Humans don't Fly
So basically, she didn't see Rood as a man but more as a kid.
Being dwarfed by his taller than him associates, he looked like midget in comparison.
"The kid is cute so he passes."
Cute? Now some lake guardian was calling him cute.
"He'll definitely be a bishounen in a few more years~"
Just very thought made the Lake Guardian drool. Kind of ruins her pretty face.
Hearing this just made Rood more depressed. He lost what little motivation he had left. He no longer felt like getting the Lilium Lotus anymore.
"I'm begging you, Rood! You're my only savior!" Dio tightly clings onto Rood's jacket covering with his tears.
Pressured by Dio's pleading, Rood had no choice but to go. He'd probably regret it if he didn't do something to help out Dio.
Rood makes his way to the lily pads floating on the lake. According the Lake Guardian, the lily pads here were very durable capable of floating on the lake even if 500 pounds of weight were placed on them.
"It's too dangerous for a small child to handle! Let me go!" Lapis insisted. There was no way Lapis would allow a weak bodied child to go by himself.
But of course, no one really cared about his opinion.
"Stay out of this, useless plain man." The Lake Guardian harshly said to Lapis switching back to her man hating side. "Just because you got some decent looks doesn't mean I'm letting ya through."
"All you men are the same! You play around with women and then throw them away whenever you feel like it!" The Lake Guardian bites into her handkerchief as she childishly complains.
"You especially! I'm never letting you through!"
The Lake Guardian points at Lapis.
"That's right! Playboys like you should just die!"
"What have I ever done to deserve such treatment?!"
Lapis didn't get why she was acting so spiteful towards him.
"Hmph!" The Lake Guardian turns her back at Lapis pouting like a child.
Out of nowhere, a rectangular piece of paper falls from the Lake Guardian when she turned.
Curious, Linus picks up the piece of paper which turned out to be a photo.
And not just any photo, it was a picture of the Lake Guardian with a man.
"This is?!" Linus gasps. "I see..."
"What's wrong?" Lapis asked Linus.
"It seems that the reason why she's so hostile towards Lapis is because he resembles her ex-boyfriend." Linus concluded after seeing the photo acting like a detective from those mystery novels.
If that was true, then that would explain the Lake Guardian's hostility towards him.
"See the truth for yourself!" Linus shows them the picture.
This was beyond what they imagined.
They were truly stunned beyond words. Well... All of them except for Shicmuon who didn't care about the love problems of some woman he hardly knew.
Lidusis was stunned to see the photo.
Dio had his mouth hanging open.
And Lapis's shoulders were trembling as he looked down at the ground with his bangs covering his eyes.
"I'm not surprised by reactions. I too was—"
"Are you an idiot?!" Lapis chops Linus in the head.
"What was that for, Lapis?" Linus rubs the small lump in his head. "That hurt..."
"Exactly which part of this resembles me?!" Lapis holds up the photo and points to at the muscular blond man with big doe eyes in the picture. Those eyes were not for muscular men like him especially ones with mustaches. "You need to see an optometrist, you idiot?!"
"Don't 'eh' me. Did you seriously think that this thing looks even remotely close to me?!" A large red vein appears on Lapis's head. Never had he been insulted like this before.
"But he's blond like you. And... And his eyelids are like your's... And the shape of his ears too..."
"What's with that vague description?! You making fun of me again?!"
"And he has that same air of hopelessness as you..."
While Lapis and Linus were having their usual conversation, Rood went ahead and started making his way to the fountain. Rood didn't get how Lapis and Linus's strange friendship worked. He knew it was normal for friends say a few things here and there for fun, but somehow every time he hears one of their conversations it at one point Linus will always say something insulting towards Lapis.
Jumping from lily pad to lily pad, Rood gets to the fountain in no time.
All that's left is to get the flower at the top. Rood leans in closer to the middle. His hand reaches for the Lilium Lotus however stops just a few inches short. He stretches his arm a bit but still no luck. Then he tries to reach a bit further by tip toeing, but the results were the same.
