Morning Bickering… Again!
The sun was up and the shone brightly through the clear blue sky. The ground, inhabited by many creatures, welcomed the warm light as it raised the temperature. Nature minded its own business while smoothly flowing along with time.
Along the road, some One-Horned Rabbits were bustling about behind the covers of leaves. They were searching for food when they suddenly heard something. Their stood up in attention as the noise grew louder and louder.
The next instance, they scattered as a horse ran past them while pulling something on wheels. The horse was pulling a simple looking carriage along the road. Two men sat at the front and were talking to each other cheerfully.
The inside of the carriage was occupied by four people. Three of them were female, but the one was a male. He looked to be in his teens as his body shifted slightly with each movement of the carriage.
At that moment, there was the voice of a woman calling “Lakshman, Lakshman.”
The boy, named Lakshman, moaned softly and he slowly opened his eyes. He brought his hands up and shaded his eyes to save them from the glare of the bright light. As his eyes adjusted to the light, he moved his hands away and he finally opened his eyes.
“Good morning, Lakshman,” said the voice of the same woman.
Lakshman looked towards the source and, when he saw who it was, he smiled and replied “Good morning to you, Miss. Marilia.”
The woman, named Marilia, chuckled and said “Oh, please. Don’t add the prefix ‘miss’. I know you haven’t had the chance to call me by my name, but remember that I’m married to Darian Ronald.”
“Oh! Sorry Mrs. Ronald,” Lakshman said quickly in an apologetic tone.
She smiled and waved her hand as if to wave away his apology. Then she said “Call me Marilia. Being called by my surname feels a little… weird.”
“Oh! Alright then, Marilia,” Lakshman said and he smiled.
She nodded in satisfaction and asked “How are you feeling today?”
“How I’m feeling? I’m feeling fine… Hmm…?” he said and faltered.
At that moment, he suddenly realised there was something going on. When he tried to move his shoulders, he found resistance. As he attempted to move them by force, he heard soft moaning sounds from either side.
That was when he registered the fact that something was placed on both of his shoulders. He turned his head to either side and was alarmed by what he saw. The two females were sleeping blissfully while laying their heads on his shoulders.
“O-Ondine…? T-Tetra…?” he said and he looked confused as the two girls continued to sleep.
Watching them with a small smile, Marilia made a suggestion to Lakshman.
“How about you wake them up before your shoulders go stiff?”
“Y-Yes! Right away!” Lakshman said to her and nodded in appreciation. Then he loudly said “Ondine! Tetra! Wake up! My shoulders are not pillows!”
The two girls moaned and their faces contorted slightly as they slowly roused. Both girls opened their eyes and looked at him. When they saw him in their drowsiness, they moved their lips forward and kissed him on the cheek.
“Heee!” he squealed in surprise.
“Good morning, master,” the two of them said together and they smiled at him.
“Yes, good morning, but hurry up and get off my shoulders!” he demanded as he used his hands desperately to rub his cheeks clean.
For a moment, the two girls blinked at him as they did not comprehend his words. Then, as they became fully awake, their eyes widened in shock. They quickly moved away from him with blushing faces and began apologising.
“I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” the two were saying at the same time.
“It’s fine, but why were you resting your heads on my shoulders?” he asked once he was done rubbing his cheeks clean.
“Well… We ah…” Ondine and Tetra began and faltered.
They looked at each other for a moment. Then Ondine said “The night was bit chilly. So I thought I’d keep you warm by sleeping next to you, master.”
“Yes! I wanted you to sleep peacefully without feeling the touch of the cold,” Tetra added with a bright smile on her face.
With a weary look on his face, he flatly said “So the two of you snuck next to me and slept while resting your heads on my shoulders.”
When the two of them nodded, he sighed and asked “Tetra, why didn’t you just keep us all warm then with your Phoenix Power?”
Tetra suddenly wore a serious expression on her face and said “Phoenix Power is not meant for such trivial stuff!”
