I hope you enjoy!
Lazarus, Cliff and Sylphi were currently heading towards an Island while being lead by a small blue bird. The ocean waves were calm and although it was in the middle of the afternoon it wasn’t hot. Lazarus was tainting the ocean with a trail of crimson red as he continued to swim.
Lazarus had told Cliff to not say a word to Sylphi about what had happened, and that whatever he would say would be the ‘truth’ to what had happened in exchange for fulfilling his request.
He had already de-materialize his military shirt, as well as his hood since both were burned and now he was shirtless.
Cliff was leading and Sylphi was a bit behind him while Lazarus was a bit farther back. His movements were slow because of the burning sensation in his back that felt like it was still on fire, his face twisted in pain as they continued on.
Sylphi looked back and noticed Lazarus was slowing down a bit, she stopped and waited for him, her gaze downcast and her brows slightly furrowed. Cliff who was leading also noticed and stopped, while the bird landed on Cliff’s shoulder.
As Lazarus neared he noticed Sylphi just floating there, he then turned his head and he saw Cliff also waiting.
— I’m slowing them down.........
— Tsk..... the pain isn’t helping either
Lazarus felt something hot well up inside him from the excruciating pain from his back and from the frustration of being deadweight.
“ The island is a bit further away............. can you keep going? ” Sylphi’s voice was unexpectedly gentle as she gazed at Lazarus with concern.
Lazarus raised a brow as he glared at Sylphi “ That’s none of your concern ” although he had saved her, he knew that Sylphi wasn’t aware of it and that, he had to save her in order to increase his chances of survival, as well as fulfilling his stupid whim and nothing more.
“ Eh? ” Sylphi’s eyes widened but turned to a frown shortly after “ None.... of my concern? ” she continued to gaze at Lazarus, she then opened her mouth which made Lazarus raise a brow, but she held back knowing this wasn't the right time for arguements.
They both continued to silently gaze at one another but then a voice called out " Hey! something the matter, you guys? "
Sylphi shook her head and went ahead a few feet away but she still maintained a slow pace while constantly glancing at Lazarus to make sure he doesn’t fall too far behind. Although Lazarus was too focused on the pain to notice.
Cliff then began swimming forward when they were both near and continued following the bird. They continued for hours, and every now and then Sylphi and Cliff glanced at Lazarus to make sure he wasn’t falling behind.
Night came and they still continued on, Sylphi and Cliff were already using their mana as energy in order to move while Lazarus wound had already closed although there was still the burn marks, the pain had already subsided even if his back looked really terribly. It usually takes just a few more days for Scars on him to heal.
By the time day time came, the island could already be seen but it was as small as a grape from where they were, which meant that it was still far away.
Lazarus had already healed but was dead tired from the continious swimming, unlike Cliff and Sylphi who could use their mana as energy, Lazarus couldn’t. They stopped for a while to drink from one of Cliff’s leather water pouch, which they emptied.
“ I can see the island ! Just a little bit more! Let’s go! go! go!” Cliff grinned while seemingly unaffected by their long swimming journey. He then swam as fast as he could do the island.
“ Huff-huff ” Lazarus was panting heavily while Sylphi silently gazed at him.
— Just a little bit more........
They once again continued on, halfway through Lazarus stopped to take a breather and had decided not to say anything, as he could just follow later after a quick break, but it was clear that he was dead tired.
“ Huff-huff ” Lazarus continued to pant while gazing at his reflection in the water. Suddenly he felt something went behind him and an arm went around his neck, his eyes widened and he glanced at his forcefield which was already 100%.
“ ..... Let’s go ” a feminine voice echoed from behind him “ Just ... relax a bit ”
“ What are you doing? ” Lazarus furrowed his brows as he didn't notice Sylphi swimming behind him from the fatigue.
“ You have eyes don’t you? Can't you tell? ” Sylphi’s voice was slightly irritated but her voice was low “ I’m trying to help you..... can you let me?”
Lazarus still wasn’t convinced, they were floating in the water while both there bodies were near each other, just a little movement would already make them touch each other “ I was just taking a breather, I’m fine ”
Sylphi sighed and spoke “ You’re not fine and you're clearly exhausted ”
“ I’m not.....just.......a little.. ”
Sylphi frowned “ A little? I’ve been watching you for a while now and it’s obvious that your tired..... ”
Lazarus felt something was off when she wasn’t shouting anymore and this just confirms it, he had a slight hunch as to what might’ve caused her little change “ Look, if you’re worried about what happened back there, it was Cliff who dived down to save you. So you don’t have to feel guilty about helping me, now just leave me alone ”
"No......." Sylphi muttered in a low voice.
" What was that? " - Lazarus
" I said no.... " - Sylphi
" As I've sai- " Lazarus was cut short by her soft feminine voice.
“ So he dived down with that full body armor? And you were bleeding for no apparent reason? ” Sylphi’s voice was still gentle although it carried a slight tone of anger at his stubborness “ Don’t tell her what happened, and make sure that you go along with whatever I say, was it? ”
— I should've told Cliff when she was really far away, I thought at that distance she wouldn't... and I made sure to whisper......
