Hearing the scream, Rhea who had been pretending to be asleep sent her vines towards the window. She had already sensed them, only that she did nothing, since there was no ill-intent.
The surge of vines akin to a wave rushed at the ghastly face, shattering the glass window, causing whoever was behind it to retreat.
“Rhea!” Iris ran over to her. There was a blush on her cheeks, clearly a little embarrassed.
“Let’s go.” Rhea climbed out of the bed. Then, without bothering to place on her shoes, she wrapped a hand around Iris’ waist and leapt out of the window, skipping past the shards that were on the floor. The shark had also gotten out of the tub and soundlessly followed the two.
When Iris was outside, she was finally able to have a clear view of whoever was targeting her.
The creature in the air was a harpy wearing a long purple pareo, with arms as feathery wings and feet for talons. Her hair was snow white, while her eyes were blood red. The shirt she wore was in rags, revealing patches of snow white skin underneath.
Iris became stunned.
Despite the changes, she was still able to recognize her friend. Only, she wasn’t completely sure. The harpy appeared prettier than the past, and her body appeared more seductive.
“Eh? You recognize me?” The harpy showed a look mixed with surprise and happiness.
Hearing her question, Iris nodded while feeling confused. Aelis didn’t seem to recognize her?
She became at a loss. What was she supposed to say?
“What are you going to do now?” In the end, she could only ask what she wanted to do.
“...” Aelis remained silent. She showed a look that appeared like she wanted to say something, yet was too awkward to bring out first.
“Do you want to follow us back?”
At her question Aelis’ eyes appeared to light up as she repeatedly nodded. She then descended from the sky and walked past the trio, including the shark that had swam out. It was as if she had never chased it before, and tried to make it her meal.
Rhea glanced at Iris.
“What….” For some reason, she felt a little guilty and lacking in confidence.
“Nothing.” Rhea sighed before taking her hand. Since the harpy recognized Iris, she would’ve driven her far away.
Right now, the only thing she could do was raise her guard.
Iris glanced at Rhea, and after seeing her look all stuffy, she hugged her arm and giggled.
A blush surfaced on Rhea’s cheeks. The soft feeling that pressed against her wiped the stormy clouds in her mind.
Iris was hers, and she would never let anyone come in between the two of them. Rhea felt something deep inside her awaken again, ever so slightly.
They didn’t stay in the house for long, as they started to make their way back to the city. Due to the increased size of the party, they could only travel back on foot.
“Why were you chasing the shark?” Feeling curious, Iris asked.
“It looked tasty.” Aelis happily responded. “Ah, since it’s your companion, I won’t eat it.”
Iris glanced at the shark. It had decided to follow them as well. Silently.
She inwardly felt amazed that the shark didn’t hold a grudge. When Iris was about to ask more, she felt Rhea tighten the grip on her hands.
“Hehe,” Iris laughed dryly and released Rhea’s hand before walking to her other side. She then resumed holding her hands.
“Tsk, why are you listening to her like-” Aelis forgot what she wanted to say. She placed her hands on her head.
“What’s wrong?” Iris glanced past Rhea in worry.
“Nothing, I just forgot a lot of things.”
“Oh…” Iris then kept silent. Probably what she wanted to say was like a dog. However, she wasn’t going to shoot herself in the foot by saying it.
As for whether she was like a dog or not, she completely didn’t mind. She even felt it a little exciting.
While humming a light tune, she hugged Rhea’s arm again. The group continued to travel until it was noon, where they took a break.
Iris took the chance to train with her electricity and throwing skills. Although she wanted to do a horse stance too, she felt a little embarrassed with the crowd. She also felt like she had forgotten something again.
She shook her head and stopped thinking about it. When she remembered, she would remember.
When she finished, the group then continued their journey until it started to turn dark.
“Where do you want to sleep?” Rhea asked Aelis while she took out the bed.
“Over there.” Aelis pointed towards one of the trees before flying over to it. While the shark simply rested on the floor.
Seeing that the two settled themselves, Iris and Rhea climbed onto the bed.
“Muu… what to do about that…” Iris took out the cup and started to sip on the remainder. She didn’t want others to see her suck on Rhea’s vines. It was their secret activity that not even her mom knew about.
“Ah,” Why did she need to drink the fluids? She coughed. “Nevermind, I’ll go find something else to eat. Rhea, do you know what fruits are edible?”
“I’ll do it when it's safe.” Seeing her uncomfortable look, Iris consoled her. “I also want some petting too.”
When Iris finished the drink, she was about to store it away, when she stopped. “Here.”
She filled the cup with her own water and passed it to Rhea.