Little Red Riding Hood's Travel Companion...is the Wolf!?
“Euuaahhh…Morning already?” I muttered as I drowsily let out a yawn and stretched my body.
I rubbed my eyes before taking a look around the room. The sun was just starting to rise and only faint rays of sunlight entered the room. The cold weather just made me glued to the warmth of my bed, I wonder what hibernation feels like for the animals. I just want to curl up under my blanket and not do anything else but I remembered that I wanted to start learning magic.
Sigh, I guess I’ll have to go wash up and prepare breakfast then.
As I was getting down from bed, the sight of a huge black wolf sleeping at the foot of my bed brought me out of my half-asleep state.
Yikes!...Oh right, that’s just Conri…I guess it’ll take some time getting used to this. Hmmm…Now that I’m looking at him closely, Conri sound asleep just looks like a big doggo. How cute, maybe I can—
As I was reaching down to pet him, his mouth suddenly moved.
“I see you’re awake early today. What were you trying to do?” His eyes opened as he asked me, his head was still resting on his paws as his eyes looked at me.
“Uwahh! Don’t scare me like that! I-I wasn’t trying anything funny!”
“Hmmm? If you say so then. You can go wash up first since you will be having a long day ahead of you.”
Geez, he’s definitely thinking that I was up to no good. I guess his wolf senses are really sensitive. Here I thought I could pull some pranks on him, sigh…
“Alright, I’ll see you at the table then. We’ll be having honey on bread today~”
After we had breakfast, grandma told me to go outside with her, she also asked Conri to come along to have a look. Conri was watching from a distance but still close enough to hear what we were saying.
“Sweetie, let me explain some of the basics first.”
I patted my cheeks so that I could focus better.
“The most important thing you have to remember is that every living thing in this world has an innate capacity for mana, how well you can control that mana is also dependent on the individual.”
Grandma placed a white stone disk on my hand.
“You must feel the mana in your body, try to manipulate it’s flow. Magic is simply the use of mana to perform tasks. I’ll help you guide the mana, just try to feel the mana throughout your body and gather them.”
Grandma placed the palm of her hand below my hand. I closed my eyes and tuned out my surroundings.
Concentrate and feel it….Hmmm? I could feel something surging from all around my body and is gathering in my chest.
As I felt the pooling mana in my chest, it slowly flowed towards my hand. It felt like blood gushing through my arm and emanated from my palm into the disk. When I opened my eyes, there was a runic symbol for water appearing on the disk.
“It seems you have the affinity for water magic. There are 4 main classes of magic: water magic which focuses on flexibility and healing; fire magic which focuses on raw power but is the most mana consuming; wind magic which is the most agile but is the least offensive; earth magic which is the sturdiest of all but is slow; and finally, the fifth class, unique magic which are magic apart from these 4 elements and can be unique to the individual.”
Grandma held my hands once more. I could feel her mana flowing through my hand.
“We’ll cast a spell together using some of your mana, try remembering the incantation as well as the feeling of casting the spell.”
She closed her eyes and started chanting.
“O’ benevolent waters, thou shalt be freed, heed my command and manifest as I wilt and surge forth—Waterbullet!”
Water shaped roughly like a thin egg manifested above my palm before flying forward at a high speed and hit the tree in its path. Her spell managed to damage the bark of the tree slightly, shaking it in the process.
“Woah!” I exclaimed. Conri seemed to be slightly excited as well.
“You can change the power and speed of the spell by controlling the amount of mana you feed it. However, if you infuse more mana than you can handle into the spell, it can become harder to control and may even backfire on you. There’s also a book on magic in the chest beside my bed, you can find most of the information in there. Why don’t you give it a try? Just repeat the incantation I used just now.”
“Ok, I’ll try…”
I closed my eyes and concentrated on the mana in my body, then I recalled the words that grandma chanted earlier and repeated it as I channeled mana from my body towards my palm.
“Let’s see…It went…O’ benevolent waters, thou shalt be freed, heed my command and manifest as I wilt and surge forth—Waterbullet!”
