"Nothing happened to you, right?"
As Megumi uncharacteristically clung onto Yuuko, Nik plainly nodded towards Manabu while her mother, Mrs Shindou looked towards Nik with a bright expression while waving her hands spiritedly, making Nik incur a scowl from the middle-aged man beside her, most probably, Mr Shindou.
"Nothing happened? Why are you asking this?"
Why would Yuuko ever reject a hug from her own daughter? After she entered her puberty, just like the natural flow that happened with Yuuko prior to Megumi, although the bond between the mother and daughter pair grew stronger as they were now able to share many things with each other, Megumi had also grown a bit distant.
Yuuko couldn't hug her or kiss her cheeks like she would in the past. So enjoying the rare warmth and concern, Yuuko continued smiling brightly and stroking Megumi's head in gentle affection. The moment Nik turned and looked at the scene, he frowned lightly before turning his gaze outside the shop as the scene evoked quite a substantial reaction from his body.
"For real? You don't feel strange, right?" Her concern for her mother was obviously an addition to Nik's already debauched reputation which he couldn't care less for. Meanwhile, Yuuko thought for a while before nodding.
"Ah, now that you mention it, we did have a lot of sales today."
Megumi blinked curiously while Yuuko took this chance to praise Nik for his professionalism but still hid the method of Nik using his own charm as the attraction. Somethings are best left unspoken, Yuuko understood this concept well.
"He~ Nik, aren't you a natural salesman?"
Megumi's worries were finally subsided as she tiptoed across the shop and bending in front of the seated Nik to match his gaze. A bright smile on her face as her bosom failed to defy the gravity and leaned forward ever so slightly, revealing a healthy amount of cleavage as her face blushed softly while her voice appeared within his mind.
'I- I'll reward you if you keep on helping my mother like this.'
Hearing her words, Nik grinned broadly before replying.
'Just prepare yourself in gift wrappers. 'Cause I'd like you as the reward.'
At his words, her blush only grew brighter, making her stand straight and looking away before her soft whisper made Nik smile brightly.
'Don't you dare go overboard afterwards...'
As Megumi made a hasty break for her room, Yuuko smiled at the receding back of her daughter and then looked at Nik with a smile that simultaneously wasn't. No mature person would ignore the obvious signs of infatuation. But even when she had the urge to interview the hero of the shop that, presently, looked nothing more than a thief in her eyes, Yuuko resisted the impulse.
Anyway, till what she had seen, Nik didn't seem the kind of guy to make moves on any and every girl... but more investigation would be required. As Yuuko made her own task list, Nik continued reading the fiction about a swordsman named Sasaki Kojirou. A swordsman whose talent in the way of swords was unrivalled.
As of this moment, Nik had already planned out on how to start his research on records. He would first go through the thickest books as the quicker he read through them, the better. Then he would rotate between the pictorial books, otherwise known as Mangas, and other thin novels.
Of course, the e.r.o.t.i.c section of the book store would require a deep research, too.
For the rest of the evening, he didn't see Megumi as she had already fallen asleep while he started standing outside the shop every once in a while, smiling and waving towards any interested lady, be it young or old, before bringing them into the shop and selling the books.
To women, he was a rising star. To men, he was simply a creep from whom they should protect their daughters, wives and mothers. In a single day, Nik had easily established himself within the heart of the matriarchal section of the market and surely, the men of the family would listen about Nik for a few days repeatedly.
But this single day had been extremely beneficial for Nik in many ways. Firstly, he now knew that he needed to arrange the legal doc.u.ments for his stay as quickly as possible. Even though he could easily use his [Pheromone Illusion] to combine Mind Control and Illusion, he felt that it was not a proper and long-term solution.
Aside from that, he at the end of the day, had started to feel a bit more comfortable around Yuuko. Which was good. For he was now marginally less aroused when around the pure, bubbly mother-in-law that gave her best in the book store. Nik also now understood how to target his customers properly, at least, he had taken a few steps forward in this regard and now felt that he can start selling books other than 'know-how guides'.
