Sweeten Ch4 bit – People-Watching

Smells good. Sitting on one corner of his bunk, shifting his feet so various small chattering groups didn’t step on them, Ikoma breathed in the warmth of stewed meat, sweet potato, and whatever strange herbs people had found. A little odd, but good.

Close enough on the bunk to bump him, Kajika’s foundlings settled down a little; as if they finally believed they’d get seconds. Though Kajika hadn’t waved for another serving yet, busy trying to convince baby Ikko not to chew spilled stew out of his shirt. Kibito was seated across the way, gesturing with a spoon to some of the other bushi as they went over the more dramatic parts of pulling out, trying not to laugh as the kids gave Kajika and dark-haired Tsuta wide, pleading eyes.

A shimmer like rose petals caught his eye. Ikoma smiled as Ayame stopped by yet another small group to exchange a few words on how were their neighbors, what ideas did they have for the salvage, and how had the spices in the stew come out here, every car seemed to have found a different blend….

They made something she can fight in, Ikoma thought, watching the way silks and linen flowed with her steps, never binding where it mattered. I wish I could have seen Kurusu’s face.

He hadn’t yet seen the samurai’s legendary incandescent blush when dealing with their lady and heir. But he’d heard enough from Kibito… and Takumi, with the bamboo wishes….

Well. He was kind of looking forward to watching those two. Just because he’d never had time for anything besides being friends, between learning about Kabane, secret experiments on monstrous heart tissue, and trying not to blow himself up-

Kurusu didn’t just keep Ayame safe. He kept her stronger. Hopeful. Happy. And Ayame gave Kurusu a reason to fight when the whole world went crazy. The Koutetsujou needed all of that they could get.

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16 thoughts on “Sweeten Ch4 bit – People-Watching

  1. Ah! Ikoma has grasped the principle of “Greater than the sum of their parts,” as applied to people and morale. Hm, we may need to revoke his Engineering Club membership card — we’re only supposed to understand machines, not people! 😉

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  2. funny how Ikoma and kurusu were opposites and antagonists to each other in first epiosode, but understand each other, and simpathize with each other so well now…

    The development of their interaction is one of the selling points of the series for me

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    1. That last snippet may have been the end of three. If so, I wouldn’t expect to see three posted on AO3 before the weekend. Again, I can’t swear to it, and don’t have the data in front of me, but I recall it usually being three or four n+1 chapter snippets before chapter n goes up on AO3.

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      1. I’ve been stalled on my fourth round of edits to The Hot Place due to the sneaking suspicion that Hiko would feel caged under the conditions I forced him to endure. Some of those were holdovers from the fic that this was a sequel to, My Soul to Keep. Some of those, I created trying to explain why he had an MD and a PhD but no BM Bch when his best friend since they were two years old went to Oxford. Others I created trying to figure out how on earth he tolerated the state of the science of child psychology decades ago. The reasons why he would have had to care include being a child psychiatrist, which was a holdover from My Soul to Keep, beginning his tertiary education in 1978 for really complicated reasons, and if I had more experience remembering citations, I think I could better imagine how a person as resilient as Hiko would think.

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  3. Y’know, it was never actually touched upon in the anime, however now I can’t help but wonder if Kabaneri are actually still CAPABLE of eating human food.

    Hidden inside a bamboo tube or not, the scent of blood is still WAY too easily recognizable. If someone not in the know were to catch a whiff at precisely the wrong time…

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      1. Eh, mostly I’m just reminded of a number of different vampire-based series I’ve encountered over the years, that all took different approaches to that question.

        It could be that Ikoma can’t even eat food at all, and any attempts to do so will see it forced back up again, moments later. Or it could be that he CAN keep it down, however it ends up just passing completely through his system without imparting any benefit or sustenance whatsoever.

        Or alternately, he can take in other liquids besides water and blood… though those would need the latter mixed in, in order to convince their system to accept it.

        It really all just depends on how you as the author want to play it.

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      2. I recall that the heart is pretty close to the stomach. It is not impossible that the cage formation process causes some level of dysfunction such that liquids are easier to process.

        Of course my biology is pretty weak.

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      3. That, and a few other things. First, so far as we know the Kabane don’t live on anything but blood. Second, when Mumei mentions “starving” she’s specifically referring to beingshort on blood. Third, when the need hits Ikoma, it’s his throat he clutches, not his gut. So… yeah. Strong hints there that digestion is not working the same.

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