Nik retracted his words. Inosuke wasn't a single bit silent and even more boisterous than Zenitsu could ever wish to be. Of course, finally, after observing the calm Brian over a period of time as Inosuke started beating the living shit out of Zenitsu and Tanjiro with just a single pillow, Nik found Brian's ears clotted with cotton. This finally led him to question Brian Why?
[It creates an illusion of peace.]
Brian replied without a change in his expression.
"Will you give it a rest?!!!"
Aoi shouted and tried catching the pillow only to go flying akin to an aircraft towards Zenitsu's and Tanjiro's location and 'Bam'!
"Hahahaha! Gonpachiro! Zengetsu! And you, Black-Haired Swine! I am the strongest!!
Isn't that right?" Insouke turned towards Brian and Nik and gazed at the duo with a fervent expression.
Brian replied calmly. He had traveled with Inosuke for far too long to understand that Gonpachiro was Tanjiro, Zengetsu was Zenitsu and... the Swine was in fact, Aoi.
"Ahhh! How dare you?!"
Aoi stomped her foot and smacked the base of her foot over the ogling Zenitsu's face, making him cry in pain as Tanjiro's attention was diverted to calm down the anxious Zenitsu and avoid Inosuke's blows. All the while, Aoi left the room while grumbling darkly about some gory stuff.
"Alright, I am out of here."
Nik tapped Brian's shoulder and smiled as Brian sighed and shook his head.
"What happened? Want me to hook you up with some Daimyo's wife or daughter?"
Nik inquired with a smile as Brian's expression turned distraught.
"It's about Ray... that bitch, no, considering his gender, bitches will be insulted to get associated with him... he... he... has already claimed many as his partners. Stronger ones at that.
You remember that Blind Pillar of Earth?"
"You mean Gyomei?" Nik uttered the name correctly, making Brian even more frustrated.
"Yeah, him. Guess what, he, alongside Kyojuro and Sanemi conducted an orgy with multiple Clones of Ray... last night."
"Yeah, so?" Nik shrugged. Orgies are geat. Even he liked them. Of course, the s.e.x.u.a.l preference did bring a strange taste an unfavorable one to his mouth, Nik wasn't going to negatively comment on Ray's action.
"So? So, that means, one of the stronger opponents are already out of the big image. I need some goddamn challenges to"
"Bruh, you are already at the Peak of Rank 1. Challenges won't get you any more stat points. So chill."
Brian grew even sourer and sighed.
"That does it. I'll take the promotion quest and be done with it. It'll be just Ray and You in Rank 1, capiche?"
Brian inquired while Nik frowned.
"What do you mean by 'Capiche'?"
Instantly, Brian's expression did a 180 and he replied with a slightly enthusiastic tone.
"I learnt it from Ray. Capiche means Do you understand? It's probably a slang from his homeworld."
Nik nodded while continuously reciting the word with his heart and finally asked with a hesitant expression.
"What should I reply 'Capiche' with?"
Brian smirked and finally replied smugly.
"It's a play on tone. If you say 'Capiche?', then it means Do you understand? but, 'Capiche' means Understood/understand."
Nik frowned a muttered the same word in a questioning tone and an affirmative term before nodding.
With that, he finally left Brian and walked out of the wards. Although he really wanted to experience his head getting patted by Nezuko, it did not look like she would emerge anytime soon. Nezuko loved sleeping, that theory is already an established fact. Although her life-force signature shows no signs of weakness, she still remained slumbering.
With a few steps, Nik Bypass the ward and walked towards the exit of the mansion before encountering the bed of flowers that welcomed any new visitor. Activating his [Life Vision], Nik found a source of Life-force signature a little left to him and turned his gaze to match the source.
"The drink is quite heavy... are you sure you want to drink with me? It may ruin your mood entirely..."
A whisper grazed past Nik's left ear, making him shrug under the dark of night.
"Getting cold feet already, Shinobu? What about you? You really wanna get drunk around a guy like me?"
Nik took a step forward while a calm silence welcomed him until he heard a soft rustling sound with a trail of whispers.
"Who knows? I'll be at the highest spot."
Nik followed the direction in which Shinobu stealthily moved and jumped up over the mansion while controlling his strength for him to easily reach the tiled roof. Gingerly walking through the top ledges, Nik made his way across the roof and finally reached the inbuilt platform over to the roof that seemed to be constructed specifically for drinking while gazing at the open sky.
On the platform sat a peaceful Shinobu donned in a white yukata with purple flowers flowing across the dress and a purple belt to keep the cloth in place. The light clothing loosely traced her body and even her hair remained worn in a slightly loose fashion as her wavy hair flowed down to be tied into a low ponytail.
With a jug and two small cups placed beside her, Shinobu kept her back towards Nik and the upward tilt of her head made Nik realise that Shinobu had kept herself busy for a few moments by gazing at the starless sky and thickly veiled moon.
