Iori Ishizuka was an ordinary fellow. He liked to draw, and generally hung around the group as they were his only friends, he was just like Yuu in that regard. He's had a nagging thought at the back of his head ever since he hung out with Nerisu, and that was concerning his place in the group. Did they like him? Even if they did, he felt… inadequate. He just didn’t think he fit in very much, and this was despite being in the group since he was in year one. He was the last one to join in, to be exact. He thought about telling Nerisu about this, but decided against it, even though she asked him whether he was okay sometime beforehand and he faked and said he was fine.
Right now, the group was at school talking about how they spent their holidays. Their holidays just ended, and it was time for them to resume school work. Their holidays went on for two weeks, so quite a lot happened in that time for them.
“Look at these photos of Nanaka and I!” Nerisu showed off photos on her phone of her and Nanaka spending time in Werethia, at various places in Calastrina, like the beach and arcade. Places in Werethia tend to be uniquely designed, compared to the other countries on Caladria. Seiko was there too, and Nerisu looked ecstatic. “Werethia is so interesting! We should all go there together sometime, I think!”
“Ah, you were able to hang out with Sound Seven! How I envy you, Whirlwind Wonder…!” Takataka groaned, but he soon smiled happily again. “No matter! I, myself, spent a lot of time with Yuu! Here, look at these photos of us!”
The group looked at the photos of Yuu and Takataka. They were at an arcade, and took a lot of selfies. They also went to the movies, and watched the latest Monster Girls in Paradise movie that was airing at the time. Monster girls were popular in Dreilunian culture, due to the fascination with the small monster population on there. As a result, there were some documentaries based on monster beings, of all kinds.
“I love how monster girls are so popular! But I’ve never met one before, you know?” Yuu mentioned, looking at Takataka as he said this.
“I haven’t, either! Maybe they’re really spread out over Caladria?” Takataka replied, wondering.
Iori decided to speak, but decided that now wasn’t the time to speak about his concerns with the group.
“I believe there’s villages in each country, except for Nephrine of course, where they tend to reside. Considering how even the smallest of villages has a shopping centre nowadays, the only way you could probably meet one is online.”
“Are you two planning on getting monster girlfriends.” Mizuki joined in, unexpectedly too. She, like Iori, had her own problems. We’ll get to them sooner or later.
“Yes.” Yuu looked at her with a poker face, while Takataka was a bit of a flustered mess. “N-No, I-I wasn’t planning on doing anything like that! Getting a girlfriend isn’t a priority, I have school to focus on!” Takataka huffed, sighing as he looked at Mizuki. “Anyway, what did you do, Mizu?”
“I went to Celestine in Tamarin, with my family.” She showed off the photos she took, but they were mostly of the Japan-esque scenery that was there. It was different from the American-esque vibe that Dreilune gave off
“Speaking of Tamarin, I would totally get a robot girlfriend if I turned into a wizard!” Yuu spoke once again.
“Getting off of that topic, what about you, Yukino?” Iori decided that he couldn’t put up with Yuu’s thirst today.
“Hey! It’s a conversation topic, you know! There’s nothing wrong with me wanting a girlfriend!” Yuu shouted, mad at Iori for ignoring him.
“It’s the one thing you talk about most of the time. You’re basically Takataka with a severe need to get a girlfriend.”
“A-Are we really that similar?” Takataka chimed in, gulping as he looked at Iori.
“...Ah, should I speak or not?” Yukino asked, without that sing songy feeling she always added to her sentences.
“...Sorry, Yukino. Go ahead.” Iori apologised, and looked at Yuu as well. “I’m sorry, as well.”
“Thanks for apologising, Iori-kun!” Yuu grinned at him.
All of a sudden, Yukino showed off photos of them wearing strange masks. What were those masks? They were actually the Guy Fawkes masks that were known as Anonymous masks in Earth culture. “This is from a conspiracy theorist meetup I went to~”
“W-What’s with those masks? I’ve seen drawings of girls wearing them, but I never knew what they were!” Takataka said, looking surprised by the moderate amount of people wearing them, for some odd reason.
Iori took a deep breath. “Oh, those. They’re all wearing a mask worn by a man named Guy Fawkes who wore it during the Gunpowder Plot, an assassination attempt on Earth from 1605 where there was a failed attempt at murdering King James I of England and King James VI of Scotland. The mask was popularised after the event, and they became popular on a website called 4chan. I’m assuming that’s how most of the wearers know it, though we have Caladria Channel, which is basically our version of it…”
“I don’t use Caladria Channel because there’s too many poopposters!” Nerisu said, frowning as she looked at them.
