[LSS Short] Excursion
It has been 5 months since the last LSS Short... So here's another episode with minimal effort :).
Please note this series does not follow chronological order.
Without further ado, let's begin.
Wondering, pondering, where's my position?
Clear sky, white cloud, straight road. Birds were roaming down the skyline, asphalt line extended to the horizon. Everything was in peace, in silence, as always.
The road, which was definitely one needed polishing, was companied by borderless cole flower fields. The flowers danced in waves in response to gusts of wind, swinging according to the tempo of nature.
People say, this is what the countryside ought to be like.
With a sudden and loud buzz, an old-fashioned bus roared down the road, bumping and rattling while emitting unhealthy dark smoke. The driver must have been enjoying himself for driving so fast, as hardly someone got on and got off at this place. On the bus were Ninetail, Hikari and I. We were going on an excursion.
My name is XGN. A normal human studying at Capital Foreign Languages School(CFLS). Months ago, I passed the extrance exam for senior school and was accepted again by the best school in the city(maybe in the country too?). So I am currently a student of Senior 1 now!
Sitting beside me was Ninetail, a fox girl with nine tails, as her name suggested. She is said to have a super high IQ and has been living for more than 9,000 years. But now, in order to fit in the human society, she is taking class with me too. In the same classroom, of course.
And there was Hikari, a white dragon girl with a pretty common name. I don't remember how she found our place, but Ninetail and Hikari herself both say they are a relationship of master and maid. Maybe it's some telekinesis between beasts, so I guess I should not interfere their business. Also, she seemed to possess the ability to turn into any object she knew. It's really a useful skill for a maid...
Soon, with the driver's unpleasant voice, the bus came to a halt at a stop. Hikari hopped out of the metal box, landed in a water pond carelessly.
"When can you learn to be more steady? You won't be the best maid in this pace." said Ninetail with a face full of mature. Then she stepped down with the inherent elegance of a fox.
Then it was me, stepped down, normally, like a normal boy. What do you expect?
After a quick look-around, Ninetail had a stretch with a loud yawn and her cute ears and fluffy tails popped out.
"Trying to hide like a human is sooo tirrrrring~" with these words, she combed her nine tails one by one. Those tails, with a color between apple red and coffee brown, ended with a wisp of white, reflecting the sunlight slightly. Then she moved her fox ears from a little left to a little right, then did a bit rotation. It seemed to be a way of exercising, I guess?
"Let's set off! The perfect trip, I call it, begins!"
So we walked into the sea of yellow, following some existing trails. Sometimes the stems poked me slightly in the stomach, sometimes the corolla greeted me with a delightful kiss. The most awful thing was the bees flying across the flowers. But it was the flavour of travelling in the countryside. I liked it.
"Ninetail, don't you need to hide your tails? They will catch a lot of pollens soon. Won't that ruin your perfectness?"
"Ah, that doesn't matter. I've used to this kind of walking long ago. And they will bring me a nice smell~"
"And maybe a lot of bees too." I thought.
When we finally made it out of the field, what lied in front of us were hills of green(not 'greens' of course). The three of us looked at each other and laughed happily, for we were all covered in leaves and fallen flowers. Especially Ninetail, for her tail had became a complete mess of fur. After a short rest, we continued.
"Remember last time when you and Hikari went out to the supermarket? It was hilarious!"
"Oh she was talking about that scandal again." I murmured to myself.
However, Hikari made a confusing face.
"Don't tell me you've forgotten it! I don't want anyone to talk about that again" I winked to Hikari, but she seemed to ignore me.
"That time, you and XGN went to the supermarket without checking the weather report first. When you got to store, XGN realized he didn't bring a shopping bag! But he was lazy to buy another one, so he begged you to turn into a bag to hold all the things."
"I didn't beg at all! It's just ask for help!" I thought.
"When you two got halfway, it began to rain. Then XGN began to search for you because he wanted you to turn into an umbrella! But the problem is, he forgot you've turned into a shopping bag! Do you remember it now? Hahahahhahahahaha..." Ninetail burst out a sequence of innocent laugh.
I wonder why a 9000-year-old youkai fox would have such a taste in humor. Maybe she was still a child inside her tails.
After walking for some time, I began to feel hungry. Just as when I was wondering what the time was, Hikari offered to have lunch. Maybe it was her maid instinct.
So we sat down on the open field, with comfortable wind constantly blowing to our face. Hikari took out the picnic mat and laid it on the ground. She didn't forget to flat it out. After fixing the mat by placing stone on the four corner, we sat down.
