NFG Season One - The Princess and the Farm Girl

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Description: Lyraelle's minions are hard at work, but one of them needs some fashion tips.


The continual chanting coming from the training area of Team Thunder's ex-subway hub reaches into Lyraelle's office, causing the Mistress of Light to groan as she flops back on the bed with a bottle of water and drapes an arm across her sweat-drenched forehead. The soundproofing doesn't meet the specifications she'd set when she originally purchased and renovated the property, but then again, her web at that point had stretched across the entire globe; this particular strand was an afterthought at the time.

She'd kept up appearances while she was training along with her entourage of minions over the last half hour before finally excusing herself with a smile, claiming that she had business affairs to attend to before escaping into her private office and quarters. The white and turquoise leotard and leggings combination that she's wearing is soaked with sweat. She can't remember ever having sweat so hard; certainly not with this body. This body, without its former supernatural resilience to heat, nor its seemingly limitless energy. Back then, she hadn't even had to sleep at night. Unlike Chuck Norris, she didn't wait - she schemed. She'd effectively been living three lives at the same time at one point, fuelled by the essence of fighters and the endless abundance of envy permeating the planet in this era of humanity.

Now, half an hour of training and she's just a defeated pile of guilt, sweat, and all-over aching. She closes her green eyes, staring into the abyss in her mind's eye.

What stares back is a reflection of her past self. The Demon Queen. She never trained as the Demon Queen, she just kicked ass with natural instinct, a rockin' bod, and a bottomless well of infernal power. Imagine if she actually trained? If she could just get that power back, she'd be a better person than she'd ever been. New, improved; she could be the legit Champion of the Worl-

Just then, at the door to Lyraelle's office...
*knock knock knock*

Standing just outside the door is one of Team Thunder's illustrious members, Chevy Beaumont -- and tucked in her arm is a clipboard with a sheaf of papers and a clasp envelope. It looks heavy, and yet, the freckled farm girl seems to have no particular issue with the weight.

The initiate is living up to the image she'd built up prior to the first NFG draft -- denim shortalls over a white t-shirt, with white high-top sneakers. A few bandaids dot her arms and legs, remnants from the recent battle with Kenzo of Team Metal.

As soon as the door is open, and she'd have clearance to speak, she'd get straight to the point:

"I'm real sorry to disturb you, ma'am, but I wanted to talk to you about my public image..."

Of course, her mouth sometimes gets ahead of her. And she finds she may have said... too much already?

"I-I mean, I can come back later, it's just... I warn't ever sure when was a good time to talk to you, ma'am."

As far as she knows, only Ariastra was the one who -expressly- asked to avoid the title 'ma'am'. And -not- being able to use the term most natural to her brogue tongue was driving a stake in her side.

When the knocking interrupts her fantasizing, Lyraelle's eyes jerk open, her jaw clenching in exasperation. Then, after counting to three in her head, she chimes out in a sing-song:

"Just a minute, please~"

A few seconds short of a minute later, the door labelled 'LYRAELLE' swings inward, the woman behind it perfectly dried-off, her makeup immaculate, her pink ponytail mane apparently freshly brushed as it always appears in public. There is a faintly suspicious scent of deodorant in the air.

"So sorry to keep you waiting. I was just finishing up a business call. What can I do for you?"

The offer and apology are practically on the table before Lyraelle even seems to register who's come knocking for her. She looks Chevy up and down as she lets the farm girl speak. She props an elbow against the doorframe and leans against it, disguising the need for physical support as a casual gesture of ease. The scent of deodorant increases when she does.

"Uh huh. Well, I'm glad that you've come to me with this. I always say that image is everything."

Actually, she almost never says it. She doesn't have to. If anyone knows about image and its ability to take one to the top of the social ladder, it's definitely the Demon Queen. Or, now, the Princess of Light.

"Tell you what. Why don't you give me fifteen minutes to freshen up and I'll be ready to receive you properly."

