Returning to the Comfort of My Own Home
Editor(s): Joker, Speedphoenix
“We’re back,” I said, quietly, as I suddenly popped into the dungeon.
Likewise, Nell offered an equally silent greeting. It was getting late, very late. I didn’t even need to look around to know that just about everyone had already turned in for the night. Still, our greetings didn’t go completely unheard.
“I am pleased to see that the both of you have returned,” said Lefi.
She was the only one in the true throne room, as, unlike the others, she was a night owl. And that’s putting it nicely. It’s more like she stays up all night because she’s totally depraved and has a messed up sleep schedule.
“What of his deeds? Has he chosen to make his stupidity known yet again?”
“Uhmm… Not really. He did a few silly things here and there, but he did his job, and even had a few moments where he seemed really cool.”
“Then all is well.” Lefi paused for a moment. “No, on second thought, it is not. I would very much prefer to declare that all is well, but I know well that you are more often than not too soft on him. I suspect it is best that I refrain from taking the claim at face value.”
“H-huh? I am? I wasn’t really trying to be…”
“Of the three of us, you are the most lenient,” said Lefi, assuredly, “but I cannot fault you for it. You do not share in the opportunity to see him day after day as we do. Still, you must remain aware, for he will never improve should you not tighten your grip on his reins, and his influence reflects poorly on the children.”
“M-mmk… I’ll try to be more careful.”
The two were shittalking me straight to my face—or at least Lefi was. But I said nothing. I’d learned a long time ago that there was no place for me in such a conversation, and that I was much better off keeping my mouth shut and staying out of it, no matter how much I wanted to interject. That was why I’d opted to walk away and go get my bed ready instead. So you might be wondering, ‘What the hell, Yuki? Why do you put up with this shit?’ Honestly…? It’s kinda ‘cause I’ve already kinda gotten used to it. Me being whipped has just kinda been the status quo for a while now, so… yeah. It’s not like I really mind, anyway.
“I know you two are in the middle of catching up, but it’s getting late,” I said. “I’m going to go to bed. I’m a bit tired after all that’s happened today.”
“A reasonable suggestion,” said Lefi. “I would have liked for a lengthier conversation, but I mind not waiting until tomorrow.”
“Yeah, sure. Let’s catch up tomorrow,” I said, while laying down. “So, you girls want to join me?”
I tapped the two spots beside me, which prompted the pair to exchange glances.
“You are much too demanding,” Lefi heaved a sigh of mock exasperation. “But I would not mind it.”
“M-me either,” said Nell.
The hero was much less confident than the dragon, so she ended up blushing and averting her gaze, but that didn’t stop her from climbing under the sheets. We only barely managed to fit all of us under the sheets, and frankly, it was a bit cramped. But even so, I didn’t mind it. The warmth my wives provided was enough to put me at ease.
“Sleeping together like this is great,” I said. “Too bad Lyuu isn’t here to join us.”
“If you wish for her to do so, then you need only ask,” said Lefi. “The request is sure to fluster her, but I know well that she will be happy to oblige regardless.”
“Yeah, that sounds about right,” I said. “I’ll ask her tomorrow.”
“That you should.”
That was the last line I heard as my consciousness sank beneath the surface and left me in a state of relaxation and bliss.
I spent most of the morning relaxing, but once the late afternoon reared its head, I decided to gather everyone up in order to host the event Nell had come up with.
“Guess what I bought a bunch of?” I asked the girls, who’d just come back from a play session.
“Uhm… dunno. What?” asked Illuna.
“Seafood!” I announced the answer as I reached into my inventory and pulled out a basket filled to the brim with creatures capable of breathing underwater.
“Wow! That’s awesome!” said Illuna.
“See food!” said Shii.
“…Can’t wait,” said Enne.
While the first two girls raised their arms and cheered, the third instead opted to mutter under her breath while looking at the assorted fish the way a hungry wolf would a sheep. I bet she’s already imagining how they taste.
