Chapter 9 – My First Date
by lemuel moo
“You have the nerve to hide things from me, Gale!”
Kasumi crossed her arms in disapproval as she stood before Gale to discuss our encounter with Zeel.
It was Saturday at ten in the morning, and we met as intended for the ‘reward’ that Kasumi promised to Gale. He knew this date must be expensed from his pockets, and Kasumi gets to decide how we are supposed to have fun together.
I felt an ounce of pity toward Gale as it didn’t feel like he won anything at all.
Kasumi dressed up well in anticipation for her date. She wore a mini skirt, a tight fitting tube, and a leather mini jacket to flaunt her curves. She always had the sporty athletic feel about her and yet she had a very feminine side to her where she knows how to act coy and let the man take the lead whenever possible. That combination of femininity and aggressiveness was a sweet spot which could knock a giant down quickly, no matter who he was.
Her perfume added a layer of seduction as well, and it was apparent that she was out to kill. She epitomized the kind of woman that I really wanted to be, and at that moment, I wished I had my notebook with me.
“If my brother didn’t mention you had a duel with the ‘Electric Eel,’ I wouldn’t have found out anything! Didn’t I tell you that you have to let me know when you get into a fight?”
Gale took a step back from Kasumi’s accusation. “I thought I’m only supposed to tell you if Clere and I were attacked. We weren’t attacked!”
Kasumi retorted. “Stop playing with words! My brother got attacked, you got involved for his sake, and so you were attacked! Let’s cut to the chase and I have an adequate punishment with you…”
Kasumi grabbed Gale and kissed him on his lips! Their tongues wrestled for a moment against each other, and Gale went beet red instantaneously! Gale momentarily resisted but the lamb is helpless under the claws of a fox.
I gasped in shock for some time before snapping into reality! Irritation began to bubble from my stomach to my chest as I struggled to find the words to break them out of this display of affection! After Kasumi had a good meal, she licked her lips and grinned mischievously.
“That’s a ‘thank you’ for helping my brother! As usual, embarrassing you in public is your punishment…”
I gaped at how audacious Kasumi was! She was unlike the passive lady whom I knew five years ago! Gale was so speechless at the sudden kiss that he could not help and stuttered!
Kasumi wrapped her arms around Gale’s neck and pulled him close. Her breasts leaned on Gale’s body, and the latter remained petrified and helpless.
“I found out how your weakness works from my brother… my dear Gale. Hide things from me again, and I might just eat you up!”
What in the world is happening?! Why does everybody want a piece of Gale?!
Kasumi continued. “You taste wonderfully delicious… I want a second helping!”
As Kasumi tried to pull Gale towards her and assault his tongue again, I finally regained my composure, and I separated both of them with my arms!
“Kasumi! Get a hold of yourself! And Gale! Aren’t you too unguarded as always?!”
“I…I…” Gale could only stammer.
Kasumi said. “Now now, Clere my dear. It is impossible to be guarded with a weakness such as Gale’s. I will simply pin him down and enjoy licking him…”
Kasumi was licking her fingers seductively, and I turned very red with embarrassment as well!
“K-Kasumi?! Y-You’ve changed since I last saw you!”
“Is that so? Fufufu… I did tell you if I meet a special someone, I will go all out, didn’t I?”
That statement caused distant memories to flood my heart. Years ago, I witnessed many suitors coming to Kasumi for love as she was famous for being a beauty in our town, and some guys came to her family’s dojo to get close to her. Some of these guys are good-looking, capable and nice. However, she couldn’t be bothered with them in the slightest.
It didn’t make sense since if I were in her shoes, I would ponder about these men. However, her reply to me was succinct.
“I prefer to be independent as my dreams were yet to be fulfilled unless there is a special man who is worthy enough for me to give myself to.”
Those words burned into my soul and I admired Kasumi’s character and personality then. I thought I wanted to be like her more than Athena, even though Athena was a great sister. Athena sacrificed too much of herself for our family’s business, but Kasumi seemed to be the type who was able to juggle everything perfectly.
