Lili and the sword princess.
"Mister, mister. Mister with the white hair!"
White hair? Had to be him. Bell stopped in his tracks. He was just outside the dungeon entrance where adventures would meet before beginning their day.
He looked around but didn't see anyone looking in his direction.
"Mister, down..down here."
Looking down, Bell saw her. It was the same girl from yesterday, the one who had bumped into him in an alley and was being chased by some thug.
"Oh, it's you!" he said.
The girl was just under four feet tall, a tiny little thing. She was dressed in a tattered white robe, her chestnut bangs creeping out under her hood. She carried a massive backpack three times her size on her back. Bell wondered what it was full of, as it bulged. It was the same girl from yesterday. He was sure of it, she smelled the same. Bells sense of smell was uncanny compared to a human. His Were-Rabbit nature meant that he had far keener senses then any human. Enhanced with his Falna, he was completely sure it was the same girl, there was no doubt about it.
"Please to meetcha, mister! If you don't mind me asking, are you looking for a supporter?"
He squatted down to meet her eye level.
"But your..." he tried to say.
The girl interrupted him.
"Are you confused? This is a pretty simple situation, you know. A poor supporter has come to you, an adventurer, to sell her services in the Dungeon."
"No, I mean, but...aren't you the girl from yesterday?"
"...? Mister, have you met Lili before? Lili doesn't remember."
Bell frowned then.
"Yes Lili. You are the prum girl from yesterday. I can smell you. Your her for sure, no doubt about it."
Lili froze in panic a little.
"You can smell Lili?" she asked quietly.
Bell nodded. "My sense of smell is very keen. Why did you lie to me Lili?"
Lili looked very scared for a moment.
"Could we..." she stuttered. "Could we talk in private mister?" She looked up questioningly at him.
"Bell." He said. "Bell Cranel" and offered his hand.
She took his hand, Bell marvelled at how small it was, like a child's. She shook it.
"Lilliluka Erde." She said quietly.
Bell gave her a broad smile and she calmed a little.
"Lets find somewhere to sit away from people so we can talk."
She nodded and followed him as he moved away from the crowd to a more secluded area.
Finding a bench under a tree with no people around, they sat.
"So Lili, tell me. What troubles you exactly?"
Lili gave a big sigh. She had never shared her pain with anyone before, but this young man had seen straight through her disguise.
"Lili is a member of Soma Familia born and raised." She said, as if expecting Bell to understand.
"Soma Familia?" he asked, with a confused frown on his face.
"Is... Is Master Bell a new adventurer perhaps? Everyone knows about Soma Familia?"
Bell nodded. "Only been doing this for a few weeks now."
Lili understood and began to explain. "Soma Familia have a tithe each month for their members. Lili is tiny and not strong at all. 'Lili is slow and will hold us back' the Familia members would say. They won't let Lili join their parties and Lili couldn't afford to pay the tithe."
She sighed and started sobbing a little.
"Poor Lili, she was beaten even if she did earn money. The adventurers would beat Lili and steal Lili's share. Lili is lucky to get scraps of food after a day in the Dungeon. Lili is treated like a burden. Lili couldn't stand it any more so Lili faked her own death in the Dungeon. Lili has to be in disguise or Soma Familia will take her back and beat her again."
She started sobbing fully at this point.
"I'm sorry to burden you with my problems Master Bell. Lili is weak and useless, but she has no money. Lili has been living in cheap hotels, but Lili has no money."
She grabbed his arm and cried into his sleeve.
"Lili doesn't have enough money to stay at a hotel tonight. So please, please, please Mister Bell! Take Lili with you into the Dungeon today!"
Bells heart broke at the sight of the crying girl. Such a tiny little thing, such a sad story.
Bell pulled Lili into a hug and waited for her to calm.
"Of course Lili. I couldn't abandon someone who was so much in need."
Lili nodded, her face buried in Bells shoulder. But her face showed an evil grin through her crocodile tears. Lili learnt to make herself cry on demand years ago. It could be an effective weapon against soft hearted people. It didn't work on her Familia, who had seen through her charade many years ago. But it did work on anyone new she met. The real Lili never cried, even when beaten by her peers. 'You can't break that which is already broken' she would repeat to herself.
Although the story she had told Bell was the truth, it was simple to manipulate the young man. Too naive and far too kind hearted to be an adventurer.
