"A-Are you sure that you want me to hit them as hard as I can?" Soph asked with clear uncertainty in her voice.
She and Lone were in the training yard of their little fort. In her hands were her twin shortswords while Lone was only equipped with his bone gauntlets.
Oddly enough, the gauntlets weren't stiff at all and moved more like gloves than gauntlets despite their bulky appearance. Also, as their description had said, they were entirely weightless.
"Yes." Lone nodded his head. "Smack them, slash them, cut them to ribbons. They get stronger when damaged, and I don't think just this will be good enough against the goblins. I think, going by the flow, I should unlock more armour parts as the skill ranks up."
"I-I know, but I'm not sure if I can hurt you..." Soph replied weakly.
Lone lowered his stance and sighed a little. "It's fine. You know I don't mind, right? It's for the sake of training."
"C-Can't you just use the steel armour you already made instead? You can slowly build up the rest of your bone armour over time, right?" Soph asked, desperate for an out. Now that she knew she had feelings for Lone, it would be impossible for her to hurt him and she knew it.
Lone put on a difficult expression. "I could, but it's very rare to get hit in the hands when fighting, especially with the goblins that are so short. Since we can train, I'd like to."
"R-Right..." Soph felt like crying.
Seeing her blatantly pained face, Lone suggested, "Why don't you get Sophie to do it? Is she awake yet? She's violent and wants to kill me, doesn't she? I should be fine so long as you shout at her to not go too far."
Soph shook her head. "She's still sleeping. Ah, b-by the way, I was thinking about it, but why does she have my real name when I get the nickname? I'm not u-upset or anything, I just thought it was a bit strange..."
Lone scratched his cheek with one of his gauntlet's fingers and grinned. "Well, you said that she was a collection of the you from before you killed God. So she's Sophie. The one who's endured a life of suffering, while you, you're basically a blank slate. You've slept and been really lonely for almost six-hundred-years, right?"
Soph bobbed her head up and down in response. "So, yeah, you're Soph. A new you. I never was very good with names, to be honest. We could pick a new one for you if you'd like? Her too, if she wants one."
Soph shook her head and tightened her grip on her swords. "It's fine. I like it... b-because you gave it t-to me..."
Lone smiled awkwardly. Ever since they'd woken up, Sophie had struggled to meet his eyes and she was practically stuttering every sentence that she spoke to him. It was clear to see how nervous she was around him now. She was obviously constantly trying to not screw something, no, anything up. It was endearing, if not a little bit annoying.
Soph was carefully choosing her words mentally when her other self, Sophie, suddenly spoke to her. 'Let me fight him.' Soph's eyes went wide. 'Eh, you're awake?' A scoff was her immediately reply which was quickly followed by a few words. 'I was always awake. I was just ignoring you. I was... thinking. Just... give me control, okay? I promise I won't hurt him.'
"Soph?" Lone asked, a bit perplexed by her radically shifting expression.
"Em..." A bit timidly, she responded, "Sophie's awake apparently. She wants to take control and f-fight you. She says she won't hurt you."
Lone grinned. "Perfect. Feel free. I don't mind. I know this violent stuff was making you uncomfortable."
Soph looked relieved if not a little bit upset. She was sad that she couldn't be more useful. "Um, I'll still be inside, so, um, don't do anything weird with her, okay? I-I want to give you my firsts, not her."
Lone's face reddened. Before he could say something, her aura changed. Something about her was just... more primal. Immediately, he was reminded of the girl who'd tried to seduce him last night. "Sophie?"
She nodded. "The one and only." She walked up to Lone - swords still in hand - and smirked as she got within inches of his body. "She's really cute, isn't she?"
"Y-Yeah..." Lone was the one feeling uncomfortable now. He could feel her breath on his neck, and the way that she was arching her body as she stood on her tip-toe was... enchanting.
"Hehe." Sophie giggled before she suddenly licked Lone's cheek. "Hurt her, and we'll cut it off. We don't care if you're nice to us as well, but if you ever break her heart, we will break you."
"Right..." He was a bit dumbstruck. It wasn't every day that your life and genitals got threatened by your romantic partner's split-personality, that was for sure.
"All it would take is a few teleports straight up. A few seconds later... " She kissed his cheek before peering into his eyes and smiling coyly. "Splat."
Lone was moving past his dumb-idiot-getting-threatened-in-a-weirdly-erotic-manner-by-an-equally-weirdly-attractive-girl mode, and he was now back into his regular, slightly cocky and blunt mode. "Don't worry. I only plan to hurt her, and you, in one very specific way," he claimed as his eyes crawled along Sophie's clothes and stopped between her thighs.
He felt a bit sick for doing this while she was in her kid body, but Lone figured the best way to deal with Sophie was to be frank, and show how much he cared for her specifically as well Soph. It worked wonders when she was trying to rape him, so his line of thinking here was: Hey, maybe she'll blush adorably and get back to business?
