Racconti di Volpe


Authors
BlueTomoshibi
Published
1 year, 9 months ago
Updated
2 months, 26 days ago
Stats
13 38984 1

Entry 4
Published 1 year, 7 months ago
6717

Explicit Sexual Content

Short stories set in the world of "Ragazza Volpe Magica ~A Fox by any other name isn't as rhythmical~"

These are more character focused and happen during downtimes during the story.

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Author's Notes

This is a showing of a possible AU. There shouldn't be any spoilers for the main story outside of who Lina is.

A goccia a goccia s'incava la pietra


“Sahji! Get out here!”

It was another lively weekday at Sahji’s Psychic Consultation Service. Today Shouri Tomoshibi was the one kicking the door open and demanding the Sage who dwelt in the establishment.

The feisty young adult however, would not meet the sage he was expecting. A brown-haired young man sat at a table in the café. His brown robes, while ordinary, were made of a strange material that Shouri couldn’t identify at first glance. On the table in front of him laid a book, and sitting on the ground next to the man was a wooden staff with an hourglass perched atop it. The sudden commotion didn’t disturb the man in the slightest. He merely turned a page as Shouri frowned hard at the man.

Shouri opened his mouth to ask this mysterious man who he was, when the man spoke first.

“My name is Seres; I’m the Time sage.” He looked up and gave a mischievous snicker. “Oh I’m sorry, I forgot to let you ask, Mr. Tomoshibi.”

While the answer to his question was provided prior to him even asking, this merely served to annoy the young adult. He folded his arms across his chest and walked over to the table Seres was at.

“So, you’re an asshole who looks through time?”
“I wouldn’t put it so crudely, but yes, my muse allows me to see all possible timelines. It is quite humorous that we ended up in the one where I answered your question before you asked.”

Shouri glared at the sage, already annoyed with this one. His eyes drifted towards the book on the table. Before his eyes could reach the pages however, the book snapped shut. “We will follow that timeline.” Seres frowned hard at the boy.

“Eh?” The maestro raised an eyebrow.

“Gazing upon the Book of Kairos scrambles the brains of mortals.” The sage stated, folding his hands and setting them atop the book.

The brown-haired maestro pondered that thought. Sahji’s End of Desire has a similar “cost” to use it. This only made the boy curious, as a sword could easily kill you, but how could a book cause such harm?

“It’s quite simple Mr.Tomoshibi.”
“Can you please stop answering my questions before I ask them?”

Silence.

Shouri frowned. “Well?”

“You asked me not to answer your questions prior to you asking them, I am merely following your request.”
“You’re worse than Sahji.”
“You mortals are quite amusing though. I see how my fellow sage can handle being around you all for so long.”

This earned an annoyed growl from the boy. “How can that book “scramble my brain” like you claim?”

Another chuckle from the sage. “This book contains every possible timeline in every possible universe. Gazing upon its pages will give you all of the information from but a single possible timeline, which is much more than your feeble brain can ever hope to contain.”

“Bullshit, prove it.”
“Do you want to die? I’m sure Blakki would love to find out you killed yourself reading a book.”
“Tch, you and Sahji, all you sages just delight in watching people kill themselves.”

A shrug from the sage. “It’s you mortals who are willing to throw yourselves onto a bed of swords to prove a point.”

Shouri grumbled, and folded his arms across his chest, looking towards the clothed entranceway labeled “Employee Only.”

“I know you’re curious.”
“Eh?”

The maestro looked back to the time sage once more. He tried to think what the man was talking about. If what he said was true, he knew everything that could possibly happen. So that begged the question, what did he know that Shouri would be curious about?

“When I say every possible timeline though, I should warn you, some events are fated to happen no matter what timeline we’re in.” Seres chimed in.

A sudden wicked thought went through his head. The maestro dropped his arms to his sides, the scowl fading from his face. Certain things always happened no matter what? Seres mentioned that for a reason, obviously. The sage wanted him to probe further.

“…L-lina…”
“Hmmm?”

The boy gulped. He felt like slime asking this, but now he had to know. “Lina… is she always fated to… die?”

