I stop mid-sip and rack my brain, coming up empty. Damn it, Applepicker, think.
"...I have no idea," I admit. "But--but why is it my job anyway? I mean--"
"Because you're the man!" Clover insists, thumping the table with her palm. "You're supposed to be all seizing initiative and being bold! In charge and all that!"
"...Clover, that's stupid. Really, really stupid. Have you seen her?" I ask pointedly. "Do you really think I'm in charge of ... anything?"
"Excuses!" Clover shouts, sitting on the edge of the table beside me. "And besides, it's not that you're a man--"
"Not what you said," I grumble.
"--It's that you're her man." She pokes a finger at my chest (right in the geta-shaped bruise, though I'm too drunk to feel). "You don't think a dragon likes being swept off her feet?"
All right, maybe she has a point there--Meiling seems really thrilled whenever I express myself. Or break clubs over my arm. Maybe I can go defeat a feral youkai for her honor or something. "Okay, fine. So... give me some ideas."
She pauses, head tottering a bit with all that wine in it. "...Stars," she finally says.
"A night under the stars! Just the two of you! Maybe a picnic, or a walk, maybe snuggle under a blanket..."
"Might not even need one," I reply, slipping into a big grin despite myself. "She's warm. I mean, really warm. Hot, I might snfmg."
Clover removes her hand from my mouth. "None of that now. We're working here."
I shrug and pour another glass for the both of us, the first bottle already nearly slain. "I'm out of my depths here. So what about the town?"
"Well, you should find out what restaurants there are! And what she likes! And what there is to do!"
"Can't I ask her what she wants to do?" I ask tiredly.
"Dating is dumb," I grumble.
"You're dumb. All right, all right, let me think..." Clover snaps her fingers. "She likes to take care of herself, right? She was telling me she usually cooks for herself, and tends to her own little house."
"Take her out on a trip to the market. Buy some fresh groceries. Maybe try to cook with her. Cook for her!"
"We could make a dessert or something, if we eat out in the village," I nod. "Okay. She definitely is kind of ... practical."
Clover nods enthusiastically. "Sporty, too. Anything like that?"
"Please no," I whinge. "She's already running me ragged."
"Oh, please. It's not like you're slaying youkai for her."
"I had a spar with a wolf tengu this morning," I reply dourly.
She looks at me closely. "...Really?" I just turn and give her a hollow stare.
Solemnly, Clover tops off my glass.
[ ] ...You know, she's usually teaching me. Maybe I could teach her some fairy flying. [ ] I give up. I'll either let her take lead like always or just ask what she wants to do. [ ] Wait! I still have more ideas! (Write-in)
Another lateish, smallish one. Sorry! Had to run out to the store twice and then cook all day. I'm using it to cut loose and unwind, can you tell?
>[x] ...You know, she's usually teaching me. Maybe I could teach her some fairy flying.
We sit there in silence a moment, and I spend it mulling over what I can do with Meiling. "Clover," I ask, feeling my words thick and muddled in the wine, "What'm I good at?"
"Not drinking!" She hoots, downing her glass in one go before wiping her mouth with her sleeve. "But seriously...I dunno. Reading? Flying?"
"Flying...hey, yeah, flying. Maybe I could...Could..."
"Show her your moves?" Clover grins.
"You're the best flyer on the lake," Clover nods. "That could work!"
"You know what?" I declare, standing up (and stumbling on my chair), "Let's go practice."
"What? Kazuki, we're drunk as skunks."
"Exactly!" I roar. "Do not wait until the iron is drunk, but make it drunk by... drinking... okay whatever, the point is that I want to practice and I may as well do it with a handicap. I've been flying on wings for four hundred years, and goggles for 400 hours. Kind of. Shut up."
Clover giggles. "Lead the way, Captain Bad Decisions."
We make our way out of the mansion, laughing and tripping, Clover cradling the full wine bottle to her front as we go. Fairies turn and watch as we go, bewildered and curious, but they can't help but smile seeing us stumble along.
"So," Clover asks, "What's your plan here? You probably don't want to stunt-fly right now." Leaning way over (and against my shoulder for balance), she theatrically stage-whispers to add "If you do it here, Meiling will see. Gotta keep it secret."
Yeah. Yeah. Keep it secret, keep it safe. That's a good thought, Clover. We'll--well, we can't SNEAK out. But we can fly casual.
[ ] Sakuya! Can you time us out of the mansion secretly? [ ] Tactical Espionage Carpet Impersonation [ ] GOTTA GO SLOW [ ] Write-in
>>59713 Why is this even a choice? Are we just incredibly confused by drunk-logic? We can just practice somewhere else, and we can reach that somewhere else by walking right out the front gate. Meiling has to stay and keep guarding, so it's not like she'll follow us. All she'll know if that we left the mansion, drunk and with Clover; our plan for her remains hidden.
I stop dead in my tracks, causing Clover to bump into me and almost knock the both of us sprawling.
"Ow! What gives, 'zuki?" she asks, making sure she didn't damage her precious cargo.
"We need an escape plan," I muse, rubbing my chin. "Meiling--you don't know her. She's clever. I can't get anything by her. Not even myself. If we leave, she'll know."
Clover rubs her nose. "So?"
"So, then she'll know! She'll know we're up to something!"
"...I'm having too much fun not to see where you're going with this," she grins. "So what's our plan?"
I hold a finger up slowly, and then turn and point it down at our feet.
"We escape," I whisper dramatically, "by carpet."
Clover almost drops the wine bottle. "What."
"You heard me. Last time I tried to be a carpet, I wound up becoming a guest, getting a big dinner, getting a house to sleep in, and eventually-butterflies-and-hurricanes got with Meiling!"
"You also died," she points out.
Clover just leans against the wall, occasionally bursting into fits of giggles as I try to crawl under the front foyer rug. ... rugs are heavy. "Kazuki T. Applepicker," she says, "I think you're forgetting something very, very important."
"And what would that be?" I mutter, muffled with my head under the rug, digging at it from under like a mole.
"The carpets," she explains slowly, "lead further in."
"Kazuki?" she leans over, sounding concerned.
"...Maybe we can roll them up, and--"
Thus foiled, I pull my head back out and sit back against the wall, a defeated fairy. Clover pats me on the shoulder awkwardly, trying not to drop the wine bottle.
"We could always just race around in here," she suggests. "There's got to be some big, empty hallways if that bit about the maid was true."
"Maybe," I nod.
"Or we could just fly out regularly. She won't know where we're going. And," she adds, as I go to protest (she just doesn't know) "We could come up with something else to do first. It's not lying, right?"
"Or we could just stay here and drink more and I can give you salacious advice now that we're good and uninhibited." Clover adds with a lopsided wink.
[ ] Hey, yeah. We can just have a trip through the mansion! [ ] Let's go out and get some air. ...And maybe a drink of water. [ ] I WILL SEE THIS PLAN THROUGH. [ ] Oh, forget it, let's just go drink on the roof or something. [ ] Write-in
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>[x] Oh, forget it, let's just go drink on the roof or something.
"Oh, to hell with it," I mutter, still surly about being bested by upholstery.
"There, there," Clover soothes. "Shall we drink more and forget about it?"
"Until I'm sober, at least," I agree. "Come on, I know just the place."
We have a slightly askance flight, going up, up, up, alighting on the back of Remilia's balcony, stretching around the clock tower where her chambers lie. This way, we shouldn't disturb her (if she sleeps in a coffin, I suspect it'll take more noise than two fairies can produce to get through the pine), and we can still enjoy the brisk air and the view out over the lake. Clover sits on the railing, kicking her feet as I fly a few lazy circles, almost pacing in midair.
"Think they can see us from down there?"
"Almost definitely," I say. "I've never known Meiling not to miss anything that happens on these grounds. ... Sak--"
"The head maid," Clover corrects hastily.
"--The head maid, either." I giggle. "You're flightier than I am, and I'm kinda scared of my own girlfriend."
"Whad'ya mean?" she asks.
"Well, not really, but...basically, this whole thing started because she grabbed my arm really quick, scared the daylights outta me. Well, that and a flirt war."
