He waited until it seemed as though she had found a stable position where she could keep her balance, then said, “I’ll lift you up now. Hold on.”
She weighed more than he expected. That wasn’t to say she was heavy; she was still much lighter than Roku, for example. But she wasn’t as big as Roku was either, and he was using one hand, not two. And it was more that she had seemed like such a small, insubstantial thing that it seemed a bit odd that she would have any weight to her at all.
But agents weren’t allowed to be weak, and something of her weight was no issue for San. He lifted slowly for her benefit, not his own, and rested his hand above the water’s surface, arm braced against the edge of the tub. “It’s not as deep as it looks,” he said.
If this was her first time doing anything in the water, he thought it might look daunting. “It’ll only come up to your waist. See?” He dipped his other arm in so she could see how far down it went. “It’ll be a bit cold though, so you can dip your feet in first.”
She shifted until she was sitting in his hand, then slowly dropped her feet into the water. She didn’t startle, but he saw her tense for a moment, then relax. “Take your time,” he said.
She must have taken his words to heart. They stayed there like that for quite some time. But San wouldn’t rush her, not at first. He didn’t want her to have an unpleasant initial experience since that would be the hardest to correct later. And while they didn’t often encounter assignments that necessitated swimming, it was still a useful skill to have.
At her own pace, Rei shifted her weight so that she was no longer sitting on San’s hand, lowering herself into the water. Even when she was standing in it, she held onto his hand for balance, and he let her. “For now, we won’t worry about swimming,” he said. “Just walk around. See how it feels?” Gently, he pushed her to prompt her to move, and followed where she went so she could still use his hand for support if she wanted. “It feels different from walking out of the water, doesn’t it? The water pushes against you a little. Walking like this will make you stronger, so you don’t get tired so easily. You might be able to run faster too.”
Her meandering steps turned into a circuit about the tub, and then another. By that point, she was more steady on her feet, and willing to let go of San’s hand.
San retracted it, watching her for signs of distress, but she seemed to be doing okay for the moment.
She took a few circuits of the pool, then stopped. San didn’t push her to go any further either. “Hop on,” he said, extending his hand again. She got on more readily this time, maybe because she had done it the once, or maybe just because she was too tired to mind it anymore. Whatever it was, once she was settled, he lifted her out. Setting her back on the ground, he handed her a towel. “Here, use this to dry off. Ah, your clothes…” He hadn’t thought to bring her a change of anything.
Maybe he would have to ask them to make something for her after all.
Was there somewhere he could take her to warm up? He would have to ask Hachi about it when they got back.
“We’ll figure something out before next time,” he promised. “I’ll… get you something hot to drink.” It was the best he could do for her, for now.
By their next session, he had managed to produce some old doll clothes, which weren’t ideal, but at least she could change into them for the swimming portion, and back out of them when she was done. Hachi had also managed to track down a little heater, in case that wasn’t enough. But in the interest of streamlining things a bit more, he decided to alternate sessions of swimming and running, rather than trying to do both in one day.
Today, they were going to try the water again, but with a few adjustments.
San arrived with a pitcher of hot water, which he added to the tub. It wasn’t much, but it brought the temperature up just a bit.
It wasn’t even hot enough to really be called lukewarm, but not as cold as it would have been if he had just left it at room temperature.
Rei’s attention was on the tub, but San said, “Let’s go through the stretches first. Here, do what I do…” Swimming, or even walking around in the water, was its own kind of exercise, and with her condition being what it was, he wanted to take the necessary precautions.
Once they were done with the stretching routine, he handed her the clothes. “Here, change into this. That way your nice dress won’t get wet while you’re in the water.” She took the clothes from him, staring at them for a moment. “Can you change by yourself?” he asked. It hadn’t occurred to him until now that she might not be able to. He could do it for her, but…
He was spared that particular difficulty when Rei stripped off her shirt. It caught him off guard, the abruptness of it, and San had to very quickly turn around. He had no idea how long to give her either, and she couldn’t exactly tell him when she was done.
He counted a minute, and then two, then five. Eventually, as he was deliberating, he felt a little tug on the fabric of one pant leg. Cautiously, he turned around. Rei had changed, her own dress sitting in a little heap on the ground.
“Oh,” he said. “Good.”
