"Lavinia!" Radyss shouted across the square. Lavinia sighed heavily and halted, rolling her eyes.
"Aww, don't wait up for him!" Ichigo pouted, stamping her foot. "What if all of the monsters are gone by the time we get there?" she asked, glaring at Lavinia. The Elf chuckled at her small companion and patted her head, amused by Ichigo's impatience to hunt.
"Lavinia, is it true you're leaving Aden?" Radyss asked, his expression mournful.
"You are correct, sir." She responded lightly, tossing her hair over her shoulders.
"But why? You have so much going for you here!" Radyss exclaimed. "If you leave, I shan't talk again!" he said, putting a hand on her cheek. He suddenly yelped and withdrew it, a bleeding wound welling up on his finger. The rabbit-creature emerged from his hiding spot in Lavinia's pack, his ears pressed against his head, hissing at Radyss. "What in the world is that?" he exclaimed, holding his finger as if it were going to fall off.
"Sorry, but Oon is extremely jealous." Lavinia said in amusement, scratching the rabbit-dragon behind the ear. "Oh, and I hope people won't miss your eloquent speeches too much. Goodbye." She smiled sweetly at him and turned away, leaving him staring dumbfounded at her back.
"Is that thing really Mr. Big Man?" Ichigo asked as they approached the Gatekeeper. Lavinia glanced at the small beast, which had wrapped his reptilian tail around her neck to keep himself balanced as he snuggled down on her shoulder to sleep.
"I believe it is." Lavinia sighed, patting him on the head. He cooed happily, and Lavinia chuckled.
"Will he ever go back to being Mr. Big Man instead of Mr. Drabbit-thing?" Ichigo asked curiously, poking at his head with her finger. He opened one eye to look at her before shutting it again and covering his face with his paws.
"I don't know, Ichigo." Lavinia sighed sadly.
"OH! I forgot something!" Ichigo exclaimed. "Stay here, I'll be right back!" She shouted, dropping her pack at Lavinia's feet and dashing towards the Warehouse. Lavinia watched her retreat with a smile, happy to be by her bouncy friend once again.
Lavinia suddenly noticed the creature around her neck had disappeared, and she drew in a breath, her muscles tensing to turn and look for it just as a pair of muscular arms wrapped themselves around her shoulders protectively. Her heart began to thud at the familiarity of it and she squinted into the air, her expression a mixture of sadness and wistfulness. She raised a hand and placed it over the arm hesitantly, gasping lightly as she realized it were real. His skin was as hot as Paagrio's fingertips had been, and as she looked down she noticed it was tan instead of the green it had once been.
"It won't be long, please wait for me." Oonugh's voice whispered into her ear. She shut her eyes at the feel of it reverberating through his chest, which was pressed against her back. She nodded slightly, yearning to turn around and look at him coiling through her muscles. He released her slowly, her eyes snapping open as he withdrew.
"Oon…" she began, turning around to call him back. Nobody stood behind her, and the rabbit-creature chirped from the ground, calling her attention to it. Lavinia smiled sadly and reached down to pick him up, cuddling him as he rubbed against her face like a cat.
"I got it, are we ready?" Ichigo asked brightly, bouncing up to her with another travel pack over her shoulder. She frowned at the bittersweet expression Lavinia wore. "Whassa matter with you, does your tummy hurt?" she asked, tilting her head.
"No, I'm fine. I'm ready to go now." Lavinia said, clearing her throat as the rabbit-creature took up his spot around her neck again.
"Yay! Where shall we go?" Ichigo wondered aloud as she stood in front of the Gatekeeper. She put a finger to her chin and let out a thoughtful noise.
"Anywhere you want to go, Ichigo. I have all the time in the world." Lavinia smiled.