Lungmenite icon.png
Ye Zizhen
Bar Owner
Resplendently Dressed Lady
Shop Staff
Stunningly Dressed Lady
Warehouse Guard A
Warehouse Guard B
Lungmen City
Lungmen City Night
Lungmen Streets
Lungmen Uptown Night
Manor Hall
RI Cafeteria
A clothing shop Utage frequents is losing their own sense of style, so she decides to secretly do the owner a "big favor."
<Background 1>
Ye Zizhen You know me, Utage.
Every week, I shop at Sunset Boulevard, have afternoon tea at the Seven Points Hotel, find places to take some nice photos, and always, always have Higashinese cuisine for Saturday dinners.
But now? I had to borrow money to buy the latest Mango terminal, and I'm paying in installments too.
I'm broke, my dear. My wallet is as empty as my eyes.
Utage So that's why you started selling this stuff at 'Origin Strife'? So what are those on the shelf?
Ye Zizhen Minimalist shoulder bags. The style is trending, so they're all sold out on Sunset Boulevard.
Utage Didn't you used to call them 'pillow cases with shoulder straps'... Oh, and what are those? Slides?
Ye Zizhen Printed slides, to be precise. They're all the rage with people your age, didn't you know?
By the way, I designed those prints by combining the most popular patterns from the past five years. I have three designs to choose from, and I'm sure they'll be popular enough.
Utage What happened to your older works? Like the 'Sexy Jail' and 'Dark Queen' stuff?
You used to love that 'Wild Jungle' series so much, but I only see a few hats from it... The burdenbeast pendants are gone too.
Ye Zizhen I... took the rest down.
Utage Can I still buy them from you in the future?
Ye Zizhen I have to bid farewell to the past, my dear. Perhaps I could gift you a piece the next time you're here, but...
I'll be real with you: I really, really appreciate you always supporting my designs and hanging out with me. I cherish all my children too.
But they just don't sell. Ever since you left Lungmen, I have only a few regulars who drop by occasionally, and even fewer new customers.
More importantly, my dad stopped giving me money.
He recently married a Lupo woman and told me he can't afford to support me financially anymore. I have to rely on myself now, or I'll be out on the streets.
I... can't live the way I used to anymore, mooching off my dad and roping you in to work on my so-called art.
Utage So.... have you made any money yet?
Ye Zizhen Currently... no.
Utage ......
Ye Zizhen Give it time! Believe me, I just need some time.
The high-end market may still be dominated by older brands like MARTHE and 0011, but you can find the trendsetters of today just about anywhere now.
'Minimalist,' 'Functional,' 'Neo-Retro,' 'Streetwear'... To seize a trend is to seize the future!
Just look at the stuff I have here. What customers want is 'real fashion' like this, not some artsy nonsense.
The overall sales volume speaks for itself, and combined with my talent... I'm sure someone will eventually discover the much better designs they can only get here.
Also... I applied for the Spring Pop Fashion Show under the Emerging Designers category, so I've been busy prepping for that too.
There won't be any big names there. It's mostly a showcase of trendy designs, so it'll be a pretty good chance for me to get some exposure.
Utage Didn't you used to hate those big fashion shows?
You used to say they were... 'for egotistical bigshots, and full of incompetent designers trying every trick in the book to grab attention.'
Ye Zizhen Well, I thought it over again recently, and they're not that bad.
I was young then, and not desperate enough for cash...
Utage Give it to me straight, Zizhen... do you really think your designs are inferior to those sold elsewhere?
Ye Zizhen At least their stuff sells.
[Utage's phone rings.]
Utage Ah. Some nuisance is knocking on my door again.
Let's talk later, Zizhen. And gimme all those hats.
Same 20% discount as usual?
Ye Zizhen I'm sorry, my dear, but I can't do discounts anymore.
Utage Anyway, maybe making a change isn't such a bad idea, Zizhen.
Alright, best of luck with your show.
<Background 2>
Utage A fashion show, hm? Haven't been to something like that in a real long time.
Hm... could be fun, once in a while.
<Background 3>
A day before the Spring Pop Fashion Show
<Background 4>
Utage (Hmm... if my info was right, it should be here.)
