Date: August 14, 2010
Datura runs through all the lessons she thinks may be necessary for Nefura to attract and obtain a mate! Thankfully, Nefura is a quick study.
"The Spider Queen, Part 3 - How To Get A Guy"
The Sengyoku Theatre, Kumomoto, Land of Wind
The main dressing room in the Sengyoku Theatre was rather expansive, as it was meant for three, and sometimes more, people. Of course, the Lady Ryoko would tolerate no sharing, other than with her new 'understudy', who had appeared within her entourage mysteriously, apparently gaining the blonde's confidence in a way, and with a speed, that no one else had ever managed. The two were together constantly, with Datura even going so far as to abandon her usual palanquin, hiring another covered wagon instead, in order for them to travel together in relative comfort.
Since leaving the small border village after the 'unexplained disappearance' of several members of the hotel staff and her own stage hands, the troupe had stopped at the city of Kumomoto in the Land of Wind for a show, the last stop before they headed into the Land of Fire, where they were set to play for the local mayor of another city there. There, Datura had intimated to the young spider princess, they would find a number of eligible suitors which Nefura would be able to snare as a potential mate.
After all, Datura pointed out, they couldn't simply go out and find the first good-looking peasant they came across. A mate for the spider princess needed looks, wealth, intelligence, breeding, vigor, pride, and, she'd paused, looking around slyly before adding, 'a really great ass'.
Towards this end, the last few days of travel had been spent teaching the relatively young spider the basic pieces of human etiquette, such as how to only walk forward and over level surfaces, and if one had to walk backwards or sideways, to pretend to be awkward and clumsy while doing so. Things such as hanging from the ceiling not being appropriate, and how a 'proper woman' needed to be a chef in the kitchen, a gracious hostess in the living room, quiet and elegant in public, and an acrobat in the bedroom. Thankfully, Datura didn't believe that Nefura would actually be required to cook or host any official functions, which meant she only had to get the elegance and acrobat parts down!
The first show had already ended an hour ago by the time the 'Lady Ryoko' excused herself from greeting her fans on the pretense of being worn out, returning to her dressing room with Nefura, to keep the other woman from mingling unsupervised, and making what was sure to be a mess of things with a spider-human relations faux-pas.
Currently, the young blonde diva was sitting at the central vanity, there were two others to either side, in the large room, which was longer than it was wide. She'd shed her traditional, flower-print kimono that she'd been wearing for the after-show greetings, trading it in for a dark red kosode, not unlike the one she'd been wearing when she'd met Nefura in the first place, though very different in color. She was in the process of scooping out a fingertip's worth of lotion out of a small container and reaching under the shoulders of her sleeping kimono to rub it into her skin, having already done her face and neck.
"Hmm, Nef-chan, should we get started? I have a second show tomorrow, and the following morning we leave for the Land of Fire, so this will be one of the last chances we have to practice while being alone. I wanted to go over how to interest a man. Are you feeling up for it? There's a very delicious young stage hand you can practice on." Finishing with her right shoulder, the starlet runs her finger across the top of the lotion again to scoop up another miniscule amount, starting in on her left. "After all, you'll only have a single night to convince a man to leave everything and run away with you. …Unless kidnapping is an option. Is it an option? That'd certainly simply the post-game."
This is her first time outside of the underground mountain of Fukaizan. The Spider Princess has been quite excited by the entire experience. However, though she may be equivalent to a human teenager, highly curious, and prone to becoming overly excited, she is not an air-head by any means. She has learned quickly and readily everything that Datura has taught her (or tried to teach her) so far. Maybe some things require a bit of practice, or more than one try, but her eagerness to learn keeps her from giving up easily, and, despite the alienness of all these new concepts, she seems to pick up the nuances rapidly.
To be blunt, if she were an enemy, her learning rate would make her rather frightening. Probably she would be considered someone that a wise foe would do his best to slay before she learns so much that she is a major threat. Luckily, no one but Datura knows the red-haired woman is actually a giant, hyper-intelligent spider, so everything has proceeded marvelously. She has become quite attached to Datura, infact. Would most princesses allow a near-stranger who is not even royalty to speak so informally towards them? Probably not. But Nefura has accepted the shortening of her name and the honorific attachment good naturedly.