A few steps allowed Nik to reach next to the placed jug of wine. Sitting down, Nik let his gaze fell on Shinobu's profile, much of her features remained hidden due to the lush locks of hair that framed Shinobu's face but her plump lips remained exposed. The gentle curve on them seemed a bit different than usual. This smile didn't hide Shinobu's emotions, in fact, the story behind this particular smile seemed to be far richer than any historical event.
Finally, Nik looked at the jar of wine and finally picked the extremely praised wine and let the contents drain over to the two small cups and finally served Shinobu a cup while her gaze never lowered down.
Without even looking, Shinobu took the passed cup and let the translucent surface of wine reach the line of her gaze, observing the reflective surface of wine while barely holding he emotions in.
"Sometimes..." She parted her lips and brought the cup towards her lips before gracefully draining the contents in one go. Not a single change touched her expression.
"... I feel scared... terrified, even."
Nik looked at the cup with a silent doubt. If this wine was just as strong as Shinobu proclaimed, then Nik could only imagine how much of the content should be drained to be tolerant enough to not have a visible effect on one's expression.
Still, Nik softly whiffed the enchanting scent of the wine and drained its contents in one go, too. This was a mistake that couldn't be prevented any longer for the moment the viscous liquid touched Nik's tongue, an extremely, unsavoury taste kissed his tastebuds and filled his throat with a painful inferno.
Of course, Nik suppressed the grunt his lips almost leaked and his head buzzed for a moment.
"I feel scared of death... isn't that embarrassing? My only drive to grow stronger is to get vengeance and now... after growing up...
I feel so scared..."
Her voice choked softly as Nik, in all his silent coughing, could see Shinobu's lips curving down into a slight purse while the lady unceremoniously grabbed the jar itself and aligned the opening of the jar against her lips, downing a rather large stream of content before placing it down.
Not giving Nik a single glance, Shinobu continued, "My sister died to a demon. Holding a strong belief that demons and humans could coexist...
I really want to believe her... Nik.
I really, really miss her. I am trying so hard to become like her, I I... euk!"
Shinobu bit her lips with a glimmering streak of teardrops rolling down her cheeks. Somehow, for a moment, Nik forgot that his throat was still burning and finally, couldn't help but feel a little emotional due to the atmosphere.
Damnit! No one should put onions on a rooftop!!
Nik wasn't a stranger to sadness. He had cried... a lot. No matter how warm or comforting his mother was, Nik still remembered volumes of tears hidden from his mother. Crying in front of his mother was same as proclaiming that she did not do her best.
But, she gave her best, Nik remembered it. But still... Nik also remembered many times his lonely session with weeping being discovered by his mother, who would also occasionally break down, comforting Nik with her own presence. That day, he knew that tears weren't his weakness.
To hide his sadness, his emotions.
That is what a weak person would do.
Running away from their own emotions.
"Your sister will be proud..."
Nik whispered and finally calmed down. His heart itched to take advantage of Shinobu's vulnerability and just become the apple to her eyes. But what good would that be? Nik's hands settled when he finally recalled the day his journey started.
The day he met Megumi.
The day he committed the blunder of leaving Megumi alone.
A certain sensation boiled deep within Nik's body as he felt his morality of not taking Shinobu's advantage thinning down to the extreme. The sensation was comparable to the wildest of typhoons leaving the land marred in destruction and chaos.
His throat started to dry a bit. It wasn't alcohol, Nik knew this much.
"Hey... Nik... what should I do?"
Finally, for the first time, Shinobu evened her gaze down and faced Nik, there was no sense of maturity over her tear stricken face. There remained no mature mischief in her dark violet pupils.
She was just a girl with unending tears rolling down her cheeks, her gaze filled with confusion and grief while her body quivering. The cold wind couldn't make even the weakest of the pillar shiver and yet, Shinobu was quivering.
Somehow, Nik did not know why but the scene of Brian stating Capiche? and Capiche passed by his consciousness and Nik finally inched forward with his arms moving faster than his thoughts and pulled Shinobu into a deep, warm and compassionate embrace that left no room for the grieving Shinobu to struggle but simply wrap her arms around his back and cry her eyes out.
As it turns out, the booze wasn't the addiction Nik gained that night, it was Shinobu herself.
Alternative Title: Capiche
A/N: I have received a bit of suggestions regarding the increasing number of harem and lemons and the slow progress. I am not pointing anybody out when I say this The original intention of the novel, from the very beginning was to delve deep into harem. At least, give each of the girls a proper experience till Nik is in their world instead of glazing over the facts such as, "Oh, Nik found Rei alone without clothes, her pale bunnies exposed, and yes, he had to f.u.c.k of course." (Yes, i rhymed it.)
And well, many of you have said that you have not read jojo or demon slayer. That is something I can take caution of next time. Like, even if I have to make a crossover, I'll do it with a popular world, like One Piece, ATG, Bleach, Soul Land You catch the drift, right?
Either way, I would like to thank all my readers for such a wonderful support because we have reached 6000 collections!!! Yay!