Sophia had asked Alex about getting an elven treehouse to live in because she really wants to own one. He wasn’t really against it and playfully suggested a challenge to earn the right to live in one. If Sophia can drink the fox-man under the table, he will allow her to own a treehouse. If she also manages to out-drink Chloe, she could even live there for free and doesn’t have to pay for her drinks, either.
Little did Sophia know that the last condition was just a little prank to get Sophia to pay for everyone’s drink because the pink-haired girl is immune to getting drunk. Although, he didn't know that Sophia was just as immune to it. Full of regret, Alex was slowly resigning to his fate while everyone else was starting to have a fun night.
"Alcohol really has no effect on her…" Around an hour after their challenge had started, Alex was already in despair while watching Sophia and Chloe happily downing one drink after another without either of them getting drunk.
"I really have to admit, the alcohol in this bar is amazing!" The tiger was in a good mood. "Especially this one! I love that!" She grabbed a relatively thin and high bottle with a clear liquid that had a hint of blue in it and filled the glass of Chloe and herself with it.
"Yes!" The fox-girl took her newly filled glass, clanked it with the one the blonde was holding, and the two downed it in one go before they repeated the same scene another one or two times. "It’s my favorite, too!"
"It’s also the most expensive one…" Alex looked defeated. "By far, I want to add…"
"I bet that’s why it’s so delicious!"
"Yep!" The duo got even more cheerful.
"You’re definitely holding a grudge that I tried to trick you into paying for our drinks by using Chloe, right? Right?!"
"I would never have a grudge over such a petty reason~." The tiger’s voice sounded really playful for some reason. "
"I always loved this drink, though?" Chloe only innocently tilted her head. "It really wasn’t nice to use me for your gain, though." She started pouting afterward.
"See? We’re nice girls." Sophia was smiling broadly. "That being said, on a totally unrelated note, we’re still going to teach you that you shouldn’t mess with girls. Especially not with the nice ones~."
"Urgh…" Alex had to down a drink on his own after that before looking at the cat-girl. "Chloe aside, yours isn’t actually that much of a nice girl, isn’t she?!"
"Whatever do you mean~?" While saying so, she snitched the bottle of Sophia's expensive alcohol and filled her own glass to the brim with it. "She’s one of the nicest girls around." She quickly downed her glass before filling it again.
"I suddenly remember why I’m into men…" The male fox hung his head in defeat. "And on that note, Fen… Could I get some assistance with that?" He pointed at Sophia while saying so.
"Sorry, there’s no assist possible when it comes to that." He also looked in the direction of the tiger. "You can only submit and hope for the best. Trust me on that." Saying so, the wolf let out a sigh before focusing on his own drink. To show his sympathy, he had settled for something cheaper.
"Gimme the good stuff!" Aura had no sympathy and sided with her fellow girls while she looked at Maya, who was still holding the expensive bottle of alcohol.
"Sure~." The cat-girl happily filled the plate-like glass of the wolf before looking at Alex once again. "We need a new bottle, this one's empty now."
"Seriously?! You only opened it a few minutes ago?!"
"Well, I’m a thirsty girl~." Sophia flashed him a cheeky smile.
"She sure is." Maya reacted with a nod.
"…" Alex paused for a moment. "You two aren’t talking about the same thing, aren’t you?"
"Yes." The couple answered at the same time.
"Anyway," The tiger decided not to further elaborate on that and turned her head. "Mark, we need another bottle of- Oh."
"Way ahead of ya~." The black-haired fox-man had already appeared next to their table. "Here you go, my dear."
"Also," The blonde suddenly locked eyes with him. "Just because the two of you are married, I’ll get angry if you let him off his bill once we're done here!"
"H-Hey!" Alex didn’t like any of this.
"I would never~." He only smiled back at her before placing a hand on Alex’s shoulder. "Looks like someone picked a fight he can’t win, huh?"
"You should really stop underestimating cute girls because you think they can’t hold their drinks." Mark looked at Chloe while saying so. "You’re also living rent-free because my idiot thought he could get some free drinks out of you, right?"
"Yep." The fox-girl just nodded. "Thank you very much for that, Alex!"
"Oho, so it wasn’t the first time? You also tried to exploit our adorable Chloe here?" Sophia’s grin increased even more. "Mark, please watch our table closely, okay? The moment a bottle's empty, I want two new ones at that very moment!"
"W-Which side are you on here?!" Alex looked at his partner with a desperate expression.
"The one that’s good for the business, of course." Saying so, he left their table again while showing everyone a great smile.
"I like Mark a lot!" Sophia’s mood got even better.
"Yes." Everyone else agreed.
"This relationship has its ups and downs…" Alex wasn’t quite so sure about it at the moment.
"Okay, how about we cut him some slack already?" Fen glanced at the fox-man before looking at Sophia. As a fellow man, he wanted to help him out.
"Alrighty~!" With a cheerful tone, the tiger stared right back at him.
"Oh no…" He immediately got a bad feeling about this.
"I want to hear more about you and Aura!"
"Urgh…" As his bad feeling was spot on, he only downed his drink before having Chloe fill his plate with something stronger. "Sorry about that, Alex. The expensive stuff has a higher chance to knock me out sooner."
"Don't worry. I applaud your noble sacrifice." Both men looked defeated.
"I like that idea!" Chloe's eyes started sparkling. "I also want to hear more!"
