18.322.Dress Shop

The La-Iin Series
Chapter 322
“Dress Shop”

“It smells so good in here! Is this what a dress shop always smells like? …is it some sort of perfume?” Fer-Shi exclaimed.
“Obviously you’ve never been inside a true dress shop before,” La-Iin said.
La-Iin had been wanting to get a new dress lately, but with no means of earning her own money, she had turned to Mit-Sun to buy one for her. Naturally, Mit-Sun had refused, so La-Iin instead opted to try asking if she could visit one, deciding to invite Fer-Shi when she realized they hadn’t spent much time together outside of school recently and it might decrease Mit-Sun’s suspicion of her true plans.
In the back of her mind, La-Iin was still planning to get a new dress. The wing-holes on her current ones were starting to get tight.
Fer-Shi stared at the shop with wide eyes, sniffing the air. “What are you, a Werewolf or something?”
“You’d know about that, La-Iin. And you’re right, I’ve never been in an actual dress shop before, but that’s because I hardly ever go out to buy dresses, and we don’t go to dress shops to get my dresses. Dress shops are expensive…”
“Exactly,” Mit-Sun said, giving a side-glance at La-Iin, who ignored it.
“At least you two can browse and look at dresses. I’m completely reliant on that woman to make them, and La-Iin to dress me.”
“You can try on some too, if they have any V-Puppet sized ones,” La-Iin said.
“Yeah, V-Puppet sized…V-Puppets come in as many sizes as people do,” Bes-Isa grumbled.
“You can try on whatever you like, but I can’t get anything for you,” Mit-Sun said. La-Iin could tell she was irritated, though her tone sounded calm–she guessed it was because of Fer-Shi. “I’m going to look at some dresses for me as well.”
“Those are boring,” La-Iin hissed.
“Says the fashionista,” Mit-Sun sighed.
“They’re boring because you’re the one wearing them.”
“So we can try on whatever dress we want and we don’t have to pay for it?” Fer-Shi asked.
“Yes,” La-Iin said. “Go ahead and look at your boring dresses, Mama. Me and Fer-Shi will try on some over here.”
“I’ll make sure she doesn’t try to go anywhere else!” Fer-Shi said.
“I’m not going to,” La-Iin said, an edge to her tone.
“I know, I just said it to reassure your mom.”
“I don’t need any reassuring. I trust you, Fer-Shi…” She focused on La-Iin. “And La-Iin likes dresses enough that I think she’ll stay over here.”
La-Iin nodded. Mit-Sun turned away from the girls and head for the adult’s section.
La-Iin led Fer-Shi through rows of dresses, a few skirts and pants against the wall. Fer-Shi stared wide-eyed at it all, as if she had never seen any of it.
“Wow, this is all the really fancy stuff, huh? Do you usually shop here?”
“Only sometimes. This is my favorite section,” La-Iin said, leading her down a section with several purple, black and red dresses.
“You know, maybe we should come here with that woman and have her, you know, use some of these as reference? I like to wear different things sometimes too, and this red dress is just SO basic…”
“I’ll ask her later,” La-Iin said.
“I know why this is your favorite section already,” Fer-Shi said. “I don’t really like the same type of clothes as you….well, I don’t even like clothes as much as you already, but some of these are nice.”
“Maybe your Normal stupidity gene isn’t as strong as in other people,” La-Iin said.
“…is that a compliment?”
“Yes. Now since you said that, try it on.”
“Try it on. While you put that on, I’ll get a whole bunch of other dresses we can wear. I don’t like going back and forth.”
“I don’t get to pick at all?”
La-Iin rolled her eyes. “Fine.” Holding a few dresses, she started to fly behind Fer-Shi, who didn’t seem to immediately notice she wanted her to lead the way. Once she caught on she led La-Iin to a small section of almost neon-colored dresses covered in small patterns. Most were fairly simple and seemed as though they would fit Summer better than Autumn.
“You really do have boring taste,” La-Iin said.
“I just like simple stuff,” Fer-Shi said.
“The words of a Normal. Although that simplicity can be a little charming sometimes…”
Fer-Shi shuddered.
“I meant Normals in general, not you particularly.”
She let out a sigh and began to look through the racks. “Since you’re making me wear a dress you like to wear, you should wear a dress I like to wear!”
“As if nobody was expecting that.”
La-Iin rolled her eyes. “Just make it a good color.”
While Fer-Shi picked out dresses, La-Iin sat on the floor, holding tight to the dresses she had picked up.
“Do you actually care that much about wearing the kind of dresses Fer-Shi likes to wear?”
“No. It’s not it being simple, it’s just so bright…
“You have a point there. How can she stare at so many at once!?”
When Fer-Shi walked back to La-Iin, she was holding more dresses than La-Iin was and was smiling wide.
“Okay, we can try them on now!”
La-Iin stood up and held tight to the dresses and Bes-Isa as they head for the changing room. Just before they entered, a Catori and a Minomix stomped out and head for a saleswoman who was organizing the dresses.
That momentary distraction allowed La-Iin to focus her eyes on another dress. It was hanging on the side of one of the racks, a grey dress skirt that gradually turned to black the higher up it went. Purple and red ribbons decorated it, including a red ribbon tied neatly near the neck. A small Vampire bat held together strings on the back of it.
It was wonderful. La-Iin reached for it.
“Did you find a new dress?” Fer-Shi asked as she glanced at the new dress. “Wow, that looks expensive…and really hard to get on.”
“You don’t need to worry about that. I’m the one who’s going to be wearing it.” She hung it up then started to remove her dress.
“Alright, Fer-Shi, what did you want me to wear…”
The two started wearing dresses of the other’s style, with Fer-Shi giving La-Iin a dark neon purple dress with light purple stripes running across it, while La-Iin gave Fer-Shi a purple dress wrapped in decorative grey ribbons.
“This is nicer than I thought it would be,” Fer-Shi said.
“I wouldn’t mind this dress if my eyes weren’t burning…” La-Iin said as she looked at herself in the mirror.
The two continued to model dresses, sometimes switching styles and sometimes staying within their own. Fer-Shi put on a neon yellow dress, a striped and dotted green-and-white one, and a dark red one with lace all over, while La-Iin put on a neon swirled orange-and-white one, a purple one with velvety stripes and cuff lace, and a black one decorated with buttons and pins all over.
Bes-Isa commented on the various dresses as they modeled them.
“Too bright! Take it off!”
“Geez, La-Iin, what’s with all the lace? Is the next one going to be ALL lace?”
“I wish that came in a smaller size.”
“That’s such a typical dress choice for a Normal.”

