Wings Please – Part 2
Editor(s): Sebas Tian, Speedphoenix
Lefi and I left Illuna in charge of the house as the two of us ventured outdoors.
“Ugh…” The first thing the dragon girl did as she stepped into Mother Nature’s realm was groan and narrow her eyes. “It has been many a day since I last saw the light of the sun.”
“That is kind of what tends to happen when you shut yourself indoors all day,” I said with a shrug. Despite being the “Supreme Dragon,” Lefi was incredibly lazy. She had never left the dungeon except for when she felt like stretching her limbs or going on a hunt. And, while the latter at least sounded respectable, it was by no means something she could brag about. Every single hunt she went on was fueled by gluttony and gluttony alone. She would always strongarm me into buying her higher end sweets once she was done by stating that she had helped me earn enough DP to justify them.
In other words, she was on the verge of falling into depravity and joining the legions of NEETs who did nothing but mooch and laze their days away. Wait. Just how the hell is she not actually morbidly obese? All she ever does is eat, sleep, and play around in ways that don’t require moving in any which way. The stuff she eats is sugary as hell and super high calorie too. If I was her, I’d probably be bloated enough to be considered a land whale and a half by now. Well, she is a dragon after all, so it makes sense that she’d be able to eat like one. Must be nice to be able to eat all you want while still keeping thin…
I couldn’t help but frown as I was once again forced to realize that she truly did reign supreme. And in more ways than one, at that.
“Oh yeah, didn’t you have a nest or something? You sure it’s okay for you not to check up on it every once in a while?”
“I’ve no longer a need for it. It was a territory I procured solely for the quality of its honey. However, as I have now acquired a means of consuming sweet foods of an even higher quality, I no longer consider it a thing of value. I mind not bestowing it upon you such that you can claim it as your own.”
Seriously? THAT was why you lived there? God damn it Lefi, why did I ever expect anything else from you? God. Now I feel stupid for trying to be all considerate. I even went out of my way not to extend the dungeon up the mountain.
I gave Lefi a bit of a miffed frown, but soon ended up just shrugging my shoulders and heaving a sigh. Yeah, no point getting mad. She’s always been like this. I don’t think I’ve ever really thought of her as anything more than just one big disappointment. The final expression I ended up wearing before materializing my wings was a wry smile.
“I… am impressed” Lefi gulped. “Your wings are quite the splendid sight to behold.” She started fidgeting as she repeatedly glanced at and away from my wings. The hell’s up with her?
“Yeah, they kinda get in the way, so I normally just keep them tucked awargh!?” I jumped in response to a sudden bit of stimulus. “W-What the hell!? Stop touching them! That tickles!”
The dragon girl reached towards my wings yet again even though I’d just backed away from her, so I ended up having to twist my body to avoid her hands. Wait, I can feel stuff through them? Aren’t they just made up of mana? Hmmm… I guess materializing them must give them some sort of physical substance.
I had to escape Lefi’s hands several times before she finally gave up.
“They are quite magnificent,” she muttered despondently. “Hiding them is wasteful. You would do best to leave them out for the world to behold.”
Magnificent? Seriously? Dragons sure do have weird tastes. Personally, I would’ve preferred something more birdlike. You know, with feathers and stuff. This whole half bat half dragon thing is a bit too bony as far as I’m concerned.
“I think yours are a lot prettier than mine, Lefi.” I said, casually. “And could you please stop reaching towards them already? Holy shit.”
When I first met Lefi, I had been totally overwhelmed by her ridiculous stat page. But, despite that, I still had a very vivid recollection of exactly how she had looked, wings and all. Her form was both dignified and noble. She was a perfect fit for her title and the very embodiment of the the term “legendary dragon.”
There was no doubt in my mind that I would have been equally impressed had she shown up in her current form. Even while humanoid, Lefi radiated an aura of mystery, awe, and power. But our first meeting, of course, had already long become a thing of the past. I was no longer able to associate her human form with any sort of majesty whatsoever. To me, she’d long since become nothing more than a selfish roommate.
“I-Indeed they are,” stuttered the dragon girl. “A-And I would like to point out that your c-coquetry is misplaced. N-nothing will come of your advances, Yuki.”
Lefi stammered, blushed, and fidgeted about. It was clear that she wasn’t used to praise. But coquetry? Really? She sees that as me flirting with her?
I frowned. Yeah uh, this is pretty bad. She really needs to stop acting so embarrassed. I know that she’s completely rotten on the inside, but I still can’t help but not know what to say because of how much impact it has when combined with her pretty face.
“T-To give an example, your usual form is akin to that of a sugarless donut,” said Lefi. She was still stuttering out of nervousness. “But now, you bear all the charm of a cake covered from top to bottom with delicious frosting. Of course, it is clear as day that my own wings reign supreme, but that means not that yours are lackluster. They are more attractive than what most dragons bear, to say the least.”
“Really? Well uh… Thanks, I guess…” I was a bit confused by her choice of example, but it at least seemed like a compliment. Might as well just nod along with a smile or something.
