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In memory of Flyin' Black Jackson
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909028 No. 909028 ID: 270774

TRASHY VAMPIRE ROMANCE NOVEL (main thread): https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/897413.html
disthread: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/124805.html

you don’t have to read TVRN to read this spinoff, but you’ll be getting tossed facefirst into some already-established worldbuilding. the art in this is gonna be real loose and light since it’s just a fun extra on the side!
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No. 909029 ID: 270774
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The red threads of fate come to us tangled.
No. 909030 ID: 270774
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They must be smoothed, straightened, put into order…
No. 909031 ID: 270774
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And woven, with a skillful hand, into the fabric that makes up our society.

You are the weaver who sits at this loom, with the shuttle in your hand.

That’s what Higuchi Soutaro, the sire of your sire, told you when you were first brought into the family.

To be totally honest, you kind of weren’t paying attention, because you were too busy being completely fucking stoked about being a vampire.
No. 909032 ID: 270774
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It was the words of your actual sire, the man who turned you, that you actually took to heart.

Love for love’s sake, Minoru, he told you. That’s what I believe in. You’ll find out what you believe in, in time — I chose you because I saw the potential in whatever you’ll become. But what I believe, and what I hope you’ll appreciate, is that we can create ways for others to find happiness in each other, for no reason other than happiness’ own sake.

That, you paid attention to. That sounded like something you could get behind.

It’s 1997, now, and you’ve been a vampire for 11 long years. You’ve spent all that time in the Higuchi estate, under the close tutelage of Naotaro, learning the ways of the most esteemed members of vampiric society: ceremonial matchmakers.

Now, finally, it’s your big day.
No. 909033 ID: 270774
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It’s your big FUCKING day, and you are so fucking late.

The thing is that Naotaro told you to do all this STUFF last-minute.

He said you had to get the streaks out of your hair. You tried a strand test and found out your hair would totally MELT THE FUCK OFF if you tried to bleach it again, so instead you just tried to shampoo it like five times in a row to fade it, and now it’s … a little better? Maybe?

He also told you to make sure your monstuki was all in order, and to ask a servant for help if you needed to, but you kind of forgot until it was too late, and now everything is on but you’ve realized you’ve done it ALL WRONG — your layers are on left over right, like a living human person, not right over left, like a proper undead person, and you’re not sure you have time to fix it.

You started wearing acrylic nails because it wasn’t proper for a Higuchi ward to have a habit as lowly as, uh, nail biting, and it was the only cute solution to the issue. Naotaro said it was fine, but that they’d have to be plain for the ceremony, and… okay, you forgot about THAT, too, and your nails currently have bows and rhinestones on them.

He also said you had to take all your piercings out, and now you’re running to the ceremony and realizing you forgot to, and you don’t want to just throw them all over the hallways — plus, you have super radical paranormal healing now! They’ll all close up!

None of these problems are dampening your enthusiasm at ALL, it’s just, well — they’re problems!
No. 909035 ID: b1b4f3

>get streaks out
You could cut the offending strands of hair off, or pull them out.
Can you just remove them?
Stuff them in your pockets.
I don't think you can fix that unless you find a VERY skilled servant.
No. 909036 ID: 65c33f

start with small stuff first!! try to take those earrings out and stuff them—somewhere? in the folds of your clothes. as for your nails, maybe you can pick the decor off? and also tuck that somewhere. your clothes are hopefully forgivable, and will maybe read as you being nostalgic for being alive? worst comes to worst—oh well!!! you look cute as fuck!!
No. 909037 ID: 710b13

Take a deep breath!! How late are you? If it's more than ten minutes or so take a moment to yank off the nails. Painful, maybe, but you'll heal quickly and it will make it clear you've tried. If not, keep running, someone might be able to help you when you arrive and you won't be that late.
No. 909038 ID: 793aeb

can you fix only the outermost layer of your outfit? who cares about all the other layers, nobodys gonna see them

also remove the piercings and stuff them in a pocket or whatever. you can always get them re-pierced later

uhhhh idk bite off your acrylics?
No. 909060 ID: fef702

youll just repierce them later its fine! do the first layer of the kimono and forget about the rest, theyre not visible
No. 909061 ID: fef702

sorry about the double post but it wont let me delete - MINORU YOU CAN SHAPESHIFT. JUST SHAPESHIFT YOUR HAIR INTO A DIFFERENT COLOR, DUDE
No. 909065 ID: 0f15ab

It might be better to be a little later but fix everything? Do the best you can, it seems like your nails and accessories would be easiest to sort out fast!
No. 909069 ID: e1d580

