Chapter 2: First Impressions

Making her way across the tunnels underneath Lescatie, Cleo emerged from an alleyway on the human side.

"Now to find that mystery man." She said to herself silently.

The Nekomata quickly scaled to the rooftops of the buildings using her sharp claws and heightened agility. Once on top of one, she started scanning the populace for him. 'Come on. He can't hide for long.' She thinks.

Using her sharpened vision and spirit energy detection, it takes some effort but Cleo soons finds an outlier. For most males, their spirit energy has a distinct feel, like an individual's fingerprint. Out of all of the ones she picks up, there's one that stands out as it feels. . . dormant, untapped. 'Gotcha.'

Leaping from building to building, Cleo has found the mystery man. The Harpy was right as he has a bright green trench coat that conceals a lot of his profile but also makes him slightly intimidating. Aside from that, he wears a black hat with a wide circular brim, not unlike what some bandits, especially those in the desert towns, would wear. Her heightened vision also can see other black articles of clothing, like black leather gloves and black boots. She grimaced when she couldn't make out the face due to a pair of black glasses that conceal his eyes and a green bandanna over his nose & mouth that covered up the rest

'If I recall, the Traveling Songstress is at the Singing Swan tavern. He's a ways off yet, so that'll give me plenty of time to get there first and lay a trap for this little mouse. And the tavern is the puurrfect place for us to have a little chat.'

The nekomata takes one last look at the mystery man before making her way to the Singing Swan tavern. 'Maybe I'll even bring him back to make him our husband.' she thought.

Cleo loves Kuro & Anna like sisters and they all made a promise to share any husband they acquire.

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His choice of wardrobe was made with the idea of concealing his identity and keeping a low profile. It also gave him a more intimidating appearance; at least he hoped it did. He had left his house early in the morning before most people were awake to decrease his chances of being spotted. He was lucky that no one approached him, especially any Order knights.

As he entered the tavern, he could feel several eyes on him, many of which he labeled as belonging to unsavory characters. His black boots made the floorboards creak as he walked towards the bar.

"I was wondering when you were going to arrive, sir." The bartender told him. The man raised an eyebrow behind his glasses,

"Really? I thought I was doing my best keeping a low profile." He said with false confidence while shaking internally.

"Well some took an interest in you. And there isn't anyone here except for that good-looking lady over by the corner."

The man looked in the right corner of the tavern and he had to keep his jaw from dropping.

He saw a lady with pixie cut black hair with a bow on top, golden yellow eyes that were almost cat-like, with purple eyeshadow trailing them, and a skintight black bodysuit that hugged her attractive figure. The only other articles of clothing being a black veil, gloves & boots like his, albeit her gloves were sleeker while the boots went to her thighs. She was beckoning to him while holding a cup of tea with a small pot sitting on her table.

"She said to keep an eye out for any fellows with a green trench coat and a black hat. You are the only one to fit the description I've seen walk in. She's been waiting for a good 15 minutes. Not smart to keep a lady waiting; especially a good looking one." The bartender explained, patting the fellow and more-or-less, ushering him towards that corner. He gulped and walked over, and it was very clear that he looked nervous, despite his attempt not to. He was thankful his green bandanna covered his blushing cheeks.

He soon took the seat across from the lady who was waiting for him,

"E-evening, l-lady. W-w-wasn't expecting company when I p-planned on coming h-h-here." He said, his voice shaking. 'Jeez, George! You are choking! Pull yourself together or else you're going to make yourself look like a fool!' He screamed in his head.

"Well I'm glad to have surprised you, Mr. . ." She asked, drawing it out while asking for his name.

"Oh! Terribly sorry, Miss," He removed his right black glove, revealing a pale hand that was a bit fuzzy. She could make two small scars between his thumb & second finger towards the back of his hand. "Name's George Henry Anderson." She smiled before doing the same, revealing a pale but flawless hand with nails that looked a bit sharper than normal,

"Cleo Verdona." They shook hands before George pulled back first and accidentally said out loud in a shaky tone, "So soft & warm. . . ." Cleo giggled behind her veil.

"You haven't interacted with a lady before, have you?" she asked, judging by how he unintentionally complimented her hand. George dropped his head in shame.

"Tis true. I have rarely interacted with those of the opposite gender. Especially those who are in my age range and part of my brain labels as. . . . biologically attractive." He realized his mistake too late, and covered his mouth with both hands, ashamed. Cleo on the other hand, perked up.

"Oh? Do I fall under that label? And what exactly does it mean?" she asked, her curiosity peaked. He tapped the wooden table, thinking hard, for a way out of the increasing awkwardness.

