It's been three months at least, I've been pestered with ever dwindling hope and enthusiasm, and I myself doubted I would continue this. And yet, here in /shrine/ I find myself posting a long-overdue update! Now try not to cuss me out for being slow too much.
I find myself waking up in the arms of a beautiful, naked woman after a night that felt more like a dream than anything else. In my case I'm being dead serious. The pleasure I felt and the fact that I was going at it with Letty really did feel like it was little more than a pleasant dream, especially since my sleep schedule is only now starting to shift to something more along the lines of what a normal person might have. ...Then again, the exertion last night might account for why I'm feeling sleepy and unproductive. I try to get out of bed to get myself cleaned up, but find that there are two problems with this: One, I apparently managed to join together with her in my sleep, and two, she's got a tight hold of me. I can't argue with the sensations and find myself wanting to sleep a little longer in her arms, but at the same time I can't just let myself be bound up in a pot of honey all day, no matter how nice it feels.
I shift my weight to at least roll myself toward the edge of the bed, but all that does is put her on top of me. Her soft body is pressing down on mine even harder than before, what with gravity assisting her own unconscious physical force, which is complicated yet further by the fact that she's running her tongue along my cheek. She nuzzles my neck a little bit after that and sighs in contentment. All that combined with her radiant warmth makes me wonder how in the world I'm supposed to get up from this.
...Though when I try to think about it, I can't recall anything pressing planned for today. I think I can let myself be swayed just this once...
Alight on the front porch, knock once, twice, three times~ "Ivan!" I call out to that leadhead once I do, and find that after a few minutes there's no sound of footsteps coming up to the door. I put my ear to the door just to make absolutely sure, and sure enough all I can hear is my own heartbeat. "Heeeeey! You're usually up by now, what's the holdup?" I knock a couple more times before darting off to do what I should have done to begin with: Invade via that one win... Wait a sec, I should try the door handle first. He never locks that.
Twist... And sure enough, he failed to lock it. That's a bad habit to be in though, so I'll have to help him out with that later on. Preferably via my having a key to his house so I can just walk in, walk out, and lock the place up when I'm done. Maybe blackmail Ivan if he's being particularly dense that day. I slip my geta off next to the shoe rack, then proceed to walk into the main house. Kinda weird that he's not off doing something, be it alchemy, blowing himself up, getting seduced, getting dragged off for something, or heck, just making breakfast?
...Where are you? This is getting a bit irritating. He's not in the living room, not in the kitchen, not in his lab... Nowhere on the first floor, so he must be on the second floor! I slip my way up there and start opening doors indiscriminately. I keep going until I get to his bedroom, at which point I put my ear to the door... "Ah-ha~!" I exclaim quietly as I wrapped my hand around the doorknob. I quietly open the door, swing it open... And blush. He's pinned down by Letty, who's butt-naked... I think I'll go use the bathroom. It'd be a lot safer than the alternative~
...Did someone just walk in here? I could have sworn I heard the door open. I try to shift myself again, this time with a little more success since Letty is starting to wake up. "Mmmn~ Good morning~" And I'm starting to lose interest in finding out who broke into my house this time. She hugs me a bit tighter for a few moments before getting up on all fours, then bushes as she realizes that we're still connected in that intimate manner. "Hm... I suppose we should get cleaned up Shall we get some clothes and head for the bathroom?"
"You're suggesting...?" Well, if there's anything that a could have set me off more...
"We're both dirty, need to be cleaned, and it'd be easier on your water supply So why not?" Curse her using logic to make a convincing arguement. She gets up off of me, then heads off to grab enough clothes for the both of us. I then follow her out of my room, into the hall, then follow her into the bathroom...
There's a tengu sitting on my toilet. There's a tengu on my toilet and her panties are down. There's a tengu on my toilet, her panties are down, and her crotch is soaking wet. "Aya. What are you doing?"
Any other man might have been tempted by this sight, of a beautiful woman sitting on the toilet (lid closed, thank you very much) with her half-naked and rubbing her slick,sticky hand against her most intimate parts. Given how she's shamelessly licking her fingers in front of me, seduction is probably what she's aiming for. Or at least to get an amusing reaction. However, I am not like most men. For starters, it's too early in the day for these shenanigans, at least as far as I'm concerned. "Will you just get out of here? Letty and I need to take a shower and I'd feel a lot more comfortable with you not being in the same room as us when we do so."
All that does is set the tengu pouting. "Aw, I come all the way here in the freezing cold, and this is the reception I get?" It looks like she's going to try and guilt trip me into something, but I stop her short of the mark.
"I meant out of the bathroom. You're welcome in the house, but if you make a mess, do clean it up..." I swear, I'm surrounded by perverts, both closet and open. I set aside the clothes, making sure that Letty and I have our own little separate piles... "And yes, I will make breakfast if you want to stay that long." That perks her right up.
