“Looks like the coast is clear.” Ace said while looking around before making his way down the house’s ceiling and towards the back of his own house.
Dropping a cheerful Pria who looked one step away from humming a cheerful sound to the ground, he wasted no time with opening the door and pulling her in. Slamming the door behind him before anyone could get a glimpse of his situation, he finally sighed in relief while removing his helmet.
With his hair sticking closely to his head thanks to all the sweat, he cursed silently for the needlessly hot uniform he made himself before turning back to Pria, who still wore the robe with a slight indifference.
For a second he was about to ask her if she wasn’t feeling hot in that thing, but after remembering who he was about to ask, he simply shook his head and let it slip. Pulling out the hood from her face since there was no need for him to worry about prying eyes, he saw as the girl gave him a brief smile before skipping towards the book that she left on the corner of the room before they left.
However, since the sun had moved during the time they were out, she made a shocked expression after seeing her snack-spot was gone before turning back to Johan with what looked teary eyes.
“It’s afternoon. What did you expect?” He asked helplessly while removing the rest of his armor.
However, before he could finish, Pria was already tackle-hugging him while looking at him with pleading eyes. Caught by surprise by her sudden assault, it took him a moment to process a solution while trying to keep his focus away from gentle pressure in his chest.
“Look… If we go by the time… My ritual room should be getting some sun by now.” He said while making a motion to said door.
Pria didn’t waste a second before darting through the door. Sighing, Johan followed her through the room and found her looking around for the non-existent sun-spot. Turning to him with confused eyes, he shook his head with an awkward smile before beckoning for the slime to come closer as he approached the blinds of the window.
After showing her and explaining how the blind worked, Johan quickly opened it, letting the afternoon sun shine on the two of them.
“Anyway, while you enjoy your reading time, I’ll go take a bath since I’m drenched in sweat.” He said before turning back towards the door. However, just as he left the room, he peeked back over and said. “Also. Don’t touch anything in here. Okay?” He asked while seeing all the expensive materials he had bought for his rituals.
Pria looked at him surprised before running her eyes through the many interesting objects in the room. For a moment a glint of curiosity appeared in her eyes, but she quickly nodded before changing her attention to the book at her hands. She quickly set it on a nearby shelf before she took out the robe she had been wearing.
For a moment Johan caught himself staring, but he quickly shook his head and slapped his cheek, recovering from his delusions and making his way back to the bathroom.
He took a cold shower to wash away the heat and put on some baggy pants that he used to wear at home. While for a moment he worried about the idea of Pria suddenly barging in on the bathroom without warning, he didn’t have to deal with such situation, and his shower finished without incidents.
Still he decided to make sure to warn her about the bathroom privacy later on.
Actually, did she even need to use the bathroom?
While such thought crossed his mind, he went back to check on the slime girl. Feeling glad at seeing her laying on the floor, completely immersed on the book she had at hands to the point that even a part of her body had melted completely, he left her there for the moment before going to check the fridge for some cold water.
“Yo! Mind opening the door? It’s kinda hot out here.”
Surprised by the familiar voice as he opened the door to the fridge, Johan blinked before turning towards the window. Seeing the dark skinned friend of his waving at him through the small opening, he raised an eyebrow confused.
“Why didn’t you ring?” He asked back before stopping just as he was about to open the back door of the house. “…The button’s not working again?”
“How did you know?” Frank asked in a fake surprised tone. “Anyway, you really need to buy an actual new button instead of trying to fix this one.”
“Hmm… Looks like it’s time for the old McPress to retire, huh?” Johan said with a heavy tone while making a motion for his friend to come in.
“So even the button got a name now?” Frank asked amused while entering the house. Still wearing the same blouse and pants as early, he didn’t seem as affected by the heat as he made himself be. “Anyway, mind showing me your girlfriend?” He jabbed Johan with his elbow while raising his eyebrow playfully.
“She’s NOT my girlfriend, you perverted lawyer wannabe.” Johan rebutted coldly.
