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vanagandr

Ah! My license suspension

59 posts in this topic

Here's the draft for chapter 7:

 

Spoiler

I hate buses…”


 

Letting out a frustrated sigh, Urd’s initial enthusiasm was slowly waning out as the long, boring road trip was starting to get on her nerves; most definitely due to the very means of transportation she and her housemates were supposed to use. Given that the organizers of the lottery tried to conserve as much money as possible, the tickets they handed them corresponded to the cheapest method of transportation possible; which was basically a regular bus instead of hiring a much more comfortable mini bus just for them.


 

That inevitably meant that, Urd, Keiichi, Vali and the newcomer, Dagaz were amidst a group of elderly people who also wanted to visit the hot springs resort, as the warm mineral water did miracles with arthritis. And if it wasn’t just the fact that the bus was packed with people, the old ladies sitting behind the goddess were really getting on her nerves as not only they kept gossiping about the exotic looking foreigner, but their poor hearing meant that they were actually quite loud too.


 

Oh my… women these days wear such audacious clothes! Look at her skirt! It barely hides her panties!”


 

Her husband must be really worried! He looks so uncomfortable!”


 

Groaning, Urd rolled her eyes, as she glanced at Keiichi who was sitting right next to her and he too could hear the old coots go on and on about one thing or the other. However, the biggest problem was neither her stylistic choices nor the false assumption that he was married to her, but, their previous topic of discussion: how a seemingly short and unimpressive man like him managed to marry such an attractive lady. Or why he didn’t take her to their destination by car, like any good salary man would, as it appeared to them that money was the only reason behind this unusual couple.


 

Those hags are starting to get on my nerves!...”


 

Please try to ignore them, Urd,” whispered Keiichi, even though it was unnecessary to do so, given the most of the other passengers’ poor hearing. “It’s just nonsense anyway…”


 

You got that right! If I knew this was going to be so annoying, we would’ve gone there on your bike!”


 

But… what about Vali and Dagaz?” asked Keiichi, looking over his shoulder at the two gods who sat much further back in the bus.


 

They can shrink down and fit in the sidecar with me, or even teleport straight to our destination.”


 

I see. Although, to be fair… you were the only one who looked forward for the bus trip,” said Keiichi with some hesitation, worrying that he may had offended her.


 

Hey, it’s not my fault! I was expecting something a lot… better than this. And for the record, you and Dagaz didn’t seem to mind it too much, either, mister,” said Urd as she leaned a bit closer to Keiichi, making him blush. “After all, I did put something really nice on, didn’t I?”


 

W-Well…” Struggling not to stare at her, Keiichi had to admit that despite how simple her outfit appeared to be, the pearl white blouse with the matching skirt she had closen, really hugged her body in all the right places.


 

You’re blushing!” giggled Urd as she got even closer to him, making the dark haired mechanic even more self conscious about the stares they were getting from the other passengers.


 

I can’t help it! You’re too close!” said Keiichi, staring at the goddess’ lips in an effort to keep his eyes from wandering lower, at Urd’s ample bosom almost brushed against his arm.


 

And? Is there a problem with that, Keiichi?” Leaning even closer to him, the half goddess momentarily wondered if she should go for it and give him a kiss but the sudden flash from outside made her blink. “Huh? Did you see that?”


 

See what?” asked Keiichi, trying to follow her gaze.


 

For a moment I think I saw something zoom by the road in the distance!”


 

Are you sure it wasn’t a bird or something?”


 

Yes. Unless birds use brooms… Or at least, something that looked like one.” Scratching her head, the goddess couldn’t but wonder if that was a mirage. ‘Hm… perhaps I just imaged it? Although… I kind of recall hearing something like that from Dagaz, but… I kind of wasn’t paying too much attention at the lesson. Maybe I should ask him later?’


 

Meanwhile, at the back of the bus, Dagaz was biting the sickness bag he was holding, looking over at Urd and Keiichi a few rows ahead of them.


 

Will you stop that? Not only It’s not edible, but you seem silly while doing that,” said Vali from the seat next to him.


 

But… I like to bite at something when I’m nervous and I just found this conveniently available bag!” said Dagaz as he kept munching at the aforementioned item. “Besides, it’s not fair! Why am I sitting here with you?”


 

Because we lost? Or have you forgotten the game of… what was it called again? Pocket?”


 

Poker.” Grumbling, the blonde god wasn’t terribly pleased with the outcome of Urd’s brilliant idea to decide who was going to sit next to her. All they had to do was play some kind of card game with Urd acting as the dealer, and they lost to Keiichi; pretty badly too. “I still find it suspicious that we lost like that!”


 

Maybe. Although, there’s not much we can do right now,” said Vali with a groan. Ever since yesterday the blonde god kept nagging at how unfair that game was and even tried to challenge them again in a rematch.


 

Why not? I’ve found a few nice alternatives to that… nonsensical game! Here, take a look at this!” said Dagaz, holding up a deck of cards.


 

That’s… a children’s game, actually,” said Vali raising an eyebrow while he inspected the depictions on the cards.


 

So what? It has a strategy to it and I even pulled an all nighter to learn how to play, so that I can challenge you guys to a duel!”


 

If you want a duel that badly, I can get you a trainee’s battle axe and then we can have a real one,” said Vali with an almost uncharacteristic smirk that caused Dagaz to swallow nervously.


 

I’m a pacifist!said the blonde god, before he desperately tried to change the subject, retrieving a leaflet he was carrying with him. “Actually there’s a tourist’s guide for the town we’re visiting. Want to take a look?


 

Sure, why not? It’s not like I’ve got anything better to do right now.”


 

XXX


 

Finally! We’re here, but… What the Hell is this?!


 

Staring at the note outside the hot springs resort, Urd could hardly contain her anger as the much anticipated trip was getting from bad to worse. First they had to deal with the annoying passengers of the bus, and now… it seems that all that was for nothing.


 

Due to maintenance, the resort is closed until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience this may had caused you.’


 

Who… who’s in charge of this… dump!”


 

Relax, Urd!” tried Keiichi, worrying that the goddess’ anger would escalate to the point of demolishing the place with a spell, and this time it would be rather… problematic, given the number of eyewitnesses. “Maybe we should’ve called first and check whether…”


 

That would’ve been pointless,” said Vali, interrupting him as he also seemed a bit miffed by this development. “Our prize specifically required us to arrive here today and the more I think about it, the more I realize that it might’d been a scam. Since this looks like scheduled maintenance, it’s unlikely that the organizers of that competition didn’t knew about it; and even if they did, just contacting the resort should’ve provided them with that information. To me, this feels like an attempt to save money.”


 

You mean… because we can’t charge them anything as long as it’s closed?” asked Keiichi as he started to see what the blue haired god was getting at.


 

Yes. The idea was that most of the basic expenses for this trip would’ve been covered by marketplace’s officials, but… as long as the resort is closed... all they’ve actually paid are our bus tickets,” explained Vali while Urd seethed in rage.


 

What a bunch of… Then we came all the way here for nothing?”


 

Well, technically speaking, there are a few more options,” tried Dagaz in an effort to appease her. “If I recall correctly from this guide, there are a few more establishments that take advantage of the geothermal…”


 

Not bothering to listen to the rest of the god’s explanation, Urd grabbed the leaflet from his hands and started to seek for an alternative. “This one! It’s not far and the ratings are the best!”


 

Whoa! Hold on a second, Urd!” said Keiichi as he took a look at the onsen she was talking about. “This is a really expensive one! How are we going to even pay for that? Only two of us have a job and even then…Well… you know.”


 

Um… you’ve got a point there,” said Urd after a few moments of staying quiet while staring at the two gods that started to get slightly unnerved by her gaze. “We’ve got two underpaid employees and two freeloaders here.”


 

Wincing at the half goddess’ caustic words, the gods lowered their heads in shame, while trying to come up with some sort of solution on their own to prove themselves to her. And while Dagaz had a tough time to find an alternative, Vali came up with a decent idea, although he really hated asking for favors.


 

Is this absolutely necessary? I mean, do you really want this?” asked the blue haired god, making everyone stare at him; especially given how deadly serious he sounded.


 

Uh… yes?” said the unsure half goddess, worrying that she may had gone a bit too far and sounded like a spoiled brat asking her parents for a new toy.


 

Wait here.” Heading towards a payphone in the distance, the blue haired god left the three remaining members of his group wonder about this unexpected development; all sharing the same question.


 

Um… what did just happen?”


 

XXX


 

It is I.”


 

My apologies for calling you for such a petty reason, my lord but… I wish to ask for a favor,” said the war god cadet, wondering if this was even a good idea. He may had been on a mission assigned to him by the Daitenkaicho himself but that still didn’t mean that he was someone special enough to make such requests.


 

Oh? And what that may be?” asked Tyr, despite he had actually been monitoring them ever since they departed on that trip and knew all too well what the problem was.


 

I need the means to cover the expenses for a visit to a local hot springs resort. As such, I request the permission for currency acquisition.”


 

Hm… I see.” Struggling not to laugh at how nervous the boy sounded all of a sudden, Tyr decided to do it, even though it wasn’t something important. After all, it wasn’t every day someone tried to help his daughter get what she wanted and besides… with Hild in the general vicinity, there was a realistic chance that she could try to offer her assistance; and probably cause a lot of commotion in the process. “Very well, but only on this occasion.”


 

T-thank you, my lord,” said Vali, although he was somewhat shocked that his request was accepted so easily.


 

Oh, and don’t be too stingy. Try to get something nice for the others too; within reason of course.”


 

Of course, my lord!”


 

And perhaps a second TV for the house too? Although an AC could be nice to have as well, and… Oh! While you’re at it, get a dishwasher! Urd’s going to absolutely love it!”


 

Uh… my lord?” asked Vali as he stared at the receiver, not really expecting the whole list of requests, Tyr had come up with. “Is that truly within reason?...


 

Who do you think decides that?” shot the Daitenkaicho back at the baffled god who could only agree with his leader.


 

Good point. Is there something else I should get while we’re at it?”


 

Hm… a microwave could always come in handy, and there are automated rice cookers, so get one too.”


 

What about a coffee maker?”


 

Only if you get an espresso machine, too. I need something stronger to wake me up in the morning.”

Understood. Anything else, my lord?”


 

No, I think that’s sufficient for now,” said Tyr before he cleared his throat. “And for the record, this whole conversation never took place. Am I understood?”


 

Perfectly, my lord.”


 

Good. Then I consider this matter resolved. Now go ahead and get the resources you need, before the day is over. After all, you still have to visit those hot springs.”


 

Of course! Thank you, my lord!”


 

Hanging up the headset, Vali couldn’t help but feel happy that not only he got them out of this pinch, but he also made their lives easier in the long run.


 

But first things first… Let’s tell them the good news.’


 

XXX


 

Yes! Now we’re talking about! This is how it’s supposed to be!”


 

Entering the much more lavishly decorated building, the group had to pause and marvel at the sight of their surroundings. While most hot spring resorts tried to maintain some of the trademark elements of traditional Japanese architecture, this one was far more successful at doing a decent job at that, instead of a poor, halfhearted attempt. Indeed, it almost felt as if they had gone back in time, and even the workers here were dressed in old fashioned clothes from a few centuries ago.


 

Greetings dear customers. Do you have a reservation?” asked a young woman in a stylish kimono as she offered the group a polite bow.


 

Not really I’m afraid,” replied Vali. “We were hoping that you aren’t fully booked for today.”


 

Oh, that’s perfectly fine, we certainly have enough free pools right now. Actually, for an extra fee you can rent one just for yourselves, eliminating the possibility of having to share one with other customers. Additionally I’ll have to inform you that we also have tubs better suited for couples.”


 

The pool please!said Dagaz with an almost pleading look on his face. “With my rotten luck I’m gonna get stuck with one of those dudes in there and that’s just… not fair!”


 

Very well, if you wish, I can show you the way,” offered the employee, while the rest of them tried not to laugh at Dagaz’s indirect admission that he wanted to bathe together with Urd, something that the half goddess found rather amusing and wondered what she could do about it.


 

However, as funny as Keiichi found the blonde’s reaction, his smile turned into a frown as he suddenly realized that they were as a matter of fact going to use a single pool; with all the implications behind that. While he had been on public baths on numerous occasions before, this was the first time he was going to experience that with a woman present and more specifically; with Urd. Given how notorious she was when it came to teasing those around her, Keiichi worried that this whole situation was simply too spicy for her not to try and pull a prank on them.


 

Indeed, the moment he and the others stepped in the changing room of the pool, he couldn’t help but wonder how they were going to deal with this whole situation. “Um… shouldn’t we change into some towels before we get into the water?”


 

I think that’s the advised course of action given the fact that we’ve got Urd here,” said Vali, before he was interrupted by the half goddess in question.


 

Aw... come on! It’s so much better without a damp cloth wrapped around our bodies!”


 

I second that!” added an excited Dagaz, much to the two others’ annoyance.


 

Perverts…” muttered Vali, while Keiichi simply scratched his head nervously.


 

I personally think that the towels would be the best option,” said Keiichi in a desperate attempt to avoid any embarrassing incidents.


 

Staring at each other as the two opposing parties had reached a standstill, Urd decided to try her favorite method of solving such problems. “Hey, since it’s a tie, how about we flip a coin or something?”


 

Sharing a look, both Keiichi and the blue haired god felt that they were probably stepping into a trap and as such, the cadet decided to make sure that if they the other two wouldn’t try to cheat. “Alright, but only if Keiichi flips the coin and nobody used any magic to affect it.”


 

Deal! I pick heads!” said Urd with a cheerful grin, while the dark haired mortal reached for his wallet to get a coin.


 

Tossing it up, everyone gathered around him with a hopeful look on their faces. “And the result is… tails!”


 

Aw…” lowering their heads in defeat, Urd and Dagaz walked towards the shelves where a few towels were stored for the customers to use, while Vali and Keiichi followed after them with a content smile on their faces; thinking that after this, those two were going to behave.


 

Little did they know how wrong they were going to be proven.


 

XXX


 

Ah... it’s so relaxing! Right, Bell-chan?”


 

Leaning against the brunette goddess, Hild’s childlike avatar enjoyed the hot water of the tub they had requested in order to have a more private setting, as they both wished to keep a certain distance from Urd’s group.


 

Indeed. I must admit that this is even better than I had originally expected, even if we ended up in a different onsen.”


 

That couldn’t be helped, although, I’m rather happy to see your father trying to relax a bit for once and allow Urd to have some fun. Perhaps he’s starting to realize that there’s more to life than rules and regulations...” said Hild with a giggle. “Although, I’m also impressed that it was Vali’s idea to begin with. Considering his personality, I never thought he’d actually go for this kind of solution.”


 

Yes. It seems that, neesan is surrounded by good people.”


 

Hm… no comments about daddy, huh?” asked Hild with a wink, looking up at the goddess as she sat on her lap. “It seems that you’re nowhere as naive as some try to make you look like.”


 

Remaining quiet, Belldandy gazed towards the direction of the pool where Urd and the rest of her group currently was, frowning a bit. “Is it really alright to avoid her like this? I may know the reasons behind that decision, but still… It feels wrong to hide from my sister. Shouldn’t we try to tell her more about her past? Or at the very least, meet her without revealing much about my relation to her?”


 

In due time, Bell-chan don’t rush things too much. But… yes, that could work as soon as she starts to remember a bit more,” said HIld before she smiled and then added in a much more teasing voice. “Although… could it be that there are other reasons you’re eager to go and meet her?”


 

Um… like what?” asked Belldandy, tilting her head as she didn’t quite get what the Daimakaicho was hinting at.


 

I dunno… maybe introducing yourself to her housemates? They’re not bad looking after all, and she probably won’t date all of them, so… how about getting one for yourself too?”


 

Eh?! I… I… wouldn’t do that!”


 

And that’s because?”


 

It feels like… I don’t know… Stealing?” said Belldandy with some concern in her voice.


 

You might be correct, depending on how you approach the whole subject. Although, you have met Lind’s boy, so, why not trying to get to know him even better?” said Hild with a wink, making the brunette blush.


 

Urd?! What do you think you’re doing?!


 

Blinking, both of them shared a look before they turned towards the direction of the half goddess’ group.


 

Hey, that sounded like Keiichi-kun. I wonder what kind of naughty things Urd-chan tried to do to him?” said Hild, while Belldandy’s blush deepened.


 

I really hope not. After all, starting a commotion in such a place could draw a lot more attention than needed,” said the goddess of the present as she tried to calm herself down.


 

Well, there’s only one way to find out,” said Hild with a huge grin. “Let’s spy on them!”


 

Eh?! B-But… that sounds wrong and…”


 

No complains! It’s no fun to just sit here without knowing what’s going on. Especially if something spicy is happening right now!” said Hild, changing into her tiny, chibi form and then forced her companion to a similarly sized version, despite the latter’s protests.


 

But…”


 

Letting out a sigh, Hild decided that arguing with her was pretty much pointless and as such, she more or less dragged the reluctant goddess along.


 

Sheesh!... Stop being such a big baby! That’s why I need to show you how to have fun…”


 

But… Peeping on others isn’t right!” insisted the brunette goddess, stubbornly refusing to let go of the tub’s edge while Hild tried to make her let go.


 

We’re just making sure that Urd-chan is alright, so that’s more than enough to justify such measure! She’s got a tendency of being too aggressive at times and as a result she could end up doing something stupid. Now, stop fighting back and come with me! You don’t want anything bad to happen, right?”


 

O-Okay. I-I… I’ll come along.”


 

Excellent! Now let go of the tub.”


 

XXX


 

What do you mean, Keiichi? I’ve done nothing wrong.”


 

Standing by the pool’s edge, Urd raised an eyebrow at the blushing mortal who along with the two gods had just finished scrubbing and entered the water.


 

You’re not wearing a towel around your…”


 

Excuse me, but what do you call this?said Urd, pointing at her waist. “I believe that’s the same thing you’re wearing as well, right?”


 

Yes, although… me and the others are men, so we don’t have to cover our chests, Urd!” said Keiichi, trying not to stare at her exposed top while an embarrassed Vali glared at Dagaz who was more or less drooling at the sight.


 

Oh, really? That sounds so sexist in my opinion! Just because I’m a goddess doesn’t mean that I’ll have to wrap that huge towel around me. This should be more than enough, and yet you’re still complaining,” said Urd, tossing her hair over her shoulder, which actually made matters even worse, as it eliminated the last means of provided herself with some cover.


 

But… We can see your… I mean… it’s not the same with us and…” tried Keiichi in vain as the half goddess showed no signs of getting convinced by his attempts to reason with her.


 

How about a small towel? Just enough to cover your chest?” suggested Vali in an effort to find an acceptable compromise.


 

Well… I suppose I could live with that,” said Urd, deciding that it was for the best to stop this debate before it turned into a heated argument and ruined everyone’s mood. Looking over her shoulder she spotted the shelf where the towels were stored and was just about to head there to retrieve one until an idea struck her mind. As a goddess she felt like trying to give her powers a chance and hovering a towel towards her; a truly trivial thing for any adult celestial and after some training with Dagaz she wanted to show the rest of them the fruits of her labor. “Aright! Now come here!”


 

Snapping her fingers, Urd smiled when a towel started to fly towards her, and a quick glance at her housemates confirmed that they were somewhat impressed with her ability to control her powers so soon after her lessons had started. Keiichi in particular was gawking at what in reality was a trivial thing for any goddess, yet didn’t prevent Urd from getting really excited to see his awestruck expression, as it made her accomplishment feel even more important than it actually was.


 

Unfortunately once her mind became preoccupied with other thoughts instead of what she was supposed to be doing, the half goddess’ control over her powers started to slip and her sheer excitement caused a huge spike. As a result, all the towels in Urd’s vicinity shot up in the air and flew towards her, covering every inch of her body as if she was some kind of magnet for them.


 

What the?!...


 

Despite her surprise, Urd couldn’t help but giggle at how silly this whole scene was, leaving her covered from head to toe like a mummy. Taking off the towels that ended up on her head, the half goddess turned to the others and was about to make a joke until she realized that her spell had affected not only the towels stored on the shelf, but also the ones her three housemates were wearing. And given how surprised everyone was, that gave the goddess the perfect opportunity to get a very nice glimpse of their entire bodies, as the trio seemed to be frozen in place with a fierce blush on their faces; unlike Urd who was actually licking her lips.


 

Well, well… Aren’t you boys happy to see me or what?”


 

Letting a startled yelp, two of them lowered themselves into the pool to get some cover, while the last one simply fell face first into the water. The most interesting fact however was that the one who did that wasn’t the shyest of them all, but the one who appeared to be quite the opposite.


 

Why did he faint?” asked Vali, looking over to the unconscious Dagaz as he floated on the water.


 

Maybe, it was over stimulation?” suggested Keiichi while he tried to calm down a bit, since his elevated heart rate made him feel light on the head. “Although… shouldn’t we get him out of there? He could drown if he’s left like that!”


 

Keiichi, gods or any immortal for that part, cannot drown in water. We don’t even need to breathe, although it’s necessary if we want to talk. Unless… we use telepathy of course,” explained Vali in a calm tone, unlike Keiichi who seemed to be somewhat concerned about their blonde friend.


 

But…”


 

He’s right about that, Keiichi. I may not remember much, but even I know that much by now,” said Urd once she got rid of all the towels that had gotten stuck on her and approached the pool. However, as the bronze skinned goddess was about to enter the water, she noticed the incredulous look on their faces and this time even Vali was blushing; all while Keiichi was now about to faint too. “Hey, what’s wrong, now?”


 

I think that along those towels, you’ve also taken off yours too,” said the blue haired god, as the dark haired mortal nodded in agreement.


 

Huh?” Looking down, Urd found that the god was right and she was indeed standing there totally naked, but unlike the boys, the goddess decided that panicking about it didn’t seem like her. Instead, she calmly got into the pool and lowered herself into the water, acting as if it wasn’t that much of a big deal at all. “Well, at the very least… you can now say for certain that the drapes match the carpet. And besides, it’s only fair that you got to see me, when I got the chance to do the same, so, relax a bit.”


 

That’s actually easier said than done. I feel I’m about to have a nosebleed,” said young mechanic after a long pause as he struggled to calm down enough for his brain to start working again.


 

Keiichi, that only happens in manga and anime! In real life most of the blood goes in the totally opposite end of your body, instead of gathering on your head,” laughed Urd, much to the mortal’s chagrin. “And by the way… that almost sounded as if you really liked what you saw. Hm… maybe you’re not as shy as I’ve originally thought after all. In that case, how about bathing like this from now on?”


 

No! That’s not really nece-...”


 

Before had the chance to finish, the sound of a splash from an adjacent pool caught his attention. “Hey, did you hear that?”


 

Yes, although I wouldn’t worry too much about it,” said Urd with a shrug. “Some kids like to jump into the pools, even if we’re not supposed to do that in a place like this.”


 

Hm… probably. Anyway… shouldn’t we try to wake Dagaz up?” asked Keiichi, glancing over at the still unconscious god.


 

I think you’re right. We can’t just let him stay like that forever,” said Urd, as a smirk formed on her face. “So let me…”


 

No!said both Keiichi and Vali, moving to get to him before she got the chance to pull off whatever she had in mind. “We’ve got this!”


 

Hey, I’ve got no wasabi this time!”


 

That’s what makes it even worse! We’ve got no idea what you’re up to!” said Keiichi, standing between the goddess and the unconscious blonde while Vali tried to wake him up.


 

Aw… you’re no fun at all…” pouted the Norn of the past, before a wicked idea crossed her mind and stood up, causing most of her body to be above the water’s level. “I just wanted to help, but if you insist I can still go and get a something for us to drink while we’re here. Do you want anything, Keiichi?”


 

N-No! I-I’m fine!” stammered the embarrassed mechanic, averting his gaze to avoid staring at her for too long; which of course allowed her to try and walk around him.


 

Unfortunately for Urd, while she was close to Keiichi, she accidentally stumbled on his foot and ended up falling right on top of him with a loud splash.


 

Whoa! What the?!...


 

Turning to them, Vali and Dagaz who just managed to get back to his senses, found that the half goddess had somehow managed to make Keiichi faint this time, as the sensation of having her ample bosom pressed against his face had proven to be too much for the poor guy.


 

Um… oops?”


 

Don’t just stand there like that! Get him out of the water before he drowns!” said Vali with a frustrated sigh.


 

Seriously!…”


 

XXX


 

Bell-chan? Can you hear me?”


 

Fanning the unresponsive goddess she retrieved from the pool where she had fallen into when the whole situation turned a bit too spicy, Hild began to wonder if she could even manage to keep her around for the duration of this whole visit.


 

I… I’m okay,” said the dazed goddess of the present, as she struggled to sit up from the mat the little Daimakaicho had placed her on.


 

Sorry about that. I haven’t noticed that you’ve zoned out until you’ve actually fallen in the water,” said Hild while she scratched her head.


 

No, it’s fine actually. I’m the one who overreacted, even though I should be old enough to… deal with that kind of situations,” said Belldandy with a tiny blush on her face.


 

Speaking of that…” said Hild with a grin, as she leaning closer to the brunette goddess. “Did you like the show?”


 

Eh?!


 

Stop acting like a little kid, Bell-chan. There’s nothing wrong to admit that you enjoyed what you saw,” purred Hild much to the Norn’s embarrassment. “I’m just curious as to who was more to your liking. So, come on, fess up already!”


 

N-Neesan…”


 

Whoa! Hold on a sec there!” said the stunned demoness who wasn’t waiting that kind of response at all. “I’ve got no problem if you like girls, but… Urd-chan?”


 

No! What I wanted to say was that, neesan wouldn’t appreciate if I checked on them like that,” said Belldandy with some hesitation.


 

It’s not like she can keep all of them. Then again… it wouldn’t be unlike Urd-chan to try and do just that,” said Hild as she scratched her chin in thought. “Anyway, that’s not really important right now. Instead, I’ve got an idea you’re going to like!”


 

Um… does that involve nudity?”


 

No, unless you want to show us what your mama gave you. We’re in a hot springs after all, so don’t be this shy dear! After all, you’ve got such a nice backside!”


 

Shaking her head vigorously Belldandy didn’t trust herself to offer an answer to that, although she did try to look behind her out of sheer curiosity; much to Hild’s amusement.


 

It’s not big, if that’s what you’re worried about; just… curvaceous. However, how about we try to focus a bit more on what we can do while we’re here? Like I said I’ve got an idea that could allow us to meet Urd-chan without her realizing who we are,” said Hild with a wink. “We can use a disguise and pretend to be here for the hot springs too. After all, there are other customers around, right?”


 

I… I’d like that!” said Belldandy with an excited smile. “Although, is the disguise good enough to prevent them from seeing through it?”


 

Have you forgotten who you’re talking to?” countered Hild, tossing her hair over her shoulder. “I’m the Daimakaicho! Such a spell is pretty trivial for one of my position!”


 

Then I’d love to do that!”


 

I knew you’d like that idea. Now, let’s get started!”


 

XXX


 

Hey… are you absolutely sure that you’ve never played this game?”


 

Visiting a hot springs resort wasn’t just about taking a soak in the pools filled with hot mineral water. Instead, that also included a lot more activities which were often considered as part of the whole experience and for Urd, making the best of their time here was a matter of utmost importance. There was no guarantee as to when they could afford to come here again and as such, she wanted to try everything that was available for her entertainment; from tabletop tennis and arcade games to singing karaoke.


