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An Imperfectly Perfect Meeting With Ina

Apr 17th, 2021
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  1. "Oh, what's this? You shouldn't be out this late. That's when people like me come out to play."
  2.  
  3. These are the words uttered that break the silence as you walk home late at night. They are called out from behind you with playful confidence as a girl strides out from the shadows into the dim streetlight. Her outfit is incredibly elaborate, but at the same time there isn't very much of it. It strikes you as something an especially daring female cosplayer would wear, but normally cosplayers don't approach random strangers at night. You raise your eyes in confusion as she steps closer, her face coming into view. Aside from her knee length hair flowing hypnotically behind her as she moves, she has two prominent…lobes(?) at either side of her head that seem to come from her hair.
  4.  
  5. "I am Ninomae Ina'nis, Priestess of the Ancient Ones. And you are…"
  6.  
  7. She steps forward and whispers your full name into your ear. Your eyes go wide, and she lets out a satisfied giggle.
  8.  
  9. "No earthly truth is outside of my reach thanks to their whispers. Now, we should get out of here. I was joking about there being other people like me here, but there are monsters about. I closed the rip they were coming through, but there are likely some stragglers. Come with me."
  10.  
  11. You walk along with her, and despite the danger she described, she smiles contentedly and stares out into the night, occasionally glancing to you. She explains that she has a warded location nearby where you will be safe. Out of the blue, she suddenly releases a cute (and quite loud) sneeze before covering her face.
  12.  
  13. "It's cold, okay? And priestess clothes are good at protecting against magic, but they've got no cold resistance…" She mumbles, barely at an audible volume. The ears (flaps?) at the top of her head seem to wiggle as if to express her displeasure. You smile slightly at the sight, which slips under her notice as she seems to be too embarrassed to look in your direction.
  14.  
  15. Were it not for her declaring as such, you would have no idea that you had reached your destination. What stands before you is a perfectly normal suburban house, completely unremarkable except for being of above average size. She motions you up the driveway and walks on ahead up the steps as you follow. Looking down at her feet as she approaches the entrance, she wipes her shoes on a welcome mat outside. She is about to open the door when she seems to notice a light on somewhere inside. She hisses something to herself about "they were supposed to be asleep" before turning to face you.
  16.  
  17. "We'll need to go in through the second floor window. The…warding is weak at this entrance, it could break if we cross it. Allow me."
  18.  
  19. Without warning, she reaches to her back and suddenly several long, elaborately patterned tentacles stretch out from behind her. One wraps around your torso and she uses the rest to scale the house, eventually finding a window. She opens it by hand, has the tentacle usher you inside, and then slips in herself. By the time you turn around to face her, the tentacles have already disappeared, perhaps returning from whence they came.
  20.  
  21. Looking around, you seem to be in some kind of eccentric studio. Beautiful paintings line the wall, in varying stages of completion. Most of them feature beautiful girls, but others seem exotic and strange, depicting alien landscapes or multi-limbed monstrosities. She smiles smugly in your direction as you glance between them. A few seem to glow with a distinctive orange light that matches the shade at the tips of her tentacled bangs, and she gestures to them as you turn to her.
  22.  
  23. "Do you like the lights? My hair might be a little strange, but it produces some wonderful paints, don't you 'ink?"
  24.  
  25. She then attempts to supress a laugh at her own joke and fails spectacularly, covering her mouth with both hands.
  26.  
  27. "Here, before I head out to deal with those monsters, I'll do a little art. Let me take a quick look at you, 'kay?"
  28.  
  29. She steps forward, and without hesitation gets incredibly close to your face. As she does the purplish blue of her eyes seems to swirl with specks of light, as if it was a pool reflecting the night's sky. Satisfied, she blushes slightly as her proximity to you lingers a bit longer than seems necessary for whatever she was doing.
  30.  
  31. "Wow, you…I um, I know I did that mostly without asking, but I just wanted to thank you. I can't ever release these pieces publicly, but one of the things I love drawing the most is human souls. When I take a look at them I see them as colors and shapes. I don't get to know too many people well enough for them to let me see into them like that, but whenever I do it's incredible. They're the most beautiful things in the world to me, so much so that I can sometimes spend days without sleep trying to finish a drawing of one. We don't have that much time, so I'll just get the linework down and do the coloring later."
  32.  
  33. She grabs a canvas and sits down on the floor with it in her lap, sketching away with a pencil drawing incredibly complex geometrical shapes. The steady sounds of the pencil scratching against the texture of the canvas is punctuated occasionally by slight gasps or a "humu". Occasionally she'll look over to you quizzically, as if intrigued that whatever she's sketching out came from within you. After a while she starts humming to herself and just as you feel like you're about to fall asleep from her sweet melody she finishes her sketch and stands up.
  34.  
  35. "The monsters should be where I want them by now. I'll take care of them, you wait here. Do NOT leave this room, okay? I'll bonk you if you do." Without waiting for a reply, she hops through the window and disappears.
  36.  
  37. Standing around, you look for somewhere to sit but you see only a desk chair and a bed, both of which seem too personal to sit on without permission. Not a moment later, the door opens and a young woman steps in, clad in pajamas and snacking on a bag of potato chups. Her face is shockingly similar to that of Ina'nis but it is on an entirely normal human body, which seems both taller and softer than the lithe form of the Priestess.
  38.  