The water that manifested above my palm flew upwards and landed on my head.
“My, my, it seems you still have a long way to go, sweetie.” Grandma let out a small chuckle before continuing, “Hmmm, based on the brightness on the disk just now you seem to have a rather large mana reserve. Just practice controlling your mana for now using that spell. Once you feel like you got the hang of it, you can move towards other spells that are in the book. Of course, you can come ask me if there’s anything you don’t understand. Now, you better go dry up before you catch a cold.”
Brrrr…That didn’t go well. Conri…I definitely saw him giggling over there. I’ll get my payback soon enough! Hmmm, I hope I’m not making any weird faces right now…
After me and grandma went back inside, I changed into a new set of clothes before getting the book from grandma’s chest. From reading the book, I learned a few things in addition to what grandma told me.
Number one, incantations only serve to determine the shape and purpose of the mana to perform magic, the user still has to refine the amount of mana to determine its characteristics such as power, range and speed. Casting magic without incantation is possible as well but it requires the user to have a deep understanding and feel of the magic that he wants to perform. The user would need to gather the mana, determine the form and effect of the spell, infuse the mana to determine its characteristics before finally unleashing the spell. The main advantage of incantations is that it makes casting spells easier and requires less attention. Casting without incantations allow more control over the magic and can be cast as fast as the user’s proficiency level.
Number two, magic circles were originally the main form of magic until incantations were invented. Magic circles are used mainly for large scale or magic that were too complex to be used through incantations. Nowadays, magic circles are used mainly on spells that are intended to be casted repetitively. The magic circle sets the activation conditions and the type of spell. The hot spring stone had a magic circle that activates a heating spell when in contact with water.
Number three, although everyone may be born with an affinity to at most one of the elemental magics, they can still use magic from other elements. The main drawback was that in doing so, the spell would consume more mana and is weaker than usual. Non-elemental magic or unique magic is formed when the user has a deep understanding and control over mana to perform their desired tasks as spells that are not under the previous 4 elements. An example would be the Telekinesis spell—a spell that allows the user to move objects in the air.
With that, I surmised that perhaps magic may be bound only by the limits of imagination. It seems most incantations are for combat or hunting spells, I guess that’s why I don’t see people using magic too often. For now, I guess I will just focus on fine tuning my mana control. I spent hours casting the spell over and over again. Conri quietly sat below a tree and watched me practice magic. The spell still wouldn’t reach the tree that grandma hit, but it definitely traveled further than before. I felt rather tired after all that casting but I decided to cast the spell one more time before heading back.
“O’ benevolent waters, thou shalt be freed, heed—”
Huh..? My vision’s getting blurry…More importantly, I can’t maintain my balance…This is bad, I’m losing consciousness…
When I opened my eyes, I was lying on my bed. Conri was sitting beside my bed with a book in his hands, it seems he was reading the magic book.
He looked at me and closed the book.
“I see you’re awake, how are you feeling?”
“My body feels heavy…What happened? I only remembered I was trying to cast a spell and the next thing I knew I was on the bed…”
“Hmmm, granny said that you tried to use more mana when you have no more left. As a result, you overexerted your body and fainted.”
“I see…Wait, does that mea—”
“Yes, I carried you here.”
C-c-caried me!? Like how a prince carries a princess!? It’s so embarra—
“Your face is turning red, did you catch a cold too?”
As he said that, he placed his forehead against mine with his palm in between.
H-he’s so close!
“Hmmm, your temperature seems norm—”
“Whaaaaa!!!!!” I whined as I buried my face in the pillow after pulling the blanket over my head.
I spent the rest of the day in my bed after that.
Conri woke me up when it was time for dinner. Apparently, he prepared dinner today since I was still asleep. Being the first time eating his cooking both excites and scares me at the same time.
I walked towards the dining table. I feel much better but my body still seems to be a bit heavy. I guess it will take more time to recover from mana exhaustion.
