“I think I should sub-class as a time mage,” Tafel said as she brushed dirt off her sweater. Vur’s head popped out of the ground as he coughed out a lump of dirt. Exzenter had teleported the pair to the wilderness.
Vur frowned. “I don’t like teleporting,” he said, “too much dirt.”
Tafel shrugged. “It’s only wonky when the distance is really far,” she said as she helped dig Vur out of the ground. “At least we kept our clothes,” Tafel said, her cheeks tinted with pink.
Vur shook the dirt off his body and looked around. The two were in a jungle with the canopy of leaves blotting out the sun.
“Do you know where we are?” Tafel asked.
Vur shook his head. “I think we’re near the graveyard,” he said, “but there could be other places that look like this.”
“That’s okay,” Tafel said and hugged his arm. She smiled at him.
“I’m glad I met you,” she said. “I didn’t think I would become an adventurer this quickly. It’s all thanks to you.”
Vur’s face flushed as he smiled back. The two walked through the forest while holding hands. Tafel kept turning her head to look at the animals and the trees.
“Why wouldn’t your mom let you be an adventurer?” Vur asked after they’d been walking for a while.
Tafel pouted. “I don’t know,” Tafel said. “I’ve asked her, but she always avoided the question. Always saying, ‘you’ll thank me when you’re older,’ or ‘because I said so.’” Tafel rolled her eyes. “Don’t your parents ever tell you things like that?”
Vur shook his head. “Mom lets me do whatever I want and dad’s too afraid of mom to contradict her,” Vur said. “Grimmy sometimes tells me I can’t do things. Like that one time he said not to wake Auntie up and I did it anyway.” Vur shivered and nodded. “Always listen to Grimmy.”
Tafel laughed. “You’re lucky,” she said. “I wish I could live like you.”
Vur squeezed her hand. “You can, now,” he said.
Tafel sighed and leaned against him.
A green bush speckled with yellow caught Vur’s eye.
“It’s a bananerry bush,” he said. Tafel raised her head and saw a few figures flitting over the bush. The two waved at the bush and started walking over.
“Ah! It’s the demon and the bully!” the blue eyed figure said.
“The dragon boy?” the red eyed figure asked. “Quick. Hide me!”
The yellow eyed figure rolled her eyes. “If he wanted to hurt you, he wouldn’t just walk over here like that,” she said.
Vur peered at the fairies. He held out an empty bottle. “Cry for me.”
The red eyed fairy turned and stared at the yellow eyed one. “You were saying?”
The yellow eyed figure stared at Vur with her mouth gaping.
“Vur… You can’t just ask them like that,” Tafel said. The red eyed figure nodded and stuck her chest out.
Tafel smiled. “You have to say please.”
“You!” the red eyed figure said and pointed at Tafel, “I’ll curse you again!”
Tafel hid behind Vur and peeked over his shoulder. “Don’t do that, Ral… Rei… Reila?”
“It’s Rella!” Rella said and stuck her hands on her hips as she flit above the bananerry bush.
The blue eyed figure flit in front of Vur. “What’s my name?” she asked as she circled their heads.
“Berry,” Vur said and pointed at the yellow eyed figure, “and she’s Yellow.”
Yella facepalmed and crouched while turning around.
“Your memory sucks for someone who practically ate the tree of knowledge,” Bella said as she tapped his forehead.
Vur shrugged. “You weren’t important enough to remember.”
“Ouch,” Bella said and clutched her chest. “You’ll make me cry.”
Vur nodded and held the bottle out towards her.
Bella puffed her cheeks out and smacked the bottle. “That’s like half my height! I can’t cry that much.”
Vur frowned and his eyes glowed. The three fairies plummeted to the bananerry bush.
“Rude!” Rella said as she squirmed, trying to get up.
“What are you going to do to us?” Yella asked with wide eyes.
Tafel smiled and pulled out a feather.
“Oh god,” Bella said, “please, no.”
“You three shouldn’t have cursed me,” Tafel said and ran the feather over Bella’s body.
