“U-Um…no…um…thanks,” she said meekly feeling strangely weak suddenly. Tsukiko took the hand offered to her standing up, almost not on her own, while Mitsuru continued to stare confused. She was left speechless in front of him. ‘Why is my heart pounding so fast?’
Mitsuru pushed himself up coming over to her aid, but left feeling useless next to the stranger. He turned his head over to the man wanting an answer. “Who are you?”
“My name is Katashi Higashiyama,” he said politely addressing Tsukiko only. “And I’m your true love.” While having a graceful appearance there seemed to be almost no emotion in his face when he spoke the words leaving the two to sweat in embarrassment for a moment before reacting.
“Who’s says that one their first meeting?! And with such a dead face! What’s wrong with him?!”
Tsukiko was petrified in an instant not knowing how to react. Her mouth was hung agape while the man back off and stood back up to his full height, which was still shorter than Tsukiko (she was still about six centimeters taller). A weak sound would come from her statue features infrequently as Mitsuru was left stunned as well.
“Hey, what’s going on out here?” said Chie, having found her travel clothes to wear. The entire incident went completely oblivious to her.
“I didn’t have the courage to tell her the truth...”
“What am I doing outside?” their grandfather said finally awaking up. When he stood up and looked around the shrine grounds his eyes widen in shock. “What happened to the shrine?!”
“G-Grandfather, I-I can explain…I think…” He looked over to Tsukiko hoping that she was normal and could save him from explaining it himself. However, she was still lost to the world. ‘Please tell me this is a dream!’ he shouted in his mind as he looked to the night sky.
* * *
The morning came for the Hyobanshi Shrine area and its residents were already starting to get breakfast. Tsukiko and Mitsuru both had school and their grandfather was still very silent about his shrine. They were all sitting at the table eating rice for their breakfast. However, there was a look of frustration and confusion upon Tsukiko and Mitsuru. Sitting next to Tsukiko was the young man from the previous night, Katashi. He had insisted on sitting next to her. Chie, who did not seem to want to be out done by the newcomer, was seated next Mitsuru. Their grandfather was between them at the third side of the table with them all tightly occupying three sides of the table.
Mitsuru looked over to the woman having to ask. “How come you’re still here? I thought you were leaving in the morning?”
“But I can’t leave now! My research has only begun and this place is so interesting!” she said glowing like a child.
“What?! B-But we only have one guest room!”
“Grandfather said he didn’t mind me staying as long as I wished!”
“As long as you wished?!” Mitsuru said in disbelief. “Why are you sitting next to me and why are you calling him Grandfather?!”
“Oh my…” said she turning away starting to look embarrassed leaving Mitsuru to sigh loudly.
“And you!” Tsukiko exclaimed poking the man with her chop sticks to keep him away from her. After everyone had calmed last night and return to sleep the stranger stood as a guard at her door making it difficult for her to sleep. “Stop getting so close to me! I’m grateful you helped us, but why are you still here?!”
“Because I’m your true love,” he said once again with no emotion while still having a surprisingly charming face.
“Stop saying that! It’s so creepy when you say it!”
The spirits of the swords resting on the floor at the fourth side suddenly appeared faintly from the hilt in full human form. They both shifted a little and leaned in closely to their owners only making them even more depressed. All the while everyone else did not seem to pay it any mind, as though it was normal.
“What is happening to my normal life?!”
“Why are so many people living in our house now?!”
To be continued…“Hey! What’s this!” said Kichiro. He was one of four figures gathered around a small desk belonging to a meek and haggard looking person seated in an office chair. The long haired bespectacled person in the chair was the creator of the story.Omake Theater
“It’s the first chapter and we’re already being forgotten!” shouted Hisoka.
“I know this is a harem and we’re just the friends that get ignored!” Etsuko grumbled.
“But I thought you were changing things! You said we’re going to have larger parts in this series!” Kiyome said remembering.
“W-Well yes, you’re going to have important roles, but you’re their friends from school! And there weren’t any scenes at school in the first chapter!” the creator explained from their chair.
“I’m only here because you said you were going to be different from all of the other harem out there!” Kichiro glared.
“It is different! Look its shounen and shoujo together!” The creator showed pages from the first chapter to illustrate the point.
“But we’re the best friends of the main characters. Harem series always ignore us.” Hisoka said closing in.
“Yeah, we’re important to the story too! But we’re always seen from the sidelines as the cheerleaders!” Kiyome pined.
“H-Hey, I know! I’m changing that! I promise! Honest!”
“We better be in the next chapter!” Etsuko threatened.
“I’ll write it down right now! See!”
“We better be!”
“What’s wrong with you guys? I didn’t make you to have violent personalities! You’re supposed to be nice people!”
“That’s what happens when you’ve been let down too many times by series!”
“Why are you all becoming yandere types?!” The creator was suddenly glowing with strange pride in the usage of the word.
“Why do you look so proud when you used that?”
“I just learned the word while I was working on this! There’s so much about manga I still don’t know!”
“Should you really be so happy about that?”
“You’re the manga creator, right? Shouldn’t you already know terms like that?”
“We’re trusting our future to this weirdo?”