…This might come out of nowhere, but my vision was pitch black.
Regardless of my eyes being open, I strangely couldn’t see anything. However, I didn’t feel really worried, quite the contrary, the sweet and aromatic fragrance tickling my nasal cavities was pleasant. Moreover, the mild warmth I felt on my cheeks relieved me from the outside cold, but
“Yahn… Shinobu… Not… Uhn… there…”
Just what kind of situation was this? Machina’s overly bewitching voice reached my ears. Suddenly returning to my senses, I got a somewhat bad feeling, but I should arrange my confused brain for now.
Evening on a holiday. Today I asked out Machina to keep me company with my training and we came to a nearby shrine. Following I parked the bicycle we rode on near the grounds and we headed for the back of the hill behind the shrine, starting the training there at once.
As I was aiming to be an exorcist, I wanted to let my body get used to a devil’s attack and defence now. Most likely we didn’t have to worry about being seen by anyone in this isolated place and Machina could use her powers to her heart’s content.
That said, bringing Machina with me for training wasn’t the only reason and she herself wasn’t all that eager either, but that didn’t matter now. Dodging Machina’s air bullets with minimum movements, I closed the distance to her by making a big leap while evading.
Smashing up two incoming bullets with a backhand blow and a roundhouse kick with my bangs swaying, I continued my movement without losing momentum and made a fluent turn to the side while still leaping forward. Now I just needed to strike a blow with my right fist by making use of the centrifugal force… but I couldn’t do that.
My opponent was Machina. There was no way I could raise my fist against her. I relaxed my attacking hand at once, but regrettably Machina was too close. Moreover, I couldn’t alter my movements any further in midair.
“H- Hey, Shinobu— Kyaa!”
For the time being Machina tried backing off hastily, but it seemed to be too late.
I ended up tackling Machina around her waist and collapsed on the spot while dragging Machina down with me— But seconds before that, I instantly extended my arms with all my might and put them around the back of her head and her waist, which cushioned her fall, so Machina probably was unharmed.
The moment we fell, something black fleetingly flashed over the edge of my vision, but from then on until the present time it was pitch black in front of my eyes.
I tried to recall what just happened, but I couldn’t quite grasp the current situation. Moreover I smelled something sweet for a while now. There was a warmth on my cheeks. Likewise, I was concerned about the soft and tender sensation on the tip of my nose. Just what was going on…?
I couldn’t help but get a bad feeling and the alarm siren in the corner of my head urged me to stop. However, the slight suffocation tempted me to move my head softly to the left and right, whereupon
“Noo… What’re you doing, Shinobu… Don’t rub… Uhn… there…”
“Ehm, even if you say that, just what is this at all?”
“Th- The heck are you asking! There’s no way I can say it. Anyway… Mm… Don’t move… Fuhn… any more, okay?”
“But it’s hard to breathe.”
“Ahn… No more… talking either…”
Then what was I supposed to do?
Machina’s tone of voice gradually became sexier. Could this place be Machina’s… I certainly got worried like that, whereupon suddenly the warmth on my cheeks slowly went away.
This was a chance. I should pull back from here at once.
I drew back my head with attitude, albeit shaking, but apparently that unintentionally ended up, well, strongly rubbing against Machina’s sensitive place.
Suddenly she raised an enchanting voice and next I felt a plump and soft sensation on my cheeks. My cheeks were tightly pinched in-between that and Machina shivered her body a bit.
“…Even though I told you not to move… Just stay… still, okay?”
Her tone was filled with shyness and my head got lightly pinned down, as to stop my movements.
Judging by the supple sensation, I believed that it were Machina’s hands that were touching my head.
Also, I didn’t know it earlier, but without doubt it were Machina’s thighs that warmly wrapped up both my cheeks.
Smooth skin with a wetness that softly stuck it to my cheeks. A juicy flexibility transmitted from her strapping nice thighs. Moreover, as I was glued to Machina, I could smell her sweet fragrance even better than before, which honestly was quite nice.
But, when I classified the situation once again, I had completely plunged headfirst into Machina’s skirt and continued sexual harassment like actions.
…Holy cow. Anxiety hit me hard. While all the blood drained out of my head in no time, I noticed the worst of all things. That I couldn’t breathe here after all.
Most likely because I was strongly glued to Machina. As I was closely sticking to her without any gap, my nostrils were covered by something fluffy and it really became suffocating. However Machina didn’t seem to notice my distress and breathed out once with “Fuh”.
