The next day, Fenrir left for the nearby forest with Rock by his side and Rod in his hand.
It was finally time for him to give Rod some more attention. Though, it was not the sort of attention that Rod had in mind. Afterall, Rod was a fishing rod first and foremost. Why was Fenrir not taking him to the ocean where he could be used to – well, be used to fish?
Rod did not understand the logic at all. He was, however, happy to know that Fenrir intended to train with him. Of course, it wasn’t like Rod had any way of telling him that. There was no guarantee that Rod would expression his appreciation even if he could talk. All he could do, and would do, was pulsate his light whenever Fenrir tried talking to him. That was enough to show his appreciation and all that Fenrir deserved after hardly using him for so long!
Did Fenrir even understand how Rod felt? Rod was an extremely rare and valuable tool! One that Fenrir had no right to get as early on as he did! And he has barely even been used for anything aside from the occasional battle and fishing trip! He doesn’t even get to partake in most of the fights since his partner wants to fight with his claws instead of a weapon most of the time!
Rod was so happy when it seemed like he was finally going to be used for fishing… and then that seductress who was all about darkness and explosions just had to go and corrupt Fenrir’s mind.
Some partner I have! He doesn’t appreciate me nearly as much as he should. Maybe I can find some nice, cute girl to take me away from him. Serra would be nice… but she’s his. I might be disappointed in him but I’m not going to steal from him. My partner doesn’t deserve that, thought Rod.
“I came out here with you two, but I don’t actually know what to do,” Fenrir said, looking around at his surroundings. “All I can think of is playing fetch with some sticks.”
Rock’s ears immediately perked up as her tail slowly wagged from side to side.
As for Rod…
I thought you said we were going to have some alone training time?! How is playing fetch with a pet rock more important than training with me?! Yeah, Rock might be a good girl and deserve to have fetch played with her, but don’t lie to me about why we’re coming out here in the first place!
“Something wrong, Rod?”
Wait, can he understand me? Can he finally hear me? Can he—
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen your gem flash so much. It’s starting to feel like I might have to press B to cancel your evolution.”
Not only can he not understand me, but he’s talking about things I don’t understand! What did I do to deserve this cruel fate? Why did my creator abandon me in some glorified pawn shop for hairy men who liked to spend too much time in the water? Why is my current partner the way that he is? All he does is spend time with his ladies. I can’t blame him for it, but there’s more to life than women! We could be fishing together! You could have me transform into a weapon and we could fight together! Wait, he hasn’t even learned how to transform me yet, has he?! All he knows how to do is shrink my size, and I don’t like my blank being shrunk!
“I just remembered something. Can’t you transform into other forms? I remember hearing that etaíros gems can turn into other forms once they’re close enough to their wielders, right?”
Is he on the right track? Will he finally realize that all he has to do is—
“But I guess we’re not that close yet.”
What kind of logic is that?! He hasn’t even tried! Don’t just give up on me like that, partner! At least try it! All you have to do is focus and think about it! We’ve been by each other’s side enough to have a strong bond! Sure, you might rarely ever use me, but we’re already in tune with each other! All you have to do is—
“I wish you came with an instruction manual.”
It’s not that difficult! It’s nowhere near that difficult! All you have to do is focus and think! Just try it before I steal Serra from you since I know she’ll at least appreciate my length! Ah… sorry, partner, I feel bad just for thinking that even if you can’t understand me. Besides, she never even looks at any other guy, only other women. I doubt she’d give a fishing rod like me the time of day. I wonder if there are any lady fishing rods out there… wait, is that even possible? Even if they’re a lady, they’d still have a long blank, which means…
“Your light is shining brighter now, too. Has something changed?”
You naïve – you foolish… you… you! Can’t you sense our bond just from touching me?! Wait, maybe that’s the problem. He doesn’t touch me enough. Alright! Partner! Hold me with a nice, firm grip! Grip me as tightly as you can! Grab my handle instead of just staring at my gem!
“Don’t you remember? You only have to pulse once for yes, twice for no. It’s confusing when you pulse that many times.”
Because I’m not trying to give you a yes or no answer! How do your girlfriends survive you? How does anybody survive you when you can’t even pick up on simple signs like this?!
“Hang on, there’s some dirt on you.”
Fenrir kept Rod held in one hand while wiping the dirt away with his other. Only, as soon as the tip of his fingers touched Rod’s gem, Fenrir felt a pulse of energy course through him.
“What? What… was that? Rod?”
Yes! That was me! Touch my gem more! It’s my most personal part – the part closest to being my real body! Touch me! Touch it! Touch the gem again and keep on touching it until you realize what I’m trying to say!
“You’re welcome. It’s not right for such a beautiful gem to be dirty – wait, you answered that you’re a man before. Should I call your gem handsome instead of beautiful?