"Ah, allow me to explain with an example seen in nature. You know how in some birds the male & female have different colors, like say ducks?" he asked. She nodded in understanding. "Well male ducks are usually bright colors to attract females while said females are drab colors for camouflage to protect the nest & eggs." He explained.

"I see." She said, keeping up with what George was saying. "I'd say we both fit that bill, if you pardon the pun."

"Well, yes but it's different in the case of humans or those whose body follows a human-like pattern. You can smack me or kick me between the legs for sounding like a creep. But right now, one part of my brain is saying this: 'Wow this lady has a really attractive- no beautiful figure.'" He then tensed up afraid she was going to hurt him. Despite his promise, he closed his legs to protect from retaliation. However, to his surprise, she grabbed his hand and stroked it.

"Why thank you, Mr. Anderson. That was actually sweet." Cleo said, thanking him for the compliment, this time one that was on purpose. "And I don't think that you are being a creep; what you said sounded honest. Such honesty isn't too easy to come by these days." she added, knowingly smiling in the face of her own deceitful secret.

He breathed a sigh of relief, "Oh good, I was afraid that you were going to tear me a new one." he said, calm starting to return to him. "However, the other part of my brain is saying that there are 3 things more important than having good looks for a woman. What she thinks with her brain, sees with her eyes, and feels with her heart." George stated.

Cleo's eyes softened and she smiled.

"Yet again you compliment me in a gentlemanly manner, Mr. Anderson." she said, finding herself falling in love hard for George. It was taking a lot of willpower to not listen to her ovaries and mount him right then & there.

"Thank you but I'm insecure about myself." he said, his tone becoming worried.

"I'm sure whatever troubles you, I can overlook it." she said, grasping his hands with both of hers and pulling him in closer.

George gulped,

"I'm afraid of being seen as a freak."

Cleo's eyes widened in shock, "What exactly do you mean?" She asked him to elaborate. While she'd heard Order knights call her and her kind freaks, this was the first Cleo heard a human think of themselves as such.

George had almost jumped out of his skin by her outburst.

"Oh nothing personal. It's just that I see myself as a freak, both physically & mentally. I may have broad shoulders and narrow hips, something I inherited from my deceased great-grandmother but my body is lacking on the muscle side. I believe that most women would want to go for a guy who is more or less built like an Ogre: ripped with muscles and thinks with their trouser snake. I'm the opposite- skinny and think with my brain." He explained nervously.

Cleo found it strange that George didn't consider himself sexy. Her hormones had been swarming her since he walked into the tavern; and still growing.

To his surprise, Cleo laughed. "I can assure you Mr. Anderson, while there are some women who think like that, not all of us have that mentality, especially me~." She reassured him while unconsciously snaking one of her tails towards his thigh. George felt something brush up against his leg and his face froze up.

He looked down just as Cleo tucked her tail behind herself. "You must have bumped it against the table." She said, the nekomata trying to get his mind off it.

'If I bumped my leg against the table, how would she have known that I had felt anything at all?' George thought to himself. But nevertheless, he continued.

"Maybe. Sorry for being so nervous. I blame my Asperger's."

Cleo raised an eyebrow and felt her ears twitch under her bow, "I've never heard that before; what is it?" She inquired.

"Asperger's is something caused by a chemical imbalance in my brain. This is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it makes interacting with people, especially women, hard; but on the other hand, I can hyper focus on certain fields of education & entertainment, have the info about them deeply ingrained into my head, and be able to instantly recall that information." George explained his problem.

"At last we have common ground somewhere: we have an admiration for literature." Cleo smiled, hoping that this would make George relax around her." She could tell that George felt more relaxed as his posture switched from anxious to comfortable. He asked what she liked to read. "I prefer to read ones that the Order would hang me for with their content." She said with a slightly lewd grin on her face. In short, Cleo reads very adult romance novels. She smirked when she saw George blushing, which the nekomata saw as adorable.

"I would never read anything like that, not even to fill in the lonely void of my heart." Now that sentence alone made Cleo VERY INTERESTED, her mind locking onto lonely & heart. "Go on." She motioned.

Before the blushing man could, he started coughing, "Throat's dry. Tea please." He said with a hoarse voice. Cleo poured him a cup of hot tea. He held it, "Thank you." "You're welcome." He sipped it slowly for a few minutes and sighed,

"Much better. Taste ain't bad but if it had lemon, honey, or raspberry in it, that would make it better." He said. Cleo made a mental note to do so if she ever gets the chance to make tea for George herself. She knew some Alraune & Bees that could provide both.

