Monstrous Compendium Ch3 bit – Keita

“I know a few people who knew Keita,” Issin obliged. “People saw them meet. Kirito looked shook up, and there was an argument. Can’t swear to the words; I’m not sure I’d believe anybody who was there, and I’m not going to ask Kirito. But then-” Issin grimaced. “Keita jumped off the railing.”

Klein didn’t have to ask which railing. There was only one kind of railing people talked about that way. And one edged every level, and jumping off it always ended the same. Except…. “Kirito didn’t try to grab him?” Because the Black Swordsman was fast. Fast enough to grab even an idiot jumping off the edge of the world.

“You want my guess?” Issin said levelly. “No. He didn’t.”

Klein felt his lips writhe in a snarl. “No way-”

“Just… listen.” That dark blue bored into his gaze. “I think he didn’t. Because his guild was dead, his guild leader had just lost it, and he wanted to live. Kirito wants to live. He wouldn’t fight so hard if he didn’t. But right then? Right there?” Issin paused, grimacing as he wrestled that scent-flick of anger back down. “Keita went over the edge. If Kirito had tried to stop him… he might have gone, too.”

“Ah, hell,” Klein breathed. Because he could see it. Everybody gone, and Kirito had been so damn lonely. “What do we do?”

Issin grinned a little. “He showed up to save your furry butt. I think that’s a good sign.” His smile dimmed. “But he’s been off the radar for weeks. We couldn’t find him. Asuna couldn’t. Argo couldn’t – and I don’t think she was just trying to up the price. We know Kirito’s got a high Hide. And from what Tetsutora told me about Lycan’s Shade, he had to have been grinding his Sorcery just to pull it off. Meaning he’s been using it. A lot. I think Argo couldn’t find him.” His nose twitched, fine whiskers flicking against his cheek. “Damned if I was going to let him heal up enough to move and disappear again.”

“Okay,” Klein nodded, taking in that serious look. “Good point. I don’t think he should be alone either. So what did you do?

“According to the lore, it was Tetsutora herself who invented Tiger’s Milk centuries ago,” Issin informed him. “It’s one of the reasons the Gorgon Sisters could get Aincrad to work as a kingdom in the first place, instead of just ending up another wilderness full of monsters fighting each other.” He shrugged. “It helps mixed-race youkai packs stay together.”


15 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch3 bit – Keita

  1. Ouch. That last line changes everything about what I expect happened with the Black Cats in this one. If the problem was getting more than one type of youkai on the team, without anything to smooth over the differences…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I do wonder what is in Kirito’s ancestry. And I see others in Klein’s guild are willing to do ‘underhanded’ things to keep Kirito from escaping.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. And there’s another bunny. Makes me wonder about a version of SAO where that was so, and was known to Midori. Where Kirito was _allowed_ to “find out” about his immediate parentage, specifically as a distraction so he’d not dig in the right spots to find out the more distant quirks of their ancestry. “He’s getting close. Give him something that he thinks he had to work for, that’ll make him look in the wrong direction.”

        Not that I’ve got any idea how this could actually change the rest of the story, it’s just that it gives an interesting variation on “snooped around until he found out the secret, and then went and hid himself in games for a while.”

        Liked by 3 people

      2. ‘How will it change the story’ might be the wrong question. Would it be more useful to ask ‘What story can I tell where it will matter whether the Kirigayas were Samurai, Kitsune, Portuguese, or peasants who got into policing via WWII conscription?’

        The easiest answer is that there is something in the Yuuki ancestry that makes intermarriage with the Kirigaya impossible, except that canon makes it difficult to establish such. Asuna would have known if, say, the Yuuki were Inugami users and didn’t marry much outside that superstition. Asuna and Kirito got together in game, the stresses in game are a bit beyond what the parents can bring to bear in canon, and if there were a really important reason, Asuna or Kirito should have known.

        One answer to that seems to be a new answer “What is Kayaba’s evil plan”? If occult deep ancestry is important, Kayaba may have deliberately selected players for that, ones that divination indicates are likely prospects for whatever the plan is. In which case, Kirito and Asuna marrying, and adopting Yui, might be some sort of occult masterstroke.

        Fun direction for brainstorming, even if I have nothing from it grabbing me for a new project. (And the only additional ingredient for a current project is “Asuna’s older brother may be getting married. Asuna and Kirito survived Kayaba but are not really fit for polite company.”)

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Unfortunately, while I can perform the act of telling a story (verbally, not written) properly, I can’t seem to manage to write a story. So I settle for helping where I can, since collating and analyzing worldbuilding/setting/character concepts is within my ability.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. >“It helps mixed-race youkai packs stay together.”>
    You better hope that people manage to talk Kirito down after he finds out what you gave him. Bepending on how this ‘milk’ keeps the packs together, Kirito might get set off.

    And still more hints about the Black Cats. I hope that block you have with that unwritten bit of chapter two manages to get solved Vathara.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. >Klein admits he’s got a right to punch them out – yes, even if Klein didn’t know, he’s the leader, he’s responsible.>
        Fortunately as a were-tiger he can most likely recover from whatever Kirito is going to do to him. Well as long as silver stays out of the equation.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I wouldn’t mind if you had to wait until you were posting chapter nine snippets to finish chapter 2.


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