"A flirt war?" Clover asks. "This I've got to hear."
"It's about what it sounds like," I shrug. "She won, by the way. I didn't stand a chance."
"We need to work on that! You need training!"
"Please no, she's already training me how to fight."
"And how to f--"
She giggles. "Come on, we're drunk and uninhibited. We already girl-talked a bit before you showed up. What's the harm?"
"I dunno, 'zuki, from what she was telling me, you don't have anything to be ashamed of. Especially because I got a glimpse of--"
"I'm only going to get more perverted until you start enjoying yourself," she replies across the top of her wineglass, perched in her fingertips.
"I...all right, fine, what am I supposed to do? Brag?"
"Well, I could try to give you some ideas for next time."
"...Clover, you're a virgin."
"And so were you!" she points out. "Not like I haven't had plenty of time to think about it."
"I'm more than twice your age! And you're saving yourself until you get a ring on your finger!"
She shrugs massively. "Yes, and?"
"...And I don't have a rejoinder for that," I admit.
"Damned right you don't. Now come on, what does Meiling like in bed?"
"Um... A bit of dirty talk."
I hold up my hands. "Nope. Nuh-uh. Drawing the line, that's all you're getting there. Not going into particulars."
"You could write it down."
"Sure, I'll write it in Chinese," I grin. She never learned it, but then again, she didn't have Meiling for that.
"Hey, that gives me an idea. Write stuff on her. I mean, with your tongue."
I should protest that level of lewdness, but hot damn that sounds fun. "Okay, fine, you have my attention. What else?"
"That depends," Clover muses. "Right. Meiling said she really liked seeing you 'assert yourself.' So be bold."
"I dunno, grope her. Play with her a bit."
"Did I hear something about groping?" asks another voice, nearly making me jump clear off the balcony.
She grins. "I saw you up here and figured I'd meet your friend. Not intruding, am I?"
"Well, maybe a bit, y--"
"Not at all!" Clover interrupts me. Gods damn you, Clover! "We're just trying to help his love life. I'm Clover, by the way."
"Charmed," Koa purrs, her tail swishing back and forth as fast as Clover's wings are twitching. "Well then, if it's not too personal, maybe I could offer some pointers?"
Clover makes a show of standing up and circling around Koa, who folds her arms and smiles demurely. "I don't know," Clover says, scrutinizing her intensely. "What are your credentials?"
"Sweetie, I'm a succubus," the familiar replies wryly, "I think I'm qualified."
Clover turns to me, face deadly serious. "She's in."
[ ] The hell she is. This is too much. [ ] ... You know what? I'm just drunk enough to allow it. [ ] Write-in
>>59744 >>59745 Right, since this seems likely to pick up steam, I'll go ahead and say now.
1: I'll totally write this as a non-canon /at/ side-thing. It will be non-canon, though. 2: I'm half-planning to end November by writing out the entire date scene with Meiling, start to finish, based on what you've been voting for so far. Obviously I'm getting ahead of myself there, but that's at least what I intend. If I write this, it will take the place of the date for the end-of-month(?) update. The date will still happen, though it will either divvied over regular updates or just posted at a later date.
And as a side-note, Meiling would not be hurt by this scene transpiring, canonically or otherwise. Not that it means you should turn every write-in into a new /at/ spinoff on me.
With that in mind, proceed as you will. You perverts.
>>59741 [x] ... You know what? I'm just drunk enough to allow it. This will no doubt lead to us us mentioning the ideas to Meiling and giving her the idea to abduct the other SDM redhead for funtimes later. Keep on the dragon.
[x] ... You know what? I'm just drunk enough to allow it. [x] But first, how about a hands-on demonstration?
...You're all acting like the hands-on demonstration has to involve Kazuki's hands being on anyone.
There is a Clover. And there is a Koa. That's all you need. Also I can't believe Koakuma would seriously be so dumb as to actually lay a single lewdly-intentioned finger on Meiling's propertytoyprize significant other.
[x] ... You know what? I'm just drunk enough to allow it.
Honestly, I think "The hell she is. This is too much." is more in-character, drunk or no. (In fact at this point I'm imagining Kazuki deciding he needs to hide and therefore diving under a carpet.) Sadly it has no chance of winning, though.
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So I had this ready to post like ten hours ago, but my main proofreader was apparently busy today. Sorry about that.
>[x] ... You know what? I'm just drunk enough to allow it. >[x] How about a hands-on demonstration?
A brief daydream flickers across my mind, dancing through my brain and leaving it a filthy puddle in a filthier gutter.
"...Kazuki?" Clover asks, waving a hand in front of my face and banishing the mental image to nothingness.
After a moment of collecting and dusting off my scattered thoughts, I give a massive shrug. "I'm just inebriated enough for this. All right, let's hear it."
"Yay~" Koakuma trills delightedly before pulling up on the balcony beside me and Clover, sitting surprisingly chastely with her knees to one side and her hands holding down her skirt.
Clover looks at the drinks, counts two glasses for three people, and then passes the bottle to Koa with a shrug, who takes it graciously and has a swig.
"Thank you, dear," she sighs contentedly, "though I'm sure Sakuya," (who mercifully doesn't appear, though Clover and I both brace,) "Would have my head. Patchy too."
"'Patchy?' Really?" I ask. "Not Patchouli, or Lady Patchouli?"
She shoots me a scandalous grin. "I thought we were talking about our lovers right now."
"Oh, my," breathes Clover.
"Oh, yes," Koa replies, grinning even wider, tail wagging. "Though you should keep that to yourself. Magicians who lay with their familiars have something of a... country bumpkin reputation."
The succubus giggles and passes me the bottle. "Something about 'hedge wizards.'"
Clover examines Koakuma, looking up and down those slinky curves appraisingly. "With all due respect, ma'am, their loss," she declares. Koa puts her hands to her cheeks demurely.
"Oh my, thank you, thank you. Though all of this is giving me an idea." She taps the lip of the wine bottle with her fingertip. "Indirect kisses are fun. With Meiling, I mean."
"The real ones are more fun," I point out.
Koa giggles again, as does Clover, who sounds rather more like the succubus than I was expecting. "I imagine. But still, flirty little gestures like that can drive somebody wild. Tease her a bit."
Well, yes, but... "I always lose at it, though!"
Koa grins. "The thing to remember is that losing is fun. And you'll really..." she fishes for a word. "Turn her crank, if you flirt. Even if you know she'll outdo yo. Knowing her, especially if you know. It will turn her on even more."
"She loves that kind of thing, trust me. All stoicism and defiance, and bravely throwing yourself onto her sword! ...Though of course, I think she'll be throwing herself onto yours."
Clover bursts out laughing. I silence her by pushing the mouth of the winebottle into hers with a grumble, as Koa raises an eyebrow.
"Though, now that I think about it, you should be a little cautious. Meiling's... adventurous."
"Adventurous?" I ask, as Clover pulls the bottle free with a pop.
"She's a big showoff, you know," Koa says. "I think she'd like nothing more than... advertising her love. If you're feeling courageous, you could always leave a window facing the mansion open next time you're visiting her home. And her house, too."
Clover collapses back into laughs at all the innuendo as I flush an even brighter red. "So, I guess everyone in the mansion knows where I was last night, then?" I ask, rubbing my face.
"It was a safe bet," Koa replies with a wink. "Well, that, and you just told me."
Clover's laughter redoubles, and Koa has to catch her with her tail before she falls backwards onto the balcony.
"What about you, Kazuki?" Koakuma asks. "Any ideas on how you're going to slay the dragon?"
[x] "Well, I've already charged up the hills. Made my way into her abode. Definitely stabbed her with my sword. The girls who were locked up in her lair managed to escape." [x] Glare a little at Clover here. Just a little. [x] "I'm trying to think up something involving stealing rings--wait, there. Flattery. Maybe."
I really don't know where I'm going with this, I'll be honest. It started out with dirty insinuations and then I was going to try for something involving a black arrow, but then I dialed it a bit further back in the story and hit on something.
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>[x] Dragon innuendo.
"Oh, well, you know," I say, putting my arms behind my head and stretching back. "Lower my sallet and spur my horse forward, tilt my lance and slay the wicked beast with a cry of 'Saint Geeeeooorge!' Typical romance stuff."
