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Chapter 19

Magus_Anon Feb 2nd, 2019 859 Never
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  1.     A child in the streets. Bare feet on crooked paving stones. Running through the market with your friends, stealing morsels of food and hiding from the cruel shop owners. Learning the art of weaving. Inheriting the family stall so suddenly. Settling down, making your home. Taking your wife and raising your two lovely daughters.
  2.  
  3. ~~~~~~
  4.  
  5. For the first time in days, you were not roused by a hyperactive mega-fairy. Strange…
  6.  
  7. Shuffling to your door, you peek out into the narrow hall leading to the stairs. Nothing.
  8.  
  9.     You quickly dress yourself and head off to the cafeteria. The silence is refreshing, but you feel exposed without the presence of Morala. The threat of rape feels imminent without your bubbly companion. Morala probably couldn’t do anything to save you if something tried, but mamono respected the fact that you were with her. Without Morala, you felt more exposed than ever. Gazes lingered on you longer than normal. Where you walked, conversations stopped, and whispers began. Increasing your pace, you hustle to the food hall.
  10.  
  11. ~~~~~~
  12.  
  13.     God bless these tiny fairies. Even with Morala absent, they were more than happy to have you at their table. Any mamono would be happy to have you at their table, but as the main course and not a guest. Their energy was also much more mellow than the other mamono, allowing you to stay near them for extended periods of time.
  14.  
  15. “Hi Anon!” said a fairy, alighting onto the lip of your glass.
  16.  
  17. “Hey there Pieris, where’s Morala?” you asked.
  18.  
  19. “I don’t know.” Said the miniature woman kicking her legs. “I haven’t seen her today. None of us have.”
  20.  
  21. “Is she sick?”
  22.  
  23. “No, not unless she came down with something overnight.” said Pieris hopping off your glass. “She was healthy yesterday, and last night. And she’s not in her room either. Maybe she’s running an errand or working on a special project.”
  24.  
  25. “Yeah, I’m sure she’s fine.” you reply, taking a bite of oatmeal.
  26.  
  27. “Mora is capable, Anon! She may not seem like it all the time cause she’s so happy and nice, but she’s really smart and stuff. She helps us all the time, even with really hard subjects.” said Pieris.
  28.  
  29. “I know, I’m not doubting her. She’s done a lot for me.”
  30.  
  31. “Well… Maybe you can… ‘return the favor.’ Hmmmm?” said Pieris smugly.
  32.  
  33.     That was the only downside to hanging out with these fairies. They kept trying to set you up with Morala. No matter how many times that you explained to them that coitus with ANYTHING in the demon-realm would lead to your soul shitting itself to death, the fairies kept trying to not-so-subtly push you into her arms. Most of them, some were trying to seduce you for themselves. Even now, one was struggling to fit herself onto a banana-looking fruit while staring at you and licking her lips. The idea that some fairy’s genitals had probably been on most of the food at the table made you lose your appetite.
  34.  
  35. “That’s not going to happen, Pieris. You know I can’t do anything like that without dying.” you say pushing your plate away.
  36.  
  37. “It doesn’t have to be THAT!” said Pieris jumping out to the way of your plate. “Just show her you care somehow! Give her a hug or take her someplace romantic. Hold her hand!” said Pieris.
  38.  
  39. “I don’t want her to get the wrong idea though. If I do all that, and Morala isn’t the mamono I marry, she would be crushed.” you said.
  40.  
  41. Pieris sighed and reclined against a saltshaker. “Well at least do SOMETHING for her. Make her a gift from {erg} or whatever. She’s really stressed about this whole situation even if she doesn’t show it.”
  42.  
  43. She showed it alright...
  44.  
  45. “I know. I’ll think of something. I’ve just got a lot on my plate right now.” You said.
  46.  
  47. Pieris glanced over at your platter of oatmeal and fruit. “I thought you had finished eating? And besides breakfast doesn’t take all day.”
  48.  
  49. “No, that’s an idiom from Earth. It means I’m busy with a lot of things.” you reply.
  50.  
  51. “Oh! I see. Well, I have to get to class. Let me know if you need any ideas of what she likes!” said Pieris fluttering away.
  52.  
  53. Wiping your face, you scoot away from the table as the fairies swarmed your plate, fighting over who got to eat the fruit you had bitten into.
  54.  
  55. ~~~~~~
  56.  