Hmmm? It actually smells not bad…I see, he cooked stew as well. Well, it is a very simple dish to prepare after all.
“Oh, sweetie, glad you’re feeling better. Conri here prepared dinner today. Smells good, doesn’t it?”
I hate to admit it but it looks pretty good too. I guess it makes sense when you have been living alone for quite some time, nobody wants to eat their own cooking that tastes bad.
“Hehe, but what about the taste? It may smell good but the most important thing is the taste, right?”
“Ohh? Why don’t you give it a taste and let me know then?” Conri asked me with a rather confident face. No, I shall rephrase that—It’s more like he was challenging me.
I took a spoonful of the stew and prepared to eat it.
“Oh please, how good coul—”
W-what!? It’s actually quite delicious!
“Hmm, what’s wrong?” he asked with a smirk on his face.
I folded my arms.
“W-well, it’s not bad. It’s nowhere close to my cooking of course!”
“Sure thing, miss master chef.”
“Now, now, you two better start eating before I finish it all. Your lover’s quarrel can continue later, isn’t that right?” Grandma had a smug face that rivals even mine as she spoke.
“It’s not like that!!!” Conri and I exclaimed with perfect sync.
A week has passed since I first started learning magic, Conri said he will do the travelling to town for now so that I can focus on practicing magic. After casting the Waterbullet spell for a week, I was able to hit the tree with it now. Though, I might have overdid it and pierced a hole in its trunk. I also found it easier to aim the spell when I have my palm pointing at the direction of my target. Before I try the other spells, there’s something I would like to try first.
I held my hand out and closed my eyes to concentrate. I imagined the shape of the cube while gathering mana at my palm. When I opened my eyes, it looked like a deformed cube that was pulsing has manifested in front of my palm.
Hmmm…Weird shape but I guess I should try launching it.
I pictured the flight path and speed while simultaneously infusing mana into the spell. The mass of water was sent flying towards the tree and hit it.
I did it!...Well, kinda I guess…Sigh…Casting without incantation is hard if I’m not used to it, I probably need to practice it until it becomes natural to me. At the very least, I roughly get the gist of it now.
I spent the next week purely working on casting Waterbullet without incantations. It was hard at first, but I slowly got the hang of it. Right now, I can fire a Waterbullet spell in various shapes like a sphere, cone and even multiple small spheres at once. Grandma seems to have been watching my progress through the window.
“Good job, sweetie. You seem to have grasped the concept of magic pretty well. Actually, I think you made progress faster than I did when I was learning magic.”
“Thanks grandma, I’ll work harder so that I can be better than you in your prime!”
“Haha, that’s the spirit! I have to warn you though, I was a pretty darn good mage back in my day.” Grandma said as she winked at me.
For the next two weeks, I spent most of my time learning other spells from the book. Although I tried mostly water magic, I also tried to use some spells from the other elements as well. Those spells from other elements really did drain much more mana from me, I could hardly cast them more than 10 times before feeling my mana reserves getting low. For the same level of water spells, I could’ve easily casted 4 to 5 times as many compared to them. It seems that not using incantations to perform magic from other elements makes it even harder as well, I should probably stick to mainly using water magic.
It has been 3 weeks since Noelle has started learning magic. While she’s been practicing magic, I have been mostly on shopping duty. I’m glad the townspeople were very nice to me aside from the occasional teasing from Leah which was thanks to Noelle. There’s no need for me to go to town today, perfect day for me to just relax under the tree.
Hmmm…Noelle’s working hard again. She seems to have made significant progress on her magic. Though, I did see a fire spell blow up in her face the other day. I’m glad she’s fine, but I’ve got to admit that it was kinda funny. She’d probably come after me if she saw me laughing. Just thinking about it makes me start having cold sweats.
Looking at Noelle and her grandmother always reminds me of the day they took me in, I will never forget their sincere kindness. It’s hard to imagine what my life would have been if I never met Noelle on that day.