Lili calmed in Bells arms as he hugged her. 'What a poor little thing.' He thought to himself. 'And I thought I had it rough...'
Eventually, Lili stopped crying and withdrew from Bells embrace.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you master Bell!" she cried in joy, once she had calmed down.
Bell smiled and ruffled her hair, causing her hood to fall back.
"Wow!" Said Bell. "How do you have those ears?" he remarked looking at the Chienthrope ears on Lili's head.
"Magic. Ill show you in the Dungeon."
After about ten minutes of journey into the first floor, the pair found themselves alone.
"OK this should be safe enough." Lili said out loud to herself. "Master Bell!"
Bell turned and looked at her.
She waved her hand to have him follow her and ducked into a side chamber of the dungeon.
"By the toll of midnight's bell." She said quietly.
Bell looks in amazement as the tail and ears disappear in black smoke and standing before him is the Prum girl from yesterday.
Bell gave a fist pump. "Knew it!" he said out loud, sure of his victory.
"This is Lili's true appearance." She stated simply, while looking away from Bell, not wanting to meet his eyes.
Bell ruffled her hair again. "Don't worry Lili, we all have our secrets. Yours is safe with me."
Lili sighed in relief. Then she spoke quietly. "Your scars are mine, my scar's are mine."
The black smoke whirled around her body again, but this time she changed into a werewolf with grey fur.
Bell raised his eyebrows at this. "That's impressive magic Lili. Can you make yourself look like anyone?"
Lili gave him a smirk. "As long as they are the same size, otherwise its a bit obvious something is wrong."
She spoke her spell again. "Your scars are mine, my scars are mine."
Then she was covered in black smoke again and Bell was looking at a tiny version of himself.
"Wow!" he said simply to the miniature version of himself. Dumbstruck, he didn't know what else to say.
The mini version of him grinned, then spoke the spell again, changing back to the original Chienthrope self.
Lili grinned at him. Bell just nodded.
"Shall we get to it then?"
And the pair begin their day together in the Dungeon.
"Thirty thousand valis! Unbelievable! Master Bell made more in one day than a party of five level one adventurers would make in a week!" Lili tried not to shout, but couldn't help herself as Bell and her sat outside of the tower of Babel and counted their earnings for the day.
"Master Bell is very strong. Lili can't believe he is a level one!"
Bell nodded simply as he divided the pile of valis into two.
Lili's eyes darted back and forth as she watched Bell count out the money and divide it into an even share.
"Here you go!" Bell said with enthusiasm as he passed Lili half of the money.
"Master Bell!" she exclaimed. "Half? Are you sure?"
Bell nodded at her. "I earned four times what I normally do due to your help Lili. You did excellently today. You kept the bodies clear of the battle, so I would not trip and I could concentrate on killing the monsters. You certainly deserve half, I couldn't earn this much by myself. Even giving you half, I have doubled my earnings today."
Lili was shocked at Bells generosity.
"We did this together right Lili?"
Bell gave her a big smile.
"Thank you so much! Ill be counting on you!"
Bell nodded, though his expression was grim.
"Sorry Lili, but for the next few days or so, I can't go in the Dungeon. Is there somewhere I can leave you a message when I'm ready to go back in?"
Lili shook her head not wanting Bell to know about her safe houses, the only places she can be found.
"Don't worry master Bell. Lili earned enough today to feed and house herself for the next month. Ill be waiting for you at the fountain every day, but if you don't come, Ill find a party to join. Lili will even have a few days off as well!"
She beamed a smile at him.
Bell nodded. "OK Lili. Ill try and find you soon. It might be three or four days before I come back though. I'm sorry."
"Master Bell must look after himself." Lili urged in a grave manner, seemingly concerned for him.
Bell ruffled her hair again. "Nothing to worry about Lili. Just some things I need to look into."
The next day, Bell woke up sleeping on the sofa as normal.
As he woke he realized two things. Today must be full moon as he was in rabbit form. The second was Hestia curled up around him on the sofa. Again.
He sighed. Hestia had one of his ears in her mouth and was gently chewing it. He removed his drool soaked ear from her mouth.
Instinctively, he groomed his ears with his hands then cleaned his whiskers. Bell didn't even notice, the action was so natural to him. If Hestia had been awake, she would have been screaming how cute he is.
