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Picking up the Remnants (Post-GM Worm/RWBY AU crossover)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Niiyu, Apr 29, 2019.

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  1. kaazmiz

    kaazmiz Waiting for an Issekai Adventure

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    This is great parenting 101... right until a child decides to cut ties with the whole family ,and obtains support of the law to ensure it stays that way.
     
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  2. Niiyu

    Niiyu Getting out there.

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    Just a quick update for you all on the chapter. I'm working through some stuff and Crimson being a wage slave, we hadn't finished the chapter on time. However! We are hopeful we can get it done today, possibly in the evening.

    Thank you for your patience. We are blown away by all the support <3
     
  3. Threadmarks: Chapter Six: Bookworm
    Niiyu

    Niiyu Getting out there.

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    Taylor Hebert
    ____________________________________________________________________________​
    I’m getting flashbacks to Lisa…

    Kali, with the sheer weight of her optimism, managed to convince me to go shopping. Clothes, decorations for the room I was given, anything I wanted by her own admission. I mainly allowed it because I felt like I shouldn’t throw away the honesty and sincerity that she gave me just a few days ago.

    It was nostalgic for me as well. The times where things weren’t necessarily better, but… simpler. When all I had to contend with were childhood bullies and a misguided undercover operation.

    “Taylor, come look at this! Ooooo, This is so pretty!!” I’m snapped from my reminiscing by none other than Kali as she practically darts from stall to stall in the open air market, yelling back at me, seemingly uncaring of the many bemused and slightly annoyed stares.

    With a put upon sigh, I follow the excitable catwoman, down stall after stall, all the while hoping she’s nowhere near as persuasive as Lisa.

    Idly glancing at what the stalls have to offer but seeing nothing that piques my interest, I wonder if I’ll find anything that I’d be interested in…

    That’s when I see it, between a break in the stalls, a simple painted on a foldable wooden sign standing up from the grass, the works in a dark black.

    “Book Sale!! 25-75% off!! Today only!”

    Now that piques my interest.

    An almost giddy smile creeping onto my face. Politely working my way past the many humans and Faunus out and about today, I make it past the stalls, taking in the decently sized building in front of me.

    The wooden sign painted white with neat black writing reading, “Judging a Book: Tukson's Bookstore” proudly displayed above the light green double doors. Stepping up the light brown steps and opening the door, I hear the jingle of a bell above me, announcing my presence.

    Closing the door behind me, a light genuine smile on my face, I take a deep breath. The lovely smell of paperbacks and ink more than welcome to my senses. Looking around the actual store, it’s very neat and organized, the shelves like a well looked after library. Books upon books decorating the shelves making me feel like a little girl in a candy store.

    When was the last time I actually got to simply visit a bookstore? Hell, when was the last time I got to actually sit down and read a real book?

    Too long.

    A soft smile makes itself at home on my face as I discover what all new literature this world has to offer, finding I’m genuinely excited to find out!

    Running my finger gently along the spines of the multitude of multi-colored books, reading the all-new titles and occasionally pulling some out to flip through, I stumble across something more than shocking.

    At first, I don’t believe it, but pulling it out I stare at the cover in disbelief.

    “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”

    What is this doing here?!

    This book was on Bet, my world! How did it get here? Did someone remake it?

    Opening the plain dark brown cover, I flip through the first few pages, skimming it and comparing it to the mostly remembered version I read as a kid.

    It’s almost identical…

    Closing the book, I just stare at the golden letters of the cover in shock, a small sticker proclaiming it’s 50% off. If this is here… then what does that mean? Was the author a cape? No, that’s ridiculous, capes started showing up in the nineteen-eighties. Then how does this exist…?

    It seems so out of place with what I’d seen of this world. Though, I could be overthinking this… it could simply be that two people in the many worlds came up with the same story. Is there versions of us on different worlds…?

    With a heavy sigh, I rub my temples, feeling a dull headache brewing at the thought.

    “Ahh, I see you’ve found a classic.” A deep, rumbling voice comes from my left. I grip the book with white knuckles, viciously suppressing my instinctual reaction to sweep his legs and go for the face…

    Calming myself with a sharp intake of breath, I turn to glare at the man for sneaking up on me.

    He must sense my ire as I see a young and muscular dark-haired man with impressive sideburns and yellow eyes. His hands up in the universal symbol for harmlessness, “Apologies miss, should’ve known better than to sneak up on a huntress.” He explains, subtly glancing from my softening glare to my stump of an arm.

    Before I can get a word in, he continues while lowering his arms, “Names Tukson, I’m the owner. Could I help you with anything to make up for my mistake?”

    While he’s being rather polite and seems to be genuinely apologetic, I really don’t really wish to talk to him, “Not right now, thank you, I’m just browsing for now.

    While I don’t want to be outright rude, I’d rather seek solace in a few good books for the first time in what seems like a lifetime.

    Thankfully, his yellow eyes brighten and Tukson nods in understanding, “Of course, I’ll be at the register if you need anything, miss.” He says his parting then disappears around the edge of the shelf to attend the register.

    Turning my attention back to the anomaly in my hands, I check the price again, four lien. Placing the book between my stump and my side, I reach into the front pocket of my shorts and pull out the two white cards and one yellow I was given by Kali.

    Lien, it’s called. Apparently, the entire world of Remnant uses it, an oddity already, but what’s weirder is the currency itself. Five types of colored plastic cards, all holding a certain denomination that’s refillable.

    I still think it’s needlessly complicated, their world’s currency is basically gift cards. The obvious issue is keeping track of which card has how much left. Do they write on it or have a way to easily check?

    But, I digress, the white apparently holds five lien, and the yellow holds ten if what Kali told me was true. So depending on the sales, I could maybe squeeze a few books from what I have on me.

    Sliding the cards back into my cargo shorts pocket, I keep the book snugly against my side as I go back to browsing in the fiction section.

    Running my eyes along the spines of this section, I find a curious book, “Ozma’s Fairytales.” Taking the book off the shelf and flipping through it, reveals a more novelized version of various tall tales from across Remnant. Huh, that could be interesting if nothing else than to find out the cultures of the different continents. The price tag reads “4 Lien”.

    Moving on and placing my new acquisition next to the previous one, I come across “Revenge of the Were-Grimm.” Yeah, I’ll pass.

    The strangest title I come across has to be “Ninja’s of Love”, opening the cover and skimming through the pages shows it’s nothing but smut and erotica. Rolling my eyes, I snap it closed and put it back on the shelf.

    Reaching the end of the non-fiction section with no more books catching my eye, I figure the non-fiction section will be more fruitful.

    Walking to the non-fiction, I find myself… genuinely relaxed and dare I say it, content just looking through books. Hell, I’m excited to get to Kali and Ghira’s home so I can sit down and read all day. No dangerous situations, no imminent threats, no reasons for concern, just me and some good books.

    I’m almost giddy.

    Arriving at the non-fiction part of the store I’ll definitely be coming back to, I browse the spines and titles of the multitude of books, seeing what catches my interest…

    “The Soul’s Toolbox: Aura” why hello there, you’ll be quite useful. Plucking the thin paperback from the shelf, I excitedly flip through it, my expectations not only met but surpassed. It’s a book documenting the uses of aura over the years! I only glance at the three lien pricetag as a formality, I’d buy this if it was all of my budget.

    I feel a slight, relaxed smile creeping its way to my face, more than happy with what I’ve found and excited for what else I’ll find as I now have to carry my three books in my good arm.

    Noticing another book I’m interested in, I’m forced to carefully place my so far gathered books on the dark green, carpeted floor so I can properly examine the large book labeled “Remnant, a History.”

    Pulling out the encyclopedia esque book, I barely have to look through it if only to confirm it’s what I think it is. A full history of Remnant to the modern day, a practical gold mine of information, for only five lien!

    Placing the rest of my smaller books on the larger one, I cradle my books against my stomach with my good arm.

    With my budget in mind, I sadly have to put away some books I’d like, but are over my four remaining Lien.

    What I do find, is what appears to be a technical book, “Mecha-Shift for Dummies.” The book turns out to be just as advertised, a guide to help someone who has no knowledge of Mecha-shift technology. Turning over the book, the pink price sticker proudly proclaiming it’s four lien price marks the end of my little shopping spree without exceeding my budget.

    Stacking my books from largest to smallest, I hoist the bundle with my arm, making sure it’s steady before taking my books to the register at the back of the store, more than satisfied with my purchases.

    As I approach, I see Tukson behind the counter in the corner of the room reading a novel while leaning back in… is that a leather recliner??

    Placing my pile of books on the counter, my eyebrow raised questioningly, he just smiles then shrugs, “It’s my store, I can have what I want. Plus, who else can say they can spend the day relaxing and reading for their job, only having to help customers find books?”

    When he puts it like that, it sounds like a pretty nice way to make a living.

    Seeing my pile of books, Tukson smiles widely as he pushes the leg rest of the recliner down, standing up and placing his novel on the armrest.

    “Quite a good selection you got here, nice mix of fact and fiction.” He says as he scans little barcodes on the back of the books. He then gestured to the main book I was interested in, “Jekyll and Hyde specifically, not a lot of people really appreciate the classics anymore. Most tend to go for the new young adult books or, between you and me…” He makes a show of glancing around before mock whispering, “Trashy romance and smut.”

    I can’t help the smallest of smiles that crawls upon my face at finding a kindred spirit in this new world, “Tell me about it, the classics got their status for a reason, if you ask me. They’re very hard to beat.”

    His grin only widens as he nods, glancing down to continue scanning, “I couldn’t agree more miss. Though, the aura textbook you are picking up is a good read too. It's a recent revision, only a few years old but still quite entertaining and interesting if you ask me. I believe beacon used this book until last year when the newest edition came out.” He explains, finishing scanning my purchases.