As I was lying against the tree, a crescent-shaped mass of water hit the tree just above my head. The water then rained all over me.
“Wha…What are you doing!? You could’ve taken my head!”
“I-I’m so sorry, Conri! I accidentally misfired it, won’t happen again…”
Noelle looked to the ground while pointing her index finger at each other.
My sixth sense kinda tells me that it was not exactly an accident, but with a face like that…I think only a devil can stay mad…This is such a pain.
“Be more careful next time.”
With that, she carried on with her spell casting. She returned to her usual bright and cheerful self in no time.
Noelle…She’s working very hard towards her goal. Maybe I should try to move forward as well…I don’t know exactly what I want to do yet but maybe I should start finding answers abou—
Right…I’m wet. Sigh, I better get inside to dry up. Thanks a lot, Noelle. A spell to dry me would’ve been nice.
The sun was shining up high and no clouds to be seen today. A relatively warm day compared to the usual chilly days of autumn, I would say. Granny suggested that I take Noelle to town today since the weather was nice for a stroll. She said that Noelle would never say no if I were to ask her. I wondered about that though.
As Noelle was getting ready to leave the cottage to practice magic, I tapped her on the shoulder and asked her.
“Noelle, want to g—”
“Go to town? Sure! I’ve been waiting forever for you to ask me, let’s go~”
What!? Did she read my mind or something? I guess granny wasn’t wrong when she said Noelle would be sure to agree. Though, Noelle probably didn’t agree just because I asked, she basically had that thought in mind for quite a while now. I think she’s just happy that she can go out and see town after stuck with magic practice for so long.
“Come on, it’s not everyday we get a day this nice~”
Noelle eagerly pulled on my sleeves. Despite her age, she seems like a kid at times, but I do not dislike that side of her. It brings a colourful hue to my otherwise monotonous outlook in life.
“I get it, I get it! Just let go of me already.”
And so, we bid granny goodbye and started walking towards town. Well, I walked. Noelle? She looked more like she was skipping towards town. I envy the seemingly unlimited supply of energy that girl has. Just being around her tires me out sometimes.
When we reached town, the first place we visited was Leah’s. Can’t blame her, she hasn’t seen her friend for nearly a month now. The streets were full of people as far as the eye can see. The town was bustling with more activity than in recent days, it’s as though as human emotions were tied to the weather in some way. I guess we’re not the only ones who thought today was a good day to go out.
“Oh, Noelle! Felt like forever since I last saw you! Conri told me that you were busy with magic. How is it going?”
Leah squeezed Noelle’s cheeks with excitement as Noelle tried to speak to the best she could.
“M-morning, Leah. I m-missed you too…Uwahhh!” Noelle exclaimed as she freed her cheeks from Leah’s hands. She placed her finger on her chin as if she was deep in thought before continuing, “Hmmm, I guess it’s going ok. I can cast a good number of spells now~ Though, it’s not fun when they don’t work out. Especially fire spells…”
“I’m sure you will turn out to be an amazing mage. So, anything I can do for you two today?”
“We just came by to say hi, I probably would be busy with magic again after all. Oh ya, guess what?”
Noelle gestured Leah to come closer as she whispered something into her ears. They were looking at me with a strange expression. Just looking at them made my spine tingle. Suddenly, Leah’s eyes narrowed as she smiled at me.
“Ehhh? Isn’t that very bold of you? Asking her out on a date and all?”
“If this isn’t a date, what is it then?”
As I was trying to find my words, I picked up a familiar scent within the crowd of people when a light breeze blew past my nose.
This scent…It couldn’t be…It’s faint, but…
Without second thought, I tried to make my way through the crowd in an attempt to follow the scent trail. I forced my way through as I pushed people out of my way. I’m sure Noelle’s voice was among the many voices of angry people yelling at me for pushing them, but my mind was only focused on one thing at the time—I must find out where the scent is coming from.
Whoever you are, you better be ready!
I started to run as soon as I broke free from the crowd. From what I can tell, the scent lead outside of town. Anger welled up within me as the scent got stronger, the source must be close by.