So is Gale your ‘special man,’ Kasumi?
I could almost see smoke steaming from Gale’s face in embarrassment. He could barely regain his composure and before uttering a statement out to get the date going.
“L-Let’s get started with our fun, shall we? We will run late if we continue our discussion here!”
Kasumi did not stop trying to be audacious as she came to Gale’s side and held his hands!
“Alright, Gale! So where do we head first?”
My mouth was quicker than my brains, and I blurted out before I could hold myself back!
“K-Kasumi?! W-Why are you holding Gale’s hands?!”
Kasumi gave an impish smile as she replied.
“Couples hold hands during dates, isn’t it? You can have his other hand if you want!”
How dare Gale date two girls at one time?! And why did you even want me to be around for this date, Kasumi?!
Gale thought I was feeling left out, so reached out his hand towards me.
“So, you wanna hold hands?”
Gale was relatively new to the city so he thought it would be nice to check out the attractions there. He originally came from the countryside before moving to our town, so he did not seem well acquainted with city life.
We took a train together from our town to Aelfsige City. As the train traveled across a lake, the lake glittered with sunshine with birds flying through the air.
It was a beautiful day.
The streets of Aelfsige City were bustling with people and excitement filled the air. It seemed like there was going to be a festival this weekend as lots of booths were erected and vendors started selling things along the streets which generally would have been empty.
Gale brought us to the aquarium near the coastline of the city to start our date proper.
“It’s my treat today Clere, so you don’t have to do anything.”
A little joy burst out from my chest, but I quickly reined it in. I would be much happier if you said that without Kasumi around.
As we walked and observed the aquarium’s attractions, Gale was noticeably thrilled as he had never been to an aquarium before. The god of death had transformed into a child, and he could not hide his fascination from his face as he peered through the glass to observe the magnificent sharks and jellyfishes. Kasumi and I chuckled to ourselves, and Gale looked very adorable at that moment.
Kasumi whipped out a camera and called for both Gale and I because she found a good spot for preserving memories.
”Clere and Gale, let me take a photo with only the both of you.”
It felt a little embarrassing for both Gale and me, so we had an awkward distance between each other when we posed for the photo. Kasumi frowned at us with her hands on her hips.
”Come on! Get closer! Both of you are just too innocent of the opposite gender, and this is just simple photos!”
At Kasumi’s nudging, Gale moved closer to me, and as our shoulders touched each other, my heart leaped a beat.
Why am I so anxious around Gale?
Kasumi took our photo and showed it to us. We were a bit stiff, but the picture still came out good.
”Okay! My turn!”
Kasumi wrapped her arms around Gale’s neck, placed her face next to Gale’s and posed. Her perfume was irresistible, and his face was nothing less than a red tomato.
I imagined myself in Kasumi’s shoes and found myself flustering! I could never be this bold with a guy publicly on a date! Well, let’s not worry about that for now and take the photo!
The photo came out beautifully as they looked like a quintessential dating couple. A sharp pain pricked my heart as I saw how loving they looked.
“Wow! That’s an awesome photo! I’m so going to put it in the background of my phone!”
Kasumi was delighted, but it was far from over.
”Let’s take a photo with the three of us!”
I suddenly realized that Kasumi loved taking pictures and we spent the rest of our time making memories with the camera at the aquarium.
“There’s a shop that I really want to go to, Gale. Accompany me please?” Kasumi asked.
We arrived at the lingerie shop, and Gale’s face was starting to turn red. Kasumi knowingly chose this shop and gave a sly grin.
“Help me pick out something nice, okay?”
The poor guy put on a brave front and walked into the shop with us.
Gale looked around and spotted a pair of bear panties and bra. He immediately looked at me and afterward hid his face to giggle. Flustered because of the ‘Miss Bear Panties’ moniker that he gave me, I immediately bellowed.
“STOP LAUGHING AT SOMETHING THIS LAME, GALE!”
Kasumi looked puzzled at our exchange as she didn’t understand the backstory of the bear panties, so Gale took a few moments to explained it to her. After Kasumi heard from Gale, her mischievous demeanor came back again.
