For a moment, Shelly started to think that possibly working there might not be that bad. If she just avoided the dangerous jobs and sticked to the simpler ones, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Heck, if she stayed she could even use magic! Yes, she would have to stick to becoming a girl from time to time, but magic! How many people would she possibly know that could use actual magic?
She had been a fool.
A voiceless scream came from the Leviathan just as she and the demoness were almost over with the paperwork. While the leviathan eyes became dead as she looked down upon her own body, Ammon was holding back a laugh from the other’s shock.
“No no no no no.” Shelly said while standing up and walking up and down around the room with her voice sounding a mix of anger and annoyance. “Are you fucking kidding me?”
“Shelly?” A certain siren asked as she peeked through the office’s door and looking around worried, only to stop and become starry eyed at the sight before her. That would usually have been something that’d have made Shelly become worried for her life, but she was way too busy raging to actually care about it. “Is that…”
“Yes. it looks like her magic is starting to stabilize.” Ammon mentioned while hiding a smirk behind her hand. “And with that, her uniform has taken tis shape.” THe demoness then had to look away once Shelly turned back to her with an angry glare, holding herself back so she wouldn’t burst into laughter. “Tis… Heh… Was faster than We thought it would take.”
“Oh… My… Goddess… That’s…” Vivian started, only to be interrupted by the ferocious half-dragoness.
“NOT A WORD!” She said while almost slamming her hands on the desk, stopping just in time as she remembered her new strength. Tightening her hands into fists to the point that her fingers dug into her skin, she took a deep breath to calm down. “I’m… Starting to think that a magical girl’s outfit might not be as bad.” She said while falling back onto the chair and resting her head on her hands.
“But… it looks so good on you!” Vivian said while approaching the Leviathan with a wide smile.
It was all that Shelly needed to finally break and let her head fall onto the table.
Looking down at herself, she became embarrassed by her new outfit and started trying to hide herself by curling into a ball. Still, it didn’t help much as the outfit she had been forced into didn’t really hide much.
A few moments ago, both Shelly and Ammon had noticed that her magic had finally stabilized. Ammon noticed it thanks to her sensibility to magic, while shelly simply felt energized all of a sudden, to the point that she even let out a surprised yelp.
Feeling as her body not only was overflowing with energy, but her magic was running wildly within her like a whirlpool in a lake,
“Hmm, thy attunement hast finished already, it seems.” Ammon said amused.
“…Ah… So this is how magic feels?” Shelly said absent mindedly while trying to take in a bit more of the feeling running around her body. Strangely enough, even though it was such a foreign feeling to her, it also felt extremely familiar, almost to the point that she couldn’t help but feel that she could control it .
She excitedly followed the demon’s instructions as she eagerly anticipated the chance to use magic. Soon enough, the necklace shone in answer to her action and she felt as her body was covered by a bright light. Feeling an indescribable feeling surrounding her body, soon after she lost the feelings of the clothes she had been wearing and something else took its place.
She was curious about the outfit. After all, according to Ammon, that crystal that she had infused into her necklace was supposedly going to take a form that fitted her. Besides, it was her first actual use of magic! How could she not be excited at that idea?
Then, the light died down and she instantly regretted being excited.
Her new clothes were constituted of a strangely sized black jacket. While the sleeves were long enough to reach all the way to her wrist, the front part wasn’t large enough for her to close the jacket, and neither was it long enough to reach all the way to her waist, barely covering the upper part of her clothes. Within was the sight of a dark blue bikini top that seemed to accentuate her curves.
On the lower part, she was wearing what looked like a thin cloth tied around her waist in a way that left her left thigh showing fully, revealing the sides of the lower part of the bikini, but went as far as her knees on the other leg. A pair of beach sandals matched the rest of the outfit.
Finally, in one last odd addition, she was also wearing a fairly large headpiece, with a large earphone and mic that wouldn’t be strange to see in an…
“You look so cute! Just like an idol!” Vivian said while smiling at the scene.
