Fairy Follies: A Midspring's Night Dream is a Side Story available during the intermission of Skies of Fire Raid Event from December 30, 2014 8:00 pm to January 2, 2015 7:59 pm (PST).
I had gotten used to camping out. Things like the ground being too hard, terrifying beast howls, or extreme temperature would keep me from falling asleep at first. But now? I bet I could catch forty winks inside an active volcano. I guess a fairy can learn to adapt as well as any human.
It wasn't like I wanted to talk or anything, but i was the first clear night in a while. Not too hot, not too cold, and a gentle breeze blowing. I was so comfortable, it seemed like it'd be a waste if! weren't awake to appreciate it.
The Heroes were all sound asleep, judging from their slow breathing, so I thought I wouldn't care if! sounded overly flirtatious. Still, I couldn't help feeling awkward about it.
"Ugh, I'm such an idiot," I said aloud to vent my feelings.
I had to cool off, so I pulled aside my blanket. Since I wasn't sleepy at all, I sat up and looked around, hoping to find something to entertain myself with. Unfortunately, the world was not that considerate, as nothing but wind-swept plains stretched out in every direction. There appeared to be a forest on the far end, but I didn't have the courage to wander that far from the group. I mean, I was just a delicate little fairy. I couldn't handle anything bigger than a bug... and even bugs are too gross for me.
With no other choice, I reluctantly turned back to the Heroes and frowned at their unconscious forms. It didn't seem like I could wake up the louts even if I slapped their faces with my wings. As I observed closer, I could tell they seemed wearier than when we first started out, yet their bodies appeared stronger. I guess it was a natural outcome of all the battles we've been through. Some looked more exhausted than usual, their faces covered with sweat. I took out a cloth and gently wiped it away, causing their expressions to relax a bit.
"Maybe they're having bad dreams..."
But I was glad they were able to get some sleep, in any case.
Putting away the cloth, I took another look at their faces. There was no way I could play some kind of prank on them now. I wanted more than anything to let them relax in a world without strife, but the least I could do for the moment was let them rest easy.
I might have looked calm on the outside, but like any other girl, bittersweet thoughts swirled around in my mind. Though I tried to remain still, I found myself gravitating towards the face of one Hero...
"Hm? Humans... here?"
A drowsy voice from behind broke the pull.
My body shook with overwhelming embarrassment. It was so unlike me to not check my surroundings before making a move like that, and I'm sure I ended up looking like some salacious fairy. Cursing my foolishness, I turned upon the intruder.
A yawn drew out her apology to a near-unintelligible length. It was clear she meant to be a little more repentant, for it was only proper given how she so rudely disregarded my feelings.
"My name is... Olfena. I'm a... wizardess."
The unfamiliar spellcaster introduced herself, looking ready to fall asleep at any moment. It appeared she took no notice of my wounded heart as she gave another gaping yawn. Of course I'd be wary about someone who appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the night, but at least her pointed hat and black cape made her claim convincing enough. Even if she could be a threat, it was hard to believe she was too dangerous in her drowsy state. I decided to give her my name.
"My name is Yvette. I'm a fairyess."
"Oh, a fairy... You don't say..."
"What, have you never seen one before?"
I sighed in response to her surprise. She was odd, but didn't seem to have any ulterior motives.
"So, what did you want with us? Are you a traveler, too?"
"Yes... I... wanted..."
Olfena's scattered words ended altogether. Her eyes had closed and she stood stock-still. Hard as it was to believe, it seemed she had fallen asleep. I started to get concerned, when she stirred again.
"What did I want... with you?"
"How should I know?!"
I quickly covered my mouth. I had shouted aloud in the heat of the moment, forgetting that the Heroes were still asleep. I turned my head and was relieved to find they hadn't moved. They really must've been tired, since they usually woke up at the slightest hint of danger.
"Could you not make me shout like that? There are people trying to sleep here."
"Is that... my fault?"
With a sour look, Olfena turned to the Heroes, then gave a small "Oh!" I followed her gaze, but found nothing too out of the ordinary, except the concerned faces of the Heroes as they wrestled with their dreams. Still, I couldn't help but wonder why the light sleepers of the party didn't wake up when I shouted.
"I... remember now."
I began to think it was more than just them being worn out, and the sharp glint in the sluggish wizardess' eye caused my hair to stand on end.