Ondine, hearing her words, raised an eyebrow and sarcastically asked “Oh? Is that so? Then why were you named the Phoenix Blade?”
She made a pondering look for a moment and then, as if she suddenly thought of something, said “Ah! I know why! You’re a weapon and a burden of your master!”
Tetra flared up angrily and said “That’s utter rubbish! You’re the one who is a burden to master as you rested your heavy head on his shoulder, Ondine!”
“As if?! I know your head must weigh a ton which is why master hasn’t fully recovered from the pain yet!” Ondine scoffed.
“Ho, ho, ho! Scathing! You talk like master didn’t feel you at all? Maybe it’s because you’re such a weakling!”
“I’m not a weakling! Unlike a certain stupid Sacred Spirit, I am not fat headed! Maybe your so-called awesome skills are causing you the problem?”
“Says the Water Spirit that doesn’t even know how to use Water Magic Spells at all!”
“I-I can use a few…”
“Then show them to me!”
“I-I’ll do it! I’ll blast you with a powerful water spell!”
“You don’t scare me, water idiot!”
At that moment, there was loud shout of “Both of you! Enough!”
They turned their heads just in time to get smacked hard on the head by a powerful karate-chop. The owner of the strike was Lakshman and he was glaring furiously at them.
“Oww!” the two of them winced as they reeled back from the sudden attack. They looked tear-faced as they asked “Why did you do that?”
Lakshman folded his arms and looked angrily at them as he said “Again and again! Always bickering and bickering! It’s bad enough you do it during an argument, but it hasn’t even been lunch time yet and you’re already bickering! Can’t you give it a rest?!”
Hearing such words from their master, Ondine and Tetra hung their heads in shame. At that moment, the curtain covering the front of the carriage was pulled away and a grinning face was poked in.
“What’s up? I’m hearing a healthy shouting first thing in the morning. Is there something wrong?” he asked them while grinning cheerfully.
Marilia chuckled and said “Oh… It’s the usual, Rumble. Ondine and Tetra began arguing and Lakshman just scolding they as usual. There nothing different about the routine, is there?”
“Not that I can tell,” the man, named Rumble, said and he laughed.
Lakshman sighed heavily and said “Why do the two of them constantly bicker and bicker? It’s beginning to irritate me.”
Rumble and Marilia looked at each other and smiled. Just then, the other curtain was pulled back and another male face poked his head in to speak to them.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
“Oh… Darian… It’s the usual,” Rumble said and he rolled his eyes in exasperation.
Seeing his friend roll his eyes, Darian laughed and said “Don’t be like that. The early morning is always exciting when you have love birds squabbling.”
At his words, both Ondine and Tetra blushed and looked embarrassed. Only Lakshman looked confused as he flatly said “I don’t understand.”
Darian, Rumble and Marilia looked at each other. There seemed to be an invisible message of agreement they had because Rumble sighed and Marilia shook her head.
Darian looked back at Lakshman and said “The ignorance of youth is such bliss that it somehow annoys me!”
Lakshman looked at him in confusion and asked “Is there a reason to be annoyed about?”
Darian sighed and said “Lakshman, your current age and maturity is a problem. You’ll understand more of these later in life.”
“O-Oh…” Lakshman said uncertainly.
He felt slightly depressed since he was told the same thing again, except it was from a different person this time. There was a stretch of uncomfortable silence which was broken by him.
“Where are we headed to anyway? Are we going directly to Floria region?”
“No. We’re taking a detour to get your armour upgraded. Your current armour is a little old and rusted out from the numerous exercises you put it through. I think it’s wise to spend that five-thousand gold on getting better armour and stuff,” Darian said and he smiled.
“Cool!” Lakshman said and he smiled excitedly.
He liked his armour since it was given by his father, but it had been through a lot and needs upgrading. So he was keen to seen the new kind of armour he can get. With the thoughts of cool looking armours, the carriage rumbled towards its destination.