    “That’ll be twenty lien exactly, miss.” I reach into my pocket, pulling out the two white and one yellow card of lien and handing it to him. Tukson swipes the cards on the register then hands them back to me, now empty.

    “Oh, if you’d give me your name miss, I can keep the newest edition of The Souls Toolbox reserved for you? I’m getting a new shipment in a week or two.” Tukson explains politely, handing back my cards.

    Pocketing the cards, I figure there’s no harm in telling him my name, “Thank you, I’d like that, save it under the name Taylor, please. I’ll definitely be coming back here.”

    He visibly brightens, bowing his head slightly, “I’ll hold you to that, Miss Taylor. Have a nice day!” Leaning around me, he smiles at another person behind me, “Can I help you?”

    I turn around with my books cradles against my stomach, only to come face to face none other than Kali, her face the epitome of ‘the cat that got the canary’.

    “Here you are, Taylor! I was looking all over for you!” She smiles widely, “I didn’t know you liked to read, I'm not much of a fiction person myself. I prefer tech magazines and research papers. Did you find anything you liked?”

    Shrugging, only a tiny bit indignant, I brush her off, “I did actually. I was just looking to see if anything caught my eye is all. You finish your shopping?” I ask, noticing her arms laden with bags, genuinely hoping she’s done for today.

    She nods happily, “Yeppers! Got everything done before finding you since I figured you were just walking or hiding somewhere nearby.” Hiding somewhere? Maybe she’s taking my stray cat joke a bit to seriously.

    As we’re leaving Tukson’s bookstore, I have to fight a smirk at the irony of the thought, despite feeling like I need to cut this off now before she thinks it’s something she can tease me about, “Also, I wasn’t hiding, I just saw the sign for the sale and decided to take the time to get some books to read is all.”

    She opens the door for me as she responds, no small amount of smug, cat-like joy to her voice, “Oh, it's not that Taylor, just that it’s the most passionate and dare I say it, happy since I’ve met you~”

    Ignoring her lighthearted jab, I say a polite goodbye to Tukson. All along the way to the house I’m staying at, I spot Kali giving me and my stack of books a glance. Her smug, cat-like grin grows just a tad wider with every look, likely thinking on all the ways to tease and poke fun at me later.

    Unfortunately for her, living with a certain fox-like girl has made me immune to anything Kali can dish out, I’m confident of it.

    Tuning my catwoman companion out as I carefully step to avoid the countless Faunus and Human people out in the market today, I fall back on a game I’d play at my most bored.

    People watching.

    Watching the people passing by, it’s genuinely fascinating, the sheer diversity just walking down the streets. Not just skin color like my world, but with the inclusion of animal traits, it makes this world much more interesting, even if I miss Bet, no matter how much of a bad idea I know it would be to return.

    Do the Faunus have trouble controlling their animal instincts?

    Are there specialized jobs for Faunus needs?

    How do genetics work, does this world know what genetics is?

    If I had my old power, could I take control of bug Faunus?

    So many questions… though, I suppose it would seem rather rude to ask most, if not all of those. As much as I plan to leave Kali and Ghira as soon as possible, I don’t want to make enemies of them.

    Arriving at the house roughly half an hour later, I excuse myself with a half-hearted excuse. All I need is a reason to be alone with nothing but my books and have a chance to plan out my next moves.

    As soon as Kali agrees, I walk to the room I was given then close the door, a sigh of relief at the silence escaping me at the sweet, sweet silence.

    Going over to the bed, I place down my books on the neatly done, plain sheets and blankets. Allowing myself to sit cross-legged in the bed, I reach over and pull out an average sized notebook from the bedside table that I’d requested from Kali.

    Clicking the pen, I get to work with outlining my life for the next few months.

    I desperately needed this. A plan, one that’s set in stone and I can follow and adapt on the fly.

    It almost feels like when I was first making my costume…

    With a click of the pen, I start with giving myself an aggressive goal of three weeks to get back in shape and get a handle on my aura. While I don’t really wish to fight… I know I can’t just do nothing.

    Tapping the end of the pen to my chin while lost in thought, I don’t think Kali and Ghira would object to me training my aura, but there is always the possibility that I'll need to sneak out every night. I’ll need to test the most viable routes for silently leaving the house.

    On the information gathering front, the books will do wonders along with the scroll to the library. Though, I can’t rely on books for the present state of things. Spending some days listening to the people in the market could be useful…

    It’s times like this that I wish I still had my swarm.

    Guess I’ll need to learn more… traditional ways of info gathering along with my research on this world.

    If I’m going to live here, I refuse to be caught unaware and prepared.

    The baseline set, I dive into the minutiae of my plan, allocating times, marking when Kali and Ghira seem to come and go, what they do, and so much more…

    I’m only interrupted by a knock on the door before opening it slowly till I can see her amber eyes and cat ears, “Taylor, it’s time for dinner. Ghira and I would like to know if you will join us this time?” She asks ever so softly, like approaching a cornered animal.

    Looking over at the digital clock on the bedside table reveals it’s much later than I thought.

    At the mention of food, my stomach grumbles softly, making the decision for me.

    Getting up from the bed, I agree, “Sure, I must have lost track of time.” The response is simple, but to Kali, it evidently means the world as I see her eyes widen and she pushes open the door to reveal her wide grin.

    I’m quickly grabbed by the arm and guided to the kitchen by an exuberate Kali, “Oh, you’re going to love it! I made a bit of everything tonight, some classic dishes here, my favorite from Mistral, all kinds of goodies!”

    Coming to the round wooden table, my eyes widen, when she said a bit of everything, she wasn’t kidding!

    The average wooden table is absolutely filled with what appears to be Asian styled dishes, Mediterranean dishes, some fruit, various steamed vegetables, she made a buffet, not a meal.

    Taking a seat across from Ghira, I’m greeted warmly, while he and Kali grab what they want from the selections, “Ahh Taylor, wonderful of you to join us! Kali was just finishing telling me about your trip to the market today. Found Tukson’s bookstore, huh? Never met him myself, but I’ve heard good things.”

    Feeling more than a little awkward, the feeling of being an unwelcome guest growing, I try to take a little bit of what looks or smells good as I respond, “Think so, he was rather professional, seemed good at his job.” I tell them lamely, unsure how to operate without looking like a fool in this new space.

    “Ah, I see the rumors are true then!” Ghira says before eating what appears to be a dumpling.

    Literal minutes of awkward silence pass, unsure what to say, if anything as I pick at the admittedly amazing food. I’ve never been a real picky eater, but almost everything I’ve blindly put on my plate has been really well made.

    When Kali pipes up, I nearly jump, the silence shattered with all the subtlety of a bull, “Oh!” She says, slightly muffled with the small amount of food in her mouth. She swallows before continuing, “Before I forget, love. Sienna’s coming over tomorrow.” She announces, getting a wide smile from Ghira.

    He looks to me, likely trying to fill me in, “She’s my lieutenant, she can be rather…” He pauses, searching for the right words before finding them, “Intense. But I think you and her will get along quite well.” Ghira nods while taking a forkful of some crab.

    Kali can’t help but cut in, a mischievous twinkle in her eyes, her tone rather teasing, “I agree, you’re both sticks in the mud!” I’m definitely not a stick in the mud. I can have fun too, I simply choose not to.

    Kali continues, “But on a more serious note, you two do seem to be very alike. I hope you’ll get along, it’ll do you good to be exposed to more people.” She finishes with a kind smile in my direction.

    Am I really ready for friends? Are Kali and Ghira my friends…?

    No, I don’t think so… not yet.

    ___________________________________________________________________________​

    Author's Note:
    Hello all! We apologize for the delay. I was dealing with some mental health issues (which are now mostly better) so there wasn't a chapter last week. I apologize, but we plan to get back on schedule for weekly updates starting now.
    Thank you all so much for your patience. We hope you enjoy the chapter!
     
  4. Akuma-Heika

    Akuma-Heika The Devil Exists Within

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    Not sure a government would give a child emancipation for rebelling against their parents telling them not to join a terrorist cell...
     
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  5. kaazmiz

    kaazmiz Waiting for an Issekai Adventure

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    Great chapter, nice to see Taylor finding something to look forward to in life.
    Wonder how many similarities Taylor might start finding in Sienna as a budding anti-human/terrorist/freedom-fighter as compared to Brokton's little racial conflict.

    Depending on how legal rights and citizenship is seen in that world?
    She could be considered a legal adult at 16 with the whole package, become one by emigrating to another kingdom, or marriage -legal or not. Which is a thing IRL in a few countries.
     
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  6. Akuma-Heika

    Akuma-Heika The Devil Exists Within

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    Your comment was implying that she was not an adult, thus my comment on emancipation. If you are claiming she was already an adult, with all the rights that entails, then your comment is rather groundless. An adult doesn't need to get legal assistance to live separately from the people who were their legal guardians when they were children after all.
     
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  7. kaazmiz

    kaazmiz Waiting for an Issekai Adventure

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    Then we were merely both miscommunication what we wanted to say due to the power of 'words' or lack and misuse of them.
    Taylor or Kali try to bring Blake back regardless of her own will, and Blake goes to court to force them to keep their distance from her and prevent harassment. Permanently cutting ties with them.
    Is this clearer now in context to Warscars comment?
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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  8. Akuma-Heika

    Akuma-Heika The Devil Exists Within

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    Yeah. I must have missed a post. I thought you were speaking in reference to her running away from home and getting legally emancipated in that scenario.

    This makes much more sense, and after her enrollment in Beacon, if she was still a minor, she would likely be able to get emancipation, even without Oz getting involved.
     
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  9. MacrossRides

    MacrossRides Getting sticky.

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    Good god, the only differences between Blake and Taylor are experience and smut!
     
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  10. Threadmarks: Interlude: Clairet Bathory
    Niiyu

    Niiyu Getting out there.

