Picnic — Continued
Proofreading: The readers that point out typos and stuff!
Lefi’s expression twisted in annoyance.
Her thrill ride, which I dubbed the Supreme Dragon Coaster, had failed to serve its intended purpose. At first, I had thought it to be something way beyond what I, or anybody, could handle, but I’d always been the type to love thrills. My wails of anguish transformed into shouts of glee shortly after the “ride” started.
“You mad, Lefi? You that mad that I wasn’t scared?” I boasted.
“Nrggh… Very well, I admit that you were at least braver than I expected.”
Her words were bitter and clearly full of resentment. Seeing the triumphant look on my face caused her to clench her teeth and grind them in an expression of indignance and frustration.
“Heh. That little joyride was nothing by my standards. You’ll need to do much more if you want to scare me.”
“You say that, but you were screaming in terror at first,” grumbled Lefi.
“Hey, Onii-chan, Onee-chan, can we eat soon? My tummy’s rumbling…”
“Oh, right. Sorry Illuna, we got a little sidetracked. Well, Lefi? What do you say we call this silly argument off for now so we can have lunch?”
“Alright then, let’s get everything set up. Leila?”
“Immediately, my Lord.”
Leila flipped the lid off the basket she was carrying and placed its contents atop the picnic sheet. Once she was done, I said grace, the Japanese way, and began to dig in. Likewise, the girls did the same. All but one of them repeated my “itadakimasu,” with perfect pronunciation. Lyuu, the only exception, stumbled over the words a bit. She still seemed a bit unaccustomed to the foreign phrase.
Saying grace had started off as just habit only I had at first, but Illuna and Lefi had adopted it and turned it into a part of our culture back when it was still just the three of us. And as such, the maids had seen no reason not to pick up on it as well.
“Wow, there’s so much karaage! My favourite!” 
Illuna’s eyes immediately began to sparkle as soon as she saw what we were going to have for lunch. We had a whole slew of different picnic foods prepared, but her hungry gaze remained glued on the one she enjoyed the most.
“Yup. We made plenty, so feel free to eat as much as you’d like.”
Karaage, or Japanese fried chicken, as some called it, naturally required us to find, well, chicken. I wasn’t really sure how we were supposed to get chicken, so I ended up using rockbird meat instead.
Rockbirds were an interesting sort of monster that one could find not too far from the dungeon. Their bodies were covered in feathers as tough as stone, as one could infer from their names. That, however, wasn’t their only namesake. Rockbirds were also known to sing whenever they entered combat. Specifically, they’d start screaming in a way that strongly reminded me of death metal and other similar genres of music. Rockbird meat was delicious. It was soft. Flavorful juices would come leaking out of it with each and every bite. The best part was that its taste wasn’t too strong. It didn’t override the seasonings we enhanced it with.
“Man, this meat is good. I guess going out of my way to hunt monsters just for today’s sake really was worth it after all.”
“This’s monster meat? What’d kind?” asked Lyuu.
“Ohh, rockbird. So that’s why these taste so good, huh?” Lyuu paused for a few moments to process what she heard before suddenly breaking into a shout. “Wait, did you just say rockbird!? The war tier ones? Ain’t those super high class ingredients!?”
“War tier? What’s that?”
“Wait, ya don’t know the tiers? Er, I guess ya don’t since you was askin’, huh?”
The warwolf stopped to take a bite before continuing.
“R-Right, so monsters are ranked into tiers based on how threatenin’ they are. I think you prob’ly got it all figured out by now, but war tier monsters are supposed able to cause as many casualties as a war, all on their own,” she stated a matter-of-factly.
“How many tiers are there?”
“Countin’ all of them, there are seven: insignificant, harmful, menace, war, disaster, catastrophe, and calamity. And that’s in ascendin’ order of how much damage they can cause.”
At first, I assumed that a war-tier threat would cause tens of thousands of casualties, but I was apparently off by a whole two orders of magnitude. The wars in this world weren’t as large scaled as the ones back in my old world; subjugating a war-tier threat typically led to the sacrifice of one to two hundred troops.