  57.     Your first class of the day came to a close and you were growing increasingly concerned with Morala’s absence. Not just because the wolves were closing in, (seriously, the werewolf was stalking you), but also because she seemed like the kind of girl that doesn’t get sick. The kind of frustratingly tenacious individual who’s positive attitude acts as a panacea against all ailments. And even if she was sick, the fairies should have heard from her. It just wasn’t like her to disappear like this.
  58.  
  59. But as you rounded the next corner, you saw Morala standing next to the door to your next class. She looked different… Her posture was poor, and her face wasn’t as radiant. Guess she really was sick.
  60.  
  61. “Morala!” you said, calling out to her.
  62.  
  63. She perks up immediately and smiles. “Anon!” she said fluttering over to you. “How was your morning, were you alright without me?”
  64.  
  65. “Yeah, I was fine. Are you sick? You don’t look so good.” you said.
  66.  
  67.     You couldn’t tell from a distance, but Morala looked awful. There were dark circles under her eyes, and her appearance was slightly messy. Her hair had a few errant strands of hair poking out of her braids, which hung under one of her crooked flower hairpieces. There was even a stain on her robes. It was a bit shocking to see Morala in this state. You hadn’t realized it, but you had already come to expect a very high standard of beauty from your peers.
  68.  
  69. “I’m fine! I just didn’t sleep that well.” said Morala. “I was up late working on something important and I just lost track of time. No one bothered you, did they?” she asked.
  70.  
  71. “Nah. I’m fine.” you reply confidently. No need to worry her with anything. At any given time there were at least three or four mamono tailing you. They never did anything, just kind of followed you around. You were perfectly safe with all the protection the school was providing you. Hell, you didn’t even notice them for a week or two. As long as they kept their hands/claws/appendages to themselves, you saw no harm in indulging their curiosity.
  72.  
  73. But Morala didn’t seem convinced. She pursed her lips and squinted. Such a look from Morala of all people was enough to make you take a step back in surprise.
  74.  
  75. “Are you sure Anon? I need you to tell me if there’s any trouble.” she said folding her arms.
  76.  
  77. “No, really. I’m fine. There’s nothing wrong.” you say.
  78.  
  79. Morala ignored you, instead focusing on something behind you. You turn around to see the tail of the werewolf poking out from around the corner. Morala brushes past you without a word.
  80.  
  81. “You! Get out here!” she shouted, quickly advancing toward the canine.
  82.  
  83. The tail straightened in surprise, and the wolf-girl moseyed around the corner attempting to appear nonchalant. The titania remained unconvinced and the werewolf crossed her arms and huffed.
  84.  
  85. “What do you want Morala? I wasn’t doing anything. I stayed plenty far back. ‘Sides, Anon doesn’t mind, right Anon?” said the werewolf.
  86.  
  87. It was a loaded question to be sure, and there was no correct way to answer it. But before your mind could cobble together an incoherent string of stuttering, Morala’s hands flared with magic.
  88.  
  89. With one hand, she swept the werewolf against the wall. The wolf yelped and raised her own hands, but Morala used her other hand to pin the poor girl’s hands to the wall.
  90.  
  91. “Stay. Away. From him.” Morala hissed.
  92.  
  93. The werewolf howled and thrashed against her magic bindings. “He’s not yours, you crazy cunt! Let me go! You’re insane!”
  94.  
  95. Morala closed her hand a bit and the wolf girl’s howling grew more frantic.
  96.  
  97. “Morala!” you shouted rushing over to her.
  98.  
  99. At the sound of your voice, Morala jumped a bit and lost hold of the werewolf. She crumpled to the floor in a heap.
  100.  
  101. “Don’t worry Anon, I’ll keep you safe, just stay back and let me handle this.” said Morala sweetly. She raised her hands again.
  102.  
  103. “No!” you shouted grabbing her wrist and yanking it away from the whimpering werewolf.
  104.  
  105. Morala’s eyes shot open and she whipped around to face you.
  106.  
  107. “What the fuck are you doing?!” you shout.
  108.  
  109. “Protecting you…” said Morala. Her eyes were fixed on your hand grabbing her wrist and she had a distant look in her eyes.
  110.  
  111. “You call THAT protecting me?! She wasn’t doing anything! And even if she was, that was way too much force. Just leave it to the guards!”
  112.  
  113. On cue, several armor-clad women storm into the hallway. The students spectating the incident cried out in alarm as they were pushed aside.
