I rubbed my nose with the back of my hand,wondering if someone was talking about me behind my back.
Knowing my brother and father, I won't be surprised if they really were talking bad about me right now.
Right after the audition, I had decided to do a little bit of walking around just to see if there was anything else that caught my eye.
I had been circling around what I assume to be the market district of the town for a while now, taking mental notes of how each shop was doing in terms of sale and how good their business looked.
Passing by a shop that looked to be selling sweets, a high-pitched voice caught my attention.
"No! Cai Hong only likes Papa's sweets! Papa's candies are better!"
I stopped in my tracks, running back to the entrance of the shop to peek inside.
Cai Hong was standing in the middle of three men, each of them holding different kinds of confectionary in their hands and wearing what looks like a very archaic form of T-shirt and short pants.
One of them even had the words 'Yes Loli! No Touch!' sewn on the front of said shirt.
"Little princess Cai Hong, why not give it a try? You might actually like it!" One of the men asked, presenting a multi colored lollipop to her. This guy was big and muscular, easily towering over everyone else around him with his hulking size.
Cai Hong turned her head away, "No! Cai Hong no want!"
"What about some chocolate?" Another offered, his small and scrawny frame a direct contrast to the first one.
"No! Cai Hong wants to eat 'loly kons'! Papa told Cai Hong about those! They sound yummy!"
The last one scratched his bald head before adjusting his glasses, "Oh Er They can't be eaten actually"
"Boo! Then why are they called 'loly's? Papa's lollipops are yummy!"
"Erm Those two are actually different things Your er'loly kons' can't be eaten..."
"Muuu~ Cai Hong no believe Cai hong will go back now then."
"Wait, wait, wait!" The first guy tried to stop her. "We Err We can show you around the town!"
Cai Hong shook her head, "Cai Hong wants to go back to Papa."
She tried to walk past them but another of those men stepped in front of her.
"Wait, don't go yet little princess Cai Hong! We know a place where you can make a lot of friends! You like making friends right?"
"Cai Hong no care. Cai Hong wants to go back to Papa now. Go away please."
Really, right now you probably can't find a prouder Papa than I, Cai Hong is such a good girl.
I decided that this would be a good time to show myself.
"Cai Hong," I called out.
The scrawny one whirled towards me, displeasure evident on his face, "Who dares to call our little princess so familiarly?! Show yourself!"
The big guy cracked his knuckles, "Looks like I'll need to teach someone some proper manners! Now who is the--"
Cai Hong rushed up and hugged me, almost toppling me over since I was just as small, if not smaller, than her now.
I patted her head while switching my gaze to the three men that were now staring at me dumbfoundedly.
The bald guy pointed at me, "Your name is Papa?"
I shook my head, "No, I'm her adoptive father."
"But You look like you're eight" The smaller guy pointed out.
"Hey, I've got good credit ok?" I protested.
"Umm Ok, uh Sure... Are you certain you're not little princess Cai Hong's brother or something?"
Cai Hong turned to look back at him with an irritated expression, "Papa is Cai Hong's Papa! How dare you be rude?! Cai Hong will bite you!"
The three of them immediately bowed their heads to her.
"A million apologies little princess! Please forgive our lowly selves!"
Cai Hong turned back to me, giving me the 'praise me' look she usually showed me.
I patted her head again, making her purr in content at the contact.
"Well then, shall we go now?" I asked my loli dragon.
Cai Hong nodded enthusiastically, but before we could leave the candy shop, the big guy stepped in front of us once more.
"Wait! We er We just want to hang out! Could Could we follow along? It's err It's dangerous for children to walk around unsupervised you know?"
"Yeah, yeah!" The skinny one chimed in, stepping up beside his groupie. "We can look after you until your guardians come back! It's a good idea, no?"
The bald one joined them, "Yeah, just er Let us watch over you guys! Especially the little princess Cai Hong! Who knows what kind of evil people out there might want to do to her?"
I raised an eyebrow, "Evil people? Like you guys?"
"What?!" The big guy sputtered. "I'll have you know that we are all proud members of the 'Lolicon League'! It is our duty to appreciate and protect all the lolis of this world!"
Cai Hong pulled at my hand, "Papa'Loly kon' yummy?"
Thinking she was probably disappointed by the lack of her favourite candy, I dug through my pocket to hand her one of her favourite lollipops.
She accepted it happily and immediately popped it into her mouth.
With my little girl satisfied for the moment, I turned back to regard the three men, "I thank you for your concern, but we will be fine by ourselves. I believe this town is quite safe, no?"
The big guy looked to his comrades, "Well That is true But"
Just then, a group of three women walked in, wearing almost the same type of clothes as the group of men.
I noticed the one leading them had blonde hair with twintails that ended as drills. She was also wearing a shirt that read 'Shotas For Life!' on the chest area.
I felt a cold breeze at the back of my neck.
"Ara, ara? Are the degenerates of the Loli group being a nuisance again?" She chuckled.
"Tsk What do you want? I bet you old hags are here to find for more little boys to coddle to as well!" The big guy accused.
One of the woman's friends immediately stepped up, a pair of thick spectacles adorning her face, half-hidden by her long and unruly hair that resembled a bird's nest.
"Who are you calling old hags? We're still young, blooming girls ok?!"
"Puh! Any girl that has gone through their coming of age are old hags!" The bald one announced proudly.
"Heh, heh Seems like someone really wants to get smacked today!" The drill hair girl chuckled, pulling out a whip from behind her. "Now, I suggest you guys leave the loli you've been accosting alone or face the consequences!"
"Never!" The skinny one shouted with clenched fists. "You think we will just back down from you like that?! Lolis deserved to be loved!"
"Uahahaha! Your love is nothing but an act of perversion! Utterly shameless! Am I right Mariel? Mariel?"
Everyone turned their gaze to the last woman of the group, a rather refined looking lady with black hair tied in a ponytail.
Her eyes were opened wide as she lifted a shaky hand to point towards me, "S S Sh Sho Sho Ta Shota Shota!"
The two girls whipped their heads towards me, their eyes widened upon seeing me.
"SHOTA!" The three girls screeched, literally leaping towards me.
Before they could reach me however, the big guy stepped in front of them and intercepted their flight path, his hands reaching out to block the three crazies from going any further.
He grunted from the effort, slowly losing ground to the three hysterical girls as they tried to push him back.
Turning his head towards me, he grunted, "Run brother! Run and take the little princess with you! We will hold them off!"
The bald man rushed up from behind to support his friend, "Go! These old hags are crazy for kids like you, brother! Don't let them catch you or you'll have to suffer through their pampering!"
The skinny guy also joined in beside his comrade, "What are you waiting for?! Fly, you fools!"
Huh, I didn't expect them to be so valiant in the end.
I gave them a thumbs up, "Do not worry! I will protect Cai Hong!"
"Godspeed!" The three of them yelled in unison as I dragged Cai Hong out of the shop through the back door, seconds before screams of agony echoed out from the shop.
"Papa? Weird people?"
"Shhh Just ignore them. Weird people will just be weird."
"Okies. Cai Hong likes Papa~" Cai Hong stated as a matter of factly, sucking on her lollipop.