Monster Hunter: Monstergirl World @alleskeins
Gearing up Part 2

After another long, arduous climb up to the Hub, I reached the deck and found Jaina still in her sleeping bag. Even though it was around noon, she seemed to still not have slept enough. I didn't know if it was exhaustion from the stress in the new environment or if she was just having a really nice dream that she just didn't want to get out of yet.

Either way, I decided to try and wake her up as gently as I could. I lied down next to her, right across of her lax, cute sleeping face.

I reached over to her, cupping her cheek in my hand as I softly leaned in to place a waking kiss on her lips.

Upon feeling my lips on hers, Jaina sleepily opened her eyes and cracked a smile as soon as she noticed me.

I smiled back and combed a lock of hair that was hanging over her eye out of her face. "Morning, Jaina. Slept well?" I spoke softly.

She dreamily answered… "Yeah…" before she put on a pouty little frown. "…but then you left!" And swiftly she playfully nudged my chest with a weak fist punch.

"Hehe, ow! How did you even notice that?" I laughed through the not very effective attack.

"Don't think that I'd ever not notice when you're gone! Don't do that again! I feel all lonely when I wake up." She sulked as she curled her tired, warm body up next to me.

I cuddled with her and cradled her head which she nuzzled underneath my chin. "Yeah, I know. Sorry. I'll make sure to tell you next time. Maybe you'll hear me in your dreams." I chuckled.

"I already do." She cooed so cutely that I was worried about my heart actually melting.

I tried to ignore my incoming diabetes as I heard a chain rattling near us. It was the small transportation lift for Palicoes that led up to the center of the ship's deck. When I heard it, I looked down at Jaina. "Hey, you hungry?"

She wiped the sand out of her eyes. "Sure, I'm always ready for breakfast."

I laughed. "It's around noon by now. It's time for lunch."

She smiled contently and rolled onto her back as she stretched her arms. "Ahhhh! Even better! That means we get to eat even more!" With newfound energy, she jumped onto her feet and excitedly threw over her poncho.

When the rattling of the chains became slower and creaked to a halt, a small hatch opened in the center of the ship and a tiny Palico, carrying a huge, covered up platter of food, emerged from it. It waddled over to one of the many tables that surrounded the center and placed its heavy load on it.

The Palico exhaustedly wiped its forehead before flashily popping off the cover, revealing three steaming plates of bubbling, sharply roasted steaks. Me and Jaina were lured towards it as a waft of the tastiest meat we've ever smelled drifted over to us.

The Palico presented it to us with an enthusiastic meow and looked quite proud of what he brought us. I walked up to the table and reached over it to scratch the adorable palico's little head. He blissfully leaned into it and purred in satisfaction. "Hey, good job little guy. Give the meowscular chef my compliments. If it tastes anywhere near as good as it smells, I don't even have to take a bite to know it's amazing."

The palico once again meowed and put its paw up to its forehead as a proud salute. With a smile on its face, the palico jumped back into the hatch and headed back towards Astera again.

Me and Jaina took seats next to each other on this large round of tables. Seeing as this was once supposed to hold way more than just two people it made sense for there to be so many of them.

"Feels kind of weird, doesn't it?" Jaina spoke up.

"Hm?"

"You know… it feels kind of empty with just the two of us here. I mean, I don't mind being alone with you, but can you imagine how bustling it would be if these tables were full of people?"

"Yeah, I can see that. Maybe, with the kind of mission we have, one day it'll be like that. Heh, imagine that. A full round of tables filled with half monsters. It'd be crazy."

Jaina gazed over all the empty seats, visibly visualizing how it would be if they were all filled with people. "I think it might be… nice. Almost like… a family." Looking at her from the side, I could catch a glimpse of an almost hopeful smile. She wanted this to be a reality. Although I knew it might not end up being as peaceful as she might think it'd be, I would never have had the nerve to take that fantasy away from her.

"I think that'd be nice too." I spoke softly as I fantasized along with her. I knocked on the table to get us back on track. "Well, we better eat now before our steaks get cold."