 

However the inconsiderate blue haired god on the other end of the table was currently ruining everything for her; especially with that winning streak of his.


 

I’m fairly positive that I’ve never done anything like this before,” said Vali after a few moments of hesitation, given the glare he was receiving from the half goddess.


 

Give me a break! You’re telling me that a total amateur is making me look so bad?” asked the irate goddess. “I haven’t scored a single point yet!”


 

Amateur or not, thanks to my combat training, I’ve got much better reflexes and eye to hand coordination. Which is rather essential skill for a game like this,” explained Vali, despite the sparks of static discharging around Urd’s body.


 

Sensing an imminent disaster if things didn’t change, Keiichi decided to step in and interrupt their conversation before Urd reached her limit. “Actually, we’ve been here for a while, so why don’t we go drink some tea and then try something else? Like… um… karaoke for example!”


 

Despite that it was more than obvious that the dark haired mechanic was trying to diffuse the situation, Urd decided that it was about time she admitted defeat. Wasting too much time in the ping pong room was far from ideal and while they had booked a room for the night, it was already afternoon; leaving them with a few hours until they’d have to call it a day. “Fine! Although to be honest with you, I’d rather have some sake, instead of tea.”


 

Oh, that’s not a problem, Urd. We still have that sake we’ve bought from Nekomi.”


 

Actually, since Mr. Ping Pong Champion is paying, we can save our sake and try what they serve here,” said Urd with a big grin, while Vali let out a sigh.


 

Like mother, like daughter… I should’ve let her win at least once…’ Shaking his head, the blue haired god glanced over at Dagaz who had been surprisingly quiet for a while, and realized that the blonde was looking at two voluptuous redheads in the far corner of the room. ‘Why am I not surprised?’


 

It was actually rare to see women that had proportions comparable to Urd’s and even similar style of clothes that displayed their curves. Although the taller one of them seemed to be rather uncomfortable as she tried to tug her mini skirt lower, in a desperate attempt to cover a bit more skin; despite her companion’s indifference.


 

Hi there!” said the shorter of the two women, as she approached the group, attracting Urd and Keiichi’s attention, since neither of them had noticed them.


 

Huh? Oh, hello,” said the half goddess as she turned to see the two redheads walk towards them. Dressed in almost identical outfits that consisted of a red mini skirt and black sleeveless top with a low neckline, they were a sight that made Urd feel rather peeved; even if she wasn’t sure as to why.


 

Pleased to meet you! I’m Hilda, and the one who’s trying to pull her skirt down is me sister, Bella. Don’t mind her by the way, she’s a bit too awkward when talking to strangers and on top of that, I may have picked something a bit too bold for us to wear,” said the disguised demoness as she came to a stop before her daughter, while searching for any signs of suspicion. After all, the disguise spell she had put on herself and Belldandy not only altered their appearances, but also concealed their energy signatures as well as their facial markings in order to make everyone think that they were mere humans. Still, it never hurt to make sure that the half goddess didn’t see through the spell and Urd’s lack of any sign of recognition reassured her that this plan was working.


 

As a matter of fact, everyone saw Hild’s avatar as a young woman in her early twenties that was slightly shorter than Belldandy and while the latter remained mostly unchanged, she now possessed a chest that was almost the same size as Urd’s. Also, both of them had red, curly hair that reached all the way to their hips, although the Norn of the present still had them in a ponytail, while Hild simply left them flow freely.


 

Hm… I don’t see why your sister should be this shy. She’s definitely a looker,” said Urd after studying the disguised Belldandy for a few seconds. She did seem to be rather uncomfortable in those clothes, and in a way that made the half goddess feel a little bit more at ease around her, given that she didn’t seem to be here to hit on her housemates. After all, it was easy to assume that those two were probably looking for some dates and at the very least she wasn’t a likely threat; leaving only one to worry about. “Oh, where are my manners? I’m Urd and these are my friends: the dark haired one is Keiichi, the one next to him is Dagaz, and… Mr. ping pong champion is Vali.”


 

She really doesn’t know how to lose…’ thought the war god cadet, shaking his head. Still, there was something strange about those two, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't quite tell what it was. So, for the time being he decided to keep a close eye on them for any kind of suspicious moves they might make.


 

Unlike him, the two other guys of their group appeared to be much friendlier to the newcomers; especially Dagaz who tried to make a good impression to them. “Hello girls! It’s nice to see some friendly faces around here!”


 

The pleasure is all ours,” said Hild, as she glanced towards Belldandy who had remained silent during the whole exchange. “Right, Bella?”


 

Um… yes, we’re happy to meet you all.” Looking from the blonde god to Urd, Belldandy was worried that having a conversation with them would be really problematic. As a first class goddess, she was prohibited from telling a lie and as a result, any questions about her background would be impossible to answer without revealing the truth. Because of that, they decided to leave Hild do most of the talking while she played the role of the shy sister, although her clothes did make her act the part much more naturally.


 

Likewise. Actually, we were planning to go and get a drink, so if you want you can come with us, too,” said Urd with a smile as she saw Dagaz’s excited expression. It was no secret that the blonde god really appreciated the fairer of the two sexes, even though his courtship skills left much to be desired.


 

Sounds like fun to me,” said Hild, giving her daughter a wink. “Lead the way, darling!”


 

XXX


 

Smiling contently, the bronze skinned goddess could almost feel the revitalizing effect of the high quality sake as she sipped from her glass. According to the explanation she had gotten from her two celestial housemates all immortals had an innate power source, rendering them truly self sufficient in every sense of the word, although there were situations where that could also be quite problematic. The extreme energies released by those ten dimensional beings could literally rip the very fabric of reality in the three dimensional mortal realm and as a compromise while they resided there, it was mandatory to rely on a local power supply which was provided to them by Yggdrasil.


 

Acting like a power converter, it transformed their native power to something that could be used safely in a lower realm and while that solved the majority of problems, a rather unfortunate side effect was that as long as they remained stationed on the mortal realm, they became dependent on the celestial mainframe for nourishment.


 

In order to have a backup in the event Yggdrasil went offline for a while, all of them had an alternative power source that could be used both in emergencies or as an auxiliary power supply, even if there was nothing wrong with the celestial mainframe. What that alternative power source was depended on each individual god or goddess and could vary greatly from edible things to various kinds of activities.


 

For Urd, that turned out to be alcoholic beverages, which explained why she enjoyed having some booze on an almost daily basis, while Vali meditated to recharge himself and Dagaz apparently enjoyed eating peanuts; earning the nickname squirrel from Urd. Knowing that made her life a lot easier, as it reassured the amnesiac goddess that her taste for alcohol wasn’t some kind of addiction but a natural need and at the same time, it also allowed her to realize that quality was far better than quantity.


 

Cheap alcohol was easily accessible yet it provided little amount of energy for Urd, and as a result the half goddess new knew that finding higher quality booze wasn’t an unnecessary excess but a more efficient way of recharging herself. The only real downside was the additional cost of buying some premium brands of local sake that proved to be a bit too expensive for her rather unimpressive salary.


 

With that in mind as well as the fact that, Vali was covering the expenses of this trip, Urd felt less reserved to drink to her heart’s content and went all out; making some of the onsen’s employees wonder just how she could have this much sake and not get totally wasted in the process.


 

What started with a few glasses ended up becoming a competition of sorts as to who could drink the most and much to her amazement, the two women she met earlier had managed to keep up with her; despite the fact that they were supposed to be mere humans. It was far from unusual for Keiichi to call it quits after his second glass, as the young man was unaccustomed to alcohol, but after her other immortal housemates gave up, Urd was rather hesitant to do the same and allow herself to look like a lightweight compared to those two.


 

Ah, that’s really delicious too!”


 

Frowning, Urd glanced over at Belldandy who sat next to her at the room’s traditional low table and then looked at the dozen or so bottles of sake they had ordered so far; most of them already empty. Opposite of them was Hild who apparently was rather amused by the sight of her daughter struggling to keep up with two ‘humans, since she was blissfully unaware of their true nature and apparently was starting to feel the effect of her power buildup that eerily resembled someone having a light buzz.


 

Normally, Urd would’ve simply used most of the energy she got from her booze and then keep drinking for as long as she wanted. Yet with the two ‘mortalsnext to her, she had little choice but to endure, hoping that at some point they’d finally give up; although with every passing second Urd was getting closer to her limit. “Yeah… that’s really nice, right… uh… Belld-... Bella?...”


 

Taking a sharp breath, the Norn of the present wondered if her sister had somehow managed to remember something or even see through her disguise; although in the end she rationalized that it was most likely a mere slur caused by the sake. Still, that didn’t make things way better as a drunken goddess could be dangerous and on top of that, given her lack of memories, Urd had little control over her powers even under normal conditions; let alone in her current state of mind. “I’ll have to agree, but how about we try something else for now?”


 

Like what? Vodka? Tequila? Or do you want something else?” asked the inebriated half goddess.


 

Actually, I thought that we had enough drinks and… a game could be a much more entertaining way to pass time,” said Belldandy in a desperate attempt to stop her sister from drinking any more booze and end up losing all control of herself.


 

Oh! I like the sound of that!” said the grinning half goddess, much to Belldandy’s relief. Alought that proved to be too early for the temporary redhead to relax when Urd decided to voice just what she had in mind for the group. “Let’s play strip poker!”


 

EH?! S-Strip?...


 

Oh! I love the sound of that!” Much like her daughter, Hild was more than delighted to try anything that was interesting and given that everyone was gathered in the same place like this, the potential for something good to come out of this was hard to ignore.


 

Great!” said Urd before she turned to her three housemates. “Hey, boys! Come and play some strip poker with us!”


 

Looking up from their own card game, the trio glanced at each other and seemed rather hesitant to offer a definitive answer.


 

But… we’re already playing a game!” said Dagaz, causing Urd to get up and approach them in order to get a closer look at what they were doing.


 

That’s… a children's game, actually,” said the half goddess with a frown, shaking her head. “Real men should play an adults’ game!”


 

But!... For once, I’m actually winning!” said Dagaz in a desperate attempt to convince her.


 

Oh well… I can’t really force you. What a pity, we’re definitely have more fun over there…” said Urd with a low purr. “And if you end up in a winning a round… you’ll get to see boobies, too!”


 

There was a long pause as the blonde god went completely silent while his other two housemates groaned at the goddess’ painfully obvious attempt to bait him into joining her. Although, in the end they didn’t have to wait for too long before the blonde god finally caved in and decided to go for it.


 

Uh… I think you’ve both got the basics, so… um… you can have a duel all by yourselves, right?”


 

Sure, have fun,” was Keiichi’s dry repy, while Vali shook his head. Despite her claims, Urd wasn’t known for someone who liked to lose that easily and the whole setup was most certainly a trap to get a convenient victim as an additional assurance that she wasn’t going to end up buck naked.


 

Thanks guys! Wish me luck!”


 

Trying not to laugh, both of them gave him a thumbs up. Luck was the only thing that could save the poor god at this point, and without further ado, Keiichi and Vali decided to start their own… duel.


 

XXX


 

Valhalla, Asgard


 

Hey, move it! I want to see too!”


 

A group of about half a dozen Valkyries were gathered around Chrono’s station where the young recruit was monitoring the situation over at Midgard. Tasked by her commanding officer to keep an eye out for anything potentially troublesome while she was taking a break, the blonde Valkyrie couldn’t resist the urge to check on what was the most spicy topic in the whole Valhalla: Urd and her three housemates.


 

As a matter of fact, it had turned into such a hot topic, that there was even a betting pool as to which one of the three was going to end up becoming the half goddess’ boyfriend. And right now, they had the perfect opportunity to watch what was going on over there.


 

Hey, don’t push! The screen is big enough for all of us!”


 

Despite Chrono’s best efforts, it was hard to maintain order when dealing with excited Valkyries and the latest footage they’ve got didn’t make matters any better either. Especially those clips from the pool where everyone ended up buck naked at some point of time.


 

What’s going on here?”


 

All of a sudden, everyone went silent and turned to find Lind approaching them with curiosity evident on her face. She wasn’t expected to return for at least another hour, and as a result she caught her subordinates by surprise when she showed up this early, especially Chrono who was supposed to be the only one on this station.


 

Um… I… Well… y-you see…”


 

Panicking as she was caught red handed, the blonde Valkyrie almost froze right on the spot, all while the others took a few steps away from her and the approaching captain. And as a result of her inability to react, Chrono had unwillingly allowed Lind to get a good look of what they were previously watching once she got close enough to the terminal, making the senior Valkyrie pause and raise an eyebrow in complete silence.


 

For several tense seconds, Lind kept watching at the recorded footage of her son and his two housemates stare Urd while they were in the bath; yet what was note mentioning was the fact that everyone was totally naked. While it was nothing unusual for her to bathe together with her fellow warriors in the communal baths they had in the dormitories, the idea of doing the same in a mixed gender setup was one step too far for the blue haired goddess. Worse, from her personal experience as a member of the Fighting Wings, Lind knew that  settings like this were often a prelude of acts most… immoral, and that time was of the essence before her poor boy was corrupted by getting involved in such debauchery.


 

Carry on,” said the Valkyrie captain, shocking her subordinates as she turned around and was about to leave them as if nothing was out of the ordinary. However, they were soon to discover that it wasn’t indifference that motivated their captain to do such a thing; far from it. “If anyone inquires as to my whereabouts, tell them I went to Midgard.”


 

No, wait captain! We’ve got explicit orders to stay out of this!” Shooting up from her chair, Chrono grabbed the blue haired Valkyrie in an effort to stop her from doing something that she might later come to regret.


 

Of course, it took a lot more to stop the determined war goddess and concerned mother from leaving the room; and to be precise, that meant the rest of the Valkyries who were present on the scene. Such was the strength of Asgard’s most famous war goddess that it took nearly half a dozen of her subordinates to bring her to a halt and even then it required a lot of effort on their part.


 

Let go of me this instant!”


 

Please, calm down! You’ll get yourself in serious trouble if you defy Tyr-sama’s orders!” pleaded Chrono, hoping to reason with her.


 

That would be my problem, not yours. Now unhand me before I’m forced to use force to…”


 

Excuse me, but… what’s going on here?”


 

Pausing and turning towards the exit, the Valkyries noticed Ansuz standing by the doorframe with a curious expression on her face. After all, it was a most peculiar sight and anyone would’ve been intrigued by what was happening; especially considering the reputation of the highest ranking goddess that was involved in this.


 

I’m needed on Midgard,” was all that Lind had to offer as a reply.


 

Your subordinates seem to disagree, though,” said Ansuz as she approached the war goddesses. “So, there’s got to be more to it than that.”


 

Yes… it appears that morality is all but a word with no meaning these days.”


 

Oh, my! Details please!” said Ansuz, leaning closer to the grumbling Valkyrie who simply nodded in the direction of Chrono’s terminal. “Thanks! Now, let’s see what’s going on there!”


 

Glancing at their apparently excited second in command, judging by her flapping winglets, the assorted Valkyries couldn’t help but notice how poise and manners could be thrown out of the window when gossip was concerned.


 

Ansuz-sama?”


 

Hm? What is it, Lind?”


 

It may not be my place to say this, but… as a married goddess you shouldn’t be looking at naked men in such a fashion.”


 

Letting a sigh, the teal haired goddess glanced over her shoulder at the indignant Valkyrie, all while she saved a copy of the footage in her personal account for… further study, of course. “It’s exactly because I’m a wife that my personal experience could give us a better insight in a situation like this. Besides, that accusation is a bit inaccurate, since I’m also a mother and as such, I’ve got two daughters to marry. Given that I find it unlikely for Urd-chan to get all three of them, that would leave the other two as available choices for my girls; Belldandy in particular since Skuld needs some quite some time before she’s old enough.”


 

B-But!... That means!...”


 

That means that the chances of your son ending up as my son-in-law are now significantly higher,” finished Ansuz for the trembling Valkyrie. “Actually, I think I need to talk to that stubborn daughter of mine and convince her to try and date one of them after Urd-chan picks whoever she likes!”


 

Over my cold, dead body… Although… Belldandy wouldn’t be that much of a bad option… No!... They won’t fool me that easily! Vali’s not ready for such a big step… yet. I need to talk to him, before they manage to seduce him.’


 

XXX


 

It was already past midnight when Urd and her group decided to retire for the night, or rather… her housemates did their best to convince her that she had enough fun for one day. A task most difficult once Urd realized that she was almost impossible to beat in video games and thought some payback was in order; especially after losing to Vali at ping pong and Bella to… pretty much anything that involved luck.


 

The disguised goddess in question along with her demonic accomplice had also excused themselves several minutes ago, but not before Hild offered Urd a tiny piece of paper with her phone number written on it. And while the half goddess didn’t pay too much attention at first, dismissing it as a stereotypical promise people made to keep in contact only to be quickly forgotten; when she actually read the paper Urd couldn’t help but feel that the number written on it was oddly familiar. Even more, those two acted in a way that made the bronze skinned goddess feel as if she actually knew them, even though she was fairly certain that she had never met them previously.


 

As a result, Urd remained awake for a while after everyone else had fallen asleep staring at the little note in her hands, despite that it was almost pitch black with only the tiniest amount of moonlight coming from outside the window.


 

Where have I seen this before? I could’ve sworn that not only I know this but… I’ve even dialed it. Or is it just my imagination? It’s so hard to tell…’


 

Letting a sigh, Urd pocketed the note and looked over at the guys who were crammed together in one half of the room with the other being reserved for her. Not that it really mattered since there was virtually no divider or any other kind of barrier to provide any privacy. Yet considering what took place a few hours ago, Urd wasn’t terribly concerned about letting them get a glimpse of her nightie or even worry that they’d overreact in any sort of way; Keiichi in particular.


 

Poor guy… I think he had a rough day with all that happened in the pool. Not that he didn’t enjoy it, with me falling on top of him and all that.’


 

Grinning at the memory of the struggling mechanic before overstimulation caused him to lose consciousness, Urd had to admit that for an accident it was definitely a pretty funny one. Still, considering that it was unlikely for Keiichi to believe that she hadn’t done it on purpose, the half goddess wanted to find a way to make up for it and one of the best ideas she had was going to be a real challenge for her: cooking.


 

As mundane as it sounded, preparing a meal for Keiichi could make him a lot happier than trying to come up with a much more elaborate plan, although the obvious downside was that she had no idea how to pull it through successfully.


 

Hm… I’ll have to buy a few books and maybe ask Dagaz for some tips, too. Although, I probably need to let him some time to forget about the whole strip poker game. Wearing three garter belts on top of each other might’ve been a bit of an overkill on my part. Oh well, I think he’s going to forget about it in no time, and help me with my little project. He may not be Belldandy but he does know about…’


 

All of a sudden Urd’s thoughts came to a screeching halt and backtracked to the point where that particular name came up. She had no idea how she even recalled it but for a moment, the Norn of the past had no doubt that it was a major breakthrough, a belief that was further affirmed when images of a brunette popped in her mind and even more, a young goddess was also present in many of them.


 

VALI!


 

Shooting up from her bed, Urd nearly jumped over to the startled god who along with the others looked around to see what was going on. as soon as they woke up.


 

What… who... when?wondered the blue haired god as he summoned his battleaxe for a good measure, just in case he happened to need it.


 

Never mind that! You’ve read my profile, right?” asked Urd while hovering right in front of his face.


 

Um… yes?” replied the hesitant god, swallowing as he backed off a bit.


 

Who’s Belldandy?”


 

XXX


 

Hild… are you awake?”


 

Turning to the goddess who was lying on the futon next to hers, the miniature Daimakaicho summoned a tiny ball of dim light that was barely enough to illuminate the room. “Yes. After all, as they say... there’s no rest for the wicked. So, what is it Bell-chan?”


 

I just wanted to thank you for today. I got to meet neesan even under a disguise and it felt better than just watching her from afar,” said Belldandy with a tiny smile as she recalled the latest events.


 

You’re welcome, Bell-chan. I was planning to show up anyway and taking you along only made things even better. Except when it came to playing poker with you…” said Hild, pausing for a moment to offer the goddess a mock glare. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say that you cheated.”


 

I…. It was just luck… I’ve never played that game in the past.”


 

If you’re trying to make me feel better, you’re not doing a great job, Bell-chan.” said Hild with a pout, before her expression changed to a wicked grin. “Yet, I’m the one who’s going to have the final word in this. You may have beaten our… panties off, but look what I’ve got here!”


 

Staring in shock and disbelief, Belldandy realized that the item dangling from Hild’s hand appeared to be her pantes, and a quick check under her nightie verified her suspicion. “How did you?!


 

I’ve got my ways…Although I must admit that I’m genuinely impressed Bell-chan. A side tie design? Not bad; not bad at all!” said Hild tossing the pilfered undergarment back to its rightful and rather embarrassed owner. “But I think that this should be enough fooling around. I wanted to ask your opinion about those three boys.”


 

Trying to recover, the still blushing goddess scratched her chin as she tilted her head in thought. “Hm… they seem to be nice people if you ask me. Actually, I’ve met Vali before on a few occasions while he was still spying… I mean… monitoring neesan and the other two also appear to care for her. Although, poor Dagaz seems to have a rather bad luck whenever he tries to attract her attention and ends up in all kinds of embarrassing situations.”


 

That’s the kindest way of calling someone a pervert I’ve ever heard,” said Hild with an amused giggle.


 

I don’t think that he’s so crude to only care about neesan’s… assets, if that’s you mean. A more proper way of describing him would be...” said Belldandy, pausing for a moment to consider her words. “I’d think that chivalrous pervert would be a more accurate description.”


 

Hm... I see no reason to disagree with you on that. However, what about our mortal boy? He’s the one who met Urd-chan first and got to live with her. So, what do you think about him?”


 

Quite honestly… I believe he’s got the best chances to end up in a relationship with Urd, although… when it comes to neesan it’s always a bit hard to predict how she’s going to act.”


 

True words, although, what of the man himself?”


 

I have no idea, to be honest with you. He seems to be a genuinely good person, but…the real question is whether he can handle Urd, since she can be tricky at times. On the other hand though, he doesn’t seem to be one who gives up easily and that’s a great trait for anyone aspiring to become her boyfriend. Even more, after learning about her true nature, he made no attempts to distance from herself or worse… exploit her for his personal gain,” said Belldandy with a frown. “It’s unfortunate but on more than enough occasions, mortals try to make a profit by approaching us.”


 

Well, for us demons that’s business as usual, although I’d rather not have an individual like that try to date my girl. She’s got enough morons for boyfriends already!”


 

Alas that’s true,” said Belldandy with a sigh. “I just hope that whatever happens, Urd’s not going to lose this opportunity to have someone special instead of a jackass like… Uh… what’s so funny?” said Belldandy when she noticed the little Daimakaicho roll in her futon in laughter.


 

J-Jackass?... I never thought that you’d say something like that!”


 

Well, it’s not that I can lie, although… I may had been a bit too harsh. Not that I truly regret it, though. Neesan deserved a lot more than being dumped time after time, and in some cases for petty reasons.”


 

It would seem that things are different this time, though,” said Hild with a smile. “Say… can I ask you something?”


 

Um…. what is it?”


 

Did you actually had a great time today?”


 

Pausing for a moment to think about it, the brunette goddess eventually smiled and offered a nod. “Yes, I must admit that I did enjoy it quite a bit!”


 

Good, because we might do this again in the future, although without our disguises,” said Hild, offering her a wink. “If my little insect spy is right… Urd-chan apparently remembered you.”


 

Eh?


 

XXX
 

 

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I liked it. Ansuz was a hoot, like always. 

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I can't really get my head into this fic ^^

 

I'm all liberal and can imagine a lot of diff couples...Mara x Urd / Peorth x Tamiya / Skuld x Sentaro / Urd x Shohei / Hild x Tyr / Tyr x Ansuz...heck, i can even picture Urd-Peorth or Peorth x Lind!!!

 

but..

 

When it comes to K1, my mind blocks all options besides Belldandy. =)

 

It's just...i can't imagine a scenario where Bell doesn't stay with Keiichi! Even on Haloes i had a VERY hard time picturing it ^^;

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16 hours ago, HotelKatz said:

I liked it. Ansuz was a hoot, like always. 

Thanks Katz :) I tried to give her an appearance here and help with the plot a bit.

 

3 hours ago, Urd said:

I can't really get my head into this fic ^^

 

I'm all liberal and can imagine a lot of diff couples...Mara x Urd / Peorth x Tamiya / Skuld x Sentaro / Urd x Shohei / Hild x Tyr / Tyr x Ansuz...heck, i can even picture Urd-Peorth or Peorth x Lind!!!

 

but..

 

When it comes to K1, my mind blocks all options besides Belldandy. =)

 

It's just...i can't imagine a scenario where Bell doesn't stay with Keiichi! Even on Haloes i had a VERY hard time picturing it ^^;

 

You're not alone in this, actually. I'm mostly on the same boat when it comes to Keiichi, but then again, I had to try my hands on something a lot different from what I'd normally write.

 

Out of all the potential couples I could write, I found Urd to be the most... human I guess? Not that she's a typical example of one, though ;)

 

With Haloes,,, there was always the fact that it kind of split Keiichi and Belldandy, which can be something hard to accept to a certain degree. With this scenario, I wanted to avoid that, but it's still something a bit different I guess.

 

Then again, it's always that case with alternative pairings.

 

 

Edit: The chapter is now on FFN: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11513150/7/Ah-My-license-suspension

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The thing about Haleos is that it's not like they just jumped into the sack as soon as Bell was gone.  I think Davner captured the struggle they both went through beautifully.  I mean, even when they both acknowledged their feelings, 5 years later I might add, K1 still felt the need to go through the process of saying goodbye to Bell before they could move the relationship forward.  And it was clear from what was going on in the present that the specter of Bell's possible return weighed heavily on them both the entire time.  K1 admitted that he still loved her, but also that he would not go back to her.

 

To me, Haleos is probably about the only plausible scenario where Bell and K1 could be split once they met.  They have not met yet, so there is nothing to break up.  I do worry about how you will handle them meeting in the future, because it's going to happen.  However, as with Haleos, K1 would never just up and leave one for the other just because.  We just need to get to that point, you know??  :)

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Here's the draft for chapter 8:

 

Spoiler

I love you so much! How could I ever live without you?”


 

Urd… it’s just a dishwasher…”


 

And your point is? I’ve seen you doing almost the same things with bikes, so give me a break…”


 

It’s been only two days since that trip to the hot springs and true to his word, Vali used the remainder of the money he had requested from Tyr to buy a couple of appliances that would make life easier at the temple. Actually, it was only an hour ago since they had them delivered and given that Keiichi was the resident mechanic, the task of installing them up was inevitably appointed to him. Or at least that was the excuse everyone else used to avoid getting their hands dirty with all the necessary work in order to fit a new dishwasher into a kitchen that was never designed to accommodate something like that in the first place.


 

Guilty as charged, but… I still haven’t finished installing it, Urd. Honestly… I never thought that this was going to turn into such a big project,” said Keiichi with a tired sigh as he crawled out of the kitchen’s bench with a troubled expression on face. “There are no fittings here to install it and this means that I must make them myself...”


