The boy woke up in his bed, feeling rather heavy. “Was this all a dream?” He said to himself as he removed the covers. Finding that he was still dressed in his trench coat and had his sword by his side, his answer came to him rather quickly. The boy got up and started looking for this girl…this weird girl who made no sense to him. He heard some noise in the living room; it sounded like the news.
As Okami walked into the room, he saw Mayuno wearing the crimson pajamas he had seen her in earlier. Her eyes were transfixed on the television, listening intently to a news story about a string of unexplained attacks.
“I think we have some discussing to do.” The boy said as he turned off the T.V. She looked at him with glowing azure eyes. What was the emotion behind it? Curiosity? Fear? Excitement?
“Who…what are you?” Was all that came out of her mouth.
“Before I answer that, I need to know who you are.” Okami said rather sternly. “You were attacked by a demon, rescued by a random stranger, and said nothing about either. Next you slept over at said strangers and then witnessed a battle in an alternate dimension. Further you used to BE one of them. Now you better start talking.”
“Well…I…I…I used to be a part of their group. I did…well…things for them.” She looked off to the side, her face was red and she was close to crying. “Now I really don’t have anywhere to go. That’s why I wanted to stay with you. You helped me, I was just some girl. I’m sorry I can’t offer much now, but I’m happy that someone as nice as you found me.” She smiled softly, her eyes twinkling with what was without a doubt, admiration.
Okami felt a twinge in his heart, it beat rather irregularly for a second. Her explanation was more of a ramble then anything else, but he felt that he would not get any information out of her at this current state. “I’m just doing my job. Well it’s obvious that you at least know about the demon world and everything. So, I suppose its customary to introduce myself fully.” He explained as he fished something out of his trench coat pocket.
“I am a demonslayer.” He said in a rather monotonous way and presented a badge to her. It had his face, general information, and a rather strange symbol on the bottom right corner.
“I see…” She said to herself. “I want to know some things about you.”
Okami started to walk into the kitchen, scouring for any scraps of food left in his pantry. “Fine, go ahead.” He said, before freezing up momentarily. Why did he just agree to disclose information about himself?
“Why are you a demonslayer? You’re so young.”
Okami looked at her for a moment. Nothing about this girl made sense to him. He took a seat next to her and let out a deep sigh. “I’m giving you the condensed version. No sappy backstory and no bullshit. It started when my parents were killed by demons from the Moonlight group, and after that I was sent to the demon world to train in the many sections of it. I came back here four years later and now I’m fighting demons.” Okami explained calmly, still questioning the mystical forces that was making him come clean.
Mayuno, however, was quite shocked. She scooted closer to him, placing her hand on his lap and looking right at him. “I’m sorry. I know you’ll never forgive the Moonlight group for that, and I understand if you hate me.” Mayuno said, a single tear dripped down, staining Okami’s trench coat.
Okami’s heart pulsed. It’s definitely this girl. “It’s true that I will never forgive them…but you are not them. You have nothing to be sorry about. I know you didn’t play a part in it.” He explained
“I guess, I just feel sad for you.” Mayuno sniffled. “It must be horrible.”
“I was upset as well, and shocked. After all my training, I don’t have those emotional crutches any more. I’ve diminished my emotions so I can fight better in the demon world but that is…not that much of a loss.” Okami explained. “I can handle pretty much anything.”
“Wow, you’re amazing.” She said before realizing her own words. “I’ll take that as a regular compliment.” Okami let out a small smile, which made Mayuno blush.
“I’d give it all up if I could have my parents back.” He sighed sadly before getting up and walking to the door. “I’m going to get some stuff from the grocers real quick. Just hang on for a little while.”
“Do I really have to?”
“It’ll be five minutes.”
“I haven’t really eaten anything….” She murmured.
The boy let out a loud sigh, eying the girl with a cold stare. “Fine. Get ready, we’ll get something to eat.” He ordered, rubbing his forehead in annoyance. Why was he putting up with this girl?
“Welcome to Raganai’s! How may I help you?” The woman asked. “Table for two please.” Okami said. “Aww, you’re going on a date with your girlfriend, how cute!” She squealed. Mayuno blushed heavily, and Okami nodded and faked a smile at the middle-aged woman. She led them to a table and placed down two menus. “Your waiter will be here shortly.” The woman smiled before walking away, whispering something about how bold kids were these days.
