Chapter 18:

A Stressful Night for Rodan

White Nightmare


In that evening, Rodan and Nono were preparing the tools and equipment necessary for the mission given by Ringo Pumilia to repel monsters that ravaged her apple garden. They carried them onto their large cart.Bookmark here

“Okay, then, let’s see...” Rodan muttered as he crosschecked everything.Bookmark here

“Say, Roro...” Nono called.Bookmark here

“Hm?” Rodan responded casually.Bookmark here

“What are we going these wood stakes for?”Bookmark here

“Oh, you’ll see. Just pack them all up in the cart. I’ll tell you how we’re going to use them.”Bookmark here

“Is that so? Alright, then,” said Nono while putting multiple wires on their cart. He bumped his head several times as if not seeing the cart in his sight. He looked anxious for some reason.Bookmark here

Rodan obviously noticed him acting odd for some time. “By the way, Nono... why do you look so stressed? They’re just small fry monsters, you know?”Bookmark here

“N-No, it’s um... Well, of course, I know that. But that’s not what I’m concerning...” said Nono stutteringly.Bookmark here

“Huh? Whatever it is you’re concerning, get yourself over it, okay? I can’t do this without your help, so cheer up, mate,” Rodan cheerfully stated while walking back into the tree house. He sounded like he has no burden or anything concerning him whatsoever.Bookmark here

“U-Um! Wait a sec, Roro! Ah, darn it, he didn’t hear me. Oh, well, he’ll notice it soon.”Bookmark here

Rodan climbed the tree and entered the door. He calmly went upstairs to check on Ruru and Ringo. Somehow, Rodan had a bad feeling about them.Bookmark here

“I hope that apple girl don’t do anything stupid. Well, what’s the most harmful thing she can do to her? Oh, I know. Nothing!”Bookmark here

As Rodan walked upstairs, he opened the door to his old room which was now used by Ruru. The room was lit by a magical light that didn’t hurt to Ruru’s eyes, but enough for everyone to look around. The magic was activated some time ago by Rodan.Bookmark here

In the room, Rodan met Ruru being made up by Ringo. She was much prettier than ever. Her long white hair was much smoother than before as she was given bath by Ringo and given shampoo and conditioner to her hair. Ringo was braiding her long hair, making her less covered by her hair. Somehow, Rodan felt Ruru’s braided hair looked like a scorpion’s tail.Bookmark here

“Ho... not bad,” Rodan complimented.Bookmark here

“Fufu~! I’m not just a mere gardener, j’know? I’m also capable of doing this kind of things. Well, it’s more like a girl thingy, that is, hee-hee.”Bookmark here

“H-Huh... Why don’t you just open a salon? I think you’re going to be a big hit in the capital city. Those nobles love getting their hair worked out,” said Rodan while crossing his arms.Bookmark here

“Thanks for your suggestion, but nah. I’m sticking to my true passion, and that is gardening!” Ringo stated cheerfully while giving a cute pose. Rodan ignored her immediately as Ruru walked near him.Bookmark here

“R...Roro... what do you think?” Ruru showed off her redressed hair. “Is it good on me?” she asked softly.Bookmark here

“...hmph...” Rodan smiled from behind his mask. “You look pretty, Ruru. I like it,” he complimented while giving his thumbs up.Bookmark here

Ruru smiled brightly. She was so happy being complimented by him. “I’ll keep it this way...”Bookmark here

“Sure, do as you please. Oh, wait, hang on, I think I’ve something,” Rodan quickly reached for his locked drawer.Bookmark here

“Uwah... what do you hide in there, Ro-ro?” Ringo teased. “Some hot novels, huh? Hee-hee-hee,” she said smugly.Bookmark here

“Oh, shush. I don’t store things like that in here. Argh, darn it, where is it?”Bookmark here

Rodan searched the drawer. Shortly, he finally found it. “Aha! Found you!”Bookmark here

“Stay still,” said Rodan calmly. Immediately, he put it on Ruru’s hair. It was a hairpin with three embroidered laceleaf flowers on it.Bookmark here

