2. Sayashi Riho
When Riho woke up, she was utterly confused. She remembered a forest dotted with the crisp green and yellow of an upcoming fall. And a blue sky.
Where was the sky?
Since when did it feel so cramped in a forest?
She wasn't on her cloud either, her cloud was never this stiff.
Oh but there were curious eyes everywhere.
The outburst brought out feral instinct to escape. Claws dug into the wooden floorwork beneath her and pulled at her weight with all her might. She wasn't exactly thinking, enclosed spaces tended to do that to her. She just picked a direction and launched towards it. Thankfully, it was an open area and she found herself struck by the sun's rays.
Riho landed on all fours and looked right up at the direction she just came from, finding a startled bunch of .... kids? Her claws and feet planted firmly onto the ground, her back arched and her ears flattened. How in the world did she end up with a place with so many humans
The children looked at her in awe and wonder. Riho couldn't help but retreat further into her body, the corners of her mouth tugging back uncomfortably. When a few kids dared to tip toe closer, she let out a hiss through her bared teeth.
Riho turned to the source of the sound, hissing all the more. A short human girl in indigo clothes stood with hands at her hips. She had a straight fringe with part of her hair tied in twin tails while the rest cascaded down her shoulders. When she started tracing the contours of the other's face...
It was that human she met earlier. With the nice lips.
Riho straightened out her back, claws no longer digging into the dirt but relaxed in front of her feet. She tilted her head, blinking curiously at the familiar face.
"Where am I?"
The other began talking, but Riho's nose picked up the scent of fish being seared nearby... As she turned and began to crawl towards the smell, she heard a foot stomp behind her.
to you!" She felt a hand on her shoulder and Riho immediately launched herself onto the rooftop. She never really liked being touched and she would never really warm up to it. The scent began to call for her again though, and she did her utmost best to follow the scent, completely and unabashedly ignoring the yelling human below.
Soon, the yelling began getting on her nerves, and Riho looked down back at twin tails. "Yes?"
"I can't believe you totally ignored everything I said!"
Oh, she was concerned about that
"I'm in an orphanage. You're Ishida Ayumi. And I accept your apology, can you stop screaming?"
The human looked as if she was about to retort, but caught herself. Riho looked for signs of any ensuing conversation but found that there was none, therefore, she continued her hunt for fish.
The smell became strong as she ventured closer to the source. She must be over a kitchen. Meanwhile, the human called Ayumi worked herself up to the point of uttering all sorts of profanities against the cat demon. Oh well, Riho's definitely heard worse language from her mother. Her claws gripped the edge of the roof and she pulled herself over, staring upside down into the scenery below her.
There it was...
The sight of beautifully grilled fish with scales of a golden hue, caramelized by whatever marinade the wonderful chef brushed upon it. The fires of the grill licked at the fish set upon it, as if massaging it in preparation for a fighting match with Riho's taste buds, though she was pretty sure her mouth would win that fight.
"Fish..." she licked at the saliva which escaped from her open mouth.
Riho would have definitely enjoyed snacking on the fish if it weren't for something--or someone-- yanking at her side ponytail and completely throwing her balance off. She landed on her fours once more, before settling back into a squatting position.
"You are unbelieveably rude!" Ayumi yelled in exaggeration.
Riho reached up to straighten her side tail, focusing on the task at hand before looking back at the screaming human. "I don't see what the problem is. I heard everything you said, and I'm hungry."
"There's something called manners you know!" Ayumi slapped a hand to her face, dragging it down.
"Oh," Riho simply said. Her parents emphasized that humans had this code of social conduct in bigger establishments such as the one she was at. She shouldn't let that go to waste. She stood stood up and bowed to the other. "Pleased to meet you, I am Sayashi Riho." That should satisfy the other, right?
The other was struck speechless, she had to have done it correctly then.
"May I help myself to the fish I worked hard on catching?" She remembered each and every one she caught. She had no idea how her fish managed to find themselves being cooked but hey, one less job to do.
"I give up," Ayumi threw her hands up in the air, turning around to nurse an apparent headache.
Riho stuck her hand onto the grill and picked up a fish she sensed was cooked to her taste. However, this seemed to have caused another incredulous reaction from the other. This was why she never liked going through crowded areas.
"How in the world did you do that without burning yourself?!" Ayumi's hands were reaching for her own, and in turn, Riho jumped back a step to avoid being touched.
"Immunity to fire." Less talk, more eating. This fish was delicious. The fish crumbled away on her tongue. Each individual piece exploded in a burst of flavors melting in harmony in her mouth. Whoever cooked this definitely was an expert. She let out a happy purr as her mouth turned upwards into a satisfied grin.
"Why thank you!" a lady waltzed through the door frame, donning a simple grey kimono. "Grilling fish is my specialty! How are you feeling?" The lady reached out to feel Riho's forehead. What was it with these people and wanting to touch her?! However, manners first.
She winced at the contact, not that it hurt or anything, but she was definitely out of her comfort zone. "I'm fine. Being what I am...means healing faster."
"That's good to know, and thank you for the fish, Ayumi was kind enough to relay your wishes."What wishes?
Riho looked over at Ayumi, who was already staring at her with a certain intensity when their eyes met. Her eyes narrowed as she took another fish. This girl seemed to be yanking her all over the place today, huh...
"I'm glad I could be of service, miss."
The lady instantly smiled, "Oh, you flatter me!" the elder then turned to look at Ayumi, "See!? I'm still beautiful and young!"
