Kyuuun~~! I missed this soooo much. Feeling myself almost melting as Mya gently petted my head, it took me the entirety of my self control to not just go an start wagging my tails out for everyone to see. It felt that good.
Okay, scratch that. Tails are out. At least I could hide them by coiling them around my waist and putting Mya between me and the others customers.
“I sincerely don’t even know where to start.” Clarie said between putting another piece of japanese goodness in her mouth and looking at us with the deadest of all panny gazes.
“No. I’m not letting go of my Inari any time soon.” Mya said with a slightly aggressive and competitive tone.
“Who are you and what did you do to the Mya I know?” Clarie said with a fake shock.
“Didn’t I tell… Kyuun~~! That she just… Keeps up an act?” I said while trying to not lose even more control of my instincts than I already was losing.
“No no no no. This image is just too absurd to wave it off like that.” The blondie complained with annoyance. “Mya, who is pretty much the definitive ice queen of the whole school, is happily petting Inari who’s supposed to be one of the most powerful demon lords to ever exist in the other world, and is making some disgustingly adorable sound in response to that!” She said while staring holes at us.
“…Wait, you became the most powerful demon lord ever?” Mya asked me and I nodded lazily. Noticing that the petting had stopped, I raised my eyes up to her while pleading for a bit more, but she was staring shocked at me. S-She’s going to scold me, isn’t she? “I’m.. I’m so proud of you!” PETTING!
As she hugged my head tighter and started petting me even more, I suddenly felt a tinge of pain in my head.
““OUCH!”” We said in synchrony while our heads were thrown downwards by the impact. Raising my head, I caught sight of Clarie dismissing her holy sword and sitting back down on the chair.
“You two are being obnoxious and attracting too much attention.” She told us.
“I don’t care.” “I don’t mind.” Mya said coldly while I replied shrugging.
“Well. I mind.” She said annoyed. “Also, weren’t you a hero? You shouldn’t be praising her like that.”
“But I heard that you should praise your pet whenever she does something well?” Mya said with sincere innocence. While I found that cute, it looked like Clarie had a different idea, as the blonde looked at Mya with a look of shocked disbelief.
“I don’t even know where to start.” Clarie said while shaking her head. However, after a moment she frowned and turned back to us. “Wait… Does she…?”
“Hmm?” I looked confused to Clarie for a moment, before finally understanding what she wanted to ask me. “Yes. We kind of found out by accident some time after she tamed me.” I said with a nod.
“I see.” Clarie replied with a complex expression while leaning back on her chair and crossing her arms.
“…Wait a second.” Mya suddenly said as she realized something. Sadly letting go of my head, she looked at me and then at Clarie with a confused expression. “Why didn’t you change back? And how come you still remember about that place?” She asked me and then Clarie respectively.
“It seems that if someone becomes a hero or demon lord, they can carry over their memories.” Clarie repeated what I had said to her. “And as for why she hasn’t changed back… I think it’s because she didn’t die?” She said while tilting her head, not entirely sure.
“Pretty much.” I nodded back while taking the chance to hide my tail once again. “Since I was the only one that didn’t die in the other world, I came back through sheer magic, willpower, and craving for decent snacks.” I nodded sagely.
“Basically, she ripped a hole in the fabric of the universes and made her way here because she was bored and missed her parents.” Booh! Bad Clarie! Don’t go telling the non-heroic sounding version of that story!
“I see.” Mya said before heaving a sigh of relief. “Then you truly were alright, huh?” She said with a gentle tone. “I was worried when I heard you had disappeared around here, you know?”
“Sorry. This was the closest I could come back to this world time-wise.” I said while feeling a bit guilt-ridden.
“It’s okay. You did your best.” She said while petting me gently again. Kyuun~~ I missed this… However, before I could start melting again, a voice came from inside the building, sounding angry and annoyed.
“Oi. Mya. I got it that they are your friends, but don’t go skipping on work!” The cook said while motioning for her to return.
I could feel and see as both me and Clarie had the chills running down our spines like a glacier breaking apart into an iceberg. Mya’s hand froze in place as she slowly turned back to the chef. I couldn’t quite see her expression from where I was, but from seeing the reaction of the clients sitting in the inner tables, I could tell that whatever they were seeing, was scarring them for life.