…This couldn’t continue. I felt bad for her, but unable to endure it any longer, I moved my body once again in demand for oxygen, whereupon
“Hyahn… Why again… Mm… Hey… Don’t… play around…”
No, no, I wasn’t playing around, but I just wanted to breathe. I desperately lamented like that, but only unclear words like “Mgmg” left my mouth.
“Ahh… If you… move your lips like that… Ahn…”
Finally a lovely soprano voice spilled out of Machina’s mouth, which made me feel incredible sorry. If possible, I wanted to stop moving at once. However the lack of oxygen made my consciousness hazy. I might lose my consciousness inside the skirt of a girl.
That was way too pathetic.
But the more I struggled, the stronger she pinned down my head and at the same time the pressure of her thighs became stronger. Apparently I fell into a vicious circle.
“Yah… why are you so mean? Please… Ahhh… Don’t… tease me there…”
A somewhat sweet and weak voice I usually would have never expected from Machina. Even if I didn’t want to, that voice made me want to tease her some— wait, not good. This wasn’t the time for stupid thoughts. I had to get away from Machina quickly or it would be bad.
Pulling my lightly cracked reasoning together, I struggled again while still being in lack of oxygen.
“Hahah… Anymore… Mmmm… will be really bad… Can’t hold ba….Yaaah, Noo… Iyaaah… Stupid Shinobu…. Haaaaahn!”An unexpected enchanted soprano voice echoed loudly, then Machina strongly pinched my cheeks between her soft thighs and shivered her body greatly a few times like that. After that she slowly relaxed.
Well thanks to that I could get away from her without any troubles, but… how should I apologize about it? When I timidly faced her,
Machina had defencelessly spread both her legs, as her tension dispersed, and her black panties, white and glossy thighs, as well as her tempting crotch were freely exposed. Moreover, she was breathing heavily with flushed cheeks and matching with her breathing, her voluminous breasts swayed up and down.
Unintentionally, I was smitten by this beautiful appearance, whereupon Machina puffed up her cheeks a bit upon meeting my eyes and faced sideways.
“…I came out into this cold, because you said that you wanted me to help with your training. I haven’t heard anything about such lewd acts. Did you bring me to this isolated place with that intention from the beginning?”
“Kukuku, it’s too late to notice now. No matter how much you scream, nobody will come. Next I won’t conquer you with words, but with force.”
“Eh? No way? Wh- What more do you plan to do…”
“You’ll know soon— as if. What kind of pervert am I? Give me your usual retort. And just for the record, that earlier definitely wasn’t on purpose. I was desperate, because I couldn’t breathe.”
“Then why are you still looking at my panties?”
“W- Well, I am truly sorry.”
I could no longer warrant it. It wasn’t a situation to be screwing around. When I apologized by unintentionally falling into respective speech, Machina fixed her disordered attire with still red cheeks.
“Geez, Shinobu you pervert…”
Once again she faced sideways pouting.
But even while puckering her lips a bit, her tone wasn’t harsh, but somewhat warm. She might not be all that angry, but I deeply lowered my head anyway.
“I really feel sorry about having done such a thing. Please forgive me.”
“…It’s okay. Now that I think about it, there’s no way you would do something weird. You even protected me in the fall. I’m not really worried, so you don’t need to apologize so much.”
Usually she would say “To make up for it, accompany me for shopping”, yet for some reason Machina was really kind. When I raised my head perplexed, she was faintly smiling, albeit with still flushed cheeks, and even my cheeks became hot, as her reaction was just so out of place.
While I was completely confused, Machina slowly straightened up her upper body and began talking with “About the earlier training,” to change the topic.
“I was a bit surprised. It wasn’t like that before, yet my attacks aren’t working at all anymore.”
“Well, you held back, right? And how should I say it, it might be a bit rude, but you’re… not good at controlling your power.”
I believed that I made some progress compared to my previous fight with Machina. Of course her forbearingness played a big role, but that included, I somehow understood it in the training now.
Machina was a hybrid devil and certainly could use her demonic powers even in the human world. In the human world her power was probably even greater than Old man Bram’s.
But that was all to it. As she wasn’t used to fighting, her attack pattern was kind of simple and her movements were rather easy to predict. Blatantly said, pearls thrown before swine.
When I told her that kindly, Machina leaked a faint sigh.
“…I don’t really like using my powers. Of course I don’t mind for training. But I don’t want to hurt anyone after all.”
“That’s so like you.”
“Mh? What do you mean?”
I softly reached out my hand for Machina, who tilted her head, and replied.
