Stage 160: Setting it.It goes without saying that dragonettes – and their male counterparts naturally – tend to consume copious quantities of food, and can consume even more alcohol. Of course, Kiku-chan's lack of tolerance and your inordinate tolerance balances you out into a single dragonette, while Er yin is a more typical specimen where alcohol is involved. Ordering does not take long, and it is a pleasant and quiet wait, though Kiku-chan makes several soft, uncomfortable noises as she shifts in place. You are definitely thinking about getting some of those for one of your subordinates. Maybe two.Leaning back you pour the rick red wine for Er Yin-sensei and yourself, letting it breathe for a bit. She is having, of all things, teriyaki style stead with pineapple glaze, accompanied by roasted vegetables and pickled artichoke hearts. Kiku-chan is having something more normal, a four course sushi and sashimi meal with an addition of white bean soup served cold and rice with pickled artichoke hearts. You are having something called a lasagna pastry with a cream sauce and a meat marinara sauce, along with roasted artichoke served with balsamic vinaigrette and a tasty olive oil. Someone has to eat the actual artichokes, after all.The dining area is filled with soft conversation, spirit children of many varieties enjoyign the view and the company of others who will not be bothered by unusual conversational topics. The kumiho-child over in the corner is a little peculiar, in that she is eating vegetarian, but otherwise things are fairly relaxed and normal. It puts you on edge despite yourself.Kiku-chan glances at you,and then asks softly. “Do you regret not having the life you would have had, Ryukusa?” You blink at her, the informality of your name on her lips - outside of an outraged cry – peculiar. Not really.... Well, if you ask, I suppose.... Yes, a little.... No. I have none. Yes, I do. Honestly...doesn't everyone have a certain regret?
Twitter: @XsQuestmistressPrevious Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/1646036/Interlude: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/37879167/Kissing! http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/574453/Threads in Chronological Order, including writeups by XS : http://pastebin.com/Z53TyK0Nor search for tag: Ryukuza on SuptgBarrier Combat Guide: http://pastebin.com/rZLwzvGx>Ryukusa's TreasuresHer name: Ryuu Yorihokura Rie, the God's Eye Nekomata that protects your Family.Matagama-no-Shitoki, a necklace kami in its own right that protects Ryukusa from inimical magic.Ame-no-Omukade-no-Musume – Ryukusa's mukade possessed wakizashi; a kami. “Daughter of my Centipede of Rain.”Gendai-no-Muteki-no-Buki - Invincible Weapon of the Present Age, a secret kami-blade given to Ryukusa by Wakaba that appears to be made of some alloy of titanium.Seido-no-Shinpi-Tekina-Ken – a mysterious bronze sword given to Ryukusa by the mermaids of Japan; actually found to be the legendary blade Ame-no-Ohabari.Go-Yurei-no-Rensa, the Five-Ghost-Chain, used to summon or send messages to your (actual) older sister Ryuu Nabiki.Her Penthouse in the Secret Apartments of Tsathoggua in Shikoku prefecture, Tokyo.Shikoku Naya, her fashion teacher and seamstress.Hisaka Subaru, her weaver and dressmaking teacher.Ryukusa's Family.>Talismans:Akari – Black Jade Centipede (Mukade)Er Yin – Black Jade Scorpion (Sasori)Kiki – Black Jade Toad (Hikigaeru)Kiku – Black Jade Lizard (Tokage)Yui – Black Jade Snake (Hebi)Inau – Black Coral Ear Cuff (Amatsukami)
