A New Resident
Editors: Sebas Tian, Speedphoenix, Joker
“It’s really nice to meet you Enne!” said Illuna.
“Yup! What she said!” agreed Shii.
“Nice… to meet you too.” A girl that was roughly the same height as the other two responded to their greetings in kind. Although her tone was flat, I could tell at a glance that she was having fun.
“Watch out Yuuma! There’s three little girls heading this way!” I couldn’t help but suddenly shout something akin to a quote, which caused Lefi, who was standing beside me, to give me a puzzled stare. “Nevermind, pretend you didn’t hear that.”
She continued to eye me in confusion for a bit, but eventually shrugged it off and reverted to speaking in her usual tone.
“Speak, Yuki.” Lefi looked down at me as she spoke, mostly because she had to. I was sitting before her in the traditional Japanese penal pose known as seiza. I had my legs tugged underneath themselves and arranged parallel to one another with my back straight as a rod. “Why is it that you have abducted yet another young maiden? I demand that you disclose her identity and explain yourself.”
The dragon pointed at the young girl happily playing with Illuna and Shii as she spoke. Her black hair, which was glossy as a raven’s coat, was cut into a short, shoulder length bob. Adorning said hair was a red and black ribbon fastened on both sides of her head. Her eyes, which gleamed with the same black as her hair, almost looked like a doll’s. They were cold and indifferent, almost to the point of seeming inorganic. Her features didn’t seem to hint at any sort of emotion. She was basically deadpan.
Her thin frame was decorated with Japanese style clothing. Specifically, she was wearing a brilliant red outfit somewhat akin to a jinbei, a type of loose garment normally used as housewear. Her modified jinbei had longer sleeves, which almost made it resemble the type of dress a traditional Japanese shrine maiden would wear. Actually, now that I think about it, it’s probably more like a shrine maiden outfit with a shortened skirt than it is an actual jinbei, huh.
All in all, Enne was a young girl with a Japanese aesthetic. The only odd part about her was that, for some reason, she seemed to have an aura of drowsiness. She herself didn’t seem all that sleepy, but people that looked at her would soon start to feel it.
“What the hell Lefi! I am not disturbed enough to go around kidnapping kids!”
“You did not abduct her?”
“No! God damn it!”
“Then how, precisely, might you explain her sudden arrival?”
“She’s been here! She’s… her.”
I pointed at the weapon by my side. Its handle was decorated with the exact same ribbon that the young girl had in her hair.
“You mean to say that the maiden you have presented is none other than Zaien?”
“Well Master, you sure have gone and done it again, huh?” Lyuu, who had been watching Lefi interrogate me in much the same manner as usual, flashed an awkward grin.
Likewise, Leila watched over the event with her usual cool and collected smile. Although she currently seemed totally calm, the demon had been acting much differently not all that long ago. Seeing Enne’s new form had led her to observe the sword girl with great interest. Her eyes had sparkled as she studied the poor child from all sorts of different angles. The sight had terrified Enne and led her to hide behind me. Honestly, I was pretty spooked too.
Now that I think about it, Leila’s really damn good at keeping up appearances. You know, I’m almost kinda wanting to think that the whole super calm and composed thing she’s got going is just a way for her to hide her ravenous thirst for knowledge. Yeahhhhhh, I can definitely see that being a thing.
“How bizarre,” said Lefi. “I knew that it was no ordinary intelligent weapon, but this comes as quite the surprise. When was it that it gained the ability to emulate the human form?”
“Ehhh, you know. Pretty recently,” I said. “I figured I might as well check to see if it was possible and well, yeah, turns out it is.”
Zaien, or rather Enne, had only become capable of playing with the other two girls because of the Personification skill. She had obtained it by using a skill scroll I had bought for her with DP. Skill scrolls would activate so long as one channelled magical energy through them whilst also keeping their contents in mind. And as such, I began to suspect that Zaien could very well use them given her consciousness and mana pool.