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    ‘They never learn, do they?’ I ponder while feeling out my most recent plaything.

    Chirping a few times low in my throat yields the echoes of his unconscious appearance, my ribbons bound tightly around him, as well as my dear Vanilla behind me.

    A weak jawline and average features, with a muscular, built body, the epitome of boring.

    Carefully pinching the fingertips of my right glove. I then pull it off my hand, coating it in aura, the glove cracks against the pigs face in one seamless motion.

    His yelp of pain and his sudden jolt to the waking world more than satisfying. Ah, aura has so many uses~

    Slipping my glove back on, I’m somehow further unimpressed with this pig's squeals, “Wha- The fuck?!” I can hear him struggling and straining against my lovely ribbons before he squeals some more, evidently just noticing me standing before him, “You! You’re that blind bitch!” His surprise then turns to boorish arrogance, “If you don’t let me go, you'll be lucky I don’t do to you what I did to that ice cream whore of yours! Hahaha!”

    The audacity of this filth! Welcomed into my business, daring to mar my Vanilla, and now his flagrant disregard for the rules I’ve so clearly set?

    Why, I’d love nothing more than to leave this two-bit crook as skin and bones. However, I have other, more important plans for him.

    Mainly as an example.

    Evidently, the underworld of Vale has become… complacent. Such a shame, I was looking forward to moving to the next country soon.

    Ah well, it appears he's still talking...

    “-hy don’t you be a good little slut and untie me, yeah?” He finishes his rant with a self-assured smirk, taking my silence for submission.

    Chirping, I land a swift backhand to his disgustingly plain and average face, icily reprimanding him on his mistake, “Never use such vulgar language in front of me or my girls again, cur.”

    He growls low in his throat, beyond enraged, “Fuck you, you shitty bat! You don’t tell me to do nothin!” He barks out, straining against my weapon with renewed vigor.

    With a disappointed tsk, I layer aura underneath my heel, a swift stomp to his immobile leg rewards me with the delightful crack crunch of bone-shattering as my rebuttal and the squish of my heel piercing his leg.

    “I shall continue with the rest of your body until you learn to control that abhorrent mouth of yours.” His squeals of pain slightly drown out my words, but as I take out my spotless heel from out of his leg, he shows some intelligence by taking my lesson to heart.

    “Vanilla, darling? Would you be a good girl and tourniquet his leg for me?” I ask my poor Vanilla, as I step back.

    “Of course, Ms. Clairet.” Immediately comes her soft and obedient voice from behind me.

    I hear the pale-haired beauty walk up to the man who hurt her so badly, yet, she applies the tourniquet I’d laid out beforehand without complaint.

    Truly, my heart goes out to the girl. While unable to see the damage myself, I know her once beautifully pale face is marred with bruises and shallow cuts. This worthless cur still thought he could have his own brand of ‘fun’ with my girls…

    At the very least he’ll still be useful after we’re done here.

    With the tourniquet applied and Vanilla audibly leaving, he works up the courage to speak once more, how valiant of him, “Why the fu-” he swallows his curse, “-frick… did you stab me in the leg, lady?! Seriously, what makes someone do that?!” Involuntarily, my eyes alight at the question, seeing a prime opportunity to educate little Vanilla once again on how nasty and vicious this world can be…

    Yes, I’ll tell him my little story!

    After all, dead men tell no tales~

    Injecting a near lethal dose of false cheer into my voice to put him off guard I coo, “Oh my, isn’t that just a lovely question to ask! Why, I think I’ll tell you, Vanilla darling! Listen up.”

    A soft, nostalgic smile tugs at my lips as I begin the story for a dead man, “You see… Daddy did always try his best.”

    “What the hell is that supposed to me-gah” A cold fury drives me as I swiftly silence him, squeezing his pathetic throat shut. I’m sick of his constant interruptions!

    Careful not to crush his windpipe, I gently squeeze in lieu of a threat as I hiss, “The time for your worthless words has gone. You will be silent, lest I cut out your tongue!”

    While I can’t see his expression, I do feel him slowly nod in agreement, his only sound being a soft wheeze, I relent, allowing him some of his last air.

    Pasting a faux smile on my face, I continue, this time uninterrupted, “Now, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted. Daddy always tried his very best, whether he was fighting as a soldier or at home.”

    With a sharp snap of my fingers, I beckon Vanilla, “Darling, a chair would be delightful.”

    Quickly, either wishing to hear my story or her want to follow my orders, the dear slides a chair up behind me before a minute’s up. By instinct, I smooth out my dress beneath me before taking a seat.

    “Thank you, dearie.” I praise my sweet Vanilla.

    “You’re welcome, Miss.” Is her dutiful response.

    Tapping my chin in thought, I wonder aloud, “Where was I? Ah, yes, you see, my dear Daddy was a soldier during the war, and Mother? Oh, she was a woman just looking to make some quick Lien. Now, a soldier’s money was just as good as any she supposed, but my oh my, she didn’t know what to do after being with child after that little… transaction.” I titter to myself at the small joke, covering my lips as a lady should. I must say I’m rather enjoying this, it’s not often I get to think of the old days

    A soft, nostalgic smile crosses my features as I continue my little tale, “When Mama found out she was with me, she didn’t take no for an answer, she found my Daddy and settled down with him within the year. You see, Daddy’s pay as a soldier provided for the three of us, at least until the war ended. When the lien dried up, she lived up to her heritage and flew away once Daddy got released from service.” I pause, chirping subtly to make sure I have my audience still.

    Indeed, Vanilla is on the edge of the single bed in the room, utterly enraptured with the tale, while even the boorish man is mildly interested. It matters not, if he doesn’t care, this is for Vanilla regardless.

    Weaving my tale further, I go on, “Once Mama left, I dare say me and Daddy were happy, just the two of us with our little house in town.” My tone turns grimmer, “Of course, that’s when the visits started. You see, Mama dearest ran with some… unsavory individuals, gathering debt like it was going out of style while Daddy was risking his life to come home to us. But, with her gone… it was up to him to pay.” I pause there, building suspense, letting my audience stew for a moment as I make sure the oaf isn’t trying to free himself.

    A quick few high pitched chirps reveal his distinct lack of movement, while Vanilla is on the edge of her seat, thirsty for information on her mistress~

    She evidently can’t take it anymore, her soft voice blurting out, “What happens next, Miss Clairet??” The childlike eagerness to her voice melting my blackened and icy heart, how could I turn down such genuine pleas?

    With a roll of my eyes for show and a fake put upon sigh, I concede, “Oh, if I must~”

    My small smile still present, I start again, “As I was saying, it was up to Daddy to pay now. But no matter how many jobs he did, no matter how many times he paid his tithe, there was always more.” My voice takes on a more somber tone for the rest, I went on, “So, I did what any good daughter would do, I became a courtesan, a lady of the night.” I admit, making Vanilla gasp, softly whisper “Oh no!” to herself.

    Holding back yet another titter before I say more of my now sad story, my smile now nowhere to be seen, “The first morn I came home, oh how my poor Daddy cried, begged me to stop, to trust him to do what was right… I couldn’t bring myself to heed his words. I continued to sell my young body, all in the hopes it would help my suffering Daddy.” I frown, my hands clenching and unclenching in my lap as emotions I thought long since buried bubble to the surface.

    “One day, one fateful day, Daddy didn’t come home, didn’t give me a hug and a kiss, didn’t have breakfast ready, didn’t read me a story of heroes saving the day at night. He died that day...“ Words solemn as I hear Vanilla sniffling like the wonderful girl she is, “He was killed, made an example of for his debt in the town square. With nothing to my name, my Daddy is gone, a life of making up for the failings of my Mama and Daddy ahead of me... I realized something,“ Voice turning cold and cruel, I leaned forward, sneering down at the disgusting man who dared hurt my Vanilla, “There are no ‘heroes’, no honest, and truly good people in this world.”

    Leaning back, my sneer morphing into a cruel and vicious smirk, my very heart chilled with each word, “Only later did I come to understand… I can make them, make heroes by being the villain. One that can only be killed by a true hero.” I finish, for now, more than satisfied with the ending.

    My smirk growing at the man, Griege’s, renewed struggles and grunts as if sensing the shift in the air, I address the now openly crying Vanilla, “Darling? Please, show this man what happens to those who break the rules…”

    His last cries are one’s of mercy.

    What a fool… villains have no mercy.

    ____________________________________________________________________________​

    Hours later…

    “-ages are too graphic to show on television. The victim, one Greige Benjamin Howard, was tortured to death as well as castrated and tied to a flagpole in amity park. The victim was found this morning and brought down by Vale PD. But, while we cannot show the victim, we can give you the message that was, ahem, carved brutally into the victim's chest.” The news host, Lisa Lavender, reports.

    On the screen next to her, the message appears as she reads it aloud, “Cross what’s mine and pay your tithe in blood. Sincerely, The Countess. This being the latest message and appearance from the infamous Blood Countess serial killer. Known for her gruesome kills, often involving copious amounts of blood. Here with us today to discuss this tragedy is the head of Vale PD-” The screen snaps off, replaced with wonderful silence.

    Swirling around the blood inside my favorite wine glass, as I lower the remote back to the sofa, I can’t help but smirk as I take a sip from the glass, savoring the warmth of fresh blood on my tongue.

    Maybe now they’ll learn?

    Unlikely, yes.

    Because after all, there’s no rest for the wicked.
     
  11. Dragolord19d

    Dragolord19d I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    ...Why do I picture her looking something like this?
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. ctayl

    ctayl Not too sore, are you?

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    *whistles innocently* As coauthor i can neither confirm or deny that the pic we have for her in our notes is based off of a certain bat.
     
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  13. Niiyu

    Niiyu Getting out there.

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    A quick thing!

    The updoot shall be Sienna's visit~! It's gonna be awesome!!