Lyraelle starts to turn around, but lingers a moment to turn her head over her shoulder with a sunny smile to Chevy. "Oh, and you don't have to call me ma'am. Your Highness will do. GREEN! Come here!"

"Yes, Your Highness!" a high-pitched voice cracks, before a sweaty green-skinned imp wearing a pink and white L-brand exercise uniform comes huffing and puffing his way up to the door. "What is it, Your Highness?"

"Well, I was going to request that you make us some tea and cookies, but I can see you're slightly overworked, so why don't you take a break to freshen up first...?" Lyraelle says in a sweet tone.

"Oh, thank you, Your High-"

"And then make us some tea and cookies. Ten minutes. Keep up that hus-tle! o/~" Lyraelle says before forcefully closing the door.


Red Minion and Dodge (AKA Yellow Minion) are lounging around looking half-dead in the communal area while Zander (the Minion-taur) carries on with some extracurricular weight-lifting, apparently pleased to finally put his muscles to the test once more. Finally, the door to Lyraelle's space clicks open as Green Minion, who had returned to the room dressed in a waiter's outfit and muttering apologies twenty-five minutes before, emerges from inside.

"Ahem. Miss Chevelle Beaumont? Her Royal Highness will see you now. Tea and cookies have been provided."

Perhaps it's the cookies that have kept Chevy waiting, as the smell from inside the well-appointed subterranean studio apartment space indicates that some have been freshly baked. Regardless, Princess Lyraelle herself is sitting in the room on a short sofa positioned perpendicular to another open one, the two of which flank a coffee table upon which a tray of tea and cookies rest.

"Come in, sit down. So, what's this you wanted to ask me about public image?"

It should, perhaps, be mentioned that for some reason, Lyraelle is also wearing a pair of denim shortalls over a white t-shirt and high-top sneakers. She's got one leg crossed casually over the other.

If Chevy noticed anything awry about Lyraelle's greeting, she was polite enough not to say so. She just keeps on smiling as brightly as a summer's day, with one hand wrapped around her clipboard, the other cradling her elbow.

And she keeps smiling at 95% of that wattage even as Lyraelle takes her up on that offer of a delay -- and, well, fifteen minutes isn't that bad! Chevy nods cheerily in agreement. Though she is, well, startled by the sudden conversation with the helpers. Chevy snickers, whenever appropriate -- and then, reading the tea leaves, steps back to make sure her nose isn't slammed clear off by the closing door.

... Of course, in the time that passes, Chevy had gotten bored. She'd hung around in the common area, not minding too much as the Minions went about their Miniony business. She'd found things to research on her phone, started browsing her social media feeds. But after her third complete rabbit-hole journey on Fighterpedia, well... she'd put on some music.

And then zoned out.

And then fell asleep. She doesn't snore, at least.

The sound of 'Ahem' is what startles her back into the world of wakefulness. "... oh. Oh!! Right! Thank you!" Rubbing her bleary eyes, she slips out of the chair, jumping to her feet.

And then, as she enters the room, her eyes are nearly as wide as saucers. "Thank you for seein' me, Your Highness. And... uh... *wow*, these smell -heavenly-." It's rather amazing how hungry one can get when one is told that tea and cookies are on the way. Even through an impromptu nap. She takes a seat, resting the clipboard and envelope on her lap before drawing a cup and a cookie close to her. She doesn't start eating or drinking -just- yet though.

She squares up, for an attempt at looking prim and proper. And only then does she notice that Lyraelle, fashion queen, is looking just like her.

Clearing her throat, she taps her clipboard. "My agent has... politely informed me that I don't -have- an image."

She smiles sweetly, if a little embarassedly.

"It's, in his words... 'basic.' And I gotta admit, I don't... really know what I'm doin' with regards to dressin' fancy. Or even if I -want- to."

