Monday, April 17, 2017

The "Best" RPG Ever-30

This particular part has been an endless source of writer's block to me, for some reason, so I'm very glad to finally be putting it out there. I even have the entire next part written already, and know pretty well what happens afterward, but I just couldn't seem to get past this one part!

Mika's conversation with the dragon-girl was interrupted by something like a low grunt. She looked in the direction it came from to find Zack's wolf looking up at her. "Oh, uh..when'd you get here?" He made another short grunting noise in his throat, which wasn't particularly helpful at answering the question. "Did you see him come in?" She asked, looking back up at Rose.
"Nope. Sorry, like..I was looking at you, and the door's behind me," she said.
"Yeah, that's fair."
"Is this your pet wolf? His fur is so pretty!"
"Well, not mine exactly. And he doesn't like being called a pet." She looked back at the animal: "Well, where's Zack? What do you want with me, huh?" Rather than making another sound, he stood up.
"I think he wants you to follow him," said Rose. She could...remember having friendly animals around her forest now and then, and it seemed like the kind of thing a wolf did to get someone to follow.
"Oh. Well, I guess I'd better do that, then. Anyway, you'd bite me or something if I kept ignoring you, right?" The wolf made a small whine that sounded suspiciously like a 'no' to her, but she stood up anyway. "I'll catch up with you later, okay Rose?"
"Sure!" she said enthusiastically.

"Have fun with your new friends~!" Mika waved and went out the door, following the big canine out onto the streets. It started running off and she was able to run after it for a minute or so before having to stop to catch her breath. The wolf ran back and sat down in front of her while she puffed. "Well excuse me for not having four legs," she said. "If you wanna race, I'm gonna cheat." The witch produced her broom and sat down on it. "Okay, go wherever it is you're going, I'll follow you from up there," she said, pointing up. "Get it?"
He grunted again, which she took to mean yes since he then turned around and started running again. Mika counted herself lucky that the team pet had shiny white fur that was easy to see from above, and followed along with her broom for a few minutes before finally seeing the animal stop at a particular building and coming down to land next to him.

", this is a library," she said, reading the sign over the door. "You want me to read you a bedtime story?"
The wolf growled at her with what seemed like annoyance. "Okay, I guess not. this where Zack is, then? Alpha, or whatever?" The wolf whined again, its tail wagging a bit. "I'll take that as a yes. So why don't you go bug him if you're bored or whatever?" It gave her a deep-throated bark in response, which didn't make any sense. "Okay, I'll go bug him then."

The poor man behind the counter looked like he was going to have a heart attack when he saw Mika's wings and tail, and when she looked just about ready to ask him something he said, "Y-you'll have to ask someone else about the restricted section, ma'am!" before ducking behind the counter.
"Err..." The witch stepped a little closer and leaned over the counter to look at the attendant, who seemed absolutely convinced he had disappeared from sight. "I was just gonna ask if you saw a, uh, wolf person come in here a while ago. A kinda tall girl, white hair, white fur?"
"Oh!," he said finally. "I-it looked like she didn't really know where she was going, but I last saw her on the way to the reading lounge."
"Okay, thank you." Mika started in that direction, and briefly turned around about halfway there to see the man in the middle of the process of slightly raising himself back up, only for him to see that she saw him and instantly squat back down.

The witch found her mark on a couch in the lounge, slumped back and eyes closed, with an open book lying across the top of his chest. Nora was sitting next to him on the same couch, her hand hovering in the air partway to Zack's head. The elf noticed her after a second and withdrew the hand with a soft "Oh!" before crumpling herself emphatically against the opposite side of the couch, her face conspicuously red.
Mika waited until she was closer to them, and spoke very quietly. "What have you two been up to without me, huh?"
"E-err, uh.." Nora's blush brightened considerably. "We were b-both reading to t-t-try and get a better idea of the world, but um..I l-looked up a minute ago and he was asleep," she whispered.
"You were thinking about touching her fur, weren't you?" said Mika with a smirk.
"M-maybe a little..b-but I thought maybe I should w-wake him up since it's p-pretty close to suppertime, too.."
"Well, I don't blame you. It does look temptingly soft, especially after the wash today," said Mika, leaning over Zack's side of the couch. Not having nearly as many reservations as the weaver, she reached out a hand and ran it across one of Zack's ears right away. The ear twitched and he shuddered slightly but didn't wake, and made a soft, high "Mrf" noise in the back of his throat. After grinning at Nora, who now looked nearly as terrified as the attendant had earlier, she made a small show of brushing her palm against the very tip of the wolf-girl's tail before bringing her hand back up to Zack's head and poking him slightly hard in the forehead.

