Ten Steps back
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We’re being followed. We’re definitely being followed.

I looked back discreetly. There, hiding behind a street corner, were the faces of Jacob and Vera peeking out.

Obviously, I hadn’t been as stealthy as I’d thought. What exactly were they doing?

Just as I was wondering how they even found us in such a large city, I tripped.

“Motherfucking…” Why was there a root growing outta the ground?! There weren’t even any trees nearby! And the streets are cobbled!

“Master!” Evie was the first to help me up, with assistance from Minnie.

“Are you okay?” Minnie asked, dusting me off. I waved her away with an, “I’m fine.”

I was about to pettily kick in the offending root only to find it had mysteriously disappeared, What in the world…?

Frowning confusingly I led the two away and tried to ignore the two stalkers as we took in the pond’s wondrous soft glow.

“I can’t believe something so beautiful actually exists.” Minerva breathed.

Seeing a chance I promptly replied, “It’s still only half as beautiful as you.” I really wished I could’ve finished that with a smile. But as always my face wouldn’t allow such a thing. Still, it seemed effective enough because the young woman coughed and fiddled with her hair anxiously.

Her eyes darted around. Probably looking for something to hit her head against. Why would this be? Well now, this was just my theory, but given her reactions lately, I felt she’d been administering punishments to herself. It was clear she was trying to keep from “staining Master’s good image”. Can’t be lewding the dude you’re basically worshipping as a Divine, right?

Poor MInerva. She’d come to realize the futility of her efforts in time. I only wish I wasn’t stuck in this kid’s body. It’d be so much easier. Although I’m pretty sure I was showing signs of growth recently. So there’s that.

Minerva sighed heavily. “A mere compliment causing such impure thoughts...I’m horrible.”

I’d give my right arm to know exactly why kind of impure thoughts she was having.

“Wanting to have my ears scratched by Master, what kind of perverted woman am I?” I heard her muttering to herself.

I swallowed. Her cat-ears were hidden beneath a hood but that didn’t stop me from seeing their vague outline droop according to her mood.

I wanted to pet her! My fingers were restless. I wanted to pet her so bad!

Just then my eyes spotted a weird-looking bench off to the side, just a few feet away from the pond.

This may have been a hallucination from the leftover herbs in my system, but I could swear on my Meemaw’s grave that the other couples who approached the bench walked away while nursing wounded hands.

I ignored that and had a brilliant idea. “Let’s go sit.” I ushered her to the bench. Noticing that the “bench” was entirely made of wood that didn’t look man-made at all and instead seemed to have been grown right out of the ground.

It was strange but I didn’t see anything wrong with it.

I took the middle while Evie and Minnie sat to either side of me. Evie was staring at the glowing water, completely entranced.

Meanwhile I gave Minnie a glance and said, “Why don’t you lay down?”

The girl hesitated. “Lay where?”

“My lap.”

She stiffened. “I can’t do that!”

“You’ve done it before though.”

“That’s true, but this is different!”

“What? How is it different at all?” I really didn’t get it.

“Because selfish desires are the epitome of sin!” Her pupils blazed. “I know Master is kind and giving, and surely you must sense the selfish thoughts in my head. Undoubtedly you, being so magnanimous towards your flock, would wish to indulge me. However!” She shouted. “How can I possibly take advantage of Master’s grace? Please don’t mind me. I will work harder to purge such shameless wantings from my heart. Now, where’s the nearest wall…?”

Haha….hahaha...what the fudge? My flock? I had a flock now, huh…

But Minnie was really devoted, eh? I felt sorry for her. Also, a little guilty. And mad. Those are MY selfish desires, you know? I felt almost robbed.

In response to her words, I merely arched a brow. She faltered.

”Well, if Master insists.” She ‘sighed regrettably’ and rested her head on my leg without further complaint at all.

Upon which I then took off her hood and started gently rubbing behind her ears. Her hair was so smooth and silky, a true form of therapy.

I could feel her shiver, then relax, in response to my touches.

