I didn't spank the monkey despite how naughty it was being. I think the shock from Aria implying I should was enough to sober me up. I did consider it as I sat there slack-jawed for a few minutes, though.
Out of all the things I expected to hear from Aria... that surely was not one of them. Sometimes she is bratty and naive, but then she manages surprisingly adult gestures. This dissonance is part of the joy of girls at this age. I should expect it... but I have never actually witnessed it before now. It's... kind of scary...
I eventually groan and adopt a foetal position on the floor for a moment. I think my stomach is a butterfly’s breeding ground at the moment.
"Um... Nii-sama? Are you ok?" I am jolted out of my terror by a concerned voice. But I can't see anyone!
I leap up in shock, gulp, and look to the rafters of this large shed.
Sure enough, Kaede is there, swinging her legs almost playfully. I sweat bullets.
"Uh... Kaede, j-just how l-long were you up t-there?" I stutter.
"I have been keeping guard of you and the princess since this morning. Two important personages I am now bound to protect were asleep in a place with significant security flaws, yes?"
Oh my god. I feel faint as a ghost pours out my mouth.
I envisage the poster of 'Ceiling Cat is watching you fap' and replace it in my mind with Kaede's doll-like face.
I squeal at how close that was, and all the remaining bloom downstairs closes up for winter.
"So... you didn't... uh... leave after Aria?" I pointlessly question.
"She was fully awake, and heading to a place with Kiku-sama and various dangerous maid staff. The risk was mitigated, yes?" She logically responds, blinking.
"Hahhh..." I deflate. "I shouldn't expect any concept of privacy from a ninja... my bad..."
She momentarily looks puzzled and then nods, tapping her palm with her balled fist.
"I will not be alarmed if you wish to relieve yourself, if that is your concern, yes?" She tilts her head quizzically. "You have the princess’s permission, and you appear to forget that an assassin relishes in the moment of passion. It is an excellent time to make a kill, and in fact, master trained us to see if we could catch him this way, as he was not reserved with his own vices for women..."
"THAT'S NOT THE POINT!!" I almost shout, face-palming.
I realise that I've not seen her talk this much since... ever. And again I hear about her aberrant upbringing. Even if the logic was sound, in a twisted way, what were you showing to the children, old ninja!
"I apologise. I was unaware this was such a concern for you, yes? If it is your will, I shall endeavour to wait outside of sight in the future..." She says, looking sad.
Hah... still not helping... but I guess it's foolish of me to punish this 'weapon' for it's ingrained traits. A bad workman blames his tools... and honestly, the thought of having shadowy protection when I'm vulnerable should fill me with confidence, right?
"No..." I start. I look into her eyes. "It... it's just my old sensibilities rearing their head. You are... doing a good job. I appreciate it."
She goes wide eyed for a moment, and then leaps down like a cat. The drop makes her outfit flap, and I see her garters and lovely legs quite clearly. Also not helping.
"You are such a strange man, Nii-sama. Do not hesitate to punish me if I am in the wrong. I am used to it." She says, sighing.
"Then I will. Come over here."
She looks sad again, but dutifully marches up to me.
I ruffle her head like I do with Kiku and Aria.
Her mouth grimaces and she closes her eyes, also like a petted cat. I let go. She looks up with a strange expression.
"I do not understand. This is... something I... I..."
She opens her mouth wide, her brows crease, and she blushes furiously. This is certainly the most expression she has ever showed.
And then she honest to gods disappears from view. No smoke, no magic. Just gone. I guess flashy ninjas are just a TV thing, why would you need stuff like that?
Her stealth is pretty appalling this time though, as the door flies open and I hear her running frantically away.
The fact that ~this~ is the thing that rattles her though... she really is another weird specimen.
Still, that makes it three girls who have emotionally fled this shack. I quirk a wry smile at my sudden lady-killer tendencies.
I gather up all of my explosive vials into a pouch, and go in search of some breakfast.
Support "Yuusha Isekai! Youjo Suki!"
- Purveyor of dubious medicinal snake oils [since 1885]
Bio: A strange englishman with an unusual degree of ambivalence over tea, he is a second-generation nerd, and the unfortunate owner of a berserk, leaking imagination that occassionally requires vomiting up as new designs for games and worlds. He limped through university on a humanities degree, and though he often expected a career surrounded by paper, he did not expect that paper to be mostly forms and meeting minutes full of content so dross it could bore you to tears. On the other hand, being in the civil service does teach valuable life skills, like the ability to turn a single concept into fifty-seven pages of content, something which synergises surprisingly well with more creative forms of writing as long as it is restrained. Also the creator of an Anime RPG called Aniventure, and the writer of Yuusha Youjo on this site. Praise be! Or something...