Editors: Joker, Speedphoenix
There was a moment of silence. The air was filled with naught but stillness until the moment I loosed a victorious roar.
“Yes! I got a bite!”
I glanced to the side as I gave my fishing rod a good tug and reeled in my catch, only to see Lefi making an expression of shock.
“Well, Lefi, that’s fish number two,” I said with a snarky grin. “Iunno about you, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’ve already won this little match of ours.”
“Your pursuit of victory comes with excess haste, for the event has yet to conclude. Victory has not yet eluded me.” The dragon, who’d been grinding her teeth in frustration, humphed before continuing to speak in an indignant tone. “And I see no reason to perform such a menial task in the first place. It makes little sense not to simply dry the riverbed should you wish to consume a fish.”
“Lefi, please. Talk about no taste in leisure.” I rolled my eyes. “Look, this, this is way more fun. And before you even think about actually doing it, running the river dry is hella wasteful and destructive, so please don’t.”
‘Cause coming from you, that seems a bit real, y’know?
The banter Lefi and I were engaged in was only an aside to the activity that we were focused on: fishing. The two of us were both camped out in front of the river running through the dungeon’s grasslands, rods in hand and ready to extract our prey at a moment’s notice.
We weren’t the only two fishing either. Lyuu was doing the same, though she didn’t quite seem all that focused. She kept glancing towards Illuna and Shii. Bored of fishing, the two had started playing around with Rir, hence why Lyuu was so distracted. As a warwolf, she couldn’t help but allow the Fenrir to draw her attention.
Like Illuna and friends, Leila was also situated nearby. She was seated on a large picnic blanket, and continued to watch over the rest of us with a big smile on her face. Or at least that was what she was doing most of the time. She would occasionally seem to make a eureka face, pull out a stack of paper and start scribbling away while chuckling with all the wickedness of a mad scientist. It was something I had seen many times now. She’d started doing it ever since she put an abrupt end to that magic lesson the other day, and had basically never stopped. She didn’t seem to be able to focus on anything all that much either. The sheep-horned demon girl would always be mumbling something or another under her breath, even while doing the chores.
That said, it wasn’t like I’d grown accustomed to her cackling. Honestly bro, that shit’s kinda freaky.
I wasn’t the only one that found her recent actions intimidating either. Lyuu had evidently felt the same way, as she’d come to me for a consultation. Frankly, Leila’s demonic cackling had terrified her.
Despite her newfound habits and lack of attention, however, Leila was still doing one hell of a job. Yeah, you know what? I’mma just leave that be. She’ll get back to normal eventually. I hope.
I shook my head to stop myself from imagining the opposite case and once again returned to reflecting on the day. Today was, like the day we had the picnic, another outing for everyone to kick back and relax. And of course, the cause of it all was the discovery that the river contained fish.
I myself had not been responsible for placing the fish where they were. I hadn’t known that they were there at all. In fact, I was surprised to see that the river I’d used DP to create was filled with life. All sorts of fish were swimming around in it like it was nobody’s business. The only conclusion I could come to was that the fish just happened to come with the river, and that was just how it was. Thinking along those lines, that probably means that there’s stuff living in the mountains I decided to place as a backdrop and whatnot too. But oh well whatever. They’re way too far out for me to really give a shit. And the fish are way more important right now.
The fact that fish existed and were in a safe, accessible area meant that I straight up had no choice but to start fishing. And that was why I’d arranged this little get together. A fishing trip, per se. But despite it being the purpose of the outing, Lefi, Lyuu, and I were the only ones that were actually fishing.
“…Woah! I think I just got one!” Lyuu shouted wide-eyed as she reeled her catch.
“Nrgghhh…” Again, Lefi groaned. “I see that you too have done as Yuki has, Lyuu.”
“Mhm! I guess that leaves you in last place, huh?” replied the warwolf.
“I shall see to it that the two of you face retribution for your conceit,” growled Lefi.
The supreme dragon’s discontent stemmed from the fact that us three fishermen were engaged in a high stakes game with tonight’s dinner on the line. Literally. We were planning to have fish tonight, and whoever caught the least would be stuck with the shoddiest meal, or maybe even no meal at all depending on the catch. Of course, while numbers were the primary method of determining the winners and losers, one could redeem themselves and perhaps even claim victory through quality as well. The requirement for such a victory was to catch something large enough to function as tonight’s main dish.