“Wait, what’s poopposting?” Yuu asked, thinking.
“That’s shitposting, Nerisu doesn’t swear!” Takataka said, nodding.
“In the celebrities thread, there’s a lot of people talking about wanting to do sexual and mean things to us… I don’t want Nanaka to see it, ever!” Nerisu covered up her breasts as she said that, and sighed.
“Using the powers bestowed upon me, we will move off this topic to get rid of Tornado Terror’s discomfort! Icicle Isolator, how come you befriended her despite the fact that she’s royalty? It’s rather ironic!”
“Hmm~ Nerisu-chan’s a nice girl, she and I get along really well~ Besides, there’s barely any conspiracies on here, so I mainly know about Earth ones~”
“Most of the Caladrian drama in the past concerns disagreements with how countries were being run, correct?” Mizuki asked.
“Yes, you’re right! If you look back, we mainly had wars due to how the countries were being run. Most people disagreed with Nephrine’s strict rulership and so Dreilune was formed. Then other people decided to follow when they wanted more freedom, leading to Tamarin and Werethia. There have been so many wars, though…” Nerisu replied, frowning.
“We’re lucky to have been born during a time where they stopped!” Takataka replied. “Speaking of fighting, I’ve been learning magic to protect myself from nefarious beings! To make sure that they won’t find out the secrets of my swords, we all know that would be incredibly dangerous!”
“That’s great, Takataka! It’s really nice to learn magic!” Nerisu believed that he had magic potential despite being a human.
“Aren’t you just using scrolls? You know, those ones that allow you to learn level one to six spells.” Iori replied, raising a brow as he looked at him suspiciously.
“W-What!? N-No way, I-I have legitimate magic powers! You know that I have been blessed with the powers from the heavens just to protect other individuals!”
“You’re definitely using a scroll~” Yukino joined in, humming a little as she said that.
“S-So what if he’s using a scroll!? I use them, too! They’re really useful, I can heat up things using my fingers now!” Yuu demonstrated this by pointing upwards and a small flame burst out from his finger.
“But anyway, you know what? I’m really glad I have brown hair! It means I look like an eroge protagonist, and I have a higher chance of scoring the ladies!” He changed the subject to avoid the embarrassment that he would face from possibly using a scroll, since the girls were element users and the boys were powerless.
“Have you even kissed a girl, Yuu?”
“N-No… B-But, I won’t give up! I don’t care if it makes it seem like my sole defining trait, I will definitely attract a girl one day! ...Probably through the internet!” Yuu responded, puffing his chest.
“Is there something wrong with the ones around here?” Nerisu asked, looking at him.
“W-Well… I just think not many of them are into anime and such, that’s all! It’d be a lot easier to find one online who is, if you ask me. So I’ve been trying, and I’ve only made friends so far, which is fine! Has anyone here even kissed a girl?” Trying to shift the topic once again to avoid embarrassment, classic Yuu.
“I have~” Yukino replied, putting her hand up.
Everyone looked at her in shock, and the group remained silent for a moment before Takataka spoke up.
“W-What!? H-How come you’re the only one who’s lost their first kiss here!? You never told us about whoever this person was, too!”
“Ah, that was because I thought I should keep it a secret~ We broke up because she turned yandere, and I didn’t really enjoy that~ I would enjoy a girl who’s more like Nerisu-chan!” She nodded, smiling gently at her while Nerisu blushed.
“T-Thank you, Yukino!”
“Right, it’s my job to ask this question! Yukino-san, may I ask if you happen to have ever “licked a girl’s lips” before?” Yuu asked, looking at her with an intense look on his face.
She raised her finger and put it to her mouth, with a smile on her face. “It’s a secret~”
“Of course you would ask that, Yuu…” Iori thought.
The group went silent as they stopped talking about it, and then Nerisu spoke.
“What does he mean by that? You mean like literally licking a girl’s lips?” She innocently asked.
“You don’t want to know.”
Iori started having some thoughts.
“Do I feel that I fit in this group? They seem to like me, and it’s been years since we started hanging out with each other, so why do I feel like this? Is it something in me that’s saying that I’m not good enough to be friends with other people? It’s not them, it’s me…”
The bell rang, ending lunch for the group as they went off to their classes and went on with the rest of their day.
