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Offline MahluaandMilk

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Ecchiverse: Reset (Chapter 19)
« Reply #90 on: November 29, 2018, 01:36:52 PM »
Aha! Finally. It's been a little over a week since the last chapter, but I seem to be back on the ball now, sort of. If all goes really, really well, I'd like to also start chapter 20 today, and if a miracle happens, we might have that tonight as well. But again, we're talking miracles at that point. :angel:

Chapter 19
And slowly we see plot progressing
And "plot" progressing
The next morning, the sound of voices outside her door tickled Mahlua’s senses into wakefulness. She felt an ear twitch and jolted upright. Her hand flew to the area of the twitch to confirm the odd feeling and met with short, fluffy fur. Over the course of the night, she must have grown the new hedgehog-y appendages. A long stretch alerted her to the short tail that completed the set. Outside, the High Priestess’s voice came clear.

“All right, Salem, all right. Since you’re so eager, I’ll check if she’s awake.”

“Thanks, Juniper,” Salem’s voice replied. There was a hint of flirtation in her tone.

A gentle knock tapped on the door to the guest room, followed by the High Priestess rolling the door to the side. Mahlua flinched and felt the shaved part of her hair prickle upward.

“Good morning,” the High Priestess nodded. She smiled with a motherly warmth. “It looks like you’ve already started to take after your parent.”

Confused, Mahlua got up for another stretch. “Uh, thanks?”

“Juniper,” Salem whined, drawing out the name.

The High Priestess chuckled. “Yes, yes. We’ll be out in a moment,” she called back, and then, where only she and Mahlua could hear, she whispered “That girl can be so impatient.”

“Did you tell her the result, or is she impatient for other reasons?” Mahlua asked.

“I did not. It is for you to do. Please put on the robe so you can introduce yourself,” the High Priestess gestured to the folded cloth beside the bed. Mahlua nodded and obeyed.

Once Mahlua donned the hood, the High Priestess led her into the main living area where Salem and Feta were waiting. “Oh, and there is tea. I’m sure you will appreciate it,” the High Priestess added before she moved the door. Once she mentioned it, Mahlua’s throat did feel dry and raw.

Like she saw Feta do before her, Mahlua lowered her hood after she stepped into the room. “Child of the hedgehog,” the High Priestess said, folding her arms into her robes, “Tell us the name your parent has given you.”

A whisper warmed the air by one of Mahlua’s large ears. She smiled at its familiar small, nasal tone.

“My new name is Spike,” Mahlua replied.

“Welcome home, Spike,” everyone said. A glint sparkled in Salem’s eye as she stood up. Mahlua braced herself for the inevitable pounce. Sure enough, Salem rushed her and threw her arms around her, knocking her to the ground.

“You’re so cute! I’ve never seen a harinezumimi before,” Salem purred, nuzzling her head into Mahlua’s chest.

“At some point, we’re going to have to teach you some manners, Salem” the High Priestess chuckled.

---

By midday, preparations were under way for Feta to return to the village and for Mahlua to continue her journey. Feta agreed to carry news of Salem’s new position to the town, while Mahlua would travel up the mountain even further to find the way to the next level. Since Mahlua would be leaving the plane soon, she needed fewer supplies, and therefore could leave sooner.

Mahlua adjusted the straps on her hip harness for her weapon sheathes and backpack. As she turned around, Salem caught her arm.

“I hope we get to see each other again,” Salem said. “I’ll get you for sure, then.”

A hot chill skittered sweat down Mahlua’s back. “You’re really set on that, aren’t you?” she asked. Her face softened. “I’m not sure if we will, but, then again, I’ve not been sure of much of anything since I stepped inside this crazy tower. At this point, I don’t know if anything would surprise me.” She started to turn, but Salem’s grip turned her back.

Mahlua didn’t have time to process the pair of lips that caught hers. Salem shifted and wrapped her arms around Mahlua’s neck, then pressed in for another, longer kiss. This time, Mahlua didn’t fight. She rested her hands on Salem’s hips and drew them to meet hers. Two kisses rolled into three, and then, just before she pulled away, Salem slithered her tongue between her teeth. Mahlua leaned forward for more, but Salem put up a hand between them.

