Haruhime showed no mercy to the kobold dubbed as her 'Otou-san.' Asahi had a bit of deja vu about the whole little girl going crazy mode scenario.
The situation was reminiscent of his meeting with Rini even though Rini was less stable and more berserk.
(Rini sees her shadow in Haruhime… Another imouto?)
Asahi undid his stealth and approached Haruhime. Ais followed right behind him. Haruhime stopped bashing the kobold and turned around with a crazed look in her eyes.
"Who—" Haruhime's green eyes became clear from the muddled feelings. Her mouth opened in surprise. "Demon King…"
She was present in the audience of the War Game. Unlike the biased natives of Orario, Haruhime had met Asahi prior to the War Game. She certainly was more fond of Asahi than the scary-looking Ottar. Asahi's unprecedented strength was something she only read in books. He had his admiration rather than fear.
Feeling an itch in her arm, she looked down and saw that her wounds had been sealed. She bowed her head. A gesture that was deep-rooted in her from her Far Eastern lineage. "You have my utmost gratitude for healing me…"
Asahi's eyes briefly tracked the twitching fox ears. He cleared his throat. "What did you call me?"
"I-I'm sorry…" Haruhime meekly apologized, eyes dodging contact. "The adventurers call you that way."
Haruhime's flustered look raised a chuckle out of him. She was acting surprisingly close to a girl of her age rather than the maniac she was a few moments ago.
(But my love prefers maniac…) Klyscha sneakily leaked his fetish.
Ais took Haruhime's hand and placed three magic stones in her palm. "Yours..."
Haruhime blinked her eyes. "Are you Sword Princess?"
Ais Wallenstein was a huge celebrity in Orario, or so Haruhime had learned from the guild. She looked at the last girl, only to freeze. The blue-haired girl was giving a threatening air despite the soft smile on her face. The lineup of three strong individuals overwhelmed Haruhime to the point she couldn't speak.
Ais tilted her head, unable to understand Haruhime's exaggerated reaction. "I'm Ais."
"I'm Sanjouno H-Haruhime."
"Rini Marikawa…" Rini introduced herself and touched Haruhime's fox ears. "Can I have something like this, Onii-san?"
The thought of having rabbit ears really enticed her. She was a monster, yet she showed zero traits other than instinctive urges. It would be more appropriate to have beast traits to go along with monster blood.
"T-Those are traits of the renard race… you can't just get them."
Asahi didn't think it was impossible.
(Experimental Forbidden Transformation Potion No. 69 has everything you need.)
'Buy me a few.'
"White rabbit ears... would suit you…" Ais said and nodded her head as though she could already imagine Rini's appearance in her head. She turned to Asahi and fell into yet another trance.
(Bunny ears on my love? They won't suit you… unless—we turn you into a cute, busty girl.)
'Don't even think about it!'
He didn't want to imagine himself as a girl even if the change would bring a heaven-defying beauty.
Ais shook her head. "Won't look good…"
"Yes. Ais, do you want bunny ears?"
Ais thought for a second before answering with a headshake. "Will hinder fights."i𝚗n𝘳𝙚𝑎𝗱. 𝑐𝗼𝒎
"Typical Ais," Asahi muttered.
"Danger." Haruhime squirmed away from Rini's grasp and looked over her shoulder. "Monsters!"
Her moment of reprieve was cut short by monsters popping through the walls. She gripped her daggers, ready to cut down more kobolds.
"Don't worry about them." Asahi's reassuring voice stopped her.
He focused his intent on the monsters. The pressure of Spirit's Scourge skill squeezed the life out of the monsters, turning them into ashes on the spot.
Asahi turned to Haruhime with a serious look. "I know you're desperate for strength to prove yourself. But it wasn't wise for you to come to the dungeon alone. Monsters come in groups like this. It's better to stick with others until you are strong on your own."
He didn't want to discourage Haruhime. At the same time, he wanted her to be more cautious when venturing into the dungeon.
"What else can I do?" Haruhime asked in a flat voice and closed her eyes with a neutral expression. "No party let me join them… I can't level up if I carry backpacks as a supporter. Will I get stronger if I keep cowering in my room?"
Adventurers ridiculed her age on many occasions. The ones who wanted her in their party did so for her beauty. Her Familia God didn't recruit any adventurers since he deemed all of them unworthy to join his entourage. She couldn't leave for another Familia, for no gods out there will want a weak adventurer like her. Every little trouble piled up more and more frustration in her little mind.
"Well, is there any point to all this if you end up dying?"
"I have to risk my life to make up for my lack of talent..." Haruhime said as she glanced at Ais. "Risk and rewards go hand in hand."
"So reckless," Asahi sighed. "Susanoo is awful at teaching you. Join my Familia if you are this eager for strength. Can you take that risk?"
Haruhime was going to end up dead in the dungeon if she remained with Susanoo. She was too impatient.
The unexpected invitation stunned Haruhime. "Astraea Familia?"
Haruhime gulped and finally looked up at him. "The Clan of the Demon King…"
Asahi twitched at the ludicrous nickname given to the Astraea Familia. The ladies of justice turned into ladies of the Demon King. It couldn't get any more ironic.
Ais didn't interfere and just watched the exchange between them in confusion. Rini dragged Ais to the side and engaged in idle chit-chat, letting Haruhime think properly.
Haruhime deeply bowed her head. "Thanks for your invitation… I'll try to convince Susanoo-kami."
"I'll talk to him if he doesn't agree." Asahi smirked and plopped a hand on Haruhime's head. Without any permission, he gently pinched the fluffy fur of her fox ear.
"Ah." Haruhime flinched and shut her eyes. The surprise attack brought out a vibrant, obscene moan.
"They are really top-tier in terms of softness." He wondered about the feel of Yasaka's ears.
Haruhime stared at his face with wide eyes.
(My love is casually picking up lolis in the dungeon…)
'Nothing perverted here.'
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