Sorry I took this chapter down for a while. I had intended for it to be down for only a few days while I corrected some things I didn't like, but time got away from me like crazy, and I have thus kept this chapter off the site for WAY too long. I've fixed the minor details I didn't like, and now it's back to stay.
Izumo Inn - Around May
Life was simple around Izumo Inn. The residents were pleasant people, the recent upgrades allowed for many more clients to check in, and one resident polygamist had more women (all but one of them with child) than you could shake a stick at...
Okay, so maybe it wasn't exactly all that simple.
"I'm home!" Called out Minato as he came back from his job at the construction yard.
"Welcome home, Minato." Greeted Miya, her hand resting on her slightly swollen stomach as she planted a quick kiss on his cheek. "How was your day at work?"
"Exhausting, as always." He grunted as he stretched out. "And how was your day?"
"Well, you know how everyone can be," Replied Miya pleasantly. "With so many Sekirei running about the inn, it's always one interesting day after another."
After the Sekirei Plan had been brought to a screeching halt by the meddling of one, admittedly wacky alien, many Ashikabi and Sekirei had gotten anonymous tips that Izumo Inn was the place to be if you were looking for a new home for whatever reason. Needless to say, those already in residence at the inn suspected those messages to be one of two final pranks from the mischief making alien that is Sallem (the other one being all the weapons installed on Minato's new car), especially since they had confirmed with Takami that M.B.I. had nothing to do with the letters.
"Oh, Minato~!" Kazehana cooed as she entered, as if on cue, and pressed her ample assets and swollen stomach up against him. "How's my one and only hubby doing?" She asked before receiving a solid whack to the head from Miya's ladle.
"How many times must I tell you to wear something less revealing?" Asked Miya sternly.
"Aw, come on, Miya," Whined Kazehana as she rubbed her exposed stomach happily. "My baby feels soooo much better when she gets a chance to breath."
"It's bad enough that you dress like this normally, Kazehana," Muttered Homura as she and Akitsu came along. "But it's just plain creepy that you're still dressing like that when you're about a month away from giving birth. For crying out loud, your bellybutton has turned into an outtie!"
"I'll wear whatever I want." Teased Kazehana playfully as she subtly grabbed Minato's butt, causing his face to flush. "Anyway, where have you two been all day? Busy prepping for the day when you two become inseparable, super feminine, wives for Minato?"
Homura growled at the not-so-subtle jab at the fact that, apparently, she'd one day be at Akitsu's side constantly, talking in unison, practically sharing a mind, as well as being a feminine woman if there ever was one.
"She was teaching me how to be a hostess." Akitsu answered bluntly.
"Akitsu!" Panicked Homura indignantly.
"Ohhhh! Interesting career choice Akitsu." Cooed Kazehana. "Does that mean Homura's gonna become a hostess too?"
"Not a chance." Growled Homura as she lit a flame in her hand, only to have it suddenly doused by a spray of water.
"We come home from a long day of modeling, and this is what we find waiting for us?" Asked Tsukiumi angrily as she, Musubi, and Shiina walked in.
Suddenly, Homura, Tsukiumi, and Kazehana all got solid whacks to the head by Miya's ladle. "How many times must I remind you two, that there will be no using your powers inside?" She scolded.
"Then why did you whack me too?" Whined Kazehana as she rubbed the sore spot on her head. "I wasn't doing anything."
"You were grabbing Minato's butt again." Pointed out Miya.
Kazehana was about to retort when she noticed something. "Hey, where is Minato, anyway?"
Everyone's eyes were suddenly drawn to where Minato had been up until just a few seconds ago.
"I can't help but wonder if Minato's secretly been getting ninja training." Remarked Shiina, as he recalled many other times when he'd managed to slip away in the confusion of his wives arguing.
"Why would Minato-sama be getting ninja training?" Asked Musubi curiously.
"Probably because the pirate training class was already full." Joked Seo, who had managed to sneak inside, completely unnoticed, surprising at least a few people.
"Seo! Get your ass up here!" Shouted an angry Hikari from upstairs.
"We've got four crying kids up here, and you're gonna help us calm them down!" Added Hibiki.
"Damn it!" Cursed Seo. "How do they always know right when I get home?"
"Maternal instinct." Offered Shiina.
"Scum sense." Teased Miya.
"Your precious bond as Sekirei and Ashikabi." Said Musubi confidently.
"The GPS implanted under your skin." Remarked Homura in a deadpan tone that made it impossible to tell if he was joking or not.
"What GPS?" Panicked Seo.
"Damn it Seo! Get up here, now!" Demanded Hikari.
"Coming!" Replied Seo as he flew off upstairs.
'That probably could have gone better.' Thought Minato as he slipped into the dinning room. 'I swear, everyone keeps getting more and more unpredictable the closer my wives get to childbirth.' Somewhere along the road, he had gotten used to calling his Sekirei wives. They were bearing his children, so it just felt natural.
"Hey kid," Came a voice, causing Minato to panic slightly, at least until he saw who it was.
"Oh, hey there Mutsu." Sighed Minato in relief.
"Your Sekirei giving you grief again?" Guessed Mutsu as he resumed typing on his laptop.
"Just a little." Answered Minato. "I know they love me, and I love them back, but sometimes things can just get a little out of hand. So anyway, how are you doing?"
"Good enough I suppose," Replied Mutsu casually. "I'm living my life how I want, nobody's forcing me to fight, and I'm just putting the finishing touches on my second novel. Overall, things are going alright for me... with two exceptions."
Minato sighed. He knew all too well what, or rather who those two exceptions were. His sister Yukari was even more temperamental than ever with her mood swings, though thankfully, she was currently at M.B.I. awaiting the oncoming birth of her first child after insisting that she stay there a few days longer than she really had to out of moderate paranoia, and was therefor their problem for the time being.
The other was Mutsu's former Ashikabi, Hayato Mikogami, who was not the least bit happy about the Sekirei Plan being canceled, and had even gone so far as to hire a whole team of private investigators to track down his former Sekirei to try and get it started up again. As far as he knew, they had only managed to find Mutsu and Akitsu, since Mikogami had complained about the investigators being inefficient when he stormed into Izumo Inn, demanding his Sekirei back. When he came for Mutsu and Akitsu, however, Miya, Mutsu, Homura, and Akitsu dragged him into a vacant room, he came out shivering in fear, and hasn't come by since.
Minato still had absolutely no idea what went on in there, and had no plans to find out anytime soon.
"Yeah, I can kinda understand where you're coming from." Commented Minato. "My sister's always been a handful, but your old Ashikabi hasn't come by since he first showed up, and to be perfectly honest, he looked pretty terrified when he left."
"Good," Remarked Mutsu before drinking some of the tea he had resting beside him. "If I never see that whining brat ever again, it'll be too soon."
