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Chapter: 222


While Sophia was busy playing with Ari and teaching her chantless magic in the Academy, Fen and Aura had fun in the former elven village inhabited by a group of the fox beast-folk. The two explored the town for a while, but once they had killed enough time, the duo finally headed over to the bar that was run by the foxes there once it opened in the evening.

"Alex!" Entering the bar, the wolves directly ran into the older, brown-haired fox-man they met a couple of hours before.

"Hello, my friends!" He energetically greeted them back. "Right on time for the opening, I’m impressed!"

"Well, I was looking forward to it all day." Fen really liked the place.

"Oi, don’t say that after you were on a date with your girl the entire day, idiot!" The fox raised his voice.

"S-Stop bringing that up all the time already…"

"Ehehe~." Aura seemed to be in a good mood for some reason.

"L-Let’s get some drinks already!" The male wolf wanted to change the topic as soon as possible.

"He sure is adorable, that wolf of yours." Alex faced Aura with a big grin.

"Sure is~."

"Urgh…" Fen hung his head and simply went past them. He walked through the dimly lit bar with an all-wooded interior all the way to a slightly lower table without chairs to accommodate members of the full beastfolk.

"Good catch."

"Yep~." The other two slowly followed after him while having a light chat. At the table, Alex grabbed a low stool while Aura sat down next to Fen on the floor.

"Drinks!" Fen tried his best to get the two to stop talking about what they were talking about.

"Alright, my little softie, I’ll get us a big pitcher of our specialty brew!" Saying so, Alex got up and walked towards the bar counter.

"I like that fox." Aura sounded cheerful while she watched him leave.

"I’m not sure if I can agree with you on that…"

"It’s going to be fun with Sophia if you can’t even deal with his teasing~."

"D-Don’t remind me…"

"Hehe."

Alex came back a few minutes later, holding a plate with a big pitcher, a glass, and two low plates for the wolves to have a drink with him.

----------------

The three were having a good time for half an hour while enjoying the alcohol they shared when someone eventually joined their table.

"Hello, Alex. Aura, Fenfen, you’re back?"

"Gosh, I love that name~." Aura faced the girl that had addressed them with a cheery voice. "Fenfen~. Sit down with us and have a drink!"

"Chloe… Hello…" Fenfen seemed to have mixed feelings about the nickname. With a slightly tired expression, he also looked at the fox-girl standing in front of their table.

Just like Sophia and Maya, she had animal ears and a tail but was human-looking besides that. She seemed to be roughly their age, too, visually speaking, at least. The girl was slightly smaller than the tiger, though, and had long, very fluffy light-pink hair that slowly turned white towards the end. Her fox-like ears were somewhat shaped like those of Maya, but they were a good bit taller while also having a bit of fringe. They had the same pink color as her hair, but the tips were pure white, just like the fluff inside them. In her hair, there also was a little flower pin.

The most striking feature of the girl called Chloe was her rather long and extremely fluffy tail that was almost as tall as the girl herself, though. Thanks to its sheer volume, it was also much wider than her.

The fox-girl wore a light-purple and fluffy-looking sweater with wide sleeves and a little black ribbon above her chest. She had combined it with a shorter flared skirt in black with a ruffled white hem. Her legs were mostly covered by light-pink thigh-highs that ended almost right below her skirt, revealing only a few centimeters of her thighs. To finish it off, Chloe was standing in black, slightly heeled, and open ankle-strap shoes.

Paying a bit more attention to her face and looking past the big and friendly smile, the small fangs showing from her slightly 3-shaped mouth, Chloe’s eyes immediately caught all the attention. It was hard to notice with a passing glance, but her eyes actually had slightly different colors. One was a light purple, while the other was more light violet. It was easy to miss but impossible to ignore once noticed.

All in all, in the words of Sophia, who had yet to meet her, the fox-girl called Chloe could be described relatively easily. Fluffy.

"Chloe, my dear, welcome back!" Alex also greeted her. "Here, have my seat." He stood up while saying so.

"You don’t have to get up for me. I’ll just get my own stool. It’s fine."

"Nah, don’t worry about that, girly! I have to head out for a bit, anyway."

"Is that so?" Chloe tilted her head while looking at him.

"Absolutely! Those two are also way too good at holding their drinks. I’m no match for them."

"How do I fit in there, though…?" She tilted her head even more.

"Haha, that was a good one." Alex started laughing. "We all know that you beat everyone when it comes to that! While you might look like a frail and fluffy girl, it’s a fact that you’re able to drink everyone under the table. It’s almost like alcohol has no effect on you no matter how much drink!"

