Monstrous Compendium Ch 8 bit – Rules Lawyer

“Feather-tufts aren’t like that. They’re a graft invented by House Vadalis for their use and sale, and they have hardly any magic at all. They’re more a living tattoo than anything else.” Black eyes managed to glance at Asuna. “The technique ended up in Aincrad when a minor member of the House went rogue. He thought of an interesting use for it.”

“Connlan!” Cocoa sloshed in Tae’s mug as she shot upright. “Connlan of Swiftwater Pass. I know that story!”

“You said Connlan was a Moonsword.” Harry One gave her a curious look. “The dragonmarked Houses are from Galifar.”

And the Five Nations didn’t have Moonswords, Asuna knew. They killed them instead.

“And they say they don’t have sorcerers,” Tae said firmly. “But they’re born with magic, which means every once in a while someone is born a sorcerer. The House just kills anyone who manifests that power. Only Connlan’s showed up late, and he ran for Aincrad. Vincent saved him.” She hesitated. “That’s the story my family told me. I only saw him a few times, when he came into Snow Springs for supplies. I was just a kid.” She glanced at Kirito. “But I remember the feathers.”

Feathers. Because the world around Kirito just refused to make sense sometimes. “Why would you get feathers that don’t do anything?” Asuna demanded.

Finally, a glimmer of light in dark eyes. “Because Vincent said the ravens would go for your head. And the Compendium’s wrong.”

“Wrong?” Asuna said in disbelief. Caerulus checked every tome he had. There were scrolls cross-referenced to almost every book, with notes like “accurate”, “wrong”, “out of date”, and “what was the writer smoking?” And she’d definitely read the notes on the Compendium.

“Not wrong. More – incomplete.” Kirito rewrapped his fingers around hot cocoa. “Cockatrice bites have petrifying venom. True. You can’t get petrified just by touching a feather. That’s… mostly true. But if you watch flocks for a long while, when they’re happy and when they think danger’s coming…. If they’re angry, or scared, a cockatrice can chew on its own feathers, and they’ll carry the venom to the next thing they touch.” He looked up at her. “A graft is part of your body. But it also counts as a magical item. Which means you can equip certain things onto it.”

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22 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch 8 bit – Rules Lawyer

      1. Since Connlan was an adopted Medusa, then does this mean Connlan chose to implant feathers in his snek-hair so he’d have feathered serpent-hair?

        Might explain the Caerulus story about the paladin previously, if Connlan bluffed his way out by pretending to be something like an Aasimar.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh wow… that’s a good one. Stheno is going to love it that Kirito can now poison people who get to close to his head. Klien and everyone else who wants to smack Kirito over the head now and again are going to be annoyed.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This leaves me trying to think of any players that would get the grafts, then make themselves intentional smack-bait.

      “Why are you mad at me? He’s the one who hit me! It’s HIS fault that he has a stone hand.”

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Only because gamers tend to, by default, think of ways to break the game. Most won’t – until it’s the best way to actually survive…and whoops, that’s all of the SAO people now.

        I almost feel sorry 😀

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I Don’t. You put me in a deathgame and any gloves I had on are coming off! If I am in a deathgame I want bracers/Cesti and a trusted/Trustworthy team rather than gloves!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Words to the effect of: ‘Is this a thing that is happening and how do we find out?’
        Or more like: ‘Caerulus! What. Do you think. You’re doing?’

        Because you’ve made a few comments that Stheno’s suspicious of the old Dragon, specifically because he’s nudging things with Asuna and Kirito. Further, that Stheno knows who Asuna’s bloodstone came from.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “What do you think you’re doing,” indeed. To which Caerulus is likely to reply, “Matchmaking.”

        …He might be a dragon, but he’s a softie.

        (Not to mention blue dragons tend toward Lawful Evil, so even in an evil blue Noble Demon tendencies are quite likely.)

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Gaaaaah… I was so close!

    Connlan had the technique, got saved by Vincent, adopted by Stheno, and Caerulus wrote it down.
    Which would make Vincent the guy who pointed Kirito towards the librarian whom Asuna knows. So close…

    This is why I love your fics. I never know which crazy twist you’re going to toss at the reader, but once I’ve reread it…
    That is one darn well camouflaged armory, Ma’am.
    *tips hat*

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Been a while since I saw that movie, but Burt the Gun Nut kinda stuck. Doing a quick check ov the available imagery…

        O_O

        Hoo Boy.

        Liked by 1 person

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