A Fluffy Farewell
“I-Is that wolf really what I think he is!? Is he truly a Fenrir!?”
“Yeah. He’s both another one of my family members and one of the biggest reasons Lyuu decided to stick around.” I gently pat the silver wolf beside me as I spoke to Lyuu’s petrified father.
The sight of the legendary beast had him frozen in shock with his eyes bulging out of his sockets. The only part of him that seemed remain functional was his mouth, which twitched occasionally to serve to demonstrate that he was, in fact, still alive. His eyes remained glued to the wolf even after he finally recovered, as he kept his gaze on him as he nervously shot me a question.
“Y-you were living with a Fenrir!?”
“Yeah. I was keeping it from you guys because I wasn’t really sure how you were going to react,” I said. “I ended up deciding that I might as well go for it because I thought you guys might appreciate it.”
Rir had spent the past day standing by near, but not in the dungeon in order to mitigate the risk of his discovery. In the end, all that staking out of his had gone to waste because I had decided that I would’ve felt awkward about keeping him from my newly legalized relatives, so I called him over and had him show himself to the crowd. Speaking of my pets, everyone not named Rir or Shii was out hunting. They had been instructed with the task of pruning nearby monsters in order to make it easier for me to escort the warwolves back outside the forest.
Worship was apparently the word of the day, as all the warwolves had gotten down on their knees and bowed their heads deeply in prayer. The religious activity honestly appeared more chaotic than solemn. Every beastkin present had chosen to use the space they currently occupied as opposed to organising themselves into a neater formation.
Lyuu’s initial reaction to meeting Rir had been much less dramatic, so I had always assumed that the warwolves weren’t an overly zealous tribe. Today’s observations, however, proved that assumption wrong. Fenrirs were as divine to them as Odin was to the Nords.
Speaking of dramatic reactions. There was also that one incident with Lynaut. Upon regaining consciousness, Lyuu’s ex-fiance had ended up screaming at me almost incoherently before running off and crying his heart out in a disgusting way that only a jock could manage. He then proceeded to spend the rest of the night drinking with his buddies, who did their best to cheer him up. I got the message, of course. Like the chief, he had wanted to warn me about breaking the warwolf princess’ heart. Wow. I guess he really did love her in his own way. Knowing that almost makes me feel a bit bad for cucking him. Almost. Oh well, his fault, not mine. Should’ve just beat me up if he didn’t want it to happen. Sorry man, but that’s how it is. You’re going to have to give up. But don’t worry, there are plenty of fish out there. I’m sure you’ll find another one eventually.
“W-would you mind if I asked his name?”
“It’s Fluffrir, though we normally call him Rir, for short,” I said. “Rir, this is Lyuu’s dad.”
The wolf greeted the chief with both a bark and a nod of the head.
“I-it’s very nice to meet you. T-thank you for everything you’ve done for my daughter.”
“I think that’s somethin’ you’re supposed to say to Master, dad, not Rir.” Lyuu giggled
“B-be quiet, Lyuu. How else did you expect me to react to meeting a Fenrir? No true warwolf could possibly remain calm in a situation like this!”
“Well, I can kinda see where you’re comin’ from. Rir’s real dignified, but the least you can do is stay calm,” said Lyuu with a smug grin.
“Say all you want, but you were no better than they were when you first met him,” I said.
“You weren’t supposed to tell them that, Master!” she complained indignantly.
Uh huh. Whatever you say, Lyuu. Whatever you say.
“You’ve got a busy life ahead of you, Lyuu. You have to be both a good wife and take good care of a Fenrir. Do not make any careless mistakes. Do you understand me?” said my father in law, sternly.
“I-I won’t!” squeaked the dog girl. “But it’s okay! ‘Cause me ‘n Rir are real good buds. We’re basically family already, right Rir?”
Lyuu smiled in my beloved pet’s direction and prompted him to bark in acknowledgement. But he didn’t. Rather than acknowledging her, he stubbornly turned his head in the opposite direction in a manner reminiscent of an angry teenage girl.
“W-what the heck, Rir? W-why are you turning away from me?”
She tried questioning him, but was once again faced with silence.
“R-rir? Rir!? Aren’t you going to say anything?” She moved to the other side of his body in order to speak to his face, but he once again craned his neck as to not to have to look at her. “W-why do you gotta keep turning away from me!?”
Only when she started panicking did he finally choose to face her. Playfully, he smiled.
“W-were you just teasin’ me?”
This time, the wolf both nodded and barked in affirmation.
“Why’s this gotta be the only time you agree with me!?” shouted Lyuu, indignantly.
It was such an entertaining interaction that I broke into a cackle.
“They really do get along…” said Lyuu’s father, mystified. “I can’t believe it. My daughter’s befriended a Fenrir…”
“Well, that is kinda what happens when you live with someone for a whole year,” I said.
Although they weren’t exactly on bad terms, it was unusual for Rir to be this relaxed in Lyuu’s vicinity; her… habits had made him rather wary of her. He was only playing along this time in order to help her show off to her father. What a gentleman. Er, gentlewolf? Is that even a thing?
“Rir really is just like his owner,” sighed Lyuu.
“And what, exactly, is that supposed to mean?” I asked.
“Nothin’, nothin’ at all, Master,” she said. “Just that you two are both real nice.”
