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Shopping Trip

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Hozuki looked over at the pouting Zashiki-Warashi and sighed. Lilith had left a while ago and the moment she had, the girls had changed back to their usual attire. The clothes he had chosen had clearly disappointed them and they didn't seem impressed by Okou-san's taste in Western clothes either.

"If you want western clothes that bad, I can take you shopping tomorrow. Then you can pick the clothes yourself."

The girls head shot up; their expressions didn't change in the slightest but he could tell they were happy. Hozuki didn't take days off often and he was already dreading how much work would pile up in his absence, but looking at the Zashiki-Warashi running around with renewed energy, the sacrifice felt worthwhile.

Hozuki kept a tight grip on Ichiko and Niko's hands; who knew what mischief they could get up to in such a large mall? It didn't seem a necessary measure however, the girls so enchanted by the sheer number of shops that they let him pull them along and decide their path.

As they came to a stop in front of a store, the girls finally regained their alertness. He loosened his grip on their hands and they looked up at him questioning; an imperceptible nod from him was all the permission they needed to zip through the store.

They picked out a variety of clothes to try on with Hozuki clapping obligingly at every outfit. The few items he picked out both Ichiko and Niko very pointedly ignored. All in all, it was fun. The girls even did a mock-runway right outside the changing room; an employee started to come over to get them to stop but one death glare from Hozuki had him making an about turn. After a few hours of this, the girls finalised a few clothes to buy and handed them over to Hozuki.

He also added a few sweaters of his choice to the final pile. The girls took one look at the cat embroidered items and made a face. "I am paying for everything; if you don't want the sweaters, you can pay for everything." The girls kept pouting but they didn't stop him from paying, so it he didn't pay it any mind.

Now that they were finished, he became aware that he was rather hungry. He wasn't the only one; Ichiko pulled on his sleeve and said, "Hozuki-sama, can we go to the food court?"

Ichiko and Niko ordered adzuki beans and rice, as would be expected, while Hozuki got fried rice and chicken. The server, along with the other customers nearby, were shocked to see the sheer quantity of food they got. Their shock only increased after seeing that the three not only finished their meals but also finished them quickly. Ignoring their growing audience, the three went back for seconds, which they finished just as quickly.

Having sufficiently satisfied their appetite (and bewildered their audience), Hozuki decided it was time to return home. Ichiko and Niko, who were eager to try on their new western outfits, agreed.

The next day, the girls ran around, very obviously showing off their new clothes. The praise they received seemed to make them glow; even as Hozuki looked at his pile of paperwork that would require an all-nighter to finish, he couldn't feel anything but content.