“It means truly strong people don’t use their strength more than necessary.”
“…I think you’re the strong one, Shinobu?”
“Nah, I can’t match up to you.”
I tried to pet her head with these feelings, but sadly it wasn’t conveyed well. Machina tilted her head unchanged and I didn’t say anything more, wordlessly continuing to pet her head. Then,
“Ehm, I don’t quite get it, but thanks, Shinobu.”
Machina happily formed her mouth into a sweet smile.
Usually she would get embarrassed from having her head petted and get sulky with “Don’t treat me like a kid”, but Machina was clearly behaving strange. And not just today.
After the day she told me about the letter reply from Bram, her expression sometimes looked clouded. It must be difficult for her. While petting her head, I slightly corrected my tone.
“Hey Machina, about something else, you aren’t going to run for the student council election? You’re interested, right? The application time ends soon, you know?”
“…Yes, I am. But I want to think it through a bit longer. Being the student president doesn’t really suit me, right? Besides—”
“You might return to the demonic realm, it is?”
When I interjected quietly, Machina’s eyes started to flicker faintly and I felt my heart becoming unsettled. But there was something I wanted to confirm, so I firmly looked into her eyes.
“You, yourself have no intention to go back to the demonic realm, have you?”
A reserved question. Not answering it, Machina cast down her eyes to avoid my gaze and fell into a silence with her mouth shut.
If possible, I wanted to know her true feelings. My objective for coming here wasn’t just training, but also to confirm about that. But there was no point in forcing an answer out of her. I took a deep breath. After switching my feelings, I softly changed the question.
“Reminds me, was there any contact from Bram afterwards? He’s going to show in the near future, right?”
“…I think he‘ll be here soon. There was no contact in particular, but he’s certainly taking his time. Just what is he doing and where?”
“It would be funny if he was caught by the police as a suspicious person.”
“Indeed. Right now he might be in jail— wait, what are you making me say! We’re talking about my dear father here!”
Temporarily stopping her words, Machina frowned.
“Because you told a weird joke, I got kind of worried!”
“Wh- Why are you worried? It’s the old man. It might be weird for me to bring it up, but how distrusted is he…”
When the old man came here before, his strength got extremely exhausted due to forcefully crossing the barrier between the demonic realm and human world.
But I believed he would be fine, so I cracked a joke to give her a peace of mind, but… Well, I got to see Machina’s combination of getting tricked and then retorting after a while, so oh well. Her retort seemed somewhat off, but it was still a pleasant feeling.
Standing up with a faint smile, I faced Machina.
“Okay, since we’re already here and it’s just cold to do nothing, can I ask you to help with my training a bit longer?”
“I don’t really mind, but you’re getting exorcist training from Hijiri, right? Aren’t you going to use talismans?”
Imitating me and standing up, Machina asked doubtful.
“There is an adamant difference in abilities between humans and devils. I think it would be easier to use an exorcist’s strength like Hijiri. I don’t know much about it myself, but there are some incredible weapons against devils, no?”
“Speaking of weapons, I have one right here.”
“Eh? Where? Show me.”
Machina leaned forward curiously, whereas I replied by holding out my fist a bit.
“Here, my proud right fist that can even crush rocks.”
“…What the. It’s just your perverted hand that sometimes makes sexual harassment movements. So much for getting my hopes up.”
“Y- You’re quite harsh, really.”
Even though I was partly serious…
Drawing back my apparently perverted hand, I lightly shrugged my shoulders and explained.
“I was partly joking, but the point is, the strongest weapon is one’s body. My gramps and dad taught me that those who only rely on a weapon are second-rate, except if you control it like a part of your body.”
While their faces floated in my head, I clenched my fist with “Besides,”.
“My gramps and dad are abnormal humans. Even without an exorcist’s strength, I get the feeling they could fight on par with a devil. I want to find out how far I can take it with the skills they taught me, even outside of official matches with other schools.”
“Then you don’t plan to use the exorcist’s strength, even when fighting a devil like me?”
“If possible. Of course I’ll rely on it’s strength when I have to protect someone or to locate a devil. But in an actual fight with a devil, I would like to only use the Nanjou School.”
When I gave an instant answer without hesitation, Machina faintly started to smile and then directed a soft smile at me.
“So you want to become like your grandfather and father.”
“…I admired them since I was small.”
The words leaving my mouth sounded somewhat envious and after interjecting a small sigh, I shifted my gaze and looked up to clear, blue sky.