She fidgets, uncomfortably, for a moment. "So I was wonderin' if you had any pointers. Tryin' to keep me on the same demagrassic with all the, uh, zite-geits or whatever it's called. Dev said it was important to make sure I distinguished myself from, uh, Miss Coalbridge."

Chevy looks back at Lyraelle, drawing in her breath. "... an', um... I can't help but note, I didn't expect to see -you- with short overalls, ma-- Your Highness."

Lyraelle shuffles slightly in her seat as Chevy makes note of the fact that she's wearing the same style that Chevy herself sports, her hands resting on her knees. "Trust me, I don't think anyone would have expected to see me in shortalls," she says as she brushes her fingers back through her pink hair and gives her ponytail a little flip. "I swear, this would have worked so much better back when I could literally shapeshift. You would've walked in and it would've been you sitting here. God, I was mindblowing."

Lyraelle lets out a wistful sigh.

"So, that would have been a perfect segue to me asking what you thought was wrong with your image. You could've seen you in action, in realtime. Instead, you're going to tell me whether you think that this look works for me. Critique it. I mean, obviously there are, you know, certain disparities between us, but just focus on me for the time being," she says modestly as Green Minion busies himself with pouring fresh cups of tea from the princess-themed pot before scampering off.

Chevy bites her lower lip as she watches Lyraelle show off, well, -her- style in front of her. Not just her style, but combined with Lyraelle's mannerisms, the 'male gaze' dial just spins right on up there. And then to have Lyraelle casually mention... shapeshifting?

"... W-wait, you could *do* that?" she blurts out, one hand raising to cover her mouth. "That's awesome, I mean..."

Chevy considers, for a moment, asking what changed. Talking with Ayame kind of... helped her to understand her mentors' boundaries a bit more than she had before, though.

But now... she has a different conundrum in front of her. How to give advice... to Lyraelle... wearing this particular outfit.

"... well. I mean, this is kinda just... my day-to-day fit, for one. I didn't ever fight like this, so far as I can recall..."

To date, her match attire has consisted of a sports jersey, a tank top, a Hawaiian shirt, a Princess Leia dress, and for three times, the reigning trend has been t-shirts. At least, prior to the second draft.

"I mean, I tried that floral shirt on for my fight with Kenzo." She pauses for a moment, before adding, "And a -skirt-." From the way she screws up her lips while saying that, maybe it didn't really work out so well for her.

But... no. There was a question asked. "Oh, right, uh..." She looks at the uneaten cookie on her lap. And the tea. And just decides to set them atop the envelope on the coffee table. With that settled, she flips through the clipboard.

"Right, uh." She squints at the text written there, tracing her finger across the page as she reads aloud. "The overalls... work... /well/ for the farm girl look. But... it's much too basic. There is no originality... at all, the lines are shapeless and completely hide your -- er, he means 'my' -- hide 'my' form, and.... and there is no..." She clears her throat, looking up at Lyraelle for a moment, before finding her place again. "There is no sex appeal whatsoever." Here, she coughs into her hand.

She lets the pages fall back into place on the clipboard. "He also said it made me look flat, but, uh, it don't make you look flat. So I ain't real sure what he's on about."

She looks down to her clipboard. There's many, many more pages where that came from. And yet, she seems willing to move past it.

"I really like what you did with Ichika's look though. It looks dangerous, and still kinda cute, y'know?"

Lyraelle quietly adds milk and sugar to her teacup, stirring it subtly. "Oh, yes. Succubus powers," she clarifies (?) before letting Chevy go, sipping at her tea as she listens. There's a slight frown on her face as Chevy brings out the clipboard, but it's quickly suppressed.

"Right. So, it sounds like your agent wants you to sex it up. And based on the fact that he sent you to me, I'm guessing he's a fan."

There's a faintly dubious tone in Lyraelle's voice as she sets her teacup down on its saucer and leans an elbow back against the sofa, lounging slightly as she props her head up with one hand.

