“Oh!*blush*I…I…don’t know what to say….”
“Well, how about a yes?”
“What the heck…Yes! I will marry you!”
“You made me the happiest guy of all the world? You just don’t know how long I have been waiting for this.”
“*sigh* If I would have known sooner….well, things could have been different.”
“That doesn’t matter, things happened for a reason.”
“You know, you’re right. What matters right now is that have made me a very happy woman by confessing your feelings towards me.”
“Blech….what the heck is going on today?”
“What do you mean, Lina?”
The annoyed redhead’s eyes slitted and glanced at her traveling bodyguard. Wishing he has better common sense to not ask stupid questions when she’s in this kind of mood.
“How can you be so dense as mud and live thru it, Gourry?”
“*shrug shoulders* Maybe because I’m not as dumb as you think.”
She blinked in response. “Whatever. What I’m referring to Gourry is that!” she pointed at a couple.
“*squeal* Oh Hiero! Yes! My answer is yes!”
“*sigh* See what I mean….every couple are so emotional, professing so much love and junk that would make a mazuko starve for almost a year!!”
“Oh….I see…well maybe because it’s The Day of Psche’s Call.” (1)
“It is? That makes sense. Wait, how do you happen to remember this holiday when I haven’t?”
“I dunno…maybe because you’re not in love or have someone to be with and I know why.” he added it absently.
A gloved fist meet a blonde head.
“I don’t need any snide comments from you. Mold for Brains!”
“No buts…I had enough that everybody thinks that I’m a cruel, abominable, selfish sorceress! I’m human girl with feelings.” she miffed.
“Gee….if it really hurts your feelings, I’m sorry Lina, I’ll be nice to you…”
He walks up close to her and gave her a hug, of course she blushes feverently and at that precise moment…
“Look Edgar at that young couple, how sweet. There should be more innocent hugs like that, right?”
“Yes of course Emma.”
After the old couple passed by them.
“Let go Baka!”
She immediately pushes him hard that he fell to the ground. She commenced with the pummeling.
“Ow Lina! Stop it!”
As she was ready to strike another blow, both lifted up their noses in the air….
“Wow, something smells terrific!”
“Yeah…I wonder where it’s coming from?”
…. And have them follow the disappearing scent. They walked further into to the town, decorated what seems to be for a festivity, until they reached their destination, which lead them to a bakery shop. They walked in to find it somewhat crowded.
“Good afternoon folks! How can I help you?”
A middle aged gentleman behind the counter spoke to the odd couple who where practically drooling at each pastry.
“Yeah mister, I wanna buy this, and this, and this, and that…”
The shop owner sweat dropped as the blonde man started to grab and point to the delicious merchandise. Curiously, he took notice the redhead girl was picking and smelling the baked goods. He didn’t want to be rude to his customers, but perhaps….
“Ah, of course, of course. I’m assuming all this is for a party?” he looked at his new client who happened to blink his blue eyes set into confusion.
“Hey Lina, are we having or going to a party?” paying the man.
“Neither.” she curtly answered, she was trying to figure out where the earlier decadent smell came from.
“Oh…I see.” he sweat dropped as he started to bag the sweets.
Lina brought an armful of various loafs of breads, tarts, and cookies towards the counter. As soon as she dropped them, she began to look at the assorted pies that was laying on a table close to the front window. Something caught her eye. She looked out the window,
“Was that…?” …but it could only give her so much area to view from.
She hurried outside but couldn’t find the object of her attention. Defeated, she turned back around, she then notices that there are more customers entering the bakery when the same odor wafted under her nose from earlier.
“I better buy my goodies before somebody snatches them up.” she sprinted back to the shop.
Too late, the majority of her carefully picked baked ware are gone.
“Hey wait! I’m buying that!”
She scurried towards the counter to salvage whatever is left which is just three tarts, about a one pound of cookies, and two loaves left, however by the time she pushed herself thru the crowd, they were gone. She let out a sigh of yet another defeat and glared at the last person that bought her food. Fortunately for the person, the Dragon Slave wielder cannot cast magic at the moment. The crowds are now gone with the exception of two.
“Gourry! Why didn’t you buy them for me? I have them saved for myself!”
“Because I was too busy buying mines. Besides, I thought you changed your mind when you went outside.” eating whatever was left from the bag.
“You pig! You could at least save me a slice of cake!”
“No way! I bought them for myself. Besides, you don‘t share your food.”
She counted to 10, better make that to 30, very, very slowly.