He took a deep breath, "Ok this is a bit personal & heavy but you deserve an answer. I've been grieving the death of my grandfather who passed away 7 years ago and I was really attached to him. He made me who I am. . . ." Tears welled up behind his glasses and Cleo could hear him sniffle and felt really sorry for having brought up bad memories.

He removed his glasses & bandanna, revealing her face to him. His eyes are green albeit puffy with tears and a fuzzy face: a brown mustache, a small goatee on his lower lip, and a shaved beard on his lower face. He used his bandanna to dry his eyes,

"Sorry for showing you this weak side of me, especially since I barely know you." He said, trying to compose himself. To his complete & utter surprise, Cleo pulled George into a hug. He tries to ignore her soft breasts pressed up against his chest.

"You don't have to be sorry for that. I know some of my friends who grieve the death of their husbands that have been executed by the Order and part of my job is to help them through their pain." Cleo comforted the boy, patting his back. She really wants to make George feel better in another way but now was not the time; not so far into the human side of Lescaite. Once George has calmed down,

"What made you so attached to your grandfather, that is if you want to continue." She asked.

He was about to continue but the musicians had set up stage and announced that the Traveling Songstress would now make her appearance. "I promise I'll tell you later if we meet again, Cleo." He whispered to her.

'Oh trust me, George. We will meet again, count on it!' She found what might be the perfect husband for herself, Kuro, & Anna. She wouldn't mind sharing him as long as it meant that having more women would keep George happy.

XXXXXXXXXX

George & Cleo watched as the curtains parted and the Traveling Songstress was unveiled.

To George, she looked much like Azura from Fire Emblem: Fates but there was a certain lack of her trademark necklace. To her side was a violinist. George paid attention and the moment she began, he felt himself enraptured in her song which reminded him of Ocean's Gray Waves. Her voice even sounded like her but with a slight French accent.

Unfortunately for the patrons, the song & dance was interrupted by one asshole. George could see someone approach the stage and recognize them as a pervert: lewd grin, slight blush on the face, and failing to notice the mug of beer that was spilling out its contents in his left hand. He groaned & clench his right fist,

"Excuse me, Cleo. I need to take care of a fool before it escalates into a fight." He got up and Cleo took notice. She was hoping that George could also fight as well as he could talk.

Just before the perverted drunk could lay a hand on the stage, George had grabbed the man's right arm,

"Sir, I advise you to take your seat and let the show go on." George said with a hard glare.

"Oh come one, I was just wanting to have some fun." The fool spouted. George had to hold back some bile as he could smell the beer on him.

"Fun? Oh I don't think so. What you would label as fun," He jabbed a finger at his fat belly, "I see nothing more but a man about to force himself onto a lady. You disgust me!" George accused, raising his voice. While he showed himself acting brave, he was shaking internally in fear.

"Oh yeah? And what are you going to do about it?" He drawled, jabbing a fat smelly hand at George. George's gaze narrowed,

"This!" With surprising effort that defied his stature, George did an overarm/Judo throw, knocking the man down on the wooden floor with a thud. He then stomped hard on the man's balls,

"That was just a warning and me being polite. Next time you won't be so lucky." George looked up at the crowd that stared at him in stunned silence and then back at the Azura looking lady,

"I apologize for that but blame the fool under my boot. You can carry on, if you are comfortable." George said. He then walked to the bar, stuck his hand in one of his coat pockets and pulled out some silver coins,

"Sorry for the mess." Just as he was about to head back to Cleo,

"George, look out! Behind you!" She heard Cleo cry. He turned around to see the drunk fool about to stab him with a curved knife.

He blocked the arm about to stab him, trapped it, yanked the blade out of the man's arm and without thinking, he sliced the blade clean across the man's throat!

The fat fool collapsed as blood started flowing out of his neck. George, the adrenaline wearing off, comprehended what he had done. His expression changed from anger to fear and he ran out of the tavern.

Cleo was impressed yet concerned. On one hand, George used his words to first try and defuse the situation & displayed fighting techniques that reminded her of Zipangu, her home country.

But when he quickly ran out of the tavern after he killed the man in fear, this meant that he may have never killed before. 'He needs some help. Time to provide that help.' She headed out to comfort him.

However, unknown to both, a third party was watching them: Order knights. These were under the command of Siegfroyd & Vera and upon recognizing the mystery man planned on taking him for questioning but after witnessing him kill a man out of self-defense, he will need to be tried. They also were suspicious of Cleo, thinking she was a monster.

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Cleo scanned the surrounding area for George and spotted his green trench coat. She ran to him, calling out his name but that only quickened his pace. Unfortunately for George, Cleo was far faster than he was.

