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Ryouta smiled at that last question. In front of them is the Sanctuarium Unionis with its black walls and crystalline looks. The building looked like a shrine, almost an oddity for it to be so secluded compared to the rest of the city... not helping there are sentry towers. It felt... mismatched?
"You'll see," he evaded slyly. When Ilbert stopped, Ryouta opened the door and walked out to the building. he opened it by inserting his badge on the scanner. The badge released faint light that seem activated a mechanism inside that opened the door.
The hall was what they saw first. It's a simple one, with two staircases leading to the second level, where two other staircases, one on each sides of the wings leads to the second floor.
"If you go straight you'll end up in the garden. When in the garden, you can go left to enter the communal bath. If you go right... well there are nothing on the right, really. Our garden consist of pool, flower gardens, relaxation terrace and all that. If you walk up the stairs and go through the center, you'll find the waiting room for guests. If you goes deeper, you'll find small bridge that leads to the deeper portion of the base... but ether way... ladies room are in the eastern wing. You can go through the right staircase. Just pick one without the name, and that will be your room."
Ophelia pouted a hair at Ryouta evading the question - though... It wasn't like she was left to pout for too long - instead admiring the sheer size of the building, let alone how it seemed almost distinct from anything else in the city. She'd follow Ryouta out of the Grandlocomon, and would be close to his side as they approached the front entrance to the building - and that's when she'd notice the badge that he took out, and how it seemed to act as a key. And beyond the door...
... she'd see the entrance hall. Ophelia would gaze around with noticeable curiosity, sniffing the air and taking in all of the new scents, both fresh and stale, of the people that must live here. All the whilst, she'd listen to Ryouta explain which way everything went - with the staircases, and the hall ahead. Though... Ophelia took a second, when Ryouta mentioned the wings. "... Why ladies on one side?" She'd ask - glancing to Ryouta. That seemed a little weird to her. "What if someone's not a guy or a girl?"
Given that digimon were essentially data, nothing really 'biological' to them, even if one appeared feminine or masculine - they could still go any way, really, and there was no real difference either beyond preference - that's what she understood. She didn't understand that humans' had a greater distinction between male and female, both in regards to male/female/intersex with sex and male/female/other with gender. So, as she saw, the division seemed a little silly. Especially considering if a digimon was neither, then the division probably went out the window completely, right?
Nonetheless though, as they talked, she'd follow his directions to make for the eastern wing - sniffing the air all the same as she took in all the scents her sensitive little nose could pick up on.
While at first Ryouta was confident with his explanation, suddenly Ophelia's question brought him back to reality... eh? Someone who's neither? Come to think of it... Keigo isn't really to any either, but he preferred male pronouns as it aligned more to his preferred gender... but neither does he really mind anyone slips up and called him with female pronoun... then again bless japanese and its third person gender neutral pronoun...
Wait, wait, she probably talking about Digimon, right? Come to think of it, Digimons are completely data, so biological wise... they're of course not biological. They doesn't have human's icky bits, so a Digimon can assume whatever preferred role they want. Digimons are neither male or female biologically... that's why there are possibility of female Leomon and male Angewomon.
"....Uh.... They pick their own room I guess..."
"There are actually a connector between the west wing and east wing," Valt immediately supplemented. "The connectors are closer to the lift, and anyone can take the room around there instead."
...Why ladies on one side though... Ryouta looked visibly uncomfortable as he had no idea how to lay it in way that will explain it to this girl why the design is like that... Because Digimons doesn't think that not wearing clothes is indecent. Thankfully, Valt is to the rescue.
"You see Ophelia, humans have culture of wearing clothes. There are difference in amount of clothes you wear based on situation. It's complicated but it can be boiled down into... boys and girls... if they're just strangers, or friends, and not lovers, they must wear clothes that they deemed 'decently' covering their bodies. However sometimes being 'decent' isn't 'comfortable'. When sleeping human tends to wear more minimal amount of clothing. So if they came out looking disheveled and with some... uh, less decent clothes...
That gonna be disaster you see?