“When are you going to have more of your pastries ready, sir?” knowing that fresh ones will satiate her even better. ‘And I won’t even let Gourry see me eat them…well, maybe just to torture him.’ imagining him whining and crying because Lina won’t share.
“I’m sorry miss but due to the fact the Kermesse (2) had to start over two hours ago, we cannot make anymore until tomorrow.”
“*sigh* Might as well. *blink* Kermesse?”
He seen that kind of look before whenever outsiders come to town for touring. “It’s a charitable funfair we celebrate each year on the Day of Psyche’s Call. This year’s proceeds are going to the orphanage over at the next town. They need many repairs and food for the young ones. Why don‘t the both of you go and enjoy the festival, there will be raffles, drawings, games, lots of food,……”
“A charity festival, hmm.”
Which means that they’re asking for money…money she’s not ready to give up so easily considering how hard she fought many bandits and looted…er…gained her pay by performing a grand cause. But there was a part of the sentence that slowly registered to her brain.
“Did you say lots of food?”
They began to drool all over again.
“Oh yes, tons of delicious food, you‘ll enjoy every bit of the fair.”
“If it‘s nothing that deals with food, I highly doubt it. Come on Gourry. We got a lot to cover!”
She started to drag the mercenary away from the bakery.
He looked at the departing newcomers, “Oh rats! I forgot to mention about the Kermesse’s rules….well, to late now. Since I‘m closing, I might have a chance to see them and explain later on, if not, well I hope somebody else does, before Trista starts to arrest them.”
As soon as they went outside, they noticed that there are many people bustling around, especially young couples. Ignoring the emotions they are professing, she turn to the swordsman.
“Ok, let‘s find the nearest stall where we can get food.”
However, there was a slightly plumped woman with salt and pepper hair and wearing a uniform, stopped in front of her. Just as Lina was ready to talk about some mannerisms to her, the woman began to speak to a pretty raven-tress girl who was just standing there, doing nothing and looking very bored.
“Alright Rei….you know the rules…off you go to the Kermesse jail.”
“Trista! Bbbut I’m waiting for someone.”
“Well now that someone is gonna have to bail you out then.”
Rei let out a disgruntled sound and walked with the law official. Lina’s eyes followed them into what looks like a makeshift cell that was a bit far off from the bakery. Curiously, she followed them without any of the two noticing. With Gourry by her side, they stopped, surprised that they are many other people in the jail as well. They were other guards either standing or talking to the prisoners and or a small crowd surrounding them, laughing and smiling.
“Hey, what did they do?”
“Shh…Gourry, that’s what I’m trying to figure out!” she didn’t want take a risk for any of the swordsman’s mishaps.
“I don’t know but I don’t think they’re trying to be serious.” replying after hearing more laughter.
Then a young man came up to one of the police officers and paid the bail for somebody. The sentinel called out to a prisoner and as soon as she came out, she and her rescuer blushed as the jailer ushered them to another spot where there seems to be, beside a long line, a judge sitting behind a court bench. Lina was eager to know what is going on, so she walked closer to where a small group gathered around. She was able to hear when the judge began to speak to a pair.
“Fine, fine. I see Sammy paid the fee for Kiki. Well, the paper work are already drawn and we have the rings ready, all we need are your signatures….”
They approached the desk, signed and exchange rings.
“Sammy, do you take Kiki to be your wife?”
“Kiki, do you take Sammy to be your husband?”
“As judge of the Kermesse, you are married.” he passed a rolled up scroll to the gentleman.
“You many kiss the bride, with her consent, of course.”
With that agreement, he kissed lightly on the lips and pulled away, both blushing.
“Ok you kids, go and have fun at the fair or else both of you will be incarcerated. Next!”
The two walked away as another couple approached with the same results.
“Wow….do you think that’s official?”
“I don‘t know, at least I hope not.”
“Oh….ok.” he still didn’t understand the process, however in the corner of his eye, he sees an ice cream stand like from back at the lands from outside the barrier.
“Hey Lina, look!”
Her eyes turned to the direction where he’s finger pointed.
“Alright! Ice Cream!”
The duo adventurers marched over to the stall greeted by the vendor’s smile.
“Hi! Can I get 2 cones of 2 scoops of chocolate and 2 scoops of strawberry, and 1 scoop, no, better make that 2 scoops of vanilla!”
The vendor look at him in amazement, “Aren’t you afraid they will melt or fall off?”
“Naw, I’ll finish them off before that happens.” giving him a happy-go-lucky smile.
