“Here is your favorite kitsune that you all love and expect!” I said while striking a pose when Clarie caught sight of me.
However, instead of being surprised or embarrassed for my acting in front of everyone, she simply approached me and started dragging me by the neck to a place with less people walking around.
“Why did you do that?” The blonde girl asked angrily while putting me against the wall and crossing her arms.
“Ermm… Because I was searching the other heroes?” I said while looking away, only to hear a metallic sound as she summoned her sword and put it against my throat. “Andjustbecauseiwantedtoannoyyou?” I said worriedly while feeling some cold sweat drip down my back as her eyes threatened to kill me if I didn’t reply quickly.
“…Do you have any idea how creepy that feels?” Clarie asked me, and I could only look away with an awkward nod. “Then do NOT do that again. Okay?”
“Yes ma’am. Dully noted. Now, mind taking the holy sword from my throat?” I said while gently pushing back the blade. “I’m a bit allergic to holiness… And swords… And anything that hurts in general.”
“Are you?” She asked me surprised.
“Not literally.” I waved it off. “But if I can avoid having my neck cut, I’d be mostly obliged.”
“You don’t take anything seriously, do you?”
“Not really. I AM actually allergic to seriousness. Not literally, but it is closer to being a reality than the previous ones if I were to be honest.” Yeah. I mean, when you get overpowered like I am, being bored is actually a pretty scary idea, because boredom leads to some dangerous decisions, And being too serious is pretty much a one-way ticket to boredsville.
“Should I even bother answering that?” She asked me dubiously, and I just smiled back to her in the most teasingly way I could. “Aaah… Anyway, why were you doing that anyway?” She asked me while dismissing her sword.
“I just want to tie up some loose ends.” I replied a bit more seriously. “Don’t want them to come back to bite my tail later just because I decided to leave it for later.”
“Loose ends?” Clarie asked me curiously. I just smiled back to her, and, thankfully, she stopped asking anymore. I’d rather not get her involved with this issue. “Haah, anyway, let’s grab something to eat. I’m starving around here.” As she said that, suddenly a mischievous look appeared her face. “But then, since you are allergic to so many things, you might also be allergic to food, right?”
“What? No no no no no no.” I started denying hurriedly. “Tasty food is good. I like tasty food. I’m allergic to not getting tasty food! Do you have any idea how much I missed food from around here?”
“I… Actually have..” She said after a brief moment of thought, and then looking at me with pity. “…Okay, I’ll pay your lunch this time. Anything you want in particular?”
“Oooh! Sushi!” I said immediately. I mean, if it’s a japanese store, it wouldn’t be strange for me to wear kimon…
“No. Too expensive.” She shot me down instantly. “And don’t pull out that puppy eyes that it won’t work on me.” Damn, time for plan F. Quickly looking around, I made sure that there was no one around and used my transformation skill.
Changing back into my small fox shape, I sat down on the ground and looked up to Clarie while once again pulling out my puppy eyes. Her flinching was evident as she tried to look away from me, but failing to do so as I made a low begging whimper.
She looked down to me with the corner of her eyes, trying to not make it look like she was being affected, however she was failing horribly.
Time for the last push. I approached her and gently nudged her with my muzzle.
“AAAAH! THAT’S EVIL!” Clarie said angrily before finally crouching down and picking me up in her arms and cuddling with me. “You know I can’t resist a ball of fluff.” She said under her breath while gently rubbing my head.
Hah! Sushi getto!
“What? Why can’t wear my kimono?” I asked in despair.
“Just because you are going to a japanese restaurant, it doesn’t mean you can wear a kimono and expect to not be noticed, you know?” Clarie told me while making a motion for me to change back.
“But… But…” I said in despair. “But… Kimono…” I said with teary eyes.
“Why are you so obsessed with them anyway? It’s just a clothing, isn’t it?”
“NO! Kimono is a way of life! Kimonos are the clothes of royalty! Kimonos…”
“Are you sure that isn’t some sort of mind controlling parasite in the shape of a kimono?” She asked me worriedly.
“…That’s genius!” I said while staring at her wide eyed.
If I did that, wouldn’t I be able to spread around the wonderfulness of kimonos for everyone in this world! And since the concept of monsters is foreign to this world, they’d be able to spread around the world with ease and without being hunted down effectively.
But, what would I do to create such creature? Maybe mimics. When in doubt, use mimics. That was one of SophI’s favorites sayings. But we’d need to make them be able of affecting the woman’s mind without trying to eat them alive. That would be a bit…
Are? Why is the ground approaching so fast?
…It hurts. She used magic to enhance that, didn’t she?
