Side Story: No Man Was Never A Cute Little Boy—Part 2
Editor(s): Speedphoenix, Joker
“Open wide, Yooksie! Here comes the train!”
Illuna and Enne each shoved a spoon in my face as I sat despondently at the dinner table. I already knew that there was no point resisting, so I wordlessly opened my mouth, accepted their deliveries, and chewed.
“Is it tasty, Yooksie?”
“Yeah… totally…” I said, unenthusiastically. I could feel my soul withering away with every passing moment. “You two are the best big sisters ever…”
Evidently, I was the only one to find my circumstances unfortunate. Both the girls pestering me were more than happy to see and interact with my newfound form. I’d more or less expected Illuna to respond the way she had, but seeing Enne do the same came as a bit of a surprise. Evidently, they’d both wanted to be on the opposite end of being taken care of and babied, and I’d ended up at just the right size for them to paint me as the target they needed to vent their desires.
Unlike literally everyone else, Shii hadn’t reacted to the change in my stature. She continued to treat me the exact same way she always had, and even seemed to be bewildered by how the others were acting. Her confusion led me to recall that, though she had eyes, they were quite literally just for decoration. I wasn’t really sure how she saw at all, let alone how she saw my newfound size. Her perspective was different from ours. There was a good chance she thought that shrinking was not really all that different from trimming one’s hair. You know, I’m not anywhere near as curious or learned as Leila is, but I’m really starting to wonder just how the world looks through Shii’s eyes.
“Watching you four is really putting a smile on my face. You’re just so cute,” giggled Nell, who happened to be sitting across from us. “It’s a real shame you aren’t smiling, Yuu, that’d make you even cuter.”
“Yeah, not happening,” I grumbled. “The moment I start smiling is the moment I start bleeding out of literally every orifice.”
“W-wow. I didn’t know you were that unhappy.”
That’s some Grade A Bullshit right there.
Although I had no idea how I was supposed to get back to normal, Lefi unsurprisingly did. A bit of questioning was all it took for her to explain what was going on. My magic eye couldn’t tell the difference between my current and usual states, but she could apparently see right through the potion’s effects. Its magical energy had remained dormant in order to circulate through my magical pathways and invade my body like a virus. Once its incubation period came to pass, it activated and began eating away at my mana, which for reasons that not even she could explain, turned me into a kid.
Long story short, I was sick. The only way for me to get back to normal was to sit around and wait for my body to recover, which it apparently mostly had. Her diagnosis appeared to indicate that I was to be freed from hell by tomorrow morning at the latest. Double-checking with Leila confirmed that there was little for me to worry about. The ever-knowledgeable sheep girl had professed that potions like the one I’d drank never lasted for long.
I was grateful. Even the thought of remaining as an ace detective for an extended period of time had led my own friend, darkness, to rear his ugly mug. I could already see him on the horizon, hand in hand with clinical depression. Oh… So this is why Shinichi was so desperate to track down the Black Organisation. I get it now…
“Wanna go outside and play once we’re done eating breakfast?” asked Illuna.
“Good idea,” said Enne.
“Sure… Whatever you two say,” I heaved a sad sigh. “No good little brother would ever say no to his big sisters, after all.”
“Get him, girls! He’s right there!”
Illuna’s cue led Rui and Lowe, or more accurately the dolls they possessed, to turn in my direction. They glided through the air with all the grace and speed of a pair of figure skaters on ice. But to no avail.
“Better think again if you think you can catch Detective Yuki that easily!” All it took for me to evade them was flap my wings and rocket my way into the great blue.
“That’s cheating, Yooksie! Flying isn’t fair!” said Illuna.
“Heh, heh, heh.” I taunted her with a slow, deliberate laugh. “Complain all you want. Nothing’s changing.” I continued to fly around and make liberal use of my wings to evade my pursuers as I spoke. “This tiny ass form is more than just suffering. It’s my Speed Forme. Ain’t nobody outrunning me when I’m this fast!”
“Fine! If you’re not gonna play fair, then we’re just gonna have to beat you by putting our heads together and combining our powers!” declared the vampire.