 

Is that a problem?” asked Urd as she took a few steps back to get out of the way, and then stopped and with a smile she started to hover instead. “I think I can give you a hand by using my pow-...”


 

No, no, no! Most definitely… positively… certainly… NO!


 

You didn’t have to go that far… Meanie!said Urd in an attempt to sound hurt, although it was painfully obvious that is was just an act. “I work so hard to learn how to use magic again to make your life easier and you’re so… cruel to me!”


 

Urd… one of the neighbors down the mountain asked me if I heard anything about a company starting up a quarry here,” said Keiichi with a raised eyebrow, already used to her antics by now.


 

Um… too many explosions?”


 

It’s like a war zone out there whenever you start trying your magic. Any more and we could open a club for reenacting historic battles,” said Keiichi in a deadpan manner.


 

Hm… you know… that could fetch us some money,” said the bronze skinned goddess, scratching her chin. “Mm… I bet I’d look hot in an officer’s uniform...”


 

It was a joke!”


 

Mine too! And you fell for it!” laughed Urd, while Keiichi pinched the bridge of his nose.


 

Whatever… I still need to finish with this dishwasher,” said Keiichi, nodding towards the appliance’s direction. “I may not be a plumber, but I won’t admit defeat that easily!”


 

Oh, no worries then! I’ll be just outside and… make some more explosions!”


 

Shaking his head, Keiichi knew that arguing even further with her was pretty pointless when she was like that, so he decided to go back to what he’s been doing instead. “Just don’t cause a landslide, okay?”


 

Don’t you worry, Keiichi! I’ll make some really small ones this time!” said Urd as she floated out of the kitchen; grinning as soon as she was out of sight.


 

Yes!... Everything’s going according to plan!’


 

XXX


 

Rushing to the back of the house, Urd smiled at the sight of the barbecue she had already set up earlier in the morning and more importantly; at the delicious aroma of the kebabs that Dagaz was supposed to keep an eye on while she was distracting Keiichi with her silly mannerisms. After all, she really wished to cook something for the young mechanic and by the looks of it, a barbecue was relatively simple enough for her to give it a try. However, in order to make it even better for Keiichi, the whole thing was meant to be a secret and as such, she had to make sure that he had no idea what was taking place in their backyard.


 

Yet, once again, even the simplest of things could turn into a complicated endeavour and in the process, offer an opportunity for Murphy’s law to be confirmed.


 

Dagaz? Where are you?”


 

Looking around, the blonde god was nowhere to be seen and for a moment the amnesiac goddess considered the possibility of sabotage. ‘If he did this on purpose to… let my food burn to a crisp, then I’m gonna burn his sorry ass to a crisp!


 

DAGAZ! COME HERE YOU!”


 

Meow!”


 

Feeling a paw against her foot, Urd blinked and looked down at Whiskers who promptly turned towards the direction of the pond, causing the half goddess follow his gaze.


 

Huh? What is he doing over there?”


 

Approaching what seemed like a scene from a documentary about wildlife, Urd couldn’t help but wonder why a god was trying to drink from their pond; especially while on all four and with his head submerged underwater.


 

Uh… are you okay?”


 

As soon as the god turned to face the somewhat concerned Norn of the past, it took all of her self restraint not to laugh at his rather hilarious predicament. Well… at least for three whole seconds until her demonic side found it far too funny and dragged her more sympathetic side that  felt for the poor god’s pain and suffering.


 

Bwa ha ha! H-How… How did you get like that?


 

Offering her a positively dirty look, Dagaz knew that he should’ve listened to Vali’s wise counsel and resist the urge to try her home cooking, and just do what she asked him in the first place. Alas, it was too much for the blonde god who felt a bit envious of their mortal housemate that was going to be the first one of them to sample Urd’s cooking and while she was away to keep him busy in order to prevent the boy from getting curious as to why she was so quiet, Dagaz decided to take a bite. Just one tiny, itsy bitsy nimble of the delectable looking kebabs and… his taste buds exploded from the rich taste of the tender grilled chicken, along with the sliced onions and a variety of peppers that were added to enhance the flavor. Unfortunately for him, that included Tabasco peppers, Habaneros, ghost peppers and even the jewel of her collection: the Carolina Reaper.


 

I trief… youf… fooff…” said the suffering god between pauses as he struggled to even talk; given how swollen his lips had become. “Itf… hurtfff…”


 

Oh, come on! It’s not that bad, you big crybaby!” said Urd between giggles. Taking a bite of the extra spicy chicken kebabs, the half goddess and apparently avid lover of spicy food made an attempt to prove her point; and soon came to realize her folly.


 

HOT!!!


 

Tolff youff…”


 

Fanning her mouth with both hands, the goddess struggled to see through the tears that cascaded down her cheeks like miniature waterfalls. “DON’T JUST STAND THERE! MILK! GET ME SOME MILK!


 

Yeff!


 

XXX


 

Tossing the empty milk carton aside, Urd and her comrade in pain began to slowly recover from what turned out to be the biggest fiasco as of late. While nowhere as impressive as magic running out of control, the mere fact that it was caused by simple, mundane food ingredients, frustrated the goddess to no end.


 

This sucks!...”


 

Well… think of the positive side…” said Dagaz in an effort to cheer the brooding goddess and make her forget the searing sensation that still tormented them; albeit to a far more tolerable level than before. “This could’ve happened to Keiichi.”


 

That’s… true...” Trying not to imagine what would’ve happened if the poor mortal had taken a bite from her chicken kebabs, Urd still found herself deeply troubled. Her plan was clearly falling apart and while cheating was always an option, she knew that serving him something she hadn’t cooked herself was going to be an empty victory. Worse, Keiichi wasn’t an idiot and any such attempt would not only fail to convince him, but also make her look bad.


 

Taking a deep breath, Urd decided to swallow her pride and try the only remaining alternative: ask for help. “Okay… is there anything simple you could teach me that doesn’t require us to use the kitchen?”


 

Hm… I think that a full meal could be tricky, but… how about something like… a dessert?” suggested Dagaz, scratching his chin. “We could prepare it in another room while he’s busy.”


 

Hey, that sounds good to me! Anything in particular you have in mind?” asked Urd with a smile, hoping that this would be an acceptable plan B.


 

How about… pudding? We could use the barbecue to bake it in a baine-marie, and avoid having to use the oven in the kitchen,” said Dagaz in an effort to appease her for his earlier transgressions an even earn a few points with her.


 

Okay! I’ll go and keep him busy, while you steal the ingredients from the fridge!” said Urd with a big grin. “Then we meet back here and see what we can make.”


 

Of course! After you, Urd.”


 

XXX


 

Belldandy’s apartment, Nekomi


 

So, what did neesan say?”


 

Drinking from the green tea, Belldandy had offered him, Vali took a moment to collect his thoughts and consider his answer carefully. After telling the others that he was going to the city for buying a few things, which was technically correct of course, the blue haired god took this opportunity to stop by the brunette’s apartment and brief her about the recent developments.


 

She’s actually quite happy that she’s got younger sisters and looks forward to meet you and even Skuld, but…”


 

Is… there a problem?” asked Belldandy with a frown, noticing the troubled look on the cadet’s face.


 

Well, to be honest with you… I’m not sure that she actually knows that you’re her half sister. She only recalls tiny bits of information and at no point did she mention anything about that particular topic, which makes me reluctant to bring it up as well. I’m still uncertain if she’s ready to learn that she’s a half demoness, meaning… that we may have a problem,” said Vali, pausing for a moment to point at the goddess. “Your appearance is a dead giveaway that you two aren’t from the same mother.”


 

Wait… you haven’t shown her any pictures of me or Skuld?”


 

Actually… no,” admitted the god, lowering his head in shame. “I was afraid she would start asking all kind of questions, so I avoided that at all costs.”


 

I see. Although, if that’s the case, then how am I supposed to meet her? She’s going to realize what’s going on, as soon as she sees me!” said Belldandy, worrying that the true reason behind Vali’s visit was to tell her that her meeting with her sister was going to be postponed until further notice. After all, they could claim that she and Skuld were unavailable due to an assignment or something like that.


 

Well, I thought that as long as you look like her, that could solve the problem,” said Vali with a hopeful expression on his face, rummaging through his shopping bags for something.


 

I’m not sure if that’s wise. It feels as if I’m trying to deceive my own sister and besides, when her memories return, she’s going to know for certain that I attempted to fool her.”


 

Not unless it has nothing to do with her,” said Vali until he found what he was looking for: a magazine. And flipping through its pages, the blue haired god smiled when he reached the article that provided them with a solution to their problem. “Aha! Take a look at this article please.”


 

Hm?” Taking the magazine to her hands, Belldandy skimmed through the text, but she paid even more attention to the photos. “Ganguro? I’ve never actually heard of such a thing before. Although… some of the women in the photos… I suppose they bear a slight resemblance to Urd.”


 

I thought so, too! I mean, as long as you don’t go too far, you might be able to look a bit like Urd, while trying a local style that apparently has absolutely nothing with her. As far as anyone is concerned, you’re not necessarily trying to deceive Urd.”


 

It… It feels like a technicality, though,” said Belldandy with a frown. “No matter how I see it, this is still an attempt to deceive her…”


 

Is there a better way, though? Who knows how she’s going to react when she learns her true origins…”


 

The Norn of the present took another look at the magazine and tried to come up with an argument, but quickly realized that as outlandish as this solution was, even she didn’t want to risk distressing her sister. Urd had always been a bit sensitive about her origins and without knowing how much she remembered, their reunion could turn horribly wrong if she wasn’t mentally prepared to face the truth.


 

Fine. I think that this may be the best way we could try this, without waiting for neesan to remember more about herself.”


 

Thank you, Belldandy.“ Smiling a bit, Vali got up and gathered the rest of his shopping bags. “Now, you’ll have to excuse me, but I need to go before they start to wonder what’s taking me so long. I trust that you’ll drop by for a visit later?”


 

That’s correct, although… I’ll have to come alone. Originally I wanted to pick Skuld up and bring her along too, however I think that it’s for the best to avoid doing that. Once I talk to neesan and see how much she remembers, I can figure out what’s the best way to let her meet Skuld. Until then, I’ll have to do my best and follow this plan.”


 

Offering her a nod, the blue haired god departed, leaving her alone to contemplate her options. Technically speaking, all she needed was to alter her appearance just enough to match her sister’s bronze skin and perhaps her platinum hair. However, that might not be sufficient to claim that she was trying a style that was characterized by liberal use of makeup along with all kinds of fashionable outfits and the characteristic dark tan they applied for their skin.


 

While being wrong about something was always an option, doing it on purpose would’ve been a lie and for a first class goddess like her, such a thing was forbidden. As a result, Belldandy had to make it absolutely sure that she wasn’t going to make a poor attempt at going for the ganguro style, but try to adopt it to a certain degree that would eliminate any possibilities of making her claims sound like a lie.


 

And let’s not forget that I also need to look as if I’m related to Hild, too. That simply rules out most of my regular outfits, since she prefers considerably more audacious clothing and to a certain degree that’s also the case with neesan. Alright, I think I’ve got the basis… Now the question is whether I can pull it off or not.’


 

XXX


 

What do you think?”


 

Taking a closer look at the Urd’s first ever attempt at making a dessert, Dagaz had to admit that the pudding seemed to have the right consistency, color and even texture that one would’ve expected from such a dessert; except… for its shape.


 

Um… I kind of like the result, although in hindsight, baking them inside those rice bowls might have been a bad idea.”


 

Huh? Why, what’s wrong with them?”


 

Can’t you just tell by their shape? I mean… come on! When you flip them over, don’t they seem like… you know…”


 

No, and you’re just a pervert,” said Urd, rolling her eyes at the obviously immature god. “I had to use what was available to me, and it’s not my fault that those bowls were so round. Besides… I doubt that Keiichi’s gonna think the same, so, the really important question is how they taste.”


 

Well, I won’t argue with that. As they say, the proof is in the pudding.” Smiling at the goddess, Dagaz noticed the rather intense stare stare he was receiving from her; the same one would’ve used when they wanted something. “Uh… what is it, Urd?”


 

Aren’t you going to give them a try?”


 

That made the blond god pale a bit, considering the almost traumatic experience he had gone through earlier this morning. “A-Are you sure? After all, they’re for Keiichi and… I don’t know… it could be inappropriate for me to eat them and…”


 

Damn coward…’ thought the half goddess, before her more devious side came up with a plan to change his mind. “Say, if you give them a taste, I’ll let you touch what they’re shaped after…”


 

Watching her offer him a rather suggestive wink, Dagaz’s mental defenses collapsed under the promise of such a titillating reward and with far less hesitation than a moment ago, he took a big spoonful of the offered dessert. “Hey! That’s… not bad! Not bad at all, actually!”


 

Yes! I got it!” said Urd, with a triumphant grin, knowing that while her original plan had failed, she had still managed to recover and come up with an alternative.


 

Um…” Blushing a bit, the blonde god tried to clear his throat, hoping that this would remind her of the offer she made moment ago, and by the looks of it, Urd actually got the message.


 

Oh, right!” Turning around Urd reached for something, and for a while Dagaz couldn’t help but stare at her with wide eyes, thinking that she was fiddling with her top.


 

Unfortunately for him, though, the half goddess simply offered him the stack of bows they’ve used for making the pudding, leaving Dagaz with a pretty confused expression on his face. “Uh… Urd?”


 

Stop staring at me like that. You wanted to touch what they’re shaped after, and… you got your wish granted I guess. Now, be a darling and take them to the kitchen for me, will you?” said the smiling Norn of the past, trying to ignore the utterly devastated look on the poor god’s face. “Oh, and since you’re onto it, why don’t you wash them too?”


 

She got me so bad, it’s not even funny!’ Heading back to the house, the grumbling blonde noticed his other housemate arrive at the temple grounds, carrying a few shopping bags with him. “Hey, Urd! Vali’s back!”


 

Excellent! Now we’ve got everything to make a proper lunch!”


 

You mean… to warm it up in our new microwave oven,” corrected the blonde god, perhaps in an effort to politely remind her that he was still the only one in this house who actually knew how to cook.


 

Oh, shush you!


 

XXX


 

While the original plan was to surprise Keiichi with her chicken barbecue while using the pre-cooked meal as a convenient excuse to keep him from realizing what she was planning, there was an unfortunate change in the menu, leaving Urd no option but to end up relying on that microwave meal after all.


 

You know… I’m kind of lucky that I sent Vali to buy that pre-cooked food, or I would’ve made a fool of myself. Oh, well… I suppose it could've gone way worse, if I tried to serve those kebabs without trying them first.’


 

And while Urd worked in the kitchen, her three housemates were seated around the low table in the living room, waiting patiently for the half goddess with their lunch and used this opportunity to have some small talk about their day so far. Of course, despite the rather pleasant atmosphere in the room, each of them decided to keep certain… details from the rest. Things like Vali’s visit to Belldandy, Dagaz’s little incident involving those spicy kebabs that were now considered unsafe for consumption. and even Keiichi’s own realization that he was indeed not a plumber after all.


 

By the way… Have you told your sister anything about Urd’s nature?” asked Vali, making the dark haired mechanic frown a bit.


 

Not really. It’s kind of a… tough subject, I guess. I’m unsure how to tell her that not only Urd’s a goddess, but there are also two other…” started Keiichi before the sound of the doorbell interrupted him and made the three housemates exchange a puzzled look.


 

Uh… are we expecting guests?” asked Dagaz, before he glanced over to Vali who decided that this was about time to tell them about Belldandy.


 

Actually…”


 

Meanwhile, as the doorbell kept ringing, Tyr thought that it was taking the rest of them too long to answer it and decided to do it himself, despite the fact that he was just inhabiting the body of a cat.


 

Leaving me to answer the door. How impolite!’


 

Sliding the door open, Tyr was about to offer their visitor a welcoming meow and laugh at their predictable reaction when he suddenly froze; unable to even comprehend just what he was seeing, let alone accept it.


 

Before his astonished eyes stood a… bronze skinned, blonde… Belldandy, with pale, cream white eyeshadow and a matching lipstick to complement her already outlandish appearance. As if that wasn’t strange enough, she was wearing a ridiculously tight, mini skirt with a leopard pattern printed on it, along with a matching, low cut top that left her shoulders along with the upper part of her golden bra in plain view. On top of all that, she was adorned with numerous bracelets, rings, necklaces, and even her high heeled boots had golden chains wrapped around them.


 

Reaching her golden purse, the almost unrecognizable goddess retrieved a pack of cigarettes and with a snap of her fingers, Belldandy light it up and looked down to her petrified father while taking a long drag from her smoke.


 

Yo, pops!”


 

MREWAARR?!


 

Poking her head out of the kitchen to see what caused Whiskers such distress, Urd instantly spotted her sister and simply stared at her for several long seconds; raising an eyebrow at the spectacle as she too tried to explain what she was seeing.


 

Who might you be?”


 

XXX


 

Moments later, the temple’s residents, plus their unexpected guest were seated in the living room, drinking a cup of tea while they tried to make sense of the situation. Despite Vali’s attempt to warn them of Belldandy’s arrival, even that failed to save them from the shock of seeing just what Urd’s sister looked like. As a matter of fact, the war god cadet himself could hardly believe his eyes at the outcome of was happened to be his own idea, although in all fairness, he never thought that Belldandy of all goddesses would’ve gone this far with her act.


 

Even Hild’s tiny form was staring at this spectacle in disbelief, as she remained hidden in the attic above them and watched the unfolding event between the gaps in the ceiling’s wooden panels.


 

Here, I haven’t used this for a while, but I knew that I’ve kept it somewhere.”


 

Offering the now… blonde goddess of the present his rather unusual ashtray, which in reality was a re-purposed old piston that was turned upside down, Keiichi was the one who was mostly unaffected by what was happening around him. After all, this was his first time meeting Belldandy as far as he was concerned and without any idea about what she was normally supposed to look or even act like, the mortal had managed to remain calm and collected. Unlike Dagaz for example, who hid behind an equally shell-shocked Vali; although the latter was mostly worried about the prospect of Tyr learning just whose brilliant idea this was. And with the possessed cat still staring at his middle daughter with dilated eyes and his fur standing up on its end, the cadet knew that it wasn’t going to be a fun conversation for him.


 

Thanks sweetie, you’re quite the helpful type,” said Belldandy blowing a kiss in the air, which resulted in a smoke ring that apparently fascinated the goddess who went on and made more of them; much to the other immortals’ disbelief.


 

Oh, you’re welcome,” said Keiichi, trying to sit a bit further away from her, just in case. He was rather concerned by the long stare Urd was giving her sister and the last thing he needed was to ruin their reunion by turning it into a catfight. Although, he had to admit that after listening to Vali’s description of the middle Norn, Keiichi couldn’t help but notice that this goddess was a bit… different from what he had originally expected. ‘And here I thought that Urd was a difficult goddess to handle. Boy… her younger sister is totally wild!’


 

This is wrong. Utterly and totally wrong!’ Narrowing her eyes, the half goddess kept staring at Belldandy and despite her amnesia, she was 100% sure that this wasn’t how her middle sister was supposed to be. Indeed, in her mind’s eye she had an image of a soft spoken, gentle and above all, shy goddess that certainly didn’t match what she was seeing in front of her. “Say… Belldandy… When was the last time we saw each other, again?”


 

Hm… it must’ve been… back when you and your squeeze over there,” said the temporarily blonde goddess as nodded in Keiichi’s direction, “were looking for a house?”


 

Really? I sure don’t recall seeing you,” said Urd, scratching her chin in thought, trying to remember if she hand actually ran onto her at any point of time back then, but failed to come up with anything.


 

That’s probably because I don’t normally look like this.” Taking a long drag from her smoke, Belldandy pointed towards Vali, much to his horror. “It was that bloke’s idea, actually. Something about looking a bit more like you would’ve been better… Seems to me that it didn’t though, as you keep giving me that funny look.”


 

Anyone would! I mean… look at you!” said Urd, as she paused to try and come up with something that didn’t sound too offensive. “Even I wouldn’t walk around like that!”


 

Dunno about that… I’ve actually borrowed this from your closet back home. Although I didn’t want to modify it and because it was a bit too loose up top, I also took one of your really old bikinis you had when you were a teenager. Couldn’t help it, since I’m not as stacked as you, sis,” said Belldandy with a shrug.


 

Uh huh… And you didn’t bother to modify them, because?” asked Urd with a raised eyebrow.


 

Well… you don’t like it when others mess around with your things, sis. Even borrowing this outfit was a bit too much, to be honest with you. Last time Skuld did that, you made her built a bunch of useless things.”


 

Hm… that sounds kind of familiar…” admitted Urd, crossing her arms. “When she was… little? Something about breaking a beaker with… a potion?”


 

Yep! You got that right!” said Belldandy with a wink, happy to see that her sister was starting to recall a few things.


 

Okay… now that we’ve got out of they way, can I learn something even more important? Why was it even necessary to try… this?” asked Urd, pointing at her sister’s getup.


 

Um… well… the idea was…”


 

Out wit it!”


 

Taking a deep breath as she lit up another cigarette, the faux blonde was facing the very question that in a way lead to all this in the first place; and being unable to lie, the goddess decided that keeping up the act was only going to lead into more problems. “Honestly? We just didn’t want to make you worry about your… um… origins?”


 

Are you talking about my mother?” Because I think that she’s not a goddess at all,” said Urd, earning a few worried looks around the table, as well as a really curious one from Keiichi. “She’s a… demoness, isn’t she?”


 

You knew?...” asked the somewhat surprised Norn of the present, while Hild poked her head out of her hiding place, staring at her daughter in wonder.


 

Yeah… no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t imagine my mother being a goddess. That, and the number that girl gave me a couple of days ago… I remembered it. I’ve dialed it in the past and it connected to a place called Niflheim.”


 

You said it! After all, your mum’s the top honcho of Hell,” said Belldandy, making the others stare at her. “Huh? What are you looking at?”


 

Uh… why are still acting like that?” asked Vali. “There’s no point doing it anymore. Not that it worked anyway.”


 

Because it’s kind of funny to try something new once in your life? And let’s not mention that everyone thinks that I’m way too serious to pull a prank, even though that’s clearly untrue,” said Belldandy before she let out a sigh. “Still, I guess it’s about time I change back into something a bit more comfortable and hopefully join you for lunch? If that’s okay with you, of course.”


 

Don’t be ridiculous! Of course it’s okay,” said Urd, as she got up to take Belldandy to her room. “This way.”


 

Yes.”


 

XXX


 

Ah… much better!”


 

Having changed into a much more conservative outfit than what she wore before, Belldandy was back into the fair skinned brunette Urd recalled from her still fragmented memories.


 

I think it suits you better than my old clothes,” said the half goddess with a small smile that made her sister giggle.


 

Oh, definitely! Especially the underwear, as that thong was driving me crazy, to be honest with you.”


 

There was a long pause as the two of them simply stared at each other before they started laughing at the somewhat unexpected joke the younger Norn made, perhaps to prove her point that she still hasn’t lost her sense of humor.


 

No, kidding! I guess you’re not used to those things, so leave them to big sister, okay?”


 

Offering her a nod, Belldandy had to admit that even without her memories, this was still her elder sister. Although optimistic to a fault, the goddess of the present worried that all that information about her past could’ve caused a far more serious reaction from Urd, but in the end she simply shrugged it off and in all honesty that made Belldandy respect her even more than before. ‘You’re a much stronger goddess than most give you credit for, neesan. I sometimes feel envious of how you can do such a thing while making it look as if it’s the simplest thing in the world.’


 

Hm? Why are you smiling like that? Is there something funny on my face?” asked Urd with a giggle, noticing her sister’s expression.


 

No, I’m just happy that you’re still the same Urd I know. Although, I never thought you’d try to cook anything regardless of the circumstances,” said Belldandy, earning a tiny blush from her embarrassed sibling who tried to shrug it off as nothing of great importance.


 

Hey, I just needed to prove that I’m as good as anyone else when it came to something that simple as cooking! I can’t let the others think that I can’t do it; just that… It’s not one of my hobbies,” said Urd with a dismissive shrug.


 

You’re such a bad liar…’ Offering her a nod regardless, Belldandy tried to avoid pushing her any more and end up in an argument. That whole stunt was more than enough already and the last thing she needed was to agitate her sister without a reason. “In that case, do you need help with anything?”


 

Hm… I think I’ve got almost everything covered, but another pair of hands wouldn’t hurt. I’m still not relying on my powers to hover things too much, and besides… we’ve already had enough surprises for today,” said Urd as she paused for a moment and decided to ask something she was wondering for a while. “Say… that fortune teller me and Keiichi met some time ago… That was you, right?”


 

Ah, that’s correct. I’m really sorry I had to resort to such a trick in order to offer my assistance.”


 

And that means that you lived here on Nekomi for all this time, right?”


 

Uh… yes, that’s indeed true. Why?”


 

Curling her lips up in a small smirk, Urd leaned closer to her sister. “Well… according to Vali, he met you at least once, so… did that start a lot earlier?”


 

Eh?” Frowning a bit, the brunette goddess had a feeling that this headed into a discussion that she really didn’t want to have; especially with Urd.


 

Oh, stop feigning ignorance. I may haven’t bought your previous act, but at the same time, I don’t think you’re absolutely innocent either. Come on, you tell me, I won’t get mad.”


 

No! I haven’t done anything… too…” Coming to a stop, Belldandy knew that she was treading dangerous waters here, as even the slightest mistake could mean the difference between trying to hide the truth and telling an outright lie.


 

Hm?... Anything too... what? Don’t stop at the best part, girl! The suspense is killing me, so out with it!”


 

I… have seen them during that onsen visit,” admitted Belldandy as he cheeks turned beet red.


 

Aha! That’s more like it! So… after the big reveal… who was your favorite?”


 

Neesan!said the goddess, puffing her red cheeks as she crossed her arms. “You shouldn’t say such things!”


 

Pff! What’s the big deal? We’re both adults here, so stop acting like a little girl and tell me, who had the best…”


 

Don’t say it!


 

Abs…” finished Urd with a huge grin, enjoying her sister’s fierce blush that almost glowed like a hot iron out of a blast furnace. “You were totally thinking something absolutely naughty, didn’t you?”


 

N-N… Not fair! I cannot lie, so stop asking such questions!”


 

But, that’s the best part! Since you cannot tell a lie, I can finally learn a few more things about you!” said Urd as she leaned so close that her nose was almost touching Belldandy’s. “Come on, girl! Who’s got the best abs?”


 

Well… g-given his training… I think that would be… Vali?”


 

Yes! I knew it!said Urd as she realized that this was the best opportunity to get her sister back for that stunt she pulled earlier. Even though Belldandy’s intentions were undoubtedly good, Urd felt that she had to best her or her reputation as a troublemaker was at stake. Making a mental note to ponder just how she even remembered that later, Urd decided to focus on the present moment, along with the Norn who governed that element. “Hey, why don’t you stay here for the night and snuggle against those nice abs?”


 

Neesan! That’s not funny!shouted the deeply embarrassed goddess, before much to her horror noticed that her sister was about to leave the room. “Wait! Where are you going?”


 

To tell Vali, of course!” said Urd with a giggle, causing her sister to run after her.


 

No, stop!”


 

XXX


 

It was a scene of utter and total chaos. That was probably the best way to describe what had taken place in the living room, as the seemingly docile Whiskers turned into a feral beast during the goddesses’ absence.


