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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Teahouse
The Rory/Axis conflict will be a major plot point.
In light of Axis' "The day you replace me as the top earner is the day I give a shit about what you think" and Rory's later determination to take Reed as his exclusive to be the top earner and to prove himself, Rory will get sick and tired of Axis' attitude, and once he gets the Reed situation normalized, he'll show a good dose of character development in flavour of growing balls and giving Axis a taste of them. The conflict between them will be a major plot element. Rhys might be included, knowing his taste for spirited (redhead) kitties and his love for teasing Axis like he had a death wish.

The cause of Rory's being in the Teahouse is his Twincest with his sister
Rory was sold to the brothel either to keep them apart (if his sister was receptive/they had a relationship) or to keep something from happening (if she was oblivious).

Reed's cousin Gloria will come in between Rhys/Axis in a big way.
Unhappy with Rhys' affair with a whore, Gloria will try to sabotage their relationship. Possible methods include having Axis sent to another brothel, or, if she's really as bitchy as Rhys says, buying his exclusivity and using him to keep Rhys under control.

  • Which will royally piss off Axis, seeing how much he likes his job. Him trying to get rid of the deal would be a major plot element of its own.
    • Although with that rack, Axis will be thrilled to be her exclusive boytoy. Right until he realises Gloria is not going to employ him. At that point, all hell will break loose.
  • Seeing Axis' (proven and consistent) popularity the exclusivity won't come at any reasonable price, Axis will once again be the top earner in the house...
    • ...which leads to another switch in rooms between him and Rory. Reed won't be pleased.
  • The actual money that goes into the deal might be discussed further, seeing how she would likely have to tap into her family's money, her dowry, or even Rhys' budget (if he becomes King sooner rather than later)
    • Especially if Rhys decides he'll beat Gloria's offer... In the worst case he just cannot gather the needed money on his own without ruining the royal budget, and he'll have to start asking... This might lead to interesting political consequences, seeing how it's the heir apparent looking to buy a whore at an insane price. Rhys cannot just go to Axis' other earlier customers and talk them into pooling in for a shared exclusivity (yes it sounds stupid but as long as Xanthe gets his swag it's doable), you know, because he's a prince. Then again if he goes to his own circles, chances are most of them aren't going to be interested in Axis so he'll need to offer something for them helping him out.
  • Or she can be really diabolical and go straight over Axis to his boss. All she needs to do is convince Xanthe to deny Rhys as a client or sell Axis to a far-away brothel. Considering how well-connected and powerful her family might be, she could easily threaten to ruin him. Or ... perhaps force him to sell Linneus to her and use him as leverage. Or hire Gilder and his buddy to cripple/mutilate/kill Axis. A future queen has a lot of options. Complications in loyalty party!
    • "Anything he pays for Axis, I'll pay double. Oh and I won't be needing him so you can sell my appointments for someone in need, as long as it's not that blue devil." ...try to beat that, Rhys.

Reed will be the Uke half of the equation.
Why else would the print issue showcase Rory's... special traits if that weren't the case?
  • Maybe Reed just, I dunno, likes big wangs. Maybe he even dislikes effeminate, unmanly guys. Oh wait, he does.

She's Xanthe's first lady so to speak, but will face banishment for her behaviour... Time for "Eve" to step up.
  • Would Yvette count for Eve? :P
    • Yvette is the feminine form of Yves, which is pronounced like Eve! o.o

Something significant happened eight years ago between Xanthe and Linneus.
Xanthe's dad died eight years ago. Linneus has been wondering whether he's just a whore to Xanthe for the last eight years. What does this mean?

Linneus was inherited by Xanthe, that's clear. But did he enter the courtesan world before or after that? In what form? How old is he anyway? Did something else change when daddy Atros died?

In the world of Teahouse, Vibrating dildos are only used by, and are created for, rich aristocrats, and are a very recent invention.
This is why Claret freaked out when she found out it could vibrate, and why Linneus said he hadn't seen "one like it" before— vibrating toys are a new thing in this world.
  • Sounds relatively plausible! You'd suppose whores of all people would know sex toys inside out, if not from practice then at least from Mercutio's collections...