“...Kuu…” She breathed out. “...Master, I’m sorry! The pleasures of sin are too great for me…”

I could hear the unwillingness in her voice. It was the sound of defeat. Yes, yes...good. She was nearly there. Just one more push and she’d fall.

“Don’t worry, my sweet. All if right and good. After all…” I used the Devil’s Left without a care. “...How can something that feels so good be bad?”

“Master…” She yawned.

And moments later a sweet purr of satisfaction echoed from deep in her throat.

...Victory…

Still. I was stunned. This wasn’t the first time I selfishly made her do this but it was the first time she looked so comfortable and unguarded. What’s more, the purr! I didn’t think she could even do that! It was the sound of bliss. I could literally fall asleep to that sound.

I felt such pity for my boys back on earth who may never know the euphoric joy of patting the head of a cute cat-girl.

...Elon, you’re their only hope.

Well. Or they can get run over and take the chance their murderer turns out to be Truck-sama who can send their souls to another world, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

“Wait!” Minerva suddenly rose from her position in a panic. “This is all wrong! It’s one thing if it’s for Master’s enjoyment, but I can’t be acting so indulgently myself!”

Evie blinked and looked over at us questioningly, apparently having not noticed our interactions.

“What’s wrong, Min?” She asked innocently. Her bandaged face showed a single eye, large and impossibly bright.

“H-Huh? What’s do you mean? There’s nothing wrong. Nothing at all.” She replied hastily as if caught doing something bad. She averted her gaze. Then shouted. “R-RIght! Look, there’s a food stand. Shall we go get some snacks? I’ll go!” She ran away.

I looked at her retreating figure resentfully. Tsk. So close.

But this was fine. I liked when they played hard to get.

While I was busy plotting my next move she came back seconds later with a sheepish grin. “...I don’t have any money.”

I took out some a small bag of coins from my pocket and handed it over. With my fetishes appeased for the moment I wouldn’t push her. She’d have a meltdown if I did.

As she walked away once more I looked down at Evie. “Wanna learn a magic trick?” I asked.

She nodded obediently. So I found a suitable rock and hurled it at the pond. It skipped along the surface ten times before sinking.

The girl’s face, or what could be gleamed from behind her bandages, was absolutely stupified. “Sorcery!” She marveled. “Master, how?!”

And so began the father-daughter bonding experience!

When Minerva came back with all kinds of foods stuffed in her arms Evie was breathing hard with a flush to her cheeks.

“Min! Look what i can do!” She ran up to the woman excitedly and dragged her along.

She then demonstrated her newfound skill and they both jumped up and down as they watched it hop along. Such simple creatures, those two. They were so precious you almost forgot they’d been busy forcing members into a cult just hours ago.

***

“Master, this…” Evie’s little body trembled. I could feel her unease through the shaking of her thighs around my head. Basically, I was giving her a ride.
“It’s fine, it’s fine~” I walked steadily forward. “Just hold on.”

“It won’t hurt?”

“‘Course not.” I thumped my chest heartily.

She was worried about grabbing my hair, apparently.

“Have a snack. Calm your nerves.” I passed up a pastry Minnie bought earlier.

“If you’re sure.”

“I’m an Angel, right? Nothing can hurt m--” Something small came flying, “--JESUS CHRIST!” I cursed.

My head, son of a whore, my head! It was bleeding buckets. And it hurt like a bitch.

Minnie exclaimed, “Master, you’re bleeding!”

The little girl sitting on my shoulders “Master! I’m sorry!” Evie hurriedly slid down and stared at my bleeding wound that was pouring out blood. “How did I ...I-I didn’t mean to...I’ll bandage it right now!”

Ignoring their concern I felt around my forehead and found a small object lodged into my skin. I plucked it and out spurted more blood.

It was a seed. Haha...a FUCKING SEED!

I glanced at Vera who was a dozen feet in front of us pretending to be a snake charmer.

She wore a cloth around her head but did she really think I wouldn’t notice how short she was? And her hair was too long, it was spilling out! Plus Jacob dressing as hired muscle ain’t fooling anyone. These two, did they think I was stupid?

