“We’re actually fighting chamber pots…” Loffel said as a bronze cauldron floated in front of him. He was with Gabel in the third room of Niffle’s mana source. The walls pulsed with a white glow, illuminating floating cauldrons and bath towels. Gabel lowered his morning star and watched a bath towel fold itself into a crane.
“From slimes, to utensils, to outhouse supplies,” Gabel said. He shook his head. “Well, it doesn’t matter. Experience is experience.” Gabel wore steel chainmail and gauntlets. His two horns grew an inch past his ears, their silver color contrasting with the black of his hair.
Loffel nodded. He tightened his grip on his spear and stepped forward. He wore black leather armor and his horns curled forward like a ram’s. He jabbed the bottom of the floating bronze chamber pot, causing sparks to fly. The chamber pot tilted towards Loffel and a pair of eyes opened on the side of the rim furthest from him. The eyes squinted and a rumbling sound rang out. The chamber pot flew towards Loffel.
Gabel stepped forward and bashed it with his shield before it reached Loffel. He swung his morning star down and knocked the chamber pot to the ground. Tears sprang from the chamber pot’s eyes and a high-pitched ringing noise assaulted Loffel’s and Gabel’s ears. Gabel gritted his teeth and stomped on the rim with his heel as Loffel stabbed one of its eyes.
The chamber pot rolled onto its side, its opening facing the two brothers. It shut its one good eye and it made squelching noises. Loffel lunged forward with his spear. Gabel opened his mouth. “Wai-“
A fountain of brown liquid shot out of the chamber pot and covered the brothers. Loffel’s eyes watered as he pierced through the center of the chamber pot with his spear. He fell onto his knees and clutched his stomach as he threw up on the floor. Tears streamed out of Gabel’s eyes as he also vomited in rapid succession.
After they finished vomiting and crying, they stripped off their armor and wiped away the brown stains with their undergarments. They looked each other in the eye. “This never happened,” Gabel said. The two stood there with only their boxers.
Loffel nodded as he looked at the pile of clothes and armor on the floor. They headed back towards the second room with the utensils. They killed their way through the second room and headed to the first. Loud footsteps echoed through the tunnel connecting the rooms.
“Loffel! Gabel!” Doofus said. “Your sister’s been kidnapped an-. Why are you almost naked?” He sniffed the air. “Did you guys go to the third room?” he asked as he pinched his nose.
“What happened to Tafel?” Loffel asked, ignoring Doofus’ question.
Doofus frowned. “I don’t know the exact details, but I know your father mobilized the army,” he said. “I’ll tell you what I know as we head back to the castle. The royal family requested for me to escort you two back in case you’re also targeted.” The trio walked through the first room and gathered the rest of the students. Doofus ordered the other students to return to the academy in the capital and walked with Gabel and Loffel to the nearest street to hail a carriage.
“It happened during your sister’s birthday party,” Doofus said as he sighed and boarded the carriage. “A messenger from Konigreich came. He delivered a message to your father and kidnapped Tafel, right in front of your parent’s eyes.”
“Good thing we didn’t go, huh?” Gabel said as he turned towards Loffel.
“Don’t say things like that,” Doofus said as his eye brows knit together. “She’s your sister.”
Gabel snorted. “Better her than us,” Gabel said as he puffed his chest out and looked at Doofus, “there’s no way Tafel’s going to be the next demon lord. It doesn’t matter what happens to her.”
Loffel narrowed his eyes at Gabel before turning to look at Doofus.
“How strong is Konigreich?” Loffel asked.
Doofus shook his head. “I’ve only heard rumors about them. They induced nightmares in our most hardened spear corps,” he said. “Your father rates them as at least an SSS class threat. He mobilized the heavy cavalry and the black mage corps. Your mother decided to go with him along with Dustin and a few other SSS ranks.”
“All that for a bunch of skeletons?” Gabel asked with a snort. “I could kill them in my sleep.”
Doofus looked at Gabel and sighed. “Confidence is fine, Gabel,” he said, “but arrogance is not.”
Gabel rolled his eyes. “Whatever,” he muttered. Doofus shook his head and leaned back against his seat.
“Is this really okay?” Tafel asked the skeleton. She was sitting on the horse skeleton in front of the skeleton knight. The front of her purple birthday dress was speckled with dried blood and the edges of her mouth was stained black.
“Of course,” the skeleton messenger replied and asked. “Do you want another piece of meat?”
Tafel shook her head and adjusted the cushion under her. She leaned back against the metal armor and closed her eyes. The pair had been riding for a week straight, only stopping when Tafel needed to use the bathroom. The outline of Konigreich could be seen on the horizon as the two rode through a green plain bordered by a forest.
The skeleton turned its head towards the forest with its body still facing forward. Four demons riding giant yellow chickens emerged from the brush and pursued the skeletal horse. They wore leather armor with swords strapped to their backs. Tafel opened her eyes and twisted her body to look at them.
“That’s the Four Yellow Riders,” she said as she squinted her eyes. “They’re an A ranked scouting party.”
The skeleton laughed. “It seems like they’re gaining on us too,” it said. “Maybe I should leave them a present.”
“Don’t worry princess!” one of the riders shouted. “We’ll save you soon.”
Tafel frowned and stood up while holding onto the skeleton’s pauldrons for support. Her grey horns pulsed with a green light and she pointed at the riders in the distance. A wall of wind formed behind the skeleton and rushed towards the riders, knocking them off their mounts.
“What are you doing!?” one of the riders shouted. Tafel stuck her tongue out at them and sat back down.
“Oh,” the skeleton messenger said, “that was pretty good. I was just going to fling poop at them.”
“Eww,” Tafel said as her eyebrows knit together, “is that what smelled so bad this whole time?”
The skeleton’s body shook. “They’re leftovers from a previous operation,” it said while cackling.
“That’s so gross,” Tafel said as her face paled.
“Only if you have a nose,” the skeleton said and grinned.
“You failed?” Zollstock asked the four adventurers who had their heads lowered. Their yellow chickens were sitting behind them outside the tent with their heads curled under their wings. Zollstock and Mina sat in their tent within the camp the army set up.
“Yes, milord,” the leader of the riders said. “The princess knocked us off our mounts with aero before we could catch up.”
Zollstock frowned. “Very well,” he said and nodded, “you’re dismissed.” The four riders stood up and left the tent. Mina sighed.
Zollstock turned towards her and put his hand on her shoulder. “Don’t worry,” he said. “We’ll get her back. We’ll reach their borders tomorrow and make them pay.”
Mina’s eyes were closed.
“Is it my fault?” she asked as she opened her eyes and turned to face Zollstock. “Was my mom right?” Light illuminated her wet eyes, causing them to glitter. “You saw just as well as I did. She left with him; she wasn’t taken.”
Zollstock sighed and hugged her while rubbing her back. “It’s not your fault,” he said. “The skeletons must have some charm magic on them that convinces people.”
Mina put her hands on his chest and pushed him away. “There was no magic,” she said as tears fell from her eyes, “you know there wasn’t.” She wiped her eyes with the back of her hands and stood up. Zollstock started to get up.
“Don’t,” Mina said. Zollstock stopped and sighed before sitting back down.
“I’m going to take a walk,” Mina said as she curtsied before lifting the flap of the tent and walking out.
Zollstock stared at the flap as it closed and he pinched his forehead with his hand.
“Seth,” he said. A demon wearing a black cloak and mask appeared next to Zollstock.
“Follow her,” he said. “Don’t let her get hurt.”
Seth nodded and disappeared.