“Teach me how to fight,” Tafel said.
Chad blinked at the kneeling demon girl at his feet. “No,” he said and began to walk around her. The two were in a hallway of the royal castle near the room holding Lindyss.
Tafel grabbed his leg. “Please, please, please, please, please, pleaseeeeee.”
“You’re annoying. Let go,” Chad said as he stopped and pried her fingers off. “Go ask your mother; I’m not a mage.”
“I don’t want to use magic,” Tafel said as she scrambled to her feet. “I want to learn how to fight. With a weapon.”
“Are you stupid?” Chad asked as he narrowed his eyes. “You already have six horns and you’re not even ten. Your potential for magic is huge.”
Tafel bit her lip. “I’m not giving up on magic. I just want to learn how to fight too.”
“Go ask Doofus then,” Chad said as he walked towards a door. “He’s teaching at the academy.”
“But you’re the strongest warrior,” Tafel said. “No one’s as good as you.”
“That’s right. I’m the strongest,” Chad said as he nodded and opened the door.
“The way you use the spear is amazing,” Tafel said as she chased after him. “It’s hard for me to see it move. And you beat eight members of the royal family by yourself.”
“Of course,” Chad said as he smiled. “I’ve been doing it for years.” Lindyss and Tina were sitting in the room, talking to each other when Chad and Tafel walked inside. Vur was still unconscious in the bed adjacent to them.
“You’re also the most handsome person I’ve seen,” Tafel said as her eyes sparkled. “You look so cool in your armor.”
Chad chuckled. “Don’t I?” he asked as he stuck his chest out and strutted to a chair.
“Creep,” Tina said as she rolled her eyes at him. Chad snorted.
“You’re just jealous,” he said as he sat down. “You know children always tell the truth.”
“Especially when they want something from you, right?” Tina asked and winked at Tafel.
Tafel’s face turned red and she looked away. “He would have agreed after one or two more lines of praise,” Tafel mumbled.
“What?” Chad asked as his face snapped towards Tafel. “You were trying to flatter me into teaching you.”
“No! Of course not,” Tafel said as she shook her head. “I meant everything I said, teacher.”
“Who’s your teacher?!” Chad asked as he crossed his arms and looked the other way. He sighed. “Kids these days.”
Tafel pouted. “You ruined it,” she said, staring at Tina.
Tina smiled at her. “Why don’t you join the Swirling Winds?” she asked. “Ruji’s one of the best spellblades out there. You should leave the warrior classes to the simple minded brutes like our friend here.” She gestured towards Chad.
“Fight me,” Chad said.
“See what I mean?” Tina asked. “We’ll be going to back to Fuselage as soon as Lindyss returns to the south.”
“Can I really? What about my mom?” Tafel asked as her eyes widened.
“She has a country to run,” Tina replied and grinned. “Don’t worry about her. I bet Dustin could convince her. The two seem awfully chummy nowadays.”
Tafel looked up and thought about her mother’s recent behavior. She nodded. “When are you going back?” she asked, turning towards Lindyss.
“Sera should be here soon. I don’t know how long it’s going to take Vur to wake up. He wasn’t ready to awaken the bloodline, it’s possible it may take a few years,” Lindyss said and sighed. “At least I’m still able to control his dreams.”
Tafel frowned and walked to Vur’s bedside. She clasped his hand in between hers and closed her eyes. “I’ll get stronger. So strong that you won’t be able to break your promise to me. I promise. Just you wait.”
Stella hovered over the restrained demon. “Isn’t this amazing?” Stella asked the upside-down demons above her. “It’s been over a month and he’s still not dead. He’s struggling with the same amount of gusto as he was in the beginning. I really want to see how long it’ll take for him to break.”
She giggled as she prodded the demon with a stick. “I wonder where he gets all this energy from. If he doesn’t need to eat, drink, or sleep, then it must be coming from somewhere. Maybe the mana in the vicinity?” She frowned as she looked up at the unresponsive demons above her. She clapped her hands and a bolt of electricity struck the chains holding them.
“How rude. No one said you could sleep,” Stella said as she watched the demons writhe. “Tell me. Am I right?”
The demons wailed as more electricity snaked through their bodies before they fainted again. “Ah, so fragile. Maybe I should remove their eyelids,” Stella muttered and shook her head. “Guess I’ll have to experiment to find out for myself. Rella! Get me as many bananerry seeds as you can. We’re going to plant them around this demon. If the plants closest to it have less mana than the ones further away, then I’ll know I’m right.”
Rella trembled as she nodded and flew outside.
Stella turned towards Bella. “Isn’t learning fun?” she asked with a smile.
Bella gulped and nodded.
“I’m glad you agree,” Stella said. “You want to learn more too, right? Go round up your sisters and get me more bodies. Demons, humans, animals, elves—no wait, that’d just be saying animals twice—it doesn’t matter. As long as they’re alive, I want them all. Of course, don’t let anyone know fairies are catching people to play with. We wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise too early.”
Bella shivered and flew outside.
“Oh, I’m so excited!” Stella squealed as she hugged her shoulders. “I can’t wait to see the expression on your face, Lindyss,” Stella said as she licked her lips and stared at the thrashing demon below her. Her horns pulsed with a red light and her eyes turned red. Rella froze at the entrance of the cave and trembled as she dropped a seed.
“Oh, good. You’re back,” Stella said as she smiled and turned towards Rella. Her horns dimmed and her eyes returned to their normal color. “Let’s get these seeds planted now, honey.”

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