Why is that no matter how many times he tries to reach for the blue flower he can't even as much as touch it?
"Pffft!" Unable to contain it any longer, Dio accidentally lets out a laugh still trying to stifle his laughter.
Rood makes a mental note to kill Dio after he gets the flower.
Apparently, Dio wasn't the only one who found Rood's situation funny.
Shicmuon smirked at the sight of Rood's helplessness due to the latter's short structure. He found it to be rather amusing. He really was glad that he didn't go.
Lidusis let out a bit of a forced chuckle feeling sorry for Rood.
Lapis cried as he wanted to help the poor child but couldn't. What a pitiful child. If only he could go... Unfortunately, the Lake Guardian won't let him pass.
Linus earnestly watches his idol try to get the flower but no luck. He didn't know why, but he found the sight of the usually capable Rood struggling so hard to be quite enticing. More so than his usual diligent and capable self. He liked seeing his idol do incredible feats, but somehow he felt his heart racing seeing the new fresh expression on Rood's face.
"I like Rood-nim's older form, but this is better~"
This caught the Lake Guardian's attention.
"Yeah, his current form is super cute and huggable, but his other form is really handsome. There's no one who can't best him."
"Is he really that handsome?!" The Lake Guardian whispers to Linus as they speak privately away from the others.
"He is." Linus confirmed. "Here's a picture."
Linus shows the Lake Guardian a picture of Rood in Blow form.
The Lake Guardian is mercerized by Blow's looks.
She then turns around.
"Thinking about it, it doesn't matter if one or two flowers go missing." The Lake Guardian told them with a straight face despite the excess nosebleed from her nostrils.
Although they still weren't allowed in her lake other than Rood and Shicmuon, the Lake Guardian used her magic and plucked one of the Lilium Lotus from the fountain with the water giving it to Rood.
It was good that he got the flower for Dio, but it felt like he lost something in return. Somehow, it feels kind of wrong how it ended like that. Rood wasn't sure, but it was slightly scary how the Lake Guardian told Rood to come back when he was older.
Fulfilling his goal, Rood gave the blue flower to Dio. However he soon regretted his actions.
For one thing, Dio wouldn't stop acting like a buffoon but that was nothing new.
"I'm finally free of this curse! Yahoo!" Dio loudly cheered.
The problem was that he was being too noisy and touchy for Rood's comfort.
"This is heaven!"
If only he could sew Dio's mouth shut.
"All thanks to my best buddy!" Dio tackled Rood in affection.
But for some reason, he felt something missing.
He knew he felt Rood a moment ago, but now he wasn't there.
Getting a closer look, Dio sees a small ledge over the bush.
It couldn't be...
Hesitantly, Dio peers over the bushes to see a very deep ledge at least 100 meters off the ground.
"Gyyyaaaa!"Lapis screamed as all the color drains from his face. "What are you doing, you idiot!"
Lapis grabs Dio by his collar and starts shaking him nonstop.
"Do you realize what you just did?!"
"I'm sorry. I didn't know there was a cliff down there." Dio sobs worried that he might have accidentally killed his best friend.
On the bright side, at least, he got rid of his rival, but now was not the time for that.
"Who cares about that?! What are we going to do?!" Lapis ruffles his hair in distress.
How could he allow such a thing to happen to Rood!
"No time! We've got to save that poor child right away!" Lapis declares but notices Linus squatting down staring over the ledge.
He sure showed a strange time to act weird.
Another thing, Lapis noticed was that there was one more person missing.
"Where did that Hereis go?" Lapis didn't see Shicmuon anywhere.
"Oh, Baldwin jumped down while you were talking."
What?! Of all the things, that was the most incredulous thing he's ever heard.
Shicmuon jumped down from the ledge after Rood?
Was that guy suicidal?!
Down below the ledge, Rood coughs out the water that got in his mouth out. He was fortunate to have landed in a river. Otherwise, he would have been hurt real badly. Normally, he would have used magic to help cushion the landing. But Lapis up there, he couldn't take the chance of Lapis seeing him use magic happen.
