Editor(s): Joker, Speedphoenix
“Look! It’s Yuki and Leila! They must be done being busy!” Illuna spotted us on our way back from the university and immediately ran over.
“Welcome home, Master,” said Lyuu. “Wait, that ain’t what I’m supposed to be sayin’, ain’t it?”
“I think it’s close enough,” said Nell. “Welcome back, you two.”
“I guess it ain’t too bad then,” said the warwolf.
“Where’s Emyu?” asked Enne.
“She had to go ’cause she has class,” I said. “She’s pretty much been hanging out with us ever since we got here, so she’s been needing to get back to studying.”
“Awwww, that’s too bad. You think she’s gonna be able to play with us again later?” asked Illuna.
“Don’t worry, Illuna. Emyu’s very smart. She won’t take long to wrap up her course work so long as she does her best. And I have no doubts that she is motivated enough,” said Leila.
“That’s right! Emyu is smurt!” said Shii. “She’ll be back soon. I can’t wait!”
“Oh thank goodness! I can’t wait to see her again!” cheered Illuna.
“Mhm. Me either,” said Enne.
“I’m glad you girls are already such good friends,” I said. “So what are you up to? In the middle of a walk or something?”
“Indeed. We have been surveying the facilities meant for tourists and lie—” Lefi suddenly narrowed her eyes suspiciously.
Her eyes turned serious as she approached with a scrutinizing gaze.
“If the two of you arrive at a final decision, then I shall remain content, regardless of what it is that you decide,” she said, with a grin. “But it is not to be kept to yourselves.”
Did she just literally see right through us?
“We literally haven’t said anything yet.”
“Have you forgotten the sheer amount of time that we have spent together? A mere glance at your faces suffices to inform me of the discourse you shared. That is why, Leila, I know that you are concerned with the timing and that you are concerned with your own qualifications. It is your own heart that matters, and not our place to provide judgement. But there is one matter I must address.”
She lightly tapped my chest and stretched her arm as far as it would to pat Leila on the head.
“You must recall that while he is an imbecile, there remain moments of brilliance. There are times where he thinks not and merely does. And it is precisely that which is to be learned. There are times where thinking is not to your benefit. Be at ease, and you shall not be disappointed.”
“Thank you, Lefi. I will keep that in mind,” said the sheep-horned demon. For once, her voice shook as she spoke. “I appreciate the advice.”
Lefi replied to her with an affectionate gaze.
“And I am happy to give it. It is as I have stated. You have long become a member of the family. And that shall not change, no matter what is to come.”
“That’s right, Leila. You’re always helping us through everything, and we’ve always wanted to return the favour,” said Nell.
“Me too!” said Lyuu. “You’ve been teachin’ me lots. I’ve always been lookin’ for a way to pay you back by helpin’ you get through things that are real tough for you, ‘n that’s exactly what I’m gonna do!”
“You’ve all been doing a lot more for me than you may have thought. You’re both very important friends.”
I turned to Lefi as I watched the three of them hug it out.
“You’re literally best girl. Just saying.”
It was a frequent thought, and one I was convinced of. I’d literally met the world’s best woman, past, future, or present.
“So you have found your affections deepened and renewed?” she said with a laugh.
“They’ve kinda already been as deep as it gets.”
The overly serious response led her to blush as she looked away and threw a light punch in my direction.
“I-it is for moments like this that I so often label you a fool!” she shouted.
“Lefi is just the most adorable thing when she’s embarrassed,” said Nell.
“Ain’t that the truth? Y’see how she’s actin’, Leila? That’s where we should start trynna get. Let’s do our best together!”
“Yes, let’s,” said Leila, with a lighthearted chuckle.
“What are you guys talking about?” asked Illuna.
“I don’t know, but everyone seems really happy!” said Shii.
“Something good must have happened. To Leila,” said Enne.
The girls were confused, with the ones that could talk expressing themselves through words, and the ones that couldn’t express themselves through head tilts. How cute.
“It just means that everyone’s going to be on even better terms with Leila now. And you girls should too.”
“Of course we will! In fact, I’m going to cling to her all day!” said Illuna.
“That sounds fun!” agreed Shii.
“I won’t let go. Even if it gets hard to walk,” said Enne.
Their energetic glomping was matched by the wraith girls, who also immediately attached themselves to her.
“Then we can spend the whole day together,” said Leila.
There was a troubled but entertained smile on her face, one filled with heartfelt happiness.
“What is it?”
“I’m glad we came to Baachsburg. Lots of great things happened, and I had plenty of fun. It seems like you guys did too.”
“Indeed. We have taken a sure step forward.”
“What do you say we come back in a few years?”
“An excellent idea indeed. Let us return with all the others,” her voice quieted as she blushed, “and with the children as well.”
I said nothing, opting instead to simply wrap my arm around her shoulders.