Rella and Bella flew over an open plain with a white layer of mist encasing their bodies. Multiple tunnel entrances perforated the plains. “The illusion’s gone,” Bella said as she looked upwards at the sky.
Rella nodded. “I told you it wasn’t a trap,” she said. “Someone really messed up.”
Bella squinted and raised her hand over her eyes, shielding them from the sun. “That looks like a dragon,” she said and tugged on Rella’s arm.
“What? Dragons don’t fly this far north,” Rella said and looked up into the sky. Her eyes narrowed as she stared at the black dot in the distance. “Maybe it’s a roc?” She shook her head. “It doesn’t matter. We have to get out of here before they get things under control and notice we’re gone.”
Bella kept her eyes locked on the sky as the two continued to fly forwards. “That’s definitely a dragon,” she said as the dot got closer. “It’s most likely Grimmoldesser. Maybe he noticed the worm outbreak?”
“Do you think we should fly up there and meet him?” Rella asked as she peered up at the incoming dragon. “He might know where Vur is, since he’s a dragon and all.”
“Ehh!?” Bella asked as her eyebrows shot up. “Are you crazy? We’re barely the size of one of his teeth. He’d kill us over something small, like if our voices were too high-pitched for him.”
Rella bit her lip. “How else are we going to find Vur?” she asked. “He could be anywhere. We don’t even know if he’s still alive or not.”
Bella let go of Rella’s arm and stopped moving. Rella turned her head and frowned. “What’s wrong?” she asked as she flew back to face her sister.
“Would Vur even listen to us?” Bella asked as her shoulders drooped. “We asked him to help free Mom and then Mom went and cursed the corrupted one. I know that the corrupted one stole the fountain of youth from us and that she was the reason why Mom got locked up in the first place, but Vur didn’t know that; he called her auntie.” Bella lowered her head as tears formed in the corner of her eyes. “He helped us and we hurt him. Ye- Yella knew that.”
Rella placed her hands on Bella’s shoulder. “Vur said that we were his friends and he didn’t need a reward for helping us,” Rella said and tilted Bella’s body to look her in the eye. “What we need to do now is to let Vur know what Mom is planning, so he doesn’t regret becoming friends with us in the first place. Yella was better than the stereotypical fairy who befriends people for mischief. We can be too.”
Bella focused her gaze on Rella’s eyes. She wiped the tears from the corner of her eyes and nodded. “When did you get so mature?” Bella asked as she embraced her sister. “It makes me look bad as the oldest.”
Rella snorted as she pulled away. “You’re only older by less than a second,” she said and crossed her arms. “Now, let’s go confront that dragon. The oldest go first.” Rella motioned for Bella to fly ahead of her.
Tafel sucked her breath in. “This is huge,” she said as her eyes widened. “How did no one ever notice for ten years?” She was crouching next to Vur and Lindyss, peering over Grimmy’s snout to look at the plains below. “The tunnels practically span the whole area between our nations.”
“They had a massive illusion set up,” Lindyss said and frowned. “Not only that, but they also relocated repeatedly once they drained an area of all its mana. This is the best place for them to set their base up to sow chaos with the worms. What I don’t understand is, why did the fairies infect themselves to initiate the attack?”
Grimmy circled over the plains, scanning the ground below. “What’s the plan?” he asked. “Should I just burn it all down? Pour some lava in the holes and cover the top with hellfire?”
Lindyss nodded. “That might be the best course of action,” she said as she stood up and rubbed her chin. “Although, we should cover all the entrances except for the one you’re pouring the lava through.”
“You’re going to kill all the fairies?” Vur asked and creased his brow and raised his head to look at Lindyss. “Didn’t you say that killing fairies bring bad luck?”
“It does,” Lindyss said as she narrowed her eyes at the tunnel entrances. “I killed a fairy once and now the world might be ending because of that.”
“But you shouldn’t kill them all. There are some good fairies too,” Vur said.
Tafel squeezed his hand. “Yella saved my life and her sisters weren’t bad people, despite the initial curses,” she said as she turned towards Lindyss. “We can’t just slaughter them all, not when there can be others like them living in those caves.”
Lindyss sighed. “Both of you are too young for this,” she said and shook her head. “If it makes you feel any better, the fairy queen plays a major role in the emotional and physical states of her children depending on their proximity to her. If she thinks torturing babies is fun, the rest of the fairies will agree. Stella’s gone crazy and her mental state should be reflected in all the fairies.”
“That’s not true!” A voice came from behind them. Rella and Bella’s figures appeared as the mist surrounding them dispersed.
“You’re the crazy one,” Bella said as she hovered in the air with her hands on her hips. She turned her head towards Vur and looked at his toes. “Hi, Vur.”
“Rella? Bella?” Vur asked as he tilted his head and took a step forward. “You two look abnormally thin.”
“Your face is abnormally thin,” Rella said and stuck her tongue out at him. A lightning bolt flew through the air.
Rella ducked her head, avoiding the bolt. “What was that for?!” she asked and shook her fist at Lindyss, whose finger was emitting smoke.
Lindyss crossed her arms over her chest. “You heard what I said. Prove to us you’re not under Stella’s influence.”
Bella and Rella looked at each other. They landed on Grimmy’s forehead and kneeled while lowering their heads.
“I hope you live long and prosper!”
“For a hundred thousand years!”
“Your mastery of black magic is beyond our understanding!”
“And the fact that you can use so many skills from differen-“
“Alright,” Lindyss said as a vein bulged on her forehead. “Enough, enough. I believe you; Stella would never allow anyone to lower her head to me. Why aren’t you under her influence?”
“We relocated our birthflower a long time ago,” Rella said as she got off the ground. “Mom can’t control us without it.”
Bella nodded. “It was Yella’s idea,” she said and looked towards Vur and Tafel. She pouted. “You’ve gotten a lot taller. You too.”
“We can save the reunion for later,” Lindyss said and waved her hand to stop Vur from moving forward. “For now, tell us about the situation inside.”