“No.”
“Do I die in her place?”
“No.”
“Does that fire always happen?”
“No.”

Shouri paused his line of questioning, he looked down. It felt awful. It was possible to save her. Hell, it was even possible to live in a timeline where that fire never happened at all, meaning his parents would be still alive too. He would have been a normal college student at this point in such a life.

“Actually…”

The boy looked up. Seres realized what he did and looked away nervously. “Ahaha… sorry, it’s difficult not to just say it.”

Seres took in a deep breath and exhaled. “You are always fated to become Blakki’s maestro.”

The maestro in question furrowed his brow. “Wait wait wait… I was only in the forest when Blakki jumped because Aura said some stupid shit to me. What possible reason would I have to go there otherwise?”

“Why else? Someone else said or did something to upset you and made you run away into that forest.”

Shouri frowned hard. This was unbelievable, no matter what happened, no matter what he changed, he would always end up in that forest and rescue Blakki. The book was pulling him in, he had to know.

“I can show you what it would be like, but you will see or hear something dreadful. It’s the only way I’d be able to pull you out of the dream.”

The boy bit his bottom lip and looked down. It would bug him for sure. But Lina’s death was such a traumatic experience for him he just had to know there was a time where she was able to live a happy life.

He fell to his knees in front of the table, on the cushions that acted as chairs for the short tables. Seres slid the book to the center of the table. “Place your hands on the book and I’ll take care of the rest.”

A hesitant nod and a gulp. He stared at the worn brown cover of the book of Kairos. He reached out and touched the warm wooden cover of the tome. Everything went white for a moment, blurry images of him rescuing Blakki and escaping the forest played back to him in the same exact way he had done in his own time.

He blinked, but when he opened his eyes, he was now standing at the edge of the road where they crossed into town.

“Hmm… Best to lay low. My parents totally won’t be cool with this, but regardless I’m gonna hide you.” He told the escapee.

The girl’s ears wilted; her tail drooping low as she looked away. “You don’t have to do all that, not for me.” She shook her head slowly, refusing to look Shouri in the eyes. She wasn’t worth this effort, or at least that’s how she felt.

Despite her protests, Shouri was thinking of how to engineer this. The fox ears and tail would be a dead giveaway. She had a jacket, and so did he. Maybe they could wing this with some careful planning. “Okay, take off your jacket.” He told her, while removing his own.

The girl did as she was instructed. Taking that from her, he wrapped it around her waist, tying it off. This hid her tail just barely. The boy was thankful he wore a hoodie. Though, a hat was in this girl’s future for sure. He pulled the hood up over her head being mindful of her canine ears. “This should work for now.”

She was good at following directions it seemed. The girl was now slightly hidden from immediate suspicion. “Yeah, that’ll do I guess.” Shouri nodded, acknowledging the shoddy job this did. They didn’t really have any other options. “Ok, let’s go into town.” The girl gulped as she was pulled out of the safety of the woods. There weren’t a lot of people around, thanks due in part to it being a weekday. The other thing in their favor was Shouri’s knowledge of his hometown. What roads to avoid to stay away from people.

However, in this particular timeline, they didn’t head towards an apartment complex. Instead they found themselves in a small gated community.  The girl immediately noticed how nice the houses were as soon as they walked in. She did her best to keep her head low to avoid drawing any attention to themselves.

They reached house number 197. Shouri walked up the driveway, and pulled a house key out of his pocket. Twirling the key around his finger he made his way to the front door. The girl following him never once hesitating to keep pace with him. “Thankfully Mom and Dad are at work and Aura went to class like a good girl.” He inserted the key into the deadbolt and with a swift click it was undone. He opened the door and motioned for the girl following him to enter.

The home was beautiful. Immediately the fox-girl was in awe of her new surroundings. Removing the hood that covered her head and allowing it to behind her; her ears were now afforded their freedom and they immediately stood straight up. Her tail swished behind her in curiosity as she walked down the main entranceway to the den to take in her new surroundings. The furniture looked nearly brand new, there was a full kitchen, a huge TV hung on the wall, all manners of family photos were displayed proudly all about the home and there were even some little vacuum robots roaming about to keep things tidy.