She has been provided some less conspicuous clothing, presumably. Otherwise she'd be attracting attention from men before she's ready to respond properly! You know, because latex bikinis are totally not in season. Right now she is dressed in a kosode similar to Datura's, though probably of a different color, and potentially not >quite< as expensive. Or maybe Datura suspects that to give cheap clothing to a princess would be an insult and so did not skimp on the expenses!? Nefura can't tell the difference! Watching Datura with rapt attention as she applies the lotion, her eyes momentarily having reverted to their 'natural' coloration of black with a green ring at the center of each, Nefura nods in response.
"Yes, Dat-chan! I am ready to learn from you! Please tell me all that you know of the human body! The 'pantsu', for instance… They are to be brightly colored to attract attention, as well as small and easily removed so as not to interfere with mating, yes?" She leans forward in her seat next to Datura, placing a hand on the woman's leg in what she has learned is a gesture of closeness, familiarity, and friendship. Or was that intimacy? She can not recall off-hand what the difference between them is, but she knows it's done with people one is close to.
A thoughtful expression crosses her face as she wonders if her human friend has a mate already or if she is looking for a new one. Her eyes drift down to the blonde's lap. Well, there's an easy way to check! The idea of >asking< is Datura has a boyfriend or husband or whatever momentarily escapes her. After a moment, during which Datura has probably had a chance to respond, Nefura attempts to lift the hem of the human girl's kosode to see whether the 'pantsu' are bright or subdued in color.
"There are many things to consider when selecting a pair of, ah, 'pantsu'." As the blonde finishes with her nightly skin treatment, which she had explained to the other female was a thing some human women did to keep their skin soft and fair as they aged, she turns slightly to place the lid back upon the lotion's container. "Typically, you don't want to wear anything too bright, or too dark, if you are wearing light colors over them, or if you are expecting to get wet, or they will show through. If they do show through, it certainly signifies that you are ready for mating, but- We are not going over the anatomy of women right now!"
Completely misinterpreting the reason for the spider's peep-show, the outcast Yamanaka quickly shoves the edge of her sleeping kimono back down with both hands before Nefura can get a good look at 'the goods', so to speak. Clearing her throat softly, the pale-skinned kunoichi smooths out the minute wrinkles of her garment with her palms.
"As I was saying, if your undergarments are too noticeable, or prominently displayed, in public, men will think you are easy. Yes, yes, we know you are looking to mate, but we must make them think that you are not. It's a silly human think. Your male spiders, they hunt for your food, right? Think of it like that: the men like to think they are hunters, and we, the women, are their prey. So we have to play hard to get. If the conquest is easy, they will take what they want and move on. Simple, yes?"
After a moment, Datura pats the hand that is conspicuously on her thigh, before taking it into her own, and holding it at her side, between them. "Also, placing your hand on the leg of another woman, or looking under their clothes for that matter, will make people think you are, ah… for lack of a more delicate term, looking to 'mate' with a woman. Humans find those things 'erotic'. When we go to the ball, you must show interest only in men. When you wish to initiate contact with a woman, it must be merely friendly."
She points at their joined hands, then removes hers, and links their arms gently, as if they were about to go for a stroll. "Or like this. You see? Always try to touch above the waist."
Nefura startles momentarily at the raised volume and sudden movements from Datura. Unlike humans, rather than merely shy away when startled or disrupted, her red-painted lips spread apart, and her canine teeth are shown to be lenghening rapidly and protruding >forward< from her gumline, almost like mandibles. Briefly, tension lines rise on her cheeks and around her eyes, hinting at concealed organic structures under the skin. In general, if most humans had been about to attempt harming Nefura, seeing the way her face changed in such a dramatic way would make >most< at least hesitate, if not stop and back away in horror. However, the threat display is instinctive, rather than conscious, and is almost immediately ceased once the princess realizes she is in no danger. Now looking a bit embarassed at her reaction, she resumes listening to Datura when she begins her lesson anew.
"Yes, simple! If a male can not prove himself, he will not be my mate! To provide indications of readiness to mate would lure the unfit along with the worthy ones. While I must demonstrate >willingness<, I must also show that I will judge each potential mate according to his merits and flaws. Inferior blood will >not< be passed down to my children!" Her voice raises as her excitement increases. She seems about to continue this further when the blonde pats her hand. She breaks off to look at the patted appendage, trying to recall what the purpose of patting is among humans.
The explanation that comes afterwards draws her attention back up to the woman's face. She listens, and then tilts her head at an angle. ">Above< the waist… Yes, I see. Hmm… My intention had been to investigate whether you had a mate yet, Dat-chan. The pantsu were to be the indicator, but if it is as you say, and subtlety is key… Then I would not have learned much from the coloration." Hmmmm.
