???: Just because you’re a fashion icon doesn’t mean you can be a jerk!
???: Just because you have a business doesn't mean you can be a jerk!
Kei was heading toward the sound of the argument. This didn’t sound good, especially since it was his sisters arguing. He soon reaches the living room to see Yui and Rie yelling at each other.
Yui and Rie look at him before turning their backs to each other. Alexandria and Shigure look on from the kitchen.
Kei: Someone tell me what is happening.
Rie: Tell Yui how can she be so uncivilized as to claim that what I wear is simply just fancy yarn!
Yui: Tell Rie that if she wants to prioritize her looks over her sister than all she is a stuffed pin cushion!
Rie: (Turning to Yui, gasping) You take that back!
Yui: Make me!
Kei: STOP IT!
The two go back to keeping their backs to each other. Kei openly sighs.
Alexandria comes from out of the kitchen and stands next to Kei.
Kei: Yui. You and Alexandria go spend the day together.
Yui: Gladly, c’mon Alexandria.
The two leave together out the front door.
Shigure comes in from the kitchen as well.
Shigure: What can I do for you?
Kei: Shigure, are you free today?
Shigure: I am.
Kei: Do you mind showing Rie some of the sights?
Shigure: Sure, come on Rie.
Rie: If I must.
The two leave as well and Kei heaves a deep sigh.
???: Having to play the peacekeeper, are you?
Kei turns around to see Rin and Aria.
Kei: Yeah well, its nothing that I haven’t seen before.
Rin: Your sisters argue a lot?
Kei: A little bit. Every once in a while they touch on each other’s nerves. Best thing is just to separate them for a little while.
Aria: You really can be just an older brother at times.
Kei: Yeah, that’s the fun of being the older sibling sometimes. As I recall, you had a sibling Aria.
Aria: Oh, uh...well...I…
Rin: You have a sibling? You’ve never said.
Aria: I’m trying to figure out how Kei knows.
Kei: It was a while back. After Rin had brought Aria to our doorstep.
Aria: It was while Shigure was healing me then?
Kei: Shigure overheard you talking in your sleep during one of your dreams as you were unconscious.
Aria looks down.
Aria: Its been years since I last talked to him.
Rin: What’s stopping you now?
Aria: I really don’t think its a good idea.
Rin: Why not?
Aria: I really don’t think my little brother wants to see me after everything we’ve been through.
Rin: We won’t know until we try.
Aria sighs deeply.
Aria: If you want, we can pack and go.
Rin: Sure, I’ll grab everything.
Rin quietly heads back to her room to pack a few things. Aria sighs again and puts her right hand on her face.
Kei: As a person once told me, even the most out-of-repair bridge can be fixed.
Kei then heads out to the backyard. Aria is left there alone with her thoughts.
Aria: (Thinking) I really hope that Samuel isn’t too mad with me.
As Kei steps on to the back yard, there is Athena sitting on the back porch, on the rail.
Athena: Hello! Did you miss me?
Kei: About as much as a cat, Athena.
Athena: Oh good! You did miss me!
Kei: (Thinking) You cannot denote sarcasm…
Athena: I couldn’t even get that guy over there to budge.
Indeed, in the center of the backyard was Isao. He was quietly meditating.
Kei: (Thinking) Wow, someone even Athena couldn’t bother.
Kei steps down from the back porch and Isao opens his eyes.
Isao: I take it this Athena woman is your friend.
Kei: That’s putting it very loosely, but yes.
Isao: Understood. She did not seem like a threat.
Kei: (Thinking) Is that why he ignored her?
Athena: (With tails whisking back and forth behind her) Not a threat? I’m as cuddly as a kitten.
Kei: That’s what he meant, Athena. That you’re not going to hurt anyone.
Athena: Oh. But still, that’s no reason to ignore me!
Kei: I can think of quite a few reasons to ignore you.
Athena: Yeah, but yours are all based off reason.
Kei: (Thinking) And his wasn’t?
Isao: May we begin our duel?
Kei: Sorry, Isao, didn’t mean to keep you waiting.
Isao begins to use his sword and make a circle in the dirt. The duel they had planned was having to stand your ground. One step back from inside the circle would mean disqualification or a loss.