Jaina took one of the steaks in between her claws and shrugged. "I don't mind cold meat. I've always eaten cold meat out in the wild. When meat lies out in the sun for too long and grows warm, it gets all yucky. Bbrrghhh!" She shuddered a little bit at the thought.

I chuckled. "Well, there's a big difference between meat that's lying out in the sun for too long and meat that's cooked."

"Different how?" Jaina cocked her head.

"Well,…" I pointed at the slab of meat in her hands with a knowing smirk. "…try it."

Jaina looked at me suspiciously before her eyes turned to the steak. "Well, I guess it doesn't SMELL too bad." Slowly and carefully, Jaina opened her mouth but instead of biting into it, she stuck out her tongue and gave the steak a precautious lick.

Her eyes widened. Her claws buried themselves in the meat and her whole body tensed up like she'd just been struck by lightning. She squeaked in ecstasy. "OH MY GOD!"

"Told you."

"What have I been missing!? What is this? How does it taste THIS good!?"

"Herbs, spices, oils, you can get a lot more out of meat when you cook it right. Remember how you told about how good it tasted when the juicy fat of the meat dissolved in your belly? Well, when you cook meat, it boils to the surface and makes everything taste 10 times better. You see that moisture that's crackling on the surface, that's what I'm talking about. And it mixes with all the delicious spices you put on there."

Jaina looked at me with panting breath and saliva literally running from the side of her mouth. "I NEED to eat this RIGHT NOW!" She set off to, apparently, make the first bite. But as she tried to approach this, she hesitated. "How do I…" She opened her mouth and tried to dislodge her jaw as she pressed her lips against the edge of the steak, but that would obviously not work.

I held back my laughter as I called out to her. "Jaina!"

"Yreash?" She answered with as much of the steak in her mouth as it would allow.

When I was sure that she was looking, I took the steak into my mouth and tore off a more reasonably sized piece of the meat and wordlessly instructed her to mimic what I was doing.

She looked unsure and bewildered by doing that, but nonetheless trusted me enough to try it out. And despite that, she still managed to rip a massive piece from the steak, certainly larger than any human could swallow… and she swallowed it whole.

She kicked her feet underneath the table as a rush of flavors flooded her senses. You visibly see the meat chunks grinding down her throat in their entirety and with every piece that reached her stomach, Jaina's face became more and more dreamy. I could even see her belly bulge out underneath her poncho. Some things just don't change even after you transform apparently.

Seeing her eat it so enthusiastically made me all the more excited to continue eating my own. Of course, I already knew that it tasted amazing, but somehow sharing this enjoyment with her, made it taste all the more incredible.

In between bites, I could see Jaina's eyes flick over to the third steak and uncomfortableness growing within them.

"It's for… her… isn't it?"

I took a deep breath. "Yeah, it is. She hasn't eaten anything since we've captured her and even though she's not showing it, she must be really hungry."

"And you're gonna let her free after that?"

I pulled the small key out of my pocket, it on the table and nodded. "We have to. We can't keep her locked up in there. She at least deserves a chance to prove herself useful. Who knows, maybe now that you can talk, you can finally set aside your problems."

Jaina sunk her head and even stopped eating. "I guess so…" Finally, she lifted her head and put on a smile, and as weak as it may have been, it had determination behind it. "Well, I can try to get along, I'll knock myself out!"

I cocked my head at the weird choice of words. "What?"

She shrugged. "You know, I'll give my best."

I broke down into a chuckle as I got up from my chair. "That's not how you use tha…" I stopped myself "Nevermind. I'm glad you will." I gave her a soft smile and softly caressed her cheek, making her smile back proudly.

After grabbing the steak plate, I turned to leave, faced the large holding cell door and pushed open the massive gate.

Entering the shadowy room, I was met with a familiar sight. Anja laid on the bunk in the far back her legs crossed and her arms behind her head. I could hear scratching sounds coming from her direction and once I came closer, I saw what it was. Anja was dragging her tiny claws over the wall, leaving marks all over it. She had a woodchip sticking out of her mouth which she chewed on as she lazily looked at her scratching hand.

I knew that she already noticed me entering the room, after all nobody could miss the loud sounds the doors made, but she seemed pretty unfazed by that. I approached her, this time daring to come right up to her bed.