  114.  
  115. “EVERYBODY GET MOVING.” boomed a formidable looking living armor. The guards quickly carried the werewolf off.
  116.  
  117. “Now then…” said the sentient suit. “Just what happened here?”
  118.  
  119. Morala stepped in front of you before you could say a word. “That woman was about to attack Anon! I could tell by her body language. Before she could reach him, I stopped her. Then she tried to use magic, but I stopped her.”
  120.  
  121.     The suit of armor took out a small notebook and scribbled something down while muttering something. “Alright. Glad to see that it’s how it looked. Less paperwork.” said the armor tucking the notebook into a hip-pouch. “But don’t let us catch you using magic like that again unless they’re already on top of him.” she said pointing a finger at Morala. “You may have the privilege of being his guide, but you are still a student. While on this campus and in this town matters of his security are OUR responsibility.”
  122.  
  123. “Excuse me ma’am, but I don’t think that that girl was going to attack me.” you interject.
  124.  
  125. A plated gauntlet raised to open the visor, revealing a man looking at you with a scowl. “Who are you calling ma’am?”
  126.  
  127. “O-Oh. Sorry.” you said.
  128.  
  129. A shimmering mist coalesced on his shoulder and a pale woman took form. She wrapped her hands around the man’s neck and rested her head on his shoulder. “Husband, don’t be mean! He can’t tell what’s in me. Sorry about that, he gets so serious when he works.”
  130.  
  131. The man rolled his eyes. “Dear, please. Not while we’re working…”
  132.  
  133. “If you stay nice, I’ll stay quiet. You know how this works.” said the spirit of the armor. She gave her husband a kiss on the cheek and faded back into the metal.
  134.  
  135. “Anyways, what were you saying about the werewolf?” asked the man.
  136.  
  137. “She was just following me. I don’t think she meant any harm. I’ve seen her do it before, and I never felt like I was in any danger.” you said.
  138.  
  139. “Anon, calm down. I know she may have seemed innocent enough, but you aren’t from this world. You don’t know what signs to look for.” said Morala. Her condescending tone grated on your nerves.
  140.  
  141. “She’s right.” said the man flatly. “She was probably stalking you, learning your habits and schedule so she could find an opportunity to rape you. Some mamono do that. And besides, she attacked you, didn’t she?”
  142.  
  143. “No! She didn’t! She got dragged out into the open and pinned against the wall!” you protested.
  144.  
  145. “It’s alright Anon, it all happened so fast. Why don’t you go to your class and I’ll make the report. We can talk about it later if you still think that she wasn’t a threat. Okay?” said Morala with a smile.
  146.  
  147. This was crazy! Sure you weren’t from this world, but you don’t need to be an expert to understand what just happened.
  148.  
  149. “Move along, boy. Your guide is right; just get to class and leave the rest to us.” said the man sternly.
  150.  
  151. Clearly this was a fight you couldn’t win. Collecting your belongings, you shuffled into the classroom.
  152.  
  153. ~~~~~
  154.  
  155. The rest of the day passed without incident. On the contrary, monsters gave you even more space than normal as you passed them in the halls. Some mamono whispered as you walked past them.
  156.  
  157. Just how fast did rumors spread around here? With no entertainment besides other people/monsters, it was a safe bet to say that gossip was one of the staples of this world.
  158.  
  159. “Anon!”
  160.  
  161. Morala stepped through the crowd to walk with you. “I was getting worried about you! I didn’t see you at dinner.”
  162.  
  163. “Yeah, I just wasn’t hungry...” you said.
  164.  
  165. “Well make sure you eat something! You need more food than the average person after all.” said Morala admonishingly. “I can’t have you fainting on me.”
  166.  
  167. “Yeah…”
  168.  
  169. Actually, you just wanted to get away from Morala for a bit. You still weren’t past the attack earlier.
  170.  
  171. Morala began telling you about her day as you made your way back to your dorm. Everything that involved magic went over your head.
  172. “Oh! And then I finished up that report for the guard couple. She was so cute the way she was hugging him, huh?”
  173.  
  174. “Yeah I guess…” you reply. Taking a bit of a detour, you walk out onto one of the patios. The city was as beautiful as ever. Thousands of lights shimmered in the fading light, as the last rays of day turned the lake into a brilliant gradient of yellows and oranges. Morala leaned next to you on the railing.
  175. “Are you alright? You seem sad.” she said.