“If we keep going, I don’t think you’ll be leaving today,” Salem pointed out. Her tail flicked at an agitated pace. Mahlua’s cotton-headed feeling made it both easier and harder to agree.

“Well, whose fault would that be?” the High Priestess interjected.

Mahlua flinched and released Salem’s hips. She still wasn’t used to how her hair prickled when she was surprised.

“When did you get there?” Salem asked.

“Long enough ago,” the High Priestess said with a dismissive wave of the hand. “I knew you’d pull something like this. But, we’ll have plenty of time to deal with your frustrations later. For now, let’s bid our new friend farewell.”

A spark shifted the air. Something about how Salem’s posture changed tipped Mahlua off. She coughed to dismiss the flood of mental images of the two priestesses and whatever power dynamic they probably had.

“Thank you for your hospitality. I’ll be sure to use this new knowledge well,” Mahlua said.

“May it guide you well,” the High Priestess replied. She made a gesture with her hand and Salem joined her at her side.

Mahlua waved, and then turned to head up the path outlined for her. She wished she could have Feta along with her to ask if what she picked up on was normal among kemonomimi priesthoods, or if she had just been imagining things.

---

As the High Priestess had said, the path was not difficult to follow, and as the forest engulfed her, the raider noticed a shift. Day quickly turned to night around her, and lights emerged from the distance. Mahlua hiked closer, and the woods grew thinner. The bright lights were streetlights, it turned out, and the path she followed led to an old bus stop littered with graffiti writers’ names in an array of colors and styles. She took a seat on the old wooden bench to rest, and waited.
"It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure."--Marquis de Sade
But yes hello I am the freakier freak than you.

Offline rubixmaestro

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Re: Ecchiverse: Reset
« Reply #91 on: December 01, 2018, 02:12:08 PM »
Review for Chap 18

Spoiler
1. Night had fallen, casting indigo shadows to obscure the dirt path and animal charms that hung, swaying in the chilled night breeze. The water wheel clattered at its trance-like pace, churning a thin mist that made either bank of the mountain river fuzzy. Amidst the foggy glow, a lantern shone by the door of a smaller building surrounded by stone pillars, which had a quartz vein running through them, showing their relation. Under the guiding lantern, the High Priestess stood, arms still folded into her robes. She nodded and ducked inside as Mahlua approached. Mahlua hesitated at the door and pressed her lips together, and then stepped inside.

- Nice descriptions. Nice opening scene.

2. The High Priestess smiled. “Yes. And if others approach, it is because they have some meaning to your life, whether or not you understand why at first. Remember, every animal has its place, and none are insignificant.”
. Mysterious like. I wonder what your inspiration for the ritual is.

3. “It’s starting now. Close your eyes and let come what will.”
- Begin power up training. I like seeing such scenes in manga especcially. My favourite ones are from Bleach.

4. It was like sleeping at first, until suddenly a terrible scream ripped through her vocal cords. All around her, nothing but bones.
-Yikes

5.“Not yet, else I would be your mother,” the lioness said. Her tail flicked against the sand. “But, the makings, yes. Let go of fear. Let your anger be righteous. Let your self-loathing burn away with pride.”
- Cool lines. Cinematic

6.“Harinezumimi?” Mahlua asked, cocking her head to the side. The word was too foreign, even for her weeaboo ears.
- rolls off the tongue somehow. Unique animal for sure.

- Good chapter here. Love the descriptions. Solid writing and great emotional weight. Good stuff! And dat wordcount just keeps on getting larger and larger. Coolbeans.


Review for Chapter 19
Spoiler
1.  Over the course of the night, she must have grown the new hedgehog-y appendages.
- Mahlua got a kawaii upgrade I see.