“I told you about it, right? That, like you, I was called a ‘failure’ in the past. Well, that was only at the Dojo of my gramps and might have a difference nuance than for you, but I heard it from the adults a lot.”
Still looking up to the blue sky, I recalled the memories from back then with a wry smile.
“They’re geniuses. Nazuna-chan is better. You can’t become like your grandfather or father. Your disposition is too different.—That’s what they said.”
Strangely enough, I wasn’t angry. It was only painful and hard to breathe.
The pain I felt back then still remained in my chest.
“I certainly might not become like my gramps or dad. Effort won’t always pay off. But, I still think I can get close to them…”
I wanted to believe so and struggled until now without giving up, despite the evident difference in talent.
“Well, that’s my obstinacy. Childish and lame, isn’t it.”
“It’s not lame.”
An unexpected warm tone filled with passion. When I took my eyes off the blue sky, Machina was looking straight at me… lightly narrowing her eyes glaring.
“Like I thought, you’re amazing, Shinobu.”
“I can’t match up to you though…”
Earlier it wasn’t conveyed well. Machina was far stronger than me.
That said, she herself apparently wasn’t aware of it and she was tilting her head puzzled again. Therefore it would have been good if I had told her properly this time, but
“Well then, about time we move our bodies. Otherwise we’ll freeze up.”
I became somewhat bashful, quickly brought the conversation to an end and resumed the training…
Breasts with plentiful volume softly pressed onto my back.
I could feel a softness like a sticking out Mochi from the voluminous swellings and a sweet fragrance hung in the air from the elegant red hair over my shoulder, but… why was she clinging to me like this? While paddling the bicycle, my pulse gradually accelerated, which troubled me a bit.
On our way back after finishing the training. Machina sat down on the back of the bicycle, then entwined her arms around my waist and leaned her warm body onto me like that.
An obvious different behaviour from the way there.
Every time the bicycle shook, her two plump white peaches bounced greatly on my back and conveyed the sensation of her flexible breasts. Moreover, with a somewhat extravagant long sigh,
“Shinobu, your body is so warm…”
Machina clung even more tightly to me, so I just couldn’t calm down and timidly opened my mouth.
“Uhm, Machina-san? Aren’t you clinging to me a bit too much?”
“What’s the problem. It’s easier that way. I’m a bit tired. We did it without end, yet you just wouldn’t be satisfied and didn’t let me rest at all…”
“We only did normal training, yet it sounds strangely indecent. Could it be, you’re seducing me, like Hijiri did a while ago? For a while now, your breasts are pressing on my back, you know?”
“Fufu, they’re not pressing onto you, I make them press onto you. Here, my breasts feel really good— No, wait! I told you that I’m merely tired! Yet you go on about seductions, what kind of delusions have you!”
“…Sorry. Guess I behaved like an eight grader. But boys basically always have the mindset of an eight grader. I would appreciate it if you were understanding about that.”
“Always have the mindset of an eight grader? In other words, boys are always perverted?”
It was point-blank conclusion, but I couldn’t deny it so easily.
While I leaked a wry smile, Machina, regardless of me having teased her, didn’t get away and remained clinging to me, asking further with a tone filled with shyness.
“Ehm, then seeing as you have the mindset of a middle schooler, you’re perverted as well, Shinobu? I wasn’t really aware of it, but when a girl clings to you like this, you get weird delusions after all?”
“…You smell nice. So cute again today.”
“Eh? Really? Thanks, Shinobu— wait, you obviously dodged the question. Don’t screw around and properly tell me.”
“Mhm~ You won’t get angry when I’m honest?”
“Wh- Why do you think I would get angry? A- Are you thinking of something perverted?”
“Nah, I think it would be rude instead when I didn’t think about that at all.”
I replied with a joke to hide my true feelings, but for some reason Machina wouldn’t give me back a retort no matter how much time passed and while I felt a bit doubtful, I could hear an unexpected “…*hic*” sobbing voice from behind, so I hastily warranted in my agitation.
“H- Hey, wait! Why are you crying! It was just an joke, you know? I certainly didn’t have any weird ideas, but it’s a fact that I was quite happy! I apologize, so don’t cry!”
“I’m, not crying! Don’t say weird stuff when you can’t even see me. I knew from the beginning that it was a joke.”
For that her voice was rather trembling. But it was only for a moment. Machina leaked a somewhat lively monologue with “…So Shinobu was happy too” and brought her body even closer.
Normally I would give her a piece of advice, yet I was only confused from her reaction.
