Side Story: Christmas Special
Editor(s): Speedphoenix, Joker
“Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way!”
Illuna sang a famous festive song as she hung decorations all over the Christmas tree. She has a beautiful singing voice. It’s a shame she’s slightly off tune.
The three wraith girls joined her performance by moving to the beat as they helped deck the tree out with all manner of ornaments. I was quite tempted to throw my own singing into the mix, but kept my mouth shut and let them do their thing as I worked on getting the tree’s upper half looking as spiffy as it needed to. There was still a whole basket of bells, ribbons, and stars to be placed; I needed to focus if I was to get everything done in time.
“Wow Shii! That’s so cool!”
“Hehe… I’m really good at this!”
Likewise, the slime was also attending to the parts of the pine that her vampire friend couldn’t quite reach. She could very easily stretch her body out to the point where the treetop was within her grasp.
“Do you think Santa’s going to give me a present this year?” asked Illuna.
“Of course he is.” I gave her a reassuring headpat. “There’s no way he’d put a kid as nice as you on the naughty list.”
“What abowt me? Does Satan have something for me too?” asked Shii.
“Or me?” echoed Enne.
“Don’t worry girls. I’m sure he’s got something nice for all of you. If you girls make the naughty list this year, then I doubt anyone’ll be getting any presents at all,” I said. “Oh and Shii, it’s Santa, not Satan.”
Yeah uh, Satan’s big and red too, but uh… he’s kinda not the same guy. Just kinda.
I chuckled at the mistake, then got right back to setting up the Christmas tree. A bunch of different thoughts crossed my mind as my hands more or less automagically did their job.
Today was Christmas Eve, a holiday that served as the bane of all single Japanese men. Men of culture were especially weak to its effects and dreaded it as much as they dreaded
single awareness Valentine’s day. This world didn’t have anything like it, or at least anything quite like the capitalism-driven festive variant that I was used to experiencing in Japan. The closest thing they had was a religious ceremony performed only by the most zealous of believers. Yeah uh, fuck that. That doesn’t sound fun. The whole point of the holiday is to make the kids super happy. So yeah, capitalism ho!
I had cracked open the part of the menu that controlled the weather for the first time in a long while just to make it snow in the area right outside the castle. That hadn’t been quite enough to establish the festive, yuletide mood that I’d been hoping for, so I’d grabbed us a plant that seemed to resemble a conifer so we could have ourselves a christmas tree.
The presents and such had all been taken care of. I’d gotten each kid something nice off their wishlist and wrapped it up ahead of time. Inquiring about their preferences had actually been a pretty interesting experience in and of itself. When asked, Illuna had immediately responded by telling me that the only thing she wanted was my love and affection, which naturally led me to spray the tea that I was drinking literally everywhere. God damn it, I’m blaming everyone else for that one. Like seriously? What the hell have they been teaching her!?
Our Christmas dinner was on track to be one of the most luxurious and delicious dinners to have ever graced our table. I’d left Leila in charge of the heavy lifting and appointed Lyuu and Nell as her helpers.
Lefi was supposed to be on duty too. She’d originally been listed as an official tree decorator, but she’d gotten sick of it almost right away. And now she’s just watching us do it instead. I’m really not sure how that’s supposed to be any more entertaining…
As a man who had only recently discarded his forever alone tag, I wasn’t all that accustomed to seeing Christmas in a positive light. The last time I remembered enjoying it was when I was Illuna’s age. But now, there was nothing for me to dread. I had three beautiful wives, and I even sort of had a daughter. Sort of. Heh. Now I can gloat and enjoy the holy night all I want. Mwahahaha! Take that, you single ass incels!
“Those that come from the world in which you were first born are strange indeed.” Lefi made a comment that grabbed my attention and pulled me from my internal monologue. “To spend one’s own treasure to fulfill the dreams of the young is a selfless and praiseworthy deed. I have high regards for this ‘Santa’ you have described.”
“Uhhh… I mean, he doesn’t actually really ‘spend his treasure’ per se…”
Though I guess that’s not technically wrong either, since Santa’s technically just your parents, and they are in fact spending their own hard-earned cash, huh?
