“Everything’s so expensive,” Tafel said as she frowned and placed a magazine on her lap. A picture of a white wedding gown was on the cover page. “Everything’s handmade by elves. I’d have to use all the earnings I made in Fuselage if I want to buy even half of these things.”
“Who gave you that magazine?” Vur asked and tilted his head. He leaned back on the bench and stared at the hedges in front of him. A stack of letters lay on the empty space next to him. “And why don’t you just use the money from the treasury?
“Auntie gave it to me,” she said and sighed while tilting her head up towards the sky. “And we can’t use the money from any of our treasuries. That’s for the country.”
Vur scratched his nose. “Right. Of course,” he said as his gaze shifted to the side.
Tafel stared at him. “Don’t tell me you—“
“Hey, there’s a letter from someone named Raffgier,” Vur said as he picked up the letter on top of the stack.
“Raffgier… Isn’t that the noble who you bullied?” Tafel asked. “Why’s he still using his family’s stamp?”
Vur shrugged. “Dunno,” he said as he tore open the letter. He read through it and raised an eyebrow. “He’s begging for forgiveness and wants to cover all the costs of the wedding.”
Tafel’s eyes sparkled. “All of them?” she asked and snatched the letter out of Vur’s hands. She smiled and flipped the letter over, looking for a backside. “I want everything on the catalog.”
“And you say I’m the bully,” Vur said and shook his head while sighing.
“He offered,” Tafel said and hugged Vur’s arm. “Hurry up and forgive him.”
“Alright,” Vur said and snapped his fingers. A skeleton popped out of the ground and saluted. “Tell Raffgier that he’s forgiven and give him this catalog. Tell him to buy everything and send it to the royal castle.”
“As you wish,” the skeleton said and bowed before it jumped into the hole it previously made.
The two stared at the broken ground. “About that royal treasury,” Tafel said, her voice trailing off.
“Royal treasury? Did the humans have one of those?” Vur asked. “I think it was empty before I became king. Definitely.”
“You’re a terrible king.”
Tafel sighed. “I’m not letting you make any administrative decisions when we get married.”
“But I like flipping coins.”
Tafel fell silent. “Please tell me that’s not how you make decisions regarding your country.”
“That’s not how I make decisions regarding my country.”
“Are you just saying that because I told you to?”
“Yes,” Vur said. Tafel clasped her hands together and closed her eyes.
“What are you doing?” Vur asked.
“Praying for your people.”
“Hey, what’s going on?” Michelle asked as she stepped around a pillar. Paul stood in the middle of a courtyard with a flowery envelope in his hand. A skeleton-sized hole broke through the ground next to him. “I heard a strange noise so I decided to check it out.”
Paul shrugged. “I’m not sure,” he said and scratched his head as Michelle walked next to him. “I was practicing some sermons when a skeleton popped out of the ground. I tried to banish it, but it just threw a letter at me and ran away. It’s directed at the pope.”
“We should cleanse it then open it. Maybe it’s a trap,” Michelle said with a nod. A white light enveloped the envelope before fading away. “Well, it looks like it wasn’t cursed. Open it.”
Paul frowned and tore the envelope open. A letter lay inside. “Should I read it?” Paul asked. “It’s just a normal letter. Maybe it’s confidential.”
Michelle snatched the letter out of his hand and turned around as she read it. She gasped. “Vur’s getting married to Tafel and wants Gale to officiate for them,” she said with wide eyes. She turned around to face Paul. “Do you know what this means?!”
Paul scratched his head. “What are you getting so excited for?” he asked. “We already knew they were engaged.”
“Yes, but that was before Vur became king!” Michelle said and waved the letter in front of Paul’s face. “The human king is marrying the demon lord! This is huge! Let’s go tell Gale!” Michelle grasped Paul’s hand and dragged him towards the temple while sprinting.
The two arrived in front of a room with a pair of black double doors. Michelle let go of Paul’s hand and knocked on the door. She kept knocking until it creaked open, revealing Gale’s bleary-eyed face. “What’s going on? It’s not even seven yet.”
“Vur’s marrying the demon lord!” Michelle said and smacked Gale’s face with her hand as she extended the letter towards him. “Oops. Sorry. I didn’t meant to hit you.”
Gale rubbed his nose and retrieved the letter from Michelle’s hand. He frowned as his eyes scanned the page. “I’m not sure if this is a good idea,” Gale said as he rubbed his chin. “It’s only been around two months since he became king. There’s no way people will approve of this. For now, keep this a secret.”
“What do you mean won’t approve?” Paul said and crossed his arms. “He’s been king for two months and no one’s tried to assassinate him yet. That must mean he has some form of approval, right? Besides, he’s been delivering food to the poor and hungry for the past two months. According to Lillian, the citizens love him. Although I do wonder how he’s funding that.”
A teenager, wearing a white robe, ran down the hall towards the trio. “Your Holiness. Seniors,” he said and nodded at the three. “The king has just announced that he’s going to have a wedding with the demon lord. Thousands—maybe millions—of skeletons are marching through the nation and announcing it through song. I think this may be the first time that everyone’s awake before seven in the morning.”
Gale let out a sound that suspiciously sounded like a whimper before he fell to the ground and curled up into the fetal position. His hands covered his ears as his body rocked back and forth.
“Err,” Michelle said and tilted her head. She turned towards the boy and smiled. “I think it’s best if you let the other clergy know too.” The boy stopped gaping and nodded. He took one last look at the quivering pope before turning around and dashing off.
“Gale?” Michelle asked as she poked the crying pope with her foot. “Are you alright?”
“No more singing. No more singing,” Gale mumbled through sobs. “Please. Have mercy.”
Michelle and Paul looked at each other with their eyebrows raised. “I get dibs on officiating,” Michelle said and picked up the fallen letter.