'Sure,' Lone answered Sophie via telepathy. He figured it would be best to just ignore her spying on him while he slept. They were in a relationship after all so he thought he could forgive her for it, despite the obvious issues surrounding the topic. Lone did, however, understand that she was a reclusive girl who had been alone for the better part of 700 years, so it was clearly a bit understandable if she got a bit over infatuated with her first and maybe only love interest.
Shortly after he had given her permission, Sophie appeared standing next to the bed Lone was sitting on. She was wearing her original black gothic styled dress that Lone had bought for her. She was also dressed in a pair of similarly coloured stockings that went just up to her thighs.
"Where are your boots?" Lone asked. He had noticed that she wasn't wearing any boots. She generally wore knee-high ones that Lone created for her using leather as a form of practice as he didn't feel confident enough yet to create armour for himself.
"Ah, well, why would I wear them in the summon room? My feet would only get sweaty if I did, so I forgot to put them on when I left..." Sophie quietly said while she wormed her way onto Lone's lap. She had missed her fluffy friends very much.
"I guess that makes sense. You play with my tails; I'll meditate a bit then I'll just make a new pair for you," Lone said before he moved his tails to be within Sophie's reach. He then closed his eyes and started to control the flow of his breathing.
Lone quickly reached a state of zen more efficiently than he had ever done so before. He wondered why. Maybe it was due to his most recent change after his talk with Grimsley? He wasn't very sure, but he appreciated it. Lone could feel the surrounding mana flock towards him as if it were alive. It seemed excited, honoured even to become a part of his power. Sophie was forced to stop her pursuit of fluffiness because the dark blue tips of Lone's tails had started to glow and shine.
Sophie carefully got off from his lap to move slightly away from him. After she had done so, she noticed that not only his tails but his entire skeleton was glowing. She could see all of his bones shining with a bright blue shimmer under his skin, and she was entranced by the scene before her.
"So beautiful..." Sophie exclaimed in appreciation at the light show her eyes were being treated to.
'What is this? I feel so... powerful? How odd, this power doesn't feel like it belongs to me... can I harness it?' Lone thought before he attempted to do so. He tried calling out to it, to see if it would allow him to borrow its strength. It, or whatever owned it, had rejected him. He was saddened by this, but he understood. If he too held a power as firm like this one, he too would wish for no other being to control it. Lone was thankful that it was helping recharge his mana banks at the very least.
After ten or so minutes, Lone decided to break off his meditation since he only wanted to create a pair of boots. He had regenerated about 2000 MP which was far more than he thought he could given how little time he had actually spent in his state of zen.
"Eh? Why are you over there Sophie?" Lone asked her because he noticed that she was sitting on the chair that Grimsley had occupied earlier.
"You started to glow," Sophie stated while she got up and moved her way back to Lone's lap. "I didn't want to disturb you, so I quickly got off and just watched you. You were breathtaking. Did you know? Your bones started to shine pure blue! It was lovely," Sophie claimed as she began to rub her face against Lone's tails. She honestly did find the whole spectacle to be very attractive, especially when she used her mana sensing to see if he was in danger. It was like watching a million fireflies surround and enter Lone's entire being in a peaceful, almost submissive manner.
Lone rested his chin against Sophie's head before he began to think.
'Pure blue huh... the Divine Level Being? Maybe my sky traits? I wonder if my void traits have similar functions... hmm,' Lone seriously contemplated. He then absent-mindedly created a pair of boots for Sophie. They were pure black, like the rest of her outfit and were held together by a few white laces. Lone had always made her clothes black because that was the colour of her jumper and crystal that he had seen in her dimension.
'Sophie's dimension, huh? I wonder what I was like back then... I feel like I was incredibly immature, but now I feel like I'm incredibly emotional. I wonder if I've changed much, it seems like I'm just as irrational as I was before. Maybe my irrationality has changed in nature?' Lone seriously thought while he reviewed his previous actions and compared them to his recent ones.
"Hey, Soph," Lone called out to the owner of the head his chin was perched on. She stopped cuddling his tails for a second before continuing.
'Question time?' she thought to herself in that moment of pause. She then readied herself to answer whatever he wanted to ask her.
"I'm sorry for enslaving you. I was rash, and I really am sorry," Lone said in a tone that was several times more genuine than the last time he had apologised for it.
'Why is Lone apologising so suddenly? He should know I'm happy to be with him! Why does he feel like he needs to say sorry, this idiot!' Sophie thought in frustration. She was very satisfied with her current life. She had someone who cared for her and someone she cared for just as much, if not more, so she was upset that he deemed it necessary to apologise once more.
If anything, Sophie felt that she should be the one to say sorry for being so mad about the whole thing back when they were on the goblin-filled island. At the time, she was just upset at being thrown out of her false comfort zone, but later on, Sophie had realised that this change was exactly what she needed to be truly happy, even if she and Lone didn't share the relationship that they now do.
"Hmpf. I don't forgive you," she stated before she started to pout.
"W-What? why? I'm sincerely sorry yo-" Lone's frantic attempt at a recovery was interrupted by Sophie since she had jumped off of Lone's lap and turned around before lunging at his face and kissing him.
"I don't want an apology. You idiot. I'm happy you captured not just me, but my heart as well," Sophie whispered as she kissed him again. Lone was stunned for a few moments before he realised what he had done wrong.
'Ah... Grimsley was right... family, huh? I really was blind... '° Lone affirmed in his thoughts. He then hugged his hearts inhabitant warmly before he returned her kisses with his own light pecks.
"Thank you. I'm a pretty big idiot sometimes, so thank you. Thank you for keeping me on track and helping me deal with my emotions. I love you, Sophie," Lone said before he kissed Sophie's blushing face once more.
"But, we really need to get your transformation power back quickly. I'm getting pretty used to our relationship, and I'm feeling ready to move on. However, not with an eleven-year-old body," Lone said with a light laugh.
"Idiot..." Sophie replied meekly. She knew what he was suggesting, and it genuinely warmed her very core. Her most important priority now, besides pursuing fluffiness, was to regaining her power to advance in age by five years.
The two remained like that, surrounded by a pink atmosphere until the door to the bedroom suddenly opened. Shana had come in with her eyes glued to the floor. She had worked up her courage to tell Lone how thankful she was and to tell him about the strange feelings for him that she was experiencing.
She reconvinced herself of her choice, and her head suddenly shot up. Her face paled over, and she ran out of the room in a fit of sobs. She had seen Lone and Sophie experiencing their emotional bonding moment. She had had her suspicions considering how she was attached to him when Lone had entered the smithy three days ago, but that and this were two entirely different things. She was feeling heartbroken and crestfallen. Shana just wanted to hide in a hole and die. It should have been obvious that violated filth like her stood no chance, or so she thought in a burst of depression.
"Oh fuck. Well, the good mood's gone now. I may as well stop her from jumping off a cliff or something. The girl's been through enough. It's the least I can do for her consider she's Grim's niece," Lone said before he lifted Sophie off of him gently and he then got up. "I'll unsummon you for this, no point adding explosions to an already sinking ship," Lone said to which Sophie nodded. He then unsummoned her before he made his way out of the door and followed the sounds of small feet pitter-pattering their way through the building.
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- The Scottish Slothy Sloth
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