  176.  
  177. “I don’t like what happened earlier today.” you said flatly.
  178.  
  179. Morala flinched. “Oh! That… I know it was scary, but it’s over now. There’s no need to worry.”
  180.  
  181. “No, Morala. I’m not that stupid! I know that poor girl wasn’t about to attack! She was just curious, and you threw her like a ragdoll!” you said slamming your hand down on the railing.
  182.  
  183. “…I just want to keep you safe Anon, that’s all.” said Morala, matching your stare. You could tell she was hurt by your accusation. “She shouldn’t have been stalking you; you know that. We have orders to leave you alone unless you are interacting with us. Do you really think she would have JUST followed you forever?”
  184.  
  185.     You sigh. She had a point. What was cute and endearing to you may have been the warning signs of potentially dangerous behavior. Just because you had read a short paragraph in a book back on earth didn’t mean that you knew all the mannerisms of a certain species, much less the habits and personalities of individuals. What you knew was just scratching the surface. Maybe Morala WAS just protecting you. It can’t be easy for her when your life hangs in the balance. And she was a bit sick too…
  186.  
  187. “I guess you’re right.” you mumble. Morala smiled warmly. “But that doesn’t mean that you should have pinned her to a wall! What were you thinking? You should have just called the guards.” you scold.
  188.  
  189. Morala shrunk back a bit. “I-I know. It all happened so fast. I don’t know what came over me. I promise, next time something like that happens, I’ll leave it to the guards.”
  190.  
  191. “Good.” you reply. “I didn’t like that side of you.”
  192.  
  193. “What do you mean?” asked Morala.
  194.  
  195. “When you had her, just the way she was screaming and the look on your face, that wasn’t the Mora I knew. It was the kind of behavior I would expect from some mamono like a dragon or something.”
  196.  
  197. “A dragon? M-me?”
  198.  
  199. You watch a ship lazily sail towards the port. “Forget about it. If you’re willing to let the guards do their jobs, then I don’t have any issue with that accident. Just remember, I’m not totally helpless, okay?”
  200.  
  201. She beamed. “Deal!”
  202.  
  203. “Well, I’m going to get ready for bed. I’ll see you tomorrow.” you said.
  204.  
  205. “Sleep well! I’ll be there at your lecture tomorrow!” said Morala as you walked away.
  206.  
  207.     Right! The lecture. Damn. You had worked with professor Aegoli and Magnara to come up with a list of probable questions so that you could think of some answers. Ehh. No problem. Winging it would be fine, it’s not like anyone could call you out on little discrepancies. If you needed more time to give an answer, you could always revisit the question next lecture. How hard could it be anyways?
  208.  
  209. ~~~~~~
  210.  
  211.     Morala flew silently down the deserted halls. There were few mamono who came to this tower, even during the day. The room she was standing in front of had not been used in years. She checked over her shoulder to ensure she was truly alone, she produced a small key and inserted it into the lock. With a twist, she opened the door and quickly closed it behind her.
  212.  
  213. The floor glowed with runic circles, the beginning of the teltomancy she was practicing. A pixie was sitting on a table, smugly watching Morala.
  214.  
  215. “I heard about what happened today mistress. You surprised the whole college!” she said gleefully.
  216.  
  217. “He wasn’t happy.” said Morala folding her arms. “And I won’t be doing that again. The way he looked at me was…”
  218.  
  219. “It doesn’t matter!” said the pixie. “You saved him! He appreciates that right?”
  220.  
  221. “Y-yes, I do think that he understood that it was for his own good.”
  222.  
  223. “Wonderful! You made so much progress today, mistress! You have to assert yourself! Be indispensable. You have to make him realize that he NEEDS you.”
  224.  
  225. “How?” asked Morala softly. “He doesn’t want me to protect him… How else can I show him how much I care?”
  226.  
  227. “Ahh... mistress... Don’t fret. I’ll teach you everything you need to know! Just have faith, mistress. We still have much to accomplish. Now, do you have it?”
  228.  
  229. Morala nodded and produced a small paper envelope. She set it down on the table for the pixie to open.
  230.  
  231. The tiny woman unsealed the paper and withdrew the hairs Morala had dutifully collected off of Anon’s clothing.
  232.  
  233. “Very good, Mora. Now, shall we begin tonight’s lesson?” said the pixie with an insidious smile.
  234.  
  235. ~~~~~
  236.  