Somehow my face was hot. So much that I wasn’t bothered by the cold wind brushing my cheeks. As always, Machina smelled nice. However, didn’t I, right after training, reek of sweat?
Suddenly concerned about that, I felt once more restless while paddling the bicycle, whereupon I spotted a familiar girl in the corner of my vision midway on our home road.
Finely chiselled features that resembled a western doll. Dangling pretty silver twintails. Ruby-red eyes.
She was one of our freeloaders, the deplorable girl who called herself a Goddess: Elni.
As she was looking for something, Elni curiously surveyed the surroundings and when I stopped the bicycle, Machina noticed her too.
“…What’s she doing?”
Machina said doubtful, whereupon Elni seemingly noticed us as well and came rushing over while waving her hand greatly.
But as soon as she looked at me, Elni puffed up her cheeks a bit for some reason.
“Shinobu, you’re free to go out, but at least you have to answer your cell phone. I called numerous times, but only got the answering machine, so I looked for you two in this cold the whole time. Thanks to that, I’m chilled to the bones! Just what are you going to do about that!”
“I’ll have Machina warm you up.”
“Me? Well, okay…”
Showing no signs of resistance in particular, Machina tightly enveloped Elni’s hand with both her hands. As Machina didn’t show her usual tricked&retort combo, Elni looked a bit disappointed. When I checked my cell phone while giving the two a side-glance, there were a few missed calls from Elni, just like she had said.
“…Sorry Elni. Seems like I didn’t notice, because I was absorbed in the training. But what’s up? You need something from us?”
“Yeah! I came to tell you two big news! I think you’ll be surprised!”
As she wasn’t all too angry, Elni faintly smiled when I brought up the subject and after creating a dramatic pause with “Actually…”, she declared something surprising with a smile.
“Bram is at the house right now! Let’s hurry home, you two!”
“….One sec. The old man is at our house?”
While I and Machina looked at each other, Elni explained with a wry smile.
“You just missed each other. For the time being we all waited for the two of you, but you just wouldn’t come back and the cell phone didn’t connect…”
“So you went out to look for us, huh.”
Our timing to leave was bad. After covering my face with one hand in regret, I renewed my spirit and looked at Machina.
“Well then, let’s get home quickly. We can’t let the old man wait any longer.”
“Ah, ehm, I want to drop by somewhere before…”
“Can’t you do it another time? The old man rarely comes over here. Besides, don’t you have to talk with him?”
When I softly prompted so, Machina faintly dropped her voice with “Yeah”, as she felt uneasy about meeting the old man? Amidst that, Elni cheerfully climbed onto the bicycle with a smile, then slipped her slender body into the front basket.
“…What’re you doing?”
“Fufu, don’t say anything more, Shinobu. A cool bicycle with a cool driver. With the cool me added to it, it’s perfect.”
“Yeah, I want the bicycle to stay cool, so could you get out there at once?”
Even while I gave a little harsh retort like that, Elni stayed in the front basket with a bitter expression and I kicked the pedals with stand-up cycling.
There suddenly a soft fragrance, the smell of shampoo?, grazed my nose tip. Elni’s silver hair swayed in the wind and were tinged with a radiance, carrying the pleasant fragrance over to me.
Unintentionally I was fascinated by the hair’s radiance and fragrance, but I probably shouldn’t have Elni ride in the front basket after all. I rode the bicycle back home just fine, but Machina softly got off from the back
and Elni struggled in the front basket by raising a sorrowful voice.
I became wearily while still grabbing the handlebar, whereupon Elni apparently gave up on getting out by herself and spoiled held out both her arms towards me.
“Shinobu! My clothes are caught and I can’t get out! Help me!”
“…You perfectly fused with the bicycle. Just guard the gate like this. Show your skills as the Mad Dog.”
“Graar! Woof, woof!”
As she was either trying to be the Mad Dog or just disagreed, Elni directed a really lovely howl at me, but I turned my back to her with a smile.
“Okay, keep it up like that, Mad Dog.”
“U- Uwaaah! I don’t want this! Don’t abandon me, Shinobu! I’m bad with the cold! I want to get inside too!”
…Teasing her too much would be bad. Elni raised a pitiful voice. Even I thought it was about time to stop the joke, but surprisingly Machina acted before me.
“Here, are you okay?”
Machina softly held out her hand to Elni. On the other hand, Elni was disappointed.
“…Not like that, Machina. You should say your usual queen-like remark of ‘Fufu, this suits a puppy like you. If you properly keep guard, I wouldn’t mind stepping onto you as an reward’ in this situation.”