Needless to say, he placed his order. As soon as Gourry paid and the cold yet delicious dessert have been served,
…the redhead snatched them up.
“LINAAAAAAA! THAT’S MINE!!!”
He yelled which alarmed the some of the circling townspeople.
“Ya snooze, ya loose.” mouth readily to consume the ice cream.
“Is there a problem here?”
She turn to see who dare her from preventing eating her snack. She immediately recognize the woman from earlier who arrested Rei.
“Oh no, no. He’s just treating me for some ice cream.”
“No I didn’t! I bought them for myself…”
“SHUT UP JELLYFISH!”
“Perhaps I should take you…”
“W...wwait a minute please, let me explain.”
Not noticing that Jellyfish took advantage, stole his treats back, and polished them off, all while Lina explains. Which resulted…
“Ouch…my head hurts.” …a brain freeze.
“I…we’re new here and we’re just enjoying this wonderful event. We were just excited on what to do next.” hopefully she’ll believe her story.
“Very well then, I’ll let you go this time. But as for the next…”
“Oh sure, I understand. Thank you very much.”
Trista walked away to look for another “lawbreaker”. They too walked away at the opposite direction. As soon as the coast is clear from any sentinels and any witnesses.
“You Idiot!! You almost got me arrested!” she screamed at him.
“I did? For what?”
“Grr….for my ice…? Where’s my ice cream?!”
“You got ice cream too? What flavors did you pick?”
“Argh…You. *bam* Selfish.*bonk* Mold.*stomp* For.*stomp* Brains!!”
Another crowd surround them as the Dramatta continue to beat up poor Gourry, unknowingly, she attracted attention once more.
“What’s going on…YOU AGAIN?!”
‘Oops.’ “Oh hi! Don’t mind us. I thought I saw a bug on him and I was trying to get it off him.” ‘Please L-Sama let her buy it, again.’
She thought as she tries to get him off the floor. However there is a problem, getting him to stand is kinda hard considering he’s unconscious.
“Stop fooling around and get up already, Gourry.”
She harshly whispered to him, he didn’t respond. Trista arched an eyebrow at her.
“Um…hehehe.” she chuckled a bit as she slid her hand behind her head.
“I guess I hit him…um…the bug on him, too hard.”
“Come on, your going to jail.” grabbing her by the arms as the people trying to help the knocked out swordsman.
“B...but, but…GOURRY WAKE UP AND TELL HER YOU‘RE OK!”
Lina tries to explain but to no avail. They walked back to where the iron barred cage stood. The sorceress notices that there is only two girls in there, a teenager with loose blondish brown hair with the exception of a couple of strands in a ponytail and the familiar brunette. She was gently pushed in by Trista.
“I want my lawyer! I‘m innocent!” she protested, her hands wrapped around the bars.
“What are you in here for?” the brunette asked.
“Er….for no apparent reason! It’s not fair!” she whined.
They looked at her with quizzically.
“This is your first time to the Kermesse, isn’t it?”
“You’re that girl that I saw that lady arrested earlier today. Rei, isn’t it?”
The girl nodded her response.
“I’m that noticeable, huh?”
“People who are ‘arrested’ today don’t usually react the same way as you did.” the second girl spoke, using her fingers as quotation marks on the word arrest.
“Oh yeah? Well….what are you guys ‘arrested’ for?” using the same motion that the blonde did.
“I wasn’t buying anything. I forgot my money.” she blushed with embarrassment.
“Dang it Yayoi (3). Why didn’t you tell me earlier when we were standing in front of the stupid game. I would have you lend you some money and we both wouldn’t be in here.”
“Oh…so you didn’t play the three legged race then?”
“No…because I needed a partner for that!”
“Huh, you mean to tell me, you got arrested for that? This is a pretty strict town.”
Noticing the serious tone in the redhead’s voice.
“Oh no. This isn’t real. It’s all part of the Kermesse.”
“Besides this being a charitable festival, there are rules to follow. Some of them are: 1) you are to buy something. 2) not to pick a fight with anyone, including insults, so no weapons and magic are allowed. 3) Keep yourself busy. 4) you gotta participate in games, such the races, ring toss, carnival rides, the pick your fish game, raffles, and keno. There are more but the most important of all is to have fun and enjoy the fair, no negativity.”
“Oh. Well, that explains a lot.”
“Yeah. And if you ended up in jail, someone comes and bail you out.”
“Oi, Lina! There you are! I couldn’t find you…”
“Gourry! Where have been? Never mind, just go pay my fine so we can eat.”
