The skyline was littered with elaborate skyscrapers and they clearly showed what they represented to the district of Asaka itself. Technology was thriving in Asaka and it had attracted a lot of attention. Various cultures have left their mark not just on the city's development, but also upon the city's identity; both human and liminal. What historically was a city of little diversity has grown into a multicultural hub and it's this that has united the one million people to this day.
However, it hasn’t been a completely smooth transition period for the Liminals. Despite the Interspecies Exchange Bill being passed three years ago, not every shop is liminal-friendly. There are liminal-owned businesses, but they are still on the rise.
Elsewhere in the district, a certain young woman had finished her shift and had returned home to her house. Her neighbour was Kimihito Kurusu; he’d been chosen the same day as her to be a host in the Exchange Program. She’d had a shower and was stepping out of the bathroom to walk to her room, with a towel around her when the doorbell rang.
She twisted her long, pale hair up in a second towel to dry later. When down, her hair reached her knees and took a long time to dry naturally. Finally, Hinata slipped her feet into a pair of slippers and strode out to the front door.
Hinata’s towel was light enough in colour to hide the fact she wasn’t human as she opened the door. Hinata hadn't really been expecting guests, so she was a bit curious to see her co-ordinator, Agent Kuroko Smith, from the Cultural Exchange and a woman with orange-blonde hair and gold eyes.
If Hinata had to describe Agent Smith, she would say that Agent Smith was one of those typical government agents. She was wearing a white dress shirt with a black tie, a black blazer and a matching professional skirt, black panty hose and heels. Black sunglasses covered her pale brown eyes and her long black hair hung loosely down her back.
Hinata recognized the woman next to Agent Smith as one of the Harpy breeds. The woman had neck-length orange hair that was in a tousled and messy fashion. The woman had bright golden eyes and stunning reddish-orange wings (she obviously had no problem showing off who she was). Hinata noticed that the Harpy was wearing a revealing blue sleeveless top with green-coloured shoulders. The top had a broad yellow stripe over the stomach area and three red stripes – two on the bottom under the yellow, the other on top of the yellow blaze – just underneath the breasts. The Harpy was also wearing a brown skirt with yellow markings. Her feet were taloned with three claws on each foot and a thin layer of scaly skin decorating her upper thighs that disappeared under her skirt.
Hinata glanced at the woman curiously as golden eyes took in her appearance. Hinata felt a bit unnerved as those golden eyes studied her, but she pushed that thought aside for now as Agent Smith smiled at her. "Good evening, Hyūga-san. I apologize for the unannounced visit."
Hinata smiled warmly at the woman. "It’s quite alright, Smith-san. Please come in."
Agent Smith smiled as Hinata stepped to the side to allow them in. "Thank you, Hyūga-san."
Hinata closed the door and locked it place after Agent Smith and the Harpy woman entered. Hinata followed Agent Smith and the Harpy woman (Agent Smith had been to her apartment enough times to know where to go by now) to the dining room, which was connected to the kitchen.
Hinata had a fairly simple dining room. A decent size round table stood on the wooden floor with four chairs surrounding it. Pictures of her family decorated the pale blue walls and a small light fixture hung above.
"I was just going to heat up some dinner. Would you two care for some?"
"No, thank you, Hyūga-san. Just coffee if you have it." Agent Smith said as she took a seat.
"I'll have some with some water. Thanks." The Harpy woman said as she took a seat next to the government agent. Hinata smiled before she left for the kitchen.
Several minutes later, Hinata returned with two bowls of home-made ramen, a mug of black coffee with two sugar cubes and two glasses of water.
Once they were all settled, Agent Smith began going through the introductions. "Hyūga-san, I would like you to meet Bima Chandrah. She is a Harpy of the Garuda subspecies."
The Harpy now identified as Bima Chandrah smiled widely at Hinata. “It’s very nice to meet you, Hyūga-san. Smith-san has told me so much about you.”
Bima’s eyes seemed to brighten as she stared at her with her golden orbs. Hinata felt her stomach turn again. There was something about Bima that she could not figure out.
“R-really-y?” Hinata stammered slightly as she tried to push the uneasy feeling about this strange Harpy away for now. She couldn’t be doing what she thought she was doing, could she?
“Yep!” Bima said with a huge smile that confirmed her earlier statement. However, her eyes seemed to show surprise when Hinata began to stammer. "This ramen is great! It's different than the one I always buy."
Hinata blushed profusely and turned her head away, embarrassed. Never had she met anyone who was so forward with their emotions for her. It was hindering any chance she had of asking Smith-san why she had brought such an open individual to her house.
Agent Smith smiled to herself as she drank the last of her coffee, stood up and walked over to the sink. She washed the mug up and placed it on the rack to dry, before turning on her heel.
“I’m off.” Turning to the Extra-Species she had brought with her, Agent Smith continued. “Don’t get up to too much mischief, Bima. Remember that Hinata is a timid person.”