  237.     The excitement was palpable. Everywhere you went there were mamono excitedly chatting about your lecture later that day. Even the less studious monsters were anticipating your talk it seemed. You just hope that the security would be enough to stop a riot if one broke out. With great hesitation, you peek out from the wing of the stage.
  238.  
  239.     The auditorium was massive, but there were fewer mamono than you would have expected. Seating was much different when one person/monster could take up ten square feet. There were normal seats in the middle, and strange cushions and poles for unconventionally shaped mamono to rest on or lean against. In the rafters, there were rows of perches for harpies and other flying monsters. The rows were organized opposite their terrestrial counterparts, with the front rows being higher in the air than the rows closer to the back. In the corner, you saw the wyvern that carried you to the training field perched with her husband. She had a dopey grin on her face as he nuzzled her neck and squeezed the base of her wing. Huh. Guess she had a heart after all...
  240.  
  241. “Are you ready Anon?”
  242.  
  243. You jumped as Magnara appeared behind you. Halitt strolled up beside her and put his arm around her waist.
  244.  
  245. “We know you’ll do great.” he said. “There’s no pressure here; just answer their questions. We’ll be right there with you to help you out.”
  246.  
  247. “And you don’t have to answer any questions that you don’t want to!” quipped Magnara.
  248.  
  249. You heard the familiar sound of hooves approaching. Hicera cantered up to the three of you with her own paperwork.
  250.  
  251. “Anon, I’m not sure this is a good idea…” she said biting her lip. “There are just too many mamono out there; I’m not sure that your body will be able to handle that much demonic energy.”
  252.  
  253. You were still clueless as to how exactly demonic energy worked, and how it affected you.
  254.  
  255. “Anon will be fine.”
  256.  
  257. The clack of heels sent a shiver down your spine. Oroba sauntered up to your growing entourage.
  258.  
  259. “He’s been fine so far, and the stage is warded. If anything goes wrong, you can take him away Hicera. But he needs to make an appearance. There are more than students in this audience.”
  260.  
  261. “What do you mean?” you asked.
  262.  
  263. “There are some foreign dignitaries, nobles, and scholars from other institutions here. I don’t mean to put you under any undue pressure Anon, but you will be representing Admaz and the College today.”
  264.  
  265. “Are you sure that we won’t have a repeat of last time?” asked Hicera.
  266.  
  267. You nervously glanced up at the curtains, which were still singed from your last appearance on stage.
  268.  
  269. “Yes. We have enough security to stop a lilim. Nothing will get through to him, I guarantee it.” said Oroba sternly. She was pretty intimidating… And she was certainly not wrong. The foot of the stage was lined with guards in full armor, as well as some mages. Beyond the wall of bodies you could see Morala waving at you from the front row.
  270.  
  271. “She’s right, Hicera. You can make the call if you think I need to get off the stage, but Oroba is right. There are a lot of people… err… mamono out there who are looking forward to this. I need to at least make an effort.”
  272.  
  273. Hicera sighed. “Alright Anon. Just please, don’t push yourself.”
  274.  
  275. “I won’t Hicera. I promise.” you assured her.
  276.  
  277. “That’s the spirit Anon!” said Magnara. “Now le-“
  278.  
  279. “SHOW TIME!”
  280.  
  281. Everyone jumped as the phantom head of the drama department shot up through the floor.
  282.  
  283. “Get out there, and put on a good show!” she said before sinking back into the floor.
  284.  
  285. “Hate it when she does that…” muttered Oroba.
  286.  
  287. You took a deep breath and walked onto the stage.
  288.  
  289.     There was a thunderous applause as you emerged from the wing. It was easy to tell who was a student at the college and who was visiting. Your peers clapped politely, while the mamono from other institutions stared at you. In a section near the front, a pack of mamono were furiously sketching and scribbling on canvases and paper. That must be the press… Did they even have a press?
  290. Magnara took the podium while you took a seat behind her. The applause died down and she began.
  291.  
  292. “Hello, and welcome to the College of Admaz.” she began. “I’d like to give a special welcome to the nobles and visitors from other cities. We know that traveling is arduous, but we hope that you find the lecture worth the trip. My name is Magnara, and I am a professor of human studies when I’m not in the field. I was the one who discovered Anon…”
  293.  
  294. You frowned. “No, you weren’t.” you thought. That was Arsofina. And ‘discovered’ felt like the wrong word to use for a person.
