To Drakenstead — Part 5
Editor(s): Speedphoenix, Joker
My eyes fluttered open as the sun snuck a beam through the curtain and onto my face. The first sensation I felt as my mind slowly began processing my surroundings was one of weight. Something was pressing down on my right arm.
Upon directing my gaze downwards, I discovered that it was Lefi. She had decided to sleep on top of my arm instead of making use of a pillow.
I did as any man in my situation rightfully would and took a moment to appreciate my wife’s presence. I basked in the warmth of her skin against mine, which was only amplified by the soft strands of smooth, silky hair spread across the bed, whose quality seemed a bit different from usual. Oh… right. This isn’t home.
They’d only prepared one bed for us, but that wasn’t an issue. We were totally comfortable with sleeping together, and the bed had more than enough room for us both. It was a double, after all.
Waking up next to her was a pleasure. It was specifically the type of pleasure that one could never grow sick of, just like staring at her face, whose features were about as close to divine as divine could get. I did it every single day, but I always wanted to stare at her nonetheless. She was too beautiful for me not to. Not that I’d ever actually tell her that.
After some hefty staring, my consciousness became clear enough for me to realize that Lefi wasn’t the only source of warmth under the blankets. There was another, down near my stomach. Had I been completely awake, I would’ve immediately come to the conclusion that it was Enne, but my groggy mind required a spot check to confirm it.
Lo and behold, there she was, curled into a ball like a kitten. I smiled, reached over, and began running my fingers through her hair. This is bliss. I want to stay like this forever…
As a responsible adult, I knew better than to stay in bed all day, so I eventually reached out and tapped both my wife and daughter on the shoulder.
“Come on girls, rise and shine.”
The pair groaned in tandem as I called out to them. Though their initial reactions came at roughly the same time, Enne was much quicker than Lefi when it came to getting out of bed. She rubbed her eyes and sat up while the dragon remained exactly where she was.
“Lefi, get up. The sun’s already out.”
I could tell that she was fully awake, but she chose to feign a state of partial consciousness by leaning into me and wrapping her arms around my shoulders instead of opening her eyes. Admittedly, it worked, at least for a moment. My heart was forced to skip a beat by the wonderfully pleasant sensation of her body being pressed into mine.
“That was close… You almost swept me right off my feet,” I complained. “Damn it, Lefi, I know you’re awake. Don’t even try to pretend you’re not. Your tail twitched when I told you to get up. You’re not going to get yourself any extra sleep by being clingy. That kinda stuff is only cute when the kids do it.”
The only response I got from her was a lack of response; she stubbornly pretended to fall back asleep.
“Alright, fine. We can do this the hard way too.” I glanced at Enne, who nodded in affirmation. “It’s time, Lefi. Time for you to go to tickle hell!”
She reacted the moment she heard the word tickle. But by then, it was already too late. Enne and I had already pounced. We coordinated the assault and made sure that we stimulated her in waves. I would tickle her armpits, Enne would start on her feet, and then I would take the opportunity to move onto her sides, and so on, and so forth.
She desperately twisted and turned to try and get away, but there was no escape.
“Heh, how’s that combo on for size?” I smirked, “Game over, Lefi, this is the end of the line.”
“Tickling hell. It’s a perfect technique,” explained Enne. “There’s no escape. Only death.”
“I-I wunderstanbf! I will no lwagonger feign shleep!” Lefi desperately shouted whilst giggling like a maniac. “I-I d-d-demand you shease difimm mediateltghy!”
“Shease difimm? What’s that supposed to mean?” I smirked. “You’re going to have to be more clear.”
“Y-y-you sadist!” she screached. “B-bwat is noshing fort of unreasonable and I am sherfain that you vare w-ww-w-we—wait!”
And so, Lefi was forced to laugh against her will until we had our fair share of fun.
“You are nothing if not nefarious, the both of you!” She pouted and complained as she flew by my side. “I see no reason for you to have persisted for so long!”
“Why are you blaming us? It’s not our fault you felt like pretending to sleep. All that could’ve been avoided if you just decided to get up.”
“Mhm. Not our fault,” echoed Enne.
“It is so! You are the prime offender, Yuki! Whyever would you choose to engage in harassment over an opportunity to embrace the adorable dragon you have made your wife!? You would have done well to be more grateful!” she huffed.
“Hahaha, my bad,” I laughed. “I promise, next time, I’ll relish in happiness instead. In fact, let’s go for a do-over right now.”
I reached over and grabbed her while we were in midair, which inevitably led us to spiral out of control.