Noticing Hinata was still looking away from her, Bima gave a cheeky grin to the co-ordinator. “As you wish, Smith-san.” Bima couldn’t wait to have fun with her host.
“Hyūga-san!” Agent Smith called, startling Hinata out of her thoughts. The young woman glanced at her co-ordinator, confused. “The girls are, and will get, passionate with you. Just some advice.” Then she walked out the door and was gone.
No sooner than Smith-san walked out the door, Bima was pushing herself onto Hinata. The Garuda teased her host by slowly pulling back the collar of her shirt to reveal her breasts… that were unhindered by a bra.
“N-No!” Hinata stammered, attempting to draw away from Bima. She didn’t want the Harpy to find out her secret before she was ready to reveal it. Bima kept after her, however, still showing off her breasts.
“What’s the matter, Master?” Bima asked in a sultry tone. “Don’t like my openness?”
Hinata didn’t trust herself to speak, so she didn’t answer Bima immediately. Bima forced the issue and pressed Hinata into the kitchen bench, ignoring her host’s struggles to get away.
“B-Bima, please! Stop.” Hinata pleaded again. The request fell on deaf ears once more as the Harpy took great pleasure in ever so slowly removing the towel from around Hinata’s chest. The result left Hinata flushed red from extreme embarrassment and Bima herself blinking in surprise.
“You’re a li-” The Garuda began, but Hinata swiftly pressed a hand over the other’s mouth.
Hinata nodded once in confirmation. “Smith-san can not know this. She will learn when I’m ready to tell her. Understand?”
Before Bima could reply, the doorbell rang again and Hinata jumped, startled, grabbing the towel off of Bima. She hurried into her bedroom to get dressed, calling out to Bima to please answer the door.
Still stunned by the revelation she had just discovered, Bima took her time walking to the door. She opened it to reveal a tall young man standing there. He looked in his early twenties’ and wore a black short-sleeved shirt with white pants.
“… Ah, hello?” Bima finally greeted. She noticed a Holstaurus subspecies, the parent breed being the Minotaur, standing beside him.
The liminal resembled that of a cow. The upper half of the cow beastman was that of a human with white hair that had strips of black, cow ears and horns adoring her head and eyes as green as the grass she munched on for lunch. The lower half was that of a cow. The liminal had white cow legs with grey spots and a long thin tail that had fluffy fur on the tip. On her wide hips, she wore her jean-like shorts and around her neck she wore a bright golden bell.
“Hi. I’m Hyūga-san’s neighbour, Kurusu Kimihito. This is Alyssa. Smith-san dropped her at my place two weeks ago. Is Hyūga-san in today?”
“Master is getting dressed after I interrupted her. I just arrived here myself, Kurusu-san. Smith-san left not long ago,” Bima answered her host’s neighbour.
It wasn’t time for Bima’s mating drive so, despite being bisexual, she had absolutely no interest in males. Her preference was for females. Now, her interest in Alyssa was piqued.
Alyssa seemed to notice as well and fluttered her eyes at the Harpy. She stopped when her host looked over at her when he realized Bima had fallen silent. “I’m sorry, Master,” Alyssa apologized.
Bima regained her composure and defended her fellow liminal. “Why are you sorry?” She challenged.
“Master Kimihito doesn’t like me flirting with other females.” The Holstaurus replied, her tone sad.
Bima couldn’t believe this outrage. The Garuda was moments away from tearing into the human, but then Hinata appeared on the scene. She was fully dressed and had black gloves on her hands. Hinata felt the intent to maim and placed a hand on her homestay’s shoulder, feeling relieved when the intent died down in shock.
“Liminals can’t injure humans and vice-versa. P-Please remember that.” Hinata whispered into Bima’s ear to remind her of one of the laws.
Bima’s eyes widened. “Oh!” She couldn’t believe she had overlooked one of the most important laws regarding Extra-Species integration into human society as ‘absurd’. Now, she understood why it was so crucial for the two groups to get along.
Apologies, Master. I won’t do that again, Bima thought honestly. The Garuda bowed her head in genuine remorse and saw Hinata nod, satisfied her job was done.
Turning towards her neighbour, Hinata continued. “H-Hello Kurusu-san. It’s a pleasure to meet you and Alyssa. Is Smith-san sparingly giving you homestay participants?”
Kimihito grimaced. “Not really, Hyūga-san. I’ve got two already – Alyssa here and Papi, a Harpy.”
Hinata let out a little gasp and put a hand over her mouth. “I-I’ve only got Bima at the moment, even though we were chosen on the same day.”
“Yeah,” Kimihito responded, knowing the co-ordinator better than Hinata. On top of that, he was due for a third homestay in the coming days. “Smith-san told me she’s ready to drop another homestay on me in a couple of days. Says this one’s called a Jinko, a tiger woman. Not sure how I feel about that.” He laughed nervously.
Hinata paled at the thought of how claw-heavy the Jinko would be.