She smiles, practically jumps up, snatches up her clothes, pauses next to me... "I can't turn down the offer of free food, so I'll forgive you this time~" I know she's joking, but I felt a strong urge to kick her in the rear once she kissed me on the cheek. Overreaction? Under normal circumstances, yes. However, this is immediately after I spent the night having sex with Letty, who's currently a little clingy and would probably be easy to make jealous. It's not the act itself that I'm annoyed about so much as the intent behind it. Add to that the fact that Aya intentionally stopped short of the mark and didn't take the time to put anything on just so she could display her dripping womanhood, and I get the feeling that the tengu's trying to set her off on purpose, thus leaving me to pay for it.
The snow woman drags me into the shower unceremoniously, and initiates the flow of water after making sure that it's set to a comfortable warmth. "That Aya has absolutely no sense of decency!" She's trying so hard not to do anything rash or- She's starting at me with that look. I hate my luck, even after Hina evened it out. "...I shouldn't be looking at you like that, it's not like you do this on purpose." She grabs the soap, lathering up the scrub brush in short order afterward, and turns me around to wash my back for me. I can hardly argue with this, though I make a mental note to give Aya a talking to later. The last thing I need is to get my girlfriend aggravated to the point where she needs to be comforted every time I so much as look at another girl. I doubt she'd get that bad, but in all honesty I'd rather be safe than sorry.
"She's just doing it to get a reaction. I doubt she'd go so far as to actually try to steal me from you, assuming she could even sway me." I notice that she's taking her time in washing me, and once again I'm not exactly against it, but she could direct her washing to where it's actually needed. "I may be thick, but I'm not weak in heart or spirit." If I was weak in either, I would have let Keine push me down and teach me proper lovemaking. ...If I was weak in either, Rumia would have killed me long before we ever got to this point.
She wraps her arms around me as she starts to wash my chest, pressing her chest into my back as she does so. "I know she is, and I shouldn't be rising up to meet that teasing so easily..." She falls quiet as she works, obviously thinking about what to say next. Not that you really need me to tell you that. "You literally fell into my lap no more than... Less than a week ago at most? Everything I've felt so far has been real to me, but I'm still worried. This is the stuff of romance novels."
I'm not that weak hormone-wise, am I? Some gentle scrubbing and closeness and my body's already looking for another round. It hasn't even been seven hours yet! Calm down! "I've had much the same concerns. You, a beautiful woman walking into my life and wanting to become a part of it? Part of my mind still discards the notion as utter lunacy. Thankfully I've yet to listen to that part." I clasp one of her hands in mine to reassure her while turning my head to look at her. "It will work out. We just need to give it more time, get to know each other better, and forge a stronger bond. If we do that, we'll be golden." ...I hope so, anyway. For all my words and hopes, I myself don't feel much of anything. I want her here with me, but do I really feel love?
She nods in assent, then shifts her focus down lower knowing full well that washing me is only half her intent. The way she's moving that cloth along my length suggests that she's going to keep going until I orgasm, but at this point I'd rather not get into the habit of being hers to fuck whenever, wherever. "Alright. I'll have to drop by more often, maybe snatch you away from your routine every now and again to go out on a proper date. Hopefully one that won't land you in the hospital~" ...She really couldn't resist, could she.
We switched to small talk after that, mostly ironing out good times and possible locations of interest that we both might enjoy. People to meet, things to see, things to do... We covered a lot in the shower, especially since we didn't really spend that much time in there. Sure, she did stroke me to orgasm, though unlike conventional showers, this won't clog up the drain at all, but we only spent about fifteen minutes in there between the two of us. I also noticed that Aya didn't bother to intrude on us, but I get the feeling that she's still going to be a major pain in the rear once we get out.
I'm not dead, and I'll need to see where Lettertime Alchemist left off last to continue it.
It's somewhat annoying to be distracted in such a manner, but I was the slower of the two to get dressed all the way. Amazing what having active hormones can do to wreck your concentration. It could also be the novelty messing with me, especially since one does not simply render a sensitive spot numb with sheer will in less than a day. I shouldn't complain though, since I knew full well what getting involved with Letty would mean, but I'm still going to complain about how my body's trying to override my mind for the sake of reproductive purposes I'm nowhere near ready to fulfill.
Once again I'm glad for my heating system working properly without any major malfunctions. Cold air on wet skin is about as pleasant as having ice cubes strapped to your body until they melt. That, and I'm not one for the cold to begin with. If I were, I wouldn't be making these phoenix-based clothes to ward off the biting cold.
Speaking of biting cold, I really ought to come up with my own permanent solution for dealing with Frost. Several thoughts cross my mind, not the least of which is to bait Rumia into attacking him (Assuming she's done what I think she has and dodged out of really being sealed), using my house's Sealed Fire to torch him into base atoms, and somehow launching him into space, preferably toward the sun. The vast majority of these ideas are impractical, dangerous, or would have been the end result of insane amounts of boredom, so the odds are good that I won't deal with him in such a manner.