“Try it, try it and weep as you fail!” My words came with a smirk. “No good will come of you working together!” I crossed my arms and broke into a deranged, maniacal cackle, all while continuing to evade capture.
“Alright everyone, let’s all charge at the same time!” said Illuna. “Ready? Go!”
The first three to close in on me were the triplets. Their approach was well structured. They were so well coordinated that they managed to approach me from three different directions simultaneously. They were tunnelling me in order to cut down on the number of ways I could escape them.
My only option was to go down towards the ground. So I did. I closed my wings and allowed myself to freefall until I was on the verge of eating dirt. Only then did I kick myself into gear. I gave my wings a great flap and boosted myself forwards. The ground and I ran parallel. I shot from left to right and right to left. A trail of zigs and zags followed me through the weeds as I tore through the overgrown greenery.
Losing most of my body came with a reduction in mass. I was more agile. I’d become capable of pulling off twists and turns sharp enough to kill. No normal children could have possibly kept up with my high-speed maneuvers—not that the dungeon was home to any such individuals.
Flying low, while thrilling, was by no means an optimal choice. Because it meant putting myself within reach of the wingless, the most threatening of which was the literal living sword. Enne’s blade form was on par with the most powerful weapons known to man. And her incarnate form wasn’t all that far behind. As a humanoid, the blade was capable of demonstrating such speed and finesse that she could put even the most confident adult to shame.
Evasive maneuvers meant nothing to her. She read me with pinpoint accuracy, leapt through the air, and set herself up to land right in front of me. Though she was a fearsome foe, I was still one step ahead.
Becoming a child had nothing to mitigate the overwhelming power I possessed as a demon lord. Neither my kinetic vision nor my reaction speed had taken any hits. I was able to spot Enne out of the corner of my eye as she leapt at me from what should have been a blind spot, spin around in midair, and ward off her dropkick before catching her and lightly placing her on the ground in order to make sure she didn’t get hurt.
“Too bad, Enne. You’re going to need to do more than j—”
My patented child-protection technique took less than a second to execute. Still, it created an opening, one that the girls were more than willing to take advantage of. Upon spinning around, I found myself greeted by a facefull of blue. Shii had returned to her slime form and plastered herself all over my head.
Enne wasn’t the only one to read me. Illuna had too. She’d known that I was going to open up my mouth and blab the moment I bested Enne. And that was my downfall. Having a slime stuck to my face stopped me from perceiving my surroundings, so I ended up hitting the breaks and coming to a standstill a few feet above the ground.
It was over. Both the wraith girls and Enne swarmed me before I could recover. Just between you and me, I totally coulda had that in the bag. My Crisis Detection skill let me see Shii coming from a mile away, but dodging her and foiling Illuna’s strategy seemed no different from calling the fun police, so I decided not to.
“Arrgghhh!?” I screamed in mock confusion as I initiated a tailspin that brought me all the way down into the weeds, after which Illuna delivered the finishing blow by leaping onto my already over-encumbered frame.
“And that’s one Yooksie freshly caught and ready for market!” she giggled. “Too bad for you, Yooksie! Little brothers can never get away from their big sisters!” She flashed a cross between a happy smile and a shit-eating grin as she declared me the loser.
“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” I chuckled. “I should’ve known that there was no point in standing up to someone older than me.”
“What are we doing next, master?” asked Shii.
“Hmmm… Well, I’ve had enough tag for now, so what do you say we mess around a bit in the sandbox?”
“That’s a great idea! let’s go right away!” said Illuna.
“Mhm. Good idea,” echoed Enne.
While the wraiths weren’t capable of vocalizing their agreement, they still found themselves with the ability to demonstrate their enthusiasm by waving their arms energetically as they spun circles around me. As there were no objections, I turned towards the park-like area I’d transformed the castle’s garden into and began leading the girls on a jolly old march. I was happy, they were happy, we were all happy.
Everything was going great.
Or so it seemed.