"Let's face it, sweetie, nothing short of a shipping crate could make /me/ look flat, but really, this look doesn't work on me. Just like strutting around in a purple thong wouldn't work for you. So, forget about whatever your agent has in mind. We're not setting out to make you more 'me.' We're setting out to make you more 'you.'"

Lyraelle leans over to pick up an electronic tablet, tapping the screen a couple of times as she continues to speak.

"First off, sex appeal is mega subjective. There are definitely guys and gals who'll think your current look is sexy as hell. I know that this sounds ironic, coming from me, but there's such a thing as 'less is more.' Leaving things to the imagination works for some people. Not my style, but for you, it's not bad. And based on my market research, you've already got a major fanbase. You're the signature girl-next-door of the NFG. Blue and white definitely work for you. Blue for your eyes, white for... the fans."

Lyraelle doesn't clarify that point further for the moment.

"And fortunately that works with Thunder's branding palette. Ichika was wearing orange and black, which we had to ditch. With you, I don't think we need as big of a shift to get you where you want to be. 'You' being the operative term here. Kasumoto-chan had the final say on her rebrand."

After swiping a few times, Lyraelle turns the tablet around, showing Chevy what's on it. An outfit - in this case, a two-piece swimsuit, a white and blue cropped t-shirt, and strappy sandals.

"I thought about this direction as the obvious one. Waterproof, other than where you don't want it to be. But with all that skin showing, you've got overlap with some of the other competitors. Especially your number one rival. It's more me, but I don't think it's more you."

'Succubus powers.' The look of confusion on Chevy's face suggests that the first of those words just wasn't part of the standard vocabulary list for her hometown schools. She lets the matter go, to avoid not only exposing her ignorance but also what seems to be a sore topic for Lyraelle.

After her 'critique', Miss Beaumont draws the saucer close. She crosses her eyes at her first sip of tea -- first from the temperature, and then the taste. It's not the kind of tea she's used to. The matter is dropped as Lyraelle casually breezes through the topic of sex appeal.

And Chevy's momentary discomfort turns into a smile -- coming from Lyraelle, the conversation isn't half as awkward. She cracks a grin: "Yeah, you could say that. Dev jus' wouldn't hush up about you."

As Lyraelle resumes speaking, Chevy gives the tea another try. Now that she knows what to expect, she smiles broadly -- could get used to this.

The words 'less is more' give her pause, until Lyraelle clarifies that the 'less' is 'exposure' and not 'clothing'. The phrase 'girl next door' resonates even more clearly with her, resulting in an enthusiastic nod. "Right, yeah! That's what we were headed for..."

It seems Chevy seems to know -exactly- what Lyraelle's referring to when she mentions 'for the fans.' "Y-yeah, that was mentioned." A slight pink tinge stains her freckled cheeks. "... I do really like blue."

Lyraelle discussion of branding gives her an opportunity to sample the cookie. Another winner in the taste department. A nod here and there show that she's following; her agent had already spent a *long* time exposing her to the concepts involved, so she's able to keep pace. "Oh, that sounds great, yeah..."

All in all, Chevy seems perfectly agreeable with everything involved. Right up until her expression hardens at the sight of the swimsuit. Drawing in her breath, she decides to respond with a slow nod. "Yeah... overlap." Clears her throat, she takes another sip of her tea. "I'd be fine with it for promos and such but I'd bust through those straps in a heartbeat."

She gestures towards the sandals, in case there's confusion on what she's talking about.

"I like the shirt though, that's cute... I think I'd be too nervous to fight in that..."

"Mmm, it does happen. That's part of why I ended up going strapless with my designs - oh! Sandals. Right."

Lyraelle cuts her thoughtful commiserations on potential wardrobe malfunctions short with another swipe of her finger across the screen. "So, I was thinking that you could go for something more like this. It's a little more glam, but not without the general sweetheart vibe." Evidently, Lyraelle's put some forethought into this conversation - in fact, possibly having overthought it, considering that she had a set of shortalls ready to go for the occasion. Or maybe that was just princess magic.

