“It stinks in here!” Rella said and pinched her noise. “You know the floor used to be white before? It’s all brown and gross now.” Vur made a face.
Yella looked up and frowned. “The ceiling’s brown too. How did that… you know, never mind.” She shook her head and flew to the center of the room. Chamber pots and brown towels hovered above the ground and gathered around the fairy.
Bella picked up a slime and tossed it on top of a towel. “My favorite towel,” Bella said and sniffled. “I’ll never look at it the same way again.”
The slimes marched forward and traversed through the room. Everywhere they went, the floor turned white and slurping noises permeated the air. The slimes increased in size as they consumed more nutrients. A few sprout wings instead of growing and flew up towards the ceiling. Less than fifteen minutes later, the room sparkled and the group could see their reflections in the floor.
The chamber pots flipped themselves over and mounted on top of the slimes, while the towels attached themselves to the poop eaters, acting as togas and capes. Bella held a fluffy blue towel at arm’s length. She frowned at it and a pair of eyes appeared in the center of the towel. Tears leaked out of them as the brown irises expanded. Bella sighed.
“Even if you’ve been soiled,” Bella said while hugging the towel close to her body, “you’ll still be the only one for me.” The towel let out a purr and enveloped the fairy.
Rella and Yella glanced at each other and shrugged. “Onwards!”
Vur followed the two fairies as Bella snuggled up into a ball on top of his head. The army of slimes made glopping sounds as they trudged behind. The corridor after the third room branched off into three passageways. Above the left entrance was a sign with the words ‘water elementals’ written on it. The middle passage’s sign said, “Plant Creatures – Bring antidotes.” The rightmost corridor had a sign that said, “Lightning Elementals – Bring para-resist gear.” The fairy trio burst out laughing when they read the third sign.
“That way,” Yella said with twinkling eyes. She pointed towards the right and landed on Vur’s shoulder as she doubled over with laughter. Vur tilted his head, but continued moving. The crystals in the fourth room glowed pink, faintly illuminating the surroundings. Numerous egg-shaped objects flew towards the group and buzzed around them like bees.
“Don’t touch them,” Yella said and giggled. “They might be too intense for you.”
“What are they?” Vur asked as he reached out to touch one. A blue lightning bolt shot out of the surface and zapped his finger.
The trio of fairies smiled. “Lightning elementals. Let’s stop wasting time here and go,” Rella said while tugging on Vur’s arm. Yella snatched a tiny egg and slipped it in her makeshift pocket. The remaining eggs flew towards the slimes and attached themselves below the chamber pots, two to each slime.
“Our queen should be in the room after this one,” Rella said. The group was surrounded by a multitude of two-by-two feet beds and wardrobes. The fairies changed into dresses similar to the ones they wore when they first met Vur and Tafel. They walked through the room unhindered. The slimes and the rest of the objects stopped at the center of the room and refused to proceed.
The corridor to the master bedroom glowed with a dark purple light. It smelled like iron and blood. Two metal doors sealed with orange chains were at the end of the passage. Circular blue runes glowed on the metal surface. Yella frowned and flit in front of the door. A round indent with two crossed horns was engraved on the lock connecting the chains.
“That looks like this!” Rella said and pulled out a mithril medallion that she borrowed from Chad.
“How convenient,” Bella said with a raised eyebrow as Rella stuck her tongue out to the side and fit the medallion in the slot. The blue runes emitted a light that forced the group to shield their eyes. A few seconds passed and the light died down.
“Did it work?” Rella asked as she lowered her arm.
The medallion exploded, covering their faces with soot.
“Guess not,” Yella said and coughed out a black cloud.
Rella wiped her face. “Let’s try this one,” she said and pulled out the medallion that belonged to Tina. She slid it into place and the door shined with a red light. The group squinted their eyes and turned their heads away. A few seconds later, a click resounded through the passage and the light died down. The group took a step back and shielded their faces while watching the medallion. Nothing happened.