When I reached her, the scratching stopped, but instead of looking at me, Anja checked on her claws. "This should do." She spoke to herself before finally acknowledging me. She pretended to be surprised by it. "Oh! You've come to visit me. How nice of you." She put on a smug smile and continued to half-heartedly scratch the wall.

"What are you doing that for? It's not like you're going to break through the hull of the ship."

"Perhaps not, but believe it or not, it's to take care of my claws. They need to be dulled from time to time or they just become… itchy. It's a real bother sometimes." She sighed in annoyance before giving me a cocky smile. Her chains clattered as she turned her head. "Anyways, did you bring the steak I ordered? I'm positively starving."

I sat down on the ground in front of her bed and placed the plate on the ground. "Right here. Eat up. The chef put a lot of effort into it." I said, shoving the plate towards her.

Her face looked entirely bewildered. She was visibly surprised and confused as she reluctantly knelt down on the ground. "This… this isn't poisoned, right? That's… not how you're going to kill me?"

"Kill you? What?" I rebutted. "You asked for a juicy steak, didn't you?"

"Yeah, but that was… I didn't think you'd ACTUALLY bring me one. It's just… not what I expected."

"Well, what DID you expect?"

Anja shrugged as she cautiously picked up the steak but hesitated to actually take bites out of it. "I don't know. But I expected SOMETHING… maybe that you'd let me starve, maybe that you'd eat me at some point or that you'd torture me at the very least."

I opened my pouch as she talked and sighed. "Some people might've preferred that too. But they're not the ones making the call on that. You're under my protection. As long as I am, that's not gonna happen." I poured out the tools that Sullivan gave me alongside the rest of the scales and fur that was left over and arranged it on the floor to start working on it.

Anja watched me with shifty, curious eyes while she ripped slices of meat from the steak. "I don't undershtand you."

"Welcome to the club. Neither do I."

"Why are you doing all this?"

"Many reasons… none of them really make sense. Maybe I'm trying to see good where there is none. But I've taken it on myself to make this work and make a new branch for the guild here. Just for demi humans like you and me. And if I want to lead this group…" I snapped a string with my teeth as I started stitching. "… I need to keep everyone happy. You might not like this. I don't know how you're feeling about what I've turned you into after all, but I hope I can make it worthwhile for you too."

Anja seemed bewildered by my sentiment, but somewhere behind the confused expression I could see a hint of appreciation and maybe even admiration. Anja though, shook those thoughts out of her mind and put her guard up again. "I don't understand you at all."

"Like I said…" I finished up my sowing and put the finishing touches on it as I added the adhesive to make everything hold tight and add some details to make it more representative of herself. "…welcome to the club."

"What ARE you doing down there anyways?" Her eyes focused on the stuff on the ground which to her must've seemed like just a pile of fabric, but then she looked closer. "Is… isn't this my skin? What are you doing with that?"

"Well, I was the one who took it from you and I already got myself some armor made out of the tougher parts, so I thought it would only be fair if you got the other half of it. Judging by how much Jaina likes to wear her poncho, I assume you might like it too to wear your old skin again. Actually, I could use your help with this, but I need to do something else first."

Anja cocked her head as I stood up and signaled her to do the same.

"Show me your hands."

"Why?" She asked cautiously.

"Just do it, you'll see."

Anja showed me her clawed arms and the shackles rustled as she stretched them out in front of herself.

I carefully took one of her hands in my own and gently turned it around. Anja was visibly a little bit flustered as I, the way she must've seen it, caressed her clawed hand. I stuck my hand into my pocket and pulled out the small key I found in the notebook earlier and just like I expected it to, it fit into the lock perfectly.

"W…what are you doing now? Why are you releasing my chains?" She asked with a quivering voice.

"I'm letting you go free. You won't be of much use hanging out in here, scratching the walls, will you?" I joked with a genuine smile as one after another, her shackles fell to the floor with a loud clank. Now the only thing left was the one around her neck.

"You know that you might regret this, right? That I could use any opportunity to betray you."

"I trust that you won't. You said you were bound by honor to listen to me, didn't you?" I said with a nonchalant, overly confident tone.

"What if I lied about that?"

