With the ceremony over and its participants well rested, I headed over to the beach with all the dungeon’s residents and guests in tow.
“We’re by… the sea…?” said Vergillus
“What a beautiful beach,” said Roselia.
“Wow…” muttered the crowd.
The weather was great. The sand was sparkling beneath our feet and looking upon the horizon provided a seemingly endless view of the ocean. None of the ghostly ships were visible; I’d long sent them drifting off to waters anew. I had no idea how long it would be before the fleet found another stretch of land, but I was already looking forward to exploring it.
“I knew that demon lords could use space magic, but this is surprising,” said Lyuu’s dad, after taking in the sights. The wolf man had been frozen for nearly a minute. “Is this also part of your dungeon?”
“Technically, yeah, but it’s not exactly the same as the field we were just in. That’s something I made. This place actually exists somewhere in the real world. Anyone that I ok can casually pass through the doors like the one we just used and warp around.”
“That is… terrifying. Doesn’t that mean you can move your monsters anywhere in your territory at a moment’s notice? I don’t even want to imagine how many casualties there’d be if we tried to fight them. They’re powerful enough for you to destroy a country overnight.”
“They’re supposed to be the dungeon’s guards and stuff, so they’ve gotta be pretty tough. The Wicked Forest’s monsters are kinda stupid strong.”
“Stop that, dad.”
Lyuu approached us and interrupted the conversation with a peeved stare.
“You ain’t supposed to be thinkin’ ’bout any of that kinda stuff today. ‘Sides, Master ain’t the type of guy to go ‘n get all aggressive ‘n stuff just cause he’s real strong. He likes lazin’ ’round a lot more than fightin’ so there ain’t no real reason for you to worry so much.”
I knew Lyuu of all people would understand.
Is it just me, or is he being more open and honest and shit than he was before? I guess your daughter getting married really is one of those things that gets you thinking, huh?
“Alrighty, we’ve got a whole bunch of food ready for you guys. Iunno what you guys are comfortable with, so feel free to let me know if you have any issues.”
“Thanks for all of your concern.”
“Naw man, don’t worry about it. You guys came all this way for the ceremony and stuff, so I gotta do my part too. Stop worrying about it and just enjoy yourselves.”
We pretty much went all out, so I’d be kinda disappointed if you didn’t.
Lyuu has a good eye for people. Roselia thought to herself as she watched her daughter chat with the party’s guests. She was taller than she was when she lived among the warwolves, and she looked much healthier as well. Her skin was smooth and glossy and her fur was in excellent condition, much better than it was before. Her appearance alone was enough to suggest that she was in good hands.
Lyuu’s personality was still a cheerful one, and she was even more energetic than she had been in the past. Spending time outside the warwolves’ insular village had proved itself an excellent catalsyst for her growth. Roselia had always known that Lyuu wasn’t fond of her life at home, and that she would set out on a journey one day. That, however, did not mean she expected the silly little tomboy to run away from home. But, Roselia thought, perhaps that was simply Lyuu’s destiny all along.
Her experience was one that sounded like something out of a fairy tale. She had been captured by slavers, only to be saved by a demon lord who allowed her to take residence in his domain. She could only imagine how shocked her husband had been to not only meet him but also discover that he had a fenrir as a part of his family. The entire series of events was so absurd that it almost seemed like it really was something orchestrated by the warwolves’ ancestors.
With that thought in mind, Roselia looked away from her daughter and turned towards the demon lord that had become her son in law. She had been curious about his character for quite some time, given that he was the target of her daughter’s affections. And after meeting him, she found herself unsurprised to discover that the demon lord acted nothing like a demon lord at all. He was, if anything, an amicable young man.
She had heard tales of his more violent side, but she didn’t get the impression from him at all. All she understood from her conversations with him was that he really did love Lyuu. The warwolf was fairly confident that his propensity for violence was unlikely to reveal itself lest he was forced into the sort of situation that required it.
And that, she was more than willing to accept. It was normal for a man to be more aggressive in a situation that required brute force; warwolf men, for example, would always be more aggressive immediately after a hunt. If it wasn’t something that showed in his everyday life, then there were no concerns to be had.
If anything, she felt that it was better for him to be more powerful than others. A strong husband that acted normally under regular circumstances was effectively the ideal.
Looking back at Lyuu, Roselia almost felt a slight pang of jealousy for the way her daughter had managed to seize the future she wanted. That wasn’t to say that the older warwolf was in any way dissatisfied with her life as it stood. There was just something appealing about the notion of being unbound by the villages’ rules and traditions and having the ability to decide one’s own fate.
The freedom Lyuu had was something Roselia hoped would endure with the passage of time.
“Mother to Lyuu, does this event please you?”
A feminine voice called out to Roselia while she was in the midst of being lost in her own thoughts.
Turning around, she found herself face to face with a beautiful silver-haired maiden with remarkable features and a tail running out from under her dress. Despite her youthful appearance, Roselia knew that the girl, who held a glass in one hand, was over a thousand years old. Learning that she was a dragon was something that had made many a warwolf tremble in fear. It was a rather rude but instinctive reaction, and Roselia knew she would have to make sure not to do as they did, even if her tiny body clearly radiated an inexplicably overwhelming amount of power.
Because she knew that there was nothing to be afraid of.
The dragon was someone whom her daughter was very clearly attached to, which was to say she was most certainly not someone to be afraid of.
“Oh, hello Leficios. I’m having a wonderful time,” said the warwolf. “Thank you for the concern.”
Roselia realised that the dragon must have thought that she was bored, given that she was watching the party from afar.
“There is merely little for me to do,” said the dragon. “My husband is entertaining the men and Leila and Nell have taken the women under their care. You are the sole individual that lacks our attention. But there is more to it than that. I wish to consult you.”
“Oh, well I certainly wouldn’t mind, but I’m not sure what I’d be able to help you with.”
Roselia was not exactly the most well informed. She highly doubted that she had any knowledge a dragon would covet.
“…I know not what you will think of someone who asks you such a question within a day of making your acquaintance…” She started off awkwardly, clearly embarrassed. “But I know not who else to ask. The circumstances around my birth are unique. I have not any parents nor any maternal figures. But I know that I am to become one. I wish for your advice in the rearing of children.”
The warwolf opened her eyes wide before giggling and breaking into a smile.
“I don’t mind telling you what I know, but I don’t think taking my advice to heart would be for the best. My daughter happened to run away from home.”
“That matters not. You have raised Lyuu well. She is of a temperament that I appreciate, both as friend and as family.”
“As her mother, it makes me very proud to hear that.”
With that as the initial spark, the two engaged in a lengthy conversation, one that led Roselia to a conclusion she could make with confidence.
Lyuu was going to be very happy. Her environment and her husband alike were sure to guarantee it.
“Whaddya think, mom? Leila’s cookin’ is real good, ain’t it?”
“It’s wonderful. How did you get it to have such an amazing flavour?”
“I wouldn’t mind teaching you,” said Leila with a chuckle. “And my lord will provide you with all the necessary seasonings. You will just have to ask.”
“That sounds like it’d be a real great souvenir!” said Lyuu. “Master! Can you get some spices ‘n stuff ready? I think it’d be a real neat souvenir for my mom!”
“Sure. I’ll grab some for when they head back.”
Roselia smiled as she watched the group converse. And as she did, another thought passed through her mind. I hope you live a long and happy life, Lyuu.