You had the actual snake charmer tied up behind you! Vee...and your flute skills are driving the snake crazy….it’s snapping at everyone close by…

Jacob was immobile and trying to look threatening, but he broke character to cast a disapproving squint at a shrugging Vera. Who ‘sneakily’ stared in my general direction to view her work.

My eye twitched.

Don’t tell me they were trying to sabotage my date?!

This girl…

I was just about to go and give them both a thrashing when the surrounding people all gasped collectively.

“Master...how wonderful…” Minnie’s voice was the first to reach me.

“Look!!” Someone shouted

Everyone who hadn’t noticed began to turn around. “What the--?!” Their mouths fell.

“Flowers!”

“So many!”

A woman pointed at me. “It’s him!”

“My word, his blood is causing flowers to pop right out of the ground!”

“A miracle!”

The flowers were growing and spreading at an absurd rate. Soon ten feet in all directions became a small garden.

“A Divine!” I heard a man accuse. He dropped to the floor in prostration. “It’s true! What those two said is true! A God truly has descended to the mortal plane!”

“Those girls from before? Then that really was the Holy Sword!”

“A reborn Divine! A Saint-Hero come to bring us salvation!” Some old woman cried.

Throngs of people were starting to surround us. Several had their hands reaching out towards me while knelt down in prayer.

I was freaking out. I felt my shoulder blades itch.

...Oh crap. Oh, no, no, no. Nope. This is bad, guys. Somethin’s comin’. I...I think I’m gonna--!

And swoosh.

“What glorious wings!”

The chicken wings were back! Fucker, what horrible timing!

“Such a holy presence!”

“He’s so beautiful!”

“This is the face of a Divine...how radiant!”

In full panic mode, I made a decision. Grabbing both Minerva and Evie in my arms, I poured all my power into my legs and kicked myself off the ground. With my beating wings to support us we soared into the sky.

Whereas the dark of night may have wished to swallow us whole, apparently these things glowed in the goddamn dark. They literally emitted their own white and gold light.

Evie looked at me in a daze. “...Pretty…” She was acting the same as Charlotte had. Am I gonna have more feathers plucked? I glared at her with heavy suspicion.

As for Minerva, she had the face of a complete zealot as she looked at me. “Master’s wings...oh, how magnificent…” The brilliance in her eyes grew brighter by the second.

….VEEEERRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

ノಠ益ಠノ彡┻━┻

***
From way down below, amid the multitudes of people, were Jacob and Vera.

“Huh. That escalated quickly.” The boy watched as Damien flew up.

Vera abandoned her disguise. She looked over at Jacob and wondered how he was so calm despite having just witnessed his friend grow wings and fly away. Not to mention the things she’d shown up to now. But then again his family was special so maybe it wasn’t weird to think he knew a little bit about her and the Young Master’s origins.

“I felt the whole part about tripping him was good. But this one didn’t go as well.”

“I miscalculated.” She sounded vexed. She was holding onto a blade of grass splotched with blood. Several, actually. “But I guess it wasn’t all bad.” She started sucking onto one of the blades of grass like a lollipop.

“We ruined their date.” Jake frowned. “ Not exactly part of the plan.”

Vera was looking up, her keen eyes seeming to pick up details unknowable to mere human vision. Jacob could only see a vague light in the distance.

“I don’t think it’s over just yet.”

“Should we keep following, then?”

“...Forget it. He’s got both his little girls in his arms right now. He seems to be enjoying himself. We can humanize him some other time.”

“...I need a drink.” The boy rubbed his nose tiredly. He started cutting the bindings of the man at their feet. “Sorry for the trouble.” And dropped several coins.

He stood up. “We going to just keep abusing him till she realizes he’s not infallible?”

“Yes.”

“If you say so. By the way, what happened to the second thing with the bench? You messed up there.”

“What do you mean? I didn’t mess up.”

“Huh? Then what was it about?”

“Well, he wanted to pet her. He likes it when she rests her head on his lap. But the ground is dirty, so...”

“...”

Jacob was starting to question whether it was a good idea to get involved with this weird girl.

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