Fair Trade

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Re: Fair Trade

Post by Ninmast » Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:06 pm

"It is not."

Surely, Aileen had not been idling long, and yet there the princess was. How quickly had she changed? But there she was, wrapped in a towel. She didn't ease herself into the steaming hot water, either, despite the fog in the muggy air from her presence. Nope, in she went, and the sound was like a hot kettle put under the cold water as a billow of steam erupted from the water in protest from the sudden temperature difference. But it was a testament to the heat of the water that adding the ice girl didn't cool it in the least, even if the only reason Aileen could still see the princess was because she had stepped in next to her.

Yuki let her eyes drift shut against the edge of the pool. "It is pleasing, however."
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Re: Fair Trade

Post by Rock Splitter » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:29 pm

The water's seething reaction to Yuki's body gave Aileen a bit of a fright. For a moment, she feared either the whole bath might freeze solid, or that the ice princess might melt before her eyes. Mercifully, she was wrong, and her smile returned.

"Isn't it? I think my skin feels smoother already." The mage's elven ears twitched with the giggle that escaped her. "But what's best is getting to relax with you, Your Highness. I've never had company here before. Mostly because, well..." Aileen fidgeted. "W-well, it's just not my usual spa day, that's all. Who can say they ever shared a bath with Princess Yuki of The Frozen Lands?"
-.-. .-.. . ...- . .-. / --. .. .-. .-..

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Re: Fair Trade

Post by Ninmast » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:15 pm

"Few, indeed," the princess confirmed with a smile, but then glanced over to her friend. "Aileen, you said that this was not your usual spa day, but when we arrived, the attendant behaved as if you usually bathed in a private bath. I am not fully aware of customs for public bathing, but it is my experience that you have only ever lied to me when you are embarrassed. I can nearly guarantee you that you have bathed in the presence of nonfamilial others more than I have, and I am far older than you. It does not seem that you have anything to be embarrassed over."
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Re: Fair Trade

Post by Rock Splitter » Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:58 am

"Not quite," Aileen admitted. "If I'm honest, and I aught to be, it's..." She fidgeted and sank lower into the water. With the furtive glances of an anxious dog, the mage compared the bulge of Yuki's towel-wrapped chest to her own. "I..."

A voiced on the other side of the bath cried out. "Stop pushing so hard!" Aileen sat up, alert and blushing. Two figures obscured by the mist drew near; one reluctant, the other urging and pushing. Soon, two women in white bath towels came into view. Aileen recognized Jill at once, and felt the expected burning in her cheeks. The sight of the merchant's long legs and ample bust, stung her. The other woman, though...

Her figure was toned to the point of near-masculinity. Scars crisscrossed her chiseled limbs. Her hair was a fair blonde, but too short to comb, and her covered breasts looked smaller than the muscles beneath them. Altogether, the most womanly thing about her was her face, which was quite pretty, but in an even deeper blush than Aileen. The amazon's embarrassment muted her, and she could not bring herself to look anywhere but down.

Jill grinning as always, and motioned to her statuesque friend. "Your Highness, and my esteemed colleague, I give you Knight-Capetian Biana, hopeless virgin." Biana willed herself to stand at attention in the presence of royalty.

"I am honored, Your Highness," she said with a stiff tone. "However, I respectfully ask to be excused from-gyaaa!"

She fell flailing into the bath, having been pushed in by Jill. The merchant knelt at the water's edge and giggled softly. "Oh, don't mind her. She just needs to relax. She's not herself when she's been working too hard." Beneath the steaming surface, Biana's silhouette seemed to shift and warp. Aileen felt magic at work and blinked, unsure what was happening.

"I-is she okay?"

Jill chuckled. "Oh, she's more than okay."

Biana came to the surface with a euphoric sigh, and Aileen understood at once.

The Knight-Captain was a mermaid. Her short hair had grown long and wild. All her muscle had been smoothed over by a feminine softness. Her scares had vanished, and so had her legs. They had merged to form a broad-finned tail coated in iridescent scales that sparkled every shade of green. Biana was now longer than she had been tall, and more full than fit. Her chest had filled to reflect the fertility typical of her people, outclassing Jill by a significant margin, though her towel had managed to keep its hold.

Biana rolled on to her back and floated, basking in the water's warmth and the freedom of her true form. "You were right," she admitted. "It has been too long."

Jill giggled and slipped into the water herself. "Told you."
-.-. .-.. . ...- . .-. / --. .. .-. .-..

