Once Lavi returned with the good news of being accepted as Lake’s apprentice, I led her and Cami over to where Vala and Delphi were.
I realized something as we walked over there.
The more girls there were, the more names there were. The more names there were, the higher the chances of me forgetting their names or mixing them up.
I not only needed a strategy guide for dating, but I needed something that was going to help me remember everybody’s names.
The first thought that came to mind was drawing their heads on my arm with their names under them. That would probably be effective. However… it would also mean walking around with an arm covered in poor drawings of the girls. Just imagining my inability to draw them was enough to make me feel like I was insulting them.
Figuring out a solution to the potential problem would have to come later.
“Hey, wake up,” I said to the cuddling Delphi and Vala.
Delphi immediately opened her eyes and perked her ears up whereas Vala mumbled, “Nnnghaa… your princess is in another castle…”
“There’s no castle here.”
“Believe in the castle who believes in youuuuu…”
“I have a feeling that you’re mixing up references now.”
“That’s the way the cookie crumbles…”
“There are no crumbling cookies anywhere.”
“Cookie-chaaaannnn… where are youuuuuu…”
“Wait, don’t tell me that—”
You heard her. Now we have to create a Cookie-chan to go with Plot Hole-chan.
I knew it. “Just don’t make me click her. Please.”
Would you rather create paperclips instead?
“Don’t do it, Window. No Cookie-chan and no Paperclip-chan.”
ok but like i just had an idea
Ok so, Cookie-chan and Paperclip-chan. Both super hyper and cute… and they poke each other 24/7. They’d be locked in an eternal state of poking each other and, the more they get poked, the more powerful they become.
“If they get more powerful by pokes, they’d become gods in no time.”
Well, yeah. That’s how this kind of thing usually works. They’ll end up becoming as powerful as gods and then they’ll create their own cookieverses and paperclipverses.
“Vala, wake up and do something about this informational status window before she comes up with any more ideas.”
“If there’s a Cookie-chan,” Vala mumbled, still supposedly at least half asleep, “there needs to be a Grandma-chan…”
Since Delphi had gotten up to check her sisters, nuzzling against them and sniffing them, I had free access to Vala. That was why I grabbed her by her horns and lifted her up into the air.
“He-hey! My horns aren’t meant to be handlebars!” Vala whined, finally opening her eyes. “Un-unless…”
Her phrasing caused her to blush.
And then her phrasing caused me to blush.
We sort of just blushed in each other’s general direction after that as I kept holding her up in the air, our faces right in front of each other.
“Hey, Drake,” Vala said, her voice hushed and her cheeks still red.
“Yeah?” I replied, still just as flustered.
“I just woke up so I need a good morning kiss…”
“But it’s not morning.”
I had every intention of kissing her. Even if she hadn’t asked for one, I still would have tried going for one. However, this teasing was my way of getting payback for her giving Window the idea of Cookie-chan.
Vala wiggled around, hanging from her horns, trying to get closer to my lips with her own puckered lips. The closer she got, the farther away I moved her until she looked at me with teary eyes and grabby hands.
I wasn’t able to resist.
I pulled her closer and kissed her.
“Mwah… hehe. I win,” Vala said. “And are those new doggo waifus behind you?”
“Well, their bodies are new,” I answered.
“Ooh! Cami and Lavi?”
“Put me down, I need to cuddle them.”
“I think you’ve done enough cuddling today.”
Vala looked at me with unamused eyes. “There is no such thing as too much daily cuddling.”
I didn’t want to accidentally talk her into not cuddling with me later, so I decided to agree with her. “You’re right. Alright, I’ll set you down, but you can only spend a few minutes with them. It’s finally time for you know what, so I need you to deal with Window.”
That sounds suspicious. What are you going to do to me? Tie me up and toss me into the bottom of a river?!
“This isn’t an informational status witch hunt!”
I don’t have the plague, either!
“Do I look like I’m wearing a plague doctor mask?! Wait, how’d we even get from witches to the plague?! That transition made no sense!”
Witches made me think of witchdoctors which made me think of normal doctors which made me think of the plague.
“Do… do regular doctors normally make you think of the plague?”
That’s classified information.
“Then declassify it.”
Okay, for a price.
Tell me about why you want Window to “deal with me.”
“Don’t you mean Vala?”
Tell me about why you want Vala to “deal with me.”
“Was that your plan from the start? Get me into a banter with you, make some absurd transition, and then try to bribe me?”
Well… that’s… classified?
I turned away from Window since I was more interested in the noises that I heard coming from the girls.
Cami and Lavi were under attack. While Delphi hugged them together from behind, Vala hugged them together from the front. Since Lavi was taller than Vala, she had to make sure to turn her head away from Vala’s horns so that she wouldn’t get stabbed by them.
“Harems are the best!” Vala cheered while nuzzling her face against Cami’s.
