Monstrous Compendium Ch 13 Ficbit – Having a Later

Yui blinked, and shook her head, finally letting go of Stheno’s skirt to run to Asuna, thumping into outstretched arms with tears of relief. “You came back! You all came back!”

“We weren’t going to leave you alone.” Asuna hugged her tight. “Not ever.”

“We came as soon as we could.” Kirito moved in to rest a hand on dark hair and stroke the two nearest snakes, shoulders easing. “And look over there. See? Klein came back, too, and I bet he’s going to try and take us down with snowballs again just as soon as winter gets here.”

From the way Fuurinkazan had gathered around Tae and Dynamm, cheering as black wings wrapped around white, Stheno imagined snowball fights were the last thing on their minds. But there would be time for that. Later.

We’ll have a later. Stheno surreptitiously wiped away a tear. Dust. Of course. Aincrad will survive.

And right now she thanked all the gods that formalities were Euryale’s job, as the leaders of the players plus Argo had started pulling out maps and discussing exactly what shape Aincrad’s borders were in and where to best start shoring up the lines. Her part in the planning would come later, after those who commanded had decided what was possible. For now… she could meet those who had chosen to do the impossible.

Or try to. Her feet couldn’t quite cross the gap.

I hurt them so much.

But Kirito turned toward her, dark eyes warm. “Mom, Dad, Sugu; this is Lady Stheno, the Seer of Aincrad. Lady Stheno, this is my family. My father, Kirigaya Minetaka; my mother Midori, and my sister Suguha.”

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23 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch 13 Ficbit – Having a Later

  1. Methinks someone is about to get hugged so hard her snakes shake.

    ….okay, maybe not hugged; formal decorum and all that. But certainly //thanked// for being a much needed refuge for a certain Black Swordsman.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Okay, while I wouldn’t mind a fashionable red handbag… This, now, feels like it has most of the emotional resolution I expect accomplished. There may be more to come, but it doesn’t feel to me like there must be more to come. Beyond that…

    Aww, Yui got a home now.

    Question: Yui finds human minds a bit sharp. How do Midori, Minetaka and Suguha feel to her, and how will they feel about that, now and in the future?

    Thank you again. I’m not sure how much more there is, but this has been a great journey, much appreciated even if I have at times been too messed up to show it. Very well done.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. And an important thing is how he introduces them. Not as his Uncle, Aunt, and Cousin, as they are by blood. But as his parents and sister.

    And beyond the way he greets her? The fact he came back, with his family, shows how much trust Kirito has in Stheno.

    Actions, not words. In his way Kirito has announced he is willing to trust Stheno with his family.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Personal cost being repaid here all over..

    It’s interesting. Of all the people who /have/ been hurt by this entire episode, one of the ones I’m most worried about throughout the fic…is Stheno.

    Sure. She’s a leveled adventuress, a medusa and a Seer.
    But this is a person who has seen her entire species die. Who has seen experiences like that nightmare with the psi wasps pass by others in enough numbers that her own is /only/ a cheif nightmare.

    who has isolated herself from all other Youkai but a /very/ few due to her abilities and reputation as a seer needing the isolation. Who has seen a desperate last hope turn into a nightmare and been befriended by people she suspects very much are going to still loose, and die.

    Who has a tiny, somewhat damaged girl as a sudden bit of hope…and a keen awareness of just how not terribly good at being a comforting mother figure she often is.

    And who’s remaining relatives are…not entirely supportive. sorry, Eurayle, but..you have issues.

    Understandable issues.

    But issues.

    Kirito? Knows he has something to go back to. Asuna? Her family may have issues but they /are/ family in the end, and Asuna herself is unbroken.

    The rest of the clearers and survivors? Are getting trauma in spades…

    …but they have hope.

    Stheno hasn’t had /hope/ in a very long time.

    Well done and lovely work ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  5. While this is a very nice spot to tie off the story as usual you just leave me wanting more.

    Seeing Euryale having to deal with the players for the very first time would be a massive treat. And then you have everything the players have brought, their ideas, plans etc.

    Stheno: “Euryale, get out of my willowbark tea.”
    Euryale: “NO! I need all of it right now.”

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Of course the downside to the players bringing all this knowledge and gadgets etc, is that the moment any of the Five Kingdoms finds out the degree of jackpot Aincrad has acquired, every bit of material, knowledge and the players are going to be very high on all their capture/destroy lists.

        Because firstly, none of the Kingdoms wants nation of ‘monsters’ to have such capabilities and knowledge; and secondly, each Kingdom wants to be sure that they are the only ones that have such potentially game-changing items.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Too true. Luckily for the players, they’ve had the Five Kingdoms’ history to study in-game, so they have some idea of the amount of ferocious infighting and targeted assassinations/acquisitions about to be tried.

        Some of them may even be looking forward to stomping same….

        Like

      3. /Some of them may even be looking forward to stomping same…. /
        However said stompery could have rather nasty side effects.

        Because from what I can understand, Aincard is not considered a legitimate country by the Five Nations. But instead a massive den of monsters, lycans and other ‘evil’ races. The only reason nobody has devoted the forces to finish wiping the place out is due to them all being at war with each other.

        However with the knowledge that said den of monsters is getting stronger, the medusas have somehow returned and the party (or more than one) of adventurers/saboteurs/assassins/’retrieval experts’ etc sent to nip the issue in the bud have been wiped out; a nation might decide going on the defensive elsewhere while redirecting army groups is a worthwhile option if it means ending this threat before it grows any larger.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Have finally looked at LN Vol. 3, Fairy Dance I, and have confirmation with citation. Pages 10 to 11 of the official english translation.

    “Their family line could be traced back many generations, and Suguha’s late grandfather, who had died four years ago, was a strict man of the old ways. He had served on the police force for many years, and was said to be quite a kendo practitioner when he was young.” Then talking about how Minetaka went to an American university, and then into securities. Lots of fun food for thought.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So, Minetaka went from a Japanese highschool to an American university, was hired on to the American branch of a multinational, worked there, and only met Midori after he was transferred to the Japanese branch, possibly temporarily. Even after starting a family, he still traveled quite a bit.

      That’s drive, ability, and purpose. In the context of Fairy dance, it establishes that Kirito and Suguha learned some behavior from him.

      In the context of fanfic, that purpose is interestingly undefined.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Argh, got stuck in moderation because I wasn’t watching to make sure that the email I use here matched the handle I use here. Wanna delete that? I’ve saved the text.

    Liked by 1 person

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