 

What’s… going on here?” asked Urd, from her spot at the room’s entrance, while Belldandy peeked over her taller sibling's shoulder to find Keiichi and Dagaz on one side of the living room, while the tabby cat and the cadet wrestled in the other.


 

W-Whiskers gone mad!” said Dagaz, pointing at the feline in question as Keiichi decided to continue. “Yes, as soon as you and Belldandy left, he went all out at Vali without any warning!”


 

Huh… He stopped now, though,” noted Urd, looking at the possessed cat tried to act as innocently as possible now that the two Norns were present.


 

However, this was all in vain since Belldandy decided to step in and admonish her father for his behavior, given that the blue haired recipient of his wrath was in fact innocent and didn't deserve such an unfair treatment. “Father! You shouldn’t be bullying him for something that was ultimately my decision! Besides, if we start talking about deception, you’re not totally innocent as well.”


 

Wait… father?asked the baffled Keiichi, offering the cat a strange look; and he wasn’t the only one.


 

Both Urd and Dagaz stared at the possessed feline with surprise evident on their faces, although unlike Keiichi it had more to do with the identity rather than the physical shape of their final housemate.


 

Father? Don’t tell me that all this time, you’ve been spying on us…” said Urd, narrowing her eyes at the tabby cat, who he lowered his head and ears in shame.


 

I’m… sorry… I just wanted to make sure you were alright after I’ve realized that you lost your memory and found this method as the most convenient one to accomplish that,” admitted the possessed feline, pausing to take a look at his daughter who stared back at him with a skeptical look on her face.


 

Can anyone please tell me why a cat talks?” asked the still baffled mortal, unable to accept that Urd’s pet was actually her father.


 

Oh, it’s simple really. All immortals are capable of possessing other life forms, and the less powerful they are, the easier it is for us. While this is indeed a cat, the one possessing him is none other than our father,” explained Belldandy, earning a slow nod from the dark haired mortal.


 

That’s correct. I apologize for showing up like this, but I had my reasons for concealing my true identity from most of you, since Vali already knew about me,” said the possessed cat, clearing his throat before he continued. “I’m Daitenkaicho Tyr. Oh, and before you even ask, this means the leader of Heaven, Keiichi.”


 

The… leader? Wow… I didn’t know Urd had such a high ranking god for a father,” said the wide eyed mortal, only to blink when Urd started to laugh. “Huh? Did I say anything funny?”


 

If you find that impressive, wait to hear about my mother!” said Urd with a wink. “She’s the leader of Hell, right Belldandy?”


 

Yes.”


 

That explains a few things about her personality,’ thought Keiichi with a chuckle, although he did try not to attract everyone’s attention to him. After all, if this was indeed the leader of Heaven on top of Urd’s father, antagonizing him in any way would be foolish. “In that case, I’m pleased to meet you, father!”


 

There was a short pause when everyone stared at the mortal, who also must’ve noticed his blunder by now but chose not to say anything more to avoid making it even worse. After a few moments, Tyr scratched his whiskers with his paw and offered him one of those grins cats were so famous of.


 

Well, well… you’re such a polite young man! Although, I’m not sure whether trying to butter up your potentially future father-in-law  is a great idea. A few gods in here might be thinking you’re attempting to cheat in order to get ahead of the competition,” said Tyr, enjoying the young mechanic’s worried expression.


 

Yes, that’s cheating alright!” said Dagaz, pointing at the mortal in question. “What happened to the whole bro code?”


 

Since when did we become bros?” countered Vali, raising an eyebrow at their blonde house mate.


 

Since… uh… now!


 

Why won’t you admit that you don’t want to lose, instead of making up silly excuses?” asked Vali shaking his head with a sigh.


 

Who’s making silly excuses, mister I’m meeting Urd’s sister behind her back?said Dagaz, pointing an accusatory finger at the blue haired god. “I can now see why you’re acting all cool and collected! You’ve got a backup plan, just in case Urd doesn’t pick you!”


 

What?... That’s nonsense!”


 

While the two gods argued, Urd couldn’t help but chuckle at the whole scene. “Huh… this looks something right of the soap operas I like to watch…”


 

Neesan! This isn’t the time to say something like that! You should be trying to stop them!”


 

Oh, come on, it’s almost natural for young males to compete with each other in order to attract a lady’s attention. There’s nothing wrong with that… unless things get out of hand,” said Urd, putting a lot more emphasis at that last part to count as as hidden warning to the arguing gods who almost immediately stopped and nervously glanced over at her.


 

That actually worked? And neesan didn’t use spells at all? That’s a new one for sure! Normally Urd would use brute force to get what she wanted, instead of such a subtle way of handling a situation. Actually… that’s my style!’ Blinking as she tried to understand what was going on here, Belldandy had to admit that perhaps there might be something to gain from her sister’s current predicament; providing that she doesn’t revert to her old ways once she remembers everything.


 

Ignoring the curious look she was getting from her sister, Urd decided to go even further in order to diffuse this situation. “Now… where was I? Oh right, the lunch! How about we try my homemade food?”


 

Sure thing Urd! I’m kind of hungry actually,” said Keiichi in an attempt to sound as enthusiastic as possible, unlike the possessed cat whose ears drooped a bit.


 

I don’t think that warming up food in the microwaves counts as homemade,” muttered Tyr, earning a dirty glare from his firstborn who didn’t find his comment to be amusing at all.


 

You know, I’m going to miss the days when all could say was meow… Now, you’re a food critic on top of a peeping tom,” said Urd as she tapped her foot on the tatami floor. “After all, I need my privacy and having you watch my every move isn’t very… nice. I mean… what would’ve happened if I decided to have a three… no… a foursome?”


 

The stunned and rather embarrassed audience nearly choked on their tea as soon as the bronze skinned goddess uttered those words, ending up in a coughing fit; especially Keiichi and Belldandy who weren’t mentally prepared for such an immoral suggestion.


 

However, unlike the rest of them, Tyr remained perfectly unaffected by Urd’s comment and instead he simply returned her curious expression with a stern one of his own. Extending one of his front paws, the possessed feline protracted his tiny yet sharp claws, much to his daughter’s confusion as he offered no other insight as to his intentions.


 

What’s… that supposed to mean?”


 

Cat fu.”


 

XXX


 

The Daimakaicho’s office, Niflheim


 

Inside the spacious room that served as Hild’s workspace from where the bronze skinned demoness ruled the realms under her direct control; yet today on top of her agenda was a matter of a more... personal nature.


 

Although there were some rather obvious benefits from leaving Urd in her current state of partial amnesia, Hild couldn’t help but feel that as a mother, she wished for her daughter’s situation to get resolved as soon as possible. As such, her primary focus was the root of the problem rather than the symptoms themselves and though she made quite some progress, it was always a risk that whatever caused it to happen in the first place could undo all that and make her go back to square one.


 

Tyr said that the whole issue with her double registration is almost sorted out and Skuld had patched the System to avoid this exact problem from happening ever again, but… I still haven’t really caught the one who did this. Although, given the clearance needed to pull something like that, it’s not like I don’t know who’s behind it. I think that I’ve postponed this long enough already, it’s time for me to get some much needed answers.’


 

Pressing a button in her communicator, the Daimakaicho waited for her blonde assistant and second in command to show up, almost as if she was summoned for some sort of official business. After all, catching her off guard was a far better alternative than telling her the exact reason why she called her in the first place, although Hild expected that Hagall must’ve prepared an explanation for her actions either way. As enthusiastic as she was, the younger demoness wasn’t a complete idiot who would merely assume that her little plot would’ve remained a secret forever. Actually, what baffled her was just how obvious it the entire thing really was in the first place, given that it took her no time to figure out who must’ve been hiding behind all this.


 

Minutes later, the heavy and decorated door of her office swung open, revealing her second in command who offered her a respectful bow before she approached her desk. “You called for me, Hild-sama?”


 

Ah… yes, that’s quite correct Hagall-chan. Please take a seat, we’ve got much to discuss actually.” Gesturing to one of the two chairs placed in front of her office, Hild watched her assistant with great interest as she acted almost as if there was nothing wrong at all. Obviously, she had personally taught her how to handle herself in such situations and maintain what mortals called a poker face in order to prevent those she negotiated with from gaining too much information from her body language. Then again, it was entirely possible that she actually believed that her little plot would never be exposed and if that was the case, Hild really needed to teach her a few additional lessons; as such a display was unfitting for a high ranking demoness.


 

Of course my lady. Is this about my annual fiscal report?” asked Hagall, totally unaware of her boss’ intentions.


 

No, I think we’ve already discussed that in great detail a few days ago,” said Hild with a dismissive wave of her hand. “It’s a little bit more of a… personal matter. About my daughter, to be more specific.”


 

Did anything happen to her?” asked the blonde demoness, raising an eyebrow, much to her boss’ surprise.


 

Aside from losing her memory? No… although that amnesia thing is still a bit… annoying,” said Hild, wondering if she should congratulate herself for teaching Hagall how to play dumb like that.


 

Oh, my apologies…  I thought that this was already old news, so I didn’t assume that it was the reason you wished to talk to me,” said Hagall, still showing no signs of concern in her voice.


 

Well, old news or not, I want to know why you poked your nose in something that was clearly none of your business. I’ve learned that Urd-chan’s amnesia was a case of her demonic license being activated, triggering a rather nasty response by Heaven’s security systems that were never really designed to handle a scenario like that. Now, care to explain what were you trying to accomplish?”


 

With all due respect my lady, but I think that the Daitenkaicho’s idea of leaving Urd alone on the mortal realm for fifty years and on top of that not being allowed to use her powers, is a bit of an overkill when it comes to the so called ‘serious offense’ she had allegedly committed. Without a proper investigation as to who was truly responsible for that server going down, it’s far too convenient to wrap everything up like that and call it a user error, while in reality it might’ve been the designers’ own fault for providing the sysops and administrators with poor quality tools to work with. Or at the very least, their incompetence to provide some decent security measures, given that we don’t experience such problems; at least not as bad as they do.”


 

I won’t argue with that, actually. Celestials really love to find convenient scapegoats to blame whenever they mess something up and it’s almost standard practice for the high ranking members of their society to blame their subordinates in order to keep their own precious record spotless,” said Hild with a disgusted sigh. “Still, what does that have to do with Urd?”


 

But, my lady!... Don’t you feel that this is rather unfair to her? Without even an investigation to prove her guilt, her own father pretty much sentenced her to living like a mortal for half a century.”


 

I’m… aware of that and I can’t say that I agree with Tyr’s handling of the whole matter. Perhaps he’s far too willing to prove that he’s not showing any favoritism to his firstborn by going as far as to be unfair to her. Yet, leaving her amnesiac on top of all that, is hardly my idea of improving her life.”


 

Erasing her memories along with her prejudice against us could finally open her eyes to realize that as long as she’s going to stay as a goddess, that’s the kind of treatment she’s going to get. If she became a demoness, her life would definitely improve as we reward those who work under us, instead of taking their allegiance for granted and on top of that, punish them for everything they do wrong.”


 

Scratching her chin, Hild studied Hagall’s expression and by the looks of it, she almost appeared to be telling the truth. Indeed, it was a plausible method of making Urd rethink her place in the world and perhaps choose to join her, instead of serving those ungrateful celestials who clearly didn’t think much of her. As a matter of fact, Hild had no delusions that if it wasn’t for her extended family, her daughter would’ve abandoned Heavens a long time ago to serve under her, where she could get the recognition she deserved. “That makes a lot of sense from Urd’s perspective, although… not from yours, Hagall-chan.”


 

Uh… what do you mean, my lady?”


 

It’s a bit too good to be true for a demoness of your standing to try and recruit someone who might as well attempt to take your position in the future. While we’re not as paranoid as celestials make us seem to be, I wonder if this is an attempt to flatter me in one way or another,” admitted Hild after some thought.


 

In all honesty… we all owe a lot to you, my lady,” said Hagall lowering her head a bit, as she struggled to come up with the right words. “If it wasn’t for you, we’d be still called the idiots of Niflheim, each of our group incapable to use the normal powers every other demon uses; leaving us with few prospects of getting any kind of important position for ourselves. So, me and the others wished to somehow return the favor and… this was the most likely way to do that. After all, it’s the only thing you really couldn’t get on your own, and I thought that it was worth giving it a shot.”


 

That actually made Hild stare her assistant for a long time, while the latter averted her gaze out of embarrassment; a faint blush evident in her cheeks. “I… see. This might explain a few things, but… that still doesn’t explain your eagerness to try and try to recruit someone who easily replace you..”


 

That’s not necessary, my lady,” said Hagall, fidgeting around a bit, as she tried to come up with a polite way of phrasing what she wanted to say and yet, she hesitated. “May I speak freely?”


 

Sure, go ahead.”


 

Very well… I just don’t think that Urd’s likely to try and get my position, based on how much paperwork I have to deal on a daily basis,” said Hagall, swallowing nervously after this bold proclamation.


 

Are you trying to call my daughter… lazy?” asked the Daimakaicho, narrowing her eyes at her subordinate, although mostly to get a reaction from her.


 

I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to insult you!” said Hagall, leaning as far back in her chair as possible, fearing her boss wrath, although the latter started to laugh much to blonde’s confusion. “Hild-sama?...”


 

It’s okay… I’m just messing around with you,” said Hild between giggles. “But enough with that. I won’t punish you for this, however!... I’ve got a little task for you, and it involves delivering a package to someone.”


 

Thank you, my lady!” said Hagall, choosing to ignore the fact that there had to be a catch with that offer, given how simple it sounded; and not to mention something that it wasn’t even a job for Niflheim’s second in command. Of course, refusing was out of question, given the position she had found herself in, regardless of her intentions. “I promise that I won’t let you down!”


 

Good! Now, come with me and listen well to what I want you do. I don’t want any mishaps with this one.”


 

Smirking, the Daimakaicho motioned for Hagall to follow her as she headed out of her office and towards one of the most dreaded areas of Niflheim: The field of the sealed flowers.


 

XXX


 

Nekomi, Japan


 

Thank you so much for the meal, I really enjoyed it.”


 

Offering her hosts a polite bow, Belldandy couldn’t help but smile at the sight of Urd putting an effort to do something like this, whereas in the past she would’ve simply let her handle the troublesome details and simply focus on the booze. In some ways, it was possible that this whole situation could turn out to be a good learning experience for her sister and hoped that even after she fully recovered her memory, some of the things she learned would persist.


 

No worries Belldandy. Next time, how about you bring Skuld along, too?” asked Urd as she leaned against the doorframe while her housemates stayed a few steps behind her in the resident’s main hallway.


 

Oh, I’ll definitely do that, neesan! The poor dear really wants to see you again and now that I know that it’s fine to bring her, I’ll most certainly do that,” said Belldandy with a big smile. “As soon as I manage to arrange for it, I’ll get her on Earth.”

You do that. Hopefully by then I’ll even manage to learn how to make ice-cream!” said Urd with a grin as a devious plot formed in her mind.


 

There she goes again…” muttered Dagaz, worrying that once more he was going to end up as the guinea pig.


 

I heard that!” said Urd, giving him a sideways glance, while Keiichi and Vali simply shook their heads.


 

Oh, and before I forget…” said Belldandy in an effort to get their attention away from the poor god who simply spoke his mind. Turning to the possessed feline, the brunette goddess offered him a deep bow. “I must apologize for my actions earlier, father. That was a most vulgar and shameful display. Although…”


 

Yes?” asked Tyr who was nodding his head in approval as his daughter confessed of her ill deeds, and the stopped to see what else she had to say.


 

It was kind of funny in a way,” said Belldandy with a giggle, that made her father narrow his eyes at her.


 

No, it wasn’t! If I ever witness such a…. mrrewr…started Tyr, but came to an abrupt stop when his eldest daughter rushed to her sister’s help and unleashed her secret weapon: the terribly effective ‘rub behind the ears’ trick, which almost instantly tamed even the most fierce of felines. “Hey, cut it out, I’m not done with… mrewwrr?... Urrrrdd!...


 

Quick! Run away Bell, while I’ve got him pinned!” laughed Urd, as she kept scratching the possessed feline who desperately tried to shake her off.


 

Giggling, the goddess of the present turned and headed towards her apartment, but not before she offered them one last wave while Urd and Tyr duked it out in a rather silly display of what would’ve been a catfight should they were both felines.


 

And here I thought that my family was strange…’ thought Keiichi, scratching the back of his head as he watched them interact with each other and then glanced to the two gods who were trying to look away from the spectacle; afraid that they’d end up laughing and in the process insult their ruler.


 

Oh my!... It’s so heartwarming to see them play like that!...”


 

The sudden voice interrupting the otherwise silly sounds of the quarreling father and daughter, caused everyone to look around in order to locate where exactly it came from, although there was little doubt for most of them who that was. Out of all the immortals, only one had such a playful yet sultry voice, let alone a motive to be here: Hild.


 

However, knowing little about the notorious Daimakaicho, Keiichi was blissfully unaware of that particular demoness’ playful character and as a result he was mentally unprepared for what hit him. A shadow loomed above him and as soon as the young mortal turned around to see what was behind him, a pair of soft orbs of considerate volume were pressed against his face; whether he liked it or not.


 

Mmph?


 

The muffled sounds of the mortal’s protests caused the rest of the bystanding immortals turn to find Hild in her full glory, giving the struggling Keiichi a taste of her personal version of marshmallow hell. An experience that was further enhanced by her outfit’s extremely low cut front which enabled more skin contact that would’ve otherwise been impossible, should the demoness was wearing something a lot more sensible.


 

Mo-Mother?asked the baffled Urd, not believing her eyes. “What… do you… think you’re doing?”


 

Oh, this? It’s called puff puff!” said Hild, rubbing her ample bosom against the captive mortal, whose protests started to become less and less energetic. Although whether it was due to him giving in to the titillating sensation he was receiving or… mere lack of oxygen was currently unknown.


 

And you’re doing that, because?...” asked Urd with a raised eyebrow.


 

Hey, I thought it was a good way of introducing him to the family, Urd-chan!” said Hild with a huge grin. even though her daughter didn’t seem to be all that impressed.


 

We’re not a couple yet.”


 

Hm… now that you mention it, you’ve got a point,” letting Keiichi go, which allowed the mortal to gasp for the much needed oxygen his lungs were desperate for, Hild turned to her next target. “Then… I’ve got to say hello to the others too!”


 

You don’t have to…” started Urd, only to watch her mother launch herself to her next victim, although that one provided no resistance whatsoever; the temple’s harmless pervert, Dagaz. “She’s not listening a thing I say…”


 

Aw… you’re so cute!”


 

Letting a tired sigh, Urd glanced over to her father who simply shook his head at Hild’s antics while Keiichi was trying to recover from the lack of oxygen. “Are you feeling okay?”


 

But instead of the mortal, it was Dagaz the one who made an effort to reply, by giving Urd a thumbs up, much to the latter’s chagrin.


 

I wasn’t talking about you! And try to resist a bit more, mister! I can totally tell that you’re enjoying it!” snapped Urd at the blonde god, before she turned back to Keiichi, all while Vali searched for a place to hide, knowing that he was most like the Daimakaicho’s next victim. “Well, Keiichi? Do you feel lightheaded or have problems breathing?”


 

No, I’m fine… She just took me by surprise, that’s all,” said the mechanic, glancing over at Hild. “So… that’s your mother? She’s… energetic, to say the least.”


 

No kidding… A bit too energetic if you ask me.” Groaning as she watched Hild let go of Dagaz and search for Vali, Urd couldn’t help but wonder if she was doing this on purpose. Sure, as far as she could remember Hild had a reputation of being a bit wild, but definitely not to such a degree.


 

And it wasn’t just the half goddess who was suspicious of the Daimakaicho’s antics; Tyr too thought that his ex wife was a bit too playful, a lot more that normal anyway. What seemed out of the ordinary was that this was her main body, most likely using her one thousandth avatar to pull the rest of herself without opening a large gate for her to enter the mortal realm. It was a technique frequently employed by the demonic special forces in order to infiltrate an area while attracting the least amount of attention, and given that they haven’t set up any kind of warding spells around the temple, Hild had easily managed to sneak up to them just like that. As a matter of fact, even he was taken by surprise when she grabbed Keiichi and as eccentric as she was at times, Tyr really doubted that she had gotten into all that trouble just to pull a prank on them.


 

What are you up to this time, Hild? I know that this isn’t your typical way of messing around with others, but… the big question is what do you have in mind?’


 

XXX


 

Meanwhile at downtown Nekomi, Megumi Morisato was on a shopping trip at the market place and given her wild popularity there, she was already struggling to carry all the bags with the gifts she was offered by the shopkeepers. The college student had a reputation of offering everyone a hand whenever they had a problem with their bikes and as a way of thanking her, some of the shop owners started to give her some free samples of their wares and for a single woman who lived in a dorm, it often proved to be more than half of what she actually needed to spent the next week or so.


 

Also, because of her popularity, Megumi had grown accustomed to see strangers stop to talk to her about a machine of theirs that was acting up and as a result, the young student didn’t pay too much attention to the foreign looking woman when she tried to talk to her.


 

Excuse me miss, but can I offer you a promotional sample of my group’s new single?”


 

Blinking, Megumi stared at the foreigner who apparently spoke perfect Japanese and without a hint of an accent. Blonde and with a rather neat looking green business suit, this woman seemed almost out of place; at least compared to the other people working for some advertising campaign.


 

Do I have to pay for it?” Normally most would’ve found the whole setup as a bit suspicious and Megumi was no exception to that rule, and yet, her curious nature prevented her from simply making an excuse and walk away. After all, looking at the cover of the CD case the mysterious woman held in her hands, it appeared to be some kind of a heavy metal band which in general wasn’t something Megumi was all that interested about.


 

Oh no, not at all! This is all part of a promotional campaign, so you can have this for free!” said the blonde, trying her best smile in an effort to convince her. As much as Hagall wished to just get this over with, trying too hard could simply have the opposite effect and convince her that something fishy was going on here, although at the same time, if she didn’t put enough effort, Megumi would simply leave.


 

Which was almost what was about to happen as the young Morisato didn’t quite seem to be interested in the CD, until she realized that this woman had markings on her cheeks and while red, they reminded her of Urd. And not to mention the fact that she was a foreigner too, making this into a rather interesting coincidence. “Actually, I’ll take it!”


 

Thank you, miss! I hope you like our… band,” said the overjoyed Hagall who knew that her job was done and without a hitch too. ‘So easy… Now I need to inform Hild-sama that she no longer needs to keep them busy, since the package was delivered.’


 

With the Daimakaicho so close to all the celestials currently located at that temple, her energy signature was mostly masked by Hild’s considerably more powerful presence. As such, it was only a trivial matter to deliver this particular sealed container to Keiichi’s sister who would do the rest, albeit due to ignorance.


 

Hey, can I ask you something?”


 

Huh? Yes?” The question took Hagall by surprise, though, since Niflheim’s second in command wasn’t expecting her to stick around once she got the CD. Instead, Megumi was still there and looking at her with an almost cat-like smile on her face. “What is it?”


 

Well… I’ve noticed that you’re not carrying any more CDs… So, I guess that was the last?”


 

Uh… yes… that was the last,” lied Hagall, not wanting to tell her that there were no other CD, should she get suspicious by that revelation.


 

Then if you’re done here, how about we hit a bar? My treat of course!” said Megumi, giving the baffled demoness a wink. ‘Hopefully with a glass or two, I’ll find out more about her and most importantly, Urd. I mean… it’s too much of a coincidence. They both have those markings and seem like foreigners. So, there’s got to be a connection here.’


 

Is she… hitting on me?... No way!... I’m not a… well, maybe if it was Hi-... No!’ Staring at the mortal with concern rather evident in her eyes, Hagall had no idea what to do in a situation like this. It was the first time anyone was hitting on her in such a fashion and worse, she worried that saying no could upset Megumi, resulting in her throwing away the CD. Obviously that could cause all sorts of problems and having to explain why the second highest ranking demoness had failed to perform such a simple task was out of question really. Hagall had already annoyed her boss once by causing Urd’s amnesia and such a poor display this soon would make her look really bad. Taking a breath to calm her nerves, the blonde demoness did her best to offer this young woman a smile before she nodded. “That… would be nice actually. It’s been a while since I visited a good bar.”


 

Really? I know a good one nearby, so how about I drop my shopping bags at the dorm and then head there?” Taking a piece of paper she actually used to keep her shopping list, the young Morisato quickly scribbled something on it before she offered the note to Hagall. “Here, that’s the bar’s address. I’ll meet you there in… let’s say… half an hour or so?”


 

Sure thing. I won’t be late,” said Hagall, taking a look at the note, as Megumi rushed to get to her bike in order to get this show on the road.


 

Okay, seriously… What have I gotten myself into this time? Out of all the possible outcomes of meeting that guy’s sister, she just had to be closet lesbian and now wants a piece of me! This is getting better and better...’


 

Letting out a sigh, Hagall headed towards the bar and steeled herself to face whatever fate awaited her, although she wasn’t going to go down without a fight.


 

XXX


 

 

Edit: The latest chapter is now on FFN: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11513150/8/Ah-My-license-suspension

Edited by vanagandr
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Here's the draft for chapter 09:

 

Spoiler

After what essentially turned out to be more of a party than a family reunion, the tired residents of the Tariki Hongan temple decided to call it a day and go to sleep, hoping that Urd’s unruly mother would behave and not try anything funny. Well, at least nothing too immoral, considering that despite been there for a couple of hours, the Daimakaicho didn’t miss a chance to flirt with her daughter’s housemates. And unlike Belldandy’s act, there was little doubt in everyone’s minds that Hild’s mannerisms weren’t just for show. There was a very realistic possibility that should any of them falter and give in to her advances, the bodacious demoness would introduce them to a world of pleasures to the likes of nothing they had ever experienced in their lives, and without thinking twice about it too.


 

It was something that even baffled Urd herself, despite how similar her mannerisms were from time to time, since the Norn of the past tried to stop herself from going too far, while Hild showed less reservations when she teased others. From Urd’s perspective, her mother’s actions during her visit were fairly confusing, given that it almost appeared as if the demoness was trying to piss her daughter off on purpose. Which… seemed a rather counterintuitive thing to do, unless of course there was a reasoning behind all this madness.


 

Is she trying to get a reaction out of me? See which one I favored the most by making me feel jealous? That… could explain a few things to be honest and something I might’ve done if my sisters were in this position. Hm… I never thought it was this annoying to be on the receiving end though.’


 

Casting a glance over her shoulder to her mother’s futon, Urd felt her hair stand up when she realized that it was empty. At some point through the night, Hild must’ve slipped out of her room where the half goddess insisted she should remain and on in instant, Urd’s mind was nearly overwhelmed by all the potential scenarios of what might’ve taken place while she was asleep.


 

Without hesitation, she shot up from her own futon and started for the hallway, hoping that it wasn’t far too late. That despite the head start she got, the Daimakaicho didn’t manage to seduce everyone, and in her panic Urd had totally forgotten about her state of undress. Stepping out of her room with only a flimsy trunk top and her black and purple panties as a means to provide her some modesty, the half goddess realized that something was amiss only after she saw Keiichi while he headed to take his morning shower.


 

Good mo-... Whoa! What are you wearing Urd?