“Ooh!” Ringo said in amazement. “I don’t know you’ve these kinds of things, Roro. Moreover, it looks incredibly fitting for her. The white and red combination... ooh, you’re much cuter this way!”Bookmark here

“This is...?” Ruru wondered while touching the hairpin that Rodan just put on her.Bookmark here

“It’s a hairpin that I’ve made when I was young. Well, it was meant for someone, but I lost sign of that person. So I kept it with me for years.”Bookmark here

“Ooh... was it someone you’re fond of, Roro?” Ringo teased again. “Hey, hey...” Her lips shaped like that of a cat, which irritated Rodan down to his bone.Bookmark here

“Ah, shuddap.”Bookmark here

“Ahahaha... you’re blushing! I understand that, Roro. You can try again sometimes. Wait a second... that hairpin does stand out for quite long, eh? I mean, you said you’ve made it years ago.”Bookmark here

“Oh, about that... this hairpin is specially made with my magic. I don’t want it to get moldy, because it is one of my important things.”Bookmark here

“...Roro’s... important things...” Ruru said while caressing the hairpin. “He gave it to me...” she smiled wider. “I’ll... I’ll keep it safe with me. I promise, Roro.”Bookmark here

“Hm,” Rodan nodded.Bookmark here

“Well, then, why don’t you two get some rest? Tomorrow will be so busy,” said Rodan while heading out. He lowered the intensity of the magical light in the room, leaving it dimly lighted.Bookmark here

“Aye-aye, big guy. I’m looking forward for your results tomorrow!” Ringo said cheerfully. “By the way, why did you make this room so dark, though? I can barely see things...”Bookmark here

Ringo began activating a magical spell that would serve as a flashlight. When Rodan turned around and saw her doing that while also facing towards Ruru, he instantly turned like a volcano that was about to erupt violently.Bookmark here

“—AHHH, WAIT! DON’T SHOVE LIGHT TO HER—Bookmark here

“There!”Bookmark here

When the magic activated, it was aimed right at Ruru’s face. She was incredibly sensitive to light that her eyes couldn’t take it.Bookmark here

“Eeeeeeeek!!!!” she screamed loudly. Her body made a reflexive move that unleashed a massive amount of magic wave that instantly shattered Ringo’s light magic. But it’s not just her light that was shattered. Everything in the direction of her magic was unleashed was blown apart even the walls all the way outside.Bookmark here

“Oiiiii!!! What the hell’s going on up there?!” Nono shouted from outside who saw the explosion on the tree body.Bookmark here

Rodan stared silently at the aftermath of the magical blast. Some of his shelves were destroyed, blown apart outside. His tree house got damaged, once again. The fissures of the tree’s magical barrier were getting worse.Bookmark here

“...Sorry, Mr. Rodan,” Ringo apologized in a suddenly polite tone.Bookmark here

“Hm,” Rodan nodded flatly. “It’s okay. I didn’t tell you about her being sensitive to light, anyway. Just cut my debts in half and I’ll let this one slip by.”Bookmark here

“Got it, Roro...” she accepted in a low voice.Bookmark here

That evening, Rodan didn’t have any time to get his house repaired nor did he have the funds to ask for one. He simply used a magic to fix up the barrier outside and created a thicker magic barrier to serve as wall for Ruru’s room. Meanwhile, Ringo loosened her hair as she was getting on her bed.Bookmark here

“I’m sorry, Roro...”Bookmark here

“It’s okay, Ruru. I didn’t tell her about your weakness and she’s also careless to not ask to me. So yeah, no worries,” said Rodan casually. Though, his eyelids were twitching when he said that. His nerves were all exposed on his forehead as if trying to hold himself from exploding like a real volcano.Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah... I’m sorry, Ruru,” said Ringo apologizing purely out of heart.Bookmark here

“Mm,” Ruru nodded softly. She lied down on the bed while Rodan and Ringo left her room.Bookmark here

...Bookmark here

Midnight...Bookmark here

Rodan couldn’t sleep.Bookmark here

He finally understood why Nono was blabbering about how it was disastrous last night.Bookmark here