Sophie followed Lone's gaze and her face quickly changed from a coy smile to a set of trembling lips while she struggled to avoid her gradual transformation into a tomato. She put her left short sword in her right hand along with her other sword and used her now free fist to lightly punch Lone in the chest. "Not fair. Acting like you care about us too. We know you only want Soph. We understand. We aren't jealous, just... you don't need to try to please us."
Lone laughed. "I'm not. I care for and want to protect all of Soph, and that includes you. Idiot."
"W-Well..." Sophie stepped back a few paces and assumed a stance with her swords. "Y-You'll hab to prove it!"
'Hab? She bit her tongue? That's insanely cute... Christ, she's not all that different from Soph deep down, now is she?' Lone noted mentally before he smirked. "I will. Give it time."
Twelve-hours. It would have been twelve-straight hours if not for bodily needs like the toilet and hunger. Of course, Lone had to recharge his mana points a few times as well.
Sophie was still in control of Soph's body, and she, like Lone, was covered in sweat. The two were sat on a bench leaning against each other. The girl tilted her head onto his shoulder and stared up at the rising stars. "Why'd... we... stop?"
Flashing his perfect teeth, Lone replied, "'Cause we're done for now. Bone Armour ranked up."
|Unique Subskill: Bone Armour|
A subskill unique to the host, Lone Immortus.
Allows the host to use the unique skill [Basic Regeneration] to push the host's bones outside of their own body and use them as a weightless shield.
The strength of the bones will increase with mastery. The strength of the bones will also increase the more that they're broken and damaged.
The host can only create a set of gauntlets [New!] and boots currently.
|Cost:||None to invoke (30-minute cooldown). Drains MP to recreate rapidly or to heal at varying levels depending on the speed of the recreation or the severity of the damage being healed.|
|Mastery:||Intermediate Level 1|
"I can make boots now as well, supposedly," Lone said, pretty happy with himself.
Unlike him, Sophie had very little stamina points in comparison, so she was still breathing heavily through every single word. It was very... alluring, to say the least. "We're... happy. It... was... fun."
"Wanna have a bath? We haven't had one since two days ago," Lone suggested as he tugged on his tank top several times, creating an impromptu fan.
Sophie grinned. "We thought... you liked the... smell of our... perspiration. You even... avoided a bath this morning, so... we were sure..."
"No!" Lone almost screamed. "I'm not some pervert with a sweat fetish. I-I was just excited to test out this skill. Sheesh."
"Hmm..." Sophie looked at him with scepticism in her dead grey eyes. "Sure. We'll swap-"
"I was kinda hoping to bath with you, not Soph," Lone admitted, interrupting her mid-sentence.
Sophie's eyes instantly narrowed. "Why?"
"To get closer to you? She always baths with me, so I thought it'd be a nice bonding experience," Lone said a bit sheepishly. He wasn't expecting such a... sharp reaction.
"No. We'll swap." Sophie's attitude flipflopped to being entirely devoid of any interest in him at all. "She enjoys bathing with you. We would not want to take that away from her. Fighting for twelve-hours is more than enough 'bonding' for us today."
With that said, she returned control to Soph. The girl almost slumped onto the floor before Lone caught her. "Are you okay?" he asked with clear concern in his voice.
Soph smiled up at him. "Sophie is better at managing physical strain than me." Her smile was filled with bitterness. "Carry me, please?"
'Ah, fuck. Good job, retard. One step forward, three steps back. Okay. Baths are always for Soph. Fuck. I can be so fucking stupid at times!' Lone yelled at himself before he scooped Soph up into a princess carry and slowly walked back into the fort.
"You know that I didn't mean any harm, right? I only want to get along with both of you. I had no idea how important this was to you," Lone said honestly as he ran his fingers through Soph's soapy hair.
She was leaning into his chest with her back as the two of them lay in the large bathtub. Lone made a mental note to thank Japan personally if he and Soph ever returned to Earth. Their bathing technique of simply pouring buckets of warm water over yourself to cleanse all filth before getting in the tub was ingenious.
A working shower was beyond his capabilities, so this easy and straight-forward method was perfect for him. Plus, he'd always enjoyed baths more than showers. The two of them were really filthy. It was like they had a second layer of skin that was solely made up of hardened sweat. Yeah, not pretty.
"I know... I'm not upset," Soph replied as she closed her eyes and focused with her hands on washing Lone's tails while he did her hair.
"Still, I wanna make up for it. I was insensitive. Is there anything you want?" Lone asked.
Soph could hear the desperation to fix his earlier blunder to her in his voice, and it warmed her heart. It showed her how much he truly cared about her. "Hmm... How about... a m-massage?" she stuttered.
Lone beamed from ear to ear. "I can do that. I've got no experience, but it can't be that hard, right?"
Pulling his fingers away from her golden locks, Lone cracked his knuckles and began rubbing her shoulders as gently as he could.
|The host has developed the passive skill: Massage Mastery.|
Six levels into that skill, an hour of massaging in the tub, and a very red-faced and oddly even more exhausted Soph later, and the two were now fast asleep in their bed after a long day of training and a nice warm bath.
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