“Sh-should it be shaking like this…” I responded tearfully, clinging to my seat desperately.
“How do I know! You’re the one who came up with this idea!” Lilith responded over the screeching noise of the wind.
It turned out that airplanes require a lot more than just being a tube with wings. I tried to make it look like an airplane as much as I could. Unfortunately, I didn’t consider things like the cabin needed to be pressured, or even that things should be airtight. I mean, old planes used to be open all over, right? Although, those only went like 30 miles an hour. This was traveling over a hundred.
“I’m keeping close to the ground!” I could barely hear Angela’s words from over in the cockpit.
“Mia… are you okay…” I asked tearfully.
She looked the absolute most miserable. A perpetually nine-month pregnant woman was being jostled around in a rocket-like device. This really wasn’t safe for her in the slightest. I could see that now. She smiled weakly. After insisting on coming along, she wasn’t going to admit that she probably shouldn’t have come. I reached out and grabbed her arm, squeezing it tightly. I closed my eyes and prayed we make it back to Amaryllis in one piece.
We had already been flying for a few hours now. I didn’t really know how long the trip would be. For that, I’d need to know what speed we were going. I was desperately just trying to keep my seat, although I was pretty sure everything, I did was meaningless, since if my seat suddenly decided to break away from the center tube, there was no reason me holding on tighter would save my life. At the very least, holding on made me feel a little better. At that moment, there was a resounding boom and the airplane shook even more.
“What’s that? What’s happening?” Lilith screamed.
“It’s your spells!” I shot back something similar to what she had said to me.
“You… shut up!”
“Angela!” I ignored her and shouted more towards the front of the plane. “What’s going on?”
“We’re reaching the border of the country. We’re just being attacked!”
“Attacked!” My voice came out shrilly, “What are you talking about?”
“Well… did you submit our flight plan with any foreign countries?” She chuckled darkly.
“Submit?” I had to submit what now?
“I thought so… you have to have permission to cross into foreign countries. Not a problem with those with a weak air presence, but there are some countries that would rather shoot us down than let us pass!”
“Why am I only hearing about this now?”
“We’re flying an unregistered, prototype airship… I figured you understood this would be something I’d be flying under the radar. Isn’t that why you asked a pirate?”
Actually, I had asked the pirate because she was the only name I could think of, but apparently, she thought our travel was technically illegal. Technically, none of us had our papers, so reentering the country of Amaryllis, especially in a hurry, was never going to be done by the books anyway. That still left me extremely worried. Angela seemed to feel like I was glaring at her even though she didn’t look back.
“Don’t worry about it. This thing is moving too fast, there is no way they’d be able to hit it. Plus, it offers me a fair amount of maneuverability. I’m getting used to this thing now. I got this.”
This wasn’t anything like an airship, after all. The only way to attack an airplane was to be faster than it, and the one thing magic didn’t have towards my modern warfare was speed. Whether it was a fireball or some kind of canon, they wouldn’t be able to launch it at a speed needed to take us down. Even if they saw us coming, Angela could turn this thing and be seeing them on the horizon with a few minutes. In that way, this hunk of junk really was novel towards this world.
I was just starting to build up my confidence when a few moments later there was a large explosion. This one did cause me to fly off my seat, with only my seatbelt keeping me from serious injury. Mia screamed and held herself. Lilith cursed empathically.
“Ah… okay… Amaryllis is more formidable than I gave them credit for. We’re hit!” Angela chuckled flippantly.
“How are we doing?”
“Well… about the wing…”
“There is a problem with the wing?”
“Right… there isn’t one.”
“Wh-what?” I shot my head to the nearest view outside, and low and behold we were lacking a wing.
A piece of it was remaining, as was an emergency rune which was the only reason we hadn’t crashed already. That rune was using power quickly though and already looked like it’d give out any second.
“Do you want the good news or the bad news?” Angela asked flippantly.
“The bad news is more pressing!” I growled.
“Well, we’re crashing!”
“What’s the good news?” I responded incredulously.
“Well, we made it to Amaryllis.”
“You…” I shook my head, trying to focus on what was important. “Can you get us to the capitol. Can you land us near my mansion?”
“This thing glides like a beauty… I can get you that far, except the wing is a few seconds from going out.”
“Lilith…” I turned to the girl who looked almost upside down in her seat.
“You!” She shot back accusingly, “I blame you for all of this!”
“Shut up! Can you just pump magic into the wing to keep us gliding?”
“Grrr… magic this… magic that!” Lilith growled. “I’m not your little magician.”
“We might die without it.” I decided to aim at the melodramatic to cut through her complaining.