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Re: Fair Trade

Post by Ninmast » Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:28 am

By this point, Yuki had a similar expression to Aileen's, but as it would turn out, for completely different reasons. "Knight-Captain," the princess's stern voice cut through the steam like an icicle, "as a warrior, I cannot help but take offense by the sight of someone faking scars so as to appear more experienced."
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Re: Fair Trade

Post by Rock Splitter » Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:44 pm

The high-ranking mermaid drifted upright. Aileen was struck by just how long her hair had become. Wet and slick, it adhered to her head and shoulders, then pooled around her on the surface of the water like golden kelp. Concern crossed Biana's softened features, but she did not frown at Yuki's criticism.

"Forgive me, Your Highness, but my deception is necessary. I am stronger than I look, but in my role, strength must be made very clear. Especially to men. The hierarchy of mermaid society is... nuanced. My beauty and my fullness speak volumes among my own kind, of course. Still, goddess forgive me, such endowment is a liability among the dry races. I shaped my human guise accordingly, and it has served me well."

Jill smirked at her. "Though you stay in it longer than you aught to, dear. I think you know it."

Biana ran her hands along her resurgent curves and flexed her tail. "Yes," she admitted, and lowered herself to drift on her back again. "Yes, indeed..."
-.-. .-.. . ...- . .-. / --. .. .-. .-..

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Re: Fair Trade

Post by Ninmast » Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:29 pm

But the ice princess was not sated, and she rose to her own full height. Though less than that of the mermaid knight, one couldn't tell from the air of command that surrounded her naked form, frost already gathering in the contours of her flesh that was outside the hot water and a biting breeze curling along the surface of the pool.

"I am Yuki Musume, Warrior Princess of the Frozen Lands, mightier than the bravest Sea Fire, more powerful than the wisest Moon Scale," the spirit in the form of a young teen proclaimed like a reprimand from on high. "Oylandra, Mairsile, I look upon your most legendary matriarchs as one does children. Do I take the bust of a matriarch when speaking to you? Do I give myself a skirt of ice scales to convince you to deal with me? You place vanity above truth and thus confess your weakness."
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Re: Fair Trade

Post by Rock Splitter » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:09 am

Biana rose and scowled at first. For a moment, it seemed the knight would summon the nerve to protest, but her courage wilted in the face of Yuki's icy wrath. She sank and prostrated herself beneath on the floor of the bath. Her emphatic voice echoed in the minds of all present, bringing with it a psychic sense of her sudden shame.

Forgive me, Your Highness. I will change my shape. Your wisdom shows me a new way forward. I thank you.

Aileen, who had shrunk from Yuki's side, also sat lower in the water, trying to hide from the chill. Pitying Biana's sorry state, she found it in herself to speak up. "P-princess? I'm sure she didn't mean to offend you. She is a good knight, and true to the city she serves so well. Must you rebuke her?"

"A misstep," Jill observed. "Too true, but easily fixed." The alluring merchant chuckled. "What a blessing it must be to change one's shape on a whim..."
-.-. .-.. . ...- . .-. / --. .. .-. .-..

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Re: Fair Trade

Post by Ninmast » Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:00 pm

"She is not true to her city," Yuki replied sternly, "and if she were a good knight, she would be. She lies to it daily about wounds she has never taken in its name. She tells it she has forsaken her femininity in preparing her body for its defense. Every morning, she says to it, I am like you, see how I have struggled and bled to be worthy of my post. All of it is a lie."

She turned back toward Biana and strode toward the still kneeling mermaid. "If you think I care about petty things like how you wear your hair, do not speak it, lest I take offense. But if you are going to call yourself a defender of this city, then you owe it to them to be honest with them. If you've any pride, do not shape your body to lie about the effort you have put forth to be strong with the lean veneer of muscles you have not earned. Neither should you grant yourself scars that you have not earned any more than you would claim badges of honor and decorum that have not been granted."
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Re: Fair Trade

Post by Rock Splitter » Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:31 am

Aileen's ear's dropped like a scolded dog. "But.." She stopped. Gods and spirits, she thought. Never let me argue with Princess Yuki! Jill, who seemed too calm by half, had the same idea. She touched one finger to her plush lips and went cross-eyed, the unspoken sign for the saying, Wise fools keep quiet.

The mage did so, and so did Biana, still prostate at the bottom of the bath. Her tail took a moment to split and reform her legs, but once she had them, the mermaid knight burst to the surface. Her towel slipped away but neither she nor Yuki flinched. Biana stood at attention despite her nudity, head and shoulders above the Princess, and allowed her revised human form to me inspected.

Her human guise of a hardened battle-matron was gone, with not a single scar to be seen anywhere. Wet hair clung to her narrowed shoulders, which, like the rest of her, had been relieved of pretend muscle mass. Her bust was filled to a size more than double the previous form, resting high and firm at a width identical to her feminized hips and rump.

"My, my," Jill cooed. "I think I'm in love with this version."

"W-well done," Aileen stammered, blushing and hoping Biana's new body would be approved.
-.-. .-.. . ...- . .-. / --. .. .-. .-..