It appeared we were in a place called "Dreamer's Knoll," named so for the succubi who lived here. They entered the dreams of humans to steal their life force. I realized right away that must've been what was giving the Heroes trouble right now. They were fighting the whole time, and I had no idea.
"All humans... who fall asleep here... will have pleasant dreams..."
It looked like just another ordinary field, but the grass was a vivid green that seemed to shimmer in the darkness, and the ground had no paw prints to speak of whatsoever. Even the starry sky was more entrancing than I had ever seen it. The more I thought about it, the more the whole place reeked of a trap.
"I came here... to defeat the succubi... when I found you."
"Would've been nice if you had shown up a bit sooner."
The way Olfena's words dripped from her mouth was getting on my nerves. I was becoming so agitated that I lost focus.
"So I take it you have the power to defeat these succubi, right? Can you wake up the Heroes?"
Olfena's half-shut eyes narrowed further as she proudly answered my question. She might have been self-confident, but that only worried me even more. In my experience, over-confident types tend to make the most mistakes. They bite off more than they can chew, or overlook something really important. Why can't they be more humble like me? But it didn't seem like I had a choice if I didn't want the Heroes to be the eternal playthings of the succubi.
"However... I will need... your help... Yvette."
"What do you mean? I'm no mage, I'll have you know."
"That won't... be a problem," she declared, taking her wand topped with a moon-and-star emblem in both hands and giving me a triumphant look.
Her attitude was wearing on me, yet I had to grin and bear it. I tried to think of it as a trade-off for my own sass.
"My magic... is a dreamlike magic... It can read... your heart's desires... and make them real."
"My tome... does not contain... the word... 'impossible."
I was shocked by her sudden, outrageous claim. It was only natural, since it would be hard to trust anyone who spouted anything along those lines. Her lethargic nature didn't help her credibility any, either.
"However... over 90 percent... of its contents... are about... sleep and its benefits..."
"I kinda figured."
Calling her "eccentric" would be putting it mildly. I started to question if her story about the succubi was true at all.
"You don't... believe me?"
"I simply... love to sleep."
"That's not what I find hard to believe!"
I looked over her once again. Black hat, black cape, peach-blonde hair, and moons and stars embroidered on what little there was of her revealing outfit. I don't know why I even gave her my name in the first place.
"Would you like... to test... my powers?"
"Couldn't hurt. But what did you want me to do anyway?"
"My powers... can only grant... a pure... heartfelt wish."
"That sounds less helpful than I expected. Pure wishes don't exactly grow on trees."
"That is true... To wake up... the Heroes... you must wish... from the bottom... of your heart..."
"So it's all up to me, huh?"
I didn't entirely buy her story, but I figured I had nothing to lose by trying. Wishing with all my heart seemed like a better alternative than losing the Heroes.
"All right, let's give it a whirl."
I got on my knees, clasped my hands together, and thought of nothing but the Heroes: my bruised, soft-hearted, stick-in-the-mud companions.
"...Are you ready?"
I nodded and Olfena's wand began to glow. The gentle radiance soon intensified and filled my vision with light.
"They haven't budged an inch!"
I had reached my breaking point. My anger could've been heard a mile away. The light from Olfena's staff faded, until there was nothing but the moons shining down on us.
I knew she was fishy the moment I saw her, and her so-called magic was a sham. I was even mad at myself for falling for her trick. I missed out on my beauty sleep and had nothing to show for it.
"Yvette... it's because... you didn't... wish properly."
"What does that even mean?! Don't try to pin the fault on me, you big phony!"
I was absolutely furious. If that was supposed to be a test, she failed spectacularly. However, seeing her bewildered expression, my irritation slowly changed to suspicion.
"You don't... want the Heroes... to awaken?"
"Why would you think...?"
I stopped and looked at the Heroes groaning in their sleep. Did I truly give a pure, heartfelt wish? I know I wanted more than anything to let them rest in a world without strife, but I didn't want that to be in their dreams, did I? I just didn't want us to keep putting ourselves in life-threatening situations. I guess having good intentions wasn't as simple as I thought. As I mulled it over, Olfena nervously glanced between me and the Heroes.
"Would that be a bad thing if I didn't?"
The raspy sound of my voice likely shocked Olfena as much as it did me. I hate it when I make myself look bad.