“A swimsuit idol to boot!” Shelly added annoyed while trying to hide up her body with her arms, her face flushing again while the Siren smiled and held back a squee of happiness. However, the lack of cloth made it rather suggestive instead. “This isn’t what I was promised…” She said embarrassedly while sitting down again and curling up into a ball.
“Thou should hold confidence in thy body. There be no need for thee to be ashamed.” Ammon commented with gentle, yet amused smile. However, the effect was greater than what she expected.
“Ugh… That’s an entirely different matter.” Shelly said angrily before looking down and mumbling. “Now I understand why that never works in animes…”
“Well, tis truly an unfortunate happening for it to take such form that displeases you.” Ammon commented before frowning slightly and adding a seriousness tone to herself. “Still, this is a prototype protective enchant armor and thou might need to wear it for some time so we can obtain the required data.”
The leviathan made a face of pure despair and hopelessness at the demon’s words that wouldn’t be out of place upon someone’s at death’s door to make. While thinking that Ammon might possibly be fabled demon lord herself, she pleaded to her boss with her teary eyes.
Amon smiled gently before leaning back on her chair.
“However, tis be late for now, so why don’t thou go rest?” She said as Shelly thought that an angel had somehow blessed her at the moment. “Vivian, why don’t thou go call Luna? I shall assist Shelly meanwhile.”
“Eeh? But I also want to play…” The Siren had a sudden cough attack. “I mean… Help her.”
“I heard that.” Shelly said blankly.
“…I’ll be back soon.” Vivian said before leaving in a hurry.
“Haah. Tis truly be a shame that she get carried away like that.” Ammon said exasperated.
“Says the girl who was the first one to forcefully remove my clothes when we were choosing my wears earlier.” Shelly turned towards the demon without changing her tone.
“Ahem.” Ammon cleared her throat and looked away guilty. “A-Anyway, my guess you’d want to remove that for now, right?”
“Ah, yeah… Just… Give me some clothes so that I can change…” Shelly started saying before stopping to think for a moment. “…Wait, can’t I just undo this thingy?”
“Indeed. Why don’t we teach thou how to change back?”
“Is it the same as changing into this?” Shelly asked curious as she recalled to the feeling of controlling her mana earlier. She almost started reproducing the steps she had done earlier before noticing something was different. Not in herself, but in the necklace hanging around her neck.
It took her a couple of moments to understand what exactly had changed, as the feeling was still a bit foreign to her. If she had to say something, it was that there was a different kind of energy within the necklace. Similar to her own magic, but still somewhat different.
“It’s… Active? No… ” Shelly commented confused. “This feels kinda different…”
“Tis most likely the enchantment.” Ammon explained. “Since tis be a magic-based armor, tis have its own source of energy. It does use one’s own magical energy to start up the process, but it uses its own source afterwards.”
“Heeh… I see.” Shelly nodded surprised while holding onto her necklace and looking at it surprised.
“I could go on and on on how the enchantment actually works, but I believe thou are more interested in how thou should change back, is that right?” Shelly nodded back after making a complicated expression. “Then, let us start.”
For the following minutes, Shelly learned from the demon on how the enchantment worked, and what she had to do to deactivate it. Different from the last time where she only needed to feed it some of her own magic, this time she had a few steps to go through before achieving the effect she wanted.
According to Ammon, the energy in the necklace had to be extinguished first, and to do that, the easiest method was to envelop it entirely with her own magic and then slowly compress it until it dissipates, much like a suffocated flame. However, this also meant that she’d have her own magic within the necklace, so she’d have to be very careful in removing it so that nothing stayed behind, or else it would just spark back to life.
It sounded simple enough, so Shelly closed her eyes and prepared to do that, but before she had the chance…
“If we were thou, we’d wait for a bit before doing that.” Ammon said with a slightly awkward smile.
“Huh?” Shelly tilted her head confused. She wanted to change her clothes as soon as possible, then why would she need to wait?
