Chapter 77:

System Down (1)

My Demon Queen

The dawn broke the horizon with the sky painted in orange orange. Street lights and buildings flickering in the distance like stars… meh. I know it's inaccurate but I'm doing my best to describe this picturesque scene so cut me some slack..Bookmark here

Crossing the sky bridge, what I saw below was--Bookmark here

"A traffic jam.."Bookmark here

"Jam?" Liliath glanced at me before turning to look below.Bookmark here

Shouldering a cute school bag behind, she was wearing the school uniform in the official way-- white blazer on the outside with a neat blue tie folded into a square bringing her collar together. The skirt wasn't entirely pleated but I wouldn't say they weren't any fold-- a design with a minimal amount of layering.Bookmark here

Her hair was tied to the back with a black ribbon, I have to thank Prune for that.Bookmark here

The impact of the clothes she wore was totally different when we're actually going to school.Bookmark here

"Traffic jam. Not the edible kind of jam."Bookmark here

"Another word I can't seem to understand," Liliath sounded happy to learn something new.Bookmark here

"Noel, how exactly did you summon Liliath to this world?" Nine asked, puzzled.Bookmark here

"It happened on a whim.. I don't really know if i should tell you the events that happened as is.."Bookmark here

I don't think it's a good idea to reveal too much about my TALENT to Nine? Telling her/him about the gacha app might lead to a death flag? I'm honestly not too sure but I suppose I'll keep it secretive for now.Bookmark here

"A summoning circle appeared in my room after I did something accidentally and Liliath appeared."Bookmark here

"Ah? That cliche? What 'accidental' thing did you do?" Nine asked again, emphasizing something suggestive.Bookmark here

"Was it really an accident?" Liliath on the other hand, asked, curiously.Bookmark here

"Sorry.. it wasn't an accident.. it just happened.. on a whim.."Bookmark here

I mean.. I could've gotten any other girls from the gacha.. so I suppose it's a half-accident? Though.. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I got some other girl… maybe she would have a different past from Liliath? Maybe she would've come from an entirely different fantasy universe...Bookmark here

HAH? I'm thinking of spinning for a harem? No way.. nah-ah. Not happening.Bookmark here

Prune remained silent, only smiling as we continued our light banter.Bookmark here

Prune obviously looked good with the school uniform, very professional-looking with her silver hair while Nine.. thinking about how she can be both a male and female.. kinda destroys the image of her cuteness.Bookmark here

The sight of Nine wearing a female uniform in her male form comes to mind. I think I might hyperventilate if that happened.Bookmark here

Descending the sky bridge, the four of us walked through the large gate, stepping foot into school grounds. A SUPER LONG path adorned with cherry blossom petals stretched ahead of us. Parents dropping off students on the main road before running into the school compound.Bookmark here

I really dont get why they went with this design.. did the architects build the school with the intent of promoting healthy living? Cuz I'm not buying it.Bookmark here

Prune who stuck close to Liliath for the effects of the concealment barrier shuddered all of a sudden, turning to Nine she asked.Bookmark here

"Nine, can I ask you an important question?"Bookmark here

"What is it? I'm all ears." Nine replied in a saluting voice.Bookmark here

"What gender were you originally?"Bookmark here

"Male."Bookmark here

"YOu…" Prune's ears and tail stood up on end.Bookmark here

Wait.. I got to ask this. Very important stuff.Bookmark here

"Nine.. doesn't that mean you're.. no.. which bathroom are you going to use?"Bookmark here

"The female one of course," Nine siad with a triumphed look.Bookmark here

Hah? Seriously? A legal male allowed to enter and use a female bathroom? Oh wait.. there's also the changing room since using the school pool was an inevitable part of being a student..Bookmark here

That makes it even worse..Bookmark here

"Pervert! An actual pervert!" Prune shouted with a red face.Bookmark here

Nine merely shrugged.Bookmark here

"Are you serious?" I asked.Bookmark here

"Pretty much. WHat? Did you think I could see panties to my heart's content just because I can use a female bathroom? Unlike the male ones, there are only cubicles there," Nine muttered as if lamenting.Bookmark here

"Male bathrooms differ from female bathrooms?" Liliath who heard it brought up such a question.Bookmark here

"Yes, yes, very. It's more convenient to use a urinal," Nine explained.Bookmark here

"Yuri, Nell?"Bookmark here

"Liliath.. don't listen to his nonsense!" Prune shook Liliath's shoulders.Bookmark here