As he turned back towards her, he noticed her staring at his face. She didn’t do it often, and he was used to reading her attention by the cant of her ears, or whether she was staring off at the ground more in his general direction. “Is something the matter?” he said.
She looked down, tugging at her clothes, then to her own dress, and then back up, again, at him. At first, San thought she might have been uncomfortable, but the fact that she stopped on him gave him pause. A little more thought, and he said, “Why did I turn around?”
To his surprise, she nodded. It was, he supposed, going to be a day of surprises for him. Eye contact was rare from her, but he had never seen her give any indication of ‘yes’ or ‘no’, even though she clearly understood what he was saying. She must have, for them to have gotten this far the way they did.
San tried to decide how to explain himself. If that was something she thought worth asking about… No, there was no sense in dwelling on it, and he forced his mind away from the question. “I have a little sister,” he said, after a moment.
“She didn’t like anyone to see her change. I thought you might appreciate some privacy too.”
It wasn’t exactly the truth, which was that she looked human enough that he felt awkward, even now, but he felt that it might be easier to understand this way. When he joined the Watchful Ones, he had had to let go of who he was, as much as possible--- the life he’d led, the person he had been, whatever opinions he had, even his memories, if he could help it. But no one here was a blank slate, not even their best agents. Not even the ones tapped to be elementals, a sign of great trust and honor.
Shi still didn’t like anyone to watch her change, as far as he knew. But now, he supposed she could immolate anyone who tried. And it was the same courtesy he would have afforded any other girl.
It wasn’t as though becoming a Watchful One erased all traces of your modesty. Or even your awareness of attraction, such as it was. Trysts sometimes happened between agents, so he’d heard, though he had never seen one himself.
Rei must have been satisfied with his answer. At least, she didn’t try to press him further. San extended his hand to her. “Hop on,” he said. She didn’t hesitate at all this time anymore, but San still kept his movements slow. He didn’t want her to lose her balance, even if she was crouched down for better stability.
She tested the water without any prompting from him this time, and went in with less of a delay. He let her walk around for a bit, then said, “Let’s try some swimming. I’ll keep it easy. Here.” He extended his hand again so she could hold onto it.
“Hold on with both hands, and see if you can kick your legs out behind you.”
When San had first learned to swim, there hadn’t really been a process. He had waded into a pond with the other boys he played with in the course of their adventures, and somehow, after a while, he had learned how to move in the water more or less on his own. He had only learned formal ways of swimming after he came here, but he hadn’t had to learn to swim, and he knew how to hold his breath and move the way he wanted.
He didn’t know about Rei though. He didn’t think she knew how to swim. He was making it up as he went, but this seemed like a good place to start.
She gripped his hand with both of hers, but didn’t immediately kick off.
San waited, but when it looked less like she was preparing herself and more like she wasn’t sure how, he said, “I’m going to pull you forward a bit.
Kick off from the floor, and then just keep kicking. Are you ready? On three. One, two, three.” He moved his hand, and Rei held on, pulled forward by the motion. Just as he told her to, she kicked off from the ground, and kept kicking once her feet were up. She faltered a couple of times, but she simply kicked off again, without any prompting from San.
After about a minute, he said, “Okay, stop. That’s good.” She stopped, and her feet returned to the bottom, at which point she stood back up on her own.
“When I say ‘swim’, can you do it again? It’s not exactly swimming yet, but this is a part of it,” he explained.
“Once you’re comfortable kicking in the water, I’ll teach you the next bit.” He waited a moment, then said, “Ready? Swim.”
She grabbed onto his hand and kicked off again. Now that she had done it the once, she seemed to have adjusted, and didn't need so much help from him to do it. The kicking part was relatively easy, but he let her practice it a few times before he moved on.
“Now we’ll try holding our breath. When I say ‘submerge’, you can crouch down until your mouth and nose are below the water, and if you feel like you’re going to breathe the water in, you can blow out bubbles. When you need more air, come back up.” He couldn’t demonstrate, exactly; the tub was much too small for him, and trying to submerge his head in it would stir up the water too much for her.
But he would be there if she started choking or anything of the sort, at least, and she didn’t seem frightened at the moment.
“Ready? Submerge,” he said.
She did as he instructed and crouched down. She didn’t blow bubbles the whole time, which he was frankly glad to see, as he would have to ask her to stop that after a certain point anyway. Agents of the Watchful Ones tended to prioritize stealth, and a trail of bubbles was a fairly obvious giveaway.