The mat, with the pattern of little dragons flying on it, was unbelievably soft to sit on. The mat was also large enough for us three, even with all of Ninetail's large tails on the mat. Maybe Hikari had already thought of situation like this? How considerate.
"Isn't it cute? I made it~" said Hikari with a smile.
"Ah, it indeed is!"
Then Hikari laid out all kinds of food she prepared: sandwiches, curry rice, soft drinks, fried chicken... Kept well, they were still hot, arousing my appetite.
"Then I will go with this~" Ninetail picked a box of curry rice, took the chopsticks Hikari brought to her, and fixed on her food.
I also took a hamburger. The scent of the well-done meat with the refreshing taste of vegetables mixed together, creating a balanced texture.
Lifting up my head, I saw Ninetail's concerated face. Her hair was fluttering in the wind, ear close to the hair. Her eyes were so watery and shiny. The tails, which must have been a sign of happiness, were sweeping from left to right, and then back, continuously. Sometimes, they gently patted the ground, making a rustle. Suddenly, her ears erected. "Have you finished your meal?" She seemed to have noticed me staring at her passionately. So I embarrassedly turned my head around to look at Hikari instead, and replied casually with some random words.
Hikari was playing with her tail out, no clue when she had pulled that out. Her light orb, which she said was her source of power, was flickering on and off.
"You don't eat anything?" I asked, "Your orb seems to be... a bit 'sick'..?"
"Nah. I am good. I don't have to eat. My lord always sends his energy to me. I was just playing with the orb. Master XGN, no worry."
Who was her lord? Who knows, but I guess I shouldn't give a care.
When the paralytic feeling of the soft drink came to my throat, I was suprised they were still the same after such a long journey.
"It's magic~" Hikari apparently looked through my mind and blinked mysteriously.
I looked down into the drink bottle, there were a pale reflection of me. Compared to those cute, powerful non-humans, a human's ability was insignificant. The only thing I could do was to offer them a safe habour in the unresting society, to work as a bridge between humans and non-humans. It was a pity that some people just couldn't understand their animal friends. They hunted, captured and sold them as will and when they had to find a shelter in the human society, they eagerly wanted to drive them out.
They need company.
After the meal, we set off once again. After a while, Ninetail stopped, looking around. Then she pointed at a direction, "It could be fun going this way. There's the sound of the water" She surely had a good ear.
Slowly making our way through the bushes and woods, clearing the branches before our eyes, and then we see, something fantastic. A cascade!
The water poured down from a cliff, holding a colorful rainbow. The water underneath formed a small lake of transparency, as bright as the sky. The cascade was not as long as those "World Best xxx" we read on the Internet, but the water was fast in spite of the size.
"This gave me a forwarding feel!" exclaimed Hikari, with eye sparkling.
"This reminds we of Doragon. She would surely say:'Look at me!'. Then climb up in an instant"
"Yes! Doragon's swimming skill is awesome! I wish I could have something like that!"
Doragon, an aqua dragon girl, was also a classmate of me. She always holds a trident. As an aqua dragon, she is undoubtedly good at swimming and dealing with water. As she is so strong, she is even selected into the Sports Team of the Province. And because of this, she is always protected by governors. Maybe she is a little proud of herself?
Ahh... Mastering a skill can really help you a lot too.
Dusk soon fell, and the sun was losing its brightness and pride. It looked as if he were too shy to his weakened light anymore and hid behind the hills. The birds were heading back. The ravens were making a weird noise, noticing those lost in the forest.
"Everyone, it's time to head back!" I suggested,"It's getting quite late"
We began to move toward a bus stop. When we finally found our way to a bus stop, it was already darker than I expected. It was not the same stop, but it was as rusty as the one we got off. Ninetail hid her tails and put on her masks and we stood there, in the cold wind, waiting.
We just waited, waited, for a long time. How long? The surroundings were becoming unseenable, and Hikari's eyes started to emit a faint white light. Maybe she would be recognized as some ghost in the wildness if someone came.
"Damn... Why was the bus not coming? I am gonna die of coldness." I thought.
I looked at my watch, it was already 7pm. Suddenly, something came to my mind, not something good... I turned round at the unrecognizable advertisement board. When I finally was able to read, a shock went through my body: we missed the last bus.
When I told the bad news to those two, Hikari made a confusing face. "So, how are we going back?"
"I can offer you a ride, if you don't mind~" said Hikari. That's true. She could turn into a life-sized real dragon and gave us a lift.
However it's impossible. In this way, we would surely be caught.
"Don't tell me we had to walk back."asked Ninteil, "Actually that won't be a problem for me and Hikari. The problem is with you. It would take ages before you arrive."
I gave back an embarrassing smile. For the first time in my life, I felt it a regret to born as a human.