What the screen shows is the same apparent avatar of Chevy, but posing in a pair of matching flared jeans and denim jacket. Jeans and jacket are both lightly distressed, with an artistically light white paint splatter effect across the garments. The legs of the jeans have 'Team' and 'Thunder' written across them in diamante script. The jacket is worn over a single-shoulder white top, and the outfit is finished with a pair of white shoes. Another swipe shows the same outfit from the back; in that image, the word 'Chevy' in the same diamante script can be seen across the back of the jacket, and the 'THUNDER' logo is written across the seat of the high-waisted jeans in bold blue-on-white print.

Lyraelle grabs a cookie and bites into it, chewing and allowing Chevy to take in the images, then swallowing before continuing.

"I think something like this could really work for you. It's kind of at that intersection of cute, classy, sexy and fun. The jacket and jeans can be fitted loose enough in the right places that you have as much range of motion as you need. The off-the-shoulder top really pops it, eye-emm-oh. The splatter effect gives it that working-class, down-to-get-messy thing that you've got going on already. The diamante makes it not-too-grown-up. And I think with your hair and eyes, the colour scheme would definitely work."

She turns her eyes away from the screen and toward Chevy.

"But the important thing is, what do you think? Look like something you could see yourself in? Keeping in mind, we can tweak it."

Lyraelle had talked a lot about the 'girl next door' image. And, at least in conversation, she'd had pretty good vibes about what she was about to see. The first set of images, though, filled her with a sense of worry. It didn't feel quite right to her.

So when Lyraelle turns the page, Chevy is expecting... more of the same. Maybe a little closer to that goal, but not... what she ends up seeing.

Denim. It takes her a full three seconds to register that what she's seeing on screen is... pretty much -exactly- as Lyraelle described. Something she'd wear -- but glammed up.

"... whoa."

The off-the-shoulder top is what catches Chevy's widening eyes first, even before Lyraelle draws attention to it. She starts to lean forward, -nearly- forgetting about the teacup before a hand sweeps around to cradle it.

"This is... yeah, this..." She nods eagerly, and quickly. "I mean, I love to hear you tellin' it, 'cause it's like, exactly that in my brain, but not as fancy..."

Chevy finally relents, setting the teacup and cookie back on the table so she can scoot in for a closer look. "I... I -love- this. It's like, perfect for me! I warn't never one to even think about a top like that before, but with the denim jacket, it's about perfect..."

But then... her eyes drift down.
And she swallows in a gulp of air.
"There ain't no place to hang a crescent wrench or a rubber mallet on--"

The thought is struck off almost as quickly as it spilled out. Chevy gives an embarassed laugh. "I... I mean, that's silly, I won't need any of that while I'm fightin'."

She stares back at the tablet for a good few moments, as starry-eyed as a little girl who had just received a pony for her birthday party in front of all her friends.

She looks back to Lyraelle with a grin. "I think we got us a winner here, ma'a--- Your Highness. The colors are perfect, the fabric's perfect -- I -love- some denim, now -- and it looks like it'll be super-easy to move about in."

Chevy takes another look at the tablet, beaming. "... Yeah. Wow. This just takes everythin' about who I wanna be, and wraps it all up with a nice tidy bow."

She takes another look at the flared legs. And... starts to wonder what it would feel like sopping wet.
And then she grins.
Maybe that's something she'll just have to try out in practice.

"Yeah. It's perfect! Thank you, Your Highness...!"

"Sweetie, if there's one thing I can tell you about fighting couture, it's that you can always add belts," Lyraelle assures Chevy when she raises the concern about where to hang her tools. She sets the tablet down in front of Chevy, smiling faintly. It's a bit of an ego stroke to know that she's still able to read what someone wants, possibly even better than they do, let alone turn it into a potential reality. And no so-called magic mirrors necessary. Evidence that she doesn't need her old 'sponsor' to make an impact or take the credit for her genius. And she didn't even cry this time, either.

