25 Always with You III

I wore my casual attire for the day and headed downstairs to find Mom cooking and Anna already at the table, she had changed and wore her office suit, looking flawless... happy and cheerful, a contrast with Anna who looked rather downcast. 

She was preparing something simple, waffles. Anna liked to come over often because my mom always cooked Western food instead of Japanese food (although she could still cook a wonderful Yakisoba) and Anna was very fond of it.

I tried to put the incident in the backroom in the back of my mind for now and focus on Anna.

"Good Morning, Anna".

She looked up at me with that cute countenance of hers for a second before pouting and leaning her head on my chest.


"You said we would sleep together… but you left me alone"

"Oh my... how heartless Anna-chan… am I nothing to you?" My mom pouted with mock sadness that flustered the girl.


"That's not what I mean Oba-san!" A pup would never bite the hand that feeds her.

"Mom please don't tease her. I'm sorry… a guest came yesterday and I had to… help her with something" I sighed, thankfully she was sleeping the whole time.

"A guest?"

"Yes, she departed early in the morning…"

"Mom and dad?" The way she looked at me... those eyes told me she was reluctant to see her parents, but I'm here with you now, alright?"

I sat next to her instead of in front of her and patted her head, "Everything is going to be okay, I'll be there with you, they were trying to protect you"

She hugged me and nodded. My mom finished our breakfast, I could tell she put plenty of love and maple syrup into it just like Anna liked it. It seemed to have cheered her up a bit Once we finish I'll fetch her home.

The three of us left the house simultaneously and I recalled that today was a normal day and my mom had to work.

"Even after what happened you still have to work? I think it is better if you stay home..." Her office is far away from the shrines where the whole Youkai incident happened but the event is all over the news even internationally, that CEO of hers must be out of his damn mind.

She doesn't even need to work, that's more like a hobby. Plus... I was expecting to spend all day with her. 

She checked her phone and locked the door, "I can't stay home Ray-chan, the CEO's orders, we don't need to stop because the office is out of the prefecture and also the train line is still working, okasan can't get out of this".

Reina was sobbing a bit comically. Mom, if you don't want to work, you don't have to work… we have millions that you saved; that was what I was going to say but she leaned down to kiss my forehead and additionally also gave one to Anna and pinched her cheeks before waving her hand at us. I watched her until she turned in a corner.

She's working so hard... I may have to give her a proper massage.


"S-Sorry, let's go".




Anna and I were silent, I hooked my hand with hers, she'd usually be all giddy about the fact but her face was focused on the ground and she wasn't lifting it up. 

"If you don't tell me what's happening, I can't help you". 

I know what's happening, what I don't know is what she's thinking. 

"Is it really okay for me… to eat them? I mean… what am I?" 

How do I answer her without this turning into a moral dilemma? 'Anubis, what do you think is most beneficial for her?'

[That would be for her to embrace her true nature. No living being ever becomes stronger by denying itself].

'But then wouldn't embracing her true nature mean that she'd become a genocider canibalist of Youkai?'

[Who cares about them? We only care about Anna, those mortals are irrelevant... wouldn't you be reassured if she became stronger as an individual by embracing her identity?]

That would be reassuring indeed, and she's a very strong one at that. I refuse to believe just any ten-year-old Youkai can so easily massacre that many kappas. I'm thinking about asking for training from Anubis to learn more about my powers... perhaps Anna could join us.

Very well, I know what answer to give her... but I don't know if her parents will agree. 

"Those are questions you will need to ask your parents, An-chan. All I know is that I don't mind". 

"You don't?" 

"I don't…" 

"Then… will you stay with me even if I'm a monster?" 

I frowned and recalled the circumstances of our friendship, the reason why I decided to hang around with this girl wasn't just because she was cute. 

"Do you remember at school everyone always puts me apart because of my skin colour, because I'm different… but you always group up with me and sought me, offered me snacks... you weren't afraid of me and that's how we became friends". 

"Yes… I knew you were just a big softie"

'This girl...'

"When they try to bully me for being different, I resist with force. In their eyes I may be a monster… but you stayed with me and defended me. So now that you're a monster why wouldn't I stay with you?" 

She blushed a bumped a fist lightly against my chest. 

"I don't like that logic. I may be a monster... but it doesn't feel good when you say it, I prefer it when you tell me I'm cute".

"Hehehe, a monster can be dangerous and cute".

"That's not possible, Ray-chan. You're just making up nonsense to make me feel good! Hmph!"

"It's true I swear!" 

I swear! I didn't know until I met you... that a monster could be so cute. In the end, she just harrumphed and had me carry her like a princess across the street, I know overly spoiling her will have consequences... but what else can I do? 

"You want some snacks? It's on me today".

"Can we go to the park and play?" 

"Anything you want". 

I want her mood to be light and happy for the conversation that's to come.

"Ray-chan, I was able to eat those kappas but you were also beating that baddy up. Are you sure you're not a monster like me?"

Well, it may have looked like I was beating him but Heracles managed to kill me. It hasn't been bothering me as much due to the amount of events happening in my life; but if not for these powers, I would have wasted my second chance just like that. 

I could have died... if I hadn't had chaos points.

Anna's words brought back reality to me. Everything could have ended just because of that bastard Heracles. What pisses me off the most is that I think I'm stronger than him... but because I have barely ever fought in my life... I just didn't have the experience. 

[It is good that you realise this. I came to ensure your survival, Ray... but that demigod was fiddle in front of you. Don't worry... in due time I will teach you how to combat and use your authority offensively. Especially that new one].

I took a deep breath and nodded. First Rizevim, then Diehauser and lastly Heracles... motherfuckers just give me a bit of time, I'll fuck you all up.

"Ray-chan you're a bit distracted, are you okay?"

"Sorry sorry... I'm just thinking about a lot of things, what did you ask?"

"I said maybe you're a monster just like me... you were defeating that man... the baddy with the rocket hands".

"Of course, I'm a monster too, An-chan. Monster and monster together strong~"

"Monsters together strong! Yay!"

"Why are you so happy now?"

"You're paying for the snacks!"

"Cheapskate, how come every time it is my turn to pay you get the most expensive ones... but when it is your turn I barely get any candies... and I still have to share my part with you!"

"Are? What are you talking about?~"

"You glutton!"

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