Party Security Detail Have a pleasant trip, ladies.
Resplendently Dressed Lady Did you hear? Mr. Blanche would never have attended a show with so many amateurs if he weren't stuck in a design rut and looking for inspiration.
I'd expect no less from a famous designer. Even the way he speaks and acts is extraordinary.
Stunningly Dressed Lady Ha, is he still on your mind? Tomorrow night is for socializing, so you can just have a few drinks with him then.
Resplendently Dressed Lady What nonsense are you on about?!
Utage Hmm...
Party Security Detail Excuse me, Miss. May I see your invitation?
Utage Invitation? Oh, I'm so sorry, but I was in a hurry and forgot to bring it with me.
Party Security Detail Apologies, but the pre-show cocktail party is invitation-only, so I can't let you enter without one.
Utage Oh, this is how you're going to play it... Do you even know who I am?
Party Security Detail A... fashionable looking student?
Utage Surely you've heard of Mr. Blanche?
Party Security Detail Blanche? That famous Leithanian designer?
Utage Yeah. He's here at the party tonight, isn't he? I'll let you in on a secret, he's the organizer's special guest.
Party Security Detail I did see him earlier...
Utage *sigh* Let me just say, famous artists like him are pretty eccentric, and just love ordering people around.
I'm his assistant while he's in Lungmen. I was just with him, but he forgot an extremely important design draft at his studio.
So I went back to bring it over, but accidentally left my invitation behind.
Party Security Detail Is that so? But I don't remember seeing you before... Can you show me any proof?
Utage Well, you can come with me to look for Mr. Blanche.
Party Security Detail That's...
Utage But if we disturb him in the middle of an enjoyable conversation... Well, I don't even know what will happen.
Also, you said you don't remember seeing me, but do you remember the two ladies who just left?
Party Security Detail Of course. One of them was wearing a red jacket, and the other a dark purple cheongsam.
Utage You clearly forgot then. One of them was obviously wearing a bright purple cardigan from MARTHE's autumn collection, and the other a custom red cheongsam from EPOQUE.
Party Security Detail You're kidding?! My memory has always been pretty good!
Utage Do you remember what color Mr. Blanche's suit is then?
Party Security Detail Of course! It should be... a dark gray suit?
Utage You sure?
Party Security Detail Yes, no... wait, let me think... Was it black? No, that's not it...
Utage See? So no surprise you don't remember me... Ah, I've been dallying here for so long, I hope Mr. Blanche doesn't get mad.
Party Security Detail Wait... Argh, why does the guy on the next shift just happen to be on break right now?!
Tell you what, you go in first and deliver your thing to Mr. Blanche, then I'll come in ASAP to verify everything. Don't forget.
Utage Hehe, much appreciated.
<Background 5>
Utage Well, that was easy.
Alright, the next step is...
Oh, over there.
Hello there. Sorry to disturb you, Mr. Blanche.
Blanche You're...
Utage I'm a university student from Higashi studying in Yan, majoring in art history and working part-time as a reporter for the school newspaper.
So, we're currently doing a segment where we interview and record the daily lives of well-known contemporary artists at work.
People see you as one of the greats of the fashion industry. You're a figure young artists admire and follow, as well as personal hero to me since forever.
Seeing how it's so rare for you to visit Lungmen, I thought I couldn't let this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity slip.
So, if you could just grant me an interview during the show...?
Blanche An interview? I don't have time in my schedule for that sort of thing.
Utage I won't disrupt your schedule at all, I just need to follow you around and record some footage during the show.
Blanche Listen, child. There's a reason I've taken the time to come all the way to Lungmen and participate in a foreign fashion show held by a group whose names I don't even know—
It's because I crave true beauty... I have no time to play house with some student reporter while on my sacred quest.
Wait... how did you even get in here?
Utage About that. I had a chat with my uncle about this event, and he gave me an invite I used to get in.
And if my article is good enough, he said he'd orchestrate a special fashion show back home, and invite famous designers from all over Terra. I'd be able to publish another article too.
You're aware that our clothing back home is pretty unique, right?
Blanche Of course I am! Higashi, was it...? Higashi...
