No, Nosderag did not need help carrying her backpack from class to class. But thank you, kind girl.
No, Nosderag did not need self-defence classes. But the offer was appreciated, other kind girl.
No, Nosderag did not need-
‘I’m fine!’ she shouted. ‘I’m an omler, not a toothpick!’
The girl flinched before getting out of her hair. Nosderag grimaced as guilt picked at her brain but she didn’t get enough time to apologise.
Once in her dorm room, she lied on her front and groaned into her pillow. Dalzonf patted her head while keeping her eyes on the book.
Nosderag swatted her hand away. ‘Not you too.’
‘Don’t worry about it,’ Nosderag spat. After a few sighs, she sat up. ‘Maybe we should make a new plan for getting Daliki back home.’
‘Are you actually going to try and follow the plan this time?’
Nosderag nodded. ‘I was thinking we could use your powers.’
‘What? Why the hell would I use my-’
‘To distract the guards.’
Dalzonf raised an eyebrow. ‘So, seduce them?’ She chuckled. ‘I’m glad you still find me hot, little dragon,’ she whispered as she leaned closer and mockingly ran her finger up Nosderag’s throat.
A miniature heatwave swept onto Nosderag’s cheeks. ‘You could be the ugliest person alive and you’d still be able to tolx someone into being attracted to you. Looks have nothing to do with it.’
‘True, true. But I’m not going to use my powers like that.’
‘Why not?’ Nosderag whined, grabbing her pillow and hugging it while sitting cross-legged. Dalzonf covered her lower face and looked away from the adorable sight. Underneath her hand, she was grinning like a cat owner when their feline friend purrs into their shoulder.
Following a cough and a forced frown, she replied, ‘I’m not that kind of person. I won’t manipulate people like that.’
‘You’re only going to keep them occupied. It’s not like you have to sleep with them. And besides, what good are your powers if you don’t use them? They might disappear if you stop tolxing.’
Dalzonf gave her a deadpan stare. ‘Yes, because that’s definitely how it works.’
‘Whatever. Anyway, you have to use them.’ Nosderag walked over to the table and picked up the cage. ‘For her.’
The combination of a cute girl and a cute animal shot an arrow through Dalzonf’s heart. She coughed again.
‘This plan better work.’
This night was noticeably warmer, including the wind. No shivers from Nosderag this time. Well, at least no shivers from the temperature.
Dalzonf put a comforting hand on Nosderag’s shoulder as the two crept towards the enclosure. The two stood close enough for Dalzonf to hear Nosderag’s rapid heartbeat.
Unfortunately, Dalzonf had to abandon her for a moment. She gave her one light squeeze on the shoulder before walking into the light of a nearby lamp on campus.
She shrouded her own face with pink mist to cover her identity before sending tendrils of the mist towards each guard. When the mist cleared, two of the guards grinned at her. The other held up his hands preparing to fight her.
Dalzonf swore under her breath. ‘There always has to be one not attracted to women, doesn’t there?’ she lamented as she conjured up a brighter pink mist. By the time she was able to use it on the third guard, she felt almost ready to collapse.
The guards all started walking to her while spouting romantic clichés.
Out the corner of her eye, she could see Nosderag sneak towards the enclosure. The sound of her stepping on and accidentally breaking a twig on the ground should have been quiet enough not to be noticeable. However, in the quiet of the night, the sound was deafening.
To make matters worse, Nosderag swore out of instinct. She covered her mouth and continued walking. The lovestruck guards didn’t seem to notice the sounds, yet a cold sweat ran down Dalzonf’s neck.
‘What are you doing?’ she yelled. As her little remaining energy got focused on shouting at Nosderag, her spell on the guards weakened. They turned around to hear what was going on.
Dalzonf released one last spurt of mist towards the guards’ heads before running to Nosderag, grabbing her hand and hightailing it out of there.
Nosderag, still holding the cage, hissed, ‘I was almost there! I could have done it!’
‘You stuffed up and almost got us caught.’
‘You stuffed up! You didn’t have to yell at me.’
Dalzonf let go of her hand and slowed down her walk. She said nothing but looked down at the ground and crossed her arms.
Nosderag scoffed a laugh but also said nothing. She returned her sight to the guards behind her, who were all wincing in pain with their hand on their chest. Her own chest twinged with guilt.
When she saw the ever-familiar elevator in the dormitory, she was overcome with dread. No way was she going to fall in love with Dalzonf again, even if that love only lasted a few minutes.
She began trekking up the stairs, leaving behind a confused Dalzonf. Her blood was too hot and her thoughts were too jumbled to care about how hard it was to walk up all these stairs. She hiked quickly enough to start accidentally swinging the cage.
Partway through, she heard a squawk from Daliki and decreased her speed. She held up the cage and gave Daliki some light pets. She smiled at this small creature who relied on her.
Once she was at her level, the sore tension in Nosderag’s legs surfaced. Still, she kept walking to her dorm room. As if mocking her with the status quo, like nothing had just happened, Dalzonf was sitting on her bed reading a book.
‘You’re here. Good. Now I can go to sleep.’
Nosderag’s harsh glare softened. ‘You were waiting for me?’
Dalzonf gulped and looked away. ‘Get ready for bed so I can sleep.’
After placing Daliki on the table, Nosderag did as she was told. Once the light was turned off, all she could hear was Dalzonf’s breaths.