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I remember the first day I met her. I was just a kid at the time. My father was a famed adventurer. He would often pillage old temples and monuments that were left to the dusts of time and return any lost treasures to the kingdom so as to ensure the economy flourished.

One day, though, he returned home with a girl. I lived a pretty sheltered life, only hearing of these beings in my father’s anecdotes. For the first time, I finally got to see a Monster Girl. A Kobold, in this instance. She was around my age. I’ll never forget my father’s words when he presented her to me.

“Son, this is perhaps the greatest gift I can give you. Her name is Collie and from today onwards, she will be your responsibility.”

At first, I thought he meant that he was giving me a girlfriend. I remembered being sickened with that thought. Didn’t my dad know that girls brought cooties?

But, I soon realized what he really meant.

Collie, while she was able to speak and think like a human, was only able to communicate in short bursts of dialogue and most of it was through body language. I realized this when Collie began to hug me when we first met. My dad told me that she was really happy to see me for the first time. It was like an actual dog came to greet me, right down to her licking my cheek.

However, I didn’t object. I instead hugged her back. She felt nice on me. She had extremely soft fur, but she had patches of skin that weren’t covered in a coat of it. Those patches of skin felt warm to the touch. Her tongue tickled my cheek and I began to pet her behind the ears. We held each other for a few minutes before my dad had to split us up. Even afterwards, though, I could see Collie wagging her tail and having a huge grin on her face as she looked at me.

On that day, Collie became my best friend, and I would do anything to make sure she gets through the day okay.