This Isn't A Cafe But It's Close Enough

Seliana invites Whis out to the closest thing she can find to a cafe on short notice. Whis, in the mood for dining out, goes along with it.

Whiskey Sour
Alne - Hostess of Fertility

Invited out to the curiously all-women's local tavern and entirely okay with it, Whiskey Sour had found herself drawn into the local novice-tilted tavern which had seen less and less filling-out over time. Now, the Adventurers had moved on, moved up, and then returned now as 'adults' in the world, a tavern now a tavern.

But the food tasted real, here, which was a big plus.

Whiskey Sour arrives at the bustling front, pushing past through the doors into the heat of cooking, fires, and bodies, moving down past the reception and into the active tavern area.

"Hi. Two?" Whis asks, the table culture of the Adventurers and a hair of service being expected. "I'll wait." She adds, standing aside in the entryway and leaning on a railing near the local tavern-board.
Alne - Hostess of Fertility

Seliana for once is not wearing her cultist cloak, and instead a long black dress with prominent red flares, which is indeed still rather frilly. Her long white hair flows loosely down her back and small decorative 'hat' is clipped into her hair.

She moves along close to Whis as the heretic requests a table for two and then rests while waiting. Seliana looks curiously at the tavern, which she has not previously visited despite it being so close. Having previous avoided the tower, Seliana decided that like many things in her life it was time to step forward into the unknown.

After a short inspection Seliana turns back to Whis with smile, "Have you been here before?" She questions as she moves to also lean against the railing, just close enough to brush Whis.
Whiskey Sour
Alne - Hostess of Fertility

It is very hard for Whiskey Sour to get away from the 'cultist' look, but she does wear a wide-brimmed droopy hat rather than her hood, the black pointed peak waved around by the wobbling brim.

Nodding as if drowsy, her eyes come up when Seliana joins her shortly after, the brim rising up to reveal a little black-lipped smirk. Her outfit had been resolving more and more from clown levelling gear to dark earthtones and greyscale.

The railing encloses the entrance area of the tavern, a counter and posting board, across from a long bar, all laid on raised plank floors. Down a light series of two steps with a worked wood railing, there is a resturant-style - tavern style, here, but there are tables and chairs and little settings and even a wall of booths with a special corner chair in each that are all at slightly different angles so they all face the door and back a solid wall.

The place knows the clientele. Establishing shots are important, and the Hostess of Fertility made sure to establish all the proper shots necessary for their clients.

It is also, somehow, fairly subdued overall - no-trouble and anti-rowdiness behavior has given it a homey atmosphere.

"It's about as close as you can get with fine dining in these kinds of clothes." Whis admits, openly gesturing down at herself. "Plus, you wanted to eat out." The druid smirks, near-hand adjusting to brush Seliana's arm and finish by lacing together fingers and hands. "Come on."

Guiding Seli to a near-booth table with three chairs - the third, perpendicular, taken away after a moments glance between the two women, and their server leaves to get drinks, leaving the pair at their table.

Whis toes out Seli's chair before falling into her own, grinning. "Do you like stews and stuff? That's what this place does. It's... Kind of german."
Alne - Hostess of Fertility

Seliana gives a small grin, "Here I am inviting you out, and yet I find myself being the wide eyed one." As she follows Whis into the tavern. The clientele do seem to be a variety of adventurers, with a couple locals lander who also look as if they've been adventuring themselves in the tower.

With a slight chuckle as Whis positions the chair for Seliana she sits down, and then proceeds to lean forward, elbows on the table, hands interlaced as she rests her chin on them. Her perpetually shifting eyes look fondly at Whis. "I'm sure the stew will be fine. I've been starting to make more effort to get a greater variety of food, and it will be nice to have something else. I'm not sure we really need food the same way as the other world, but it sure is better when it has real taste. I don't think I've eaten a lot of German food aside from pastries."

Her eyes briefly look off to the side towards the kitchen before back to Whis, "I have memories of one particularly nice pastry shop that Arisu's mother would sometimes take her if there was something to celebrate. Arisu had a bit of a fondness for milkshakes which was a favourite of hers even with all the other delicious pastry options." She pauses for a moment. "What are some of the favourite places you remember from the memories you have?" She tilts her head slightly still intently watching as she rests on her interlaced fingers.
Whiskey Sour
Alne - Hostess of Fertility

"You've got magic rainbow eyes." Whis counters easily, tapping her temple with a nail and grinning toothily. "If you're not looking with wide-open eyes, you're depriving yourself and the world of those sworling colors."

