Lyuu, Rir, and Relaxation
I opened the throne room’s door and entered the area that made up its exterior. There, I found Lyuu poking her head out the cave’s entrance. She was slowly looking from left to right and back again, as if she were surveying her surroundings.
“The heck are you doing all the way out here, Lyuu?”
“Oh, heya Master. I was just hangin’ ’round ‘cause I think you said something ‘bout goin’ out with Rir today.”
“Yeah, I’ve pretty much left him to his own devices lately, so I thought it was probably time for me to check up on him.”
Though, that’s more of an excuse than anything. To be honest, I just want to get out of the house. I’ve been doing nothing but practicing earth magic lately, and I’m starting to get sick of it. I need to go beat up some monsters to relieve my stre—Er, I mean “field test a few new spells.”
“That’s kinda why I’ve been standin’ here. I thought I mighta been lucky enough to see him if I stuck around, but it doesn’t look like he’s here yet.”
I double checked the map after listening to her and confirmed that there was a marker indicating a friendly unit sitting right outside the cave.
“He’s been here.”
“Yeah, he’s just hiding.”
Lyuu’s face contorted in astonishment.
“Because he thinks you’re creepy. Duh.”
“W-Wow Master, you totally just gave it to me straight! You didn’t even try sugarcoatin’ it at all!”
“I mean, think about it. How’d you feel about having someone basically constantly follow you around?”
“Ugh…” Lyuu groaned.
“I know you think of him like someone you need to worship, but he doesn’t like it when you treat him like that. I’m pretty sure I’d start running away from you too, if you did the same to me. It’s just… weird.”
“I-I getcha, but I can’t help it. He’s a fenrir, you know, a freakin’ fenrir! You know how awesome they are!?”
Lyuu began telling me the legends passed down by her people. According to folklore, there once existed a fenrir that fought off an entire army of humans and destroyed the town they were based in. That same beast challenged tens of thousands of monsters. It continued fighting them non-stop over the course of several years before finally emerging victorious. And, many years later, it brought vitality to the field in which it breathed its last breath. Flowers blossomed from its final resting grounds and soon grew into a forest whose lands remained ever fertile. The warwolf tribe had descended from that very same fenrir’s line. And for that reason, Lyuu’s tribe believed it was only natural for them to worship the species as a whole; she didn’t think of her actions as even the slightest bit creepy or weird. In fact, her eyes almost seemed to burn with passion as she spoke.
To be honest, a good chunk of that sounds like bullshit, but I guess it technically is possible. Fenrirs are legendary creatures, and apparently even Lefi found it quite difficult to defeat one, so it’s safe to assume they’re strong as hell. But wait, fenrirs are wolves. Why would their children be beastkin?
I paused for a moment, only to remember that there existed a spell or something that allowed non-humans to take on a human-like form. Case in point: Lefi.
Wait, does that mean it’s possible for Lefi and I to have a ki—
My eyes widened as I realized where my thoughts had taken me.
God damn it brain! What the hell are you thinking!?
“Wow Master, your face started gettin’ all red and stuff real quick. Did hearin’ about the legends really move ya that much?”
“Shut up. That’s not it. I was thinking about something else. Don’t ask.”
I rejected the notion several times over out of sheer panic before redirecting my thoughts towards something else. Hearing about her tribe’s legends allowed me to understand the reason Lyuu revered Rir the way she did. To her, he was like a celebrity. She’d heard a lot about him, so seeing him in real life had caused the fangirl within her to freak the hell out. Admittedly, I could see exactly where she was coming from. I likely would’ve had a similar reaction upon meeting any of my favourite voice actors.
“Do you want to join us?”
“Can I really!?”
“Only if you promise to listen to instructions. You’ll probably die if you get lost.”
“Erk… T-That sounds kinda scary, but sure!” I-I promise I’ll listen real good, so please lemme join ya!”
“God damn it, Lyuu. Could you shut up already?”
I frowned as Lyuu, who was sitting right behind me, screamed loud enough to make my eardrums burst.
“I-I can’t Master! W-we’re going way too fast!”
She desperately clung onto Rir’s back for dear life. We weren’t going too fast, but she was still sure to go flying off the moment she let go.
“Rir’s been taking it easy and going pretty slowly. He can actually go much faster if he wants,” I shrugged. “Stop, Rir. This spot’s good.”
The giant wolf used his whole body to decelerate and came to a complete halt in a matter of moments.
Lyuu screamed incoherently as she flew right off his back and smashed her face into the ground below. The stop had been way too sudden for her. She couldn’t help but get thrown off.
“Stop making weird noises and calm down already.”
“Y-You’re making it sound like I was doin’ it ‘cuz I wanted to!”
She retorted as she slowly got back up. She seemed surprisingly energetic for someone whose face was caked in a layer of mud.
“Ugh… I should’ve known, but Rir’s real fast.”
“A-And why are you doin’ the criticizing, Master!? You’re the one that’s acting all weird here! How the hell do you expect a gal like me to hang on when we’re goin’ that fast!?”
“I mean, we weren’t even going that fast…”
“You’re only sayin’ that ‘cause you’re a weirdo! There ain’t no normal person capable of staying all calm and composed at that kinda speed!”
Wow. Talk about rude. It’s not my fault I like thrill rides. And it’s also definitely not my fault that they’ve been growing on me as of late.
“Oh by the way, you might want to get back here, and quick. You’re pretty much right next to a monster.”
“Huh!? Wait, seriously!? Holy crap!”
Lyuu fearfully turned her head around, only to immediately start dashing back towards us the moment she saw the thing that’d been standing a bit of a ways behind her.
“Gelgwa! Gya gya!”
It was a creature whose meat worked quite well in dishes that typically made use of chicken: a rockbird. It noticed us and started squawking vigilantly. Its death metal vocalist-like cries were filled with wariness.
“Ugh, that’s loud as hell. Shut up and turn into food already goddammit.”
I briefly focused my magical energies before rapidly bringing my hands together to cast a spell. I didn’t even bother getting off Rir’s back.
There was a low rumble as the magic activated. The earth right underneath the rockbird’s head shook and swelled, derforming into a pair of iron-like plates with spikes protruding from their insides. The two rose, lining themselves up with the bird’s head before closing in on each other, punching countless holes into the poor animal’s face. Blood sprayed all over as the now headless rockbird lifelessly collapsed.
The spell I’d just cast was one I dubbed “Iron Maiden.” It was a bit slow; keener, faster enemies could dodge it with ease. But it made up for its lack of speed with an incredible amount of power. I had no doubt that it could deal major damage to anything too sluggish to react to it.
“W-wow…” Lyuu’s eyes opened wide. “Ain’t that a shocker. You really did just kill a rockbird in one hit.”
She had a smile on her face, but it seemed kinda cramped; her mouth was twitching in disbelief.
“Yeah, they’re weak. Anyway, let’s go. We need to find ourselves some more prey.”
I urged Lyuu to get back on Rir while putting the rockbird’s corpse in my item box.
“Huh!? W-We’re gonna keep goin’!?”
“Duh. We literally just got started.”
“I-I uhm… really ‘preciate you lettin’ me ride Rir and stuff, but… could ya please go just a little bit slower?”
“No need to be so reserved. I know you love high speed thrills.”
“See? Even Rir’s telling you to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. Now get on.”
“W-why does it kinda feel like you guys are up to no good!?”
I grinned as I pulled Lyuu, who was trembling in fear, up onto Rir’s back.
“Alright Rir, go!”
And so, Lyuu’s screams continued echoing throughout the Wicked Forest for quite some time.