“You are thinking about something ridiculous, aren’t you?” She asked me coldly.
“No! I was thinking of how to make mind-controlling kimonos! I need to spread… Ouch! Stop doing that!” I complained while holding my hurt head. What if you injure my lovely ears? What would you do?
“Do you have any idea how wrong that sounded?” She asked me while looking shocked.
“Not really?” I tilted my head confused. “What’s wrong with making people love kimonos?”
“I was talking about how you were thinking of the means, not the objective.” She said coldly.
“Are?” I stopped to think for a moment while I started thinking things through. Hmm, that did sound a bit evil now that I thought through it.
“Though I guess I can understand how some of the weirder monsters came to be now.” She said with a sigh.
“Tee hee~~” I said embarrassed.
“Anyway, change back into your other clothes already, will you?” She said, and after much hesitation, I finally nodded weakly and complied. “Ugh… Looks like I’ll be broke the rest of the week.” I heard her commenting as we started walking towards the restaurant.
“Huh? Is it that expensive?”
“You really don’t remember, do you? Sushi is extremely expensive for a normal student like me, you know.” She sighed. “At least they have an all you can eat option, so I don’t have to worry about paying more than expected.”
“Is that so? I’ll make sure to make it count then!” I said while fist pumping and preparing myself for the ordeal. I may not look like it, but I’m quite the heavy eater when I can.
“As long as you don’t embarrass me…” She said while eyeing me suspiciously. I’ll try my hardest at that as well.
“Well, jokes aside, I’m going to try and get me some money later today, so I’ll pay you back tomorrow.” I said going back to being serious and getting a gold coin from my inventory. “I have a bunch of these with me, so I should get a fair amount of money”
“Oh, is that a gold coin from there?” She asked me surprised.
“Yeah, I have a few thousand of them here with me, planned on selling them to a gold buyer or something.” I said while throwing the coin up in the air a couple of times. “I should manage to get me enough to live the comfy life for quite some time. And worst case scenario, I could always just make some diamonds.”
“…Diamonds? Okay, I’m curious now.” She said while looking at me, waiting for my answer.
“Well, I learned basic alchemy back in the other world.” I said with a shrug.
“So you can transmute diamonds from other things?” She asked me surprised.
“Well, I could, but it’s much less tiresome to just make a lump of carbon then squeeze it a bit.” I shrugged.
“Freak.” She said coldly.
While being emotionally hurt from the sudden betrayal of my friend, we arrived at the restaurant. From the looks of it, it was a place mostly frequented during the night, so it was mostly empty by the time we arrived, with only a couple, a businessman and a girl eating in the store, and most of the waiters just standing around talking to each other.
But… how dare they! They are working on a japanese food store, yet they don’t wear traditional clothings! Blasphemy! If I owned a business like this I’d never allow for such heresy to be…
“Table for two?”
“Yes.” I replied. “Do you have any open air seating?”
“Yes, that way please.” The waiter pointed us towards a glass door. “Take any seat you’d like. I’ll get your request soon.”
Anyway, how dare they not wear kimonos? It’s like going to a rock concert and not see an electric guitar! The very idea of it is unconceivable!
“Anyway, what did you do today?” She asked me as we sat down. “Besides annoy me, of course.”
“Well, nothing really big.” I shrugged. “Started on my road to becoming the queen of the mall, taught a few hooligans a lesson they’ll never forget, and teased a cute girl that was going to make me my kimonos.”
“You know, the more I talk to you, the more I feel that I should focus on raising my level somehow.” She said while staring at me blankly.
“Huh? Why’s that?” I asked surprised.
“Because it would be bad if a certain demon lord would start to run amok here.”
“But I didn’t do anything bad yet!” I complained. I mean, I get it if I did something stupid and dangerous, but I’m still clean in that matter.
“Yet?” Clarie sighed tiredly. “What are you planning on doing anyway?”
“Well, first I’m going to teach this place a lesson! It’s a blasphemy to have the waiters use generic uniforms like this!” I said while punching the table furiously.
A hearable crack echoed, and both me and Clarie froze in place as the table threatened to split in half.
Tee hee~~ Whoopsies!
As both me and Clarie looked at the crevice crossing the middle of the table, we heard the footsteps of the waiter approaching and became panicky. Clarie looked around in worry to see if anyone had noticed the scene and while she did that, I tried casting a repair spell on the wooden table to fix it. I had to lower it for a few millimeters to compensate for the broken part, but at least it worked out nicely.
“I could have sworn…” I heard the waiter mumble under his breath as he approached us.
“What? Did something happen?” Clarie asked with her best innocent tone.