Kudos for the chef, though, who didn’t even budge under Mya’s glare. Like, seriously? Does that guy not feel fear or something of the sorts?
“Okay, chief.” SCAAAAAARY!
Before I knew, I was already hugging Clarie on the opposite side of the table as the two of us shivered in pure fear of Mya. I-I can’t say that this is the first time I see her angry, but for the love of the gods, she’s way too scary to ever get used to!
“I-I-I can s-see h-h-how she t-tamed you.” Clarie said amidst our clacket of hitting our teeths.
“Angrymyascaryangrymyascary.” I muttered, still scared for the life of me of the cold angry tone of hers.
“I’ll go talk with the boss then I’ll return, okay?” Mia told us while smiling cheerfully.
Me and Clarie nodded ever so slowly to her words before she left with a sad sigh. I still clung to my childhood friend for a few more seconds before finally returning to my seat. Putting another piece of japanese goodie food in my mouth to try and calm myself down, I heard as Clarie took a deep breath to calm herself down.
“I… Never expected I’d see Mya like this.” She said in a shocked tone.
“Yeah… She’s a bit jealous sometimes.” Okay, that was an understatement. “But she means well…. I think… Not sure…”
“Should I be worried for my life?” Clarie asked me worried.
“I don’t think so.” I said with an awkward smile.
“Okay. That was one hundred percent not reassuring.” Clarie said blankly before sighing. “Haah. Anyway, what’s exactly your relationship?” She asked me curious. I gave her a smile and prepared an answer, but… “And don’t give me the: We are just normal friends bullshit because it’s pretty clear that’s not the case.” Boo.
“Well… As you heard, I was tamed by Mia very early in my life in the other world.” I said while recalling back to our meeting. “At the time, I had just evolved from my initial form and she was a beginner in the Kingdom’s military academy who was sent on a job. After an awkward first meeting…”
“Awkward?” Clarie asked confused. “What would be awkward about you two seeing each other? Monsters were pretty common back there.”
“Well, you see.” I started smiling amusedly as I recalled back to the time. “There was I, a fresh out of the oven evolved monster who still looked ninety-nine percent like a normal demon fox. Except that I could walk on two feet and I carried a self-made wooden sword…”
“Wait wait wait. What?” Clarie asked shocked. “You are saying that you started as a normal demon fox?”
“Well, yeah?” I said while tilting my head. “Did you really think I already came out as this sexy bombshell that I am?” I said while posing a bit and emphasizing my assets. I got a magically enhanced kick to the shin. “Ouch!”
“Less.” She said coldly. “Also, why the hell did you have a wooden sword?” She asked me confused. “Aren’t demon foxes supposed to be, you know, magicky and stuff?”
“Some fortunate yet unfortunate attempt at taking a human form.” I looked away, not really wanting to explain exactly what happened. “I’ll explain the why some other time since it’s really embarrassing to say that I idiotically made and used a wooden sword as a normal demon fox because I thought that doing something humanlike would get me a human form faster.” I stopped for a moment as I realized what I had just said.
“That… How did you even use a sword like that?” She asked curious.
“I held it with my mouth.” I said while looking away.
“That sounds dumb. Utterly idiotic and dumb.” She said blankly.
“I know. It sounded much smarter when I was doing it, okay?” I complained.
“Did it at least work?”
“If you define ‘work’ as causing the whole system to just crash for a whole five minutes as it tried to decide what the hell to do with me once I evolved, then yeah, it did.” I said with a tired sigh.
“…Sorry, what?” She looked at me shocked. Not that I could blame her. After I just admitted crashing the system of a whole world, it’s a bit difficult to take it at face value.
“Well… You see, the system had this way to deal with evolution that’s different from the races job-classes.” I explained, and she widened her eyes while leaning back curiously.. “Basically, it reads what skills you have and what are their levels once you reach the evolution threshold. Then, it compares that to a template that it has of all evolution paths and from there chooses the one you’ll take on.”
“Heeh… How do you know that?” She asked me curious.
