Hiveswap Friendship Simulator: Volume Nine, entitled "Of Gazes Cool And Tempers Hot", is the ninth installment of Hiveswap Friendship Simulator, a series of "loosely-canonical" Hiveswap spinoff visual novels in the style of dating sim games, but termed "friendship simulators" instead due to their focus on platonic friendships instead of romance. The befriendable characters in this installment (first introduced in the Troll Call) are Azdaja Knelax and Chahut Maenad, although Chahut is initially hidden and is portrayed in the initial volume banner and character select as such, with her being replaced by a second appearance of Amisia Erdehn after her first appearance in Volume Two. As with all Friendsim installments, Volume Nine was developed in Ren'Py, and the volume's development credit is given to Mint Chipleaf, presumably alongside David Turnball.
As with all other volumes, it is sold as $0.99 DLC for Volume One. It was also made available on the Google Play Store for the same amount.
You've always had a desire to board a train and head off somewhere without looking back, though as of now you are stowing away as opposed to actually purchasing a ticket. The idea of doing so always had an appeal, despite the fact that being on Alternia is more dangerous than you would've expected. You then spend a moment grumbling about how uncomfortable you are being stuck in a train carriage filled with burning slime, and lament your stupidity for stowing away. Even so, you decide that it's better than being killed for your blood colour.
You leap off the train as discreetly as you can and hurry away before someone spots you. After a bit of walking, you find yourself standing next to a giant canyon and are more than stunned by its majestic beauty. Before you can explore your newfound sense of inspiration, you hear a commotion somewhere behind you. Coming to the conclusion that you are not alone, you are more than delighted to make more friends. Following the source of the noise, you come across a spacious platform a little ways lower from where you started. You then notice a figure silhouetted against the moonlight, and realize that he's looking at something through a contraption on his face. Distracted, Azdaja doesn't notice you at first.
- If you choose to climb up and surprise him, the sounds of you scrabbling up the cliff face alerts him to your presence long before you come near him. He mocks your attempt of sneaking up on him, then lifts you up with his psionics. Adzaja dangles you over the sheer drop, and you hurriedly explain yourself to no avail. Insisting that you were out to steal his data to ruin his chances at a game, he releases you and you go plummeting down the canyon. As you tumble through the air, you lament the fact that you will likely lose your limbs and a potential new friend. BYE
- If you choose to wave and say hello, he will turn to you and ask whether you're lost. When you tell him that you're taking an indefinite scenic route, Azdaja isn't all that impressed and advises you to do sight-seeing somewhere else as he is quite busy. Curious, you ask him what he's preparing, and it turns out to be a game primed to start soon. When you become quite confused as to what he's talking about, he becomes quite surprised that you've never heard of Duel Strifers. After insulting your intelligence, he levitates down to your side and begins to explain Duel Strifers to you in great detail. Seeing as he's enjoying himself providing you with information, you nod sagely despite not really getting all that's being said. Azdaja then gets distracted by a blinking light on his device, saying that his scanner can't pinpoint what species you are. He then peers at you closely, causing you to become a bit flustered. Azdaja smirks at your discomfort, then remarks that it's possible to join in teams of two. Getting excited, you ask whether he wants you to be his partner in the aforementioned game. He laughs at the suggestion, though he admits that having you around would be good for surprises and as a lackey. Even though the offer isn't particularly flattering, you decide that it's not every day you get to help out.