Wow, she’s a lot better at this than I thought. I quickly raised a signboard with the score 10 drawn on it as she attracted the attention of the waiter, only to receive a kick on my shin.
“No… nothing.” The waiter shook his head while sporting a confused expression. “Anyway, would you like something to drink?”
“I’ll have some orange juice.” Clarie replied immediately.
“Ooh! Soda! It’s been a LOOONG time since I last drank one!” I said cheerfully.
“Okay. Have you decided what you’ll have to eat?” He noted our requests down on a notepad.
“Two all-you-can-eat courses.” I said.
“Okay. We’ll bring your plates soon.” He nodded politely before walking back towards the counter.
We awaited for a moment to make sure that he was away from earshot before going back to our talk.
“So, that’s the lesson? Breaking their tables?” She asked me in a taunting manner.
“That was an unfortunate lack of control moment.” I replied in my best serious tone. “Besides, it would be just mean. I don’t do mean unless it’s strictly necessary.” I said while puffing angrily in disbelief that my childhood friend would even dare to believe that sort of thing.
“Then, what would you do?”
“Dunno? I’m still thinking about it. Maybe make my own japanese restaurant or someth…” Oooh! I actually like the sound of that. I mean, if I make a restaurant, I can set the rules on my own and I could wear kimono as much as I want, right? I stared back to Clarie and smiled, noticing as she shivered slightly. “Say… What do you say about getting a job in a restaurant?”
“…No. Whatever you are thinking off, is ridiculous and undoable.” She said while looking at me and shaking her head.
“Not really? I doubt building a restaurant would take as long as a castle.” I said with a shrug.
“What about cooking? Serving food? Infra-structure? Getting supplies? Do you have any idea how any of that even works?” She asked me in annoyance.
“Nope. But nothing some mind reading wouldn’t solve.” I said with a wide smile as Clarie just paled at my words. “What? It’s not like I’d kill anyone, you know?” I said feeling offended.
“You… Really…” She took a deep breath. “Okay, fine. Let’s say that you manage to build the store and learn how to make sushi. What would you do about the clerks?”
“Hmm. I could probably summon some elementals and spirits to help me with that.” I said after a minute of consideration. “At least while I try finding some more people who’d like to help at least. Besides you, of course.”
“Why are you already assuming I’ll help you?” She asked me dubiously.
“Of course, the waiters uniform would be a kimono. Or maybe some hakamas. Miko clothes are also pretty cute looking.” I said while continuing my train of thought.
“Oi, are you ignoring me?” She asked me angrily. Well, I kinda am, but if I answer I won’t be anymore, right?
“Well, atmosphere would also be huge, so I guess setting up someplace with more green would make it much better.” I thought about it for some time. “It would also make it easier to keep the spirits summoned.”
“Now, about the supply. Hmm… I guess I could also read the mind of a few chefs around the city to get me the info I need.”
“Your coke is here.” She said while pointing at the large glass filled with the sizzling black liquid in front of me.
Ooh! I had completely forgot about this. Picking it up with both hands, I sipped the beverage happily before making a slight frown. Since it’s been so long, the feeling of the gas bubbles going down my throat was weird, leaving me with a strange sensation.
Oh well, it was still sweet, cool and tasty, so I can’t really complain much. Fuaaah, this is nice. While I sat down and leaned back on the chair, I started wondering if I could bring this to the guys in the other world. I’m sure that some of them would really like it.
“I wonder if I could drag dear into working there.” I thought out loud.
“Dear?” She asked me suspiciously.
“Yeah, the tailor I was teasing earlier.” I said with a cheerful smile before recalling something. “Oh! I could totally drag those guys too! Not like they’d have a choice.”
“…Inariiii!” She said coldly.
“What? They tried to rape, mug and then kill me!” I said annoyed.
“Oh. Okay. Then I guess that’s fine.”She shrugged it off.
Hmm… I’m not entirely sure, but I have this feeling I’m not the only one here with a slightly skewered common sense. While staring suspiciously at her, in the end I decided that I was just overthinking things.
“Anyway, what will you do about your parents?” She asked me as the waiter brought our plates and the first round of seafood.
“What about them…” I repeated her words while feeling myself getting a bit less cheerful. “I’m sincerely not sure how I’ll deal with them.” I said with a sigh. “On one hand, I’m sure they believe me. On the other, I can tell they are still a bit afraid and confused about this whole thing. That, and I don’t want to risk having them get caught up with whatever happens to me.” I said while thinking deeply.
I felt as she looked at me with pity, probably understanding where I was getting to.
