“What are you guys doing?”
A voice filled with exasperation suddenly came from behind.
Startled, Crim pulled away from Freya’s neck where she had been eagerly nibbling on the blood that seeped from her bite mark.
“Ahaha, it tickles,” Freya giggled.
“You disappeared all of a sudden, so I came to look for you.”
“Hehe, we got caught, so it’s over for today, right?”
Freya buttoned up her collar and straightened her clothes back into place.
Crim inwardly sighed and regretted the fleeting moment as she watched her.
“Well… at least we weren’t seen by Hinagiku-chan…”
“Huh? No, she’s here,”
Crim’s relief was short-lived as she turned to see Hinagiku peeking out from behind them back with a flushed face.
“Oh my, you’re both adults… this must be what my mother calls ‘lovers’ quarrels’?”
Hinagiku shyly wriggled as she covered her red face with her hands.
“No, it’s not like that… and we’re not lovers,”
Crim hastily protested.
Trying to correct Hinagiku’s misunderstanding, Crim desperately explains that “Destiny Unchain Online” is strictly an online game for all ages, and there is no ethical code that allows for “that kind of thing” as found in some adult-oriented VR games.
Crim silently wonders what Hina’s mother is teaching her young daughter.
“Well, at least you’ve returned to that cute figure,”
Says Freya, cutting off Crim mid-sentence and gazing at her intently.
“…What is it?”
“No, you haven’t.
Either way, you’re cute, Crim.”
“Mind your own business!?”
Crim retorts as usual, while Freya was laughing.
After some conflict, they finally gathered and continued to hunt monsters, to improve their skills, for several hours.
As if it were tea time in the afternoon, they spread out a wrapping cloth on a high hill where the wind passes through, and took a break with tea and snacks prepared by Freya… Crim tells Hinagiku what she had been thinking since the PK battle.
Hinagiku tilted her head while holding a cup of warm tea in both hands.
Yes, this was an invitation from Crim to the new guild she was planning to start, specifically for the young girl.
“Yeah, Hinagiku-chan, if you’re interested… How about joining me?”
“Um, so you’ll be my teacher?”
“To be honest, I’m not sure if I can be just called a teacher… But I’ll teach you anything I know.”
“Okay, if that’s okay with you, I’d be happy to join!”
Hinagiku happily wagged her furry, voluminous tail as she expressed her joy through her body language.
The group watched her with a warm feeling, sealing away memories of their earlier PK battles for the time being.
“Well, now we just need one more person.
What should we do? Put up a recruitment notice in town?”
“No… It’s better not to.
If we do that now, they will put it on the dedicated thread for Crim on the bulletin board, and people will flock to it.”
“What? That’s scary.
And what’s with the ‘Potato-chan’ thing?”
“Lucky you, you’re so popular, ‘Potato-chan’.”
“I’m telling you, what’s with that ‘Potato’ thing?!”
Crim is out of breath after forcefully pushing back against Frey’s teasing.
“I won’t look at that bulletin board no matter what!”
Crim declares firmly, feeling a premonition that it’s not good for her mental health.
“But we can’t recruit in town… There are definitely some terrible people mixed in, like those obsessed with direct connections…”
Crim’s preferences still resemble those of a middle school boy.
Just imagining being courted by a man gives her goosebumps.
What about that guy, Ryunosuke, from yesterday?”
Let’s ask him.”
Crim thinks Ryunosuke seemed like a good person and might listen to them if he wasn’t already in a guild.
Acting on it quickly, she opens a message window to Ryunosuke from her friend list.
“Hey Ryunosuke, are you free right now?”
She types, sending it off and waiting for a reply.
“Oh, it’s you, Crim.
I’m just leisurely drawing pictures right now, so I’m fine.
Crim wonders, but Ryunosuke quickly changes the subject.
“So, what’s up?”
It seems like he’s okay.
Crim nods to everyone who’s been anxiously watching her and then types her request.
“Ryunosuke, you’re not in a guild yet, right?”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
“We’re trying to start a guild and we’ve already got four members.
So, would you like to join our guild too?”
She said it.
But this time, she doesn’t get an immediate response like before.
She squeezes her hand tightly and waits for a reply.
“Well, honestly, I was expecting you to invite me, and I was planning to join if you did… Okay, I’ll join.”
Ryunosuke finally responds.
Crim is ecstatic, but Ryunosuke warns her that he’s not much help in battles and would be a hindrance in guild competitions.
That’s exactly right.
When traveling together in the past, Crim had heard Ryunosuke’s composition, which was more of a hobbyist composition than suitable for combat, to put it mildly.
“So… while we’re at it, could you include my daughter in the game we’re starting next time? That’s the condition.”
“Of course, that’s what we would hope for too, but… why your daughter?”
“Well, you know… if you got caught up with some weird guild and ended up going to some offline event or something, you wouldn’t want to get involved with some weirdo guy or something, right? But if my cute little girl got targeted by some constantly hyped-up straight-to-the-point guy, it would be a big problem! On the other hand, I know you well enough as a person, so I can entrust her to you with peace of mind!!”
Crim was a little intimidated by the quick and lengthy reply.
“…you’re a doting parent.”
“Say what you will, but for my daughter’s sake, I’ll take any criticism you’ve got! That’s what being a father is all about!!”
“Alright, I got it, I got it!”
Crim decided not to delve further into this topic and ended the conversation.
— I’m tired.
I never thought I would become so tired dealing with Ryunosuke.
“So, how did it go, Crim-chan?”
“Yeah, he’ll accept, but on the condition that his daughter comes along.
She should be around the same age as Hinagiku, so they can become friends…I’m really looking forward to it!”
“Well, that’s convenient.
Why are you so tired though?”
“Oh, it’s nothing really…”
Crim vaguely laughed and evaded Frey’s question.
Having learned a new aspect of their acquaintance, Crim felt exhausted and fatigued.
(Bersleid: Well that’s all for now.)
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