“Sure, if you say so.” He said with a shrug. “Anyway, on your request, I managed to find a couple of things that might interest you!” As he said that, Frank approached the table where he nonchalantly pulled a chair and sat down. “Apparently, it might be possible to get her some new ID’s if her amnesia is the real deal, but it WILL take some time for that to happen. But that said, there are a couple of loopholes to get something useful even before that.”
“Something useful?” Johan asked curious while also pulling a chair and sitting down.
As if already expecting that, Frank gave a proud nod before pulling up a couple of papers that seemed to be prints from websites. More specifically, the Hero association.
“Apparently, since some heroes don’t like having their identities known by the government, they have a choice of getting their register done through an intermediate of trust.” As he said that he passed a few papers to Johan, who quickly scanned them but gave up after the third words noticing how full of jargon this thing was. “This method isn’t really known nor very used, but it can be done without any problem if you bring it up. That said, this means that the intermediate will take responsibility for any and all damaging acts from said hero while receiving none of the usual benefits should the hero, including being sent to prison should said hero commit a crime.”
“This sounds awfully unbalanced.” Johan said with a frown. “No wonder I never heard about it before.”
“Yeah. Truth to be told, I feel that this is more of a scapegoat the association made if some hero doesn’t feel like registering itself.” He explained with a sigh. “Something like: here, if you don’t like you can do this. Just find someone that’s willing to put up with this.”
“So, just legal and publicity stunt.” Johan said with a sigh.
“And a loophole.” Frank said with a nod. “If you take responsibility for your girlfriend as her intermediate, she won’t need an ID to register herself and will get some documents right off the bat without much trouble.”
“I see. With that she can start using the Association’s card in place of the ID.” Johan said with a nod. Indeed, having that while they waited for the bureaucracy that would come with getting a new identity for her would probably help a lot. “Wait, how did you find so much in this time? Didn’t we talk about this like… a couple hours ago or something?”
“Who do you think I am?” Frank said while stuffing his chest out proudly and putting on an important look. “With my father’s connection, high speed internet, and a keen mind this is nothing for the genius called Frank Huggins!”
“Suuure… What’s the real reason again?”
“I saw a news about a person in a similar situation a couple of years ago. After finding the guy’s name I just looked into what he did.” Frank replied with a shrug.
“Seriously? An aberrant with amnesia?” Johan asked surprised. “How come I don’t remember that?”
“Simple. Genesis happened. She became an instant S-class hero and got the full attention from the media then.”
“I see… Then that makes sense. It was kind of the talk of the year back then.” Johan said with a sigh while remembering the commotion of the girl who jumped from the starting rank to the highest rank in one day. “So, what happened to the guy?” He asked curious. With some luck they might even get some ideas from him.
“…Seriously?” Johan said surprised.
“Sadly. Looks like he was killed while trying to stop a robbery attempt one day before receiving his Association’s card.”
“Geez. And here I thought we could get some ideas from him.” He said shaking his head, to which Frank nodded tiredly.
From the looks of it the two had the same idea. As he stopped to think about what they just spoke about, Johan grimaced at the idea of registering himself as Pria’s intermediate. That position was seriously disadvantageous for him, because should Pria ever do something bad, he would receive some severe punishment even if he did nothing. While he couldn’t help but feel that the blue slime would never do something like that, at least based on what he knew of her from these couple of hours, he still wasn’t sure if it was worthy trusting her enough to do this.
On the other hand, if she really was as good natured as she made herself be, staying without any sort of documents would be extremely detrimental for her daily needs, and while he could have helped her, he ended up choosing not to.
Well, he did already bring her to his house and she already knows his real face, so if she turned out to be a malicious villain with ridiculously good acting skills, his situation couldn’t get much worse to be honest.
Thinking about it, what Deaddie told him did make sense.
His worries were soon washed away as he caught sight of two things. One was that Frank was obviously looking around in search of Pria. The other was that a small blue puddle had popped out from his ritual room and was making its way towards him from a dead-angle in Frank’s field of vision.