Well, if it's just an interview... Let me see. If you promise not to interfere with my schedule, I do technically have a bit of time to spare.
Utage R-Really? Thank you so, so much—so when exactly tomorrow...?
Blanche I'll have my assistant send you my address later. I'll arrive here tomorrow at nine-o-clock sharp, and you will attend the show with me.
But keep in mind that I loathe tardiness.
Party Security Detail Have any of you seen a guest that looks like a university student?
Utage Hey, Mr. Security. Over here.
Party Security Detail Were you... talking with Mr. Blanche just now? You're really his assistant?
Utage How could I possibly lie to you?
Party Security Detail ...Sorry for doubting you earlier.
Utage No biggie. Fortunately, you let me in, and Mr. Blanche is quite satisfied.
Right, and I... want to ask you about a private matter.
Party Security Detail What is it?
Utage Oh, it's Mr. Blanche. He's planning to stay in Lungmen for a few more days, but didn't bring a bodyguard with him this time, so he's looking for a trustworthy local.
He left me to sort it out, and the pay's pretty generous.
So I was thinking... You guys were probably hired by the show organizers for the event's duration, right?
Party Security Detail ...Yes.
Utage And you've been so professional about it too. Any chance you do personal commissions too?
Party Security Detail I... Do you really think I'm capable?
Utage Well, I still need to ask you some basic interview questions first. Just for form's sake, you know how it is... For example...
Right, can you tell me about the security arrangements for the show?
<Background 3>
Shop Staff Sorry, but we're about to close for the day.
Utage Oh, that's alright, I'm just looking.
Shop Staff Please come again!
She walks down the stairs until her feet are both firmly on the ground. Her thoughts suddenly shift, and she turns around.
The staff member is busy removing the last few items embodying the shop's history from the establishment Utage is all-too familiar with.
She knows that when she's done, it will take on a brand-new, bright and beautiful look.
Just like the neon-lit fashion shops on Sunset Boulevard.
The old signboard, which has remained unchanged for a long time, flickers twice before finally going out.
Utage Phew...
<Background 5>
Shop Staff Hah—barkeep, pour me another one!
Bar Owner That's your third one already, young lady.
Shop Staff Work's been so stressful, how else am I supposed to relax?
The more you drink, the more you forget all the little annoyances.
Bar Owner Didn't you change jobs a while back? You said the new place was a pretty decent designer brand shop. What was the name again...?
Shop Staff 'Origin Strife.'
Bar Owner Yeah, wasn't it featured in some fashion magazine too? Recommended by the famous art critic 'Pink Katana,' even.
It used to be a tiny hole-in-the-wall, but suddenly exploded in popularity. My wife's been pestering me to go shopping there these last few days, but I feel like they sell the same clothes as everywhere else.
Shop Staff *sigh* Enough about that—
Utage Evening.
Shop Staff Er, aren't you... the customer from earlier?
Utage Thanks for taking care of the store while Zizhen's been busy with the fashion show.
Shop Staff Are you a friend of hers?
Utage Well, I guess you could say that.
Shop Staff *sigh*... Running the store is the easy part; I can deal with customers just fine. The hard part is... managing the stock.
There have been more customers these days, and there's no space for all the new goods in the old warehouse.
So Miss Zizhen took a loan to rent a new warehouse and wants everything moved over.
Utage Isn't the old one filled with all her pet projects? Must be a pain to move them.
Shop Staff Yeah, she left it so messy when she was handling it. It's a pain to sort out because she just stacked everything into a big pile.
I mean... I even found a bed and some toiletries in there!
Utage Oh yeah, I spent a few nights crashing there.
Shop Staff Huh?
Utage When I ran into some trouble and didn't want anyone finding out, I borrowed her place for a few days... It's ancient history now, don't worry about it.
Shop Staff It took me a few days of hard work just to move the new products out. Now all that's left is her old stuff.
I took a look at them... They're pretty good. More stylish than the current stuff. I don't get why she decided to change her style... *hic*
Enough thinking. *hic* I just need to put in some elbow grease.
Utage You seem kinda drunk, maybe you should call it a night.
