Finding Life: Level Four


Saitama had a cousin named Momozono Asahi. She was his senior at Shiun University, twenty-one years old, and Kaoruko's niece. She wore a white blouse, a blue ribbon on her chest, and a frilly red skirt. She left her white sandals on the porch as she made her way to them.

"Ah! Saitama really is here!" she greeted him. She pushed her shoulder-length brown hair behind her ear and made a cute smile in greeting and raised her hand to give a small wave. He nodded to her and wondered why she was here.

"What are you doing here, Asahi?" Saitama asked.

She pouted. "That's not a way to greet your cousin, isn't it? It's been a long time since we've seen each other and you're treating me like a stranger."

He flicked the bangs on her forehead and rolled his eyes. "You're such a drama queen."

"Well at least I'm not balding at the ripe age of twenty-one," she teased with a wink. Turning to their aunt, she asked, "Kaoruko, what is it you want me to help you with?"

"Can you wipe the windows?" Kaoruko pointed to the bathroom. "The rags are in the overhead cupboards."

"What is she doing here?" Saitama asked loudly, his hands buried in his jeans pocket, and tilted her head as he looked at Kaoruko. She kept her arms crossed and scrutinized Asahi like a professor scrutinized their student's thesis during a defense.

"Saitama, I heard you came to our literature club?" Asahi asked him as she went on her chores. He did, but only after every other club turned him down due to the brawl on his first day at uni. "Oh, and congratulations on your dad getting married!"

Saitama finally realized what was wrong with the picture. Ignoring his cousin's words, he squinted his eyes and bit his thumb. His nose wrinkled in thought. This Asahi was very different from the bratty one years ago who hated doing work with a passion.

"You've changed a lot. I remember you used to hate helping people out with a passion." Saitama and Kaoruko were not exempted from her dislike when they were kids. He remembered the family gatherings whenever it was his or Asahi's birthday and she really went out of her way to stress how much she disliked manual labor of any kind.

"No, I haven't," she muttered, her voice soft enough for the normal person to barely hear her words. Saitama's enhanced hearing made it easier for him to decipher her whisper. "I still hate it."

"Then," he said. "Why are you here?"

"I..." she paused and forced a smile so fake he wondered how she managed to keep it. "I love cleaning."

"Ah. I get it." Saitama made a fist and lowered it to an open palm. "You're just trying to buy a good grade."

"Am not!" she denied futilely. He rolled his eyes.

Convenient. Family had its perks.

Kaoruko poked his shoulder. He glanced at her. She leaned forward and he slightly followed. The curls of her hair almost touched his skin as her lips approached his ear. He could smell the lovely perfume that complimented her already sexy body, making her more alluring.

"Make her yours," Kaoruko said. "She's your first one."

Asahi was humming a song to herself as she held a rag and cleaned the top of the washing machine in the washroom. He raised a brow. "My cousin?"

"What's wrong?" Kaoruko crossed her arms under her breasts, pushing it up slightly. He closed the door to the washroom to keep Asahi from overhearing their discussion.

"You were serious when you said about me having sex with fourteen women?" Although he kept a good poker face, his body was heating up from being in such a close proximity to hers.

"I do not make light of my experiments, Saitama." Her forefinger traced her lips, curling into a smile. "What's wrong?"

"...I can't." Saitama continued staring at her. Her playful smiles were akin to his poker face, he noted, in a sense, they were her default expressions and didn't actually convey what she felt if she felt anything. He wondered if they had an ancestor whose apathy was so great it became a genetic trait.

"It's because Asahi is a sister to me and I couldn't look at her with eyes of passion," Saitama said. "But I'd be lying. It's not Asahi I'm talking about, Kaoruko. It's you."

"Me." She raised a brow, lowered a hand to her distracting hip, tapped the floor and beckoned him to continue.

"I couldn't agree with what you said."

"That you have to touch your cousin?" She made a step around him. "Let's test that out."

Her smile turned into a blank expression as he blocked her path into the washroom.

"What are you doing," she stated in a flat tone. She wasn't asking. She already knew what he was planning.

"She can't be my first, Kaoruko. It has to be you." His hands held her waist and pulled her softer body against his chest. She briefly looked away, either to maintain her blank face or to look for an escape path he didn't know. Her gaze returned to him. She tested his strength by lightly stepping on his foot, and her own, smaller hands went under his shirt, fingers pushed against his abdomen, and the nails trying to bury into his skin.

No reaction.

She stopped altogether after realizing the discrepancy in their strength. With a curious gaze into his substantial abs, she scratched her chin and said, "You're a lot stronger than I remember Saitama. Your father failed to mention that you were working out on a gym."

"Because I wasn't," he said, keeping his hands on her waist. "Did everything by myself. One hundred push-ups. One hundred sit-ups. One hundred squats. Ten-kilometer jogging. Did it until my hair fell off due to the stress." He leaned his head beside Kaoruko's and whispered, "Do you still want this? I want you, Kaoruko, but I won't force you into anything. Just say the word and I'll leave the house."

"Don't leave," she said. His knee went between her legs and pushed her to the wall. She closed her eyes and sighed. When she reopened them, there was a small defiance in her eyes. "But once you have me, you will not withdraw from any of my commands. My body in exchange for yours. Commerce," she said, grinning a little as the professor inside her seeped through her words. "The foundation of society."

Saitama gaped as a rosiness spread across Kaoruko's milky white cheeks. "If you don't follow up on your end of the bargain I shall consider it terminated and have you leave immediately," she whispered, her lips so close he felt the warmth of her breath, and rubbed her thumb on his abdomen.

Saitama realized he was blushing when the heat didn't disperse from his cheeks.

"D-deal," he stuttered, uncharacteristically. The flirtatious grin on her flustered face was also out of character, he noted as their lips grew closer to each other. The fondness in her eyes was real, he noted, his fingers caressing her cheek. And then he lost all connection to his surroundings as she moaned into the kiss.