"What about Yukari?" Minato dared to ask.
Sighing, Mutsu responded dully. "I'll be perfectly honest, your sister is kind of... unnerving to be around sometimes, especially when she's having mood swings."
"Yeah, she can have a bit of a temper." Admitted Minato.
"You can say that again." Remarked Mutsu. "But even though she can be a spitfire from time to time, I have to admit that she's alright, and more or less polite once you get to know her... Though I didn't really appreciate her trying to sneak into my room last month." He added.
"Yeah, she did kinda overstep some boundaries with that." Agreed Minato uncomfortably.
"So this is where you've been." Came a mischievous voice from the ceiling.
Sighing, Minato and Mutsu didn't even turn to acknowledge who they knew was spying on them. "Matsu, do you really think that a woman in your condition should be wandering about in the ceiling panels?" Questioned Mutsu tiredly.
"How did you know it was me?" Asked Matsu irritably.
"Well, you are the only person in the entire inn who travels through the ceiling," Pointed out Minato. "And by the way, why do you still crawl around up there? You know that M.B.I. isn't after you for stealing a Jinki anymore."
"It's a habit." She shrugged. "Now what do you say you crawl up here and we do some 'experiments' together?"
"Which one of us?" Asked Mutsu sarcastically, as he gave up trying to get more down in his writing for the day.
"With Mina-tan of course!" She huffed indignantly. "Unless you wanna join us too, Mutsu?" She added lecherously.
"Not a chance." Denied Mutsu.
"We had sex a week ago, and I just slept with Miya last night." Reminded Minato.
"You're really seeing a lot of action, aren't you, Minato?" Asked Mutsu.
"Hey! I'm a woman! I have needs!" Insisted Matsu. "It's not my fault being pregnant is making me horny."
"You're always horny." Corrected Mutsu coldly.
"Mutsu! Don't be so meeaaaan!" Matsu began, before she started panicking for some reason. "Plants? Kusano! This - ah ha ha ha ha ha ha - isn't funny! Get these vines off of my - ha ha ha ha - legs! And please stop - ah ha ha ha ha ha - tickling my feet!"
As Matsu continued laughing, the sliding doors opened, and Kusano, holding her usual potted plant above her head with the vine reaching into the ceiling panels, entered.
"Hey Kusano." Greeted Minato awkwardly, trying not to pay any attention to Matsu being tickle tortured by a plant in the ceiling. "Where have you been?"
Kusano came up, sat on Minato's lap, and pointed up. "Someone came out of the closet." She said innocently.
Minato, Mutsu, and all of Minato's other Sekirei and Shiina who had tracked him down to the dinning room, paled in wide-eyed shock at Kusano's words. the only exceptions were Musubi, who didn't get the innuendo, and Matsu, who was still being tickle tortured.
Shiina, managing to recover the fastest out of everyone due to his sibling-like bond with Kusano, was the first to voice what was on everyone's mind. "Ku, what exactly do you mean by that? I mean... we already know that Chiho and Uzume are... um... er..." He trailed off.
"Someone came out of Minato onii-chan's closet." She repeated, slightly irritated.
At this, Minato got several stares. Ranging from the embarrassed looks on the faces of those who were (or at least used to be) men, to the furious look on Tsukiumi's face, to the vacant and mildly confused looks on Musubi and Akitsu's faces, to Miya's and Kazehana's slightly shocked, though also amused expressions.
"I have no idea what she's talking about!" Minato insisted quickly.
"I'm... sure that there's a perfectly logical explanation for what she's saying." Said Homura awkwardly.
"I'd sure like to hear it." Growled Tsukiumi.
"Ku... Where on earth did you hear that expression?" Gaped Shiina.
"I'm confused," Said Musubi. "Why would someone be in Minato-sama's closet?"
Kazehana giggled. "So innocent. I bet she still hasn't figured out that she's got a baby growing inside of her."
"Musubi's baby is inside of her!" Musubi panicked. "Musubi thought she was just fat!"
Everyone suddenly got really quiet.
"Minato, I thought you said that you were going to explain it to her." Scolded Miya mildly, breaking the silence.
"I tried," Insisted Minato. "But no matter how I explained it, she just didn't understand."
"Did you use any words with three or more syllables?" Asked Mustu. "If so, I think we've found the problem."
"Hello!" Interjected a cheerful voice. "Am I interrupting something?"
Not recognizing the voice, everyone turned to the source of the sound, and saw something quite surprising.
A wolf in a bizarre outfit.
"Hope I'm not causing any problems you haven't already started," Said the wolf playfully. "But I was in the neighborhood and thought I'd drop by."
Everyone just stared in shock at the talking canine. Jaws dropped, people dropped, and Kusano said "I told you someone came out of Minato onii-chan closet" but everyone was still too shocked to pay attention.
Shiina was the first to break the silence. "T... T-T-TALKING DOG!" He panicked.
"Damn it!" Shouted the wolf, scaring Shiina even further. "How many times do I have to tell people, I'm a wolf! Not some tamed mutt!"
Everyone's eyes widened in recognition at that line. "Sallem?" Guessed Minato.
"Glad to see that somebody recognizes me." Smirked Sallem as best a wolf could. "I mean, I knew that Miya would get it right away based on just my clothes, but it was still fun to see how everyone else reacted to my current appearance."
Everyone continued to stare at Sallem, wondering just what had happened to him. Finally, someone broke the awkward silence. "YOU!" Outburst Tsukiumi angrily.
"Ah!" Realized Sallem instantaneously. "So, you found out that I lied to all of you about where Sekirei come from, did you?"
Tsukiumi suddenly froze just as she was about to attack him. "H-How did you know that?" She squeaked.
"Well, I couldn't really think of anything else that I did that would upset you so much if you haven't already chewed me out for it, so I just dared to venture a guess." Sallem said confidently. "But you have to admit, if you were watching it from an outside perspective, the lie I told you about the whole 'prostitution' thing would be pretty damn funny. I mean seriously, you're all humanoids. How gullible are you all? Did you honestly think that all species in the galaxy would be interested in your body shape? Believe me when I say that there are actually some pretty messed up standards of beauty out in all of existence."
Tsukiumi just sputtered incoherently for several second before Miya stepped forward. "Yes, you did seem to do quite a bit of lying during your time on this planet, 'Mr. Hobo'."
"So, you figured out that I was lying about that too." Sallem commented cheerfully.
"You said that your basement was a pool of money," Remarked Mutsu. "It was obvious that you were lying about something there."
"Quite right." Confirmed Sallem. "If you must know, I am actually the founder, and current head of Zero Industries; the single greatest company in my entire galaxy. And I am also the single richest person in my entire galaxy, as well as the most intelligent. So, now you know."
