Side Story: A Seaside Summer Vacation — Part 2
Editor(s): Speedphoenix, Joker
I found myself atop a floating mat doing nothing in particular. I simply sat there, basking in the sunlight and relaxing the day away.
“This… feels amazing.”
“Indeed. It is of notable comfort,” said Lefi, who was engaging in a similar experience atop a pool ring.
Even though pool rings were typically for kids, Lefi looked natural when paired with it, even more natural than the actual kids themselves. Probably ‘cause she’s childish as fuck.
“Do you truly find the sight of a swimsuit to be so appealing?” she asked. The dragon played with her hair, which had been tied into a bun as she flashed a bewitching smile. “I sense that your gaze remains filled with passion. But I mind not. You may continue to relish in my beauty for as long as you wish.”
She was clearly in the midst of a sort of misunderstanding, but I didn’t care enough to bother correcting her.
“Well, if you insist, then I’ll be getting myself an eyeful,” I said with a smirk. “From up close.”
I dove into the water, resurfacing a moment later within the pool ring she was using. It was a larger model, so there was more than enough space for both of us. That said, we still ended up sticking fairly close. My arm went around her shoulders. And even though we were in the water, I could feel the warmth of her body.
“T-there is little need for us to be so close. Y-you are making me too warm. I am not as comfortable as I was prior.”
“Hey, you’re the one that told me I could look as much as I wanted. I’m just getting a better look.”
“How foolish. There is little you are capable of observing from so close. You have cast aside your ability to see the larger picture.”
Though her words seemed to reek of displeasure, I could tell both from her tone and the way her tail was twitching that she was actually quite happy about how things had turned out. Lefi’s always been pretty easy to read.
She seemed to get a bit embarrassed as I continued to simultaneously grin and stare at her, so she ended up using one of her hands to push me away facefirst. Our interaction seemed to catch the eyes of a few others, as Illuna and Shii soon swam over.
“Yuki! Lefi! Look! I learned to swim like a dolphin!” said Illuna.
The vampire did her best to swim without the use of her arms. Adorable/10.
“Wow, good job Illuna. That’s adorable,” I said.
“I recall that a dolphin is a creature born of the sea. I know well that we possess a stuffed animal bearing one’s form.”
I highly doubted that Illuna had ever seen a real dolphin in action before, but like Lefi said, we had a stuffed one back home. Illuna had been completely enamoured with how adorable the creatures were, so I ended up telling her plenty about them. And given her excellent memory, I had no doubt she remembered most if not all of it. Unlike me, she’s actually got a good head on her shoulders.
“I have something really cool to show off too! I’m really good at being an octopus!”
“Wow uhm… that’s an octopus, alright. Good job.”
“You bear great talent and enthusiasm for the oddest of things…”
The slime had extended eight highly detailed tentacles from her rounded body. Her form had pretty much become the spitting image of that of the octopedal creatures. Woah. That’s pretty fucking awesome.
Shii was far better at mimicking others than any of the rest of us, given that she could literally change the shape of her body in the process. The two put on something of a dolphin and octopus show, showed their stuff, and at one point, even attempted to combine, as would two smaller mechs into a much larger one. Truly, a heartwarming scene.
It was momentarily interrupted by the sudden appearance of a bunch of bubbles directly underneath them, after which another four children burst out from beneath the surface. Enne and the triplets were all present, with the former wearing a set of snorkeling gear.
“Master. We found a big clam. Will it be tasty?”
It seemed like all four of them had contributed to the find, in one way another, as they were all looking rather proud of themselves even though Enne was the one presenting it.
“It looks really tasty. Good job, Enne. Did you girls all find it together?”
“Well, in that case, we’re going to have to clean it up a bit and throw it on the barbecue tonight.”
“Okay. Then I’ll go get more,” she said. “And I have a request, Master. I want to fish.”
“You want to go fishing? Uhhh, sure I guess.” I grabbed a harpoon out of my inventory and handed it to her. “Make sure you don’t hurt yourself, ‘kay?”
“Mmk. Thanks Master. Will go fishing. And get everyone’s dinner.”