“Huh. I never realized rockbirds were that threatening. It only takes me a single swing of my greatsword to take one out, so I’d always thought of them as easy, delicious prey.
“Er… well, that’s just ‘cause you defy common sense, Master. But you know what, that ain’t somethin’ I’ll mind so long as I get to keep eatin’ delicious meals,” said Lyuu. Her expression indicated that she wasn’t sure whether or not she should be feeling shocked or impressed.
“Oh Lyuu,” Leila giggled. “Rockbirds are amongst the weakest of the monsters our Lord captured for the sake of today’s picnic.”
Leila looked towards the sandwiches and rice balls laid out at the centre of the picnic mat as she spoke.
The more composed of the two maids had assisted me in making today’s lunch. In fact, she helped me with everything besides procuring the ingredients, so she knew exactly what was in each and every single item we were serving. I was all hyped up for the picnic, so I’d gone all out and hunted down some monster meat as opposed to just lazily purchasing all the ingredients with dungeon points.
“Y’know what, Leila? I’m not even gonna ask. All that matters to lil’ old me is that it’s delicious. I’mma even say that deliciousness is righteousness. The end justifies the means, as long as it’s delicious.”
“‘Tis not a bad mentality to have,” nodded Lefi. “But this meal of ours is still lacking in the deliciousness department, I say. It’s almost there, but not quite. It still needs the finishing touches. You do know what I’m saying, don’t you, Yuki?”
“Yes, Lefi, I know. There will be dessert, and lots of it.”
“Yay! I can’t wait!”
“You sure know how to please a gal, Master. Your sweets are so good they always make me wanna stuff my face.”
Illuna, Lyuu, and Lefi all cheered in their own respective ways as they realized that they’d get to finish the meal off with sweets. Leila remained silent, but only because she’d already known ahead of time.
“The world is vast,” said Lefi. “But this is likely the one and only place you could ever enjoy sweet food of such a calibre. Rejoice, Lyuu, and be grateful that you are here.”
“Wait, why the hell are you getting all cocky? It’s not like you’re the one making them.”
“Yuki, listen closely. Their creator is irrelevant. All that matters is that I acknowledged them for their tantalizing deliciousness. And as I have consumed the most sweets of us all, it only goes without saying that my opinion is the most justified.”
“Mhmmm, yeah. I’m sooooo happy the ‘allmighty’ supreme dragon acknowledges the sweets I produce.” I rolled my eyes.
“Good. That is precisely what you should be feeling. Though, I wouldn’t mind if you tinged your feelings with a bit more gratitude.”
Apparently not catching my sarcasm, Lefi smiled triumphantly.
“Oh… Right, Master. I’ve been meanin’ to ask. Why d’you keep callin’ Lefi the Supreme Dragon?”
“I could’ve sworn I told you that she was the real deal.”
“No uh… this is my first time hearin’ it, Master. Wait, wait, are you really bein’ serious!?”
“Yeah. That right there is the strongest ancient dragon, the supreme dragon. I guess you don’t believe me though, huh?”
“W-Well, I mean, y’know… that ain’t the type of thing that I can just kinda nod along to. The Supreme Dragon’s somethin’ straight out of a legend, ain’t it? I just can’t really see Lefi bein’ it, since, you know, she’s really small and never cares about anything but sugary snacks. And she always starts throwing a fit whenever anyone beats ‘er at somethin’ too.”
Lyuu had a point, and a pretty damned good one at that. If I didn’t know Lefi was the supreme dragon, I would likely assume that she was some sort of squirrel or chipmunk given the frequency with which she stuffed her cheeks with as much food as they could possibly hold.
“What was that, Lyuu? Mind repeating it to my face?”
“I-it ain’t nothin’! T-The only reason I didn’t think you were the supreme dragon was ‘cause I didn’t think the supreme dragon’d be such a beaut!”
“Oh? Tell me, how exactly did you think a Supreme Dragon would look?” said Lefi, menacingly.
“Er, I, um… uh…”
Lyuu’s face rapidly paled as she stuttered over and over.
“Stop that. You’re terrifying her, you idiot.”
Lefi was going overboard, so I scolded her and gave her head a light chop.
