“So because of that that you have a habit of intimidating animals? …No wonder they won’t approach.”
It was actually because wild animals were more sensitive to the aura of the evil god, but he couldn’t actually tell them that, so he reasoned it away in that manner.
In fact, he was already suppressing the aura as much as he could, so this sort of reaction was already very muted.
“I’ve never been liked by animals anyway. Dogs and cats never could become fond of me, young birds dispersed whenever I came, and even hamsters would run away when they saw me.”
When he made a thousand-mile look and looked dejected, understandably, even Myuhi couldn’t laugh.
“So people that animals just don’t like really do exist, huh,” Myuhi said.
“Well, thanks to that, I was never attacked by wild animals when I was drifted away,” Shinichi said.
He continued to look into the distance and insisted that animals wouldn’t get close to him.
He even wryly smiled, saying, “If animals did attack me, I wouldn’t have been able to fight back.”
Myuhi felt sorry for him, but Shinichi himself just acted as though animals hating him was actually a good thing.
That caused various emotions to well up within the two listening to him.
“Y-You, uu… You really lived such a sad life. No wonder you get along so poorly with people… It’s almost enough to make me cry,” Frire said.
“Ah, Icchi made Fudonecchi cry!” Myuhi said.
“No, I did not! And you calm down too! Besides, it’s my first time seeing deer this close, and Nara Park really is beautiful, so even if the animals won’t get close to me, I’m still having tons of fun!”
Frire really did seem like she was about to cry, so Shinichi panicked and quickly said that.
Frire had just wanted to be considerate of him, but when she realized how far she’d missed the mark, she became frustrated. She was also sympathetic because the environment he had to live in for two years was just too terrible, but what she truly lamented was how he couldn’t enjoy being with others because of that.
As someone who had been alone for most of her childhood, she barely had any memories living with her peers and fighting alongside them, but what little moments she did have brought her much joy.
She thought that he might finally be able to enjoy himself after gaining the trust of those three classes, but then this happened.
As a teacher, it was indeed a situation that made her want to cry.
“You might be in charge of me, but you don’t really have to be that concerned. It’s not like I don’t have any friends anyway. I have students like you that are really close to me. I’m having plenty of fun as is, so if I asked for any more than this, I’m sure heaven would punish me.”
Shinichi was sensitive to how she felt, so he shook his head and told her to calm down with a gentle voice, though the way he did so suggested he was used to this.
Neither the smile he made nor the words he spoke was a lie. He was being considerate with her, of course, but he didn’t lie. That was without a doubt how he truly felt.
“…Y-Yeah. Right, you do have a few friends. I’m sure you must be having a lot of fun with them, right!?”
When Frire heard that, she recovered herself and nodded back, then Shinichi made himself taller and patted her on the head, drawing out a childlike smile that covered Frire’s whole face.
She was just like a little sister happy that her big brother consoled her.
“Seriously, just who is the adult between the two of you… Those eyes… Fudonecchi, don’t tell me you’re serious.”
Myuhi took a step back as she watched their strange interaction in astonishment.
Unlike with Aristel, these two hadn’t actually met much without her around, so she knew that their trust in each other had been growing by the day.
That’s why she couldn’t take the way Frire looked at Shinichi as merely that of a teacher worrying about a student.
There was an emotion much more powerful than that hidden beneath her eyes, but it was also a different color from the sort of eyes one would expect between a man and a woman.
“There’s no way she’s just using him as a substitute for her older brother. This isn’t something that could be reasoned away with just that.”
For some reason, when she said that to Youko, who was by her feet, Youko nodded back to her.
Frire was too accepting of him to simply say that she was being grateful.
But she doesn’t realize that, so she continues to open too much of herself to him.
Despite being a person far too estranged from the concept of familial affection, Frire trusted him and felt for him like she would an actual family member.
As someone who didn’t have any family herself, Myuhi understand all too well what that meant and how serious a matter that was.