    But, shameless self-promotion is shameless!

    I now have a patreon, if anyone would like to support the story and my writing! You can suggest omakes and even a character potentially!!

    Niiyu's Patreon~!

    Love you all <3
     
  14. Niiyu

    Niiyu Getting out there.

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    SO! Quick updoot on the chapter!

    Due to delays from work and life, as well as the chapter turned out to be... frickin MASSIVE and only halfway done (Already roughly 4,500 words!). So... we decided to not only take this week but the next week to finish it and deliver something truly awesome for you all!

    We want to get the Sienna meeting REALLY right, mostly because it sets the groundwork for later arcs and character interactions.

    Thank you for your patience, we appreciate and love all of you that like our story!! <3 <3 <3
     
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  15. Niiyu

    Niiyu Getting out there.

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    HELLO INTERNET PEOPLE~!

    Crimson and I are hard at work on the chapter. But... we don't have it fully done yet. We will try to get it done by tomorrow, but if not, we are taking the rest of the week off for the 4th of July and the chapter might be next week.

    We apologize immensely for the delays, we are trying our best, but sometimes that isn't good enough.

    In the meantime... have a teaser of the chapter!

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Ghira Belladonna
    ____________________________________________________________________________​

    While I do love my job, there’s little I love more than sleeping in. Thankfully, today is my off day and I plan to enjoy it to its fullest. Dragging myself from my wonderful bed, I walk down the hall in my pajamas.

    A long, eye-watering yawn escapes me as I walk towards the kitchen, passing by our black-haired guest reading against the corner of the sofa. I idly make a note to start up a conversation, but only after I’ve had my coffee.

    Entering the kitchen, I spy my lovely kitten hard at work to make all of us some pancakes for breakfast.

    Feeling a tad mischievous, wait till she’s not actively cooking to effortlessly sneak up behind her, first giving her cute butt a little pinch. She jumps with an adorable squeal, making me chuckle as I lean down a bit to wrap my arms around her slender middle.

    I can’t see, but I know she must be blushing, her lips firmly pouting, “Ghira! Don’t surprise me like that!” Kali lightheartedly scolds me. If anything, I’m spurred on by her indignation, leaning down, I give her neck a light kiss before resting my chin on her shoulder.

    My smile as wide as can be, I look over to see I was right, she’s blushing for sure. She’s clearly fighting to keep a smile from her lips. Deciding to tease her further, I playfully rub our cheeks together. She protests, gently trying to push me away as I continue to rub against her as she squeals, “Ghiraaaa stopp!! You know I don’t like you doing that!” My kitten whines.

    Heeding her request, even as she can’t withhold a giggle anymore, I give her a few light kisses on her poor cheek, “There, I kissed it better!” I tell her, supremely smug.

    She turns to glare half-heartedly, “You caused it, you aren’t allowed to kiss it better!”

    Rolling my eyes, I gently squeeze her in a hug, smiling, “Even if I tell you that I love you?”

    Kali takes a moment, moving her hand up to tap at her chin, a thoughtful expression on her face before she smiles widely, “Okay~ You’re forgiven.”

    “Good morning, my love, I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist,” I tell her with a mischievous lilt to my voice that has her narrowing her eyes at me as I try to look innocent. With Kali distracted, I try to quickly reach out and grab a panca-

    Only to get hand sharply swatted away by her plastic spatula, “Ghira, you can wait until they’re all done.” Kali scolds me. I give her an over exaggerated whimper, nursing my poor injured hand. She giggles then points behind her with her spatula at the coffee maker, already hot and ready for me, “Your coffee’s ready, dear, maybe now you can actually let me cook?” My kitten asks, only slightly serious.

    Conceding, I gently move her chin to face me so I can land a chaste kiss upon her lips, “If I must.” I tell her before leaving to pour myself a cup of coffee while she happily hums a tune to herself.

    “Hey, Kali?” I ask, getting a packet of sugar to dump in my coffee from the cabinet above.

    She hums in acknowledgment.

    “Any advice on talking to Taylor?” I ask, already prepared, mostly, to talk to our house guest but still wishing for some helpful advice.

    Over my shoulder, I see Kali tapping her chin once more in thought before she comes up with something rather helpful, “Just do what you did with me, love. Just relax and be patient. She’s quite into books though, in fact, if I remember correctly she was reading an old textbook on aura. We both know you’re quite good with your aura and semblance, maybe that could help break the ice?” My lovely girlfriend suggests and I’m more than happy to take her advice on our enigmatic housemate.

    Thanking her with another quick kiss, I take a tentative sip of my hot and still slightly bitter coffee as I leave the kitchen to talk with our guest.

    Casually walking into the living room, coffee in hand, I take a seat in the chair directly opposite of our temporary resident. Glancing over my mug as I take a sip, I see her tense, acknowledge my presence, then surprise me with a curt and stiff greeting, “Morning, Ghira.”

    I can’t help grinning like a fool, already getting plenty of flashbacks to how my kitten used to be. If you replaced the aura textbook with a tech manual, it would be nearly the same as a scene from just a few years ago…

    Dismissing that train of thought, I calmly sip my coffee, getting comfortable in the armchair as I sneak some glances at the woman across from me. She looks so much better than she did when Kali found her.

    Not only is Taylor healthier in appearance, but she’s getting more comfortable with us, even if she doesn’t know it and or is unwilling to admit it. Her eyes don’t dart around the room in constant search for a threat anymore, she doesn’t have to force back her instinct to fight when surprised by us near as much. Not to mention her barely visible smile when she’s relaxing with a book to read.

    I’m honestly happy for her, to be doing so much better already, even if I know a long road to recovery awaits her. While I doubt she actually has amnesia, simply wishing to keep her past a secret, I just hope mine and Kali’s gamble pays off…

    After all, I know the break is coming for the traumatized woman in front of me. Something that pushes her over the edge emotionally, forcing her to adapt or cling to what doesn’t hurt.

    Kali’s came when I told her I loved her for the first time… thankfully she chose to adapt, to take the chance of being happy with me, to recover from her past.

    But with Taylor? I fear her’s will be much worse for her state of mind.

    That’s for the future, however, so I try to get Taylor talking, I swallow another gulp of sweet caffeine, “Enjoying your book, Taylor? Not as old as the textbook on aura I used in school, but still fairly recent, no?”

    She lowers the book while quirking an eyebrow inquisitively, “School? You mean the public school has classes on aura?” She asks, her tone measured and neutral as always.

    I nod, going to take another sip but finding my mug now empty. Shrugging, I place it onto the table to my right and smirk a bit at Taylor’s question, “Well, no, not normally, that’s reserved for the Huntsmen academies. But you’re looking at a graduate of the Beacon Academy in Vale!”

    Her eyes widen ever so slightly as she puts her book down in her lap, “You know a few things on aura then, I assume?” She asks conversationally, obviously fishing for more.

    Hmm… tease her and maybe get her to actually ask for my help or not?

    Decisions, decisions…

    Sadly, as much as I’d love to have someone else to poke fun at than my dear Kali, I don’t think Taylor’s ready for that kind of friendliness just yet.

    Instead, I answer her honestly, “Know a few things on aura? Well, my job isn’t just for show you know! Not to mention I’m quite the good huntsman. If you’d like some help aura training, I’d be happy to help.”

    This gives me the chance to have some time with Taylor, maybe even get to know her better. Plus, I need to get some training time in, only Sienna really spars with me these days anyway after everyone outright refuses now.

    Taylor crosses her arms, making a thoughtful hum in the back of her throat, “I’ll… actually take you up on that. I could go for a quick work out right now anyway.”

    Smiling at her progress, even if it’s tiny, I push myself out of the armchair, grab my mug, “Just give me a bit to shower and get changed, by then breakfast should be ready and after that, I’ll meet you out back?” I ask, only to get a firm nod from Taylor in response as she stands up to get ready herself as well.
    ____________________________________________________________________________​
     
  16. Prismatic Glaive

    Prismatic Glaive Came for the Smut, Stayed for the Plot

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    At this rate, Blake's gonna have another mother.... and possible a sibling as well...

    Edit: You forgot to threadmark
     
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  17. ctayl

    ctayl Not too sore, are you?

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    ill just let everyone know right now that July is gonna be a bit weird as a whole for Niiyu and I. Between her going on a vacation this month and my working for Comic-Con later this month updates are not really for sure this month. Thank you all for your patience and understanding and we will continue to write as we can.
     
  18. Threadmarks: Chapter Seven: Purpose
    Niiyu

    Niiyu Getting out there.

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    An explanation for the delay and our sincerest apologies at the bottom, enjoy this long-overdue chapter!

    Ghira Belladonna

    ____________________________________________________________________________​

    While I love my job, there’s little I love more than sleeping in. Thankfully, today is my off day and I plan to enjoy it to its fullest. Dragging myself from my wonderful bed, I walk down the hall in my pajamas.

    A long, eye-watering yawn escapes me as I walk towards the kitchen, passing by our black-haired guest reading against the corner of the sofa. I idly make a note to start up a conversation, but only after I’ve had my coffee.

    Entering the kitchen, I spy my lovely kitten hard at work to make all of us some pancakes for breakfast.

    Feeling a tad mischievous, wait till she’s not actively cooking to effortlessly sneak up behind her, first giving her cute butt a little pinch. She jumps with an adorable squeal, making me chuckle as I lean down a bit to wrap my arms around her slender middle.

    I can’t see, but I know she must be blushing, her lips firmly pouting, “Ghira! Don’t surprise me like that!” Kali lightheartedly scolds me. If anything, I’m spurred on by her indignation, leaning down, I give her neck a light kiss before resting my chin on her shoulder.

