“Where’s Vur?” Lindyss asked Paul. The two stood outside of a small one-story building on top of a hill. To the north was a sea of people surrounding an altar with a single red line splitting the crowd down the middle. They were waiting in the fields where the fairies had set up their base, but all the holes had been filled in earlier by skeletons.
“H-he’s over there,” Paul said and pointed, with a trembling finger, at a building to the south. “Two fairies came by and said they had something really important that needed to be done before the wedding started.”
The door behind Paul swung open and Lillian stepped outside wearing a pink dress and no shoes. “Did you see my heels?” she asked. “I swear I left them next to the door.”
Paul shook his head as he watched Lindyss fly towards the building he pointed to. He let out a sigh. “I swear,” he said and clenched his hands, “I’ll never get used to Vur’s relatives. They’re the kind of people you hear about in tavern songs.”
“Hey. I’m a hero too, you know?” Lillian she stuck out her chest. “I was blessed by Lady Solandra, remember? And I’m also a duchess, you plebian.”
“You haven’t done anything though,” Paul said and shook his head. “It’s not the same. She’s the corrupted one: the person who guards over the fountain of youth, the person who established the treaty between our nation and the wilderness, the person who founded a kingdom by herself through necromancy.”
Lillian smacked his shoulder. “I thought you liked Michelle,” she said. “Why do you sound so infatuated with Lindyss? Don’t tell me you’ve fallen for her too.”
“What?” Paul asked and furrowed his brow. “Don’t be stupid. She just makes me feel so small. I would still be some backwater noble if it weren’t for Vur. And look at that mountain”—he pointed towards a mountain in the southeast—“over there. Those are real dragons. Those”—he pointed towards the west—“are real elves and dryads. And I’ve never even seen or heard of anything like those snake people to the south. There are so many things I would never have encountered if I hadn’t met Vur.”
“Eh, I suppose you’re right,” Lillian said and sighed. “I wouldn’t have won that competition if it weren’t for Vur. But that just means we’re blessed with really good luck, right? That’s a strength in itself.”
“Only you would count good luck as one of your strengths,” Paul said and shook his head. “Luck’s not something you can rely on. You’ll run out one day when you need it most.”
“Hey,” Lillian said and slapped his back. “Don’t say something so ominous to me, you jinx. Don’t you know this is how death flags are raised in stories?”
Paul exhaled and rubbed his back. “This is why you have to rely on luck,” he said. “You’re always reading stories instead of learning something practical.”
Rella giggled as she capped her lipstick and tossed it onto the table. “All done,” she said and beamed. “You can open your eyes now. Twirl around and look at your back too.”
Vur frowned as he stared at himself in the mirror. “What did you do to my face?”
“Wizardry! We already told you this,” Bella said and placed her hands on her hips. “Tafel’s going to love how you look.”
The door behind the trio swung open. The two fairies froze, including their wings, but they somehow managed to stay in the air. Lindyss stood at the door with her brow furrowed. “Sorry. Wrong room,” she said and closed the door. The fairies’ wings started flapping again as they glanced at each other.
The door opened again. “Vur?” Lindyss asked with a frown. “What the hell are you doing?”
Vur tilted his head. “What do you mean?” he asked. “You told me to wear this.”
“Flee?” Bella asked Rella.
The two fairies managed to dart outside the room before two tendrils shot out of Lindyss’ shadow and sealed their movements. “Explain,” Lindyss said as the tendrils squeezed the sisters.
“We were wrong! Please don’t ki—“
The fairies’ wails were silenced as their mouths were gagged. “Rella and Bella told me that you wanted me to change clothes,” Vur said as he stared at the struggling fairies.
“So you changed into a dress?” Lindyss asked, raising an eyebrow.
Vur nodded. “They said that you wanted to coordinate better with Tafel to make her wedding special.”
“And you believed them?”
“Of course. I have no reason not to.”
“What do you two devils have to say for yourselves?” Lindyss asked as she smiled at the two fairies who were now hanging upside down in front of her. Her face was smiling, but her gaze sent chills down their spines. The two fairies’ eyes grew as big as saucers and their lips quivered.
“We were wrong! Please forgive us,” they wailed. “It’s our nature to play pranks and we haven’t tricked anyone in years. We couldn’t help it! You’ll forgive us, right?” They sniffled as they twisted their bodies to stare at Vur. Vur sighed.
“They must’ve known the consequences of their actions,” Lindyss said. “Feel free to punish them.”
“We didn’t!” Rella said and shook her head. “We never considered the consequences. We didn’t think we’d get caught. We were just going to hide for a few centuries until his anger cooled off.”
Vur opened his mouth and the two fairies shut their eyes. “I’m disappointed in you two,” he said and picked them up, dispersing the shadowy tendrils. They hugged each other and trembled in his palms. “But I’m not going to punish you.”
“Huh?” Bella and Rella said at the same time while opening their eyes. “Really?”
“Dragons don’t lie,” Vur said. “I know all too well how it feels to give in to your instincts. Luckily, no harm was done. Next time, you should prank someone who can’t retaliate.”
Rella and Bella looked at each other before they hugged Vur’s face. “You’re the best king ever,” they said.
“I know, but, for some reason, Tafel disagrees,” Vur said and sighed. “Now do something about my breasts. It’s weird having them block my vision when I look down.”
Lindyss sighed before smiling as the fairies undid their work. “I’ll have a skeleton deliver an appropriate garment for you to wear. It’s a good thing I decided to check up on you before the wedding started; I had a feeling you’d botch it somehow. You have fifteen minutes to get ready before you walk down that red carpet with Tafel. Normally, the groom would wait at the altar, but you two are special. It’d be more meaningful if a human and demon walked together with their arms linked,” Lindyss said. She glared at the fairies. “Don’t mess with him anymore. Now I have to make sure Floofykins didn’t eat the ring.” She closed the door behind her as she left.