I walk by my Q&A table on my way to dispose of the remains of a persimmon I had just finished eating when I noticed the small group of letters on the table. I bite back a couple curses when I realize that either I must not have locked all my doors and windows, Aya's a skilled lockpick, Aya happens to be flexible and squishy enough to get through spaces that would otherwise be impossible for anyone to get through...
Okay, mind off that train of thought Ivan, nothing good will come of it.
After disposing of the rind I sit down in my familiar spot and open up the first letter, and sigh almost immediately. "First of all, while I don't approve of this 'Anonymous' for the most part I should point out that that wasn't necessarily directed at you. Think about it. I've got an upgraded version of an already formidable man-eater after me, my exeriments routinely have harmful results, I can barely keep myself out of Eientei for more than a day, and on top of that I'm almost certain at least one other person will come along to try and make my life hell without your assistance." I take a sip out of the glass of water placed there without ever giving it any thought. "Also, while this 4-chan seems to be the gutteral sewer and asshole of the internet, we aren't there, but instead in a place that's a fair bit better. In addition, Leigon is a collective of evil souls that more or less agree with one another. The simple fact that any of you disagree with each other automatically makes that arguement invalid." I fold up the letter and am immediately beset with the decision of whether or not to toss it in the incinerator or not. It's true that Aya wants me to keep these handy for her in case they ever turn relevant, but I fail to see the relevance in this. "And one last note: I'll listen to what you tell me to do, but to a point. While you are, in a way, the guiding hand of fate, I have been known to spit on the very notion from time to time."
With that I chuck in the incinerator without a care in the world.
"And I must admit that I'm only familiar with the European legend, so this reference is lost on me. If you could give me a name of the series that Jack Frost is from, I'll gladly look it up on TVTropes to get a general idea." The next letter I open is much more... Tolerable. Rather nice actually, even if this one's assumption is far off base.
Only now does the fact that a glass of water spontaneously appeared catch my attention, and there's only one person I know who would simultaneously sneak around yet do something nice for me in the meantime. "Aya, you can quit hiding now. I know you're in here." I fold up the letter nice and neat as I say that, yet there's no response. I don't expect one until Aya feels ready to reveal herself.
I pick up the next letter and see that it primarily consists of these peculiar people comparing themselves to gods. "Honsetly, I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place at times. Especially since some of you appear to be sadists." I prop my head up on one hand as I read this letter through to the end. "I don't really mind honesty you know. I'd much prefer it to you trying to justify making me do stupid things."
"I bet you'd prefer to be stuck between a soft place and an even softer place, wouldn't you~?" A pair of arms wrap around me from behind as Rumia pulls herself up from my shadow, and she makes a point of placing the back of my head between her breasts. ...What is it with women and using that as a show of affection anyways? No other woman I've met before now actively did that to me, only the youkai I've befriended.
And an angry tengu ninja drops from the ceiling and into my lap. "Butt out, Rumia. You're not going to eat him!" Fan in one hand and my torso in her other arm, Aya practically butts foreheads with the grue. You don't get any bonus points for guessing where my head is right now.
"Why eat him when harrassing him is so much more entertaining? The boy actively refuses to get close to a woman in that way, and he gets flustered in the most adorable way when he does." Rumia completely ignores Aya in favor of nuzzling my hair in an affectionate manner. Or as affectionate as her mischief-driven nature can get.
This happens to be something Aya takes execption to, and she starts forcing the grue off me with brute force. "That's my job! If anyone's going to show him the wonders of an intamite relationship, it's going to be me! Not some half-wit man-eater like you!" Aya pulls out a bottled light from my pocket and almost smashes it in the grue's face had she not fled. Content with that she finally realizes where my head has been the entire time. "Oops! Ivan, are you okay? You didn't suffocate or anything?"
"No. I simply tilted my head down when I saw you coming." A simple, straight answer since I don't trust my mouth right at the moment. The odds of me say something incredibly stupid is incredibly high, and the less encouragement I give this tengu the better. "Are you serious about showing me these wonders?" So why in the innermost circle of HELL does my mouth not listen to my brain?!
Aya seems surprised for a moment before she settles into a more sultry look that would command the attention of a lesser man. "Oh? So you do want me to show you?" And now she's going to take full advantage of this whether I really mean it or not. "Mmm~ It's been an awful long time since I've managed to lure someone pure like you into wanting me."
"More like: It's been a long time since you've put any effort into that kind of thing, since I have no doubt you could assemble a drooling male harem if you so wish." Working around the tengu will be a mite difficult, but there's just one letter left to take care of before I can figure a way out of this bind. This one is far more intruiging than any of the others I've received so far, and I have to supress a grin for a moment. "Yes, my danmaku capabilities are woefully undeveloped, but I had just learned how to rework a couple of spells into something that wouldn't breach the spellcard rules on the same day I had to try and fend off the grue. As for coming up with some kind of catalyst... I've had a few ideas in mind, such as elemental imbibment to attune my body to the element of my choosing and perhaps even gain some of the attributes of that element." Finally, someone who isn't there solely to antagonize me and actually thinks of the things I do!
"So if you infused yourself with earth, you'd become rock-hard and gain quite a bit of stamina, right?" Aya asks this in an innocent enough tone, yet I fail to catch the implications right off the bat.
"Naturally. I..." I cast an annoyed glance at the tengu occupying my lap, who merely smiles in return. "Don't you have a wolf tengu to molest?"
"Nah, she's on duty right now." Like I really expected that to get her off me. Honestly, nothing but the show of one's panties are going to get this one off me.
"As for homunculi, that's actually a good idea if I could come up with an external power source for each one that regenerates its reserve fairly quickly, since unlike Alice I don't have the advantage of being the daughter of the Makai goddess. It's still something worth looking into, especially if things don't go the way I hope they will." I planned to ignore the last part of the letter, but Aya snatches it away before I can put it elsewhere.
"Iva~n, guess what? We're going to be working a lot closer together from here on out." I really, really hope she's just pulling my leg here.