"Hey Mokou, let's go out on a date!" Shin suddenly asked me out out of the blue. He thought I was a guy, right? I didn't say anything to the contrary? I better have not. This mouth of mine has been more of a problem for me than ever.
I fixed a glare on Shin. It was so early in the morning; this wasn't the time for a joke.
"Don't look at me like that, Mokou. I heard from Keine that people go on dates to know each other a bit more. I don't really know a lot about you, Mokou, so what's the harm in a little date?"
Oh, Keine was SO gonna get it later.
"Alright, I got it," I responded, shooing him away from the stairs with my hand. "Just let me change out of these clothes first."
I knew I wasn't ready for anything like this. As long as he didn't know what a date really was, I guess I didn't have a problem with it. Still, though, it's rather annoying how naive he is about things.
As I got into my room, I instinctively locked it. Shin may not know I'm a girl, but I do. I look down as I undress, seeing the bindings around my chest that I now wear. It's not like I have large breasts like Keine, but I don't even want to give even the slightest hint. It's also why I'm more aggressive and seeking the Phoenix.
I decide, as I put on one of my blue short-pants, that I'll put it off a bit by having breakfast with him.
"Thank you again for breakfast, Mokou. I can't get enough of your cooking!" Shin brought his dishes to the wash plate, then went straight to the washroom. I stopped eating. I looked over to the wash plate, then back to my plate.
What was I doing? This is just some animal I'm cultivating so I can harvest him at the end of his life. It's not like Keine is planning to do any differently, and even better, she doesn't know I know.
Just think he's an animal and I'll be fine. Just think he's an animal and I'll be fine. Just...
"Hey, Mokou? I think I'm stuck!" I sighed. "Coming, Shin."
"So, Shin," I asked him, "what do you want to know more about?" We had arrived at the Eastern Plains, a place he called the Field of Summer.
"You," he stated matter-of-factly. "All I know about you is what Keine's told me, and that won't do me any good. I want you to tell me about yourself." I guess so. It's been so long that I've had a man be concerned about me or lusting after his own fetishes and desires, but maybe that's just his youth and lack of knowledge talking.
Both of us were lying down on a hill, and I had been looking at the sun, dreamily, instead of at Shin. I decided to turn toward him, and he was looking down at his shoes, subtly shaking. He wasn't sure of what to say, so I gave myself a little room between me and him and waited for him to speak.
"For starters, tell me about you. Introduce yourself." Shin's voice was confident, but it was obvious from his earlier actions that he had exhausted his options and wanted to recollect his thoughts.
He's just an animal.
"Well, I used to live in the village. You know that abandoned house over in the corner of the village?" Shin nodded. "That was my house." Shin had definitely been told the rumors, as he couldn't mask his surprise at my being the former resident there. Probably was told that it was some old hag that ate children or something stupid like that.
"Like you, I was going to be kicked out of the village at one point. But Keine found out about it, and I left preemptively so as not have it publicly declared. It was still in the newspaper the next day, and after that, I resolved I wouldn't ever be back. I ended up, over the next few days, building the log cabin that I now live in. I'm no architect, but I think I did a good job."
Shin didn't say anything for a while. I wondered if that had something to do with processing what I had said. "So," he continued, "what were you kicked out for? Did you get a power of your own too?"
I nodded. "Yeah, it was manipulation over fire, in addition to creating it. At first, people found me helpful and I wanted to do good with my power, but that village elder. I swear, he's in league with Akyuu or something."
"Akyuu?" Shin queried. "Isn't he that little boy in that mansion overlooking the entire village?"
The kid was spot on. "Yeah. I don't know if he's a little boy or not..."
"He's not a little girl, I know it!" Shin insisted. "He never wears a yukata at all the festivals, so he has to be a boy!"
Sure sure, whatever. "Anyways, every so often, one of the Hidea family has a child born with a special power. That child will never marry, and he or she will have a power inherited from a few generations back. When the use of that power is no longer needed, he or she will die.
"So, getting back to my power, the village elder figured that if I had a power I was a threat to his leadership and wanted me killed off. Usually that means just an exile from the village, where the youkai would kill you. That way, it was blood off their hands."
Shin shook his head in disgust. I don't blame him. He would've been youkai food if I hadn't come to his rescue. It was easy to see him being scared of Reisen that day. "So," he began again, "did you get spellcards?" He took out one with the picture of a hammer on it from his belt pocket and flashed it to me. For my part, I was surprised he knew about spellcards, but I guess people get spellcards when they get their abilities. I had mine way before I stayed in the village, so I guess I had better keep up the ruse.
I nodded in response, taking out one of mine with a fuse on it. "Do you wanna have a practice battle? It'd be another way you could get to know me."
Shin nodded, and we got up and moved to our positions.
"How many spellcards do you want to make this?"
"Six!" He sounded very confident for being a human. Normal humans could really only use two spellcards without tiring, so why did he think he was going to be able to last six of them? He readied himself rather quickly, but after a moment hesitated, and put one card back. I could see it had the picture of a harpy.
"Are you ready, Mokou?" Oh, shoot, I had been too engrossed in what he had been doing! I quickly pulled out my spellcards, and set up the duel walls. I had a few incomplete ones, so I made sure to grab only the six I needed. Luckily enough, I had six ready to go.