That'll make the hidden camera footage easier to edit.

"So, keep this if you want, note down any modifications you'd like, and I'll book a meeting with Shermie to put the order in," she says with a relaxed air as she sits back and starts quietly nibbling on the remains of her cookie.

"So, was there anything else that you wanted to talk about?" she asks, risking a bit of improv now that she's sure that the take so far has been perfect.

Belts. Chevy laughs uncomfortably at that. "I've... only ever been good with one belt at a time. Used ta keep getting strung up on somethin' or other."

That was at age thirteen though, way before she started swinging around a pole with buckets on it. Something she reminds herself of, causing her to fall a little silent as she smiles back at the bubblegum-pink princess. "Oh, thanks, I will! I really appreciate this, Your Highness..." She might need to run some of the details by her agent. And just... generally, sleep on it.

It isn't till she sees Lyraelle nibbling on her cookie that she picks her own back up. She's about mid-bite when Lyraelle asks if there's anything else.

"Mm... I think that was the -main- thing."

She bites into that cookie, musing for a moment.

"Oh, uh. This is somethin Dev ain't been too helpful with, but... you're pretty famous, right?" Freckled cheeks once more crease into a smile. "How do you go through the day knowin' just about everythin' you do could be broadcast to the Internet for everyone to gawk an' laugh at?"

Lyraelle appears poised and confident as she awaits Chevy's question. What comes, though, throws her a little, despite being a fairly obvious thing to ask for someone as socially exposed as she is (in more ways than one). She chews on her lower lip for a moment, her green eyes seemingly searching the ceiling for the answer.

"That's a toughie. I mean, I do it because I'm used to it. It's total muscle memory at this point. But I've definitely had times where I just wanted to bury myself in concrete and sleep for five generations. You know, like Zarine. Remember Sugargate?"

Lyraelle surprises herself at how casually she brings that incident up. A year ago, it was the ultimate hot-button issue. She's sacked employees for sharing gifs of the incident on the Midnight Channel's internal network.

"That was the first time I really faceplanted. It was the most humiliating moment of my career. Not only did I get queened by a pit bull on worldwide broadcast live, I only won the championship belt on the resulting technicality. The double knockout would have meant a retention for Old Man Guy otherwise. It was all anyone memed about for..."

She puffs her cheeks up before blowing out thoughtfully.

"...a week, tops."

She lifts her shoulders slightly.

"And in the end? My followers on Hitter doubled by the time people shut up about it. People love cute dog videos. You probably didn't even remember it until I brought it up."

She brushes her fingers through her hair and smiles a big sister sort of smile.

"So, first off, people get bored. If you bomb and you're feeling it, don't go on socials for like a week unless you can learn to laugh at yourself."

Lyraelle quirks her lips.

"Another thing you can try is coming up with a persona whenever you're performing. Imagine someone you'd totally fangirl over and then be that person. Then it doesn't really matter what other people think of you; it's your stage persona, and you like it, and they don't have to. It's a kind of mental fortification. Just remember to be yourself sometimes; it doesn't work if you become the mask."

She reaches for the pot to pour herself another cup of tea, internally debating how much of this she's going to have to cut for being too expository.

"More tea?"

Chevy wasn't really -trying- to throw Lyraelle a stumper. Throughout her teenage life, she'd tunneled down to find info on certain favorite fighters, but for the most part, but the auburn-tressed fighter's awareness of the general 'lore' of professional fighters is spotty at best.

Ultimately, Lyraelle's moment of searching gives her an opportunity to snarf down the rest of the cookie without being watched.

It takes her a moment to place the Zarine reference. But Sugargate passes without a passing glimmer of recognition -- though that's soon followed by a clueless look. She weaves in sips of her tea amidst nods and surprised looks, making a mental note to look up this 'Sugargate' in the future.