That’s not at all what you need to be thinking about right now! Yes, I do prefer handsome, but that isn’t important!
“I’m not going to lie, Rod. You’ve gotten really bad at giving yes or no answers.”
It’s hopeless. I’m going to forever be stuck in this hardly-used form and—
“By the way, I was thinking about it. I would probably be worse off fighting with a weapon instead of my claws when my arms transform, but what if I can find some sort of weapon or supplement that would work alongside my claws? Something that I could transform you into once I figure out how?”
Partner… you’ve… you’ve been thinking about me? You’ve been thinking about how you can use me? I’m sorry for doubting you! Now I feel even more horrible for what I said about Serra! I swear that I was only jealous and that I would never actually do anything like that!
“But I have no idea what.”
At… at least you’re trying. That’s good enough!
“Well, I have one sort of vague idea. As silly as it might sound, I want to stick with the fishing theme. I mean, I’ve fought with you before as a fishing rod. That’s awesome. Can you imagine how pissed off people must get when they’re killed by a fishing rod? Speaking of imagining how people might react… they would probably think I look crazy right now. I’m just rambling to my fishing partner who can’t even talk back.”
I’m listening to everything you’re saying! I’m trying to talk back, partner! I’m right here!
“Anyways, the vague idea kind of plays on the line thing. Your line has helped me out before, but what if it could turn into… chains? I think it would look pretty awesome. Heavy, metal chains wrapped around my forearms that can help me defend and attack.”
That dark and explosive woman is rubbing off on you, isn’t she, partner?
“You know that’s like really edgy, right, onii-wan?” Saya chimed in.
“I feel like I’m being judged more than usual. But seriously, it would work. Chains to restrict my enemies to allow me to get up and close or prevent them from escaping, and they would make my arms more durable when it comes to blocking attacks with them. It doesn’t really fit with the whole fishing thing as much as I’d like it to, though. The only reason why I thought of it was because I imagined turning you into an anchor and chain that I could swing around. Anchors and chains are related to boats and boats are related to fishing… kind of.”
Not bad, partner. I understand what you’re going for. A chain and anchor… that sounds pretty nice, plus an anchor is big enough that holding it in your hands while they’re transformed shouldn’t be an issue. I’d be pretty big and heavy to swing around, but you’re strong! I have faith in you that you could handle it, partner!
“Maybe… instead of giant anchors like I originally thought, what if the chains are just tipped by small anchors? Anchors that, for example, aren’t really any bigger than my hands are right now. They’d still be able to deal some blunt damage, get used like whips, and could make wrapping around enemies easier. Plus it would fit the aesthetic better than just being chains. But… you’d need a cool name for when you’re transformed into that.”
You’re right, partner. A transformation needs a name worthy of its strength! I’m sure the explosion lady would agree, and maybe the serpent girl.
“A chain and anchor form… what about… Shoebill’s Hammer? I don’t know, that sounds pretty cheesy.”
I like it, partner! It fits!
“Yeah, it’s too cheesy. What about Shoebill’s Anchor? It’s still cheesy, but I think it fits well enough to overwrite how cheesy it is.”
That does work better, partner. I’m liking it.
“What do you think? Blink once if you like it, twice if you don’t.”
Rod’s gem pulsated a single time.
“Then I guess we’ll go with that if I can figure out how to actually transform you.”
Just focus on it!
“I don’t suppose that there’re any tips? What if I tell you to transform into a sword? Hey, Rod, transform into a sword.”
Even if that worked, I wouldn’t do it just because of how half-assed that sounded!
“Yeah, I didn’t think so. Shrinking you is easy. All I have to do is concentrate on it for a second.”
That’s all you have to do to turn me into a different form, you slobbering hound who can only think about his girlfriends’ tits! Just focus on me!
“But I tried that before to change your entire form and it didn’t work. There has to be a different way.”
Please, partner, you’re killing me here. I just want you to figure it out. It’s so simple! Just do it! Do it! I believe in you! Come on, do it!
“I wonder… maybe we just weren’t close enough before? The stronger our bond grows, the more you’re capable of, right? But… I barely do anything other than keep you on my hip and sometimes fish. I guess I haven’t been a good owner, Rod. Sorry about that.”
I appreciate how concerned you are but—
Rock dropped a stick on the ground in front of Fenrir, staring into his eyes.
“Sorry, girl. You probably think I’ve been talking to myself this whole time. Here, I’ll throw the—”
As soon as Fenrir leaned forward to grab the stick, Rock grabbed onto it and jumped away.
“I can’t play fetch with you if you don’t let me throw the stick.”
Rock stared into his eyes, her face the personification of “no take, only throw.” She both wanted him to throw the stick and did not want him to take the stick.
