At the Dragon Inn
The invaders still control Shibuya so several of the Crowned Adventurers gather at it's tavern for some time to relax before the Palace Land Army decides on it's next big move against Yamato's ongoing resistance. Because even antagonists need some social interaction now and then.
Now a good part of the occupation force had moved on to Mac Anu, but being less crowded is what made the inn a bit more relaxing. Daiyu had already claimed seating arrangements. A cup of hot tea sat on the table in front of the fox woman, while to the surprise of none of her compatriats her nose was in one of the various books she had been purviewing from the library the New World had established here. Sure, they had removed everything of potential military value. But for one interested in the actual literature it was still quite the cache of works.
Though a decently pleasant individual socially, Shiyang very rarely makes an effort to socialize. Traumas layered on top of situations making for pure awkwardness; it's just easier to focus on duty, and keep others at arms length for now.
That's not to say that the Salamander refuses all such offers, or ignores all such opportunities. It wouldn't be a terrible thing, since they're stationed more or less together for a time, for them to be... social. More or less. Shiyang enters the bar, peering about. Obviously she recognizes the distinctive fox woman. One of the elite Crowned, one with as much trust and authority given to her as Shiyang is given.
Well then. Obligation to a co-worker. They're even at a bar. Shiyang advances, coming to stand above the werefang. "May I sit?" she asks politely, bringing hands together in a gesture more common to martial artists than to courtly activities. Martial respect, not social deference.
She pauses to reclaim the teacup in her hands and take a casually composed sip from it. Then fixes her gaze on the Salamander once more. "Relax, have something to eat if you like. The nearby hunting preserve has allowed oure cooks to keep plenty at hand for meals."
"That would be most welcome." Shiyang admits, seating herself, showing none of her distress at Daiyu making such a gesture with her tail. How does that even work? One tail, sure. That might be reasonable to manipulate... but the huli'jing has *four*! Is it like learning to wriggle your ears? Is it just like fingers? It's distressing, because it's something so simple and yet rather profound, about going native as it were.
"Haven't had much of a chance to mingle off the battlefield." Shiyang states with a breath not quite a sigh. "Not back home either, I think, though the other world is hard to remember. You'd think that would be something to remember though. Having friends, having fun. Or was it truly such a miserable place?" she asks, gaze a little too direct for this to be entirely meaningless chatter. Not that Shiyang is known for meaningless frippery of course.
Shiyang nods along with that. A miserable time? Lonely? Perhaps. "I didn't even particularly enjoy the game at first." she admits. It's easier, talking with someone who remembers the other world. Someone who is a peer. "I was too weak. Spent too little time playing. In some ways being stuck here was the best thing to ever happen to me."
She summons a server with a wave. Such an interesting phenomenon, that they came all this way and there are actually servers with them. Not everyone in the army of the Dragons is there to fight. Not even the majority are. A large army requires construction, food, supplies, support... all things Shiyang never really understood until finding herself in the field. All the Crowned may well be called upon to fight and die, of course, but should it come to the destruction of all their support, the invasion would die along with them.
She places an order, deferring to tea like her companion. The customs of the other world are best forgotten in any event, save for the ones that actually serve use.
"And now the story has become our lives... not that I am particularly complaining." Tails continued to idly flick behind her, though kept to themselves as to not disrupt the staff passing to and fro behind the pair. "I was no warrior, but the tactics and knowledge I held was able to dominate monster and arena alike. A little forethought goes a long way against those whom rely on brute force or magic alone, as I am sure you are aware. Strategy can trump strength... so when you put them together..."
Being a true hero. Killing monsters, questing and adventuring, and being on the leading edge rather than catching up to players who had been active longer. Yes, Shiyang's not at all complaining about being stuck here. For the first time in her life she could rise on her own merits. She mattered.
She nods in understanding. "My strength is not that of the duellist." she observes. Not that she's bad at duelling, but she's not like a Kallamore arena fighter either. "I read the timeless work of strategy of course." Shiyang admits, though she doesn't name it. Either she doesn't feel the need to name it, or perhaps she's forgotten the author. "What office worker hasn't? But it turns out there's little difference between ordering supplies and managing an army's logistics. The rest ... yes, forethought." she agrees. "Strategy and strength." she sighs. "I could have truly enjoyed this world... if not for those who made the wars necessary."
The conversation shifts again though, enticing another soft sigh from the fox woman. "And those who prolong it by continuing to try and repel us. This server has proven to be more... resiliant than anticipated. The longer conflict goes on, the more all sides suffer..." Then after a moment she shakes her head, quickly casting aside the thoughts down that potentially uncomfortable path. "Matters not. We follow the course we have been put upon, victory will be had in the end... They will not be allowed to do what was almost done to Kallamore."
"Yes." she agrees, pausing to receive her tea. Shiyang sips at it while it's still far too hot. Then again, she literally spits fire at her foes. Perhaps it's a pleasant temperature for the resilient Salamander.
The pause lets her consider carefully. "Perhaps you remember better than I. What was that one part? Know yourself, know your enemy, and you need not fear a hundred battles? Can we truly say we know our enemy while in the same breath we underestimate them?"
Shiyang pauses, sighs, then turns away. "We must work to know them, but I am in a poor position to do so." she admits, apparently not speaking to anyone at all... and yet her words are quiet. Perhaps they're meant only for Daiyu to hear.
"I have worked at trying to understand them better... but strategizing an ongoing invasion leaves only so much time for research." After a pause she smirks a bit. It is very much the sly kind of smirk you expect a magic fox trickster to make. "Some have even come believing they can make a friend of me, despite the lines of conflict drawn between us... a naivity I have no qualm about using to an advantage should to time come for it."
Shiyang's own loyalty is, of course, unquestionable. She is loyal, and sees obedience to be the next thing to a divine calling. She may occasionally question or have doubts, particularly when it comes to what they've been told of their enemy, but it's exceedingly rare that Shiyang's crown has to actually enforce the ruler's will.
Still, Shiyang has to grin at Daiyu's response. "I suppose knowing them means more understanding their goals and methods rather than ... being friends. A shame you aren't able to research as you might like. I suppose I should try further to gain understanding... it would serve us well if I better understood." she says. This understanding, it wouldn't come cheap of course, but the Salamander has a few ideas, some more dangerous than others.
In the meantime she snatchs up her book with one hand, looks at it for a moment and then returns it to her inventory. "I had no idea there were so many books on the subject of astrology... But having met the former keeper of the library, I am not surprised, either."