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NEET Receives a Dating Sim Game Leveling System

Chapter 25 - Spirit-branded Retainers

Chapter 25: Spirit-branded Retainers

Translator: imperfectluck Editor: - -

"Why are you thanking me?"

"For your understanding…" Natsuya averted her eyes, "I thought that you would have some complaints…"

"Oh, right… can I still complain now?"

"You’d better not."

The two of them looked at each other again, and they both smiled.

"Let me introduce you." Natsuya Yoruhana looked behind Seiji, causing him to reflexively turn around as well. The legendary creature… no, girl was standing there!?

The short and petite middle schooler wearing large fluttery cat ears was watching him with her mysterious heterochromia eyes. Seiji hadn’t even noticed when she had appeared in this room and stood behind him!

"She’s one of my guardians as well as one of my Spirit-branded Retainers. Her name is Rana Kirin. On the surface, she’s a first-year middle school student that enrolled this year, but she’s a student in name only and has never attended any classes, for the supposed reason of being sick. She’s actually one of my Guardian Retainers, and she often patrols the school grounds. She also goes to class on occasion, but without letting anyone notice her." Natsuya Yoruhana explained.

"Oh… hello." Seiji greeted the middle school girl named Rana. Her ears quivered before she suddenly jumped up and hugged him without saying anything. She then rubbed her face against Seiji’s face! Seiji was startled as her refreshing body scent wafted into his nose.

"W… what’s this?"

"It seems like she really likes you." Natsuya blinked, "Rana almost never gets so close with anyone—you’re the only one I’ve ever seen her act this way with on the first meeting."

"I should feel happy… right?" Seiji glanced at the petite girl who was hugging him.

She had actually closed her eyes while hugging him—it seemed that she had the intention to rest on his body!

Seiji tried to move his hands and carefully hug the girl’s body, which gave him an incredibly soft feeling. Rana wriggled and made a sound resembling a kitten’s purr, before she snuggled in his arms quietly again.

"Wow…" Natsuya was astounded, "Even though she does that to me as well occasionally, this is her first time meeting you…" She had a complicated expression on her face, as if she was witnessing her beloved daughter fall in love with a complete stranger.

"I think… it’s not our first meeting?" Seiji told Natsuya about seeing Rana on his first day after transferring.

"This means that she might have been paying attention to you all this time…" Natsuya voiced her thoughts out loud, "I wonder why…

"Why don’t you just ask her directly?"

"Rana basically doesn’t talk. Although she’ll obey my commands, and sometimes even act spoiled to me, she doesn’t talk." Natsuya smiled wryly, "I originally intended to have her watch out for your safety, but it seems like I don’t need to even give her that order anymore." Her expression was like a mother who was witnessing her daughter attempt to obtain a boyfriend.

Seiji was confused as well. Rana’s inexplicable friendliness wasn’t something that could be explained by merely his handsome appearance… Was this a hidden effect of his charisma stat?

In all honesty, the true reason was of no importance—Seiji only felt a fatherly affection for the girl resting in his arms. Even though he didn’t want to admit it, his true essence was that of a middle-aged man already!

There was a brief moment of silence.

"Oh, what should I do now?"

"You don’t need to do anything. I originally intended to introduce Rana to you before finishing our conversation, but it seems like… Why don’t you just sit down for a little while?" Natsuya said rather helplessly, before suddenly glaring at him: "I don’t think you’re this type of person, but just in case, I will warn you: Rana is my Guardian Retainer, so don’t get any ideas about her! She’s quite powerful… as am I, do you understand!?"

"Yes, Madam President!" Seiji could only respond to her in a serious manner. "By the way, what exactly is a Spirit-branded Retainer?"

"A Spirit-branded Retainer is someone with spiritual power that signs a contract with a Yin Yang master…In manga, Spirit-branded Retainers are typically some sort of demons or spirits, but real-life Yin Yang masters will have contracts with humans that possess spiritual power and utilize the powers of demons, spirits, spells, and so on to increase their Spirit-branded Retainer’s power, while the Retainer fights for their master."

"I see." Seiji nodded in understanding. "You… probably have more Retainers than just Kirin, right?"

"It’s not strange that you were able to guess… you’re correct, the vice president of the student council, Hitaka Shuho, is also my Retainer. With my current abilities, I can only maintain two Spirit-branded Retainers," Natsuya stated.

"How many Spirit-branded Retainers can a person have?"

"As long as your spiritual energy is sufficient, in theory, you can have an infinite number, but in reality… Your family’s strongest ancestor Seimei Kamiaki had 12 high-ranked Retainers, 72 mid-ranked Retainers, and 856 low-ranked Retainers. The amount that he could control far surpassed any other Yin Yang master in history; nobody has ever broken his record."