  295.  
  296. “…And brought him here. During our travels, I had the privilege to learn about his world and culture. And so, with great pleasure, I would like to invite Anon to the podium to answer your questions and teach about his culture.”
  297.  
  298. Magnara stepped away while the crowd clapped. You stepped up to the podium and adjusted your materials.
  299.  
  300. “Good afternoon, and thank you all for coming.” you said.
  301.  
  302. The applause died down as the mamono listened intently.
  303.  
  304. “I assume all of you are aware by now, but I am from a different dimension. I still don’t know how I got here. My world was very different than this one, and so were the cultures and people. I don’t want to spend the entire lecture talking about one history topic, as I’m sure that there are many of you with questions, and I want to answer as many as possible. Therefore, I will speak briefly about any pertinent history or culture and then move on unless the audience wishes for me to continue. Please note, that I will NOT be answering any questions relating to my genitals, preference in mamono, or sexual disposition.”
  305.  
  306. A chorus or groans emanated from the crowd and several mamono got up to leave.
  307.  
  308. “Now then, we have some ushers in the audience who will pass an amplifier to you if you are chosen. So, without further ado, who would like to ask the first question?”
  309.  
  310. Scores of appendages shot up. Oh geez, who should you call on?
  311.  
  312. “Uhh… let’s start with… you.” you said pointing to a succubus near the front.
  313.  
  314. The atmosphere changed instantly. Every monster in the room turned to glare at the succubus, except for her friends, who were kyaaaing and congratulating her.
  315.  
  316. As the usher zombie shuffled towards her down the row, you glanced back at Magnara.
  317.  
  318. “This is bad!” you hissed. “Do they think that I’m gonna marry her or something?”
  319.  
  320. “They’re just jealous! Don’t worry, things will calm down as you call on more monsters.” reassured Magnara.
  321.  
  322. “Umm…”
  323.  
  324. You turned back to the audience as the succ began her question.
  325.  
  326. “You mentioned that the people of your world were different, but was everyone as pale as you?”
  327.  
  328. “Well, I’m not THAT pale, but to answer your question: no. There were certainly many people with my skin tone, but there were also many people that had different skin colors. How someone looked usually depended on their geographic location; someone from a country on the other side of the world may not look like me, but they would look like other people from that country. Next question?”
  329.  
  330. This time you opted to call on a harpy sitting in the rafters.
  331.  
  332. “Is it true you’ll die if you have sex?”
  333.  
  334. You looked at Magnara and Oroba, who nodded in approval.
  335.  
  336. “Yes, that is true. My body cannot process demonic energy well enough for me to have sex. Even second-hand exposure to demonic energy can kill me. That’s why it’s so imperative for me to have all of this security.” you said.
  337.  
  338. “Anon!” whispered Magnara.
  339.  
  340. “Do not make any implications that you need protection!” murmured Oroba.
  341.  
  342. Oops. Oh well.
  343.  
  344. “Next question?” you said pointing to a wight.
  345.  
  346. “Hello Anon~ I am countess Anarenta, and I read in the pamphlet that your dear teacher Magnara published that your language is very different than our own. Could you perhaps demonstrate a bit of it? Maybe take off that amulet and say a few words?”
  347.  
  348. “Of course. Could I have the slate?” you ask. Halitt wheeled the board over to you, and you wrote the alphabet in chalk. “The main difference between our languages is that mine is phonetic. Each of these symbols represents a different sound, and words are made by organizing them in the correct order.”
  349.  
  350. You removed the amulet of articulation and raised the pointer to the first letter.
  351.  
  352. “The first letter is ‘A.’ It can make an ‘ah,’ an ‘a’ or ‘aw’ sound.” the crowd murmured in excitement as you spoke in an unheard exotic language. “I’ll use it in the word apple…”
  353.  
  354.     You carried on in a similar fashion, listing the common sounds that the letter made and a short word demonstrating that letter.
  355. “There are some special rules to follow sometimes, but I won’t get into the grammar right now.” you said, slipping the amulet back on.
  356. The crowd applauded lightly and you selected a cupid for the next question. The zombie tried to offer her the amplifying stone, but the cupid shied away from it. The zombie shoved it at her and she froze. As the cupid began to tremble and sniffle, a houri reached across her and seized the stone.
  357.  
  358. “We want to know what marriage was like on your world!” she said.
  359.  