From the looks of it, neither took notice of the other. Guessing that an amusing scene was about to unfold, Johan kept quiet while awaiting for the event.
With Pria full on in a non-humanoid form, having literally melted down while reading her book, she approached him from behind in her blob form before starting to reform her humanish body.
Noticing the sudden movement, Frank turned to him and had a shock, as translucent blue tendrils appeared behind his friend, some of them slowly circling his chest as Johan was seemingly unaware of the situation.
The scene was so sudden that Frank slipped from his chair while pointing to Johan in worry, as a scene that was downright horror movie material occurred.
On the other hand, Pria became startled by Frank’s noise as he fell from the chair and quickly tightened her grasp on her benefactor in worry and fear, her body reforming itself behind him as she immediately used him as cover.
“WHAT THE HELL?” Frank shouted surprised while trying to make sense of the situation. “Did that… Goo? That was… the… ”
“I told you she was a peculiar aberrant.” Johan said with fake disappointed sigh.
When Johan’s words finally dawned on him, it still took the poor man a couple more seconds to process their meanings while looking at the liquid creature who, by now, started looking back to him in curiosity. After finally registering the shape of said creature did he finally understand what his friend meant.
“Wait… You mean…”
“Pria, this Frank. He may be a bit of a pervert, but he’s what I got when it comes to friends, so I had to get used to him.” Johan said while looking back to the girl who was hugging him from behind.
After hearing that the person before her was a friend of Johan, she seemingly calmed down, as she stopped shrinking herself behind him and stood tall while giving the man a gentle smile before snuggling a bit closer to Johan who suddenly became wary of an important flaw of his plan.
Pria came here on her liquid form, which meant that she didn’t exactly have the condition to wear anything at all. Which also meant that, right now…
The two soft pressures on his back confirmed his suspicion, as Pria happily clung to him even more than usual. Although he was a bit confused about why she suddenly did that, as she had everything she needed in the small room.
“Her body… She’s literally made of…” Frank said surprised while staring at Pria. “…OI! DIDN’T YOU SAY SHE ISN’T YOUR GIRLFRIEND? SURE THAT DOESN’T SEEMS TO BE THE CASE!” He suddenly shouted while seeing the girl snuggle up to him.
“She isn’t. She’s just clingy.” Ace said a bit conflicted, part of him wanting to tell her to stop, but other part not sure about showing that she wasn’t exactly wearing anything right now, so he had to keep his body on the way of his lecherous friend gaze.
“Just clingy you say…” Frank said dubiously before focusing his gaze on Pria, who replied with a curious glance back. “Still… Taking away the whole goo-body thing… Isn’t she quite the beauty?” He said with a raised eyebrow.
“…Can’t really deny that.” Johan said with a sigh after glancing Pria. “Heck, even if she went back to normal, she would still need to use the cloak to hide herself just so she wouldn’t get attention.”
“…You sound like you already took her out?” Frank said suspicious after repeating Johan’s words in his mind.
“Yeah, we just came back to be honest.” He made a confident expression while giving a thumbs up. “Finally will put that damned heat resistance enchant on my armor.”
“…Didn’t you want to avoid getting too much attention to her until you got her id problems out of the way?”
“Well… She read in a book about magic stores… And when I said I was going to the damned scrooge McMoney’s store she just gave me these puppy eyes…” As Johan explained his situation his gaze slowly drifted away, making Frank heave another sigh. “Well, it’s not like I went unprepared, okay?”
“Oookaaay…? How did you hide from the world that she’s literally made of goo?”
“I gave her my old uniform.”
“The one that hides the face?” Johan nodded, but Frank simply frowned in response. “And no one, in a city full of people like this, noticed that her feets and hands weren’t made of flesh?”
“Well, my coat was just big enough that it hid her hands… But for her feet I had to be a bit creative.” Frank admitted.
“Let me guess… A new ritual of sorts?”
“Yeah. This is one I have been working for some time, but never really had the chance to test it. It’s…” He started saying, but finally stopped as his self control started to reach some dangerously low levels. “Just a second Frank. Could you give me a moment?” Johan asked while quickly standing up and turning to Pria without waiting for an answer
Grabbing the girl by the shoulders and pushing her with him, he quickly took the confused Pria back to the room where she was earlier.