"Spirit-branded Retainers have rankings?"

"Of course they do. Their ranking is dependent on the level of spiritual power and type of energy the Retainer possesses, along with the Yin Yang master’s spiritual power and summoning spell strength. Spirit-branded Retainers are separated into high, mid, and low ranks, and there’s huge power differences between each rank."

"Then what ranks are Kirin and the vice president?"

"…Mid-level low-ranked Retainers." Natsuya’s expression seemed awkward, but she immediately straightened her expression: "This… is already considerable! People in the modern day lack spiritual power, and the average Yin Yang master has greatly decreased in ability as well. My spiritual power would be considered as outstanding among my peers! My spells and summoning ability are also excellent; I’m top-ranked within my family for my age group…"

"Erm… President, you don’t need to explain in such detail." Seiji’s tugged at his lips,

"I know nothing about Yin Yang masters to begin with, so I have no clue about whether you’re weak or strong, but if you make such an effort to defend yourself, it’ll make me feel like… you’re covering for insecurities?"

Natsuya Yoruhana’s expression stiffened as her face flushed red.

"F… fine." She seemed to lose the will to continue with this topic.

Seiji felt like the whole scenario was quite amusing. It seemed like even the president, whom everyone believed to be perfect, had her own small imperfections as well.

They remained silent for a few seconds again.

"Would… you like some more tea?"

"Please, I’d like another cup."

Moments later, Seiji was carefully sipping his tea while sitting on the sofa and holding on to the middle schooler named Rana who had fallen asleep while cuddling him. He let out a sigh of contentment as he appreciated the complex flavor of the tea.

After enjoying the high-quality tea, he turned his gaze back towards the president.

"I have another question: what’s with Kirin’s ears and eyes?"

"Those are real. Due to her high compatibility rate with the cat demon spirit that I combined her powers with, she developed such an appearance. As long as she wants to, though, she can cancel their combination and revert to a normal appearance, but she seems to prefer this appearance for some reason." Natsuya shrugged. Suddenly, she thought of something and stared at Seiji: "I’ve heard that otakus really love her type…"

"…Haha, that type is really attractive; they’re just so cute!" As he said this, he suddenly noticed that the kodachi by Natsuya’s side was quivering violently, and he hurriedly exclaimed: "But I swear I won’t do anything, I swear!"

After saying this, he hastily changed the topic: "So it’s a physical phenomenon due to combining with a spirit… If their compatibility rate was even higher, in theory, at the maximum, wouldn’t her body change like a transformation?"

"…Yes, but that would be quite dangerous. There is a risk of her soul being damaged, so it’s absolutely forbidden," Natsuya said in a serious tone of voice.

Seiji nodded sagely.

"One last question: it’s… been determined that I have no ability to become a Yin Yang master, right? Then, is it possible for me to become a Spirit-branded Retainer?"

Natsuya Yoruhana was surprised momentarily. "In theory, anyone can become a Spirit-branded Retainer. But… you have no spiritual power, so it’s almost impossible for you to become one."

Seiji nodded again in understanding.

"Why do you ask?"

"I just wanted to see… since it sounds romantic to become someone’s familiar and fight just for that person." Seiji chuckled, "Otakus have their fantasies, you know."

Natsuya remained silent at that.

After that, the two of them didn’t mention the topic of Yin Yang masters. Although Seiji desired to gain a deeper understanding of Yin Yang masters, he figured that since he didn’t have the talent for it, it would only increase his frustrations. Natsuya would probably inform him of any important information anyway.

In this instance, Natsuya had told him out of her personal honor, not because he needed to know. He wasn’t a Yin Yang master to begin with—he was basically an ordinary person in her eyes—so it would have been acceptable for her to treat him as one.

It was likely that Natsuya Yoruhana had told him of her own volition because she was concerned and apologetic towards him, which showed her compassionate nature. It would be inappropriate if he kept digging for information, and it would increase the risk involved for both of them.

About fifteen minutes later, Rana finally opened her eyes, stretched, licked Seiji’s face, and hopped onto the floor before vanishing instantly.

"She really is like a cat."

‘If Chiaki knew about had just happened, then she’d probably be bursting with jealousy!’ Seiji thought as he bade farewell to Natsuya.

Not long after he departed, a red-haired girl arrived at the student council room.

Natsuya took her eyes off the documents on her desk, and looked at her friend as well as familiar with a sharp glint in her eyes.

"Make your report… Hitaka."

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