Look you just gotta fuck someone else up. Make it so they're even worse than you and they draw the heat away from you. Got any enemies?
No. 909077 ID: bd241b

Fix the kimono and pick off the nail trinkets, you'll be fine. Just don't be late!
No. 909092 ID: c9aeed

Shapeshift your hair black. Can you cast some sort of illusion magic to make the earrings and nails look right? And fix the kimono at the ceremony like its part of it. You know, like, ah, this is the ritual of becoming a matchmaker AND now I'm a real vampire as you can tell by how my clothes go from Incorrect to Correct. Just bluff your way through, it'll be fine.
No. 909148 ID: 329b70

Being late is probably the biggest faux pas so you better just hoof it!
No. 909468 ID: 270774
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You’re halfway through gnawing your acrylics off when you realize that you’re a fucking vampire, and you can shapeshift. It’s kind of your entire thing, actually. Everyone’s good at something, or so you’re told, and your something has turned out to be shapeshifting. Not that you need it, because it’s not like a Higuchi is gonna be running around getting themselves into high octane Vampire Duels, but it’s cool as hell.

Your specific area of expertise is shifting into animal forms — your sire tells you that’s pretty standard — but you do have a little experience with appearance shifts, since obviously the first fucking thing you did the second you found out it was possible was learning how to suck your tits into your chest. It had been surprisingly easy, actually, and you were baffled when attempts to see if you could just shift your hair blond instead of dyeing it were somehow way harder. It was like you had to think about it constantly, and if you lost concentration, it just poofed back.
No. 909469 ID: 270774
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That’s to be expected, I suppose, Naotaro had said. He’d touched your chest with his long, elegant fingers — gently, and briefly. When you do this, you feel more like your true self, don’t you? So of course it comes naturally.

Vampires are creatures of desire, he’d told you, and doing what you really, truly wanted would always be easy. At the time, you’d thought that sounded a little reductive, and also a little too good to be true. But he seemed confident, so you believed him.
No. 909470 ID: 270774
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You poof your hair black and hope that it’ll be a little easier to keep it that way, since it’s your natural color. The nails decals are mostly off now, too — it doesn’t look great, but the important part is your hands no longer refract rainbows when they catch the light. After that, it’s easy to take all your piercings out and shove them into the folds of your clothes. Who cares! You’ll repierce them later!
No. 909472 ID: 270774
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The montsuki is a bigger problem. If you could just change the outer layer, you would - but the folds of the kimono are under your hakama, which is under your haori, which is already pinned together with your haori-himo. There are ten minutes left til the ceremony is supposed to start, and it already took you fifteen to get your obi tied properly by yourself in the first place!

A servant could probably do it much more quickly, if you could find one — or you could just hightail it to the ceremony and, uh, hope nobody notices.
No. 909473 ID: 7e9c89

you fixed everything else pretty well! if there’s a servant close, get them to help - if not, hightail it there
No. 909476 ID: 2e3701

Def def def try to locate a servant to fix it!! You'll be relatively presentable now, but people are absolutely going to notice the left over right vs right over left when you're standing next to other vampires
No. 909478 ID: e4db83

look for someone to help, but only on the way!! if you can't find anyone then hope for the best!
No. 909479 ID: 11b5c9

act like there's some GREAT EMERGENCY with a lot of wailing and hope a servant runs over. otherwise just book it and hope for the best. naotaro seems like a nice guy, maybe he'll cut you some slack...?
No. 909480 ID: aedfd9

You're a member of a prestigious family, right? A servant should be happy to help you!

If not, there's got to be some scrappy adorable urchin-type you've got adorable banter with. Maybe a new vamp who is better at ceremonial stuff but less good at being super cool?
No. 909482 ID: 329b70

keep an eye out for somebody on your way but dont waste timew looking around!
No. 909483 ID: c375e8

YELL FOR A SERVANT or be nicer and yell nicely. we need to get our robe fixed!!!
No. 909484 ID: aedfd9

Goes without saying that if you are late, make it fashionable
No. 909486 ID: 2c4ef2

Get dat servant... maybe transform your legs into those of a cheetah or some fast bird lol
No. 909487 ID: 10c408

Wouldn't the number of servants increase as you get closer to the place where the ceremony takes place? Hopefully you are friends with some of them and the rumor mill won't start during the ceremony.
No. 909488 ID: 270774
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There’s only one thing to do, and that thing is sprinting down the hallway screaming for a servant.

You skid around a corner and slam directly into someone. Luckily, neither of you fall over, but there’s some awkward robe-grabbing as you both reorient yourselves.