“Then, what do you want to do?” She asked me.
“…If I could, I’d just move in back with them and try to work it somehow.” I admitted with an awkward smile. “But that won’t do. So for now I’ll wait until Sophi is done doing whatever she was going to do and from then on, I’ll look into what I’ll do.”
“Do you have any plans for now?”
“Well. For one, I’ll buy me a house in the suburbs. Maybe open up the store there to make me some regular money in this world. After that… I…” Hmm, what would I do next? I’d like to do something flashy and whatnot, but I can’t quite recall if there was anything in specific I could do. “Oh well, I’ll worry about that later. Maybe proclaim myself goddess of the world or something? That sounds like something fun to do.”
“…Yeah, I’m totally going back to leveling up.” She said coldly.
“Tuna sushi?” A waiter asked us while carrying a tray with sushi.
“I’ll have two pieces.” Clarie immediately replied.
“I’ll have three.” The waiter put down the pieces of seafood into our plates before walking away. “So, as we were saying…” I started going back to explaining my possibles plans for the future, but I was immediately distracted by the sound of the door of the store opening.
Hmm, gotta tone down a bit more my hearing. As I thought about once again limiting myself up, the voice of a certain person reached my vulpine ears.
“I’m here. Sorry for the delay, some things happened.” I heard a girl’s voice.
Well, if I were to be honest, that’s the kind of thing I’m always hearing and simply ignoring. However, something about this voice sounds ever so slightly familiar to me, though I couldn’t exactly point out what.
Clarie looked at me curious at my pause, but with the nagging feeling of unfamiliar familiarity going through me, I couldn’t help but want to find out what exactly was bothering me. Fishing one of the pieces of sushi and throwing it into my mouth, I leaned back into the chair and tried to grab a better view of the person who had just come in.
Looking at the back of the girl with black hair, I couldn’t help but feel that I recognized her figure from somewhere.
“Ah… Isn’t that Mya?” Clarie said surprised. “…Now that I think about it, I did hear about her working on a restaurant.”
I… Wasn’t expecting this. I can admit to being a very difficult person to surprise, but even I did not expect to meet her here in this place.
Hearing our voice, and probably noticing our staring, the girl turned towards us in suspicion, revealing a fair face with an ever so slight trace of eastern heritage, with a dark brown pair of eyes and a pale skin. As she looked at us, her cool looking expression twitched slightly. First in a sign of annoyance as she recognized Clarie.
Then, she became utterly surprised as her eyes landed on me. I didn’t need my super hearing to know that she had muttered my name in shock.
“…She recognizes you.” Clarie said in a low voice. “Should I…?”
“No. I highly doubt it.” I shook my head as I felt a small smile forming on my mouth.
No wonder I didn’t recognize her at first. I had forgotten that everyone received new bodies at the other world. It’s what made finding everyone so difficult.
“I’ll… I have to talk with someone. I’ll start soon.” I heard Mya talking to the chef over the balcony before she started a light jog towards us. As she passed through the glass door she slowed down her steps and approached us with a conflicted expression. “Inari… You…” She murmured in a worried tone while looking me head to toe.
“…Look, Mya… I… We can explain…” Clarie said worriedly as she put up her guard.
“Hey Mya. How do you do?” I interrupted the blondie with my cheerful voice. “As you can see, I’m fine and healthy.”
Clarie looked at me with disbelief for a moment as she stared at me in surprise. However, before she could do anything, Mya moved before her, approaching me with a sudden burst of speed.
“You… I’m so glad you are alright.” She said while hugging me.
“Told you I wasn’t going to die easily.” I said proudly while gently petting her head. “Lasted a whole millennium alive!”
“I was so worried when I didn’t see you here.” She said while raising her head and looking at me in the eyes. “But… Why are you still…”
“Well, stuff happened.” I shrugged.
“…Wait wait wait. What’s happening here?” Clarie asked me confused. “Wasn’t she the first hero or something of the sorts? Shouldn’t you be enemies?” She asked us.
“Well, it’s complicated.” I said with an awkward smile while prompting Mya to separate from me. “Clarie, meet Mya, first hero, the one who showed me to the wonderful world of kimonos, and my tamer.” I said cheerfully while pointing to her.
(AN: ‘Ello, more Inari Shenanigans today! On another note, I’m around halfway into completing another chapter of Return, so it’s one more week of Inari goodness! Yay!)
(AN2: Quick question. Anyone expected that last bit? Hope not. Wouldn’t be fun otherwise.)
(AN3: I should probably make a new poll for the next story this week, or the following one, or possibly on the other one to come… I should probably stop being lazy…)