Finally, he had an amazing s.e.x with Kaya. That alone could outclass any benefit he had obtained and made Nik realise that he needed to put in even more effort in winning the hearts of his girls.
A body could be tamed, Lion's Will could be subdued.
But heart, it needed to be conquered with effort. Any other effect is merely temporary.
Bowing to Yuuko, Nik politely bade his farewell.
"Thank you for the amazing experience, Yuuko-san. Please say goodbye to Megumi for me."
"Likewise, Nik-kun. Although, I must say I am quite surprised by your talent." By now, Nik had already straightened his back as Yuuko averted her gaze while her voice grew soft.
"And... you should try wearing something that fits your age... you know, like t-shirts and jeans instead of plain shirts and pants.
Either way, you better get your doc.u.ments prepared."
Yuuko changed the topic while looking at him, although the touch of crimson made Nik curse at his foolish, naive and incredible senile past self for making himself such a promise, Nik still managed to reign in his scowl while Yuuko continued.
"Alright, get home safely. I expect you tomorrow at the same time."
Nik nodded and walked out while Yuuko also closed her store and locked it from inside when suddenly, a slightly shorter figure. With the top of her head covered by a white clothe and an equally plain apron with a few parts tainted in what looked like ketchup, Mrs Shindou aka Ayumi Shindou, Manabu Shindou's mother intercepted him out of nowhere.
"Ara~ Are you going back home? Nik-chan? Why don't you try our dishes before going back?"
Even with sincere enthusiastic clear in her voice, Nik couldn't help but frown. It was already late and he simply wanted to return home and have a warm dinner with everyone. Although he enjoyed himself a lot and even started taking interest in the plot of some of the fictions, that did not entail that he didn't wish to return.
With a calm voice Nik shook his head and his body leaked a very thin trail of his Pheromones to activate his [Pheromone Illusion]. This was one of the benefits he earned today. Even though he was far from becoming truly proficient in [Mind Control 2] and [Illusion 2], that did not mean that he hadn't discovered a few applications of his skill that would only expose a tiny amount of his prized pheromones.
Immediately, Ayumi Shindou fell into a stunted state where her thoughts fell into a spiral of the unconscious mess that brought back many of her subconscious thoughts that she had suppressed while being busy throughout the day. Nik did not actively control her mind neither did he make Ayumi go through an illusion where he calmly and logically rejected her.
He simply brought up suppressed thoughts and messed up her consciousness for just the slightest moment that he took to walk away from Ayumi. This was the most logical and time-efficient method he could think off at the moment.
He did not have the heart to go through a conversation where he had to explain his love for his home and his need to return. After all, Ayumi and Nik weren't close. Although he scammed her, but that was it. Aside from their relationship of scammer and 'scammee', Nik did not think it was appropriate to personalize their relationship.
As he continued walking towards the bus stop, he came across a white-furred, black-spotted cat, attracting his attention as he knelt near the telephone pole and looked at the cat for a moment and then placed his hand over the cat's soft furry head. There was no resistance of any sorts and the cat gently purred, lazily lying on the ground while making an effort to nuzzle its own head against Nik's warm palms.
"Sadly, I cannot take you away, little guy. Stay well."
Nik softly whispered as the Cat mewled once again before looking at Nik's receding back with its sad, feline pupils. Mewling once again, it simply jumped up the concrete wall beside the telephone pole and made its own way into one of the houses.
Aside from the surprise halt due to the cat petting session, Nik's remaining journey to his home remained uneventful as he heaved a deep sigh when he finally stood in front of the door and softly knocked the door twice before a loud voice shot out of the apartment.
"I'll get it!"
It was Kurumi. Her footsteps grew a bit lighter when she arrived at the door, probably looking through the peephole to ascertain that no stranger is out there before opening the door in a hurry and jumping towards Nik with an excited expression. Somehow, in Nik's vision, Kurumi did not look different from a feline counterpart of the one Nik petted as he accommodated Kurumi's jump with a warm embrace.