Nerisu’s parents were busy people. They were a part of a big, multimedia company called Himenomiya Industries that was responsible for all kinds of things on Caladria. They specialised in robots, grooming products, cosplay products, anime, manga, light novel production, artist supplies and a clothing brand. Their products were known for being high quality, using the wealth of the two combined, they managed to hire some capable people who they knew through good connections. Right now, they were taking a break from working, they were busy talking to their clients and co-workers on what to do next for the various sectors of the company in general. Mikazuki, Nerisu’s father, sent Nerisu a text message.
“Nerisu, darling! How are you, dear?” It read.
“Hi, father! I’m doing great, school’s just ended! I’ll be coming home, are you coming home today or are you going to spend a couple of nights at the workplace?” Nerisu’s parents were prone to working for long periods of time without returning home. But whenever they were on holidays, they would often spend a lot of time with her at home, they adored her too much and wanted to treasure her like she was their only ever daughter. Well, she technically was, but still.
“I’m afraid we will be, I’m sorry to say. We’ll be out for two days, but we will be back soon, I promise.” Mikazuki hated being so busy that he couldn’t spend time with her. They often did group activities, such as go out to various places or sit at home playing board games.
“That’s okay! I’m… used to it. But in any case, I’ll be fine by myself! I’ll just invite one of my friends to spend time with me, or I’ll talk with them online!”
“Okay, dear. Your mother and I really wish we could spend more time with you, we do.”
“I-I know, father… But I’ll survive! I mean, with all the money we have, we can do all kinds of things! It’s like a double edged sword, I guess? You’re too busy to spend time with me, but now we have lots of money in return! I can buy just about anything~”
“Well, if you say so, dear… I’m going to go and eat now, take care, okay?”
“Okay! Bye bye, father!”
Nerisu went back home after this, and as soon as she arrived, she ate some parfaits they bought from the store and started messaging one of her friends. This friend she was messaging, was Tokino Miyanohara, the princess of Tamarin.
“Hi Tokino!!” She said as she sent a text message to her. She didn’t use RINE, so she just settled for texting her instead.
A few minutes later, she received a reply from the dark brown haired girl with multiple ringlet curls reaching down that went down to her lower back. She possessed a blunt straight hime cut and dark green eyes as well, along with an ahoge. “Ah, greetings Nerisu-san. It is quite good to see you again.”
“It’s so good to see you, too! It’s been a while, I guess you could say I’ve been busy with school and my friends, ehehe~ How are you doing?”
“Yes, you are right… Oh, there is no need to worry about it, I understand. I have been busy with my studies myself, I have been working very hard on my grades.”
“That’s good! You should always prioritise them, no matter what! Well, I guess it’s a lot easier for me to do that, but still! It’s a necessity in life!!” Nerisu Himenomiya was very passionate about school.
“Yes, you are right. I do agree with you. Goodness, you reply so quickly when it comes to text messaging… You are really good with technology, are you not?”
“Oh! Yes, I am! I’m just… too talented, really. At times like this, I’m probably one of the more fortunate people to live, if you ask me! I don’t… know if I deserve it or not. I don’t think I really like how I was blessed in comparison to a lot of people.”
“Oh, Nerisu-san… I believe you should accept what you have been given. You have qualities that most people would admire or envy, but you should not let that get you down.”
“Thank you, Tokino! I guess I will, ahaha… Well, I’m going to go and play a game now, so I’ll talk to you later! Bye bye!”
“Good bye, Nerisu-san.”
Tokino sat in her room that had a Japanese look to it. Her room was filled with many flowers, but they were all exotic unlike the ones that surrounded Mizuki’s room. She smiled gently as she thought about how she had a nice, small talk with Nerisu. Now, it was time for her to wonder what to do. She was only allowed to do a few things outside of the house, and so her days were primarily spent studying, growing flowers and engaging in flower arranging. She went outside in her green flower print kimono and looked around, heading over to the flowers she had planted a day ago.
Slowly, she began hovering her hands over the flowers and suddenly they bloomed, turning from seeds into actual flowers within the span of seconds as they were now fully grown. She smiled gently as she looked at them, and at the beautiful garden that surrounded the Japanese-esque castle, since Tamarin’s development went from a British looking country to a Japanese inspired area. That’s not to say it didn’t have its own uniqueness, but it ended up like Japan in the long run during the 1980s.
Tokino herself was capable of doing more with these flowers. She had used them as shields before when it came to walking around outside, along with shelter for when she sun’s rays were too hot for most people to handle. But she gazed upon the outside world that was faced upon her, as she felt her mother watching her in the corner. She knew that she would only be able to watch for a brief amount of time, as she contemplated what a life where she would be able to go out more would be like. What would she do? Would she end up hanging out with her school friends more at Haranomori Private School?