Shop Staff W-Who said I was drunk?! I have pretty good alcohol tolerance, I'll have you know! Just watch me! Barkeep, pour me another!
Utage Oh, sorry for underestimating you. Guess I'll have to keep you company then.
Unfortunately I'm allergic to alcohol, so I'll stick to orange juice.
Shop Staff Who cares! Just drink!
Utage (Tsk, tsk. She's definitely smashed if she bought that excuse.)
To your new life, and to 'Origin Strife'!
Shop Staff To 'Origin Strife'!
Ahh—this is great. Only... I'm feeling a bit dizzy...
Utage Hehe, I'll let you in on a little secret. Zizhen can be pretty careless.
She used to keep the key on top of the door panel at the old warehouse, or else she'd lose it. Take care of her for me, alright?
Shop Staff Haha, you know it! But she's changed things up, and now it's under the rock right by the door!
But don't worry, just leave it to me.
Utage Thanks, I knew I could count on you.
<Background 2>
Utage (Yawn)
Alright, that should take care of all the prep work, more or less.
Ah, now I'm excited for tomorrow's show.
She feels beads of sweat condensing on her palm, and curls her fingers as she puts her hand in her pocket.
She feels the cold metal as she removes it from her jacket.
A 'Wild Jungle' series burdenbeast pendant lies quietly in the palm of her hand.
Utage Now this, this is cute.
<Background 6>
Day of the Spring Pop Fashion Show
<Background 7>
Ye Zizhen No, no, you're too kind. I'm not talented at all, I've just been fortunate enough to be taught by some amazing people.
I didn't plan any sort of surprise, really. I have so much more to learn from you all.
Sorry, please excuse me for a moment. I need to check on the show plan again.
<Background 8>
Utage (Things are going so smoothly thanks to that guy.)
(The clothes were a bit annoying, but at least it's over and done with. Next up, accessories... they should be keeping them around here, right?)
(Target spotted! Huh? Along with two security guards...)
Warehouse Guard A Did you hear something from above just now?
Warehouse Guard B Nope.
Warehouse Guard A Was I just hearing things? It can't be—Ah! Why'd you just hit my head?!
Warehouse Guard B What? Why would I do that? The models are about to change their outfits, so hurry up and move this stuff!
Warehouse Guard A Don't play dumb with me! What's that in your hand?
Warehouse Guard B My hand—? Huh? Where'd this hammer come from?
Warehouse Guard A Man, you really...
[The guard hits his companion.]
Utage Pfft.
Event Security Detail Ah!
Utage Shh—
Event Security Detail How... what are you doing here?
Utage I...
Event Security Detail Oh, I get it. You must be here with Mr. Blanche to check things over before the show begins.
...Does he really think I'm suited for the job?
Utage Sheesh, stop worrying so much! I got it all settled. Just do your best!
Event Security Detail Sure, I'll give it a try.
[The security man leaves and Ye Zizhen appears.]
Ye Zizhen Utage? What brings you here?
Utage Evening, Zizhen.
Ye Zizhen Oh, I know. You came to get the latest scoop?
Utage ...It's complicated. Anyway, gotta go.
Ye Zizhen Utage.
Utage Need something?
Ye Zizhen Don't blame me. I know you're a big fan of my old work, and I'll definitely make it up to you later.
But you have to understand why I'm doing this. This is what it means to be a designer.
You like playful and pretty things, and your taste is impeccable. But you're still just a student.
You don't understand the true value of what I'm doing.
Utage Heh. Maybe it's you who doesn't understand.
Fashion isn't always about coming up with the most appealing design. You don't get labeled 'fashionable' just because a ton of people like it.
But seeing how you think your work needs outside approval to become 'real' fashion, we'll just have to give everyone a good look.
Staff Worker Excuse me, but the show is about to begin and we need to clear the backstage, so if you two ladies could return to your seats...
Utage Okay, I won't spoil your fun anymore. Please enjoy your... unique fashion show.
<Background 7>
Female Designer Miss Ye, I believe you're up first in the Emerging Designers category?
Ye Zizhen I am.
Female Designer Hahaha. Today's going to be so eye-opening for those old-timers, right from the start.