Harpoon in hand and wraith girls in tow, Enne dove back into the water.
What she was doing didn’t exactly constitute playing in my books, but it seemed like she was having plenty of fun, so I decided to just keep an eye on her and otherwise leave her be.
“Wow, Enne’s a hunter now! That’s so cool!” said Illuna. “I wish I could swim the way she and the sisters could.”
“Do you think Enne will hunt me because I look like an octopus?” asked a genuinely concerned Shii.
“A needless concern. I do not think it likely for her to fail in recognizing you.” Lefi dismissed the other girl’s anxiety with a chuckle.
The beach had already become a part of my domain, but even so, I honestly had no idea where it was. The only bit of information I had was that it was somewhere in the vicinity of the Wicked Forest. I’d only acquired it because I was randomly having the ghost ship dungeon sail around wherever. I’d found great utility in the ghost ship dungeon, as of late. After moving it around a bit, I realized that its mobility made it incredibly good for helping me claim territory as my own. When combined with my ability to teleport within my own domain, it more or less provided us with as many vacation spots as we could ever want. Oh man, that sounds great. I can’t wait.
This particular vacation spot did technically have monsters nearby, but the skeletal sharks and skeletal serpents I inherited after claiming the dungeon as my own worked to ensure that none approached. You know… a skeletal shark seems like the type of thing that’d come up in a B movie. Why are shark movies so popular anyway? They’re not even good. They’re only kinda fun if you watch them with friends. You know what? We should probably have a movie night some time.
Sea wasn’t the only vector by which monsters could approach, but my pets were hanging around the beach, so we were fine even in the case that they approached by land. I should probably head over and give them some food or something so they can enjoy themselves too.
“Wow Lyuu, look at you, swimming like a pro already.”
I shouted to a certain wolf girl as I noticed her blazing through the water nearby.
She hadn’t been able to swim at all when we first arrived, but she was already doing perfectly fine. Now, the real question is, is it just because she’s in shape, or is it because Nell’s a good teacher? Hmmm…
“Heh! Aren’t I great, Master?” She said with a grin. “Wait, why’re the two of you sharin’ the same ring? Ain’t that kinda makin’ it a tight squeeze?”
“This is just normal for them, at this point,” said Nell. Both my second and third wives seemed rather exasperated.
“Yeah, it kinda is a bit of a squeeze. And it’s way too hot this way too.”
“If you wish to complain, then blame only yourself. It was I who was in possession of this float at first.”
“Then why don’t the two of you just try movin’ over to the mat?” said Lyuu, in a hushed whisper. “Usin’ that’ll make it so we can join in too.”
“Sorry, what? Didn’t catch that over the sound of a wave.” I feigned ignorance.
“I didn’t say nothin’, Master.”
“Well I mean, if you’re that desperate for some affection, I guess I don’t mind complying,” I said.
“I-I thought you just said you didn’t hear nothin’!”
She turned red and tried to hide her face as I climbed back on my mat, laughing all the way. After lying down and getting comfortable, I raised a hand and beckoned them over. Nell, who was happily smiling, took my left side, while a sulking Lyuu occupied the opposite. They’re so warm. Oh man, I love this.
“Come on, Lefi, what are you waiting for? Get over here!”
“I suppose I must.”
Lefi crashed in my chest, face first, without any hesitation.
“It was the only spot that remained,” she said, with a bold smile. “Be grateful that I am diligently following your instructions.”
“Wow, Lefi! You sure are good at figurin’ out how to knock Master’s socks off,” said Lyuu.
“She’s got us beat there. We’ve got no choice but to learn from her,” agreed Nell.
“Very well. The next time we hold a conference, I shall instruct the two of you on the methods best employed in his seduction.”
Ladies, please. Can you talk about that kinda shit when I’m not listening? You’re embarrassing me.
“Oh! Look, everyone’s making a dogpile! I wanna join in too!” said Illuna.
“Me too!” said Shii.
“Girls? Wait, hold on!”
The mat couldn’t exactly hold six people, even if two of them were kids, so we all ended up getting knocked overboard as it capsized.
There was a splash, after which we made our way back to the surface, looked at each other, and laughed.