She looks at the linking of arms between herself and Datura carefully, and then slowly… Smiles. She looks up at Datura, still smiling. "This is acceptable, then? Friendship >with< touching is much nicer than without. Humans are so soft and smooth! To touch is rarely something I have been comfortable with, but it is different with your people." She squints her eyes a bit and smiles wider. "I like the difference."
This moment of warm bonding and friendship is shattered a moment later, when Nefura's eyes open normally and she asks, "So human women can mate with each other, then? That is a very interesting evolutionary adaptation. If there are not a sufficient number of males in your habitat you can still produce progeny! Though I imagine there must be a reason why it is not done more commonly… Perhaps the DNA is not sufficiently varied without a male? Hmm… A short term solution, then. …Or is this common after all?" Becoming excited again, Nefura leans forward. "What about males? Can males mate with other males? Oh, oh! Can you show me how humans of the same gender mate? I must admit to both curiosity and confusion! As far as I know, female humans do not have the appropriate 'equipment' for inserting their genetic material into another female. Is there some internally-stored appendage that is only produced as needed? Do you lay eggs and then they are fertilized later on by another? Please, explain!"
By this point, the red-head has resumed close physical contact with the blonde across from her. But he has not forgotten the lesson she has learned! 'Hands above the waist'. Thus her hands have found two convenient and prominent hand holds within what she believes to be acceptable boundaries. Ahem.
"Very good, Nef-chan!" Datura smiles and begins nodding as the curious spider-turned-woman seems to grasp the baser concepts of human courting. "That is exactly right. I'm glad you enjoy the feel of human skin, too, otherwise this would be much har… der…" And then it all comes crashing down.
The blonde's chest rises slowly, and then falls, as she closes her eyes and sucks in a long, slow, healing breath of patience. If she was a victim of high blood pressure, she'd likely have a small vein pulsing on one side of her forehead, but such a blemish would never be allowed to stand on the vain woman's flawless skin. After a silent moment of collecting herself, Datura opens her blue eyes and smiles patiently, clearing her throat once more.
"Mating between women, or between two men, or even between a man and a woman, is not solely done for the purposes of procreation among humans. I'm not sure how it is with your kind, but humans find it a very enjoyable event, and it's often simply down for fun or entertainment, sometimes even as a form of power or control. …And touching a woman's breasts, which you have so kindly pointed out the location of," The 'Lady Ryoko' reaches up, lightly grabbing the arachnid's wrists and pulls her hands away from the offended parts of her body. "Is also considered highly inappropriate with humans with which you are not intimate with."
"Touching the face, or hair, like so," One of the blonde-haired starlet's fingers rises up, touching a few locks of Nefura's red hair, pushing it back, tucking it behind her ear. "When done by a woman, can signify intimacy or closeness, or even a desire for such, and also shouldn't be done with those whom you only wish to be friends with. When done by a man, it often shows possessiveness, and is a positive sign of interest."
Sitting back, she crosses one slim leg over the other, placing her hands, one folded atop the other, on her lap, her eyes searching the ceiling as if for answers, or maybe just more patience. "Oh, sex, sex, sex, let's seeeeeeeee… When a man finds a woman attractive…"
Of all the things she'd ever imagined in her life, Datura had NOT ever expected to explain the birds and the bees to a disguised, enormous venomous creature!
Several hours later, or maybe it just SEEMED like several hours later, what with having to cover the rather exhaustive subject in detail, and some parts two or three times, Datura found herself back in front of the mirror. There's a few moments of silence, at least on her end, in order to allow her lessons to sink in, or perhaps because she was simply absorbed in adjusting her hair. Whenever there was a looking glass handy, the volatile blonde could almost always be counted on to do some primping, after all. As she's checking to make sure no hair is out of place, her eyes find the other female in the wide reflection of the room cast by the enormous mirror.
"Well, that should clear a few things up, at the least."
Once she's sure that not a single golden hair is out of place, the kunoichi tugs at the sleeves of her red-colored kosode, straightening out the shoulders of the garment, before her fingers fly down to her sash to make sure it was still snuggly in place. Once done adjusting herself in minute ways that likely only she could she, Datura leans back, turning in a slow circle as she checks her reflection out, before deciding that she was done at the mirror. The clock on the wall ticked the seconds, minutes, and hours by with irritating regularity, blue eyes glancing at it off to the side. Bare feet pad across the carpet, until she reaches the low, gorgeously-soft couch placed along one wall, the blonde emitting a soft sigh of contentment as she sinks into it.