Mayuno fidgeted in her seat, twiddled her thumbs, and took frequent glances back at the gossiping women near the kitchen.
Okami placed one of his hands over hers, causing her to jump a little. “Don’t think so much of their comments. I just went along so I wouldn’t be questioned as to why I’m alone with you.” Okami explained. Mayuno simply blushed even more without giving much of a response other than burying her face in the menu.
The boy followed suit to avoid any more unnecessary conversation. After 5 minutes of dead silence, the same woman from before appeared. She had her hair tied up in a bun, and her smile showed the slight wrinkles in her cheeks. Her eyes were full of life and happiness, and suddenly Okami did not want to be there anymore.
“What would you like to order?” The woman asked. “I’ll have the Smile Sandwich.” Mayuno said. “The Happy Hamburger please.” Okami said as they handed their menus. “Your food will be here shortl]y.” The woman smiled before walking off, giggling like a little girl.
“People are so annoying…” Okami growled in a muffled voice; his mind begun to funnel into a single dark path.
“I’m sorry if I’m bothering you too much. You’re probably not used to taking care of anyone.”
Mayuno’s apologetic voice was strong enough to break Okami out of his monotony. He paused and stared at her. “You have a rather soft voice, it’s really calming.” He commented, his eyes softening a little. She blushed a little and lowered her face, her blonde hair draped over her face and acted like a mask.
“So…what kind of things do you do for fun anyway?” Okami asked. The boy sitting in front of her, gazing at her with intrigue and patience, was just that- a normal boy. And that made her a normal girl; having lunch with her friend and then planning to go shopping for clothes. “Well…I like animals. I worked as an assistant vet with my parents. I’m very good at healing.” Mayuno beamed before realizing what she had blurted out.
“Are they still around?” Okami asked.
His bluntness threw her off for a moment. “Yeah I’m pretty sure they are. I haven’t seen them in a long time. I actually haven’t seen them in a really long time...” She explained.
“They don’t live…here? Is that correct.” Okami enunciated his words very carefully, making sure that no one was looking at them and over hearing their conversation. Mayuno looked at him rather blankly before giving up and asking him to whisper it in her ear. His breath was rather warm; it sent an unusual spark down her spine. “No, they don’t live here.” She said. Okami nodded and murmured something incomprehensible, something she figured he just did at this point.
After a little more small talk, the waitress came back and gave them their food. Mayuno took smaller bites when compared to how she was eating back at the house; however, they were quite large bites. She was quite the eater, something that he was truly not expecting. It was nothing compared to his tenacious appetite, as he devoured his hamburger in a matter of seconds. His ferociousness caught the attention of quite the few people, yet no one said anything.
“Is that some of your…werewolf…behavior?” She asked, setting her sandwich down.
Okami gulped down his drink and sighed deeply. He felt his body kicking into gear, and he stretched his limbs to assist in that process. “Something like that. My body isn’t exactly normal; this is just a by-product of my training.” He explained.
“I don’t really get it.”
“Don’t worry about it. You don’t need to understand it or me.” He said rather coldly. His eyes shifted back to the indifferent and empty gaze. She was just eating with a biological machine now. Mayuno pouted and ate the rest of her meal in silence. She expected him to do something. Try to make conversation again, smile again, or at least do anything…but he didn’t. The boy stared off into space, completely motionless. Her mouth opened partly, but nothing but a weak exhale came out. Her vocal cords felt weak, hoarse, paralyzed.
The moment she took the last bite of her sandwich, Okami snapped back into reality and called for the check. The suddenness nearly caused her to choke. The moment he paid he turned to her and offered his hand, suggesting nearby shopping outlets.
“Who knows how long you’re going to be here. So you should at least have something to wear.” He said.
Her bright smile made the boy’s heart thump again. He said nothing else on the matter.
It turns out that despite being in a mafia gang, Mayuno knew her way around a clothing store. She seemed in her element as she seamlessly dragged the boy from location to location, trying on outfit after outfit, looking for some kind of reaction from Okami. However, he either had a neutral expression or spouted out “it looks great” like it had been rehearsed a thousand times. It wasn’t exactly how she imagined how shopping with a boy would be like, but it had been a long time since she had even been in a store, so she it wasn’t going to bother her today.