"How about this: Look at the flower fields, that means there should be somebody nearby. How about we ask them for a night?"
"Ohhh. Nice idea!"
Following my advice, we began to walk up to the road. Luckily, we found a house not far away. The house was quite big, seperated from the outside with a tall wall surrounding the house. It even hung up a sign saying "Inn". However, it looked like there wasn't any visitors recently.
It reminded me of the ghost hotel I heard about in more than one stories. But with the responsibility of the only human, I knocked on the door. "Hello? Is anyone there? We are lost and we beg for a night at your place. Is that OK?"
The door opened a crack, but I could't feel anyone behind the door. Then it shut again, making no sound at all. All these had crept me out, sweating out of the cold.
"This house... is haunted... We'd better escape ASAP..."
"No let me try again. I sensed something familiar.." said Ninetail. With a brushing sound, she showed her tails and knocked on the door.
The door opened a crack again, but surprisingly, after a short while, it turned full open.
"What?! That's impossible.."
"Told you~ My enchantment is powerful." Ninetail threw back a prankish smile.
The hotel inside was not bad, just a bit dark. It was lighted with candles, lots of them. Their light swayed in the wind we brought in. There were huge scrolls of foxes in ancient times on the wall.
"Ehh... Welcome? What can I help you?" the one who did the reception job was also a fox girl. Compared to Ninetail, she looked a bit older, and a bit not so splendid, maybe it's because she only had one tail? It also seemed that she was not very used to the job.
"Sorry... We only had guests once in a while. And I didn't expect such a HUGE guest tod..." She paused, gazing at Ninetail's tails. She was fascinated, by her nine tails, or by their well-preserved?
After a moment of silence and surprise, she kneeled down with endless respect. "Ahh! The divine kitsune goddess, I appreciate for your visiting to us fellow, stupid foxes' little houses. What brought your highness here today?"
Considering the current social status of foxes, she must have been extremely shocked by Ninetail's young appearance and her wonderful tails. In their eyes, the more tails you've got, the more powerful you are.
"Please stand up. I am not a goddess, just an roaming traveller here. Actually, I am here to ask for your help."
Then we told the stories to the fox. After a graceful nod, she led us to the room and said she would remind us when the dinner was ready. She also said her family if the "divine god" could share her legendary story with them.
As someone who loved to show off, Ninetail would not refuse this request.
After a well-prepared meal, we sat down on a log near a campfire. On the opposite side of the fire sat the host's family. I was astounded to realize that the hotel was not founded by one fox, but many foxes of all ages: Grandpa fox, mother fox, daughter fox and so on. Quietly they sat in a line, like the birds on the wires.
Short after, the oldest fox spoke in a magnetic voice: "Welcome to our hotel. We haven't had a guest in many months."
"Our ancestors lived here in the ancient times and we've been settled down here for generations. Just recently the human-fox relationship has been poor. They say we are symbols of cunning and treacherous and will drive us away. So we had to pretend as humans and live in a house-turned inn. After that, we realized there were other animals that were like us. So we took on the mission to help those straying friends."
"But as you see, those who are able to find us are not the majority. That's why we also keep a field of flowers."
What seemed to be her daughter continues, "We've helped several guests like cats, wolves. But we've never seen another fox, not mentioning a fox with a human!"
Then she looked at me, with her eyes showing a sign of confusion.
The old spoke again, "Let me introduce myself. My name is Raore za Hu, 36."
"My name is Nve za Hu, 3. Nice to meet you."
"If you may, could you please introduce yourself? We can't be more happy listening to a fox of such high rank." The old fox was definitely more calm than her daughters and granddaughters when he saw Ninetail.
A fox usually cannot live more than 10 years. When they turn into human, they still cannot live long. So, 36 is considered to be a lasting one.
Ninetail stood up gracefully, bowed with manner and sat down. Then she began to tell her story, a very long story of the past and present.
"Ninetail is my name, and actually I can't remember my age well. Probably it's 9105? or 9115? My name is the same in fox language and human language"
The audience couldn't be more shocked by her opening statement.
"So the legend of getting an extra tail for every 1000 year you lived is true?" "Can we really live that long?" "OMG! She is a god!"
"I was born in a tiny village of foxes. We lived there happily until an army of human mercenary found us. I left my village, said goodbye to my mom and dad and went on a journey of escaping and hiding."
Ninetail stared at the top of the flame and said those words emotionlessly, sweeping her tail loudly on the floor, not caring about how dirty they were.
"After a long long journey, I found a palace, a palace they said with a vampire in it. What do people call them? Ah yes, castles. I thought it was a nice place to live in because people were scared of the curse. So I killed that vampire and absorbed her power, I guess?"