As I left the border of town, I saw a figure walking away from me. I could not make out his features as he was wearing a cloak over him, but the scent was definitely coming from him. I ran towards him and grabbed him by the shoulder. He turned around and it is then that I saw.
“T-that amulet! You…You will pay!”
He shoved me to the ground and dusted his shoulders.
“What’s wrong with you, kid!? Do I know you!?”
I could feel the rage seeping out of my body, all sense of reasoning started to fade as dark shadows began to envelop my body.
“W-what’s going on!? Wait…A wolf!?”
Before long, my view towered over the young man. However, I noticed his face that was covered in shock just moments ago turning into a sinister grin.
“This size, there’s no mistaking it. I never thought one would ever come to me. Thanks to you, I get to savour my revenge.”
What is this man talking about? Never mind that, he…He is responsible for what happened to mom and dad!
I lifted my paw and swiped it across his face but he was fast, he simply stepped back and avoided my attack.
“Interesting, I was sure that the expedition wiped out every single one of you. Then again, I think they mentioned about one that got away that night. I never heard of transforming ones though.”
I charged towards the man as I roared, an immense urge to rip the man to shreds coursed through my entire body. As I charged, I was suddenly held in place. I turned my head around as I felt something heavy around my rear legs.
I tried to break free, but they felt unusually strong. More chains erupted from the ground and restrained my front legs as well.
“Don’t bother. These chains are our clan’s signature magic specifically designed to handle beasts like you. I’m going to make you suffer for what your kind did to my brother and the clan!”
The man held out his hand. Several chains with pointed tips emerged from the ground and pierced my body. It hurt a lot, it was the first time I felt anything like it.
“What about me? Nearly everyone who went on the expedition died shortly after, my brother was one of them! The ones who survived ended up losing their sanity with each passing day!”
You kidding me!? Why are you playing the victim here!? My village…My parents…
I gnashed my teeth as I tried to move my right paw as hard as I could. The man only looked in amusement, no doubt that he was mocking me. The chains pulled against me the more I tried to force my way through, when—
The chains around me broke as I rushed at him. Before he could even react, the back of my paw struck his chest. I could hear the unmistakable sound of bones cracking underneath as blood spilled from his mouth. He quickly got up and wiped the blood off his face.
“Fuuh…Fuuh…Interesting, you actually managed to break free. However, you won’t get so lucky next time!”
I noticed something beneath the ground as he began chanting. The chains make a distinct sound before emerging from the ground, most likely from the magic materializing the chains. I listened closely to the sounds and adjusted my body accordingly as I charged towards him once more.
I swerved to the side as several chains broke through the surface of the earth in front of me. The chains merely grazed the side of the body as I ran past them. Although I could react to the chains, it still felt too close for comfort. If I so much as waver for even a little, I would probably lose me life there and then. I had no choice but to push forward.
“Y-you! Stay still!”
Anticipating his attacks soon became easier as there seemed to be a fixed interval between each cast. He wasn’t too creative with his approach in attacking either, it was just the same attack over and over again. I spotted an opening while I was circling around him to avoid his attacks.
You caught me by surprise in the first time, but not anymore!
I weaved between his chains and quickly closed our distance. With a fell swoop, I sent his back towards a tree nearby. A loud thud can be heard as his body shook the tree.
Just as I was walking towards the man, I heard a voice from the distance. I turned around and saw Noelle running towards me.
“Conri! There you are! Why are you—”
I quicky ran towards Noelle and shielded her from the chains.
“C-Conri!? You’re bleeding!”
I looked back and saw that the man was already gone. Struggle as I may, I felt my legs slowly weakening and I fell to the ground. The pain that was masked behind my rage in the heat of the moment slowly crept up to me.
Attacking Noelle just to escape, that coward!
Noelle suddenly went silent. She was trembling as she looked at her bloodstained hands. Her eyes were wide open but I could see her shrunken pupils. I tried to think of words to break her free from her trance.