"To be blunt, it's because I don't believe in you or your magic at all."
I took deep breaths to release the irritability I felt with myself and regain my composure. As I filled my lungs with the spring air and cooled my head, I turned back to look at Olfena.
"I don't think! can make the kind of wish you're asking for. Is there some other way?"
Rather than getting hung up on the past, I thought it was better to keep moving forward. I consider it one of the better parts of my nature. Olfena crossed her arms and hummed in deep thought.
"It's... very simple."
The triumphant look returned to her face only moments before I punched it. I sort of felt sorry for her, seeing her holding her forehead in pain, but it had to be done to keep my spirits up. Besides, it hurt me, too.
"Are you trying to make me look stupid?!"
"Perish... the thought..."
"So why didn't you tell me the easy way earlier?"
Was she trying to act superior? Was she making me worry for nothing? I know she wasn't doing it out of some sick pleasure, but that made it even worse.
"...You were.... impatient..."
Still rubbing her head, the sleepy magician immediately filled me in. The standard way to fix this sort of problem was to enter the dreams of the afflicted. If someone they had formed close with were to speak to them, they would usually abandon the dream world and return to reality. It was so simple, I was almost disappointed. It was much more rational than the screwball method we tried at first.
"But it doesn't seem all that easy to enter someone else's dreams, even using magic."
"Indeed... In addition, the succubi have... a powerful barrier... in place... Yet... they are... no match... for a dream specialist... like me."
I wasn't sure what "dream specialist" meant, but since it didn't seem like she was attempting to fool or make a fool of me, I figured there was no harm in following along.
"Okay, so I just enter the dream world and wake them up?"
Olfena gave a thumbs up, teetering as always. Taking that to be a signal, I opened my arms wide.
"So now what do we do?"
Olfena's arm shot out and grasped my head. By the time I thought to scream, she had already brought my face to meet one of the Heroes'.
There was no time to ask what was happening. The next thing I knew, my field of vision began to churn. I felt like I was in a freefall, and my mind soon went blank.
Cracks ran along the ground, flames shot high into the air, and dark thunderclouds rumbled overhead. To make matters worse, there were swarms of fiendish demons wandering about. I was shocked by the horrific scene, but then realized that I was within the Heroes' dream. Until now, I still half-questioned Olfena, but her trick worked. Or at least, it seemed to. I wouldn't have been surprised if I had somehow ended up in Hades, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt. In any case, I was confused. She had told me the succubi's dreams were supposed to be on the pleasant side, but this was clearly a nightmare.
"Heroes? Where are you?"
I assumed they were all sharing the same dream for my sake, mostly because that way they'd at least have themselves for support. And they'd certainly need it, since there were fiends as far as I could see. I darted from the rock to rock, searching from cover, but couldn't find any trace of the Heroes. I started to wonder if I could even die here. Normally, you'd at least wake up when you died in a dream, but that was no good reason to take chances.
However, there was no way I was going to make any progress without exposing myself. Steeling my nerves, I shot into the sky to get an aerial view. I saw nothing but crags in every direction. As I realized what sort of world I was in, I worried if I'd be able to find even one of the Heroes.
Throwing caution to the wind, I called out, but still didn't get a reply. The demons didn't even seem to slow their march, completely ignoring my lovely voice. They probably wouldn't have even reacted to a rock to the head. In fact, it was insulting to think they wouldn't even turn to look at a pretty fairy like me. It was only then that I realized that they were single-mindedly moving in one direction, as if gathering at a certain point. My instincts told me they were heading towards the Heroes, so I immediately bolted across the sky, following the parade of terrors as pessimistic thoughts nagged my imagination. Maybe it was because I was so anxious that I couldn't move my wings as fast as I normally could, but that same emotion drove me forward.
After what felt like ages, I finally saw them: The weary, yet stronger Heroes were fighting off the demons without the aid of their Cryptids. Even in their dreams, they fought with honor though it put them at a disadvantage. I thought back to when they first fell asleep, and judging by how they seemed to be suffering soon after, they must've been fighting for a while.
"Hey, you nimrods!"
I managed to sneak into their blind spot before insulting them. After recovering from the surprise, they continued fighting as they protected me as usual. Each one had a different question for me: "What are you doing here?" "Where have you been?" and so on. They all sounded utterly worried about me, when just a while ago, I couldn't even worry enough to get them to wake up. My guilt returned, and even more painful than before.