Now she was just playing with her hair.
"Maybe it's because of the power I absorbed, I became more powerful than most of the human and foxes. After living in the castle for a long time, I became bored. Then I realized I was immortal, probably. At that time, I guessed all my family members had been dead. So thinking about the legend of the mystic fox, I went to a long sleep."
"So you just ... deserted your precious family?" asked a boy.
"..." Ninetail was silent for a moment, "Unfortunately, that's true."
"When I found myself awake, it was already 9000 years later. The technology was developing fast and people got more intelligent than the past. When I jogged out and bathed under the sunlight once again, my feeling was complex."
"I can hide my tails and ears, which made it easy to live in the human society. I registered as a citizen and went to school as most humans do. People didn't forbid beasts from living in the city and I knew I had to keep up the pace of the world. That's why I decided to go to the school."
"But why you had to hide yourself from others? People didn't hate other species at that time, you said." someone asked.
"Safety, of course. Like what they say:'Better safe than sorry.'"
"I was in the same class as this boy, whose name is XGN, in their language. He discovered my true identity on the first day and I was surprised. Then he became a good friend of me. He knew us and I was safe to find a translator. He was the first non-human friend I met."
Speaking of the school, my memory also flooded back.
When I was in junior school, I was alone. After all those exams and seperations, my best friends had gone to different schools, reaching for their future.
They said I was the most eminent one, because I got into the best school CFLS. But a new start meant replaying on a blank sheet. Lost all the friendship gained in the elementary school, I was alone and shut the door from anybody.
In Junior 2, I met her, the "transfer student" which possessed the spirit of a fox. I summoned up my courage and asked her about her true identity. Her coming were like wind, which blew away all my sadness and powerlessness.
The story afterwards were pretty plain. As she didn't have a proper settlement, I asked her to live with me. Then me met other non-human friends in the school: Ookami, Doragon...
"And that's all what I could share." said Ninetail, with a big yawn.
Hearing this, Nve stood up, holding Ninetail by the arm, saying: "You must be tired. Let me lead you back to your room."
And that's our excursion day, a tiring but unforgettable day.
The night has already come and we were back to our room. Hikari and Ninetail were already sitting on the wooden bed, waiting for me to finish my routine. It was a tiring day full of interesting events, but now I just want a nice night of rest.
I slipped into the bed which had already been warm. The bed was not designed wide enough for three people so it was rather "crowded" under the quilt, especially with the inflated tails. We lied so close that we could hear each other's breath so clearly.
"Don't dare you do those to me." said Ninetail softly and turned around to face the wall. Those tails automatically became a second quilt on my legs.
"Good night" with those words, I closed my eyes.
Where am I?
I found myself running in the forest. A bear was apporaching, whose roar could be heard a thousand miles away. Its claws were tearing apart all the trees, targeted directly at me. I didn't have the option to fight, so I moved on my feet.
I could feel the wheezing of the bear getting closer and closer. "Run faster!" I thought to myself, but I was already exhausted. I saw a good chance, made a right turn, jumped across the bushes, hoping to get rid of it.
Then I saw the fields and plains I saw earlier, with a hut standing in the middle. Hearing the bear's noise again, I rushed to the door, knocked it on rudely and rapidly, shouting: "Bear! Bear! Help!"
Then there came a voice: "You are human. Human hurt us. You not welcome." Leaving me with no other choice, I had to keep on running, with all my might.
However, soon I discovered something unfortunate. I found myself in the position in front of the cascade, with water surrounding me. I was hopless, for the ways were blocked by water and the bear was coming fast. "HELP!" I broke the silence, but nobody came. And the claws landed on me right after. I was died, I guess.
Then my sprit went back to my body. I was lying in the bed, with all my buddies sneezing in peace. It was all a dream, but so realistic. I turned around and saw Ninetail's face. It seemed that she had turned around some time earlier. I petted her on her soft hair, and murmured: "I can't live without you."
I need company.
End of Chapter Excursion
So this is the end! Great Thaaaanks for coming all the way here! I am the writer XGN.
This is the longest LSS Short so far, and it has around 18k characters! It took me 3-4 days and nearly 6 hours to finish it.
The main character of this chapter is obviously Ninetail. She is a character I love, with cute kemonomimis and a tsundere personality.
Most of the chapter is about playing with girls and showing the cute scenes behind the life. It's the main focus point of this article.
I want to express "Human cannot live without animals" and other main topics in the article. It reflects my real life as well. Hope you can understand my tricky feeling.
Hope you enjoy! See you next time! (Probably not in a year)
来源：Hell Hole Studios Blog