Ryuu Ryukusa is tall at 5' 8"; 6' in her true form. She is fully grown. Lesbian top.Matagama Kiku is 4' 1” for ever and ever. Lesbian submissive.Ryuu Akari is 5' 3" and has another few inches to grow. Sexuality is weird, switch, cosplayer.Ryuu Yui is 6' 3” and will only grow due to circumstances beyond her control. Dyke, switch.Ryuu Kiki is 5' 6" and is at full growth. Bisexual bottom.Er Yin Long is the tall at 5' 10" and is fully grown. Lesbian dominant.Ryuu Jinyuu is 5' 7" but persistently hovers an extra three inches. Straight.Hinata-hakase is 6' 3". Sexuality is terrifying.Hidesato is 5' 5". Straight.Kushinada is 5' 8". Straighter.Taisho Ryoga is 5' 9". Who knows.Hyun Chisato is 5' 4” and is fully grown. Lolicon with plausible deniability.Rie, just Rie, is 8” tall or 5' 5” and is fully cat. Her sexuality is cat.Hagyu Genso is 12' 5” standing upright. He is by and large gay.Mizumi Shoko is 7' 2” is fully grown. Bisexual top.Yuuhi is 4'11” and is fully grown. Yuuhi a cute.Tokei Isusangi, Inau-kun is 5' 3” and still confused.Reiha is 5' 5 1/2” and is milfy.Peta is 3' 2” Peta is \>.</ aka Her Most Imperial Highness Patanjali Piri Yokuhime Kuronogitsune PaDetective-san aka Mugon Chujo is fully grown at 5'11” and straight.Kenji Soomi is 5' 4” and gothic lolita.Musumi Kanako is 5' 6.5” and is pretty straight.Hebiki Naoto is 5' 9” and belligerently omnivorous, sexually. You hope only sexually.Kodachi Umetsume is 5' 4” and fully grown. Practicing asexual.Melinda Blitzenberg is scattered to the winds and blessed in death.Toshida Ginka is 5” 3” and fully grown. Turtles have a reputation.Ryuu Wakaba is a head shorter and also deceased.Margaret Steinhausen is gratefully dead.Ryuu Sakumo is dead and spread far and wide.Ryuu Nabiki is 5' 3” and fully transformed. Embarrassingly straight.Ryuu Shinju is 4' 11” and fully grown. She is coy, maybe a dodomeki-child.Ryuu Himeyuri is 5' 5” and is supposedly straight.Ryuu Fuuta is 5' 6” and slightly less soft.Kaga Kei is 5' 4” and fully grown. Might be experimental.Kyubi-san is 6' 3” and fully grown. Hard to say.Hisaka Subaru is 5' tall and 9' tall, and peculiar as all get out.Shikoku Naya is 5' 4" (not including heels) and is fully grown. Entirely flexible.
>>1666192>[x] Not really....Then she wouldn't have wives, after all.
>>1666192>[x] Not really....>It would have been very nice, but I'm happy with what I have.
>>1666192> Not really....6 choices instead of the usual 5...
>>1666192> No. I have none.Eh...there are things Ryukusa could have had but now never will, sure. But regret it entirely, I can't see that. It'd mean giving up what she has now after all
>>1666192> Not really....Hey XS, how are things? Other then your antivirus rebelling.
>>1666192>[X] No. I have none.
Hope you haven't been struggling with your connection all week, XS. Also that you have some free time now that summer's here!Have you gotten any further with uploading the compiled quest yet?
>>1666192>Honestly... doesn't everyone have a certain regret?>Not enough to want to trade, but If I had that life I'm not sure I'd regret it either.>But if I did have that life, where would it have left you and Er Yin and Yui and Kiki and Akari...It's not really within the spirit of the question, but I could kind of see that weighing on Ryukusa.
>>1666218No free time. And I am going to try and upload it to google docs. >>1666212Smoky.>>1666205It's an outlier with an unusual question.
>>1666230No free time huh, ouch. Google docs sounds like a fair solution!
>>1666220Also I love that Subaru and Naya have been added to Ryukusa's list of treasures
>>1666239Good eye anonGuess I should make sure to check the status updates every thread
Hi XS!How are you?>>1666192>"Regretting it? ... No, not really. I've made my choice of which life I wanted back then, and would make the same choice now, without a doubt. It was not a sacrifice, simply choosing a path. But still, it's saying goodbye to a whole realm of possibility, so more than regretting it's wondering about it.">"Maybe you could make a what-if story about it, my writer darling~"Hoping it's not too late.
>>1666248Well, 45 mins in, I'd have to be lucky...
>>1666251Just travel back in time 45 minutes and you're set!
>>1666220I don't want Ryukusa to imply something like choose this life for her wives' sake and that meant she had to cut some things off her life.She choose her life because she choose who she was herself.
