Indra was drinking on a glass of juice in the morning. He often drank this in the morning if he did not train. That day, he was feeling tired from the previous day’s Life Festival. It was a wonderful festival event where his team won with a close margin with the opposing team.
“Breakfast will be ready soon,” Lakshmi said when she came to collect the emptied glass.
“Yes. I’m about to go and wake him up,” Lakshmi said to him.
At that moment, there was a loud scream that erupted from upstairs and caused them to jump. The voice belonged to Lakshman and he sounded quite freaked out.
“W-Well… He’s certainly up,” Indra said and they looked up at their room.
They heard the sound of door opening and closing forcefully. Then there was sound of running feet coming down the stairs. The next moment, Lakshman appeared at the entrance of the living room with while looking panicked.
“Dad… Mum… There’s a woman upstairs!” he told them breathlessly.
For a moment, neither Indra nor Lakshmi understood his words.
“What?” Indra asked with a puzzled expression on his face.
“There’s a woman in my room!” Lakshman said as he slowly caught his breath.
“O-Oh…” Indra said and he looked surprised.
He and Lakshmi glanced at each other. Then they smiled and looked back at their son. It was Lakshman’s turn to look puzzled by their disbelieving smiles.
“What?” he asked his parents.
“Seriously? Come on, Lucky. You shouldn’t dream about stuff like that, you’re still too young for that stuff,” Indra said kindly.
“Huh?” Lakshman said as he realised his parents did not believe him. He quickly waved his hands and said “I’m serious! There’s this red haired woman upstairs sleeping in my bed! She was hugging me and all with these… large… um… melons…”
Lakshman hesitantly finished which caused Indra to raise his eyebrows. Then he laughed and said “Like I said, you shouldn’t dream about that stuff just yet!”
“Ah! You’re not listening to me!” Lakshman said in frustration that his parents were not believing him.
Then they heard the sound of a door opening and an unknown voice called “Master…? Where are you, master…?”
There was a moment of silence in which all three of them stared at each other. Then they heard the sound of running feet on the stairs and the girl appeared at the bottom of the footsteps.
“Aha! I found you, master!” the girl said and she ran towards him.
“Ah! Wait! Stop!” Lakshman said quickly, but it was no use.
The girl ran over and hugged him. Because of the running hug, he toppled and they fell on the ground. Then the girl began to rub against him while hugging him tightly.
“Master~!” she said happily.
“Hey! Let go of me!” Lakshman said and he tried to push her away, but failed.
Indra rose to his feet and, together with his wife, they watched the girl hug their son. Then there was the sound of more doors opening and sleepy voices talking.
“What’s with the sudden noise so early in the morning?” the voice of Ondine asked.
“I thought I heard master yell for some reason,” the voice of Emilia said groggily.
“Mmm… What’s this smell?” Tetra asked curiously.
There was the sound of multiple footsteps on the stairs as they came downstairs. Then they stopped at the base of the stairs and looked at where Lakshman was being hugged by the girl.
“Wha… wha… wha…?” Tetra stuttered at seeing him being hugged.
She quickly walked towards them and pulled the girl to her feet and away from Lakshman. Then she faced her which surprised her because the girl was taller than her by a few centimetres. Tetra suddenly realised the girl was around the same height as Lakshman.
“W-What are you thinking by hugging my master?!” Tetra demanded angrily.
“Eh…? I’m hugging master because I’m happy,” the girl said and she smiled happily.
“That’s not the point!” Tetra snapped in frustrated and asked “How dare you hug my master?! Besides, Who the hell are you?!”
The girl narrowed her eyes and looked at Tetra. She seemed to checking her before she folded her arms and pompously said “Why should tell a kid who I am?”
At being called a kid by a total stranger, Tetra’s red hair began to bristle with anger.
“Kid… You dare call me a kid?! Fine!” Tetra said angrily.
She was suddenly covered by a bright red glow of light. It lasted a few seconds as everyone covered their eyes. Then it vanished and allowed them to look again. They were stunned to see an older appearance of Tetra standing there. Now the two girls looked about the same age.
“I’m Ashtetra Blazkin Jenes Forin Sekinat! I’m a Sacred Spirit and also known as the Phoenix Blade! Show some respect and answer my question, you imbecile!” Tetra said in an authoritative voice.
At suddenly being called an imbecile, the girl’s flaming red hair began to bristle with anger. There was a suddenly glow of light around the top of her head and back. Then they disappeared to reveal two ears at the top and a tail at the back.
“You’re that ugly bird that keeps ticking to master all the time-nyaa!” the girl said angrily.
“U-Ugly?! You called me… ugly?! I’m a majestic phoenix, you rouge feline!”
“Majestic-nyaa? Ha-nyaa! I’ve seen better majestic things than you-nyaa!”
As the two girls glared at each other, everyone were too stunned to make a move. Only Lakshman stood up and attempted to stop the girls from arguing.
“G-Girls! Stop, please! Calm down!” Lakshman attempted to talk to the girls as he got close to them.