“To be honest, that’s mostly speculation from me and Sophie. We aren’t entirely sure if that’s the case or not.”
“Sophie? I don’t think I heard that name before.” We turned to the side and I caught sight of Mya wearing the store’s uniform. Once again, I frowned disappointed at the lack of kimonos in here.
Hmm, thinking about it, Mia does look a bit more like an easterner in this world than she did in that other one. She’d really fit in a kimono, wouldn’t she?
“Ina? Is there something wrong with me?” She asked.
“Just thinking that I should put you in a kimono once I open up a shop around here.” I said my thoughts out loud, only to hear as Clarie slammed her head against the table.
“Again with that kimono talk? I thought we had left that behind!” She mumbled.
“Oh?” Mia said surprised while eyeing Clarie’s reaction and then looking at me. “You are still wearing those?” She asked, her eyes widening in curiosity.
“Kimonos are love, kimonos are life!” I said my mantra fervently.
“…Eh?” For some reason, Mia looked surprised at my reaction.
Confused, I recalled that, back then, I hadn’t been too keen about wearing them since they were a very effeminate clothing. Gah, past me! What disappointment you were! If I ever got the chance, I’d lecture you a whole day about the magnificence of wearing these majestic clothes!
“OUCH!” I said as once again Clarie hit me with her holy sword. That hurts, you know? Giving my soon-to-be-trademarked Inari cute angry glare to the hero sitting on the opposite side of the table, I saw her wearing a weary expression.
“Back to you breaking the system.” She said.
“Muu. Meanie!” I pouted before sticking my tongue out at her. Take that, you meanie hero! “Anyway, it seems like, as thorough as the system was with its evolution paths, it didn’t have anything for a fox demon who learned both wood-working, trap-making and sword mastery, but completely neglected claws, bites, stalking and magic.” I said after recovering from the meanie’s attack.
“Yeah, I wonder why it wouldn’t have something like that.” Clarie said blankly while staring at me with cold dead eyes. “No wonder you managed to crash it.”
“I KNOW, OKAY! IT WAS DUMB! I KNOW!” I shouted while trying to explain myself. Younger-me was very idiotic after-all! Not much I can do about that, you know?
“Eh? So it was Ina who broke the system?” Mia said surprised. Ara? Didn’t I tell her this before?
“Wait, it wasn’t only for the dumb idiot?” HEY! I eyed angrily at the blondie once again.
“No. I still recall at the academy the commotion that it became when the system suddenly stopped.” Hmm, I do remember hearing some mentions and rumors about that. “The teachers went crazy while some of the more extreme students even started chanting it was the end of the world!”
“Wow. I didn’t know it was THAT bad.” I said surprised.
“Typical you. Causing trouble for others even when you are alone in the middle of nowhere.” Clarie sighed while shaking her head.
I had literally nothing I could say against that, so I just silently ate the last piece of the sushi in my plate. Wondering when the waiter would come here again, I looked around searching for him, but Mia quickly interrupted me.
“Want me to get you something?” She asked and I took a moment to think about it. Hmm, how was those circular thingies rolled in that black plant called again?
“Hmm? Are you the one who will wait our table now?” Clarie asked curious.
“Yes. I convinced my colleague to give me this task.” She replied with a happy smile.
A quick glance to the previous waiter showed me that, whatever she did, left him scarred for life as his eyes were lifeless and his legs trembled nervously. Yup. She totally threatened him somehow.
“I don’t really believe you, but I won’t ask too much as I’m pretty sure I’ll regret it.” Clarie said blankly before finally sighing. “I guess I’ll have a sashimi.”
“I’ll go with what she’s having.” I said while giving up on trying to think and deciding to wait for Mia to bring something interesting.
“Hmm. I’ll bring a bit of each for you then.” She said in a cheerful tone before walking back towards the kitchen.
“Anyway, back to the earlier talk. You still haven’t explained how your first meeting was awkward.” Clarie recallled.
“Ah yes… Well…” I cleared my throat and prepared myself for the best explanation to ever be explained. “Just imagine what would happen if you suddenly saw a fox in the middle of the forest, carrying a handmade sword with her mouth or paws, can’t quite recall at the moment, while walking on its hindlegs. Then, said fox notices you, drops the sword behind it, fall to all four and gives the fakest bark an actual fox can actually pull out while pretending to not be a weird creature.”