Fer-Shi began to fume. “You know, you really sound like La-Iin sometimes, Bes-Isa!”
“What were you expecting from her V-Puppet?”
As they reached the end of their dresses, they began to swap ones they had worn but the other hadn’t. La-Iin always kept her eye on the one she had found hanging off the rack however, until she just couldn’t take it anymore and had to put it on.
“Can you help me?” She asked Fer-Shi. She hadn’t realized the dress would need to be tied at first; the strings had looked like decoration. Fer-Shi messily tied the strings, and La-Iin looked at herself in the mirror.
“I love this dress,” La-Iin said.
“It’s definitely the kind of dress you like to wear!” Fer-Shi said.
“You ought to try and steal it.”
La-Iin had been putting aside the thought of doing anything evil while at the dress shop, but what Bes-Isa had said gave her an idea.
“I’ve got something nastier than that,” she giggled.

“Ma’am, we need you for a moment,” a tall Wingyrm said, before dragging Mit-Sun by the collar.
“Ack! Wha–what?”
“Weef nee yu tu pay fer sumpthing,” she said through fabric.
The Wingyrm woman dragged her over to a changing room, where Fer-Shi was standing in her usual dress, looking ashamed. La-Iin looked up at Mit-Sun with a wide smile.
The dress she was wearing had a large tear across the front; while it wasn’t large enough to expose La-Iin’s body, it was large enough to be noticeable.
“That dress costs 2000.000 vuyong,” she said plainly. Mit-Sun’s eyes widened, and then she glared at La-Iin.
It was one of the most innocent expressions her daughter had made since she was an infant, yet behind it lurked a strong mischief.

“You’re going to pay for this, La-Iin,” Mit-Sun said on the way back, carrying La-Iin despite how much she struggled. Fer-Shi kept her head bowed the whole time, as if she was embarrassed for La-Iin, and Bes-Isa had been put to sleep.
“Whenever you get your first job, I’m taking your first few paychecks.”
“I won’t need a job by the time I’m that old!” La-Iin shrieked as she continued to struggle.
“Then I’ll just make you pay another way,” Mit-Sun sighed, rolling her eyes. “Don’t expect to just get away with this, La-Iin!”


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