Then he woke up fully. He had, well. Bell was male and he just woke up.
"Oh shit." he thought in his mind.
Looking down, Hestia's massive rack was pushed up against his chest.
"I don't need this right now!" he thought to himself. At least the goddess wasn't pressed up against his crotch.
Trying not to panic, he rolled over the top of the sleeping goddess and tried to get her arms from around his neck.
"Bell..." the sleeping goddess said. "Your such an idiot."
Slipping out from under the blanket, he stood and tenderly tucked Hestia in.
He sat on the bed and just looked at her for a second, of course sitting for Bell meant his legs were up beside him, just like a rabbit would sit.
He scratched at his ear with his hind leg. Again, Hestia would have descended into a fit of giggle is she were awake to see it.
Standing up awkwardly with his rabbit legs, he went to get washed and dressed for the day.
Knowing this day was coming, Bell had prepared and had purchased some clothing to hide his form from the public.
A long cloak with a hood. A black scarf to cover his face and a pair of red goggles to cover his eyes.
Quickly dressing himself, he glanced in a mirror to check.
Perfect. Even he didn't know who he was with the hood up and his face covered. He would disappear into a crowd.
He gave Hestia a quick head pat and left the ruined church to start his day.
Bell had planned his day today. First he would visit Naaza and see if she had finished the item he had requested, then Syr and let her know he wouldn't be in the Dungeon for the next few days, so he didn't need lunch's. Then to the guild. Bell had research to do.
The little Bell at the top of the door rang as Bell stepped into the Blue Pharmacy.
Bell took a step backwards almost straight away, the Blue Pharmacy smelt overwhelmingly like strong antiseptic to him. It took him a few moments to get over the smell before he walked into the shop finally.
"Good Morning sir." A sleepy eyed Naaza said from behind the counter.
She gave the intimidating figure a slightly wary look. A hooded person, who was obviously hiding their identity had just entered the shop. She was about to call for Miach just in case she needed backup when the figure spoke up.
"Don't worry Naaza, it's me, Bell."
"Bell?" Naaza asked, her sleepy eyes suddenly opening wide and her droopy ear's perking up.
"But why are you dressed like that Bell? And why is your voice so deep all of a sudden."
"I can explain, but first, have you finished the item I asked you to make?"
"Yes, it's been ready for a few days, but haven't popped in recently though Bell." She said with a sad pout.
She reached under the counter and pulled out a box.
"I still find it strange you asked for this. Yes it would work to prevent the breathing in of poisons in the dungeon, but to prevent any smell coming through is rather odd. What do you intend to use it for?"
"Ah-ha-ha" Bell gave an awkward laugh and scratched at the back of his head.
"Naaza, please don't get scared when you see this."
He reached up and pulled back his hood, his rabbit ears unfolding as he did. He lifted his googles and lowered the scarf around his face.
Naaza gave a small gasp and brought her hand to her mouth in surprise.
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you before now Naaza, I have been trying to keep it a secret for as long as possible. I don't want to scare people, but I know the legends of my race, so I do my best to keep hidden."
"Well, that answer's all the questions I have about why you wanted me to make this."
She passed him the object in the box. It looked kind of like a muzzle for a dog, with leather straps to hold it on the head, there were a notable series of holes on either side of the face mask.
Bell slipped it over his nose and mouth and adjusted the straps around the back of his head until it was comfortable.
"Perfect!" He sniffed at the air. "I can't smell a thing!"
"I'm sorry sir were not open yet." Syr stated as a person she didn't know walked into the Hostess of Fertility, gently closing the door behind him.
Bell smiled under his scarf. His disguise had worked perfectly.
He pulled back his hood and his rabbit ear's popped out.
Syr gasped and took a guess. "Bell is that you?"
Bell pulled off his googles and lowered the scarf across his face.
"Hi Syr!" He said cheerfully, giving her a little wave. He didn't realize it, but his deep gravelly voice echoed across the room
"Full moon. I'm stuck like this today and for the next two days."
'SO CUTE!' was all Syr could think as Bell revealed himself.
"Well, at least your not growling this time!"
Bell nodded. "Yeah, it's tough. I'm not used to being in this... state yet. But it gets easier every time."
Syr couldn't help herself and reached out her arm to stroke Bells rabbit ears.
