A Draconic Date — Part 3
Editors: Speedphoenix, Joker
Exploring Lefi’s old home had provided a more than notable number of high-quality items. And so, I found myself in an incredibly good mood as we moved onto the goal we had set out to accomplish: harvesting honey.
“So? Where exactly are these bees or whatever you were looking for anyway?” I asked as I turned to the girl flying by my side.
“My advent often results in the partial destruction of their hive, and as such, they are prone to moving after each time I lay claim to their nectar. While I know not its current position, seeking it is but a simple task. I am certain that you too will soon come to understand. Their hives are quite distinctive.”
I didn’t know all that much about bees nor their hives, so I decided to just leave the task of finding the place in Lefi’s hands. But you know what, Lefi’s helped me get a lot of good shit, so I’ll make sure I pay her back in kind.
“Alright, let’s do this!”
“Have you finally decided to invest your energy into the endeavour?”
“Yeah, I owe you for all the weapons, scales, and stuff, so I might as well go all out and get you as much honey as I can.”
“I suppose I shall be relying on you then,” chuckled Lefi. “Let us get to work immediately. I have spotted the hive.”
I followed Lefi as she glided down the side of a mountain and landed on a platform underneath a tall cliff, one that was deep into the mountains. And then, I saw it, a massive golden pond. The pool of honey was a bit too small to be called a lake, but it was still of an impressive size nonetheless. Around it lingered a sweet, sugary scent, the same kind that would waft off a syrupy pancake. I guess that’s what she meant by distinctive.
“Is that whole thing made out of honey?”
“It is as per your conjectures. The golden nectar before you is none other than the honey that I have come to seek.”
“I thought honey was supposed to come from beehives…”
Then again, this isn’t exactly Earth. I guess I’ll just have to live with the fact that this world’s bees just store their honey in lakes or whatever instead.
“It is a part of a hive. Bees create reservoirs of honey like the one before us near their nests,” said Lefi.
Wow. This world’s bees sure are daring, leaving their food stores out in the open like that.
Wait a second. Just how big are these goddamn bees? They’ve gotta be pretty damn huge to be able to literally dig up a whole pond’s worth of space. Where the hell are they anyway? Like, there’s no way we’d find ourselves an empty beehive with a bunch of food saved up if there aren’t any bees nearby, right?
“So…” I timidly directed my question towards the silver-haired dragon. “Where exactly are the bees that own this place anyways?”
“I shall be relying on you,” Lefi’s reply was to flash a grin whilst repeating a line she had said not too long ago.
I almost felt like I had jinxed it. I heard a loud buzzing off in the distance the moment she finished replying. The skill I had that detected enemy presences began to blare as dozens of bees began directing their malice at us. Half-panicked, I turned in the direction it was all coming from, only to see the bees that I had been trying to locate. They were huge. More than huge. Each insect was the size of a large motorbike capable of easily carrying two. Their stingers were so large that they may as well have been lances.
And there were a countless number of them. A literal army of the creatures crawled out of a giant hole halfway up the cliff, a cave, possibly even one of their own design.
“Wah I uah da!?” I shouted a bunch of half-formed words as I was assaulted by a sudden combination of panic and confusion. The cave was likely their nest, and so many of the creatures had exited it that I was starting to wonder about the number that had been crammed inside the damned thing to begin with. Regardless of how many there were, one thing remained unchanged. Every bee that left the cave flew right at us with the intention of brutally murdering the intruders that dared attempt to steal their honey.
“I shall leave them to you as I focus on the harvest,” said Lefi.
“What!? Seriously!? You’re just going to sit around!?”
The dragon casually disregarded my complaints, created several glass bottles out of dirt, and happily began filling them with honey. With no more time to spare, I reached into my inventory and drew Zaien.
“Go time?” asked the sword.
“Yeah! I’m counting on you Enne!” I shouted. “Let’s give ‘em a full power blast right away!”
I immediately began channelling a copious amount of magical energy into the blade as I activated the magic circuit known as Crimson Blaze. Though the sword now possessed a clear consciousness, I still more or less used her the same way. That said, she did function a bit differently. Her newfound ability to devise clear thought allowed her to aid me in activating Crimson Blaze, which sped up the process drastically, especially since it was now considered a skill. She could use it up to five times by herself and unlike before, she now had control over the fire. One direct result of her manual override was that the flames could now cover a much larger area if need be.