[XX] Not really....[X] No. I have none.[x] Honestly...doesn't everyone have a certain regret?[+] There are nice things in it, but not nice enough.[+] It's not really a fair question either, knowing what I know now.[+] you could use it as the basis for a story....You pick up your wine and swirl it a little, as you were taught to do by an old drunk in Harajuku, letting the air change the chemistry of it. Certainly you could do it with a mere thought, but there's a\a certain....sang-froid to it, a way of centering yourself. It isn't really because the question unsettles you, but the nature of it does. Which might not make sense to others of course. “It's not really a matter of regrets,” you murmur softly. “It's more that it might have been nice, but what I have now is far more than nice. I mean, my ridiculous power aside, I really have to say my life now is better and more whole than it would have been any other way.” Kiku-chan watches you sip the wine, but her eyes stop following the glass and rest upon your face as you set the glass down. You resist the urge to make it sing; you would probably have half the room screaming and rolling around on the floor in agony.“It's just the path I walked, and anything that could have been is a nostalgic moment that I have thought about and then moved on from. I don't dwell on the past – it isn't really in my nature, as a creature of Water. Besides,” you point out, giving her a mild glare that completely rolls off of her, “it's not really fair to ask me that now, when I know what things would have been like for the rest of you. How could I have any regrets knowing that I brought people together who truly deserve to be together, rescued people in torment, and kicked over several personal hells in a manner that will certainly make the kami sit up and take notice of my capacity for ignoring other people's pain.” Your mild accusation has no effect at all on your diminutive priestess' expression.Er Yin lifts her own glass, sipping lightly, before commenting mildly with a deadpan expression, “You mean, none at all, Ryukusa-sama?”
>>1666296Nodding you slide down in your chair, slouching, your tail lashing a little. The chairs here have backs that are supported only on one side, the decorative design allowing tailed spirit-children to sit very comfortably with their tails exposed rather than tucked into Nowhere. “Something like that, yes. I like to believe that's my nature, not Horobi's nature-”“You would be correct,” she adds, as she sets her glass aside, the scent of the food you've ordered preceding the waitress.You incline your head to Er Yin, but that's mostly for Kiku-chan's benefit. “-but in all honesty, I think things are slowly turning out for the better for everyone whose lives I'm involved in.” You nod at the waitress when she approaches, and she quickly sets down the platters of rich foods and artfully arranged meals, reassured that she is not interrupting anything. Her blue-green eyes glisten in the subdued lighting, her humanity not a barrier to seeing you, and most likely everyone here, as you truly are. You wait until she leaves before continuing, though. “I mean, can you honestly say you have no regrets living the life you had, knowing what you do? It's a really gimmicky question. Someone could write what-if stories for years and not repeat themselves on a question like that, which I would not put past you.”Despite you gentle and smiling jibe, Kiku-chan only nods slowly, and slowly mixes some wasabi and soy sauce together in a small dish. “I wondered, because of certain things....” What things exactly? You mean Naya-sensei? Not my business to stop you wondering, you know. Let the matter lie; she got the answer she needed. Are you making sure my state of mind is clear, love?
>>1666299> You mean Naya-sensei?
>>1666299> What things exactly?
>>1666299>[x] Let the matter lie; she got the answer she needed.No need to dwell on it!
>>1666299>>1666299> Not my business to stop you wondering, you know.>Don't mistake me for a martyr, I've been enjoying being me on a level beyond altruism, you all have given me happiness that isn't secondhand.It's possible that Kiku's head isn't there at all, but one thing I think Ryukusa's family would sometimes like to be reassured of is that, even if seeing them happy makes Ryukusa happy, they're also able to make Ryukusa a better and happier person, that they can protect her smile sometimes as well (though maybe in different ways than big fights).
>>1666299> What things exactly?> Not my business to stop you wondering, you know.>"Is it because I'm gay? Not all fashion designers are, you know.." *wink at ther*
>>1666299> Not my business to stop you wondering, you know.
>>1666331How do we know for sure, anon?>>1666326I'd hope Ryukusa's real devotion to her family should be obvious, and it's not like the whole apocalypse thing could be avoided even if she never met her wives
>>1666326I feel like while Ryukusa may dwell on and blame herself for too many things out of her control, she's still a reasonably happy person even without her family brightening her life. Though of course, most of the family didn't exactly know her much or at all before becoming family so I suppose they wouldn't necessarily know much about it.
>>1666299>[x] Are you making sure my state of mind is clear, love?
>>1666336>How do we know for sure, anon?That Ryukusa is gay? Well I don't know, Er Yin and Kiku should investigate more thoroughly.
>>1666357That all fashion designers aren't gay of course!I can support your plan however
>>1666336It's not about devotion, but more... desire, I guess? That beyond magical destiny stuff, beyond them needing her, she -wants- them and wants to be with them, that in addition to all she's done for them, they can (and have!) done much for her as well and in many ways besides making her a better Horobi.
