After Torga's departure

Reina turned on her heel and sedately walked back inside the castle. She gave a half-hearted smile to the servants she passed on the way in and rejoined her party-mates in the entrance hall. 

"Well... I feel like an absolute ass right now."

Donna quirked an amused brown at Reina's downtrodden expression and sighed.

Leon tore his gaze away from the rather short skirt a maid was wearing and looked at her. "Why? What happened?" His eyes widened for a fraction of a second and he furrowed his brows in anger. "Did he say something to you?"

"Well, I-"

"He did, didn't he?" He pushed past her and headed for the doors. "Oh, that's it! I'm gonna go have a talk with that son of a bit-" But a hand on his bicep stopped him cold and he turned to see an annoyed Donna staring at him.

"As entertaining as I'm sure that talk would be. Maybe you should let her finish speaking before you go assaulting anyone."

"Thank you, Donna." 

"Of course." She replied. By the time she turned to look at Reina, all traces of annoyance had vanished from her expression and only serene happiness remained.

"As I was saying before someone interrupted me." She shot Leon a glare. "I'm the one that owes him an apology." she sighed, "Look, I'll explain everything, but can we just get out of here for a while? All this gold is making me nauseous."


Donna grabbed Leon by the arm and began pulling him towards the door.

"C'mon, It's time for some girl time."

"What, hey!? But I'm a guy!"

"I'm aware. That's why you get to carry our bags for us."

"Bags!? What bags!?"

"Wait, we're going shopping?"

"Hmm... More like browsing, but yes. I needed to get some stuff for after we leave anyway. This way, we can kill two birds with one stone."

"Why can't you get one of the servants to help you?" Leon whined.

Donna stopped dragging him and lifted a brow in amusement; An act she'd been doing rather frequently lately.

"You're actually going to pass up the chance to see me and Reina in our underwear?"

Before she could even finish saying the word 'underwear', Leon had vanished from his spot and was standing over by the door.

"Hurry up! The store's not going to stay open all day, you know!"

"Well, at least he's honest about his intentions."

"Yeah... If only he were always so motivated." She sighed.

"C'mon, I thought you two wanted to go somewhere!?"

"Honestly? If he were normally this motivated... I probably would have shot him already."

"You're probably right." Donna laced her arm through Reina's and smiled down at her. "Now, c'mon. You can tell me all about your guy problems and I can pick out some new underwear."

"Right—Speaking of, you do realize I'm not letting him see me change, right?"

"Yes, I'm aware." She laughed and the two followed after a practically bouncing Leon.

 Later, at the cafe

The three of them sat on dark wooden stools, around a circular wooden table. Their—Meaning mostly Donna's, recent purchases sat in paper bags by their Leon's feet and little flaky pastries that tasted of apples and cinnamon sat in front of Donna and Reina. Leon was too busy looking shell-shocked to order anything. 

"Wait... So that was your husband?"

"For the third time, yes, that was my husband."

Leon just stared at her with the most confused expression she'd ever seen on him.

"But...That's your husband?"

"How many times do I need to say it? Yes, that was my husband, the man I married, and the father of my children."

"Well... That certainly explains the limp." Donna replied, slyly.

"Limp? Why, did he hurt her?"

"It probably hurt at first." She agreed. "But I doubt she minded too much."

"What are you talking abo-" His eyes widened in realization. "No... 'Saint' Reina got laid!?"

"Yep. And from the way she's been walking. I'd say it was quite the thorough lay."

Reina's face had turned a deep crimson color at the onset of this conversation. But now she was just getting annoyed. 

"Can we get off this topic, please?"

"Why? Didn't you 'get off' enough, last night?" Leon joked.

"Don't make me shoot you, Leon."

"Oh, come on! I've known you for eight years and you never once showed interest in anyone and now you suddenly spend the better part of a day getting your brains screwed out? Of course, I'm gonna bring it up!"

 "Well, it certainly does explain why she was never interested in you."

Leon's head whipped around and the hurt look on his face almost made Donna lose it.

"Why? What's he got that I don't?" he snarked.

"Want a list?" She snarked back.

"I really don't think this is-"

"Please, by all means!"

"He's tall."

"I'm tall!"

"He's incredibly hot."

