Monstrous Compendium Ch2 bit – Deadpan

With a deep breath, Klein opened his menu, and offered a friend request.

“Hmm.” Stheno stepped into the light, and Klein jerked his gaze down-

Wait. Wait a minute. Did I see-?

A clawed finger tapped Yes.

<<Stheno the Fierce has been added to your friends list.>>

“You may look at me.”

Klein took the opportunity to do just that. Platinum wire and obsidian lenses, medieval style, but- “You were wearing sunglasses the whole time?

Stheno chuckled, one hand poised on a silk-skirted hip. “You should have seen the look on your face!”

“Aoneko?” Kirito asked later.

Klein breathed in the green air outside the cave, kind of relieved that Stheno had retreated into the darkness with an ominous smirk and a mutter of girl talk, heh heh heh….

Now they stood on a grassy hilltop with a good view of the cave mouth and the low, wet marsh leading away from it, seven relieved warriors drinking in the sunlight. Dragonflies thrummed through the air; one intrepid green-and-blue flyer perched on Dynamm’s helmet to munch a mosquito, before taking off again.

“The youkai lord who adopted me into his clan,” Issin answered. “It was a quest reward, we think. I don’t know if any other party’s done <<The Cat’s Up a Tree>> yet.”

“The background information said it could be possible,” Kirito mused. “Are you okay… no, never mind, you don’t have to talk about it-”

“You know, you’re the first guy outside Fuurinkazan to even ask?” Issin scratched his head, claws lightly tugging apart a stray snarl of hair. “I think I am. It’s kind of weird, hearing so much. And the scents… whoof.” He shrugged. “I’m getting used to it. At least I can dive into a fight with a lycan without worrying about anything but my HP.”

“Then other people will be trying to get… adopted.” Jaw set, Kirito looked out over the marsh.

“For a while there, I was wondering if you had been,” Issin admitted. “The first day after Aoneko touched me with the Bloodstone, I still looked pretty human, even if I felt a little weird. It was the second day that stuff got freaky.”

And that had been a handful and a half, Klein recalled, dealing with a friend suddenly as clingy as a scared kitten.


43 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch2 bit – Deadpan

  1. I’m surprised that they aren’t more surprised about this.

    I mean a MPC quest giver getting added to a friends list. Aren’t those only capable of adding other players?

    > girl talk, heh heh heh….>
    Stheno and presumably Argo having ‘girl talk’. Is that supposed to be as terrifying as it sounds?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. After some thought, I kinda doubt it. That is not to say that the clearers won’t encounter a Youkai Lord, but I have a feeling that 90-99% of them don’t interest her.

      This is mostly because only 1-10% interact with Kirito in a meaningful way, and those are the only ones she cares about, because she has a Vested Interest in him, and thus everyone he interacts with. I can totally see her taking on a mentor (with hints of mother/older sister) role for him, much like how Vincent has. (also, Vincent knows everyone that Kirito is friends with. (all the better to protect them from the shadows.) And he is patiently waiting for Kibaou, or any of his lackeys, to try messing with his student, (he is graciously allowing Cloud to be Kirito’s sword buddy/sparring partner, but why the kid never does the sensable thing and get a wand(gun) he will never know) because Vincent will make them regret it [i]so much[/i])

      (also, I need to stop nesting parentheses >.< )

      Liked by 4 people

      1. For nested parentheses I always force myself to stop and consider if I can replace any of said parentheses with commas or dashes – though this often results in Cruelty to the Common Comma. Then I consider if I need to reconstruct and space out my thought into actual separate sentences.

        After that I tend to go for broke via [] and {}.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. One thing I can see occurring when SAO ends and everyone is still stuck in Eberron is the players forming clan(s) of their own within Aincrad. Because not everybody is going to be adopted by the Youkai clans and at least some should still be human (sort of) at this point.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. >If they’re still stuck in Eberron. Their bodies are currently on Earth>
        Beniryuu: “A minor hurdle for one such as i.”

        After all, not much point in doing this if the players get to go home (and not remain to help Aincrad) at the end.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. … Hmmm. So… am I getting the correct implication that those who are not adopted end up going home, but that those who are adopted find out that ‘home’ now means ‘Eberron’?

        After all, they would be freed from the game upon winning, but Earth only has humans, far as anyone can tell. So if their not human than Earth stops being ‘home’, and ‘home’ becomes the plane their new species is native to?

        As mentioned elsewhere, Kayaba isn’t Fey, but he’s got the twisty ways of thinking like one. And this would definitely be one way to get around the wording while simultaneously removing anyone who absolutely refused to be recruited from the equation.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. >That’s definitely a possible read on the situation, assuming no one else meddles. 😉>
        Probably going to be easier to say who isn’t going to meddle in all this.

        1. Gods who look at this in horror (monsters regaining strength against human might, NO!!!) and try to sabotage it.

        2. Gods who think Aincrad deserves a chance and try to ‘help’.

        3. Gods who like some of the players and offer their blessings (literal and otherwise).

        4. Gods who want to expand their powerbase and try to lay claim to SAO-earth by taking advantedge of the link Beniryuu has made.

        And so on and so on.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. >Earth-based gods of Japan going “WTH just happened…?”>
        Could be a fun twist.

        Some of the cleric players that end up in Eberron decide to pray to the Japanese gods instead of the local deities. And the Kami answer.

        Liked by 3 people

      5. >And Aincrad suddenly has shrine maidens? 😉>
        Hmm. Shrine maidens in a land of amazement, mystery, monsters, myth and magic. Now why does that sound familiar, oh yeah.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. >Huh! Will have to look into.>
        It’s a fan-anime of the Touhou game series.

        Fantasy kitchen sink is one of the best descriptions of the place it’s set in.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. And just noticed I should read through the full snippet before commenting. Things are getting interesting, and soon there will be a group who knows Stheno is more than an NPC.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. …yeah, there’s gonna be a lot of angry people when the players figure out that some of the youkai lords they’ve been dealing with are *actual* youkai lords. If no one reacts along the lines of “wait a moment, I chose this as a racial buff to protect against infection in a *game*, what’s this crap about what it may or may not have done to my spirit and, more importantly, my real body?!” I will be shocked
    (Although, I think there will be more angry still-human guild mates and friends than angry turned players. And a Kibaou-generated mob, because people like that don’t miss golden opportunities when they’re presented)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well with any luck by that point, Kibaou will have gotten eaten or something.

      Though considering his general attitude (he’d probably tick off any Youkai lord meaning he and his cronies will likely still be pure humans) he’d probably try to leave Aincrad to go work for one of the five nations.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. We aren’t that lucky. Remember how the Healer described Kibaou in Change of Fate? Dumb enough to come up with fatal plans, smart enough to get other people to execute them.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. >Try, maybe….>
        I didn’t say that he would succeed.

        Just that he’d want to get away from all these freaks and Beaters to help the ‘real people’ if he ended up stuck on Eberron.

        Liked by 3 people

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