I groggily open my eyes and squint at the bright rays of light penetrating the shed. Some chorus of singing creatures, presumably birds, is making a racket outside. From the light, it feels like mid-morning.
Ah, so I fell asleep at the bench after finishing. Strangely, though, I don't feel too cold or uncomfortable...
It's nice that the summer is so mild here, I guess. Makes a change from home.
I stretch, and pry my cheek off the workbench, rolling my neck a bit. As I do, a duvet drops off me and I do feel a slight morning chill.
Huh... I wonder who put this here.
My question is answered as I stand and see a curled up Aria on the nearby sofa, with another sheet covering her. She is back in her combat outfit, and her black spear is propped up next to the door.
Huh. I'm not as dangerously close this time, so I can more safely observe her snoozing on her side, silver hair in a mess as she breathes peacefully.
I can't suppress a big wry smile at this composition as I crouch next to her. A stunning girl can really pull off a scene to make a man fall in love without trying, can't they?
"Gahhhh!" She evidently detects me, breaking the serenity as she suddenly opens her eyes and leaps up, almost braining herself on a crate next to the sofa.
"Good morning." I say.
"Nggghh... dammit! Again... craaap... I'm becoming so weeeak..." She looks away and blushes furiously, cradling her face in her hands.
"D-don't get any funny ideas. I-I just... was doing dawn training and I thought I'd check on you... b-but..."
She and Rishya are scarily alike. I can't help but burst into laughter, holding my sides.
I get a rising kick to my shin.
It certainly shuts me up, but this, as usual, was not an especially well thought out move by Aria, as my leg buckles from the attack and I fall straight on top of her, tangling us both in the duvet she was still partly covered by.
She struggles furiously and we both fall off the sofa in a pile with her on top.
Now we have the straddling scene I expected from Rishya's impact yesterday. Her skirt is riding up too and I can see her panties.
I feel so happy at being able to be part of this cliché, at last! So much so I instantly forget the pain of my leg.
Aria is frozen with another crazy face. But then she starts to cry, hiccing as tears spill down her face.
This is not the reaction I expected, and it sobers me up rapidly.
"Urk... uuuuu... w-why does this always, hic, happen... to meee... wh-why do I keep being so... stupid... I d-don't want to p-push you away... I never wanted to fight like this... demons... I'm always scared... it is all down to us... s-so... don't leave me, don't go back! I couldn't... wahhhhh!"
I sit up and hug her tightly. I sigh. She was carrying so much responsibility, wasn't she?
"Aria... you ~are~ stupid sometimes. Didn't I say I would stand by you? I'm an idiot as well, but I keep my promises. Talk to me. I'm your summoned hero, we're in this together."
She cries into my shoulder for a while as I pat her small back.
She goes limp for a couple of minutes, sniffling, but then whispers in my ear...
"Thankyou. T-this is how you get all the girls, isn't it?"
Hmm. I wish this kind of thing worked on most girls. But we actually have a rather unique situation here.
She wiggles out of my embrace and looks wistfully at me.
I can't not focus on her dishevelled silver hair, her pure blue eyes, her pale exposed neck and collarbones. Something rises. I'm honestly fighting a vicious urge to kiss her and ravage her right away.
"I actually don't think I'd mind. I must be insane." She says, smiling bashfully, from apparently feeling my... uh... thoughts.
I swallow. Not helping! I'm not a libido-less JP protagonist, Aria! This is dangerous!
"But not right now." She puts a finger on my lips seductively.
"We... uh... need to think straight... it... it's hypocrisy coming from me... but... we can't become one like this. We... we would end up... prioritising the... the wrong things..." she sighs heavily.
She stares into my eyes, blushing, and then kisses my forehead with a peck, before peeling herself off somewhat reluctantly.
It does little to calm the roaring tempest inside me, but I endure, with difficulty.
"Y-you had better take responsibility for corrupting yet another maiden!" She cries, shaking her finger.
"R-responsibility... eh... uuuu..." She briefly looks at me and then shies away, the colour of a beetroot.
"I will... uh... leave this blanket here... and... uh... tell the others you're asleep still. Get rid of it when you're d-done. T-try n-not to take too long!! Kyaaaa!"
She dashes off, grabbing her spear and running out the door, shutting it with a bang.
Wait... what? Surely she didn't just imply...
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- Purveyor of dubious medicinal snake oils [since 1885]
Bio: A strange englishman with an unusual degree of ambivalence over tea, he is a second-generation nerd, and the unfortunate owner of a berserk, leaking imagination that occassionally requires vomiting up as new designs for games and worlds. He limped through university on a humanities degree, and though he often expected a career surrounded by paper, he did not expect that paper to be mostly forms and meeting minutes full of content so dross it could bore you to tears. On the other hand, being in the civil service does teach valuable life skills, like the ability to turn a single concept into fifty-seven pages of content, something which synergises surprisingly well with more creative forms of writing as long as it is restrained. Also the creator of an Anime RPG called Aniventure, and the writer of Yuusha Youjo on this site. Praise be! Or something...