Koa loses it at that. Clover chokes on her wine.
"I mean, it all fits," I continue, ticking it off on my fingers. "Marched to her lair across her mountaintops, did honorable battle with her, smote her with my flashing sword--" Clover explodes into giggles again. "Snicker-snack!" I add, making her tumble backwards into Koa's lap, wheezing and panting with laughter as I continue with a nasty look. "And I even rescued the maidens trapped in her cave."
Her laughter abruptly vanishes as she turns bright red. Koa smiles down at her, saying nothing. "I, uh," Clover sputters. "Was trying to...find..." her voice trails off meekly.
"Your friend's a bigger pervert than you are, Kazuki," Koakuma says lightly, poking Clover's cheek with the tip of her tail.
"Don't I know it," I grumble. "It was her and three other fairies who always stick together. Anyway, I was going to go into something about stealing a treasure from her hoard, but I've sort of lost my steam."
"Well, that was all very informative," Koakuma replies with a wry grin, helping Clover sit upright, "but we're getting away from the point here. Do you have any real ideas?"
"...Mostly, I was just going to make out with her some more in a pretty spot," I admit. "Maybe mention that her kisses are spicy."
"They are?" Clover asks. "Awesome."
"They totally are, yeah. But I'm still at a loss here. I'm new at all of this."
"Well, you're 400 years old, right?" Koakuma asks.
"That's what had Patchy so bent out of shape, yeah." I reply with a grin.
"You've had 400 years to get thoughts. Ideas. Ask her if you can do them, and then do them with her. To her. And Meiling? Meiling's had a few thousand. I doubt you'll scandalize her. Unless she's into that." she adds as an afterthought.
"I...dunno what she's into," I admit again.
"Yet," she adds with a smirk. "Go with some stuff that will be fun for both of you. Like... like giving her a massage after a workout."
"A massage. Oil her up. Work your hands over those nice muscles. Get around the sides and work on her front a bit, too..."
"Ooh," Clover murmurs, paused midway into pouring from the wine bottle.
"Work all that tension out of her. And then," Koa whispers, voice low, "When she's purring and melted under you, work it back in." After a moment, her intense, sultry gaze slips away back to the demure, giggly facade(?) from before. "I trust you know enough to do that part without my help?"
"I, er," I stammer, "I think I've got it, yeah."
"Are you sure? Because if you need help, Patchy and I could always come in an--"
"Nope! Nooo thank you, I've got this end wrapped up."
"Wrapped up?" Koa asks. "Aww, lame." What does she--hey!
[ ] Okay, that's enough of that. [ ] That's too good not to try. Anything else? [ ] Other.
[x] How do they go at it without Patchouli keeling over and dying every 5 minutes. Inquisitive minds want to know [x] That's too good not to try. Anything else? [x] How about Meiling a la mode? I mean, there shouldn't be a reason why we can't have our desert and eat it too.
The only problem I see with this is either we (Meiling) get very cold sensitive areas, or ice cream soup. If someone knows how to make this work, I'm all ears
>>59775 The usual "kinky sex" jokes are about whipped cream instead of icecream. Not quite the same, and given Meiling's body heat it's likely to be just as messy. Maybe we should pull a Hot Shots and fry eggs and bacon on her belly so we have breakfast in the morning?
>[x] How have you not killed Patchouli yet? >[x] That's too good not to try. Anything else?
"So here's a question for you," I ask. "How is it, exactly, that Patchouli still draws breath?" Koakuma snickers as Clover looks at me quizzically. "Asthmatic, out-of-shape magelet."
"Hey now," Koakuma warns, finger and tail waggling in time, "I won't have you making fun of my dear master."
"That's her job," Clover adds.
Koa giggles. "See? She gets it."
"Okay, fine," I relent, "but what about how she treats me? I'm supposed to just let her abuse me?"
"You say that like I haven't punished her for it once or twice," Koakuma replies, licking her lips.
I, uh... damn. "W-well--that's--"
"Hot," Clover contributes, splitting the last of the wine into our glasses and leaving a bit more for Koa.
"Speaking of hot... Meiling's really warm. Is there anything I can do with that?"
"How warm are we talking?" Clover sits up and focuses her eyes, clearly curious.
"She has to load me up with some of her energy so I'm comfortable. I'm pretty sure I could burn myself if I wasn't careful."
"Ever had a cup of sake?" Koakuma asks. "Ask her to heat one up for you."
I pause, thinking about that. "In her mouth?"
"That sounds," Clover declares, "really fun."
"Pour it over her chest and down, down, down," Koakuma sings. "And then you go--"
I hold up my hands. "I get the picture. I'm inexperienced, not virginal."
"Heyyy!" Clover protests.
"Sweetie, we just spent half an hour talking about things for Kazuki to do to his girlfriend. You're about as virginal as he is."
She grins, finishing the wine with one last long, slow gulp, wiping her lips with the back of her hand. "Oh goodness, I'm holding back on you two. I've scared off my share of fairies until I learned how to gauge comfort levels."
"Oh? Really?" I ask. "You can't not say anything now. Give us a small hint, at least."
"Well..." Koakuma puts a finger to her cheek in thought, tapping it lightly. "Okay, here's one. You're not the first fairy Meiling's had her way with."
"I guessed that much," I reply, going to finish my glass.
"Have you seen some of the maids blush and look away when she passes them in the halls?" Koakuma adds wryly.
I choke on my drink, sputtering and coughing. Clover erupts into another fit of giggles.
"Seriously?" I rasp.
"Very seriously. She doesn't--didn't, now, I guess--do it often--too bad, I once challenged her to a race to despoil the most cute little maids. She just told me 'quality over quantity.'"
"That's... kind of awesome, actually," Clover contributes.
"Maybe," I nod. "Maybe. Also, you never answered my question. How do you not kill Patchouli?"
Koakuma ticks them off on her fingers. "Body reinforcing magic, pharmaceuticals, a bit of shared energy between us, letting me do most of the heavy lifting, a great deal of medical and anatomical knowledge between us, and of course, safewords."
"Safewords?" I ask.
"Our favorite's 'Beansprout,'" she says with a grin.
I chuckle a bit. "Dunno about safewords--"
"Yet," Koa interjects lecherously,
"Yet, but Meiling keeps talking about me being 'comfortable,' and so... well, after last night, that word has some implications."
"You," she pokes me in the chest with her tail (why does everyone go for the chest?), "Are much too sober if you can say 'implications' without slurring."
"I should probably stop anyway," I note. "I mean, not that this isn't fun, and not that I doubt Sakuya'd give us more wine if we asked, but..."
"Awwww," Clover pouts.
[ ] ...Fine, if only because it's how you want to spend our day. One more bottle! [ ] No, no, this is it. ... but maybe one more tip, Koakuma... [ ] Write-in
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>[x] No, no, this is it. ... but maybe one more tip, Koakuma...
"Sorry, but I need to stop before I make any more of a damn fool of myself," I insist.
"Aw. ...Do I have to stop drinking?" Clover asks.
I snort at that. "I'm sure Sakuya would be happy to put you up with a guest bed."
"You could always become a maid and get lodging for free," Koa suggests.
Clover pauses mid-motion, turning and scratching her chin. "Yeah... yeah..."
"Uh oh. You aren't seriously considering that, are you?"
"I dunno, maybe!" Clover replies. "It'd let me see you more often. And I could hang out with Miss Koakuma more."
"Like I said, we've all been sitting around, talking about our sex lives," Koa observes. "You don't have to call me 'Miss.' General practice."
The two of them giggle again, and I'm reminded how uncannily similar they sound. "Well," I manage, "Either way, don't decide while you're drunk. Even if I'm sure Koa would love to see you squeeze into that too-tight maid outfit you mentioned."
Koa sits upright. "You have my attention."
"Hold on, hold on," I interrupt, covering Clover's mouth. "Before we get into that song and dance, can I get one more tip for Meiling?"
"Well," Koa says, mulling it over. "The two of you have something in common--your senses."
"Oh?" I ask, trying to ignore Clover gumming furiously on my hand to get me to remove it. Nothing doing, Clover.