" Let me help you even if it's just a little........ we can talk about this when we get to the island " - Sylphi
"........" Lazarus didn't like the thought of having to rely on her, no, he hated the thought of it but it didn't seem like she was going to give up and he was dead tired to even argue even further.
" Please? "
" Haaa-.... do what you want..."
Cliff continued swimming until he noticed that he got a bit too excited, he gazed back at them to see if he didn't get too far ahead.
" Huh? " He saw that Lazarus was getting towed by Sylphi, his eyes widened thinking that he was in danger " What happened !? Is he alright!?"
Sylphi just waved to him, and Lazarus also waved to him. Seeing as he was fine, Cliff heaved a sigh of relief and continued slowly so they could catch up.
Sylphi and Lazarus were both silent as they continued on. She placed his head over her shoulders to keep him from accidentally inhaling water, but the problem was, that her ample chest kept pressing on the back of his neck as she moved.
Lazarus remained quiet as he reminisced about his first day at the elementary school. He was too quiet and was usually isolated from class because he was too nervous, even though he knew that he was only interacting with NPC.
But a girl with lustrous silver hair and sapphire blue eyes kept glancing at him during class, she stood out among the class as she was very cute. Most of the other NPC approached her, when class ended, she stood up and aproached Lazarus.
“ Hello it’s nice to meet you, I’m Sena ” she smiled at Lazarus which made him nervous, as he gazed at her he noticed that the whole class was glaring at him.
— What should I do? Why did she approach me? Err..... damn... right! My name ! .... and why are they looking at me like that?
“ I-I’m Lazarus Hargrave.... I ” Lazarus felt more nervous as the people around him continued to glare.
“ You? ” Sena innocently tilted her head in confusion
“ I gotta go....... see yah! ” Lazarus ran outside the classroom since he couldn’t take the glare, he noticed a young boy in the swings, the boy kept on smiling even though he was alone. Lazarus got curious and went towards him.
The spiky haired boy noticed him and jumped from the swing towards Lazarus.
“ Woah! ” Lazarus stumbled since he thought they might hit each other “ that’s dangerous! ”
“ Heheheh, You’re the new guy right? Wanna be my friend? ” He reached out to Lazarus who had fallen, Lazarus took his hand and smiled “ My name is Smith! Also known as.... red ranger!! ”
Lazarus couldn’t help but smile as he remembered the first time he had met his two friends, although they were npc’s he still held them dear. But what he found strange was that why those two never followed a certain pattern like the other Npcs.
“ Hello? Are you there? ” he felt a soft hand tugg on his cheek.
“ Huh? ” Lazarus eyes widened as he was brought back to reality by a blue haired elven maiden, her sky blue eyes gazed at his, the droplets of water dripped from her wavy ocean blue hair to his cheeks.
“ We’re here.. ”
Lazarus then felt sands on the palm of his hand as he rested his head on her soft lap. As he realised the situation, he slowly stood up and gazed around. They had already arrived on the island and Sylphi was currently in the shallow water sitting down.
Lazarus then knew that he might’ve dozed off a bit and that Sylphi had dragged him towards the island. He inwardly made sigh of relief knowing that they had arrived after that very long. Even if she was the one who insisted on it, he still had to show his gratitude.
Lazarus inhaled and gazed at Sylphi “ Than- ” but was cut short by her feminine voice.
“ Thank you for fulfilling my selfish request ” she gave him a light smile and stood up “ Clifford is waiting for us, let’s go ”
She then left and Lazarus followed while furrowing his brows as he was unsure as to what the hell just happened.
The island they had arrived in wasn’t big, it was just the size of a town and had many trees. Though they resembled coconut trees, they had blue leaves and didn’t have any fruits. Other small plants were just weeds and grasses.
They continued until they saw Cliff who was just a few meters away resting with a big grin on his face.
“ What took you two so long? ” He had his armor and weapon placed on the floor to dry, he was wearing a simple browish shirt, with a simple leather pants. Without his armor, his big build was clearly visible.
Lazarus was still contemplating what had just happened, but for now he shrugged the thought and assessed the situation. The sun was slowly starting to set as it emitted a dim orange glow on the horizon.
“ Bro, let’s rest first, we can worry about food and water tommorow ” Cliff gave Lazarus a thumbs up which wasn’t really called for in this situation.
“ That’s right ” Sylphi nodded in agreement as she too was tired.
“ All right ” Although Lazarus agreed, he was thinking of ways to secure water as they had already exhausted Cliff’s supply.
His eyes wondered towards his armor, he kept gazing at its shape.
— That shape.....
— that's perfect!
Lazarus then grinned inwardly as he had found the solution. He then sat down together with them and decided to wait for them to fall asleep.
But then he felt as if someone was eyeing him, he then glanced at Cliff who was lying down, but then he was only looking at the sky, he turned his eyes towards Sylphi.
Their eyes met for a few seconds before Sylphi then averted her gaze and lied down with her back facing towards him.
— I need to straighten things up tommorow.....
— But before that
— I'll need to get some fresh water..... and I know just the way to get it.