[X] What things exactly?[X] Not my business to stop you wondering, you know.[+] Well, I may be a fashion designer but that doesn't make me gay.[+] I'm not a martyr, you know.[+] A little of everything.You tap the spherical pastry that is sitting atop a small lake made half of a cream sauce and half of a rich marina, the baked crust soft and easily being cut away to reveal the rich lasagna within. “While it isn't really my place to make you stop wondering,” you murmur as you pull yourself up in your seat and mix a little of each sauce into your fork, “perhaps I can put your mind at rest bu mentioning I'm not really into the whole 'martyr for the sake of other's happiness' scene that gets into all the dramas. I'm much more like Spriggan – I'm not out to save the world, just my loved ones. The world is a happy side effect of that.”Er Yin-sensei chuckles softly as she uses her fork and knife to arrange all her food, placing it where she wants it so she knows what she is eating. “I sincerely doubt anyone who saw you at home would even consider you as the martyr, Ryukusa-sama. There is definitely no 'tragic destiny' or 'forced suffrage in the name of duty' in you there.” Kiku-chan is slowly coloring, her ears lowering minutely and her tail lashing. “If anything it is quite the opposite.”“That isn't what I meant idi-” Kiku-chan closes her eyes and swallows her irritation as Er Yin's tail lashes one and her head cants slightly to one side. “....not what I meant, aniki.” You glance at Er Yin, who does not give you an explanation, before looking back at your priestess. “I was wondering how you reconcile the people you leave behind with your conscience. I know] you have one, so do not bother denying it.”
>>1666404“It that it exactly, Kiku-chan?” you ask inquisitively. “I mean, I realize you like to keep an eye on my mental health, but you seem to be asking for a different reason. I mean....” You frown and take a bite, and enjoy the intense flavors and luscious combination of light pastry and rich sauces melt on your tongue. Once the experience is fully taken in, you continue. “If you are concerned with my choices changing or my long term plans being disrupted by my self-indulgence on this date, you may as well not bother. This isn't one of those shows where the bad guy makes me try and change my mind by offering me the past that never was you know.”Kiku-chan looks up at you as she finishes one of her pieces of sashimi. “Yes it is, aniki.”There's a moment of confusion where you start to protest, and then you stop. She's right; between Taisho Ryoga and Oba-san, you are facing two enemies who will not only do exactly that, they each have the potential to force you into a situation where you might really believe that you're in that alternate reality. Be it through illusion, sorcery, or sheer material wealth, they really could make you an offer based on regrets and left-over pasts. Well, you have a point, yes, but.... You do remember what happened the last time I was possessed? It would be very unfortunate for someone to try that on me. Well, I can see why you would be concerned....and that's why you are my priestess, but.... How easy would something like that be done, Er Yin?
>>1666414>[x] Well, you have a point, yes, but....>[x] It would be very unfortunate for someone to try that on me.They're welcome to try! I'm sure anons won't panic this time!
>>1666414> You do remember what happened the last time I was possessed?> It would be very unfortunate for someone to try that on me.
>>1666414>[X] It would be very unfortunate for someone to try that on me.
>>1666414> Well, I can see why you would be concerned....and that's why you are my priestess, but....> You do remember what happened the last time I was possessed?
>>1666414> Well, I can see why you would be concerned....and that's why you are my priestess, but....> It would be very unfortunate for someone to try that on me.
>>1666414> It would be very unfortunate for someone to try that on me.> How easy would something like that be done, Er Yin?
>>1666443>>1666414Also for it to work, they'd need to have a good understanding of me, wouldn't they? I'm not sure if they're there yet.
>>1666414>"I've went through 200 years of Hell to go back to this life. A sweet illusory life won't change my resolve to come back.">Did the beings in that hellish dimension try that kind of tactics...?
>>1666486A spooky idea to consider.
>>1666494I wonder if Ryukusa met sexy alien/demon ladies who weren't awful people in this place.Probably not.
>>1666530She could theoretically have had hundreds of flings with cute horrific girls...but somehow I don't feel like that quite meshes with the Ryukusa who came out of the surreal nightmare-realm.
>>1666530While our land-beast was able to pull quite a lot of strings to have various eldritch beings cheer Ryukusa on, I think I recall most of them seemed to present as genderless or male.