There is something extra special about the Love Craft (TM) Magic Fantasy 3500
(In addition to the phoenix feather inside it.)

Because why else wouldn't Xanthe let Mercutio have one? The courtesans get to keep their gifts and tips and it makes little sense for Xanthe to forbid Mercutio from buying something he wanted. And judging by page 114, Mercutio must have had passionate dreams of owning a LCMF 3500.

The Love Craft (TM) Magic Fantasy 3500 will be a plot point
Now that Mercutio waltzed away with his newest darling, it will turn out that Xanthe forbade him from having one exactly because it would make him way too happy. Before soon Mercutio will have fallen into some kind of happiness-induced coma, and Xanthe will be breathing in Rory's neck to make enough money to make up for the lost revenue. And seeing how Mercutio is (very likely) the only kink artist in the Teahouse, that might be quite a sum... Which means more pressure on Rory, yay :P

Liard will seek revenge.
Was Liard just a throwaway character to set up the story in motion? No. He had Linneus' exclusivity and was thrown out from the Teahouse in a humiliating way. Liard will seek revenge. What's more...

...remember Gilder, our friend the "treecutter"?

Xanthe is economically dependent on Yvette (and perhaps struggling for independence)
It explains so much! Assuming Xanthe either purposefully romanced Yvette or that she was previously in love with him (her comment to Linneus would suggest she, him and Xanthe have known each other for a long time), her father would have reason to let her marry a man of lesser wealth. (Yvette gives off quite an air of Daddy's girl.)

Xanthe might not care so much for the Teahouse, but if Teahouse goes, Linneus goes as well. And Linneus most probably is one of the whores in Teahouse that have the most resell value. A penniless Xanthe would have no chance to get him back.

  • Would explain why Linneus remains Xanthe's whore despite everything: Xanthe either simply cannot afford to replace him, and/or Linneus might have agreed to do his best to help Xanthe. Which in turn would explain why...
    • Xanthe got so upset about the whole Liard business. He was not ready to allow Linneus to be hurt, under any circumstances. Then he learnt Linneus had kept quiet about Liard's sadistic tendencies because of the income.
    • Xanthe could command Linneus to give over the jewelry from Liard to sell and make up for the lost income. Gifts and tips are normally personal property of the receiver, but if Linneus and Xanthe are working together this needs not be the case between the two of them. Since Liard's been put on the black list, there is no need to keep the trinkets to flatter him either.
  • Would also explain why Xanthe is otherwise so tense.
  • Would also explain why Yvette's "Daddy says" worked so well on Xanthe who seems otherwise rather headstrong...
  • Would also explain why Claret is still around if her having few customers is true; Xanthe just can't afford to buy another whore for the time being. (Especially after buying Rory.)
  • Would also provide some basis (money) for intersecting the Reed and Rhys plotlines with the main one: Reed's deal for Rory is the current top earner in the house, and Axis was the previous one...
  • It might EVEN begin to shed some light on the whole Xanthe/Lilith deal. Lilith might have information or connections that can benefit Xanthe, or... (see next entry)
  • It would explain how the brothel survives despite having only two women. That's 2:1 for the men and men are not the biggest earners when it comes to the sex industry.

Xanthe/Lilith is cover for Xanthe/Linneus
Looking at how coldly Xanthe treats Lilith and how he could just have his beloved Linneus instead, Xanthe most likely isn't bedding Lilith just to ease the symptoms of a cold

Based on how Xanthe threatened to let Liard's wife know about her husband visiting not just whores but a male one, it would seem heterosexual adultery is not nearly as big a deal as homosexual adultery is. Also judging on how Yvette might be aware of Xanthe's 'business' with Lilith (he tries to keep them out of each other's way whenever lady wife is visiting)... and how Xanthe is willing to go about this 'business' in the courtyard of the Teahouse, where, vegetation or not, they could be spotted either from inside the house or from outside... and how it is likely in public know that Linneus has lived with him ever since they were little.

It could be just to underline Xanthe's image as a heterosexual man who's not interested in men, especially pretty pink ones, and to distract any curious eyes from the whole Linneus shenanigans.