"We already told you everything, though…" Hearing the other nosy girl join in, Fen got even more tired.
"That’s exactly it, Fennyfenny!" Sophia got loud. "Even though you only just met Chloe, you told her more about that than you told me! Even though we went through so much together…"
"That’s not nice, Fenfen!" The fox-girl’s voice sounded as exaggerated as the tiger’s.
"Urgh…" The two caused him to sigh even before facing Maya after he downed another drink first. "Can we do something about this duo? They might be too much for me."
"Good luck with that." The cat-girl only smiled at him. "Because we had so much success with talking Sophia out of something in the past, right? Also, while the two get a little overexcited, I like our new fox friend, so she’s probably going to stay as far as I’m concerned."
"Ehehe~." The duo in question liked her reply.
"…" The wolf’s feelings on the matter were a little more complicated.
"Alrighty, with that having agreed on, let us hear more~!" Sophia started right at him.
"There was nothing anyone agreed on here!" Fen got loud.
"Chloe and I did, though?"
"Neither of you matter when it comes to that topic, though!"
"We beg to differ!" The two had a different opinion about his claim.
"I don’t care about that!"
"But we do!"
"Haa…" Knowing he already had no chance against the tiger alone, he eventually gave up because facing two of them was just plain impossible. Hoping it would loosen up his tongue a little more, how downed a drink or five before facing the duo again. "Even so, I’m not sure what else to tell here… Most of what we told Chloe were things you already know or experienced yourself as you were with us when we got closer…"
"Boring!" Sophia didn’t like this explanation.
"Well, I’m sorry?!" Fen didn’t like her reply, either. "There are also things that I sure as heck aren’t going to tell you!"
"Are you telling us everything you’re doing with your cat? No, I'm not talking about the stuff Aura, and I hear every so often in the mansion. That's an entirely different topic, but everyone does and should have some secrets."
"A-Ah…" The couple in question turned their heads away before the tiger eventually continued with a slightly red face. "Y-You win that round…"
"What’s this about?" Chloe looked at Maya.
"Err…" She scratched her cheek. "We, uhh forgot about how good the ears of the wolves are when we, well… Anyway, don’t ask!" She decided against going into detail here.
"I see?" The fox-girl didn’t look like she was 100% sure about what she was talking about, but the rough idea was enough that she decided not to pry any further.
"Fine…" A small pout appeared on the blonde’s face. "Okay, I’ll stop prying if I get some cute little wolf pups in a couple of months. I won’t settle for less than three, though!"
"Oh my gosh, that would be adorable!" Chloe was instantly on board with the idea.
"Ahhh… Now I get it…" Alex suddenly spoke up. "It’s not like those two can’t get drunk, they’re always completely unhinged, and they don’t come with a filter… There’s nothing the two could gain from getting drunk. The world would only end if they were to get any wilder…"
"Well…" Maya wasn’t sure what to reply. "I can definitely see your point, though."
"W-We told you already that that’s not going to happen!" Fen got a little flustered.
"Aww…" Sophia started pouting even harder.
"How about this…" Aura faced her. She, too, was involved in the topic in one way after another. "How about we make the pup topic a group project? We’ll give it a serious thought once you and Maya are ready. I bet it’s a way better idea to raise them together. They would always have a playmate, too. Also, going by all the babysitting, and especially when the little princess stayed over not too long ago, the two of you are way readier for it than Fen and I are. It would help a lot to have some parents with experience to make sure our pups get raised properly. So, you and Maya either go first, or we time it to happen together."
"A-Aura?!" Judging by his cry, Fen hadn’t heard about this before.
"Maya!" The tiger immediately faced her with sparkling eyes.
"No." The cat-girl simply shook her head.
"Aww…" The blonde went back to pouting once again.
"Wait…" Chloe had slight problems following their conversation and wanted to make sure she understood everything. "Sophia, did you actually plan to have children with Maya just so you can play with the pups of Fenfen and Aura…?" She paused for a moment. "Of course, I would love to pet and cuddle them, too, but… I would also love the child of the two of you the moment I lay my eyes on her, but… Isn't that a bit of an overreaction…?"
"Of course!" She nodded a couple of times. "I was just kidding right now."
"Really…?" She stared at her for a moment longer. "You sounded rather serious, though."
"…" Sophia paused for a moment. "Mostly kidding." She reconsidered her statement. "I would, uhh… love to, and I'm looking forward to that day, but it’s still too early for us."
"Wow, it’s impressive how open you are about the whole topic!" Chloe seemed pretty amazed by it.
"Y-Yeah…" Maya’s expression was a little more complex while she gulped down an extra-large drink. Compared to their usual roles, she was the one who wasn’t nearly as confident when it came to children.
"Well, in any case, if we’re still hanging out together whenever it’s happening, I’ll make sure to shower your kid in all the love I can offer~." The fox-girl started smiling again. "If we take the parents into consideration, she’s going to be the most adorable kid in history, after all!"
"Ehehe~." Sophia let out a happy giggle. "Also, wow, you sure a smooth."
"I hate you, Aura." Fen and Maya got a little embarrassed and/or upset that they had to deal with all that thanks to her.
Afterward, the mood cooled a little down once the topic was finally over, and the duo consisting of Sophia and Chloe focused on their primary task again. Completing the challenge that Alex had set up for them, but then turned into a competition where the two try to find out how much they can lighten the wallet of the fox-man.