“Wow, Master, you seem to be havin’ an awful good time for someone who was screamin’ about how much he hated gettin’ turned into a kid.”
I froze up. My neck creaked as would a rusty old hinge as I slowly turned my head to face the dog-eared maid. If her words hadn’t made it obvious that she was judging me, her expression definitely did. I couldn’t bring myself to meet her eyes. They were too accusatory. Even a single glance was enough to fill me with shame.
“O-oh, hey Lyuu. D-didn’t notice you there. W-what’s up?” I stuttered, nervously.
“I was just finishin’ up the laundry,” she said. “But then I heard you guys shoutin’. It sounded like you were havin’ plenty of fun, so I thought to come see what you were up to.” A smug grin appeared on her face. “It seems like turnin’ into a kid’s done a lot to you, Master. I didn’t think you’d regress to the point where you started havin’ fun talkin’ about how much of a kid you are compared to everyone else. I even heard you callin’ Illuna and Enne your big sisters a few times.”
“S-shut up! You think I had a choice!? I’d nev—”
“Awww… So you don’t want us to be your big sisters?” Said Illuna with a sad frown.
“T-That’s not what I meant,” I said, panicked. “It’s just, you know… I uh… yeah…” I tried to come up with a plethora of excuses, but failed to come up with anything decent.
“Wow, Yooksie, you’re real mean. Boys shouldn’t be pickin’ on girls and makin’ ‘em cry, y’know?”
“Do not call me that! I don’t need you hopping on the bandwagon too, goddammit!”
“You know, Master, as you are now, you’re kinda like the little brother I’ve always wanted.”
Lyuu giggled sadistically as she picked me up off the ground. “You’re kinda annoyin’ and a pain in the butt, but also cute at the same time.” She started rubbing her cheeks against mine as she spoke. “I can see why Lefi ‘n Nell liked messin’ around with you so much.”
“Stop that! The kids are watching, you idiot!”
“The way you’re actin’ all embarrassed just makes you even cuter,” she said as she continued. “Besides, just a little won’t hurt nobody.”
“Seriously, Lyuu! Knock it off! This is not fine! I know I look like a kid right now, but I’m still me on the inside, you know?”
All the smothering and nuzzling the wolf girl forced me to engage in ultimately put the two of us in extremely close proximity. The difference in our sizes made both her touch and her scent much more vivid than it had ever been before. It was almost like I was being enveloped by her on all sides and wrapped up in her essence. It was uncomfortable. And yet, not. She was soft. Feminine. Warm.
Still, I felt more embarrassed than turned on. Being picked up and carried around in an embrace was already bad enough. My sense of shame was screaming at me, begging me to escape. And the mutual cheek rubbing only made it worse.
“I know we ain’t really married yet, and that we won’t be ‘till my dad checks back in a year and makes sure everythin’ is still okay, but we’re still engaged,” she said. “So I don’t think that snugglin’ up to each other is all that much of a problem.”
“I mean, you’re not wrong per se…” I said. Putting it that way actually makes it seem a lot less problematic. Huh…
“That’s right, Yooksie,” said Lyuu. “And that means I can hug you as much as I want.”
“That’s not fair, Lyuu! It was supposed to be our turn to play with Yooksie!” complained Illuna. “You can’t just drop in and start hogging him!”
“She’s right. That’s not fair,” said Enne.
“Sorry girls,” giggled Lyuu. “Alright, I think I’ve had my fill, so you guys can have him back.” She gave me one last hug before she put me down and picked up her laundry basket. “Promise me you’ll all get back inside the castle before it gets dark out, mkay?”
“Mkay!” repeated the slime and the vampire. The sword and the wraiths silently expressed their acknowledgement by nodding and raising their hands respectively.
“Looks like you’re the only one that hasn’t made any promises, Yooksie.”
“Do I really have to…?” I grumbled.
“O‘course you do,” said Lyuu with a shit-eating grin. She stared intently at me, as if to indicate that she had no intention of letting me off the hook.
“Ugh… Fine,” I sighed. “…I pwomise.”
I need my fucking body back.