[X] You do remember what happened the last time I was possessed?[X] Well, I can see why you would be concerned....and that's why you are my priestess, but....[XX] It would be very unfortunate for someone to try that on me.[+] I would suspect they'd kind of need a clue as to my 'ideal life' first....[+] Two hundred years in the worst of all imaginable hells says that they'd fail.You take a few bites of the deliciously soft bread-encased lasagna and consider the idea seriously, as thoroughly as only you can. Slowly you set down your fork and peel several leaves off the fire roasted artichoke, dipping the soft end in the vinaigrette and oil before scraping the edible part off with your teeth. Not that you couldn't eat the whole thing, but it might bother people with less iron clad stomachs. Finally you sit back and half turn in your chair, looking at Kiku-chan very seriously. She returns the look with equal seriousness.“You remember what happened when I was possessed?” Kiku nods slowly. “As I recall, you said that anyone else would have hurt everyone badly.” She looks down, acknowledging your perfect recall. “You are my priestess, and I know why you would be concerned....consider also that no one knew of my life here in Shinjuku and Harajuku and Shibuya. Not even Akari-niji-chan, who has been my friend since we were small, knew about Chisato, or Subaru, or Naya.” Her eyes widen and she looks up at you, attentive and watchful. “They might be able to use magic to trick me....but there are two other things to consider.”Er Yin pauses in her meal as well, and lowers her head slightly, listening attentively. “First of all, just because I like to design outfits and coordinate my house in pastels doesn't mean I'm gay, regardless of what Yui-chan says.” Er yin manages to cover her laughter with a soft, ill disguised cough. “So if you were wondering about that, one has nothing to do with the other in the slightest. Now that we cleared that up....” You turn your gaze on Kiku-chan, your eyes glimmering with sapphire light, and her hair explodes from her head, alarm and shock in her eyes. “I spent more than two hundred years in the worst of all possible hells, dealing with madness, horrors I cannot describe to you, and true bakemono. I wandered in that place with only one thought in my mind, and with many, many things trying to take away my sense of self and my resolve. Nothing....nothing, Matagama Kiku, could shift my mind and my will, my fervent and heartfelt desire, the only thing that kept me alive in a place that is more corrupt, more impure than Yomi....nothing could make me forget what it was I was trying to return to.” You relax and the light in your eyes fades slowly. You run your hand through her hair, and caress her horn, even though you are in public and she blushes furiously.She also does not protest.
>>1666585“My family, my loved ones, mean more to me than being some echo of what Horobi remembers, or some mystical equation that serves to prepare me for my duties. I promised to protect each and every one of you before the power of Horobi was mine, and it still isn't mine. But that really isn't important compared to what is.”' Looking down at her you murmur very quietly, very softly. “I promised in my name, with my heart, to protect and cherish each and every one of you because you make me happy. You all make me better a person than I should be, would be without you. Your love makes my life worth living even with all the hardships and difficulties. Those things aren't ass important as coming home to you – all of you, but ~also~ you, Kiku.”Kiku's eyes shimmer, then steam slowly rises from them. Er Yin places her hands together near her mouth, as though praying with her own unseeing eyes shimmering. “If I lost my memories, if I lost all my power, if I became human....I would still remember Ryuu. I would still remember Kiki-hime and be her devotee. I would still adore Akari, dote on Yui, mercilessly bully you, swoon for Er Yin, and be astonished by Yuuhi. Because Ryuu is everything to me, and nothing, and no one will take that from me.”You turn slowly, and look into the deceptively soft, dark eyes of Hebiki Naoto, startling the young Fire dragonette Hebiki Rishi considering they had both been utterly silent in their approach. Naoto looks unsurprised, of course.... And that definitely includes you, Naoto-san. Can I help you, Naoto-san? Akari-chan isn't here at the moment. I don't think we've been formally introduced....have you both eaten? Thank you for waiting that long, Naoto-san; still, I hope this is important. You're both looking impressive – and well clothed. Doing some shopping?
>>1666590> Thank you for waiting that long, Naoto-san; still, I hope this is important.> I don't think we've been formally introduced....have you both eaten?
>>1666590> Thank you for waiting that long, Naoto-san; still, I hope this is important.
>>1666590>[X] I don't think we've been formally introduced....have you both eaten?
>>1666590> I don't think we've been formally introduced....have you both eaten?
>>1666590> I don't think we've been formally introduced....have you both eaten?> You're both looking impressive – and well clothed. Doing some shopping?Let's hope Naoto is not here to cause troubles. She's pretty hot when not villainous, too.
>>1666590>[x] Can I help you, Naoto-san? Akari-chan isn't here at the moment.>[x] I don't think we've been formally introduced....have you both eaten?They better play nice! We're on a precious date after all.
>>1666590> You're both looking impressive – and well clothed. Doing some shopping?