Rory arrived at the Teahouse initially because he thought it was an actual tea house
As demonstrated since Chapter 3, Rory is an excellent chef. He's almost artistic in his presentation of cupcakes during Reed's visit in Chapter 5. And in Chapter 6 he has made many gourmet dishes just to please his client. He has exceptional skills in the kitchen, which has left many fans wondering why he didn't work in a bakery or a restaurant instead of working in a brothel.

Unless he thought the Teahouse was not a brothel at all?

The Teahouse had initially been an actual tea house before it was converted into a brothel. So it's not so far-fetched that the naive, virginal Rory initially applied for a job there thinking he could be a chef. It must have served as a shock to him to find that the Teahouse was not what he was expecting. However, he decided to voluntarily stay on and become a courtesan himself. This is probably linked into whatever compelled him to leave home in the first place. He'd initially wanted to channel his talents into cooking, but was so desperate to not return home that he chose prostitution in order to stay away.

This would explain his embarrassment over his job, why he was so eager to get an exclusive client (as opposed to selling himself to multiple people), and why he expresses himself through food. Becoming a courtesan wasn't his first choice, but it was the alternative he needed to avoid going home. But because he loves cooking so much, he can't let it go so easily. So he uses his natural skills in the kitchen to both express himself and to please Reed, as he doesn't know any other way to do it.

Claret is the lowest earner at the Teahouse because Argent scares away potential customers
The fact that Claret is the lowest earner is almost a defining character trait. She's usually found performing secretarial duties for Atros instead of entertaining a client. But why does she get no customers? Though she has a pixie cuteness compared to Lilith's more mature look, Claret has a very curvaceous body and is also bigger in the chest region than Lilith is. One would think that she would get at least one customer who finds her attractive.

Unless any customer who wants her gets scared off by Argent?

Since Chapter 5, an incredible amount of shiptease has been introduced between Claret and Argent. Claret kisses her on the cheek as a goodbye gesture at the market. When the courtesans get caught in a downpour, Argent is the one drying Claret off while Rory and Axis dry themselves off. And further into Chapter 6, when Axis gets a little too close to Claret, in the next panel Argent is shown with her sword drawn.

Though it's not clear if it's just Les Yay undertones between the two or if they're already a couple, their closeness would indicate that something is going on between the two of them. So it wouldn't be so far-fetched to assume that Claret doesn't get customers because they receive a Death Glare from Argent and think twice about it. The only time we see her with a client is when Rhys chooses her, but Argent isn't going to act against the Crown Prince of their country. It might also explain why Atros lets Claret get away with having zero customers, as opposed to selling her contract for being useless. If they're is something going on between Argent and Claret, and Atros is aware of it, this also serves to add more layers to Atros's character, because he's allowing his personal bodyguard to fraternize with one of his courtesans.

So despite the fact that Claret has a sweet demeanor and an appealing body that someone out there would appreciate, chances are that she has no clients because Argent scares them all off.

Axis Arc forecast
It will not be possible for Axis continuing to not be aware of Rhys' identity once Rhys' coronation (and likely, royal wedding) takes place some time in the future. Little gears will turn inside Axis' head. A turbulent shitstorm will be had. After that's over, Axis' ego will grow three times that day and he will be insufferable with his boasts. He will likely target Rory with them. Something something Remy.

Rhys won't be able to have a moment's peace to slip to his favourite brothel for a while and even think such a thing of his carefree past entirely, but when he inevitably still does get there, awkwardness between him and most of the staff and especially Axis will be had. Rhys will seem to rethink coming there, because "nothing will never be the same again anyway". Then Axis will get his shut together and sneer at Rhys in a way that any reader can tell is actually his way of expressing the urgent necessity of getting Rhys out of the blues and into the fight-and-sex mode.

Success. Later on they WILL NOT EVER admit that Axis had missed Princess Bluebell and Rhys had missed Alice.

Rhys is about to leave. R: "And my sister—" A: "—this shit again? It's your problem, get outta my face." R: "..."

Cue a "now that you're a big girl" speech between Rhys and Evelyn.


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