It seemed to work because she sighed and pressed her hand against the wall. A moment later, the flickering run strengthened. We were in Amaryllis now, and if my guess was right, we’d already left their military behind. All that was important was that we made it the rest of the way to the city. Another fifteen minutes went by, and Lilith started panting.
“Ai… just five more minutes!” Angela called out. “We can land in five minutes.”
“I can’t…” Lilith panted.
“D-damn it!” I cursed as the rune started to weaken and the ship started to tilt. “Keep it up.”
“It’s like… holding the entire plane… up by myself… you… bastard…” She growled, sweat dripping down her face. “I… I can’t… I need… m-mana…”
I shook my head in desperation as the airplane became more and more unsteady. We were so close. We were almost back. If I fell short, who knew how long it’d take me to get back to the city. That’s if we didn’t have a dangerous crash and kill ourselves. I glanced over at Mia, expecting to see the panic and worry on her face. Instead, she was looking back at me. She had a sense of peace and trust in her. Mia… trusted me to get us home. I let out a growl as a thought popped into my head. Grabbing Lilith, I planted my lips on her.
At the same time, I encountered my own magical veins against hers. I formed a circle against her circle, pumping mana into her and allowing the circle to keep going. She was completely correct. Now that magic was flowing freely, I could feel the pressure she was under to maintain the magic formation. It was intended as an emergency measure and never intended to keep the plane floating for fifteen minutes or longer. It used an absurd amount of mana. It was a testament to how powerful Lilith was that she had held on as long as she did.
It felt like a mountain was pushing down on my back. No, it was more accurate to say that it felt
“Mmmm! Mmmm… NoMmmm….” She tried to fight, but we needed to keep the mana flowing, so I bunkered down and kept her lips against mine.
Actually, now that I thought about it, did I really need to kiss her at all. Technically, I should be able to push my magical circuits against hers and share mana as long as we were close. The kissing part was simply something I had usually done when I practiced this. The fact that I was kissing Lilith was technically meaningless to the whole process. I pulled my lips away from Lilith’s slowly. A small stream of saliva connected them for a moment, and she seems slightly out of it.
Suddenly, she recovered, shooting me a glare. “You…”
“Clyburn! I-if you wanted to do that stuff… even though I’m pregnant, I can definitely satisfy you!” Mia declared, puffing out her cheeks angrily.
“Ah… about that…”
My mana drained to the point that if I wasn’t connected to her, I would have passed out. I instinctively drew back from the wing rune. Lilith seemed to give out at the same time as the rune sputtered out and disappeared a moment later. Before another word could be said, the plane tilted and started picking up speed.
“Damn,” I cursed. “We’re at the end of the line.”
As the cabin began to tilt and the sound of rushing air became more violent. I pulled myself into my seat and clicked the seatbelt back on. Turning to Mia, I grabbed a hold of her, hugging her tightly.
“We’re going to make it…” I muttered, partially for her and partially for myself.
“Of course…” She responded, putting her arm across mine.
Boom! Our plane struck something on the side, causing the cabin to jerk to the side. I heard the sound of trees and more things slapping into the outer hull. I had no clue where we were, but we were never that high, to begin with. Now that we were hitting the ground, I could see trees and branches everywhere. The farther we fell, the more the cabin jerked. We were skidding on the ground now, and hitting dozens of objects in the process.
Thud! We finally came to a stop with a massive jerk. I rubbed my neck, thinking I might have whiplash for the rest of my life. Well, in this world, healthcare was magical, and so I probably wouldn’t have chronic problems. That didn’t make the stop any more pleasant. All the runes that had been powered the plane seem to collapse in one final heap. The lights in the cabin went out, and we were suddenly plunged into darkness. The darkness wasn’t complete. I could still see light coming in through numerous cracks through the hull, some having been torn larger by the landing. However, the only things I was certain of were that we were on the ground and it was still daylight out.
Since I hadn’t seen the night, that meant we landed the same day as we set off. It was probably a record flight worthy of this world’s aerospace history, but it went completely unreported and was performed by a pirate with the help of a demon lord. Suffice it to say there would be no history of this flight recorded in any museum.
I waited for some time for the dust to settle before I finally removed myself from my restraints. I had already made sure Mia was okay. She had been in my arms the entire time and didn’t seem to be banged up much at all. Lilith had once again gotten tangled up in her restraints and was now grumbling as she tried to remove them. I could hear movement from upfront, so it sounded like Angela was alive as well. Rather than check on her, I turned the latch and opened the door leading outside. Taking a single step out, I immediately fell down to my knees. At the very least, I managed to keep my supper down.
The ground never felt so good, but standing on it was beyond me. I tried to keep my mind focused. The reason I had been so reckless was that I needed to get on that island. My goal had been to land on the island, but clearly that was impossible. The best I could hope for was being somewhere close to Amaryllis. The question was, how close was I? Also, it’d be a good idea to leave soon, as the crash probably caught the notice of authorities. I didn’t know how good the communication between the border and the city was, but they were bound to notice our descent and be on their way.