He flinched away with a growl.
"Sorry, sorry." He begged forgiveness for growling at the girl. "My ears are very sensitive, please don't do that."
Syr smiled at him. "Sorry Bell, I couldn't help myself. Your very cute after all."
Bell had a grim expression on his rabbit face. "Cute perhaps, but as I explained to Hestia.. I am rather... irritable.. when I'm like this. Please don't try and pet me."
Syr giggled. "Your just like Ryu!"
Bell tilted his head in confusion. "The elf girl?" His nose and whiskers twitched with curiosity.
Syr's expression hardened. Then she tried to impersonate Ryu. "I always take things to far." she said with a stoic expression.
Syr just ducked expertly as a plate thrown from Ryu flew at her head.
"Wow that was quick!" Bell is amazed she dodged the flying wood plate as Ryu stood in the kitchen doorway with an annoyed expression on her face.
Syr grinned at him. "You get used to it!" while she rolled her eyes at Ryu.
"Mr Cranel. Why are you in rabbit form today?" The elf asked from the doorway.
"Full moon Ryu-san." Bell said, as he bowed to greet her.
"Ill be like this today and for the next two days."
Ryu simply nodded. "Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Your surprisingly calm considering how you were the other night in this form."
Bell nodded his head in agreement. "It gets easier every time. At least I'm not growling at everyone right now, but please don't stare at me like you are now. It makes me feel like I'm being hunted."
Ryu understood and cast her gaze to the floor instead.
"I understand that very well, Mr Cranel."
"Thank you Ryu. I'm sure I will get better over time, but I'm... rather on edge right now."
Ryu nodded again, still looking away from Bell.
"Are you going to the Dungeon today Bell? Shall I get your lunch?" Syr asked cheerfully.
Bell shook his head. "No, I plan to take the next few days off. I won't need a lunch today, but thank you."
"Free time? Why not try reading!" Syr exclaimed and brought her hands together.
Turning around, she grabbed something from under the counter and handed it to Bell.
It was a large book. Very large, twice the size of a normal book.
"What's it about?" Bell asked.
"I don't know, some customer left it here. Bring it back tomorrow and it will be fine."
"Isn't this someone else's? This wouldn't be right!"
"Don't worry Bell, it's just a book. It's not like your stealing it, is it?
Bell nodded. "OK Syr, Ill give it a try. But first, I have business at the guild!"
Bell, dressed in his disguise again entered the guild and approached Eina's desk.
Eina was rather shocked when Bell approached her. The figure she sees is rather intimidating, dressed in a black cloak, his face covered with a scarf and ruby red googles.
"C.. I help you sir?" she stuttered.
"Eina, it's me, Bell..."
"Bell? Is that really you under there? What's going on? Why is your voice so deep?" she asked, but quietly.
"Can we talk in a private booth please?" The young man asked.
Eina nodded and began leading him to one of the rooms.
Closing the door and sitting down, she piped up and asked him.
"What is going on with you Bell?"
"Don't panic when you see this." He answered, as he pulled back his hood.
Eina gasped as his two large rabbit ears popped out from under the hood.
"Oh gods, that's so much better." He exclaimed. "That hood makes them ache!"
He pulled down his scarf and removed the googles.
Eina was looking into the face of a giant rabbit.
"Bell... is that really you?"
He gave her a smile, but it looked more like he was bearing his fangs at her. The sabre teeth he had were especially scary, reaching down to the bottom of his lower jaw.
She shrank back in fear, covering her mouth in shock.
"Sorry Eina, I don't mean to scare you."
"Bell..." she gasped behind her hands.
"This is who I really am. It's full moon right now, so I can't change back to the normal me."
"Bell..." Eina trailed off again, trying to cope with what she was seeing.
Bell held his hands up trying to show he was tame, but the large claws scared Eina even more.
"Your not a monster are you?" She asked, in utter horror.
Bell shook his head, his whiskers shake back and forth as he did.
"No.. I'm a Were-Rabbit. I only found out about a month ago and it's also the reason I came here today."
He sighed and looked depressed.
"My parents Eina... They were killed, I never knew them. But my mother was a Were-Rabbit too. I'm hoping the guild has some information on them."
Despite the literal monster sitting in front of her, deep down Eina could tell it really was Bell.