"Gah!" This was enough to wake him up, and he jolted forward enough for the book he was wearing to clatter onto the floor. He looked around in a panicked fashion for a couple of seconds before catching up to his surroundings. He looked slower, first at Nora and then in the exact opposite direction at the witch standing over him. "Oh...was I asleep?"
"Yep! Your pet was getting worried about you, so he went and got me," said the witch.
"Huh. How long have we been here, anyway?"
"P-pretty long," said Nora, most of her blush from earlier gone by now. "We should uh, p-probably head back to the tavern to meet Katherine for supper by now."
"Yeah," Zack shook his head slightly as if to clear it. "Um, sorry I dozed off. I guess I'm more tired than I thought I was..."
"I-it's fine," said Nora, standing up.
"Go apologize to the wolf!" said Mika.

On their way into the inn, the party of three saw a girl in the doorway waving at Rose. "Have fun with your new friends~!" she said, and then ran off, following a white wolf. Aria watched them go more intently than the others.
"What?" said Rayna.
"You'd just get the same answers twice," she said with a shrug. "Let's not keep that dragon waiting." And immediately started into the inn. After sharing a brief look of mutual confusion, the other two followed.

Rose stood up and turned around to wave bye to the witch, only to see Clera and Rayna coming in behind someone she didn't know. "Oh, hiii!" she said excitedly, skipping over. "Who's this? Another friend?"
"Another member of our party," answered the winged girl.
"Yo, I'm Aria." She offered a hand to shake.
"Ohh. I'm Rose, nice to meet you!" she said, grabbing the stranger's hands between her palms and waving both arms up and down a couple of times.
"Um, you too," answered Aria, initially confused by the unusual handshake. When she withdrew the hands the reason became more obvious.
"You're so taall," said the dragon-girl breathily, looking up at her.
"Well, I don't have to be. I'm a shapeshifter," said Aria, demonstrating by pulling her height down some inches to match Rose's.
"Wow, that's so cool!" she said excitedly, her grin widening.

The swordwoman looked to Rayna at this. "Well, I like her. Can we keep her?"
"She isn't a pet," snapped Clera from the opposite direction, annoyed.
"I was joking?" Aria turned around to give a sideways grin and palms-up expression.
"Anyway, the fourth member of our party is out on a date," said Rayna. "So I thought it'd be nice to go out to one of the other restaurants for a change instead of eating here yet again. Maybe we'll just happen to run across wherever they're eating and see how it's going."
"Seems acceptable," said Clera.
"Uh-huh, as long as they have meat!" added the dragon girl.
"Lead the way!" said the shifter enthusastically. So they all started back out of the tavern.

"You really just want to spy on Lynn, right?" said Aria.
"We've been friends longer than my memory actually goes," said Rayna. "I have every right to be curious. Besides, it's not nearly serious enough if me stopping by to embarrass her ruins it."

"What were you saying about getting the same answers twice?" said Clera.
"Hm? Oh, right." Aria turned to the dragon-girl. "Rose, who was that we saw saying bye to you on her way out of the inn?"
"Oh, that was Mika," she chirped, "one of the ad-venturers I came to town with. She's a, uhhmm, a witch but she's really nice! Not evil or anything."
"You realize saying that has the opposite effect," said the winged girl, to which Rose responded with a perplexed look. "If you sound like you are emphatically denying something it sounds like you believe the opposite of your own words and want to fool others," she explained patiently.
"Oh..b-but that, I didn't..."
"We understand," said Rayna. "Anyway, what about her?"