Her lung capacity had to be fairly small based on her size, but he didn’t know how long she could comfortably hold her breath, since she likely needed less oxygen. He was surprised that she held out for as long as she did before coming back up, though she was breathing harder afterwards. “Good,” he said. “Now let’s try the kicking again. Swim.”
He had her alternate between the two a few times, then said, “Let’s try putting them together now. When I say ‘swim’ this time, submerge your face so you’re looking down into the water, then start kicking. You can still hold onto my hand, and you don’t have to open your eyes.” She grabbed onto his hands, and he gave her a moment to collect herself before he gave the signal. “Swim.”
She put her head down and kicked off, kicking as she held her body horizontally in the water. When she was out of air, she stood back up. “Good,” he said. “At ease. You did very well today." Teaching her to swim would take some time, but they covered a lot of ground today. "Hop on.”
She was already holding onto his hand, so she simply clambered back onto it, and he lifted her out and set her down on the floor.
Morgan: No one knows yet. But I did want to make it clear that the jar itself isn't used for lotine husbandry in any way. c:
Jun 5, 2020 4:24:19 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I'm only assuming that it does something similar like a Fungal Beast that infects a Leaf-scatter. (the one with moss and I think it was a pink flower growing on the head.)
Jun 5, 2020 4:18:34 GMT -6
Silver: I'll try it soon and we'll find out!
Jun 5, 2020 4:16:11 GMT -6
Silver: I don't think anyone knows yet!
Jun 5, 2020 4:16:05 GMT -6
Darky: What did the 'infection' do again?
Jun 5, 2020 4:14:43 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Thanks for this information, its really useful to know! <3
Jun 5, 2020 4:14:30 GMT -6
Morgan: The lolatic doesn't disappear after one use, and can be reused on the same lotine when it is allowed to 'infect' a lotine- to my knowledge.
Jun 5, 2020 1:41:37 GMT -6
Morgan: The only effect/thing that the jar can be used for is to open up into a lolatic. The jar itself has no use in lotine breedings.
Jun 5, 2020 1:39:52 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: and the jar is then gone, if with the creature I am more guessing with this the creature doesn't disappear and it has unlimited use.
Jun 5, 2020 0:17:55 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Something else I am wondering about with the Lotine breeding is whether one would use the jar the Lolatic comes from in the breeding, or actually the creature itself. I'm assuming with it if its the jar, then it gives people only one shot in a breeding,
Jun 5, 2020 0:16:08 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Then using it in my rps is definitely just for the sake of rp's and not for anything additional.
Jun 5, 2020 0:12:17 GMT -6
Renathan: Fish are unlimited use once bought though. c:
Jun 4, 2020 22:31:17 GMT -6
Renathan: There's no additional effect for adding a fish to a magical berry in a lotine breeding. Magical Berry is kinda it's own thing. Adding a fish for roleplay value shouldn't hurt, but it has no effect when used on a magical berry lotine breeding.
Jun 4, 2020 22:27:14 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: be just for the sake of rp, and perhaps seeing if it might lent a bigger chance to multiple offspring with unique pattern. X3
Jun 4, 2020 15:31:01 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I think your right on it being unlimited use yeah, although.. *cough* I only found out a couple hours after I started writing that I had yet to buy the fish in question so used the one you could get for free as a replacement, it still was meant to mostly
Jun 4, 2020 15:30:59 GMT -6
Riku: From what I loosely understand about the fish is that it isn't one-use, whereas the berry is. I feel like there wouldn't be any consequence of 'using' the fish...which I'd think just ooc wouldn't be counted for whatever rolls or whatever it is that it uses
Jun 3, 2020 14:14:30 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Thanks for that piece of info Ren! <3 | But would it be allowed for the flavor of the rp if the berry wasn't filling enough for the Lotine?
Jun 1, 2020 6:09:21 GMT -6
Renathan: There is no need to double up on a fish and a magical berry (doesn't change the effect of the berry at all) in a lotine breeding.
Jun 1, 2020 6:02:21 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Does anyone know if it is possible to combine both a magical berry and a fish in a Lotine breeding? Or is you can only choose one of them? (right now writing a Lotine breeding)
Jun 1, 2020 5:36:49 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I am still interested in trading it for a green drake.
Jun 1, 2020 0:31:33 GMT -6