And human doesn't like someone that's not intimate with them to see them in that sort of appearance, thus is reason why it's segmented."
Initially, the explanation was enough for Ophelia, that it had to do with humans - and it being inappropriate for humans who weren't intimate to see each other in fewer clothes than usual, though... This didn't answer her question completely, either. She couldn't help but wonder further now, of just why boys and girls were more okay seeing others of the same gender, as opposed to the other gender. She didn't actually realize that humans were built differently from each other, based on sex - seeing as Ryouta was the only human she knew. It also seemed like a hard question for Ryouta though, so Ophelia was debating keeping this question to herself for now.
Either way, Ophelia came to a single conclusion: Humans were cool, but they were also very confusing!
So instead of questioning it further, and risking making Ryouta even more uncomfortable, she'd simply make her way to the girls' wing, gazing around at the different rooms. She could note the different scents of the occupied ones - the scents, both new and old, of the residents from this side of the base. There were so many strange scents that she wasn't familiar with though - of different types of digimon, and of what she guessed to be more humans - it was all super curious to her! She couldn't wait to meet these people and memorize their scents; there was something comforting about being able to fit a smell to the face of a friend.
Nonetheless though, she'd peer to one of the rooms that lacked any real apparent scent - lingering before the door. She guessed that this one was empty, from said lack of scent - so she could, for all intents and purposes, pick this room. Though, at the same time, she couldn't help but hesitate a little - feeling unsure of settling down quite so soon, after having left the den... Something about it just sort of... Felt off to her. It even made her feel a tiny bit homesick, and very much made her feel indecisive and hesitant - which wasn't a usual feeling for her, with her tendencies for impulse and passion.
....As expected, she's not really into the explanation, huh... This will take a while, and probably includes time bathing with some human just to be sure. Thankfully there are Karin and Koharu around who would probably make her understand better what's different about male and female.
"Yes, you should pick a room. After all, a room is like your own personal den. You can make it however you want... it's yours. If you want to share you can, but if you don't want to share that's fine too. Your room is like your own territory. It's your rule inside there, so customize it as you please." Valt answered.
"If you put it like that I feel she'll be weirdly possessive of it?"
"...Well, in due time she'll probably learn about the way of the civilization, but there's no wrong in treating your own room as your den, right?"
"Well... that's... true. Well once you pick it, put your name on the door so people know that it belonged to you. See, like over there?"
Ryouta pointed at a room with a wooden plaque that says 'Karin' both in Digimoji and Alphabet. The wood are carved into roses and various other flowers, with the room beside it says "Freya", but decorated with floral laurel instead.
Ophelia would indeed take time, given how little she knew of humans; even compared to the common civilized digimon. It probably didn't help that she was just a kid, too; with the unerring curiosity and excitement that came with it. At least she wasn't asking any more weird questions for now, though.
In the meantime, came the problem of the rooms, though. Ophelia frowned a little further at Valt and Ryouta's conversation - they didn't really get it, did they? Not to mention them talking like she was going to attack anyone who entered the room - she certainly wouldn't like people wandering into her 'territory' without her permission, but she wouldn't attack friends! But...
... Even all that aside, she wasn't sure if she felt ready to settle down elsewhere. "It's just..." She'd begun- her hesitance and uncertainty creeping into her tone. "... I don't... know if I want a new den, or a new territory. Home is in the mountains, snuggled up with Mom and Dad and Cassie and Laertes where it's warm and toasty and cozy and safe. Home is everyone's scents lingering in the den, all mixed together so it's like one big smell of Family. This just is sort of, like..."
Ophelia frowned a little more deeply, scratching at her upper arm, just under her pauldron, as she glanced to the plaques on the doors to Karin and Freya's room - mumbling "... I don't know if this is home for me. This is... Weird. Different. It doesn't smell like family, there's no one to cuddle up to...
... It'd just be me. And it'd feel like I'd really be leaving everyone back home behind."
"Well, that's where the second home part came," Valt would say. "It doesn't mean that we're telling you to always stay here. We're not telling you to just... leave your old home and never to return. Room is just... like a property I guess? You own it, and what you want to do with it is up to you. To use it or not is up to you. You can also invite your brother and sister to come here too... or you can get a roommate or something, up to you."