- Should you spurn his offer, Azdaja looks vaguely confused after you're done spewing all sorts of bluffs. He then states that your proposition is a bold one, also adding that he'd heard of a goldblood girl that managed to assassinate a seadweller. Despite being able to guess that the goldblood bit was a disguise by the assassin, Azdaja winds up assuming that you were the assassin. He claims that you are the most suspicious person he'd ever met, then begins levitating in the air. As he took your brash statements as a challenge, he proceeds to fire psionics beams at you. You flee, Azdaja trailing behind you all the while. Even though you note that his shots are all meant to provoke you into fighting back, you decide that getting away would be a better option. You find yourself back at the train station, but Azdaja demands that you fight back. You try to explain, but he pays your words no heed and continues firing at you. Hiding behind a ticket booth does you no good, and you are sent stumbling dangerously close to the train tracks. As you embrace the fact that Azdaja's about to kill you, a train arrives, distracting you both briefly. Konyyl Okimaw then steps off one of the carriages and angrily demands to know why Azdaja is attacking you. The two begin bickering over your true identity, and Azdaja calms down once he realizes that you're just an ordinary person. After chatting a bit with Konyyl, the two of them leave you there as they have killing to do in the canyon. You then berate yourself for losing your temper; otherwise you could've been hanging out with them. LEFT ALONE
- Should you agree to be the best lackey ever, he will be delighted with your response and formally introduces himself. He then offhandedly mentions that you already knew who he was, and you realize that you have heard of him through Konyyl. Azdaja speaks fondly of his matesprit, and you suddenly wonder why she isn't here in person. Mood souring slightly, the goldblood tells you that she didn't make it on time. Getting slightly nervous, you hope that the duo are not having a fight as you have no intention of being involved in a lover's spat. Your reaction causes Azdaja to glare at you, and he informs you that the exact nature of his relationship with Konyyl is none of your business. Deciding that enough time has been wasted, he takes you to the base of the canyon with his psionics. Wanting to surprise the other party, Azdaja urges you onwards at a fast pace. When he mentions the word blood, however, you start to get edgy. Exasperated, Azdaja tells you that the main point of the game is to eliminate all the others swiftly and painfully so as to be the last team standing. Disgruntled with the prospect of bloodshed—you'd thought it was a LARP or puzzle game that didn't involve violence—you ask whether Azdaja has any other less bloodthirsty hobbies. He brushes your question aside and insists that you focus on what's about to take place instead, and just as you are about to reassure him that you are not planning to bail on him, he gets a message from his scouter once more. He ducks behind a boulder, muttering that planning an ambush was sloppy work. Abruptly, a cerulean girl appears behind him and proceeds to mind-controll him. Alarmed, you try to see what could be done to break the psychic hold over Azdaja, and decide to run at them. The troll girl directs Azdaja to take aim at you, but the shot went wide and scores a deep gash in the rock face instead. As rubble rains down, you grab Azdaja and make a run for it. Panicked, you dart into a cave while Azdaja comes to his senses. He rants about the blueblood, prompting you to try to shooshpap him. He angrily slaps your hand away, snapping that he already has a moirail. He becomes flustered upon realizing his verbal slip-up, but regains his composure nonetheless. He proceeds to lead you out of the cave, and after a bit of silence Azdaja begins talking about his life as a gifted psionic. A long while later, he blasts open a way out of the cave and mutters that the game was over. You become distressed for making him lose the game, but he then informs you that the game was won, since you and he are the last ones standing. He expresses delight for bringing you along, then decides that celebration is in order after you and he claim the cash prize. You are more than overjoyed by the prospect of earning Azdaja's trust and friendship, which you consider to be more important than money. VICTORY
As you hop off the train, grimy and barefoot, someone small tackles you and sends you both tumbling down a hill. After coming to a painful halt, you realize that it was Amisia. She apologizes for the forceful hug, and you nervously accept her hand so you may get back on your feet. Upon noticing Chahut's presence, you become understandably terrified and stand protectively in front of Amisia. To your surprise, Amisia excitedly introduces you to Chahut, the purpleblood exchanging pleasantries with you. Amisia chastises Chahut for making a murder joke, and the two begin squabbling a bit due to the hypocrisy of her statement. Trying your best to hide your fear, you ask whether they are moirails. Flustered, Amisia informs you that she's too young for quadrants, though she clearly is upset that Chahut would be leaving Alternia in a few perigrees. Regaining her composure, Amisia insists that tonight will be a good hunt, but Chahut tells her that there's a scheduling error. Exasperated, Amisia grumbles that going to church is all Chahut ever does, but the purpleblood ruffles her hair instead of getting angry. Chahut then lets you decide what should be done for the night, much to your consternation.