...I could bait him into Keine when she's in her Were-Hakutake form...
I shudder involuntarily at the mere thought of such a thing. The last time I saw her in such a state, she had very nearly lost all control of herself and would have done something she wouldn't have regretted. I doubt I would have either, but still, outdoors isn't the best place for such a thing.
I'm getting off-topic again. I notice that the snow woman is glancing in my general direction as we walk, and I can't quite think of why she'd be glancing down after glancing at me. "Ivan, the-"
"-stairs." She cringes as she watches me take an unfortunate tumble down a set of stairs. Good lord, I really am losing my composure lately. ...Speaking of which, aren't I supposed to be blessed with good fortune anyway? I doubt that covers personal negligence all that well, but still! "You're not hurt too badly, are you?" She follows me down the stairs in the manner one is supposed to traverse them: While paying attention.
I lift myself off the floor, shake my head once, and inadvertently act as though that undignified bit of clumsiness never happened. "I'm fine. I've taken blows worse than that under less favorable conditions." Slugfests with Rumia, for example. Keine trying to KO me for being, in her words, 'A complete and utter moron', also come to mind' "Now that we're clean and I've managed to hurt myself again, shall we get breakfast?" It probably hurts, but why pay something like that any mind?
The snow woman merely looks at me as though I'm strange before sighing once. "Yes, let's. Though if you're off in any way, perhaps it would be better to let me try my hand in the kitchen?"
"I don't feel off in the slightest. Why would you think so?" It's an innocent enough question. One night of a new, wonderful experience is hardly enough to turn me into a self-destructive klutz like before.
"Had fun~?" Aya saves either of us from continuing that rather awkward conversation. I wouldn't have noticed it before, but I noticed that she's wearing an apron. She's wearing normal clothes underneath, which is a small comfort considering that she seems to enjoy the concept of teasing me in increasingly annoying manner. "I decided to take care of breakfast, by the way. Hope you don't mind pancakes!"
One thing that's never ceased to baffle me about my cooking preferences and those who I associate with is just how un-Japanese our dishes typically are. I have a bit of a sweet tooth myself, and since I have a shop (albeit one that more or less runs by itself with only the mandatory restocking of items) I can afford the more expensive ingredients more often than most villagers. This, combined with some cookbooks obtained from Kourindou, means that I know how to cook, but often learn dishes that pertain to my interest over tradition. Not that I have an issue with that. Bland things never suited me.
...Maybe that explains my taste in friends and women.
The snow woman looks part annoyed, part relieved, and part exasperated that she still has to deal with the annoying, shameless Tengu when all she wanted to do was spend time with me. However, I don't think she can object to keeping me away from implements that I can harm myself with by accident. I don't know why she'd want to do that. It's not like I've impaled myself before, merely burnt, broke, bashed, cut at with claws, and blasted with the odd bit of powerful magic. At least part of that list was not self-inflicted through general stupidity.
I'm trying very hard not to see her point there. Instead, I focus on the tengu's breakfast. It really is quite simple in how it's nothing more than carefully friend, mildly sweet bread with maple syrup (Or a sugar-based substitute, depending on whether she used my alternative stuff or found the real stuff) and fruits of various kinds. Shame it's mostly out of season, or else the fruit juices would mix with the syrup rather than the other way around. It's not that big a difference taste-wise, but there's a noticeable difference texture-wise. It's almost like chewing on a piece of candy.
"So, what have you got planned for the day?" Aya finishes up rather handily at a speed that might have made conversation, let alone cooking anything edible, impossible. Then again, that's Aya for you. Do things at an insane rate, and get it done well anyway.
That does bring up an interesting question though. I had been weighing my options for the day, but haven't decided on anything just yet. Though I get the feeling that Aya's trying to drop the hint that she wants to continue our prior investigation of Letty's past.
[X]See if Aya's gotten any new leads. More information is always nice. [X]I should make those pants since I have the material for it. Maybe get a whole suit going if I have the hair to spare. [X]If Letty needs some time to reassure herself that I'm not going to be pulled away from her, then I should give her that time. [X]Write-In
[X]I should make those pants since I have the material for it. Maybe get a whole suit going if I have the hair to spare. -[X] Letty can help; It can be a bonding experience between the two of you. Alone.
Ugh. While I really didn't want to say something like this, I think it's far better to say something now than forget about something like this later.
Come 11/1, I will have to pack my PC and Wii in preparation for a move that I'm rather not looking forward to. This means I will most likely be out of contact for the foreseeable future and may very well have to put both stories on indefinite haitus until the dust settles.
To make matters still worse, the house I'll be moving to only has satellite and cellphone for internet options, which means that while I may be able to continue the story, I'll most likely have to have someone post for me. So if you see someone posting more of this story or AoS2, odds are pretty good that I specifically asked them to post what I write for me, since in all likelyhood one visit to THP would wipe out the allotted bandwidth, or take an unacceptably huge chunk out of it.