"Roommates sounds nice... If you want too we there can be connector... hey, come here first... I think Karin's inside..."
He then knocked the door.
A sleepy "Whoooo?" came from inside.
"It's Ryouta, is this a good time?"
"...fuck'n... oh well..."
There are sounds of shuffling inside, then the door pulled open inward. A sleepy face of a blond haired girl appeared from behind the door. Her blue eyes looked like she didn't have enough sleep for a while.
"Here to introduce a new member. Name's Ophelia."
...Karin slowly looked down at the spot pointed by Ryouta. The moment she saw the white mane, her eyes widened slowly... slowly... and slowly... until her eyes just met hers and it snapped open.
"... ... ..."
"...Um, Aniki, are you sure this is wise?"
"...Karin-chan... you know..."
A look at Karin and her eyes already sparkled happily at the sight of a new feline member. Oh shit, that's true... Karin is a huge cat lover.
"...m-m-m-m-my, how... gallant! Would you like to come in?"
"Actually, that's why we're here, Karin. We'd like to introduce her to at least people close to her place... and maybe if you want to have a connecting door going..."
...Geez, her character just switched when it's around cats...
Ophelia relaxed a little at it being her choice if she didn't want to use it. She was a little worried about, well, taking up space at first - but so many rooms, and just for the girls... She figured that it'd be some time before space ever became an issue. Maybe she could keep stuff she finds while she runs around in here? Without cluttering up her family's den n such. She was still a little unsure; she still disliked the idea of calling someplace else 'home', but... Still. Being welcome here was enough for her. "Maybe... I'm not sure if my siblings would want to leave home yet, though." Ophelia commented, thoughtful. "I kinda grew up faster than them,"
But then came the subject of roommates; oh yeah, this room did have neighbors... Ophelia would peer to the door to Karin's room, wondering who the person inside might be like - they did smell like a human... And indeed, they seemed to have a feminine voice, too, when she could pick up Karin speaking from the other side of the door. Ophelia would perk up a bit as the door finally opened to reveal the girl in question - she looked a lot different from Ryouta! Were humans pretty varied, then? She appeared pretty tired though, which made her wonder if Karin was, well, taking a catnap when Ryouta had knocked.
Either way, at Ryouta introducing Ophelia, she'd smile and wave a little, chirping "Heya!" to Karin... At least until Karin began to grow oddly enthusiastic. Ophelia's tail would stiffen slightly, and she'd tilt her head one way - ears twitching back just a hair. She was... Unsure, at first - but... She'd quietly glance to Ryouta and Valt for at least some form of a-ok, just to make sure that everything was okay before she went thru with this.
Assuming that she was given some reassurance that this was normal behavior though, and that Karin wasn't about to do anything weird, Ophelia would quickly relax; "Sure, I'd like to get to know ya a bit first before we do the whole damn connecting doors thing, though." She'd remark, taking up Karin's invitation and entering Karin's room.
"Well there is no rush. It's best to just claim a spot for yourself first. We have too many rooms, and I feel it's better to dibs on the best spot before it got taken or something, heh~ But either way, don't worry too much, alright? Think it as a guest room if you're not ready to call it a home yet. Home is where heart is. That's the saying, right?"
On topic of Karin, Ryouta just... facepalmed as he know this would happen. For her to not scream "NYAAAAA~~!" like her usual self when she found a cat, he guessed that she has mellowed somewhat.
"Um, Ophelia, Karin is... let's say she really is fond of cat type Digimons... feline types actually. Or anything that resembles feline, she loves them. She's very harmless however, and I'm sure would be a better cuddlebuddy than me to be honest. Remember the brushing technique? I learned it from her."
"Hey hey, when it comes to pitching my cat love, I could do it better!" Karin protested.
"No, you would do it in excessive way."