"Once a liar, always a liar." Said Homura and Akitsu in perfect unison, prompting Homura to look at Akitsu in shock and clutch her head, groaning in fear of a future of being of one mind with another.
"You want proof?" Asked Sallem. "Fine, proof is actually on the way right now as luck would have it. Just try not to panic when you see him, which, if you've seen Star Wars, will be pretty hard to manage."
"What are you talking a...bout?" Shiina slowed down as his eyes got wide in fear. "G... G-G... General Grievous!" He panicked.
"Case and point, right there." Sallem said slyly at the shocked expressions of everyone in the room besides himself as he turned around to greet the cyborg general. "Hey Grievous. How did the job go?"
"The King Land Shark was retrieved, as per your instructions." Responded Grievous in a grizzly tone. "Will there be anything else, master?"
Sallem hummed as he thought it over. "Tell you what, you've been doing so good recently, why don't you take some time to train a bit against a few hordes of zombies?" At this request, Grievous groaned, or at least did something akin to a groan. "Is there something wrong?"
"You know how I feel about dealing with survivors." Said Grievous angrily.
"Which means, you've obviously forgotten about how things work again." Sighed Sallem. "You kill the zombies. The survivors come to you. You let the survivors follow you. When your shift is over, you bring the survivors to the cleansing chambers with you to be cleaned up, fed, and sent out into their new home. Then you go home, enjoy yourself, and never see the survivors again. It's really quite a simple system."
Grievous growled. "Fine!" He barked out. "But I'd still rather be fighting monstrosities in the Gourmet World again." He consented as he pulled out a remote, pressed a button, and disappeared. Leaving a smirking Sallem to explain things to his stunned and fearful friends.
"See, Grievous of Star Wars works for me." He said slyly. "Now do you believe that I'm filthy stinking rich?"
"What's going on?" Panicked Shiina. "I thought Grievous and Star Wars and all of that stuff was just fictional!"
"Yes, and no." Responded Sallem. "Most works of fiction as you know them are actually based off of real events that happened in other dimensions. It's just that very few people actually have the technology to traverse these dimensional boundaries, as the technology required to do so is regarded as nothing more than a ridiculous myth to most sane people. Also, much more often than not, the people who write these stories only know about them via a sub-conscious psychic link with these worlds, so they themselves only see these worlds as their own marketable imagination."
Everyone just stared at Sallem in shock. Once again, he had managed to cause mass mayhem while barely even trying.
"Does anybody want some dinner?" Asked Sallem. "I'll have my personal chef whip up something that will really knock your socks off."
"Is this all nothing more than some game to you?" Asked Mutsu irritably. "Come by, mess with our heads, and then just wander off when you get bored?"
"Somewhat, yes." Conceded Sallem. "Now does anybody want some Ten-Star cooking? Because I'm in the mood for an Eight-Course meal of deliciousness."
Just as Miya was about to protest, the stomachs of every expecting female in the room started to rumble in hunger. "Well... I suppose that it is about time for me to start work on dinner." She said with a slight blush as she rubbed her swollen abdomen.
"Don't worry about it," Said Sallem as he walked off to the kitchen. "Like I said, I'll have my personal chef make a Ten-Star, Eight-Course meal for all of us."
"You are aware that cooking only goes up to Five-Stars, right?" Questioned Homura skeptically.
Sallem smirked as he jumped up onto the kitchen counter, despite Miya's protest. "Trust me, you'll be changing your tune about how many stars you can give food very quickly after just one bite of Chibi's cooking." He explained as he shook off his scarf, revealing the machinery hidden underneath it.
"Who's Chibi, and does he brew sake?" Asked Kazehana mischievously, only to receive a whack to the head from Miya's ladle.
"How many times must I remind you," Began Miya. "I cannot allow you any alcohol in your condition."
"It's for after I give birth~!" Whined Kazehana. "I know better than to drink when I'm expecting."
"What did I miss?" Asked Matsu, who had just recovered from her tickle torture.
"A doggy was in Minato's closet." Said Kusano.
"The dog was Sallem." Continued Homura and Akitsu together, further frustrating Homura.
"Sallem lied about a lot more than just where Sekirei come from." Growled Tsukiumi.
"General Grievous showed up." Continued Shiina nervously.
"He works for Sallem." Added Mutsu.
"Sallem is actually loaded." Chimed in Kazehana.
"He's offering to have his cook prepare our dinner." Said Miya pleasantly, as if nothing was wrong.
"Two tiny robots came out of Sallem's neck." Finished Musubi, causing everyone to look at her, and then Sallem in shock.
Everyone was silent for several seconds, staring at the tiny robots that popped out of Sallem's neck get to work on preparing food that one of them popped out of his head somehow. Finally Matsu broke the silence. "What did I miss?" She repeated nervously.
"I showed up. That really all you need to know." Responded Sallem, wanting to get things over with. "At any rate, while Chibi, that's the robot with the cooking implements, whips up some food, I think I'll go scare some innocent bystanders." He smirked as he hopped off the counter and made a break for the door.
"Hold on a second!" Cut in Minato as he suddenly grabbed Sallem's tail, causing the wolf to growl at him, though Minato kept his grip. "This is all very sudden, and I know that we all owe you a lot... But right now, I think everyone wants some answers, and you keep changing the subject. Why did you lie to us? Why did you just come back all of a sudden? And why did you get involved with all of this in the first place?"
Sallem continued to glare at Minato in anger for grabbing his tail; the robotic manifestation of his aura clashing with Minato's multi-headed dragon aura. Neither party giving in, but still scaring the crap out of several people present. Until finally, someone relented. "Fine, I suppose I owe you all that much." Sallem consented. "But some of this stuff is, for lack of a better term 'man stuff' so I'll only be that information to Minato, Mutsu, and Shiina."
"So you mean to withhold important information from me?" Asked Miya, her demonic aura joining the clash of fear. "I'm the owner of this inn, so I believe that I'm entitled to this information."
"And what about me?" Asked Homura irritably. "I used to be a man too." She said with no small hint of shame.
"In this order," Began Sallem as he struggled to keep himself from laughing. "You've been keeping your fair share of secrets yourself, Miya. And we all know that Homura's not gonna keep her tomboy attitude forever. So there." He smirked as Homura fumed over being reminded about what her future holds. "Now, which questions will you be asking first? Please keep in mind that I like things to be kept short, sweet, and well worded."
"Why did you get involved with the Sekirei Plan in the first place?" Minato repeated.
"Alas," Sighed Sallem dramatically. "The first question you ask is one that I refuse to answer in the company of women. Please, try something else for now. I promise that I'll get to that question for the men later."