Such behavior was common among dogs. As sticks had always been seen as holy objects to all of dogkind, they were objects worth protecting but also objects to play with. How should one be chosen over the other? How can a dog both protect a stick and play with it at once? What if the humans who touched the sticks to throw them did not treat the sticks with the same care as the sharp, insides of their mouths? It was all very conflicting and a serious issue.
Partner! You were so close! Come on, you can do it! You can play with her later! Transform me first!
Fenrir reached out to grab the stick, causing Rock to take another jump away while clenching down on the stick in her mouth in protection of it.
The stick’s safety was paramount! Playing was also paramount!
“I’m gonna get it,” Fenrir teased, causing Rock’s tail to wag even faster! “I’m going to steal your stick!”
How could he?! How could her beloved owner threaten to steal her stick?! At the same time, he was perfect! He wanted to play with her which was everything that she could ever ask for!
Partner! Please! At least take me with you instead of leaving me on some dirt! Is this how much you care about me?! You brought me out here so that we could figure things out, but you’re just going to abandon me to play with her?! I know that she’s objectively the best dog that there is, but this is cruel! This is abuse against your partner!
Fenrir lunged forward, reaching out to steal the stick!
But he was too slow.
Rock jumped back, protecting her safe by biting down hard to keep it in her mouth! And… then it snapped in half.
The stick broke into two and fell out from the sides of her mouth.
Fenrir looked down at the sticks.
Rock looked down at the sticks.
Rod looked over at the sticks.
Rock looked back up at Fenrir.
“Do you know what this means, girl?” Fenrir asked.
Rock looked back down at the sticks.
Of course she knew what it meant! It meant – it meant…
It meant that there were now two sticks! The day just got even better!
Meanwhile, back at the growing town with everybody else, Nell could not help but to smile and hum as she sat along her girlfriends.
“You seem happier all of a sudden,” Cassiel said.
“I am! My hero was worried before, but I can feel that he is having plenty of fun at the moment,” Nell explained.
“I forgot you could feel what he feels.”
“And he feels what I feel!” Despair struck Nell’s face. “Wait, this could be horrible! Does – does this mean that when I feel submissive and wish for him to dominate me that he will also feel submissive? Does this mean that he gets as aroused by my fantasies as I do?”
“You – you can… y-you can feel what each other feels?” Azalabulia asked, the hands that were previously lifting a cup up to drink tea from now shaking and stalled in the air.
“Indeed, though it may pose a problem now that I have thought about it more.”
“Does… does – were you – w-were you here last night?”
“Ah, while you were on your date? I was!”
“Then… th-then you felt what he—”
“Exactly! I am glad to know that the two of you had such a pleasurable time together!”
“Hang on,” Cassiel cut in, “you’re… you’re telling us that you can feel every time he’s doing things with us?”
“Of course. I have been able to ever since he became my faithful champion!”
“Then… that time when we were in those ruins—”
Nell nodded with a smile.
Azalabulia lowered her eyes to stare into her tea. “Th-the forest… an-and the boat…”
Nell nodded again.
“In the tavern, on the boat, behind the houses, in the field and the forest, on the wagon, and in the water?” Serra asked.
Once more, Nell nodded with a smile. “Every time, my dearest Serra!”
While Cassiel and Azalabulia may have been flustered from the knowledge that Nell could feel every single time that they ever had sex with Fenrir, Serra, of course, found it hot.
“How much do you get to feel?” the munchkin pervert asked.
“Not as much as I would like to, unfortunately. All I can feel is that my hero is pleasured. I do not know the specifics of what happens.”
“Wait,” Cassiel cut back in, “then… does this mean whenever he’s alone… you – you could tell when he’s…”
“Naturally! Though, my hero may not do it as much as you would think. Perhaps once every other time we play, and it is usually after Serra teases him too much around others!” Nell lifted her hands to cover her mouth. “Ah, perhaps I should not be spilling his secrets.”
Serra went from looking borderline aroused at the conversation to nearly dead inside. “He… does it without us?”
“We-well, my dearest Serra, you must understand that it is often faster for a man to do such a thing alone! When you tease him around others, he needs a quick release to calm himself!”
“He can’t do it himself if we cut his hands off.”
A few seconds passed by before Nell, Cassiel, and Azalabulia all stared at Serra to think about what she just said.
“It’s cheating if he uses his hands instead of us,” Serra claimed.
Fenrir may have been in a relationship with four women but, obviously, using his own hands was cheating.
“He knows my hands are always ready…” Serra pouted.
The only thing worse than Serra’s claim was that the others saw sense in her logic.
Back in the forest, shivers ran up Fenrir’s spine as he paused his pursuit of Rock. “I think I’m in danger.”