Karin pouted, but eventually relented and let the two came inside. Faint smell of dried rose wafted from the room. The first thing they saw probably would be the carpet on the floor, complete with cartoonish cat shaped pillows scattered about. There are music player, a dresser, guitar, and the bed. The room is a mix between cute and cool. The bed is designed in modern minimalistic style, with touch of black bedsheet with rose petal pattern imprinted on it. The comforter is thick, and also black.
On the small table beside the bed, Karin put what looked like aromatherapy that doubled as night candle. The scent of the dried rose however did not come from potpourri, but from another place in the room. Beside a dressing mirror, Karin put a study desk. On top of it is a small glass bowl with dried roses inside.
"Well, welcome to my room I guess!"
And there seem to be a connecting door to Freya's room.
With Ryouta's reassurance over Karin, Ophelia seemed to relax pretty quick around the enthusiast that was Karin. "Oh... Okay!" So she just... Really liked cat digimon? Frankly, Ophelia found it maybe a bit odd - and Karin maybe a little strange by extension - but if Ryouta learned to brush like that from her, then she must know her way around cat digimon! And humans thus far have been nice, so Ophelia was willing to warm up to Karin quite easily.
As she was invited into Karin's room, the floral scent of the roses and the potpourri were the two things that she noticed first - even if the main scent was the roses, she could pick up both with her sensitive nose. Another digimon's faint scent as well - she guessed from the connecting door that she could notice on one side of the room; was that Karin's partner, like how Valt and Ryouta were partners? It made sense to her - and that was the room that read Freya, yeah? Was Freya a cat digimon then, too?
Well... Either way, the room was filled with cozy things, from cat-shaped pillows, to a music player, a soft carpet, and a comfy-looking bed... Ophelia's ears twitched as she plopped down next to one of the cat pillows that were scattered about the room, on the carpet. This pillow didn't look like any real cat digimon she knew about - it sort of looked like a Gatomon, but it lacked the distinctive ears, gloves, and the such. She also noted the other furniture and belongings - the dresser, the guitar... She'd tilt her head a little at the guitar for a moment, peering to it curiously, but would eventually switch her attention to Karin and Ryouta.
"... Your room's pretty cozy," Ophelia would decide with a smile; it was a homely looking little den! And these belongings probably said a bunch about Karin, too, even if she didn't entirely get everything. Like the potpourri and roses, for one - they did smell nice, but wouldn't it also down out the homey-family smell, too? Either way though, was curious too - she'd show the pillow to Ryouta and Karin though, mentioning "I've never seen a Gatomon like this before, though!"
... It seemed she wasn't familiar with human animals.
"Why thank you." Looks like being complimented by a cat Digimon made Karin happier. Just how much of a cat lover is this girl? On the comment about the Tailmon looking... pillow... well, it's not Tailmon, Ryouta noted. It's just a cartoonish looking cat head, based on Karin's maine coon Iori. The black cat stays with her brother at the moment, he guessed.
"Oh, um... Ophelia, that's not Tailmon. In our world there are other beings like us.. analog I mean, not Digital."
On Ryouta's cue, Karin took out her D-Nexus and showed Ophelia pictures of various cats. "We call those creatures that actively moves and lives together with us 'animals'. They're not smart like humans are. They can be trained, but they're definitely not like Digimon also. Digimon can talk, can think for themselves, but animals logic are rather limited. Rather than logic they rely on instinct.
There are docile and tame animals, and there are wild animals. Pets are what we call animals that we treat like our family you see. We might have limited understanding of each other, but we love one another very much. It just happens that I'm a lover of animals called 'Cats' you see."
So this pillow wasn't a Gatomon? Ophelia would stare at the pillow quizzically, tilting it one way and then the other, at least.. Until Ryouta spoke up about said pillow. It looked a bit like one! But it made sense if it wasn't actually a Gatomon, too; it was missing a lot of the key details most Gatomon had. And there were beings besides humans that looked like this...?