Wow.Bookmark here

Taking my eyes off and looking towards the field, I pondered.Bookmark here

That evening when I confessed to Liliath.Bookmark here

I still don't understand what she meant by wait, was it a yes or no? She could just say a direct answer can't she?Bookmark here

Or not? If I'm in her position, saying either answer would have a tremendous consequence on my life. To Liliath.. maybe, just maybe, she can't say 'no' out of guilt.Bookmark here

Then again… she wouldn't need to hug me and ask me to wait for her if that were the case, right? What exactly is it that I'm supposed to wait for, I wonder? Liliath didn't look eager to say what it was so I thought it was best not to ask…Bookmark here

That might be a stupid move.Bookmark here

Though, Liliath still acted as usual. If anything, it feels as if she was more cautious of her actions.Bookmark here

"Noel?" Liliath called out.Bookmark here

"Hm? I'm fine," and such was what I meant by her being more cautious. She's definitely started to pay more attention to me ever since then.Bookmark here

Oh well. Time will tell.. I should be patient.Bookmark here

On the way into the school building, there were club booths set up along the entrance. Flyers and confetti were everywhere, with club members clinging to the juniors, asking them to join.Bookmark here

We broke up with Nine and went to class first, since she said she wanted to check out the technology club. Nine was a student of class C so we were bound to split up anyways.Bookmark here

Class E. The seating prepositions were the same, the difference benign the fact that my table was no longer conjoign to Liliath's table. She still sits beside me though, so it's a plus. Though.. I wished our seat wasn't in the frontmost seat.Bookmark here

"Noel, you have decided right?" Placing our bags down on our seat, Liliath asked.Bookmark here

"Uh, yeah. It's not like we can hide it forever, better do it now."Bookmark here

Fear. Fear of my TALENT being exploited by the government. It's a stupid way to put it actually. If the government was here to exploit TALENTS, why would they need to build a special school like Mondai for the likes of us in the first place?Bookmark here

Well.. I can't say they aren't exploiting TALENTS but the purpose of it was to protect us citizens in the first place.Bookmark here

"Where could teacher Glib be I wonder," with an anticipating smile, Liliath held my hand and pulled me out of class. I could only accept being dragged by her in this way.Bookmark here

There weren't all that many students in class so Prune would have plenty of chances to meet new friends-- good luck.Bookmark here

"Third floor maybe."Bookmark here

Liliath let go of me after a while and we walked side by side. Passing by idle students now and then.. eh wait, that guy looks familiar somehow. Why does he have bandages around his arms and legs? Weird. If i'm not wrong he's the person with the slime pet the other time i saw him at the summoner's department.Bookmark here

WHat happened to him?Bookmark here

"I sense Teacher Glib's presence there," Liliath pointed to the wall-- more accurately, at the teacher's exact location. Which means we aren't far.Bookmark here

"Let's go."Bookmark here

The staff room.Bookmark here

Knocking the door twice, Liliath and I entered. The smell of tidbits and coffee tickled my nose.Bookmark here

Office-like desks were arranged in rows, teachers chatting with one another, teachers working away on a laptop, teachers making tea.. Liliath you should stop staring.Bookmark here

At the corner of the staff room that looked like a small meeting space with two sofas and a coffee table present, I saw teacher Glib chatting with a colleague of hers.Bookmark here

Liliath in tow, we went over.Bookmark here

"Excuse me, teacher Glib um.."Bookmark here

"Hm? Morning Noel, anything?" Teacher Glib turned to me with her usual flat expression.Bookmark here

"OH my, it is as the rumor says," her colleague.. the teacher sitting on the other sofa exclaimed as she stared at Liliath-- Eyl was the name on her name tag.Bookmark here

"Good morning," Liliath said in a cheerful voice, following up with a bow.Bookmark here

"Teacher Glib, can I talk to you about my TALENT? There's more to it than what I've reported before."Bookmark here

"So you've discovered something new? Okay, sorry Eyl, I have to attend to this student of mine for a bit," Teacher Glib downed her drink and stood up.Bookmark here

"Something like that.. sorry for disturbing you two," I said apologetically.Bookmark here

"NO worries.. ah, we'll meet again in biology class, see you two then," that was the last thing Eyl said before we were ushered elsewhere by teacher Glib.Bookmark here

Huh. So Eyl is our biology teacher.Bookmark here

Teacher Glib brought us to the counseling room.Bookmark here

The room was rather specious, light poured in from the outside that had slowly become blue.Bookmark here