    My smile as wide as can be, I look over to see I was right, she’s blushing for sure. She’s clearly fighting to keep a smile from her lips. Deciding to tease her further, I playfully rub our cheeks together. She protests, gently trying to push me away as I continue to rub against her as she squeals, “Ghiraaaa stopp!! You know I don’t like you doing that!” My kitten whines.

    Heeding her request, even as she can’t withhold a giggle anymore, I give her a few light kisses on her poor cheek, “There, I kissed it better!” I tell her, supremely smug.

    She turns to glare half-heartedly, “You caused it, you aren’t allowed to kiss it better!”

    Rolling my eyes, I gently squeeze her in a hug, smiling, “Even if I tell you that I love you?”

    Kali takes a moment, moving her hand up to tap at her chin, a thoughtful expression on her face before she smiles widely, “Okay~ You’re forgiven.”

    “Good morning, my love, I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist,” I tell her with a mischievous lilt to my voice that has her narrowing her eyes at me as I try to look innocent. With Kali distracted, I try to quickly reach out and grab a panca-

    Only to get hand sharply swatted away by her plastic spatula, “Ghira, you can wait until they’re all done.” Kali scolds me. I give her an over-exaggerated whimper, nursing my poor injured hand. She giggles then points behind her with her spatula at the coffee maker, already hot and ready for me, “Your coffee’s ready, dear, maybe now you can actually let me cook?” My kitten asks, only slightly serious.

    Conceding, I gently move her chin to face me so I can land a chaste kiss upon her lips, “If I must.” I tell her before leaving to pour myself a cup of coffee while she happily hums a tune to herself.

    “Hey, Kali?” I ask, getting a packet of sugar to dump in my coffee from the cabinet above.

    She hums in acknowledgment.

    “Any advice on talking to Taylor?” I ask, already prepared, mostly, to talk to our house guest but still wishing for some helpful advice.

    Over my shoulder, I see Kali tapping her chin once more in thought before she comes up with something rather helpful, “Just do what you did with me, love. Just relax and be patient. She’s quite into books though, in fact, if I remember correctly she was reading an old textbook on aura. We both know you’re quite good with your aura and semblance, maybe that could help break the ice?” My lovely girlfriend suggests and I’m more than happy to take her advice on our enigmatic housemate.

    Thanking her with another quick kiss, I take a tentative sip of my hot and still slightly bitter coffee as I leave the kitchen to talk with our guest.

    Casually walking into the living room, coffee in hand, I take a seat in the chair directly opposite of our temporary resident. Glancing over my mug as I take a sip, I see her tense, acknowledge my presence, then surprise me with a curt and stiff greeting, “Morning, Ghira.”

    I can’t help grinning like a fool, already getting plenty of flashbacks to how my kitten used to be. If you replaced the aura textbook with a tech manual, it would be nearly the same as a scene from just a few years ago…

    Dismissing that train of thought, I calmly sip my coffee, getting comfortable in the armchair as I sneak some glances at the woman across from me. She looks so much better than she did when Kali found her.

    Not only is Taylor healthier in appearance, but she’s getting more comfortable with us, even if she doesn’t know it and or is unwilling to admit it. Her eyes don’t dart around the room in constant search for a threat anymore, she doesn’t have to force back her instinct to fight when surprised by us near as much. Not to mention her barely visible smile when she’s relaxing with a book to read.

    I’m honestly happy for her, to be doing so much better already, even if I know a long road to recovery awaits her. While I doubt she actually has amnesia, simply wishing to keep her past a secret, I just hope mine and Kali’s gamble pays off…

    After all, I know the break is coming for the traumatized woman in front of me. Something that pushes her over the edge emotionally, forcing her to adapt or cling to what doesn’t hurt.

    Kali’s came when I told her I loved her for the first time… thankfully she chose to adapt, to take the chance of being happy with me, to recover from her past.

    But with Taylor? I fear her’s will be much worse for her state of mind.

    That’s for the future, however, so I try to get Taylor talking, I swallow another gulp of sweet caffeine, “Enjoying your book, Taylor? Not as old as the textbook on aura I used in school, but still fairly recent, no?”

    She lowers the book while quirking an eyebrow inquisitively, “School? You mean the public school has classes on aura?” She asks, her tone measured and neutral as always.

    I nod, going to take another sip but finding my mug now empty. Shrugging, I place it onto the table to my right and smirk a bit at Taylor’s question, “Well, no, not normally, that’s reserved for the Huntsmen academies. But you’re looking at a graduate of the Beacon Academy in Vale!”

    Her eyes widen ever so slightly as she puts her book down in her lap, “You know a few things on aura then, I assume?” She asks conversationally, obviously fishing for more.

    Hmm… tease her and maybe get her to actually ask for my help or not?

    Decisions, decisions…

    Sadly, as much as I’d love to have someone else to poke fun at than my dear Kali, I don’t think Taylor’s ready for that kind of friendliness just yet.

    Instead, I answer her honestly, “Know a few things on aura? Well, my job isn’t just for show you know! Not to mention I’m quite the good huntsman. If you’d like some help aura training, I’d be happy to help.”

    This gives me the chance to have some time with Taylor, maybe even get to know her better. Plus, I need to get some training time in, only Sienna really spars with me these days anyway after everyone outright refuses now.

    Taylor crosses her arms, making a thoughtful hum in the back of her throat, “I’ll… actually I will take you up on that. I could go for a quick work out right now anyway.”

    Smiling at her progress, even if it’s tiny, I push myself out of the armchair, grab my mug, “Just give me a bit to shower and get changed, by then breakfast should be ready and after that, I’ll meet you out back?” I ask, only to get a firm nod from Taylor in response as she stands up to get ready herself as well.

    ____________________________________________________________________________​

    Sliding open the screen door leading to the back yard, the familiar humid air of Menagerie greets me as I step out and into the blazing sun, the salty sea breeze rolling in to cool the heat…

    A wonderful day in Menagerie if I do say so myself.

    Shutting the door behind me, I turn around to spot Taylor already getting warmed up with some basic stretches not far away. She’s wearing a dark red tank top with black shorts, her tank top must have been picked by Kali, the words “I’d rather be reading” don’t seem like Taylor’s idea of fashion. While her body definitely reveals more about her past than anything she’d likely tell us yet.

    While she doesn’t have the body of a huntress who’s been at it for years, Taylor certainly has the body of an agility fighter, her faded scars no doubt from battle after battle. Strangely, her reflexes seem… slow? Like she’s used to moving a certain way but now she’s trying something different. The most likely culprit would be her gaining aura, but who knows, she could have actually forgotten her style of fighting, only running on half-remembered instincts and muscle memory.

    Regardless of the issue, it’s certainly not the worst I’ve had to work with, but could be much better. “Not a bad form you got there, remember how to stretch at least?” I tease slightly while moving to join her.

    She tenses slightly but visibly tries to relax at my comment, “Seems so. I think it used to be a habit of mine. Besides, I needed to start getting back in shape.” Taylor explains rather lamely. Either she’s just trying to keep up the illusion of amnesia, or she’s really bad at lying on the spot.

    But, she has the right idea, so I begin my own set of stretches while questioning her, “What for? Planning on joining the militia, maybe becoming a huntress?” I ask, genuinely curious.

    Taylor finishes her stretches up before she answers, her expression giving away nothing, “Got restless is all. Felt I had to move, helps clear my head.”

    I nod, putting my arms together above my head to finish up my warm-up, “Say no more, completely understandable. You look like a runner, am I wrong?” I ask, cooling down from the ever so slight burn of a good stretch.

    “I like to run, yeah. I remembered I liked to run as a kid.” She answers stiffly.

    Wow… she’s even worse than Kali was! It’s like she doesn’t know how to relax… yeesh, the poor woman.

    Instead of voicing my thoughts, mainly out of fear Kali and Taylor will gang up on me, I simply nod, changing the subject past small talk, “So, aura.” I begin, “I’d like to know what you know first as to not tell you something that you already know if that’s alright?”

    Taylor shrugs, evidently seeing no harm in it, “I’d only gotten roughly halfway through the textbook by this morning. But what I’ve gathered is mainly that not only is aura the physical expression of our souls, but it can be expressed in both conscious and unconscious ways. Like speeding up natural healing passively, but able to be sped up actively. Aura can also be a shield, blocking incoming attacks, but that has to be activated. I get anything wrong?” She asks, raising one eyebrow.

    I shake my head in the negative, happy that she’s got at least some basis, “Nope! You’ve got the very basics down at least. What that textbook will tell you later is that the active shielding aspect can become passive with enough training. Other than that? Well, aura also passively increases stamina, senses, and reflexes. But, still not much better than a well trained civilian by default.” I admit, “Though, the difference between well-trained huntsmen and a well trained civilian is enormous.” I explain emphatically to the now contemplative woman.

    She doesn’t take long to grace me with what’s on her enigmatic mind, “Okay…” She says slowly as if tasting her answer to word it just right, “But these... special abilities, the semblances. Are they at all linked to aura? If someone ran out of aura, would their semblance cease to function?”

    Blinking in slight shock, I have to say I’m genuinely surprised, it’s… an odd question for a fake amnesiac with it being common knowledge and all. Perhaps she really does only have some of her memories?

    Regardless of her amnesia being real or faked, I answer her question honestly, “That’s correct, actually, rather perspective of you! But, to more thoroughly answer your question, yes, almost all semblances cease to function when a huntsmen’s aura is depleted.”

    Something seems to occur to Taylor as her face flashes through unreadable emotions before they are gone just as fast as they came, “How, exactly, do people get a semblance, Ghira?” She asks with an intensity that throws me off momentarily.

    Speaking slowly, I can’t help the questioning tone that colors my answer, “Occasionally by a stressful situation some are not equipped to handle.” I tell her, but only become more confused at the harsh look that overcomes her features before I continue, “But, the vast majority unlock their semblance with training. However, some simply can’t accomplish this.” I finish, intently seeing how Taylor’s face smooths out, her shoulders sag slightly, and the almost palpable tension leaves her.