As Karin took out her D-Nexus to show Ophelia photos of cats, she would perk up and peer to it curiously. They were like small, lithe-looking Gatomon, Mikemon, and Meicoomon! And to hear about 'animals'... so they were like the fish and whatnot Digimon sometimes would hunt or live alongside, or like other Digimon but less smart? Ophelia quirked her lips a bit in curiosity, but decided "I suppose it makes sense... The world you guys live in can't be JUST humans, right?" And what Karin liked was cats in general, not just cat-digimon, which made sense too - she likes digimon like Gatomon because they happen to resemble cats, too. "I wonder why cats look so much like us..." She'd wonder to herself, out loud.
Ophelia hummed to herself as she glanced down at the cat pillow in her arms; before deciding to simply snuggle up to it - her tail swishing as she purred in a relaxed fashion. "Karin, what's your partner like?" Ophelia would ask - the pillow hugged to her chest as she relaxed across the carpet.
"If it's just human I think it will be overpopulated by now," Ryouta commented, slightly wryly at it.
"I think it'll be a dead planet instead..." Karin muttered under her breath. Just humans and plants? Dear lord, it's going to be the end of the world as they know it is. Still Ophelia's question did not escape the two.
"There are theories that Digital World is made by Human World's data... Ummm, do you know how data works? It's a bit complicated to explain I guess... I don't really know how to explain it in layman term, but... let's just say that Digital World is affected by what people upload in their phones and their computers. Data from such origins are mixed and eventually believed to be what DIgimons are."
"Ara, someone called me?" from the connecting door, a Floramon appeared. She's not quite like the usual Floramon as her cap are pearl white instead of red. Her petal collars are made from roses petal instead of other kind of petals like most Floramon. meanwhile, her hands are lilies instead of Floramon's morning glory-like hands.
Ophelia knew a bit of data; it was basically like, the building blocks of the Digital World. From the digimon, to the sparse animals, to the plants and even the ground beneath - everything was 1s and 0s that could freely change as needed, for the most part. She didn't necessarily understand why the world worked this way, or where the 1s and 0s come from - but she understood that they were what made up everything, at the very least. But from what Ryouta mentioned, it sounded as though the data of the Digital World came from data from the Human World...? Like the photos that Karin showed her? Ophelia blinked, scratching her cheek - unsure if she 100% understood, but...
"Then... Cat-like digimon like me, come from people uploading lots of cat stuff?" She'd ask, tilting her head, before a sudden thought occurred to her - wondering "What might happen if humans disappeared, then? Would that mean the Digital World might disappear, too...? Or that it'd stop growing?" That was... Kind of a scary thought, actually.
But then, came someone else's voice from the adjacent room. Ophelia would perk up with a curious "Mrp?" as a Floramon entered the room, a rather unique looking one at that - with rose petals and lilies, all the petals a pearly white... Ophelia couldn't help but find Freya rather pretty, to say the least. Although that notion didn't remain on her mind for very long. "Oh! You must be, uh, Freya, right?" She'd greet Freya with a big smile, adding "I'm Ophelia, it's nice to meet ya - we oughta spar sometime!"
Suppose it was only a matter of time before Ophelia got fighting on the brain again.
"By that time, apparently people believed that Digital World has gained autonomy... or it's theorized that Digital World is made out of several networks of Digital Worlds, thus just because one real world goes extinct it doesn't mean that the Digital World will stagnate. Perhaps they'll slow down, but that's about it," Ryouta answered. "...But at the same time if Digital World is destroyed, then everything Digital about Real World will lost its power... thus, that is how the two world co-depend on one another."
When Freya heard about 'sparring', she giggled. "Oh my, oh my, someone is interested to test the poor ol' me? I'm sorry, but I'm not a fighter, dear. I'm less of a fighter than Hikaru really. Have you met him yet? Each of us have our own way to battle and I'm sadly not really a fighter. Ufufu... but if you still want to test Oneesan anyway, I'll give you it anyway, I guess~"
"Are you sure you're less of a fighter than Hikaru?" Valt asked skeptically. "As far as I know you're... like... one of the nastiest of us battle wise."
"Ufufufu~ Really now? I play defensively though."
"I feel like your defensive playstyle type is what's the nastiest."
"Ara~ What a scary opinion~"
"I feel what's more scary is that you didn't deny it."