“Noelle, calm down. It’s not as bad as it looks.”
“B-but Conri…Your body…”
“Don’t worry.” I replied, trying my best to reassure her.
She lowered her head while she fumbled with her hands which was still trembling. Suddenly, she looked at me like she just had an idea.
“But you never done it before. Are you sure?”
“I-I’ll try—No, I’ll make sure it works out!”
Noelle placed her palm on my body. She closed her eyes and water began to cover her hands which was over one of my wounds. The water began to glow as I felt a stinging sensation. Tears dripped onto her hands as she was probably praying her hardest for the healing magic to work.
Noelle…She’s scared but is still trying her best to heal me…
I could see the wound on my body slowly closing up and the blood disappeared into the glowing waters.
“Conri! I-it worked!”
“Y-yeah, good job, Noelle…”
“Now I just have to do the same for the rest!”
She was determined to heal my wounds despite her fear at the sight of blood. She must have felt more confident now that she knows she can perform healing magic. She healed my wounds one at a time. There must be at least 8 wounds inflicted on my body, but she did not miss any of them.
“I’m done, Conri! D-does it still hurt?”
I turned back into my human form and stretched. Amazingly, it did not hurt anymore.
“It seems I’m completely fine now, tha—”
Noelle firmly hugged me. I could feel her slim fingers digging into my back.
“Conri! I’m really glad you’re fine…I’m sorry I couldn’t do anything again…”
I slowly put my hand on her head.
“No, you’ve done plenty enough. See? I’m fine now thanks to you.”
“W-who was that…? Why did he attack you…?”
“Someone from my past, you don’t have to worry about him. I’ll make sure he won’t harm you.”
Noelle looked up at me with teary eyes, her gaze looked as if they were filled with regret and helplessness.
I pulled her in on a whim. I wonder why did I do that. Was it because I didn’t want her to worry? Or was it because I was simply afraid to confront my past?
“It’s going to be alright, I promise.”
After she calmed down, we got up and headed back to the cottage. Even though we did not speak a word during the journey, no words were needed to agree that we should not tell granny about what happened today.
Dinner went on as usual with everybody eating as if nothing ever happened. Though, I can’t help but notice the subtle but ever-present unease that was on Noelle’s face even though she was smiling. She wore a bright smile on her face, but her eyes always looked uneasy. Anyone who doesn’t know her well enough would think that she was just being her usual self when she actually has a lot going on in her mind.
“Phew, dinner was great~ I’m kinda feeling tired today, I’m going to bed first.”
“Sweetie, are you feeling alright?”
“I’m fine grandma, just a little tired is all. Conri, do you mind walking grandma to her room later?”
Noelle said nothing more and just walked to her room. She probably forgot about the dishes. I got up and cleaned the dishes after she left.
As I was laying granny onto her bed, she held onto my hand.
“Conri, did something happen today? Did you two fight?”
“N-nothing like that happened, granny…We’re fine.”
Granny responded by raising her eyebrow and looked at me skeptically.
“Really? I may be old, but I’m not senile ya know?”
“R-really, nothing happened.”
“Your body reeked of residue mana when you came back. Let me guess, if it wasn’t Noelle who blasted you with magic, it means someone else did it. I only kept quiet about the last time because it did not involve magic but this time is different. Encounters with mages can be very dangerous especially if they’re highly skilled.”
“H-how did you…I really can’t hide anything from you huh?”
“You bet. Now tell me, what happened?”
“I fought with a mage who could control chains with magic…”
“Chains, you say? Does he also have a green amulet on him?”
It was uncanny how the questions that granny asked were so on point. The women of this household really are something else—somewhat scary, in fact.
“He did! How—”
“When I was still traveling, I heard of a clan of mages who lived in a village down south who were specialists in hunting. I think the village was called Gemulnd? They were known for their chain magic and every member of their hunting groups wore a green amulet on around their neck. They believed that the amulet brought them protection and good luck.”