More importantly, there was one more matter he had to take care of.
"I'll skin that **** next time I see him."
Rood wasn't going to forget this.
Dio is in for hell next time they meet.
Under him, he felt the ground to be kind of soft. Rocks shouldn't be like that. An octopus? No wait, this was much harder than an octopus. Kind of boney too. A big fish? Rood looks down to see what was it that he landed on. Rood was horrified to see a human body under him. Without a moment's delay, Rood rushes to get the unconscious boy who looked around the same age as him out of the water.
Fortunately as Rood was about to drag him, the pale blue haired boy managed to regain consciousness in no time.
"Who are you?" The boy innocently asked.
"Is that really the first thing you should be asking right now?" Rood retorted in a slightly exasperated tone.
The boy notices that his clothes were completely drenched just like Rood's.
The boy looks around to see that he was in the middle of a river.
"What am I doing in a river?"
"How am I supposed to know..."
He hypothesized that it was likely the fall must have affected his memory. Can't blame him though. Rood did land on him from a height of at least 100 meters. Surprisingly, the boy's body was quite durable for him to withstand that. Didn't look a bit hurt. Not even a scratch.
"You..." The pale blue haired boy stares at Rood. "You look familiar..."
"Really..." This was bad. He was starting to remember.
"I remember!" The boy lightly taps his fist in his hand as he realized who Rood was. "You're one of those legendary flying naked people!"
Forget about memory, Rood thinks he might have affected entire brain.
"You're right. You're not naked."
"Is that really the part you should be bothered with?"
"You're one of legendary flying pigs I've heard about!" The boy's eyes twinkle with anticipation.
Exactly what part of Rood looked like a pig.
"So you're just a flying human..." Slightly disappointed, the boy said with a straight face.
"Humans don't fly." Rood deadpanned.
"Then how did you get here?"
For the blue eyed boy's question, Rood points up at the ledge where just fell off from.
Staring at the pale blue haired boy concluded only one thing.
"Why would you want to commit suicide?"
"I didn't jump?! Some idiot pushed me by accident?!"
Anyone with common sense would figured that part out at least. More so than intelligence, it seems that the boy lacked in the common sense department.
"Ah!" The boy now realizes how Rood got there. "You're that weirdo who jumped down from there out of nowhere and landed on me!"
"Like I said, I didn't jump?!"
Rood swears that this guy's head was as thick as a rock.
"You must be cold..."
Huh? What did he just say to Rood?
"Arête told me people catch colds if they stay in wet clothes too long. I have extra clothes. You can use them."
Seeing the boy's point, Rood hesitantly accepts his kind offer. Although he lacked common sense, he sure was nice to lend his clothes to Rood despite the fact that it was Rood's fault that he got soaked too and the fact that Rood accidentally used him as a landing pad.
"It's fine. I'm La—"
Midway of his sentence, out of nowhere, Shicmuon comes crashing down on 'La—.'
Unlike how Rood got completely wet, only slightly up to Shicmuon's ankles were wet.
"Don't think of running again, Blackie." Shicmuon smirks at Rood since he found his prey.
Dumbfounded, Rood stared at Shicmuon. Not sure if Shicmuon noticed the innocent bystander under Shicmuon, Rood points to where Shicmuon is stand on. Shicmuon looks down to see what Rood was pointing only to see a young boy under him.
Shortly afterwards, Rood managed to dry himself off with the towel he received from the pale blue haired boy. Rood left his wet clothes to dry on one of the tree branches. Nestled in front of the camp fire, Rood wrapped himself with the towel. Next to him was Shicmuon.
"To meet not only one but two humans falling from the sky. You two are weird people to jump down into a ravine." The pale blue haired boy who had already changed said. Still a bit wet, his hair had two hair tips sticks at the side of his head.
"Can you not put me on the same level as this crazy fool..." Rood points to Shicmuon.
"This must what you call friendship, right?"