"Fairies have sharp ears and noses, in particular, and usually pretty good eyes. I can attest personally to their sense of touch," she adds with a lecherous grin. "Are you familiar with bondage?"
"Loosely. Very loosely," I hastily add, clamping my hand more firmly over Clover's mouth in advance.
"Well," she grins. "Blindfolds. Losing one sense makes you rely on the others. Handcuffs can be exciting, too."
"Cuffs will be a problem. Meiling could just break them, and I don't even think they make fairy-size ones."
"That's true. Wait, I've got it!" She snaps her fingers. "Okay, take it in the other direction."
"How d'you me--agh!" Clover nips my fingers, forcing me to let go (and shake fairydrool off my hand, gross).
"I mean, if you can't tie her up, buy a few extra blindfolds and use them to tie her wrists. See how long she can go without breaking them. And punish her when she does."
"It'd work for you, too, wouldn't it?" Koa asks, eyes glimmering. "I mean, you couldn't slip them, and even if you pulled free... punishment time~!"
My heart skips a beat at the way she positively sings 'punishment time.' "I'll, uh. Give that a shot."
"I bet you will," Clover says, rubbing her lips. "You should go do that, actually! Go to town! Literally!"
"With what money?" I return. Damn, I might actually have to start collecting human change...maybe Sakuya's looking for a butler?
Koa holds up a hand and pulls out a small purse. Opening it, she deftly curls her tail around her front, into the bag, and flips a few heavy coins across it with an adroit flick. "All yours, Kazuki," she offers, presenting them to me on the flat of the spade.
"I, uh--thank you, but--"
"Take it," she insists. "If it makes the two of you happy, it's money well-spent. Besides," she adds mischievously, "It's an allowance Patchy gives me for miscellaneous purchases."
"Well, when you put it like that..." I add, making a big show of eagerly taking the money, getting a laugh out of everyone present.
[ ] To town! While I'm full of ideas and wine! [ ] ...Oh gods, I left Summerfree with Meiling. [ ] Write-in.
[x] To town! While I'm full of ideas and wine! [x] ...Oh gods, I left Summerfree with Meiling. -[x] ...He's probably done something to deserve it. --[x] Or will have done. The means justify the ends, right? ---[x] The point is, he can sit and suffer. Or maybe celebrate.
[x] You kinda owe Koa for all of this (the advice, the consultation, the money) anyway, even if she says otherwise. Wouldn't be a bad idea to think about doing something nice for her at some later date.
[x] To town! While I'm full of ideas and wine! -[x] ...Oh gods, I left Summerfree with Meiling. --[x] ...He's probably done something to deserve it. ---[x] Or will have done. The means justify the ends, right? ----[x] The point is, he can sit and suffer. Or maybe celebrate. -[x] You kinda owe Koa for all of this (the advice, the consultation, the money) anyway, even if she says otherwise. Wouldn't be a bad idea to think about doing something nice for her at some later date.
[x] To town! While I'm full of ideas and wine! -[x] ...Oh gods, I left Summerfree with Meiling. --[x] ...He's probably done something to deserve it. ---[x] Or will have done. The means justify the ends, right? ----[x] The point is, he can sit and suffer. Or maybe celebrate. -[x] You kinda owe Koa for all of this (the advice, the consultation, the money) anyway, even if she says otherwise. Wouldn't be a bad idea to think about doing something nice for her at some later date.
This update's short and kind of lacking in material. Sorry. It has not been a good Thanksgiving, but it's either this or I miss a daily update.
>[x] To town! While I'm full of ideas and wine! >-[x] ...Oh gods, I left Summerfree with Meiling. >--[x] ...He's probably done something to deserve it. >---[x] Or will have done. The means justify the ends, right? >----[x] The point is, he can sit and suffer. Or maybe celebrate. >-[x] You kinda owe Koa for all of this (the advice, the consultation, the money) anyway, even if she says otherwise. Wouldn't be a bad idea to think about doing something nice for her at some later date.
"Thank you again," I say, pocketing the money. "I owe you... something."
"Any time," the familiar purrs. "Any time."
"Clover?" I turn and regard her, expression grave. "Hands up above the waist."
She explodes into giggles as I hop off the balcony and catch myself in the air. "Be good," I tell them as I start to fly off.
"Be bad!" Koakuma calls after me. Heh. I might at that, Koa.
By now I'm good and drunk, but I'm used to it, so flying isn't particularly hard. I drift along in a mostly-straight line over the gate (throwing Meiling and Summerfree a wave far below) as I pass.
...You know, I probably should rescue him. Then again, he's probably fine. Or suffering justifiably. One or the other. Hell, Meiling's probably worse than he is. That should be a good match. For all I know they've been talking dirty just like I have.
Oh man, so many ideas. So many ideas. The real question is what I can actually find. I doubt they have any stores for that sort of thing. Maybe I could pop into a tailor's for some ribbons, or...
Huh. It occurs to me that, not only have my friends caught up with me after a long absence, I've gone ahead and thrown them to the wolves in the mansion. Clover's with Koa, 'Free's with Meiling. And I can't help but get this nagging feeling like they're going to start hanging around more. I'm not sure if I'm a good influence or a bad one, but I can't help but feel responsible. It'll be nice (if chaotic) to see them more, at least. Just...weird.
My thoughts wander around on the subject of weird things, and I'm not really wanting for them. I'm dating a dragon, and I'm flying into a human settlement, drunk, to buy stuff to do 'stuff' to her with. In a few days I'll be going out with a witch and the Hakurei (who set me on fire) to figure out why the season isn't turning.
Well, speaking of the human village, it's finally grown from a distant point and sprawls beneath me as I start to set down. The real question is, what store (stores?) do I try?
[ ] The tailor's. They'll have ribbons. [ ] They have general stores... with rope. [ ] ...Is that a pet shop? [ ] Go with the miscellaneous bin, try the curio place again. Might find something weird. [ ] ...No good. I'm too nervous for this after all. [ ] Write-in.
[X] Go with the miscellaneous bin, try the curio place again. Might find something weird. Ribbons, we can get any time. Right now we want to take advantage of our drunkenness to search through random piles of junk for terriblebrilliant ideas.
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>[x] The tailor's. They'll have ribbons.
I decide to keep it simple (and plausibly deniable) for now, opting to just visit the tailor's. It seems to be the most innocuous place for my dark work.
...And then, it occurs to me that this is the place I 'marked for retribution' when the owner tried to put one over on me. Suddenly I feel sober and cold and vaguely nervous.
Oh boy, this could be awkward. I carefully poke my nose in, and give a sigh of relief when I see neither him nor his son. Somehow, running into someone I recognize would make this so much worse. Instead, up at the counter is a middle-aged human woman, whose eyes meet mine.
"Come in, come in," she says warmly. "We don't normally get fairy clientele."
"I, uh--yeah, I remember," I manage. "I came here once before, and... well, never mind. I was looking for some ribbons?"
"Ah!" She stands up, putting aside a needle and thread. "Pre-made bows, or like the one around your neck?"
I put a hand to it, having forgotten it was there--first day wearing these, and all--and nod. "Er, yeah, like that."
She produces a key and starts fiddling with a small case. "We have some fine silk ones, though they might be a little large for you."
"That's okay, actually," I reply. "I actually wanted to get some for someone else as a gift." A gift. Yeah.
"Oh? How many?" she asks.
"Let me see..." Wrists, ankles, a few backups for breaking... "um, maybe six?"
"Six?" she raises an eyebrow.
"Uh--yeah. Maybe more, if they're not too much."
She folds her arms, but says nothing for a moment, instead stepping aside to let me look over the ribbons. I stand on tiptoe to look in.
These are... nice. Really, really nice. I resist the urge to get my paws all over them, instead trusting that they're as soft as they look. And in so many colors! Everything from yellow to black to red to blue--
Wait a second. That gives me an idea. A different kind of idea. Moving aside, I more closely examine this red without my shadow over it. Brilliant and bright, it catches both the light and the eye, almost scintillating, fiery scarlet. The red is brighter than the more subdued one I'm wearing now, more intense, more powerful.
