Road Trip — Part 2
Editors: Speedphoenix, Joker
As our coach slowly lumbered along, we naturally began to speak to the other passengers in order to pass the time. Wait, it’s not really a coach, so like… oh forget it. I don’t care anymore. Coach or not, I’m calling it one anyway.
“Wow, Yuki, are you fur real? That’s hissterical! Your wife really made you bring a maid with you just so you’d keep your tail in your pants? You’ve gotta be kitten me!”
The cat beastkin, Naiya, practically laughed her ass off as she learned of my circumstances. There wasn’t much I could say. The only two responses I could offer were a dry laugh and a wry smile.
Them cat puns though. Oh, what am I thinking? Of course, a catgirl would use cat puns. Duh! As much as I wanted to believe that cat people and cat-based wordplay naturally went hand in hand, I knew it wasn’t true. The cat puns stemmed from my Translation skill. In reality, cat beastkin just spoke with a heavy accent. My skill accounted for it and localized her speech by removing the distortions created by her dialect and replacing them with cat-based gags. Kek. Skill pls.
“So is she your daughter? And did mew have her with your wife?” Naiya grinned as she directed her gaze towards Enne, who was remaining vigilant of the beastkin girl while sitting on my lap.
“More or less, yeah.”
I quite literally made Enne. And since she was partly made up of Lefi’s fangs, one could say that we both played a role in her synthesis. Calling her our kid was well within reason.
“I’m your daughter, Master?”
“I think so, at least,” I said. “Er, if you’re okay with it, that i—”
“I’m okay with it.” Enne cut me off in order to voice her agreement before I could even finish my sentence. “And I’m very happy.”
“A-Alright. I-I guess that’s that then.”
I couldn’t help but stutter, mostly because I was taken aback by the sheer extent of her enthusiasm. You know, now that I think about it, Enne doesn’t really let it show that much, but she’s practically bursting with emotion, isn’t she? Not that I mind, of course. It’s adorable.
“Wait a second, furrends. Does that mean mew two aren’t actually related by blood?”
“There are some… extenuating circumstances,” I said.
“…I’m sure there are,” said Haloria. She glanced at the sword I had strapped to my back as she muttered under her breath. It still didn’t seem like she was over the whole personification thing.
“Come on, Naiya! You really need to start respecting other people’s privacy.” Mille, the girl sitting next to Naiya, scolded her.
Mille looked the part of the archetypical mage. She had a robe, a pointy hat, and a large gnarled wooden staff. She belonged to a race of demons known as witches. Demons were, in general, gifted in terms of their magical abilities, but witches were even more so. Unlike most other demons, witches didn’t have any visible distinctive characteristics. Mille more or less looked no different from the average human girl unless I made use of my Magic Eye. The only trait I could note was that she was so tiny and pitifully flat that not even her robe could hide her complete and utter lack of curves. Though, that might be more of a Mille thing than a witch thing.
“What is it?” The girl in the pointy hat questioned me as she noticed my gaze.
“N-Nothing, really,” I said. “I was looking at your staff. It’s huge.”
“Oh, this? All witches are given staves like this when we reach adulthood,” she said. “They really help when it comes to casting magic. Our spells still work even without them, but having one makes it much easier for us to keep everything under control.”
So that’s what staves do. I should probably try making one some time. My gut’s telling me that I should be able to pull it off if I use Weapon Transmutation.
“Wait. Did you just say you’re an adult?” I cocked an eyebrow.
“What are you trying to say!?” complained Mille. “I’m a full-grown adult! I’m even going to say it one more time just in case you didn’t hear me clearly enough. I. Am. An. Adult.”
She got really close and more or less shoved her face into mine, completely violating my personal space as she pressed her point.
“Alright, alright. I get it. You’re an adult and you’re all grown up.” Only after I nodded did she finally back away. Seeing that I was once again in the green, I immediately muttered a certain thought under my breath quietly enough for her not to hear it. “How old do you need to be to be an adult anyway…?”
“Fifteen, My Lord,” whispered Leila.
Oooohhhh. I see how it is. As far as I could tell, there were ultimately two possible reasons as to why she was acting the way she was. The first was that she was frustrated because people kept labelling her as a child, either by mistake or intentionally because they wanted to tease her. The alternative was that she had only just come of age. Whatever the case, the end result was the same. She desperately wanted everyone to know that she was an adult, hence the insistence. It’s alright, Witchling. If it’s option two, then you might still be fine. Being fifteen means you’ve still got plenty of time to grow. And if that’s the case, then I’m sure you’ll get to say goodbye to that pitifully flat chest of yours eventually.