The cat girl suddenly grabbed him and pressed his face into her chest. Then she stuck her tongue out at Tetra as if she was mocking her. Seeing her pressing Lakshman into her chest made Tetra really angry. She stepped forward and turned his head and pressed his face into her chest.
“What do you think you’re doing to my master?!” Tetra demanded while holding him firmly there.
“He’s my master so let go of him, stupid bird!” the cat girl said angrily and she pulled him and squashed him into her chest.
Lakshman struggled to breathe while getting squashed between their chests. The girls were also arguing very loudly and upset the peaceful morning. Like this, the argument continued with them playing with his head as they liked which made him angrier and angrier.
Lakshman suddenly got so angry, he bypassed his tolerance level. He suddenly surged with power and released a wild wind which blowed everywhere in the house. With strong force, he broke free from their strong grips and straightened up.
Lakshman assumed his Phoenix Titan form as he looked at them. Then he yelled “THAT’S ENOUGH!”
He instantly grabbed their heads and pushed them away from each other. Then he looked from one to the other while saying “Stop arguing right this instant!”
At the powerful imposing look he gave them, the girls shook from shock. Then they slowly nodded and he sensed their anger level die down. Feeling it was safe, he finally let them go. The two girls straightened up, but continued to glare at each other.
Lakshman suddenly looked at Tetra and pointed at her as she said “Tetra! You are to go and make something that will calm me down! If I don’t calm down, you are to do two-hundred squats!”
Tetra looked alarmed by what he said and she said “M-Master…”
Before she could say anything else, he thundered “That’s an order!”
Tetra looked shocked by how forceful he was. His personality took a rather serious shift whenever he transformed into the Phoenix Titan. She nodded at him wordlessly and left for the kitchen.
As she passed Ondine and Emilia, they looked after her in surprise. Then Lakshman looked at them and said “Emilia! Ondine! Go assist her!”
The two girls were taken aback by his forceful voice. Then they quickly nodded and went after Tetra. The cat girl looked after them and smirked in satisfaction.
Lakshman turned to her and thundered “As for you…!”
“Nyaa?!” the cat girl exclaimed with a panicked expression on her face.
“Go take a seat. We have a lot to discuss…” he said and she could not argue after seeing the serious expression on his face.
The cat girl slowly walked towards the chairs and sat down with a sad expression on her face. Lakshman took a seat opposite her and looked at her firmly. Indra and Lakshmi decided it was best for them to leave the room because Lakshman’s Phoenix Titan appearance was alarming.
“So! Who are you? Why are you here? What are you after? Answer me all this honestly!” Lakshman said in a firm voice.
The cat girl hesitated for a moment. Then she brought herself to look at him. At seeing his face, she suddenly blushed and fidgeted with her fingers for a moment. Then she sighed and finally spoke to him.
“As you’ve noticed from my cat ears and tail, I’m not a human. I’m from the Camdra Beast Clan and my name’s Rasha-nyaa,” she told him.
Lakshman’s eyes twitched and he asked “Your name is Rasha?”
She hesitated for a moment before smiling and saying “No-nyaa. It’s not my real name-nyaa. It’s like a nickname my clan people gave me because of how rashly I make decisions-nyaa.”
Lakshman nodded and said “I see. Then your real name is…?”
“Cantia Camdra-nyaa. That’s my full name if you think from a human’s naming perspective-nyaa.”
“Yes. So Cantia… Why are you here and why do you keep calling me master? I don’t believe I ever became your master. In fact, I strongly believe this is our first time meeting each other.”
“Ah… Actually, we’ve met before-nyaa…” Cantia said with a small smile.
There was a flash of light where Cantia was sitting. When the light vanished, a cat was sitting there. She meowed at him with the same kind of eyes Cantia had earlier.
Lakshman looked at the cat and he slowly returned to normal, his eyes fell back down and his eyes turned back to being black. He returned to his normal state and suddenly recognised the cat.
“Kitty?” he asked curiously and the cat meowed in response.
Then there was another flash of light and Cantia reappeared. She was twitching her ears and sawing her tail as she smiled at him.
“S-So you really were part of the Camdra Beast Clan…” Lakshman said slowly while smiling.
Cantia nodded and said “That’s right-nyaa. I’m sorry I had to hide it from you, but my clan people forced me to-nyaa.”
“They forced you to? Why? Did they just disliked showing themselves to outsiders?”
Cantia opened her mouth and hesitated. It looked like something was troubling her.
Lakshman smiled and said “Don’t worry if it’s a secret. I won’t bother you, but I still want to know why you’re calling me ‘master’. When did I become your master?”
She took a deep breath and said “Master Lucky… I was born to serve you-nyaa.”
Lakshman blinked in surprise. Then he looked alarmed and said “What?! You were born to serve me?! What do you mean?!”
“You see-nyaa… I was born under a peculiar star-nyaa. My people have a habit of forecasting the future and predict our destines-nyaa. In one of their readings, they predicted that I am destined to serve the holy bird warrior-nyaa. In ancient scripters, the holy bird warrior was referred to as the Phoenix Ttian-nyaa. So they knew I was born to serve you, the Phoenix Titan-nyaa.”
“O-Oh…” Lakshman said in a surprised voice.
