Monstrous Compendium Ch4 bit – Wild Empathy

Kirito’d shut up then, and not even the threat of tickling had gotten him to say anything more. Meaning Klein had had to get Tae aside a little later, so he could pick her brains on just what a ranger was.

Good fighters, Klein thought now. Ghost through the wilderness like one stray leaf in a forest. But they’re more than just stealthy swords. They’ve got magic from the wild itself. Tae says their Herbalism Skill’s got some odd extras; even if Kirito wasn’t a sorcerer he’d have ended up with magic just from that.

Only that wild magic was more than just woodcraft and green growing things. Once you got a high enough level, a ranger’s wild-link let him touch beastly minds. Including a lycan’s.

Kirito calms me down. Just being around, Klein thought. Which is good for us, but – what about him? He’s already freaked out about Kayaba making us think we’re not human. If he can feel what we’re feeling, then even if he doesn’t get adopted….

The Beater wasn’t all a façade. There was a hardness in Kirito, sharp as glass and just as brittle. If he thought he’d lost the core of his self-

I don’t know if we could catch him.

Klein made himself take a breath. But he doesn’t want to die. Remember? He told us that. Have a little faith.

He shook outworn fear off, going down the quest checklist in his head. “So there’s two more things before the Mistfeathers will try taking the curse off. We need a Shiva’s Wreath plant to add to the mats pile. And to gather that without it just shattering on us,” he nodded at Harry One, “we need Lignum Vitae Oil to purify the knife to cut the leaves. Right?”

“Which means we need to find a downed Lignum Vitae Tree-trunk so we can distill it from the wood,” their herbalist agreed. “That should do it.”

“Finally.” Kunimittz interlaced his fingers behind his neck and leaned back away from their picnic table; Klein thought he almost heard the subtle crack. “Anybody else ever been on a quest this complicated?”


Kirito, Klein realized. Of course.

“Stheno, right?” Dynamm downed the last of his cup of water, tossing a friendly wave to the ranch hands getting up from the other tables. “I’m not sure I’d ever have tried picking up that quest. That lady is scary.”

Tae’s silver eyes were wide, and if she didn’t close her mouth soon an insect mob was going to fly right in. “You took a quest from Stheno of the True Sight?”


25 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch4 bit – Wild Empathy

  1. “Yep.”

    “Are you going to elborate?”
    “Didn’t think so.”

    Also, part of my brain thinks that last bit would be a prime opportunity to troll someone – just give them your best Legally Blonde “What? Like it’s hard?” or something along those lines.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Thought the Second: Yeah, I can see how that empathy would freak Kirito out. Better make sure he knows that Rangers can do that before they have to try to talk him off the ledge. And not keeping secrets from Kirito about stuff that is about him or will affect him will probably help with building more trust.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. On the other hand you have to be tactful about how you approach it. Just tossing it out over a meal isn’t likely to go over well either. Especially if /he/ hasn’t figured it out yet. And it’s canon that one of Kirito’s biggest blind spots is himself.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. And Take further confirms her status as originating in Aincrad by referring to Stheno as Stheno of the True Sight.

    If memory serves, that was not one of Stheno’s better known names in setting… at least not well known in game, so much as it was her title amongst the Yokai Lords of Aincrad.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I mean- it Takes, and it Takes, and it Takes. And what are we left with? In the end nothing but embarrassment, confusion, and the teneous social bond of shared funny stories.

        Thanks a lot, autocorrect.

        (for further amusement, when I wrote “I mean-” followed by a dash to indicate I was cutting myself off partway through a point, my cellphone autocorrect tried to autocorrect that to “I mean-spirited”)

        Liked by 3 people

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