“Yeah. I think I can see what you meant now.” She said after a moment of trying to imagine the scene with a complex expression. “So, what did she do? Try to kill you?”
“Nope. She jumped at me, grabbed me and started cuddling me up while squealing cheerfully that I was the most adorable thing she had ever seen in her entire life.” I replied with an awkward smile. At the time, I was still a newborn fox and wasn’t used to attention, so it was no wonder I tried to get away from the strange girl that was holding me with a vice that should be exclusive to snakes.
“Your humbleness really amazes me, you know?” Clarie said. It was very clear that she didn’t mean it.
“In my defense, that was actually what she said. Word for word.” I said while raising my hands. Not that she was wrong mind you, but this isn’t me embezzling her words.
“I don’t believe you.” She told me blankly.
“You told me the almost exact same thing back when you first saw me.” I said with a cheerful tone. Enjoying it even more as Clarie made a shocked expression and stared at me for some time, trying to recall the mentioned situation.
“No… I didn’t.” She said hesitating.
“Oh, you did. You also spent a whole half an hour cuddling me and started complaining when your party-members told you to let me go.” I said cheerfully.
“That… Doesn’t really help me with recalling it.” She said while looking away from me. “I did that almost every other week back there.” Her voice became awkward as I stared at her blankly.
“Wow. I didn’t know you were that bad.” I said surprised. Now that I think about it, I do recall something about the smaller monsters running away from the hero during her era. “Anyway, if this helps you, think of the time you were leaving a village, your companions were hurrying you up because you forgot to pay the inn, then you stumbled across a small red fox that followed you around for a couple of days.” I said with my best cheerful smile and could only enjoy as her expression changed from confusion, to acknowledgment, then shock, then embarrassment. All of this during the span of ten seconds.
“”W-W-Wah wah wah… That was you?” She asked me in sheer shock and disbelief as her expression became redder and redder with each second.
“I must say that I quite enjoyed the way you caressed and whispered up to me.” I said with a provocative tone. Purposefully making it sound like there was a double-meaning behind my words.
“You did what?” I heard the voice of Mia coming up from behind me, sounding extremely flustered. I turned back and noticed that the black-haired girl had a completely red face and stared at us surprised.
“Well…” I was about to explain what I meant by my words, but quickly changed my mind as I felt a teasing chance. “Clarie had this amazing way with her hands that felt like nothing else. It made me feel so good while she was whispering in my ears.” I said in my best maiden-in-love voice, while adding a mix of bashfulness and happiness to it.
By the time I had finished, both Clarie and Mia were red to the corner of their ears. And from the looks of it, they completely forgot how you do to move and breathe, since it was very clear they were using all their willpower to not let their mind shut down.
Heck, Mia was even about to let the tray of sashimi she brought fall down…
GYAAA! THE FOOD!
I quickly contorted myself and grabbed the tray of filleted fish before it could fall any real height. Whew. Safe. Thank god for inhuman reaction speed and physical capacities of this body.
Hmm, it smells nice. Straightening myself out, I handed the tray back to the now recovered Mia while stealing a piece with a chopstick.
“Tasty!” I said cheerfully before turning back to Clarie. “Won’t you get yours?”
“Ah… Yeah… WAIT A SECOND!” She suddenly recovered. “Don’t go wording it in that strange way!”
“But where’s the fun in not bringing up double-meaning?” I said pouting while laying a finger on my lower lip.
“S-So it was just a joke. I see…” Mia said with a relieved sigh. “For a second I almost thought that…”
“Just as a reminder, but I still like girls, so it’s not like I was just joking with that part either.” I clarified it for Mia with my best of smiles. She blushed once again.
And once again I had a sword’s flat-side slammed against the top of my head. Except that this time it was a katana instead of the usual western broadsword.
“Don’t do that again.” Mia said in a low embarrassed tone while dismissing her sword.
“Yes…” I said with a tear in the corner of my eye as I held onto the bump in my head.