Mia had only just managed to follow me out when a hovercar suddenly stopped in front of us. Between my ringing ears from the crash and the relative quietness of the engine, I didn’t even notice them until they were on top of me. When the door opened, I couldn’t help but let out a shout.
“Clyburn!” Without a stop, two people leaped out of the car and came running in my direction.
I found myself falling back on to the ground painfully, but happily, as two women pushed me down to the floor. One of them I had to be especially careful with because she was sporting a pregnant belly of her own that didn’t look much better than Mia’s. The two girls were Madison and Hannah. Madison was pregnant and near the end of having her baby. Hannah wasn’t pregnant, but she was bigger in several more noticeable ways. She was growing out much like her mother, with a large chest and a nice butt. She had lost her baby fat and was starting to look like a sexy woman.
Both women were crying and kissing me. There were words being spoken, but most of them were completely unintelligible and they would pull away some distance for a second to make their voices clearer. When I finally could get my face free of them, I could see over there heads there were three other women waiting on me with tears in their eyes. They were Rose, Mako, and Aiko. All of the girls I had left behind nearly six months back were returned to me in a single heap.
“H-how?” I asked with a croak, feeling my throat seize up with emotion.
“My bond…” Mako said softly. “We could feel when you were getting near.”
Although she was smiling, her eyes were watery and she held a bit of a haunted look. The last six months must have been tough on her. We had the Lilith contract binding us together. Had I truly died, I might have taken her with me. I couldn’t imagine what she had been through, especially with all of my soul jumping.
“We would have thought you were dead! They told us you were dead! If Mako hadn’t been here…” Rose closed her eyes, a tear falling out, “We all cried… so much. What has been happening?”
“Exactly!” Suddenly I felt a punch on my shoulder.
“Only I can fake my death like that!” another punch.
Madison and Hannah had recovered from their hysterics and were now glaring at me with near-identical looks. The two girls couldn’t look more different, one with long blond hair and a slim body only thicker thanks to the addition of a baby, and the dark and curvaceous Hannah, who was a teenager freshly bloomed. However, they were obviously sisters simply by capacity to deliver that look. I couldn’t help but laugh, and then I reached up and kissed them both. They tried to maintain their angry facades, but they slipped quickly. It was Madison who broke down first, but even the usually stoic Hannah couldn’t last.
I stood up with my girls and gestured to the car. “We’re going to have company soon. It’d be best if we weren’t here at the time.”
I quickly gestured for everyone to get into the car. It was actually a bit crammed because all of the women had decided to come along.
“Make room for me!” A voice growled as Angela tried to push her way into the car.
“Oh… look, everyone, Angela survived!” I said flatly.
“Hey, what is that lack of energy about? Of course, I survived, and the airplane you promised me is tossed. You got a pretty car here, so I’m betting you have money. Until you get me an airship, we’re going to be staying real close.”
I didn’t like it, but of everything the girls brought, a guard wasn’t one of them. We made space in the crowded car for Angela and then abandoned the downed plane. Looking at the wreckage disappear from behind some trees, I began to wonder if this spot really was seen by the city. Angela flew very low and the crash occurred behind a hill. We were out in the countryside and there was no flame or smoke emanating from the structure. It’s not like gas was used in its construction. It ran on magic to get us all the way over here.
As it disappeared from sight, the main thought going through my head was absolute happiness that I was finally home and my life could return to normal. The last six months had sent me into a world I didn’t even want to be a part of. I had experienced things that would probably haunt me the remainder of my life. Although I still had a bit of ambition growing inside me. The knowledge from my world plus the knowledge of the Demon King meant I could really make some magical contraptions that might really help this world. However, for the moment, nothing seemed more preferable to just going home, wasting time with my girls, and perhaps making a few babies.
That was when I realized that all of the girls weren’t here. I frowned worriedly.
“Did Brooke make it back home? What about the other girls? Lyra? Charlie? Kemala?”
Rose was the one who leaned forward and spoke first. “Brooke made it back home. She brought Lyra with her, and there was the young girl. She’s been very quiet and hidden for the last few days. You should have seen the state Brooke was in. She was about to go back to the island and cause an international incident. If Mako hadn’t felt your soul grow distant but remain healthy, she might have. We still don’t know what’s going on, but Brooke and Lyra said something about you dying?”
“Yes, I… wait… young girl? Which young girl?” I realized there was an absence in what they said.
“Ah… that’s right… a foreign girl goes by the name of Kemala.”
“Kemala? What about Charlie? Is Charlie home?”
“I’m sorry, who is Charlie?”