“Thou will only be deactivating thy artifact with that method.” Ammon explained. “Thou still need to have it bring forth thy alternate clothing.”
It took Shelly a few seconds to understand the meaning behind the demoness’ words. However, once she finally did, her face became beet red as she understood the meaning behind that.
“Looks like thou understands the meaning behind such thing.” The silver-haired demoness commented with an amused smile. “Well, if thou are in a private spot and wishes to put garments different from the ones thou were wearing previously, it would be useful, though we doubt that be thy intentions as of now.”
Shelly nodded awkwardly before sighing in relief at the fact that she survived such embarrassment.
Thankfully, despite what Ammon said, it wasn’t that difficult to follow up with the second step of the act. According to Ammon, first, she had to search for what would feel like a node within the relic, then after managing to extinguish the relic, she had to then feed the node itself. If what the demoness said was true, then the node would absorb the energy and not let it activate the armor mode again.
“So, dost thou want us to leave the room in case things don’t work for thee?” Ammon asked.
“…I’d appreciate it.” Shelly nodded.
“Hmm. We shall bring thee a robe in case thou need it.” She replied before walking away.
“I’d appreciate that.”
After Ammon finally left, Shelly took a deep long breath before proceeding to try on what she had heard.
To keep the answers short, she did manage to get herself wearing the previous clothes she had on. Those being the t-shirt and pants. On the other hand, she was still glad that Ammon had left the room, seeing how she couldn’t manage to get it first try.
“Dear? did everything go alright?” Shelly heard an angel… Rather, Luna calling out to her from outside the room. “Do you need a robe?”
“Somewhat.” She replied while walking out the room. “It wasn’t as hard as I expected, to be honest.” She said, figuring that with a bit of training, she’d be able to pull it out pretty easily. “Anyway, are we leaving now?”
“If thou dost not have anything else to do, feel free to go rest.” Her chief said
And so she did.
Shelly pulled out the hood around her head a bit more while trying to not look around suspiciously. Even though it was already late in the night, she couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable walking out to the parking lot with her new body. Most specifically, her tail and ears.
“I should probably teach you how to transform into a human sooner or later.” Luna said with a kind smile. “Besides, the parking lot is private to us, so no one in here will mind it.”
“Really? Still…” Shelly made a complex expression. “And I take it that transformation magic is probably really difficult? Besides not having the affinity for it?”
“Actually, transformation is a bit different from elemental magic.” She said. “And usually, more demonoid creatures… Erm… I guess you’d call us humanoid? Anyway, creatures like us usually have an easier time with transformation magic when it comes to small changes.”
“Wait, really?” Shelly asked surprised.
“Well, to be honest I’m not entirely sure if it’s the same for you. After all Leviathans are deep sea dwellers and very rarely associate with other races.” Luna explained. “Even with us, merfolks, they don’t talk much.”
“That’s the first time I’ve heard about that.” Shelly said surprised.
“Well, you are new to our culture, so it’s not really a surprise.” The mermaid said while pulling a key from her purse and unlocking the car’s alarm. “I could tell you a bit more about that if you want to.”
“…Yeah. I may take up on your offer…” Shelly commented while trying to not let the fact that she still found a mermaid owning a car a strange show on her face. She followed the mermaid into a small cute looking compact car that oddly matched her. “Still, I must admit that despite being this bulky, this tail isn’t that inconvenient once you get used to it.” She commented as she sat down and twisted her tail around her waist.
Now that she gotten used to it, the tingly sensation whenever something touched it had disappeared, she was pleasantly surprised at how not sensitive it was,compared to how they usually made it sound like in fictions. Not that it was completely numb, but she certainly didn’t feel a tingling sensation whenever something touched it. At least not to the point of overreacting.
Besides that, it was also flexible and malleable enough that bending it around while sitting down wasn’t that bad. Truly, she couldn’t lean back onto the backrest with as much ease, but it wasn’t that bad.