She snapped into guild advisor mode and her professional air returned.
Giving him a nod and a firm look, she spoke. "It's possible. Were they adventures?"
"Yes." Bell gave a happy nod back. "Zeus Familia, fifteen years ago. Would you have records on them?"
"Yes, we should do. A lot happened back then, some records were lost or never got recorded, but we might get lucky!"
Bell beamed a smile at her. "Thank you for all your help Eina!"
Eina led Bell deep into the guild, eventually they came to a massive room.
Bell had never seen anything like it. The room is bigger than any he had ever been in and it was completely orderly.
Bookshelves, Filling cabinets, desks are all lined up with perfect symmetry.
Walking expertly over to what Eina informed Bell was a 'Card index' she quickly started opening small draws.
Within the draws were cards around the size of a hand. She shuffled through them quickly muttering to herself.
"Section twenty seven, fifteen years ago. Z."
"Ahh! Here we go! What names are you looking for Bell?"
"Vincent and Anastasia Cranel." He replied quickly.
Eina nodded and started flipping through the cards in the drawer.
Pulling one, she read it. "Cabinet twenty seven b stroke six" She muttered.
"C'mon Bell, this way!" She beamed at him with a cheery smile.
Eina led Bell past rows and rows of shelves and cabinets, he found it all quite disorientating, it all looked the same and he quickly lost count of how deep in he is.
Eventually Eina stopped at a row of cabinets and walked down the isle.
"Twenty Seven B.."
She looked at a label of each cabinet she passed.
"Ahh This one!"
Pulling out a drawer, Eina quickly ruffled through the files.
Finding the ones she wants, she pulled them out, passing them to Bell.
"There are files for Vincent and Anastasia."
Bell gave a curt nod.
Bell opened the first one. It was his mothers guild history.
Scanning the form, he quickly found what he was looking for.
Anastasia Cranel: Deceased. Cause of death: Execution by Freya Familia
Bells heart stopped.. Freya killed his mother?
The world dropped away from Bell. He grabbed the nearest cabinet to keep standing.
His heart beat through his chest. Freya killed his mother. Freya did it.
He tried to calm himself but can't. Mind racing, he opened his fathers file.
His eyes hit the same spot on the page immediately.
Vincent Cranel. Deceased. Cause of death. Executed by Freya Familia.
Bells very soul burned at that moment. He knew now, he knew exactly what he had to do.
Eina gasped at the fire in his eyes.
Bells smile was gone. It had taken Eina this whole time to get used to Bells rabbit face, but she could tell when he was smiling now.
This face was one of pure rage and hatred.
His eyes burned with a fury she had never seen before.
He nodded to himself for a moment. Then he looked up at Eina.
"May I keep these to read through?"
"Y..Yes...But please return them."
"Thank you Eina. You have just helped me more than anyone could, even my Goddess. I will owe a debt forever."
The giant rabbit bowed deeply.
"Bell, what did you just learn that made you so angry?" Eina couldn't help but ask. Bell was always cheerful, even when she scolded him. She'd never seen him angry ever, she genuinely didn't think the boy could get angry at anyone. To see him this was deeply concerning.
Bell looked into her eyes with cold determination.
"Freya killed them Eina. Freya killed my parents."
Bell went home to brood.
Freya Familia were far too strong to try and take on right now, no matter how much rage he had towards them.
No, he has to train, get stronger. Ottar was a level seven. Bell was a long way from that yet.
His vengeance would have to wait.
But still... he could catch the lower members in the Dungeon... If he was lucky.
Frustrated he sat down on the sofa and didn't know what to do.
'Ahh, Syr's book. Ill give that a try'
"..." Bell was fast asleep.
He felt like he was being shaken.
Groggily he woke up.
"Huh?" he shook his rabbit face.
Instinct took over and he cleaned his whiskers and groomed his ears.
"YOUR SO CUTE!" Hestia screamed at him.
"Hey!" Bell pouted.
"Did you fall asleep reading that book?" she pointed at the Grimoire on the table.
"I guess?" Bell replied, not really sure what just happened to him.
"Hey, Bell, we haven't tried updating your status when your like this. Should we try and see?"
Bell shrugs. "All right Goddess. There's always a first time. Let me put my mask on first."
"Mask?" Hestia asked, not sure what the rabbit was talking about.