After activating the magic circuit-cum-skill, I cut one of the nearby bees in half with Enne’s edge, splitting it in half. Seething hot embers rose from its body as it suddenly erupted into a deadly conflagration, a flaming tornado that set every insect in the vicinity on fire. The temperature rose. My whole body was drenched in a wave of heat.
The bees that were swallowed by the flames began dropping like flies as the heat ate away at them. It’s super effective! Heh, I knew bug-types would be weak to fire-type attacks. Such is the fate of an insect.
“That worked welloah!” I raised my voice as I parried the stinger that had suddenly driven itself towards my flank and deprived the offender of its head. “That was close.”
It seemed like the specific bee in question had gone around the flames in order to attack me. Man, I almost got hit there. Not that it matters. They seem pretty weak, so I’m sure I could tank a few.
“You would do well to remain cautious of their sting. They are powerful enough to cleave through steel and contain a potent poison,” said Lefi. “Do not allow yourself to be so much as scratched, Yuki. For as you are now, the poison will take no more than ten minutes to seal your fate.”
“What the fuck!? Tell me ahead of time goddammit!” I shouted. Holy shit, that was close. I was about to let my guard down and get myself rekt by bees. Good thing we don’t have to deal with these for all that much longer. That big ass fire took care of most of the—wait a second. Why the hell are there still so many goddamn bees!?
A group of the insects emerged from the flame as I yelled at Lefi. They had gathered up to form a solid lump of bodies in order to keep as many of their horde safe from the flame as possible. The bees were still going strong. And my attack had effectively drawn all their aggro. They completely ignored the dragon girl and began swarming me en masse. Oh god, why? Why are there so many of these things!? Seeing all these stupid ass creepy crawlies is giving me goosebumps!
I continued swinging my blade and casting Crimson Blaze as I avoided stinger after stinger after stinger. Lefi, on the other hand, continued delivering bad news while remaining on the sidelines.
“My efforts in harvesting their honey have led these bees to develop quite the intellect,” she said. “I must thank you for handling them for me. I no longer need to concern myself with avoiding their outright extermination as I kick them about. Your presence renders harvesting their honey a much simpler task.”
“Damn it, Lefi! This stupidly good teamwork is all your fault!?”
The bees worked so well together that I couldn’t help but find myself annoyed. Any bee that charged at me head on was always accompanied by two more. One would rush at my left flank, while the other rushed at my right in order to prevent me from getting away. Some even acted like assassins. They hid behind their buddies and struck the moment I showed any sort of opening. Coordination only began to describe their movements. They never flinched in the face of danger, and they never reacted to their allies deaths with shock. They kept pushing forward and assailing me nonstop regardless of what happened. I hate this. Fighting these things is a royal pain in the ass.
Like Lefi had said, the bees were smart, absurdly smart. Their actions were so cohesive that it was almost as if the entire swarm was but a single organism. Why, why are there so many bugs? I can already feel myself developing some sort of insectophobia. Hell, this is probably going to give me PTSD. My goosebumps aren’t going away. I might even end up turning myself into Bugman at this rate. I’ll even have a Bugcave and everything.
“I shall leave our aggressors in your hands, partner of mine,” said Lefi. “And I thank you for the efforts that you have put into defending my desires.”
“Partner this, partner that! You’re literally only calling me that just because it makes it more convenient for you to push things off onto me, aren’t you!?”
“Please do take the battle a bit further away. I do not wish to see the honey contaminated, and I fear that standing so close raises the risk of it.”
“How about you worry about me instead of some stupid goddamn honey!?”
Fuck! I never should’ve told her that I’d try my best or whatever. God damn it, past Yuki! Why the hell did you have to go ahead and say something so stupid!? You know what, Lefi? Fine! Whatever! You want me to fight these stupid bugs, I’ll fight these stupid bugs. But I’ll get you back for this later! Don’t even dream of being let off the hook!
I spent a good while fighting. I rolled around, flew about, and used every single part of my body to fend off the swarm of bees. Each of the countless corpses strewn all over the ground was accompanied by a pair of still healthy bees with their eyes set on my death.
“God damn it, Lefi! How are you still not done!?” I screamed. “What the hell’s keeping you!?”
“I shan’t be too long,” said Lefi with a moan. “I am merely enjoying the sweet taste of this delicious honey.”
“What the fuck!? Are you seriously just sitting around and eating with your feet kicked up!? Stop that and help me you lazy piece of shit!”
“How incredibly rude,” said Lefi. “I suppose I may as well continue to dawdle and enjoy myself if you wish not to pay me any respect.”
