I am worried for my beloved.
During the battle in Wind Dragon Territory, I was a part of the ground forces attacking the damaged G-Meteo while my beloved traveled with the Maker, the Elf Leader Potimas, and the Demon Lord Ariel onto the G-Fleet mothership. I did not doubt her ability to survive with her being one of the strongest within the confines of the System, however, since her return, she has been more guarded with her thoughts than usual. Our travels with the Demon Lord and her cohort continue, my beloved has spent her time busying herself with strengthening her connection to the Puppet Taratects, refining her crafted bodies for them but I can feel it when she connects with me, she may not even know herself she is not hiding it as well as she thinks.
I’m fine Tenteki.
She responds while clambering over me. Her new human-half’s expression is blank but I sense her emotions churn like a storm just under her message.
Really, I am, I just…had some close calls. Now hold still, I need to refit my mobile home for the cold...Not like I can stay in the carriage.
She shuts down the conversation before I can inquire further, mentioning it would be time to repair her mobile shelter soon, I relent as although the Maker has given our group clearance with the Ice Dragons of the Mystic Mountains, our cold resistances leave much to be desired so such enforcement is ultimately necessary. However, it brings me no ease of confidence how it is a diversion from the topic at hand.
After she finishes, she flies off without a word. I know it as her signal to want to be alone, this may be her wish but it will only cause her further pain if she intends to keep bottling her emotions up, and I cannot stand to see my beloved in pain that can be avoided, so, I follow.
I find her near an outcrop overlooking the town the Demon Lord and Vampires last visited. Once I enter her detection radius she turns and her human half expresses what I can recognize as surprise, before shifting to one I can connect to familiar waves of emotion, annoyance.
Tenteki?! I thought I made it clear I didn’t want to talk right now!
I move to lie down next to her, she doesn’t make any moves to form a teleportation circle or fly away again so I know she’s only posturing.
You still seem bothered by what happened in the Wasteland, Kumoko, and I do not mean the physical fight.
She makes no moves to come closer, but also none to leave. She finally replies, bluntly.
Tenteki, it’s something that would make you hate me.
The idea that I would ever hate my beloved is appalling to me, and my displeasure is plainly sent in my next message.
Hate you? Kumoko, no force in this world would turn me against you.
Uuuugh, that’s exactly the point! You’re far too stubborn to take this well…
I know you find it endearing though.
That last comment seemed to have the intended effect on my beloved as anger bleeds out of her, replaced by stark confusion and…embarrassment. I let satisfaction filter through my next message.
I knew that would get your attention.
Tenteki. You can’t just drop something like that in the middle of-
She shifts her sickles to cover her lower face, while her paleness on her upper face would betray her and exacerbate the deep red flush.
Uuuuugh yes…I do very much…But you could stand to be less self-satisfyingly smug about it.
I will not as I successfully distracted my beloved, a rousing victory.
And what are you laughing for?
The joy of a victor, my beloved.
Her human half would pout and cross her arms, with her spider half performing an amusing recreation of the action.
And what victory would that be tenteki , I wasn’t aware we were competing right now.
The victory of occupying your mind if only for a few minutes. My beloved, it pains me to see you ache. I meant what I said Kumoko, no force within the system will turn me against you now, I-
I do not get a chance to continue as my beloved has cut me off again, human face bright red again.
Ok! Ok, I get it tenteki…Fine, I’ll tell you what…happened.
I start to share what happened to me inside the G-Fleet to Araba. The appearance of the phone and return of “dickish laughter supreme” evil god D herself.
Then everything went…dark. It felt kind of like evolution but I was still aware of myself? And then I felt a searing pain in my head, like a hot nail being driven in and…I realized that D was behind me. And without turning I realized that…D was me. Or, I was D?
I finish recounting the story and Araba’s reactions are about what I expected, reflexive disgust and massive amounts of indignity.
So I’m not even my own person…I’m just some…glorified body double while the real me dicks around back on Earth and makes my life miserable here.
Punctuating the message with a hoarse, dead laugh I’d push onward to try and stop Araba’s words of pity.
So I never was human in the first place! Ain’t that fucking hilarious! All this time, I’ve been trying to aim for a human life that was never mine to begin with…I’ve always been just a spider.
Just a spider is selling yourself a bit short my love.
Araba responds while pulling himself closer and nuzzling me, goddamnit I should never have told him I like when he does it…
You are so much more than a copy of that abominable administrator my love. And you are so much more than just a spider, more than just a human. You are everything I ascribed to your name when you first graced me to describe your being and more. You are greater than every being within this system through your own mastery of your skills, every part of you working in glorious harmony. You are not defined by however D first molded you, you have grown so much past that, and become your own being worthy of distinction and praise. Calling you a copy is a gross disservice and my desire to rip that contemptuous being apart has grown more than I ever thought possible.
I could have stopped him at any time…and with how I felt my human face burning I sure as hell wanted to. But, damn it all...He has a way with words. Embarrassing, embarrassing words.
You are glory, you are sharp intellect and boundless creativity, you are defiance and kindness. With time you will reach beyond all the stars in the sky and become greater than even the Administrators. This I know, because you are my beloved. You are Kumoko.
Aaaaaaaaahh, d-dammit…How was that cheesier than the naming ceremony? Have some pride Tenteki…
I do have pride. In being called yours my beloved.
I lightly beat Araba’s muzzle with my human hand, eliciting the dragon version of a chuckle. I clamber on top of his back and Araba knows this as the cue to leave. We turn away from the outcropping overlooking the border city as we make our way back to camp.
Yes, my beloved?
Merely stating the truth dear Kumoko.
Hah. Stubborn Dragon.
As I do recall, it is one of our best traits.