"Why do refuse to answer that question in front of us all?" Asked Miya sternly. Much to her surprise, Sallem actually averted his gaze and looked rather uncomfortable.
Coughing into the air a few times, Sallem kept his eyes on a wall to the left. "Well... As I said before... The reason for my silence is because it's... Man stuff..."
Miya nodded in understanding. "You need say no more. I know scum when I see it." She said in a pleasant way, that somehow made one feel as if they were having their morals insulted; specifically the morals regarding love, relationships, and attraction, all in the physical sense.
"Shut up and ask another question." Insisted Sallem, his head still turned away. "I'll have you know that I've done some extremely evil things in the past, and am not opposed to doing so now."
Staring at him intently, Minato continued his line of questioning, knowing that he'd get all the answers he needed eventually. "Then why did you lie to us?"
"Two reasons," Sallem said humorously. "One, it was funny as hell to gauge your reactions to all the shit I could come up with." He said before bursting into his traditional Yo ho ho laugh, leaving everyone dumbfounded, shocked, and very much irritated. After catching his breath, he continued. "Two, I guess I got a bit too much into the character I was using at the time."
When Sallem had been silent for a long pause, Mutsu continued the questioning. "What exactly do you mean, you got too into character?"
"I'll be honest with you guys," Began Sallem happily. "Minaka isn't the first villain I've taken down, and I doubt that he'll be the last. It's actually something of a hobby of mine to take down bad guys." Starting to feel a bit boastful, Sallem decided to have some more fun by pretending he had an overinflated ego. "And of course, someone as awesome, badass, intelligent, and all around devilishly handsome as myself-"
"Not to mention modest." Homura muttered sarcastically.
"-Would be able to take down pretty much anyone in a heartbeat." Sallem continued, undeterred by Homura's comment. "So in order to make things a bit more fun, I hold back a great deal of what I'm really capable of, and even go the extra mile to not just beat my enemies, but outright humiliate them as well. And in my experience, the best way to do just that is to beat my foes at their own game. And in the case of the Sekirei Plan, I suppose that could be taken quite literally."
"Beat him at his own game?" Repeated Tsukiumi skeptically. "From what I've seen, all you really did was a bunch of random shit, set Minaka up for serious crimes, and wing the Disciplinary Squad. How does any of that qualify as beating Minaka at his own game?"
"Well, I'd say that you just gave three very good examples just now." Sallem commented, confusing everyone. Even Miya would admit that she was completely lost. "Yo ho ho ho. I see that you all don't quite get it yet. The random shit, as Tsukiumi put it, was Minaka's insanity. Setting him up for crimes, was his manipulation of information. And the Disciplinary Squad? Hello! It's called the Sekirei Plan for a reason. I didn't just beat Minaka, I completely humiliated him. In the news, the paper, even the internet, and that's the kind of humiliation that never, ever goes away." It was obvious that Sallem was quite pleased at his own genius.
Long silence. Then a voice. "He's got you there Miss Panties." Said Kazehana.
"Don't remind me." Growled Tsukiumi. "And stop calling me Miss Panties!"
"Insane he may be, but it's good inspiration nonetheless." Remarked Mutsu as he wrote some notes on a pad of paper.
"I really wanna burn him right now." Growled Homura in contempt of Sallem's cocky attitude.
"I... guess that answers that question." Relented Minato. "But why did you come back all of a sudden?"
Again, Sallem got really nervous at the question. Obviously he really didn't want to talk about it. "Well... Karasuba's being... moody, for lack of a better term... So I ran away for a bit."
"I... I understand." Cut in Minato instantly. "There's really no need to elaborate." At this point, Minato was suddenly aware that every one of his Sekirei was eying Sallem dangerously. He supposed that they were upset that someone would suddenly walk out without warning during a woman's time of need.
"Hey, ladies! Cut me some slack, okay?" Pleaded Sallem. "A guy needs to get some time to himself every so often. You can't honestly expect me to stick around all of the time? You're not even really involved with any of this anyway. What do you want from me?"
"Well... at least we know that he wasn't lying about being an expecting father!" Cut in Shiina quickly, trying to defuse a bomb.
"Actually, I kinda did lie." Admitted Sallem sheepishly. "Karasuba is the only one who was really expecting at the time-"
"Shut up!" Whispered Shiina. "I'm trying to help you here!"
"Not to mention that she'd been child for about a month and a half at that point already, not just a day." Sallem continued on, sounding like he was actually enjoying the bad attention. "I just came up with that lie right before the Christmas party so that we could actually attend. I didn't even know that she was really expecting until she told me right after the party. Benitsubasa and Haihane were so upset that I'd had sex with Karasuba before either of them, that they forced me into a three-way right then and there. They've actually been getting along surprisingly well for a trio that used to be at each other's throats half of the time. Anyway, long story short, I'm more or less in the dog house as you humans would say." By the end, it was painfully obvious that Sallem was enjoying being the center of attention, especially if people hated him.
Everyone was silent for a moment, and suddenly, Miya walked off, only to come back with sword in hand, which was rather shocking. Even though everyone may have been united against Sallem's morals, or lack thereof, to pull out a sword on the guy was kind of extreme.
"I think that's my cue." Smirked Sallem as he, Minato, Mutsu, and Shiina disappeared in a flash of light, leaving nothing behind but a pair of cooking robots, some stupefied Sekirei, and a hologram that read. Gone Fishing. Back by Dinner.
Sallem's Personal Office
"Where are we?" Demanded Mutsu immediately after the light faded and he, Minato, and Shiina found themselves in an extremely luxuriously furnished office which, aside from the floor, was shaped like a sphere.
"My office of course." Laughed Sallem. "Didn't you see the caption?"
"What are you talking about?" Mutsu asked as he got a grip on his sword.
"Oh, right," Realized Sallem. "I forget, regular people can't see it. I swear, I've been spending too much time with Deadpool."
"Who?" Asked Minato uncertainly.
"Deadpool's a mercenary." Answered Shiina. "He's also completely insane."
"Nerd." Taunted Sallem. "And oddly enough as it is for me to be ignorant of a trait of someone I know, I had absolutely no clue as to that little fact. Seriously, I could probably name at least nine different species from Star Wars that the creators cared enough about to actually really work on getting right, and I bet that you could give a detailed description of each of them."
"Don't say that like it's a bad thing!" Objected Shiina, feeling as though he had been greatly insulted. "You said yourself that Star Wars really existed! And do you have any idea what it's like to be stuck in one building for several years? I may have had Ku to keep me company during most of it, but I had to occupy the rest of my time somehow!"
"Easy there, Shinigami," Said Sallem. "No one ever said that having a hobby was a bad thing. You got into works of fiction, Mutsu does his writing, I kill zombies, go hunting in the Gourmet World, play matchmaker, and oversee my own Jedi temple in my spare time. Everyone has their own thing."