“My apologies, mademoiselle. Yet another weak soldier I might be, I humbly request that you might display your martial prowess.”
“What a jarring display,” said the dragon. “Polite as it may have been, your manner of speech leaves me with a sense of dissonance, and as such, I shalln’t comply with your request for aid.”
“Fuck you!!” I screamed.
Lefi chuckled and watched me desperately struggle for just a little while longer before finally getting up. She made an expression of exasperation and heaved an exaggerated shrug as she did. “I suppose it cannot be helped. I shall do you the favour of demonstrating the might of the one known as the Supreme Dragon.”
“Sure! Whatever you say, Lefi, just hurry up already!” The look on her face pissed me off to no end, but I gritted my teeth and resisted the urge to talk back. I knew she would likely intentionally refrain from helping me if I did.
The ever so amazing Supreme Dragon smiled fearlessly and opened her mouth as wide as it would go. An extensive amount of mana suddenly gathered in her mouth.
And then, in the next moment, it happened.
A beam. A Hyper Beam. The kind dragon-types were known for firing.
The laser that left Lefi’s mouth was so thick and dense with power that it put even the most powerful Specium Ray to shame.
The air shook.
The atmosphere trembled as the thunderous roar that accompanied the blast flooded our surroundings with noise. I couldn’t help but clasp my hands over my ears as I tried to endure it.
Not a single one of the bees hit directly by the attack remained. There weren’t even ashes. They had been completely obliterated, erased without a trace. And the same had happened to the mountain. There was a huge hole in the side of the cliff. It almost reminded me of a Japanese coin, the kind with a perfectly round hole in the middle. I could see the sky peeking out from the other side of the rock. Nothing was left. Bees, rock, everything. Everything had been completely evaporated.
Even the bees that hadn’t been hit by the attack were down for the count. They were literally blown away by the sonic booms the attack had created. They convulsed on the ground, twitching and spasming before finally falling still. It didn’t seem like she had killed literally all of them, but she had at least disabled everything in the area but me and her.
“Behold, Yuki. For this is the aftermath of a dragon’s roar, my race’s most powerful spell.”
The scene of the carnage was met with a triumphant laugh and a cocky smile, but I was too busy staring at the destruction with an unamused look on my face to see much of either.
“I mean, I can see that it’s hella strong and all that, Lefi, but…”
“Why didn’t you use it earlier?”
“I would have, had you not so coldly turned down my initial invitation.”
“I knew it! I fucking knew it! You put me through all that bullshit just ‘cause of some stupid grudge!”
My frustrated, angry screams were loud enough to be heard for miles.
A series of warm breaths tickled my earlobe as Lefi twitched and moaned.
“I-I was mistaken, Yuki,” she stammered. “I admit my wrongdoings, so p-please, you must release me!”
“Ahhh…” I heaved a sigh of relaxation. “This sure is a nice body pillow. Best I’ve ever had, in fact.”
“Y-Yuki…! L-Listen to me…!” she said between moans. “If you can hear my voice, then you must respond!”
“La la laahhh. I can’t hear anything, so I’m not going to respond.”
I ignored Lefi, who was begging for forgiveness as she squirmed around with her cheeks red, and continued to trace my fingers along her wings. I allowed myself to enjoy the sensation on my fingers before rubbing my face into the soft material. It was night time; we had come home from harvesting honey. I had offered to groom Lefi’s wings, so she complied and materialized them. And in doing so, she fell for the plot I had devised, hook, line, and sinker. I immediately grabbed her and turned her into my pillow for the night before she could retract them. I brought her over to the futon I used as a bed and took my time enjoying one of the most sensitive parts of her body.
Generally speaking, Lefi was capable of materializing and retracting her wings at will, but my experiences taught me that there were exceptions to the rule. They were sensitive, so it was more or less impossible to retract if they were being touched. Hence her current predicament. She wanted to retract her wings and hide them from me, but she couldn’t because I was still messing around with them.
“Hmmm… I guess I should probably play with your tail a bit too,” I said. “Oh wow, this also feels really nice to the touch.”
“D-Do not stroke my tail!” she protested.
“Sure. I’ll go right back to touching your wings then, I guess.”
“That is even worse!”
And so, I continued to stare at and enjoy the warmth of my teary-eyed, Lefi brand body pillow until I was whisked away into the land of dreams.
As an aside, the honey really had turned out to be as good as the dragon had claimed.