“There’s no way I can say that to you, Elni.”
Not playing along with the petty foolery, Machina gently pulled Elni’s hand.
…It might be due to Machina’s unusual reaction. After Elni got down from the bicycle with her help, she stretched herself and started to pet Machina’s head.
“E- Elni? Why so suddenly?”
Machina was still in a bad mood. Elni probably wanted to cheer her up a bit. Machina faintly flushed her cheeks from getting petted on the head. Showing her a negligible sad smile, Elni then headed for the front door.
Elni’s profile I saw at that time looked somewhat mature.
“…Just like an older sister.”
“Usually she’s an idiot though.”
On my isolated leaked words, Machina nodded small in agreement.
Even while still considering it unusual, I imitated Elni and went into the house together with Machina. When I raised my voice with “I’m home” like always, the door of the living room opened soon enough and a girl of radiant beauty showed up.
Clear emerald-green eyes. Well-formed glamorous lips in a light pink colour. The waist-long hair emitted a pure gold glitter and the perfect body-line with intense up and downs was dazzling to my eyes.
She was the reliable older sister of our house: Luna.
Unfit to her neat aura, Luna happened to be a devil, but I personally wasn’t bothered about it. What bothered me instead was the physical contact she often showed lately.
As she was opening her heart, Luna lately hugged and kissed me frequently, which quite chipped away at my reasoning, but she herself didn’t seem to be aware of it.
“Welcome home, Shinobu-san, Machina, Elni-chan.”
While innocently jiggling her voluminous breasts, she tried to hug onto me along with a smile again today, but I lightly held out my palm and stopped her.
“Sorry, but leave the hug for after my shower. I’m all sweaty from the training.”
Then I wanted to pass by composed, but Luna shook her slender waist from itching to do it and as she couldn’t hold back anymore, she tightly clung to me from behind with a sweet voice saying “Shinobu-san”.
Instantly, two fruits that resembled oversized melons pressed onto my back. I clearly felt the juicy flexibility of her breasts. Receiving this round sensation, I hastily gave her a piece of advice while being gravely agitated.
“H- Hey, I told you I’m sweaty. I stink, so stop it.”
“I am not bothered by the sweat. I love your smell after all, Shinobu-san.”
“Hoo, then engulf yourself into this dandy smell all you want.”
Ah, I shouldn’t have cracked a careless joke.
Luna happily raised a lively voice. While I panicked about my blunder, Luna clung to me even stronger and then Elni interjected reserved.
“Seeing you two so close is wonderful and all, but shouldn’t you go see Bram quickly? I’m sure he’s tired of waiting.”
“No need to worry about my father, Elni-chan.”
Regretfully separating herself from me, Luna continued with a smile.
“Right now he is playing with Nazuna-chan.”
“Is that really not a need to worry…?”
If I remembered correctly, my mother was gone since the morning. She said she would be home late and since Luna was currently here, it meant that Bram and Nazuna were all alone right now.
…I couldn’t help but get worried.
Nazuna might feel awkward. I wanted to go see the old man right away, but for some reason Machina showed a bit of perplexity.
But there was no point in standing around here. While softly pulling her on her arm, I headed somewhat quickly for the living room with her in tow.
Upon that, my vision fell onto a lovely girl and a tall man.
The girl with features that reminded you of a kitten was Nanjou Nazuna. My little sister and an energetic 8th grader. Despite her looks, she happened to be the captain for the karate club.
As for the familiar man, he was without doubt Old man Bram.
Wearing different clothes from when we met before, the old man had put on a black suit and tied his long, red hair at the back. As always he gave off a keen impression that reminded you of a hawk, but because of his finely chiselled features and clothes, he brought about the charm of a foreign actor.
I hurried over here, but apparently my worry was ungrounded.
Surprisingly Nazuna and the Old man were perfectly enjoying a video game while each holding a controller of the game console. The game looked to be a fighting one.
“Yay! My win again!”
“Grr… Once more.”
Nazuna raised both her hands with a smile, whereas the old man replied with a somewhat lenient aura.
It was an unexpectedly heart-warming scene. I would have liked to watch a bit longer, but the two of them seemed to notice me and each called out by waving at me.
“Ah, Brother, Machina-chan, welcome home.”
“I was welcomed in. But you’re back unexpectedly quickly…”
“Well, Nazuna aside, why are even you peeking at the game console, Old man? Could it be, you still wanted to play?”