  360. Well, that was inevitable. You were surprised that it had taken this long.
  361.  
  362. “Well, it was similar to here in many regards. Two people would find each other, get to know each other, and then decide to be together. Most people dated for a few years before they decided on that though. And unfortunately, it wasn’t as glamorous as it was here. Sometimes couples separated after they married.”
  363.  
  364. “Why?” asked the houri.
  365.  
  366. “There were a lot of different reasons. Sometimes it was a lack of money, a difference of opinions on where to take the relationship, infidelity, or just… falling out of love.”
  367.  
  368. The crowd shifted at the word infidelity.
  369.  
  370. “But that was all uncommon, right?” said the houri hopefully.
  371.  
  372. “Uhh… well… not VERY uncommon, but yes, more people remained happily married than those who did not.”
  373.  
  374. The houri looked distraught, but you really didn’t want to go down this rabbit hole. I’m sorry tiny Eros woman! Pointing at an ogre, you move on.
  375.  
  376. “What the fuck is ‘dating’? Izzat some kind of courtship?”
  377.  
  378. There was a groan from the demons, succubi, and wealthier mamono in the audience. Others rolled their eyes. But the ogre and some of the more ‘rough and tumble’ monsters were looking at you intently.
  379.  
  380. “Err… yes. Dating is when two people go on a ‘date,’ and spend time with each other. You needed to know your partner well, because marriage was a big investment of time, money, and stress and you needed to make sure that the person you picked was a good match for you.”
  381.  
  382. The ogre seemed a bit confused by your response, so you just moved on.
  383.  
  384. “Let’s go with… you. The holstaurus in the back.”
  385.  
  386. “Umm… I was wondering what the food from your world was like.” she said softly.
  387.  
  388. “A good question, and one that I’m not really sure how do answer. Really there isn’t any difference, we ate plants and animals that we raised. The animals and plants may be different, but the taste of the meat and plants still follows the general scheme… How do I say this… Small birds taste like small birds and cows taste like beef. The taste of a demon realm steak is close enough to a normal steak. I’m sorry if that doesn’t answer your question, but the meals here are one of the things that’s most like my home.”
  389.  
  390. “Anon, could you call on the vampire noble over there? She’s a very important guest.” said Oroba.
  391.  
  392. “Got it.” you say. “Yes, the vampire in the front.”
  393.  
  394. The pale woman rose with a flourish of her cape.
  395.  
  396. “So, mortal, I hear that you are far stronger than others of your ilk…” she said puffing out her chest.
  397.  
  398. There was a short silence as you waited for her to continue.
  399.  
  400. “Uhh… my ilk?” you ask.
  401.  
  402. “Yes! Other mortals. Is it not true that you have within you a grand magical talent that you used to defeat a tribe of savages and a horde of lesser mamono attempting to defile you?” she said with a huff.
  403.  
  404. “Lesser mamono?” you ask Magnara.
  405.  
  406. She rolled her eyes. “Just normal monsters. It’s a vampire thing.”
  407.  
  408. “Yes, I did. But it was an accident! I don’t have control of my magic yet. That’s why I’m here.” you said.
  409.  
  410. The vampire nodded slowly. She sat back down and began whispering with the wight next to her.
  411.  
  412. “Okay… in the back there.” you said pointing to a curvy woman in the back.
  413.  
  414. As she took the amplifier, you could hear sniffling and soft crying. Oh, it’s a banshee.
  415.  
  416. “I *sniff* I just want to say that it is SO BRAVE of you to *hic* be here at this college doing all of this for us. You must have left so much behind when you came here and… and…”
  417.  
  418. The banshee lost control of herself and began wailing into the stone while she collapsed into the arms of her neighbor.
  419.  
  420. Fuck that’s hot.
  421.  
  422. Even from this distance you swear you could see her tears run down her cheeks and disappear into her cleavage, or be swallowed by her plush black lips.
  423.  
  424. “ANON!” screamed Magnara.
  425.  
  426. “Shhh…” you said absentmindedly. Why was she bothering you? You were busy.
  427.  
  428. The other mamono were just as bad. They were shouting and moving around. You couldn’t hear the banshee anymore. Trotting towards the edge of the stage you set out to find her.
  429.  
  430. But before you could jump off into the crowd, something yanked you backwards. You rocketed back into the sizable chest of Hicera, who waved her hand in front of your face. A shimmer of golden sparks shined in your eyes, and you lost consciousness.
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