Sachi let herself breathe again, and took another cautious glance around the edge of the woodland pond. Dragonflies, cicadas; a violet-spotted frog hopping off a Sawtoothed Lily pad into dark water. Otherwise their little swampy clearing was as quiet as the black-clad swordsman perched on a cypress branch somewhere over her head.
If he is a swordsman. Sachi frowned, and tried to shake away the thought. Kirito knew how to use a sword. And had, well enough to be one of the Black Cats’ main offensive fighters. That was what mattered, right? “Aren’t you bored? Everyone else was happy to head for town….” She tried not to worry about that. The guild needed some supplies – and this was a low-level encounter area. The two of them should be fine. Just fine.
“I don’t like towns much.”
Quiet words. A human a few feet away wouldn’t have heard them.
But I’m not human anymore.
She still didn’t know how to feel about that. It was… it was kind of nice to be pretty, even if it was so different. She loved soft fur. And all her senses were so rich. It was as if the world was jeweled in colors and scents, just for her. Best of all, healing spells had become so much easier to cast after the cougar youkai had adopted her. If she could heal the others, she didn’t have to make herself fight. She didn’t have to be so scared….
But a lot of players still jumped when they looked at her. Claws. Tawny furred ears, twitching at every sound. A tail almost as quick to twitch, though in town she kept it under her skirt. Other adoptees weren’t weird about it, but some of the human players… the way they looked at her was scary.
Kirito never looks like that.
But then, Kirito didn’t act like most people. Ever.
Sachi put the filled vial into her Inventory, and looked over the clump of irises again. Maybe one more vial. “Why don’t you like towns? Everybody does. They’re safe.”
“Check Argo’s Guide to the first level again.” Kirito shifted on his perch, a shadow in green needle shadows. “Some of the beta testers said there was an event in the first month of testing. <<The Harpies’ Midday Raid.>> For twenty-four hours, the City of Beginnings’ guards were missing. Higher-level encounters swarmed the city. A lot of players were overwhelmed and had to respawn.” His breath caught. “That’s what the guide says.”