You finally bring your eyes up to see who it is. Oh. Oh no.

“Hello, Minoru.” Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Hell and shit and fuck. “Running late, are we?”

This is Noroi, one of the wards that came before you. He was sired by Rantaro, the third nakodo, in the 800s — but he didn’t end up being a successor, because… well. He just wasn’t a good match. Not everyone can be a matchmaker, based on... temperament, and… well, personal beliefs… and things with Noroi didn’t work out.

“I see you still can’t even dress yourself.” Because he’s not a successor, Noroi technically ranks lower than you, even though he’s a over a thousand years older — but he doesn’t act like it. “And on such an important day, too. What a shame.”

He lifts his sleeve to cover his mouth, but you can still see that he’s smirking, based on the way his eyes narrow. “What a shame,” he repeats. “For Naotaro-dono to be humiliated like this, in front of everyone.
No. 909489 ID: 270774
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You really don’t like this guy.

He’s lower ranked than you, so… technically, you could tell him to help you. Noroi’s always immaculate. He’s from the Heian period, he speaks like a billion languages, he can play the god damn shamisen, blah blah fucking blah — you know he could fix everything wrong with your clothes without even thinking about it. But you’re kind of scared of him. And he’s kind of a bitch.
No. 909490 ID: 10c408

Yeah, he's not going to help and he might even make it worse for you if you talked him into it.

Look for someone else.
No. 909491 ID: ddc815

tell him its the new fashion and hes fucking out of date
No. 909492 ID: e4db83

if ur able of sucking up convincingly enough that noroi will Actually help, rather than mess it up further, go 4 it.. otherwise quickly try to find someone else!! last resort is to go as you are, but that would be better than letting noroi mess you up more
No. 909493 ID: 70df1e

just be like 'hey maybe help me not embarrass my sire' i mean you are higher ranked and you can bitch about it later if you dont get any help. better than running in without fixing your clothes right?
No. 909494 ID: 2e3701

play like you're genuinely upset by the idea that you might disappoint naotaro, the "I didn't ask for this and now I'm going to fail everyone and how can you tolerate me as a part of your house, sob sob sob", type thing followed by a plea for help. Displays of emotion that they might be held responsible for tend to freak people like this out, and the easiest way to make you STOP will be to help you out.
No. 909495 ID: 2826b6

fake crying is a pretty good plan but don’t do anything rtoo risky.. you still have time to find someone else on the way maybe
No. 909498 ID: bd241b

This could be the start of turning things over, honestly. This is your big day that more or less is inducting you into the clan, right? And however you perform reflects on all of them. So ask him to help you out but do it nicely? Be appreciative. Tell him you know he'd get it right because of his particular talents. If this is a new beginning for you, might as well see about starting rough relationships over too, right? (Especially since I get the feeling smoothing out interpersonal shit is like, the whole point of what you're getting into.)

Not saying be a kiss-up. Just be genuine.
No. 909524 ID: aedfd9

Flatter him into helping you! Be all respectful in the official way, impress him with your simpering and kowtowing. You can yell "psych" or "opposite day" when he's done and flip him off, if you like.
No. 909525 ID: 17c2ee

Hatefuck him. Dicks out, sword fight time, if he loses he has to dress you.
No. 909611 ID: 2791fd

he won't care if you fake cry. like he might even get off to it later, the little weirdo. so flatter him into helping you
No. 909620 ID: 9fcd43

I like this. Make, if not a friend, at least the start of a connection; conduct yourself with the kind of grace and dignity your sire can be proud of even if your clothing is messed up. At the end of the day, what's Naotaro going to be more disappointed by? An improperly wrapped kimono, or a hysterical scene/catfight with another ward?
No. 909630 ID: 0f15ab

Beggars can’t be choosers dude. We need his help. Flattery is a great thing if you think it’ll work, but like you said, you can technically make him help you.
No. 909632 ID: 10c408

He's only technically lower rank than us. I highly doubt that he'll do anything but make things WORSE if we try and throw our dubious clout around to bully him into fixing up our own clothing when he already enjoys making fun of us.
No. 910410 ID: b463f2

agree with this path!
No. 912180 ID: 270774
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As you mull over how to handle this, you find yourself thinking about why Noroi never had one of these ceremonies himself.

The thing is that, as sacred as it is, this is a business.

And if you can’t handle customer service —
No. 912181 ID: 270774
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“Are you questioning me? ME, the hand-chosen ward of Higuchi Rantaro? Soon to be the fourth nakodo? Speaker to demons?”