And yes, options to deal with this are being discussed, and the more immediately obvious ones are being considered.
I will attempt to squeeze out at least one more update before then, so keep the votes coming.
>>33612 Why not disable the loading of images in your browser options when coming here? Surely some basic site code wouldn't chew up your bandwidth all that badly. I mean, yeah, you'll need to upload an image when starting a new thread and all, so posting by proxy at those times will probably be a necessity, but won't the rest of it work out just fine?
Time has passed, the dust has settled, and it is once again time to take part in one of my least favorite activites: Opening the mailbag. You might be asking 'But Ivan, opening letters is harmless, isn't it?', in which case you'd be mostly right. The simple act of opening letter and reading the contents is not physically painful, at least most of the time. The painful part about this comes from the fact that certain parties will enter my house in various methods, which either causes me supreme discomfort or results in my humble home being partially demolished by careless parties. I have been able to get the kappa to bill the guilty parties rather than me, but this does usually result in more irritations and distractions than I would like.
Like Aya setting up shop in my house, for example. Not content to occupy large quantities of my time with forward actions that frequently cross into sexual harassment, she has decided to create a secondary printing shop for her newspaper in a transparent attempt to bother me more than she already does. The smell of ink was so strong for the first few days that I spent large amounts of time feeling light-headed and dizzy, which resulted in my pinning her to the wall and kissing her repeatedly to the point that when I finally let her go, she looked as dazed as I felt, was blushing bright red, and slumped to the ground, where she remained for several hours.
Thankfully I was able to create an air-scrubber to get rid of the smell, but the damage was done by that point. I'm going to have a rough time trying to do any alchemy with my house the way it is, though I have an incentive to learn how to change the chemical components of ink into something more harmless. Giving the crow any sort of reciprocation is dangerous, especially when she seems to be the heroine of this segment. A massive pervert who takes advantage of any opening she can find as well, but that's beside the point.
Suffice to say, Momiji payed for the damage she caused, and Aya comissioned her workspace under the pretense that we're lovers and that she wants to spend more time with me. So I now have a newspaper room off to the side of my lab, and I get the distinct feeling she's swiping certain materials to try and replicate what happened before. Thankfully those scrubbers are working rather well.
"Well, that would depend more on personal preference than anything else. Though personally, I tend to run the water on the warm side, so such activities might not work out so well. The bottom of the tub is rather hard as well..." I trailed off for a moment as I gave it more thought. The act of intercourse causes one's blood vessels to expand wider than usual, which in turn causes one to shed more heat. Running water warmer than ninety-eight point six degrees over a body in such a state might cause that added heat to seep in rather than escape.
Maybe if I had a pool or something.
"Finally coming out of your hole, huh?" A certain tengu slides up next to me in a chair similar to my own, save for the fact that it's of a different design.
"I figured it was about time I did so." Casual answer on my part coupled with ineffective ignoring. Just as I believe that Letty is my girlfriend, so too has Aya claimed me. Thus she will often get cuddly until I respond. "As for that, if I recall correctly it was either a test or something done on a whim by the site's administrators. Either way, this story's writer basically took over the board until it was closed down for no apparent reason."
Case in point, there is now an Aya in my lap that's casually grinding her rear against my lap. "Sounds kind of pointless, but then again, most everything on that site is. Except for Silver of Sovereign. That was good."
May as well admit this is hopeles... I wrap one arm around the tengu's waist, which gets her to settle down for the most part. "Shame it appears to be dead, but we're not here to complain about dead stories that need to be updated."
"You mean like this one?" She points to the screen of a computer... Laptop I think, which is displaying the very site we're talking about, though to be more specific she is talking about WA.
"Let's not strain the reader's minds more than we have to. The last thing I need is to have is an infinitely recurring loop scenario sending the remains of their brains into my house. The ink smell is bad enough as it is." A possible inception scenario, and the thing I care most about is to not have to clean up more of a mess than I have to. ...I suppose there are advantages to being insane.
"If they weren't able to handle something like this, then they would have exploded a long time ago. That being said, I guess we are being a little meta about it." The tengu simply sits there for a moment or two before speaking again. "Anyway, as you can see, the story's getting ready to start back up again, so hopefully there'll be something to read later!"
I shake my head in the affirmative. "Unfortunately, yes I do. I acquired some more raw materials a while ago and want to finish making a full phoenix-based outfit so my legs won't freeze solid when no one's around to help."
The tengu looks as though she's both disappointed and somewhat torn, but given her track record I could call what it is she's torn about. "That's too bad. I actually did find some stuff on her in the archives and wanted to look over it with you. Heck, if you're worried about your girlfriend getting jealous you could bring her along too." Then her expression changes to something predictably mischievous. "Though one would think that you wouldn't feel the need to continue with that, what with all the stalkers you've managed to pick up in the last couple weeks. Even if you passed out from the cold, you'd end up in someone's bed to warm up~" She's visibly tensed, not unlike a twit who knows she's about to get punished for making a bad joke.