As I was lost in thought, Illuna, who’d been playing around, pitter-pattered over and gave Lefi’s back a big hug.
“Hey Lefi! Have you caught anything really big yet?” she asked.
“I-I have not,” stuttered the dragon girl. “But it shan’t be long. I assure you that I will soon procure a catch of an impressive size.”
“Wow! I’m really excited to see what you’ll fish up, so do your best!” Illuna left as quickly as she came, and returned to playing with everyone else after voicing a few words of encouragement.
I began to grin. I really couldn’t help it given what I’d just seen.
“And why precisely have you that look on your face?” Lefi scowled.
“Naw, it’s nothing. I was just thinking that you two sure are close.”
“Fmph.” Lefi snorted as her cheeks turned red and her lips curled upwards in an expression of discontent. “I’ve little reason to consider Illuna anything less than a sister. It is only fair that I regard her with kindness.”
“I see, I see. A sister, huh?”
“What is it that you are trying to say?”
“Nah, don’t sweat it. It’s nothing.”
I’m just happy you think of her that way. That’s all.
“…Regardless, the expression you bear is one that stirs my rage. I shall see to it that you change it, even if I must do it mys—” Lefi was cut off mid-sentence as she suddenly felt something pull at her rod. “—A catch! It is time for me to lessen the gap between our scores!”
“That rod’s mad bending. You hook the riverbed again or something?”
“Say what you will, for soon, you shall weep! The creature I have caught is undoubtedly one of impressive size!”
Lefi enthusiastically roared as she pulled on her rod. And as she did, her prey surfaced. Wait. The fuck is that thing!?
The bizarre creature had a body that resembled a tree trunk, a beard made of writhing tentacles, and a mouth lined with dozens of tiny fangs. I had absolutely no idea what it was, but it creeped me out either way.
“Hey uh… Lefi… You mind doing me a favour and fishing up something that’s a little less… bizarre? Like, seriously. I can’t even tell if that thing’s supposed to be a fish or something else altogether.”
“T-That is completely irrelevant. All that matters is that I too have now landed a catch!”
“I mean, yeah sure. But if you’re going to count that, then you better make sure you eat it when dinner comes around, alright?”
“…I shall leave that duty to Rir.”
Please don’t feed my pet weird shit. Kthxbye.
“Ahem!” Lefi cleared her throat. “As I was saying, I believe that this brings Lyuu and I to one catch apiece. While you are still yet ahead of us, the end is yet to be in sight. This contest of ours is not yet over!”
The dragon smirked before turning to the beastkin beside her.
“Listen well, Lyuu. We must burn away the very essence that composes us and steal away all that there is to capture. For tonight, we leave Yuki with only the smallest morsel!”
“Huh? Uh… sure! Master’s been kinda mean lately, so this is just the right thing I gotta do to teach ‘im a lesson!”
“Hah!” I scoffed. “All I hear from you guys are the cries of the incapable. I’ll show you noobs just how overwhelming a real fisherman can be!”
And so, with our spirits lit aflame, the three of us continued to fish.
Editor’s note (Joker): Hey, guys! Joker here. Been a while, hasn’t it? A lot of stuff has happened since the last chapter. I had my debut in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and created a new tier list in the process. Boss Young’un is applying to a bunch of companies, so wish him luck with that. Sebas finally banged Tuareninya (it’s about time if I do say so myself) [Note, this is from Overlord], and Speedphoenix went through about 3 reincarnations. Stubborn ol’ flamin’ bird just won’t stay dead. Uh, I mean… I cherish our friendship. Hehe… heh…. And as for our favorite dungeon crew, seems like Yuki raised a flag with his “Oh, stuff might live in the mountains too, but they’re too far away to worry about.” Ol’ boy’s gonna wake up to a Yeti in his face. Naturally, with Lefi there, ain’t much gonna be done by it, but it’d still be a real colon cleanser, wouldn’t it? All right, I see we got four letters in Joker’s Big Sack O’ Letters (trademark pending), so big thanks to kx, dicky satria, Zehd Cashew, and zekkendo for your wonderful questions. All right, I gotta head out now. Ganondorf’s getting real uppity, so Arsene and I need to knock him down a peg or two on the tier list. See y’all in the next chapter!