To Drakenstead — Part 1
Editor(s): Speedphoenix, Joker
“I refuse. That is final!” The dragon girl crossed her arms and turned her face away, as if to indicate that the discussion had reached an end.
“Oh come on, can’t you at least hear me out? You shot me down the moment I mentioned Drakenstead.”
“There is no need. I am well aware that you wish to visit the village, and you intend for me to accompany you. I shan’t go, no matter what the circumstances!”
She had no intention of changing her mind. I’d known that she wasn’t fond of Drakenstead and that she was unwilling to go, but I’d never expected her to be this stubborn.
“Curse that Baldrgaen!” she snarled. “How dare he not only spy on us but also feed you such an absurd idea!”
“It wasn’t really his fault,” I said. “All he did was explain my whole Dragonlord title.”
“And an unwarranted, unnecessary explanation it was!” She clicked her tongue. “…I will seek him out and tear off every one of his scales immediately.”
“Uhh… can you not?” I felt really bad for the poor, peace-loving dragon, so I jumped to his defense before Lefi could get too far out of hand. “He’s a good, well-behaved neighbor, and is just about the only one that actually talks to me. I’d rather not have him start avoiding me from now on.”
“Well behaved? Baldrgaen? Ridiculous,” she scoffed. “He is far from well behaved. I cannot deny that he is less of a fool than the mindless black dragon that visited us prior, but he is equally rowdy. Despite the protests of those that he knew, he challenged me to a duel and requested that I demonstrate that I hold a dragon’s pride when I first came to this forest.”
Uhhhh… well then. Looks like he wasn’t always so chill after all, huh? Guess he must’ve had his fair share of edgy delusions when he was younger. I’m starting to think that he’s not just avoiding Lefi because he’s scared of her, but also ‘cause being around her reminds him of his dark cringy past.
“I-I mean… sure, he might’ve been a bit different back when you first met him, but now he’s just your everyday run of the mill dragon.” I knew the defense was a bit flimsy, so I quickly tried to think up a second, more solid excuse before she ended up putting poor Baldrgaen’s neck on the chopping block. “Plus, uhhh… I uhhh… really like having dragon friends since it gives me chances to brag about how perfect of a wife you are.”
“Mmrmmmm…” Though she only seemed to be attempting to make up her mind, her tail betrayed her true thoughts. My words had caused it to twitch rather happily.
Upon seeing a chance to push my luck, I immediately tried it.
“You didn’t really like life back home because all the other dragons kept bothering you about being Dragonlord, right? Shouldn’t that not really matter anymore now that I’m the Dragonlord? Since we’re married, I doubt any of your old friends will complain since it basically means that you have my authority. All they really wanted to see was a consolidation of the supreme dragon and dragonlord’s power, right? I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what they ended up getting anyway.”
The argument I made was illogical. At best, it was a bit of a stretch, but I’d said it in a matter-of-fact manner as to mislead her into not thinking about it. And it looked like it worked. She actually seemed quite convinced.
“Plus, don’t you want to see how all your old acquaintances react when they find out that you got married?”
“…That, I cannot deny,” she grumbled. “I certainly would like to see them react to the news.”
Got ‘em Cap’n.
“Come on, please? Just this once?” I begged. “I don’t know where Drakenstead is, so I’d like you to show me how to get there. Plus, even if I do end up somehow finding my way, all the dragons would probably try fighting me because they would wonder why there was some random cheeky ass demon lord acting like he owned the place. I doubt I’d actually be able to hold my own, so I need you to be there for me when it inevitably happens. I can’t do shit without the dungeon’s powers. You’re the only one I can rely on when push comes to shove.”
“…Very well. If you must insist on visiting, then I have little choice but to accompany you.” She unfolded her arms to put her hands on her hips and puffed her chest up with pride. A huge, shit-eating, arrogant grin had replaced her frown. “You remain completely and utterly worthless without me, after all.”
The way she was getting carried away annoyed me to no end, but I decided to refrain from commenting for the sake of preserving her mood. Come on Yuki, you can do this. Just shut up and smile. You only have to keep it up long enough to bait her into going. It’ll all be worth it in the end.
“To remain a capable mate is to live a life of hardship,” she professed overdramatically, “but I suppose that I may yet find the energy necessary to convince myself to visit the village should you repeat yourself.”