I turn to the shopkeeper, more intent. "Do you happen to have any that are about the same shade as my hair?"
She frowns and dives into the box beside me, delicately moving a few aside and eventually producing a blue-green shade that's just about as close as I could hope for.
[ ] Get a half-dozen or so ribbons. [ ] Ask her for a bolt of cloth. You can cut it up for--reasons--yourself. [ ] Get the special ribbons, too. [ ] Write-in.
Another short one today, but hey. 30 days of updates, we made it. I think I need a bit of a breather. >[x] Get a half-dozen or so ribbons. >[x] Get the special ribbons, too.
I fish out the coinage, deciding to take a chance on trusting this woman--she certainly looks no nonsense.
"How much can I get with this?" I ask. I hope I don't have to count it aloud to prove I know math...
She counts it aloud, more to herself than to me. "Fifteen each, twenty for the red one--good eye--and that's...? Yes, you have enough."
We sort out the particulars--she mentions offhandedly that I'd have enough left for a decent outfit, since human children sizes are smaller. Less fabric, I guess. She neatly folds and wraps up each of the ribbons, including small cases for the special pair. "So," she asks, "Who's the lucky girl?"
"Ah," I grin sheepishly, caught. "We just started seeing each other. Her name's Meiling."
"Lovely name. And..." she hands me the bag. "Who are the other six lucky girls?"
"Aheh. Heh. Uh..." I look away and cough awkwardly.
She sighs, pinching the bridge of her nose. "Friendly tip, silk discolors with sweat. And for pity's sake, learn a little subtlety."
"I'll, uh. I'll do that. And thanks." I did not expect 'dressing-down by a knowledgeable middle-aged clothier' to be on my list today.
"See that you do. And sober up before you give these--any of these--to her. And--" she sighs again and gives a slight smile. "Be careful, and have fun."
"That's the plan. Ma'am," I add hastily. So apparently in the tailor shop hierarchy and lecture chain of command, I'm just above the thieving husband, on par with the son, and under the wife. I wonder who I'll wind up working with. Maybe all of them. That would be interesting.
"Go on, then," she says with one last wave.
Well, that was interesting. I now have two fine ribbons and some quite-nice-but-not-nearly-so-fine ones, to be used for a quite-nice-but-not-nearly-so-fine purpose, weighing me down in a bag at my side.
[ ] Wait, before I go, about 'having enough for a new outfit' ...a fairy's gotta look sharp! [ ] On second thought, maybe it would be fun to shop for a new outfit while Meiling shops for hers. We can do it together! [ ] Hold onto the money for now either way. I can either give it back to Koa, or find something to spend it on with Meiling in the town. [ ] Write-in
So on a less triumphant note, I'm not gonna pretend writing daily, even small entries, didn't take it out of me. I think my threshold is around three weeks--there was one semi-marginal entry before then, and then after that it got harder and harder and the content felt thinner and thinner. On the whole I'm happy--writing daily got me going, kept me going, and we actually got to further the plot. There's basically just a date with Meiling between you and Perfect Cherry Blossom. Well, and some side-/at/ stuff, but that'll come when it comes.
So I guess once again I'm throwing it into your court. What did you think of the overall quality? If you liked it, I might try (we all know my track record) to update frequently and briefly--not daily, but a few steps a week is a damn sight better than a hundred yard dash every year. I dunno, I'm tired, hit me up, it's your story.
[X] On second thought, maybe it would be fun to shop for a new outfit while Meiling shops for hers. We can do it together!
Making it a date is a lot better than just going on your own.
As for the updates, I think the overall quality has been pretty nice. No obvious errors or awkwardness, and the plot has moved along at a nice pace. If you think you can handle it, frequent updates are always appreciated around here. Personally, I think weekly updates, or maybe twice a week, is a nice pace from a readers perspective. Gives you time to think about your votes, you don't have to feel pressured to devote time to THP every day and most of all you get to look forward to the next update. Daily updates are fun, but the anticipation after an important vote is also nice. From a writer's perspective, I don't know. I'm not you, so you have to decide what pace is good for you.
Right, that's a long enough break. And then some. Let's see if I can get momentum and keep momentum. (In before three months)
>[x] On second thought, maybe it would be fun to shop for a new outfit while Meiling shops for hers. We can do it together!
After a moment of semi-drunken consideration, I discard the idea of shopping around just yet--it might be fun to go with Meiling. Hey, maybe we can even make it part of the date. For a moment, though, that leaves me pondering just where I am going, but one way or another, I suppose that means I'm heading back home right now.
Along the way I tuck the bundle of ribbons into a handy inside pocket, to better preserve the surprise from Meiling. ...If I can follow the advice the shopkeep gave me and resist the urge to test them out right away. On my way along in the air, I run into Summerfree and Clover, apparently concluding their respective visits. Clover's sobered up immensely (she always could outdrink anyone I ever met), and Summerfree looks fine, if a little red in the face.
"Hey, Kaz," he calls. "Rescue me from your lewd friend!"
"You're the one who asked," Clover returns."
"Which one," I ask dryly, "the fairy, the succubus, or my girlfriend?"
'Free grins. "Honestly? I'm not sure. Still, gotta say, Kaz. You picked a winner."
I allow a bit of a smirk myself. "Didn't I just?"
"You've gotta go back to Koa," Clover interjects. "She'll give you so many more ideas. So many more ideas."
"Whoa, hey, it was fun and all, but maybe I should get it out of my system."
"And into Meiling's?"
'Free cackles. "She's been doing this the entire time. For a repressed virgin, you're not very repressed."
"That's because I'm not repressed," she fires back. "If anything, both of you need to get more comfortable."
Erk. 'Comfortable.' Damn it, Meiling. "Uh, on that note, I think I had better get going."
"Lots to do?" Free asks, noticing my sudden haste.
"No, just the one, but she's a--"
"All right, all right," she grumbles. "We're going. See you again soon, 'zuki?"
I nod. "Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Come visit any time. Properly," I add as an afterthought.
"I'll bring some whiskey!" Clover calls back to me as we go our separate ways.
That just leaves a brisk, slightly sobering (in the literal sense) trip back to the Mansion. Outside, I see Meiling is...not at her post. From up here, I make a quick scan of the area and see her, taking a slow walk around the wall. After a second, she stops and looks up at my approach, apparently waiting for me. I touch down beside her and, after a moment's consideration, give her a light kiss on the lips.
"Welcome back," she says warmly. "I'm just giving the gates a quick inspection, would you care to join me?"
[ ] Sure, but first I have a present for you. [ ] Save the fancy ribbons for the date, but join Meiling. [ ] Nah, I had something else I needed to do (Specify?). [ ] Write-in.
>[x] Save the fancy ribbons for the date, but join Meiling.
"I'd love to," I reply, offering her my arm. Taking my hand in her own (as warm as the rest of her), she leads the way, taking me out along the wall.
"Your friends are quite the handful," Meiling says, fingers brushing the wall as she inspects every stone. Despite the relaxed, almost sleepy tone, her body feels coiled and ready, and her eyes flit rapidly across brick and mortar, taking it all in.
"Yeah, they are," I say. "It was nice to see them again, though. Even if Clover apparently became much more perverse than I remember."
Meiling giggles. "There's nothing wrong with that. Besides, she probably was always that way, you just never noticed."
"Maybe, yeah," I admit. "I'm certainly not too different. Though after the last few days, maybe I should consider a rest."
Meiling's light and airy giggle turns into a full, loud laugh. "Come on, Kazuki. We're going on our first big date tomorrow. Do you really think I'm letting you get through that without a little fun?"
I turn a little pink at that, even as my heartbeat picks up a little. "I...suppose I didn't, no."
"I won't pressure you, of course," Meiling reassures. "But...well, I'm willing to do anything you want. Just remember, you're not the only one with those kinds of thoughts."
I grin nervously. "I definitely noticed that."
"I would hope so!" Meiling replies with a squeeze of my hand.
We're quiet for a little bit after that exchange, continuing to wend a slow circuit around the mansion grounds. "So, what are you inspecting for?" I finally ask.
"Any sort of cracks, chips, or damage," she explains.