“As long as you don’t take off your hood, no one should notice once we are inside. It’s dark after all.” The mermaid said once Shelly had found herself comfortable. “Do you mind if I stop somewhere before getting to the dormitory?”
“Sure, I guess.” Shelly shrugged. Not only was she receiving help from the mermaid all day long without any kind of repayment, she was also getting the chance to freeload at her place for one night even though they only met a few hours ago. She couldn’t really bring herself to refuse that request even if she wanted.
“It shouldn’t take long. It’s just that my little sister back at my world requested for a cake from here after I told her about it.” She explained in an apologetic tone.
“So you have a younger sister?” Shelly said surprised while imagining a smaller mermaid with angel wings and happy puppy eyes.
“Fu fu. Indeed. She’s been asking me to bring her here for some time now, but she’s a bit too young for that, so I’ve consented with bringing some sweets home when I go back.” She explained with a cheerful smile.
“Heeh? How young?”
“She’s going to be fifteen this year.” She stated happily. “But she tries to act more mature than her looks. It’s so adorable seeing her trying to look older than she is.”
“Heeh. It’s the exact opposite of my sister then.” Shelly commented while recalling Amy with an amused smile. “She’s just a bit younger than me and looks all mature. But she’s a complete airhead and can be surprisingly spoiled from times to time.” Though she can also be pretty damn scary otherwise.
“Ara? She sounds a lot like the chief then.” Luna said with an amused smile.
“…No no no. I mean, they may look identical, but the chief looks a lot more reliable than the Amy I know.” Shelly furiously denied the idea.
“Ara. That’s just the chief trying to look good in front of her subordinates.” Luna said with an amused smile. “Once she feels more at ease with you, you’ll be surprised on how much she can change.”
“I totally can’t see that happening.” Shelly shook her head slowly.
“Fufufu.” Luna laughed while giving off a pleasant smile. “But… Did you just say that your little sister looks like the chief?”
“Huh? Yeah. Just remove the horns and give her a black hair.” Shelly nodded.
“Then, isn’t that her over there?”
“Hmm?” Shelly looked over to where the mermaid was pointing as they awaited for the traffic light to turn green, and indeed, there was the so familiar face he knew so well. “Oh, yeah. That’s Amy.” She nodded with a surprised smile, before finally cringing and putting on a panicked expression. “Crap! It’s Amy!” She said while suddenly sliding down the seat so that only her eyes would peek from the window.
“Oh my. That’s quite the reaction.” The mermaid said while giggling slightly.
“Well. I can’t quite let her see me like this, can I?” Shelly replied in a worried whisper while peeking at the girl crossing the streets with worry plastered across her face.
“And what would she do if she saw you?” For a few seconds, the Leviathan prepared to let out a storm of possible things, however they all died out at the tip of her tongue once she finally noticed that there was simply no chance for her childhood friend to actually recognize her as she was. “See? No need to hide yourself.”
“Hmm… Makes sense.” Shelly nodded while slowly sitting back up. “Still… This is kinda nerve wrecking…”
“Sadly, I can’t really say that I understand.” The mermaid said with a slightly sad smile before starting up the car as the signal turned green. “Though I do know what can help. There’s no anxiety some sweets can’t fix.”
Shelly nodded weakly to the idea while wondering what exactly Amy could be doing at that time in the streets. Truly, this place was pretty close to their house, so it wasn’t too strange for her to appear around here. But as far as she knew, Amy never was one to leave house at night unless she had something to do.
Before she noticed, the car was soon brought to a stop a few blocks away from where she had seen her childhood friend slash sister. One glance around was all it took for her to notice a small bakery store just across the street. Not recognizing it at first, she decided that it must have popped up since the last time she had been living with the girl’s.
“I’ll be back in a few minutes.” Luna said while preparing to leave, before stopping to think for a moment. “Is there anything you don’t like?”
“Oh?” Shelly replied surprised at her question before stopping to think for a moment. “Well, I’m not a big fan of strawberry as a fruit, but otherwise I’m fine with whatever you pick.”