“He certainly sounds real noble,” said Lyuu.
“I think so too,” agreed Nell, as she set the table. “I’ve heard about lots of different saints and gods, but this is my first time hearing about one who does things just to make kids’ dreams come true.”
One thing I’d learned was that this world’s saints were quite different from my previous world’s saints. The biggest difference between them was that all of this world’s saints were warriors. Individuals were often granted the title for performing tasks like taking on a horde of monsters to protect a group of innocents, fighting for three straight days without rest, and then ultimately dying in the line of duty. Another example of a saint-worthy task was to go out in a blaze of glory by launching a one man assault on an army of demons, and thereby buying enough time to allow for others to escape. And yet another common example involved standing up to a corrupt noble for the sake of the people and resisting until one’s final breath was drawn as a result of some sort of cowardly scheme. So uh… yeah, there’s a bit of a pattern here, and it’s that they all die. This world is kind of absolutely fucking retarded like that. Anyway, that doesn’t really matter. Point is, saints are all fighters, to some degree or another.
“I admit that his actions are praiseworthy, but we cannot judge this “Santa” through his deeds alone. I need not any further explanation to know that the saint Yuki has told us of is even more of a deplorable pedophile than he.”
“Wow, uh… wow. Santa isn’t a sexual deviant, alright?”
I’m pretty sure he’s the furthest thing there is from the god tier pedophile you’re thinking of him as. And, I’m not even going to try saying this out loud, but just FYI, I am NOT a pedophile, so please don’t try to use me as a point of comparison. Kthx.
“Dinner will be ready soon!” Leila stuck her head out of the kitchen and looped us in on her progress just as I hung one of the last ornaments in the box.
“Great timing. I guess we’ll wrap up.” I grabbed a big, yellow star and passed it to the wraith girls. “Can you three stick this up on top?”
They nodded, then spun around the tree and slotted it on top of the conifer’s triangular peak.
“Alright, it looks like we’re done!”
“Yay!” cheered Illuna. “And wow! The tree’s so sparkly now!”
“Heh. Just you wait, this isn’t even its final form.” I smiled as I flicked the lights.
Once the room was dark enough, I returned to the treeside and channeled my magical energy through its roots.
The many decorations mounted on it glimmered as the tree itself seemed to become a beacon of light. Reflections of all different shades and colours filled the room.
“Woah…” said Illuna.
“Oh? That is quite the sight,” said Lefi.
Both Enne and Shii were staring up at it in mute amazement. Their eyes were sparkling with as much wonder and joy as the tree itself. I couldn’t read the wraith girls’ expressions, given that they were currently possessing their dolls, but I was fairly confident that they too were entranced, as they’d taken up positions on my head and shoulders just to stare.
“It’s real pretty…” said Lyuu.
“Yeah,” agreed Nell.
“It really is quite wonderful,” added Leila.
“Totally awesome, right?” I grinned. “I guess all that hard work paid off.”
The tree really had been quite a bit of effort. This world didn’t have LEDs, so I instead bought a type of ore that glowed when magic was channeled through it, and embedded it throughout the entire conifer lookalike. Unfortunately, the ores themselves weren’t capable of storing energy and would immediately stop glowing the moment they lost access to it, so I had to go the mile and create a magical capacitor capable of serving as a battery. Man… I hate how it only lasts three hours. Setting the whole thing up cost me a huge chunk of DP. Not that it matters, since no one else is ever going to find out.
Once everyone had had their fill of the lights shiny christmas tree, I flicked the lights back on, and moved towards the table.
“Alright, let’s have ourselves a nice Christmas dinner!”
“The girls are finally asleep. It’s time for the operation, codenamed S.A.N.T.A. to begin!” I whispered the update to both Lefi, who was dressed up like a miniskirt-clad version of the big red man himself, and Lyuu, who I’d placed in a reindeer onesie.
There wasn’t actually any reason for me to whisper. We were in the inn, and therefore nowhere near the true throne room in which the girls had gone to bed. It’s not about whether it matters or not. It’s about sending a message.
“Whatever does koadneimed mean?” asked Lefi.
“Don’t worry about it.”