>>1666632>Ryukusa noted that Naoto is exceedingly predatory on their first meeting>Possibly to the extent of being dangerous to unprepared people
>>1666664I remember that, yes.That's why I said "when not villainous"
Are we in a part of the city where outfits like Er Yin's are common, or at least not uncommon?
>>1666724>Yes, you're in Shibuya in a major shopping center with a fetish outfitter's in it.
[XX] I don't think we've been formally introduced....have you both eaten?[X] Thank you for waiting that long, Naoto-san; still, I hope this is important.[X] You're both looking impressive – and well clothed. Doing some shopping?“Hebiki Naoto; an unexpected surprise.” you stand up, gesturing to Kiku that she should remain (impolitely but safely) seated, along with Er Yin. You maintain your calm; she's enjoying the view, much as she had last time, but she's not here on pleasure; Hebiki Rishi bows, and you return the bow s, not quite as low, which forces Naoto to bow as well. She deliberately does not bow as low as perhaps she should; she's not ignorant of your nature or of your power – or of two of the three powerful weapons at your disposal, given that you are wearing Matagama-no-Shitoki – and therefore any insulting behavior has to be deliberate.The Stone dragonette smiles and studies Er Yin and Kiku....and Kiku studies her right back. Both of them are using their Eyes, but you are surprised to note that Er Yin is standing up. She slowly steps over to you, her hand coming to rest on your shoulder. “This is Er Yin, my seer; and I suspect you know Matagama Kiku.” Kiku remains seated, while Rishi-san waits patiently and politely, her eyes a bit wide at all the posturing. Though, it really isn't posturing.“I am Hebiki Naoto, Akari's older sister and presumably Ryukusa-sama's sister-in-law, as she seems to have taken responsibility.” Rishi-san looks startled, but keeps quiet, and fairly still despite that. “It is my honor to meet you both.” She looks over Kiku-chan with those dark eyes in a way that definitely suggests she would be happy to be using her in the accustomed manner of a masochist submissive. Whether she wants it or not, regardless of whether she is truly masochistic.“Hebiki Naoto. I am Er Yin Long, of the Pan Lung Clan, Keeper of the Ruby Flame and owner of the Precious Jewel you seem to covet.” That startles Hebiki, and puts her on guard, finally. Kiku-chan rises form her seat and bows, stepping to your side, opposite Er Yin. Rishi-san doesn't quite have a grasp on what is going on but she's getting there quickly. “It is my utmost pleasure to meet you at last. I have heard much about you and your clan, and am honored to make your acquaintance.”It is probably worth noting that several nearby tables have become vacant.“While I would like to discuss my sister with you, Ryukusa-sama, I am actually here for another purpose. You are devilishly difficult to locate. But since we have found you...” The Stone dragonette draws Hebiki Rishi to stand before her. “This is Hebiki Rishi.”
>>1666781“We have met. She seems rather more clothed than last time we met though,” you comment mildly. “Much like yourself.” Naoto's outfit – still skin tight – lacks the skin baring decoration of the previous cat-suit, and is far thicker leather than skintight silk. “Thank you for being patient and waiting on us. I suspect it must be more important than some simple shopping that has brought you hear....and that it is very important at that.” Rishi-san bows her head, controlling her temper and embarrassment extremely well. Not nearly as well as Akari or Naoto, but very well. When she looks up you tip her a wink and she relaxes immediately. Most likely worried that you would renege on your offer to have her taught.“It is. Rishi-tan has been granted permission to study with Clan Ryuu for as long as Clan Ryuu – and of course, yourself naturally – deems suitable and proper.” Naoto smiles in a viciously sweet manner. “I hope that you will accept this generous and well intentioned offer by Clan Hebe, Ryukusa-sama. It is not very easy to secure such permission, and Rishi-tan is a valued and honored member of our clan.” She squeezes, and Rishi bears the cruel grasp with a stoic expression.The kind of expression that suggests a large amount of experience with the particular grasp in question.Every table within thirty feet is quickly and with utmost care abandoned; even the nogitsune and kumiho have left. Most of the dragonnes and dragonettes, while they are taking their time, are moving in such a way as to keep furnishings and roof supports between them and your party. Naoto's smile broadens and she licks her lips slowly, looking you over slowly. Apparently Er Yin's claim on Kiku-chan has put her entirely off limits. That's good. Right?Fuck. Please join us for lunch, and we'll discuss it at length. How very bold of your clan to make this offer at such an interesting time! Well, we are very much honored, and immediately accept. Tell me, did the head of your clan have a meeting with Oba-san, just before deciding? Naoto-sama, you're being terribly rude. Wani blood is no excuse.