Speaking of Haranomori Private School, she remembered that someone transferred there today at school. It was a girl, she transferred into her class. She remembered the event clearly, no one knew it would happen of course, and everyone was shocked as soon as they saw her. She sported a peculiar appearance; long bubblegum pink hair tied up into two wavy ringlet curl twintails like Nerisu’s singular ponytail, and dark pink eyes. She had a bust that could rival Nerisu’s as well, and she seemed like she would be a lot like her with a cheerful appearance, but the look on her face and the words she spoke proved that statement wrong.
“I-I’m Caeleria Valedrius! A-Ain’t nothin’ wrong with a Werethian like me, r-right? I-I like fightin’ video games and running my store with my pop! N-Nice to meetcha!”
Her stutter and insecurity was pretty prominent, and she looked down as she walked to her seat, which was near the front. She felt the stares of some people pierce through her very figure, and they were talking more about how she was shy than her figure. That Werethian accent seemed to have earned her some charm points according what they were saying, too.
The lesson went on like always, before class ended and Caeleria was scrambling about, trying to put her laptop away. Haranomori was a high class school for both genders, and they provided free, high quality laptops to the students who attended. As a result, pen and paper was rarely used unless it was for signing various slips. She watched some students approach her, with smiles on their faces as she got up to go and head into the cafeteria.
“Hi there! How are you liking it here in Tamarin?” One asked.
“I-It’s real nice ‘ere! I ain’t ever visited Earth, but it looks so much like Japan over there! The sights are lovely, just like Werethia!” She nodded.
“That’s good to hear. What does your shop sell?”
“We sell all kindsa things! We’re like… a small general store on the entrance to the city! Takes a while to get here, which sucks… We need some kinda fancy teleporter fer townies like us!” She replied, sighing as she thought about how annoying it was to take the bus to get to Haranomori.
“Oh, I understand. Some other classmates also live in the towns nearby, so they take a while to get here too. Speaking of them, did you know that Tokino-sama is in our classroom? It’s one of the first things we tell new students about, how she attends this school!”
Just as they said that, Tokino approached the group and smiled gently at them, not minding being talked about at all. “Greetings, everyone.”
“Tokino-sama! W-What a coincidence, we were just telling her about you!” The two were shocked, and jumped a little as she spoke.
“Ah, so I heard. It is my job to acquaint myself with new students, as class representative, so that is what I was going to do.” Tokino responded, unfazed by their shocked reactions.
“W-We understand! We’ll leave you two be immediately!” The two rushed off to the cafeteria, leaving Caeleria and Tokino alone.
“Greetings once again, Caeleria-san. I am Tokino Miyanohara, the princess of Tamarin. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance.” She held out a hand, and smiled at her warmly.
“A-Ah! Miyanohara-sama!? I-It’s an honour to meet you, miss!” Caeleria shook her hand, her own hand trembling as she came into contact with Tokino’s.
“What brings you here to Tamarin, Caeleria-san? Your Werethian accent is rather foreign to some of us.”
“That? A-Ain’t nothin’ wrong with it!” She defensively replied. “O-Oh, me parents thought it’d be good to take me to a good private school. We heard that Haranomori was the best outta all the private schools on Caladria, so we went with that! They really want me to get a good education, and they’re hopin’ my shop experience lands me a good job! Wouldn’t mind ownin’ a business, though…”
“That is very interesting, Caeleria-san. Yes, we do often get new students due to Haranomori being a high quality private school, even amongst the public schools on Caladria. It makes me happy everytime a new student arrives. Now then, shall we go and get something to eat?”
“‘Course we can! Show me the way, Miyanohara-sama!”
The two walked over to the high class cafeteria that was there, selling meals such as meat and vegetables compared to the usual public schools only having snacks like rolls and Pockeye. The two gathered their food, and sat down at a conveniently empty table when the students made way for them.
“May I ask what it is like playing a video game, Caeleria-san? I have never played one before…”
“Sure-- W-Wait, what!? You kiddin’ me, Miyanohara-sama? You’ve never played a video game before!?”
“Ah, no. My parents feared it would be a bad influence on me, so I was never given the chance to do so…”
“Man, is this what most princesses are like? Or not, I don’t know nothin’ about Matsurida-sama or Himenomiya-sama... “ Caeleria didn’t know too much about the royalty of Caladria, even Nanaka. She was busy playing fighting games instead.