I had chosen Personification in particular because I figured that she may as well interact with everyone else if she was going to stay outside. As such, I bought the scroll, pressed it against her blade, and had her try to activate it. And it had actually worked. My suspicions had been on point. Hm, first the sheath, now this. You know, I almost feel like I’m being one of those entitled parents that spoils the hell outta their kids. Actually, on second thought, nah, not really. Swords having sheaths is normal, and I’ve basically been giving everyone skill scrolls. The maids and kids have both gotten a few just ‘cause they seemed useful, so it’s more like I’m just making things fair by treating Enne the same. Yeah, that’s definitely it. I’d feel hella bad for her if she was the only one left out at the end of the day.
Although Enne’s personified form had looked like a girl from the very start, she was, in fact, just as genderless as any other inorganic substance. Asking her about it had actually caused an incident, as she had professed that she wasn’t male or female and even tried to strip to prove it. So, fundamentally speaking, Enne was just like Shii. Neither the sword nor the slime had a gender. I mean, it makes sense. Swords kinda don’t sexually reproduce.
If you ask me though, I’d definitely say Enne’s a girl. She looks like one, and her tastes are hella girly too. I wasn’t the only one to have such an opinion. Both Illuna and Shii had also seemed to assume that Enne was female on sight. The person, or rather, sword in question didn’t deny any of their claims either. Yeah, I know I said this already, but I’mma just think of her as a girl, fuck it.
She herself had also taken rather kindly to identifying as a girl. Though the first body she had created with Personification was definitely genderless, she had later swapped to one that was strictly female. Speaking of Personification, Enne was currently able to maintain her human form for about half a day. And while it was something separate from her main body that she could control remotely, it was fairly limited as it had to remain within a hundred meters of her blade. Makes sense to me, I guess. The skill is just level one after all.
I had asked her to keep the skill deactivated before and during hunts. Maintaining it ate away at her mana pool, and I didn’t want to ever get stuck in a situation where she didn’t have enough because she had wasted too much of it. I had felt kind of bad because she had only just gotten her new body, but it turned out that Enne didn’t mind it at all. In fact, she was as far from minding it as could be. The longsword was eager to continue functioning as my weapon. She had stated exactly that in a tone so frantic it had caught me a bit off guard. I mean, I really probably shouldn’t even be thinking this, but seeing quiet girls like her desperately beg for things is a real sight for sore eyes. It was so adorable I couldn’t help but want to indulge her.
In the end, I had attributed her attitude to something along the lines of dignity. Fulfilling her role as a weapon was something that seemed to fill her with pride. And here I was trying to figure out what I was going to do if she just wanted to be a normal girl from now on. Well, there goes that. I guess Enne’s going to be staying as my primary weapon of choice. It’s literally what she wants.
“Unbelievable.” Hearing my explanation caused Lefi to sigh. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have fathomed that you would create a child with your very own hands for the sole reason that two were not enough to satisfy your twisted needs. I suppose that a part of the fault lies with me. I should not have been so shortsighted as to underestimate the extent of your sexual deviations.”
“Come on Lefi. Can you please stop trying to make me out to be some sort of messed up pervert? ‘Cause I’m really not.”
“Don’t you worry master! Us maids’ll stay loyal ‘n keep servin’ you no matter how perverted you are.”
“Lyuu is exactly right, my lord,” added Leila. “We understand that it is normal for a gentleman to have bizarre fantasies. And we don’t particularly mind no matter how eccentric yours may be.”
“Oh, I see how it is. I get what you’re doing now.” I sighed. “You guys are totally just pretending to be on my side just so I won’t notice you dissing the hell out of me.”
Where the hell did Leila learn that bit about men though? I mean, she’s not wrong. Every dude’s got a kink or two. Except for me, of course. I’m a pure, wholesome man without any strange fetishes. And I am definitely not a pedophile. No sir, not at all. I miiiiiiight like thighs just a little bit more than the average dude, but you know, that’s totally normal. I’m not about to sit down and give you the whole lowdown since I’m sure you understand already, but like, who doesn’t like thighs, right?
“What’s a diss?” asked Lyuu.
Oh, right. I said that in English.
“It means talk shit.”
“Oooooohhhh…No worries, Master. We ain’t doin’ any o’ that at all.”
