Leo sighed as he adjusted his body, shifting his weight from his side to his belly. His wings flapped twice as his silver tail swished a few times. He was waiting in a cave, resting in a patch of sunlight. Why did he have to come to these boring assemblies? Why couldn’t Lulu or Luke take over instead? It always took the members a forever and a day to assemble, but he had to be on time because that’s what respectful dragons did. Maybe he should’ve ran away from home like Leila…
“Leoniden!” a voice called out. “The members have assembled and await your presence.”
Finally. Leo clambered to his feet and shook the dust off his body. He raised his head and puffed his chest out as he lumbered out of the cave towards the open glade where the assembly took place. He nodded at the members already assembled. The two humans kneeled, while the three elves nodded back. The group of dwarves acted as if they hadn’t seen him, causing his expression to darken. Meanwhile, the five silver-haired fairies were chattering and eating fruit from a golden plate that had been prepared for them. He released the breath he was holding when he didn’t see a certain someone.
“Is this everyone?” one of the dwarves asked. His face was gray, but he had a nose as red as a cherry. A crown rested on top of his head.
“Not yet, Plumby,” one of the fairies said, giggling at the dwarf. “Erin’s not here.”
The dwarf called Plumby scowled. “I told you not to call me that.”
The fairy giggled. “No, you told Erin not to call you that. You didn’t tell me.” She smiled as she bit into her strawberry and sucked out its juices.
Leo sighed. Why was he even at this farce? “Shall we get started?” he asked. “The present fairies can vote in Erin’s stead. Let’s finish this before she arrives, please.”
“No, no, no,” the fairies said at the same time. “Erin’s very … Erinny. You know how she is. If we vote for her, she’ll never leave us alone until the next assembly.”
Leo’s expression darkened. He glanced at the two human representatives. They smiled back at him and lowered their heads. He sighed and collapsed onto his belly, resting his head on his paws. His gaze fell onto the dwarves. Usually, there were thirteen of them, but only four were present today. But, of course, their votes would still be worth more than everyone else’s combined.
“I’m here!” a voice thundered from above. “You better not have started without me!” A tiny fairy flew down from the sky.
“About time,” Plumby said and stroked his beard. “Let’s—”
“First order of business!” the new arrival said, interrupting the dwarf. “Which one of your subordinates broke my fairy spring!?” She placed her hands on her hips and glared at the surrounding members. She was easily the shortest member there, but no one dared look her in the eyes. Erin Koller, the third fairy queen. There was a reason why everyone feared her. “Leo!”
Leo flinched and shrank backwards. “Y-yes?”
She was the first fairy to ever transform a dragon into a goat; although, the dragon was only a baby at the time. “Was it you!? Do I have to polymorph you again to teach you a lesson?” Erin asked, narrowing her eyes.
“No!” Leo said, shaking his head back and forth. “You know I never leave my cave except for this.”
Erin’s gaze lingered on the holy dragon before she snorted. “Who was it?” she asked again, flitting to the center of the assembly space. “No one’s going anywhere until I find out!”
“Don’t be unreasonable, fairy,” Plumby said as he drew his rifle which was slung across his back.
“Point that thing at me and I’ll transform you into a worm and feed you to a bird,” Erin said, shaking her fist at the dwarf.
One of the silver-haired fairies by the side sighed. “Isn’t it unfair how she’s the only one who knows how to polymorph?”
“Well, you’re the only one with telekinesis, and that’s not very fair either,” another fairy said and rolled her eyes.
“Says the mind reader.”
Erin turned around and pointed at the fairies. “So it was one of you. You were jealous of my ability and didn’t want it passed on to my offspring!”
“No, no,” the fairies said and shook their heads. “It really wasn’t us.”
Plumby cleared his throat. “Can we seriously begin the meeting now? I’m sure we all have places to be. None of us know anything about your stupid spring, you fairy.”
Erin glanced around at the faces avoiding her gaze. They didn’t directly agree with the dwarf, but they didn’t refute him either. “Fine,” she said and crossed her arms. “I’ll remember this. When something happens to your slave traders, magical trees, stupid brick kingdoms, tasty fruits, and frozen wasteland, you better not come begging me for help.” She sat on top of the plate of fruit and closed her eyes while crossing her legs.
Plumby shook his head at the fairy before putting away his rifle. “Then let’s begin.”
Leo closed his eyes as the members chatted about rules: the new ones formed, the old ones dissolved, who broke what and when. He shifted his neck, trying to get into a more comfortable position. Just when he was about to fall asleep, a voice pulled him out of the void.
“Leoniden, do you know anything about the dragons who flew over my lands recently?” Plumby asked.
“That was probably my sister bringing home her mate,” Leo said with a yawn. “You don’t have to worry about them.”
Plumby nodded. “Good.” He glanced at the human representatives. “I heard two new SSS-ranked adventurers appeared in the town of Anfang.” He turned his head towards the fairies and raised an eyebrow. “And a new fairy queen.”
“What!?” Erin asked as her eyes shot open. “A new fairy queen in Anfang? She’s definitely the one who ruined my spring!” She jumped up and flew away before anyone could react.
“Yes, there were two new SSS-ranked adventurers,” one of the human representatives said after Erin disappeared. She bit her lower lip. “Though, we’re not sure if one of them is exactly human … and the other one is questionable as well. We have no idea where they came from.”
“Interesting,” Plumby said and stroked his beard before grinning. “I’d like to meet them.”
The human representatives made faces but didn’t say anything.