Of course, while Mille looked like she was still just a teenager, I knew better than to assume that to be the truth. I happened to live with someone that looked like they were still in middle school despite being over a thousand years old, after all. Lefi might be a bit of a special case, but I’m pretty sure there are at least a few races out there that stop growing once they hit a certain age. If that’s what’s going on here, then all I really have to say is well… tough luck.
“Witches like her don’t tend to get very big. Aren’t they just adorable?” Another girl, one belonging to the Tentill Devil race, suddenly began hugging and fondling the tiny girl with the pointed hat.
“S-Stop that Rouinne! Come on! Stop it!”
Rouinne had two racial traits. The first was a pair of horns. They extended from the side of her head and pointed forwards. The second was a thin, devil-like tail growing from her rear. Unlike Mille, Rouinne carried an aura of seduction. She was so full of feminine appeal that it practically oozed off of her. One could even say that she was the very embodiment of the term MILF. And to make matters worse, she was dressed in a skimpy, provocative outfit that only served to emphasize her curves.
Most of the other male passengers practically had their eyes glued to her. Their slovenly expressions made their thoughts as clear as day. They only ever looked away when they felt the need to send me a jealous glare or two, as unlike the rest of them, I was actually talking to her. Rouinne please, can’t you wear something a little less revealing? Having the guys stare daggers at me isn’t exactly what I’d call comfortable.
Rouinne aside, the witchling was doomed. The fact that her race basically consisted entirely of little girls meant that she didn’t have much more of a chance to grow; she had no choice but to live a life of eternal flatness. How tragic. Poor little thing.
“W-why are you looking at me like that!?” Sensing the pity in my gaze caused Mille to react with a start.
“Stay strong, Witchling, stay strong.”
“Witchling!?” The tiny mage screeched her new nickname at the top of her lungs as Naiya and Rouinne both broke into hearty laughs.
The three women were companions. They were all adventurers and they had apparently been working together for a long time. In fact, their choice of career was the reason that the girls were here to begin with; they had been tasked with guarding the coach. Composition wise, their party had a vanguard, a rearguard, and a scout. These roles were fulfilled by Rouinne, Mille, and Naiya respectively.
It turned out that Rouinne’s class was sword dancer. I didn’t know too much about it, so I referred to the handy dandy maid-shaped encyclopedia I happened to have at hand. According to Leila, sword dancers danced around while casting spells that inflicted harmful status conditions before moving in for the kill with a pair of blades. They had the tendency to dress lightly in order to draw in their enemies’ eyes as it was easier to cast spells that caused mental abnormalities if the spells’ intended targets were staring right at them.
The tactic was extremely effective, especially when men were involved. Evidence of its success could be seen from how well it was working on the coach’s other male passengers. I, however, was safe. Enne would move to block my line of sight each and every single time I so much as looked in the MILF’s direction. It turned out that my sword happened to be enchanted with charm resistance. And much to my
displeasure, it was working perfectly.
Allowing the adventurers responsible for guarding the coach to casually laze about inside of it may have seemed to defeat the purpose of employing them in the first place, but that wasn’t the case at all. The coach actually had two parties worth of guards and they were working on rotation in order to ensure that both remained rested and up to the task. The other party was currently outside and the two were set to swap shortly. I guess only having one group just doesn’t cut it for a trip this long. The passengers probably feel a lot better knowing that the people trying to keep them safe aren’t totally worn out, huh?
The fact that the demon realm even had adventurers in the first place was something that had left me quite surprised. The guild in the demon realm was, of course, not affiliated with the guild in the human world given to the hostile nature of the political landscape. However, they were functionally identical. The jobs listed were apparently pretty much the same, and there would even occasionally be an exchange of human capital. Literally. Human adventurers particularly keen on seeking thrills would occasionally venture out from the human world and find themselves employed in the demon realm.
Fortunately for these individuals, the demon realm ran on a merit-based system. Race was irrelevant. No one was looked down upon so long as they were strong and capable of getting the job done. That said, there were only a few souls brave enough to try. I felt as if I could probably count the number of human adventurers I saw on one hand.
“Witchling? Witchling!?” complained Mille. “What do you mean witchling!? That’s so rude! Please take that back right this instant!”
“Oh, right. My bad. You’re a lady, a full-grown adult,” I said. “Here, take some candy and cheer up, alright?”
“Wow! Can you believe this man!? How could anyone possibly be so rude!?”
Well, someone doesn’t like candy. Oh well, that’s too bad then. I guess I’ll just give this to Enne instead.
“Oh man, that was purrfect!” cackled Naiya as she gave me a few slaps on the shoulder. “That catitude of yours, Yuki? It’s hilarious! It’s clawful too, but I cat stop laughing!”
Just like that, we continued to idly chat the hours away as the coach slowly rumbled along.