Lindyss stood in a cave with her hands on her hips, looking up at a pile of crystals. Her skin was tinted blue by the light that they emitted. Grimmy lay on the ground next to her with his eyes half-open.
“What are you going to do with all these mana crystals?” Grimmy asked as he clawed at the mountain of glowing blue stones. “Can I eat some?”
“No,” Lindyss said as a horde of skeletons walked into the cave, each one carrying a basket filled with crystals. “Where do you think the energy comes from to power over a million skeletons?”
Grimmy snorted. “I know how much mana it takes. You clearly have a whole lot extra,” he said as he split the pile down the middle. “This much is required to maintain the undead for a few weeks. This much is extra.”
“Well, those extras are used to help the patriarch recover faster,” Lindyss said as she picked up a crystal. “He’s going to wake up in a few months at this rate. I should’ve forced that god out of here earlier, so much wasted mana.” Lindyss shook her head.
Grimmy tapped his claws against the ground. “What about that spirit who injured the patriarch?” he asked. “Wasn’t the god suppressing it? Now that it’s gone, won’t that thing cause problems?”
“It’s already been freed,” Lindyss said and dropped the crystal in her hand. “The sealing formation was broken a while ago. I’m guessing it won’t take any action against us seeing as it hasn’t already. In any case, the best thing to do would be to have the patriarch wake up as soon as possible to deal with any potential threats.”
Grimmy sighed. “Fine,” he said and curled up into a ball with his eyes closed, “I won’t eat any crystals then. I bet they tasted sour anyway.”
Lindyss rolled her eyes. “You can have them after the patriarch wakes up,” she said and pat Grimmy’s snout. “Now quit sulking.”
“Who’s sulking?” Grimmy asked as his eyes shot open. “I’m just contemplating.”
Grimmy chuckled. “About what the patriarch would think when he wakes up,” he said and grinned. “You know how much of a stickler he is for order. Vur’s personality is the embodiment of everything that annoys him.”
Lindyss let out a laugh and smoothed down her dress before she sat next to Grimmy with her knees in front of her chest. “Says the person who gave him that personality. I’m looking forward to it,” she said and smiled. “You don’t think he’ll do anything too drastic, right? I haven’t interacted with him enough to know how he’ll react.”
Grimmy grunted. “No clue,” Grimmy said and yawned, “but I’m sure Sera won’t let him hurt Vur if that’s what you’re worried about.”
“I hope you’re right,” Lindyss said and rested her back against Grimmy’s scales.
“Of course I’m right,” Grimmy said. “Remember that time where Vernon rolled over in his sleep and knocked over a mountain with the patriarch’s favorite fruits?”
“Oh. I guess that was a few thousand years too early for you, huh?” Grimmy asked and blinked. “Well, Sera stopped him from punishing Vernon too heavily. Of course, Vernon was never the same after that and gained a newfound respect for his wife.”
“Respect for the matriarch or fear of her father?” Lindyss asked as a skeleton handed her an apple. She bit into it and closed her eyes.
The ground shook as Grimmy thumped his tail against the ground and laughed. “Fear of Sera,” he said and grinned. “She convinced the patriarch not to punish Vernon, but found out that the plant she was raising for a few centuries was crushed by the mountain right before it could bear fruit. She whupped him good.”
Lindyss shuddered as a bead of sweat formed on her forehead. “And I fed her child to a miro,” she said. She paused and stared at her half-eaten fruit. “Wow. That was stupid.”
“Very,” Grimmy said with a smile. “But it’s alright. If you died, I would’ve reanimated your corpse for you.”
“Thanks,” Lindyss said and rolled her eyes. “I guess even death won’t let me escape from you, huh?”
“Nope. You’ll always be my little elf.”
Lindyss smacked one of his scales. “I’m telling your wife,” she said and paused. “Where’s she been anyway?”
Grimmy yawned. “She flew back to the eastern continent to visit her family.”
“Oh,” Lindyss said and nodded. “Didn’t you promise you’d take me there?”
“Yeah, but you were all, ‘oh, the sunlight burns and is going to kill me’ for the longest period of time,” Grimmy said and smiled.
“That was your fault, asshole,” Lindyss said and chucked the apple’s core at a nearby skeleton. “I’m all better now, no thanks to you.”
Grimmy laughed. “Alright, we’ll go after the patriarch wakes up. I haven’t seen Leila’s family in a long time; I should visit.”
Vur and Tafel sat on a towel with an ocean-side view in front of them. The sky, sea, and sand turned red as the sun began to set. A few humanoid fishmen stood on either side of the two, fanning them with giant leaves. Their scales were blue and a shark fin protruded from their backs. Their eyes bulged out of their heads and their mouths had rows of razor-sharp teeth.
“I wonder what’s on the other side of the ocean,” Tafel said as she squeezed Vur’s hand.
“Want to build a boat and find out?” Vur asked and raised an eyebrow. “We can.”
Tafel laughed. “No,” she said and rested her head on Vur’s shoulder. “It’d be much easier if a roc or dragon carried us over.” She sighed and closed her eyes. “Should we head back soon? We’ve traveled as far south as we can go.”
“We could go further if we build that boat,” Vur said and furrowed his brows.
“No. No boats,” Tafel said. “I get seasick. Tina had us travel across a lake in Fuselage by boat and I couldn’t even stand up.”
“A lake’s water is still though, isn’t it?”
“That’s the point. No boats.”
“Alright,” Vur said and sighed. A fishman flinched and offered him a glass of pink liquid from a platter in its hands. Vur waved his hand and the fishman retracted the cup. “I wish we could understand what they’re saying. At least the lizard people spoke some snaketongue.”
Tafel grunted in reply as she hugged his arm. “Before we go back…” she said. Her face turned slightly red and she whispered in his ear. Vur nodded and shooed away the nearby fishmen as Tafel laid down on the towel.
A few fishmen children stood hiding behind a tree peeking at the couple on the beach. “What are they doing?”
“I think they’re wrestling?”
“Weird creatures are weird.”
The sun set.