Chapter 20:

0.20. Mom Is Harsh

We Got 'Shipped' by the Goddess


<Pu’er Julis>

“Hm..”
“Hm?”

This brat tilted his head at me.

Do I hate kids so much? That’s what I want to find out.

The two of us had a staring match. He looked like he was winning, until he blinked.

“Mama?”
Don’t call me that!
“I’m not your mama okay? Call me Miss Pu’er.”

“I don’t miss Pu’er.”

“...”

“I don’t miss mama.”
This brat.
“Aether Bleu, aether Bleu!”
“Yes, what is it Cain?”

The goddess is here to save the day.
“Mama’s name is mama?”
“Mama? Oh no– she’s Pu’er. Say Pu Er?”

“Pu Err?”
“Yes. That’s it. She’s Miss Pu’er, got that?”

“Mispeeer!”

“It’ll take a while for him to get used to that, alright?” Bleu showed a troubled smile.

“It’s alright. Thank you Bleu.”

With a nod, xe left to the dining table.

Avner and Bleu were making plans to acquire the materials necessary to conduct the memory preservation ritual while I was left in the living room to myself.

It’s a Sunday so there wasn’t really anything I could do besides hole up in my apartment for my own safety.

Honestly, I wouldn’t have imagined that this is the fourth week since Avner and Bleu have been staying here (if I add the time we spent inside the astral space, it would be equivalent to approximately two months).

I can’t deny that my life is much more lively in their presence. Come to realize, living isn’t just about aiming for an early retirement isn’t it?

Though I regret having accepted Darwin’s offer, thinking from another angle, it was because I took that offer that I’m staying together with them aren’t I?

Actually, is it even appropriate to think in this manner? That I’m somehow glad to have caused them trouble for this selfish joy of being able to stay together?

Once this is over.. they’ll return to their lives and things’ll return back to normal.

Bleu’s priority is still Avner, anyone can tell that. The only reason why xe’s helping me is because of their mutual relationship. I don’t even know what kind of help I could provide to achieve hirs ‘objective’, let alone the contents of the ‘objective’.

Thinking how they’ll leave eventually forms a bitter feeling in my heart.

– Pu’er, I hope you find happiness.

My boss’ words echoed in my mind.

– Take good care of my friend alright?

– I’m sure he’ll be glad if you speak your honest thoughts.

“What if..”

“Mispeer. Mispeer.”
“What is it?”

This brat called my name (not) and just stared at me. After that he returned to face the television.

It was showing some cartoons about skateboarding birds.

It really does feel like we’re having kids..

This just.. feels wrong..

Huh? I’ve stopped subscribing to any television network, so where exactly is this coming from?

I didn’t want to distract the two in their planning session so I decided to ask later.

I took out my phone and browsed through SNS.

And the moment I did that, the brat crawled over, jumped onto the couch I was sitting on and sat right beside me.

I peeked at him. He acted as if I didn’t exist, staring into the void of the television.

I turned back to my phone and scrolled.

Suddenly he climbed my body and peek at what I was looking at.

“Cain..!”

Stop pulling my hair!
“Burger!”
Yes. Yes. I know it’s a recipe clip for how to cook burgers but do you need to say it out loud?

This brat began stomping on the couch. My couch!
“Cain, sit.”
He reached out for my phone.

I quickly stored it back into my pocket.

“Uwuwu..”
He knitted his brows together.

“Brat! Sit!”

“Uwewe..”
Tears began forming in the corner of his glistening eye.

“UWawawawawa..”
This brat dropped himself on the couch and began bawling his eyes out.
Why are kids so hard to handle?!

“Ah.. what happened here?”
“He wanted to take my phone!”
I exclaimed.

“Then just..”
“No, that won’t do. Cain, come here..”
Bleu interrupted Avner and approached this crying wretch. He quickly climbed Bleu like a koala, Bleu stroked his back to soothe him. She then brought him to the kitchen, a little while later came back with a brat sucking a pacifier.
Calmed, he returned to the television.