Equally predictable is the fact that the snow woman sitting beside me does not take being called a stalker terribly well. "I would appreciate it if you did not insinuate that I'm stalking Ivan. In case you haven't noticed, I'm in a relationship with him, one that does not require me to stalk him from afar, unlike some people I know." She hasn't attempted to freeze the tengu. That's both good and bad, because there's the possibility that Aya won't be chased out right away and she'll keep toeing the line until she crosses it, intentionally or no.
"I suppose, but my statement's still valid. The only difference is that you'd be the one most likely to warm him up, if you get my drift." Still tense, still... Wait a sec, is she trying to get Letty to kick her out? That's not a terribly bright idea, and I should know as I am full of bad ideas.
She hasn't gotten up just yet, but her hand's slowly drifting up. "If you insist on being a pest, I'm certain I could answer your question regarding the need for good clothing in Ivan's stead." Another day, another argument between two parties that vastly out-power me. Though personally I can't tell whether it would be more disastrous for them to fight in the kitchen or the lab, as both are full of delicate and potentially volatile things that do not need to be jarred needlessly. ...Yes, some kitchen items work as alchemical substances. Yes, I also keep half-processed materials in spare cabinets in the event that said concoctions need to sit and I want to work on something else in the intern.
"Scary scary~" She's still tensed and ready to bolt, and if I know her at all she really could just bolt out at any time. "There's no need for that though, since I was only here to let Ivan know that I found out something about you prior to you becoming a snow woman~" As for why I use certain foodstuffs as alchemical ingredients, some of it has to do with perfumes, which can be popular with the female villagers, but there are also other applications for various things. Citrus oil, for example, is highly flammable and burns readily if prepared right. If it weren't so unstable most of the time when I make something out of it, I'd use it more.
Letty merely closed her eyes briefly. "I presume that such matters can wait? He did say he has other things to do today than to socialize with you." Oooh dear. Sensing impending disaster, I take the initiative to take out a small, specialized burner and a strand of the phoenix-woman's hair to start on what I need to do. Perhaps that might redirect at least one of the two's attention long enough to let it dissipate.
"Is that what he meant?" The tengu cocks her head to the side as she contemplates that. "I think it's more because he didn't want to catch a cold and found it more prudent to make sure he's not underdressed for the occasion. Of course, it's pointless because I could keep him plenty warm~" ...She really does want to get thrown out by the snow woman, or at least annoy her. The reasoning behind that logic escapes me, however.
"Why are you testing my patience?" Thus, she asks directly. I set up a couple of runes to help strengthen the burner and the glass atop it so that it won't break in the event that these two start going at it over the table. The actual process of essence extraction is fairly simple and requires little to no effort on my part, but this variation of the process takes a while. That's fine since I'd rather this work instead of falling apart on me at the worst possible moment. Come to think of it, I could just toss both strands in there and work on more than one thing at once. It's not like Mokou's essence will ever go bad, what with its being infused with the Hourai Elixir. At least, I think that's how it works.
"Because you're gonna need the training. There are a lot of girls that want in his pants, and you don't look like either the type to share or the type to be that patient." I'm not quite sure I buy that, but she's digging her own hole and I refuse to bail her out of it. If it were something she didn't deserve or I caused, I'd gladly aid her, but as it stands...
The snow woman stands up, and Aya's away like a flash. Thankfully the runes do their job and the burner is able to stay upright. I, on the other hand, take an unwanted horizontal position on both my chair and the one the snow woman just vacated. Thankfully, correcting that is easy.
Equally easy is the act of going upstairs to get some clothing to infuse. This also enables me to utterly ignore whatever Aya is getting into, which saves me from being dragged into it. Given how perverted they both can be, I don't doubt that one of them might find an excuse to drag me into it in a distracting manner.
Since the snow woman and the crow are busy annoying each other, I take the time to set up a few more runes to see if I cannot reinforce this part of the house before anything else happens. I do admit that my chosen conversion method is something of a double-edged sword, as it trades expedience for reliability. Essentially, it takes a long time yet requires minimal attention, leaving me with long stretches of time where there's nothing of critical importance to do. Why do I deem this relevant enough to relay? That is simple. It has everything to do with the old saying, 'Idle hands are the devil's workshop.'
Perhaps there are those who wonder why I seemed to only use pre-prepared elemental magic in conjunction with equally prepared and simple alchemy. This is largely because of the fact that the sealed elements are by far the safest thing I've ever developed on my own, and I've proven that even they are still incredibly dangerous. The fact that my private book of formulae is filled to the brim with spells, instructions, warnings, and scribbled, untidy revisions is not just proof of my dedication to my craft, but yet more proof that I never took proper care of myself to begin with. In fact, I still feel absolutely no need to be gentle with my body. Between Eirin, who managed to keep me healthy despite my craft, Keine, who acted as my voice of reason, and the countless times I've used myself as a guinea pig, I've found that I can survive a great deal more than your average Gensokyo native. Bear in mind that while we're still human, the blood of youkai hunters still flow in our veins, and our lack of technology keeps most of us strong. Most of us can take a punch as is.