>>1666792>[X] How very bold of your clan to make this offer at such an interesting time!>[X] Tell me, did the head of your clan have a meeting with Oba-san, just before deciding?
>>1666792>[x] Tell me, did the head of your clan have a meeting with Oba-san, just before deciding?>[x] Well, we are very much honored, and immediately accept.Might as well beat them at their own game.Would offer to discuss, but this is our date. Bad time.
>>1666792> Please join us for lunch, and we'll discuss it at length.> How very bold of your clan to make this offer at such an interesting time!
>>1666792> How very bold of your clan to make this offer at such an interesting time!> Tell me, did the head of your clan have a meeting with Oba-san, just before deciding?
So she wants to get Rishi into our inner circle...not really sure what their aim is here though. The simple reason is for spying, but that seems a bit too simple to me. Could they really figure out some method of communication that could fool all our wives and assorted family? And we could just keep her separated outside training if it was as simple as that so she'd need some kinda surveilance magic or the like too...at which point the plant seems a little extraneous to the plan.What kinda stuff is Rishi good at anyway?
>>1666792> Please join us for lunch, and we'll discuss it at length.> Tell me, did the head of your clan have a meeting with Oba-san, just before deciding?>"I would be honored and pleased to have you study with Clan Ryuu, Rishi-san". Give her a geniune smile.>"So, Naoto-sama, I understand you have no issue with my relationship with your sister...">You're not sure you should be flattered or creeped out by Naoto's attitude toward you. Can you even be both?
I wonder how Naoto would react if we told her what Oba-shit wanted to do with her sister and wants to do with Japan.>>1666819>.not really sure what their aim is here though-Spying-Having an alliance with Clan Ryuu in case we win-Making one of their member stronger-Giving us an hostage as proof of their "good intentions" toward us.>What kinda stuff is Rishi good at anyway?She's a great swordswoman and scout, IRRC.
>>1666819Well, she's incredibly fast and she has the potential for being as good a fighter as Kiku-chan is, but she sorely lacks tactical training, even if ehr grasp of strategy is okay. She's a Fire Dragonette, with all the temper issues and insight into the truth of matters that implies, but she's fairly inexperienced, though significantly less so that Yui was. she's Ryu trained of course, and apparently Hebe trained as well, though Ryukusa isn't quite sure how that factors in, if it does.
>>1666792> Well, we are very much honored, and immediately accept.
>>1666836Hmmm, yeah I suppose she'd make a poor spy, even if she's their best in. Maybe it's something less annoying then.
>>1666846Well, let's not forget that it's Rishi herself who spontaneously asked us, and we could have accepted there and then if we didn't tell her "take a few days before making this decision".
>>1666942True enough. But we can never get too paranoid!
[X] Well, we are very much honored, and immediately accept.[X] Please join us for lunch, and we'll discuss it at length.[XX] How very bold of your clan to make this offer at such an interesting time![XXX] Tell me, did the head of your clan have a meeting with Oba-san, just before deciding?[+] I am very glad you have no issues about my relationship with your sister....Er Yin's tail rises slowly, and sways at her back, as her talons ever so slightly tighten alogn your shoulder. You run the back of your fingers along her hip, your thumb tracing the kanji for patience and caution as you do so. Naoto-sama notices of course, but you don't a particularly care. Your attention is on someone and something else.“We are quite honored to accept the generous offer and will be pleased to have Hebiki Rishi join Clan Ryuu for training.” You look at her with a warm, and very real smile. She's a good girl, a smart girl, and she is both brave andd intelligent. Her temper is that of a Fire dragonette, yet she has a better control over it than most of her kind – Kiku is no exception there!Naoto-sama inclines her head her grip relaxing a little, much ro Rishi's relief, and she sighs dramatically. “I understand that you would be suspicious of our motives, but I am given....what?” Your words filter through her consciousness slowly but they get there. Unfortunately it makes her tighten her grip rather possessively, and Rishi's legs go weak with the intense pain Naoto's nails digging into sensitive places just under her collar bones causes her. She doesn't show it, good girl that she is, but you can see it. More importantly, Kiku-chan can see it.“We accept,” you reiterate, and gesture to the table. “Please join us for lunch; the wine is excellent, and it would be my sincere pleasure to begin Hebiki Rishi's taining at once.” Kiku-chan flexes her hands, and Naoto's eyes widen. Er Yin smiles, a chilling, heartless smile that is opposite to those Naoto has shown you in every way and meaning. “Though we would understand very well if you wish to excuse yourself from the table, Naoto-sama. The offer you make does come at an interesting time for all the spirit-children of Tokyo....of all Japan, really.”Rishi steels herself, taking slow, carefully controlled breaths as Akari's older sister struggles with the things you are implying. Oh, she's working through them, yes, but not fast enough for your taste. You tilt your head and lift your left hand, prompting Kiku to step froward and place her hands in her sleeves.With a low bow, Kiku-niji-chan speaks up. “It would be my great honor and privilege to be your teacher, Hebiki Rishi. I hope that my meager skills and ancient teachings will be adequate to assist you in all your endeavors and duties as you serve Ryuu Ryukusa and Clan Ryuu.”