“Okay… One, you should have enough energy in the gem to last at least till the end of the afternoon. Why were you clinging to me?” He asked while looking around searching for the robe he had given her. Finding it on the floor where she had been laying, he took the cloth and started beating the dust out of it.
Meanwhile, Pria’s answer was to take the book and open on the page where she was reading and point to a certain paragraph. Squinting his eyes while reading the lines she pointed, Johan finally gave a small smile while sighing.
The paragraph was one where one of the book’s characters decided to hug another one as way of showing her thanks. Well, that at least explained why she suddenly felt like hugging him. Still…
“Look, Pria. There’s no need for you to keep hugging me like that just to say thank you, okay?” He said while putting the robe over her shoulders. Pria simply looked at him confused for a moment before finally understanding that he was telling her to put on the robe, so she finally passed her hands on the sleeves. “Anyway, hugging isn’t something you do as an obligation, but only because you like doing it, so you can stop hugging me all the time, okay?”
For a moment Pria simply looked at him confused and worried, but after he finished his words and finally buttoned up the robe on the girl, she stared at him for a couple of seconds.
“…This is soooo bad for my heart.” Johan said when the girl simply shrugged and hugged him again completely disregarding his previous words. “O-Okay, so you like hugging…” She nodded to him with a wide smile. “A-anyway, I don’t know how much you remember, but too much contact like this can kind of be looked strangely by people, so you have to hold yourself back with other people, okay?” Pria looked at him with a surprised expression before nodding sadly and letting go. Feeling a wave of guilty at her expression, he quickly brushed it off before going on. “Also, I was a bit more lenient before, but walking around naked is also a bit bad, so…”
Pria nodded begrudgingly while looking around annoyedly. Johan sighed and promised himself he would make something for her afterwards. Having finished what he wanted to do with Pria, Johan tiredly made his way back to the kitchen, where Frank was still sitting around, this time with his laptop off.
Johan threw himself over the chair, which made Frank look at him confused for some time before going back to seeing whatever he was seeing on his laptop. Pria followed him with the book and dictionary and sat on the table besides him with a clearly displeased expression.
“The two love-birds had a fight?” Frank asked, to which Johan simply sighed.
“…So, what are you doing?” Johan asked.
“I decided to take a look and see what I can find about non-biologic aberrants.” Frank said while scrolling the page.
“I found some really ‘interesting’ liquid girls image on the internet.” Frank said with a smile.
“Let me see… Mirian… Mirian…” Johan said while fishing his cellphone.
“Okay. Stopped. No need to bring my girlfriend in this.” Frank said hurriedly. “I was actually searching if there were any precedents in cases like hers.” He explained quickly before Johan could press the dial button.
“I see. And?”
“Nothing.” The guy said relieved. “You see, from all the currently known aberrants, villains and heroes alike, all of them share the trait in that they are, at least, biological in nature.”
“I see… Pria doesn’t really look very organic.” Johan replied with a frown. “Do you think that might be a problem?”
“Sincerely? I don’t know. I’d rather take some more time to look into it and see if there’s any loophole that can be used or whatnots.” Frank said with a shake of his head before looking at Pria, who decided that their talk was a bit too confusing to be worth paying attention. “…Did you really take her to the streets like that?” He asked dubiously.
“Yeah… And, as I was saying before, I did have a trick added into it.” Johan said while pointing to the lower hem of the clothes. “There’s this ritual I had been working into since some time ago… It’s a mix of stealth and mind magic.”
“Stealth… And mind magic? Okay, now I’m curious.”
“Yeah. The effect is… Quite unique. It isolates a certain area and whatever is inside there is simply seemed as ‘normal’.” Having explained the magic, he still noticed how Frank looked at him confused, and having expected that, he went on. “Basically, do you notice any and each face you meet on the street? At least on the account that it’s a normal person’s face. Not an aberrant, mind you.”