Cantia suddenly looked sad as she said “At first, I was unhappy about the whole thing-nyaa. Having my destiny and I what I have to do decided without my consent made me angry-nyaa. Then, on a stormy night, our clan checked the stars and that’s when we realised the Phoenix Titan was born-nyaa.”
“I see. After that, you’ve kept a watchful eye on me to see whether I am word serving or not,” Lakshman said and she nodded.
“Yes, but I accidentally injured my foot one time while watching you-nyaa.”
Lakshman remembered the cat whose foot he healed using his first ever healing magic spell. He smiled at the memory of how happy he was at using magic for the first time.
“I feared I was done for-nyaa. Then you called me in, healed my leg and took good care of me-nyaa. After that, we played many more times and even saved me a second time when that cliff broke-nyaa.”
Lakshman remembered the cliff being cut off from the edge of where they stood. Later he discovered it was a prank from one of the young Forest Elves protecting the forest. He inwardly sighed and decided not to tell her about it.
“As I gradually met you more and more times, I began to really like you, master-nyaa. You were sweet, kind, sincere, silly and a bit careless-nyaa. I was forced to assume my humanoid form to rescue you each time you fell into that big lake-nyaa.”
At her words, Lakshman laughed. Those were times when he kept getting injured due to his carelessness in protecting himself. At the last time that happened, he did suspect it was her, but was not sure so he did not want to make false assumptions.
He smiled reminiscently and said “I guess I had been a bit silly and careless in not noticing the obvious.”
As he laughed at his youthful silliness, Cantia looked at him in surprise. Lakshman was no longer his serious self which surprised her. Then she realised his change in personality was caused by the Phoenix Titan transformation. Inwardly, she was happy and glad that it was him.
“When you disappeared for more than a few months, I became worried-nyaa. I couldn’t come to the human society and ask about you because of my clan-nyaa. I was feeling very lonely and sad at not knowing what was happening to you-nyaa.”
“S-Sorry…” Lakshman said apologetically when he saw her sad expression on her face.
“Then I saw you yesterday during one of your human festivals-nyaa. Watching you being carried over the crowd, I was really happy-nyaa. I couldn’t wait to see you again-nyaa. That’s why I sneaked into your home and came to watch you sleep in your room-nyaa.”
As she finished, Cantia was smiling happily. It was such a happy expression that Lakshman was stunned by how she was. Then she placed her hand near her chest and breathed deeply.
“I now realise why I’ve felt so lonely and depressed when you weren’t around, master-nyaa. I recognise this feeling and I am ready to embrace it-nyaa,” she said quietly.
“What feeling is that?” Lakshman asked curiously.
Cantia looked at him for a moment and blushed. Then she smiled happily and said “It’s the feeling of love-nyaa. I… love you-nyaa.”
Lakshman was startled by her words before sighing inwardly. This was the same with how the Ondine and Tetra fought so many times to win his affection or the time a Dark Spirit almost made Emilia do lewd things to him. They all did all that because they loved him which he found out when the Decisive Player finally got him to notice them.
He looked at Cantia and saw her blushing brightly and turned her face away. She came out in the open and confessed to him which the others girls did not do. He understood that because Cantia was just a direct sort of person who did not like beating around the bushes.
Lakshman looked at her and asked “Will you still love me even though Ondine, Emilia and Tetra also love me? Are you okay with that if more girls loving me come?”
Cantia’s eyes widened slightly and she looked surprised for a moment. Then she smiled and said “I’m fine with whatever master does so long as he continues to love me and take responsibility-nyaa. In return, I will become whatever master wants me to become-nyaa.”
This time, it was Lakshman’s turn to look astonished by her answer. He had expected a refusal or some sort of argument, but certainly did not expect complete acceptance from her. Then he realised the earlier argument between Cantia and Tetra was due to their jealousy of each other.
Realising this, Lakshman smiled and said “If I’m good for you, then I’m happy with you.”
Cantia’s eyes widened in shock. Then tears formed in her eyes and she clapped her hands over her mouth as the tears slowly dripped down her cute face. She was slightly red in the face and her teary face made her look ever cuter.
Then she lunged at him and carried “Master-nyaa!”
Lakshman was taken aback when she suddenly landed on his knees. Then she hugged him tightly while being very happy about it. Realising this, he smiled and patted her head gently. He also came to realise he quite liked the movement of her ears and tail.
At that moment, Lakshman heard Tetra’s voice say “Master. I’ve brown your dri—!”
She stopped at the entrance of the living room when she noticed them hugging. She gently placed the glass aside and turned around with a furious look on her face.
“Why the hell are you hugging my master, you stupid cat?!”
“It’s because I’m his lover, stupid bird!”
“Wha… What do you mean by that?!”
“It’s just like you heard, bird brain!”
“I heard you, but I’m also his lover! So let go of him already!”
“Then be a woman and take him from me!”
The two girls glared at each other while hugging each of Lakshman’s arms. He could only smile as he watched the two of them argue. Normally, he could step in and stop, but he decided it was best if the girls blow off their steam.
Thus, Cantia also became Lakshman’s love and the number of people Lakshman had to protect just increased by one.