Behind the lush shurbs, an invisible fairy town is filled with little fairies passing through the air. There was a queue at the side of a giant tree, under the tree there was a female fairy with a fierce face, stocky body, and thick lips that seemed to be babbling reading the long parchment in her hand. She glanced at the fairies who had just arrived and entered the queue. Her mouth pursed, looking dissatisfied.
"There you are! Dusk Team! You guys seem to be missing one strawberry! Your dinner rations will be halved for a week!" she screamed.
The Dusk team that had just arrived looked disappointed, they couldn't protest and could only swallow bitter saliva. Behind Dusk Team, Lucinda, who is Rose Team, gasped in surprise, she looked at Grace with a fierce look. Grace just shrugged it off with a grin. They almost became the team that got punished, fortunately Frida always picked more strawberries than she should have. Frida just chuckled seeing the two members of her team throwing strange faces at each other.
Finished depositing their task, the four fairies relaxed in a tavern not far from the tree. They drank the famous flower cider juice in there, the color was golden yellow with white cream on top, it was sweet and biting, the cream was soft and melted instantly in the mouth.
"We almost got into trouble!" whispered Lucinda.
"Well, you should have thought about that before committing that stupid act. Reducing your dinner rations was just the lightest thing I've ever heard. The worst thing was getting punished for picking a rare fruit in the f*rbidden forest!" cried Alfred in a strained, whispering voice.
Lucinda looked frozen in shock. The F*rbidden Forest is a side of the forest rarely approached by rational-minded creatures, all kinds of bad things can be found there. There is not any good story about the f*rbidden forest in this whole world. Always ends with evil and frightening things. Lucinda's face was now pale, the flower juice she drank in a hurry made her choke uncontrollably, her eyes bulged, her hands tugging at the hem of Alfred's shirt.
"What are you doing? Let go!" Alfred tried to untie Lucinda's tug which almost tore his clothes.
"This is you!" she stammered, coughing as she beat her chest.
"Are you all right, Lucinda?" Frida approached, trying to help by patting Lucinda on the back.
"You should just drink water. Tilt your head to the right and back while sipping the water." Grace suggested, she seemed relaxed even though almost harmed her own team.
Lucinda heeded the advice, she didn't choke anymore, took a deep breath, leaning against the side of the table with stomach half down. "I felt like I was going to die earlier," she moaned.
"You have to thank Frida, thanks to her we survived the punishment. I didn't think the old lady would count the pickings this time. I heard this winter is going to be the longest season ever." Alfred sat on his chin, glancing sharply at Grace.
"Yeah. Yeah. I know." She just shrugged her shoulders, it didn't matter as long as they weren't punished.
"Here's your order! Lily pie topped with corn syrup and cheese!" a male fairy came up to them, in his hand was a large tantalizing pie. The fairy who had just arrived was muscular and bearded, on his head was his proud chef's hat.
"Oh! Gustraf! I love you!" said Frida, eyes blinking rapidly.
"Well thank you, honey. You deserve it after a long day at work. You guys are my favorite team. The other teams are so lousy, even I heard the Dusk Team got punished after their pickings were less than they should have been. This winter is going to be the worst season ever we're dealing with. If we don't have enough supplies, I don't know what will happen to us." Gustraf took a deep breath, he put the pie on the table and started cutting it.
"Don't worry, Gustraf! We've collected a lot of fruit and seeds in the past two weeks! You don't have to worry about running out of ingredients! Leave it to us!" Alfred smacked his chest with pride.
Gustraf was one of the chefs in the famous tavern in the fairy world, his bodybuilder-like appearance in stark contrast to his gentle and loving heart. He really likes things related to cooking, the thing that makes him happy is when someone happily says that his homemade food is very good. If their supply that year did not meet the quota, then Gustraf was forced to reduce his cooking rations in the kitchen, it really made his heart sad.
They ate Gustraf's pie with great gusto, the sweet and melt-in-the-mouth pie would make anyone feel doubly happy. Gustraf is indeed famous for his super duper delicious pies in the fairy world, even the royal party gave him the title of chef nobility. Gustraf had received an offer to become a palace chef, but he preferred to be a chef at the tavern where he worked, where he could meet his four favorite fairies every day. To him, the four of them were like family.
"I heard you said the f*rbidden forest earlier." Gustraf frowned in displeasure.
"You heard it?" Alfred was surprised.
"Your whispers are like shouting announcements in a quiet place like this." Gustraf swept his gaze around them, the fairies who were there, seemed curious about the five of them.
"We are indeed a popular team!" Grace exclaimed arrogantly.
"Grace! Oh my gosh!" Frida slapped herself on the forehead. Her face turned red with embarrassment.
"But, seriously, don't let yourself be punished there. Besides the forest being dangerous, I heard recently that there's been a dark witch wandering along the main road to the f*rbidden forest. If you were caught by that witch, I don't know what you would become." Gustraf tried to keep his voice as low as possible, but the fairies around them unwittingly approached their table.
"That witch is said to be looking for a rare magic ingredient in the F*rbidden Forest, but I'm not sure what she's actually doing around the main road. It's not usually a dark magician who manifests herself so clearly." Gustraf was surprised to see that his surroundings had become a dense crowd.
"Go on with your story, Gustraf!" whispered a half-screaming male fairy out of nowhere.
"Oh! All right! But remember! You're on your own for hearing this story. I can't guarantee you'll sleep well tonight." Gustraf looked serious.
They all nodded seriously.
"It's said that this dark magician sometimes hunts fairies as one of her potions. Maybe that's why she roams the main street. The fairy world has the strongest protective spells ever, so we can be safe from the things out there, but if you outside the protective barrier of the fairy world, the dark magician has a very strong sense of detecting the presence of fairies. I don't know if it's true or not, but!" Gustraf stabbed a knife into the pie in front of him so that the stuffed strawberry splattered out, they gasped in surprise, Lucinda almost fainted, but Frida held her body. Gustraf continued, "hundreds of years ago many fairies were lost somewhere, they were associated with black magicians who often appeared at that time. The elders and the fairies kingdom were made very worried and anxious, those times were the dark times of the fairy world . Almost half of us were reduced. Until the elders decided to use the ancient protective spell that exists today. The current protective spell is the oldest and most powerful ancient spell ever. You can breathe a sigh of relief, but the dark magician is famous for her tireless nature You'd better be careful about gathering supplies from now on. The royal palace hasn't officially announced this yet, it is said to avoid unnecessary fuss. But I guess they're being too selfish, what if there are casualties this time?"
They started fussing with each other, their faces serious and pale. Lucinda was now on the verge of passing out with her last defense. Alfred rubbed his chin, thinking about something, his eyes darting out the window, worried.