 

That made her pause for a moment and check herself, but even then, Urd refused to admit what the true reason behind her attire was, given that she might appear as if she was too insecure in  the face of real competition. Few women here on Nekomi could match her body and this gave Urd an air of superiority, although the same couldn’t be said with some immortals; her mother in particular. “Hm… I think the real question is what I’m not wearing, Keiichi. Sorry about that, but I’m in a hurry. Have you seen my mother, by the way?”


 

Um… I think that she’s in the kitchen?” said the mechanic as a blush formed on his cheeks. “Although I didn’t get too close, since… well…”


 

Out with it! What did she offer?” snapped Urd, narrowing her eyes at him suspiciously.


 

Nothing! She’s just wearing… even less than you right now and after yesterday’s party, I’m not too comfortable to get close to her without anyone else present in the room. Just in case.”


 

In all seriousness calling yesterday’s event a party was a bit of a stretch by anyone’s definition of the word. Although it did start like one, it was Urd’s suggestion to have a karaoke contest that totally derailed everything. While not being an essential appliance, they actually bought a karaoke machine to provide themselves with some entertainment and this turned out to be perfect opportunity they’ve been waiting for to use it. In theory at least.


 

Because in practice, once the three male contestants had finished with their songs, Urd took over and to spice things up she also took off her top, leaving herself with her lacy purple bra, much to her father’s chagrin. Perhaps that was an attempt to establish who was in charge here, however, her mother’s response was both fast and utterly brutal, as she tugged her dress lower without much of a second thought. And given how that thing was one single piece of fabric, Hild was left standing there in just her underwear. Even worse, since the demoness didn’t wear a bra and her panties were so minimalistic that barely provided any real coverage, things got real for sure.


 

And given Urd’s pride, it didn’t took her long to end up in a similar state of undress, despite Tyr’s futile protests, as everyone else was far too stunned to offer any sort of comment. Yet despite all that, the competition went on, forcing Vali and Keiichi to a hasty retreat. Feeling that this had little to do with singing and more with undressing, the two men left the living room to avoid giving both mother and daughter any incentives to carry on with their antics. Once a fed up Tyr joined them in the kitchen, the trio set up a game of poker instead, although they soon realized that they were one man… or rather god short and almost like an angry mob, they went back and dragged a protesting Dagaz out of there.


 

I… don’t blame you. Things may had gotten a bit out of hand yesterday,” admitted the half goddess, feeling that even that was a gross understatement. “Look, um… go take a bath and I’ll deal with my mother in the meantime.”


 

That’s not what worries me, Urd. It’s the potential of her following us around and… causing a scene like that over at Whirlwind.”


 

Scratching her chin, Urd had to admit that he had a point there. With this taking place so close to their trip at the hot springs, she felt that calling to ask Chihiro for another day off was a bit too much. “I hate to admit this but… you’re right. If mom shows up there, we’re going to end up in the news. Actually…”


 

Yes? You’ve got an idea?” asked Keiichi, noticing the devious look on her face.


 

Call Megumi and ask her a favor! You know… pretend that she desperately needs our help with something. Don’t know what, but… anything would suffice really.”


 

That’s good and everything, but… how am I going to explain her the situation?” protested Keiichi, knowing that she had given him an almost impossible task. “Megumi’s antics may be silly at times, but she’s not an idiot. There’s no way I can just make her cooperate without telling her what’s going on.”


 

Just say that we want to… go for a date,” said Urd with a shrug, although judging by Keiichi’s frown, it was unlikely to work.


 

Now that’s going to make her ask a lot more questions that we can probably provide answers for, Urd.”


 

Do you have any better ideas? Because if you do, then don’t be shy; share them!”


 

Keiichi’s shoulders slumped as he scratched his head, trying to come up with another alternative, but in vain. Sure, his sister owned him a few favors but asking something like that in return didn’t sound right to him. In the end, as problematic Urd’s idea was, Keiichi started to think that this might’ve been the easiest way out of their predicament.


 

Okay… you win. I’ll call her and ask for help. Let’s hope she won’t ask too many questions.”


 

Walking up to the old school rotary phone, Keiichi dialed in his sister’s number and hoped that she was still in the dorm, since it wasn’t unusual for her to go for a ride with her green KSR early in the morning before her classes started; something that he also did with his Beemer too, back when he was still a student.


 

Okay… here goes nothing…’


 

XXX


 

NIT’s second all female dorm, Nekomi


 

Rolling around her western style bed, Megumi found it almost impossible to wake up after yesterday's visit to that bar. Unused to alcohol, it didn’t take long before she realized that her plan was flawed from the very beginning and in all seriousness, she wasn’t even sure how she got back to her room. Everything past the second cocktail was covered by a misty blanket of colors, sounds and sensations that made almost no sense to the young student and at the very least, Megumi was happy that she was drinking with a woman instead of a guy.


 

Heh… this reminds me of those movies where the main characters have a couple of drinks and then end up in… bed… toge-...’


 

The young Morisato’s thoughts came to a screeching halt when she felt a shift next to her, followed by a content sigh as a very relaxed and totally naked Hagall turned around in her sleep. This… spectacle caused Megumi to sweat bullets as she started to realize that perhaps things like that didn’t just happen in movies, but in real life too. And while this wasn’t a guy she slept with, the brunette didn’t know whether doing that with another girl was less innocent either.


 

Calm down… Calm down… Calm… How am I supposed to calm down?!


 

Feeling the sudden shift next to her as Megumi backed away from the naked blonde, Hagall opened her eyes and inspected her surroundings, although with far less distress than the mortal next to her.


 

Good morning. What time is it?”


 

Staring her with wide eyes, Megumi could hardly believe her ears at how casual Hagall sounded. Almost as if the whole situation was absolutely normal and the fact that she made no effort to hide her body, caused the student to turn into an even deeper shade of red than she already was.


 

Good morning? That’s all you’ve got to say? I mean… what’s going on here?”


 

Uh… isn’t it obvious by looking at us?” asked Hagall, looking around for her favorite bow, and to a certain degree the rest of her clothes too. “Have you seen my…”


 

Reaching down to the floor, Megumi grabbed the demoness’ green frilly panties and nearly tossed them to her, not wanting to hold onto them for longer than necessary. “Here!... I cannot see your bra, though…”


 

I wasn’t wearing one to be honest. My top has an integrated one, so I don’t need anything extra,” said Hagall with a perfectly calm and casual manner while putting her lingerie on. “I hope you’re feeling a lot better now, though. Last night was a bit too much for you to handle.”


 

Too much?Megumi’s jaw nearly dropped while she peered under the covers to verify what she already knew but her mind refused to accept; she too was totally naked. “What did we do last night?!”


 

Not anything as enjoyable as I’d prefer, sadly. After you tried to get me tipsy and ended up getting yourself drunk, I had to carry you back here and offer my assistance while you… paid tribute to the porcelain throne,” said Hagall screwing her nose in disgust as she recalled some of the more graphic parts of what took place the last night. “Then, I had to wash our clothes and finally decided to hit the bed, long after you had fallen asleep.”


 

You know… somehow the idea of having sex sounds… better than that,” muttered Megumi, as she too didn’t find that story too appealing either.


 

No kidding! You mortals and your body functions… Eww… I really hope I don’t have to go through that ever again.”


 

Mortals. That was a word she recalled from their conversation at the bar, although they never got too far and allow Megumi to learn more about the enigmatic blonde other than her name; let alone a possible connection between her and Urd. Still, even though she was a foreigner, she spoke Japanese too fluently to explain why she referred to others around her in such a bizarre manner; meaning that it wasn’t just an error.


 

Yeah… sorry about that, Hagall. I love to drive my bike, so I don’t drink very often and… well… you saw.”


 

Before the blonde could respond, the phone started to ring all of a sudden and given her state of undress, Megumi was reluctant to get up and answer it. Because of that, it was Hagall the one who went and picked it up, much to the caller’s initial confusion.


 

Hello, this is Megumi’s place.”


 

I know, but… who are you?asked Keiichi, before he palmed himself, remembering that his sister was living in a dorm; something he too had done in the past. “Oh, are you one of her dorm mates?”


 

However, the reply was far too bizarre for Keiichi’s liking and raised more questions than providing any answers. “No, not really. We just slept together.”


 

EH?!


 

Wait! Gimme that!Wrapping the bed covers around her, Megumi dashed for the phone and almost tripped along the way but eventually managed to wrestle the earpiece from the demoness, before this turned into a huge misunderstanding. “It’s not like that, Kei-chan!


 

Uh… huh… If you say so, Megumi,” was Keiichi’s somewhat stunned reply, as he wasn’t sure what was going on over there. “Maybe a friend staying over for the night?”


 

Yeah… something like that, actually,” said Megumi in the most innocent tone she could muster. “Anyways… is there something I can do for you?”


 

She’s totally trying to get me to hang up as soon as possible.’ Feeling that this was a bit atypical of his sister, Keiichi made a mental note to find out what this was all about later, but for now his priority was to deal with Hild. “Um… I was wondering if you could cover me… I really need to do something and I’m reluctant to ask Chihiro for another day off without a reason. I mean… I do have a reason, but I don’t want to get Chihiro involved and I hoped you could say that you needed… um… help?”


 

Say, are you trying to tell me that I’m about to become an aunt, Kei-chan?” asked the suspicious Megumi, scratching her head.


 

No! We haven’t done… that!Blushing profoundly as his brain was about to come to a halt, Keiichi struggled to come up with a response but it took him long enough that in the end Urd decided to grab the receiver from him, her patience already running thin.


 

Look Megumi, we’ve got an opportunity for nice date,” said Urd giving Keiichi a withering glare to prevent any arguments about her story. “It’s an invitation for a lunch for two in some fancy restaurant, but it’s for today only, so…”


 

Oh, gotcha! I have to tell Chihiro that you’re not available, because I need help with… assembling a new wardrobe I got.”


 

Thanks, you’re a lifesaver Me-...” started Urd when the doorbell rang and not wanting to hang up so abruptly, the bronze skinned goddess turned to her side. “Can you see who it is, Keiichi?”


 

You’ve got guests?” asked Megumi from the other end of the line.


 

Nah… it’s probably the mailman bringing us more bills to pay,” laughed Urd.


 

The fun part of living on your own, huh? Well, in that case, I’ll have to call Chihiro do my part.”


 

Thanks again Megumi! You’re the best!” said a smiling Urd, as she set the receiver on the old telephone. Letting out a sigh of relief now that they had the perfect excuse to stay home and make sure Hild behaved, the half goddess turned to Keiichi only to find him staring at a piece of paper in wonder. “What is it? Did they overcharge us or something?”


 

No… it’s… not a bill,” said the astonished mechanic as he read the letter for the umpteenth time and still couldn’t believe his eyes. “We’re invited for lunch at a fancy hotel…”


 

Eh? Come again?” asked the equally surprised Urd who knew that this couldn’t be just a coincidence. Feeling that there was only one possible explanation, she looked over her shoulder and spotted her mother peeking out of the kitchen’s door with a smile on face that left no doubt who was behind this. “Mom! What do you think you’re doing?


 

Who, me? Oh, much at all!... Just making sure that not everything my daughter says is a lie,” said Hild in a playful yet surprisingly caustic tone that made Urd back off almost immediately. “Besides… after getting into all that trouble to make sure that I wouldn’t misbehave in front of your mortal friends, you might as well go ahead and enjoy your day off, right?”


 

Uh…”


 

I mean… it’s not like I’m so silly to just walk around in a negligee or something like that!” said Hild in her typically over dramatic tone, much to her daughter’s annoyance.


 

I wish you wore even that much…” muttered Urd, feeling a vein pop in her forehead as she watched her mother parade around in the same lingerie she wore since she wore last night before she went to bed.


 

Touche, dear. You’re just jealous that mama still got it,” said Hild, offering her daughter and her dark haired house mate a playful wink as the buxom demoness leaned slightly forward, causing her bountiful chest to stretch the front of her crop top to its limit, much to Keiichi’s embarrassment. “See? He loves the view… Right, Keiichi-kun?”


 

Gritting her teeth, Urd gave the aforementioned mortal a glare that promised pain and suffering should he dared to reply, and then she turned her attention back to her mother. “You’re supposed to be the one reminding me not to act like this, not the other way around, mom! What’s the big deal, anyway? If you still got it, then why don’t you get a boyfriend of your own, instead of tempting mine?”


 

Oh, dear! I didn’t know that he was your boyfriend!said Hild with an innocent tone, despite the rather evident grin on her face, knowing that she had her daughter cornered now. “I thought that he, along with the other two were just friends... Well, in that case I believe that having lunch together will be a perfect setting for your first date.”


 

We’re not dating! It’s just that… anyone would accept a free invitation to such a classy restaurant!” protested Urd, despite the barely noticeable blush on her cheeks.


 

Uh… huh… Very well, then. In that case, I won’t get in your way,” said Hild, giving them a wink as she turns and starts for the kitchen. “Just have fun you two!”


 

Narrowing her eyes at her mother, while Keiichi averted his to avoid looking at the Daimakaicho’s mostly exposed bottom, Urd couldn’t help but feel that something was off here.


 

Hm… she gave up too easily in my opinion. She must have something in mind, but what?’


 

XXX


 

NIT’s second all female dorm, Nekomi


 

Well, that solved one problem...”


 

Convincing Chihiro actually proved to be a lot easier than Megumi initially feared. Apparently, the shrewd businesswoman had a backup plan in case she was in need for some help and reassured her that everything was fine. Although Megumi didn’t think that Tamiya and Otaki counted as a passable replacement for her brother, given how difficult they were to deal with at times, it was good to know that this little scheme wouldn’t affect Whirlwind for the most part.


 

Now to solve the other one…”


 

Looking over her shoulder, the now fully clothed Megumi wondered just where this blonde got that dress from, since she certainly didn’t remember her wearing this yesterday. Hagall had changed into her favorite green and black dress with the asymmetric skirt that was far shorter up front compared to the back. Still, it was a rather peculiar choice of clothing compared to what most people would actually wear and even more, she didn’t recall her carry any bags with her yesterday.


 

Is there something on my face?” asked Hagall, noticing Megumi’s intense stare, although in reality she did have an idea of what the whole problem really was, but quickly started to form a plan to keep her around for a bit longer.


 

Well… my brother is apparently going to take his housemate out for a date, so I wanted to tail them,” said Megumi in an effort to get around the subject. “And that means I need to leave the dorm, so…”


 

I get it… Although do you have any idea where they’re going out for a date?” asked Hagall with a grin, knowing that the brunette had no way of answering that question.


 

Not really, but if I hurry, I might get to the Nekomi Ridge before Keiichi does. It’s not like there are too many paths he can take to get down from that mountain temple he’s living in.”


 

It’s possible, yet I hardly consider this to be a foolproof plan,” said Hagall as he grin became much bigger. “I, on the other hand can tell you where exactly he’s heading to, so you can get there before he does.”


 

Wait a moment!... How do you know that?” asked Megumi, finding it very hard to accept that this woman knew all that information for no particular reason. Even more, she found it really bizarre that Hagall wanted to help her without an obvious benefit from the whole situation; unless she missed something here.


 

While you were talking to your brother, I received a text from my boss informing me that she made a reservation for two in a classy restaurant, so I assumed that this is the couple she was referring to,” said Hagall, producing a mobile phone from her dress for the mortal to see. “After all, your brother’s girlfriend is called Urd, right? Or am I mistaken?”


 

Is she working for an intelligence agency or something? A CD promoter who owns a fancy dress and knows so much about Urd? Yeah… that’s totally normal.Despite her reservations, Megumi was certain that if nothing else, hanging around this woman could eventually provide her with some answers. “Alright, you convinced me. Let’s get going then!”


 

Oh, we will, but first let’s get you dressed for the occasion. After all they won’t let us enter if we show up in something too casual and you don’t even have to worry about a thing! I’ll get you something nice!” said Hagall and then started to type something on her phone, leaving a suspicious Megumi stare at her in wonder.


 

This is getting stranger and stranger… It’s almost like a spy novel or something. Now I’m really interested.’


 

XXX


 

Standing before the restaurant, Keiichi checked the black suit he was wearing, to make sure that it still looked good on him. After all, it’s something he bought a while ago after his graduation and during the most nerve wracking period of his life when he was looking for a job and therefore wanted to give a good first impression to his potential employers. In the end it didn’t prove all that useful and soon Keiichi forgot that he even owned it once he started working at Whirlwind; but it seemed to be ideal for this occasion.


 

Helping Urd out of the cab, since it would’ve been hard to ride a bike while wearing such formal attires, Keiichi had to admit that she was absolutely stunning. Her cream white strapless dress contrasted her caramel bronze skin perfectly and furthermore, her choice of jewelry just enhanced the goddess’ looks even more.


 

So this is the place mother picked for us? Hm… not too shabby… What do you think Keiichi?”


 

Nice…” was all the mortal could say, although in reality he was actually referring to her tight fitting dress that hugged every curve of her enticing body.


 

For once, I’d agree with that. So, shall we get inside and check what’s on the menu?” asked Urd, making Keiichi snap out of it and right on time too, before she noticed that he was staring at her.


 

Oh, sure thing, Urd! Right after you!”


 

XXX


 

That’s your boss? She looks exactly like... Urd!


 

Staring at one particular individual sitting across the restaurant, Megumi who was accompanied by Hagall couldn’t help but stare at what could easily pass as Urd’s sister. The younger Morisato had to use an old dress of hers to even make it through the door as casual wear was frowned upon here. Yet despite that, her attire really looked as if it was brand new, most likely because she rarely if ever used the simple, black velvet gown her mother insisted to get her last year, just in case she got in a situation like this.


 

Although she suspected that there was some connection between Hagall and Urd, this other woman proved to be a much more likely case, since she was virtually identical to the amnesiac foreigner; leaving only one possibility. “Are those two related?”


 

Giggling at how obvious Megumi’s question was, Hagall knew that it was probably for the best if she heard about this now, rather than later; much… much later. “That goes without saying, since the family resemblance is a bit too hard to ignore. Although, their exact connection may surprise you, given how young my lady looks like; from your perspective at least.”


 

My perspective?To say that none of this made any sense to her would’ve been an understatement by now, given how strange the whole situation was. Instead of finding any answers, Megumi was plagued by even more questions she had before coming here and all this mystery surrounding everything around Urd made the mortal girl doubt that her story was true too. “Okay, what’s going on here? I get that you want to sound so mysterious and everything, although at this point I’m kind of lost here. Call me an idiot if you want, but I sure wouldn’t mind a more simple explanation.”


 

I can definitely offer you just that…” said Hagall with a content grin, knowing that she had both the girl’s attention and some information worth haggling for. “However, information comes at a price, you know.”


 

Huh? You want money?” asked the curious mortal as she wasn’t entirely certain what she was getting into.


 

No, not money. That’s pretty much useless to me. In reality, I’d like something more… tangible, like... your cooperation. Don’t look at me like that, it’s not anything shady, I promise,” reassured Hagall noticing the rather concerned look she was getting from Megumi. “It’s just that, my lady wishes for Urd to find a nice boyfriend and your brother seems to be a great candidate. So, if you help the situation by accepting Urd, despite some… shortcomings she may have, we would be very happy and probably owe you a little bit of a favor too; especially me, since I kind of got Hild-sama angry with me and I was hoping to find a way to make up for it.”


 

Hild-sama? Wow, what kind of businesswoman has such a title attached to her name?” asked the surprised brunette, stealing a glance at the Daimakaicho. “And by the way… Who’s that blonde with her?”


 

Oh, that’s a god called Dagaz,” said Hagall dismissively. “I bet she brought him along to avoid looking suspicious while she spies on her daughter.”


 

God? Daughter? I’m… not sure I’m following you,” said Megumi, looking even more lost than before, given the absurdity of such claims.


 

Well, that’s part of the reason I didn’t want to tell you everything all at once. Even in the best case scenario you wouldn’t believe me, and in the worst case… I suppose I might end up scaring you. Which could potentially make Hild-sama even more upset with me, something that I’d rather not have at the time being. The real question is whether you can handle the truth or wish to live blissfully unaware of what’s really going on here,” said Hagall, making a dramatic pause to judge the girl’s reaction.


 

In all honesty, Megumi was starting to worry at this point. Everything about this seemed to be so bizarre and mysterious that she wondered just what sort of weirdos did she run into, and worse… if Urd was feigning her amnesia to get rid of those lunatics. There were all kinds of crazy cults one could get involved with and the fact that her brother may have somehow got in the middle of something like that, scared her. Still, before she overreacted and jumped to early conclusions, Megumi wanted to hear the whole story. “Alright… why don’t you tell me everything from the beginning?”


 

I’m afraid that could take us several hours, so I’ll give you the basics and then answer any questions you may have. Providing that it’s not some restricted topic, of course.”


 

XXX


 

Sipping from her glass, Hild enjoyed the red wine as she patiently waited for her daughter and Keiichi to finally arrive at the restaurant. At the very least, it seems that in the meantime, Hagall had managed to contact Megumi and with that done, things could become really interesting, as the brunette’s involvement could either prove to be a brilliant move by her assistant or yet another blunder like the one she already pulled with Urd’s license. In all honesty it was a gamble and one that could backfire quite spectacularly, but at the same time, Hild knew that as long as Keiichi’s sister was left in the dark, her brother would be rather reluctant to get into a relationship with Urd, fearing the consequences of exposing Megumi to the world of the immortals. So in the end, she did authorize Hagall’s actions and allowed her to go on with that idea, but not before reminding her that this would go down her personal record if it ended up backfiring.


 

Even more interesting though was going to be Tyr’s eventual reaction once his patience runs out, as he kept spying on her and the unfortunate god who tagged along, totally unaware of the dirty look the possessed feline was giving him. Apparently the lord of the gods wasn’t immune to such basic feelings like jealousy, and while it didn’t surprise Hild one bit, it was kind of enjoyable to give him a little taste of what she felt ages ago. Even though she supported Ansuz as his second wife, it would’ve been a lie to say that she didn’t envy her, and the worst part was that Tyr thought that he was in the exact same position as her. So, this was a great chance to let him see how wrong his assumptions were by reversing the roles and hopefully make him appreciate the restraint and maturity she displayed during the last few centuries, instead of taking such things for granted.


 

How’s the wine, dear?


 

It took all her willpower not to laugh at the silly expression on the god’s face the moment he heard her call him ‘dear’ even if it was clearly not a real proclamation of affection and simply an attempt to sound polite. Still, the young god was grinning like an idiot and scratched his head in an almost comical fashion, trying to come up with a proper response. All while the faint sound of a cat grinding his claws against the carpet could be heard not far from their table.


 

Oh, it’s nice and has such… umm… great… volume?” said Dagaz in a failed attempt to express what he really thought, much to Hild’s amusement.


 

Are you talking about the wine or my assets, dear? Don’t worry, I like it when boys make compliments about my bust, so feel free to speak out your mind and if you play your cards right…” said Hild with a wicked grin, watching the blonde god swallow hard as he unwittingly glanced at her chest. “I might actually let you touch a bit.”


 

Choking on his own saliva, Dagaz could hardly believe what he was hearing. At least, until he remembered similar offers from Urd and in all those cases it turned out to be a practical joke of sorts. “F-For… r-real? Your daughter said that a few times, but...”


 

Are you implying that I, the Daimakaicho herself makes empty promises? Urd may love to tease and so do I, but unlike her, I don’t want to make fun of others all the time, since it’s bad for business. After all, how do you expect anyone to take you seriously if they expect you to betray them. Trust is something extremely valuable to us demons and key for every negotiation,” said Hild, taking a sip from her glass. “So, my offer stands, as long as you don’t make a fool of yourself… you could give me a nice pat. Or even more...”


 

Nodding vigorously, as he didn’t trust himself to offer a verbal reply, Dagaz noticed Hild’s gaze shift from him and towards the restaurant’s main entrance where Urd and a rather bashful Keiichi stood in front of the maitre d, who tried to find a nice spot for them to sit. And by the looks of it, that spot happened to be the table right next to theirs.


 

Oh this is going to be fun!..


 

Just as the Daimakaicho predicted, Urd immediately came to a stop when she spotted just who was on the next table and following her gaze, Keiichi’s face suddenly lost its color. Looking around, he was horrified to see just how many patrons were currently in the restaurant… that could easily turn into a battlefield with all those innocent souls caught in the crossfire.


 

What the Hell do you think you’re doing here?” asked Urd, narrowing her eyes at her grinning mother, before turning to Dagaz who just realized that he was in deep trouble. “And you! Trying your luck with my mom? Do you have no shame?”


 

Aw, come on Urd-chan! Don’t be so mean to mommy! I wanted to have some fun too!” said Hild, interrupting her daughter before she scared the blonde god too much. “It’s been ages since I had a nice meal like this and poor Dagaz was a perfect gentleman so far. Now, stop glaring at him like that, and enjoy your launch with Keiichi-kun.”


 

Gr… Fine! But it I see a hand touch anything...” said the goddess, making a slicing motion across her neck while staring at Dagaz, who leaned further back on his chair. “Got me? I want both your hands on the table where I can see them, mister!”


 

Then as she was about to turn and head back the table, Hild decided that it was too soon to let her daughter go and let out a cheerful squeal, much to everyone’s surprise. “Yay, footsies! It’s been a long time since I…”


 

You’re going to do that, either!barked Urd as she looked over her shoulder and glared at her mother, who by the looks of it was having a blast. Plopping on her chair in a rather unladylike fashion, the grumbling goddess picked up the menu and went through its pages, with Keiichi following her example in silence.


 

The young mechanic had no desire to add more fuel to the fire, by making any comments that could set her off and turn the whole building into a pile of rubble. “Hm… I think I’ll try the stir fried noodles with pork. What about you, Urd?”


 

Same. Although get me some good sake with it,” was all Urd could offer at the time being, her brow still twitching in annoyance from having to deal with her mother. Although she was certain that she loved her, still part of her wanted to give the plotting Daimakaicho a sharp kick on her backside. ‘Ugh! I can’t believe the nerve of… I mean, even I am not that bad! Okay, maybe that’s where I got it from, but still…’


 

Glancing over their table, Urd saw Hild give her a cutesy wave, causing the goddess to turn the other way, cursing under her breath as she stomped her heel on the floor. And for a moment, the goddess could’ve sworn that she heard a faint meow from underneath the table.


 

XXX


 

She’s a goddess?


 

Yes, think that’s what I said.” Looking at the incredulous mortal, Hagall knew all too well how difficult it could be to convince anyone that the story they’ve just heard was true. Although it was merely a very short version of what was going on, it proved to be more than what Megumi was mentally prepared for and as such, she had her reservations.


 

Next thing I’ll hear is that you’re all aliens or something.” Taking a swing from her glass of red wine, the younger Morisato wondered how this woman ever managed to come up with such an unbelievable story in the first place. It was almost something out of a novel or a manga, but certainly not what one would’ve expected as a proper explanation for Urd’s origins and nature.


 

You know… under the most literal definition of the word, we are extraterrestrials, in the sense that none of us was born on Earth,” mused Hagall, but then simply shook her head, dismissing such thoughts as unimportant. “However, I don’t believe that we fit the description of what most humans refer to when they use that term. Anyways, I can see the doubt in your eyes and quite honestly I’m certain that you’re not going to just take my word for it and accept such incredible claims. If we were in a more private setting I could offer you a few examples of spells and otherwise impossible feats that no mortal is capable of performing. Yet, I’d rather not do something like that here, although I’m fairly certain that if you persist, your brother will eventually agree to let Urd provide you the evidence you need.”


