Chapter 9

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The whole day, I tried to hide the ears and tails, even trying to cover up the red strands of hair.

First, hopefully the simplest, the hair.

I took my mothers brown hair dye, since we had similarly coloured hair and attempted to cover the strands.

All that happened was the burning smell of hair dye.

Second attempt, cutting them.

Nope, the metal of the blades, from scissors to a pen knife, melted.

Third attempt.

As a desperate attempt, I tried to cover the red strands with a braid crown.

It was messy, but succeeded in hiding the red.

Next up was the ears.

I folded them down and pulled my hair into a ponytail beneath the braid crown, somewhat successfully hiding the ears, other than a few tufts of fur.

The tails were proving to be a pain.

Maybe one would've been good enough.

I was about to reach out my phone to call one of the Kiryu members for help, when I recalled that I did not want to talk to anyone from their world.

I didn't want to associate myself with that other world.

Then, I remembered. Mitsuki had this way of keeping his tail. Somehow, he had managed to completely remove the fur and flesh of the tail, reducing it to purely bone, and then had it folded and hidden.

So, by the power of will alone, somehow, I had ended up with nine bone structures, curved, protruding from my tailbone.

It took awhile to get used to controlling and moving the tail, and then managed to, like those airplane tables, fold them up then stow them under my shirt.

They were cold, and felt uncomfortable against my back. I simply had to bear with it.

At that exact moment, the door downstairs opened, and somehow, the very steady steps of someone could be heard ascending the stairs.

Was brother really sober for once?

The bedroom door was gently opened, and a perfectly sober man walked into the room.

"[Y/N]?"

That was the brother I missed so badly.

The person who used to be my only shelter, and left, was finally back.

"Yes?"

"Are you busy, sorry to intrude, I just feel like I owe an explanation."

Half of me wanted to open the door, and tackle him with a hug.

Half of me wanted to burn his lungs out.

I opened the door to the bathroom, and stared into his eyes.

They were filled with so much regret, so much fatigue, so much grief.

"Mum just called to say... Dad..."

I couldn't believe it. No. No, no, no.

And he continued, "Dad was caught in a terrorist attack."

His voice was dry. As if choking back tears.

That was a blunt axe to the heart.

And it just happened.

A burst of magic, setting everything around me in a 1 metre radius on flames, and a cage of ice to shield me from the onslaught of fire.

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