“Not really. I mean, if there’s nothing remarkable or at least a cute girl, then there isn’t much reason for me to take notice of so many people, right?” Satisified with the answer, the magician nodded once again.
“Well, what if the person was someone like Pria here? With the body made of liquid and all that?”
“…I think I see where you are going…”
“Yeah. The magic basically makes people simply disregard anything inside the area of effect as irrelevant. Or something like that.”
“So…Something like that? Isn’t that magic really high level?” Frank asked surprised. “You know, I could just walk into a prison and free everybody and no one would bat an eye?”
“Not really. That’s the tricky part of the enchantment. It’s not a stealth spell. People will still notice you and move away if you are on their path. If there’s a guard whose job is to ask an ID from people in front of a door, he will still stop you as it is his job. It’s mostly that in his eyes you would be just an unremarkable person. That said, if someone focus long enough on you, the spell starts losing its effect. So a guy like you who’s always looking at girls would see through Pria fairly easily, while if a guy had it, it would last much longer against you. It’s more of a spell to give an impression of normalcy other than hiding to be honest.”
“I think I get it. And somehow that sounds even scarier than an invisibility spell by itself if I think about it.” Frank said confused. “But why were you even making such a thing anyway?”
“So that I wouldn’t need to remove my whole armor at a time.” He explained quickly. “Say that I enchanted my chestplate with that. After removing my helmet and activating the enchantment I would pretty much disappear in the crowd in an instant. Much faster than having to remove the whole set.”
“And as long as you didn’t attract too much attention to yourself, you would stay hidden.” Frank said with a nod. “I see, that’s actually pretty smart. So, why have I never seen you using that enchantment before?”
“Because the cost effectivity is completely messed up. If it’s to hide a small volume like… Pria’s feet, then it’s fine. I could feed it a bit of magic and it would stay active for a day or even two.” Pointing towards the girl whose only the tip of her feet appeared from the bottom of the robe, he quickly went on. “But if I make it any bigger, the cost skyrocket. To hide my chestplate I would need to spend a day’s worth of mana to hide it for a couple of minutes.”
“Holy… Does it scales logarithmically or something? That’s insane. The difference isn’t even that big!” Frank said surprised.
“Yeah. Worse yet, if there are two ‘hidden’ zones near one another, they kind of have the opposite effect by creating a feeling that there’s something strange there, which makes people look even closer, so I can’t even try and use it on my boots and gauntlets either.”
“I see. Geez, I guess it was too good to be true then.” Frank said with a disappointed tone before finally putting on a mischievous smile. “Anyway, why don’t you tell me where you found this jewel? Did she fall from the sky or something?”
“Nah, I found her in the trash.” Johan said bluntly. Frank froze for a moment while trying to understand his words once again. “Well, more specifically, she was inside a mechanic’s trash, where she was feeding on some spent batteries.”
“Oh… I think you mentioned that before. That she eats energy or something?” Johan nodded. “So… already caused a blackout for sticking her finger in an electric socket?”
“Pria.” Johan said suddenly, making the girl blink before raising her head towards him. “See those sockets on the wall?” He asked, and the girl nodded after following his finger. “There’s electricity running through them. But don’t try and eat it or you might cause a serious problem, okay?” Seeing as the girl nodded cheerfully, he sighed in relief before turning to Frank. “Thanks for the remainder.”
“You are welcome…” Frank said awkwardly before frowning. “She’s not very talkative, is she?”
“Well, she can’t really speak as far as I know. And we just found out that she’s a bit of a bookworm.”
“…So she’s a cute, quiet and probably smart girl, who seems to like skinship and is actually depending on you thanks to her amnesia.” Frank said with a nudge. “Now… She does seem to be quite big where it counts. HOW big?”
Giving a quick glance towards Pria, Johan covered his mouth with his hands as his eyes spun away.
“For my own sanity, I’d rather not know.”
Pria simply stared at the two friends confused, but her attention quickly went back to the book in her hand, as it was just getting to an interesting part.