The Legion and Its Master
Editor(s): Joker, Speedphoenix
“And you are certain that you no longer require me to smother you with affection? I mind not, should you ever desire it so, as you did last night.”
“Oh, shut up already. I was drunk.”
I turned my eyes away from Lefi, who approached with a shit-eating grin.
I didn’t exactly remember what had happened, but I had the feeling that I’d ended up saying something really embarrassing, while I was drunkenly stumbling around in search of something warm. And it just so happened that I also had the feeling that she remembered literally everything I said. Goddammit, drunk Yuki! Why the hell did you set her up for all this shit!?
“I shall offer you my hand, for I know it is as you said yesterday, that the mere act of touching me shall lead you straight to the heavens.”
“T-the hell are you talking about? You sure you didn’t hear that wrong? Because I don’t remember saying anything even remo—”
“Worry not, I shall not forget, just as I shall not forget the adorable sight of you clinging to my neck and professing its splendour. And I quote, ‘Your nape… is so… sexy. I want it so bad.'”
Oh… fuck. I froze in place.
“Nor shall I forget the statement that my lips were soft and supple enough to be consu—”
“Asdjfhjasdkjfhaskdjfh!! Nonononononono! Shut up, shut up, shut up!!”
Clasping my hands against my ears, I fled from the room in hopes of preserving my sanity.
“God dammit… Why the hell does Lefi have to remember all the cringiest shit I say?”
Is it just me, or is she catching on to more and more of my weaknesses? I swear…
The worst part of it all was that I actually remembered saying all those things. And it’s all because my drunk ass happened to see her face from up close… I can’t believe I fucking lost control like that. Just… oh god. I hate me.
A consoling whine pulled me from my hellish thoughts right as they began to get out of control. Its source was, of course, Rir. I’d left the grassy field and entered the Wicked Forest so I could pay them a visit, as it’d been a long time since I last did.
“Uhhh… yeah, I’m fine, don’t worry about it,” I said. “More importantly, thanks for looking after the house while we were out. How’ve you guys been?”
All five pets bowed their heads, with Rir taking the lead.
I took the opportunity to feed them something I’d bought in Baachsburg, a type of monster treat that a group of tamers had touted as being particularly outstanding. Rir aside, the entire group dug in immediately, devouring the feed with vigour. The wolf, on the other hand, opted to walk over to my side.
“You can just eat, you know? Feel free.”
He barked, as if to say that there was something he wanted to talk about, namely something that left him feeling a little awkward.
“That’s rare… what’s up?”
After offering a quick apology, for any trouble or inconvenience caused, he dove right into a lengthy explanation. Long story short, he wanted to talk about the monsters working under him. Many were fearful of Rir’s power, and they’d decided that working under him would deem them most fit to survive.
They all thought of our pets as their masters.
That wasn’t exactly a problem per se, but the pack’s size had swollen considerably in recent times, with many knowing little about the dungeon or how things around it worked. As far as they were concerned, Rir was the big boss.
Personally, I didn’t exactly care. If they served Rir, then they were unlikely to give us any trouble, and that was all that mattered to me. My pets, however, were a lot less willing to leave things as they stood. They wanted to make it clear that they were the dungeon’s monsters and worked under my orders. And to that end, Rir wanted me to greet them so that they would recognize me.
“You always were the type to take just about everything seriously,” I said.
He replied by whining and bowing his head.
Seeing the response led me to a moment’s pause. I had to stop to think before I could work out my next words.
“You know, Rir. I’ve always thought of you as a good friend and partner.”
He was my pet. But he was also my friend. We’d fought a countless number of battles together, many of which left us both at death’s door. He was the guy that always had my back, plain and simple. We had a strong bond, albeit one that differed from my bond with most of the others.
“I mean, I’m technically our boss and all, but you can just be you, man. I won’t say anything, no matter what you want to do. Even if that means you end up packing your bags and leaving.”
I wanted us to be on equal terms.
Because we were friends, I wanted him to be able to do whatever he wanted.
We’d naturally be a lot worse off without him, but I wanted the option to be there.
His potential was insane. Had he been born under any other circumstances, he would have been able to try his hand at taking over the world, if that was what he pleased. But as my subordinate, he was effectively bound to the Wicked Forest. And that was pretty much the only reason he wasn’t widely known.