“Bullshit! You wouldn’t be pausing awkwardly or averting your eyes if you were innocent goddammit!”
Zzzzz… God damn shitty excuse for a maid. Come on! Maids are not supposed to be dissing the hell out of their masters! And goddammit Leila, stop snickering and say something already! I gave each of the two household servants a reproachful glare in turn.
Enne seemed to notice, as she quickly dashed over and wrapped her arms around my head as if to protect me. As I was still sitting in seiza, she didn’t have any difficulty reaching it. “No bullying… Master.”
I could feel myself being wrapped up both in her warmth and the sweetness of her scent. Good job Enne! Thank you so much for protecting me from all this tyranny and unjust prejudice.
“It’s okay Enne! They’re not bullying him!”
Unfortunately, my reinforcements were caught in an ambush. They were forced to face off against an equally powerful foe before they could fend off my assailants.
“Really…?” Enne cocked her head to the side as Illuna talked to her with a big smile.
“Uhm… Illuna… I uh…” I spoke a few words to try and protest against the terrible fate I could see looming above the horizon, but it was to no avail.
“Mhm! This is what always happens. This is just how everyone likes to play together! It’s totally normal! So you don’t have to worry.”
“Uhm… Enne… I uh…” I spoke a few words to try and protest against the terrible fate I could see looming above the horizon, but it was to no avail.
Illuna had easily convinced Enne that she was right, and thus, led her back over to Shii so that they could resume their play. My reinforcements had been routed. Illuna please. I know you weren’t trying to be mean, but that was just awful!
“It appears that your forces have been exhausted. No more allies will be rushing to your side,” said Lefi.
“Rghhh…” I groaned. “Whatever! Do your worst! This, this is tyranny. I refuse to stand down! And if no one else will help me, then I’ll just have to help myself!” I got out of the traditional Japanese pose of self-reflection and stood up.
“So you refuse to repent?”
“Objection! I never needed to repent to begin with! The only people who repent are those that have done something wrong. Me? I did nothing wrong at all! This is all just bullshit, slander! Why the hell would I need to repent!?”
I pointed a finger at her and provided a perfect rebuttal. Heh. No coming back from that one. I’ve got the whole jury convinced.
“Nrghhh…Your argument is but predicated on a mere technicality!” Lefi groaned. “Very well. If you wish not to repent, then I shall personally carve the concept of repentance into your flesh. Let us duel, Yuki. Let us do as we often practice and engage in glorious combat with more than merely our prides at stake!”
“Please. You think you can beat me? Do I really need to remind you of our win loss ratio?”
“Hmph.” Lefi crossed her arms and snorted. “Run your mouth while you still can. For I invoke my rights as the winner of our last session to summon a pair of powerful allies. Leila! Lyuu! To me! Together, we shall topple this so-called demon lord.”
“W-What!?” I shouted a word of surprise a manner reminiscent of a villain one would see in anime.
The last game Lefi and I had played together was concentration. She had accidentally happened to get a huge chain of matches and straight up win without giving me a chance to retaliate. Pure, unadulterated luck had guided her to victory. Never once would I have imagined that her single lucky win would come back to bite me in the ass.
“Huh? We’re playin’ too?” asked Lyuu.
“How fun. I’d love to participate,” said Leila.
As far as reinforcements went, Lyuu didn’t actually matter, but Leila? Leila was bad news. Ms. Nonchalant had one hell of a head on her shoulders. She had squeezed way more victories out of me than I had her.
“Fine…. Fine,” I said. “I’ll show you that demon lords are men who triumph in the face of adversity. You think that having three of you will let you beat me? Hell no! I’ll destroy that fucked up illusion of yours!”
I quoted a line that a certain high school student often said right at the climax of an arc before setting up an arena, though all that was really composed of was arranging a few pieces on a board. Once all the preparations were complete, I took to the battlefield and marched into a world where strategy and deception triumphed above martial skill.
Though no one had caught sight of it, seeing the dungeon’s residents make merry had brought a small smile to Enne’s face.
I’m going to stop pointing out all the references in the text. IIRC there are three in this chapter. YGO, Ace Attorney, and Index.