As a result, he ended up being tackled by Cleo, the catgirl-in-disguise taking them both out of sight in a nearby alley. He struggled as he tried to break free of her embrace.

"Let me go! I need to-" He was stopped when Cleo silenced him by pulling his bandanna down, lifting her veil, and kissed him! George's eyes widened in shock and his body froze up.

"W-W-Why did you kk-k-k-k-kiss me? We barely kn-kn-kn-know each o-o-o-other!" He shouted, albeit with a stutter. She placed a finger,

"SSsh! Keep quiet! I don't want the Order to find us!" She peered around outside the alley, hoping it was clear. The beautiful woman sighed in relief before turning her attention back to her future husband,

"There's a lot to explain but I ran after you because I saw how scared you looked when you killed that man. I can have a hunch that it was the first time you killed someone, right?" She inquired. He nodded, scared & confused. "You did it out of self-defense and I was rather impressed with how you defend yourself." She commended. "Lastly, do you feel ashamed about it?" She asked.

"Yes. I didn't mean to kill the man! I just-" He slumped to the ground, hands around his head, crying & whimpering. Cleo knelt down to his level and pulled him in for a hug.

"I don't like having to kill either but sometimes your opponent leaves you with no other choice." She looked him in his eyes and rubbed his face with her fingers, "Now listen to me. Breathe in & out slowly." George did as she instructed and felt himself relaxing.

"Better?" She asked, tilting her head. "A little. I just need to get home and find a way to get my mind off of it." He got up and was about to leave but remembered something,

"One last thing and I'll ask again. Why did you kiss me?" He looked back. She smiled behind her veil,

"I-" "There you are!" They turned around and saw 3 Order Knights glaring at them, mainly George. "Step out of the alley, both of you!" The lead one barked.

Compiling for now, both reluctantly did so, George having his hands on his head. He could see that each was bearing a weapon: the lead one had a spear, another had a sword & shield, & third had a crossbow.

"Siegfroyd has been wondering who lived in a house that none of us can enter. What do you know?" He jabbed George in the chest, "You step out! I have no idea who you are, so already those who know about your home are suspicious; and then you kill a person." He reprimanded.

"Sir, listen. I did it out of self-defense-" "Shut it." Sword & Shield berated.

"However, the man that lies dead in the Singing Swan tavern was a rather unlikable fellow as this isn't the first time he tried to assault a lady. Speaking of which, Ms. Alice Bleu defended you on the account of saying your actions were gentlemanly. Even the bar owner spoke up since you paid him for the mess." George breathed a sigh of relief.

"Now you would be given just a warning for this. . . were it not for the fact your lady companion is demon spawn!" The whole situation took a big 180 as the two with melee weapons brandished them at the pair while the bowmen took aim with his crossbow.

"Cleo, please explain to me what they're talking about." George looked at her, extremely nervous & scared. Cleo sighed,

"I was going to tell you soon, George. But time for you to see my true self." Her body discharged a dark purple smoke cloud and Cleo's disguise had faded. George saw that the bow had hidden a pair of cat ears that are the same color as her black hair, her eyes are more cat-like, black fur on her cheeks, her arms past the elbow being black cat paws, and her legs past her thighs being cat legs, and two black cat tails swayed behind her.

On one hand, George was stunned into silence upon this revelation but on the other hand, his weeb side made him fall in love with Cleo since he was a sucker for cat girls, the nekomata only being second place to mermaids.

"I can explain later; right now I need to get us out of here." She stood next to George protectively, drawing her short knives.

The bowmen fired a crossbow bolt at the pair and it felt like time had slowed down. Cleo was about to deflect it but to her utter surprise, George had gotten in front of her, the crossbow bolt piercing him in the abdomen!

He slumped to the ground, blood trickling out of his mouth before he fell unconscious. Cleo hissed/screeched in fear as she hovered over George's unmoving form,

"This is not over!" She glowed a vibrant purple before another dark purple smoke cloud enveloped them both and they were gone.

Well here's the second chapter and it appears George is our protagonist and his life is now in danger. We'll see how that pans out in the next chapter. Now unlike his DXD counterpart, this George lacks any sort of powers. . . .for now at least.

Here's what I can say for the next chapter: after Cleo returns back to Kuro & Anna and explains the whole ordeal once George's life is no longer in peril, Cleo tells them both her meeting with George and her personal opinion on them. Once he awakens, questions fly on both sides, including a bit of how George got here and what his plans are. Along with why this story has the title it does.

This chapter was edited by DoomRecon, the author of Wormhole since his fanfic of MGE inspired this one. Among others.