"Ahh, that's better." As if physically exhausted by the 'ordeal', Datura closes her eyes briefly, then wiggles further into the cushions. "Now, what's next? Oh, social interactions! Yes, we were going to use that deliciously gorgeous stage hand for that, weren't we? Should I call him in now, or is there anything else you feel you need to… learn? I think you're about ready for a trial run."
Unlike Datura, the Spider Princess is apparently not focusing on maintaining or correcting her appearance at this particular moment. The lessons she had been given had been very thorough, and she is now confident that she has learned as much as her friend could teach in such a short amount of time. 'Is there more?' she wonders briefly. 'I will have to ask later. Datura is looking tired…' She is presently lying on her back across a chair, so that her legs hang off one end, and her head hangs upside-down on the other side. Her kosode lies more or less completely open at the moment, but that's easily remedied. Her bushy red hair is pooled on the floor beneath her, and her green-on-black eyes follow and observe Datura as the human woman fixes herself up in the mirror.
Nefura makes sure to memorize it all. And once Datura is resting on the extremely soft couch, she listens intently to her teacher's words. "If there is more to learn, I wish to learn it. If 'hands-on' experience would teach more adequately, then I wish to gain such experience." She tilts her head slightly, and then somehow just >arches< her body back onto her feet. She doesn't use her hands to push herself up from her lying-on-back position. She just pushes her feet into the floor, and the incredible strength in her body allows her to rise to her feet without any other aid than momentum.
Once she is standing, Nefura starts hunting for her sash so she can tie her garment closed. "Dat-chan, do you need to sleep?" She asks the question conversationally, and casually. In her mind she is considering what she knows of human body language, behavior, and physical limitations, in the context of Datura. Among her own people, it is possible to simply die of exhaustion. She has enormous amounts of stamina availabl to her. She had assumed all females did. Have the concert and the lessons kept her friend up and active for too long? Do human females have less endurance?
Finally finding the sash, she loops it about her waist and ties it properly. The kosode is now semi-closed, but there's a lot of more on display than is perhaps 'decent'. Focusing on Datura now, Nefura approaches and sits on the edge of the couch. She knows that the blonde said certain physical gestures, touches, and so forth were reserved for those one is intimate with, but… She still touches the side of Datura's head, stroking through the golden strands. "I wish to learn, but I do not wish for your health to be harmed in the process. Please inform me if a lesson must be postponed, halted, or ended prematurely. I know no other humans in this world. I trust no other humans in this world. If I lose you, I…" She trails off and then just moves to put her arms around Datura gently and hug her.
She fact that she is controlling her strength with such finesse that Datura would likely be unable to tell this hug from one given by a real human woman speaks volumes for not only the self-control she has learned, but also her focus on not hurting her friend. If Datura was ever harmed or, heaven forbid, killed, then the disguised arachnid female would be in dire straits indeed. Maybe she could obtain help from any number of other spiders all over the world, but emotionally she might not ever recover. Friendship, love, closeness, and interacting with humans without interest in consuming them, are all new ideas and feelings to Nefura. But she likes them, and she does not want to give up the claim she has staked on 'Lady Ryoko'. She will not abandon her teacher, and she will not allow her to come to harm.
"Mm, probably." The blonde replies to the inquiry about sleep with a murmur, still not opening her eyes even as she raises her brows and purses her lips in a mild pout. "But we've only a few more days in which to prepare before we must make an appearance at the gala. Timely results are usually the best results."
The blue eyes of the upcoming diva pop open at the feel of fingers stroking across the yellow strands of her hair, turning quickly to take in the form of the spider princess as she'd suddenly appeared right next to her, from Datura's point of view, at least. Softly, her shoulders rise and fall beneath the soft material of her kosode in a gesture of indifference. "You needn't concern yourself about something like that. If I was ill, I would take to my bed. For now I'm just a little… worn." The blonde-haired kunoichi smiles tenderly as one hand reaches up to lazily rub the other female's back as she accepts the embrace through the sheer lazy power of allowing it to happen.
"Come now, Nef-chan. The only manner in which you're in danger of losing me is if we displease your mother and she gets in the mood for a snack. Let's call in our guinea pig for the evening, shall we?"