    That was… interesting to say the least.

    Do I risk prying and potentially set back her trust in us?

    Definitely not. But I’ll have to keep a closer eye on our wayward houseguest.

    As much as I wish for her recovery from her lack of trust, I care about Kali’s safety more.

    Taylor awkwardly tries to move on, her indifferent look would fool anyone else, well, anyone but me. I know she’s realized she let her true emotions slip through, regardless of how out of context they seem to me, “I… appreciate the answers, Ghira. But why don’t you show me some aura exercises now?” She asks, desperately trying to shift topics.

    Smiling while uncrossing my arms, I’ll allow her to keep her secrets, “Of course! I’d love to, Taylor. But…” I trail off, smirking widely, some might say viciously, “Know that training with me is quite an… intense experience, at least, that’s what I’m told.” Challengingly, I tease her a bit, see how much it riles her, “If you can take it, that is~”

    She either rises to the bait, or I’ve touched a nerve based on her tense stance and narrowed eyes, “Give me everything you got, Ghira.” She says coldly.

    Ignoring her cold words, I can’t help it, my smile grows till it hurts my cheeks!

    Well then, no time like the present!

    From my relaxed stance, I pump aura into my legs, immediately surging forward, hand cocked back to deliver a relatively weak but solid punch.

    By instinct alone, Taylor dodges to the left, simultaneously grabbing my wrist and pulling, attempting to use my momentum against me as she brings her leg around to kick the back of my left knee.

    She’s good… but it's useless against a huntsman.

    Layering a light aura over where I’m about the get hit, her quite powerful kick is deflected by my aura, making her attack rebound and giving me an opening as her body twists to accommodate. I use my other hand to grab her arm while correcting my footing so I don’t go tumbling then twist it behind her back, making her release me.

    With my now freed hand, I grab her shoulder, pulling her into a hold and disabling her arm behind her back.

    Oh… she might have messed up, but this will be immensely more fun than I thought.

    Taylor seems to stop moving on instinct, just now registering what happened, ”Wha-”

    Releasing her, she spins around to face me, her eyes now hard as steel and clearly re-examining me as I step away, “That, Taylor, was aura in use during combat. Your instincts and reaction times were top-notch, but had you used your aura on that kick, it would have had a much greater effect.” I explain, getting a slow nod from her, I can see her body is relaxed, her mindset likely just like when Kali was at her worst.

    Raising my hands, palms out, to show that I'm not a threat, I smile, calmly explaining more, “Relax, I won’t surprise you till we’re training for sudden attacks. Right now, we’re going to do some aura exercises I’ve come up with, sound good?”

    I’m pleasantly surprised when Taylor actually relaxes minutely, almost an unconscious thing of a part of her trusts me. Well, at the very least she trusts me not to lie to her.

    But, progress is progress!

    Taylor speaks up, “Alright... what’s first?”

    Chuckling, I begin to turn to walk over to the shed in the backyard, calling over my shoulder, “First, we’re gonna get you to manifest your aura at will! But, lemme get my hammer for later!”

    “H-Hammer?!” Comes the uncharacteristically high pitched voice of my training partner, drawing a good and boisterous belly laugh from me.


    Taylor Hebert

    ____________________________________________________________________________​

    It’s official… huntsmen are insane…

    Covered in sweat, knocked on my back, chest heaving, body pushed to its limits, and the taste of copper in my mouth. This… might have been a slight mistake on my part to ask for Ghira to give me all he’s got.

    Turns out, he was more than happy to. A massive grin on his face, looking like he was having the time of his life as he handed me my ass again and again.

    Just laying here on the soft grass, the sea breeze lapping at my skin as I wait for my shattered aura to slowly pull itself together.

    Could I get up? Yes. This isn’t even near the worst of what I’d experienced on Bet.

    Do I want to right now? No. For once, I think I can rest for just a bit, besides, I’ve gotten up too many times to count by now.

    “Taylor! You’re not dying on me, are ya?” Comes Ghira’s only slightly winded, cheery voice.

    Channeling my best droll monotone, I shoot back, not moving from my sprawled out position, “Yes. I have died, you killed me, you horrible monster.” I blame the exhaustion for my half-assed attempt at humor.

    A deep, joyful laugh reaches my ears, “You know, you’re funnier than you give yourself credit for.” Ghira says as I hear him walking over to my prone form. At the edge of my vision, I see Ghira’s hand, offering a way up.

    I stare at his hand for a moment, just feeling my aura begin to reform itself. My entire body tingles, before feeling like I’ve been dunked in ice water. An attentive sort of clarity returns to my mind as my gray aura surrounds me once more, my tired limbs filling with just enough energy to move once more.

    Sighing, I slowly get up, waving off Ghira’s offer of help as he sees my aura shimmer around my body and I sit upright on the grass. Feeling my hair clinging to my neck, I try running my hand through my sweat-soaked hair, only to hit some nasty snags, I wince as I pull a bit too hard.

    Note to self; get a good hairbrush.

    Giving up on messing with my hair, I look up at Ghira, the collar of his plain purple t-shirt wet with sweat. I sigh, at least managed to at least make him sweat in our little sparring matches.

    This just shows me how much of a gap there is between civilians and huntsmen.

    Sure, there’s a gap, but… why am I doing this, exactly?

    The thought brings me up shorthanded and unsure.

    I don’t have an actual answer. Why am I training, why am I doing all this? I should be happy, should be glad that there’s no world-ending threat. That there’s no need for me to learn how to use my aura. That I can relax for once in my fucked up life!

    What am I preparing for then?!

    The worst part is that I have no idea…

    My fists clench, knuckles turning white briefly in my bitter frustration. Ghira’s deep voice snaps me out of it, taking my reaction the wrong way, “Hey, hey, relax Taylor. You did amazingly compared to, well, essentially everyone in my barracks beside Sienna and myself! Don’t be so hard on yourself, okay?” He tries to reassure me.

    It seems like I can’t Ghira… it really seems like I don’t know how to relax. Not anymore at least.

    Letting go of the tension in my body, I see Ghira, still smiling so supportively, all the while loving life with all his heart.

    It makes me feel so… lacking in comparison, like I’m not good enough at living.

    I hate it.

    My mouth moves before my brain can register the words, “Why are you doing this?” The words sounding bitter and like ash on my tongue. Ghira looks confused so I go all in and commit, “Helping me, I mean. I get Kali, that’s just how she is and has her reasons… but what about you?” I explain, each word feeling like it’s trying to choke me.

    But I’m not done yet, “Why, why train me, why let me into your home? Why do you c-” The word gets lodged in my throat, my eyes widen as I realize just how worked up I’d gotten. Instead of fixing it and try to explain myself, I just go abruptly silent, unable to look at him, I look away.

    But not Ghira, I feel his likely calm eyes on me even as I grit my teeth in anger, mostly at myself. I’m not used to my emotions and reactions being this easy to read damnit, I fooled one of the best thinkers in my world but now? I can’t hide the slightest expression…

    Ghira’s words exude a patient that I’m not used to when dealing with me, “Why do I care, Taylor?” Ghira says with emphasis, making me wince involuntarily as he continues, “It’s simple, really. I care because I couldn’t send you on your own and with seemingly no one to turn to. That’s not the kind of man I am, Taylor.”

    I honestly don’t know what’s more incredible. That someone like Ghira exists or that I’m the person he’s decided to spend so much time and energy on. I’m flattered, and while I’m maybe not exactly happy with my current situation, this still seems too good to be true.

    Ghira sighs, sounding almost disappointed yet still caring as he places his rather large hand on my shoulder. The motion snapping me from my thoughts, as I turn to meet his soft yellow eyes, “I can’t pretend to know what you’re thinking right now Taylor, but I can take a guess. You think this is all too good to be real, and depending on your past, too genuine.”

    I bristle a bit more than I like, slightly upset I’m so easy to read evidently.

    “So, maybe a more selfish reason will help?” He asks, only serving to make me genuinely curious as he continues with a wide unrestrained grin, “I do this because I find it fun. I find it enjoyable, believe it or not,” He whispers while wiggling his bushy eyebrows and it almost, almost draws a huff of a laugh from me, “I genuinely like to help people and teach people to be better than they could alone.”

    I nearly feel bad for how slightly sickeningly sweet I find his, as far as I can tell, genuinely heartfelt words. It’s like one of those much too peppy and happy people that makes you feel tired and sad in comparison.

    Have I really grown that pessimistic? That disillusioned with the world or, at least, my world?

    Shaking my head slightly to banish the thought to be dealt with later, I more than a little hesitantly admit to Ghira, “That’s… I don’t know if I should be impressed or shocked that you guessed correctly.”

    He chuckles as his expression turns almost nostalgic, “Brothers, you remind me so much of Kali! It’s honestly scary how alike you are at times, she said nearly the exact same thing once I started to figure her mysterious self out! I can definitely see what she meant.”

    An almost irrational feeling of frustration and bitterness overtakes me at his words. I’m honestly getting really sick and tired of them acting like they know me, that I’m oh so similar to Kali. Not only do I doubt Kali did near as many horrible things, but I am not, and never can be that happy!

    Shoving his hand off my shoulder, I glare at a suddenly calm and slightly surprised Ghira, “But I’m not Kali. So I’d appreciate it if you stopped treating me like you actually know me because you don’t.” I move to get past the object of my frustration when his deadly serious words stop me in my tracks, “You’re right, Taylor.” I can’t see his expression, but something in his voice gives me pause, preventing me from just walking off.

    “You’re absolutely right, Taylor, you cannot and never will be Kali. And I would never want you to be. But there is a reason I compare you to her,” He explains, sounding so sincere and solemn, so unlike his relatively happy self just moments prior, “I want you to know that you are not alone in your pain, that you are not alone in the darkness of your past. I want you to know there are people if you choose to believe it or not, who know what you went through and want to help you get better.” The near pleading and genuine passion throw me off-guard.