"Really? I don't think I've seen a scratch on these walls in my life." Then again, I haven't exactly been looking...
"They're rare, but they happen. It's very important to maintain this wall."
I chuckle, looking at the masonry as we slowly walk along. "I guess it doesn't surprise me that you're so committed to something you've been guarding for centuries."
"Well, there's more to it than that," she says with a giggle, "But I suppose there's that, too."
"So, what exactly is it that makes the wall so sturdy?" I ask.
"Well, it's guarded by yours truly, for starters," she says with a faint but real hint of pride. "But more directly, a combination of things. The biggest is the wards Miss Patchouli placed on them, with my help."
I blink at that. "You two work together a lot more than I would have expected."
"She really isn't so bad, I promise," Meiling says. "Your rocky start aside. We're actually good friends."
"Well, be that as it may, you're six feet of outdoors and martial arts. She's a bookish indoor pet librarian with an attitude."
Meiling laughs at that. "Harsh, Kazuki. What would you do if she overheard you saying that?"
I grin. "Come on, what's she going to do? Blow me up at lunch instead of breakfast? Besides, Koa likes me."
"Now, now, you should be careful. You know that Koa is literally compelled to follow any order Patchouli should give, right?"
I...didn't, actually. "That's...huh."
"It's a long story, but the both of them are very happy with the arrangement, I promise you," Meiling assures me. "Although, as I'm sure you realize, there's a great deal about this place that you don't know."
"Oh, yeah?" I ask, sensing the playful lilt in her tone, a sure sign of another word game coming. "Like what?"
She pauses in her slow, steady patrol around the wall's perimeter, turning to look at me more closely. "How about this, Kazuki? We'll start with something close to home. Something about me."
"I'm listening," I reply, feeling a tinge of excitement at...whatever this might be.
"I'll tell you. But first," she waves a finger teasingly before gently tapping the tip of my nose, "You have to guess. I don't expect you to know it, but all the clues are there, if you know where to look. If you get it right...well, I'll be very impressed."
She kneels, putting those bright blue eyes before mine with an almost hungry expression. "Well?"
[X] "You, uh, have beautiful eyes and wear a dress better than I do." -[X] As an aside: "And you haven't got any knickers on at the moment." -[x] Maybe have a peek just to be sure. You know, for curiosity's sake.
>>60425 You make it sound like she allowed somebody else to bring her to her current form somehow and that it somehow relates to her fulfilling her duties at the mansion. Or that she's part of some weird dragon eugenics program.
I guess you didn't find the panties thing as funny as we did.
I was going to guess that her original body is the wall. Or inside of the wall. Unfortunately back when Remilia was recounting the story of how they met she refers to Meiling as a "redheaded girl" once, which implies she always looked human.
Still, I can't think of anything else that matches hint 3, so I'll be voting for that if someone can't come up with a better idea.
>>60730 There is still an interest in this story. Please, dont give up on updating this. Though if you feel it has run its course, perhaps writing a response saying something to that effect is in order? Either way, there is still at least one person with an interest in this story. Thank you for all of your hard work so far.
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All right, that's about enough of that.
I tap my chin. "You're... not wearing any panties?"
She smirks. "Try again, Kazuki."
"Okay, okay... It's about you. You're the gate guard. So it's ... something to do with the gate?"
"Good start," Meiling leans in a little closer, eyes glimmering. "What about the gate?"
"You, and the wall. And you're a dragon."
"When last I looked, yes. Would you like to double-check?"
I grin. "Try again, Meiling."
"Oh, I plan to. But you're right. Keep going."
"Well, you're small. ... ish." Almost twice my height, of course, but it's all relative. "So... I'm guessing there's some of you in this place."
That gleam in Meiling's eyes now more than anything matches the blue blaze that cut streaks through her darkened bedroom last night. "Very good, Kazuki. Very, very good."
"So, what do I win?"
An abrupt trip skyward as she whisks me up and deposits me on her shoulders, apparently. "A ride." She stands back upright as her voice drops low, a sultry smile audible. "And another later."
I lift her beret and put my chin in its place, replacing it atop my head. "I'll hold you to--no, too easy. So, the wall?"
"Is me," she nods, brushing it with her fingertips. "My body. My real body."
"What about the warm one I'm sitting on?" I ask.
"Just a manifestation. A good one," she adds wryly, "but still just a glorified image, even if it is flesh and blood. While my body sleeps--while I heal--this is my proxy."
"I'm, er," I lean over her head to look Meiling in the eye, hand on the beret to keep it from sliding. "Not going to have to adjust to an even bigger partner, am I?"
Her smile goes from sunny to mischievous. "Maybe someday, but not today. I've been on the mend for centuries, and I have centuries more to go. But I'm getting stronger," she pumps a fist, flexing her bicep. "I can feel it. I can feel it coming back, piece by piece, every single day."
For a moment, the concept of Meiling being even stronger runs through my mind, and I repress a shiver. I look down at the wall as her hand passes across it, bricks like scales. "So, you said Patchouli warded the walls 'with your help.' How did that work?"
"It's hard to enspell a dragon. Though of course, most dragons don't turn into masonry. She helped me with that."
"Where's your head?" I ask, drumming lightly on the red-haired one. By way of answer, she turns and tilts my lofty perch back towards the mansion. High overhead, the mansion's clock rolls over to a new hour. "No way. The tower...?"
"That's right. The mansion is built around me, and then my body is in turn coiled around it. It runs underground, too." Her voice and energy lowers almost imperceptibly. "My arms are around Flandre."
I run my hands through her hair gently as the conversation reaches a lull.
[ ] So wait, if the tower is your head... is that why you always know what's going on? [ ] That's... a lot of body. Are you sure I can't sell you on keeping the proxy? [ ] It's only mid-afternoon. I don't suppose you can get drunk like this, can you, Meiling? [ ] Write-in.
[x] So wait, if the tower is your head... is that why you always know what's going on? -[x] And if so, then what's Sakuya's excuse? [x] If I said you had a nice proxy, would you hold it against me?
It's so dumb, I can't not use it. Also, thinking of her being the very walls is making me think the phrase "Dragon house", and that is conjuring up images of stupid fratboy antics and pranks committed by the SDM residents in college.
Sigma Delta Mu. Someone write it (Derp Wars was a good try, though).
> Sigma Delta Mu. Remilia is the president, Flandre is her weird sister who gets in as a legacy in the POV character's pledge class (and becomes a state senator at the end.) Sakuya is house mom. Patchouli is the house nerd.
Dean of Greek Affairs Ran is always trying to get them expelled ("VAMPIRE HOUSE!") while President Yukari shrugs it off with a "Girls will be girls."
There is of course a Kappa house, but their main rivals are the old-money house led by president Hakurei.
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>[x] So wait, if the tower is your head... is that why you always know what's going on? >[x] That's... a lot of body. Are you sure I can't sell you on keeping the proxy?
"I think I'm fond of this one, personally," I offer, playing with her braids.
Meiling giggles as she continues her walk around the wall. Around herself. Dragons and magicians, man. "I bet you do. And I'll take that into consideration," she replies. "You know, thinking about it, I think I've only had time with fairies in this body."
"If I said it was a very nice body, would you hold it against me?"
She pushes my head back a bit with a finger to my forehead. "Yes, actually. You probably shouldn't call my bluffs so carelessly. In public, anyway."
"I'll--er, take that into consideration myself."
She grins at me in the reflection of a bronze plaque on a gatepost, as we finish the inner circuit and switch to the outer. "See that you do. I can probably get away with a lot more than you can. And I'll do it, too."
"Meiling wins again. Which reminds me," I say. "So tell me more, honestly. Your head is the tower? Is that why you know everything that's going on?"
"Part of it, yes."
"Oh, don't be so enigmatic. We're telling each other some secrets, right?"
"All right, all right. But you owe me at least one of yours. And not the ones I can tease out of you on my own." Meiling is having way too much fun with this. And for that matter, I feel like she isn't gonna stop. "Anyways, yes, I can see everything on the grounds. And more than that, I can sense it. My body is asleep, but... I'm not sure I have the words to describe how I sense. There are things I haven't been able to explain to anyone, even others as ancient as I am. Or older."
