Chapter 4:

Chapter 3: Trading Cards in the Park

Super-powered Maids Showed Up Out of Nowhere, and Now I Have to Change My Otaku Lifestyle

The morning of Akira and Sakura’s second trip out was an uneventful one. Lysia was feeding BunBun pancakes, Rose and Yuri were teasing each other, Amari was reading manga, Willow was elegantly eating her breakfast, and Sakura was lost in thought.

Akira was busy in his room putting the cards he was selling into top loaders, thick plastic holders for cards. These were commonplace in selling rare and expensive trading cards.

Ok, I think that’s everything. I’ve got all of my singles, my binder is prepared in case they want to buy anything else, and I’ve got my wallet.” Akira thought to himself, setting everything onto his bed to make sure nothing was missing.

Akira walked out into the living room and looked at Sakura. She was still lost in her own thoughts, although she had managed to finish her food.

“Sakura,” Akira called, “are you going to get ready?”

Sakura snapped out of her thoughts when he spoke. All of the girls were still in their sleeping clothes, which were just extra pieces of clothing Akira didn’t really wear anymore.

“Oh, yeah, I’ll be ready in a few minutes. Let me go change.” Sakura said, heading to the bathroom to change into her new outfit.

Not long after, Sakura returned in her new set of clothes bought just the day before.

She wore black shorts, a pink shirt with short black sleeves and a black collar, and bracelets on her right wrist. She also had a large faux sakura blossom in her hair, befitting of her name.

She slipped on her black thigh high stockings and knee high brown boots. She twirled around in a circle like an elegant ballerina.

“How do I look?” she cheerfully asked, flashing a smile and a head tilt.

Akira was stunned at just how cute she was. He wasn’t quite sure what to say at first, but eventually found the right words.

“You look amazing. That outfit is really cute on you. I’m almost jealous that I don’t look as good as you.” Akira said, letting out an awkward laugh.

“You’re super pretty Miss Sakura!” announced Lysia from the couch.

“You are indeed quite stunning.” added Willow.

“Aw, thanks guys. Alright, you got everything you need?” Sakura inquired.

“Yep. Got it all right here in this binder.” replied Akira.

“Alright everyone, we’re headed out now. See ya! Oh, and don’t cause any trouble for Willow.” announced Sakura, as her and Akira left the apartment.

Willow looked at the girls. They were all finishing their breakfast still.

“Ok girls. There doesn’t seem to be anything that needs to be done today, so you all get the day off. If you wish to go somewhere, you have to let me know first. Other than that, enjoy yourselves, and try not to get into any trouble.” Willow told the other maids.

“Yes ma’am!” announced the girls enthusiastically.

Lysia grabbed BunBun from the kitchen and jumped back onto the couch to watch TV.

Rose and Yuri were thinking about going somewhere, but they didn’t really know where they were, or where they’d go.

Amari finished all of Akira’s manga, save for his personal collection, so she decided to watch TV with Lysia.

Willow laid back and relaxed for the day, hoping nothing would trouble her.

Akira and Sakura got off of the train and were right next to the park.

“Wow, this park is really pretty. There’s no trash in sight. Look, there’s even a clock tower here so we know what time it is.” Sakura said in awe of the beautiful scenery.

“Yeah, it’s pretty here. This is all new to me too since I never really got out much.” Akira replied.

The two stood looking at the large clock face sitting atop a large metal pole. It was already three in the afternoon. The person coming to buy cards from Akira should be there any minute.

“Come on, I’m supposed to meet the guy deeper into the park. You’re gonna love this place.” Akira said to the still in awe Sakura.

The pair walked a bit deeper into the park and reached an area with five zelkova trees. Akira stepped in front of Sakura to block her vision.

“What are you doing?” Sakura asked, a bit stunned at what happened.

“Close your eyes, we’re almost there. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for you.”

“How am I supposed to know where I’m going though?”

Akira grabbed Sakura’s hand, both of them now blushing.

“Don’t worry about it, I’ll lead the way. You’ll just have to trust me, ok?”

Sakura was a bit hesitant, but she went along with it anyway. After all, Akira has been so nice to her so far.

“Sure, lead the way master!”

“Don’t call me that in public. People will think you mean something completely different.”

Akira pulled Sakura along with her past the trees and over the grass, eventually stopping and having her sit on a wooden bench.

“Alright, we’re here. Open your eyes.”

Sakura opened her eyes to see a large circular planter full of flowers in all sorts of colors. She looked around at the floral spectrum in front of her and was left speechless.

“Pretty cool huh? Saw it on the Internet and thought it’d be a nice place to hang out while we wait for the guy buying cards from me.”

“It’s amazing. Wonderful. Incredible! There are so many beautiful flowers here. You sure picked out a great spot for our date.”