“I’m guessing you’re not a very big fashion fan.” Mayuno called out from inside the dressing room.
“Given my line of work, being functional is more important than being fashionable. Besides I don’t have a grasp of fashion. Not sure if that’s because of the mental limits or not…” He voice trailed off as he looked around for a clock. It was going to be dark soon and the girl had not selected an outfit. “Can you please hurry it up? I’d like to get home while there’s still light out.”
“This would be easier if you would help me out.” She stepped out of the dressing room and modeled her final outfit. “Give me an actual opinion on this.”
Okami stroked his chin and took in her appearance. The dark jeans certainly made her red shirt pop out, and at the same time, the brown jacket kept the shirt from being too distracted. It made sense in a more concrete sense, but he had no way how to express that in a more artistic sense. “It looks really nice, you have a very good sense of fashion.” He hoped he had said the right thing.
“I’ll trust you on that.” She smiled as she stepped back into the dressing room. “I just need to get a few more things and then I’ll be done.”
A loud groan escaped the boys mouth as he sunk deeper into his chair. The concept of spending such a long time in choosing what to cover the skin with seemed so alien to him. How this girl he barely knew could find so much enjoyment out of it, he would never know. He saw her dart to and from, between the coat racks and piles of jeans. It didn’t take her to funnel her purchase to a select few items and then immediately rushing to the cashier in order to finally make them hers.
“You’re taking this quite easily for someone in your position.” Okami remarked as he placed down his card. She smiled sheepishly, her face becoming a bright red.
“I’m sorry, it’s just been a very long time since I’ve been shopping. I must be burdening you…” Her eyes did that thing that made the boy’s heart skip a beat. He paid for her clothes and took the bags without another word. Much to his dismay the night was already upon them; and even after a short bus ride closed the gap, the two still had a little bit of walking to be done before they would be home.
Mayuno huddled close to the boy, much to his annoyance. “This street was on the news.” She explained. “There’s been a string of unexplained attacks that occur here at night.”
Before Okami could let out a sarcastic retort, the trees above them rustled. The leaves bashed against each other with a strong vigor, no squirrel or raccoon could cause this. Mayuno jumped a little and hid behind the demonslayer, who had his hand near his weapon and a steady breath.
“My, my…aren’t you having fun?” A voice echoed through the trees, causing them to all shiver with anticipation.
“W-who said that?” Mayuno trembled, her fingers digging into Okami’s skin.
“You’ll find out soon enough.”
The trees around them began to shake even more violently. Suddenly, a dark blur leaped after Mayuno, the only thing visible were its white fangs and sharp emerald eyes. A shrill scream pierced the rustling of the trees, and then silence.
Surprisingly, Mayuno felt no pain, but that confusion was immediately cleared as she saw the figure with its teeth imbedded into Okami’s arm. The light shone on them, revealing a young girl with short dark hair and a black cloak that looked like something Dracula would wear.
“Yuck! Your blood tastes disgusting!” The girl exclaimed, removing herself from his arm. “You’re not a normal person, human blood doesn’t taste like that. And those reflexes were WAY too fast.”
“Well I’m a bit of a mixed bag of races. So, if one of them was one you weren’t supposed to drink, you’re in for quite the adventure.” Okami said as he grabbed one of Mayuno’s new shirts and torn it to shreds. “I take it you’re the reason behind those string of attacks.” He commented as he applied a tourniquet to himself.
“Y-yeah…that was me.” She slurred her words, her body swaying back and forth like a boat out on the water. “What’s happening to me…?”
“The effects of my blood. It’s going to put you out of commission for a while.” He explained as he lifted the vampire up and placed her on his back without much backlash. “I’m going to have to take you somewhere safe. The last thing I need is a report about a vampire in my town.” He groaned to deaf ears. The vampire girl had already found herself in a rather intoxicated state, silently giggling to herself as she ran her fingers through his hair. He looked over to Mayuno to see her staring at her torn shirt and walking silently behind them.
“Why does being nice have to be so difficult…?”