"YOU HAVE A JEDI TEMPLE!" Exploded Shiina excitedly. "Does that mean that you're a... a..."
"I just founded and run the place." Denied Sallem. "I'm incapable of using the Force myself."
"A-HEM!" Intervened Mutsu. "I think that you're forgetting a few important details. Like where we are, and what we're doing here?"
"Right, right. Of course." Admitted Sallem. "Sorry to get off track, but it's just so much fun to tease people. Anyway, I brought you all here to my office talk for a bit in private, and let the girls cool their heels for awhile."
"I really don't think that they'll be calming down back home." Deadpanned Minato.
"That's why I had Chibi, that's my little robot, start cooking before we left." Said Sallem. "By now, the scent of the food cooking will be so delicious, they'll be completely mellowed out, and won't be the least bit aggravated when we get back."
"You're evil." Said Mutsu bluntly.
"I'm a businessman," Smirked Sallem. "Tell me something that I don't already know. Now, onto business." He said as he pressed a button on his desk. "Ninja Table. Please report to my office right away."
Almost instantly, a bizarre and greatly disturbing... Thing walked into the room. It was built like a crab, had four human legs, four human arms, wore a musty cloak and a large metal collar, carried a large tray in its four arms, and had the most disturbing head everyone in the room besides Sallem had ever seen. The head in question looked like someone had taken two heads, one was a spiky blond kid with a retarded fox face, and the other a raven-haired kid with hair resembling a duck ass, taken off their lower jaws, put the heads together so that the retarded blond fox one made the new lower jaw and the duck ass haired one made the upper jaw, and attached their old lower jaws to the sides of their head like the sideways mouth of some insect. To say Minato and Mutsu were disgusted was an understatement, and Shiina even looked horrified.
"This is one of my experiments." Sallem informed them happily. "Believe it or not, they used to be a pair of game breaking ninjas, before I got my hands on them, beat them into submission, and turned them into that. They are now my pathetic slave."
Minato didn't know what to say. He was horrified and disgusted to see that anyone was capable of doing such a horrible thing to people without the least bit of remorse. Nobody should ever be treated in such a way, but Minato was too disgusted right now to be angry.
Mutsu wasn't faring that much better. While he knew that Sallem was clearly not a very moral person, he had never expected that he was capable of such depravity. This guy wasn't just evil, he was even worse than Minaka.
Shiina on the other hand... "You monster!" He shouted. "How could you do something like this? Don't you have any sympathy? Don't you know who these two are?"
"In this order," Remarked Sallem casually, as if discussing the weather. "I'm a surgical genius. I have plenty of sympathy, just none for ninjas. And I know exactly who these two are, or rather used to be. Naruto and Sasuke. I could never really stand either of them, so I just did this to them."
"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't decay you right now." Growled Shiina, more angry that Minato or Mutsu had ever seen him.
"Because, technically, I've never done anything that would effect any of you negatively, nor do I plan to." Pointed out Sallem.
"That doesn't make what you've done to them any less wrong!" Shouted Shiina.
"Nor does what you're saying make me any less able to kill all of you at once." Said Sallem cheerfully, shocking everyone else. "Of course, I like to think of you all as my friends, so I would never do anything like that. I'm just saying that you shouldn't worry about things that don't adversely affect you. Chronic Hero Syndrome is the calling card of a suicidal nut, unless of course you're hotblooded enough to pull it off, which none of you are, and I'd hate to see anything bad happen to my friends."
With that, Sallem's message was made clear. 'Don't question me, or I'll kill you.'
"Shut up, Narrator!" Barked Sallem. "I'd never kill these guys! They're my friends! And in spite of my occasionally questionable morals, I always look out for my friends!"
"Who is he talking to?" Minato whispered to Mutsu, who just shrugged, not knowing that information himself.
"Don't ask." Said Sallem sternly as he jumped on the tray Table Ninja was carrying. "If you don't want your entire world view as you know it shattered to pieces, just don't ask. At any rate, I know that you asked for a good reason for what I did to these two, and it's really quite simple. Everyone is prone to actions of both good and bad. Sometimes you do the good thing, and sometimes you do the bad thing. These moments happen to everyone, and naturally get bigger and grander in nature the more power you possess. Since I possess an extreme amount of power in terms of money, influence, intelligence, and fighting ability, it's only natural that some of the bad things that I do are naturally far worse than others. Sometimes this is good, like when I turned a bunch of Tenryubito into an even more twisted version of the human centipede. And sometime this is bad, or at least morally questionable, like when I made this thing." He said as he stomped on the tray he was standing on, angering Ninja Table. "And sometimes I quite honestly don't really know what to make of it, like when I committed complete genocide against the Yam'rii."
"How can genocide possibly be a good thing?" Asked a stupefied Minato.
"It was the best way I could get Grievous to work for me." Explained Sallem. "Since you seem to be an expert on Star Wars, why don't you explain things to them, Shiina?"
"The Yam'rii attacked Grievous' home world completely unprovoked." Shiina began. "They were a highly aggressive race who enslaved Grievous' people, known as Kaleesh, started a war with them that killed many people on both sides, ran away when things got too tough for them to handle, and got off without any political retaliation because they bribed the Galactic Republic to make themselves look like the victims, and making the Kaleesh be unfairly punished for the war. With all of this in mind, genocide many have actually been the right choice." By the end of the explanation, Mutsu and Minato just stared at Shiina, completely stunned. "What?"
"I think that they're just shocked by your obsession with Star Wars and advanced political views." Guessed Sallem.
Mutsu coughed into his hand to try to clear away at least some of the confusion and shock. "Alright. Ignoring the abduction, using cooking to distract the others back at the inn, the disgusting experiments, and the genocide, would you please stop dancing around the subjects and get back on track here?"
"That was a very funny sentence, Mutsu." Chuckled Sallem, to which Mutsu responded with an angry glare. "Alright, enough of my tomfoolery. I'll answer the question you've all been dying to hear, and that means you too. You know who I'm talking about." He said to the screen.
"Who is he talking to?" Shiina whispered to Mutsu, who only shrugged as an answer.
"It's very simple," Sallem began. "Just so long as you've seen any movie involving time-travel." Shiina immediately raised his hand. "Who couldn't see that coming." Mumbled Sallem. "At any rate, Last Christmas wasn't my first experience with time-travel. I've actually done it several times before. First time I did it was about eight of your earth years ago, when I traveled about ten years of your time into the future. What I found, is what motivated me to get involved in the Sekirei Plan."
"Let me guess," Began Shiina tiredly. "You ran into your future self, and you were married to the Disciplinary Squad?"