“Come on, I'll show you my room”

After everything they had been through, a place to relax sounded wonderful at this point in time. She followed her host into his bedroom, not really caring (or realizing) any subtext that could have been implied to that kind of invitation.

Even the boy’s room was impressive. A huge desk with four monitors, a tower computer that hummed quietly. A bed way too big for a single person, and another large TV mounted on the wall. There were all kinds of nick-knacks, games, and other electronics that decorated the room.

The door closed and clicked behind the girl. “I locked the door. So we're safe for now.” Shouri spoke as he turned to the girl.

“That's a relief.” The girl in question smiled, looking down at her hands. She then realized she was still wearing Shouri's jacket. “Oh! Sorry!” The girl quickly removed the jacket and handed it back to the boy. He merely put his jacket back on. As she untied her jacket from her waist and put her own jacket back on.

“Well, er-” He paused with his mouth hanging open. There was a vital piece of information he had yet to capture. “I never did get your name, what is your name?” Shouri asked.

She frowned. “I don’t really remember much about myself.” She fidgeted nervously. “I don’t remember anything except waking up in that building.” Her blue eyes stared at the ground as if they would have the answer written there.

“Except...” She looked up. “I remember my name. I remember that as clear as day.” She drew in a deep breath and then exhaled, smiling before she spoke. “My name is Blakki, I guess I’m in your care.”

Shouri blinked and some time had passed. He laid in bed reflecting everything he had learned thus far. Blakki was what was called a “resonator”; a being from a different world, but she didn’t have any memories. However, he was able to become her maestro and got a tuner from the sage Sahji. So far, he had managed to keep the fox-girl’s existence a secret from everyone else.

But there would be a problem.

The boy sat up in bed. It was 2AM according to the lock screen on his computer.

“Hey Blakki.” He whispered to the darkness of the room. The fox-girl emerged from the closet. “Yeah Sho?”

“I have something I need to tell you.”
“Oh?”

The fox-girl left the safety of her closet and sat on the bed with her maestro. “What is it Sho?” She smiled, her tail swishing back and forth. Shouri had treated her very well so far. He was a wonderful cook and she just generally enjoyed her time with him.

“I have a girlfriend.” He started. The girl’s expression hardened immediately, but she did her best to similarly harden her own emotions. She managed to fake a convincing laugh.

“Hahaha! I figured! No way you would be single!” She smiled, though on the inside, she was absolutely crushed. “So what’s her name, when can I meet her?” The lunar resonator asked, even going as far as to force herself to wag her tail as if she was excited by the prospect.

She wanted to vomit in all actuality.

Shouri smiled, ever oblivious. “Her name is Lina; she’s coming back from vacation tomorrow.”

“I-I see. I’m looking forward to meeting her.” The girl smiled brightly once more. “Going to go to sleep. We got a big day tomorrow.” She quickly got off the bed and walked to the closet.

“Good night Blakki.”
“…Buonanotte, Sho.”

---

The following day the maestro led his resonator to the park where he had agreed to meet Lina. Blakki, jacket around her waist and hat covering her ears, followed her maestro closely. Her heart was in her throat as they approached Shouri’s girlfriend.

“Hey Lina!
“Hey Shouri!”

The pair ran towards each other and met in a hug. Blakki watched awkwardly as the pair shared a kiss.

“Who’s that?” The brunette asked, pointing to the resonator, who jumped slightly at being called out.

“Lina, this is Blakki. Blakki, Lina.” Shouri introduced the two girls to each other.

Lina was slightly taller than Blakki, but still shorter than Shouri. She had straight, long flowing dirty blonde hair. Upon closer inspection she wore expensive clothes and had a carefully applied layer of make-up that highlighted her already flawless face. Blakki felt plain, no she just felt inferior to this girl. In fact, if she wasn’t a magical fox-girl she’d have absolutely nothing over this practical goddess. Or at least that’s how Blakki was thinking.

“So, who exactly is she?” Lina pointed at the fox-girl in question, trying to hide the slight annoyance in her voice.

Shouri looked around, of course they were in a public park, so naturally there were quite a few people wandering around. “Let’s go somewhere a bit more private.” He decided waving the two girls along. Lina followed without another word. Blakki hesitated, but followed as well.

