Chapter 8 : The Rollout

I woke up the next day excited.

Today, I’m taking a few people to see our city, [ Beppu ].

Sir Kyle looked at the party enviously.

[ I want to go… ]

I shook my finger no.

[ You can’t. The spirits don’t like you and this is the first time humans have been to the lands of the Children of Spring in hundreds of years! Besides, you need to stay here in case something happens. ]

He pouted like a child. Standing next to me was Cliff, Clara, Marie, Sara, Minster and a young couple named Mia and Mark- they were recommended by See. Clint came as the guard of us all as we entered the forest. Since, everyone except the pixies was staying behind to watch the village.

It’s time for our first test run!

[ You seem really excited Laelia? ]

I nodded my head at Clara.

[ I’ve never had friends over before! ]

They all looked at me warmly.

[ Okay, make sure you guys follow close behind me, okay? I don’t think they’ll clear the official path for us. ]

They all nodded their heads and followed close behind me as we entered the woods. All the villagers waving us off. After a few minutes one of the Fairy Handmaidens, the pink-haired one appeared out of nowhere.

[ Laelia, The Queen has sent me escort you back to [ Beppu ]. ]

They all made sounds of shock. Minster’s eyes sparkled.

[ So pretty… ]

The handmaiden didn’t try hard to hide her smug look. The group of us followed her into the gate into the circular city. I smiled when I saw the city.

My monsters are brilliant! It came out perfect! A city of Spring needs to have water, flora and fauna, be magical and organized!

The Handmaiden gestured to the magical city.

[ Welcome to [ Beppu ]. It has not had guests for many years so not everything has been awoken. Come. ]

We all followed her into the city. The first thing we saw were two crystal clear springs with rainbow colored fish in them on both sides of the stone road. Beautiful buildings of rock, stone, brick and wood stood in organized spirals. Plants and tiny creatures were everywhere. Marie and Sara grabbed my hand.

[ This is amazing! ]

[ I want to paint this! ]

The young couple stood there shocked. They were holding on to each other. Minster ran up to the pink-haired lady.

[ Miss may I know your name? ]

She shook her head.

[ I only have a true name which we do not share with anyone. ]

He smiled widely.

[ Can I give you your first nickname then!? ]

She looked unsure for a moment than nodded.

[ Astilbe! Astilbe this place is amazing! ]

I had to suppress my laughter.

Minster are you that charmed by her?

[ This place? You have only seen the walkway? ]

Clint looked around. He had been silently lately.

I had the feeling he was watching everything.

[ Children get excited easily. ]

She nodded her head.

To Astilbe you are all children though.

[ Queen has asked me to take you to a place for food and rest. ]

We walked through the main street spiral, seeing most of the city. Every now and then a few fairies might pop out as if they were curious before disappearing. When we got to what looked like the entrance to giant ruins we stopped.

[ Children, this is the entrance to the { Ruins } of Spring. It is what you call a dungeon. Do not approach here without supervision it is not safe. ]

Yea, you consider all of them children and they now know it.

We continued to the side. There were beautiful steps carved into the mountain that lead upwards. When we got about midway there was suddenly rows of buildings and a new street. Astilbe lead us to one of the large buildings in the top left end. When we entered the building there was the other Lake Horse waiting for us. He had taken the form of a handsome man.

[ Guests, please come this way. ]

Astilbe turned around and left silently. Minster looked crushed. We were taken to a large open room with an indent in the ground in which a table and space to sit was made. Large veranda doors were open to reveal a porch a view of the sky and gardens. We were directed to sit down and one of the Morphers came in the form of a female to serve food. The Lake Horse sitting down on the ground waiting to be asked a question. Most of the people were just lured in by the smell and taste of new luxurious foods they had never had before. It seems Brigid and the Noble High Elf together were able to plant these things called: Bananas, Pineapples, Oranges, Lemons, Limes, Coconuts and Mangoes. They were used with seasonings to create interesting dishes. Clint seemed to enjoy the Mango flavored liquors. Clara was the first to speak.

[ Thank you so much! This is so very delicious! ]

He nodded his head.

The DP we got was quite delicious.

[ Your welcome, child. Some were excited to cook and get new reactions. ]

Marie looked at him with a curious expression.

[ What kind of fairy are you? Are like Teacher Wald? ]

He shook his head no.

[ I am not a child of Wind. I am a child of Water. My father is Alskare. ]

Cliff turned to look at him excited.

[ Does that mean you are strong! ]

He smiled.

[ Strong is relative here, but yes in your standards I am strong. ]

Cliff eyes started sparkling.

[ Teach me please! ]

The Lake Horse smiled at him.

[ Child, you are loved by the spirits of wind. I do not even use a sword. There are much better tutors out there for you, like your father. ]

Clint looked up from eating.

What a funny look in his eyes…

[ To be compared to strong beings like yourself I am honored. ]

He ignored the comment. I looked at everyone.

[ So, what would you like to do? ]

The young couple smiled softly.

[ See said that there is wonderful fishing and food items here. ]

Sara giggled.

[ Paint! Is there someone who sells paint or is an artist! ]

Minster looked a little shy.

[ I was hoping to see Astilbe…. I wanted a tour of the town and the water. ]

Marie looked super excited.

[ Can I see Teacher Wald’s family! I want to practice the bow! ]

Clara held the glass of fruit juice in her hands.

[ I want to practice magic. ]

Cliff seemed to be shaking with excitement.

[ Training! I want to get stronger! ]

The Lake Horse nodded his head and turned to Clint.

[ Relax? ]

[ Alright, I shall arrange these things for you tomorrow. After dinner we will take you to your rooms so you can relax and sleep. A room has been prepared for the young couple, one for Clint and the other for the children. ]

Everyone spent the entire dinner excited.

….

Clint sat down on his bed sighing. There was so much on his mind.

I knew when I saw the girl something was up, but all of this… I can’t help but feel like in the pit of my stomach she is hiding things.

He sat up when he heard the knock on the door.

[ Come in. ]

The door opened and a beautiful snake woman appeared in front of him. Clint had heard rumors of the beautiful monsters that enticed men for children, but they had not done them justice.

[ Good Evening, Sir Clint. I have heard your aim is to relax while you are here. ]

I watched her enter the room and sit next to me.

Why is my heart racing so much! I am a widowed forty-three-year-old man!

[ Yes… ]

[ May I provide you some comfort while you are here? ]

My eyes were swimming in confusion.

[ Why would you? ]

Her smile was so seductive.

[ You must have heard rumors of my kind. It has been along time since there has been someone new. ]

Her hand went to my chest.

[ And a good looking one at that. ]

Children, father is not proud of himself. He caved quite easily. These monsters were more dangerous than rumors made them out to be.

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Snake Woman And Drinks

 

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