“I do not know Matsurida-san too well, but I know that Nerisu-san is able to do more things than I. Perhaps I can introduce the two of you as well, one day? In the near future, of course.”
“Y-You can!? B-But, first off, we gotta get you to play a video game one day! Err… Wait, you don’t really go out much, do ya?”
“No, I do not… When Nerisu-san visits, I am allowed to hang out with her however. Our families are on good terms with each other, and they acknowledge her as a good influence on me.” Tokino replied, smiling gently at her.
“Yeah, I getcha. Alright, we’ll be gettin’ you to play a video game next time she comes over! Ya think she can hang out with us for a weekend?”
“Yes. Using the teleporting devices we were provided, she would be able to hang out with us.”
“C-Cool! So the rumours were true, that teleporting devices are in the making! Gotcha, I’m so looking forward to this!”
The two ate for lunch, and then school ended for the day soon afterwards. This brings us now to the present, where Tokino went back inside with her mother watching after her, her black hime cut falling to her knees with her dark green eyes. She had a short stature like Tokino as well. Tokino felt bad about probably sneaking out to play video games, but she also had a bad feeling about it as she had a hard time using her phone in general. It took her around eight minutes just to text Nerisu each time, with the longer her responses resulting in a longer wait time. She was just not so accustomed to using her fingers to type in any way.
After dinner, Tokino messaged Nerisu and told her about Caeleria, the new transfer student, and how she was arranging for them to play video games. Nerisu thought of it as a good way to get Tokino out in the world, and smiled as she read her text message.
Yuu Takamine was a perverted young fellow, as we saw before. He was at home right now with his mother, since his dad has been very busy with work just like Nerisu’s parents. His job weren’t as lavish, however, he worked as mercenary who fought the dangerous creatures that lurked on Caladria and did quests for other people. His skills in battle lead to inspiring Yuu to become a hero of sorts, leading to his chuunibyou that they think is cute. He was an exceptional warrior, capable of beating the highest of high level monsters on there.
“Hey, mom! I want to ask you something!” Yuu shouted, calling for his mother, Sachiho. She had dark blue hair that reached her knees, with matching eyes. Her bust was massive, she had a fairly curvy figure as she wore a dark blue tanktop with blue jeans.
“Ah? Yes, Yuu?” She asked, while busy preparing casserole for the two of them.
“I want to ask you something. I’ve been told that I’m actually “bullheaded” when it comes to my “dumb fantasies”, do you think that’s true?” He asked, Iori had called them dumb sometime when they were walking home from school.
“Dumb fantasies? Your chuunibyou? Hmm… I suppose they are, but that goes for all victims.”
“T-They’re not fantasies! I-I’m not a victim, I have been given this power!” He flailed around in an attempt to convince her that this was the case. “Well, uh… Iori-kun mentioned me growing out of it one day, you think that’ll ever happen?”
“It depends. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. It seems like it will last with you for quite a while, though. As long as it doesn’t endanger you, I don’t see anything wrong with it.” She replied, smiling back at him as she looked while he sat on the couch in their kitchen and lounge room combo of a room.
“Huh, alright! I get that, thanks mom!” He went off to his room to play some video games, and shout obscenities at the players for losing in games like Legends of Leagues. But he first decided to check his phone, he saw that the group chat was talking like always. Yukino would hint at Nerisu trying to murder someone, prompting her to get flustered and tell her she’s being ridiculous. Earlier, Yuu went on about how hot his mom was and the chat went silent except for Takataka saying that it’s like him with his sister, but he doesn’t lust after her. He just thinks she’s pretty.
“I’m just saying that my mum is pretty, too! I guess I phrased it in a bad way, but she’s got a killer body… She looks like Nerisu-chan with her breasts!”
“You mean a generic anime female body.” Mizuki joined in, as you can imagine, she said this with a straight face.
Ignoring what Mizuki said, “This is the worst thing ever!! I’m so disturbed right now, it’s like you’re calling me sexy, Yuu!” Nerisu typed, she was a blushy mess as this happened.
“What? I wasn’t calling you sexy, y’know. Even if your body sure does lead to dudes asking me why I haven’t tried to do anything with you yet.”
“I want to forget all of this right now. I really do.”
That was when Yukino started talking about Nerisu probably wanting to murder someone, mainly Yuu in particular, making her call her ridiculous and whatnot. As Yuu finished off a gaming session, he looked over at his phone and noticed one message that was recently sent from Iori.
“This group is making me uncomfortable now. I need a break.”