There was a deafening cry as if a phantom was in the house. It was so loud that it felt like a monster had intruded his house. The cry came from upstairs right where Ruru was sleeping. It was endless, which engulfed Rodan’s eyeballs with red cracks.Bookmark here

“So this is why he can’t sleep?!?!”Bookmark here

Meanwhile, Nono himself was forcing his eyes to close and tried his best to hop into the dream world. Ringo on the other hand couldn’t get her own set of eyes to rest. She could only stare the dark ceilings in her apple-patterned pajamas while hoping for the cry to end.Bookmark here

“I’m never gonna stay the night in here again...”Bookmark here

Finally, Rodan had enough. He exited his room and quickly headed upstairs. But as he stepped on the staircase, slowly as he got higher, the cry got louder and it felt like a drill piercing through his ears all the way to the brain.Bookmark here

“Grrrgh...! What the hell’s making her cry like this?!”Bookmark here

Rodan was forced to use a magic to shallow the sound wave for the sake of his hearings. Finally, he got to the door and immediately opened it.Bookmark here

“Ruru!”Bookmark here

When Rodan got close to the bed, he saw her curling up in a blanket.Bookmark here

She was crying. Her tears flooded her face. She held her blanket and her pillow tightly, not wanting to let go even an inch. She was unconsciously letting out an intense aura that a normal human would simply crumble by the fierceness of it.Bookmark here

Rodan softly rubbed her cheek while wiping her tears off with his finger.Bookmark here

Suddenly, when Ruru’s eyes were opened, she quickly reached for him and hugged him as tight as possible while crying down in his chest.Bookmark here

Her intense aura slowly decreased. And without Rodan noticing it, her aura was no longer fierce. Her cry was no longer that loud, only softly letting out some words from her tiny lips.Bookmark here

“Don’t go... don’t go...”Bookmark here

There...Bookmark here

Rodan realized something.Bookmark here

He realized that Ruru was still suffering from past trauma.Bookmark here

“I was careless...Bookmark here

I’ve quickly forgotten her former self that she was a slave.Bookmark here

She must’ve been treated really badly in the past... I should’ve known this, but I ignored it and made her went through a night on her own.Bookmark here

I didn’t realize that. How foolish of me?!”Bookmark here

Slowly, Rodan stroked her hair. He gave such a soft and comforting touch to her hair that her cry began to fade. She sobbed while hugging him and didn’t want him to leave her side.Bookmark here

“You’ve been through a lot, aren’t you?” Rodan comforted in a soft tone. “It’s a terrifying nightmare, is it not?”Bookmark here

Ruru nodded.Bookmark here

“I’m so sorry... I’m so sorry... I know this is bad for me to do this to you, but please don’t go! I... I don’t want to be alone! Please...” she cried until her voice was gone.Bookmark here

While continuing to stroke down her hair, Rodan comforted her.Bookmark here

“I understand how you felt. But you don’t have to worry anymore, because I’m not going anywhere, Ruru. I’m going to stay by your side no matter what happens.”Bookmark here

After hearing those words, Ruru hugged him tighter. She truly didn’t want to let him go away.Bookmark here

In the end Ruru slept on his shoulders while Rodan simply sat down on the bed beside her. He didn’t sleep even for a second. He kept watch over her until morning came. He made sure that she slept.Bookmark here

Finally, for the first time...Bookmark here

...Ruru could sleep peacefully.Bookmark here

...Bookmark here

..Bookmark here

.Bookmark here

As the sun rose slightly above the horizon where the land was not completely rinsed under its shine, Rodan and the others had left the tree house and headed towards Astur City.Bookmark here

Rodan had used his magic to activate five extra layers of barrier around the giant tree before he left the Red Forest. He also asked his neighbors of the Red Bean Debauchery to watch over his tree house and they accepted without a second thought. They even gave him supply of fresh red beans.Bookmark here

Now, on the road, it would take a day and a half to reach Astur City.Bookmark here

Even though he didn’t sleep last night, Rodan’s eyes looked fresh as if he had the most sleep among his friends. He could even crack some jokes on the road. It made Ringo questioned his self whether he’s human or not.Bookmark here

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