- If you choose to blurt that church sucks, Amisia will eagerly agree with your sentiment. For a split second Chahut looks like she's about to murder you, but she just shrugs and goes along with the plan. Amisia scampers back up the hill, and you inwardly grumble about how poorly-dressed you are for hiking. Chahut notices this and cradles you to her chest while she crests the hill, and she casually tells you to pray that she doesn't drop you. Getting freaked out, you notice that Chahut has taken you to a stand of trees. Amisia reappears and delightedly shows you a troll boy swinging from a tree, desperately trying to free himself from the rope binding his feet together. While you look on in horror, Amisia praises Chahut for suggesting the use of traps as it saves a lot of time. Abruptly, Chahut decapitates the captive with a swing of her axe, the bronzeblood's severed head rolling to a stop by your feet. Your mortified reaction becomes pure exasperation as you've had enough of Alternia's bloodthirsty nonsense. Turning on your heel, you leave the duo standing there while you enter the woods. SO DONE
- If you choose to go to clown church, Amisia will grumble about the sheer boredom of it all and leave. You become slightly worried about going there as you're an alien, but Chahut assures you that things would be fine. Upon arriving at the clown church, you are stunned to see that it's vastly different from what you were expecting. Despite being outright mortified with the macabre decor, you decide that running out on Chahut would be a bad idea. As it were, you follow her to the front of the congregation where she is greeted by her fellows. Chahut smirks at the preaching troll and proceeds to take his spot, then goes on to do her own preaching. You begin to zone out a bit, observing several trolls throwing powder into the candles to produce colourful smoke that has a distinct sugary smell. As silence descends on the church, you realize that everyone is staring at you (except that one guy trying to chew his hand off to escape his shackles). Chahut warns you not to screw things up, and hands the stage to you.
- Should you choose to wimp out, Chahut places a hand on your shoulder and offers you a seat so you don't end up straining yourself. Another clown gives you a consoling pat on the knee and offers you some Faygo while things get rowdier in the background. Getting slightly dizzy, you notice that the clown next to you has moved his hand up to your thigh. Chahut reappears and tells the clown to lay off, snatching the bottle out of your hands. The clown throws a barbed remark at Chahut, but a booming voice overhead cuts through the din in the church. While Chahut stares upwards in shock, the congregation falls to their knees. The clown with the hat and Chahut push you down to your knees, and the painting on the altar flickers into a Skype screen of sorts. When inquired whether you're her alien, Chahut denies everything and you notice that everyone is petrified. When the speaker finally gets the webcam up and running, the Grand Highblood beckons you to come closer. You admit that you have no clue as to who he is, and give him several other details. After laughing at you for valuing friendship above all else, the Grand Highblood instructs Chahut to hang around you more often as you have good survival skills. Once the call ends, you leave the church to get some fresh air. Noticing Chahut behind you, you ask whether she's mad at you. She tells you that she isn't, since you've managed to get the approval of the figurehead of her church. Chahut then asks you to teach her your ways, and the two of you walk off, chatting happily. VICTORY
- Should you choose to preach, you begin blathering nonsense as what the clowns had been saying all this while made absolutely no sense to you. You make a few references to the Bible, visibly relieved to see that the crowd is going with it and swigging Faygo from a communal chalice. Chahut approves of your spiel, and the crowd goes wild. Suddenly Chahut invites you to get up, and two other trolls hoist you up so that you are face to face with Chahut. Expecting a kiss, you are more than surprised when Chahut claps a hand over your mouth and begins spraying your face with something sticky. You wonder whether this stuff is meant to be used as spray paint, but Chahut only gives you a half-hearted response before doubling down on her work. Despite being sprayed relentlessly, you are touched to be baptized and included in someone's inner circle. Chahut informs you that even though she has no idea what you are and where you came from, she can still feel the spirit coursing through you. Abruptly you realize that the stuff on your face isn't paint—it's troll blood. To make matters worse, it appears that Chahut had accidentally opened a gash on your forehead, her fingers stained with your crimson blood. Stunned by your different blood colour, Chahut orders the two clowns holding you up to set you down. Too delighted at the possibility of being friends with someone as cool as Chahut, you don't notice her leading you to a bare spot in the church until it's too late. Fear floods your entire being as you come to terms with how dire the situation has become, though you try to reason with Chahut. She tells you that being a sacrifice is the highest honour to be bestowed upon, but you prefer not dying regardless. GAME OVER
- Duel Strifers pits Alternia's best and brightest against each other in a timed event designed to reveal the most skilled among the group.
- Azdaja seems to have conflicted feelings for Konyyl; he refers to her as his moirail by accident, blushing when the player notes his slip-up. This might imply that he sees her as his moirail, not his matesprit.
- Azdaja reveals that he'd been searching for the player for a while now, since he mistook them as the assassin that murdered a seadweller. The true killer is Polypa.
- Omniscuttlecaravan is the Alternian term for train.
- It appears that the player escaped Amisia's clutches by waiting for her to use the ablution trap and then running out of her hive.
- The Grand Highblood is referred to as "your excellency".