"You're half right." Admitted Sallem. "I ran into myself, I saw my future wives, future me only told me to look for Sekirei and start my own Jedi temple around the same time I was born via more time travel, and I had a nice little time paradox on my hands when I got back to my time."
"Why would your future self tell you to build a Jedi temple in the past?" Asked Minato, ridiculously ignorant, as usual.
"Let me guess," Began Mutsu sarcastically. "This Jedi temple is the reason you couldn't bring your future family to the party?"
"Bingo." Confirmed Sallem. "That, and the fact that my species, and any hybrids of my species, spends the first six years of their lives as wolves before gaining the ability to change between bipedal and quadrupedal forms at will."
"But that doesn't make sense," Intervened Shiina. "Jedi aren't allowed to form attachments, at least not until the New Order was established. How did you even track down people to join your temple? And what about the Jedi temple that already exists?"
"Dude, it's my Jedi temple, so I make the rules there." Explained Sallem. "As for how I tracked them down and about the already existing Jedi temple. I have special scanners, tons of employes to search for potential Jedi, and by searching during and after Order 66, but before the New Order was established, it was fairly easy to gather them up."
"I'm afraid that I'm not following any of this." Confessed Minato. "What does any of this have to do with why you asked yourself to build a Jedi temple, or why you couldn't bring your future family to the party like you did with ours?"
"Are you seriously that dense?" Asked Mutsu. "It's obvious that his future self told him to build a Jedi temple because he, ahem... expands his harem there," Instantly, Minato went red-faced. "Which is also why he couldn't bring his future family with him. I imagine at least Benitsubasa wouldn't be happy about it."
"Exactly." Confirmed Sallem. "I highly doubt she would take it all that well, especially considering the sheer, ahem... number I've added on."
"How many?" Sighed Mutsu, already somewhat disappointed in Sallem.
"I kindly ask that you not give me that look." Requested Sallem. "I marry for love and nothing else... It's just that I have a lot of love to go around." He insisted. 'And you! Out there in front of the screen! Don't give me that look! I know what's real and what's not! And don't tell me that any men reading this haven't fantasized at least once about nonhuman women! You're reading a Sekirei fic for crying out loud! You're all already too far gone for help!' He added mentally.
"How many?" Repeated Mutsu irritably.
"What species?" Added Shiina curiously.
"Shiina's question is nice, but I hope you don't mind if I throw in their names, just so at least he can get a better understanding of thing." Sallem rambled, calling up a hologram as he did so, images of the women appearing on the screen as he listed them off. "Shaak Ti the Togruta, Luminara Unduli the Mirialan, Aayla Secura the Twi'lek, Sian Jeisel the Devaronian, Sha Koon the Kel Dor, and Maris Brood the Zabrak."
"In other words, six more girls." Mutsu remarked. "You're impossible, you know that?"
"So... many... Jedi..." Shiina gaped, starry-eyed at Sallem's words.
"Doesn't that number seem a bit excessive?" Minato asked. "It sounds like you may be biting off more than you can chew."
"I assure you, I am perfectly capable of handling a harem of such a scale." Sallem insisted. "Besides, you're one to talk, Minato. You're involved with eight women."
"Point taken," Minato admitted. "But it can get to be a bit of a handful sometimes. You're really sure you can handle things?"
"Why? You looking for some alien babes?" Jested Sallem. Minato quickly shook his head. "Didn't think so. And anyway, if you think is a lot, you should meet this one guy I know named Link. His harem numbers in the 20s! And a good chunk of them aren't even the same species as he is! Yet somehow even he manages!" Bursting into laughter, Sallem pounded his front paws on the tray he was standing on, further aggravating the already irked Ninja Table.
"In the... 20s..." Repeated Minato in shock.
"A pervert among perverts." Concluded Mutsu.
"Link? As in Legend of Zelda, Link?" Asked a stupefied Shiina.
"Yes. That's very likely. And yes, just not one that you're familiar with." Answered Sallem. "In case you couldn't tell by now, I'm used to answering lists of questions in an orderly manner."
The three men from Earth had nothing more to say. Largely due to the fact that they couldn't believe that a harem could possibly get as big as the one this Link guy has, and still be manageable.
"If that is all, I kindly ask that you please peruse the menu for tonight's feast." Said Sallem as he pressed a button on the tray he was standing on, and a large holographic screen popped up. On it, was a list of 8 dishes that none of the Earthlings were familiar with.
Hors-D'oeuvre - Hundred Leaf Clover Crispy Fried Sesame Tofu
Soup - Magma Consomme Stew
Fish - King Land Shark Grilled Sushi
Meat - Ashurasaurus Roast
Main Dish - ET Rice Balls
Salad - Grana Lettuce Caeser Salad
Dessert - Oasis Melon Sherbert
Drink - Doham Spring Boiling Sake
"Of course we'll have to substitute the Sake with water for the ladies," Commented Sallem. "But we can still enjoy it. That's actually why I changed into this form in the first place. When I'm on two legs, I'm a lightweight. But on four legs, I can drink like a fish!"
"These ingredients..." Whispered Shiina. "They're all from Toriko, aren't they?"
"Yeah. Like I said, what you call fictional, someone else calls reality." Commented Sallem.
"Sake." Sighed Mutsu. "After this little talk, I could definitely go for some of that."
"What about those two?" Asked Minato as he glanced over at Ninja Table.
"What about them?" Asked Mutsu tiredly. "We can't really do anything about them, so let's just leave them."
"Still doesn't feel right." Muttered Shiina.
"Deal with it." Said Sallem coldly. "This is what they get for being ninjas, and two of the most retarded people in history. Believe me when I say that things are much better this way." He finished as he pressed a button on his remote, and they were gone.
Back at Izumo Inn
When the light cleared, Minato, Mutsu, and Shiina happily found themselves back at the dinning room of Izumo Inn.
"It's good to be home." Sighed Minato.
"It's good to have you back too, dear." Greeted Miya as she welcomed him back home with another kiss. "Though I would have preferred that you not leave at all." She commented dangerously in Sallem's direction.
"Still not scared." Taunted Sallem gleefully.
"You're lucky I have my child to consider." Countered Miya.
"By the way, Miya," Began Minato. "Where is everyone else right now?" Normally he was swarmed by all of his wives after being away from the Inn for any length of time, so he was justifiably confused and concerned. "And what's that really good smell?" He added.
"That smell is actually the reason that they're not here." Explained Miya. "Not long after that small robot started cooking, everyone aside from myself was too intoxicated by the scent to worry too much for your safety."
"What did I tell you?" Sallem asked the slightly downtrodden Minato. "The food smells that good, so just imagine how good it tastes."
"Even if everyone was more concerned about food than me," Minato began doubtfully. "Why aren't you crowding around the food, Miya?"