When they were all in a secluded part of the woods, the small group came to a stop. “This should be good enough.” He looked to his resonator. “Blakki, go ahead.” She looked down for a moment, again hesitating. Grabbing her hat, she slowly pulled it off her head, her fox ears remaining folded back. Then she untied her jacket, putting it on properly, allowing her tail to hang loosely behind her.

The trio remained silent for a moment. “Shouri, what is this?” Lina asked. There was a certain tone in her voice. Was it anger? Disbelief? Disgust maybe?

Shouri didn’t catch the tone shift in his girlfriend’s voice and began his explanation: “While you were on vacation, I rescued her.” He reached down to his waist and grabbed his tuner. Showing it to Lina, he continued. “She came from another world and I’m taking care of her. She’s linked to this and when I read spells from here, she can use spells.”

“Uh-huh.” Lina nodded slowly. “Shouri, I get that you’re mad I went on vacation, but isn’t this a bit far for a joke?” The girl chuckled.

The boy got a bit irritated. “Luce Lunare, Piano.”

Blakki formed a ball of lunar energy in her right hand and threw it in Lina’s direction, however she deliberately aimed the shot to whip right past the girl and smash into the tree behind her sending fragments of wood and bark flying.

“What the fuck-?!” Lina barked.

“I wanted to show you this isn’t a joke, Jorgelina.” He glared back; unnerving his girlfriend slightly. She quickly regained her composure. “This is even worse! What are you even doing hiding and taking care of this THING?!” She barked.

“She’s not a THING she’s a person just like us!”
“She’s a fucking animal girl that can shoot lasers! That’s more like a weapon not a person!”
“The fuck Lina!? Why are you being so mean?!”
“Oh I dunno maybe because I come back from vacation to see MY boyfriend and I find out he’s been keeping some kinda weird magical dog girl! Where has she even been staying?!”
“My room obviously! I can’t tell my parents about her!”
“That’s even worse!”
“Why the fuck are you throwing such a fit about this!?”

The girl paused, still maintaining her glare. “Are you cheating on me Shouri? Be honest.”
“No!” He continued to glare. “You’re my girlfriend. Why would I cheat on you?!”
“What is she to you?”

He looked to Blakki for a moment, before turning back to Lina. “She’s my resonator; a friend. That’s it.” Shouri stated plainly. Blakki did her best to keep her expression neutral, however this screaming match was incredibly draining. She was being thrown into the dirt and dragged about like some kind of… object. What made it worse was she felt this was entirely her doing. If she hadn’t met Shouri he wouldn’t be having this argument with his girlfriend. They would have met and been fine. But because Blakki was here she was just adding another layer of complication to Shouri’s life. And that made her feel terrible.

“Shouri go away.”
“Huh?
“I wanna talk to her alone.”
“But-”
“I need to know what she thinks.”
“Why-?”
“Shouri?”
“Yeah?”
“Shut-up and go.”

“It’s fine Sho.” Blakki spoke up for the first time in front of Lina. “She just wants to talk.” Shouri felt uneasy about this for some reason, but slowly nodded and walked away.

“I’m assuming those ears actually work and they’re not just some gaudy fashion accessory?”
“Yes.”
“Is he gone?”
“He walked for a little bit and stopped. I don’t think he can hear us.”

Lina smirked. “Perfect.” She shoved Blakki against a tree and held her there. “Listen up you freak. Shouri’s my man, got it? You might have magical powers or what the fuck ever but if you even think about making a move on him, I’ll make you disappear, got it?”

Blakki glared back, despite the rough treatment she was receiving there was something in her soul that was telling her to rebel. “How could you do that?” She questioned.

“He’s been keeping a dangerous beast in his room. All I gotta do is tell his parents, possibly the cops and you’re gone.”

The vixen gulped, maintaining her glare. “You would do that to him?” Blakki knew without her protection Shouri wouldn’t last long.

“Of course. But in the long run I think he’d thank me for it.”
“Why are you doing this?”