“You have every right to take pride in your appearance, Yuki. My praise is an honour, one that only a select few have ever experienced.”
Lefi faked clearing her throat before continuing in a much more nonchalant, relaxed manner. “But I digress. I recall that you have the Magic Eye skill, correct?”
“Good. Then watch me. Open your eyes and behold!”
“Roger that ma’am.”
Lefi projected a pair of silver wings from her back. They almost looked like the complete opposite of my own. My wings absorbed light. Hers, on the other hand, reflected it.
“Is that the same pair you have in your dragon form?”
“It is not. This pair is but a set of false appendages crafted through the use of magic. Its function, however, is near identical.”
Gazing at it with my Magic Eye allowed me to confirm that her wings really were constructed of mana as opposed to being something physical that had sprouted from her back. Actually, now that I think about it, it should’ve been pretty obvious from the start seeing as how they’re kinda not the same size. Derp.
“Have you nothing to say, Yuki?” Lefi spoke in a tone that seemed to indicate that she was asking for praise.
“Uhm… Err… Uhhhhhh… They’re beautiful. They shine in a way reminiscent of a moon on a cloudless night.”
“How out of character,” said Lefi, with a smirk. “I do believe that it would have been better for you to keep your comments for yourself.”
Why you little… You were literally asking for it, god damn it. Seeing the peeved look on my face caused Lefi to break into a smirk. Yeap. She totally did that on purpose. Blech. I got got.
“Now let us get on with our business,” she said after a light giggle. “Behold.”
A dense wave of magical energy began surging through her body. It looks like she’s… pouring mana into her wings?
The dragon flapped the silvery appendages and ascended into the air with a single, fluid motion. So elegant was the action that it rendered me unable to speak. I was completely blown out of the water by her grace and majesty.
“Wow…” Only after a brief moment of silence did I finally recover enough to leak a mandatory, shocked gasp. I can’t believe I never realized. I’d always just assumed that my wings had enough mana to function since they were made up of the stuff to begin with. Holy shit.
“If you understand, then there is nothing restricting you any longer, young fledgling. Repeat the steps that I have demonstrated.”
I nodded and followed her instructions. I pumped a concentrated volume of magical energy into my wings and began to beat them with vigour. Prior to Lefi’s instruction, they had only ever moved the slightest bit. But now, they had truly become a part of my body. Manipulating them felt as natural as moving my arms and legs. It was almost like they had always been a part of me.
Experiencing the sensation of having functional wings caused me to realize that what I had tried to do earlier in the day was no different from pedalling a bike whose chain was stuck in place, an endeavour bound to fail from the onset.
“It is time, Yuki. Take to the skies. Leap into the air with but a single motion!
Again, I followed her instructions by flapping my wings with more vigour than ever before. My whole body was assaulted by a sense of weightlessness, and a load of wind pressure to my face.
And then, a moment later, I found myself soaring through the sky.
“Woooooohoooooo!” I cheered. Or at least I did until I realized that my speed had failed to drop. “Wait! Why can’t I stop!?”
The scenery beneath me continued to visibly shrink. The ground was getting further and further away by the moment. I’m going to be honest here. This is fucking terrifying.
“Dampen the flow of your mana. You are using too much,” said Lefi. Her voice was coming from right beside me. She had accelerated, caught up, and matched my speed.
Following her advice, I reduced the amount of magical energy I had concentrated in my wings. I had practiced controlling my magical energies for quite some time, and I had grown accustomed to it, so it only took me a moment to stabilize myself, albeit with my body bent into a bit of a weird pose.
Only after slowing down did I finally get the chance to take in and enjoy the scenery beneath me. The sights I saw were impressive. It felt like I was right next to the sun, like I was in the clouds. My new perspective on the world made the very same scene look completely different. My newfound altitude provided me a much better grasp of nature’s splendor.
My whole body began to quiver with emotion. I had always thought that getting a birds eye view of my surroundings would be awesome. And that was exactly what it had turned out to be. In fact, the scene that lay before me was even more beautiful than the one I had imagined.
“Amazing, is it not?” asked Lefi. Her face was decorated with a boastful smile. Yeah, I can see exactly where she’s coming from. I mean, who wouldn’t want to brag about a sight like this?
We spent a few moments in silence. The dragon girl allowed me to admire the scenery for a bit before speaking up while flashing me a provocative grin. “Now follow me, Yuki. I shall illustrate for you the core concepts of flight and unravel its mysteries. My sole condition is that you must be able to keep up with my speed.”
“Them be fightin’ words,” I replied. “Listen here, Lefi. I can fly. I’ve finally conquered the sky. I’ve become one of this world’s most powerful beings, and there’s no longer anything that can stop me. Not even you!”
“Hah,” Lefi scoffed. “That is absurd. You are still but a fledgling. I shall show you what it means to truly be one of this world’s mightiest.” Lefi hit the gas the moment she finished speaking and flew off without so much as even waiting for a reply.
“Wait, hold up!” Likewise, I once again filled my wings with mana and gave chase.
And so, the two of us ventured through the sky and enjoyed ourselves a midair stroll, albeit one that had a bit of speed to it.