When you line up enough pegs and move the right pieces into place, entries like this become both viable and believable. They don’t need inclusive plots, but they can still advance some other subplots for other characters. This fragment just has a small, simple motivation as its driving force and theme, but that’s the beauty of true Slice of Life. It’s literally just a calm glimpse into an actually simple day in someone’s life, just with a bit more magic and wonder than most.
And that’s why I wanted Jack’s fragment to come later, when everything was lined up. If there’s any servant that can pull off calm and sugary scenes back to back, she would be one of them. All it needed was a tiny little reminder at the beginning of who ‘she’ was and where ‘she’ came from, and that would be enough heartfelt tragedy to make a reader nod to the following scenes and go, “you deserve this.” Or at least it should have if you have a basic modicum of compassion.
So, it became less of a delving into characters, and more of a giant gauntlet of sugary scenes. I even has the narration and exposition take a rare dip into the character’s own mannerisms to add some extra sprinkles. There were far more scenes I could have added, but two super fragments in a row was already a ridiculous idea, so I cut it down to the good ones. One lucky scene did get moved to the next fragment for some extra sugar there though.
The Prillya Collab’s re-release was rather timely since Jack’s fragment was one of the ‘plausible’ fragments that could serve as an insertion point. I’ve had contingency and quick-release plans for Miyu set for a long time, and now that she’d entered, it was just a matter of choosing the closest upcoming fragment. She merely got lucky one was practically right next door, and that the slip-in fit well with the overall theme of warmth and finding happiness. Jack now has yet another friend to play with, when the ice thaws a bit more.
There was originally an experimental scene towards the end that actually depicted the opening moments of Achilles and Atalanta’s scene, but I decided to remove it when SKYS said it was a bit too jarring due to POV shift; Understandable, really. I may add it into the Lost Shards as a romantic standalone since it was only lightly erotic and far more of a romantic mood.
Teaser: She was nearly unrecognizable these days… Nearly. She’d been so used to betrayal and backstabbing it was second nature to have dozens of failsafe plans. She still had some, but they didn’t include just herself anymore. No, even compared to her other summoning, this one had given her a peaceful life that had almost everything she desired. But it was that growing peace that had her concerned, for her and her newfound friend… because that was usually the calm before a storm.