He whined to thank me for my consideration before shaking his head in refusal and expressing that he didn’t think it possible for him to leave.
Because he thought just as much of the dungeon as I did.
It was his home, and he wanted to continue to live by our sides. As he always had.
I was a bit surprised by the serious look that accompanied the statement.
It was like he was telling me that I was stepping on his pride.
“My bad,” I said. “You can just pretend I never said any of that, if you want.”
He barked again, as if to say that he really did appreciate the sentiment, before booping me with his head.
I ran my fingers through his fur, then jumped up onto his back.
“Alright then! Let’s go see those lackies of yours.”
He took me to one of the Wicked Forest’s many clearings.
“Is that… them?”
He looked up at me and gave an affirmative nod before turning back to the horde.
The legion of monsters strewn in front of us.
It may as well have been an army.
I’d seen his pack a while ago, when he asked them to help guard the plains. I’d already thought that there were an incredible number of them back then. But now, that old pack was nothing but a tiny smudge, compared to what I saw before me.
There were at least five hundred.
The largest group was made up of wolves, with slightly smaller but similarly large groups of birds and snakes, likely due to Yata and Orochi’s influence. There weren’t as many that seemed to resemble Wsprit or Byakku, however, as their races were a little bit special. It almost felt like I was at some sort of exhibition or fair. There were an incredibly wide variety of species, not all of which I recognized on sight.
The group gathered was large enough to flatten a nation or two with minimal effort.
Actually… I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty sure my pets and I could do that by ourselves, even without the horde.
Apparently, they’d all been gathered ahead of time, as many were sitting, and all of them bowed the moment they spotted their glorious leader. I couldn’t help but find it all a little bizarre. Just looking at the group was enough to provide the conclusion that this world’s wildlife was far more intelligent than what could be found back on Earth.
Predator and prey species, monsters that were meant to be killing each other, were all in the same place. They weren’t fighting or running, simply coexisting under a single individual.
Actually… thinking about it, it’s probably just the Wicked Forest’s monsters that are like this. Most of them are bigger than everything else that’s out there, so they’ve got all the hardware they need for big brain moves like getting on a fenrir’s good side.
Standing before the legion, Rir raised his head and roared.
All of them heeded the command and immediately bowed the heads they’d lifted, at which point in time he gestured for me to take the stage.
Wait, what the fuck? Am I supposed to give a speech or something? Not exactly my strongest suit… And is it just me, or is he seeming kinda regal? Dude’s really giving off that impression right now, and I’ve no idea when or how he turned out like that.
Pretty much seems like some sort of protagonist, straight out of a fantasy novel or something.
After smiling wryly to myself, I turned to face the monsters and raised my voice,.
“I’m Yuki. I’m Rir’s boss. And by extension, yours too.”
Rir roared again, to translate.
Some of the monsters sprang to their feet in protest, but my pets launched a barrage of spells and forced their obedience. The perpetrators collapsed immediately. They weren’t dead, but they were definitely unconscious.
Yup. That’s a strict hierarchy for you. Mhmmm.
It wasn’t as if I didn’t understand where the monsters were coming from.
Rir had put me up on a pedestal, but the reality of the situation was that we were pretty much equal in terms of combat specs, and he had more experience, courtesy of all the fighting he did in and around the Wicked Forest. It was only natural that they would complain if they were suddenly told that I was their supreme overlord.
Though I wasn’t accepted by all, most of those that didn’t immediately cause a commotion were too afraid of my pets to protest. They wound up sitting still and waiting for me to finish my speech.
“Yeah, I pretty much know you guys don’t exactly want to obey me, so you don’t have to. What I want you to do instead is listen to Rir. If you obey him, then all’s good. We can all be on good terms, so long as you don’t try to attack me or anyone in my family.”
Rir was continuing to translate, but I had my doubts as to how much was actually being conveyed. What I did know was that their eyes were focused on me. All five hundred plus pairs.
“If you try anything, we’ll kill you. Period. But if you don’t, then we’ll keep you safe. If you like Rir, or any of the others, then do as they say, and we’re golden. That’s pretty much it,” I said, before turning to my pets. “Well guys, they’re your lackeys. Keeping them out of trouble is gonna fall on you.”
All five of them bowed their heads at once.
Though confused, the rest of the monsters recognized me as their superior and followed suit.