"It's stops me being able to smell. If I smell blood when I'm like this Hestia…"
He shook his head as he trailed off.
Hestia frowned. Something seemed off with Bell. He was not smiling.
He took off his shirt, put on his facemask and laid down on the bed as he usually did.
Hestia sat on his back as normal, but she couldn't see any skin.
She inserted her fingers into Bell's fur and tried to part it, but no matter how hard she tried, his fur was so thick, she couldn't find any skin.
Still, it was wonderfully soft. She stoked his back for a moment.
"Oh well, lets see." She pricked her finger and dropped a spot of blood into the thinnest part of the fur where her fingers were separating it.
Bells back glowed as his status appeared to Hestia.
Hestia gasped several times as Bell's status was updated.
Not only has he grown in leaps and bound, his stats were skyrocketing.
He also had two new entries in his Falna. One was a skill, the other was a magic spell.
"What happened to you today?"
"Not much... I checked on some things at the guild, then read the book that Syr gave me."
Hestia knew Bell had told the truth, but not the whole truth. He was holding something back.
She didn't know how to ask. She couldn't be sure what the skill meant.
How to ask him?
"Bell... Did you want to ki..." she trailed off.
Hestia paused. She didn't know what to say.
She looked again at Bell's status.
Magic: Firebolt. Chant less.
Skill. God Slayer (?)
"Bell... Is there a god you hate?"
Bell just nodded tears in his rabbit eyes.
"Read the files on the table."
Hestia hopped off of Bells back and walked over the table, and picked up the file on the top.
"This is a guild record..." She said as she started to read.
"Look at the cause of death section Goddess."
Hestia's heart sank as she read the words.
"Oh no.." she whispered quietly. This was the worst possible news, but then she looked at Bells face and her heart broke.
This wasn't the happy go lucky Bell she has known for the past month or so. The joyful smile he always carried was gone, his childish attitude had died.
His face was grim. No smile, only a look of cold determination. His eyes didn't show the spark of joy. They flamed with vengeance.
Her Bell died today in the guild office, he entered there still a child in his mind. He left as a different man.
Tears ran down Hestia's cheeks as she looked at him. Quietly she asked "What will you do?"
"I'm going to kill them all Goddess. Then I will kill Freya herself. She took everything from me before I even knew I had it. She stole my childhood, she stole my family from me. I'm going to teach her what that's like. One by one, she will feel them all die, I will teach her the meaning of suffering. I'm too weak right now, it might take me decades. But I WILL do it."
"Oh Bell..." Hestia looked at him with worry. She was suddenly terrified for her young child's future.
"Oh no! That's Bell!" Aiz shouted as she ran over to the unconscious Were-Rabbit who was lying face down on the floor. Even without seeing his face, Aiz could be sure it was him, with those two great rabbit ears sticking out of his head. Although there were Hume-Bunny's in Orario, none of them had fur on their face and neck like Bell did. She hadn't noticed when she had met him, nor in the pub as he was sitting, but he had a white puff of a tail too. He wasn't wearing his mask, it restricted his breathing too much to fight in the dungeon with it on. He only wore it on the surface, to prevent any potential accidents.
Riveria knelt beside the rabbit and made her diagnosis.
"No visible wounds, healing and detox appear to be unnecessary...Looks like a classic case of Mind Down due to overuse of magic."
"He has magic too?"
"That would be my guess." Riveria said answerering Aiz's question.
"What should we do? We can't leave him here like this."
"Well, you could carry him to the surface, or stay and guard him until he wakes up. It's your choice Aiz."
Aiz nodded thinking for a moment.
"Ill stay until he wakes up."
"Well, you should at least make him comfortable then Aiz. Put his head on your lap, to ease his sleep."
Aiz did as she was told and gently placed the sleeping rabbits head on her lap.
Riveria gave her a smile. "Yes. I shall return to the surface. Remaining here would only get in your way."
Aiz couldn't help herself as she looked down at the sleeping rabbit. 'It must be the full moon if he's like this.' She thought to herself.
She gently petted his head. 'Oh! He really is just like a bunny!' She ran her fingers through the fur like hair on his head, marvelling at how soft it was. She stroked the down on his face and the sides of his cheeks, then gently she started stroking his ears.
It felt so nice on her skin, his fur, just like stroking a real rabbit and despite the giant sabre fangs, he was very cute like this.