"So, what did you discover?"Bookmark here

I suppose I'll just play along.. I initially thought that I would need to confess my mistake of not telling about it earlier… but something feels off. Did she need to bring us to the counseling room?Bookmark here

Taking out my phone from my pocket and placing it on the table-- i took a deep breath and turned on my phone, pointing at 'that' app.Bookmark here

"W-what is it that you're trying to show me?"Teacher Glib was obviously trying to suppress her laughter. Ah fuck you app developer.Bookmark here

"It's weird but.. it appeared out of nowhere because of my TALENT and is the app I used to summon Liliath by accident," I said in a shaky voice due to embarrassment.Bookmark here

"Is that so? Do you mind showing it to me?"Bookmark here

"That was our intention to begin with," Liliath followed up.Bookmark here

Then I tapped on the application.Bookmark here

And it disappeared.Bookmark here

""Huh?""Bookmark here

It disappeared?Bookmark here

"Did something happen?"Bookmark here

"I-it's not supposed to be like this.."Bookmark here

Something isn't right. What? This is the first time this has ever happened.Bookmark here

"Liliath, how about yours?"Bookmark here

Liliath blinked at me before taking her phone out and tried to access the app, but again, it vanished.Bookmark here

"Noel.. this is unprecedented. What is going on?"Bookmark here

"Okay, let me get this straight, you can't use the app anymore?" to teacher Glib's conclusion, both of us nodded.Bookmark here

"Noel, there's one more thing we can try-- status window open.. ah?"Bookmark here

Liliath stared into the air-- her status window didn't appear.Bookmark here

No wait.. What the hell is going on?Bookmark here

"Noel… try yours.."Bookmark here

Everything can't just disappear all of a sudden right?Bookmark here

"Status window open."Bookmark here

A blue loading screen appeared in front of me. A spinning cog with a chibi Liliath running on top of it. OH MY GOD HOW CUTE!!Bookmark here

Ah, I got distracted. Hold up-- a system update?Bookmark here

"System update.."Bookmark here

"I can't see anything you know?"Bookmark here

Teacher Glib's words brought me back to reality.Bookmark here

Ah, she must see us as some luny chuni now that we've reached this stage.Bookmark here

"Um.. it seems that a system update is happening at this time.."Bookmark here

"Stop wasting my time.."Bookmark here

"Huh?"Bookmark here

"Come meet me again once everything has settled down. You two can go."Bookmark here

Teacher Glib sounded pissed.Bookmark here

"S-Sorry.."Bookmark here

I didn't mean it.. it happened on a whim. I..Bookmark here

"Noel, let's go," Liliath beckoned me with her eyes.Bookmark here

Liliath and I left the counseling office in a stunned state. On the way back to class i asked--Bookmark here

"Hey Liliath, can you see my status screen?"Bookmark here

"No, I believe it's the same for you, my screen is visible to me, and a cute you is running on a wheel." Liliath giggled.Bookmark here

"Really now?" I smiled wryly.Bookmark here

Hah. There's finally a chibi for me huh?Bookmark here

Though..Bookmark here

I didn't mean to trouble teacher Glib.. what now?Bookmark here

Why did the update happen and when would it complete? There's no gauge or anything to refer to… in the first place, was it necessary to even show us an update screen? I don't get what the 'developer' of the system is thinking.Bookmark here

While contemplating, Liliath walked up to me and whispered into my right ear.Bookmark here

"Noel, she was testing us."Bookmark here

"Huh? Testing us?"Bookmark here

To my question, Liliath only smiled.Bookmark here

The same smile she showed me when I confessed to her-- as if she was hiding something.Bookmark here

"What?"Bookmark here

Why that smile again?Bookmark here

"Noel, are you scared?"Bookmark here

"Scared? No, I'm just curious."Bookmark here

"Me. Are you not scared of me?" Liliath tilted her head cutely with a sadistic smile.Bookmark here

I've already gotten used to that smile of hers. She has sadistic tendencies-- im guessing it's a norm for a demon lord like her but-- i've already resolved to accept her all when i confessed to her before-- whatever it may be.Bookmark here

"Maybe, sometimes. But it's just me. Fear is something that depends on the individual. Some people fear height, others don't. The difference between them is perception or past experiences.. whatever it may be."Bookmark here

"I-Is that so?" Liliath's smile cramped. She looked relieved for some reason?Bookmark here

"Did I do something wrong?" I smirked.Bookmark here

To my reply, Liliath laughed. After all, I was mimicking her voice when saying that signature phrase of hersBookmark here

"Thank you Noel."Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.