Nell and Leila weren’t with us, not because I didn’t want them to play a part in the operation, but because they were getting a second Christmas party in the room next to ours. Once Operation S.A.N.T.A. was out of the way, we were planning to do as all adults did on the holy night and drink ourselves silly.
“Listen well, maggots. Today’s mission is a stealth mission. You will have to sneak to each child’s bedside and place their presents right by their pillows. You cannot be detected, and they cannot uncover your ideas under any circumstances whatsoever. You better be so stealthy you make Snake shit his pants.”
“He is not making much sense,” said Lefi, to Lyuu.
“I ain’t gettin’ much of it either,” agreed the beastkin. “Wait, Master, why’s it that I’m the only one wearin’ an animal suit, while both you ‘n Lefi are wearin’ all red? And what animal is this anyway?”
“A hornedeer, I presume. That is the creature that comes to mind immediately upon if I am to think of any with antlers, four legs, and a brown coat,” said Lefi.
“Kinda, but not quite. The thing that’s based off is called a reindeer,” I explained. “And you’re dressed up like one because no real Santa can go without one, or nine. Anyway, don’t worry about it. It’s making you look mad cute.”
“Yeah, of course. You’re the best reindeer that this dungeon could ever have, and living proof that my gut is always right when it comes to stuff like fashion.”
“O-okay!” she said with a blush. “Then I’ll do my best to be a reindeer!”
“…I must say, Lyuu. You are nothing if not simple and gullible,” said Lefi.
Lefi had a better understanding of my behaviour than Lyuu, and as a result, she was able to tell that I was holding back a laugh. The oblivious warwolf, on the other hand, was smiling innocently without a care in the world. 10/10.
“So as I was saying, Illuna and Shii will be easy targets. They’re probably both already sound asleep. Enne and the triplets, however, are going to be pretty tough to crack…”
“Indeed. It certainly will be difficult to deliver their presents whilst remaining undetected.”
“Enne’s real good at pickin’ up on when there are other people nearby,” said Lyuu. “And the triplets ain’t the type to ever be sleepin’ to begin with.”
Yup. That’s the problem. Enne was a light sleeper. She was capable of instantly waking up the moment anyone approached, even in the middle of the night, and even if they were in another room. It wasn’t even a skill. She’s just sharp ‘cause she’s a sword.
Heh. That one was so good it was worthy of the both the lolrus and his bucket.
As Lyuu mentioned, the wraith girls literally didn’t sleep. Lacking a body also meant that they lacked any corresponding biological needs. That wasn’t to say they never rested. They did still enjoy lying around and taking it easy from time to time, but they remained fully conscious.
“Lyuu, you’re going to be in charge of Illuna and Shii’s presents. Lefi’s going to have to be in charge of Enne, since that one’s going to need some serious stealth. I’ll deal with the triplets, one way or another.
“O-okay. Your plan’s seemin real solid, Master.”
“He has likely thought it through after determining it as a means to provide himself with entertainment.”
“No idea what you’re talking about,” I dismissed her totally unjustified accusation. “Anyway, let’s get this show on the road!”
“I suppose we have little choice.” Lefi sighed wearily. “Let us accomplish this task perfectly, Lyuu, such that he will not complain once we are done.”
“Sure thing, Lefi! I’ll do my best to be a real good reindeer!”
And so, we got the perfectly planned operation underway…
“Wow! Santa really did come! These presents are exactly what we asked for!” said the resident vampire, shortly after unwrapping her gift, first thing in the morning.
“Yeah, it looks like he did. Good for you, Illuna.”
I answered her while yawning. I’m so tired… Ugh… the wraiths, man, the wraiths. God damn pranksters, the lot of them. They almost got me good. I really wasn’t expecting THAT of all things to happen…
The operation had ended in failure, but both Lefi and I had managed to pull off our ridiculously difficult assignments. She had a pretty hard time with Enne too… If only THAT didn’t happen… If only…
“Hey, Yuki?” Illuna called for me.
“Thanks! I love you!”
“I’ve no idea why you’re thanking me. Those presents are from Santa.”
“Mhm, I know! But I wanted to thank you too.” There was a big smile on her face.
I decided to say nothing. I simply reached over and patted her on the head.