The farm girl is happy to nod along when asked. "Wow... yeah! It only took a week, huh?"

Still. The specific advice that she'd asked for is given -- and Chevy sits up prim and proper as she gives a firm nod. "Ooh, that makes perfect sense. Got it! Thanks! I think that's... kinda what Dev had me do with the whole, uh, 'Coco' aftermath." Chevy's pretty happy that Dev and Lyraelle to be on a similar page, at least.

The note of a persona, though... causes Chevy to scratch the side of her cheek. "... Oh. You mean kinda like Brian Storm has? Where he pretends to be a real jerk but you can tell it's like... an act?" She grins. "... I don't think I'd fool anyone if I started actin' like a jerk. I mean, the Leia act -kinda- worked out, but." Still... it's good advice, and she nods her head. "I'll definitely think about it though, it sounds like a good way to stay sharp! Thanks!"

She looks at her almost empty tea cup, and shakes her head. "Oh, just a little bit, please, Your Highness." She smiles amicably as she holds her saucer and teacup out.

"... Um... about my performances in the ring... I've been tryin' to get better with my water 'bending', as people've been sayin'. And Miss Ichijo taught me some pretty neat things for me to try with my staff that I should be able to use in fights soon." She fidgets slightly in her seat, not really being terribly familiar with Lyraelle's own fighting style. "... But I was wondering if you had any suggestions for things I could work on...?"

Lyraelle pours some more tea into Chevy's waiting cup, smiling graciously as her minion accepts her advice.

"Brian Storm is certainly a character player. He might just be that cautionary tale that I'm talking about, though. I mean, we all saw what happened, didn't we?"

Setting the pot back down, she sits back and cradles her own fresh cup between her hands. She hides behind the teacup for a long sip as she considers Chevy's question.

"Well, that's another interesting question."

Fighting, for all of her laurels, is not one of Lyraelle's strong suits. That had come out in the initial review she'd held with Ichika - the one that she'd had to cut completely and re-shoot in order to keep a number of damning revelations from making it to public light. That was why Ichika had encouraged her to train with the prospects, which has turned out to be something of a shambles.

"Well, you seem to be handling yourself pretty well so far, really. I mean, you managed to beat Kenzo, even though we all know water is weak to electric, so you've clearly got a level advantage."

She lets out a slightly awkward little laugh to punctuate the bullshit.

"I'm sort of more into the aesthetics and tactical side of combat than the mechanics. I think you'll find that Peng You, Ariastra and the other one all have more experience than I do in that sense, per se," she says carefully. "But if you want to work on what I'm good at, I guess we can give it a shot with some one-on-one training. I could do some performance analytics, maybe offer some pointers. That's probably where my expertise overlaps with what you'd benefit from. Unless you're interested in learning some whip work," she finishes with an obligatory wink, "in which case, I'm your girl."

Chevy was all set to start sipping her tea when Lyraelle mentions that Brian Storm was a 'cautionary tale'. The hayseed looks confused for a moment.

The horror dawns on her face as she remembers what -happened- to that guy. She sucks in her breath. "... Right..."

So that'd be something -else- she's fidgeting over. Chevy watches Lyraelle's expressions, smiling when the positive feedback arrives. ... Though she seems very... -lost- when Lyraelle starts talking about weaknesses to 'electric.'

"... What's a level advantage?"
There's a noticeable pause.
And then the corners of her mouth lift in a hesitant smile.
"... Oh, that's some... video game thing?"
A topic her first ex would have bored her to tears with.

She seems much more engaged with the idea of finding out what Lyraelle would be good at. She takes a good long sip of tea, nodding along with enthusiasm. "Oh, yeah! You should have plenty of stuff to analyze from my fights, right? I know I tend to, uh..." She laughs weakly. "I mean, I don't really -think- about stuff much before I act. But each fight I think I learn a bit more. So if there's things you think I should keep an eye out for... yeah!"

She takes another sip of her tea as she thinks a bit more on that.