 

And you, along with your boss are demonesses?” As much as she didn’t want to believe her, Megumi found that the way she explained this whole situation sounded too honest to be a complete fabrication; unless she was an incredible actress or a complete lunatic. Either way, her reassurances that Keiichi and Urd could back such claims made Megumi wish to learn more, before dismissing it as a joke.


 

Once again, that’s correct. As you realize that simply means Urd is a half goddess and the whole thing is a bit of long story, so you’ll have to excuse me if I decline to share it at the moment. That, and I’d rather not go behind Hild-sama’s back discussing such topics without her knowing about it. Yet it explains why she’s got such a complicated relationship with her mother, and above all… her own problems at figuring out her place in the world,” explained Hagall, as she eyed towards the half goddess in question, making Megumi follow her glance. “Which is why I’m interested to have you aid Keiichi in his attempts to court her, since he’s the most neutral option for courting a half goddess like her. Not that we’re going to have a problem if she chooses one of the other two gods, but… I think that your brother would be an ideal candidate.”


 

Hm… I see.” It was such a crazy story that Megumi had honestly no idea what else to say at the moment. Any real evidence would have to wait until she could talk to Keiichi and Urd, but as Hagall pointed out, this was hardly the place for a conversation like this. “Well. if she’s honestly interested in my brother then I see no problem, but the whole… picking someone of the lot kind of… rubs me a bit off.”


 

It’s merely a possibility given her current situation, not a popularity contest or something along those lines. Urd ended up living with three men and to be fair, I won’t simply jump to the conclusion that she’s going to date the first guy she met here on Earth for no other reason than that. But... to say that she’s setting up a competition for her heart would be inaccurate too; rather, it’s more likely that she’s got no idea how to proceed from this point on. Based on past observations, this is the point where she grinds to a standstill and fails to choose any option or simply goes with a random one, but… I believe that with a little bit of help, she might reach a more well thought decision about her love life and that person might as well be you,” explained Hagall, much to the mortal’s surprise.


 

Me? Why would she listen to me, instead of… her mother or even her sisters. She does have two of them, right?” asked Megumi, trying to recall what she’s been told a couple of minutes ago. “Those should be the best candidates to advise her!”


 

Leaning back on her chair, Hagall used her lessons in diplomacy to approach the subject from just the right angle to eliminate any opposition and make the mortal see things her way. After all, for Niflheim’s second in command, convincing a single woman should’ve been pretty trivial and in the long run, she hoped that her efforts would appease Hild, making her forget about her… blunder. “That’s what you may think. Yet in a situation like this, their background might influence their choice and Urd knows about it, meaning that while she’s going to listen to their opinion, it’s doubtful whether she follows such counsel or not. On the other hand… you’re an outsider and while you do happen to be Keiichi’s sister, that could be a good thing in such a case. After all, you wouldn’t want your brother to date someone not suitable for him, right?”


 

Alright… you convinced me,” said Megumi with a sigh as she saw that either way, talking to Urd was probably the best choice anyway. “But it’s a lot to think about, so I’m not going to talk to her today; I need some time to absorb all that.”


 

I understand. There’s no need to rush things and complicate the situation even further. However, how about we enjoy this lunch and relax a bit? It must be all too confusing for you right now,” said Hagall, motioning for the waiter to approach, while Megumi offered her a nod.


 

Yeah… I definitely need to drink something…”


 

XXX


 

Thankfully, no significant drama took place as the two couples enjoyed their lunch. Except for the occasional glance between mother and daughter, the two of them managed to remain civil and avoid any mishaps that would’ve most certainly escalated beyond their control.


 

To everyone present, it appeared that the Daimakaicho’s behavior was playing a bit of a dangerous game, but in all seriousness, her motives couldn’t be more different. Instead of a game, the demoness wanted to provide the perfect distraction for both Urd and Keiichi, denying them the opportunity to get too self conscious about this whole set up being too similar to a date. Given how shy the young mechanic was, Hild had no delusions that he needed a little bit of help to overcome his reservations and in this case, by keeping his mind preoccupied, he acted as if everything was normal and they were just having a nice lunch together.


 

Yet, as demoness, it was within her nature to search for all possible problems that could arise from a situation like this. Aside from Keiichi, there was also Urd’s other two housemates who also seemed to be attracted by her daughter and while they were all getting along nicely, things could definitely change once Urd started to show a lot more interest towards one of them. Males were territorial by nature and as a result, once the half goddess decided to get into a relationship with one, the others could get jealous and in the long run become a source of all kind of problems, especially given how sensitive Urd was.


 

Despite her carefree and playful personality, the Norn of the past wasn’t the kind of goddess who didn’t care about those around her and if she became the source of their pain, it was unlikely to simply ignore about it. What Hild feared was that to keep everyone happy and content, Urd would end up maintaining the status quo for as long as possible, until one after the other they would get the hint and give up. Only then she might pick the last one who still persisted, but that also came with a great danger, as it was in essence a gamble. If they all waited for too long, then it was possible for all of them to get bitter and refuse to date her, thinking that she never gave them a fair chance or worse, she simply had her fun stringing them along until they reached their limits.


 

However, Urd wasn’t the only one to blame for her apparent lack of determination. Aside from her current situation that created a lot of uncertainty about her memories and even as to how long she was going to stay on the mortal realm, Urd had a history of bad relationships that definitely left their mark in her soul. Given how many times her daughter got burnt by all kinds of idiots who either tried to have some fun and then run away or were outright morons in the first place. Especially her latest boyfriend who turned out to be a talentless hack of a musician with an ego bigger than his stupid head. Yet as much as Hild wanted to show him what she really thought about his attempts to keep Urd ‘loyal’ and eliminate all competition by cursing them, the Daimakaicho knew all too well that given how tense her relationship with her daughter was, such a direct intervention to her personal life would only cause more harm than good.


 

At least Keiichi-kun is a lot smarter than that idiot. Sure, he may lack in terms of confidence, but… he’s far from hopeless. With a little effort, I think they’re going to make a nice couple. After all, Urd needs someone to keep her from doing all kinds of stupid things, yet without being a total control freak in the process.’


 

Pleased with her observations so far, Hild wondered about her next step. As much as she wanted to force them to tag along for a date of sorts, it was unlikely for Urd or even… Tyr to just sit there and watch her go on a date with a much younger god. Regardless of which one of them reacted first, the potential for turning the reunion with her daughter into a huge fiasco was something that the Daimakaicho wished to avoid. There was a fine line between teasing and outright infuriating someone, especially when a sensitive and rather insecure goddess like Urd  was concerned.


 

As such, Hild wished to avoid pushing her luck too far by seemingly flirt around with Dagaz and instead turned to her daughter who was right behind her as the four of them walked out of the restaurant.


 

Fancy hitting a bar, Urd-chan?”


 

Huh?” It was such an unexpected request that the half goddess had to blink, before she gave her mother a puzzled look. “Didn’t you have enough wine already? I don’t want to carry you back home...”


 

You think that your mother’s a lightweight? Oh, that’s so rich!” said Hild cackling like a madwoman, much to everyone’s surprise. “I can outdrink you any day, little girl!”


 

Is that challenge? Because if you’re paying, then you’ve found yourself a worthy opponent,” said the grinning Urd as she put a brave face on, once she actually realized her folly. This was probably where she got her taste of booze from and it was extremely unlikely for her to beat her in a drinking contest.


 

Brave words, daughter… But I like your determination! Let’s do it then!” said Hild, returning Urd’s grin with one of her own, making both Keiichi and Dagaz share a worried expression.


 

If they both get drunk…” said the blonde god, his face turning as white as paper, while the mortal mechanic could only nod.


 

That’s going to be a bad day; a very bad one, actually. We must get the others here before this escalates out of all control and they blow the place up or something. If Urd can make so much damage on her own, I’d hate to see what her mother is capable of.”


 

XXX


 

Mead? They even have something like that here? Okay, I’ll admit that I’m impressed.”


 

Eying at the glass with the once popular drink, Urd had to admit that this wasn’t just a visit to your average bar. Instead, the one her mother picked for them was much higher class establishment and a pretty expensive one too; catering to the needs of the more demanding clientele. As a matter of fact, both of them were still wearing their dresses from before, since formal attire was needed to pass through the front door.


 

Now, now… Urd-chan, you’d think that I’d take you to a cheap bar in some dark alley?” said Hild as they strode towards a table, considering that the Daimakaicho wished for some privacy and as such, avoid the barkeep from listening in to their conversation, along with any other customer. “What’s next? Try to get a couple of boys for a quick foursome? I’m all in for some bonding, but… that’s a bit too far, don’t you think?”


 

That’s so obvious that I won’t even bother commenting,” said Urd with a snort, only to make her mother tease her as she apparently found a topic too spicy for her daughter’s taste.


 

Oh? Worried that mamma will get all the attention to herself?” asked Hild as she nudged Urd, only to receive a rather pointed glare.


 

No… it’s just plain awkward even by my standards. Although, as you said, this isn’t about picking random guys,” said Urd, in an effort to change the topic, before her mother had the opportunity to tease her too much. “So, why did you really bring me here, mom?”


 

Honestly?” Letting out a sigh as she took a seat opposite of her daughter, Hild offered the stunned goddess one of her rare smiles. “I just wanted to talk to my little… well… not so little daughter. After all, it's been ages since we chatted over a nice drink; so much in fact that the last time we were sharing a cup of milk together.”


 

Was it really that long ago?” asked Urd with a raised eyebrow, while her mother ordered two martinis for them.


 

I think so, although time can a very subjective concept in certain cases. I’ve been around for much longer than that, and yet the last few centuries felt like an eternity to me.” Hild refused to go any further and instead focused on her drink that the waiter promptly served them, leaving Urd stare at her in wonder.


 

It wasn’t pity or sadness in the half goddess’ eyes, although she was far from indifferent to her mother’s indirect admission of being lonely. It was undoubtedly due to the situation in regards to her ex husband and more importantly with her daughter who chose to become a goddess, so, Urd didn’t even need to ask for the root of the problem. Even more, she also knew that offering her pity would only make matters worse for her mother as all demonesses were proud and especially one possessing the highest rank in her whole society. “Can I ask you one thing?”


 

Hm? What is it Urd-chan?” Taking a sip from her glass, Hild noticed her daughter’s hesitation as she toyed with the idea in her mind for a while before she managed to voice one of the things she had always meant to ask her.


 

Why did you allow me to become a goddess?”


 

Ah… that. Well… to put it simply, that was your decision little one and I merely respected that. I’m fairly sure that it wasn’t exactly a conscious one and it happened without you even noticing, but as some point, your goddess side became dominant and affected you as a whole. It was true that there were possible means to increase the influence of your demonic side, and as the Daimakaicho a lot of immortals had expected me to do that, just to save face and avoid handing my only child to her father,” admitted Hild between sips of her martini, using that as an excuse to put her thoughts together. “As a ruler, that could be seen as an act of submission or even as a way of getting rid of the remnants of a past relationship; yet as a mother… what would you have done in my place? Keep your daughter around by any means necessary? Force your only child to become what you wanted, and the process completely disregard her own decisions?”


 

There was a long pause as Hild’s counter argument caught Urd by surprise, as she had never considered what she would’ve done in her mother’s place. Most of her life, Urd had simply assumed that such a thing was impossible as she tried to avoid any relationships with demons for that very reason, practically eliminating any such possibility. Still, a tiny part of her mind knew that in all seriousness, should Urd had to chose between saving face and letting a child of hers to pick a side, she would’ve probably done the latter. “Was that the only way?”


 

Depends… A long time ago, even having a child with a god would’ve been such an absurd idea, that most immortals would’ve simply dismissed it as a silly notion. Yet times are changing and things are not the same way as they used to be back then. Perhaps in the far future, couples like me and your father won’t have to deal with such prejudice and opposition, allowing both parents to raise their kids together. Still, that won’t change the past and as such, I did what had to be done; nothing more, nothing less. And by the looks of it, you too played your own role in that, so I won’t blame you for anything, Urd-chan. I’m all too familiar with the problems that you would’ve faced if you were too happy to socialize with me, although you may have overdone it a bit there,” said Hild before she smirked, much to her daughter’s surprise who wasn’t expecting such an expression following that statement. “You know, in way that kind of pleases me.”


 

Huh? Why… why would you say that?” asked the baffled Urd, failing to see how such a thing made her mother happy. If nothing else, the half goddess had expected her to admonish her or at the very least find a polite manner to show her displeasure at her daughter’s rather obvious attempts to keep a distance between them.


 

Because… it means that you’re a lot more like me than you may think, Urd-chan. Yes, it’s pretty obvious that you physically resemble me, but in reality it’s far more important to me that you inherited more than just my looks. As your mother, it’s comforting that you’re so much like me, even if that proud and stubborn part of yourself is giving me trouble. You may think that it’s a paradox, yet that’s proof of your demonic side having an influence over your decisions and not being just shoved to the side by your goddess side.”


 

I… never thought of it like that.” Blinking, Urd began to realize that in all irony, her extreme methods of maintaining her pride as a goddess might’ve been attested to the very thing that she was trying to keep at bay: her demonic side.


 

No and neither should you. The more you try to polarize things, the worse it is for you Urd-chan. You’re both a goddess and a demoness, so stop making things harder by attempting to decipher which side is responsible for every thought that pops in your mind. Of course, I won’t pretend to understand how things must be for you, since I never got to deal with such issues, still, am I close?”


 

Perhaps… I honestly haven’t thought much about it, but… you may be right.” Although there were still parts of her memory that were inaccessible, Urd could already recall more than enough to say that her mother was indeed right. She had spent far too long fighting with herself over all sorts of matters and in the end she either failed to make any decision, or simply picked one of the available options at random; with the predictable results.


 

In that case, I believe that this might be a good chance to start over Urd-chan. When you lost your memories, it appears that you’ve stopped acting like that, and although you regained most of them, your behavior has indeed changed to a degree,” said Hild, enjoying the puzzled look on her daughter’s face as she certainly tried to recall what was different about the way she acted as of late. “To give you a hint Urd-chan, you’re acting in a much more natural and less forced manner than before, and although your memories are slowly returning, you’re still more relaxed than you used to.”


 

Now that you mention it… I do feel a bit more at ease, although… not nearly as much as I’d like,” admitted the goddess with a frown, before her mother tutted her.


 

Not so fast, Urd chan! You’re forgetting that there are still a few things troubling you; like the fact that you’re living away from your sisters, or even… your situation with those boys. I know that you’re having a tough time deciding what to do, but the more you postpone it, the worse it’s going to get.”


 

As if I don’t know that!” said Urd with grunt, holding the now empty glass while her mother ordered another round of cocktails for them. “But, how can you choose when they’re so different from each other?”


 

So what?” asked Hild, smiling as the waiter brought their mojitos. “Isn’t that always the case? Everyone is a bit different and has something to offer that the others don’t have, so stop thinking that it’s as simple as comparing to see who excels at everything.”


 

Thank you for stating the obvious, mom. It’s not like I was checking who’s got the biggest…” Stopping before she said too much and in the process give her mother something to tease her with, Urd turned to her drink, only to notice Hild’s cat-like gaze. “What?”


 

Stop acting innocent, Urd-chan! I know you checked them back at that onsen, you naughty thing!” laughed Hild, much to her daughter’s chagrin. Waiting until she reached her glass for a sip, Hild chose that very moment to continue. “Personally I’m kind of surprised you haven’t tried the hands on approach. You know… just try everyone before you pick whose wiener is the winner!”


 

Spitting her drink in shock and sheer embarrassment, the wide eyed goddess tried to recover and avoid spilling the rest of the cocktail on her dress. “MOM?! What do you think you’re proposing?


 

Instead of an answer, Hild just started to cackle like a madwoman, holding her sides as tears started to well up, blurring her vision. “Oh, I got you so bad, it’s not even funny! Actually… it’s HILARIOUS!


 

Puffing up her crimson cheeks, the annoyed Urd was just about to cast a lightning bolt at her troublemaker of a mother, before the Daimakaicho’s expression softened and there was something in her eyes that made the half goddess stop. “What is it now?”


 

You know, as much as you look and act like me, there’s still that part you got from him…” It was a much softer tone than what Urd was used to hear from her mother, and that actually helped her relax a bit.


 

That part? You mean… falling victim to your crude jokes?”


 

Well… that too, but… no. It’s that softer side of his that made me fall for him in the first place,” said Hild with the closest thing to a dreamy look she could afford making, before she inadvertently convinced her daughter that she was totally wasted; and on her second glass none the less. “You can stop staring at me like that, Urd-chan. We all act a bit differently when that special someone is around and… yes, I’m not the exception when it comes to such a simple truth. While I never acted like a lovestruck teenager, deep down I knew that my relationship with your father wasn’t just a mere infatuation, or even a friendship with certain benefits. Which… might also prove to be the answer you’re looking for in your situation, too.”


 

Huh? What do you mean by that?” asked the confused goddess, who suddenly realized that he mother had somehow managed to change the subject of their discussion back to her current predicament.


 

Think about it for a moment. While it’s true that you’re getting along with all your housemates and it’s safe to assume that all of them can be considered as your friends, there must be someone you feel to be closer to you. It’s hard to describe with words, Urd-chan, but if you really want to solve your problem, it’s best if you recall how you feel whenever you’re interacting with them, but this time try to observe your own reactions. At some point, you’ll find out who makes you feel special and wanted, which… is pretty much the answer you’re looking for,” said Hild, much to her daughter’s surprise, as she had never really expected to hear something like that from a demoness, let alone the Daimakaicho herself.


 

It was certainly something that was more likely for Belldandy to say, and yet it didn’t actually shock her. Urd knew that despite her nature and even her personality, Hild was likely to try and help her daughter when she needed it the most, and this was exactly one of those moments. “I see… It does make sense to a degree, although I’ll probably have some hard thinking to do.”


 

I never said it was going to be easy, Urd-chan. That’s not a mathematical formula or an algorithm with a somewhat predictable result. Matters of the heart will always be as troublesome as they can get, although there are also some definite upsides too. As the mortals say… no pain, no gain. Don’t force yourself too much to come up with an answer either, just try to observe your own thoughts and emotions while you talk with them and soon a pattern will emerge. It’s only a matter of connecting the dots from that point on.” Content that she got a nod from her daughter, Hild was pleased to have an opportunity to talk to her in such a manner, especially since they haven’t seen each other for quite some time. And no matter how insignificant as it may appeared to be, this was a step in the right direction, which certainly made her visit here a complete success in Hild’s eyes.


 

Alright, I’ll give it a try and see what I can come up with,” said Urd with a sigh as she sipped from her glass before she realized that there was something else she needed to say. “Also…Thanks, mom.”


 

Anytime, dear.”


 

XXX


 

Less than an hour later, the whole group was assembled back at the temple. Keiichi and Dagaz had returned there way earlier of course, only to find the possessed feline tending his apparently trampled tail, but despite their concern, Tyr refused to disclose how that came to happen.


 

Instead, the celestial leader advised the two concerned men that it was unlikely for Hild to allow herself or even Urd go out of control, and while seemingly dangerous, it was probably for the best to let them have some privacy and talk to each other. It was something they both needed and poking their noses would only ruin such a rare moments, as they’d both act far more reserved if others were around them; especially Hild who had an image to maintain. Even Vali who had opted to stay behind in the temple and avoid getting involved, agreed that it was most likely for the best to let those two to mend up their relationship on their own. The war god cadet reasoned that any effort on their part, regardless of how well intended it was, would be doomed to fail as both of them were stubborn and prideful enough to let others dictate them how to act around each other.


 

Ever so reluctantly, the two men decided to simply stay put and as predicted by Tyr, Urd and her mother returned a while later without any further incidents. Interestingly, much of the previous strain between them was apparently gone, replaced by what seemed to be mutual respect. Even though they still teased each other, it was nowhere as aggressive as it was back during their lunch at that restaurant, and no matter how unexpected, everyone was pleased that there was some sort of progress between them.


 

Perhaps more than anyone else, it was Tyr who ended up trying to get that pesky spec of sand out of his eyes, or at least pretend that this was the case to avoid getting teased by his ex for being too sentimental at times. Sure, she may also noticed him tagging along, which was a totally different matter and certainly something that she was definitely going to bring up in the future, but at the very least, Tyr made an effort to avoid getting too involved and ruin their little moment. It was the first time he saw his daughter try to talk to her mother and as such, he thought that it was for the best to avoid doing anything he may have regretted later and by the looks of it, this ended up being the right choice.


 

And then he said… Hey there sweetie, how about you give me your number? So, I gave him a paper and while he grinned like an idiot, he took a glance at it and found out that it was the bill for his bike. I swear he was close to crying at that point,” said Urd with a giggle as she ascended the temples stairs along with her mother.


 

Oh, that seems like fun! I never thought that working at a bike shop was so enjoyable!” laughed Hild as the two of them approached the main residence.


 

Well… it gets even funnier when they realize that there’s no mistake in the bill and that is indeed how much they need to pay!”


 

The assorted men, along with the possessed tabby cat could only stare at the mother and daughter duo as they cackled like this was the funniest joke in the world.


 

I guess they had too many drinks for their own good,’ thought Tyr in disdain, shaking his head at the seemingly inebriated duo. While not being drunk in the same fashion as mortals, both Hild and Urd acted in a lot less restrained manner than normal; which didn’t mean all that much.


 

Do you really have to go?” asked Urd with a somewhat sad tone, finding herself in the unexpected situation of not wanting to see her mother go; unlike her previous statements a couple of hours ago.


 

You know how it is Urd-chan. I’ve got a realm to run, so, I cannot afford to stick around in one place for too long,” said Hild with a softer expression than before, until Tyr finally decided to poke his nose into their conversation.


 

Not to sound too insensitive, but… you’re still going to leave that one thousandth part of yourself around, so don’t act as if you’re gone for good.”


 

Staring at the possessed cat for a few seconds, Hild considered the best, or rather the worst way to respond to his otherwise correct, yet unnecessary comment; essentially revealing that she was still going to stick around in some shape or form. Turning to her daughter, the Daimakaicho offered her an evil grin as an idea struck her. “Oh, and don’t forget to ask me for help if you need to organize a wedding, Urd-chan. I’ve got a feeling that this might turn out to be your chance to tie the knot with a lucky boy, so don’t be shy to ask for mommy’s help, okay?”


 

While she seemed lost at first, Urd caught on pretty fast after following her mother’s gaze who gave Tyr a rather pointed look. “Sure thing, mom! I’m not sure if I can get Peorth down here for the stag night, meaning that I might need a dancer for that occasion! You think you can handle it?”


 

Who do you think you’re talking to, girl? Of course I can handle it! All I need is to practice the right moves a bit since it’s been a while, but other than that… I’m gonna put one Hell of a show!” Making an eight figure with her hips, Hild enjoyed the choking sound coming from the possessed cat and she knew that it wasn’t due to a hairball.


 

Since when did you two start to agree at anything? Actually, forget that! Just how much did you drink anyway?shouted Tyr, hitting an octave that caused his voice to crack, resulting in a rather hilarious meowing sound that made the rest of his audience to snigger. Unfortunately for them, since he couldn’t do much about Urd, let alone Hild, the Daitenkaicho’s wrath was inevitably directed to the three men standing behind him. “And you! What’s so funny? Can’t wait to have your future mother in law give you a show?”


 

That made the trio stop and realize just how annoyed the supreme lord of the celestials sounded. Wasting no time, the two gods and their mortal friend run for it, with Tyr giving chase, resulting into a rather comical scene with all four of them running around the house in circles.


 

Men…” muttered Hild, shaking her head, while Urd simply giggled at the sight. “At least it’s a good thing that your father hasn’t lost his sense of humor.”


 

I don’t think he’s joking…” said Urd with a raised eyebrow as the group finished another lap around the house. Then all of a sudden, the sky darkened and the half goddess knew that it was about time to say goodbye to her mother. “So… you’re going?”


 

Yeah, I think it’s time I go back to Niflheim. See you later, Urd-chan.” With a smile, the Daimakaicho’s form turned into a beam of crimson light that shot upwards to the Gate high above the temple.


 

Later, mom.” Letting a sigh, Urd couldn’t help but feel a bit sentimental for a moment; a very brief on though, as a remnant of her mother’s power was still present. But instead of offering comfort to the emotional goddess, it made Urd grumble and turn to her side where the source of this energy signature came from. After all, this wasn’t just residual energy left behind by the Daimakaicho’s immense power. It was something far more distinct and focused, so much that she even possessed a physical form. “Which part of later, you didn’t get?”


 

Aw… you’re just embarrassed that I caught you getting all weepy!” laughed the childlike avatar of Hild. Despite having only one thousandth of her true self, this version of her mother still had more than enough to stir up a lot of trouble. “Aw!... Mama’s so happy!”


 

Mama’s gonna get a spanking, too! Come here you little troll!Running after her mother’s avatar and joining the others in their… jogging session, albeit with the occasional bolt or two, Urd wasn’t entirely sure whether to feel infuriated or perhaps relieved that she still got to have her around. Even if she really felt to give her a nasty zap, and the little scoundrel just wouldn’t stay in one position for properly blast her, turning the whole temple grounds into a war zone.


 

Regardless of who eventually won that battle, one thing was certain: The Tariki Hongan Temple was as lively of a place as ever.


 

XXX


 

NIT’s second all female dorm, Nekomi


 

Struggling to find something else to think about and failing miserably, Megumi couldn’t forget the moment Hagall simply teleported back to her own realm, leaving behind the stunned mortal who finally had some evidence of the blonde’s nature. Up to that moment, her astonishing claims felt like something out of a manga and yet, Megumi had seen that with her own eyes.


 

Heck, I spent half an hour looking around that alley for any clues as to how she must’ve faked it. There’s no mistake, that wasn’t a show with lights and mirrors, it was the real deal. Immortals, huh… What have you gotten yourself into, Kei-chan?’


 

That was the actual question here, since Megumi had no idea what exactly to do or even say to her brother now. There were so many questions and a for a moment, the young Morisato really wished she had paid more attention to Hagall’s words instead of thinking that she was a nutcase.


 

This isn’t helping… I need to go and ask them what’s going on tomorrow. Dunno, maybe try to come up with an excuse to barge in there and make them spill the beans.’


 

Even though that wasn’t exactly a plan, Megumi decided that one way or the other, it was better to stop worrying about it before she got sick or something. Feeling a little peckish, the young student got up from her bed to reach for her phone and order something when she noticed the CD Hagall had given her, and this time she knew that it wasn’t just a promotional material as the blonde had initially claimed.


 

Still, she had no idea if it was just for show and had no contents or it was an actual one, perhaps even something she brought from Hell. As curiosity got the better of her, Megumi decided to check it out and placing the CD inside her portable player, she hit the play button and then waited patiently.


 

Weird sounds that resembled static noise mixed with garbled speech came out of the speakers and then all of a sudden the device started to shake, causing Megumi to take a few steps back.


 

Whoa! Is is possessed or something?! What have I gotten myself into?!


 

With a loud explosion that blasted the device to tiny pieces, a thick cloud of smoke filled the room, followed by a loud and positively malicious cackle.