However, natural strength does not explain my own durabilty. You've seen me take considerable damage, sear my back without so much as a peep, and exhaust myself magically all in the span of... Thirty minutes at most? And that's just one fight. This has everything to do with why I scaled back on my research. Most of what I make can confer some powerful effects onto the consumer, yet have dangerous drawbacks. One such concoction grants you toughness matching that of more durable metals, but it simply cannot be digested by human stomachs, and I'd bet money that it would poison a youkai. Other experiments resulted in anything ranging from a potion that turns emotion into raw power, yet damages your body if you don't know how to channel it properly, a device that can tap into the spirit world, yet can trap you there, to simpler things, such as the phoenix jacket I wear. ...I already told the story behind that one, and feel no need to tell it again.
A muffled 'kyaa!' reaches my ears, perhaps a sign that the crow has been cornered? Well, it's not really my business.
Now... Ah. It was those experiments that caused me to attract Eirin's attention to begin with. My conditions were simple for her to solve at first, and she simply regarded me as a clumsy ametuer, but as I experimented more the complexity of the damage I did to myself increased, giving her a relatively simple problem to solve. Then I tested the emotional conversion potion on myself. She treated me as usual, but took the time to look through that book of mine since I had it on me and I was too exhausted to care. I have to make the assumption that she saw something she liked, or perhaps she felt as though I held potential, as she began regarding me as something of interest rather than just another dolt. This led her to offering me the position of her apprentice, a role I most likely would have shared with Reisen. While the concept of being taught by someone so intelligent did intruige me, I was unnerved by her at the same time. It's true she opened a clinic for everyone to visit, and regards Kaguya as a good friend, her heart was lukewarm at best toward everyone else. To be perfectly frank, I was worried that she was just trying to alleviate her own boredom at my expense. The fact that she looked more like a smug spider who knew she had all the time in the world to lure me in, rather than at least appearing annoyed further reinforced my concerns.
Thus leading me to wonder why I'm starting to feel as though I should take her up on that. Was it Letty? Did I simply regress still further emotionally? Or did Eirin and I both change enough to where we could take such a commitment seriously?
I kick back in my chair to think about it.
Then I hear another muffled cry. [X]Leave them be. It'll just be a hassle. [X]...Break them up before it gets problematic. [X]Write-in
There's a dangerous fight, and we're not in the middle of it? Preposterous! Ivan, do your job, act like yourself, and go put yourself in a dangerous situation that will lead you to your doom and lot of pain. Bonus point if you're holding encased fire over your head and screaming "haaaaaaaaaaaaa!" while running frantically toward the catfight.
I'm tempted to just ignore what's going on in my home in favor of working on those pants, but there's the small fact that if I don't go see what they're up to, they're liable to do something to my house that will take time, effort, or substantial amounts of cleaning substances to remove. Thus I get up off the chair, push it back against the table so it's as out of the way as it will ever get, and set off to see what they're doing.
I reach the entryway and find that Aya is half-naked, somewhat dizzy, and looking like she tried to outrun a laser. Letty, on the other hand, simply looks mildly disheveled yet content with herself. She's also sitting on the crow, using her as a seat for the time being. She hears my approach and turns to look at me. "Don't worry, she's just been 'punished' a little for being such a rude guest~"
"Does that usually entail molesting the one being rude? Forgive me if I seem a little out of touch with the rest of the land, but I am fairly certain that isn't how you're supposed to deal with someone." I raise an eyebrow and cross my arms in front of my chest in response to the snow woman's statement.
"...Well, no, but you have to admit that Aya doesn't respond to normal chastisement seriously. I am rather surprised that she became so weak from just this though, one would think that she'd put up more of a struggle. She practically melted when I shattered her shirt." Now it's Letty's turn to raise an eyebrow, though in the direction of the tengu as opposed to me. At least she admitted that this isn't a social norm, it would have been awkward as all hell if it turned out that this is actually how women deal with other rude women in their homes.
"Still, I think you've chastised her enough. Kindly get off her so I can set her someplace a bit more comfortable. She may not be human, but I doubt anyone would appreciate taking a nap on a hard wood floor." As much as I might have wanted to just hand Aya off to someone else to take care of her, it's cold out, I'm busy with my work, and I did want to talk to her once she wakes up.
"If you must... I'll be waiting in the kitchen while you decide where to put her. I did distract you from your work, so I'll keep an eye on things until you get back." A quick peck on the cheek for my trouble, and the snow woman is off to do precisely what it is she said she would do, leaving me alone with a half-naked Aya.