Datura pats the red-haired arachnid-in-disguise, petting a hand comfortingly through her hair, before she leeeeeeeeans across the couch, either too lazy to actually move, or because the spider-princess was still holding on to her, in order to snatch a tiny hand bell off of the end table near the edge of it's arm. She waves it a few times in the air, creating a high-pitched jingling sound that was almost loud enough to hurt her own ears, before setting it back down on the cushion. "Now, remember, this boy mustn't be made aware of who you really are. If something should happen, we'll need to, ah, dispose of him. But only after we're done."
It's not a moment later when the door slides open, a bare-footed young man of perhaps seventeen poking his head through the wooden portal, an olive-green tunic draping down to his waist, his pants a simple brown color, made of cheap, coarse material. Despite his drab manner of dress, due likely to a stringent financial situation, his features were handsome and angular, dusty brown hair, tanned skin, golden eyes, and a lean, muscular build. "Lady Ryoko?"
"What took so long?" Datura snaps. "Get in here, I have need of you. Stand over there, you are going to help us." As the male moves to obey here, striding to stand at the indicated spot with a mildly confused look on his face after closing the door, she glances towards the other female. "Ready?"
Nefura nods to Datura's reassurances and explanations. "You are probably right. However, I still feel you should make sure not to exert yourself >too< much…" She sits up from where she had lain cuddled with the blonde woman when the young man enters the room. She has to remember all her lessons. That includes not indicating closeness or intimacy with human women. That would spoil her chances with males! Sitting with her legs mostly bare, and her ankles crossed, she leaves her hands folded in her lap — partially to appear demure, and partially to retain modesty. Kosode can be somewhat undignified to sit in if one does not have one's leg crossed over the other.
Her eyes have already lost their inhuman coloration, the black seeming to drift out of her eyes like ink drops in the water — only in reverse. This leaves her with jade-colored irises and slightly green-hued pupils, but otherwise she looks completely human. She wishes she had thought to fix up her hair a bit first… Oh well. The red-haired spider princess smiles at the young man as he obeys Datura's commands, and then looks towards her friend. "Yes, Ryoko-san." It's a good thing she's clever. Some might have forgotten the whole 'secret identity' thing in regards to Datura's name.
"Now, you- ah…"
"Sadao, ma'am." The young man supplies for the blonde as she snap-points at him.
"Yes, yes," She replies testily, waving her hand as if it didn't really matter what his name was. Considering her arrogant nature, it probably did not. She continues in the same impatient tone of voice, pushing herself up into a bit of a more proper, terse sitting position. "My friend here, you may refer to her as 'Nefura-sama', she is going to be meeting a very important, very wealthy man she's had her eye on at a very large gala soon. She is understandably nervous about this, and I told her that you would be more than happy to help her do…" She gestures vaguely with her hands. "A few little run-throughs to work the jitters out so she may meet her man with confidence. You will do this, won't you?"
The tone with which she asked the question made it sound as if it weren't really a question at all. So it's probably no surprise when the male bobs his head and immediately replies with, "Yes, ma'am." Though his reply was in the affirmative, the male stands there uneasily, apparently unsure of exactly what it was he would have to do. Pushing herself to her feet, Datura smoothes out her sleeping kimono, turning to motion for the spider princess to stand as well.
"Now, the most critical part is getting him to notice you while you. You're going to be in a room full of other beautiful women, so you need to stand out, to capture his attention away from all of them and focus it onto you. You have to show him that you are interested without any overt signs, from across the room, and without saying a word. You have to be coy, vulnerable, to invite pursuit. In short, you must snare your prey through cleverness and allure."
The diva continues, even as the male rubs at the back of his neck and apparently finds something interesting in staring down at his feet in a gesture of embarassment. "You can do this with a glance that lasts a little too long, or a smile that's a little too private, maybe even a gesture that's a little too provocative. Like so…"
Datura shifts her weight onto one leg, cocking the other slightly out to the side, one arm held loosely by her waist, bent at the elbow, the other hand held up near her mouth, as if she were just in the midst of an engaging conversation with the red-haired woman. She slowly turns her eyes about the room, as if searching through a crowd, until they finally land on Sadao, at which point they freeze in place on him. Their eyes lock with a gaze that was several heartbeats long, long enough to be just a bit more than a casual observation, but not quite lengthy enough to qualify as staring. As she starts to avert her eyes, the blonde's lips begin spreading a small, shy smile of sharing, as if she'd been caught doing something that bordered on naughty, licking her lips ever so slightly as the index finger of her elevated hand touches the base of her throat lightly, trailing down to the top of her chest before being taken away.
