Of Nell and Two Maids
Editor(s): Speedphoenix, Joker
“I can tolerate your tyranny no longer, Yuki! I demand a duel!”
“Then a duel you shall have,” responded the cause of Lefi’s outburst, after an overdramatic dark chuckle. “For demon lords are creatures that never back down from challenges. I’ll snatch victory from right under your nose and cast you into the abyss of defeat!”
Nell smiled awkwardly as she watched the familiar exchange play out for the nth time. It was quite literally the usual banter. The two engaged in the exact same dialogue on a near daily basis.
“I can’t believe they never get sick of that…” Her hands continued to work away at folding the laundry even as her eyes remained fixed to the two loudest members of her family.
“It ain’t happenin’ anytime soon,” said Lyuu, who was also helping out with the chore. “They’ve been doin’ it day in ‘n day out for as long as I can remember.”
“I expected nothing less. Does Yuki still win all the time?”
“Not anymore. He’s still winnin’ ‘bout seven times out of ten, but Lefi’s startin’ to get real good. She’s pullin’ a few over him here ‘n there.”
“Really?” Nell blinked in surprise. “I guess that must mean she can beat me now too.”
“That’s stretchin’ it real far,” said Lyuu. “I can still beat her a fair amount of the time, even though I’m not really the type of gal to be all that great at board games. And since you still smash me, I think it’s safe to say you’d be beatin’ her easily.”
“Shut your mouth, Lyuu!” shouted Lefi. “I shall be dragging the both of you through the mud as soon as I am done destroying Yuki!”
“You’ve got spirit, Lefi, I’ll give you that much, but none of that talk is gonna be worth shit if you can’t actually beat me,” said Yuki.
“I have every intention of following through on my claims,” huffed the dragon girl. “All that awaits you is pain should you dare underestimate me!”
A single provocative line was all it took to get the two to return to squabbling. Nell and Lyuu were left to exchange glances, shrug, and then start laughing in sync.
“Let’s just leave them be. I think they’ll be done by the time Illuna, Shii, and Enne get back from playing outside,” said Nell. “And even if they aren’t, they’re sure to wrap up by dinnertime.”
The brunette took her eyes off the quarrelling couple and back towards the laundry, only to find herself taken aback by a massive stack both twice as neat and twice as tall as her own.
“Wow, Leila. I can’t believe you got through all that laundry that quickly.”
Each article of clothing, regardless of its original shape, had been folded with such precision and speed that Nell had started to suspect that the other girl had made use of some sort of skill.
“This is only natural,” said Leila, with a light chuckle. “I am a maid, after all.”
“Nelllll!! Help! Leila’s bullyin’ me!” Lyuu tattled as would a child and clung to the friend she asked for assistance. “She’s tryna raise standards ‘n make it seem like I ain’t a good maid!”
“I’m not bullying you, Lyuu. I just think it would be nice if you were to work on being a bit more careful,” said Leila, with her usual smile.
“Neeeeeeelllll! Help! Leila’s smilin’ at ‘n tryna get me all comfortable even though she’s puttin’ pressure on me for not workin’ hard enough! I’m scared!”
“Well uhm… I can’t really fold anything as well as Leila can either, and you are doing a lot better than you were before,” said Nell, with an awkward laugh. “Besides, different people have different strengths, and there’s nothing wrong with playing to them. I’m sure there’s a chore or two you’re particularly good at, right?”
“Uhmmm… hmmm…” Lyuu frowned as she wrecked her brain for an answer. “Oh, I know! I’m real good at crammin’ laundry into the washing machine!”
Her response was met with a pair of blank stares. Both Nell and Leila were giving her a look that suggested they didn’t quite consider the task she’d identified a chore in and of itself.
“W-What!? W-why’re the two of you lookin’ at me like that!?” said an unsettled Lyuu.
“Uhm… Are there any others…?” asked Nell. “Like, uhmmm… maybe tidying up? Or doing the dishes?”
“Oh, you’re right! I have started gettin’ good at doin’ the dishes!” Lyuu puffed up her chest with pride. “Unlike Lefi, I haven’t broken any lately!”
“It’s true that you haven’t broken anything as of late, but I’m still concerned with how roughly you treat our tableware…” said Leila, in a quiet, troubled tone.
This prompted the only human in the group to come to understand all the pain that her sheep-horned friend went through on a daily basis.
“It’s okay, Leila.” Nell placed a hand on Leila’s shoulder. “I’m here for you now. Just say the word, and I’ll help you with anything you’d like.”
“Thank you very much. It’s very reassuring to hear you say that.”
“W-wait, Nell!? Weren’t you supposed to be on my side!? You can’t just give up on me like that!” whined Lyuu. She realized that she would have no more allies amongst those in the midst of doing chores. Given no other choice, she resorted to plan B and glomped Yuki from behind. “Masteeeerrrr!”
“W-what’s up, Lyuu?” he asked, a bit taken aback.
“Leila ‘n Nell are bein’ mean! They’re teamin’ up to bully me!”
“Awww, you poor thing.”
He turned around and started to pet her head, play with her ears, and scratch the underside of her chin, as if to console her.
“That tickles!” For a while, she giggled and let herself enjoy it, but soon grew bashful as she realized that everyone else in the room was looking right at her. “K-knock it off already! J-just how long’re you plannin’ to play with my ears ‘n stuff!?”
“Right, my bad. I was trying to make you feel better at first, but then I kinda got carried away. You’ve gotten a lot fluffier. In fact, I’d even go as far as saying you’re on Rir’s level now,” he said. “But don’t get too far ahead of yourself, alright? You’ve gotta keep at it. Fluff is love. Fluff is life.”
“W-wow, Master, now you’re judgin’ me too!? How could you!?”
She was happy that he was praising her, but she was well aware that he didn’t actually have any intention of taking her side, so she promptly moved on to securing herself a different ally.
“Lefiiiii! Help! Everyone’s bullyin’ me!”
“You are interrupting our game, Lyuu. Save your whining for another time.”
“What the heck!? You too!? Why’s everyone so mean today!?”
The shocked look that had come with the rejection prompted everyone else in the room to share a hearty laugh at the warwolf’s expense.