“Yeah, I’m sure that’s exactly what you meant.” I laughed a bit before hopping on the Fenrir’s back. “Come on, Lyuu, you too.”
She blushed a bit as she took the hand I had extended to her, only to squeal in panic as I pulled her all the way up without any prior warning and placed her in front of me. Her thick, bushy tail brushed up against my stomach, tickling it, as her ears twitched in surprise.
“Oh, right. If you’re mine now, I guess that means that these ears of yours are mine too, right?”
“That ain’t how that works, Master! They’re still my e—eeek! That tickles!”
I ignored her attempt at reasoning and reached for the soft appendages that protruded from her curly locks and began to rub them.
“Hmmm, not bad. Not bad at all. They’re nice, soft, and silky,” I said. “But they’re not as nice as Rir’s. I’d say these are a seven and a half out of ten.”
“W-w-w-what the heck!? You can’t just go around touchin’ people’s ears like that!” complained Lyuu as she nearly jumped out of her seat.
Like the dog girl herself, Rir wasn’t all that content with me getting all touchy feely with Lyuu on his back. He whined a few times as if to complain, but I pretended not to notice as I engrossed myself in fiddling with the ears that had been placed right in front of my eyes. So firm. So crisp. Hnnng.
“This is sexual harassment, master! I’m gunna tell Lefi!”
“It would be, if sexual harassment actually applied to couples,” I said with a smirk. “I would know. I’m not looking to get in trouble. Why else do you think I didn’t do this earlier?”
“Darn it, Master, why do you have to be right!?” complained Lyuu as she contemplated the differences between welcome and unwelcome sexual advances.
Heh. You hear that, gentlemen? This is what it means to be a real man of honour. You keep your hands to yourself. Until you don’t have to anymore. My desire not to be seen as a sexual predator was behind most of my self-restraint. It was why I had never fiddled with any of Lyuu’s fluff or touched Leila’s horns in spite of the fact that my curiosity was driving me insane. Alright, fine. There were a feeeeeew incidents with Lefi, but that was totally not my fault. She was the one who came onto me, which made everything completely different and totally okay.
“Ahem.” Lyuu’s father loudly cleared his throat before shooting me a glare. The man was so mad I could see his veins bulging out of his head. Yeah, that does kinda seem like the kind of look you’d have on your face if you were forced to watch someone flirt with your daughter.
After a moment of contemplation, I took my hands off the man’s daughter and watched as she hung her head in embarrassment and shame.
“I don’t mind you being intimate, but please, keep it behind closed doors,” he said in a low growl.
“R-right!” said Lyuu., “W-we should really get to seeing everyone off, Master.”
“Riiight, yeah. We were doing that. Sorry for the wait guys. I’ll show you guys out of the forest. Let’s go.”
“Thank you,” said my father in law.
“Oh, right. That reminds me. Making your way through the forest every single time you want to come here is probably more danger than it’s worth. You can stop just outside of it next time you feel like visiting, and I’ll head over and pick you guys up.”
The warwolves had made their way into my territory through the forest’s southern area, the part where its weakest monsters dwelled. I didn’t have control over it just yet, but I was planning to have it integrated as another one of the dungeon’s parts by this time next year.
“Thank you. That certainly does sound like a much better alternative,” said the chief. “Alright men, we’re leaving! We may have Yuki and the Fenrir with us, this time, but that doesn’t mean you can let your guard down! Not even for an instant!”
The warriors raised their weapons and roared to show that they were ready for battle. Yeah uh, I’m pretty sure that’s entirely unnecessary. Everything’s already either gone or dead. And I’m pretty sure I already told him not to worry about it.
Though I had told him it was safe ahead of time, Lyuu’s father hadn’t truly accepted my claim as truth until partway through the journey.
“I know that you told us not to worry, but I almost cannot believe that we have yet to be attacked,” he said. “The monsters were so persistent on our way in. They came at us endlessly, one wave after another.”
“Yeah, that’s just how they are. Half of it just because we have Rir here. He’s much stronger than anything that lives in the area so he scares most things off,” I said with a shrug. “My other subordinates are getting rid of everything else, so we’re pretty much in the clear.”
“I suppose demon lords really are different from the rest of us after all…” said Lyuu’s father. “Ah, right. The nearest human country appears to be going through some sort of turmoil.”
Referencing my mental map, I arrived at the conclusion that he was speaking about the kingdom I had visited in order to deal with a certain prince. It was the country whose king I was personally acquainted with, and the country Nell owed her services to. What was it called again? Allysia? Yeah, something like that.
“I’ve heard that it’s in the midst of some sort of political strife, one rocking the country’s very core. I know that they probably don’t pose much of a threat, as far as you, or this forest, is concerned, but I thought that it would be better to warn you, just in case.”
Again? Seriously? Wow. Not that I really give a shit, but still. Wow. Their problems didn’t particularly interest me, and I wasn’t planning on getting involved unless I was forcibly dragged into the equation. …Though I might want to double check all my traps and make sure they’re all still working. And placed right. I’ve already signed that one deal with the king, so I doubt they’ll be coming here ever again, but I’d rather be ready for nothing than find myself caught with my pants down. Yeah. Note to self: do dungeon stuff after seeing off the warwolves.
Only later would I realize that I would have likely taken a very different set of actions had I asked my father in law for the reason Alllysia had once again found itself in the midst of a political struggle.