Luna nodded happily before turning back towards the shop.
Shelly smiled while waving her away before finally sighing and leaning back on the seat. Her mind wandering back to the strange things that had happened earlier to her. Wondering if her life would ever go back to being normal after what had happened at that day, she stared absentmindedly at the window for a long time while patiently awaiting for Luna to come back.
“Hey there cutie! What are you doing alone here at this hour?” She suddenly heard a man’s voice calling out to her from outside of the car.
“…Seriously? Wasn’t there anything more clich…” She started complaining while looking around searching for the source of the voice, only to freeze in place as she noticed that the words hadn’t been directed to her, and instead, the only two guys she could see were instead looking at another girl just outside of the car. “…Ah, yeah. Right. Hoodie and baggy clothes.” She said with an awkward smile as she recalled that her attire wasn’t very eye catching when it came to being courted.
Laughing drily at herself, she still ended up looking at the two men who were hitting on someone outside of the house. Only to freeze again as she noticed that it was someone very familiar who was being hit on.
She slammed her head a couple of times against the console as she cursed herself for believing that she was safe from trouble.
“Hmm? Is it that strange the leave house at this time? It’s still fairly early.” Amy replied with a sincerely confused tone.
If that girl was too dense to even understand a direct confession, there was just no way that she’d understand that she was being hit on. And while Shelly knew that the chances of the situation developing into one of those cliche situation was small, her day up to then was anything but believable, so she decided to quickly deal with it before things got more ridiculous.
She quickly fished her cellphone from the pocket and pointed it towards the scene, taking a photo without muting it, just to make sure they heard it. As the men and Amy both turned to the source of the sound in surprise.
“Look. I have no idea whether you’d go annoying and whatnot, but I’m sincerely not in the mood to wait and see since I had a pretty stressful day this far. So you leave her alone and walk away without causing issues and I won’t call the cops and show them this photo. Deal?” Shelly said in a frigid tone as she lowered the window of the car just enough for her eyes to appear.
“Whoa. Chill girl.” The man said in shock. “No need to get aggressive!” The two walked away with worried expression.
“As I said, I had a horrible day and I have all the resources to make your day even worse than mine. So scram now.”
The two men quickly crumbled under pressure before pretty much running away while staring back at her in a panicky manner. Sighing in annoyance, Shelly watched as the two made their way out before finally sighing and shaking her head tired.
“Ah! Did you just help me?” She suddenly heard a familiar voice calling out to her, and upon turning back towards Amy, she finally understood what she had done.
“Ah… N-No, I just…” Shelly started saying flustered.
“Thank you very much.” Amy said with a polite tone while bowing slightly towards Shelly.
“Look, there’s no need for…” Shelly started replying while shaking her head, but she stopped once she noticed the gaze that Amy was giving her. Thinking that she might have noticed that she wasn’t a human, she became worried. “Huh… Is there something wrong?” She asked worried while trying to hide her tail with her body.
“Say… Do we…” Amy said in wonder, before finally shaking her head. “Huuh… How do I say it… Why don’t you allow me to repay you for your help?” She said with a smile.
“Huh? Erm… Sure?” Shelly replied in surprise and confusion before finally noticing what she had said.
“That’s great!” Amy smiled widely. “Why don’t you come to my house so that we can find something for you to do?” She asked with a cheerful tone.
“No no no. We just met each other!” Shelly quickly denied. “You don’t just invite someone you just met to your house like that, you know?”
“Eh? Ah… You are right….” Amy said disappointed before pouting slightly. “You just reminded me of my friend so much…” Her voice slowly died out as her mood clearly started to become worse. “Muu… Why did he have to go and disappear like that.” She said in a voice that was too low for a normal person to hear, but Shelly manage to catch on just fine.
“… I would appreciate a bit of tea some other day, I guess.” She said while feeling the guilt at her own doings take over her, while on the other hand wondering why exactly she was doing it.