That sounds...really cool. And almost sad, in a way. There are whole worlds of experience that we can't share. Still, it's really interesting. "So, those senses still let you know what's going on?"
"A little. Compared to what they really are, it's... numb, distant. A little hollow. Even my senses now, with this body, are dull. Not too dull," she directs at me, sensing my thoughts.
That said, I can tell she's a little glum now, too--it sounds like she's lost more than I've ever had. And considering she's been living that way longer than I've been alive... okay, now I need to shake it off. "Okay, so you're an ancient, immortal dragon. What's Sakuya's excuse?"
Meiling stops in her track and pries me from her head, giving me the biggest, toothiest grin of all. "I have absolutely no idea."
I balk. "...That is terrifying."
She grins wider, forcing me to take back that 'biggest, toothiest' thought. "Isn't it just?"
"Speaking of women who terrify me...are you sure I can't get you to stick with this form? For a while?"
"You certainly have a while, Kazuki," she says, tossing me up lightly and catching me on her palm (forcing me to balance on one foot), before curling an arm for me to climb onto. "But when I'm back in my own body...Well, the sky is the limit. I could do much more than take a human shape." She lowers her voice to a low, almost conspiratorial murmur. "How would you feel about a fairy form?"
"...So is there anything I can do to help you mend faster?" I finally manage. She throws her head back and laughs.
[ ] Let's be real, though. It'll take you as long as I've been alive to heal fully. ... and I probably won't make it that long. [ ] Let's talk about Sakuya, for a bit. I want to figure this out. [ ] ...Can I ask why you turned into a blazing seductress in like twenty-four hours? [ ] Write-in.
These are all pretty different tonewise, so unless you have a very good write-in to link them with, you're probably only going to get one.
>[x] ...Can I ask why you turned into a blazing seductress in like twenty-four hours?
I slide down Meiling's arm to sit on her bicep. "Okay, on another note... or maybe the same one, why did you suddenly become so..." I trail off, fishing for a word.
"So aggressively flirty," I manage with a sheepish shrug.
Meiling laughs again. "Because you're my boyfriend, Kazuki."
"Oh come on, you know what I mean. Before that!"
"Because I was trying to seduce you, silly," she says with a grin. "And it worked."
"Well--" I can feel the embarrassment welling up in my cheeks. "Well, yes. But... I mean, I've known you for so long, and then yesterday--"
She puts a finger up to my mouth and turns me to look her in the eye again. "Yesterday was a culmination of a few months of thinking about making my move, when you gave me a truly beautiful opening. Also, you're cute when you're flustered."
I 'mmph' in protest as her laughter redoubles. "Okay, okay," she relents, removing her hand. "Yes, I know what you mean. And to be honest, it was a few things."
"Like what?" I ask, warm cheeks clashing grandly with the cold air. I feel like I may be steaming.
"Well, for starters, I made a conscious decision to go after you as a mate, instead of a friend. There's a bit of a difference, as I'm sure you've noticed."
I try to physically project my sulk at her, which just earns me a kiss on the forehead. Oh well, it's a nice consolation prize.
"Second, the mechanics of my two bodies are... strange, even to me. To put it simply, I feel everything I might otherwise, but it's all distant and faint. Easy to ignore, unless I make a conscious effort to call on them. That includes my sex drive."
"Which, let me guess, is still 'distant and faint?' ...Relatively speaking, I mean," I add hastily. I don't mean to sound more put out than I actually am.
"Yes, actually," Meiling replies with a grin. "Dragons are known for their desires--some more than others. But we get lonely. We find a partner. And then we mate for centuries."
"...Centuries?" I ask meekly.
She looms in for the kill, reminding me (and my pittering, pattering heart) that she is a mighty, ancient beast with piercing blue flame for eyes. "Centuries," she says softly.
I whimper, and she lets up the pressure with another sunny giggle that takes all the predatory youkai atmosphere, balls it up, and throws it over the clock tower. "Is it wrong that I love doing that?"
"Yes," I grumble, "though I guess that's the mouse complaining to the cat. Anyway, what else?"
She shrugs. "Well, the last piece is pretty simple. I haven't had any... relief... for over a hundred years."
"Well neither have I," I observe. "Had I."
"And it got you staring at my backside, and here we are now," she observes right back. "At any rate, the real answer to your question is because this is how I like it. I like to save up."
"Save up." I stare at her blankly.
"Everything's war, Kazuki, remember? Sneak attacks. No one ever sees it coming."
"I don't know. I've certainly seen you--"
Meiling's throw-back-your-head laughter drowns out the punchline, and I can't help but join in. It takes us a minute to recover, and she gives me an affectionate smile. "Oh, well said, Applepicker, well said. I'll miss teasing you, but we'll make a proper warrior of you yet."
"And I suppose you'll be done with that about when you're done healing, so we can do it all again."
"I certainly hope so," Meiling says fondly, still catching her breath.
"In the meantime, I think I've run out of things to say."
"Well, it's early yet. If you're not too drunk from your friends, maybe we could have our date tonight. Or," she adds slyly, "we could get you drunk again, and spend the evening together."
[ ] Can your proxy even get drunk? ...Never mind, let's find out. [ ] Drinking more is a bad idea, but maybe we can do that date. [ ] I want to save the date. ...for later, I mean. [ ] Actually, I had something I wanted to do. (Specify?) [ ] Write-in.
>[x] Drinking more is a bad idea, but maybe we can do that date.
"I should...probably not," I reply quickly, remembering how easy hangovers come to me (something Clover never fails to laugh at--loudly--the next morning). "But... maybe we can have that evening after all."
Meiling's smile shifts, just barely. It goes from confident and ... naughty, for lack of a better word, to excited, with just the faintest hint of nervousness. I'd almost forgotten she even could be. "I was hoping you'd say that."
Still carrying me, she makes her way back to her little shack, while I decide to press my luck asking. "Did you?"
"Of course! I'd love to spend more time with you."
"Oh? Isn't that what we're doing now?" I ask playfully, remembering Koa's lesson--I should try to keep up, even when I'm sure I'll lose. Especially when. But--wasn't there something in the Art of War against that?
Well, at least it's fun. Meiling neatly dips and sets me down before her door before turning to let herself in. "Of course. I value all the time we have together, Kazuki. But we can make the time special. And I want tonight to be very, very special."
"That sounds... promising," I offer, mentally bracing myself for her naughty counterstrike.
She swings open the door, stepping through while I follow."And fun! I want to do so much to--with you." Okay, that was not a mistake. "But, to do that, I have to do something else."
Oh gods, here it comes. "And what's that?"
She turns around in the doorway, smiling grandly. "Get out of my house."
"I have to prepare, silly," she giggles. "I'm just as lost at this as you are."
And with that, the fiery redhead and the love of my life gives me one last wink and closes the door in my face.
...Well, she's right. And--well, I have to prepare too. Let's see, pull it together, Applepicker, think through the wine-fog and remember what you talked about...
Clover suggested we go out for a night under the stars, and I suggested I could show off some fairy-style flying. Koakuma, perversion made flesh that she is, filled my head with all kinds of dirty, depraved, glorious ideas on what to do to--with Meiling (hah!). More than that, somewhere in there I realize that food is going to come up, whatever we do. Clover suggested doing something up Meiling's alley, something we could do together--maybe cook? At the same time, the idea was floated that I find a nice restaurant in town--and I feel like they could do a much better job of it than me.
...And just what kind of expectations should I have for this date? Meiling's made it clear--very clear--she's more than willing to... make me comfortable. Oh, gods, my heart.
Oh, boy. I need help. I need...
[ ] ...to scope out the town, and find some things to do. [ ] ...to invoke the most dreadful presence in the mansion. Sakuyaaaa! [ ] ...to find Remilia. She's old school nobility, right? [ ] ...the help of an outside party. [Specify?) [ ] ...to just commit to what I have. Dinner, flying, stars, lewds? [ ] ...something entirely different! (Write-in)
I've wanted to continue it for a damned long time now, but I think I've come to realize my original plans aren't really going to lend themselves to a good story--at least, not as I've doggedly tried to stick to them.