“I don’t want him to use a phone so early because it correlates to bad eyesight. If possible, tell him to use the tab,” saying that Bleu pointed at the device on the table.

I nodded sheepishly.

Why is this Goddess so capable?!

Isn’t it a jackpot for the person who marries hir?

The thought of it brought a blush to cheeks.

===

“Good morning.”
“Good morning Lianne.”
“Morning.. you’re here again?”
It’s not the first time Lianne has approached us in this manner. As early as we were– since I was following Avner’s schedule– when it came to work, Lianne, who’d normally be later than us, has been arriving earlier to the office lately. I could only see it as unusual.

“Boss, can I talk with you for a sec?”

What’s up with that tone?

“What is it?”

“It’s something private.. so could we move to a place that’s a little less open,” xe shot a glance at Avner.
As if understanding hirs intention, Avner gave a mysterious bow before quickly retreating to his cubicle. It left me and Lianne standing in front of each other.

“Follow me.”

I led Lianne into my office. The moment the door shut, xe asked a brusque question.

“Do you have a crush on Mister Avner?”

“...”
“I know very well that you and Avner stay under the same roof.”
“How did you..”

“Oh, eh? So it’s true?!” surprise plastered across hirs face.
I got tricked!

“I see.. so that’s your relationship with him. No wonder you two seem so close.. you even smell like each other.”
Smell like each other..

“You’re all red now.”

“You don’t need to say that,”
I tried to cover my face– futile.

“So.. how’s your stay together? I’m quite curious?”
“Why do you even want to know?”
“Is Avner’s mom in agreement with your.. relationship?”

Bleu came to mind when xe said that. What kind of nonsense is that demon telling this elf..

Was Bleu in agreement with our relationship? Come to think of it, it feels like xe’s trying to accelerate our bond together, to a point where we’d become inseparable.

Bleu is like that glue tying us together. It's a wonder if staying with Avner would work out if not for hir. Things like the house chores and meals– small worries like these no longer pose a problem because of hir.

A blessed family life..

“Earth to boss, are you okay?”
“E-Eh yes.. why do you even want to know all this? We have work to do.”
“Hmph. Don’t dodge the topic. You like Mister Avner, I do too.”

Xe said with blushed cheeks.
What.. did this elf just say?

“I’m.. sorry Lianne but.. that position..”
“Position?”
“There is already an elf in my heart..”
Oh gosh. What I’m I even saying? This is admitting that I like Bleu don’t I? That’s ridiculous..

Lianne formed a frown.
“Who is it?”
“...”

“You can’t name the elf you like?”
“Don’t you think it’s appropriate to force yourself into our lives like this?”

I responded with a frown of my own.
“You know, I’ll just ask Mister Avner if you’re not going to talk..”
“Bleu.”
“..Bleu?”
“Hirs name is Bleu.”

“You mean that elf that came to the office with Mister Avner the other day?”
“Yes.”
I lowered my head, feeling the heat in my ears.

“PFft..”
But all of a sudden Lianne burst into a loud laugh.

“Miss Pu’er..”

Xe said, wiping the tears off with a smile.

“You do know that Bleu is a girl, right?”
“Girl?”
“Those ears.. those are duds.”
Fake?

Bleu?

Is a girl?

“I don’t know how she managed to hide it for so long. If you don’t believe me you can ask Avner about it.”
I never really took note of Bleu’s ears so I didn’t.. no. It can’t be fake.

I got up and out of my office to Avner’s cubicle.

“What?”
“Bleu…she’s a girl?”

“What are you talking about? Xe’s an elf…oh. Kouhai told you that huh?”

“Mister Avner, why did you even try to hide something like that?”
“Hide? You know, you shouldn’t really say anything unnecessary kouhai..”
His expression was slack and aloof, different from his usual demeanor.

Which is a lie, which is the truth?

“Bleu is a girl right? She even took off her ears last time.”
“No.. hold on. What did you two even talk about earlier?”