Nefura nods her head towards Sadao in polite greeting, but does not bow. Instead one hand reaches up to tug at the lapels of her kosode, trying to close it a bit more without being obvious about it. When it is indicated that she should rise, the disguised arachnid does so, and then both watches and listens to Datura's lesson. Focusing on the exact mannerisms displayed, Nefura mentally 'records' them, comitting the exact order the actions take place in, as well as how long they take to accomplish, to memory.
"I understand," she confirms. "You match gazes to show interest, you smile to indicate happiness or pleasure, and you emphasize your lips to motivate the mind along the right path. Moving your finger gradually down your throat and to the top of your breasts ensures that the subject's eyes and thoughts follow your direction to the desired outcome." She hmmms. "Hu—That is, this >land<'s rules of courtship is not so different from my homeland's after all."
"Mm, very good. I keep forgetting what a quick study you are." Datura smiles her approval at her defacto student, before half-turning to crook her finger at Sadao. After some hesitation, the teenaged male pads closer. Another crook of the finger has him taking another step nearer, and finally an impatient snap-point of her fingers and a dark scowl has him moving to stand at an indicated spot scarcely a foot away from the women. "One day you'll have to show me some of the courting practices of your home. In fact, I wonder if it would be possible…" A quick glance at their audience has the blonde getting back towards the topic at hand.
"Ahem, well, this may take a bit of time. You may have to play these coy little games for a half an hour before your target is drawn in. But I'm sure a woman with your charms shouldn't have to wait nearly that long. And if you do, hmph, he's likely a meekling and not worthy of attention. Now once he's approached, he'll either introduce himself, or make a funny comment. Sadly, you'll be required to laugh, even if it's atrociously boring. But not too much, just a tiny giggle. Enough to show you are amused, but that he will have to try harder to keep your attention."
"If he introduces himself, smile cordially, and bow modestly. Men of this country are stupid, and desire only to talk about themselves, so just suffer through whatever topic he strikes up that will undoubtedly only feed his ego. Just try to pay attention, while showing positive signs of interest, but at the same time, make him work for your attentions."
The blonde-haired diva laughs, leaning forward slightly as she reaches a hand out to place lightly on Sadao's forearm. "If he says something funny, or clever, you reward him with a small touch to his arm. If he is sweet and endearing, you may adjust something on his chest, or perhaps fix a stray hair." Removing her hand from his forearm, Datura slides it up seamlessly to the lapel of his kimono, smoothing out a wrinkle with her thumb and index finger, before going yet higher still, brushing away a stray bang near his temple that had come loose from his ponytail. The boy looks unsurely between the two women, nervously licking his lips at the feather-light touch.
"When he asks you something, whether to walk outside with him, to the balcony for a view, or even if you'd like a drink, he'll crowd your personal space, and whisper it in your ear." Datura's small hand grips the material of the male's shirt, jerking his head closer to her own, causing his startled amber eyes to widen in surprise. "Reward him for his boldness with a view of your throat, show him trust, yet tease him at the same time with the promise of more." The kunoichi's head turns a bit to the side, tilting slightly, affording a view of the graceful curve of her pale neck, before she shoves Sadao back into place. "If he's boorish, uncouth, or otherwise judged unsuitable, show him his failures by leaning slightly away from him during conversation, perhaps fold your hands or arms lightly between you so that he is not invited to come closer, and scan the room disinterestedly as if looking for someone better. Should he not get the hint and neither step up his efforts nor go away, politely excuse yourself and move quickly away without looking back. Everything must be very polite, even rudeness. …Would you like to practice with What's-His-Name now?"
"Er, Sadao, ma'am."
The red-haired princess catches on fast. It's all coming together in her mind. Just like a web, each 'strand' of knowledge is linked to another. All of the strands eventually wind up supporting the structure as a whole, and ensure it retains its integrity. Once the basic framework is outlined, the general shape can be guessed at more easily. However, the details of the patterns within the frame remain empty spaces.
Nefura believes the general outline has been defined for her mentally. Now it is time to fill in the emptiness with specific knowledge of individual customs. Once she has a better understanding of these, it may even be possible to simply extrapolate the rest without needing to learn every tic and nuance of human courtship!
