Part 20: Tao: Story 08
Let's do this. We're back at Rachel, and this time we're going to choose the only humane option available and do some Van Hellsinging in here.
Meow, meow, meow... Bring it on, meow!
The nerve! How dare you trespass in my garden! You grate on the nerves. Clearly, you require...training.
The girl raised her hand, and the sky over Taokaka's head suddenly turned dark and angry.
Fire of the skies, to me!
Meow, meow, meow, meow!
Oh dear... That looks rather well-done. Perhaps I overdid it... I prefer medium rare.
Mmm...smells like burning...
Oh my...that's pretty rough...you have my sympathy...
Meow...what a scary she-devil, meow! That was such a cold-blooded thing to do.
A-Are you mad?
It would appear the flambe wasn't enough for you. Perhaps a saute will shut you up!
Just a video of the match, nothing special.
Let's talk about it!
Rachel is actually fairly unique in that she's one of the few zoning characters that actually works well against Tao. The curved angle of her pumpkin toss is very annoying for Tao, and can usually knock her out of the air when trying to fly around the screen like a maniac. Rachel's wind drive can also push Tao backward, effectively slowing down the speed of the match. Not only that, she has some pretty good anti-air options that hit in a fairly large area. Her pressure isn't bad, and in certain circumstances she's just as mobile as Tao is.
So what CAN Tao do? Mostly pressure. Not running away is probably a good idea, unlike other matchups. Just go and don't ever stop. Also avoiding using drive moves and instead just using standard jumps to keep more precise control and avoid the pumpkins.
Hahaha. That was fun, meow!
Fact: Getting slammed by a thousand volts of electricity is a blast. Thomas Edison gave it five stars. William Kemmler liked it so much he did it twice.
...Finished? Then perhaps you should leave.
Yeah I will, meow!
I wish to change and have a cup of tea. Valkenhayn.
How may I serve you, Madam Rachel?
This feline assailant has exhausted me. Please fetch a fresh set of clothes and--wait.
Something on the ground had attracted Rachel's attention. It was a piece of paper with a drawing of an evil looking man on it. Valkenhayn picked it up and handed it to her.
You are looking for Ragna?
Meow? Rawrgna, Rawrgna...? Oh, yeah, I am, meow! Rabbit person! Do you know who Rawrgna is!? If you do, please tell me where he is, meow!
Rachel quietly pointed to the east.
Oh yes. I believe I saw him over there.
Princess, that way is...
Over there, huh? Thanks, meow!
Oh goodness...you hit her right out of the yard...
Wow, hats off to you, Princess. You're so clever.
What did you say?
Such pedestrian interactions are quite tiring. At least these common people have kept me entertained. Now, Valkenhayn, my tea and clothes if you don't mind?
As you wish, Madam Rachel.
Gii, take one hundred laps around the garden.
Huh? What for?
I grow bored. You will entertain me.
Noooooo! That's not entertaining at all...!
Ouch. I think my butt got squished...where am I, meow?
Excuse me, you there. Where did you come from?
She was a young girl in a blue hat. She looked angry, but Taokaka had other, more important things to worry about than angry girls.
Ah... Who are you, meow?
I'm Lieutenant Noel Vermillion from the NOL. And you are?
Tao is Taokaka, meow.
Taokaka? Huh...that's a name you don't hear everyday.
Yeah. I'll see you around, then!
Hey, wait. Um...the NOL is currently searching for a vicious criminal: Ragna the Bloodedge. Do you know anything about this Ragna the Bloodedge?
Bloodedge? What's that, meow?
Let's see...he's a man with a face like this.
Taokaka looked down at the picture of the evil-looking man with white hair.
Oh! I know him! He gave me some food!
Really!? So, he isn't too far away from here... I must go capture him immediately...
Meow, meow? Why are you trying to capture a good guy?
Good guy? ...That's not right! You said he gave you some food, but what's your relationship with Ragna the Bloodedge? Something's fishy here...
Tao isn't fishy, meow. *yawn* Not only are your breasts flat, but you're also boring!
Noel blushed and quickly crossed her arms across her chest. She seemed more angry than embarrassed.
M-M-M-My breasts have absolutely nothing to do with this! I'll have you arrested for contempt!
Huh? You want to play with Tao neow? In that case, I'm all for it, meow!
Another standarde video.
On the other hand, this match is in Tao's favor. Noel is a very close range character, and the only projectile she happens to have is based soley on the ground. Tao is never on the ground. Her anti-air is also kind of slow.
To win Tao can just fly around and try to bait out Noel's drives, since she's forced to commit to them for several seconds after they start. Hitting and running is the optimal strategy. Noel's pressure is pretty decent, and her defense is fairly average, so it's not always the best idea to go in gung-go. Also, she can get some good damange off of any drive confirm, so better safe than sorry.
Tao won, meow! But I'm pretty exhausted, and starving, meow...plus, I'm getting sleepy, meow...