“Heeh. Was that your sacred sword?” Clarie asked surprised.
“Ah, yes.” Mia replied a bit surprised while frowning slightly, probably unsure about how to deal with talking with someone she wasn’t very used with. “That’s right.” She tried to hide her discomfort by picking up the sushi tray.
“That’s cool. I never saw a katana in that world.” Clarie said amused.
“I saw some of them during my time.” I interjected. “Mainly from heroes and some swordsman copying them later on.”
“Eh? Really?” Clarie said surprised. “Was that before or after me?”
“A fair bit later.” I nodded while trying to recall a more precise pokemon. “Maybe around one or two hundred years later? Not entirely sure.”
“Wait. One hundred years?” Mia asked surprised, leaving me confused for a moment. “How… But…” She looked at me confused.
“Ah… Right. You were the first one.” I said while recalling something basic that had escaped my mind. “You see, it seems like our school wasn’t sent there all at once, but it was spread around a few years apart.” I told her.
“Few years? But you said that…” Mia looked shocked at me and Clarie.
“Okay. That was an understatement.” I corrected myself. “I actually had to stay there for a whole millennium.” I said while doing a tee-hee.
“M-Mille…” She repeated in shock.
“By the time I met Inari in that world, it had been already three or four hundred years since she had become known as a demon king.” Clarie said nonchalantly. I replied with a nod. To be precise, I was a bit older than that at the time, but I had only become known some time later.
“What? But how… You…” She looked at me in shock for some time, words seemingly escaping her as she processed the words. I could only give a mixed smile. “Oh god… You… So it’s…”
“Look. It’s already the past for me, so don’t mind it too much, okay?” I said with a dismissing tone. “Right now, I’d much rather we talk about what else you’ll bring for Clarie to eat.” I said while putting the last piece of fish in my mouth.
“Huh?” Clarie looked shocked at the tray that had been brought, only to find it was empty. “Wha… How could you! I didn’t even get a piece!” She complained.
“Well, it’s your fault for losing time being embarrassed.” I shrugged.
“I’ll kill you, you damned uselessly adorable ball of fluff!” She said while jumping to strangle me. I let out a fake surprised shout while leaning backwards in my chair to avoid her hands. “And you. If you are her original owner, why didn’t you teach her how not to be such a mean person?” She said while eyeing Mia.
“That’s… She picked it up after my time as her owner.” Mia said defending herself.
“Then you better catch up with your time away and start by giving her a scolding!”
“I…” Mia made a complex expression while frowning and taking a step back. “I’ll consider that.” She said coldly after a moment. For a moment, Clarie stopped to look at the black haired beauty with a slightly offended face.
“Geez, no need to sound so annoyed.” Clarie said.
“The way I sound is not something you should be bothering yourself with.” Mia replied in a cold tone and with a scowl. While I could clearly see a vein popping in Clarie’s head, I couldn’t help but smile awkwardly..
“Why you…” Clarie started angrily, but I interrupted her.
“Don’t mind her. That’s just Mia’s way of saying that she’s too embarrassed to talk normally.” I said with a chirping tone and making a small light star jump off from the point of my finger just to add impact to my words.
Clarie just stared at me blankly for some time processing the words while I could hear Mia gaping sillily behind me.
“Wha… Th-That’s not… I…” Mia started saying.
“What? So you are saying I’m wrong?” I asked mischievously.
“T-That’s… You aren’t… But…” She said while fidgeting.
“…No. Seriously. Who are you and what did you do to Mia?” Clarie asked confused once again while staring at us.
(AN: People joke in the Den that every story i write seems to involve petting in one way or another. I seem to be unable to deny that. >.>)
(AN2: Inari Goodiness! yay! And finally, a bit more of backstory about our favorite kitsune! Hooray!)
(AN3: One last Inari chapter to go (the one i wrote this week. I can write! Yay!) before we have to go back to choosing something to post up. Welp, I had this idea of making not one, but TWO polls up! One for which story i should post, and which of my ideas i should probably aim for next! Though i have the feeling that i should avoid putting already running stories in the second poll for obvious reasons >.>)
(AN4: For those interested, IO 119 halfway done by now.)