So I want your help. What did you read FoSL for? What needs to stay? At this point I've become so stuck I'm more than willing to drop spoilers for days on my plans going forward to get the story to roll again.
The delays and hiatuses suck, but I will say I've been writing other things continually. I'm sure I'm a better writer than I was a ye--
...A year and some more ago. And then before that. God damn it.
Frankly, the most entertaining part of the story, for me at least, is Kazuki himself. He feels like a character should, in the sense that I could see him as an actual person. He fits in well enough not to overshadow, but stands out without having to rely on Canon characters. It's a good balance. You also write good scenes with Meiling, lewd or clean.
Call me a sucker for alternate time lines too, cause I really want to see how he would progress through the games, and what Kinda butterfly effect would come about because of his involvement.
And on the most random note, The achievements at the end of each chapter? One of the best non-plot idea I've seen in this story. More of those please.
All in all, I would kill to see more of Kazuki and his misadventures.
In all honesty, I really, really need to re-read this again to be able to make completely cogent points rather than vague rambling, but...
First and foremost, I'll admit that the big draw to me was the relationship between Kazuki and Meiling. As we started getting a sense of the rapport they had, I realised just how "real" the relationships of the story felt. Maybe I don't always agree with the interpretations, but I still love them because of who they are and, more importantly, who they are to each other. While Kazuki has the most defined moments with everybody, they don't outshine any of the others.
Which brings me to the next bullet point. Like someone else said, Kazuki is a pretty well-done character; he's not some shoehorned-in avatar who exists for hijinks. For being such a "lowly" and otherwise "unimportant" part of the setting as a fairy, his motivations feel so solid. I don't know anybody like him, but I can sure imagine him as a real person. And it's much the same for the others: They're not cardboard cutouts waved around for the author to make a point to the audience. When they speak, they speak to the world they inhabit. That's a mark of good writing.
I could probably go on about worldbuilding (something I have a weakness for in spite of its potential sins) and the entertaining hijinks that I recall, but this isn't a gush session. What I want to say underneath a lot of this heaping of praise is that you, Mister Author, come across as a fairly character-driven writer. You do a great job with characters and making them interact. That's a strength you should play to going forward, however you develop the plot -- and I personally think this could still be a full-blown "story arcs and developments" type of story, though others might want slice-of-life. In any case, this humble anon has been deeply and hopelessly in love with this story for a while and hopes it returns with the force of a Meiling scorned.
Seriously, everything you've done so far has been awesome. I don't often get emotional from reading stories, but you've wrung tears out of my stony heart over and over again. Kazuki×Meiling and Kazuki vs. Patchouli stand out in particular, but if I listed any more I'd end up writing a summary of the whole damn story.
I dunno know what you do, but I want you to do more of it.
I remember reading something somewhere about plot development. The basic idea was, you create characters, give them something to react to, and then bounce them off of each other. You still get conflict that way, since character A might end up hating character B or something, and everything is more organic, since you aren't forcing characters to act out of character.
As everyone else is saying, you do characterization better than most people on this website. Everyone in the story has clear, concrete motivations, and the result is that the plot has always felt, for lack of a better word, right. I'd been looking forward to the upcoming plot events, just so I could see Kazuki and Company hanging out with Yuyuko and Company.
What I'm saying is, your writing is excellent and I want moar
>>62996 Yeah, how dare that guy bump the story at the top of the board! Now thanks to his carelessness this story is at the top of the board, instead of being all the way down at the top of the board where it used to be. Why his heinous actions buried an unprecedented zero stories! Truly he is the scum of the Earth.
I stopped writing my Fallout story in 2012 and I regret that fact every time I think about it, largely because of the amount of time I spent on building it and it's world. I hope you continue your story, but moreover I hope not doing doesn't spoil your enjoyment of this site.
>>63004 >I'm not sure if you're actually The Fallout Writefag
Well I can't prove anything unless I had a Luna Dial to go back in time and acquired a trip.
>thanks for writing the best story of this site.
I had at least as much fun writing it as others did reading it. Just wish I had contacted IRC to copyedit/proofread some parts. And the best story on the site was Retrospective and Astronomical Narration.
Forgot my sage up there. Sorry for fagging up your thread TTSC. You said you had a Rumia story?
Yes I am bumping this. Shamelessly. Get mad folks, I think it deserves it.
>>62974 After speedrunning this story in less than half a day, I really, really, really want to see this back up.
So, answering your questions: what do I like here? the setting. The characters, and the romance. Come on, a great fairy OC that falls in love and gets seduced by Meiling? Amazing. The action segments, and all the personalities - the description of Remilia's appearance was amazing! - indeed hitted me, deep. Flandre's story is great too, as sad as it is. I want to see the end of it. I love how Meiling is a real personality (something rare in fanon) - proud, brave, kind. But also friendly, teasing and sexy. Can she be more perfect than this?! Not to talk about the Rumia segment, or the first one where we saved Marisa. All great. So yes you are writing a really amazing story that should continue.
What we want to see? More interactions, more day to day stuff, punctuated by developments on Flandre's reconciliation with Meiling and her sister and by more info about what Rumia is thinking about, and if it's helping her somehow. And that damn date man! I want to see Kazuki have a good time with her love!
If your plot is not satisfying you, rewrite it. Cut, paste, think. Ask for ideas, but these are already a lot of ones in my opinion. There is all Gensokyo to space with!
You have here something that can easily come down as one of the best stories of the site. Just this.
Of course you are free to do what you want, no one is forcing you. Just remember that we haven't forgot your story - seeing from all the messages above mine - and we'll be here to see it get back to life.
I hope this moved your resolve, or helped in any way. Cheers man, and take it easy.
>>63589 Not even mad. Just frustrated by the fact that this story is dead.
Incidentally, the writer has been “done with” the site for a while. I can pretty well tell you for a fact that he ain’t seeing your message. Maybe there’s a one-in-million chance of him changing his mind, but I highly doubt it.
Because he's not emotionally/mentally mature enough to realize his self-defeatist attitude isn't consistent with reality. The emotional response to the prospect of him quitting showed the only one with any doubts was the author himself.
>>63592 Gonna say it's more to do with him feeling like THP's anons are too toxic to put up with anymore. That's the sentiment I got from more than a couple of big names who quietly flipped the bird to the site and left.
That would be pretty strange. Post 2015 THP isn't any more toxic than most anonymous image boards/Fan-fiction repositories. I mean yea, there's sometimes users who get shit for posting with a name, and maybe an author or two who'll post angry, self-entitled rants over something silly. Buuuuut besides all that we've been pretty tame these past few years.
>>63594 Hey, I'm just reporting things that have been said without explicitly repeating their words. Guys like TTSC have made up their mind pretty much, so trying to convince them otherwise is impossible. I've tried with no luck.
Which means the story's dead and will stay that way, even if the writer himself won't deign to come back and say that.
>>63595 But how? Here in this thread I see only people that wants this story to be back. All the replies he got when he asked what we wanted from the story are here damn.
So where is this "toxic" people he claims so much to be here?
>>63593 I've seen this reasoning before here. And I have to say that it's just bullshit for the most part. Remember, assholes are everywhere, there's no way to avoid them. But from what I see here, only a minority is like that. Most of us just wants to read a story in peace and comment about it. I dunno, really.
(Sidenote - the only thing that I don't like of an authors behaviour if I have to say it is exactly this: leaving without a single word. Is it that hard to come and post just a two-line post to say that the story is stalled/in hiatus/etc? If all authors started simply doing that it would be much easier to know if a story is still up or not, and if we should still keep an eye on it or not. And maybe hope it comes back. I know, they maybe feel the guilt of it and don't wanna put down the readers, but really listen: by not saying anything you're doing way, way worse. For real. I can tell personally. And keep in mind: I am not accusing anyone. It's just constructive criticism. I don't wanna fight or yell over this, because that doesn't accomplish anything, never. ...Ok sorry, back to main argument.)
tl;dr this focusing over 'toxic' fans/posters thing is just stupid in my opinion. Look over them, and you'll see all the people that appreciate your work and want it to be done!