Reina's eye twitched in annoyance.

"I'm hot!"

"And those muscles of his..." She sighed, dreamily.

Reina's annoyance became more pronounced and she glared at her friend.

"I have muscles!" He flexed his biceps to emphasize the point.

"And... He also has her for a wife."

Leon's face fell and Reina sighed in relief.

"Okay, you're right... That, I don't have."

 Donna just shook her head at him and turned to Reina.

"Why the secrecy, anyway? Was he against telling us?"

"That's right!" Leon agreed. "What's up with that?"

"No, he was going to tell you before I interrupted him."

"So... You didn't want to tell us?" 

"It's not that. I... I was just so mad at him—I wasn't thinking straight."

"Uh oh, trouble in paradise already?" Donna asked after taking a sip of coffee.

"Something like that."

Reina went on to explain everything that happened since her reunion with Torga. She explained his relationship with Ayla, the Asgarn Royalty, and how powerful she believed him to be. While she wasn't one-hundred percent sure, she was fairly confident that he was at least a tier six adventurer. 

This revelation was met with a look of disbelief from Leon and curiosity from Donna, but they both waited for her to finish speaking before they'd ask their questions.

Then, she got to the point of the whole conversation and explained Torga's actions as best she could. 

This got two very different reactions from her friends.

Leon became enraged. He openly cursed Torga for his infidelity and swore to help her get revenge on him.

Donna only grew more confused as Reina's explanation continued.

"I'm sorry. Maybe I missed something but... Why were you mad?" 

"Isn't it obvious? He cheated on her!"

"But... You were dead, right?"


"And he truly believed you to be dead, yes?"

"Yeah..." She sighed.

"Then... How is this his fault?"

"Look, I know I overreacted. It's just... When I was a kid, My dad was drafted into our countries army. He spent a little over nine years being deployed to the worst places imaginable and my mom waited for him... I guess, after all this time, I just assumed Torga was doing the same? That when— If I returned home, he would be waiting for me like he always was."

 "... That's idiotic."


 "No, Leon. Let her finish."

Leon looked like he wanted to complain, but he just slumped into his chair and stared angrily at the table.

"Thank you." Donna gave her a half-hearted smile. "You cannot compare your situation with your parents. No matter how much you may want to or how similar the situations are because... Well... You died and your dad did not. If your mother believed your dad was dead and she moved on, would you blame her for it?"

"No, I'd want her to move on."

"Then why is Torga any different from your mom?"

Reina sat back in her chair with a lost look in her eyes and sighed, "I don't know."

"I might be able to answer that."

They all looked towards the voice and saw Ayla standing nearby with a brown paper bag in her arms. As it was clearly full of vegetables and fruits, Reina guessed she must've been planning to cook a meal for someone.

 "Can you?"

Ayla shrugged and pulled an empty seat from a nearby table over to theirs, and took a seat.

"It could, in part, be because you're an elf." She began rummaging through her bag and pulled out a shiny red apple.  "Apple?" 

At their chorused 'no', she shrugged her shoulders and bit into it.

"What does my being an elf have to do with it?"

"Well— Elves tend to marry for life. Not only that, but we are very possessive of our partners."

"How 'possessive' are they?" Leon asked, curiously.

"I once saw Lena, who was the nicest woman outside of my grandmother I'd ever met, break a woman's nose because she flirted with Fenris."

"What!? Why!?"

Ayla shrugged, "Instinct, I suppose. It's just something you'll have to learn to control."

Reina slammed her forehead into the table and groaned. "Great... Now I've got this shit to deal with."

"Don't worry, Reina. If dad can learn to control his hunger, I'm sure you can learn to control your jealousy."


Ayla looked around at the blank expressions on their faces and nervously swallowed the bite of apple she'd been working on.

"He, uh... He hasn't told you yet?"

"Told. me. what?" Reina replied through clenched teeth.

"I just remembered that I have something incredibly important to do." 

Reina's arm shot out like lightning and grabbed Ayla's wrist before she could so much as stand up from the table.

"No~ You're going to tell me everything."

"That... might take a while."

"It's a good thing we elves live a very long time then, isn't it? Now. Speak."

Reina marched with purpose in her steps towards the entrance hall after hearing from one of the servants that Torga had returned with prince Lokir. 