"You look excited?"
Nik nuzzled his nose against Kurumi playfully while asking warmly. His body was simply energised as Kurumi's tight hold seemed to tap into his reserves unconsciously.
"Of course, I am. It was so boring without you!"
Kurumi smiled and the side of her face rest snugly over his neck, right below his jaws as he carried Kurumi back inside while using his leg to close the door on the way in... although, he had to ask for Sayako's helo to lock the door for Kurumi wouldn't budge. After washing his hands and face, Nik felt a bit refreshed and then finally made his way to the dinner table where Kyouko and Mitsuko had already arranged everything alongside Sayako's help. Meanwhile, Souko was already chugging on beer cans as if there was no tomorrow.
Seeing her, Nik sighed and added another task Purchasing a detoxifying potion from the system.
Although he could not share the items from the system to unknown living beings for it would expose the existence of the system, Nik did have a few advantages after joining the universally chased Affiliation.
He could share a limited category of the items in the system with his partners until they were partially contracted to the system with Nik as the base guarantor after they enter into a partnership.
Although, offensive and defensive type equipments and the similar types of items were still prohibited to be shared amongst his harem, Nik could still share cheap potions that would work well with their current status.
Taking his seat, he was immediately questioned by a curious and intoxicated Souko.
"So? How was the day?"
"Good, I guess. Although, I have a few plans that may increase the sales further."
As the girls sat around him, Nik described his own day, no matter how scammish it was before proceeding to ask about their day. Just like usual, after Nik and others left, Mitsuko and Kyouko went to the gym for their daily workout before returning and continuing their chores. Although, Mitsuko simply took it easy in the gym. She was already pregnant for a week and was already considering dropping out since her health wouldn't allow any straining exercise.
Even until now, she had been going only to keep Kyouko a company since they both have known each other for a long time and their friendship only grew closer after sharing the unifying rod of happiness.
Hearing them, Nik nodded naturally and sighed softly internally. Finally, Mitsuko concluded that she may not even go tomorrow for she was already feeling a bit tired, to which, Kyouko could only nod meekly before she looked at Nik and felt like proclaiming Get me pregnant, too, as a price for taking away my gym buddy.
But she knew it was too early and didn't dare make such a proclamation.
Meanwhile, Nik had already decided to try and get up early so that he could exercise his stretching exercise and actually replace Mitsuko's role in the early morning to help Sayako, Souko and Kurumi get ready so that she could continue sleeping for a longer period.
At this stage, even though she had gone through multiple pregnancies, she still needed to rest and eat and drink healthy while committing her body to soft, non-straining exercises instead of doing harsh chores.
Although, to cheer Kyouko up, Nik did promise that he will try and ask Kaya to accompany ger because Kaya's daughter, Sakura had also joined the gym during the evening hours. But deep down, he could actually witness Kaya's rejection. Just like Mitsuko, Kaya was also a lazy creature known to only move when required and yet retaining her god gifted figure.
(A/N: To clarify a confusion Sakura Asaji aka Kaya's daughter is in fact, Sakura Hibiki from dumbell anime. Only the last names are swapped but the characters are the same.)
With the dinner concluded, the first thing Nik did was to personally carry Mitsuko and tucking her in after she had refreshed herself before helping Kyouko with the dishes.
Souko was out cold and Sayako was dead tired due to committing her entire day to her project, leaving only Kurumi and Kyouko to look at him with an expectant expression which Nik had a little heart to refuse to. Although, he himself felt tired strangely, which should not be possible due to his enhanced stats, Nik still entered into the remaining room with Kyouko and Kurumi before their illicit m.o.a.ns shook the room, making Mitsuko sigh.
God knew how much she wished to join, but at the early stages, she did indeed, require a lot of rest. Sighing once again, Mitsuko touched her stomach while whispering softly.
"You better not be as roguish as your father..."