First thing's first then. I take one of the non-magical coats off the coat rack and cover the tengu's upper body with it, and while it may not preserve her modesty, it will at least keep it from being trampled any further. Second matter, picking her up. It might just be me, but while I do feel her in my arms it's not enough to strain me. She's definitely light enough, but she smells just a bit odd. It's somewhat familiar, but it's hardly important so I shove that thought off to one side while I carry her upstairs.
About halfway the stairs up I heal a small 'splat' sound, not unlike a thick fluid landing on hard ground. A quick glance reveals that this is exactly the case, and to make matters somewhat more embarrassing, said fluid is originating from Aya herself. Odd, but irrelevant. At least for now anyway, odds are good I'll have to clean her up a bit before letting her rest. I will have to clean up the floors too, since the dripping is getting a bit more frequent now.
Unusual dripping aside, I finish carrying her to my bed and set her down on it. First order of business after that is to get a towel or two from my bathroom to minimize the mess the tengu will make when I leave her there. I shift the jacket around to where her breasts are once again exposed and find that little beads of white-ish liquid forming at the tips of the nipples. I make a note of that as I check around for the source of the earlier dripping, and find that it's her crotch that's responsible for this. ...Rather than try to wipe that off, I decide to just fold up the towel and set it directly underneath where the fluids are dripping off, then unfold a second towel to cover her chest. I re-apply the jacket so that she can stay covered until she wishes to take it off, and step away.
...I decide to take a minute to check my window just to make sure that it's locked, since Aya was right about my having stalkers. One of those stalkers probably happens to be that annoying Jack Frost, who'd probably have no issue with kidnapping a woman in her moment of weakness. Once I'm sure that such an event won't happen, I head downstairs to continue on with what I had meant to do originally, before I was distracted.
What. The. Hell. Ivan bridal carried a horny tengu who's practically out of her right mind with lust and couldn't resist even if she wanted to up to his room, put her on his bed... and tended to her by drying her off, making her comfortable, and walking off to let her cool down on her own? I can't tell if this guy's a gentleman, oblivious, or somewhere in between the two, because even I'm feeling a little hot from smelling that skank!
Rather than stick around with that crow until she gets to me, I decide to just keep tailing Ivan when I can to try and get my mind off what just happened. Of course, I think 'oblivious' is the right answer to my previous question, since the crow also seems to be somewhat catatonic. If I didn't know any better, I'd say she was 'trained' somewhere down the line and Ivan couldn't tell what that actually meant. If I weren't so bent on taking him as my mate and felt that his lack of knowledge about the female body's workings wasn't so sad, I'd say his innocence is endearing. However, I'm of the strong opinion that he should be stained and broken until he actually feels something.
And with the way things are, I'm the only one who actually stands a chance at it.
Meh, I'll just keep at it for now and wait for an opening. He can't be kept under watch 24/7.
I keep having the oddest feeling, like I'm being watched or some such nonsense. Eh, rather than worry about that, I get back to the kitchen myself so I can keep going. It's probably only been five, maybe ten minutes, but I feel a bit nervous about leaving a concoction on a burner when I'm not there to oversee it personally. Not to say that Letty would intentionally screw me over, it is just that I would prefer to do this myself.
"Did you make your guest comfortable?" Asks the snow woman as I walk into the kitchen/lab. She's been keeping a duitiful eye on the phoenix extract that's gently simmering on the burner, which I appreciate greatly.
"More or less. I needed to clean her up just a tad due to you making her leak body fluids." That, on the other hand, annoyed me ever so slightly. It was one thing to have a catfight, it was another thing entirely to make a mess like that. Either way, I take a seat next to Letty and prepare for the next step in this overly slow process: infusing those pants with this.
Letty blushed ever so lightly, but seemed entirely unapologetic about that. "Well, that aside, it seems that your concoction is about ready to be used." Her intentional dismissal of the topic at hand simply caused me to roll my eyes. I couldn't quite understand what she was thinking, but I suppose it has something to do with the fact that she considers me to be hers and does not take kindly to potential interlopers.
"Thank you. Let's begin, shall we?" An entirely pointless question posed as I lay the chosen pair on the table next to the flask that contains the extract. Normally I wouldn't do anything quite like this, but I decide to make things a bit of a challenge for myself.
Instead of simply pouring the mixture on the pants, I set the still-hot flask on it, flip my journal to the relevant page, and begin to recite a relatively simple transmutation spell. Transmutation is the art of taking one thing and turning it into something else, at least if you were to talk about elemental magic or something like that. The alchemical use of such a branch can be just as simple, or one might be inclined to take it a step further and have a supply of ingredients handy. The latter is for when you wish to create something very specific very quickly and, just as an example, can help explain why some acts of metallurgy seem to take no time at all.