So she carried on stroking him, feeling calmer and more relaxed with every stroke. It was like a purifying sensation. The feelings washed away the black flames in her heart and she felt truly relaxed and content for the first time in her life.
Bell began to wake. Something was stroking his ears, he'd never allowed anyone to touch his rabbit ears as they were very sensitive, but who ever was stroking them was being very gentle and the feeling was utterly divine. He couldn't put into words just how nice it felt to be stroked like that.
His eyelids opened slowly.
"Mother?" He called gently as his vision was still blurry.
"Sorry, I'm not your mother."
He blinked to clear his eyes, but all he saw for now was fuzzy shapes, eventually he made out blonde hair, then a beautiful face.
"Aiz..." He said. He wanted to panic and run away, the girl was so beautiful. He was just a kid after all and right now he was stuck in his rabbit form.
But the gentle way she stroked his ears was far too nice. It felt comforting and relaxing.
He closed his eyes again.
"Don't stop, that feels really nice."
Aiz smiled at him and continued to stroke his ears.
Again, she couldn't help but think how cute the rabbit in her lap looked.
Then a small noise started in his throat. A rumble, but not a growl she realized quickly.
No and the realization made her heart skip a beat for a moment.
Bell was purring. It was very quiet, but he was purring.
She reached down to the base of his ear, where it joined his head and gave it a scratch.
Bell suddenly started purring even louder. She wasn't sure because of his rabbit face, but she thought he was smiling.
"Bell... are you purring?"
Bells eyes snapped open as the question drew him out of the state of bliss he was in at that moment.
"Huh, I didn't know I purred."
Aiz moved her face down closer to him and looked him in the eye.
"It's unbelievably cute."
She reached her other hand to his face and stroked the side of his cheek.
She didn't know it, but like cat's rabbits have scent glands in their cheeks, to mark their territory with.
The touch in the very sensitive place woke up something primal in Bell.
Bell hadn't realized it at a conscious level yet, but there was a strong animal instinct he had when in Were-Rabbit form. Little things like grooming his ears and whiskers were innate behaviour.
What Aiz had just awoken was part of that innate behaviour and Bell responded moving on instinct rather than thought.
His purr doubled in volume, but he sat up.
Looking at Aiz for a second rather lustily, he slowly moved forward, then rubbed his muzzle up against her cheek.
Aiz was caught by surprise by the unexpected move, but didn't stop him. She giggled as his whiskers tickled her face.
Bell rubbed on side of her face with his scent glands, then the other, purring very loudly as he did.
Aiz didn't stop him. It was quite nice, feeling the affection and his soft fur on his face, though she did flush in embarrassment at the closeness of him.
After a while and still purring very loudly, he pulled back and stood up.
He offered her his hand while saying "I guess it's really late, we should head back to the surface."
Aiz took his hand and nodded.
Hand in hand, the two walked back to the surface making gentle conversation as they went.
Aiz had just sat down to dinner with the rest of the Loki Familia when she noticed Bete staring at her with wide eyes.
Not sure why he was staring, she gave him a frown.
Bete responded to the frown by asking a question.
"Hey Aiz, did you spend time with Bell today?"
"Did you two... get close in some way?" Bete tried to ask with tact, but he couldn't think of a way.
"Bell was on the fifth floor with a mind down. Riveria and I found him. I let him sleep on my lap until he woke up."
Bete wasn't satisfied with that answer. Not with the smell that was coming from Aiz. Something more happened.
"Did anything else happen?" He pushed for an answer.
"I stoked his ears and he started purring when he woke up."
"And then?" He pushed again.
"He nuzzled my face?"
Bete nodded. Yup, he thought so.
"Ah ha ha ha ha. He scent marked you Aiz."
Aiz frowned with confusion.
"He scent marked me? What do you mean?"
Bete laughed out loud again.
"He's marked you as a warning to other men. You belong to him."
"I belong to Bell?"
Bete grinned at her.
"Yup, he's chosen you as his mate and marked you to warn off others."
Aiz's face went a deep shade of red at hearing this.
Bete just laughed harder and harder.
Riveria however, just noticed the slight smile on Aiz's face. It's very small, but it's there.
Deep in Aiz's mind, Mini Aiz was cheering while hugging a Bell plushie.