Vur sat down and ate bananerries as Tafel extracted the fairy tears.
“I’ll die! I’ll really die!” Rella said as she gasped and shrieked as tears streamed down her cheeks.
“I’ll,” Yella said and gasped as her eyes glowed, “curse you… and… Stop! Stop! I’ll pee!” Her eyes stopped glowing as she writhed under the feather.
The fairies shrieked and wailed for an hour while laughing before Tafel relented. She smiled at Vur.
“We got a whole bottle,” she said. The fairy trio glared at Tafel with tears and snot running down their faces. Their eyes glowed.
“May you stub your toe every night before you go to bed!” Bella yelled.
“You’ll always have to sneeze, but never get to!” Rella cried out.
“I curse you with the inability to hear any spoken words! You’ll hear their true thoughts instead,” Yella said and pouted. The other two fairies turned towards her.
“How’s that a curse?”
“Yeah, you should’ve made her step in a puddle of water every time she put on socks.”
Yella frowned. “I thought it was pretty good,” she said and lowered her head.
Tafel glared at the three fairies.
She turned the bottle upside down.
“Oh, it looks like we need more tears,” she said as she raised her feather.
The fairies wailed.
“Where’s Tafel?” Mina asked Zollstock. She stood at the entrance to the dining room wearing a blue dress.
Zollstock scratched his head. “She should be playing with Vur,” he said as he lifted his fork to his mouth.
Mina frowned and sighed. “I haven’t talked to her at all since we’ve came here,” she said.
Zollstock shrugged as he stripped a piece of meat off a chicken leg. “We’ve been busy. She’s been busy,” he said while nodding, “it’s understandable.”
Mina narrowed her eyes at him. “Did you really agree to marry her to Vur?” she asked. “Won’t the royal family object to her marrying a human?”
“Becoming allies with Konigreich is much more important than what the royal family thinks,” Zollstock said as he put down his utensils.
“They’ll disown her,” Mina said as she studied Zollstock’s face.
Zollstock shrugged. “Then aren’t we lucky we had triplets?” he asked, dabbing at the corners of his mouth with his napkin. “I’m sure Tafel will be happier with Vur. Don’t you agree?” Zollstock smiled.
Mina’s horns flashed red.
“When have you ever cared about someone else’s happiness?” she asked. Her arms crackled with electricity and her dress fluttered around her.
“Everything you do is for yourself! You never think of others,” Mina screamed as her face flushed. “I absolutely loathe you, you monster.”
“Monster?” Zollstock said as he raised an eyebrow and folded his napkin while still smiling. “Isn’t that too hurtful? I think it’s best if you calm down and think about what you’re doing, Mina.”
“Oh, I know exactly what I’m doing,” Mina said as she stepped towards Zollstock, hands glowing blue.
“Don’t think I don’t know when you lie, when you cheat, when you murder,” Mina said and narrowed her eyes. “Don’t think I don’t know what goes on in that basement of yours: harvesting horns for power, you make me sick.”
Zollstock stopped smiling. “Why now?” he asked, then raised his left index finger up. “It’s because of Tafel isn’t it? I was wondering why you were so insistent on keeping her mana low.” He tilted his head as his hand moved towards the sword propped against the seat next to him.
Mina struck his chest with a thunderbolt. His body slumped over as he crashed against the wall behind him. He raised his head as his horns glowed blue. Flames flickered along his fingertips as he turned his head to the side and spat out blood. He grinned as he stared at Mina.
“This is the woman I chased after,” he said and licked his lips.
A crash rang out and a circle of stone fell from the ceiling.
Lindyss stood on top of the stone disk wearing pajamas with her hair disheveled. Her eyes were bloodshot as she glared at Zollstock and Mina.
“Make one more sound,” she said in a low voice, “just one more. I dare you.”
Zollstock turned pale and his horns stopped glowing. He glanced at Mina.
She threw a thunderbolt at his face.
Lindyss’ eyes glowed.
The building collapsed.