Akira thought for a second.

“Date?” he asked in confusion.

Sakura’s face turned bright red in embarrassment.

“I-I didn’t say date, I just ran out of breath is all. I meant our day together. Yeah, that.” Sakura said nervously.

An enthusiastic male voice sliced through the awkwardness like a newly sharpened blade.

“Hey! You the guy I’m buying cards from?” asked the energetic man.

The man was a slightly overweight man in a business suit. He had a very jolly face, similar to one you’d see on one of those Buddah statues that fits on your desk.

“Yeah, I’m the guy. Let’s see, that was four cards total if I’m not mistaken.” Akira said, pulling four cards with orange dragons on them.

“Oh, yes yes yes! Those are the ones alright. I can’t wait to add these to my collection. Right, money. How much was the total again?” asked the man enthusiastically.

“Let’s see… These two are ten-thousand each, this one is five-thousand, and that one is twenty-thousand.”

The enthusiastic man pulled out his wallet and revealed thirty-five thousand yen. The two men exchanged paper for paper, and that was that. The enthusiastic man left after putting his new cards into his briefcase for safe keeping.

“Whew, I’m glad that’s the type of guy I was meeting with. I had no idea if I was gonna be robbed or not. People have been going absolutely crazy for these cards recently. Thanks for being so patient Sakura.”

“No problem! I’m just happy to be here with you. Now then, I believe you promised me lunch?”

“Ah, yeah, I did. Alright, let’s get going then.”

A few minutes walk from the park, passing by the station on the way, was the building where the two would have lunch. The cafe was on the second floor and seemed to have some sort of cute bear as a mascot.

Akira ordered a slice of cheesecake, and Sakura did as well, completely forgetting what she wanted to order the night before.

“So, you got quite a bit of money from those cards huh?” asked Sakura.

“Sure, if you consider it spending money that is. It’s only enough to buy one really nice figure. It’s nowhere near enough for what I’m wanting to do though.” Akira stated, disappointed.

“Here are your cheesecakes. Enjoy!” announced the waitress delivering the pair their food.

The two continued to chat for a while, and after their lunch, they headed back home.

 While those two were out for the day, things were going mostly well at home.

Lysia had fallen asleep after playing with BunBun.

Rose and Yuri were playing a match of chess after Amari found a chess set in Akira’s closet next to his manga.

Amari was watching whatever anime was on TV at the time.

Willow was enjoying her day of rest. She was just about to doze off when she heard a knocking at the front door. She looked out the peephole and saw a deliveryman. She opened the door and the man spoke.

“Delivery for Mr. Kasshoku?”

“Ah, yes. He’s out at the moment, but I’m watching the place for him.” Willow said.

“No worries ma’am. Just sign here and I’ll be on my way.”

Willow signed the man’s tablet and took the large box from him. She closed the door and set the box on her master’s bed. While in his room, she decided to look through his belongings. She didn’t find anything interesting, except for his secret personal manga collection, which just looking at made Willow blush. She was about to grab one when she heard a noise come from the dining room.

“Ugh, this game is so not fair!” complained Rose.

“You wanted to play it.” replied Yuri.

“Why don’t we do something more fun?” suggested Rose, still heated from losing at chess.

“Ooo, are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Yuri asked smuggly.

“Don’t…” warned Willow, knowing exactly what the two girls were thinking.

“Come on Willow! We’re so bored. We’ll go outside so we don’t break too many things.” begged Yuri.

“Yeah, it’ll be fine. You can even watch if you want.” added Rose.

Willow let out a sigh before conceding. She knew the girls would probably ignore her anyway if she continued to say no.

“Alright, fine. Just switch into your new clothes first. I’d rather you get those dirty than master Akira’s clothes.”

“Yeah!” cheered Rose.

The girls both went to Akira’s room to change.

Rose walked out of the room first, now wearing a salmon colored zip up hoodie, black shorts, black fingerless gloves, black knee high socks, and cherry red high top shoes.

Yuri stumbled out next, now wearing a cropped yellow top with black sleeves that was short enough to reveal almost all of her toned stomach. It also had a zipper on it, though it wasn’t functional. She also wore black bike shorts that had a single yellow stripe on either side, black sports socks, white slip-on shoes, and a black band covering each wrist. She still had her signature bandage on her nose as well.

“Remember girls, don’t destroy anything. Also, do NOT disturb the neighbors. Got it?” Willow asked.

“Got it!” cheered Yuri.

“Whatever.” disregarded Rose.

Yuri and Rose went outside to the empty parking lot of the apartment. They stood apart from each other, preparing for a friendly fight.

“No powers?” asked Rose.

“Nah, go all out.” challenged Yuri.

“Just how I like it.” Rose said smirking, her knuckles glowing red with passion.