“Maybe I should wear bear panties too! What do you think Gale?”
I interjected in objection!
“K-Kasumi! Why do you want to wear something so childish all of a sudden! You are so much more mature now!”
“Oh but innocence is also seductive, my dear Clere.”
Kasumi picked out the bear panties and bra set that Gale spotted, and went into the changing room immediately.
I hate to admit that Kasumi was right, but when I looked at Kasumi wearing those undergarments, I was both inspired and upset. Kasumi was shapely and beautiful, and with the innocent setup, a spice of naughtiness oozed out from her outfit. Many ladies in the shop stopped what they were doing and stared at Kasumi’s beauty!
Wait, why am I upset? Kasumi is just picking up undergarments for herself.
Gale went beet red with embarrassment but had enough composure to compliment her.
“Wow, I didn’t manage to think that you will pull them off this well, Kasumi!”
“I am definitely getting these for you, Gale!”
I was feeling agitated and annoyed, but I didn’t know why. Is Kasumi trying to be ‘Miss Bear Panties’?!
“Do you want to try another set of bear panties, Clere?”
“N-NO! I’m not showing it off to Gale or anyone else!”
Kasumi chuckled with glee.
“Would you mind picking another set of undergarments for me, Gale?”
Gale sheepishly looked around to see which set of undergarments might suit Kasumi, and I was too annoyed at that point to be the third wheel between the both of them, so I went out of the shop to catch a breather.
It was time for dinner, and we picked a secluded restaurant that was quiet and cozy.
While Gale was in the restroom, Kasumi turned to me for a short girl-to-girl talk.
“So do you like my brother or Gale?”
I was so stunned at her bluntness that I almost choked on my drink!
“I-I don’t think I like any of them, to be quite honest. I’m not saying I will never ever like them, but at this point, I have not come to it yet.”
Katsumi raised her eyebrows for a moment and then sipped at her drink.
“Oh? Seems like you are still figuring out your feelings for yourself. Don’t take too long though, because you might be left with one option instead of two.”
“W-What do you mean? Gale and I are only classmates and friends!”
Katsumi then looked at me in my eyes and read me accurately. “Is that so? Your eyes were hostile toward Gale every time he did something nice to me.
Moreover, I’m sure your family was hoping that both Gale and you would hit it off together. Why do you think your mother asked Gale to be your bodyguard?”
I did suspect that my mother is trying to pair both Gale and me together, but I cannot point a finger as to why and how is she doing that. Mom always kept important cards to herself.
“Based on my intuition, your mother is hoping that he is more than a bodyguard to you. As your friend, I want you to think about it before you regret.”
I looked at Kasumi’s sincere smile, and I could not express how much I thank her for her thoughtful words. She appreciated our friendship, so she wanted to be clear about her intentions with Gale in order not to hurt me unexpectedly.
“Meanwhile, I will do my best for myself, so don’t take too long before it is too late!”
Gale came back from the washroom at that moment and interrupted the both of us.
“So ladies, feel free to order anything you want! I heard the specials here are good!”
The specials looked very expensive! It was a premium full course lobster meal that high school students would usually shun from! I raised my eyebrows at his suggestions because it was cruel to make him pay for an extra girl.
“Are you sure? Are you going to eat only bread and butter for the whole month after this?”
Gale laughed. “I’m well paid by your mother to be your bodyguard. We even moved from the countryside for this assignment.”
Gale then leaned towards my ear and whispered how much my mom was paying him. I screamed instinctively as I could not believe my ears!
“Y-YOU ARE A DAYLIGHT ROBBER! Surely you are kidding me?!”
Gale laughed ferociously at my response!
“Ask your mother and see how she responds! This isn’t a big secret and your sister Athena is aware as well.”
I was at a loss for words.
It was supposed to be two million bucks per month, but with the fifty percent discount, it was one million per month! A fifteen-year-old student getting one million a month?! I knew my family is wealthy but still?!
Katsumi smiled, looked at me and winked. “I will not stand on ceremony then.”