    I’m caught with indecision, what can I say to something like that?

    That he’s wrong? That no one can relate to me? That I don’t deserve to think like that?

    But I can’t say anything like that because logically, I know he’s right. I know there are people who have suffered like me in my world, hell, I’ve met people, at least briefly, who were in worse situations than me.

    That doesn’t mean it’s any easier to accept that people want to help me “become a better person”, whatever that means anymore.

    Dad… he always felt too far away to really help me.

    Yamada tried, she really did, but failed in the end.

    Lisa was the closest. Maybe it was because of her agent but she was the closest to me, she knew me the best.

    At that point, Kali’s head pokes past the screen door and into the backyard, a massive and bright smile on her face, her cat ears twitching slightly as she sings songs, “Dinnnnerrrrr time~!!”

    But, something tells me these two might just try no matter what...

    More than thankful for Kali’s timing, I take the chance to walk past Ghira, “Think about what you really want, Taylor. It’s all I can ask.” He just has to sound ever so slightly disappointed in me.

    Gritting my teeth, I keep my expression as neutral as possible as to not alert Kali till she pulls her head back into the house. Making it inside is… a relief. Not just because it’s cooler inside, but a shower would be exactly what I need. Clear my head before meeting Kali and Ghira’s friend and the stink from myself will do wonders… I hope.

    With a sigh, I slightly raise my voice so Kali can hear as I walk down the hall that leads to the bathroom, “Kali! I’m going to shower really quick!”

    Her cheery reply is slightly muffled but audible, “Okay! I’ll keep it warm for you, just don't take too long Taylor!”

    I don’t respond, simply pushing the door open to a very… colorful bathroom. Closing the door behind me I still have to blink at the bright, almost neon yellow that colors the walls.

    I don’t know what I was expecting when I first got here. Probably something more unique and screaming Kali’s influence but it’s generally just a normal bathroom.

    Going over to the shower to my left, I turn the knob to the H for hot water. The showerhead kicks on as I start peeling my clothes from my body with a grimace. Turning around I place my sweat-soaked clothes on the sink, only to make the mistake of looking up to see… me.

    I’d never been one for vanity, never someone who obsessed over their appearance in the mirror, that was more Lisa’s speed and I rarely actually looked in a mirror for… awhile at least.

    The woman in the mirror covered with scars feels… wrong somehow. She looks so… so… tired and lost. Like she has the world on her shoulders and for once has no idea how to handle it all. I move my hand then so does she, I lift up my sweaty hair and so does she, I feel the indents of the bullet wounds courtesy of contessa and so does she.

    Letting out a shaky sigh, turn away from the mirror and step into the steaming shower. Something to deal with for another time.

    I let out a long and pleasurable sigh, the warm water doing wonders to release some tension I luxuriate in the moment even as I find some soaps and shampoos already prepared and start washing myself.

    Halfway through my shower, while rinsing out my long curly hair, I feel the familiar feeling of adrenaline leaving my body, slight aches, and pains filter into my mind in the wake of sudden exhaustion and dulling of senses.

    It’s nothing new, I’ve gotten used to it. In fact, I almost miss the sort of comforting sharpness and energy it gives already...

    The scrubbing of my hair slows as I rewind my own thoughts. I don’t like the implications. Makes me sound like… an addict.

    Three sharp knocks on the door snaps me into alertness before I forcefully calm myself down. I’m safe, it’s likely just Kali or Ghira. Sure enough, the catwoman’s voice comes out loud and clear over the running water, “Taylor? You doing okay, you’ve been in there for a while.”

    Cursing mentally, I call out, rushing to rinse my hair, “Y-Yeah! Be right out.”

    Whatever dark thoughts I had previously are forgotten, hurrying to finish then turning off the water to at least get semi-dry. As much as I might not fully trust the two Faunus, I don’t want to be rude and insult their friend.

    After throwing on a new change of a navy blue tank top and some black sweatpants from my room and quickly towel drying my hair as much as possible, I follow the sounds of conversation and laughter towards the kitchen.

    I see Ghira, Kali, and… what must be sienna casually eating and sharing conversation.

    She’s definitely unique alright.her simple black t-shirt does nothing to cover up her tan, almost black skin with darker... tiger stripes? Running all the way down her toned arms. Her pitch-black hair straddles the line between styled and unkempt, with what looks to be pierced ears of some kind of cat atop her head. Her back is turned, giving me ample opportunity to see her lazily swishing striped black tail.

    Definitely a tiger Faunus.

    Meanwhile, I just stand in the entrance to the kitchen, feeling increasingly awkward and thinking this might be a big mistake. Maybe I can pretend I don’t feel so go-

    That plan is dashed when Kali’s ears twitch and she immediately turns to me, her smile the brightness of the sun and leaving me wondering if aura can enhance hearing. “Taylor!” She says, standing up and drawing the attention of everyone. I give a weak and awkward wave. The catwoman continues, practically dragging me to the empty seat across from sienna, “Sit sit! I’ll get your food for you! Would you like anything to drink?” Kali asks kindly.

    Sienna’s constant silent analyzing stare is more than a little distracting but it’s nothing I haven’t dealt with, “Tea, if you have some. Any will do, thank you, Kali.”

    She beams at me and goes to get my food. Leaving me with no directing in what to do.

    It’s almost funny. Give me a dire situation, hostile negotiations, or life and death consequences and I’ll be perfectly fine. Making smalltalk and getting to know people?

    Never my strong suit.

    Right, just bite the bullet, I clear my throat and reach my hand over the table, “Hi Sienna, I’m Taylor.” I offer in the least awkward manner I can.

    She raises a sculpted eyebrow, drawing my attention to the red jewel embedded into her forehead. Isn’t that a… Hindu? Maybe Indian practice? Regardless, she takes my hand with a strong grip, “Sienna Khan. I’ve heard… many things about you, Taylor.” I inadvertently tense, glancing at Ghira for assistance but he’s simply observing.

    Letting go of her hand, I shrug, “Nothing bad I hope?” As casually as I can.

    The tiger Faunus chuckles, her lips form into a smirk, “Ghira was just telling me how he has a new vict- I mean volunteer.” She stresses the word, getting an unamused look from Ghira which only makes her smirk widen, “To spar with the king himself!”

    Ghira groans, stabbing into his broccoli and pointing the fork at a smug Sienna, “Don’t get her started on that now. I’ve told you not to call me that many times.” Now it’s my turn to give Sienna and Ghira a confused look, unable to help my curiosity, “King? Does Ghira have a nickname around here?”

    The tiger Faunus crosses her tanned arms and gives me a sharp nod, “Not really a nickname, it’s simple really, he’ll be the future king of Menagerie. Even if he doesn’t want to admit it!” She says with such passion and confidence that it’s easy to tell that she feels rather strongly about this despite Ghira sulkily popping the broccoli into his mouth.

    “Does Men-” I’m cut off as Kali happily places a white plate filled to the brim with food that smells heavenly. My stomach makes its demands heard, making me blush slightly.

    Kali giggles and moves to sit in her own seat, a cat-like smirk on her face, “See? Even your body agrees with me that you need to eat more! Plus using aura burns up a lot of energy, especially if it’s healing you. So, eat up!”

    She doesn’t need to tell me twice, I pick up the fork set for me and spear some scallops before plopping them in my mouth. I practically melt at the amazing home cooking, real home cooking I haven’t truly had since mom died.

    Swallowing, I take a sip of my tea, discovering it’s green tea. Kali’s smile is beyond bright at my reaction, “Glad you like it, Taylor! Soooo~” She drawls, with a mischievous purr that can’t mean anything good, “How’s my two favorite sticks in the mud getting along~?”

    My blank, entirely unamused expression is mirrored by Sienna at Kali, “I’m not a stick in the mud.” You both say in unison by accident.

    Wincing, Kali cackles like we just told the best joke in the world. Needless to say, I find my food much more appealing to hide my annoyance at her teasing.

    I can just hear the smug smile on her face, “Awwww, see? You’re already so alike!”

    Sienna growls but her tan cheeks are dusted pint in embarrassment, “That means nothing! You’re the one that never shuts up about it!” She huffs.

    Kali shrugs, unrepentant, “Maybe if it wasn’t true I would happily stop. Buuuttt I don’t think that’ll happen anytime soon.”

    Honestly, I’m with Sienna on this, I’m not a stick in the mud. I can have fun, sparring with Ghira was fun, using my power was fun, so is reading.

    As if reading my mind, Kali says lazily, ticking off her fingers, “And no, sparring, combat, semblance training, and weapons do not count.” Well, there goes all but reading for me…

    Sienna’s face twists up into a grimace, “But why don’t they count? Those are plenty of fun and-” Kali joins in, copying Sienna verbatim, “Are both practical and useful activities.” Sienna bright amber eyes glare daggers at a giggling Kali as I stick a piece of steak in my mouth.

    Savoring the great flavor of said steak, I swallow and try to steer this away from teasing, “So, Menagerie has a king?”

    This time its Ghira that speaks up, “No, not traditionally. We have a chief and have since this island has been founded. Sienna,” He says, giving her a look, “Is utterly convinced I’ll be the first king.” He says with the tone of someone who’s had this conversation many times.

    The tiger Faunus’ expression turns serious and fierce, passionate, “You’re damn right I do! I believe in you, believe that you’ll be the one to finally get us the respect and equality we deserve! Not this ‘gilded cage’ most love so much. I don’t understand how you can’t see that!” She hisses, her chair screeching as she stands up to lean across the table.

    Nonplussed, but still slightly surprised by her outburst, I wait and feel the tension rising in the room.

