A Date Atop a Floating Isle — Part 2
Editor(s): Joker, Speedphoenix
As Lefi watched her husband frolic about, she once again came to the conclusion that he was incredibly childish. He was quite literally screaming with excitement as his eyes remained fixed to the waterfall that flowed endlessly from the floating isle to the world beneath it.
“Holy shit, Lefi! Look at this thing! It’s got a literal infinite supply of water even though it’s above the clouds. How the hell is that supposed to work!? There’s literally no condensation or precipitation!”
“The isle is in possession of a mechanism to convert magical particles to water,” replied the dragon, calmly. “It is likely either a rock or patch of soil. The phenomenon is unrare. It occurs rather often in regions rich with magical energies.”
“That’s so cool!” He hovered around the waterfall and stared for a bit before darting off in another direction altogether. “Wait, what the hell’s up with that shiny thing floating around? Holy shit, is that a rock!? Is that a literal floating rock!? I can’t believe shit like this exists!”
His attention had been stolen by a rock whose underside emitted a faint light. He spun around it a few times and examined it from a whole plethora of different angles. It was the same type of behaviour often seen in children, and she had in fact observed Illuna performing a strikingly similar set of actions on a number of occasions. The two were pretty much the same in how completely random they could be. They could be completely enamoured by one thing, only to suddenly lose interest in favour of chasing a new and completely different passion.
A good example of this behaviour came in the form of Illuna’s recently developed obsession with gardening. She one day, without any prior notice, declared that she wanted to be a florist in the future, and began enthusiastically working away at the goal in an unchildlike manner. She learned the scientific names of each species she came across, likely courtesy of either Leila or Yuki, and asked all sorts of different things about their properties and the conditions in which they grew. She would even occasionally say things such as, “this soil is soft, mulchy, and full of all the right nutrients! It’s perfect for growing stuff!” which caught Lefi completely off guard. The dragon’s impression was that any other girl her age would instead be commenting on how pretty the flowers were, or how nice their scent was, as opposed to truly learning about them.
While neither Shii nor Enne were anywhere near as drastic as Illuna, they also did have similar inclinations. These behaviours threw Lefi for a loop. She grew unsure as to whether the children were mature, or Yuki was childish. At first, she’d assumed that it was the former, but eventually realized that it was a mix of both.
When the children were around, Yuki acted more like a guardian. But when they weren’t, he would completely lose all restraint. Seeing her husband like this, again, threw Lefi for a loop. His actions left her exasperated, but she wasn’t actually sure if she would’ve preferred him growing up over the status quo. She felt that both had their pros and cons—and that she would love him either way. That thought was one that never failed to put a smile on her face.
“I knew coming up here would be worth it,” said Yuki, “the wicked forest is filled with all sorts of cool stuff, but this takes it to a whole new level.” He looked in the dragon’s direction after stopping by the base of a large tree whose species could only be found only atop the floating isle. “What’s up that weird smile? Wait, don’t actually tell me. I’mma go ahead and guess that you’re already imagining what we’re going to have for lunch,” he said, convinced. “Honestly? Can’t blame you. It looked pretty damn good.”
“I was doing no such thing,” said Lefi. “Before you reply, I believe I should warn you that it is coming.”
“It? What’s i—woah!”
He stopped running his hand across the tree’s trunk and looked back towards the waterfall at which Lefi had pointed, only to immediately back away in surprise. Because there, he found a monster awaiting him.
Like Rir, its form was canine. Wings aside, its only oddities were its massive sabertoothed fangs, and the extra pair of eyes it just so happened to have. The powerful aura radiating off of its body informed Lefi that it was likely the island’s apex predator. And it wasn’t happy. Its expression was contorted with rage, and its throat was emitting a deep, intimidating growl. Behaving in this manner while in the supreme dragon’s presence likely meant that the pair had gotten far too deep into its territory.
“A wolfnir?” Lefi raised a brow. “That is quite a powerful monster indeed.”
“W-when the hell did it get here? I didn’t even notice it…”
“It made use of a spell to better blend into its surroundings. It has been lurking nearby for quite some time. I felt it watching us,” said Lefi. “It has only chosen to appear now because it is concerned that we are intruding too far into its domain.”
“I-I see…I guess the only reason my enemy detection skill wasn’t going off was because it wasn’t actually hostile.” Yuki stepped between his wife and the monsters. “Wait, you knew it was watching us the whole time?”
A bashful sense of joy filled her as she watched him come to her defense. He had clearly said that he was planning on letting her take care of all the monsters, and yet, there he was, mace-like weapon drawn and ready to defend her. A part of her wanted to allow him to engage the wolfnir. She wanted to let him protect her. Because he was the only one in this world that would even consider protecting the supreme dragon of all things. But she didn’t. While she was confident that he would ultimately come out on top, she knew that victory would come at the cost of grave injuries. A wolfnir wasn’t something that he could simply deal with given his current circumstances.
She would have allowed him to do so anyway if this were to be the sort of situation in which he was resolved to make a stand for the sake of his pride. But it wasn’t. And so, she raised a hand, clenched into a fist, and destroyed it.
The wolfnir failed to react.
Its head had exploded in an instant, leaving nothing but a bloody corpse behind.
“So… uhhh… what was that?” asked Yuki.
“It was not anything particularly impressive,” said Lefi. “I merely squashed its skull with my magical energies. Relatively speaking, it was a rather powerful foe, so I used a slight bit more mana than usual.”
“Define a slight bit. In terms of numbers.”
“It was approximately forty times your maximum,” she said, casually. “Again, the technique is not particularly impressive. It does not work well against monsters with tough exteriors, such as those that are shelled.”
“You’ve got way too much mana,” he grumbled, defeatedly. “And weaponizing it makes for some crazy bullshit.”
“My mana is near unparalleled in terms of quantity. I believe it is exceeded only by the spirit lord’s.”
“Yeaaahhh… as usual, you’re totally off the charts.” His voice grew quiet. “I guess I’ll be stuck as the one being protected for a good bit longer, huh?”
“Do not worry. Our positions are sure to reverse, one day,” she laughed. “I know that it will come eventually. We will be remaining together for many, many ages. But until it does, I will be keeping you safe.”
She didn’t care how long it would take, be it tens, hundreds, or even thousands of years. She would stay by his side and support him until the day her body gave out. Until the day death beckoned.
Though unaware of the passionate thoughts coursing through her mind, the man to whom she had vowed herself bashfully averted his gaze.
“…Give me three hundred years,” he mumbled.
“Very well. I do not mind,” she said. “But enough talk about strength and power. Were we not in the midst of exploring the island?”
“Riiiight, yeah. You see that giant ass mountain over there? Let’s head up to its peak. I’m super curious to see what we’ll find.”
“That is an excellent idea. I can hardly wait to find that out myself.”
The pair materialized their wings as they identified their next destination. And they would’ve taken off, if not for a certain dragon’s actions.
“Hey uh… you mind like… not?” said Yuki. “Why do you have to mess around with my wings literally every single time you see them?”
“Do not pay it any mind.”
“You know that isn’t happening. They’re way too sensitive for that.”
“I do not see an issue. Consider it the compensation that you are paying me to wait three hundred years for your growth.”
“Fine. You win this one.”
With a wry smile, he permitted her to do as she pleased.