"Because I'm more concerned about my lover than my food." Miya answered honestly, bringing a blush to Minato's face. "Though my self-control, and the fact that the others, aside from Kusano, are much further along than I am may have something to do with it as well."
"That would explain it." Said Mutsu and Shiina in unison. They knew from being around Yukari that expecting women love to eat.
"Still..." Muttered Minato. "It would be nice if the women I love would be more concerned about me than food."
"Awww! That's so sweet of you to say!" Cooed Kazehana as she latched herself onto his back.
"K-Kazehana?" Panicked Minato right before Tsukiumi and Musubi both latched onto one of his arms each. "Musubi? Tsukiumi?" Suddenly everyone else showed up as well. "Matsu? Homura? Akitsu? Kusano?"
"Musubi would never choose food over Minato-sama!" Musubi said reassuringly.
"You didn't honestly think I would care more about food than my husband, did you?" Asked Tsukiumi bashfully.
"B-But, Miya said..." Minato stuttered.
"I'm very sorry about that, dear," Apologized Miya. "But Sallem left instructions for a prank, and I'd be lying if I said most of us didn't want to try it."
"You... pranked me?" Said Minato as though he couldn't believe what was going on. "But why?"
"This is why." Said Matsu as she pulled a recorder out of her breasts and turned it on.
"Still..." Began Minato's hesitant voice over the recording. "It would be nice if the women I love would be more concerned about me than food."
"...What?" Minato asked, still stumped.
"Honestly," Sighed Matsu. "For someone who can flawlessly pass what is propably one of the toughest tests in the world, you can be so clueless."
"We wanted Onii-chan to say he loved us." Said Kusano.
Minato blinked in disbelief a few times before responding. "That's it?"
"What do you mean, that's it?" Growled Tsukiumi as she latched onto Minato tighter.
"Doesn't Minato-sama remember what Musubi said about Sekirei?" Asked Musubi.
"Tsukiumi... Musubi..." Muttered Minato
"Sekirei exist for love." Said Akitsu. "They exist for their Ashikabi. To know and hear that we're loved is important to us."
Minato blinked a few more times. Still not entirely believing the situation before him.
"Minato," Began Homura as she placed a hand on his shoulder. "Do you really think that I would willingly give up my... manhood, something I valued a great deal, if I didn't really love you, and want to be loved back?"
"Akitsu... Homura..." Was all Minato could squeeze out.
"To hear you say that you love us makes us feel good." Pointed out Matsu. "We may already know it, but just to hear it again and again makes us happy."
"Onii-chan hardly ever says he loves us," Said Kusano innocently. "Why don't you?"
"Matsu... Kusano..." Minato again. As if you didn't already know that.
"After being heartbroken once already, Miya and I never once thought we'd find true love again." Cooed Kazehana.
"I'd prefer it if you'd allow me to speak for myself." Commented Miya. "But what Kazehana says is true. For years I'd been only half of what I used to be. But now, here with you, my life feels full again."
"Kazehana... Miya..." Guess who.
"Who can say what lead us to this miracle we found?" Howled Sallem softly. "There are those who bet, love comes but once and yet, I'm very glad we met, the second time around."
This time, Minato just stared at Sallem, more surprised than confused.
"What?" Asked Sallem. "I can be a romantic when I feel like it."
"Yes," Smirked Kazehana deviously, which Sallem could already tell could only mean trouble for someone. "You certainly are a romantic, Sallem." Now Sallem knew the trouble was for him.
"He certainly is," Agreed Miya evilly. "So I guess it's no surprise that he'll go out of his way to seduce six extraterrestrial women." At the sight of Sallem's shocked, panicking, and slack jawed expression, she allowed herself some chuckles, and was soon joined by everyone else.
"How... How... How did you hear that?" Questioned Sallem fearfully.
"I hacked your hologram to see what I could find out about it." Explained Matsu. "Imagine my surprise when I saw that it was linked directly to a remote device on your person, and that I could listen to you through it."
"That's impossible!" Panicked Sallem. "Do you have any idea of just how advanced my remote is? There are only a handful of people in existence who could possibly hack it with anything short of Omnipotence or Omniscience! Even a technopath like you shouldn't be capable of getting into the system!"
"Maybe not on my own," Admitted Matsu. "But with my Norito..." She trailed off, leaving it to Sallem's imagination.
"Norito?" Exclaimed Sallem in disbelief. "But how could you possibly do a Norito when Minato was..." Sallem stopped for a second to think further on the subject. "Wait a second... Are you gonna say it's because of the fact that you're pregnant with Minato's child, and therefor, have his DNA constantly in your body, that you can use Norito whenever you want?"
"I'm surprised you didn't know about this already," Homura remarked. "With the fact that you have three Sekirei yourself, you seem like one of the first people who would find out about this."
"It's not like I wanted them to fight or be tested in their conditions." Muttered Sallem. "I do have some morals, you know. In spite of what you may have seen in my office."
"Not very many, though." Deadpanned Akitsu.
"Yo ho, very funny." Remarked Sallem sarcastically. "Can we please get back to the discussion about Minato not saying that he loves all of you enough? I'd much rather we focus on that than my own suffering." He made no attempt to hide his true intentions. He knew that they'd see through them anyway.
Minato, suddenly coming to his senses, finally reacted to what His Sekirei had said. "That's it? I haven't been saying that I love you all enough?"
"Of course you haven't, Minato!" Huffed Tsukiumi. "As your wife, I expect to hear you say that to me at least once a day! You haven't even been saying it once a week!"
"Kuu is still too little to be a mommy like everyone else," Said Kusano as she grabbed onto Minato's leg. "So Onii-chan should always remind Kuu that he can wait."
"Minato-sama is still shaky around all of us," Said Musubi. "Why is that?"
Internally, Minato was hitting himself over and over for not seeing all of this sooner. "I'm sorry everyone," He began as he slipped his arms out of Musubi and Tsukiumi's grasp and wrapped them around their shoulders. "I guess this is still all a lot to take in. This whole, becoming a father thing is all so sudden, I'm not entirely sure how to take it." He paused before adding. "No, even before that, having all of you love me, while I was very happy that you all chose me... I wasn't sure if I was really up to it."
"So mature..." Sighed Kazehana lovingly as she nestled her head further into his neck.
"So you were just scared that you weren't up to it." Elaborated Homura for him as she wrapped her arms around his neck.
"That's right." Confirmed Minato without any hesitation. "I didn't really know how I could manage all of you. In fact, I'm still not sure. But now I know... I'll manage somehow."
"You won't manage it Minato." Said Akitsu as she wrapped her arms around the neck of a slightly confused Minato.
"We'll manage, Minato." Corrected Miya before kissing him on the forehead. "All of us. Together as one great family. It may not be easy, but the best things in life rarely are."