Did he just utter that word in connection between him and Shicmuon?
The very thought nearly put Rood at death's doors as he could feel the weight of the word in stone fall down on his head crushing him.
How could he say such a horrifying thing?
Rood wasn't the only one shocked by the news as Shicmuon froze at the mention of him being friends with Rood. Hunter and prey, yes. But friends? The very thought was very shocking. So much that Shicmuon didn't know how to react or rather couldn't react as it was too much for him to process.
"You two are really good friends to—"
"Please stop... Just stop..." Rood pleaded almost ready to hurl. His face drastically lost so much color that he looked like the chronically ill child he was supposed to be. He didn't want to hear anymore. This was just pure torture.
"Oh yeah. You still haven't changed yet. Here you can wear this." The pale blue haired boy hands Rood a set of clothes.
"Thanks..." Rood humbly accepts the kind offer of the young boy whose name he has still yet to know.
"I'm Lalita." The pale blue haired boy introduced himself as Lalita.
Anxious, Rood inspects the new clothes he got from Lalita. He wonders what kind of clothes did Lalita give to him. From Rood's perspective, his and Lalita were about the same size so his clothes should be able to fit him. He didn't mind what Lalita gave him as long as he had something to wear while his clothes were drying.
But something did feel strange about the clothes he got from Lalita. It felt like he only received one piece of clothing. Did he only have a shirt left? Oddly enough, it seemed kind of big for a shirt.
That being that it wasn't a shirt but rather a dress that was in Rood's hands when he unfolded the material to see a fluttery cerulean blue off shoulder dress with a big white ribbon tied in the back around the hips and long white sleeves. The dress was very long as it would barely touched the ground if worn.
Once again, the color from Rood's face drains. He wasn't sure if this was some kind of joke or whether he should comment on the dress or not.
Next to Rood, Shicmuon just watches with his usual stoic facial expression.
"Pretty, isn't it." Lalita cheerfully said oblivious to the horrified look on Rood's face.
For a girl?! Rood internally retorted.
"Uhm... Excuse me..." Rood shakily cuts in. "You do realize I'm a guy, right?"
"And this is a dress, right?"
"Yep, and I'm sure it'll look good on you!" Lalita answered still not getting Rood's message.
Rood couldn't help but wonder if Lalita was pretending not to know or naturally dense. He had a feeling it was the latter.
"That's not the point. I'm a guy. I can't wear a dress."
"But it can't be helped. I don't have anything else beside that. Unless you want to wear these." Lalita shows Rood more dresses in his bag.
Rood was quite horrified to see that Lalita had a hidden crossdressing side to him. In terms of appearance, Lalita did have a slim build similar to that of a girl's, a face cuter than a girl's, and without a doubt one would mistaken him for one if he wore a dress, but Rood never would have imagined that he'd have some of crossdressing hobby. While Rood was dumbfounded by his discovery of Lalita's hobby, the latter was confused by Rood's strange reaction not knowing why he was acting like that.
"Baking cookies and running away... You're already like a girl." Shicmuon interjected. "What difference does it make if you wear a dress..."
Why you... Despite the large vein popping in his head, Rood holds in his anger knowing it would do him no good to fight Shicmuon of all people especially considering their surroundings.
Subsiding his anger, Rood lets out a sigh.
"I'll just have to wait until my cl—"
Before Rood could finish his sentence, a voice cuts him off midway.
Rood recognized that voice. It belonged to only one person.
"Rood, there you are!"
And he was right.
It was Dio as Rood saw the blue haired Idun standing on a tree branch.
Dio was so relieved to see Rood's face. He thought he'd never get to see him again. He bursts into tears seeing his friend alive and healthy. Just as he was about to jump down and hug Rood, the tree branch broke, and Dio ended up falling down on his butt. The only problem was that the same branch that Dio broke was the same one Rood hanged his clothes at to dry which were now floating away through the river's current.
And all Rood could do was stare in disbelief.
One thing for sure is that Dio wasn't coming out of there in one piece.