"Well, I met a different member of the same party today," said Aria, "Katherine. She's a mind-reader, and got curious when she couldn't hear anything but the demon talking in my head. Apparently it just says the word 'blood' a lot."
"You have a demon in your head?" said the dragon-girl.
"In my sword. Same thing, I guess. Anyway, I think Mika is also our witch."
"We don't have a witch, last I checked," said the fox-girl.
"I'm talking about what the captain said. You know, about the portal I came out of at first? The work of a witch or a warlock? I think it's this one."
"Would you mind explaining this from the start?" said Clera.
"As I recall, we're supposed to keep that quiet," said Rayna, frowning with her ears down a bit.
"I can keep a secret!" said Rose. And then, with no prompting other than a brief pause, she amended: "Um...maybe. Well, I mean I'll be back in my forest soon anyway..."
Rayna sighed. "Fine, fine."

Katherine walked up next to the rest of her party. "There you are. Tracking you down was much harder than it should've been."
"We were just on the way back to the inn," said Zack. "You know, where we agreed to meet."
"Yes, but I wanted to see if I could track someone by checking the recent sense memory of a bunch of others who might've seen them go by without specifically noticing 'em. I couldn't find much of anything until I picked up Mika's trail, and even then I got led the wrong way five or six times."
"You d-didn't account for the fact that th-the witnesses move around," said Nora.
"Well, I know that now. Anyway, I think it's best to just keep relying on Zack's nose for now."
Zack grunted, "Hmph."
"What? You did a good job of tracking Nora down."

A good sign: The food had come, and they were still talking. Well, Rast was talking right this second. "So then I—oh, uh.." He pointed vaguely behind her. "Someone's tryin' to get your attention there."
Lynn turned around so her knees were on top of the seat. There was a window in that direction, and Rayna was standing there waving, the rest of their party behind her and behind that a girl with horns and scales she didn't recognize. Once Lynn was looking, she mouthed 'how's it going?'
Lynn glared and waved her hands off to one side, 'Fine, go away!'
Instead of going away, Rayna tugged at her own skirt and mouthed 'when did you pick that number up? It's really cute!'
Feeling a heat in her cheeks, Lynn half-whispered 'Later! Go away!' and made a more violent wave away.
'Fiiiine. Have fun!' Punctuating that with a wink, the fox-girl turned aside and moved on along the street, the rest of the little entourage following.

She turned back around to a normal sitting position, glad she hadn't managed to kick her food off the table in the excitement. "What was that all about?" said Rast.
"Just Ray being Ray," she said, deliberately shortening the name out of spite even though she wasn't there to hear it. She sighed. "I guess dating me means dealing with her."
"Well, that's alright," he said, "she seems nice enough. Not nearly as cute as you, though."
Lynn felt another blush come on along with a small giggle. This was all so strange...but hearing him call her cute felt fuzzy and nice in a way she hadn't quite experienced before.

The rest of the date seemed to float by quickly, neither of them ever running out of things to say. He kept complimenting her, and she started openly flirting back. But eventually, they were standing at the door to the inn. "Um well..." Lynn half-turned toward the door, and then back to Rast. "Look, we need to do this again sometime. Pretty soon," she said.
"Yeah, we do," he said. "We c'n figure out a time now, if you like."
"No, yeah, I—I don't know. I need to—to check with, um.." She felt very flustered all of a sudden, and it was hard to make normal sentences. "Just check with me, we—I'll be around the guard station pretty often, after I can—I don't really want to, you know.." She was trying to explain that she needed to check with the rest of her party to figure out exactly when they could have another date, but it kept coming out wrong because she was terrified he was going to misconstrue it as her putting it off indefinitely.
"I know what you mean," he said. "You're awful jumpy all of a sudden, you know?"
"Y-yeah, be honest it's because I was thinking of—maybe, uh...oh, forget it I'll just show you."

Lynn leapt at him, wrapping her arms around him when she landed, and in the same motion pressed her lips against him as hard as she could. There was still a big part of her worried he was going to be disgusted and push her off or something, but those worries died as she felt his arms wrapping around her, him returning the kiss just as eagerly as she was giving it. It lasted for what felt like hours before they finally both seemed to tacily agree they needed to come up for air, and then their faces parted by a few inches, both panting slightly.
"Uh—um," Lynn's face was practically on fire. She slid herself down to the ground while he was still stunned and hopped back a step or two. "S-so, definitely sometime soon. Like this week!"
Too embarrassed to wait for his response, she ran for the door to go inside, but he did yell back "S-sure!" before it closed behind her.

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