"I don't think that you did."

"What makes you so sure about that? You are so careless, master!" She rebelled, making it seem like I was stupid to put my trust in her like that, but I didn't let it deter me.

"You know why I think that you were serious about your honor?"

She crossed her arms "I would be really curious to hear your reasons."

"Because if you wanted to seriously kill me…" I started my sentence as I unlocked the last chain around her neck. It plonked to the ground and Anja was completely free. "…your hands would already be around my neck by now."

Anja clenched her fists and hissed dejectedly. She knew I was right and she was sulky about it. With a pouting, almost adorable face, she turned towards the ground and grit her teeth. "It's almost annoying how much you're manipulating me."

"I'm not manipulating anyone. It's your own pride keeping you from doing it. It's one of the things that you apparently have in common with some humans. You should hold onto that. It's one of the things that define you."

"Tsk, with all due respect master, what do YOU know about monsters?"

I approached her, undeterred by her defensive stance. Anja, with no way to fight back, backed away from me until her back was against her bunk. "Not much, but I don't get humans sometimes either. Neither of those facts keep me from being able to read certain things. For example, I know that pride isn't the only reason you're not acting up, isn't it?"

"I h… have no idea what you mean, master!" She blurted out with a voice that wasn't the least bit convincing.

"You're curious. You're curious about humans. How they manage to keep up with monsters like you. And you want to prove that you can hunt just as well if not even better than them. Tell me, how right am I on this?"

She quivered, being backed into a corner and put on the spot. But she would not admit anything, instead she punched the bunk, making it almost break out of the hinges to look intimidating. "I… you know nothing, master. I don't take an interest in worms like… Mphh…" She stopped herself and looked away.

"Oh? Were you just about to say: 'worms like me'? That's not right, now is it? You and me…" I leaned up to her ear and whispered into it "…we're the same." I leaned back, enjoying her flustered reaction and reddening cheeks for a bit before I turned serious. "I'm messing with you. But still, I want you to remember this: If we're going to be a team, no one is superior to anyone."

"But how are you the leader then if you're not superior? I don't get this."

"I'll help you understand once you need it. For now, turn around."

"Why?"

"These clothes I made for you still need to be adjusted to your figure so you need to turn around and… take your robes off." I hesitantly gave her the command.

Anja seemed confused at my face growing a little more red than usual, but she complied. With her back turned to me, she undid her robes, letting them fall to the floor and presenting her slender, yet curvy back to me.

It was the first time that her tail came into my focus. It was way thicker than Jaina's and much more tense with muscly fiber. In general her upper body seemed to be much more feeble than her lower body, with her legs being immensely strong while her arms are comparatively weak.

Somehow though, this figure really worked for her. Her shoulders were very feminine and even from behind I could catch the outer edges of her breasts.

I tried not to stare too much as I knelt down to let her step into her new outfit. It had to be fitted from bottom to top, so I started with the lowest part: a skirt made from her old membrane. It was white with a light hinge of pink and due to how thin it was, it made for a perfect replacement to fabric. It was wavy and with a stretchy tendon, I was able to tighten it to her waist. I was right at the height of her butt where her tail emerged just above it. I had to cut a round gap into the top of the skirt to get it around her tail, but otherwise it fit perfectly.

"So…" Anja suddenly spoke up sheepishly. "…you made this for me?"

I nodded, even though she could probably not see it. "Mhm, with everything I had left from the forge. I may not be an armorer but I can at least stitch some clothes together."

"But why would you make clothes for me in the first place? I had the robes already, didn't I."

I chuckled "Maybe. But rags aren't really worthy of a warrior wanting to show everyone that they're to be taken serious, right?"

She blushed a little as I scooted up her body to continue dressing her.

"Listen, I want you to look presentable and honorable. You deserve at least that much respect. And with your old skin, you can show your true colors to everyone out there and remember them of the fierce monster that you are inside." I smiled at her as she curiously looked over her shoulder. My smile was met with a rash retreat of Anja turning around and trying her hardest to strictly stare at the wall.

"Why must you toy with me like this?"

"Huh? I don't remember toying with you."

"You're not doing it on purpose then?"