“Ow…! Why are you hitting me? It’s not as if I was at fault. Lyuu was—”
“Stop trying to shift the blame. Think about your habits and how you present yourself. You really don’t have the right to complain.”
Lefi glared at me reproachfully, but I didn’t really care. I stared right back and refused to yield.
“T-Thanks Master, I owe you one. Wait, Leila, you’ve been awfully calm this whole time. Didja already know or somethin’?”
“I did. It is a well known fact that the Wicked Forest’s depths are the Supreme Dragon’s territory. I recall that she had many a dragon under her command when we first met her. If anything, I am more surprised that you were unaware of her identity.”
“T-There’s no way I coulda noticed it back then! Things were just happenin’ way too fast. And then Fluffrir showed up, so I like, you know, kinda stopped paying attention to everythin’ else…”
Speaking of Rir, he and Shii were both currently resting in the shade of a nearby tree. I could tell that Shii had already drifted off to sleep, but the same couldn’t be said for the fenrir. His eyes were closed, but his ears had very obviously twitched when Lyuu mentioned his name. It seemed that he was only pretending to be asleep so that we could enjoy ourselves without having to accommodate for him.
Wow, he’s really considerate.
“You guys are talking too much! Let’s all finish eating so we can get back to having fun! I really wanna play badminton again!”
“Good idea, Illuna. Badminton sounds pretty good right about now.”
“Yay! Then let’s play together!”
Illuna broke out into an adorable smile.
“By the way, Master. Is Illuna anythin’ like Lefi, or?”
“Nah. She’s just a normal little girl.”
“That… makes her kinda amazin’ in her own way, dontcha think? It ain’t everyday that you have both the Supreme Dragon and a Demon Lord pamperin’ the same gal. Y’know, it almost feels to me like she’s got even more influence than the two of you seein’ as how her words could prob’ly sway your choices real easy.”
Lyuu was right; I totally agreed.
If I had to organise the dungeon’s hierarchy as any sensible Japanese man would, then I’d likely create a system featuring an Elite Four. Illuna would undoubtedly be the most important, and therefore the most powerful. She’d be followed by Lefi, Rir, and then finally myself in that order.
The tropes dictated that I, as the weakest and least influential of the Elite Four, would be forced to take on the task of dealing with intruders. More specifically, my role would be engage the intruders in combat, lose, and then tell them not to get cocky just because they defeated me, and that three greater challenges awaited them.
Okay uh, no. What if I subverted the trope a bit?
The tropes also dictated that the weakest member of the Elite Four would die immediately after relaying the aforementioned information to the enemy, and I wasn’t particularly keen on losing my life. I would much rather emerge victorious and state that the challenger in question wasn’t qualified to face any of the others.
Yeah, that sounds way better. Wait, if I’m in charge of driving away people, then I guess I would probably deserve a fancy title to go along with my role, huh? What if I called myself the dungeon’s shield? Actually, yeah, that sounds pretty good. Heh. I could totally be like, “I am Yuki, the fearsome Demon Lord that rules this dungeon and serves as its aegis!”
“Huh? What was that for all of a sudden, Onii-chan?”
“Nothing. Nothing at all.”
Oh crap, I totally said that out loud.
And so, the outing continued. We made noise, played games, and fooled around until Illuna ran out of energy and started drifting off to dreamland.
 A Japanese fried chicken whose flavour is meatier than the fried chicken I’ve had in the states. Well made karaage is juicy. Note that it doesn’t actually necessarily have to be chicken, or even bird. It just *typically* is.
 The Elite Four, also known as the Four Heavenly Kings, is an overused Japanese trope seen in all sorts of media. The Elite Four is often ranked, with the 1st seat being the strongest, and the 4th seat being the weakest. The Elite Four almost always belongs to an enemy organisation, and the player or main character is required to tackle them one by one, from weakest to strongest, though this is not necessarily always the case. Their origin lies in buddhist mythology; each of the Elite Four is supposed to be a protector of one of the cardinal directions.
Popular examples include: The Pokemon League. Toriko and the buddies he grew up with. The negacommanders in Sailor Moon. The four douchebags in Kill La Kill. Etc, etc.