Ayumi rolled her eyes.
"Oh Yasuda-san! Is the food done?" A tall person wandered into the yard. Like Ayumi, the newcomer had straight bangs, though her hair was up in a high ponytail, seemingly adding more to that height. When her eyes laid upon Riho, the other became nervous.
"Oh don't mind her, Harunan, she caught dinner!" Ayumi waved her hand dismissively.
To be frank, she meant to catch all that fish for herself, but she saw kids pouring in from every nook and cranny to get a stick of fish. HER fish... Riho felt herself die a little on the inside. She was the one who caught it!
Regardless, manners were manners. "Sayashi Riho, yoroshiku," she bowed once more.
The new girl's eyes widened to that of a deer's. She looked dazed for a bit before returning her bow, "Iikubo Haruna."
Funny, Haruna reminded her of one of her mama's teachers who was also tall and lanky. They even had the same long flowing hair and the spacey eyes. When she looked to snack on more of her fish, she realized they were all gone! Her brow twitched in annoyance but she let out a poker face to at least attempt to show consideration for her host.
"I must... thank you for this hospitality..." Riho attempted to say normally, but her voice slightly betrayed her chagrin for all the fish being gone.
"Oh but we must thank you for catching all of this!" the one called Yasuda-san seemed to have not noticed Riho's change in tone, but the short one caught it all.
"Yes, we must thank you for your kindness," Ayumi's smile twitched, putting a lot of strange emphasis on the word 'kindness' than expected. Oops, Riho's acting wasn't as convincing as she thought. No matter, at least the important parties were convinced.
"By the way... I must ask...How long was I out for?" She definitely caught way more fish than this... The only explanation would be...
"For a full day. We ate half of the fish yesterday and the rest will be finished today."
Riho felt her soul leaving her.
"WHAT DID YOU GUYS DO, SHE'S AS PALE AS DEATH," screamed a ridiculously high pitched voice out of nowhere. She felt a presence aim for her so she sidestepped, causing a new girl to fumble from failing to glomp her. "See, if she was normal, she'd be welcome to contact ("No.") but alas whatever you said to her completely drove her out of this world and into the sky. Seriously, all her skin tone just vanished into the air and left her all white like a ghost, only not a ghost because she has feet but I digress, you've traumatized the skin off this poor girl... YOU'VE EVAPORATED HER COLOR AWAY, HOW COULD YOU!" Noisy human clasped the tips of her fingers to her mouth as if scandalized.
"Ugh..." Riho's poor sensitive ears were still ringing from the initial outburst.
"M-Maachan..." Ayumi's eye twitched.
Maachan...san? Okay. A name to a face. Always a use for those.
"No seriously, what did you say to her? She was whiter than sea foam!" Maachan went and shook Ayumi by the shoulders vigorously. "And she's a cat! Cats shouldn't have anything to do with water at all and yet this happens!"
"Oh, Maachan-san, I'm not--" Riho began, but was cut off immediately.
"ARE YOU TRYING TO DEFY THE LAW OF COLOR THEORY, AYUMI-CHAN!?"
"Maachan, color theory has nothing to do with the whitening of one's face. That would be the lack of blood, is it not?" Haruna waved a hand dismissively.
"AYUMI, ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL OUR GUEST WITH AMOEBA?"
"AYUMI, ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL OUR GUEST WITH ANEMIA?" Maachan redid her sentence with Haruna's correction.
"I'm fine," Riho placed a hand on the other's shoulder. When Maachan was going to open her mouth again, Riho said again, "I. Am. Fine."
Apparently this human has a bad case of the crazies. She just kept going without stopping... Well, there was nothing of note here, and all the fish was gone.
Time to leave.
She should have thought of a plan before going out to look for her missing parents. One could only go so long surviving off of game and fodder running about in the wild.
"...I must take my leave," Riho thought aloud, "Thanks for watching over me, and send Yasuda-san my regards," she bowed respectfully to the others.
"Nooooo!" Maachan immediately threw herself onto Riho, much to the latter's chagrin. "You can't just leave us! We just met you!"
"But you've seen me for a full day?" Riho raised a brow.
"You were unco-conscious for most of it!"
"Unconscious," Ayumi corrected.
"You were unconscious for most of it!" Maachan repeated, even using the same exasperated expressions as before. How did this human even...?
"HEY!" a newcomer burst into the clearing, looking worse for wear. There were rips here and there and a wild mess of hair on top of this girl's head. "Bad news!"
Oh, things were starting to get interesting.
"Some demons came into town! They're beating everyone up!"
"This is bad!" Ayumi looked to the wall to grab her naginata, "We need to help!"
"We need to protect the kids!" newcomer in light brown looked desperate, "One of the demons is the Cerulean Typhoon!"
Riho stood up straight, loosening Maachan off of her. "Let me help."
The wolfish haired girl looked at her, "Who are you?"
"Cat demon, name's Riho, long story," Ayumi said quickly, summing everything up for the other to register.
"They blew the chief's house away with one hit though! Is your power measureable to that with that limiter you have?"So this human being studies magic, then?
Riho tilted her head, letting the lightning earring hit against her face.
"I'm quite sure that I can do more than that in one blow."
The four girls stared at her.
"Furthermore, I'm more interested in this Cerulean Typhoon person..."
A cat-like smirk appeared on her face. The pupils of her chocolate eyes narrowed into slits.
"Because this one sounds like a fake."