Isolex 2015/08/25 (Tue) 07:33 No. 184830
Instead of turning to see the new arrival, I watch Rinnosuke’s face drain of colour until he’s an impressive shade of pure white. My own… inflamed passions also cool to near nothing in record time, and I suddenly realize how astoundingly stupid what I’ve just done is. Stupider than I thought possible for me, roaring-drunk-farmer-at-the-end-of-a-long-days’-work stupid. He'll will ban me for months for this, as he’s done before over even minor pranks. A pinch, a suggestion… once, I stole a kiss. I remember it more clearly than I’d like; I interrupted a sentence midway and had my way for long seconds while he stood there frozen, just like today. Tasted of honey and orange. Breakfast. Then, after he realized what had happened, I wasn’t let back in for two months.
Today, I let it run away from me entirely. And for what? Lust, really? A simple lack of self control, avoided with a single moment of cool thought. The worst. Sure, I wouldn’t have stopped if I paused to think either, and sure, everything I did to him just now barely registers on the scale, but he won’t see it that way. He’ll react the same as if I’d outright held him down and raped him, the prudish dumbass.
I scowl fiercely and Rinnosuke somehow blanches further, looking at me. Then, as it’s bound to do, my anger radiates, seeking other targets than myself and finding them readily.
This giant oaf right in front of me, for example. How dare he be the only halfway acceptable man in a thousand mile radius? I can go without, sure, but not easily if he’s within shouting distance and unplucked by anybody else. He could just be done with it if he had the guts to knock boots with that ridiculous blond hussy living in the forest and put a ring on her. I wouldn’t bother even looking twice his way. But no, let’s play tempt the Amanojaku instead and watch her dance, then complain when she does. Not only me, now that I think about it. Indecisive jackass.
I hear light steps, then someone sitting across from us. And then there’s this bitch, with her precisely awful timing. Couldn’t have arrived 15 minutes later, could she? Rinnosuke looks at her, still not uttering a word.
But you know what? I don’t care. I don’t care about being seen, and I don’t care if he cares. I’m already in trouble with him now, and our visitor has already seen what there is to see. In fact, the moment is gone and I don’t think my situation could get much worse, but I’m sticking with it out of nothing but stubbornness now. Instead of disentangling myself from my prey, I tighten my hold and, with the hand that’s still under his shirt, run my fingernails not entirely gently across his back. He straightens further in his chair.
I shift in Rinnosuke's lap to face our silent visitor, and in doing so realize that he’s not so spooked as he would have me believe, if you take my meaning. My dress is short enough that I can tell. Good news, I think, but nevermind that right now.
I’m unable to keep all the surprise off my expression as I see her, although I do turn it into an appropriate evil eye soon enough. I don’t know who I was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t this.
The first thing I notice is, of course, her eyes. It’d be odd if I didn’t, with how attentively and intensely I’m being stared at. The reflection of the lantern fire on her small round glasses isn’t enough to obscure their sharpness. Seeing those amused eyes gives me the irritating impression that this is a person who’s smarter than me and knows it. Not a feeling I relish. She has a chubby, face, barely missing ‘motherly’ or ‘friendly’ by seeming just a pinch too glad to see people being uncomfortable.
She rests her elbows on the table, leaning halfway over it towards us and supporting her head on her hands. Her hair is plain, messy, brown, shorter than mine. More notable are her clothes, far from what I’d have imagined she’d wear — it’s all eminently practical, not overly tight, easy to move in stuff. Fine cloth, brown and light colours, that sort of thing. Her form-fitting trousers have the legs tucked into a pair of intimidating long black boots, shiny in the light. Boots made for stomping. A simple vest and button shirt also tucked in securely complete the look, both also tight to her not-so-slender frame. She’s not fat, but it’s… like a matron’s frame, but on a much younger and stronger body. Not lacking in flesh, is what I mean. Still game for a fat joke, if you were very unwise and anxious to make an enemy you cannot keep.
Curiously, I can see a simple leather scabbard hanging from her belt, as if for a long knife, although I haven’t heard of her being a fighter. Finally, her calling cards — the triangle ears resting immobile on her head and the immensely voluminous tail of fluffy, perfect fur, curving gently around the back of her chair, at rest.
“Mamizou,” I greet coldly, looking into her twinkling eyes. I’d curse and tell her to get out right away, but antagonizing this one too much is not a good idea, not even if you have a great reason for it. I’ve never even met her and I know that much. Other than that, though, I know precious little about her. She’s a tanuki, obviously, and she’s some kind of leader to them, and… that’s it. She hasn’t done anything to interfere with me or mine until now, so I’ve left her well enough alone.
