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in amongst seven billion, there's someone like you

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"Ta-da!" Yato spreads his arms and twirls, gesturing at the expanse of rolling hills and wildflowers around them. The sky is a cloudless pale purple and Hiyori can't find the sun, but the Sekki's display screen indicates a breathable Earth-like atmosphere with above-average humidity. "Toldja Toia IV was stunningly picturesque, intergalactic tourist friendly, and home to true hospitality!"

"What are you, a travel brochure?"

"Yukine! Don't tell me you can't appreciate the colorful canopies of Toia IV!"

"Aren't canopies made of trees, not flowers?" Hiyori asks, stepping out of the ship.

Yato flicks his scarf and strikes a pose. "On Earth, yes! But the wonders of Toia IV are far--"

"Let's get rid of him at an information desk," Yukine interrupts, tapping the white fold button. He slings the compacted Sekki over his other shoulder and clarifies, "that'll be your new job, Yato. Sell tours to people who care."

Yato turns pleading eyes to her. "Hiyori will buy my tour!"

"I'm skipping class for this, Yato."

"And I'll drop you back off right before your class, so you'll get a comprehensive tour at a great value price and you won't miss a minute of anatomy!"

"Actually, it's my first-year history class."

"You won't drop her off anywhere or anywhen, idiot," Yukine adds. "And I'll leave you stranded on the moon or something if you keep trying to suck Hiyori into your half-assed marketing campaigns."

Yato pouts.

Hiyori pats his shoulder. "Don't worry. I never fall for them."



"You said Toia IV had a tourist post every mile."

"It does! We must be close to one." Yato sighs dramatically. "Poor Yukine, too weak to walk a mi-- Ow! Ow! Hiyori, make him stop! Yukine, ow!"

Hiyori pinches the bridge of her nose.

"You've got us lost! Again! 'Best traveller in the space-time continuum' my ass!"

They've been walking for over 3 kilometers according to Hiyori's watch, but she's not going to bother telling them that. After a few more mewling sounds from Yato, Hiyori squints at the rolled-up magazine currently repurposed into an anti-Yato weapon. "Wait a minute, is that a travel guide?"

Yukine pauses and unfurls the publication. "Huh. Seems to be, yeah." He flips through the pages, ignoring when Yato's shadow looms over his shoulder.

"Toia IV!" Yato cries, pointing at the magazine.

A two-page spread features a photograph of a sea of wildflowers transforming into a brightly-colored rainforest. Witness the magic of Toia IV's solar cycle, where a blanket of flowers becomes a canopy forest every day! the guide says in light grey lettering. Spend the night in a treehouse and when you wake, you'll be safely on the ground surrounded by flora no higher than your waist. Flowers peak at dawn and the forest peaks at dusk, but stay for several days and watch the colors change! Toia IV is also known for its tourism hospitality, so a friendly face is never far. Visit Toia IV today!

Yukine blinks at the guide, then at the hills of wildflowers around them, then back at the guide. "Yato," he begins, voice dangerously low, "if the forest peaks at dusk, and the sky has been getting darker, where are the trees?"

Yato scans the horizons. The flowers haven't changed.

"Maybe this isn't Toia IV?" Hiyori suggests.

Yukine sighs and unpacks the ship.