Me either. I made sure that dinner was payback against the stupid money leech who was only useful half the time.
“There’s somewhere I want to go before heading home,” Kasumi said.
“Sure, we can all go there.”
We headed towards a park known for lovers. Embarrassing as it might sound since there were couples who were making out, but it was on a hilltop, and there was a porch which overlooked the city. It was known to be exceptionally beautiful.
We basked ourselves in the ambiance of a romantic night, with a soft wind blowing and the city lights acting like stars across the horizon. After a while, Gale suddenly broke his silence.
“Do you know that we have been followed for the whole day?”
I was shocked at Gale’s sudden words.
“What?! Why didn’t you say so earlier?”
“The assassin isn’t going to do anything with a crowd nearby, and it will spoil our fun if we run or confront it. Now is the time that she might strike since we are alone.”
I heard those words before somewhere. Right… it was Raine.
Kasumi looked at Gale.
“So who is it and what is he after?”
“It’s a lady assassin. Her footsteps are as soft as expected of an assassin and her breathing tells me that she is around your level, Kasumi. I think her target is not Clere, but you.”
Wow, you even know who is the assassin targeting at?! Your abilities are beyond insane!
Kasumi heaved a deep sigh at Gale’s analysis.
“Then I know what is this all about.”
“So what is it?”
“Are you familiar with the term, the ‘Hundred Flowers Of Death’?”
I heard it from my sister before as she did an assignment on them a couple of years back!
“That’s the all-female assassins group!”
“Yes. Each of the ‘Flowers Of Death’ represents a way of being killed. It can be anything such as ‘death by strangling,’ or ‘death by drowning,’ or ‘death by poison.’ They have wanted to recruit me as ‘death by a katana’…”
As the soft wind blew by, Kasumi looked up towards the night sky with a sad countenance before continuing.
“Part of the reason why I came back here with my brother was to avoid them. My brother doesn’t know they have been targeting me though. It’s a pity I have to face them on a date night with you, Gale.”
Gale clenched his fists in determination and stood in front of Kasumi.
“Say the word, and I will drive off the assassin who is hiding — ”
Kasumi placed her finger on Gale’s lips to stop him from continuing.
“I cannot allow you to use your trump card so unnecessarily since you cannot fight girls. Your medicine can only work once a day, and you have to keep your promise to Aunt Agatha that you will protect Clere!”
Kasumi looked at me for a favor. “I did not bring any weapons with me for today. May I borrow your brush?”
I had my custom-alloy fountain pen with me in my bag that could extend and contract at will. I extended my fountain pen to its maximum length and handed it over to her. It could be used as a blade or a spear because it had a sharp tip.
“Gale, in which direction is the assassin hiding?”
“It’s at seven o’clock from where I am facing right now… You want to confront her now?” Gale answered.
“Yes, I already have my fun for the day, so it is time to face my problems.”
Kasumi launched a long-range slash attack towards that direction and a sword energy projectile sliced through the vegetation. Sounds of rustling in the bushes could be heard afterward, and eventually, a silhouette figure came emerging from the shadows.
“That was dangerous Kasumi. I’m surprised you could spot me.”
A beautiful lady wearing a yukata with a fan emerged from the shadows and walked towards us. Kasumi’s countenance twisted in frustration and she immediately shouted at the lady.
“I have been saying I do not want to join your group! Why do you keep pushing me?”
“Your talents are wasted as an instructor in Aelfsige Academy. Didn’t you want to improve your Mizushima sword style? I don’t see why being an instructor will allow you to achieve your aim.”
“Whether or not I improve my sword techniques are none of your business.”
Kasumi began emitting a killing aura as a threat. Gale was in high alert as he sharpened his senses to observe the surroundings around him while I felt out of place since I was not in a position to help Kasumi nor Gale.
The assassin looked at Gale and smiled.
“Perhaps it is this boy that made you forget your goal of wanting to be stronger. I have checked his background, and he is just a commoner. Shall I kill him to propel you to greatness?”
Kasumi mockingly laughed at her ludicrous suggestion.