Taokaka had completely lost interest in Noel. She let out a huge yawn, curled up, and fell asleep.
Wh-What should I do about this girl? I'm in a pickle... I may have overreacted, so I don't feel right about taking her in...but, she'll be blocking traffic...or she might catch a cold if I leave her lying here like this... I guess I have no choice...one... two...
Noel picked up Taokaka and started to drag her out of the street...
Even though she'd only just fallen asleep, Taokaka didn't wake up, no matter what Noel dragged her over. Eventually, Noel stuffed her into a corner of Sector Five, far away from any prying eyes.
That was quite a workout...she should wake up soon and go home...I have to go back to work, too. Are my breasts...that small...? N-Not that it matters. Their shape isn't that bad. But...I do wish they were...bigger...what should I do? Should I ask that female doctor? No, I don't have the guts to do that...
Wait... I remember Makoto said something like, "If you have a boy massage them, they'll get bigger..." No no no no nooo! What am I thinking!?
Taokaka didn't hear a word of Noel's mumbling... She was sound asleep. It wasn't long before night fell.
Hey, kid. You can't sleep here. You'll catch a cold.
Someone shook Taokaka.
...Of course, if being shaken was enough to wake Taokaka up, Noel would never have been able to drag her this far.
Seems like I don't have much choice. I didn't want to resort to this, kid, but...I got some food here for ya.
There was only one thing that could wake Taokaka up...food.
Food!? Food!? Where is it!?
Sorry to do this to ya, but there's no food.
Wh-Wh-Wh-Wh-What the hell!? That's one cruel lie, meow!? I'm telling you I've never been insulted this much in my entire life! Said I was sorry. What more do ya want?
It was only then that Taokaka took a look at the thing that had woken her up. It was a creature wearing a hood like hers, with a big sword strapped to its back. As it came closer, she realized it looked like a cat standing on its hind legs.
The cat person!? It's the cat person, cat person!?
The creature Taokaka called the "cat person" was one of the Six Heroes--Jubei. He was usually out wandering the world, but from time to time he dropped by the Kaka village to check up on them. Of all the people held in high esteem by the Kaka clan, Jubei is the mostrespected. Although he rarely visited the village, he was one of its founding members and a great leader of the Kaka clan.
Jubei is the master cat. The Uberkatze. if you will. Only in anime is cat racism a thing.
Long time no see, cat person! Tao's sooo happy to see you, meow! What do you want me to do?
Happy to see you too, but I got no time for playin'.
Eh!? Let's play, let's play, let's play!?
C'mon kid. Bein' selfish ain't right.
Jubei's scolding stopped Taokaka in her tracks. Her ears drooped, and her tail went limp.
...I'm sorry meow. I shouldn't have acted that way...
Ah hell, don't get all bent outta shape. You're a good kid.
Jubei gave her a good scratch on the head, and she purred.
How're things back at the village? Any news?
Well, it hasn't been easy, meow. Whenever this weird black squiggly thing appears, the people of Kaka disappear, meow. It's a pain in the neck for everyone, meow. Why don't you come back to the village, cat person? Everybody is waiting for you, meow.
I got some other stuff needs doin'. Look kid, you got the power to protect the village. You can't keep depending on an old man like me.
Tao protects the village neow?
Yup. I reckon you're ready.
If you say so, cat person, I'll try my best, meow!
That's the spirit, kid. So there's some sorta black squiggly critter givin' the village trouble? Hmm... Well, if I happen to run into it, I'll be sure to give it what for. But you oughta be heading back to the village, kid. They need your help. Heard rumors there's some dangerous people 'round these parts.
Tao's strong, so don't worry about me, cat person. I'll return to the village neow if you say so, meow.
And I do say so. You say hello to the folks back home for me, all right? Next time you 'n I cross paths, maybe there'll be time for a little playin'.
Promise, meow? I'll see you around, cat person!
Whoa, whoa. Careful there, kid.
Tao isn't that dumb, you know, cat person.
Taokaka was hungry, and as sad as she was to say good-bye to the cat person, she needed to get back to the village for food. Her eyes fell on the gap between the massive metal plates that covered her village. Her ears perked up, and she grinned. Taokaka just had an excellent idea.
"Danger!" said the sign. "Keep out," it added.
Taokaka didn't care. She dashed toward the gap between the plates.
Tao's smart, meow! Heheh, if I jump off here, it'd take me directly to the village, meow!
You sure you wanna jump off?
There's no problem at all, cat person! I'll take to you later, meow.
Taokaka leapt over the fence and struck a pose as she fell. She wanted to make sure she looked good when she landed.
I'll be arriving at the village soon, meow.
She could see it below her... It was tiny. It looked like a toy village...Things were going well so far, just as Taokaka had expected. Now she just had to land.
Taokaka has returned to the village quickly.
As Taokaka slammed into the ground, it gave way beneath her. Slightly concerned, she watched the village disappear as she continued down to the bottom of Kagutsuchi.
