“My name is Corwin Hale. It is a pleasure to meet all of you,” Corwin says, trying to be just as polite as Nell was by bowing and everything.
He even manages to come off just as feminine as her despite clearly being a man.
Fenrir fears for Corwin when he catches Marija licking her lips while looking at him. It is clear that her strike zone includes men and women alike as long as they are polite, feminine, and either look like princesses or princes who want to be treated like princesses.
Next is Rainbow Afro. Though, as soon as he opens his lips to introduce himself, Marija is quick to speak up and say, “That should do it for introductions.”
“Ouch,” King Cat says. “You really hate his accent, don’t you?”
“It isn’t cute at all.”
“You know, for somebody who loves to hang skeletons all over the place, you sure do love cute things. Kinda contradictory, don’t you think?”
“How is that contradictory? Skeletons are cute. You should see the charm I have on my phone.”
“Come on, don’t get started on this in front of everybody. You’re supposed to be some sort of tough chieftess lady, not a goth squealing over skeletons.”
“You just reminded me. I got tickets for a concert but won’t be able to make it. Want them?”
“Are they some goth metal band like the last one with tons of screaming?”
“I guess I’ll drop by and take them off you for my sis. I—”
“Maybe some otha time?” Rainbow Afro interrupts.
King Cat and Marija clear their throats before leaning back in their seats to try and get back on topic. “Sorry about that,” she says.
“It’s alright. I’m guessing you two are friends in real life?” Fenrir asks.
“And friends,” King Cat says.
“But mainly coworkers.”
“You never want to just admit it, you stubborn woman.”
“You always want to be too personal, you insubordinate cat-lover.”
Rainbow Afro forces out a cough, ending the friends’ back-and-forth once more.
King Cat is the one to apologize this time. “Sorry about that.”
“Let’s get to the point before we get distracted again,” Marija proposes. “You believe that an army is going to attack?”
“I’m willing to bet that it will, but right now, all I can say for a fact is that an army exists,” Fenrir explains.
“And you agree with him?” she asks King Cat.
“That I do,” he answers. “Call it a gut feeling. Or something else. Either way, I can just tell that something big is going to happen. Call it a cat’s instincts.”
“Why don’t you get some cat ears and a tail like the dog over there if you’re so obsessed with cats?”
“Because. Those look better on girls than guys.”
“You could always become a girl.”
“Not after what you put me through the last time.”
Fenrir and Nell don’t know what to do other than to sit there and blink at the conversation that they are hearing. Corwin is keeping to himself and tuning out any conversations that are clearly not meant for him to hear, and Tabitha is still looking at Marija’s muscles as if they are the most beautiful wonders that she has ever seen.
“The Shoebill is going to get jealous if you stare too hard,” Fenrir whispers to Tabitha.
Tabitha elbows him in his side before returning her attention to Marija.
“C’mon, y’all. I was busy practicin’ my new skills before this. Bicker like a pair o’ lovers after the rest of us’re gone,” Rainbow Afro says.
Despite being the most immersion-breaking man in the room, he’s the one who seems to be taking the meeting the most seriously even as he combs a rainbow-colored brush through his afro.
“They are quite the characters, my hero,” Nell whispers.
“Yeah, but they seem to get along pretty good. I like them,” Fenrir whispers back.
“I should also mention that I will be expecting quite the pampering later.”
“Thanks, and you’ll get pampered as much as you want.”
“I am tempted to mimic Serra and ask if there is something else I can get as much as I want, but alas, I would feel guilty stealing her job from her.”
“You know, just saying you want to say that is basically the same as saying it.”
“Saying what, my hero? I have only said that I wish to be pampered.”
“Sure you did. Anyways, if you want that later then I can give you as much of—”
King Cat is the one to cough this time.
This is when Fenrir and Nell realize that they went from whispering to talking at a normal volume.
They each blush and try to brush it off with some light chuckling, but even Tabitha is staring at them with an unimpressed expression now.
“An-anyways,” Fenrir says. “I think we have two options. We can either wait until the army attacks us on its own, or we can lure it to attack us where we’re prepared for it.”
“Is seeking the army out and destroying it at its location not an option?” Marija asks.
“It is if we have any good ways of destroying an army at the bottom of the ocean. Tabs here could probably make some depth charges if she really wanted to, but I have a feeling those wouldn’t be good enough. Though… they might be able to help thin out the numbers. Tabs, could you do that?”
“Already workin’ on plans for some. The deer suggested that,” Tabitha answers.
“Leave it to Olly.”
“Is it safe to assume that you want to lure the army to a specified location then?” Marija asks.
“Yeah. I think it’d be the best option to deal with it without putting any of the towns at risk.”
“Spike Port is the most defensible town in this region. You won’t get any safer unless you go into the mountains, and I doubt that an underwater army is willing to assault prepared defenders in a mountain.”
“It’s the most defensible town, and we have no plans of luring the army into the mountains.”
“Then where do you wish to fight them?”
“At a fortress built specifically to kick the ass of any underwater monster who tries to attack it, far enough away from all the other towns that they should be completely safe.”
“And who is going to build this specialized fortress?”
“That’s what we’re here for.”