“Yeah, since there were no amusements devices during my time in the human world. It’s quite interesting. I would like to take it apart once and analyse it’s build-up.”
“Y- You can’t take it apart, Bram-san! The console is quite expensive. I’ll be troubled if it doesn’t work anymore!”
Seeing the Old man’s look, Nazuna hastily guarded the console with both her hands. In regards, the Old man faintly smiled while watching her behaviour, as he was exceedingly enjoying it.
“I don’t grow tired of watching your sister. Reminds me of Machina as a kid. Now if you were to disappear from my sight, I would have nothing to complain.”
“…There’s a lot I want to say, but I won’t concern myself with it today. Anyway, you relatively like kids, Old man?”
“Kids are all adorable.”
“Kind of sounds like a paedophile. I think you would make a good paedophile, Old man.”
“Stop praising— wait, no! You call me a paedophile of all things? Appears you got a screw loose…”
Lifting his tone, the Old man popped up a vein, but seeing that, Luna smiled a bit and for some reason Elni and Nazuna gave an applause while looking at each other.
“That was a perfect tricked&retort combo, Nazucat.”
“Indeed, Elni-chan. Maybe it was an imitation of Machina-chan?”
“Ehm, that does not seems to be the case.”
Interjecting softly, Luna informed us while still smiling.
“In the past, the familiar of my father called it ‘Heredity’.”
…In other words, Machina’s tricked&retort combo was inherited from the old man.
Somehow Luna brightened her smile with “Though unlike Machina, my father only does it for people he has opened up his heart to”, whereas the old man made a sullen face with “…Stop it, Luna”, but I ignored most of their exchange and rested a hand comforting on Machina’s shoulder.
“You really came after your father.”
“W- Well, he IS my father, so it’s natural.”
“…And your real thoughts?”
“I hate it a bit. If possible, I wanted to be like my mother— wait, don’t make me say weird things, Shinobu! My father is right here!”
Machina panicked a bit. In regards, I looked at the old man half jokingly.
“Your relationship with your daughter doesn’t seem good. It appears she hates it a bit.”
“Hmp, in time you’ll understand too. That’s how girls her age are. I’m not really concerned.”
“…And your real thoughts?”
“I can’t hold back my tears— wait, don’t make me say weird things! What’s up with you! Is it that fun to tease father and daughter?”
“Couldn’t be better. Specially in regards to you, Old man.”
When I instantly replied with a bright smile, the old man made a sigh with a bitter face.
“Nanjou, can’t you do anything about your frivolous mouth?”
“Sorry. I was born with it.”
“Hoo, nothing less from a man that’s all talk. Not only do you got a wicked look, but a wicked mouth too. You’re beyond help. The girls seem to have taken a liking to you, but I have troubles to understand why.”
“…And your real thoughts?”
“That were them!”
H- Huh? In other words, he was being serious?
“Hey Old man, I reluctantly forgive the comment about my wicked mouth, but don’t you dare to speak ill of my look. Anyone gets really angry when their complex gets pointed out. You too get angry when treated like a paedophile, right?”
“Hey Brat, don’t decide paedophile as my complex on your own. And I shouldn’t speak ill of your looks? Don’t ask the impossible, when you have eyes that could even kill devils, not just humans. Even I get the shivers when looking at you.”
“Haha, says the paedophile that looks like a vampire. You’re just picking a fight anyway. Then step outside— Father!”
“Who are you calling father! You step outside! This time for sure I’ll strangle you to death, so you won’t run your frivolous mouth anymore!”
Nearly at the same time the Old man and I grabbed each other at the collar, whereupon Machina leaked a faint smile and clouded her expression bitter.
“I knew it, Shinobu and Father don’t get along. To think they would get so bellicose…”
“It, It is okay, Machina.”
As she couldn’t watch any longer, Luna hastily made a follow up.
“Actually, Shinobu-san and Father get along really well. They were a bit harsh to each others, but I believe that was just their idea of a joke. Am I right, Father?”
“It’s not a joke. It was the pure truth. I have no intentions to get along with such a scoundrel.”
“Father, Shinobu-san is cool. What did you say just know?”
“…I said he got a rocking pair of eyes.”
A- Apparently not even the Old man could go against Luna. Well, I could understand. Luna shifted her gaze to me with a smile while emitting a kind of oppressing aura.
“Shinobu-san, you were joking too, right?”
“Ah, yes, I was.”
“Please get along with my father.”
“Actually, I quite respect him.”