She'd changed out of her casual clothes in favor of her black bodysuit, her hair hung in loose waves down her back, and her brows were furrowed in anger. She knew this was overkill since it wasn't a 'real' battle, but the suit gave her confidence, so she wore it.

After descending the final staircase and hearing Torga's voice on the other side of the door, she picked up the pace and practically sprinted at him as soon as she saw him.

She pushed over servants, Leon and the maid he was flirting with and used an end table as a springboard to launch herself at him.

He turned around in time to see a short silver missile barrel into his chest, climb up to his head, and plant the hungriest kiss he could imagine on his lips. She desperately clung to him and kissed him until her lungs burned... Then she pushed off and punched him as hard as she could in the chest.

Most of the servants flinched at the sound and even Leon looked a little green, but she ignored the loud *crack* that signaled her fingers breaking and instead, used that adrenaline to scream at him.

"You fucking idiot!" She swung at him again, but he gently caught her hand and held her in place.

"What are you doing?"

"What am I doing!? What the hell are you doing!? Challenging gods, fighting monsters, being reincarnated, and all that to what, protect me!?"


"Well, I didn't want your protection you stupid, ignorant, piece of crap!"

"What should I have done, then, huh? How was I to know you didn't want me around?" He asked in an oddly calm voice.

"Because it should've been pretty fucking obvious that I wanted you! And how am I going to have that, if you go out and get yourself killed!?"

Torga stared down at her in shocked silence for several seconds, then he cracked a small smile.

"Can you stop yelling now? You're making a scene."

"Don't tell me to stop yelling, Ken! I'll yell until I'm satisfied!"

"Fine, yell if it pleases you." 

 He scooped her up and threw her over his shoulder before she could react. And, to the surprise of Reina and those watching, he actually laughed. A genuine laugh that reached his eyes and sent a pleasant shiver down Reina's spine.

Oh, how she'd missed that sound...

 "Alright, moon-girl. Let's go."

"No!" She began thrashing around—trying to escape, but he gently held her in place and started walking for the stairs. "I'm not done yelling at you, yet!"

"I'd save that voice of yours for later, dear."

"This isn't funny, Ken! What the hell are you doing!?"

"Isn't it obvious? I'm going to stop your yelling and if making sure you're satisfied is the only way to do it... Well, that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make."

"Have fun~"  Donna called out as they passed her on the stairs.

"This isn't funny, Donna! Help me!"

Donna blinked at her in surprise, then grinned slyly at her.

"Why, Reina... I didn't know you were into threesomes?"

The thought of her and Torga in bed together drove another spike of jealousy through her mind, she sighed in annoyance and dropped her head.

"Why do I even bother with you people?"

Donna waved goodbye to the annoyed Reina and made her way to the bottom of the stairs.

"That was nice of you." Leon said as he stepped up to her. "It also must've been incredibly difficult to do." 

 "What was?"

"Helping Reina."

"Why would that be difficult? She's my friend. Of course, I'd help her."

"Yeah... But you want her too, don't you?"

Donna shrugged playfully, "Maybe... Or maybe I just wanted that threesome and this will help me get it."

Leon laughed at that. "You know, you could always join me and... What was her name again?" 

Donna just rolled her eyes at him and said, "Yeah~ I think I'll pass on that, Romeo."

"You sure? It'll be fun~"

"I'm good." She laughed. "You go have your fun. I think I'm going to go for a walk."

He gave a half shrugged in response and practically sprinted back to the maid he'd been talking to earlier.

Donna walked out the castle doors and looked up at the sun that was just beginning to set over the buildings of Asgarn. A wistful smile adorned her face as she whispered, "Perceptive little bastard when you want to be, aren't you Leon?"

As Donna headed into town to prepare for their departure the next day, Torga stepped into Reina's quarters with a now slightly less annoyed Reina in tow, and Leon was dragged into a broom closet by the maid.

None of them were aware of the adventure they would soon be apart of...

A note from Kenaren

Yep, I gave Reina something to overcome just like I gave Torga... Her's just so happened to be jealously instead of gluttony.

And Question of the day! What do you think of Donna and Leon? And which do you like the most/least?

Support "A Snake's Rise"

About the author


  • The insane snake handler


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