In an instant, Rose and Yuri rushed at each other. Both girls exchanged blows, Yuri had her healing abilities, allowing her to take more hits, but Rose’s blazing fists left Yuri with residual burn damage after each hit.

Rose’s fighting style focused mostly on punching, since her hands were where her pyro abilities were most heavily concentrated.

Conversely, Yuri focused mostly on jump kicks, with the main goal of keeping herself at enough distance to deal a blow to her opponent, but far enough from them so she doesn’t take as many hits, since healing too much in a short amount of time tires her out quickly.

Rose went in for a devastating punch to the face, but Yuri hopped back and jumped into the air.

Yuri angled her leg towards Rose, ready to deliver a solid kick to the head from above, but was stopped short when Rose grabbed her leg and threw her across the pavement and into a nearby tree, sparks flying as she hit the ground.

Yuri managed to make a quick recovery and started running towards the apartment.

“What’s the matter? Running away already?” taunted Rose.

Rose started rushing towards Yuri, sparks flying wildly from her fists.

“Gotcha!” announced Yuri.

Yuri used her running momentum to launch herself into the wall of the apartment, and used the wall to push herself off in the opposite direction, straight towards Rose. Her foot planted squarely onto Rose’s face, knocking her to the ground and ending the fight.

“Not bad. I really fell for it. You win this time, but I’m not holding back next time.” Rose said, laying on her back tired and beaten from the fight.

Yuri walked over to her and grabbed Rose’s hand, helping her up from the ground.

“Let’s go back inside. I’ll heal you right up.”

Rose and Yuri went into Akira’s room and sat on the bed. Yuri gently placed her hand on Rose’s face, her hand glowing a vibrant blue. Her healing powers slowly worked their magic on Rose’s cuts and bruises.

“Ah, it stings.” Rose complained, wincing in pain.

“Sorry, I know it can hurt, but just bear with it for a bit. Don’t worry, I'll be gentle.” Yuri joked in a low and seductive voice, laughing afterwards.

“Idiot, don’t say it like that. I still can’t believe you beat me.” Rose said, now blushing from what Yuri had just said.

Yuri’s hand stopped glowing, and she slid her hand from Rose’s cheek.

“There, all done. You feeling better?” asked Yuri.

“Yeah, thanks. Ugh, I feel all sweaty now. I’m gonna go take a shower.”

“Ooo, I might have to join you.” Yuri teased.

“S-shut up! Like that would ever happen. Jeez, you really are an idiot.” Rose said, grabbing a towel and walking off.

While Akira and Sakura were on their way home, they noticed a strange scent wafting over to them from the direction of the apartment.

“Is that… smoke?” Akira asked.

“Like, someone smoking?” Sakura asked in reply.

“No, I mean like, a fire. It’s coming from the apartments. The girls might be in trouble!”

Akira immediately dropped everything he was carrying and sprinted to the apartments.

Upon arrival, he noticed that a large tree just outside of the apartment building had been set ablaze, and had fallen over towards the building.

The neighbors had all gone outside in fear of being trapped inside if the blaze managed to reach the building.

Just a few short moments later, the fire department had arrived and started dowsing the tree with water.

Seeing that the fire was being contained, and not seeing the maids anywhere, Akira ran into his apartment as fast as he could to see if everyone was ok.

“Is everyone alright!?” Akira shouted in a panic.

Lysia, BunBun, Amari, and Willow were all sitting in front of the television. Yuri had just exited the kitchen with a soda. Rose was still in the bathroom, presumably showering. They all looked at their master in confusion.

“Welcome home master. We are all ok. Why the sudden panic?” Willow asked.

“There’s a fire outside. I don’t know how it happened, but I just had to make sure you guys were safe. They’re putting it out right now.” Akira said, out of breath and trying to calm himself down.

“You forgot this!” Sakura announced, walking into the apartment holding up Akira’s card binder.

Akira, Sakura, and Willow went outside to see if the fire had been put out. It had.

The firemen asked questions to all of the residents of the apartments. Nobody saw anybody light the fire, and there were no traces of gasoline, cigarettes, or anything else that might have started the blaze.

“It’s strange,” one of the firemen said, “it’s almost as if it happened by magic or something.”

Willow’s eyes twitched again, and Akira took notice. Things weren’t going to be pretty.

Willow stormed back into the apartment, an immense menacing aura swirling around her, and her eyes bathed in shadow.

“Oh no. This isn’t going to end well…” Akira stated, Sakura nodding in agreement.

Akira and Sakura followed Willow back into the apartment from a slight distance.

Willow flung the bathroom door open and seemed to disappear inside.

“H-Hey! What the heck do you think you’re doing?!” Rose screamed from inside.