“That’s if you can kill him! However your problem is with me, so keep others out of your nonsense!”
The assassin looked annoyed at Kasumi’s insinuation.
“You are suggesting I can’t kill this commoner? Why so? Is he important to the Mistress of Secrets or the Gatekeeper of Sigrun?”
“Well, that’s for me to know. If you want a fight so badly, bring it on, and I am sure I will not disappoint you.”
The assassin shook her head and retired herself on a bench nearby.
“My intention today was to meet you and inform you that we have successfully located you, despite your efforts to run and hide. Our strengths are pretty similar, so it’s pointless to fight unless we want to die together.”
It seemed as though the assassin had no other ulterior motives except to negotiate. The assassin covered her lips with her fan before speaking.
“We could make a deal to keep it from your brother, and you will lead life peacefully on the surface until you have missions from us. It’s a pity he isn’t a girl or else we would like him to join us. We noticed he is truly talented for his age.”
Kasumi retorted back angrily. “Well if you do not want to fight, I have nothing else to say to you! Gale and Clere, let’s go and head home!”
As we were leaving, the assassin made a huge statement.
“We will get you to join us, and from today onwards our methods will be very unscrupulous. Don’t blame us if anything undesirable happens!”
Neither of us turned our heads back toward the assassin, and we walked on.
First, I was targeted because of the Black Diamond Syndicate. Then it was Sunny from the Flowers Of Death, and now Kasumi. It was mind-boggling how many of us were targeted at the same time.
I wished someone could put an end to this madness.
Gale sent us back to our doorsteps to complete the date. We arrived at Kasumi’s house first.
“Gale, thank you for today’s wonderful date!”
“My pleasure, Kasumi. I enjoyed myself too.”
Kasumi suddenly asked. “Would you want to go out on dates with me alone from now on?”
Gale blushed at the prospects of future dates with Kasumi. No man on earth was going to reject such an offer from Kasumi.
“I-I don’t mind.”
Kasumi was beaming from ear to ear upon hearing those words.
“Good! I’m looking forward to more fun! Clere, Thank you for the company! It was pretty awesome that you joined us for our fun!”
Gale was too quick in accepting Kasumi’s advances, and I got upset, but Kasumi was obvious with me about her intentions with Gale to me. I had never even given Gale nor Kasumi a proper answer about my feelings toward Gale nor Hideki, so I knew it was pure selfishness on my part.
“I had an awesome time too, Kasumi! Let’s hang out more often since we are neighbors!”
After Kasumi retreated into her house, Gale walked me to my gate. Kasumi’s and my house were a stone throw’s away from each other, and as we arrived at my house gate, Gale tried to address the worry that was showing on my face.
“It’s been a long day! Don’t worry about those assassins. There will be a way to deal with them.”
I retorted with a sly grin. “Big words coming from someone who cannot fight half the time! Just don’t get yourself killed by being seduced by those Flowers of Death!”
“Hahaha… I’m sorry about this fifty percent discount, and you will have to fight half of our battles!”
Unbeknown to Gale, I had been feeling very useless this whole time after one of the ‘Flowers Of Death’ confronted us earlier. Not only was I a liability to Gale, but I also didn’t even have the strength to help people whom I cared for, such as Kasumi and Hideki, when the need arose.
“G-Gale, could you do me a favor?”
“Sure, anything within my power.”
“C-Could you train me?”
Gale looked at me straight into my eyes, but I was so embarrassed by my request that I looked away. He responded with a soft smile though.
“It will be tough. Are you prepared for it?”
I have to be prepared for the challenge! It sure beats feeling lousy and useless during moments of crisis!
“Yes! Do whatever it takes to make me strong!”
“Alright then. We will start as soon as I craft out a training curriculum for you after we are done helping Sunny!”
My heart was lifted up, and I felt tremendously happy with those words! I wasn’t sure that if Gale would train me since Mom and Athena mentioned that Gale would never take students usually. Hopefully, with Gale’s help, I would not feel as helpless as I did before against those assassins.
“Yes, I will be in your care then.”