2. “My new name is Spike,” Mahlua replied.
- Cool name

3. “At some point, we’re going to have to teach you some manners, Salem” the High Priestess chuckled.
- Nein. Let nekomimi be nekomimi and harenezumimi be harenezumimi (im pretty sure i mispelt that)

4. “I hope we get to see each other again,” Salem said. “I’ll get you for sure, then.”
- Drumroll

5. Mahlua didn’t have time to process the pair of lips that caught hers. Salem shifted and wrapped her arms around Mahlua’s neck, then pressed in for another, longer kiss. This time, Mahlua didn’t fight. She rested her hands on Salem’s hips and drew them to meet hers. Two kisses rolled into three, and then, just before she pulled away, Salem slithered her tongue between her teeth. Mahlua leaned forward for more, but Salem put up a hand between them.
- *wolf whistles*

6. “Long enough ago,” the High Priestess said with a dismissive wave of the hand. “I knew you’d pull something like this. But, we’ll have plenty of time to deal with your frustrations later. For now, let’s bid our new friend farewell.”
- Spoilsport.

7. As the High Priestess had said, the path was not difficult to follow, and as the forest engulfed her, the raider noticed a shift. Day quickly turned to night around her, and lights emerged from the distance. Mahlua hiked closer, and the woods grew thinner. The bright lights were streetlights, it turned out, and the path she followed led to an old bus stop littered with graffiti writers’ names in an array of colors and styles. She took a seat on the old wooden bench to rest, and waited.

- Grafitti makes the world go round
- Dope stuff. Love the transition. I can imagine how cool it'd be in animated feature or so.
- Your output is off the chain. Cool stuff!
real life has sexy graphics

Offline MahluaandMilk

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Re: Ecchiverse: Reset
« Reply #92 on: December 01, 2018, 02:16:10 PM »
I'm glad you've enjoyed it. And now I just need to get to work on the chapter I've been anticipating for a long time. Someone's been lurking in the shadows reading and not commenting, but according to that person, I need to ramp up the ecchi, and I told them, "just wait...level four is going to be wild, and level five is going to top even that".
"It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure."--Marquis de Sade
But yes hello I am the freakier freak than you.

Offline MahluaandMilk

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Ecchiverse: Reset (Chapter 20)
« Reply #93 on: December 02, 2018, 11:55:41 PM »
Haha! Uploaded just before midnight. Now there has been a post a day for at least the first two days of December. Let's see if I can keep that up.

Chapter 20:
A Whole New World
A bite of cold cut through the bus stop in the night breeze. Mahlua tucked her hands between her legs for warmth as she looked down the road. She wondered if a bus would even come by this late, or if this route was even still active. She’d give it fifteen more minutes, she figured. Not that she knew what she’d do after that fifteen minutes was up. Figure out what to do, probably. To her favor, a few minutes later, headlights lit up around the curve of the woods and a bus hissed into view. It squeaked to a halt at the stop and the doors open.

“Out on a night hike?” the bus driver asked. He was a big man with long, fluffy blonde hair and cool grey eyes. “Looks like it brought somethin outta ya. Might wanna put your defenses back up before you go to the city.”

Mahlua rubbed the back of her neck. “Sorry,” she said, giving the best awkward smile she could muster. “I’m not really from here, so…what do you mean by ‘defenses’?”

The bus driver blinked a few times as he processed the information. He sighed and gestured to the seat behind him. The rest of the bus was empty. Mahlua sat where he pointed and he started up the metal beast again.

“Monsters and humans live together in harmony in the city, but, only because certain laws are in place. It looks like you’re a kemonomimi, which means you just came from that place. Makes sense that you’re not familiar…” He trailed off and popped his neck, shifting his head between his broad shoulders. “Anyway, one of ‘em is to appear as human as possible. There are other ones about magic and hunting, but I don’t think you’ll need those.”

Mahlua shrugged. “I might actually need to know the ones about magic,” she admitted, “But how to I appear more human, exactly?”

“Well,” the bus driver said, keeping one hand on the wheel as he rubbed the back of his neck, “If you’re familiar with magic, you know about visualization. That’s your biggest tool here. Gotta put up a shield. Or, maybe distance yourself from whatever animal you got parts of.”

“Hedgehog,” Mahlua explained.

“Right,” the bus driver said, drawing out the word. From the rearview mirror, Mahlua could see his eyes narrow in apathy. “Regardless, you got about five minutes to get somethin goin. I know a good place to let’cha off. Just be careful who you get caught up with, okay, kiddo? Folks around here is dangerous.”