Nobody dared look inside, for fear of getting caught in Willow’s crosshairs.

“Cut it out! Let go of me! I’m not even dressed yet, pervert!” Rose yelled in annoyance.

Rose fell, or rather, was thrown out of the bathroom, hair still wet, and only a white towel covering her body from the eyes of the others.

Willow slowly walked out of the bathroom, towering over the redhead, arms crossed.

“Willow, what’s going on here?” Sakura asked, slightly scared of the woman.

“Indeed. What IS going on here? Well, let us see. I believe that when I said to not destroy anything or disturb the neighbors while sparring, SOMEBODY didn’t seem to listen.” Willow growled.

“What are you talking about? We made sure to not destroy anything, and nobody even saw or heard us. How could we have done anything?” Rose retaliated.

“Oh, it wasn’t something both of you did, just you Rose. Let me ask you this. Did you two use your powers while sparring?”

“Yeah, what of it?”

“Do you remember what happens when you specifically use your powers?”

“Yeah, I pretty much set my fist on fire and punch things with it.”

Everyone else involved seemed to know where this was going.

“Rose. The tree outside where you two fought caught on fire and almost burned the building down. Have you forgotten that you leave burning sparks behind when you use your powers? Obviously not, considering you apparently left one somewhere close to the tree, and it ended up catching it on fire.”

Rose looked surprised, but then wore an expression of guilt.

Yuri was slowly drinking her soda, just watching this all happen from a distance, hoping she wasn’t going to meet Willow’s wrath too.

“Now, considering how worried you made Master Akira, and how inconsiderate you were, I believe it’s only right that you be punished in whatever way our master sees fit.”

Akira stepped back in shock.

“Woah, woah, hold on. I don’t think I have the right to that kind of authority.”

“Of course you do. Now, what’s her punishment, master?” Willow asked slowly.

Rose looked up at her master, fearful of what might happen to her.

“Alright, fine. Rose!” he shouted, “I hereby sentence you to a punishment of… dinner duty. Specifically, you must make me my favorite meal on any one night of my choosing in the next week.”

The maids all seemed shocked.

“That’s it?!” shouted Willow and Rose in unison.

“Yep. Oh, but don’t worry. The meal I want isn’t an easy one to come by here. It was my favorite food growing up back home, and it still is. Although, I haven’t had it in such a long time, since I never learned how to make it myself.” Akira responded.

Everyone else was still stunned. This punishment seemed so tame and simple compared to those they were used to with their previous master.

Rose seemed to have her behavior shift drastically from that of what Akira had known over the past few days. Instead of speaking coldly and dismissively, she spoke respectfully to him.

“Of course master! I shall make you whatever meal it is you would like me to cook for you. No simple meal could make up for the trouble I caused you. This is the least I can do. I can go shopping for the ingredients myself. I’ll cook, serve, and clean all on my own. I will prove to you that I can do something good.” Rose said, bowing to Akira, her right hand placed on her chest, her voice sounding poised and elegant.

“Ok…” Akira said, stunned speechless at this drastic shift in Rose’s behavior.

Willow’s menacing aura seemed to have subsided. Rose’s punishment and subsequent behavioral shift seemed to have satisfied her rage.

“Anyway, I’ll let you know what meal I want when I have the money for it. Considering how many of us there are, it’ll cost way more than if it was just me eating it.” Akira said.

What the heck is wrong with her? Is it because of something Willow did, or something else?” Akira thought to himself. He hoped this was just a temporary change to satisfy the previously raging Willow.

The sound of Amari grabbing the TV remote emanated from the living room, catching Akira’s attention.

“Ah, Amari, can I talk to you real quick?” Akira asked.

Amari stood up from the couch, pushed her glasses up, and walked over to Akira.

“Yes? What can I do for you?” Amari asked her master.

“Do you wanna go to the manga shop tomorrow? I’ve got enough money to buy you your own collection now.”

Amari’s eyes lit up in pure joy, a huge smile appearing on her face in place of her usual nervous expression.

“Yes! I’d love to go look at manga tomorrow! I’ll wear my new clothes and everything.” Amari said quickly in excitement.

“Wow, someone’s cheery. That's a new one for you Amari.” Yuri said.

Amari’s face immediately turned a bright red in embarrassment. She hid her face behind the baggy old shirt of Akira’s she was wearing.

“Don’t be embarrassed, that’s not a bad thing.” Sakura said, placing her hand on top of Amari’s head.

“Yeah! Being happy is the best! Everyone should be happy!” cheered Lysia from the couch, BunBun jumping out of happiness along with her cheerful words of encouragement.

“We’ll leave tomorrow after breakfast then. I’ll even take you to a few other places you might like.”

“Ok! I look forward to it.” Amari said confidently.

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