"A dagger is a weapon of close combat. Closer than the sword. If your weapon is battered away, then switch to the dagger. Don't fight a demon unarmed unless you have the training, the combat skills. Even basic skills can go a long way. Let me show you how to use the dagger."
And so, for the next two hours, Clare taught Clyde how to use the dagger, techniques, hiding it, and even showed him how to properly use throwing knives. The young man wasn't perfect, but he caught on quickly. Clare's teaching was as clear as day to him, almost as if she injected the skills into his skull. They spent a lot of time pressed against each other, she sometimes grabbing his arm, directing it to a proper form. She was very touchy-feely, especially on Clyde's chest. At the end of the two hours, the young man received a prompt for his troubles.
[You have learned dagger combat 1 and knife throwing 1. Your combat level has reached basic 2.]
"I'll let you take one of the steel daggers," Clare said. "When you have the money, you know, from killing monsters and all, you can upgrade."
After he left the shop, a little disappointed that he let Clare's teasing nature decide things for him. Chika's text cheered him up and he wasted no time replying. And they said silver-haired anime people were dangerous. How ridiculous. Chika was like the friend she needed in this world.
Just then, Clyde spotted Kitome and a blue-haired young man wearing the academy school uniform, arguing in front of a restaurant. He considered walking somewhere else, uneager to interfere with their quarrel, but it was too late.
"See, there he is. We can do it, Yasuke."
"I never asked for this gift thing," Yasuke barked, without looking at Clyde. He stormed off in the opposite direction. Clyde analyzed him in time.
Higher HP and lower MP, now this intrigued Clyde. Most base stats from what he had seen so far resonated a balance between the two. No…that wasn't what hyped him. No… a real-life ninja. Jealousy ran through Clyde's blood like currents of a raging river.
Kitome smiled sadly at him as he approached. The blue-haired anime girl, who looked to be just five feet tall was dressed in casual clothing—jeans and a designer shirt. She had her long hair in curls this time. Clyde actually felt bad for the hairdresser.
"Your boyfriend's a ninja," Clyde said.
"That's my brother," Kitome said. "And like me, he transforms."
"Into a ninja," Clyde deadpanned. "That's not fair."
"So wait," Clyde continued. "You're a brother-sister duo of magical girl types."
"That's one way to put it," Kitome said. "If only he didn't reject his power so much. He'd be really helpful at taking down the demon lord."
"His level is only eleven. Remember that metal pumpkin thing?" Clyde said. "He was at twenty-five. The demon lord is going to be a fucking killer. Either your brother's in or not."
"I'll...try harder to convince him," she said with a twinkle in her eye. Clyde forced away the thought of a certain anime trope that came to mind.
"Yeah…just don't do anything weird," Clyde said as he started to walk away.
"What do you mean by that?" she said with a tiny bit of anger.
"Nothing," Clyde said. "Do your best. And get him to train. Anyway, I'm off to the dojo, bye."
Kitome still followed him.
"I don't like the hidden meaning in your voice. And you know, it's a cloudy day. I don't mind walking with you to the dojo."
He gave the young woman a blank stare, a once-over, then shrugged.
"If you have nothing better to do," he said then continued walking.
Kitome harrumphed anime-girl style. His phone buzzed. Chika sent a photo of her and the most magnificent-looking sundae ever. It looked to be the size of a melon, decked with chocolate fudge and nuts. Sweets. The enemy of Clyde's athleticism. He wasn't sure how long he'd be able to deny them in this word. The silver-haired girl sent him another message.
Next time, I'd really like to share it with you. Not my annoying father.
"How rude," Kitome said. "On your phone with another girl when you have someone like me in your company."
"Says the girl who likes—" he stopped in time then just shook his head.
"Who likes what?" Kitome gave him an inescapable glare.
"Cosplaying as magical girls," Clyde said, refusing to state the rest of his original sentence.
"It's not cosplaying," she said. "And something tells me you were about to say something else. Something worse."
"Women's intuition?" Clyde said with a chuckle. Kitome gave him a final glare then sighed.
The two walked the rest of the way to the dojo in silence. The mood increased once they watched a few matches. The duo talked and made comments, smiled and laughed together. Clyde was rewarded with prompts as they started to leave.
[Your relationship with Kitome has changed from friendly to associate-friendly.]
[Your combat style has changed from basic to somewhat skilled. You gain + 2 bonus stats to speed and will.]
After seeing Kitome off, he started for home, shopping bag in hand. As he passed the ramen shop, a strange feel shimmied down his spine. Chills. The feeling of being watched. He turned around but saw no one other than walkers on the other side of the street. They were ignoring him, talking to loved ones or even jogging. Yet, Clyde could not pass off that feeling easily—it felt palpable. A pair of eyes that were wanting.
Clyde continued to his front door, only to stop when he noticed something on the steps to his door. He picked it up. It appeared to be some kind of trading card.
[You have found an Attacker card. Item class: bizarre. The Sorceress Amina is said to have been a lost card, unable to be printed as data of it vanished a long time ago. Power: ??? Defense: ???.]
[The cards effect's and abilities cannot be revealed to you until the contract is formed.]
"What in the shit?" Clyde said as he examined the item. "A card with a big-boobed anime girl on it, dressed in wizard robes. Even has cleavage showing." He warped the card to his inventory. Something felt familiar about the trading card in general, but he just couldn't put a finger on it.
He took a nap until that evening.
Clyde set off in the cool seven-thirty air. He stopped at the ramen shop and devoured a bowl. He was about to deem the early evening safe when he spotted someone familiar laying on a bus stop bench, groaning.
Clyde pushed aside his nervousness and analyzed her.
Work under: demon lord. [Warning: it is very crucial not to engage her at your level.]
Special: Your hostile detection isn't high enough for this. [Her special…it feels like it can affect all party members.]
Weakness: Your hostile detection isn't high enough for this, masochist.
Resistances: See above.
Secret: Your hostile detection, luck, and will isn't high enough for this.
Clyde started to back away. Lack of people meant that enemies began to spawn. And of all things, a boss like this was just way out of his league. He took a deep breath then let it out as the thought of the recent quest addition came to mind.
"Are you okay?" he said, approaching the bench as casually as possible. "We don't need any dead bodies lying about."
"I'm starving," the girl said softly. "Sooner or later, my toothpaste or the soap is going to start to look delicious."
Clyde reached into his inventory and pulled out a chocolate bar. As if catching its scent, the girl's eyes shot wide open, leapt up, and then snatched the candy from his grasps. She ripped off the wrapper and devoured the bar in one swoop.
"You know, I could get you some real food," Clyde said.
She looked up at him.
"I could marry you right now," she said. "Alas—I'm perfectly fine with living off sweets. Do you have any more?"
Her eyes were sparkling in a way that made Clyde almost feel sorry for her. Almost. The young woman was still a demon lord lackey—a demoness.
He reached into his inventory, glad that he bought snacks earlier, and handed the hungry girl his last chocolate bar.
"Well, have a good one," Clyde said then started for home. He stopped when he felt a presence following him. He grew annoyed. He'd love to have normal women following him home…But not a fucking demoness.
He turned a corner and bolted. The presence followed him. As he rounded another corner, taking the block in circles, he ducked to the side of a dumpster. He heard her voice let out a "tssh" in frustration.
He waited for her presence to vanish then bolted home. As he reached for the doorknob, he stopped, realizing that taking the night off is just asking for the Viper to suddenly appear and wipe the floor with him.
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