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Simpleminded

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Shen sat among his brothers before the fire all patiently waiting for their meal to cook. The band chatted merrily with one another, recalling previous battles and sang tales of glory. They bragged about their skills, their strengths, their techniques. They smiled and laughed, playfully punching each other, firmly patting their shoulders- acting like a pack of rowdy children. Though they looked far from it. 

The slayer only watched, not involving himself in the revelry around him. He liked it better this way, seeing his brothers and sisters happy once again. After their home was razed to the ground, it had devastated the survivors. No one talked, no one smiled; they only sharpened their weapons in silence. Their anger was apparent; they wore their grief for all to see.

It was a trying time for Shen. Being deemed the new leader of the pack it was his responsibility to hold his brothers together, to inspire them and lead them forward. He was to help them move past that event and become stronger, as to never let it happen again in the future. It was difficult to do, but he managed. And now he looks upon his fractured family even more confident and determined than they were before.

Wrapped in his thoughts, he didn’t see the sister who approached them to finish preparing their meal. She held out a bowl to him, but he didn’t notice until she hit him on the head and scolded him for not paying attention. He bowed his head and apologized before taking the bowl, his brothers trying to mask their laughter at the sight. Shen only smiled. Their glee brought him happiness.

Many conversations continued throughout dinner, many topics being brought up and discussed. But one question caught him off guard; at first he wasn’t sure if his brother was even talking to him.

“So, how’s your boyfriend, Chief?”

When he felt the others stares piercing through him, Shen looked up in confusion. “Wait what?”

“You know, the dragon kin who’s been hanging around the camp lately?”

“He’s not my boyfriend, Ren.” He furrowed his brow, glaring at his brother.

A sister spoke up, a smirk on her face. “I don’t buy that for a second. I’ve seen the way he clings onto you and how he constantly asks you for favors.”

Shen scoffed. “That doesn’t make him my boyfriend, Kimi.”

“Pretty damn close to one, if you ask me!” She retorted, walking back to her seat.

Ren put an arm around Shen’s shoulders and laughed. “It’s okay Shen, we get it. You’ve always been close to the dragons, ever since you were a little tike, so we all expected you to fall in love with one.”

The slayer rolled his eyes, shrugging off his brother. “I’m not- it’s not like that.” Shen hissed.

Kimi gasped from across the campfire. “Don’t let him hear you say that or he’ll be devastated. He really likes you, Shen. You know what they say, break a dragons heart and be ready for hellfire.”

Shen stood up, putting down his bowl before stomping off. His siblings called out to him, begging him to come back, but he didn’t listen and continued on. They set up camp in the treeline off the coast, as they were heading to a port town and the quickest way there would be to follow the shore. He walked right up to the water, stopping before the tide could reach his boots. He glanced around, wishing to catch sight of anything to distract him from the conversation he just had.

But nothing came, so he stood there among the gentle waves, illuminated by the moonlight. He loved his family, but their pestering could be a bit much on him sometimes. He was known for his patience, but he had a hot temper, and it would show especially if they were about topics he rather wished to avoid. After calming his nerves for awhile, he thought it was about time to head back. 

However, a small rock was thrown his way; he heard it wizz past him and land in the wet sand. He looked over his shoulder, his heart stopping for a moment as he saw who it was. The topic of his family’s conversation, the mighty dragon king, stood a few feet behind him. The others piercing gray eyes staring at him expectantly. The slayer sighed before turning around fully, hands on his hips. “If that was just two inches more to the left, I think you could have hit me.”

The dragon crossed his arms. “I wasn’t aiming for you.” He snapped, closing the distance between them swiftly. 

“I get to live another day.” He huffed, a smile unknowingly forming on his face. “So what can I do for you, Princess?”

He saw the royal squint, brows furrowed, “I come and grace you with my presence and you have the nerve to disrespect me so? What an ungrateful human!” 

Shen rolled his eyes, sighing. “Oh, great dragon king of the eastern sea, what have you come to me, a feeble mortal, for?” 

“Don’t patronize me.” Talon snapped. 

“My sincerest apologies, your greatness.” Shen bowed, grinning. 

“You-!” 

But before the dragon king could do anything, Shen stood back up and started to walk down the shore. Talon stared in disbelief before following after him, huffing loudly as they walked side by side. 

“So what do you need, your highness?” Shen finally asked, glancing down to him. 

“I went to your encampment in search for you, but your merry band said you had stomped off towards the beach. And so here I am.”

“But why were you looking for me?” The other didn’t respond. Shen raised a brow, turning to fully look at the other, “Well?”

“…I just wished to spend time with you is all.” The king crossed his arms with a pout. “Is that so much to ask?”

The slayers eyes widened. Did he hear that right? He felt his heart skip a beat, his face heat up, his chest tighten- all such foreign feelings that he wasn’t sure if he liked or not. A faint blush spread onto his cheeks. “I- uh… Oh.”

“Oh?”  The other echoed after him, looking at him with a frown. A frown that Shen found really cute. “Is that really all you have to say?”

“Well I mean… That’s nice?” 

“Nice?” 

Shen coughed nervously. “Uh…” He struggled with what to say. “I mean, do you like spending time with me?”

“You are so dense!” The smaller shouted, punching his arm. “Of course I do! If I didn’t why would I even hang around you! You simpleminded and ignorant imbecile!” 

He blushed even more, thanking the gods that the dark kept it mostly hidden, before grabbing the others hands. “Okay! Okay! Calm down!” He begged, pulling the other closer. “I- uh… I like spending time with you too, okay?”

Talon huffed, allowing himself to be pulled in. “Good!” He stated, leaning in and wrapping his arms around the slayers waist. “You are incredible stupid sometimes, Shen.”

The chief smiled, hugging the other in return. “Oh thank you, you are so kind.”