In the Meantime — Part 1
Editor(s): Joker, Speedphoenix
While Yuki and Nell were away, dealing with their various responsibilities, the rest of the gang remained in Baachsburg. They spent their time exploring the various facilities, attended simple lectures meant for the enjoyment of non-scholars, and enjoyed all the local specialties. All in all, it was a fulfilling trip.
Curiosity was the driving force behind the entire sheep-horned demon clan. That was why they never gave up on or half-assed their research, and always went as deep as they could go, no matter the topic. The effects of their curiosity were often seen in fields unrelated to the sciences. They had also extensively studied architecture, the art of cuisine, and even the design of everyday things, like furniture. And that was just scratching the surface. That was also why the town happened to be such a popular tourist destination.
“It’s really startin’ to make sense why this is where someone like Leila came from, but I’m startin’ to think that she’s even more curious than most of the girls here, and I ain’t thinkin’ that I’m the only one that sees it that way,” said Lyuu.
The comment prompted Lefi to break into a laugh.
“Indeed. If there were more like her, then this village would soon be doomed to bankruptcy.”
“That’s really quite awful of you, Lefi,” said Leila. “I may be a tad more curious than the others, but I do make sure to attend to all my responsibilities.”
“Of that, I am well aware. You are always the last to lose control. But I know well that you would flee if entrusted with the village’s operations.”
“I most likely would,” she admitted. “But I believe that can be said for all three of us. Lefi, you left Drakenstead because you didn’t want to be the Dragonlord, and Lyuu simply ran away from home.”
“Indeed. We all remain similar in that regard, for we have all left our homelands to seek the lives we desired.”
“We sure are,” said Lyuu. “And I was real lucky since everythin’ turned out the way it did. I was able to meet all of you, ‘n Master too o’course.”
“I feel the same way. I’m glad that we all became so close, and I really do appreciate that my life has turned out the way it has.”
“It takes but a single look at Yuki to comprehend the meaning of leading whatever life you see fit. I am certain that Nell is in accord.”
“You certainly ain’t wrong. Master’s real good at makin’ you see just how fun it can be.”
While the adults were talking amongst themselves, the kids were exploring the area nearby as they engaged in a conversation of their own.
“This place is amazing! It’s filled with all sorts of things I’ve never seen before, just like the dungeon!” cheered Illuna.
“It’s all so cool!” said Shii.
“Mhm. Very interesting,” agreed Enne.
Though they were unable to speak, the wraith girls were nodding furiously to express their agreement.
“I think you guys are the amazing ones,” said Emyu, their guide. “Illuna’s the only one I can understand! The rest of you are super mysterious and I have no idea how you function, from an ecological perspective.”
Her eyes shining, Leila joined in the conversation with a rant. “That would be because they were either born through a labyrinth or a demon lord and they differ from many of the other forms of life we intuitively understand on a fundamental level. You see, Emyu? This is why I’ve taken such an interest in dungeons. They truly are an enigma that we’ve yet to understand.”
“I thought it was really weird for someone as curious as you to end up settling down somewhere, but seeing them, I think I’m starting to finally understand why.”
“The labyrinth certainly does pique my curiosity, but I’ve also taken a liking to it outside of that. The other residents are like family to me.”
Leila was smiling, but Emyu seemed a bit sad.
“It’s starting to feel like we’re not really going to be able to see each other much…”
Lefi was the first to speak up.
“Worry not, young one. There is no need for you to anguish. As you are Leila’s younger sibling, we shall not exclude you. You are welcome, should you ever desire to visit.”
“She’s right, Emyu. You’ll always be my little sister. But don’t let my choices limit you. You have a long life ahead, and I think it would be best for you to figure out where you would like to end up.”
“Plus, we’re already friends!” said Illuna.
“Fweinds!” said Shii.
“Mhm,” agreed Enne.
Even the wraith girls started spinning around her, as if to express the joy that came with making her acquaintance.
“Thank you… all of you. I know what I have to do. I’ll have to really work hard and figure out who I am, who I want to be and where I belong.”
“I’ll work just as hard!” said Illuna.
“Me too!” said Shii.
“Me too,” said Enne.
“Then let’s all work on it together!” said Emyu.
The other kids followed her rally by raising their fists and cheering.
Lefi pressed a hand to her abdomen and furrowed her brows. She had felt something. A pulse, of sorts. She wasn’t able to identify it immediately, but a light went off in her head soon after she put her mind to work.
“Leila. I wish to seek a doctor,” she approached the demon and spoke in a whisper.
“I can show you to one… but is something the matter? Are you feeling unwell?”
“I am not… but there is a matter that I wish to confirm.”
Looking at the other girl had the sheep demon confused. It was almost like the dragon was unable to contain her joy, but at the same time, she seemed to radiate a gentle aura of kindness. But though she didn’t immediately understand, she did as asked and showed her to a medical practitioner.