"Doing what on purpose?" I put on the next piece of clothing, a continuation of the membrane that I shaped into a shoulder-less shirt that was just as wavy as the skirt was, it was a bit looser than the skirt though, which I already had a solution for.

Anja quietly protested, insisting that there was something I was doing to her. "Y…you're teasing me one minute and then you say such nice things to me. You speak gibberish at one point and then you say something that I can perfectly understand. You're having fun at my expense, don't you? You think it's funny that I'm getting confused at all these foreign concepts."

I smirked a little, maybe I hadn't intended it the whole time, but I did find her befuddled reactions incredibly cute. Maybe I did tease her before, but now I somehow wanted to do it even more. "You know what some people tend to say? You only tease those who you've taken a liking to. You DID turn into a pretty girl after all, I'll give you that."

Anja jerked tensed up and threw me an angry glare. "Th…there you go again, saying things that throw me for a loop! Stop that… please." The last part was barely audible as she started to fidget about a little.

I carried on, fitting her clothes and there was only one other thing to do "Now, for the next part I need you to lift your arms."

"F…fine." Anja complied without asking this time, timidly raising her arms over her head.

I reached my arms around her, getting close to her looking over her shoulder. Despite her compliance, this took her by surprise. "Wh…what do you need to do now?"

I put on a professional face and pretended like I wasn't fazed. "Just need to get your clothes straightened out. I can't let it stay too loose or it's going to chafe your skin. Just need to mark out the contours here…" I spoke, hitting the back of her ear with my breath. She shivered a little as I tracked the front of her body. First, I tightened her shirt around her waist so it would stick to the shape of her curves. With my thumbs and index fingers, I drew an equator line around the thinnest part of her sides, crossing her belly button and her wide hips.

Anja seemed to be anxious, watching my fingers as they trailed her body.

"It won't take long. Just stay still for a few more seconds." I whispered calmly, knowing that the low vibration of my voice scrambled her mind once more.

I heard her hissing as she took a sharp inhale. I could tell why. I had to trace out the underside of her breasts so the corset I'm going to give her later, doesn't tighten them too much.

Even I could barely maintain a straight face, let alone a calm heartbeat as I rubbed the skin underneath her round, voluptuous breasts. I lifted them a little bit and even snuck in a few squeezes as the shirt more and more clung to her body. I couldn't quite tell, but I assumed that she was building up a slight sweat. Her breath sure seemed unsteady enough to support that.

Shaky exhales escaped her lips as I circled the outline of her bust. "Is th…this really all part of the fitting process?"

"It is… and it's really important that I'm thorough. I leave one fold unadjusted and it's going to bother you forever. Now…"

"Hyerrghh!" Anja yelped when I finally took a full grip of both of her moldable orbs. I grabbed them tightly, even scraping over her nipples with my fingers, but stealthily enough for her not to notice that I was doing it on purpose.

Anja squeezed her eyes shut and bit her lip as I leaned in to whisper yet another order, through her wallowing black hair straight into her ear. "…I need you to hold on to your breasts just like I'm doing it. You can feel how I'm gripping you, right?"

She gulped and nodded reluctantly.

"Good, do it just like I am. Just put your hands right on top of mine and then replace them."

Anja slowly lowered her arms and just as I ordered her, intertwined her claws with my hands. She was way too delirious at this moment to rebel, and consecutively let a smile slip through as she touched my hands.

She almost seemed disappointed when I pulled them out from underneath hers but it was quickly replaced with a little chirp of surprise when her very own claws took a firm grip of her breasts. The feeling of my hands must've still lingered, and the second grab must've felt like it still came from me for her to have such a surprised reaction.

I grabbed something from the floor and instead of from behind, I turned around to her front.

Through her slightly slanted eyes, she could stare right into mine and for some reason that seemed to make her anxiousness even worse. But that would not be all there was to this confrontation.

I slowly walked up to her and almost like an embrace in a dance, I put my arms around her sides.

Our faces were barely apart and her hands were too busy for her to shove me away. I met her dazed expression with a smile of my own and my eyes grew a little hooded as I gave her the next order.

"And now for the last part. Take a deeeeep breath and hold it in until I tell you to let it out again."