Isao: How long would you like to go?
Kei: Shall we say best three out of five?
Athena simply just lies on the back porch and decides to watch as they begin. Kei goes for a deep thrust, which misses. As Kei pulls back, he is greeted by a sword that is coming right at his face. As he bends over backwards to dodge, he can feel his body going to hit the ground. Using his leg, he uses Isao as an anchor to keep him from falling over.
Isao: Very clever Kei.
Kei: You’ll find I’m very competitive.
Elsewhere, Yui was taking Alexandria to a different park.
Alexandria: This isn’t the swimming park you own?
Yui: Nope I manage a few different parks. I hope you like this one.
Alexandria and Yui soon arrive at the amusement park. It was definitely bustling today. The guard at the front gate sees her and opens the exclusive entrance for Yui.
Guard: Greetings Miss Yui! What brings you here today?
Yui: Just letting off some steam. Brought a friend to see what an amusement park was.
Guard: Understood, please enjoy the park.
Alexandria and Yui come in. Only for another person to meet them at the entrance. Another female dog beastkin. She wore a pair of jean shorts and a long white dress shirt. The sleeves were rolled up. She wore a pair of flip flops and had her blue hair tied up in pigtails, one on either side of her head. They bobbed up and down as she walked towards them. Her cerulean eyes were definitely friendly. She was short, but she had a good figure.
???: Yui! Such a pleasure to see you again!
The two hug.
Yui: Same here! Its been so long since we last saw each other, Bianca.
Bianca: And who’s your little friend?
Alexandria: Hello! My name is Alexandria.
Yui: She’s under the care of my brother.
Bianca: Well I certainly hope it wasn’t a long trip.
Yui: Alexandria, Bianca here is the manager of the amusement park here. She’s been my friend for years. She’s a border collie breed.
Alexandria: That’s really cool!
Bianca: Thank you very much.
Alexandria: You dyed your ears and tail too?
Bianca: Yes, I wanted my hair color to match my eyes, don’t you like it?
Alexandria: (Nodding) Yes! The color is very cool!
Yui: So how’s the park doing Bianca?
Bianca: We’ve had our best year on record since you took over management.
Yui: I’m glad. I’ll collect the 5% of profits I’m due and let’s put the other money towards making sure all our rides are to code. Let’s also give all our workers a raise for continuing to do such a good job.
Bianca: Understood. Shall we head to the manager’s office?
The three of them travel to the manager’s office. The building on site had four rooms in a miniature one level house. Each room was exactly the same. A single door led into the room, and a single window at the back of the room. They travel into the first door on the left as they enter into the house. Signs hung above all the doors. The second door on the left said ‘Employee break room’. The first door on the right said ‘Employee Finances’. The second door on the right said ‘Employee Nap Room’. The sign above the door they entered said Manager’s office. As they entered, there was only a single wood desk with a wooden chair. Two chairs were in front of the desk. Alexandria seemed surprised at how little they had. Bianca leans over the first drawer on the right side of her desk and uses a key to open it. She brings out a small metal box and she takes out five percent of the profits. What amounted to about five thousand platinum dollars.
Yui: So how much money did our park make?
Bianca: About one hundred thousand platinum dollars, we’ve definitely done well this year.
Yui: Great. Sounds like we’re really making strides here.
Alexandria: It doesn’t seem like you have a lot to use here though.
Bianca: (Sighing) We use any extra money to make this building a useful one for our employees.
Yui: And about how much money do you have to use for building renovations?
Bianca: After all the expenses, maybe about three hundred platinum dollars.
Yui hands back fifty thousand platinum dollars.
Yui: Bianca, make this place a bit more comfortable for our employees.
Bianca: Yui...are you sure?
Yui: Of course.
Bianca: Thank you very much, this money will definitely go towards getting this building fixed up so our employees have a comfortable place to eat, rest, and relax.
Yui: I’m glad.
With that, Bianca bids them farewell, and Yui and Alexandria head out into the park.
Alexandria: That was really kind Yui!