    Ghira sighs, giving Sienna a slightly pleading look, “Please, not in front of our guest.”

    The tiger Faunus calms slightly, but refuses to give ground expression determined, “No, if she’s going to live with you, she needs to know!”

    It might be a mistake because I haven’t gotten around to reading up on Menagerie in the history books I’ve been reading, but I have to ask, “Need to know what?”

    All heads snap to me, but Sienna gives me the smile of a predator that’s just caught sight of its prey, “Tell me Taylor, are you liking it here in this gilded cage we call our home?”

    I keep my expression blank, obviously seeing the baited question for what it is. I answer honestly regardless, “What do you mean by that, Sienna? This place is beautiful and the people seem quite happy with the little city they have from what I’ve seen. Ghira himself seems to put so much effort into making people happy and this city seems to like him.” I spare a glance to see Ghira with an uncomfortable expression on his face and kali had a look on her face I couldn't quite place.

    Sienna, meanwhile, seems gleeful to continue yet her tone is rueful as she leans forward with her palms on the table, “Yes… this island is nothing but a brother's damned cage. One given to us as a ‘reward' for our contribution to the Great War.” A scowl darkens her face, “It was nothing but a place to shove all the Faunus so they’d be in one place. Of course, a third of the land is covered in nothing but Grimm and sand! But yet, we’re supposed to be ‘happy with what we were given.’!? Never mind that they’ll never give us a CCT tower, that we’ll always have to make do with fewer supplies, that we always have to make compromises!” She hisses, her striped form clearly trembling with repressed rage.

    Glancing at Ghira and Kali, I see that they’re largely silent, likely wondering how I’ll take this.

    Calmly placing my arm on the table, I carefully pick my response in addressing all three of them, “I see, but if I may, what is it you do here exactly?”

    That seems to get Sienna’s attention but it’s Ghira that leans back in his chair while crossing his arms, “I’m the leader of the militia garrison here. I organize and train law enforcement, hunter parties into the desert, and defensive forces if necessary. Sienna is my lieutenant and usually shares or assists in my duties.” Ghira explains and Sienna just nods, seeing the description apt.

    Looking to Kali, she sheepishly rubs the back of her neck as a small blush forms on her cheeks, “Well, I’m a retired huntress. I help around the community when I can but I don’t have an official job as important as these two’s.”

    I give nod, turning the information over in my mind. There’s one main issue I can see and what I think Sienna is getting at, namely where I fit into all of this. Sienna and maybe even Ghira see me as someone that could be useful to them as a fighter and a human ally as there’s likely too few sympathetic humans willing to help here. While I doubt Kali has an ulterior motive besides be my… friend.

    Me of just a few months ago might have been ready to jump into an all-new conflict… but now? Now I’m not so sure I want to fight anymore.

    It makes me hate how good fighting feels even more…

    Taking a breath to steady, find myself wanting to treat this not as a casual conversation but as a negotiation with an enemy.

    I level Sienna with a blank look, calmly asking, “Why?”

    The tiger Faunus narrows her eyes in anger and confusion, “What do you mean, why?”

    I don’t need to be Lisa to know Ghira and Kali are equally confused.

    This might upset them, “I mean why tell me this? What would I do about it?”

    The tension in the room raises, mainly from Sienna’s indignant glare, “You’re to be living with what will be the future head of this land! If you’re not apart of it, then you’ll be surrounded by it.”

    Keeping myself calm in the face of her attitude this only proves her motives, “So? What am I supposed to do then? You assume I’m automatically invested in fighting what you clearly believe is a war.”

    The tension doubles, Sienna’s claws dig into the table audibly, her haunches raised as she angrily spits out in disgust, “Typical of a human. When it’s not your kind who’s being oppressed it’s just so easy to ignore, isn’t it?!”

    Oh, so she wants to be like that? My gaze goes ice cold, “You say that, but why should I care?”

    She looks like she wants to strangle me but she has nothing on Lung, “Why should you care?!” She slams a fist onto the table, shaking everything but I remain unfazed by her tantrum, “We are seen as little more than animals, slaves, lesser, and unnatural and you want to know why you should care?!” She near whispers in a cold rage.

    I give her a reaction, “Yes. I may owe Kali and Ghira my life and much more, but that does not extend to their entire race. So, I ask again,” I lean forward challengingly, “Why. should. I. care?”

    My body tenses on instinct alone as Sienna looks like she’s about to leap across the table to attack me. A split-second glance at Ghira and Kali lets me see them silently observing but ready to step in at a moments notice.

    Only for the near palpable tension to lessen as Sienna relaxes for no good reason and a look of realization crosses her face, one I’ve seen on Lisa far too many times. A sense of foreboding follows as a very feline grin of satisfaction takes shape, “You may not care about all the Faunus, true. But… I know what you want but don’t have.” She says evenly.

    What? What is she on about?

    Allowing some curiosity to show I ask, “Oh? And what do you think that is?”

    An involuntary shiver runs down my spine at her smug yet confident face that can never be a good thing. Shit, is Sienna a thinker? If she is, it’s not very efficient or quick.

    She purrs, “A purpose.

    My blood runs cold and a pit of dread takes shape in my stomach. A thinker, definitely a thinker… and me with no bugs to shunt my reactions into.

    Sienna takes my silence as a small victory, her expression one of a predatory whose found some cornered prey, “That’s right, a purpose. I’ve seen your type, brothers, I’ve trained with your type countless times. The calculating look that’s silently thinking of all the best ways to take me down, the numerous scars, blatant distrust of Kali and Ghira, and your eyes tell of a lifetime of hardship. You, like the others I trained with crave a purpose.” She once again purrs the word, as if caressing it.

    Damned thinkers, I let my guard down and now her power has its hooks in me.

    But do I deny it? As much as I hate to admit it… she’s right. I do want a purpose. I’m self-aware enough to know I am at my best with a goal, something to work towards and when I have nothing… I’m lost.

    She might be right, but that doesn’t mean I’ll sing to her tune.

    “Of course, the… purpose you think I need, it would involve the Faunus.” A statement, not a question.

    She pulls back, her smug look diminishing slightly as she agrees, “Of course.”

    “Sienna…” Kali says, her tone low and with a clear warning to it that even works as Sienna seems to stiffen, “You may be right about Taylor. But I will not allow you to try and use your semblance to convince her, this is not a battle, Sienna. This is not her fight, not unless she decides to make it hers, do you understand me?”

    The tiger Faunus tsks, “You know my semblance doesn’t force anyone or even works half the time…”

    But Kali’s silent glare is enough to cow her, “Fine, no semblance.” Sienna grumbles.

    Pleased with the result, Kali turns to me with a look of genuine concern, “I’m sorry if Sienna went too far, Taylor. She can get swept up in her semblance, especially if it’s for something she’s passionate about.”

    I sigh, Sienna’s damn words bouncing in my skull on repeat, “No, it… it’s fine, nothing I haven’t handled before.” I nearly flinch at the mix of curious and concerned looks from across the table.

    Letting my hand rest in my lap, I clench and unclench a fist, trying to center myself as Kali only made it worse because I’m not sure I actually have a choice in this. Logically, I do have a choice, I can walk away, never give in to my curiosity, and stick my head in the sand.

    But, is that the choice I can live with?

    I could say it’s for a good cause, say it’s a happy coincidence that I’d be helping the Faunus. Instead, I’d like to at least try to be more self-aware, to recognize that it’s purely selfish of me to need a purpose.

    Well, there’s only one thing I can ask, “What can I do?”

    Looking up at the rest at the table, Sienna is clearly suppressing a winning smile as she’s more than happy to respond, “Tell me what is it you know how to do?”

    That’s a loaded question if I ever heard one.

    It’s going to be a long night, I can feel it.

    _____________________________________________________________________________​
    Authors Note:

    Hello readers who are still watching this thread, I... I know we've both failed you in delievering this chapter promptly. Crimson and I wish to offer our sincerest apologies for the long overdue delay, we will be trying out damnest to get chapters out once a week or at most once per two weeks.

    As for a reason? I have gotten and started a brand new job recently along with some bouts of bad writer's block and depression that has horribly messed with my schedule and the amount of time I've had to work on this chapter. Crimson has also been given a promotion in his job that has more hours attached to it. We know these excuses aren't really worth much, but we hope you can at least understand where we're coming from.

    Thank you, and we hope you stick around for more.
     
  19. ScarletFlames

    ScarletFlames Making the rounds.

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    I for one think the wait was worth it, not only is there no quality drop, this chapter even feels better than the previous ones! I know people will complain that it's slow, but this is a slice of life part of the story, if it blazes by too fast it'd be unrealistic for taylor to trust ghira and kali. So in my opinion the pace is fine.

    Written from my phone so ignore bad grammar please
     
  20. MacrossRides

    MacrossRides Getting sticky.

    Joined:
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    Sienna, I want to slap you right in the freaking mouth. You are playing with a nuclear bomb right now, do not try to juggle it!
    ...well that was a weird statement. But seriously Taylor doesn't need this crap right now.
    Really looking forward to the next chapter!
     
    Wolfsroses59 likes this.
  21. Wolfsroses59

    Wolfsroses59 Getting sticky.

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    Long story short, if given a chance, Taylor could overwhelm Remnant due to sheer stubbornness to get things done, for better or worse, heres to hoping for better.
     
  22. kaazmiz

    kaazmiz Waiting for an Issekai Adventure

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    It was fun exploring aura.
    Though in this fic it suggests that Menagerie receives supplies from someplace? Tithe from the other kingdoms to tide them over the fact they live in a desert they don't know how to terraform?
     
  23. Felpere

    Felpere Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

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    "Oh, you know. I'm good with a little bit of boxing, planning combat situations, take over a city, kill a god... A little bit of everything, I suppose."
     
    gsteemso and Lightxdarkwing like this.
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