“…I can’t do shit without the dungeon’s powers. You’re the only one I can rely on when push comes to shove,” I grumbled.
“A statement made with no heart!” she complained. “You must speak with your feelings laid bare if you wish for me not to rescind my decision to visit!”
“You is da bomb,” I said in a deep, mocking, southern accent. “I is glad that we was hitched.”
“…The method by which you conveyed your intentions was more disturbing than it was enjoyable.”
“You piece of shit! I gave you an inch, and you took like three fucking miles!” I cursed. “You and I both know you’re about as defective and unreliable as a dead horse! All you’re good for is showing me the goddamn way!”
“Defective!? Unreliable!? Watch your words, Yuki! I have yet time to reconsider my visit!”
“Shut the fuck up! I’m not about to let you use some dumb vacation as to turn me into your bitch! Fuck that!”
“Then I shan’t go!”
“Holy shit! You’re literally over a thousand years old. Grow up! Stop acting like a spoiled brat!”
Though we were the loudest two voices in the room, Lefi and I weren’t the only. In fact, all our shouting had attracted a bit of an audience.
“You know, I’ve been thinkin’… When those two argue, they start gettin’ real childish, real quick. They ain’t even sayin’ anythin’ that matters. They’re just bickerin’ to bicker,” said Lyuu, under her breath.
“That would be due to the particular set of personality traits they happen to share,” explained Leila.
“Seeing them get along so well makes me wanna smile!” said Illuna.
“Ain’t that the truth? S’why this place feels like home,” said Lyuu.
“Cease with your observations and comments!” shouted an irritated Lefi. “This is not a public display!”
“Yeah, I know right! What the hell! Who gave you the right to decide that other people arguing should make you feel at home, huh!?” I added.
“Aw crap… it’s lookin’ like they’re onto us!” said Lyuu. “Let’s get outta here girls!”
While giggling up a storm, all three spectators promptly retreated from the true throne room.
“If anything happens, let us know and we’ll fly right back right away,” I said. “I’m pretty sure that you girls already know how to use the orb, right? I know Leila does, at least.”
“You’re talkin’ ‘bout this magic ball, the one we used when we were talkin’ to Nell, right?” Lyuu placed a hand on the Mk-II orb. “I think I know how I’m supposed to get it workin’ so we’ll be okay!”
“I’ll let you know immediately if anything gets out of hand,” said Leila.
One of these things is not like the other. And by that, I mean that only one of these statements happens to be reassuring.
Unfortunately, the magically fueled device was a huge mana sink. They would only be able to keep it running for about a minute even if they both exhausted the full extent of their mana pools. I wasn’t particularly worried, however, as that was more than long enough for them to let us know if there was an emergency. Moreover, the true throne room was stocked with a wide variety of useful items, including high grade potions and high grade mana potions. I didn’t bother mentioning or explaining said stock because they were both very well familiar with it at this point.
“Alright Rir, I’m leaving you in charge of defending the dungeon. Lefi’s going to be gone this time, so there aren’t any contingencies if stuff starts going south. Let me know right away if anything weird happens, okay?”
The wolf answered with an affirmative bark. I was fairly confident that nothing would go wrong with him around, as unlike my other pets, he was actually quite capable of manipulating the dungeon through its interface. He’s really smart. Like, REALLY smart. He’d probably kick my ass in an IQ test.
I had a rather fond memory of the day that I explained the menu system to him. Watching him use his paws to play with the screen had been a super relaxing, calming sight. In the end, he’d actually ended up switching to poking the screen with his nose instead, as apparently that was much easier for a creature with a canine form.
“Do not indulge in consuming an excess of snacks, children,” said Lefi. “I cannot deny that sweet treats are to be sung the utmost of praise, but little less can be said for Leila’s cooking. If you are to gorge yourselves on sweets, then you shan’t be able to stomach your dinners.”
“Okay!” answered Illuna and Shii, in tandem.
Enne hadn’t said anything this time, as she wasn’t actually going to be watching the house. She’d be accompanying us instead, just in case anything happened along the way. Man, seeing Lefi act like a mother really tickles the heartstrings, doesn’t it? It’s times like these that you can really tell she’s older than she looks. Though, I kinda wish that she’d be more mature more often.
“Alright, it looks like we’re all done here. I’ll see you girls in a few weeks!”
I slung Enne over my shoulder, turned around, and ventured outside the dungeon with my draconic bride in tow.