“I’ve read all the signs! I’ve scried! I’ve communed! How can you reject my recommendations? Insolence! Idiocy! How dare you?!”


…. Clients didn’t like him.
No. 912182 ID: 270774
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Noroi is hard to deal with on the best of days, and this has to be approached delicately.

“I’m really sorry to bug you, Noroi,” you say — and really, you’re trying not to come off as cloying or over the top. It’s hard to swallow your pride and be genuine when you dislike the guy this much, but showing up to the ceremony looking presentable is more important. “But, yeah, you’re right. I don’t want Naotaro-dono to be embarrassed.”

A little flattery won’t hurt, though, as long as you’re not laying it on too thick. “I know you’d be able to fix this in, like, ten seconds, and I’m totally hopeless at it. Plus, you always look so good … I’d be really happy if after the ceremony, any time somebody brought it up, I could be like, ‘Yeah, Noroi-san helped me himself,’ or something like that…”
No. 912183 ID: 270774
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Noroi considers this for about a millisecond before suddenly grabbing you by the obi and yanking you forward. Looks like that was the ticket.

“Hopeless,” he’s muttering. His hands move quickly and confidently, untying only what’s necessary and holding layers in place in a way that seems like it needs more than two hands. Maybe it does. Sometimes you catch weird, dark flickers out of the corners of your eye, whenever Noroi’s around. “Helpless little thing. Really, what would you do without your elders and betters around, to keep you on track?”

“Man, what would I,” you agree.

Your outfit is fixed, literally, about two minutes later, and anything that ties is tied in an ornamental knot much fancier and better than whatever you’d struggled through yourself. Noroi steps back, giving you an appraising once-over, then makes a satisfied little noise in the back of his throat.

“There. Now you won’t make fools of us all.” He produces a folded fan from the depths of his sleeve, and it opens and closes in one sharp flick of his wrist, whacking you on the forehead. “Go. Don’t spoil my efforts by being late.”
No. 912184 ID: 270774
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You don’t need a second excuse to get out of his company, though you do thank him and wave as you dash away. He doesn’t return it, of course.

Thanks to your super fucking cool vampire hearing, you can pick up your sire and his sire speaking quietly outside the central shrine room.

“He’s late,” Soutaro is grumbling. “As usual.”

“I’m sure he’s just gotten caught up in nerves and perfectionism.” Your sire’s voice is soft and melodic. “As usual.”

“As long as he shows up!”

“There’s no need to worry about that, my dear Soutaro-dono. This means the world to Minoru. He will arrive, on time and eager.”

You round the corner and prove him right by bumping into him. He doesn’t budge, and you bounce off him like a pinball.

“Naotaro-dono!” You’re a little out of breath, and when you straighten up, your hands fly up to make sure your hair is still generally in order. “Hi! What’s up! I’m here!”

“‘What’s up,’ he says,” Soutaro scoffs.

“Minoru.” Naotaro turns to you, spreading his arms, and takes your shoulders warmly. “There you are. And you look wonderful.” One of his hands moves up to tuck a few strands of hair behind your ear, then lifts your chin fondly. “Your timing is perfect. We’re just about to enter.”

“‘Just in time’ is late,” Soutaro mutters.

Naotaro continues to calmly ignore him. “Are you nervous, my dove?”
No. 912187 ID: 70df1e

of COURSE youre nervous but naotaro taught you literally all the best stuff and youre gonna make him proud
No. 912188 ID: 4abe65

noroi is so sweet!!!! also who wouldnt be nervous, bur u will be okay..!! tell him ur excited
No. 912189 ID: 9f4cba

yay we're on time!

(he's so pretty.)

admit you're a little nervous, but that's bound to happen- you've been trying hard and learning a lot, so it'll be alright, especially since naotaro has faith in you
No. 912190 ID: c375e8

note to self to thank noroi later. let's go do this ceremony!!!
No. 912204 ID: 10c408

We did thank him, and like an ass he didn't return it.
No. 912240 ID: 9fcd43

Once the ceremony is over Minoru should go find Noroi again and "thank" him more thoroughly.

By which I mean let him mess up that carefully arranged outfit with some good old fashioned antagonistic rivalfucking.
No. 912313 ID: 832e2e

maybe a good "i'm as ready as i'll ever be, naotaro-dono, and i'm going to put everything you've taught me to good use." will suffice!
No. 912441 ID: 97d823

be sure to thank noroi when you come out!!! and be honest about your feelings, your sire obviously cherishes u, but also show him some Bonafide Minmin Panache, charm & confidence!!! u've earned this !!!
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