Despite starting out as an inorganic life form that lacked the ability to eat, the sword girl had turned out to be quite the glutton. The topic of food was one that always garnered her attention, and she was willing to try and enjoy just about everything. In my eyes, at least, it was a good thing. I could see a bright future ahead of her, one in which she would become a gourmet with an incredibly sharp tongue.
“Look at all these fish and shellfish,” I said, as I started laying out the creatures we’d be consuming for dinner on top of the table. “There’s so many of them we could probably put together a parade and march them around the house.”
While the children were all aboard the hype train, the adults, apparently, were not.
“…I do not understand,” said Lefi. “Why is it that he is so excited?”
“I ain’t sure either, but seems like he’s havin’ himself plenty of fun,” said Lyuu.
“I’m sure it’s just because he’s happy to be home with everyone,” said Nell, with a giggle.
“That’s a lot of seafood,” said Leila. “It’ll last us for quite the number of meals.”
“Hey Lefi, stop adulting and get over here for a sec,” I said.
“Well, I just wanted to check if you believed in…” I reached into the basket and grabbed a certain specimen. “Tentacle monsters.”
And shoved it right in her face.
The action was one that led to a pair of screams. The first, naturally, came from the dragon, who’d been caught completely off guard by the octopus that had suddenly ended up right in her face. The second, unfortunately, came from me, who’d been slugged in the face by a dragon that was too freaked out to hold back as much as she normally did.
The clean right hook sent me spiralling through the air. And, much to my dismay, into the nearest wall. It was the hardest hit I’d taken in quite a long time, and had drained half my health bar. Holy shit… I thought I was gonna die.
“Ughh… my jaw…”
“Uhm… I think that was your own fault, Yuki,” said Illuna.
“Yeah, I know… my bad.” I groaned.
It seemed like such a great idea going in too… Ahahaha… haha… ha.
“I-It is as she says,” said Lefi, who was breathing rather heavily. “You were at fault for presenting such a disgusting creature so suddenly.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know. Sorry.”
My cheek still hurt like a bitch, but in spite of that, I felt as if I would very likely pull the prank again, if given the opportunity. She totally almost shat herself just now. Worth/10.
After spending a few more moments fighting back the pain, I peeled the eight-legged creature, which had also been handed a free plane ticket, off my face and stood back up.
“Annnnyway, let’s get back on track,” I said. “So, what do you girls think we’re going to do with all this seafood?”
“I know, I know!” said Illuna, who raised her hand. “We’re going to play with them by lining them all up, pretending to be fish, and joining them in a huge parade around the castle!”
“I wanna be a rockfish!” said Shii.
“I’ll be an Eel,” said Enne.
“Okay, then I’ll be a flounder!” said Illuna.
All three girls immediately began imitating the fish that they’d named, which led me to put on a bit of an awkward smile.
“Err… I uh… hate to break it to you, but that wasn’t actually the plan, at least not for today. We can probably try that some other time,” I said.
Why the hell did they choose those three of all things anyway? There are plenty of other fish in the sea, and I’m pretty sure most of them would be better…
“Do you truly intend on playing such an odd game of pretend?” asked Lefi.
“Uhh… eventually, I guess. And if you think you’re safe, you better think again. You’re definitely joining us, right Illuna?”
“Yup! I wanna see you pretend to be a fish too, Lefi!”
“I-I suppose I may very well join you then… at a later date,” said the dragon.
She went from grinning at and teasing me to fumbling over her words while at a complete loss in a matter of moments. Heh. I bet you brought it up because you wanted to mess with me, but joke’s on you, I saw right through you!
I decided then and there that, when we did eventually get around to playing fish, I would make her play the role of some dinky deep sea bottom feeder while I gracefully swam through the seas as a tuna or something.
“…I regret speaking,” groaned Lefi. “The grave before me is one I dug for myself.”
“Heh. Get trolled. We’ve spent so much time together that, when it comes to situations like these, I can totally read your mind.” I said with an exaggerated, devious snicker. “Anyway, that’s enough of that.” I cleared my throat and raised my voice. “Ladies… it’s time for a seaside barbecue.”