The jealous girlfriend released Blakki for a moment before shoving her back into the tree harder, she leaned in close. “I don’t like girls like you. Innocent little things who think they can play damsel in distress and while hiding their true colors. I know you’re after Shouri. If you even think about touching him: I. Will. End. You. Capiche?”

“Si pronuncia “capisci”, porco,” The fox-girl muttered under her breath.

“What was that?”
“Yeah yeah, I get it. I won’t touch him. He’s just my maestro.” She paused for a second. “Nothing more.”
“Good.”

Finally satisfied, she released her captive and walked away, leaving Blakki alone. The girl trembled, in part frustration, part fear. This wasn’t fair.

Unfortunately, Blakki wouldn’t know just how vindictive Jorgelina Martinez would be until later on.

Lina’s torment of the lunar resonator started simply enough: she came over to Shouri’s house. She then carefully manipulated Shouri’s parents to force him to leave his door open while she was there. As a result, Blakki couldn’t be out in the open and was forced to be in the closet.

Over the course of several weeks, Lina would spend more and more time with Shouri, leaving late and making up excuses as to why she had to stay later and later. This meant Blakki would spend much more of her time locked away in the closet in hiding. Shouri tried sending Lina home earlier to give Blakki some much needed freedom, but the manipulative seductress would find one reason or another to extend her stays, sometimes even going as far as to pull Shouri away from his room so Blakki was left totally alone.

The only saving grace was Shouri taking her out at night so they could hunt scherzando. Shouri apologized so much during these times. Blakki knew it wasn’t his fault. She didn’t want to tell him what she really felt though so she always told him the same thing.

“It’s okay Sho. I’m fine, really.”

She was so understanding. She didn’t want to get in his way. Whenever he finally was able to return to her she’d always greet him with a smile and a hearty tail wag. It made him feel awful for having to lock her up for so long. He was trying his best to maintain what little balance was left in his life. Between Lina and Blakki – it was starting to wear him down.

He was simply drained. If Lina wasn’t demanding so much of his attention he wouldn’t be in this situation. He’d be fine. He could sleep until noon and relax most days.

The non-maestro just didn’t understand. He couldn’t explain it to her in detail. Sahji warned Shouri very early on: knowledge is power. If someone learns about rhythm they will awaken, making them a target for the scherzando. With no resonator Lina would quickly disappear. Lina tried to get Shouri to get rid of Blakki several times, but time and time again he refused. If not for the cruelty of abandoning the girl in an entirely foreign world, but for the selfish reason of keeping himself alive.

Dealing with Lina slowly began to break him down. He was just putting up with her at this point. He didn’t think there was really an option. The more he thought about it, the more trapped he felt. Telling Lina about Blakki was a mistake. She had leverage on him. If he broke up with her, she’d run off and blab about Blakki out of petty revenge. It had begun to become clear even in his exhausted state.

“Blakki, I’m so sorry.”
“It’s okay Sho. I’m fine, really.”

Shouri sighed. It was another night and another scherzando was out and about. Tonight’s enemy was a bit bigger than some of the ones they faced in the past: a polar bear. Except this scherzando took this quite literally being a bear with spiky ice armor. The pair glared at the scherzando. This was the one time of their day they could be free. The one time of day they could be together.

“Luce Lunare, Forte!”

Blakki darted towards the polar bear, creating a ball of lunar energy in one hand. The bear opened its mouth allowing a stream of water to spew forth from its maw. The speed of the spell took Blakki by surprise, slamming into her. She held her ground, taking the brunt of the attack. She sputtered and coughed once the stream of water stopped, but she had managed to hold the ball of lunar energy which was much more important to her. She didn’t want to waste the precious rhythm Shouri had given her. And for that she had managed to hold her ground, having closed the distance between her and her target. She lobbed the ball of energy at the creature as it shot something into the sky. The creature reeled back from the impact.

However, whatever it did had taken effect and it began to snow. At first it was light, only a few flakes, but it rapidly intensified into a full on snowstorm.

“It can do that?! It’s the middle of June!” Shouri barked. He didn’t have a way to handle this. “Blakki, get back here!” He shouted. The vixen rushed back to her maestro, just in time for the two of them to be overtaken by a wave of rushing water. Unlike the previous attack it didn’t hurt either of them, however they were both now totally soaked and with the snowstorm raging around them it was very quickly wearing them out.