“W-what!? C-cease that immediately! I cannot fly with you latched onto my body!”
“I love hugging you. You’re so warm and comfy. This is literally the best thing ever.”
“D-do not rub your cheek against mine, i-imbecile! We are in Enne’s presence!”
“Pffft, come on. What’s there to be embarrassed about? Nothing wrong with a public display of affection or two.”
“Mhmm… Being close is good,” responded the sword, telepathically.
“See? Even Enne says so.” I gloated. “Now let’s flirt to our hearts’ content.”
“I-I do not see that as a reason to do it in the middle of the sky!” She complained, but to no avail. I didn’t let go. “…You would do well to listen to others at times like this.”
She realized I had no intention of letting go, so she heaved an exasperated sigh, stopped trying to shake me off, and ruffled my hair as would a parent soothing a child.
As I regained control I took a moment to survey our surroundings, and then another to reflect. The army guy who’d made our lives a lot easier had been quite relieved to see us leave. While we didn’t actually do anything harmful, I did feel kind of bad for putting him through as much trouble as we did. That was yet another one of the reasons we were now actively avoiding contact with any human societies.
Our current position was above a dense forest. It was clearly the type of place that most people avoided, as there were all sorts of monsters all over the place. The red dots plastered all over the map were plentiful to say the least. They were the reason I’d grabbed Enne out of my inventory to begin with.
That said, it wasn’t like I actually needed her to handle them. A single punch was more than enough to make anything in the area explode, as everything here was incomparably weak when compared to everything that lived in the Wicked Forest. Enne had only been retrieved in the name of sanitation. Slicing them in half was much less messy than blowing them up with my fists.
“Wait… is that an airship? Woah…” As I flew around, I happened to notice a certain something far off in the distance.
I wasn’t capable of immediately discerning its size given how far it was, but it looked fairly sizable given that it was navigating a mountain range. Its propulsion mechanic seemed to be making liberal use of magic, but it wasn’t relying on it per se. Two large blimps, set up in a twin-boom configuration, were behind keeping the whole craft airborne. The portion that made up the airship’s body looked like it housed enough space to contain quite the number of people. Huh… I didn’t know this world actually had airships, though it really shouldn’t have come as a surprise, now that I think about it. Everyone here is already familiar with flying demons, dragon knights, and the like, so they’re fully aware of the importance of aerial supremacy when it comes to war. I’m assuming that’s what they’re using this for, ‘cause uh… what else would you use it for? This kinda tech is always for war. Hmm… I wonder how long it’ll take them to make fighters and stuff? Hopefully soon. I’m already starting to bet on seeing planes fight monsters in like another five decades or so.
The timeline wasn’t a particularly strict one. My lifespan was long, so I was sure to see the technology shift happen eventually.
“Wait a second…” Though I was too excited to pay attention to any minor details, I soon realized that something about the airship wasn’t quite right. “Is it just me, or is that thing smoking like mad?”
“It is indeed billowing smoke.”
“Mhm… It’s like a big chimney.”
Hoooold up. I’m pretty sure blimps aren’t supposed to shit smoke. Or fire. Is it just me, or is this some Hindenburg shit?
At first, I’d thought that the crimson tide decorating the airship’s side was the result of a paint job, but as we got closer, I realized that it was actually a wave of monsters.
“It appears that it is on the verge of destruction,” said Lefi, offhandedly. “The monsters assailing it are in the midst of dismantling its frame.”
“Yeah uh… I think you’re right.”
It’s kiiiiiiinda losing height. Just kinda.
“Do you plan on rushing to its rescue?” asked the dragon. “I do not particularly mind leaving it be.”
“Honestly? I don’t really want to get involved either…”
But I’d also kinda feel bad if we did, now that we’ve seen them and whatnot.
“It’s an event. Like in a story,” said Enne, telepathically.
“There’ll be a princess on board. And an evil mage. Trying to kidnap her,” continued the sword. “If we save her, she’ll be happy. And thankful. Right?” Though she was still in sword form, I could just tell that Enne’s eyes filled with stars. “Let’s go, Master. I want to save the princess.”
I doubted any of that was true, but as the type of parent that insisted Santa was real, I wasn’t about to ruin her fun by not keeping my comments to myself. I’m pretty sure there aren’t any evil sorcerers afoot, nor is there any reason for a princess to be flying out in the middle of nowhere… Oh well.
“Alright, then let’s go save ourselves a princess.”
I couldn’t really say no with how excited she was, so I smiled wryly as I picked up the pace and sped towards our newfound destination.