Klein eyed the unconscious swordsman pinned under his left arm, and sighed. He’d never. Ever. Guessed how many weapons Kirito carried on him. On him, not just in Inventory.
And he’d definitely never known how flexible a determined, half-drunk teenager could be when he was trying to get at them. Or that a determined, half-drunk teenage sorcerer might have a few magical effects ready to fire off with a snap of his fingers, low MP or not.
Just out of reach, Kirito’s long coat was currently wrapped around knives, throwing pikes, poisoned needles, component pouches, a bundle of rope, at least one bag of silver dust – could he say ow – and a sword. There was no way Klein could ignore that sword.
Then again, there was no way he could ignore the whole limp kitten effect of a simple dark gray shirt and tousled black hair, either. When Kirito was out, he was out.
…Which, come to think of it, was probably why the kid had fought so hard not to let go and sleep. From what Klein had been able to worm out of Argo about the Black Cats, Kirito had fought and traveled solo for all but two of the past nine months. Not just fighting monsters, but completing quests on his own; and that meant nights out of town, with nobody watching your back. No wonder Kirito had hair-trigger reflexes.
Klein glanced at singed holes in his sleeves, and grimaced. This used to be a good shirt.
Well, it had been. Before he’d gone all grr snarly furry last night. Which he still didn’t want to think about, but….
The world smelled so alive. He didn’t know if he wanted to bounce out Tetsutora’s back door to chase butterflies through the sunshine, or just laze around here on a rug with his guild in a warm patch of gold. Though right now lazing had an edge. Kirito was finally, finally asleep, a boneless deadly black kitten, and everyone’s scents had calmed and settled. It was… nice.
Settled. Klein frowned. Did they smell different before?
He couldn’t be sure. Everything had been so raw and confused under the moonlight. And even after the demon was dead… everything had been so new. But – maybe.
Right now, they smelled… good wasn’t the right word. Fuurinkazan smelled whole. Healthy. Cat and human and tiger, and Kirito’s odd undertone of feathers.