“Okay, I get it. This fucker has an actual strategy.” Shouri himself coughed from the cold air piercing his lungs.

“We could try that Staccato thing. It’ll save you some breath.” Blakki suggested. Shouri nodded in agreement. “I trust you.” He told her. She smiled before turning her attention back to the silhouette that glared at them from the snowstorm.

“Luce Lunare, Piano Staccato!”

Blakki rushed into the snow storm again. The cold stung her even through her jacket and pants, but she pressed on. As soon as she had good visibility on the scherzando she began pelting it with smaller balls of lunar energy. It fired a quick burst of water, combined with the ice that had began to form on the ground Blakki lost her footing and fell.

“Blakki!”

The scherzando roared standing up over the fallen vixen. It brought its entire weight down on her attempting to crush her. She held her arms out trying to avoid getting crushed, but at the last moment she was swept away. She was in Shouri’s arms. “Are you okay?” He panted.

“B-bene… Sho…” She struggled to catch her breath as well. “Quick!”

Even with that one-word command she knew what Shouri wanted her to do. From her position on the ground, Blakki renewed her assault on the polar bear scherzando. The bear charged at them and jumped. Shouri froze, as they hadn’t gotten up off the ground and wouldn’t be able to move in time. Blakki managed to get enough of herself up off the ground to scoop up her maestro and barely roll out of the way. She held him tightly in her arms as they slid on the encroaching ice.

She resumed her assault on the bear forming dozens of small orbs of lunar energy and rapidly firing them at the enemy scherzando, all while keeping her precious maestro close with her other arm. Finally, the storm stopped. As visibility returned, the pair witnessed the bear fade away just like the enemies they had faced before. They remained motionless, staring at the space the scherzando had previously occupied for a moment in disbelief that they even survived that encounter. Once reality caught up with the duo they both allowed themselves to lay back down on the ground. For a moment they stayed there, looking haggard from their rough battle.

After catching a bit of their breath, they rose, sitting in a puddle of water. “Ugh… we’re soaked.” Shouri groaned.

“Let’s get home. I’m beat.” Blakki added. “For sure.” The maestro nodded in agreement.

The duo slowly made their way home. Shouri’s eyelids felt so heavy. His thoughts swirled as they trudged along. Despite how dead on his feet he was, his mind continued to wander. He felt as if he was living a fever dream. He was simply burnt out, just thinking about dealing with Lina tomorrow brought a sense of dread. He just wanted to let Blakki be free, he wanted to be friends with her, talk to her freely. Such strong feelings of regret slowly faded into a sense of guilt, and eventually a release into freedom.

And then he opened his eyes.

THUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMP

What even happened? How did he end up like this?

Laying in bed right next to him, sharing the blanket with him was Blakki, who was similarly staring back at him, attempting to process the situation they had found themselves in. After a couple of minutes of staring each other dead in the eyes, they both simultaneously discovered a problem.

“AH!”

Both young adults covered themselves, as they were both totally naked. As they both covered the sensitive parts of their anatomy, they found a new problem.

“H-hey Sh-sho..?”
“Y-yeah Blakki?”
“I think… we had sex last night.”

---

The duo sat on the bed, both wearing some temporary clothes, as their usual attire was still soaked from last night. “How did that even happen?” Shouri shook his head. It was slowly coming back to him, but he was trying to discern fact from fiction.

“I barely remember what happened.” Blakki was hunched over, her hands gripping her head in frustration. “Oh Dio, lei mi ucciderà.”

“Let’s just walk through it.” Shouri suggested. The resonator sat up straight and nodded attempting to calm her racing heart so they could hash this out.

“We beat that polar bear resonator and walked home.” Shouri started.
“It completely soaked us during the fight.” Blakki added.
“Right. We got home, and I think Aura was fucking with the thermostat cause it was like sixty-something in the house.”
“Oh! I remember you said we should dry off and you grabbed some towels.”
“Yeah… I remember you trembling and I offered to share my blanket with you.”