Quite a racket for such a small kid... Ah well. Don't rightly think there's much that can hurt her...
Meow, meow, meow! Ouch! I thought my butt was gonna split four ways, meow. Huh? Where am I neow?
SOUNDS LIKE SATURDAY NIGHT AM I RIGHT? AM I RIGHT?
Something moved in the darkness behind Taokaka. She spun around to face it, her instincts telling her something bad was about to happen.
The shadow shambling toward her stopped and took a few steps back. It was weird, ugly creature, covered in rags. Taokaka didn't know it was called Arakune, but she did recognize it.
The back squiggly thing!? The bad guy who attacks the village? You must be a wanted criminal, meow. I'll capture you and claim the bounty. Everybody in the village will be happy!
Kpft kpkuk kpukikikik. It's imposs rep ca f prev us e. Do m laugh. I eat you.
Eat Tao, meow!? Don't be ridiculous, meow! You're the enemy of Kaka! I'll eliminate you right here, once and for all, meow!
Ok, there's an option here to say 'Ew gross', but it changes absolutely nothing and only impedes our most glorious and final solution to those who do not conform to the master shape.
Hey jerks I teach you about this match and other things in this video. Watch it because I'm tired of writing.
Tao won, meow! You know who's the man, meow! You stupid black squiggly thing!? ...Meow? You don't even have energy left to talk back, huh? Hahahaha, meow!
Just as she was about to deliver the final blow, Taokaka stopped. Arakune shuddered, somehow...pitiful.
Hey, squiggly. Because Tao is such a sweet Kaka, I'll let you go for neow. If you don't want to get hurt again, you'd better stay away from Kaka, meow.
He didn't need to be told twice. Arakune ran, as far away from Taokaka as he could get. It looked like she was out of trouble, for now.
Hahahah! I'm sure that squiggly thing won't bother us again, meow. It's all thanks to Tao, meow. Tao's great! Please, somebody praise me! Wait, there's no one around, meow. By the way, where am I? How am I supposed to go home, meow?
Just as Taokaka was about to start looking for an exit, a rope dropped down in in front of her.
Heeey! Taaao! Can you hear me?
Oh, my little one. I can hear you just fine, meow.
Grab that rope! We'll pull you up!
When Taokaka hadn't come home, the people of the Kaka clan had gone looking for her. Taokaka grabbed the rope.
You can pull me now, meow.
All right, here we go! Ready? Pull! Pull!
And that was how Taokaka escaped from the deepest, darkest part of Kagutsuchi and was reunited with the Kaka children. The news that Taokaka had driven off the black squiggly drew cheers from the assembled members of the Kaka clan. They were happy. Taokaka was happy.
The village is finally at peace... I'm speechless, meow!
Uh-huh, we don't needa worry anymore!
Meow! Nothing to worry about neow! Let's all go home to the village.
When Taokaka and the children got back to the village, it was full of activity and excitement. Festival booths had been set up in the town square, and there was food everywhere.
Meow! Elder, what's going on here?
Oh, Tao. Litchi brought us a bunch of food today. We're about to dig in now. Ho ho ho.
Taokaka barely heard the elder. She was too busy stuffing meat buns into her mouth.
Phew. Tao's starving, meow! They all look so good! *chew*
Gee, you haven't changed a bit.
Taokaka had been too busy devouring meat buns to notice Litchi. Litchi was a doctor in Orient Town, but she had made friends with the Kaka clan and came to visit them frequently. She often held classes for the children in the village, and everyone loved her, Taokaka included.
Long time, no see, Tao. How have you been?
Oh, boobie lady! Hang on a second while I handle this meat bun, meow! Nom nom nom... *gulp*
Taokaka finished off the last several meat buns left in her mouth and leapt on Litchi's breasts, poking and prodding them to test their softness.
They are as bouncy as always, meow. I'm impressed, boobie lady.
Kn-Knock it off, Tao... Kitties, why don't you call everyone, so we can have a meal together?
The feasting with Litchi lasted late into the night. Unbeknownst to anyone in the village, Jubei watched them from a short distance away.
Sure wouldn't mind seein' days like this a bit more often...farewell, folks. 'Til we meet again.
And he was gone into the night. Sometime before the morning, the party died down as most of the villagers fell asleep.
Taokaka was taking a nap at her favorite spot. That's when the little kittens came.
The elder gave us an assignment!
Meow... I can't eat anymore, meow...
The two Kaka children ran up the small hill surrounded by scrap metal and broken machines. It was a special spot for the Kaka clan; the sun still shone there, making it warm and comfortable--perfect for a nap. The hill was covered in plants, all desperate for the taste of precious sunlight. The smell of warm grass filled the air. Taokaka, a warrior of the Kaka clan, was taking her nap in the sunlight.
Yeah, she's asleep.
What should we do now?
What should we do?
While they tried to decide what to do, the sun set, and Taokaka kept right on sleeping.
Zzz... Zzz... It's a peaceful day, meow...