“I think it worked!” Rella said and placed her hands on her hips while sticking her chest out. She flew towards the lock.
The medallion exploded.
Rella crashed into the floor.
“Well, poo,” Yella said and poked Rella’s body. “You alive?”
Rella coughed out smoke and nodded.
“Third time’s the charm, right?” Bella said and pulled out a golden medallion that had the crossed horns imprint.
“Where’d you even get that?” Yella asked.
“I saw it hanging on Dustin’s wall and it flew into my hands,” Bella said with a grin. She flew up to the lock and popped the medallion into place. The group ran behind a corner and squinted into the golden light that the door emitted. The light faded away and the orange chains fell down.
“Hah!” Bella cheered and started to fly towards the door. She paused mid-flight and bit her lip. She turned to face Rella and turned back to the door.
“Nope,” Rella said and shook her head. “I’m not going near that.”
She crossed her arms. The lock disappeared and reappeared in front of Rella.
The golden medallion exploded and a second set of chains materialized in front of the door.
Rella whimpered and peeled herself off the wall.
“I hate locks.”
“Try kicking the door down,” Yella said and tugged Vur’s hair. Vur swatted her away with the back of his hand. His forehead glowed blue and a web of light spread throughout his body. His eyes lit up with a golden light and he dashed towards the door. His fist connected with the chains.
The sound reverberated all the way back to the previous room and the slimes’ bodies jiggled. The fairies were blown back three feet and the earth cracked beneath Vur’s feet. The door vibrated, but remained standing.
“So weak,” Yella said and shook her head. “You call yourself a dragon?”
Vur snorted and kicked the wall next to the door. It cracked and disintegrated, revealing a pitch black room.
The fairy trio gaped. “I didn’t say anything,” Yella said and tilted her head towards the ceiling.
“Yella…?” A barely audible whisper leaked out from the darkness.
The fairies paled and looked at each other. “Mom!”
Retter’s eyes widened as he stared at the scene before him. A body clad in black lay on top of a pool of blood at the demon’s lord feet. Zollstock’s skin was ashen and his appendages were shriveled up, revealing an outline of the bones beneath. His chest was torn open and his heart lay in multiple pieces in his lap.
“Milord!” Retter let out a shout and ran towards the throne. His face was pale and he panted. His spear clattered to the floor next to him.
“White mage!” he shouted. “We need a white mage! N-“
A blue light flashed and a translucent image of Zollstock appeared in front of the body. Retter fell over backwards with his lips opening and closing.
The figure frowned as it looked down on Retter. It flew in front of him. “Not even four horns,” it muttered and circled his body.
“W-what’s going on?” Retter asked as he followed the ghost with his head.
A chuckled echoed through the room. “You don’t need to know,” the ghost said and flew into Retter’s body. Retter let out a scream and his eyes rolled back into his head, revealing their whites. He fell to the floor and his body wriggled.
Footsteps echoed from outside the throne room. A demon wearing white robes and a silver cross ran into the room with a metal staff. His eyes widened as his gaze fell on the spasming Retter and Zollstock’s corpse.
“It’s a nightmare ghoul!” he shouted and raised his staff in front of him. His staff glowed with a white light and he smacked it against Retter’s head. “I exorcise thee, foul creature!”
Retter’s body stopped twitching and a wisp of smoke rose out of his forehead. A translucent mouth appeared. “You fool! Stop at on-”
“Aaaaiee!” The white mage let out a shriek and slammed the staff against Retter’s head.
Thunk. “I exorcise thee!”
A miserable cry slipped out of Retter’s lips and faded away into nothing. The white mage wiped his mouth and panted as he glared at Retter’s head. He reached into his robe and pulled out a flask. He put it to Retter’s lip and forced the liquid down his throat.
“Good,” he said and nodded while putting the flask away. “The ghoul’s gone.”
He gazed at Zollstock’s body and sighed. “I pray it didn’t eat Milord’s soul.”