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Re: Fair Trade

Post by Ninmast » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:02 pm

Yuki did not compliment the new form, nor comment upon it at all, merely glancing it over and judging it against honesty, and then returning to recline in the water. "Do not forget that there is pride to be had in natural gifts inherited from your predecessors or blessed upon you by the gods," was all the advice the princess spoke, "and honor to be had in the capacity to wage war without your foes touching you. I once knew a member of an order of warriors who wore white sashes as marks of pride, for an unblemished sash meant that they had been so skilled as to prevent it from being sullied in the blood and mud of battle."
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Re: Fair Trade

Post by Rock Splitter » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:41 am

After a moment of looking back and forth, Aileen moved a step toward Yuki. "... Princess!" she said under her breath as if stressing something.

Yuki glanced back to her, the commanding aura faded. Well, as much as it ever faded with her. "Yes, Aileen?"

The alchemist paused, as if she had thought her one word should have relayed some sort of message. Then she tried two words. "Her appearance!"

"... What of it?"

Whatever message Aileen was trying to get through was falling flat and the more she dawdled like this, the more blatant it was becoming. "Don't you think it's pretty?"

If Yuki had any understanding that Aileen was trying to advise her in some way, she showed no signs of it. "Of course it is pretty by human standards, Aileen," the princess replied as if the observation were pedantic. "She is a mermaid. By my understanding, she is rather fairly common by their standards. Akin to a fetching miller's daughter. I had no desire to observe such a thing aloud for the sake of avoiding needlessly humiliating her over it."

"C-common?" Aileen blushed. "How much more beautiful can a mermaid be if Biana counts as common? She's..." Too many words came to mind. Gorgeous. Enchanting. Huge. A splash and a cry from the far end of the bath caught the mage's attention. Jill was making a game of keeping Biana's towel away from her, giggling and dodging as the knight protested and lunged. Mermaid that she was, Biana was quick in the water, but so was Jill. Her reflexes were uncanny.
-.-. .-.. . ...- . .-. / --. .. .-. .-..

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Re: Fair Trade

Post by Ninmast » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:12 am

With the distraction in the air, once Aileen glanced back toward Yuki, the princess gave her a smirk that was probably supposed to be reassuring as she held a finger up that glowed an icy blue on the tip. She turned back toward the scene and put the tip of her finger to the surface of the spring water. Like spider webs, frost crackled and danced silently across the top of the hot water, never extending far beyond as it zipped out like a snake across the surface. It eddied and swayed around stones in the water probably intended for resting against, careful to stay out of Jill's line of sight, even doing a big loop behind her.

And then it came up on the side she was holding the towel on and neatly keeping it out of the Knight-Captain's hands. Just as she pulled the towel back, the frost lanced forward into a spear of solid ice that steamed in the hot air as it plucked the towel from the merchant's hand and came to a stop with the towel hanging on it in front of Biana.
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Re: Fair Trade

Post by Rock Splitter » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:19 am

Jill recoiled with a shriek. Biana was less shaken. Stone-faced and embarrassed, and plucked her towel from the steaming ice lance that had appeared between them. She sat down in the water, covered herself, and released a small psychic pulse of gratitude which only Yuki perceived.

"That was very naughty, Jill!" Aileen called out, who only found the nerve to object once the tussle was over.

The merchant, recomposed and smirking at Yuki, shrugged. "Too much excitement for one day, I suppose. We really did come here to relax, true, true. Your pardon, Biana, darling."

"I have questions," the knight told her, still retaining her revised human form. She stood, and faced Yuki. "You clearly don't need my protection, You Highness. I congratulate you and slaying the known killer Thellen and his cohorts..."

Jill giggled softly, still feeling the warmth of the assassin's soul inside her.

Biana went on. "But their deaths will be noted. You have disturbed the peace of Haegan's criminal underworld."

"Hardly," Jill told her. "I let a friend know we might make a mess. It's nothing to bother over."

Aileen blinked and thought back. Told a friend? Was it that loxodon man, the rope maker? But what else was he?

Biana scowled at Jill. "You gave account to the Thieves Guild, not the Seed Society."

Jill feigned puzzlement with a bemused smile. "Seed Society? My, my, have we run afoul of gardeners?"

Aileen knew the truth, and it shook her.

"Cultists," she said, staring down into the water, shivering despite the warmth.

"Yes," Biana affirmed. "Once of the few still legal under the city's religious protections. Animal sacrifice is not illegal, but theft certainly is. If I'm to investigate today's incident further, I need your full cooperation. What information can you contribute?"
-.-. .-.. . ...- . .-. / --. .. .-. .-..