Before Minato could respond to all the affection, however, the sound of crying interrupted him. "Sallem?" He asked.
"Don't look at me like that!" Exploded Sallem through his tears. "Shiina's crying too!"
"I am not!" Denied Shiina, even though he clearly had streaks of water running down his face. "The scent of the cooking is just making my eyes water!"
"Damn it!" Cried Sallem. "Chibi isn't cooking with any onions, so there's no way the scent can be making you cry!" He was suddenly cut off by the sound of an alarm. "Speak of the devil. My egg timer just went off, which means that the cooking is done. Who's hungry?" He asked excitedly, and received the sound of several growling stomachs in response. "I'll take that as an everyone. Come on, let's eat! And remember, the sake is for the men only." He said as he made a beeline for the table and Chibi came in driving a toy train loaded with food.
Before Minato really knew what was happening, everyone else was already off of him and at the table. Chuckling silently to himself, he did the same. As he did, he reflected on what his Sekirei/Wives meant to him.
'They're an important part of my life.' Minato thought as he sat down and took some of what could only be the appetizer and some water, preferring to stay away from alcohol. 'It's certainly strange to have so many women love me, but I wouldn't trade what I have for the world. Each one is special in their own way. Musubi is so innocent, and so loyal and affectionate. Kusano may be just a little girl, but she's smart enough to see some things that I can't. Matsu may be perverse, but she always looks out for my interests, and supports me in everything. Tsukiumi can get jealous and clingy easily, but that and her shyness are both part of what makes her irreplaceable. Kazehana is flirtatious and lustful around me, but she's always looking out for me like a guardian angle. Homura is still a little uncomfortable about being a woman, but she's probably one of the most sane people here. Akitsu doesn't really have much common sense, but it makes me happy just to see her learn and grow. Miya... While I'm still not exactly sure how a woman who's been hurt and torn as much as she has fell in love again, let alone with me, I'm glad to know that she's opened up to me, especially since she's probably the glue that's held us all together this long. I just hope that I can be enough for all of them.'
"You're all irreplaceable," Whispered Minato, just loud enough for his Sekirei to hear. "And I love you more than anything. Forever and ever." With various degrees of blushes adorning the faces of all of his lovers, and Shiina and Mutsu wearing knowing smiles, Minato started his meal.
With Sallem - After Dinner
"Well, I'd say that this was a happy ending for everyone." Smirked Sallem as he walked down the street, his wolf form and the fact that he could talk scaring the crap out of bystanders. "Wouldn't you agree, Deadman?"
"Stop calling me by the name of some comic book character." Complained a wisp of smoke slowly coming into focus, invisible and inaudible to all but Sallem.
"But don't you think that it sounds cooler this way, Takehito?" Whispered Sallem deviously.
The wisp of smoke, now discernible as what the reader can clearly tell by now is the ghost of Miya's late husband, narrowed his eyes at Sallem. "I don't care if you find it cooler," Warned Takehito. "You may be the only person who can see and hear me, but I'm in no mood to be taunted in such a manner."
"Your aura has no effect on me, remember?" Teased Sallem. "By the way, why are you still here? I thought that all of your lingering attachments to this world vanished once I ended the Sekirei Plan."
"They have," Said Takehito coldly. "I just wanted to... thank you for all that you've done."
"Thank me?" Joked Sallem. "As I recall, ever since I got involved, you've done nothing of great significance other than supply me with the information necessary to modify Miya and create the rewinging drug, as well as complain that I should put an end to the Sekirei Plan already. You and I never once got along this whole time."
"Yeah, and by the way, I don't take back any of the insults I sent your way." Takehito remarked. "But the fact that you went so far as to bend over backwards to find and make loopholes in a temporal paradox so that I could contact you is the one thing you did besides finally ending the Sekirei Plan that I'm really grateful for."
"Yeah, yeah." Muttered Sallem. "You're just lucky that Christian brat with a TARDIS had the rotten luck to show up when he did, otherwise things would be going much differently right now."
"And for that, I've very grateful to Cameron." Nodded Takehito. "You on the other hand, are just a rich idiot with no day job."
"Quoting tvtropes?" Sallem quirked an eyebrow. "I shouldn't have made the mistake of making you a computer that you can actually use. You've been spending too much time on the internet."
"I didn't really have much else to do." Said Takehito. "I'm a ghost, remember?"
"You could always go haunt a school or something." Joked Sallem. "I know this one place that gets enough weird traffic that you'd fit right in."
"No thanks." Takehito shoot that idea down. "Didn't that one kid have the ghost of a 9/11 suicide bomber haunting him?" He asked, obviously not believing the cover story.
"You mean Rito Yuuki?" Sallem nodded in recollection. "Yeah. That was a tricky job, but we handled it in the end." Looking into the sky as he pondered the idea, he continued. "How about Hogwarts? Plenty of ghosts around there."
"Pass." Takehito denied. "I just want to move on."
"You sure you don't want to see Miya one last time?" Asked Sallem, genuinely concerned. "I could make it happen."
"Thanks, but no thanks." Smiled Takehito slightly. "My time in her life is over, and Minato's has just begun. I would just needlessly complicate things if I got involved now. And besides, I know that she and all of the other Sekirei are happy, and that's really more than enough for me." As he said this, his grip on the world of the living began to slip, and he began to vanish.
"Looks like you're dead serious about this." Noticed Sallem. "Yo ho ho ho ho ho. Dead joke." He laughed softly, but there was no joy was behind it.
"Even to my end, your sense of humor is still corny." Takehito shook his head. "Did you give Minato my message?"
"Yeah." Nodded Sallem. "He should have found that ring you planned to give Miya by now."
"Good," Nodded Takehito. "At the very least, it will make a good engagement ring for him to give her." He wiped an ethereal tear from his vanishing eye. "I'm really going to miss her."
"You'll see her again eventually." Reassured Sallem. "Few things last forever, so you'll see all of them again someday."
"But hopefully not someday soon." Said Takehito hopefully as almost all of him had vanished by now. "I wish them all the best of luck. With how Sekirei can be, they're gonna need it." And with that, he crossed over.
"See you around, Takehito." Whispered Sallem sadly as he blinked the tears from his eyes. "For what it's worth, you were a great friend." And with that, Sallem went on his way. Off to more adventures of hunting, matchmaking, making money, and making friends, but first, he felt like freaking out the locals by going fishing. It wasn't every day that an oversized wolf in mismatched cosplay went fishing with high powered explosives.
Sorry it took so long to repost this again! I'll get my head on straight from now on. Anyway, I'll be posting a new poll on my profile in the near future to decide what I'll be doing after I get my current works out of the way. The poll won't guarantee what I choose to do next, but it will influence my decision.