“Oh, ok.” he walked up to the familiar guard.
“How much to get Lina out of there?”
“Let’s see…for disrupting the peace, for insulting and beating you up, and for not buying anything all day. I think about 15 copper pieces.”
“How can I when I am locked up in here!”
“Better make that 20 copper pieces for number four, making a smarty pants remark.”
She immediately shut her mouth and began to fume, thinking unkindly about her jailer.
“Alright.” he starts to pull out lint, a stick, candy wrappers, click clackers, and 10 copper coins.
“Uh oh…I don’t have enough, can you take it as a down payment.”
“Gourry You Stupid Idiot!!!”
She shook her head, “25 copper pieces…sorry sir, but you have to pay the whole amount, unless you would like…” she blinked to see a retreating back.
“Don’t worry Lina, I’ll find some money for you.” and begins to run off.
“Gourry! Gourry! Aw great.” she crossed her arms.
“He could of just paid half of the fine and….ooh….is that Garren.” she said.
“Yup. Rei, he came to bail you out! You’re lucky, I wish Garren brought a friend of his.”
The child prodigy turned to see who they were talking about. Up walks up a young cute guy with short dark colored green spiky hair and brown eyes.
“Hi Rei.” he smiles.
“Hi Garren.” she blushed.
“I’m here to bail Rei out.”
“Full price or did you want to negotiate for her?” she smirks.
Lina listens intently ’That Kurage! Even though he knows what negotiate means, he won’t know how to.’ she huffed
“I want to negotiate.”
“Thought so. It’s 10 copper pieces.”
“Ok. You’re free Rei. Now both go see the judge.” she spoke at the blushing couple who were heading towards the Kermesse magistrate.”
Now it was Lina’s turn to blush. “You mean negotiating here is to be married?”
“Yeah.” saying it rather dreamingly.
“Hey Rei! Lemme know how your date went!” waving at her.
“Ok Yayoi!” waving back.
’This is a weird place.’ she thought to herself so the price won’t go up.
“It’s a good thing he didn’t negotiate, it would take forever trying to explain to him that we’re not really married.”
The pretty sandy blonde turned to her. “You don’t like him?”
A slight tinge on the cheeks. “Well…er…”
Thankful for the interruption, they both looked at the silky toned speaker. Another gorgeous young man with short yet silky reddish-black hair, tall like Gourry, and did I mention gorgeous…Lina’s jaw dropped as Yayoi looked at him.
“Oh…hi Ura.” (3) pretending to be nonchalant.
“What did you do this time Yayoi.” saying it rather exasperating, just to get back at her for her not so warm and formal greeting.
“I forgot I spent my share yesterday on my dress.”
She was fiddling around what looks like a necklace of beads wrapped around her wrists. It seems she wasn’t the only one who was eyeing on it, although he looked a tad nervous.
He decided to quickly disregard his discomfort and turn on his charm. “It’s worth it.” flashing one of his flirty smiles. The Bandit Killer’s knees nearly buckled, however, she’s not the only one to react that way.
‘Like butter.’ he thought.
’How does he do that?’ Lina remained her composure.
She blushes, “Thank you.”
“Would you like me to bail you out?”
Her eyes went wide-eyed. “I…I…”
“Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll find a way to pay me back.” grinning like a cat…a sly, handsome, graceful, cat, that is.
He pulled out his bag of coins. Just before he was ready to pay the amount…
“Lina? What did you do this time…wait, let me rephrase that statement.” the stranger crossed his arms as he smirked.
(1) I couldn’t really figure out to what to name it since I didn’t want to use earthy St. Valentine’s Day. Gomen…
(2) I haven’t attended one but I got the idea from hearing other families who did years back. Kermesse is what it was explained earlier. Especially when there is a fake jail cell for the people who didn’t do those actions. Now I don’t know the exact detail of the fake marriage thing but I thought I would be a great idea to put it in as such. Confused….keep reading to the other chappies. ^.^
(3) These names and characters belong to the manga, Mugen Spin. I read it couple days ago from a bookstore and I like it. Unfortunately, I didn’t see anymore of them…I’m hoping they will release more. Yayoi is some kind of spiritualists of sorts (sorry: I don’t remember the exact field nor the correct name) and Ura is demon prince who is weaken in the human world and cursed to be a black cat by Yayoi with rosary prayer beads made from cat bones. The only way he can be transform is when she would remove the beads from his neck and to become a full fledged demon with powers, Yayoi need to break one of the beads.