"Yes… One of my mother's favorite sayings is that, 'Manners exist to keep one half of the world's people from strangling the other half.' Even in dismissal of an unworthy prospect, politeness must be shown. I understand." Nodding thoughtfully, she strokes her index finger and thumb along the delicate outline of her chin, and then drops her hand as she comes to a decision. "I shall practice with Sadao-san. Assuming, of course, that now is convenient for him?"
She beams a radiant smile at the young man that very few men would be able to simply ignore outright. Even the most grizzled veteran soldier or other experienced male might at least pause to think about whether he wants to say 'no' or not before doing so. Nefura is not really in the habit of showing respect towards humans that are not guests or friends of Fukaizan or her mother. She might be friendly towards them, of course, but she never really saw them as anything other than playmates, food, or sources of knowledge. A princess generally does not >have< to be respectful of commoners, let alone foreign commoners from a different species.
Here and now, however, she is showing politeness and respect to this human. He may be a stranger, but that also means he has no attachment to her. If he somehow witnesses or guesses at her nature, he is more likely to keep it quiet if he likes her than if he hates or fears her.
"Now is convenient for him." Datura doesn't even wait for the male to nod his obeisance, though he does so quickly enough, along with a shy, almost giddy smile in response to the one received from the spider princess, before speaking for him. Apparently she did not share Nefura's motivations in being polite to 'the help'. "Now Sadao, make conversation, and do try to be intelligent about it, with Nefura-chan as if you were at a grand party. And remember that your job depends on it. Now, the goal here," The blonde turns to address the arachnid-in-disguise. "Is to get him to invite you somewhere alone. And don't," She swats the young male in the chest with the back of her hand. "Be stupid and make it easy, either!"
"Ahem, yes ma'am." The sandy-haired lad tries to compose himself, coughing lightly into his fist, before landing his honey-colored eyes on the red-haired woman. After a moment, he shows a friendly, if somewhat nervous smile, trying to awkwardly bow how he imagined a nobleman would. Having grown up amongst the lower classes, though, he doesn't quite pull it off. "Ah… my name is Hochiji Sadao, ma'am. It's very nice to meet you."
He pauses uncertainly, glancing towards Datura as if silently imploring her for directions. Her response was merely to raise an impatient brow with a frown, prompting him to stammer a continuation. "Um… The… lighting in here is really poor. It doesn't do you justice. …Ma'am."
Nefura had turned her attention to Datura when she spoke up, but when she is addressed by Sadao, she turns as though she had suddenly been addressed unexpectedly, rather than as though she knew Sadao was there. Though there is initially mild surprise on her face, it soon gives way to a different expression entirely. The powerful smile she had focused on the youth before is not given again. Instead there is a smaller, slower smile that gradually appears on her red-painted lips. It is simultaneously shy, and yet friendly.
At the bow from Sadao, the disguised Spider Princess bows in return. She may not have much experience in a human form, but she has at least been educated properly by her tutors in Fukaizan. She knows how to curtsy, and this she does perfectly — though given the shortness of her garment, and the lack of available skirt edges to grip, it is not quite as elegant or regal as might be possible with more suitable clothing. It >does< show off her legs a lot, though. But wandering eyes are often lost, and all that.
"Kurafuta Nefura. A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Sadao-san." She rises to a standing position, with hands folded against her belly, and allows her jade eyes to flick over Sadao from head to toe, and then back up again, briefly. She turns slightly, and focuses her gaze directly into the male human's eyes. At his compliment — or was it a compliment? He basically said that at present she looks less beautiful than she should! — she merely makes a noise in the back of her throat.
She is not sure if the compliment was a good one or not. He is staying polite, and while the attempt at speaking on her appearance is likely all that he is equipped for in terms of experience with women, and education, it was not exactly clever. Still, some understanding goes a long way, and there is no reason to abandon this lesson when her play mate can potentially be salvaged still.
"The lighting, you say?" she turns his statement into a question, in order to try to lead him into continuing. She also moves a bit closer too, enough that it is possible for Sadao to reach out and touch her if he wanted to, but not so close that such contact is unavoidable. He would have to stick his arm straight out and extend his fingers, not just flail an appendage. "Can you see me better now, Sadao-san?" she asks in an innocent tone.