While Lavi was being careful not to get stabbed, Cami just sort of stood there and accepted all of the hugging and nuzzling with an unchanging expression of subtle contentedness.
“O-oi, master, your horns,” Lavi said, tilting her head back some.
That was when Delphi nuzzled her head against Lavi’s from behind, pushing Lavi closer and closer to Vala’s horns until the tip of one was right in front of her uncovered eye.
Now, seeing as how Lavi was technically one of my girlfriends t hanks to her transformation, I was tempted to save her from potentially having her eye stabbed by a dragon’s horn. However, another part of me enjoyed the panicked sight of Lavi looking at the horn, looking at me, back at the horn, and so on.
“Ma-master,” Lavi finally whined to me.
These girls were too good at making me unable to resist.
“Vala, be careful. You’re about to stab her and I’m not cleaning up the blood,” I warned.
“Oh. Sorry,” Vala said. “I might have gotten a bit too excited.”
“Fufu, it’s alright, master. I would have been fine even if you stabbed me,” Lavi said.
I was going to call her out on the fact that she looked like she was about to cry before deciding to act all cool, but somebody else did that before I could.
“Lavi! Lying isn’t good!” Delphi scolded Lavi while wagging a finger at her.
Suddenly, Delphi somehow looked and sounded like… a mom.
“Bu-but – I – I’m serious!” Lavi said.
“What did I just tell you?” Delphi asked with her hands on her hips.
“It is my duty as your big sister to ensure that you are behaving properly!”
I had no idea where the Delphi from earlier was, but this definitely wasn’t her. This was a brand-new woman standing on front of me.
“Eugh… fi-fine. It… it might have hurt if I got stabbed,” Lavi finally caved in.
“Good girl. Now, was that so hard?” Delphi asked.
Apparently, it didn’t matter who was the one calling the girls “good girls.” Delphi saying that was enough to make Lavi’s tail wag… and it even made Cami’s tail wag.
And it made Delphi’s own tail wag.
“We’re going to be so comfy cuddling with all of them tonight,” Vala said.
“We’re… going to need to get a massive bed,” I sighed.
“It’ll be fine. Anyways, you want me to do the thing now?”
“Yeah, let’s finally do this.”
You guys are making me nervous. What are you going to do and why?
Vala smiled at Window and said, “Window, I want a hug. I never get to hug you.”
There’s no way that you would suddenly feel like hugging me without a secret goal after acting so suspicious.
“But… but I want a hug…”
I’m not buying it. Drake has done something to you to turn you against me. Something is clearly going on here and I don’t like it and I demand an explanation and—
Vala brought out the teary eyes and the grabby hands.
Window pressed her rectangular body against Vala’s torso within the next second.
“Got you!” Vala shouted, tightly wrapping her arms around Window.
I wasn’t able to see what Window was saying since Vala was in the way, but I could tell that Window was trying to send us a message with text on her body.
Unfortunately for her, it was too late.
Vala caught her and our mission was underway.
Next, Vala flew up, finally getting a good chance to stretch her wings, and soared away with Window.
“Oi, master… what just happened?” Lavi asked me.
“I know!” Delphi said with a raised hand. “I learned about this! This is what it’s called to give people alone time! It’s like when you walk away from a stew while it’s cooking! You leave it alone, come back, and then it’s ready!”
“I see. That makes sense.”
Why does a soup analogy make perfect sense to you, and what is with Delphi and soup?! I shouted internally.
“Can there be chocolate in the stew?” Cami asked, looking up at Delphi and tugging on her arm.
“No! Chocolate is bad! Don’t you know that dogs can’t sleep when they eat chocolate?” Delphi answered, back in her mom mode. Well, “older sister mode” would be more appropriate.
Also, I think the problem with chocolate is that she’d go to sleep and never wake up!
“But we’re not dogs,” Cami said.
“No is no and that’s final,” Delphi answered. “Isn’t it, master?”
“A-ah. Yeah…? I mean, Vala and Window can probably make it so that chocolate is perfectly healthy for all of you. I don’t really think that it’s a problem,” I answered.
Delphi pouted and leaned over, pointing one finger at me. “No is no! No chocolate! Chocolate is banned!”
“You really don’t like chocolate.”
((This series is only officially posted to: scribblehub.com, acearriande.com, patreon.com/acearriande, and royalroad.com. If you are reading this series on any other website, please send me an email at [email protected] I will not be able to continue posting my stories for free if my series continue being uploaded without my consent to other platforms. If you have paid money for this on Amazon, email me, file a report, and request a refund as it has been stolen and illegally published.))
“Because it keeps us awake! We can’t sleep if we’re too awake! If we’re too awake to sleep, we can’t cuddle and sleep together! Chocolate wants to ruin our relationship by stopping us from sleeping together! Don’t – d-don’t you see? I – I don’t want to lose you, master!”
She started off sounding all strict but caring… and ended up sounding like she was on the verge of tears.