  39. "Oh ho ho, so this is the guy, huh? Pleasure to meet you. I'm Ina's big sister. If she used that chuuni name of her's to introduce herself, that means you should call me Ane'nis. Anyway, it's quite bold of you to sneak into a girl's room when her parents are asleep next door."
  40.  
  41. Completely dumbfounded by this turn of events, you stand motionless hoping Ane'nis will continue speaking.
  42.  
  43. "Wait, sorry. You think some super serious supernatural stuff is happening, right? Well, let me fill you in. Yeah, lil' sis does deal with some weird alien stuff from time to time, but that's not why you're here. That's actually because of this guy here."
  44.  
  45. She points to a tome sitting on a desk, which floats towards her.
  46.  
  47. "This is AO-chan, he's the one who turned Ina into a magical girl."
  48.  
  49. "Priestess", a deep yet feminine voice says within your mind.
  50.  
  51. "Right, priestess. Anyway, this book knows a lot of stuff. The long and the short of it is that Ina got lonely and asked AO-chan here to tell her who her soulmate is, and that happens to be you. Despite you two literally being destined to be together, she still wanted to act all cool and mysterious on your first meeting, so she hid in a bush until you crossed her path and then gave that speech about monsters and whatnot. If you're wondering why I know this it's because Ina has a bad habit of talking to herself."
  52.  
  53. You ask if you were actually in any danger of being attacked by monsters.
  54.  
  55. "Not at all. Ina does round up the little guys that fall out of those portals sometimes, but they're as harmless as can be. Here, there should be one around here somewhere…"
  56.  
  57. Ane'nis ruffles the sheets of the bed in the room and a purple blob floats out from beneath the covers. It lazily floats in midair until she waves a potato chip from her bag in the air, at which point it drifts steadily towards the chip. Taking a bite with its tiny mouth, it makes a small noise of contentment and the small halo atop its head glows slightly.
  58.  
  59. "No clue what these things are, but they're not dangerous unless you're made out of snack food. Ina rounds them up so they don't end up in some government lab or something."
  60.  
  61. Ane'nis takes a seat on the bed, and gestures towards the sketch Ina finished.
  62.  
  63. "That soul painting is part of her plan too. She can learn a lot about someone using one of these, and she wanted to finish it so she could find out more about you so the first date she asks you out on could go smoother. Things like your favorite foods and hobbies, and even your fetishes. Take this shape for instance. That means you're into girls with flat chests."
  64.  
  65. A look of horror crosses your faces as Ane'nis literally lays your soul bare, but after a moment she laughs to herself.
  66.  
  67. "I can't make heads nor tails of these things, don't worry. I'm just messing with you. Besides, it doesn't get that specific. It'll just give her an impression of what kind of person you are."
  68.  
  69. She eats a few chips before pausing as if pondering something.
  70.  
  71. "Well, Ina's plan is almost complete, but if I know my sister as well as I think I do, she likely botched her plan. After 'dealing with the monsters' Ina was going to come up with some tea and snacks before escorting you home, after which she'd seal the deal and ask for your number so she could meet up with you again to finish her painting. But she hasn't come up yet, and that can only mean one thing. C'mere, we're going downstairs."
  72.  
  73. You follow Ane'nis downstairs, noting the family photos of Ina with the rest of her family. As you near what seems to be the kitchen, Ane'nis puts a finger to her mouth and then points to the ground of the room ahead. Lying sprawled out on the floor is Ina herself, snoring softly, her chest rising and falling in a lazy rhythm. A snack platter sits half prepared on a cutting board nearby.
  74.  
  75. "Yeah, she's been working herself to the bone recently, I knew she'd pass out before she made it to the goal.", Ane'nis whispers.
  76. "Anyway, mind carrying her to bed? I've gotta take this little guy to where he belongs."
  77.  
  78. She gestures to the small purple creature before waving and walking off somewhere else in the house.
  79.  
  80. Sighing at the strangeness of the situation, you reach down and scoop the girl up off the ground into your arms. She's incredibly light, and her long hair brushes against your arm as you bring her into a bridal carry. Realizing that apparently you are destined to give this girl a true bridal carry one day, your face flushes slightly as her forehead brushes up against your chest as you carry her upstairs. You work your way to her room, past her walls of paintings and set her down into bed. Only after setting her down do you notice her cheeks have reddened to a scarlet that stands out against the porcelain paleness of her skin.
  81.  
  82. "D-don't look. I h-had the perfect plan, and yet it ended up like this…Uuuu…."
  83.  
  84. You have no idea how to stop her from writhing in shame, so you wait until she calms herself down with some breathing exercises.
  85.  
  86. "Wait. I still have one last thing I can do. I can still get the upper hand back. Lean in, okay? I have something to tell you."
  87.  
  88. Doing as she says, you lower yourself to her level. Sitting up, she wraps her arms around you and places a kiss on your cheek, lingering long enough that you feel the heat of her breath for a moment. The sudden intimacy causes you to freeze for a moment, and you expect your face is much the same color as her's.
  89.  
  90. "I win!", she declares, her smile beaming.
  91.  
  92. She slips her head under the covers, and you take this as your signal that your job for today is done. Making your way to the front door, Ane'nis appears to give you a pat on the back and a slip of paper with Ina's phone number.
  93.  
  94. "You earned this one, tiger! Glad to see my sister is finally paying attention to something other than drawing. She could use a guy like you in her life."
  95.  
  96. Thanking her for her kindness, you step outside into the evening air. Smiling to yourself, you think you could use a girl like Ina in your life, too.
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