>>1666990Naoto's grip tightens further, and Rishi makes a soft, pained noise, as blood starts to stain her blouse along one side. The Stone dragonette's mouth works, her eyes taking on an unholy gleam of darkness, much darker than the rich earth tones they normally have. The gall you have to simply accept with no negotiation or recompense? To take her kohai out from under her without so much as a casual refusal to hold out for more?Your Water eyes show you everything: how she is a creature of iron control, who commands those under her with an iron will, and obeys those above her with a surety and skill that most can only dream of. The fact that her superiors have ordered her to ensure this deal goes well is one thing, but to have her control and thunder taken from her so swiftly and with no barter or challenge? Much less from some ignorant and foolish Water dragonette who has no idea of the forces she plays with so casually, much less allows in her bed....Gesturing for Rishi to stay still and calm, you take a step towards Naoto. You keep your voice calm and controlled, but not entirely soothing; the last thing you want to be right now is prey of any sort. “I am very glad you have no issues with my relationship with your siste,r Hebiki Naoto. I am pleased you have learned to allow your loved ones to make their own way and be whomever they are meant to be. But you must learn to let go of others as well, Naoto-sama. Oba-san's visit must have put you on edge perhaps, but Clan Ryuu is not like she presents it.”The flash of black through her eyes is instant and total, and she bares her teeth slowly, the sharp points of them clearly unnatural even for a spirit child.Rishi breathes as slowly and evenly as she can, struggling not to show any weakness or pain, though the tremor in her tail-tip and the tips of her wings is a dead giveaway. Fortunately....well, something or other, Naoto's full attention is on you. The wani blood that the Hebiki clan carries, that you suspected at first, clearly shows itself now in her glassy black eyes, her unfettered rage and her casual bloodshed of a young dragonette ostensibly under her command and protection.
>>1666993Er Yin and Kiku-chan being who and what they are, are fearless in facing the outraged and dangerously unstable dragonette; you, of course, aren't afraid of her just because you are what you are in an entirely different manner. Akari's berserker rage is even more evident in her older sister; you like to think that you helped her with that, but you suspect that your sister had far more to do with it. Her, and Nikne Kamuy. You have two issues now, unfortunately. The first is that you suspect Oba-san may have decided to put her cards into play finally. Naoto hasn't quite lost herself yet, but it's close. Er Yin might be able to fix that, but trying to do so will set off Naoto. The second, and much more critical issue is that putting up a barrier might set Naoto off as well, and while she might be in a berserk rage when she finally does assault you, she won't have lost any power or skill while in it meaning the real world will suffer for it.Well, that, and the fact that if she loses control she'll kill Rishi right before she tries to kill you.>To Be Continued....
Thank you for reading and playing. I was goign to continue a vote, but looked at the time, many apologies. I hope you have enjoyed, and will look forward to the next installment. I will have an announcement for the downloadable Ryukusa Quest something in the next 7 days. It includes a copy of the entire chronological archives.
>>1666997Well, that could probably have gone better...but we still have a chance!Thanks for writing, XS.
>>1666997Thanks for running, welp I guess I dramatically overestimated how stable she was.
>>1666951Actually you can. Paranoia potentially paralyses Ryukusa more than anything else can.
>>1667013Perhaps....but not necessarily.
Thanks for running, lovely as alwaysLooking forward to chatting with Rishi once we get through this little obstacle
>>1667020Fair enough. However, us anons can be paranoid without voting for Ryukusa to be! Loophole!
Thanks for running!
>>1667002Thanks for running!>>1666997Alright, I *might* have an idea or two to solve this situation, but it'll be risky...
>>1667038Share with the class, anon!
>>1667026That is a good and acceptable point.>>1667038There are a number of them, and I always accept write ins.>>1667023It should be educational, soothing and interesting, one hopes.