Granny’s face took on a more serious look before she continued.
“But why would he attack a boy? They shouldn’t be the kind to attack humans for no reason.”
“I-I was the one who attacked him first…”
“Five years ago, they…They massacred my entire village…I was the only one who survived…”
“What!? Why would they do that!?”
“I don’t know…Hunters…Was it because we had wolves living with us in the village…?”
“Wolves? Wait, could it be that you were from Myurr? But it makes no sense, I never heard that they would attack humans while on the hunt. Something else must be at play here.”
Granny got up and embraced me as she caressed the back of my head.
“You must’ve been through a lot, Conri. What do you plan to do now?”
“I…I don’t know…I felt rage at that time and wanted nothing but revenge…Part of me still wants that but I also do not want to leave this place…I’m also worried…What if he—”
“Don’t worry, Conri. We will be with you if anything is to happen. After all, that is what it means to be family, aren’t I right?”
I tightened my hold onto granny, the way her words were able to put me at ease also overwhelmed me with tears.
“There, there. Everything is fine now. You don’t have to worry about Noelle too much either, she must have been scared is all. She’s a strong girl, I believe that she will be back to her old self in no time. She is the kind who would never back down from obstacles but will push herself to overcome them instead.”
“If you say so, granny…”
“It’s getting late now, you should head to bed. Try not to think too much and get some rest, just remember that you are not alone.”
“I’ll be going back to my room then…Goodnight, granny.”
When I entered the room, Noelle was already on her bed, fallen asleep. After turning into my wolf form, I walked over to my usual sleeping spot and laid down. As I was about to fall asleep, I noticed gentle footsteps that were headed my way.
Noelle? She’s awake? What could she be up to this time? She better not be playing any tric—
I felt something lying against the side of my body. I slowly opened my eyes to see what was going on.
N-Noelle? Wait…Pillow and blanket!? Does she intend to sleep like that the whole night?
“S-shut up and just sleep!”
She pulled the blanket over her head and did not say anything else.
Is she trying to comfort me…? Her hair smells really nice…Calm down, Conri…I really hope she doesn’t hear my heartbeat right now, it will be so embarrassing if she heard…
Intermixed with the sound of my heartbeat was another pulsing sound that did not belong to me. I tried to tune out my own heartbeat to listen clearer.
This is…She must be embarrassed as well. I don’t hate this though, it feels nice…
I felt a surge of warmth that was different from any that I have felt before. I could not describe the exact feeling, but perhaps fuzzy would be the closest I could describe it.
That night, I drifted into the best sleep I’ve had in my life. Although it was nearing winter, the air felt warmer than it usually is and even the cold hard floor felt like fluffy clouds.
When I opened my eyes, I could only see darkness. Then, I realized something was over my head.
Hmmm? Oh, it’s just her blanket. Of course, it’s Noelle that I’m talking about. Why would I ever expect her to sleep properly?
Noelle’s arms and legs were all over the place, her hand somehow ended up on my head. I stood up and she kind off just rolled off my side.
Well, I can’t leave her sleeping on the floor like this. I better get her on the bed.
I turned back into my human form and knelt down. I carried her in my arms and walked towards her bed, being careful not to wake her as I did.
As I was about to reach her bed, I looked down and saw that her eyes had just opened.
She had a half-awoken face at first but her face quickly turned red and her mouth was wide open. She seemed to be trying to say something but nothing coherent came out.
Before I could even open my mouth, she jumped from my arms and onto her bed. She lied face down on her bed. Although her voice was muffled, I could still hear what she said.
“I-it’s only because y-your fur looked fluffy and cozy, ok!?”
I picked up the pillow and blanket on the floor. As I placed the pillow beside her and blanket over her, I simply answered, “Ok…”
Well, at least she seems to be feeling much better today. I’m glad.
Ever since that day, she went back to only sleeping on her bed. She’s probably too embarrassed to do that again. Perhaps not wanting to make me unhappy, she never mentioned about the encounter with the man again either.