If not for all the people around, Myuhi would have yelled right there and then, demanding to know exactly just how many women Shinichi had tricked already.
“…You seem to be having fun.”
Unlike Myuhi, Youko was chirping about happily as though she were saying, ‘indeed’, leaving Myuhi with no choice but to sigh.
“Well, I’m not. If he got into my heart that easily, I’d fall for him for sure.”
Her words could be taken for either objection or grief, but Youko just beckoned her on.
There was a teacher and a student talking to each other as though siblings, and then there was Youko standing between them and Myuhi, beckoning her with a paw as though to say, ‘by all means, please do fall.’
She was a beast, but it sounded as though she were laughing, and maliciously too.
“…What a terrible maneki-neko , or to more precise, what a terrible maneki-kitsune… I’m not falling for him, okay!”
Myuhi glared at her, but she just touched her lips with her front paw, as though to say, ‘oh, my,’ while obviously implying something with her expression, which if put into words would surely be…
───It’s too late already, though.
When Myuhi seemed to hear those words accompanied by a scorn, a crack appeared on her mask, and her ears and tail stood up on end as she seriously glared at Youko.
But Youko remained leisurely, and that pissed her off even more.
Were she calm, she would know that she couldn’t win against an Amaryllis even when it was young, but her pride as a woman wouldn’t let her back down.
“…What are you two doing?” Shinichi said.
“H-Hey, Ruona. Do you realize what you’re picking a fight with right now?”
Frire and Shinichi seemed to have noticed the disquieting atmosphere.
Shinichi just looked curious, but Frire’s face was twitching and she seemed unnerved.
As a Garestonian, Frire’s reaction was the correct one.
However, neither the person in question nor the fox in question responded to her, and instead Youko just made a cry and jumped on Shinichi’s shoulder, acting as though she didn’t have anything to do with the woman she was glaring at earlier as she rubbed her cheeks against her master.
Just that alone would be enough to turn Myuhi’s pride into shreds, but…
Youko went as far as to glance back at her and laugh mockingly before rubbing her cheeks against Shinichi again, as though to say, ‘jealous, aren’t you?’
That provocation drew out so much killing intent from Myuhi that the air shook and the deer simultaneously ran away.
“Sigh… Enough already.”
Shinichi understood the situation, so he grabbed Youko by the scruff of her neck and dangled her before his face before telling her off. In response, her eyes swam, and she wryly smiled.
“Sorry about that, Hina. She just can’t help but mess with the people around me.”
Shinichi apologized in that manner, but Myuhi didn’t think it was something that could be settled just with that.
Her face twitched with a grim expression; she was not smiling anymore.
Shinichi was surprised to learn how weak Myuhi was to provocation, but he answered with his usual smile nonetheless.
“Yep, just like me, she can’t help but tease the people she likes.”
Myuhi tilted her head, but Youko immediately realized what he was planning and panicked.
But by then, there was already a huge grin on Shinichi’s face.
“This is an order, okay? Don’t resist, don’t run, let her do whatever she wants… Here.”
Youko drew a parabola in the air as Shinichi tossed her straight into Myuhi’s arms.
With all manner of resistance forbidden by her master, Youko had no recourse but to allow Myuhi to have her way with her.
“I see, so you liked me that much! Good, very good! Wow, it’s so soft!!”
“Fukyu!?!? Kyu, kyukyu!!?”
Myuhi’s usual smile returned on her face as she rubbed her cheeks against Youko and groped her entire body.
The movements of her hand were fierce, and Youko cried in protest, but her cries only made Myuhi’s smile bigger.
“Fu fu, she’s just like the master of a certain beast kingdom.”
For all the servant’s protest, the master just watched as Myuhi made a mess of Youko’s well-groomed fur.
Meanwhile, Frire had already gone completely pale and was holding her head.
“If other Garestonians saw this, they’d either faint or panic.”
 – That cat figurine whose paw is always going up and down.