I don't know what Anja expected, but her lips trembled a little before she decisively did as I told her. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply.

And just in that moment, I wrapped a corset made from a patch of her old pink scales around her belly and tied up the front with the rest of the leftover tendons. I pulled the string tight, leaving little room between my body and hers as I did so.

With her black hair covering one of them, it was so unbearably cute and satisfying to see her other eyes twitching under her eyelids.

I leaned forward a little, facing her directly. She reeled back a little when she opened her eye and saw me right in front of her.

I smirked and whispered in a teasing tone. "You can breathe now."

"Baaaahhhh!" Anja took several cautious steps backwards as her chest heaved in exasperation. With her finished outfit, she looked almost like the captain of a pirate ship. Given the circumstances, that was actually very fitting. "I'm pretty proud of my work to be honest. It looks really good on you."

Anja blushed deeply as her breath was still uneven. "You're doing something to me! I don't know what, but you better explain yourself!" She barked out in an accusatory tone.

"That again?" I approached her once more, giving her no chance to retreat this time. "I was just fitting your clothes and you're looking damn fine inside of them. I don't know what YOU thought we were doing back there."

"I…um… I… you…" She fidgeted about, trying to think of something to accuse me of but her head must've been a quirled mess.

Before she could continue her rambling, I interrupted her. "Good. That settles that then."

"A…alright." She said, giving up and leaving it at that.

I took on a serious tone, making her understand that there were more important matters at hand. "I wasn't joking before. From today on you are free. I know that you will keep your honor, but before we head out of this room, I need to reemphasize this again. You will behave while we're in Astera. I don't want to hear anything about you hating or hurting Jaina and we will work together as equals. Do you understand that much?"

Anja seemed to still be struggling with that thought inside, but she had no grounds to refuse me anymore. "Alright, master."

"You know, you don't have to call me master, right?"

"I know… but it feels right to call you that to me. I've kind of grown attached to it." She admitted, facing the ground and holding back any further rebuttals.

"Hey…" I called out to her as I knocked my finger against the underside of her chin to make her look up at me. When I was sure that she did, I extended that same hand to her. "…let's make this work, alright?"

She lifted her hand, but seemed unsure whether or not to actually entrust it to me. She repeatedly reached out to me before pulling back and looking at me with mistrusting, uncertain eyes.

"I'm not going to do anything, Anja. There's no trick behind this."

"So you DID trick me before…" She sulked a little but, with a little scowl and an annoyed glare from her one uncovered, wine red eye, she finally laid her dainty little claw into my hand and accepted the handshake.

In the end though, I couldn't hold back from giving her one final tease. "You know clothes need to be readjusted from time to time, so… if anything stings in places where it shouldn't be…"

Before I could even finish my sentence, Anja's face grew red and she ripped her hand out of mine. "N...NO!" And with those words she stormed past me and basically punched the doors open, leaving me behind in the darkness.

I chuckled to myself. "Well, this could turn out to be either horribly bad, or incredibly fun."

Anonymous reviews have been disabled. Login to review. 1. Off to the New World 1570 0 0 2. The weapon of your choice 2767 0 0 3. Survival of the fittest 2470 0 0 4. A rough night 3092 0 0 5. Keep your enemies closer 3631 0 0 6. The search for shelter 2999 0 0 7. Ready as I'll ever be 3865 0 0 8. Frenemies 6271 0 0 9. Irreplacable 6251 0 0 10. Keep on keeping on 4520 0 0 11. Back to square one 4180 0 0 12. Past and future problems 3959 0 0 13. Gearing up Part 1 4603 0 0 14. (Broken chapter) 12 0 0 15. Gearing up Part 2 5279 0 0 16. Gearing up Part 3 4514 0 0 17. Finally (Outdated Update) 165 0 0 18. Wants and Needs 3239 0 0 19. Hindsight 4260 0 0 20. Team Excercise 3841 0 0 21. Important announcement! (Update) 226 0 0 22. The new hunter 5558 0 0 23. Tobi Kadachi 3831 0 0 24. So 147 0 0 25. It's been a fun ride 129 0 0 26. Moving forward 92 0 0