[Vol. 5 pt. 7] Patch 1.0: Forming Alliances
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“Now that we’re all seated, how about we go around the table and introduce ourselves?” Marija proposes. Nobody disagrees, so she starts. “As I have already said, my name is Marija, and I am the chieftess of Spike Port. I know how the town, and us inhabitants of us, may look to new outsiders, but I assure you that we will treat you with nothing less than respect as long as you give us the same treatment. Should you decide to treat us in any other way, you will learn where those skeletons hanging around the town came from.”

“What she means to say is that she’ll turn you all into some skellies,” King Cat cuts in and earns a sigh from the chieftess. “Anyways, you all already know me. King Cat of Catsville.”

Fenrir and his companions now remember why they never knew what the name of King Cat’s town is.

It wasn’t that they never learned the name.

They just chose not to remember it.

King Cat’s name is immersion-breaking enough on its own. Now they are all reminded that not only is he King Cat, but he is King Cat, the king of Catsville.

“That about sums me up,” King Cat says without actually summing anything up other than his name and the name of his town. “Now, this boy here is Leroy. You know, after the Leeroy of gaming legend.”

The boy that King Cat is pointing to is the very same engineering boy who traded the fireworks to Fenrir and Rao. Only, while the boy was spunky before, now he seems unable to take his eyes off of Tabitha despite the fact that she just looks like a girl version of himself.

Fenrir immediately recognizes the look in Leeroy’s eyes.

Cupid paid Leeroy a visit and stuck an arrow through him with Tabitha’s name on it.

Unfortunately for Leeroy, Tabitha is too busy looking at the bulging biceps of Marija to even notice that he exists.

Everybody else in the room notices where Leeroy is busy staring, too, and they decide to move on once they realize that they’re not going to be getting a proper introduction out of him.

“I suppose that I am next!” Nell announces, standing up from her chair to offer a polite curtsy to the eyes upon her. “My name is Nell, and—”

“Excuse me,” Marija interrupts, “but are you the one blessed by the Western Serpent?”

“A-ah, yes, that would be me.”

Fenrir can’t help but to immediately feel defensive upon hearing somebody’s interest in that part of Nell. After everything with Ull – after learning that almost any powerful player in Fantasy Tales Online would love to capture Nell for their own uses, how could he not get protective over her?

“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” Marija continues. “I have heard of you and of what extents some have gone to capture you, but do not worry about that for as long as you are an ally of ours. I will personally ensure that no brute will ever harm even a single hair on your head.”

“Wait, what? What was with that super cool, main-character-tier pick-up line?” Fenrir thinks to himself, and he also wants to know what that smile from Marija to Nell is supposed to mean. “Is – is my girlfriend being flirted with by this muscular woman?”

What really worries him is the fact that, knowing Nell, she would probably eat this situation up as some sort of erotic fantasy that involves Marija trying to steal her from Fenrir. The last thing he needs is for Nell to potentially put any ideas into the leader’s head.

“I am glad to receive your word of protection, but I am sure that my hero,” Nell says, grabbing onto Fenrir and pulling him up out of his chair so that she can hug his nearest arm against her chest, “will protect me so that you may focus your strength on those who need it.”

“My girlfriends are way too good for me,” Fenrir thinks to himself and feels stupid for ever worrying about anything.

“After all, he is the one who was able to save me from Ull, and he is the one I have chosen as my champion! If he cannot protect me, I do not believe that anybody else would be able to,” she continues.

Marija sighs and smiles. “Nice catch,” she tells Fenrir.

“I do like fishing,” Fenrir answers.

He immediately regrets his choice of answer.

“Nice catch,” made him immediately think of fishing, and Nell seems to have enjoyed his response seeing as how she’s giggling next to him with one hand over her mouth, but everybody else just looks confused or like they’re trying not to laugh at him.

“An-anyways, my name is Fenrir, and I’m the leader of The Soaring Wolves aboard The Shoebill. I might call myself the leader, but we all have roles of equal importance and wouldn’t be able to operate without everybody working together,” he says, trying to switch into his professional personality that has gotten little use in recent years. “I am thankful for having the opportunity to meet with everybody today.”

With his introduction over, Nell sits back down and tugs him down with her so that introductions can go on to the next member of their party.

Tabitha.

“I uh – the name is Tabitha! Tabitha Strism. I build stuff and uhh, like… engineerin’ and tinkerin’ and… I can help ya out with any problems ya might ever have if they need an engineer!”

Fenrir, Nell, and Corwin have never, ever, seen Tabitha look and sound so flustered. She’s even struggling to maintain  eye contact with Marija’s muscles and doesn’t seem to even care that Marija was just trying to flirt with Nell.

Tabitha sits down as quickly as she stood up.

“Is it just me or are there like five different ships trying to set sail right now?” Fenrir thinks.

“The shipping possibilities are endless, onii-wan,” Saya answers.

“Seriously, and what’s with this love triangle? Or is it a love square? Leeroy likes Tabs, Tabs like Marija, Marija likes Nell, and Nell likes me. I don’t even know what shape this is anymore.”

“I’m shipping Tabs with Marija myself. I think Tabs would look super cute getting flustered and pushed up against the wall by Marija.”

“Do you remember what happened when I tried that with you? Tabs is like, a third as tall as Marija.”

“Then Marija just has to use her legs to block Tabitha’s escape instead of her arms… but that might look weird.”

“And you call me the pervert.”

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