 

Mwa ha ha! I’m free! I’m finally FREE!


 

Another demoness?”


 

There was an awkward silence as the newcomer came to a stop, and turned to the baffled brunette who stared back at her in wonder. Smirking a bit, exposing her sharp canines that should’ve normally intimidated most mortals, the demoness’ grin became even larger as she found no hint of fear in this woman’s expression.


 

Greetings mortal! Today’s your lucky day, since I’ll offer you a sign of my gratitude for setting me free by granting you a…”


 

That’s when the door opened, interrupting the blonde’s monologue, as the rest of the dorm’s residents decided to check what the commotion was all about.


 

Hey, Megumi are you alright? We heard a loud noise and… Oh my goodness! It’s a hot guy! And look at those canines and… and the cape! It’s a vampire!”


 

Staring at the dozen or so girls who were squealing in delight, Mara could hardly hide her shock and amazement from that development. As such, it took the demoness a while to register their words and the moment she did, a vein popped at her forehead as she snarled at them. “HEY! I’M A WOMAN, YOU DUMB KIDS!


 

Eh?” Pausing, the students took a better look at the so called demoness who pat her chest, making sure to let them see that there was definitely something under her baggy clothes; a pair of them, as a matter of fact.


 

Not eh… I’m a woman and even better, I’m a DEMONESS! And to be more precise, I’m demoness first class unlimited license, Mara!


 

Aw… it’s just a cosplayer from an unpopular show… Demons are so old fashioned these days...”


 

Wait… what?” Watching them turn around and leave, Mara was dumbstruck, since this was the first time she got this kind of reaction. Granted, she had encountered all sorts of responses from mortals when she appeared before them, but this… this was new. “What the hell’s wrong with kids these days?


 

Dunno… And to imagine that they thought I was the weird one for liking bikes so much,” muttered Megumi with a shake of her head.


 

No kidding! Anyways… I’m all thankful for releasing me and all that jazz, so you I can grant you a wish for free, although… this isn’t exactly a formal contract, meaning that… Look, just don’t go too crazy okay?” It was a bit humiliating that she had to even say something like that, but Mara had to avoid a possibly catastrophic contract mere moments after her release. Although she didn’t wish to own the mortal anything, her superiors wouldn’t be terribly happy if she granted a substantial wish without a decent profit and getting their attention so soon was a really bad thing for her.


 

Hm… then how about you provide me a bit of a backstory for a certain goddess?” asked Megumi, sensing that this was her opportunity to find more about Urd. “From what I’ve heard she’s the daughter of your leader, so I guess you may have heard about her and…”


 

Hold on! You mean… Urd?asked the astonished Mara, not expecting this mortal to bring up that name. “How do you even know her?”


 

Well, she’s kind of… living together with my brother…” said Megumi with a sheepish expression, scratching her chin nervously, while Mara simply stood there with her mouth hanging open in shock.


 

What? How? When?....” It was really hard for the blonde to imagine that the otherwise proud goddess to even consider staying together with a mortal of all things. In Mara’s mind, Urd would’ve soon lose interest in a partner so beneath her, and as a result the whole situation intrigued her. “Okay, tell you what… I’ll answer your questions if you tell me more about them.”


 

Sounds fair. So… I guess we should start from the beginning…”


 

XXX

 

 

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I like both chapters. I'm sorry for not reading them earlier, but I was getting your stories mixed up in my memories and felt that taking some time away and then re-reading one from start to recent chapter was needed to enjoy it.

 

I especially liked the Urd and Hild part at the end. Hild might've revealed a part of herself that she never intended, but the upside might be that Urd won't be as harsh towards her as in Canon.

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Tell me about it, even I have trouble to keep track of every detail at times XD

 

I think that's the best part of the whole chapter and one of the main reasons I got Hild there in the first place. Also, I believe that this is the most development for those two in any of my stories, going from what they were in the manga to a far more natural way of interracting with each other.

 

Also, the chapter is now on FFN: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11513150/9/Ah-My-license-suspension

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Here's the draft for chapter 10:

 

Spoiler

Well, what would you know!... That mortal wasn’t lying when she said that Urd’s working in a shop of all things!’


 

It was something Mara had to see with her own eyes to believe it and as such, the blonde demoness sat on top one of the apartment blocks next to Whirlwind, where she could easily spy her old friend. Despite everything she knew about the half goddess’ personality, Urd was indeed working as a saleswoman and on top of that, she didn’t seem to hate her work either. Setting down her binoculars, Mara wondered just how much things must’ve changed for Urd to actually enjoy such a mundane and otherwise boring task.


 

Furthermore, according to Keiichi’s sister, both Hagall-sama and Hild-sama had showed up, and if that wasn’t enough, Urd even got to meet her mother, despite centuries of doing her best to keep her out of her life. And to further complicate matters, it appears that it was the Daimakaicho’s deputy who offered Megumi the CD that contained her sealed form; meaning that she was released on purpose, although what that may had been was beyond Mara.


 

If she remembers about being a goddess, then why is she doing this? Urd hates boring, menial tasks and you can’t get worse than working in a tiny store that’s more or less made out of a container. I get that this is supposed to be a punishment of sorts, but… why does she seems… happy about it? That makes no sense to me!’


 

Another enigma was the mortal she was living with, as Keiichi Morisato was just your average bike mechanic. At a first glance there wasn’t anything special about the dark haired man, as both his scrawny build and apparent lack of money meant that it was unlikely to provide the half goddess with the exciting lifestyle she was interested in.


 

How does that guy keep her satisfied, both in the bedroom and even out of it? He looks a bit skinny to me, and with such an underpaying job, they must be living a pretty boring lifestyle. In other words… the exact opposite of what Urd might be interested in!’


 

Deciding that she needed a break to adjust to this… bizarre and utterly confusing reality, Mara was about to leave, only to remember a rather crucial detail that she had almost forgotten about.


 

Hey… where are her sisters? She never strayed too far away from them at any point of time!’


 

XXX


 

Asgard, Gate room


 

Thanks for waiting, oneesama!”


 

Rushing towards her sister with a huge smile on her face, the youngest of the Norns could hardly contain her happiness now that she was reunited with her sister. For the last couple of days, Skuld had worked hard together with Peorth to patch the program that ended up blocking Urd’s memories, leaving her in an amnesiac state and as important as that task was, it would’ve been a lie to say that she didn’t feel lonely. As a result, the goddess of the future was delighted when Belldandy called her and asked if she wanted to visit their sister, a proposition that Skuld accepted almost immediately.


 

It’s nice to see you doing well, Skuld. You’ve grown a bit since I last saw you,” said Belldandy with a proud smile as she ruffled her sister’s hair affectionately, much to the latter’s chagrin.


 

Hey, I haven’t gotten any taller! So stop making fun of me, oneesama!”


 

I wasn’t talking about your height, but your ability to handle yourself, even with me an Urd away on the mortal realm,” corrected Belldandy in a gentle tone that made her sister relax and allow her to stroke her hair. “It seems that you’re getting a lot more mature by the day, Skuld!”


 

Hold on! Does that mean… she thought I was immature, before? Nah… she wouldn’t now, would she? That’s Belldandy we’re talking about…’ Pushing away such silly thoughts, Skuld retrieved the bag she had been carrying with her and looked towards the Gate with an excited expression her face. “So, can we go now? Please, please… oneesama!”


 

Calm down, Skuld! We’ll get there in a minute, so don’t be this anxious! I know that you want to see Urd again, but first we’ve got to sign your papers and…”


 

Hey, I’m not anxious to meet that big dummy! It’s just that… I can’t wait to see her doing housework! Oh, that’s going to be so awesome! And not to mention hilarious!” said Skuld with a huge grin, while her sister simply shook her head.


 

Oh dear… That’s how Urd started with her lies when she was little. And now it’s Skuld’s turn too… I’m going to end up becoming an old lady from all the stress… At least, she’s happy to meet Urd and that’s what really matters.’ As she started to fill in the necessary forms for her little sister to visit Midgard, Belldandy had no idea that at that moment, another entity was also heading there for visit; albeit an unannounced one.


 

XXX


 

Nekomi, Japan


 

Swallowing hard as she debated whether to go on or simply turn back and leave, Megumi spent a couple of minutes wondering what to do as she stood at the bottom of the stairway leading up to the Tariki Hongan temple. Although she had visited this place a couple of times in the past, she had never done that for such a serious reason and her discussion with Mara didn’t quite help her to feel more confident.


 

Apparently, Urd was a bit of a tease and very reluctant to pick someone as a boyfriend these days, especially after a couple of failed relationships. Although she did get that from Hagall, Mara’s words made her worry that perhaps the goddess in question just wasn’t serious about dating Keiichi after all. Despite being younger than him, Megumi had already a fair share of failed relationships of her own, and while that made her feel more sympathetic towards Urd, the young student knew that Keiichi’s already lacking confidence could take a huge blow if the goddess turned him down.


 

Hey, what’s up Megumi?”


 

Nearly jumping as the voice came from behind her, the brunette turned around to see a curious Urd standing there with a puzzled expression as it wasn’t common for the otherwise energetic girl to look this worried.


 

Uh… I just came to see what you guys are up to. I mean, with four people living here, things must be really lively.”


 

It was a subtle way to tell the other woman that she knew about their other two house mates and judge her reaction, but much to her surprise, Urd barely blinked.


 

You have no idea… It’s a bit too lively at times if you ask me.” Crossing her arms, the half goddess eyed at Megumi’s shocked expression with mild amusement. “What? You thought I was going to deny it and come up with excuses?”


 

Um… yes?”


 

Look Megumi, if you know about all that, then I think that there are far more serious matters to discuss than how many people are living here.” Looking around, Urd made sure that it was the two of them and Keiichi was nowhere in sight, she used her powers to summon her goddess attire. “Perhaps, it’s more about this... Right?”


 

Megumi could only gawk and nod, as her eyes remained glued at the purple robes Urd was wearing, especially as they literally appeared out of nowhere. If there was any doubt that she’s been a victim of an elaborate prank, this was the last bit of proof she needed to finally accept that Urd was indeed not a human at all. Sure, she had already witnessed Hagall and even Mara use some of their powers, but with this… there was no more doubt at all; Urd was indeed a goddess. “Yeah… But… a goddess?


 

I’m still myself, regardless of what you may wish to call me. Sure, I’m not exactly like you, but don’t think that I’ll suddenly start to act all important and stuff, just because of a fancy title,” said Urd with a casual shrug, changing her clothes back to her earthly attire. “And Keiichi knows all about me, so it’s not like I’m trying to fool him either, although I don’t blame you for finding this hard to swallow, nor I’ll start asking questions as to where you’ve heard that. Even I had some trouble to accept what was going on at first, until I started to slowly remember random bits from my past.”


 

Hesitating a bit, Megumi decided to push her luck and ask one of the things she wondered after hearing Urd’s story from the others. “So… you did lose your memories for real?”


 

That goes without saying. I really hate the damsel in distress gag and I’d never scam anyone into a relationship out of pity; I’ve got some standards you know.”


 

Sorry, sorry, I just had to ask! I didn’t… mean it like that!” said Megumi, before she stopped and let out a sigh, visibly deflating as she realized how she must’ve sounded. “Boy, I’m really acting like a jealous sister who’s taking her frustrations on her brother’s girlfriend…”


 

To a certain degree, I’ll have to agree with you, although, I’m not one to speak either. You see… It’s not like I don’t find you trustworthy, but… in the end, I didn’t trust you, so there!”


 

Eying at each other like hungry predators who fought over the same carcass, the two women grinned as this banter kept on.


 

Really? I’m the one who should be worried about your housekeeping skills,” said Megumi, only to have Urd laugh at the accusations.


 

Pff! That’s what electrical appliances are for anyway! It’s my other skills that really matter, but I don’t want to bring those up to such an innocent girl like you,” said Urd, tossing her hair over her shoulder while arching her back slightly to make her chest stick out more than it normally does.


 

If that’s true, pray tell me why Kei-chan’s still a virgin?” countered Megumi with a smirk, but failed to phase her opponent.


 

Hey, I had to introduce him to my mom first, and… make sure that she wasn’t the one who’d deflower him before I had the chance to do so! It’s not that simple you know!” said Urd with an over dramatic pout.


 

Well, can’t blame you for that. I’ve kind of seen her and boy, she’s hot!”


 

Easy there, girl! I’d rather have you as my sister in law, instead of my mother’s new squeeze!” laughed Urd, totally unaware of the temple’s tabby cat walking up to them.


 

Dunno, I’d definitely consider becoming a lesbian for such a looker!” said Megumi with a wink, while the possessed feline stopped next to her and groomed himself with a nonchalant expression on his face.


 

Be mindful of your wishes or misfortune will befall upon you.”


 

Turning towards the unexpected source of the interruption, the duo’s reactions couldn’t be more different with one of them freaking out while the other simply glared at the newcomer.


 

The cat talked!


 

Ignoring the hyperventilating mortal, Urd kept staring at her father instead. “Very funny… Is that a celestial proverb of something?”


 

No, I just read it one of those fortune cookies you’ve brought back with you from that Chinese restaurant,” said Tyr in an almost nonchalant tone.


 

You ate my cookies?shouted the indignant half goddess, grinding her teeth.


 

In my defense, I only got one, the rest of them met a cruel fate at your mother’s jaws,” said Tyr, nodding towards the direction of the house.


 

Don’t think this is over! I just need to save what I can!” said Urd as she rushed back inside, leaving Tyr with the shell shocked Megumi who still muttered about cats not being able to talk. “Now, how about you come inside and have cup of tea with us? Sorry for this, but I had to stop your little game before you actually managed to insult my daughter and end up getting a lightning bolt for your trouble. And stop this stuff about me being a cat, I’m only possessing this body; it’s not my real one.”


 

Ah, sorry…” Shaking her head, Megumi tried to ignore the awkward feeling of having a conversation with a cat and put on the best smile she could muster. “I… I’d love that!”


 

Well, this way, then.”


 

XXX


 

Megumi was already on her second cup of tea when her brother finally arrived at the house. Today was Keiichi’s turn to go shopping, and the moment he stepped inside, the young mechanic felt that something was off. Next to Urd’s shoes was a pair of sneakers that looked suspiciously familiar, yet… judging by the voices coming from the living room, his other housemates were also present.


 

What’s going on? If Megumi’s here, then…’


 

Poking his head through the living room’s door, Keiichi was horrified when he found not only Vali and Dagaz chatting with his sister, but Hild’s avatar was there too; hovering in mid air, as if nothing was out of the ordinary.


 

Hey! What’s going on here?


 

Oh, hi there Kei-chan!” said Megumi with a big grin, enjoying her brother’s panicked look as he realized that this could lead into a lot of questions. “I was having a nice cup of tea with everyone here, so… Want to join us?”


 

B-But… she’s hovering!said Keiichi, pointing at Hild’s avatar, who giggled and flipped herself upside down.


 

Yes… and the cat talks too, but… I’ve already found out about it,” said Megumi, before she narrowed her eyes at her panicking brother who knew what was to follow. “Thanks for telling me, by the way.


 

Wincing at his sister’s sarcastic and rather caustic tone, Keiichi scanned around the room for anyone willing to help him and much to his surprise it was Hild who rushed to his rescue. Floating towards Megumi, she sat on her lap and offered the mortal woman some rice crackers.


 

Here, Megumi-chan! They’re really good!”


 

Hey, thanks Hild! Don’t mind if I do!”


 

Feeling a hand on his shoulder, Keiichi turned to his right to find Urd smiling at him. “It’s alright, Keiichi. We… talked already, and…”


 

It was quite a spectacle,” said Tyr, interrupting his daughter as he took his eyes from the TV and glanced towards the dark haired mechanic. “I’ve never heard such cheerful… insults. Which probably explains why Hild’s so giddy.”


 

Nodding slowly, Keiichi tried not to think too much about what may had taken place, given that everyone was cheerful, or at the very least content with staying in the same room. As such, it was unlikely that the situation had truly gotten out of hand and resulted into a catfight. “Well, it’s a relief that nothing bad happened and…”


 

Before Keiichi could even finish his sentence, the doorbell rang, making everyone look towards the front door.


 

Now what?’ wondered Keiichi, as Dagaz went to answer the door.


 

I’ve got it!” said the cheerful god, only to let out a startled yelp mere moments later. “Boss?


 

Intrigued, the rest of his housemates along with Megumi and Hild peeked around the doorframe and that’s when Urd nearly launched towards the two goddesses standing before the stunned Dagaz.


 

Belldandy! Skuld!


 

Knowing what was about to happen, both the goddess of the present and the blonde god stepped aside, leaving the confused Skuld to come face to face with her nemesis: her eldest sister’s bosom.


 

Mmph!


 

Twirling her around like a rag doll, the overjoyed half goddess ignored the little Norn’s angry protests and just kept hugging her tighter. “I’ve missed you!”


 

Just… let go! And stop doing this! I’ve told you countless times that I hate it!said Skuld with a gasp, managing to pull her face free from her sister’s cleavage. “Find someone else to rub your boobies against their face!”


 

Ha! That’s the spirit kiddo! Looks like you’ve grown up a bit while I wasn’t looking?” Laughing hard Urd pat Skuld’s shoulders, while Belldandy simply stared at her younger sister in utter shock.


 

Skuld? There did you pick such language?asked the horrified Norn of the present, making her sibling realize her blunder; although it was too long to fix it now.


 

Uh… a book?” suggested the young goddess, hiding behind the amused Urd.


 

Just what kind of books are you reading?” asked the scandalized Belldandy, trying to get to her unruly sibling who was probably entering the dreaded first stages of adolescence.


 

Normal ones?” said Skuld from her hiding place, her voice full of uncertainty and even concern as her big sister tried to peek around their eldest sibling who stood between them.


 

Calm down Bell… It’s not that much of a big deal,” said Urd, placing her hands on her sister’s shoulders, causing her to visibly relax. “We all know that Skuld’s more like your mother, so it’s a bit… of a family thing.”


 

Huh? What do you mean, neesan?” asked Belldandy, tilting her head in confusion, all while Hild tried to keep herself from laughing out.


 

Well… she’s kind… From what I’ve heard, Ansuz can swear like a sailor if someone really manages to piss her off,” said Urd, eying at her mother, who simply stuck her tongue out in response. “Especially when that someone casually floats behind her and plops her overgrown boobs on top of her head…”


 

Oh… did you hear that, Bell-chan?” asked Hild in a singsong tone, giving the middle Norn a playful wink. “I think you found out where our little Skuld learned that word from. Although I’ll give her credit for coming up with a lie to cover up for my Urd-chan! Aww... how cute!


 

Letting out a sigh, Belldandy simply sidestepped her sisters, much to their surprise and headed towards their father. Looking down at the possessed cat whose ears perked up as Belldandy stopped before him, the brunette goddess cleared her throat to regain her composure, doing her best to ignore Hild’s amused expression. “Father, is it true that mother is… foul mouthed?”


 

Daughter of mine, if I were to give you a sincere answer to that question, then I’d end up sleeping on the couch,” said Tyr in a low and level tone, doing his best to ignore Hild’s sniggering. “And in all honestly, I really don’t like our couch.”


 

Ha! You never complained about my couch!” laughed Hild, not been able to restrain herself anymore. “Then again, we normally used that for…”


 

Don’t you dare finish that sentence!shouted the possessed feline, his fur standing up in shock.


 

And while the two former lovers bickered about what they were supposed to say in front of the kids or not, Megumi gave her brother a long look. “And here I thought that Keima and Takano were weird….”


 

That’s so true… Especially since our parents cannot blow up planets and who knows what else these two can do,” muttered Keiichi, keeping his voice as low as possible; just enough for his sister to hear him. “So, keep that in mind before you put your foot on your mouth and end up pissing off either of them. For all I know, they can turn you into a hamster, or even a car...”


 

Gotcha!”


 

XXX


 

Roughly half an hour later things had calmed down considerably as everyone decided to enjoy a rather peaceful moment together; especially given the rather unusual situation of having all three Norns in the same room with Hild. Given that she was Urd’s  mother, one would’ve expected her to show some level of animosity to her ex’s two other daughters; the result of his union with another goddess and living proof that their relationship was over.


 

Yet despite that, the Daimakaicho’s avatar chose to sit between Belldandy and Skuld, especially as this was the first time she really got to meet them in person and even made an effort to get to know them. It almost seemed uncharacteristic for a demoness to do such a thing, although in reality it was within demonic nature to repay a debt, and given that Urd was welcomed by Ansuz as a member of her family, Hild would settle for nothing less than return the favor. Doing anything other than that would’ve made her appear as a petty demoness and for someone of her status, that was absolutely unacceptable. Then again, the mere fact that she and their mother were friends was a colossal bonus as well.


 

Still knowing how much Hild loved to tease others, most of the bystanders decided to keep a safe distance between themselves and what appeared to a recipe for a disaster. Keiichi suddenly remembered to take a look at Megumi’s KSR despite his sister’s complaints that she was taking good care of her bike, while Vali volunteered to go to the city and grab some additional supplies, now that they had guests. With nothing else to do in the kitchen until Vali returned back with the supplies, Dagaz thought that sweeping the temple grounds was a great idea; and so he left the Norns along with Tyr and Hild to have their family reunion of sorts.


 

Well, I guess that’s the last of them!’


 

Smiling as he proudly inspected the stack of leaves in front of him, Dagaz was happy to see that thanks to his hard the temple grounds were as clean as never before. Not a single twig could be found lying on the ground, and hopefully that would make everyone realize how hard he must’ve worked to accomplish that without using any magic. Although he could’ve gone for that, given that the whole point was to buy himself some time and keep out of Urd’s hair during her sisters’ visit, he avoided the much faster method, using the good old straw broom to sweep the yard.


 

Oh… I bet Urd might even offer me a compliment and… huh? What the?


 

A sudden gust of wind picked up and ruined everything as it sent the leaves flying all over the place, making the blonde god growl in frustration and Mara to cling onto the tree she was sitting on while spying them from a safe distance with her binoculars. And if that wasn’t enough, the leaves were pulled into a small cyclone as a figure formed in the middle of it; a very familiar form.


 

Oh, Urd!


 

YOU?! What the Hell are you doing here?” shouted the blonde god, interrupting the newcomer as he started to strum his harp and forcing him to look in Dagaz’s direction with a startled expression on his face. “And what about this mess too, pal? Don’t care about the whole oh look how sexy I am with my cape picking up the wind nonsense, I just finished sweeping the place you know!”


 

That should be my line! Why are you living here? I thought that this was my Urd’s home!” shouted the Earth Spirit back at the god, pointing him with a shaking finger.


 

It is, and before you even bother to ask, no… I’m not the only guy living under the same roof. There are two others and we’re kind of out of rooms to spare, so… beat it!” Smiling from ear to ear as the astonished musician stared him with his mouth hanging open in shock.


 

THREE?!”


 

Well… as they say, sharing is caring. Plus, someone needs to keep her busy during the night, and it’s so much easier if we take shifts.” As much of a lie as that claim was, Dagaz was more than happy to turn this guy’s jealousy against him. Last time this bully got away with trying to curse him just because he dared to try and talk to Urd, acting like the perfect control freak of a boyfriend; only to dump her when it was convenient.


 

I… I must put an end at this! Your vice deeds will come to an end right now!” Resisting the urge to just curse him on the spot, the Earth Spirit ran past him, towards the first source of noise he could hear, hoping that it was Urd. “My love! Come back to me!”


 

What a nutcase…’ Shaking his head, Dagaz was about to head back into the house and warn the others of this uninvited guest, but stopped when he spot Vali by the temple’s stairs. He had just arrived back from his shopping trip and immediately an idea formed in the god’s mind.


 

Vali! We’ve got an intruder!”


 

XXX


 

"Urd? Are you in there my beautiful flower?" said the plum tree spirit as he approached the shed where Keiichi kept his Beemer.


 

Failing to notice the Morisato sibling who sat next to Megumi’s KSR and peered over the green bike to see who this weirdo was and what made him think that Urd was here.


 

"You do not have to hide from me, Urd. I shall make you remember our love with a song!" Taking his ever present harp in hand he began to strum.


 

"Oh! Urdy!" he warbled. Strumming another chord, he continued.


 

"You are as beautiful as a birdy!" closing his eyes and tilting his head back the amorous immortal poured his heart into his ballad.


 

"I need to be..." Troubadour was abruptly cut short by an icicle that smashed against the back of his head, before shattering into tiny bits of ice. “OW!”


 

State your name and purpose, or face the consequences!” Standing next to a grinning Dagaz who thoroughly enjoyed this, Vali had already changed into his combat uniform, before summoning the standard issue battleaxe of the Fighting Wings.


 

xxx


 

That’s my boy!


 

Heads turned around Valhalla’s Combat Information Center, as the astonished Valkyries could hardly believe that the enthusiastic and rather loud exclamation originated from the most stoic among them.


 

Daring to voice hers concerns from her station next to Lind’s, Chrono did what few war goddesses had the guts to do. “Uh… captain? I thought that it was generally frowned upon to shoot first and then ask questions?”


 

True.” Wiping her tears of motherly pride off, Lind tried to remind herself that encouraging her young protegee to follow protocol was really important. Even… if she didn’t restrain herself from doing the very same thing her son just did. “I’ll have to reprimand him when he comes back. Oh, and keep that in mind too, Chrono!”


 

Yes, ma’am!”


 

Offering her a content nod, Lind returned back at her task at hand: take a few more photos for the family album.


 

xxx


 

EEK!”


 

The shrill shriek made everyone, Vali included to stare at the Earth Spirit in wonder, as the musician jumped to the roof of the shed, getting as far as possible from the terrible object the blue haired god was holding.


 

What’s up with that guy? Who is he anyways?” asked Megumi, while her brother stepped out of the shed and looked up to the trembling spirit who shook in terror.


 

He’s called Troubadour and happens to be Urd’s ex boyfriend,” spat Dagaz, giving the aforementioned Earth Spirit a glare. “Although don’t underestimate him due to how stupid he looks... This bloke loves to curse anyone who dares to talk to Urd, so keep your guard up.”


 

Hold on! Curse?” asked Keiichi, who started to feel that this didn’t involve mere curse words, but something a bit more substantial. “What kind of curse are we talking about?”


 

The kind that makes your body to fill up with crawly bugs until it bursts…” muttered the blonde god, making both mortals present turn green, although Vali couldn’t care less, his training providing him with the means to counter all but the worst kinds of curses.


 

Besides he’s an Earth Spirit, so I doubt that he can overpower me. And even if worse comes to worst, I can always do what mother instructed me for situations like these: beat the daylights out of him.


 

However, the aforementioned Spirit managed to muster all his courage and get off the roof, determined to face his adversaries. Ignoring Megumi, he was certain that the blue haired god and the other mortal were Dagaz’s accomplices in this filthy scheme to corrupt poor Urd and use her to their heart’s content. “That’s right! I’ll never allow you… you fiends to keep exploiting my Urd’s kind heart! I’ll make you all disappear!”


 

Strumming his harp, Troubadour’s eyes turned red as his ominous tune caused dark tendrils of energy to gather around him like some kind of unholy miasma. “Bugs… bugs… bugs on the march… bugs… on… OW!