Five minutes was a pretty short time to figure out an entire new method of magic, even for a seasoned witch. Mahlua closed her eyes and exhaled. She let the world around her fade as she focused on herself and brought her most human attributes to the forefront. Little bumps in the road made things difficult, but after a couple of attempts, Mahlua felt her ears and tail start to recede. She could cross willful shapeshifting off her magic bucket list. In perfect time, too. The city crept up from the horizon, neon lights glittering just past a bridge over the sea.

The bus driver glanced up to the rearview mirror. “There ya go. Now, about magic,” he said, careful with the sharp turn onto the bridge, “Pretty simple stuff. Basically just don’t be obvious. Keep gesture and verbal magic to emergency basis. Oh, and don’t graffiti sigils. Cops hate that.”

That’s oddly specific advice, Mahlua thought to herself. Must be a common problem… She didn’t have time to think on it for too much longer.

“I’m lettin you off at the next stop,” the bus driver said. He eyed the yellow stoplight on the other side of the bridge and slowed down. “Keep going straight for two blocks, then take a right. There’ll be an alleyway with a little sign for a place called the Crow’s Murder. Hop in there. Tell ‘em you’re new in town and that Noel sent’cha. They’ll do ya fair.”

“All right,” Mahlua said, stretching to test her body, now that it was back to normal.

The bus screeched to a stop at another bus station, this one made of metal beams and fiberglass, again littered with graffiti. As she thought, there were a few sigils among the names. “Thank you, sir,” she nodded to the bus driver and hopped down to the sidewalk.

“Humph. Don’t thank me yet,” he said. He tipped his hat and closed the bus doors, then went on his way.

With that ominous statement hanging in the air, Mahlua took to the instructions she’d been given. After the first block, more people appeared to be walking around the city. In a shop window, she caught the time. Quarter till nine. It was a good thing the bus driver called it a little sign, otherwise Mahlua would have missed the entrance to the Crow’s Murder. As she approached the rusty green metal doors, a deep bass reverberated in the alley. Her hand went for the handle, but the door slid open, revealing a hairy, shirtless man with shaggy brown hair and dark circles under his eyes.

“Who’re you?” he asked.

“Oh, um,” Mahlua gulped. “I’m new here. A guy called Noel told me to come here.”

“Noel, huh? Jeez, that guy ain’t doin us any favors for keepin it quiet,” the man growled, kicking at the ground with untied boots. “What’chu got goin on?”

“Huh?” Mahlua asked.

“This ain’t just any place, y’know. It’s kind of a safe haven for non-humans,” he explained. “So, what’chu got goin on?” he repeated.

“Well, I’m a witch, firstly and foremostly,” Mahlua said.

“A witch?” the man groaned, ruffling his bangs. “You ain’t part of no coven are ya?”

“N-no,” Mahlua replied. Her eyebrows knitted together in concern. She couldn’t tell if this guy was angry at her, Noel, or something else. But he was certainly angry about something.

“Good. They’re like gangs around these parts. Big fat nuisance. Anything else I should know about?”

“Well, I’m also a kemonomimi,” she said, “And, uh,” she gestured to the weapons at her hips.

He cocked an eyebrow. “Anything in that backpack?”

“A few magic items, and some camping supplies,” she said.

“All right. As long as it ain’t nothin drug-like or outside food ‘n drink,” he said, stepping aside. He thrust his calloused hand out. “The name’s Darren.”

“They call me Mahlua,” she said, taking his hand. Upon physical contact with him, she felt something shift, and his eyes flashed gold. Startled, she pulled her hand back.

Darren made a face like a soggy, rancid shoe had been shoved under his nose. “Always nosy, you witches. It’s like you guys got to know everything,” he muttered.

“Sorry,” Mahlua said, “I wasn’t even trying to do anything.”

“Might want another layer of shields before goin in then,” Darren said with a shrug. He stepped inside and held the door open for her. From inside, haunting synth music throbbed at an industrial beat. Mahlua got the feeling she was going to like this place.
"It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure."--Marquis de Sade
But yes hello I am the freakier freak than you.