She smirks at Rinnosuke then at me, her eyes flicking to my horns once. “Seija,” she says, as if she knew me personally. I did the same, so fair enough. “I’ve wanted to have a chat with you for a while. You don’t make yourself easy to find, do you? Oh, and Rinnosuke.” She grins brilliantly at him while he winces and turns his eyes from hers, embarrassed. Her tail waves lazily behind her. “Good to see you looking… lively.”
She looks amused at the whole situation — a girl after my own heart, in a sense. If only she found some other time to do this. Rinnosuke breathes in like he’s about to say something, but the right twitch of the hips silences him well enough. Really, I’m doing this boy a favour. He badly needs some endurance training in these matters.
“I’d love to chat with you,” I say, cranking up the sarcasm way past what’s necessary. I actually am interested in talking to her at some point, but it came out by itself. Some habits are hard to break. Regardless, I press on. “But I’m a little busy at the moment.” I glower at her and slip one of the shoulders off Rinnosuke’s robe-thing.
At that, he finally recovers enough to try and push me off his lap, but too gently. He should know better than that. No, you’re not getting rid of me that easily.
She raises her palms in a mock placating gesture, still wearing that smirk that’s starting to really grate on my patience. “Relax, I’m not gonna take him away from you. I came strictly on simple business.” Mamizou takes my cup of coffee, drinks a careless sip, scrunches her face and puts it down like she’s holding a venomous snake. Has nobody but me got good taste?
At this point, Rinnosuke finally manages some words. “Mamizou, this isn’t wh–”
“Don’t insult us both, Rinnosuke.” Few words, more like. Her smirk grows dangerous. “I’ve got two eyes, same as you. What I don’t have right now is time to discuss it, so I’ll come by and have a talk later, how about it?” She licks her lips. “No need to answer, it’s not really a question.
He winces once again. Not feeling very courageous today, are we? “I’ll leave your money out on the counter. And you, don’t bully the poor thing so much. ” she says, looking at me meaningfully. “You have a couple of rough weeks ahead of you, and I can help if you’ll let me. We’ll meet again.” I furrow my brows. That’s an ominous statement if I’ve ever heard one. I’d try to ask what she means, but I get the feeling I’m not going to get much out of her until she wants to.
“I thought you said I was hard to find?” I have to crane my neck uncomfortably to face her. I hope I don’t have to have many more conversations while sitting sideways on someone’s lap.
“Not THAT hard. I haven’t really tried,” she says. Right, we’ll see about that.
Then she says some quick goodbyes without waiting for an answer and leaves, just like that. Took up a few minutes at most, she didn’t even have anything important to do here other than ruin my plans for the night. Man, took the wind from my sails completely, I’m not even in the mood anymore. I hop off Rinnosuke before he can push me off himself, leaving him with some complimentary nail marks on his back. Marking my territory.
If I get going quickly, I can be gone before he can realize he’s supposed to be angry at me. As I scurry through the heavy door back to the shop part, he calls after me, but not mad. I’ve seen him mad: he’s not one to shout or gesture angrily, break things or any of that, instead it’s more like he’s deeply disappointed in you. It’s just under his voice and just past his eyes, sadness mixed with the kind of anger, in my experience, that promises violence far better than any angry bellow could. I can’t see this man hitting anyone, of course, but I’ve never stuck around to taunt him further than that. Who knows what the hell half-youkai can do, after all?
He sighs deeply, deeper than usual, and this is a man who sighs a lot. “Seija,” he says, exhaustion creeping into his tone. Not angry, at least, but I’m not sure I like this any better. “We should… talk.”
I stare into his eyes for a moment, holding the door open, pretending to consider. Pained eyes, if I’m any judge.
“Yeah we should.”
“Oh!” He seems surprised at my answer, and I suppose I’d be too. Sits up straight. “Then–”
“We’ll talk.” I smile. Very honest, open smile, I swear. “Just not today. See ya.”
I slam the door behind me.
After getting the books I owe Kosuzu from the dark store — a pain in the ass to find some them in no light — I walk off into the cricket-filled night again. Rinnosuke didn’t leave his hole to bother me, and that’s just fine by me
Walking the miles back home with this stack of heavy books is gonna be a real nightmare, but at least I remembered to bind ‘em together. Always forget it. If I knew I was headed here I’d have gotten a horse.
Ah well. I balance the stack on my head with one hand like a washerwoman with her basket and set off towards the city again. I should have some nighttime left by the time I get there.
Not worth thinking about right now, that’s what he is. Bloody coward. I spit on the ground emphatically, then again because nobody is around to see it.
[ ] Some unwinding will do me good right about now. Night on the town, eh?
[ ] Check in with the rest of my cuties personally. I’ve left them alone for too long.