 

With a flick of his wrist, Vali launched a fist sized hail ball that smacked Troubadour right between his eyes, causing the Earth Spirit to stumble back and land hard on the ground. “Nice try… but no cigar.”


 

That was so cheap!” protested Troubadour, pointing at the war god cadet with an accusatory finger.


 

So says the guy who thinks that including a mortal as a target is a sign of bravery. And let’s not mention that you’re assaulting us without any provocation while you’re technically an intruder. Because I highly doubt that you were invited here,” said Vali, narrowing his eyes at the musician.


 

I’m here to rid my Urd of you three perverts who are taking advantage of her!” cried Troubadour, strumming his harp. “Oh, Urd! How could you let these brutes touch you, my innocent flower!”


 

Innocent?” asked Dagaz, as images of Urd’s most daring outfits popped in his mind. “Are we even talking about the same goddess?”


 

I may have hit him a harder than intended,” said Vali, scratching his head while Keiichi noticed a scroll lying on the ground, but before he could pick it up, the rest of the immortals joined them to see what the commotion was all about.


 

Hey, what’s up with all that noise all of a sudden?”


 

Staring at them with a raised eyebrow, it took Urd a moment to notice that there was a newcomer among them, but a very… familiar looking one. ‘Oh no… not this again! Why is Troubadour back? I thought he had departed on a journey to find the Golden Nightingale. So, what is he doing here?’


 

Oh, Urd!” getting up in a hurry, Troubadour ignored the looks we was getting from her sisters and continued with his song. “Your hair, while like the purest snowflakes in the winter. Your eyes reflect the sun like the most beautiful amethyst gems! Your cherry lips so enticing like…”


 

Hey, if we keep going south, I’m out of here. I want no songs about my hooters, especially not while a certain someone’s around,” said Urd, interrupting the amorous Earth Spirit and doing her best to avoid looking towards Skuld who was giving her a dirty look, realizing who she was most likely talking about. “Besides… why are you here to begin with?”


 

I’m here to rekindle the flames of our passion!”


 

Can we not have any flames? She already burnt the house down yesterday.” said Tyr, surprising the musician when he decided to voice his thoughts.


 

I was trying to light up the gas stove!” objected Urd, but to no avail as her father was relentless.


 

The oven, my fluffy tail! You light up the whole temple along with your mother’s britches and nearly got the rest of us in stitches!” shot Tyr back at his daughter, while Hild couldn’t help but snigger in the distance. “And if you think that it’s funny that I rhyme, then tell that to someone who gives a dime.”


 

That childish giggle caused Troubadour to look up from the wise cat, and towards a sight that made his face lose all color. Standing next to Keiichi who had just picked up the scroll he previously found, was a little girl that greatly resembled Urd. “No! How could fate be so cruel?! They had already sown the seeds of their foul desires into…”


 

A lightning bolt ended his sentence, as a growling Urd narrowed her eyes at the soot covered Troubadour. “Which part of we’ve got minors here can’t you get, you nitwit?”


 

I’m not a kid!barked Skuld, sticking her tongue at her eldest sister, who simply returned the favor.


 

And while the two quarreling siblings went on with the middle sister trying to defuse the situation, Troubadour jogged towards the unfortunate mortal and the Daimakaicho’s avatar with a sense of purpose written on his face. “You, mortal! Who’s this one’s father?”


 

How am I supposed to know?” asked Keiichi, as he honestly knew nothing about Hild’s background, other that she was Urd’s mother.


 

Oh my poor Urd!” cried the musician, strumming his harp almost out of habit. “Having a child born out of wedlock, without even knowing who sired your offspring!”


 

While the rest simply gawked at the almost delirious Earth Spirit, Hild couldn’t help but find it utterly amusing that not only did he fail to recognize her, but also ignored the simple fact that she was a pure blooded demoness. None of Urd’s housemates had any traces of demonic blood ancestry and as such, having a child with her was highly unlikely to result in a demoness like Hild. At best it would have some of her demonic ancestry, but not to such a degree.


 

Huh? Wait, you think that she’s…” started the confused Keiichi only to be rudely interrupted by the jealous musician whose intense gaze was downright murderous.


 

Mortal! Tell me which one of you filthy lot fathered her, now! If you’re honest with me, I might decide to spare you,” said Troubadour, leaning closer to Keiichi while that dark aura manifested around him once again.


 

However, before the mechanic had the chance to offer a reply, Hild decided to do that for him, but not in the way most would’ve expected from her. Attaching herself to Keiichi’s torso, the little version of the Daimakaicho simply uttered one, yet utterly shocking word. “Daddy!


 

What the?!... Hey, let go of me, Hild! That’s... that’s not funny!


 

I knew it!Despite Keiichi’s rather obvious shock, Troubadour was already convinced that this was perpetrator of sullying his Urd. And that heinous crime had to be punished before he even got to deal with those other two gods that were also guilty but to a somewhat lesser degree. “I hope you enjoyed your short life, you vile vermin! Because I’ll now make you disappear!”


 

Oh, for goodness sake!Urd had had enough. Considering that this guy refused to take the hint and his actions were starting to genuinely disturb her, she fired a lightning bolt, but this time it was more than a warning; it was meant to hurt. As distasteful as it was to actually harm someone, even without getting to the point of injuring them, Urd came to realize that Troubadour’s jealousy has gotten out of hand. Perhaps it had always been that way and she simply wanted to think that her boyfriend was a nicer person than he actually was. Or maybe she ignored those faults by subconsciously considering those overreactions as a sign of undying love and affection. Either way, Troubadour had gone from being an overzealous boyfriend to someone who could be very well described as a stalker and she needed to put an end to this before somebody got hurt. “That’s my mother, you dumbass!


 

EH?Picking himself up from the ground with some effort on his part, as he was still recovering from getting electrocuted, Troubadour gave Hild a much better look and soon enough he bowed his head down to the ground. “Honorable mother! I’m really pleased to meet you in person!”


 

Uh… that’s something you’re supposed to say after you’ve married my daughter, you know.” Scratching her head, Hild ignored Urd’s glare, knowing the goddess was far from pleased by her actions but then again, someone had to prod her in order to react. It was disturbing to see Urd simply sit idly while this Earth Spirit got away with bullying Keiichi, let alone threaten to effectively kill him. A mortal certainly couldn’t survive having their body filled with insects and that should've been obvious to Urd, yet she hesitated to act which only encouraged Troubadour to go on with his act.


 

Enough! I’m done with this!” Glaring at her ex, Urd wanted to make it clear that this time there would be no further misunderstandings. So far she had opted to avoid a particularly nasty breakup for the sake of what happy moments they had in the past, but this was clearly too much. “I don’t have a child, and neither I’m sleeping with anyone, but!... Even if that was the case, that’s none of your damn business! And let’s not even talk about leaving a child of mine orphaned because you cannot accept reality!”


 

But, I…”


 

You, departed on a journey to find some bird and while I let you pursue your dreams. That was your decision, and if you’re a real man, then stick to it! And since we’re no longer a couple, my personal life is none of your business!” She finally said it and for a moment it felt really good, even though part of her worried that it may had sounded a bit cruel. Then again, subtlety wasn’t going to work with Troubadour, as he clearly failed to get a hint and it was better to scare him than have to rely on more extreme measures, like sealing him. “Now, tell me why you’re here and no more nonsense!”


 

I.. I found it! I finally found it!” said Troubadour, his face slowly regaining his color after Urd snapped at him.


 

The Golden Nightingale? Then where is it?” Looking around in wonder, the half goddess along with most of the bystanders made an effort to detect the aforementioned bird, but to no avail. “I can’t see anything!”


 

Oh, that’s the… problem, actually. I’ve only found the scroll to summon it, but…” Reaching for his robes, Troubadour paused when the scroll was nowhere to be found. Panicking he tried every one of his pockets, until he reached a dreadful conclusion. “I’ve lost it!


 

Seriously…” Letting out a sigh, Urd shook her head in disdain reminding herself that this was Troubadour they were talking about, and despite his way of intimidating others, he was even more prone to accidents than Mara. ‘Hold on… I… forgot about her. What did I do with her again? Did I seal her? Or was it me and Bell? Ugh… I can’t recall that.’


 

Excuse me, but are you looking for this?” asked Keiichi, getting both Troubadour and Urd’s attention, as he held up the scroll he found previously. “I found it lying on the ground and…”


 

YES! That’s it!” grabbing it as if it was the most valuable thing in the world, the Earth Spirit cuddled the scroll, much to his audience’s amusement. “My precious!


 

It’s not a ring, so give me a break! Now, why don’t you summon that bird and get this over with,” said Urd, only to blink when Troubadour got the scroll right in front of her face and pointed at the ring around it. “Huh? There is a ring?”


 

That’s right… It’s the seal that keeps me from opening the scroll and according to legend, only the tears of a goddess can remove it,” said Troubadour with a hopeful, almost pleading expression on his face.


 

To begin with I’m only half a goddess, and even then I’m not in the mood for crying,” said Urd before immediately turning to her smiling middle sister, who was already holding a feather in her hands. “Even from tickling, thank you very much, Bell! Now… where was I? Oh, right! If it’s a ring, just toss it in a volcano!”


 

No way! I need the scroll!” said Troubadour, taking a few steps away from the grinning half goddess. She had that look on her face, and whenever that happened… bad things were likely to follow.


 

Come on, don’t be a wuss! Gimme!


 

No!


 

Chicken!


 

Meanie!


 

And they call me a kid’ thought Skuld with a groan, watching the otherwise ridiculous exchange between those two that even managed to have Hild stumped as to how to respond. ‘Just you wait, Urd… Once I get a bit bigger there, I’ll show everyone who’s the most immature in the family.’


 

Looking directly down, Skuld paused for a moment when an idea struck her. Reaching into her blouse where she stored all her contraptions, the little goddess knew what she had to do. “Hey! I’ve got something for a situation like this!”


 

Huh?”


 

Giving her a puzzled look as Skuld brought her compact chainsaw out of her secret stash, the assorted crowd took a few steps back, as the tiny device looked like it was capable to cause some real damage. And the red letters on its side, identifying it as ‘Texas Murder Mk. III’ didn’t make anyone feel much better, eithe. Especially the Earth Spirit whose teeth were rattling louder than hungry piranhas in the middle of a barbeque contest.


 

C-C-C-CHAINSAW?!


 

Oh, I get it now!” said Dagaz with a big grin, as he finally figured out what was going on. “He’s a tree spirit, so he’s scared of all sorts of axes! And the more efficient they are, the worse it is!”


 

Hm… so that’s why he was afraid of my battleaxe,” mused Vali, scratching his chin while in the distance Skuld started to chase the terrified Troubadour around the temple grounds.


 

Hey, come back here, you wuss! I Can cut that dumb ring!


 

Somebody help me! They’ll turn me into wood pellets!


 

Skuld’s getting more and more like her mother. Then again… I kind of like her spunky attitude of hers, though. She really doesn’t take no for an answer.’ Nobody actually noticed Tyr’s smile, considering that mischievous grin cats had on their faces at times, but it was rather clear by his tail that swung from side to side that he was indeed happy. He had always worried that his youngest daughter was too dependent of her sisters, both of them, and that things would’ve hard for her as she grew older. However, with Skuld getting more confident, it was possible that her future seemed promising. A rather fitting prospect for the goddess who governed that particular domain of time.


 

XXX


 

Fifteen minutes later, things finally calmed down a bit, allowing Urd and the rest to sit in the front patio for a steaming cup of tea and crackers. Despite Troubadour’s earlier attempts to run away from a chainsaw wielding Skuld, the little goddess managed to catch up and slice the offending seal of his scroll. Of course, the aforementioned Earth Spirit did have a few issues with her methods, but then again, arguing with someone who still carried a chainsaw was… far from a smart idea even for him.


 

Even Mara who had been spying them all this time decided to take a break and eat some of the stir fried noodles and chicken she had bought on the way here. Besides, it gave her a perfect opportunity to reassess the situation after seeing what was going on here and in all honesty, she was even more confused than before.


 

Okay… so she seems to remember a lot more than I had initially thought. That rules out the possibility that she’s like a lost puppy looking for a home. Heh… as if that would’ve worked with her.’


 

Trying to keep herself from chuckling and in the process blow her cover, Mara’s turned her attention to the most peculiar of Urd’s housemates. While it was fairly obvious why the half goddess might’ve wished to attract the attention of the other two gods, a mortal was… a totally different matter altogether. He had a limited lifespan, no magic powers whatsoever and even his looks were more or less average; not to mention his financial status. And yet, she knew that this one had caught Urd’s eye more than anyone else, much to Mara’s disbelief.


 

Seriously… what are you thinking Urd? A mortal is hardly your equal, although… that talentless hack of a musician sure looks way more dumb. Maybe, she likes hanging around idiots or something?’


 

Mara’s amused grin slowly turned into a frown when the demoness realized that she was the one who spend most time than any of those men.


 

S-She doesn't think that I’m an idiot, right? I mean… sure, I’ve done some silly things and my plans have a tendency to backfire, and my luck just sucks and…’


 

Her lower lip was trembling at this point as the list kept growing by the second. Taking a rather angry yet utterly satisfying bite of her chicken teriyaki, Mara dismissed such negative thoughts and tried to focus on the current problem. This whole situation gave all those celestials the perfect opportunity to stick around the… partially amnesiac goddess and at this rate, it wouldn’t take long for their influence to spread across the city.


 

Yet more than anything else, Mara’s biggest fear was that this incident could trigger some long lasting changes in the half goddess’ personality. At a first glance it was really hard to notice, as Urd’s current behavior wasn’t all too different from what she could recall, but… there were all sorts of tiny details that told a different story. Sure, people changed over time and it’s been indeed a while since she last saw her, but if said changes were solely attributed to her memory loss and subsequent exile to the mortal realm, then Mara had no desire for this to go on. Despite of messing around with each other, Urd was one of the few real friends she had and the prospect of letting her become a boring and utterly generic goddess was too much for Mara to bear.


 

We already have Belldandy as the perfect little goddess, so there’s no need for another one. Hm… maybe she won’t become exactly like that, but… I don’t want an Urd that I can’t have a couple of drinks with. Or… that she won’t try to use one of her bizarre pills on me. Okay, maybe it won’t be too bad if she stops doing that, at least on me, but, I want the good old Urd back, dammit!’


 

Contemplating her options, the blonde demoness knew that the root of the problem was Urd’s amnesia. Even with most of memories within reach, Mara doubted that the half goddess would go back to normal until she finally regained all of them, and that in her opinion was the biggest priority here. None of those men did anything to help, perhaps as an excuse to stick around her, and the worst part was that her sisters went along with it too.


 

Well, just because nobody wants to do anything doesn’t mean that I have to follow their example. I bet that I can find something to help her recover her memory in no time and that should make everyone happy too. Oh!... Especially Hild-sama! I’m going to become the demoness of the decade for sure!’


 

With newfound confidence, the overjoyed Mara began to plan all the intricate details of her most ambitious scheme so far. This was her ticket to success, and even more, Urd was going to owe her a favor.


 

This is the best comeback in history! Now, I’ll better buy the latest catalogue and see what kind of stuff I can order!’


 

XXX


 

Ahem! Mi mi mi miiii!... Hm… not, that’s not right… It kind of lacks depth, so need to go lower...”


 

Hey, are you gonna start now, or what?” Eying Troubadour with annoyance evident in her voice, Urd tapped at her wristwatch. “My soap opera is starting in fifteen minutes, so let’s get it over with!”


 

Urd! You shouldn’t rush a creative artist!” objected the musician but to no avail.


 

What’s so darn creative about singing something written on a scroll?” countered the half goddess, as she bit another cracker. “Now do it, or I’m gonna sing it!”


 

Okay, okay! No need to get so upset about an opera of soaps! I swear… real artists get no respect these days…” grumbled Troubadour, clearing his throat one last time before he actually started his song.


 

It was actually a rather pleasant tune, although for the assorted celestials there was something… awfully familiar in those verses. Especially to the Norns and their father who exchanged a look of utter confusion and disbelief.


 

Father… isn’t that?...” trailed Belldandy, only for Tyr to offer a nod.


 

I think so, although… why did he got that song?” wondered the celestial leader, looking skywards where a portal formed as a result to the Earth Spirit’s aria.


 

And as the rest of the unsuspecting gods along with the awestruck Morisato siblings gazed at the portal, a form emerged from it. A very different form than one would’ve expected, as this was no bird, even if she had four little winglets attached to her head; two on either side.


 

My, my… I’m rather shocked anyone even remembers my summoning song,” said Ansuz with a giggle as she reached her robes and retrieved her communicator, turning to Troubadour. “We use phones these days, young man, so there’s no need to resort to such ancient methods. Still, I’m kind of curious to hear what this is all about and so, here I am. Well? What did you call me for?”


 

To say that at this point Troubadour was utterly confused would’ve been an understatement. He had done everything according to the scroll’s instructions, yet… this Nightingale was really… really different than what he had in mind. But, then again, maybe he was different compared to the other plum tree spirits and his companion reflected that uniqueness as well. With a wide, confident smile on his face and tears of happiness running freely down his cheeks, the musician launched himself at the baffled goddess, and pulled her in a bear hug. “My golden Nightingale! I’ve finally met you!


 

A collective gasp of shock and surprise could be heard across the audience, as everyone save the two mortals knew who this goddess really was, and even more… what was going to follow.


 

Brace for impact!shouted the possessed feline as the rest of the celestials hit the deck, with Vali moving to shield Keiichi and Megumi, Urd grabbed her sisters and erected a barrier, and Hild… reached for a bag of popcorn.


 

YES! Live action adultery! Swe~et!squealed the demoness, much to Tyr’s chagrin. “You never see it in full detail on those TV dramas!


 

Before the cat could scratch the offending demoness, a shockwave pushed them all back as the air around Ansuz erupted. Static charges went off in every direction, striking anything within reach, Troubadour included, while a vein popped in her forehead. Finally, her eyes went from teal to a rich golden color as she could no longer hold her tongue back.


 

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GLOMPING, YOU SON OF A BITCH?!


 

Uh…”


 

The harsh sound of rapid slapping filled the air, as the outraged goddess denied him any chance to offer an explanation. Instead she punished him for this most inappropriate act of immorality and then turned to the one she knew that was behind it. “Hild! What’s the meaning of this?”


 

Aw… come on! You should’ve at least given him a smooch,” said the Daimakaicho’s avatar, puckering her lips, only to infuriate her old rival even more than she currently was.


 

SMOOCH? HIM? RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY DAUGHTERS?


 

Most would’ve simply broken down to tears by how terrible the goddess’ gaze was, and those who could still control their faculties would definitely start apologizing. Hild however belonged to neither of those groups, as she was a category just by herself. “So… if that happened behind their backs, I could get to see the smooch?”


 

HILD! I’m serious here!thundered the furious goddess, reminding herself that there were innocent bystanders that had nothing to do with this… troublemaker’s mannerisms. “I warn you… If you keep acting like this, you’re gonna get a spanking!”


 

You know, if you put it like that. Then I’d definitely love getting a spanking from you, my naughty birdy,” purred Hild behind half closed eyes, causing the goddess to instantly calm down; albeit from sheer shock. “You’re the best one in all nine worlds when it comes to that stuff!”


 

Taking a step back in utter horror, the scandalized goddess immediately turned to the Norns who were staring back at her in wonder; especially the two younger ones whose faces were glowing crimson. “NO! I’M NOT DOING THINGS LIKE THAT!... SHE’S JUST LYING! THEY'RE ALL LIES, I TELL YOU!”


 

As comical as it was to see the second highest ranking deity panic and flap her winglets so hard that she could’ve taken off, Urd thought that this was getting out of hand. “Okay, that’s more than enough, mom. Stop saying naughty stuff in front of everyone, or I’ll take extreme measures.”


 

Hm… you mean either an Urd bolt, or weird medicine?” asked Hild, causing her daughter to narrow her eyes.


 

Hey! My medicine’s not weird!


 

Okay, okay… calm down Urd-chan.” Chuckling, the little Daimakaicho turned back at the teal haired goddess, ignoring Urd’s glare who was still complaining that her medicine was perfectly normal. “It’s been a while Ansuz. How have you been?”


 

Busy, but what else is new?” replied the goddess as she finally relaxed completely, offering her adversary a tiny smile. “Say… this couldn’t be your way to get me all they here, right Hild?”


 

Oh, where did you ever got this silly idea from?” said the demoness, yet neither her tone nor her wink made anyone believe her.


 

Uh… Kei-chan? I’m really confused… Are they friends or enemies?” asked Megumi as she gave her brother a puzzled look.


 

Honestly? I’ve got no idea. At first they looked like enemies, but…” Turning to Vali who was still next to them, just in case his defense barriers were needed, Keiichi offered him an inquiring look.


 

She’s Tyr-sama’s second wife and the mother of Urd’s little sisters. I think that should explain more than enough,” said Vali, a bit reluctant to say more while within earshot of those two. Still, given their stunned expressions, that was more than enough for now.


 

Eh? Mother?asked Keiichi, hardly believing his ears. Even though he had seen what Hild looked like, Ansuz appeared to be even younger than her or at the very least, not as… developed as the aforementioned demoness.


 

Oh, yes! That would be me!” With a wide smile on her face, the teal haired goddess stepped closer to Keiichi and stared at him. “Hm…”


 

Yes! We can still have some live action adultery!” said Hild, earning a few groans from the rest of them; Ansuz in particular.


 

You’re really looking for trouble… Although, I must remind you that this is my full body, while all you have is a thousandth of your actual power! If you think you can win a fight against...”


 

Defensive aren’t we? Well, not that I blame you when you’re so obviously intrigued by our Keiichi-kun! He’s so cute!” squealed Hild, much to everyone else’s horror as Ansuz’s eyes turned yellow once more.


 

You!...


 

Enough! This banter is upsetting your daughters, so, find another game. Both of you!


 

It was rather surprising to hear a cat speak in such a deep, resonating voice, yet both Hild and Ansuz recovered much faster than anyone else present. Sharing a look, they let out a sigh and lowered their heads in resignation, as it became clear to them that fun and games were over.


 

Yes, darling!” said both of them in perfect unison, before Ansuz gave Hild a rather pointed look.


 

Hey, who are you calling my darling, your darling?”


 

That’s my line, humming bird!”


 

Humming bird? Oh, you boobzilla!


 

So be it… I wash my paws of this,muttered the possessed feline, utterly fed up with their incessant teasing. Turning to his side, the funny Daitenkaicho’s eyes burned with a vibrant blue glow as he stared the only one who could put an end to this madness. “Urd, I leave it to you.


 

With pleasure!”


 

Grinning like a madwoman, the half goddess strode towards the quarreling duo and two karate chops later, peace was finally restored at the Tariki Hongan temple.


 

XXX


 

So… you stole the scroll I’ve found and replaced it with a fake?”


 

Glancing to the side where Hild sat on Ansuz’s lap, Keiichi had to admit that he was utterly lost. One moment those two were acting like enemies, the next like friends and now the goddess was actually cuddling the little demoness as if she was her best friend in the whole world. Then again… Urd standing behind them dressed in a UN soldier compete with the characteristic blue helmet might had something to do with it.


 

Yes, that’s quite correct! The moment I glomped you, I swapped those two scrolls,” said Hild with a proud smile, turning back to the sight of a bandaged Troubadour practicing for the proper summoning song.


 

With an ice pack strapped on either side of his face to offer his swollen cheeks some relief, the almost comical looking Earth Spirit had just managed to rehearse the trickiest parts of the song and right on time too. Urd’s favorite show was about to start any moment now and she was starting to lose her patience, as it became evident by the way she tapped her foot on the patio’s wooden flooring.


 

Are you ready now or what?”


 

Huh? Uh… yes, that’s right! I think I can give it a try now,” said Troubadour, clearing his throat and with a short pause he began to strum his harp. It was a soft, soothing tone and far different than his corny love songs, making Urd shake her head at how he wasted his talent on such obvious attempts to come up with some love song.


 

If only he used his skills properly, then he wouldn’t need a stupid bird. Okay… maybe that’s a coming of age ritual for the plum tree spirits or something, but… He’s probably better without any help as far as the vocals are concerned. All he really needs is someone else to write his lyrics. Boy, they’re so corny!’


 

OH! Here it comes!” said Skuld as she pointed up in the sky, getting everyone’s attention.


 

How pretty…” said Belldandy, although her elder sister wasn’t as impressed.


 

That’s it? Looks like an overgrown canary,” muttered Urd with a rather bland expression on her face, as her father voiced his opinion.


 

Mm… roasted on a low fire and served with sun dried tomatoes and sage.” It took him a moment to notice that everyone was gawking at him, before he reached the inevitable conclusion that he had actually said that out loud. “Hey! I’m a currently using a cat’s body! So, stop staring at me like that!”


 

Hild’s absolutely right, dear! Using a mortal body made you susceptible to gluttony!” said Ansuz, giving her husband a stern look. “From now on, you’re on a diet, chubby kitty!”


 

What?!


 

My Golden Nightingale, I finally meet you!” The delighted Troubadour could hardly hold back the tears of joy as his feathered familiar landed on his shoulder; only to turn to tears of pain. “Ooof! You’re heavy!


 

However, instead of a normal chirp for a reply, the bird let out a series of harsh, repeating tweets, some of them short while other drawn out. It was so loud, distorted and brutal, that most of the bystanders just had to protect their ears with their hands; Troubadour included.


 

Why is it making these sounds!” asked the devastated Earth Spirit.


 

Dunno!” shot Urd back at him, trying to shout over the pulsing sounds “Just kill it with fire! Please! Anyone!”


 

Uh… hold on a second!” said Megumi, one of the two unaffected individuals that didn’t react as negatively by the Nightingale’s… chirping. Turning to her somewhat intrigued brother who was the other one not cringing by this performance, she had to make sure that her assumption was right. “Kei-chan… isn’t that?...”


 

Dubstep? I think that’s the case Megumi,” said Keiichi with a nod, despite being the first time hearing such a thing from a bird. Sure, some of them chirped in a repetitive manner, but this took it to a totally different level altogether.


 

Huh? Dub… what?asked the still shell shocked Troubadour after he found out that having longer, more sensitive ears wasn’t always an advantage.


 

Dubstep. It’s pretty popular these days,” said Keiichi with a smile, while Megumi offered a nod to affirm her brother’s claim, seeing that the immortals around them were rather dubious. “With a bird like that, you’ll become famous in no time!”


 

But! It sounds… weird!protested the poor Earth Spirit as the Nightingale offered its version of a happy chirp, causing his teeth to rattle.


 

Well, it is certainly something different, especially for a more traditional musician, but… like I said… it sells!” Shrugging, Keiichi could almost feel the intense battle going on inside the Earth Spirit’s head, with one side begging him to just roast the stupid thing, while the other saw it as a golden opportunity to become really popular.


 

Hm… In that case, I shall prevail and master this new form of music to reach out and touch the very souls of my audience!”


 

And instead blow their ears off…” muttered Urd under her breath, wincing as that infernal bird started again with its dubstep.


 

Preparing to fly off, Troubadour paused for a moment and then looked back. “I…”


 

It’s fine… Just go and and realize your dreams,” said Urd with a smile, before her expression turned sour. “And take that overgrown chicken with you too! Boy, it’s really loud!”


 

T-Thank you Urd! Farewell my love!”