Preparations for the oncoming battle, that the group really doesn’t even have any proof of whether it will happen or not, continues. The only proof that they have of an oncoming battle is the fact that there is some sort of giant, fishy—literally—army underneath the sea standing by as if waiting for something.
Fortunately, when Fenrir was finally able to get in touch with King Cat, it was revealed that he had his own suspicions of such an event happening and was eager to listen to any and all information that Fenrir had to share.
Oleander and Tabitha were able to come up with defensive plans that would not only increase their chances of survival, but that would speed up the process of building their city.
Nell and everybody’s favorite serpent have been staying in touch to stay informed on the nearby not-everybody's-favourite serpent and the mysterious, waiting army.
Rao’s scouting of the mountains hasn’t resulted in anything, and everybody else’s training and gathering have been proceeding as planned.
Of course, despite the serious threat that they are facing and preparing for, that doesn’t mean that Fenrir’s girlfriends haven’t been taking the chance to mess with him and do lewd things to him whenever they can. Well, it’s mainly been Serra, of course, but Nell has had many fantasies inspired by this threat, and both Cassiel and Azalabulia have been needy in their own ways.
If there is one thing that Fenrir has learned recently, it is that having four girlfriends while also having other things to do is a lot of work. Or rather, it isn’t having four girlfriends in and of itself that has been difficult so much as it is giving all of them equal attention while also having serious matters to prepare for.
Having four girlfriends to give attention to without much of anything else to do? No problem. Having to prepare for a huge battle? Been there, done that. But both at once?
That is what makes Fenrir’s ears fall flat and causes his tail to not wag as much as it once did – well, in-game. He thought that he would be able to handle it with ease back when he was getting everybody hyped up for it, but now he’s realizing that it’s just not that easy anymore. Not only has it been a while since he’s done anything like this—both the fishing tournament and stealing The Shoebill were child’s play compared to what he is expecting—but he doesn’t know how to properly balance being a good leader and a good boyfriend.
Fortunately for him, he has girlfriends who have picked up on this already.
“I think that’s enough for now,” Fenrir says, taking deep breaths and wiping the sweat off of his forehead. “You really didn’t take it easy on me today.”
“No, you just weren’t giving it your all,” Cassiel says, sheathing her blade so that she can go and heal the cuts she left on her boyfriend.
“It sure felt like I was.”
“And you look like you were.”
“So then I was giving it my all.”
She places her hands against him to heal him. “You were giving it your all of what you had available, but you don’t have all of your energy available. Or… something like that. You get what I mean.”
“So, in other words, you knew that I wasn’t at full strength but still decided to cut me up in our sparring? And here I thought you were done being a violent tsundere,” he teases.
“I was taking it easy on you. I don’t even think I can improve at all if I have to keep holding back like this.”
“Oh no. You’re going to leave me for another sparring partner,” he says with dramatic flair.
“Don’t steal Nell’s drama. Besides, the only other people worth sparring with is Tabs. I’m not good at fighting casters like Aza and Olly, and Nell has been focusing on magic lately, and Aza… no way. You’re the only one suicidal enough to try and fight her.”
“I’d like to think of it as masochism rather than being suicidal.”
Cassiel stops healing his final cut, instead poking it with one of her fingers.
“Th-this kind of pain doesn’t count,” Fenrir groans out.
She sighs and stops, going back to healing him instead. “You’re stretching yourself too thin.”
“I guess that trying to stretch it to make it longer doesn’t actually work.”
“What are you talking about?”
Cassiel stops healing him again. “The rest of that can heal on its own. Now, are you going to be serious or not?”
It’s Fenrir’s turn to sigh now as he leans back and looks up at the sky. “I feel like I’m getting too old for this now that I’m trying it again. Is that normal? I’m only in my twenties.”
“If you spent your teenage years just gaming all the time without ever having to worry about anything or anybody else, then yeah. You’ve grown up and actually have girlfriends and more than two friends now.”
“Are you indirectly saying that I used to be a loser with no girlfriends and only a couple of friends?”
“I can directly say it if you want me to.”
“Fen, you don’t have to push yourself so hard.”
“So, you want me to push softer instead of rougher?”
“I’m being serious right now.”
“Alright, alright. I’m sorry, and I guess you’re right.”
“There’s no guessing about it. I am right. You don’t have to push yourself this hard. It’s just a game.”
“Come on, Cass Cass. You know that saying ‘it’s just a game’ never works on anybody who’s passionate about games.”
“Yeah, I used to feel the same way, but not anymore. It really is just a game. As long as I still have all of you in real life… it doesn’t matter,” she says, lightly blushing and looking away.
“I still want to take the game seriously, though.”
“Then relax on your boyfriend duties.”
“But that’s impossible. I’m not going to take a game more seriously than my girlfriends.”
“Then relax on your game duties. Stop trying to have it both ways.”
“But I want it both ways.”
“You’re making this difficult.”
“That’s one of my boyfriend duties: to make things difficult for you.”
“Then why don’t you just cut that duty out?”
“But it’s my favorite one.”
“Would you just – you’re so stubborn. Just takes things easier, you dumbie.”
Fenrir grabs her and pulls her in for a kiss.
While the surprise kiss might still make Cassiel blush, it doesn’t make her any less insistent on Fenrir taking it easier.
“You know what I need?” Fenrir asks.
“Wh-what?” Cassiel asks.