This is no different. At least, I would say that but there's one tiny problem. Namely, when one uses a mix of items, one might be using a recepie and as such have a solid idea of what he or she was making. Me? I have no idea, but I am quite excited to find out. I give the materials the right push and guide them toward what I wish to see, but I don't have a perfect mental image of the final product and thus its look is a surprise. When I finish, I note that the pants are a dark grey ash color, have the feel of worn denim, several pockets that blend in perfectly with the surrounding material... And to my surprise, a number of glass adornments, though the consistancy varied. For example, on the right side is a thin glass phoenix, but instead of being hard and brittle it is as flexible as the cloth it is bound to. It also seems to harbor a swirling fire, but I doubt it's dangerous. A couple odd seals work in the place of buttons, and work like velcro, save for the odd property of both the cloth and the underside of said seals being perfectly smooth. Lastly, a trio of cherry-red feathers formed separate from the pants themselves. They're warm, but not painful to touch, and seem to possess the same odd adhesive properties of the seals.
...If I didn't know any better, I'd say the phoenix symbolism is either a Mokou-made gag about my determination, or less likely, the marking of her property. Though one might argue that this is technically true, seeing as it's her essence I'm using for this, and she'll most likely inherit these when I die.
"Ivan, could we go into the village today? Just a short trip to a fabric store or something similar." ...Dear lord, she's jealous. I look at things with a purely clinical, analytical view, so things like 'hidden meaning' and 'feelings' do not play a role in what I make. But to someone else, especially someone who is my lover of all things...
I must appear quite thoughtless at times. "Of course." This is a good chance to give the pants a go, so aside from Letty wanting to go, it's a good chance to see just what the jacket/pants combo can do. "I'll be ready shortly."
A quick, cheery nod from Letty is all the affirmation I need, so I take the newly-created Phoenix Pants and head up to my usual restroom to change, mindful of the fact that there's a potentially lusty Aya within. Unfortunately, I fail to consider that she may have felt the need to use it herself, and was once again sitting on the toilet, pinching her nipples with one hand and rubbing her genitals with the other. She's so lost in her little world that she doesn't acknowledge that I'm there, so I close the door gently and go to my room to change. The odds of being molested are far lower there, at least for now.
The change in attire is a quick affair due to no one bothering me in the middle of it, so I'm back downstairs within three minutes or so tops. "Shall we depart?" I offer the snow woman my arm once she and I meet up in the front hallway.
"Yes, let's." She practically latches on to my arm upon being invited to do so, and I can still feel her ample chest despite the three layers of cloth separating her skin from mine. I feel my face heat up slightly as I recall the last time I felt that, but if Letty noticed she chose not to ask about it.
The snow is a couple feet deep, much to my annoyance, and promises to make the simple trip to the fabric shop a complete and utter chore. Letty is undaunted as usual and simply drifts up to the top of the snow's surface and drifts along it. ...Right, we can both fly. Walking is just more work than either of us want or need right now, so I try to match her drifting to the best of my ability. This works out reasonably well if I don't try to think about it too hard, but I get the feeling that I'd cause us both to crash into the soft snow if I were to over-analyze this like I usually do.
Instead of doing that, I instead try to focus my attention on my lady friend so my mind will wander in directions other than those that will cause me to crash. This hardly escapes her notice though, and I find her staring at me right back with a smile on her face. "Thinking about anything in particular?" She asks.
"Just the concept of not crashing into the ground because I overthought my flight." My answer is the straight, honest truth, and that's going to get me in trouble someday.
"Oh? It's not like I'd let you fall." She's still smiling, and chooses to press her breasts onto my arm even more for just a moment.
Then I had a terrible idea that was on par with my tripping Mokou with a wind spell one time. "Are you sure? You're strong, but I'm not exactly light to begin with." Such was the truth. My body is well-toned and fairly well-packed with muscle. The snow woman's is the epitome of softness, which is deceitful when you remember that youkai are nearly always stronger than humans.
That earned a small laugh from Letty. "I think I can carry my boyfriend around if he's absent-minded enough to forget he can fly while flying~" She's amused at the very least, but I can't imagine her staying amused with what I have in mind.
The first stage is to suddenly over-analyze the process of flight to bring it grinding to a halt. The sudden drop forces her to shift her body around to where she can hold me better, but I reach around and grab her rear, causing her to blush and her thought process to freeze up momentarily. These two factors, combined with the fact that we're both only a foot or two above the snow's surface means we both crash right into it, landing with me on the bottom and her on the top.
She's blushing and somewhat annoyed while I'm grinning like a fool. "You're going to pay for that later." She thumps my chest lightly for that small act of foolery, to which I respond by putting my hand on her back, squeezing her rear again, and kissing her lightly. She provides no resistance to the act, and by the time she breaks away she's smiling again. "Really pay for that~" It's good that she's in a good mood again, and she's relaxed a bit for the first time since Aya broke in this morning.
Of course, my being the gentleman I am, I wait until she's let me up before scooping her up into my arms and carrying her bridal-style while drifting atop the snow.
"Now you're just being silly." She does take it well, neither objecting nor floating away to right herself. "But thank you. That little bit of foolery made my day."