"Er… uh… Yes?" The male was once again trying to glance between the two women, only to snap his eyes right back onto Nefura as Datura, one arm cupping her elbow, the other her chin, scowls and jerks a pointed finger in the spider princess' direction. Sadao's eyes immediately snap back onto his 'training partner', and he almost visibly backs up a step as the red-haired woman most almost imperceptably closer to him. "Ah-Ah-Ah-I-"
Somewhere amidst his stammering, the blonde-haired kunoichi, who had thus far been watching the other female's display with raised eyebrows and a sly smile of approval, moves a single, innocuous step to the side, just enough to elbow the young man in the ribs and cause him to lean in closer. The poor fellow, while likely considered a heart-throb in whatever tiny village he hailed from, was rather out of his depth when faced with two women of their station, one of which was responsible for his pay and was known to fire for small indiscretions and mistakes. Regardless, he seems to recover with moderate grace, affecting another handsome, if nervous, smile and shifts his feet in order to lean down and…
His hand hovers near her shoulder, then floats farther down her arm, hovers hesitatntly again, and finally settles for lightly covering her elbow, deciding it was the safest place to make physical contact. "I don't think I could look away, ma'am. I think that… that your eyes are, um, are… very pretty? And your lips are… lovely?"
There's a harsh, impatient sigh from somewhere off to the side, and slightly behind, the the struggling young man, emanating from Datura as she rubs her temples and squeezes her eyes shut, as if praying for patience. "This is so painful to watch. Why is it always the pretty ones that are so simple?" The kunoichi mutters, though loudly enough to be heard, before giving the male another smack of the back of her hand, causing him to glance at her in contrite apology, to the upper arm. "Just ask her if she'd like to step outside for some air!"
"A-Ah, ma'am, would you care to accompany me out onto the balcony? The air is fresher and the view is simply spectacular."
Nefura keeps her attention fixed solely on Sadao, seeming to ignore Lady Ryoko's comments, complaints, and physical aid. It's almost like she doesn't even know the diva is there! The additional compliments are accepted gracefully, with a subtle widening of her shy smile into a slightly broader one. She makes a small amused sort of noise, but does not seem to be laughing at Sadao.
Instead she allows her folded hands to slide a bit further down her body until they hover just below her waistline. She keeps the fingers interlocked, so the inner sides of her upper arms press her breasts together somewhat. She may not be larger in the chest than Datura in terms of overall mass, but given her lesser height… Well, it would be best to say that she knows how to 'make the most of' what she has. "Thank you, Sadao-san. You are too kind." A light blush has faded into existence on her cheeks. Is she really embrassed or pleased by Sadao that much? Is she taking this lesson that seriously?
Well, when his hand moves from elbow to upper arm, she moves even closer, though not close enough to indicate she is already intimate. She allows herself to be held close, but not to be claimed as another's merely by proximity. "Oh, really? Well, I like to see new sights, meet new people, and enjoy new experiences. I would love to see this view of which you speak, Sadao-san." She scrunches her eyes almost completely closed, and smiles up at the youth. "Please, lead the way…"
The young blonde giggles as the spider princess keeps up her improvisation with noticeably visible results. The young man seems to be entirely entranced by her performance, his grin widening like a fool as she moves subtley closer, accepting his invitation to move with him out onto the fictional balcony. He'd probably by now forgotten that they weren't at a grand gala and that there was no balcony for him to take her out to and try to get to second base on!
"I'm impressed, Nefura-chan. Remind me not to go on the prowl with you as my competition." Her voice slides away as Datura walks across the room, only to return with a medium-sized, cushioned stool in her hands, which she sets down next to the lone male in the room. Like a master commanding her dog, she places a hand on her hip, pointing a finger down at the seat she had just provided with an authoritative command to "Sit."
Unthinkingly, the male's smile evaporates as the spell woven over him by Nefura's feminine charms is broken, his bottom immediately finding the chair behind him. The kunoichi claps her hands together delightedly as she spins back towards the disguised arachnid, a beaming smile of approval on her face as her blue eyes dance over the princess' form.
"Enough of the social graces, I believe you've got them well enough. Men are stupid, anyway." It's said as if one wasn't sitting less than a foot away from her. "And aren't likely to notice small slip ups once their genitals start thinking for them. Speaking of, we need to move onto our final lesson of the night: male anatomy." The aspiring diva grabs at the hem of the sandy-haired lad's shirt and begins yanking it over his head, and though he looked like he wanted to protest, he wisely keeps silent about the matter. "Pleasing a man is rather easy, but there's a few noticeable differences one must be made aware of…"
Sadao has the good graces to flush bright red as Datura tosses his shirt behind her and does another of her demanding snap-points at the ties holding his pants up. It appeared this lesson was going to have visual aids!