Surprisingly, two letters dropped in on my table while I was off getting a drink, and the contents of the first one was a simple question with a potentially lengthy answer. "That's actually a good question, if a little misdirected. I apologize if this wasn't really the answer you wanted, but this is in conjunction with the comment directly below yours. A letter numbered >>1603." I hold up the other letter in question and decide to kill two birds with one stone. "You see, the snow woman requires a certain amount of heat to maintain themselves. Too little and they begin to turn back into the snow they're comprised of, too much and they melt. However, Letty is strong enough to simply become immobilized when she exceeds her heat threshold, and maintain her minimum heat requirements on her own, but from what I understand both extremes are incredibly unpleasant to say the least, and not really all that sexy unless you enjoy watching someone's muscles act like thick gel in a skin sack instead of the meat it's supposed to act like." Speaking of which, I have no idea where Letty is. She said she'd come over... "Which brings me to the first point: It's not Ivan's room that did it, it's all the time spent ingesting hot things and being in a toasty shrine for longer than she really should have. Yuki-onna are not restricted to absorbing body heat, at least in this story, and can acquire body heat from any source they wish. Hot beverages, kotatsu, simply being indoors is enough. Transfering heat between bodies just happens to be the quickest way to absorb or release heat, which is why she kissed me the first time we met."
Now that that's done I can focus on tracking Letty down...
A plume of steam drifts up from where I had relieved myself, and I had to freeze and crack the sticky liquid a few times to get it all off. But it's done. Now I'm just waiting for the afterglow to wear off and my body to go back to normal so I can go back inside and indulge myself a little.
Slinking through the shadows is pathetically easy, even in a shrine with actual godesses. Nighttime is coming soon, but I don't want to wait. ...On the flip side, I've seen the people who've come to visit. Letty will have to be distracted somehow since Cirno will hate my guts if I end her, Hina could unleash an absolutely horrific amount of misfortune to attack with, and I have no idea how the Nue attacks. Toss in the fact that the regular residents could probably force me to retreat and I'm better off waiting for nightfall since everyone will be asleep then. The Aki's are negligable at best, but even I can't end a deity who doesn't want to die, and odds are this will get out to the gap bitch and the red white... Yeah. 'Patience is a virtue, discretion is the better part of valor.'
...Kind of funny how that manages to apply even though this isn't virtuous in the slightest. Regardless, another hour and I can play with my favorite toy again♪
I feel much better now that I've disposed of all the excess heat. Now I should go back into the shrine before-
"Oi, the toasty shrine too much for you?" Aya's squatting on the leading edge of the shrine's roof with a neutral expression on her face. "I'm glad you weren't planning on running off, I would have had to chase you down and retrieve that book if you did."
My eyes go wide. "How?"
"I could see the slight bulge where you've got it tucked away. You do know he's going to need it to help you, right?" No change. ...And she continues to baffle me.
"Once again, how do you know that?" It's not much, but if I can get an answer out of her this will make much more sense.
"It doesn't take much digging to find out about little things like that. You're starting to fall for him, right?"
"A little, but..."
"You can't stay with him as you are, and I know you well enough to be able to tell that you won't settle for just being his snow woman wife when you do get hitched."
Silence. There's nothing I can say to the crow since she's...
"Eh?" Aya turns her head toward where I had finished my business, then her expressionless face broke out into an embarrassed smile. "Oh, whoops! I didn't think you were the type to do that sort of thing. I guess this makes me look like a presumptious ass, doesn't it?"
"More or less." I can't help but take on a slightly deadpan tone in response to the crow realizing her own mistake.
"Well, this probably doesn't make a lick of sense to you anyway since you've been Ms. Snow Miser for so long, but trust me when I say that kid's probably your ideal chance to get out of that frosty curse of yours." Aya stands up and begins to walk off, but she pauses for a moment. "Speaking of which, you'll want to get back to Ivan in pretty short order, or else he's sunk. His yandere stalker's closing in on him."
"Why say any of this? I don't even know you!" My frustration finally gets the better of me. It's not quite true as I do know Shameimaru's name, but it is true that I don't know her as a person.
"I'm helping you for the same reason I'm helping Ivan; You're interesting." She takes another step, at which point she slides off the roof, gets her foot caught in the gutter, swings downward at an awkward angle which causes her to smash face-first into the wall, then drops down into the snow. "IGNORE ME!" She cries to the wind.
...What a strange person.
Regardless, if Rumia is around I should go back to Ivan in all haste.
Thankfully she hasn't shown up yet, as Ivan is still clutching the blanket in his arms as he sleeps. ...I know about the threat present, yet I decide to strip down to my blue, snow-print undergarments and slip in with him. Even if Rumia attacks us, I have the advantage of not needing to be in physical contact with my opponent to fight, nor do I even need to face her. I allow him to pull me into his arms and snuggle up to me while I lay the blanket over us.