“Avner, is Bleu a girl? That’s all I want to know..”
Avner looked between us before grabbing my hand.

“Kouhai, you stay there.”

“B-but..”
“Stay there.”

“Alright..”

He dragged me to the pantry. Just the two of us.

When we were far enough, I spoke first.

“She’s a girl.. isn’t she?”

“I thought so too in the beginning but I have my doubts.”
“What do you mean?”
“Those ears are absolutely real.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“Think about it in this way. Are Gods supposed to have a concept of gender?”
“...”

“Xe did some voodoo magic to tear off hirs ear for Lianne to see last time. So that’s why xe thinks Bleu is a girl.”
“So.. is Bleu an elf..?”
“You could say.. wait, you like Bleu?”

“...”

“...”
“...”

He brought his hands to his face.

===

“What did he say?”

To Lianne’s question, I merely shook my head and walked back to my office.

As much as I wanted an answer to that question, Avner himself was too scared to ask Bleu directly.

Is Bleu a girl or elf? Avner did call Bleu mom, didn’t he? I didn’t think much of it until now.

Could he be lying to me?

Who is Bleu anyways?

The question plagued me throughout the day.

===

“Bleu.”

“Yes?”
“???”
“...”

I had to speak up.

“Is it alright if I had an honest conversation, just between us later?”

I was gripping my fork so tight that my knuckles became white.

“Sure.”

Yet somehow, despite all this, xe still remains calm as ever.

I can't help but find this trait of hirs attractive..

===

Knock. Knock.

“Come in..”
“Then excuse me.”
Bleu in hirs white dress slid into my room. I clutched the pillow in my arms tighter.

I made sure to make my room a little more presentable, nevertheless, it still looks like a supermarket graveyard.

Hirs cerulean hair cascaded down like a waterfall, reaching all the way to hirs upper waist. An indifferent expression on hirs baby face which I found cute. Ear peaking from between the clumps of hair.

It wiggled a little, further adding to my confusion.

My heart beat accelerated.

“What is it that you want to talk about?”
“Were you just done with training Avner?”
“Yes. He’s made quite a bit of progress lately. I think he should be able to handle the cursed weapon in a year’s time.”
“I see..”

“Anything else?”
An ethereal beauty, so distant, far from my reach..

“Can.. no. Bleu, please tell me honestly. Are you an elf?”

“Do you need to touch my ears like Avner did?”
“???”

Xe came up to me and lowered hirself to my level, hirs ear directed at me.

“Just be careful around the erogenous area. Otherwise, you may just feel around the outer edges.”
My hands reached out naturally, my face felt hot.

The softness of the ear, warm from the base to the tip, slightly moist, smooth texture to the touch.

I quickly pulled away.

These aren’t fake ears.. they can’t be..

Then..
“If you’re not convinced, should I pull up my dress?”

“Pull up..”

I gulped.

Xe stood a little distant from me who sat on the bed. With an expression that wasn’t fazed in the slightest, pinching the hem of her white gown, xe lifted the curtain ever so slowly.

My heart shuddered, beating wild, fist clenched..

Revealing hirs silky white thigh about to show..
“Stop!!”
I yelled, waving my hands out.

What I’m I doing?!

“I knew you would say that.”

Xe let go.

I felt a tinge of disappointment plague my mind.

No. No. I can’t possibly.. I’m so disgusting..

“Pu’er Julis.”

Hirs stern tone caught the train in my mind.

“I apologize for not saying this earlier. But just as I am to Avner what I am to you, a mere guardian, I can’t reciprocate anyone’s feelings.”
Ah..

“I apologize.”
No.. you need not to..

“Have a good evening. I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”
I nodded.

Xe curtsied before making hirs way out.

Click.

The door finally shut.

All the tension finally went away–

So..

So this is how my boss felt huh?

This is how it feels like to be rejected, even though I wouldn’t say that I’m really invested in this relationship..

It’s not the first time I’ve felt like this but still..

It hurts.

Makech
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