"You guys know you're dreaming, right?"
I tried not to show my own inner turmoil as I broke the news. They appeared surprised, yet nodded in understanding. In fact, their reaction was so subdued, I was a little let down. I then told them how this was a world created by succubi, and that I had come to get them out with the help of an odd wizardess named Olfena. They gave their usual smile and said "thank you." The feeling of happiness I felt totally wiped out all other unpleasant emotions.
"You should be able to take on a few measly succubi. If you really are Heroes, that is," I taunted.
The unintentional rudeness was to hide my embarrassment. It's a bad habit of mine, but if I didn't, my face would look as if it were sunburned all year round. Finding an opening in the endless hordes, one of the Heroes held me close and then they all dashed away. I fit cleanly under their arm, so it was a common enough happening. In fact, I preferred it to flying, since it let me cover longer distances faster.
"Hey, there's something else I gotta tell you all..."
I looked up at the Heroes, noticing that at some point, the clouds had cleared away. The Heroes gave a token reply, still focused on fleeing the demons. I could tell they weren't paying attention, but I knew it was now or never.
But in the next moment, my consciousness went blank.
When I awoke, the first thing I remember was feeling a pleasant breeze. Then, I heard the rustling of the grass. Last, I saw a drowsy-looking magician staring at me.
My senses had not yet returned all the way, and it sort of felt like I was floating. Thinking I might have still been in the dream, I reached out and pinched the woman's cheek.
With her sorrowful yelp, I realized I had come back to reality. I let go and sat up. The plains, the stars, and the forest were just as they were when I had left.
"Oh, what about the Heroes?"
I finally remembered why I had entered the dream world to begin with. I looked over to the Heroes and saw them still wrapped in their blankets.
"This is ridiculous! They're still out cold!"
"I think.., you owe me... an apology... first."
"Yeah, yeah. A thousand pardons, Your Majesty! Now what's the deal?"
Though obviously unhappy with my attitude, Olfena told me that the succubi were no longer within the Heroes' dream in the same sleepy voice.
"Really? You're positively sure? Hey, wait a minute. You told me that the succubi make you see good dreams, but when I first got there, I thought I had died and gone to hell!"
"Whenever a succubus... finds those who resist... she will try... to break their mind."
"Ah, I see. Yeah, knowing these oblivious louts, there's no way they'd be tempted that easily."
"Yet regardless... if the dream... is good... or bad... the method of release... is the same."
That explains why they were running away just before I woke up. They must've been trying to free themselves from the succubi's grasp.
But still, the whole time I was wandering around the dream world, they were fighting for their lives. If anyone was oblivious here, it was me. If only I hadn't have been so cowardly...
"They'll be fine... now I must... be off... I'll train... the succubi... so they don't... harm anyone else."
"Hey, wait a second. Don't you want some kind of reward or something?"
"Let me... return home... as soon as possible... so I may... go back... to sleep."
She appeared even more unsteady than ever as she turned around and left. I only remembered to shout "thank you" just before she was out of sight, but she likely wasn't awake enough to hear me. I then turned to look at the Heroes. Relieved to see them sleeping more peacefully, I decided to call it a night myself. And thus ended the night of the eccentric wizardess, the moronic Heroes, and the salacious fairy.
The sun had already risen high into the sky when I woke up. The Heroes stared at me with amazed expressions as I tried to fall back asleep. Finally arising to tell them whose fault it was that I was so tired, the events from last night hit me with such impact that I jolted awake. I was midway through rambling on about what had happened when I realized how absurd I sounded. I wouldn't have been surprised if my entire face was red as a beet.
"W-well, let's just say that last night I..."
I was unable to put my gallant deeds into words, only adding to my awkwardness. The Heroes cast doubtful looks at me, clearly anting more details about what I had done last night.
"Hold on! Don't you remember your dreams at all?"
They began to think, and after a few seconds, they shrugged their shoulders and said they didn't. Of course. I should've expected, because it's just like always. And like always, whenever I get a little relieved and a little dejected, I get a little upset to hide it. But there's nothing wrong with that. They'll keep fighting and I'll always be there for them, headstrong, full of spirit, and slightly fussy. Because that's the way I am, and otherwise, I wouldn't be Yvette.