"Mm... I don't think I got much room for a whip in my style." With a gentle laugh, she adds, "Miss Ichijo done said I got five weapons on me at all times, and I think that's plenty to keep track of."

Cradling the saucer in her lap, she tilts her head. "But I guess you'd need some time to put that stuff together, right? I mean..."

The hayseed leaves the thought hanging. Not -just- to give Lyraelle a chance to fill in the gaps, but because she isn't really sure where her thoughts were headed at the moment.

"Yeah. It's a video game thing," Lyraelle confirms, for some reason turning a hidden, long-suffering look to a Red Minion plushie that's sitting on a shelf opposite before returning her smile back to Chevy.

"You're right, there's plenty of footage to go through. I can certainly review and make suggestions. Maybe later we can hold a mock fight between you and one of the other students for some live feedback."

That ought to be a solid source of content, she finishes her thought, but not out loud.

"Or maybe I could arrange to have you guys practice against my minions. They're due for some training as well."

Given that she uses them to fight on her behalf at the moment, having them do the heavy lifting of training should allow her a chance to relax. She lets out a wistful little sound at the thought before snapping back to the present, her eyes turning back to Chevy.

She smiles.

"I'll make sure that you get my feedback, one way or the other."

Chevy sees Lyraelle turn a look towards something past her shoulder. Was she looking at... the shelf? The Red Minion plushie?

When Chevy's face turns back to Lyraelle, it's with a brief look of panic. Not enough for her to say anything -- but she does keep her slightly widened eyes on Lyraelle as she sips her tea.

The offer of fighting her teammates for 'feedback' does... remind her of the last time Team Thunder folks fought each other. Which got a -lot- of positive publicity for the team. "Hm... yeah, that'd be a great idea...! It might even be good for footage if we need to cut a promo, or..."

Chevy's eyes cross. And it's clear she's lost in thought for a moment, even as Lyraelle floats the idea of fighting against minions. She finds her gaze drifting downward, until she's looking into the reflection of herself in the teacup. She sees herself just... looking confused at herself, from a less-than-flattering attitude.

Lyraelle's last comment kind of drives the point home a bit harder than it might have been intended. As the hayseed realizes her creeping suspicions might be true.

Chevy draws in her breath.
And lifts her eyes back to Lyraelle.
With a broad smile.

"Yeah! That sounds great!"

Chevy finishes up the remainder of her tea, setting the saucer and empty cup on the table ahead of her. Aligning the tablet with Lyraelle's new concepts atop her clipboard and envelope -- which didn't end up being needed much at all, really -- she rises to her feet.

"I should prob'ly go though. I really need to get back to nailin' the new moves Miss Ichijo taught me. Gimme a night to sleep on these concepts and I'll get back to you, okay?"

The redhead bows -- more out of habit, from spending so much time with Asian folks recently.

"I cain't thank you enough for all the help, Your Highness!"

Chevy resolves to herself: So what if it -is- on camera? It's a small price to pay for a sweet new outfit.

"Sure, no problem."

Lyraelle picks herself up off of the sofa, setting her own saucer and cup back down on the table. She picks up the platter of cookies, which still has quite a few left available, and offers it to Chevy. "Anytime, sweetie. Now, would you mind seeing if anyone else is around and wants some of these? The other prospects, I mean. The minions will get their cookies once they're on break. Green? Get the door for Chevy, please~"

"Yes, Mistress!" a voice comes from the other side of the door before it swings open, to be held ajar by the fluttering green imp. Was she making him wait next to it the whole time?


"I'm so glad you're excited about your new outfit. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out!"

For some reason, Lyraelle doesn't go any closer to the door. Probably because she doesn't want to be seen by the other prospects in shortalls outside of the context of the video she'll be uploading later. She has her own image to maintain, after all.

Log created on 13:14:38 09/14/2023 by Chevy, and last modified on 09:09:48 09/18/2023.