Leaning forward, Whis tugs forward her chair with a shift of her legs and arms under her, finishing with one-armed lean while her idle right extends out of her sleeve curl her fingers out of and gesture.

"You get a debuff. I see them, hanging on people. A rule begins to enforce on your body. Hunger is the signal. Very neat, isn't it? But hunger isn't just a physical need. It's a lot more than that. It exists around that rule, and if you can manipulate that rule..."

Whis sits back as two bowls of stew are produced, thick halves of peeled potato in brown meat gravy, chunks of browned and twice-cooked meat set near odd radishes and yellow carrot-adjacent root vegetables. It is specifically spicy, some destemmed chili split in long halves and infiltrated in grants a fresh crunch in place of a calmer celery-alike.

A mild cream is present in a little pot, rather than a more modernly expectant thick sour cream, and half a loaf of brown bread is apportioned each in a single split loaf in tray between them.

Looking over the spread, Whis remains gazing at Seliana, the smoke curling between them from two bowls. "There was a... bunch of food stalls and carts near where I lived, in the city. I'd cut out around lunchtime and walk the street there until I smelled something I was interested in, like the boiling pot outside the crab place, or the smell of the fried noodles, or the soup broth-" Her eyes close, distant now. "The smell of fried dough. I could tell the filling just by breathing. Getting it made right there, just for you, looking at the chef. That sort of place was nice."
Alne - Hostess of Fertility

A complement of the eyes producing a contented grin in response. Seliana watches as Whis also leans in and starts gesturing. With Seliana's head tilted to the side it appears some threshold has been persistent long enough that her loose white hair flows with the gravity forward around and over her shoulder. Finally detaching her entwined hands she adjuster her hair with her hand, hooking a portion over her ear which reveals her silver cross-like earing more prominently, before finally adjusting herself back to her chin on hands position but with head upright.

"Debuffs and more debuffs. Hunger, thirst, progressing in severity. Starvation. Damage starts to be taken, like some DOT effect. That health can be healed with a spell. The status effects? Probably cured in a similar way I bet?" It starts off with certainty, as if speaking from experience, but towards the end seems to be more questioning towards Whis.

The food then arrives, and Seliana gives a quick word of thanks while continuing to mirror back Whis's gaze with a playful smile. The smells are delicious, the steam enticing, but she listens intently to the shared memory. "It sounds as if it was an experience with the freedom to find whatever suited you best."

Seliana lets out a contented hum of thought before continuing. "I think for me the closest similar experience is when we would go to a festival. Arisu had a close friend, Niko, for many years. She would always act prim and proper, a right upstanding student - but she was such a goof if you got to know her privately. I could count on her if I needed to vent. We'd always go together to festivals, even after starting college. Dressing up and just roaming and doing whatever caught our fancy. Yeah.." Seliana trails off, the clash of first and third person in her accounting perhaps notable. Seliana tilts her head again opening her mouth to say more before her hair once again has a repeat of the situation from before. At this she scoots the chair just a little closer and straightens further while lowering her hands.

"We should do things like that more often." She says as if it were a revelation.

And with that she finally looks down at the food, "Well, I suppose we shouldn't let it get too cool." As she reaches out for a bit of the bread.
Whiskey Sour
Alne - Hostess of Fertility

The trailing question that Seliana begins with, Status effects and Debuffs, is answered first by Whis lifting her hand to her face. Veiling her nose with her fingers, thumb and index bridge across her eyes where the perpetual eyeshadow effect of her trials - and errors - in sleeplessness had made its mark on her shape. A defiance of natural 'laws'.

"You treat one thing with another, on and on, the symptoms falling like dominoes. You're picking what deteriorates. Binding yourself up in contradictory laws is agony."

Whis's wrist-veiled lips waver from her smile, canting down. "You pick what slips, and for every choice you unintentionally pick another thing. It just gets worse, more slips. Living a lie and coping."

Whis motions with her spoon in sequence, touching imagined points in the air. "So choosing what suits you best can be called..." Whis moves her spoon back to the first position in sequence. The alchemist struggles for just a moment. Her eyes close, as she searches and searches just for a word, until her lips part on the first beat of some--

"Well. I don't have a good word for it. Natural, maybe. The choice that fits right."

Released from her tip-of-tongue hell, the druid eats while Seliana talks of her close friend, a knowing smirk spreading across her mouth from a combination of food and fantasy, helped by a bit of coincidence.

"Was the dressing up a part of it? It seems like it was. Another friend into fashion and outfits? About being seen in them? Was it the sort of friend that you loved being seen near?"

Her spoon dips, and Whis leans forward. "Or by?"