Monstrous Compendium Ch 9 Ficbit – Air Quotes

Half a step ahead of her on the sidewalk, Nagata’s shoulders slumped. If they’d been in ALO instead of a city street, Suguha knew she would have seen Recon’s pointed ears droop. “Are you going to follow me all the way home?”

“Yes!” Suguha skipped a step to match him stride for stride, dark eyes glaring. “You say magic’s real. You say there really is a Lady Stheno, she’s not just an NPC, my brother’s telling the truth about everything and he’s turning into a youkai? You wiggled out of details last night, but you know my mom’s going to come looking for you for more answers after she can’t get good ones from the doctors. And you think I’m going to let you out of my sight?”

Glasses flinched away from her gaze, as her classmate reddened. “That… c-could get awkward….”

Suguha felt a hot blush rush over her face, and swallowed hard. “Well – I mean it!” Oh boy, this is such a bad idea… but it’s for oniichan, and I said I would, so there! “So we’re going to go get whatever you need from your parents’ house to show my family, and I’m going to be right there, so you might as well let me help you carry it-”

“They’re… not my parents.”

Eep. “You’re adopted?” Suguha blurted out. Like oniichan. But Kazuto never looks so sad.

“Not really.” He shrugged, brown hair falling into his glasses to hide his eyes. “Back where I come from, you’re an adult when you’re thirteen. I’ve been taking care of myself for years.” Another shrug. “We knew before we came here that I couldn’t look like I was on my own. So the Nagatas offered to show up as my ‘parents’.” His fingers sketched the air quotes; he blinked at them, and chuckled, just a little rueful. “Better be careful doing that when I go back. Somebody will think I’m spellcasting, and that could just get messy.”

25 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch 9 Ficbit – Air Quotes

  1. Oh, this had me rolling!

    “Air quotes” getting confused for spellcasting… actually, in a world where manipulation of such is possible and includes gestures that would be a valid worry for someone from our world…

    And Suguha…

    [ Suguha felt a hot blush rush over her face, and swallowed hard. “Well – I mean it!” Oh boy, this is such a bad idea… but it’s for oniichan, and I said I would, so there! ]

    Wow. I don’t know whether to laugh at the hilarity that is her crush on her older not-brother or look at this and think that she’s actually starting to fall for Nagata instead and is dealing with conflicting impulses. Either way… hilarious!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. It’s worth noting that in the novels Suguha’s attraction to Kirito primarily (almost entirely) came from his behavior after he came out of the coma/death game, and that even then it only happened because he’d been so estranged from the family before going into the the death game that when he came out he was, for all intents and purposes, a stranger. A stranger who was being very nice and attentive to her and wasn’t too closely related for it to be taboo and was – at least according to various in-universe sources, not too bad looking even after coming out of a two year long coma.

        I can’t really say much about how it affects girls, but I have some memories of being her age and if I’d been in a similar situation as her with somebody of the opposite sex then? I’d be hard pressed not to have had a massive, probably painful crush.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. And sadly usually the first response to someone casting a spell that you did not ask for/do not know the caster is to kill them, or at least make sure they cannot cast anymore.

    Curious on how others from Eberron will react to Kirito knowing Stheno and the possibility of new warlocks and moonswords.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Badly. There’s a reason Breland hunted them down the first time.

      If you look up 3.5 ed warlocks, even at first level, that 1d6 eldritch blast ability is pretty much “touch deadly” to any first-level regular commoner-type character. Let them gain a few levels? The touch damage starts getting scary. And they can pull it off every round – i.e., every six seconds.

      Now, you take that up against even low-level monsters, your warlock better have some weapons and friends to last long enough to use it. But average humans or demi-humans are in a world of hurt. And there’s nothing marking a warlock to average eyes as any different from their race in general.

      And that doesn’t even count some of their other scary abilities and knack for fooling magical items into letting the warlock use them no matter what their class is.

      Breland’s king in canon is a very tough fighter with an Attitude where magic is concerned. Let living links to otherplanar energies wander around his kingdom and/or threaten it? Nope.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Somewhat familiar with the mechanics of warlocks, but probably helps others who are not as familiar. And fooling magical items is shared with rogues and bards. 🙂

        I was mostly thinking of social/cultural issues. And thinking about it, might be that ALO is more aimed against enemies of Aincrad (make sure there is a group who will attack first when meeting with current allies), and cause problems with the numbers.