“Woof— wait, what are you making me do so casually! I carelessly did… Uhm, could you stop petting my head? Ah, as I was saying, don’t cling to me either!”
After being made a bit fun of by Luna, I sat down on the sofa with a wry smile, whereupon
“…You might be henpecked too.”
As the Old man himself was henpecked too, he told me somewhat sympathizing words while he sat down besides me.
“You can come to me for advice anytime, okay?”
“Well then… wanna exchange cell phone numbers?”
Nodding tolerant, the Old man took out a bright red cell phone.
“Well, I know I brought it up, but why do you even have a cell phone?”
“I don’t know about it myself, but apparently you can get a signal close to the barrier between our worlds, so my familiars forced it onto me.”
Replying so with a sullen face, the Old man operated the cell phone skilled.
“Okay, I’ll transmit per infra-red.”
Considering it was forced onto him, he was quite skilled with it.
For now I exchanged numbers with him, whereupon everyone then followed my lead and started to chit-chat brightly while drinking the tea Luna made…
During that, Elni waved her hand with a smile to an empty space, which bothered me quite a lot, but I was a bit scared and ignored it.
The Old man didn’t talk much, but he properly nodded agreeing to everyone’s story and sometimes he showed a faint smile, so he seemed somewhat pleased.
On the other hand, Machina showed an awkward smile the whole time while contributing to the conversation and the Old man must have noticed that too. In the moment the chit-chat paused abruptly, the Old man showed a bit of hesitation, then faced Machina and quietly started to talk.
“Machina, I plan to stay in the human world for a while, but how’s your packing going? How far along are you?”
“…Packing? For what?”
When Nazuna interjected puzzled, the Old man sighed with “So Machina didn’t tell you…” and continued with a somewhat heavy tone.
“Her lifestyle here in the human world is over now. I’ll take Machina back with me to the demon realm. Machina was supposed to know about that. I heard she’s attending a human school, but just leave the necessary steps to my familiars. If needed, we can erase their memo—”
“W- Wait a second, Bram-san!”
The Old man’s tone sounded as if it was already decided. While agitation spread in my chest and we all, except Elni, stiffened our expressions, Nazuna raised a voice without delay. Then she slowly shifted her with worry flickering eyes towards Machina.
“Machina-chan, you’re going back to the demon realm? That’s not true, right?”
Incredible stuck for words, Machina bit her lips and trembled her body, whereupon the Old man informed us sober, as to draw on her words.
“Living in the human world doesn’t suit Machina. It’s wiser to bring her back at once. That’ll be best for her.”
“…Says who? You? Or Machina-chan?”
“Me. Is there a problem?”
Along with a low voice, the Old man sharpened the glint in his eyes, but
“That’s just wrong. Why are you deciding on your own that living here doesn’t suit her?”
Nazuna replied denying outright while looking the Old man straight into the eyes.
“Everyone at school wants Machina-chan to be the student president. Machina-chan is really kind, so everyone adores her. Like that she can easily become the student president and manage her life here perfectly enough too.”
“…The student president?”
As he didn’t understand the term, the Old man frowned faintly, whereupon Luna timidly interjected and explained about the student council election. Then the Old man leaked a faint sigh again.
“Sounds more like they pushed it onto her, instead of recommending it. There’s no meaning in running for such an election. Even if she gets elected, it’ll just end pointless. I don’t believe she could become that student president thing.”
“You’re her father, aren’t you Bram-san? Why are you saying that? Machina-chan can be the student president! If you’re her father, try to understand her better!”
“I said it’s pointless precisely because I understand her. Machina doesn’t think well of humans. Neither do I. There’s no way someone like that could stand above humans. She’ll just get betrayed and hurt again.”
“…I don’t like your way of thinking, Bram-san.”
Not averting her eyes from the Old man at all, Nazuna made her tone stricter.
“Certainly, she’ll experience pain. But even more so, there should be a lot of fun too! Besides, I’ll never betray Machina-chan! I love her after all!”
Faintly dampening her big eyes,
“I’m sure there will be others there for her that feel the same as I! Once she becomes the student president, a lot of people will surely adore her! So, stop saying sad things and don’t take Machina-chan away…”
Nazuna revealed her feelings with a strong tone, even while coming close to tears, whereupon
“…You probably have a point. I’ll reconsider it.”
the Old man looked away from Nazuna and faced Machina with “But,”.
“Only if you actually become the student president, that is. I’ll wait until the election is over.”
the Old man looked up the ceiling a bit while saying so, then suddenly softened his tone.