The two sat in silence for a moment. Shouri suddenly straightened his back upon coming to a realization. “Oh god I’m so sorry Blakki.”

“Huh?”
“It’s coming back to me. I didn’t even say anything to you, I just kind of did it.”
“No! No Sho! I should be apologizing!” Shouri looked over at the vixen who wilted at his confused gaze. “I… er…” Blakki bit her bottom lip. “I wanted it.” She quietly admitted. “Badly.” She added even quieter.

Silence returned once more as they both sat deep in thought. Neither of them necessarily felt bad about what transpired last night. In fact, they both had an urge to re-create the events of the night prior. It was so strong it was almost crippling.

“Hey Blakki.”
“Yeah Sho?”

The boy bit his bottom lip as he stared at the ground in front of him. “I think I’m in love with you.”

SMACK

Shouri snapped his head over in Blakki’s direction. Both of her hands clasped to her cheeks as her gaze was fixed forward, wide-eyed. “I-it’s not a dream, right?” She asked hesitantly, not daring to look at her maestro. She dropped her hands to her lap as she turned to him. “I love you so much Sho.” She whimpered, tears streaming down her face.

The maestro smiled warmly, before reaching over and wrapping his arms around his crying partner. “What are we gonna do Sho?” He held her tighter. “I dunno.” He paused, thinking things over. “I’m going to break up with Lina.” Blakki broke the hug and held him by the shoulders. “Sho you can’t!”

“Why not?”
“She’ll tell your parents about me and-”

The maestro placed his finger gently on her lips, silencing her. He removed her hands from his shoulders and stood up. He grabbed his tuner from his desk and affixed it to the waistband of his basketball shorts. Turning to his partner in crime, he held out his hand. “Come on.” She stared at his outstretched hand for a moment before accepting it. He pulled her to her feet and pulled her towards the door. Her heart began to race as she was pulled out of the safety of the bedroom.

“W-wait Sho-!”

She didn’t have time to finish her protest as she was pulled right into the living room where Shouri’s mother and father were sitting. The two parental figures looked up and immediately took notice of the girl trying to hide behind their son.

“Mom, Dad, I have someone I want you to meet.” Shouri started. His father grabbed the remote control and muted the television.

The young vixen jumped as Shouri nudged her side with his elbow. “Ah! Uh! C-ciao, mi chiamo Blakki, è un piacere conoscerti!” She blurted out, failing to realize neither of the people she was introducing herself to spoke any Italian.

“In inglese!” Shouri hissed, actually having picked up that small phrase.

“S-sorry, my name is Blakki, it’s nice to meet you!” She repeated, this time in English.

Shouri sighed, he looked back to his parents, who were still staring in disbelief that their son just brought this random Italian girl they never met out of his bedroom.

“I rescued her a couple months ago from the forest outside of town. She didn’t have any memories of where she came from, but we eventually found someone who explained what she was.” Shouri scanned the table in front of him and saw a steak knife that had been used for breakfast. He snatched it up off the table.

“Wait Shouri what are you doing?” His mother asked quickly. The boy, without any hesitation raked the knife across the back of his hand, drawing blood. “Shouri?!” The woman rose to her feet. Blakki knew what her maestro was up to and remained (relatively) calm.

His non-bleeding hand made its way down to his tuner clipped to his shorts. “La Bella Vita, Presto Tutti.” Blakki allowed the rhythm to take over and move her body for her, her hands hovering over the wound as they glowed a soothing white light. The wound closed up and the blood vanished as if Shouri had never cut himself.

“She’s a magical fox-girl!”

---

Shouri had explained everything that had happened. They were apprehensive, but seemed to be accepting of Blakki. With that out of the way there was one final task he had to accomplish. He knew the path Lina took to come to his house, so he’d follow the reverse of that path and meet her own the way.

Blakki was nervous; Shouri, determined.

Sure enough, the pair did in fact intercept Lina on the way to Shouri’s house. “Hey Lina.” Shouri began. “Shouri! What are you doing here?” She asked, her eyes drifted towards Blakki. “With her.”

The boy took a deep breath before he spoke. “Lina, I’m breaking up with you.”