        Depends on how long the event for world shift will be, but I would assume 50-70% of players will be logged in during it.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Now I’m thinking of the spells that might use air quotes as a somatic component.

    Magic Mouth

    It would be ironic if any of the power words had it.
    “I am quoting another, more powerful wizard when I say this…”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Interesting. Either Midori is very intimidating or Recon/Nagata (or whatever the heck his real name is) feels there is no point trying to keep them in the dark.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Though I imagine there are going to be consequences to him spilling his guts.

        Because I can’t see Beniryuu not taking precautions against his minions talking and/or taking action against those that do.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Though I imagine there are going to be consequences to him spilling his guts.

        Because I can’t see Beniryuu not taking precautions against his minions talking and/or taking action against those that do.

        it occurs to me that we don’t know how closely Beniryuu is monitoring ALO. It is already more laissez-faire than MCO was with the base ability to log off which makes sense, following original canon SAO was more a story in a death game while ALO followed a more classic MMORPG model as it was designed for players who weren’t required to play at all. The whole feel of ALO lacks any of the “evil admin overlord watching your every move” vibe (might be for lack of one- he he).

        It’s strongly enough implied that I’m probably overthinking things, but there are two points I feel are being assumed; that ALO is one of Beniryuu’s machinations not just something he may or may not be poking his fingers into, and that Recon is one of Beniryuu’s flunkeys.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Change of subject.

    I was re-reading the fic thus far, when I encountered the modified spell that Kirito and Argo used to cut the psiwasp nest in half.

    The spell… with its very badly-written Welsh. *shudders* (Seriously, “sïllif” is not a word. Adjectives and other such modifying words go after the noun that they’re explicitly modifying!)

    I assume the intent behind the word-choice was “be(come) a buzzsaw (of) flame”? As such – and assuming you’re willing to make corrections to completed chapters – may I suggest replacing that line with “–dod yn llif crwn tanllyd” (“become a fiery round/circular saw”) instead?

    (That, or else they were ordering the flame to shape itself into a buzzsaw – i.e. a spinning, slicing disk – in which case the syntax would be “fflam, dod yn llif crwn” (“flame, become a circular saw”). One of the two.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The question is whether Welsh is being used as an inherently magical natural language of spells, or as a magical set of codeword training wheels — something designed to be used by the humans sucked into the world, and not used by normal inhabitants of that world.

      If it is not important to be absolutely correct as with set computer commands, or if the elements actually understand Welsh speech, then any use of the building blocks would work. You would expect things like coined words and pidgins to work. Language does not founder on an incorrect semicolon, like compiled code does.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Okay, did not look it up before… Circular saws for stonecutting were invented in Wales and first used for the purpose about 1805.

        The usual word for saw is “llif,” which is the same word as “flood,” and is associated with grinding or wearing away of things.

        But a literal circular saw is “llif gron.” There are some entertaining Welsh ads for them. I liked the description “dde-handed.”

        It is possible to make compound nouns in Welsh. It is not as common as in Japanese or English, but common words like wythnos, hirsgwar, mor-ladron, and rheithgor are formed that way.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Only in the singular; the plural is “llifiau crwn”. Moreover, “gron” does not have its own standalone entry on, while “crwn” does. (“round; circular”)

        So from the perspective of someone for whom their knowledge of Welsh/Draconic is still incomplete (i.e. Kirito and Argo), “crwn” makes more sense for a quick-and-dirty solution. They just needed it to work, not be grammatically perfect.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Just got the time to re-read the already posted chapters of this.

    . . . and he’s turning into a youkai?

    Oh boy . . . that’s going to be messy if true.

    Of course, his feathers are cockatrice feathers and that was a graft.

    It probably doesn’t help that magic likes Kirito. And Murphy has him on speed-dial.

    I understand his reasoning for refusing but I still think medusa Kirito would be awesome. Maybe someday . . .

    after she can’t get good ones from the doctor

    Which she probably wouldn’t. Vathara made some remarks about the Taskforce trying to keep things as quiet as possible, which likely extends to not being entirely forthcoming toward the player’s families.

    Like oniichan. But Kazuto never looks so sad.

    Correction. You never SAW him look so sad. But your big brother is pretty good at playing his cards close to his vest.

    Liked by 1 person

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