"Oho!" There was a hint of admiration in Fen’s voice.

"Uuh…" Chloe looked down at her feet with an embarrassed expression.

"Sit down already~." Alex put his hand on her shoulder and gently pushed her on his stool. "I might come back later again, so please keep this place reserved!"

"O-Okay." She gave up resisting.

"Alright, girls, have fun in my stead~! Fenfen, grow a backbone already!" Saying so, Alex gave them a short wave before turning around.

"H-Hey!" The male wolf didn’t like his treatment.

"What is this about?" Chloe sounded interested in the remark.

"N-Nothing!" He had no intention to talk about it.

"Fenfen’s a bit of a wuss at times." Aura had already taken a liking to the new nickname.

"I am not!" He seemed to disagree.

"Oh, I see." Chloe nodded a few times while looking at the female wolf.

"He looks grumpy and a little bit scary at times, but he’s actually a super softie inside who isn’t nearly as though as he thinks he is. Indecisive, too."

"Aww~." The fox-girl looked at Fen with warm eyes.

"S-Shut up, So- ah… forget it."

"Hmm?" She naturally didn’t understand his reaction. "Is there anything I can help with? I’m not really good with romance because I have no experience with that, but people often say I’m good at cheering someone up.

"That’s good to hear." Aura liked the sound of that. "Unfortunately, that’s exactly what Fenfen isn’t good at. Romance, that is."

"H-Hey!"

"Is that so?" Chloe continued to ignore the male wolf’s protests. "That’s not good! The two of you seem to be such a nice and well-fitting couple. Fenfen, you have to work on that!"

"Exactly!" Aura sided with the fox-girl. "Get a grip, Fenfen!"

"Okay, I don’t like this duo…"

"I do." The female wolf disagreed with him.

"What is the issue?" Chloe tried to keep the conversation on track. "Even with my lack of experience, I want to help. The two of you seem like such a perfect couple that it would be a total waste for anything to be in between you!"

"Well, us being identified as a couple is one of Fenfen’s main issues he can’t deal with."

"Urgh…" He emptied his drink before turning his head away.

"Why?" The fox-girl tilted her head. "He should be used to it if even I noticed it at first glance, right? I’m pretty slow, after all, but it’s clear that you’re a great match… Wait…" Chloe suddenly stopped while tilting her head again. "C-Could it be that you aren’t actually a couple, and everyone just misunderstands… No way… Is that why he gets embarrassed?! I’m so sorry, Fenfen!"

"Ahaha…" Aura let out a dry laugh while downing a drink herself. "Fen, how about you tell her what we are?"

"W-Why me?!" He got loud.

"Why not~?" The other wolf smiled at him. "I have no problems with admitting it. You’re the one who’s still struggling with the change."

"So sly…" Emptying another drink, or rather three, he eventually faced Chloe again. "Y-Yes… Aura and I are together…"

"Great!" The pink fox’s smile got even bigger. "Be more confident then, Fenfen! It seems like you’ve gotten extremely lucky with Aura."

"He sure is~." Aura’s voice was very cheerful.

"I am, yes…"

"So?" Chloe looked right at him.

"Wow, your stare is powerful…" Fen averted his face.

"I’ve heard that before. I think it’s because of my eyes."

"They look great, though." Aura liked her slightly odd eyes.

"T-Thank you." She got a little bashful before focusing on Fen again. "So?"

"Aura and I… We have a history. A very long history. We had our ups and downs and got separated for a long time, too. We only managed to reunite a little while ago. We went through a lot together, but… Well, we only jumped past our shadow and started dating last month…"

"Aww!" Chloe let out a slight squeal because she really liked how the wolf was acting right now. "It’s still fresh, and he’s all bashful because of it! Fenfen, you’re adorable!"

"Very!" Aura happily agreed with her.

"Urgh…" He didn’t.

"I want to know the whole story!" The fox-girl’s eyes were sparkling while she looked at the two wolves.

While Fen didn’t feel like it, he didn’t seem overly good at handling Chloe, Aura happily told her their story. She left out a few details like the actual timeframe or the exact reason why she disappeared. However, it was still enough to tell a mostly accurate tale of their story. The pink-haired girl enjoyed every second of it. The male wolf didn’t, though, so he was busy downing one drink after another to keep his embarrassment at bay while cursing Sophia every now and then. He decided to blame her for having rubbed off on him, which caused him to also become shy and embarrassed at times.

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