The girl blankly stared at her boyfriend for a moment, processing the words her ears had just picked up. “Why?” She asked coldly.

“I’m exhausted. We were fighting before you even left. Something changed while you were on vacation you-”

She cut him off. “Oh my god, you love her.”

The accused pair didn’t respond to that. They both just adverted their gaze. “Oh my god. You FUCKED her?”

“How do you even know that?!” Shouri barked. “You made it pretty friggin obvious? How long have you been cheating on me Shouri? Huh?!” She shouted. “Technically? About twelve hours.” He replied.

Lina laughed. “You fucking pig. You’d stick your dick in a god damn animal? I’m your best friend! We’ve known each other since we were kids!”

Shouri glared back, shaking his head. “You changed Lina.” He repeated that point. “I’m sorry.” He lowered his head. “It’s fine, it’s fine.” She chuckled. “I’ll just call your parents and-”

“I already told them.” He cut her off at the pass.

The angry (ex)girlfriend lowered her head. “Huh.” She breathed out. “I see.”

“So this is it huh?”
“That’s it?”
“I’m single now.”
“Huh.”

CLICK

It all happened so quickly, Shouri didn’t have time to react, or even digest what was happening. His chest felt hot, his mind blank. He heard Blakki scream in shock. “SHO!” His vision swam, he could barely feel his hand as he moved it towards his waist. He muttered something as his eyelids closed.

When the boy opened his eyes next, he took in a sharp breath. “Where-?!”

“See Mr. Tomoshibi? I told you I’d have to shock you out of it. Wasn’t that a dreadful end?”

Shouri’s mind raced as it began to return to his own timeline, the memories of Lina being alive slowly faded back into a mere dream as his own reality began to piece itself back together. Seres was a patient sage and waited the ten minutes it took for the mortal’s brain to fully comprehend where it was.

“What the fuck was that ending?” He finally managed to speak.
“Lina stabbed you. She always carried a switch blade, remember?”

That was unbelievable. His best friend, his ex-girlfriend could be driven to the point of killing him?

“You’re fucking with me.” He decided. “No, I’m not.” Seres laughed quietly, pulling the Book of Kairos off the table. “Did you hear what you muttered?”

“No, I think the vision was ending, but I felt my lips moving.”
“La Bella Vita, Lento Tutti.”

Shouri’s gaze fell towards the table. “So Blakki healed me then?”

“Yes, after you yanked the knife out of your chest. It was quite a scene.” Seres chuckled. He could practically see the gears turning in Shouri’s head as he tried to make sense of what he had witnessed. “Why would Lina stab me?”

Seres frowned. He opened the Book of Kairos and began flipping through the pages. “Let’s see here…”  His eyes scanned the pages of the legendary muse. “Hmmm, oh I see.”

The mortal maestro narrowed his eyes, his lips turning down in a sharp, disapproving frown. “In this timeline it appears her father developed a terminal illness. He only had a couple weeks to live.” Seres turned the page.

“Wait wait, Lina’s mother died when she was young-”
“That was still true in the timeline you witnessed.”
“So she-”
“Would be homeless within a few weeks. You were quite literally her last hope; so, when you broke up with her-”
“She felt like she had lost everything.”

Shouri hung his head in shame. Closing his book, Seres returned the muse to his robes. “People are never that easy Mr. Tomoshibi. It’s simply a matter of one’s perspective. You and Blakki without a doubt good people, but from the point of view of Lina in that situation the two of you are quite evil.” Shouri looked absolutely mortified at what he was hearing.

“But that’s the problem with this universe, you can make as many decisions as you want and someone else’s choice will drastically alter the course of history. Even someone’s choice made before you were born could make your life totally unrecognizable from this one.” Seres said knowingly.

The young adult regained his composure. He looked around the shop. Sahji was still nowhere to be seen and he had spent way more time here than he had intended. “Well that fucking coward is still hiding.” Shouri stood up from the table. He walked to the door, his hand stopping just shy of the doorknob. He lowered his head. “Even though it ended painfully, thanks for at least letting me see her one more time.” The boy muttered before exiting the shop.

“My my you don’t step in the way of a goddess and expect mercy.”