“Alright, alright. No chocolate,” I answered. “We’ll all sleep together without any evil chocolate getting in the way and destroying our relationship.”
Delphi instantly perked up. “No chocolate, only soup!”
“Hey, Delphi… is there a reason why you’re so obsessed with sou—”
I remembered that we had something far more important to be taking care of instead of getting to the root of Delphi’s obsession.
“Scratch that,” I said. “Alright. A few days ago, I made Window upset with me. Now, I need all of you to help me with a secret plan. We’re going to make it up to Window and you three are the most important part of this.”
Delphi, Cami, and Lavi lit up and stood side-by-side, ready for orders.
“Think you have what it takes?” I asked them.
They nodded in perfect unison.
“Alright. Here’s the plan.”
I might not have had any magical powers myself, but I did live in a universe where Vala could temporarily grant me some powers so that I would need to do was snap my fingers to set the stage.
About thirty minutes later and everything was ready.
Such preparation in that short amount of time was supposed to be absolutely impossible, but what was supposed to be impossible didn’t matter. What did matter was that the stage was set, the chairs were ready in front of it, and Delphi, Cami, and Lavi were fully prepared.
Part of me felt a tiny bit guilty about how I was using them in my apology to Window… but I couldn’t think of a single better way to make it up to her. I already apologized, and it was a genuine apology, but it wasn’t enough.
This, however, would be enough.
Vala returned with a still-struggling Window, landing right in front of where I was sitting.
“Everything ready?” Vala asked.
I gave her a thumbs-up. “As ready as anything can be in this world.”
“So… we’re relying on insanity since nothing can really be ready here?”
“Your universe, your rules.”
“Hehehe, you’re finally gaming properly. Maybe you’ll get on my level someday.”
“And maybe I won’t kick your ass at karts someday.”
Vala furrowed her brows and pouted before releasing Window.
What – what is the meaning of this?! I mean, it’s not like I minded Vala hugging me against her chest for the last thirty minutes and I’d definitely be down for some more of that preferably sometime soon, but WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME? WHAT IS – WAIT, WHAT’S THIS STAGE?
“Fufufu,” I laughed with my arms crossed over my chest, taking inspiration from Lavi. “What you see is—”
Never laugh like that again. Only cute waifus get to make that sort of laugh.
Window was able to instantly make me feel stupid enough for attempting that laugh that I almost wanted to cancel her surprise.
“Sit down and don’t complain,” I said, patting the chair next to me.
I’m an informational status window. I hover, I don’t sit. Also, why would I want to sit next to you?
“Because all the other seats are taken.”
Window rotated her body to look around. Just as I said, all the other chairs in the couple of small rows that we had were occupied… by dogs, bees, and beavers. The dogs stood out the most since they had new, stylized headbands wrapped around the tops of their heads.
Window’s rectangular body began to shake. It was a subtle shake that probably anybody else would have missed, but I instantly spotted it.
H-hey… Drake… this is almost kind of like…
“Didn’t I tell you to sit down?” I asked.
After heavily sighing, I grabbed Window and pulled her down against me.
If she wasn’t going to sit then I was going to do what Vala did to her and hold her against me.
“You’re refusing to cooperate, so now you have to deal with this,” I explained.
I expected her to try and struggle… but she didn’t. She stayed still against me.
And while I wasn’t able to tell if she was saying anything, I could tell that her body changed to a darker shade.
“Nice,” Vala said, now standing on the stage looking down at us. “You ready?”
“Go for it, Miss Announcer,” I answered.
Vala nodded with a wide smile before raising her hand up into the air and snapping her fingers.
The sky turned dark in an instant. Next, light after light came to life to shine down on our amateur stage as the dogs sitting behind us howled in excitement.
“Yes, we cheated to get all of this stuff here, but I wanted to do this for you. If you’re upset about us cheating, you can delete all of this afterward and come up with some recipes to build an even better version of this or something,” I explained.
Window remained perfectly still aside from her subtle trembling… and what felt like nervous breathing.
As for Vala, she now stood atop the stage in a black tuxedo with a cane and a top hat. Her costume was completely wrong… but it would have to be good enough.
“Ladies and gentlemen!” Vala shouted. “Tonight, you… uh… wait, I only know how to introduce circuses…”
“Why is that something you even know?!” I shouted.
Window shook a bit more against me almost as if she was laughing.
Vala cleared her throat. “A-anyways! Let’s uh… just get right into the show! Ladies and gentlesirs, I present to you, Woof-Pop!”
Vala disappeared with a flash of smoke, instantly reappearing in the seat next to us where Window was supposed to be sitting.
Meanwhile, the curtains of the stage were pulled back all on their own as the music began to play. Rainbow lights danced across the stage and illuminated the surroundings, the dogs behind us were still howling, and most importantly…
Standing center on the stage were Delphi, Cami, and Lavi dressed up just like the idols from Window’s favorite game.