Ye Zizhen (Swirling wineglass)
Staff Worker Miss Ye? Miss Ye Zizhen!
Ye Zizhen I'm over here.... What's the matter?
Staff Worker I need to confirm something with you.
Ye Zizhen Calm down. What is it?
Staff Worker When I was backstage, I noticed that your showcase items didn't match the list you submitted beforehand. Someone claiming to be your assistant said you decided on a last minute change for a better reception.
Ye Zizhen How is that possible?! I told the head stylist about the draping issue with the top pieces earlier... How would he not notice?
Staff Worker The head stylist and I saw you talking to the person in question backstage earlier, so... it didn't seem too suspicious.
Ye Zizhen Could it be... Utage?!
Staff Worker The head stylist thought anyone already inside the event couldn't possibly be suspicious, and that every designer would be at the reception, so it was perfectly natural to send an assistant to carry out your changes...
But I was still a little uneasy, so I came over to confirm...
Ye Zizhen Stop the show! Stop it now! Let me go backstage!
Staff Worker I'm afraid... it's too late now.
Host Ladies and gentlemen, good evening to you all.
A warm welcome to everyone gathered here on this beautiful night to participate in our Spring Pop Fashion Show.
Without further ado, I will now hand the opening over to our emerging designers. These young artisans are the future of design, and their works will surely shine brightly on-stage.
First up are the brand new creations of Miss Ye Zizhen.
Ye Zizhen Wait—
Host Haha. It seems like Miss Ye here is a little shy, but truth be told, she has dedicated her all for this show. Why, just before I came on stage her assistant even handed me a special introduction to read.
'Inspired by the primitive jungles of Sargon, the power of life lies within the rugged rawness of nature, incorporated into a unique urban aesthetic to create an original style.'
Please enjoy the newest release from the 'Wild Jungle' series.
The brilliant lights seem to drip down onto the rough and wild patterns, like gold seeping from the remote wilderness into modern civilization.
The models carry on with their rehearsed poses, the contrasting juxtaposition of their shockingly exaggerated accessories and their outfits exuding an intense glamor.
Ye Zizhen Sir! Please wait! This is a mistake!
Stop! Stop the showcase!
It's so over...
Blanche Ye... Miss Ye.
Is this really your work?
Ye Zizhen No, it's not... I mean, yes, but it's an old collection I'd already abandoned! I didn't intend to showcase these!
Blanche It's so... exquisite! Brimming with the vitality of nature!
Primitivity and modernity, nature and civilization. Who knew they could harmonize so wonderfully in these designs?
The purest form of beauty—like how a child would look at things. Something I've been painstakingly searching for... you've actually given it form.
Miss Ye Zizhen! You've done some outstanding work here!
His voice is far from loud, but everyone present is sure they could clearly hear the famous designer's evaluation.
[All the people present begin to cheer.]
Then, applause erupts from all over the venue, finally forming a sea of congratulations.
Ye Zizhen sits back in her chair, unable to utter a word amidst the clamor and cheers.
<Background 9>
Croissant Utage! So here's where you were, I've been looking for ya.
Utage Evening.
Croissant Whoa! Got yer nails done again?
Utage Isn't it pretty? I went with a darkcore look this time.
Croissant Ah, almost forgot why I was lookin' for ya. Y'know that 'Wild Jungle' series that's been all the rage in Lungmen these days?
Utage Oh yeah?
Croissant What, ya don't? It got real popular after some show, and now we got brands everywhere in Lungmen makin' clothes and accessories in that fashion!
So, I wanted to ask yer opinion, seeing how yer the famous 'Pink Katana' and all... Hey!
That pendant ya got on! It's from that 'Wild Jungle' series, right?
Utage Yup.
How do I put it? The line has an interesting concept, but the designer herself is a little boring. Basically, I'd only recommend buying one or two pieces from the collection.
But the sudden rise in popularity... tsk, tsk. Maybe just a coincidence?
Croissant Phew. I can relax now that I've gotten a positive review from ya.
Right, I hear the shop behind this line is offerin' a sale recently, twenty percent off! Interested?
Utage That so? Then—
Time for another shopping trip.