Story: Saying Thanks (chapter 1)

Authors: BatchSan

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Chapter 1

Looking down at her outfit, Arika relished both her newfound strength and recent victory as the dust settled from whence it had been stirred up from. Turning to the queen, she gave her a triumphant victory sign with her fingers and enjoyed the way the adrenaline pounded through her every fiber and cell. This felt different from her previous transformations, and she absolutely loved it.

“Um... that was pretty amazing for someone like you,” Mashiro said with no real bite.

Arika shrugged off the barb, feeling too fantastic to really pay it mind. Her body pulsated with power even though her back ached from where she had been hit. Remembering the Headmistress\' words again, she rushed over to Mashiro and looked her over.

“What are you doing?”

“I\'m making sure you\'re okay. I know you were injured when I was,” Arika answered, pressing her fingers lightly to the small of the queen\'s back.

With a wince, Mashiro pulled away from her. It had hurt her when Arika had been hit, which was strange but to be expected given their contract. Still, Mashiro was surprised by the courage and concern Arika displayed for her even despite all their spats. She understood humility, but it wasn\'t often she got a dose of it, no matter how small it was.

“Arika, thank you for protecting me and Mikoto,” Mashiro said quietly.

Blushing, the redhead scratched the back of her head, feeling slightly embarrassed that the girl whom was so often a brat with her was being polite to her for once. She was astonished when the smaller girl leaned into her quickly and pressed a kiss to her lips. Mashiro quickly looked away, blushing profusely despite the fact that she had instigated the kiss and hugged Mikoto up to partially cover her face.

“We should get out of here,” she said quietly.

Brain having temporarily shorted out, Arika took a moment to register what the queen had just said. When she did, she snapped to attention and shook her head feeling a little dazed from shock.

“Y-yeah. Okay.”

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