Yui: Well, as a business owner, I need to think about my employees. Sure getting paid just to manage is great, but if the employees are unhappy, that doesn’t really reflect well on me now does it?
Alexandria: But what about your sister?
Yui: So Rie has some fancy clothes, that doesn’t mean she should hang it over my head like she’s better than me.
Alexandria: Why does that matter?
Yui: Well, because it feels like she’s bragging.
Alexandria: Rie is just proud of her clothes right?
Yui: We’re both really big into our business so for her to make it sound like what she does is more important than mine…
Alexandria: Is that really what she was doing?
Yui: Well you were there, what do you think?
Alexandria: I think she was just proud of her work. It didn’t sound like she was making it more important than what you were doing.
Yui: Well, that could be true, but…
Alexandria: Even then, she’s your sister, wouldn’t you want her to be proud if your business did really well?
Yui: Well, yes, but…
Alexandria: I think that she just wanted you to know how well she was doing. I mean, it didn’t sound to me like she was being mean about it.
Yui: So maybe I did overreact a bit?
Alexandria: Just a bit.
Yui: Maybe I should apologize when we get back.
Alexandria: I think that’s a good idea.
Yui: What do you say about going on some rides?
Alexandria: Let’s go!
Alexandria and Yui go off into the amusement park to enjoy themselves, while elsewhere, Shigure and Rie had reached their own first destination. The two reach the small town.
Rie: Okay, Shigure, you’ve dragged me about an hour away from Kei’s house, where are we?
Shigure: We’re in the neighboring small town. We’re going to a soup kitchen.
Rie: (Stops) You’re joking, right?
Shigure: (Still walking) Nope.
Rie sighs and continues to follow.
Rie: (Thinking) Of all the places I had to be brought to…
The two soon enter as the workers warmly greet Shigure. Rie makes a note that because of the warm greeting that they she had been here frequently. Shigure gets herself dressed in an apron, hair net, and gloves and then turns to Rie.
Shigure: Your turn.
Rie: Oh hell no. There is no way I’m being caught in a hair net.
Rie: No. No way. Nuh-uh. Not going to happen.
Minutes later, Rie was at the front of the line, wearing a hair net, gloves, and an apron.
Rie: I hate this with a passion.
As the doors opened, people began to come in, four out of five were beastkin. Rie easily took notice.
Rie: Shigure, there are a lot of…
Shigure: Yeah. There are. Because a lot of them can’t find work, so they rely on this place for food, for shelter. If it wasn’t for places like this, a lot of people could go hungry.
Rie: (Thinking) And I was basically bragging about the fancy clothes I was wearing to Yui. These people are lucky to even get food sometimes.
As the people begin to eat, Rie can’t help but watch as she takes her gloves off. One of the smaller beastkin, only a child at that, come up to her.
Child: Thank you for feeding me.
The child then ran back to her mother. Rie couldn’t help but wonder. She had been raised in a good home, had been raised by siblings and parents that cared.
???: Penny for your thoughts?
Rie turns to her right to see Shigure there.
Rie: My thoughts are worth a penny?
Shigure: Its just a figure of speech.
Rie: I know. I guess I am just a bit lost in thought. I was lucky enough to be raised in a house, let alone have a roof over my head. I got fed three square meals a day. I don’t even know what to do. Makes me feel thankful for everything my parents gave me.
Shigure: You think Yui is thankful?
Rie: Well, of course she is, I mean...you’re turning this on me…
Shigure: Yui understand that she was lucky to have a home, food, and a loving family, including you.
Rie: Yes, you’re right…
Shigure: Makes an argument over your clothes…
Rie: Just a bit meaningless? Yeah.
Shigure: We should be thankful for everything we have. Because we can always have less.
Rie: You’re right.
Another child comes up to the two of them.
Child: May I please have some more?
Meanwhile, Kei had just come in from his training session with Isao, Athena with them.
Kei: Shall we call it a tie?
Isao: I suppose. We only each got one point.
The phone rings, and Kei goes to answer it.
Kei: This is Kei
There is a brief moment of silence.
Kei: Dad...dad...DAD! Calm down. What happened?
Another brief awkward moment of silence.
Kei: What do you mean mom is missing?