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Re: Fair Trade

Post by Ninmast » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:23 pm

"Ah, I see you've finally arrived at the purpose of this gathering," Yuki observed, referencing how they had originally all come together so that Biana could question them, but she made no effort to answer the question at all. "I was beginning to wonder if you would, it was a bit hard to take the Knight-Captain seriously while she was fighting for her towel." The princess crossed one arm and propped her elbow on it to hold her chin. "I suppose you can't be faulted for it, you are the weakest one here, Captain, and Miss Jangles is a true and proper imp, so it would seem it was as inevitable as it was impossible for you to prevent, and the blame lies with her."
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Re: Fair Trade

Post by Rock Splitter » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:38 pm

Jill grinned and winked. "Am I a pretty imp?" Aileen was more concerned, and visibly confused, by how Yuki ranked Biana as the weakest among them. "W-wait," she stammered. "How can Jill be stronger than a Knight-Captain of the City Guard? A mermaid at that?"

Biana and Jill glanced at each other. The Princess could read Biana's flustered scowl. You haven't told her?

Jill was as inscrutable as ever behind her perpetual smile, but the otherworldly glint in her eye was plain enough to Yuki. The merchant flexed one arm, raising only a modest bulge of muscle. "Well, Mama and Papa did put me to work from the time I could walk. Gathering firewood, helping to unload our wagons, and such. I must certainly have a strong back from carrying so many crates."

Jill posed with her hands behind her head and stretched, surreptitiously emphasizing the size of her breasts. Aileen's ears drooped. Of course she has a strong back, she thought. Those things would break her in half if she didn't

"I also have a little magic about me," Jill mentioned, and giggled to herself. "But that's a trade secret."

"So keep it," Biana said sharply. Ignoring the slights against her, she pressed Aileen for details leading up to the incident at the tavern.

"We had just gotten back from-"

"We?"

"P-princess Yuki and myself. From, um... An errand. When we came back to my shop, it was horrible. The door had just been blown apart. Half my stock was in the street, all burned and broken... And Zuzu was gone."

Biana scowled at and fell silent. Aileen fidgeted, worried and wondering if she said something wrong.

"That's when I arrived," Jill said, interceding by throwing an arm around Biana's shoulders. The knight flinched and blushed as Jill leaned in, almost putting their faces together. "I was going to come see you, darling. I just had to lend a helping hand to sweet little Aileen first."

"You damaged private property," Biana told her stiffly.

"Oh come now," Jill objected. "I didn't harm one splinter of Porter's place, and Muul will see that he's tended to, as I mentioned. No, it was Her Royal Highness who jostled things about and brought all that unseasonable weather." Jill grinned, glancing at Yuki. "Sorry, darling, but you're not about to clap a Princess in irons. Diplomatic immunity. I think you know it."
-.-. .-.. . ...- . .-. / --. .. .-. .-..

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Re: Fair Trade

Post by Ninmast » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:16 pm

"If you believe it would assist you in some way," the princess provided with the same detachment she had noted the Knight-Captain's weakness, "you are welcome to try them, but iron grows terribly brittle when it freezes, it would be useless for anything more than a symbolic gesture."

She crossed her legs under the water and crossed her arms above it. "You will find me completely unapologetic, as well, Captain. It was essentially a hostile encampment. I shall not even make defense for my actions by appealing to the tactical reasons for doing so. They stole from someone while that person was under my care and protection. They deserved the fullness of my wrath in return."
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Re: Fair Trade

Post by Rock Splitter » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:36 am

"And so they did," Biana agreed, though it did please her to do so. Yuki's attitude, and the disturbances she had caused, chaffed at Biana's knightly deference to royalty. Yet there was nothing for it. She sighed.

"Goddess willing, there will be no more of them to disturb your visit, Your Highness." The mermaid knight bowed before she stepped towards the edge of the bath. There, she paused, and managed the faint beginning of a smile. "Haegan has much to offer. If you find the time, I'm certain the Queen would gladly receive you in her court. But in my duty to her, I must be away."

Biana bowed a second time left for the change room.

Jill, didn't return her gaze to Yuki until her friend was out of sight. "I love her new rump," she giggled. "Cheers to you for serving up some humble pie, Your Highness, but I should slip out after her."

Aileen, still blushing from Yuki's mention of her being under her protection, asked, "She's alright, isn't she?"

"Once I'm done with her," Jill assured her with a wicked grin, and she huffed in feigned exasperation. "Honestly, mermaids can be so moody. She put on a tough face for you, but she'll sulk all day if I don't pep her up. I'll meet you back at the shop, dear. This won't take long."

With that, Jill bounced her way out of the bath as well.

Aileen, now alone with Yuki, was left unsure of what to do or say. She fidgeted, and found the words.

"Thank you, Your Highness. You... You did the right thing."
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