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Rival of Fairies’ Queen

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Union with a magic state

The contract with unearthly fiery seal lay on his desk. Unprecedented honor! The seal of the King of the Elves Dagda himself, but Count Angus paused a little.

«To conclude an alliance with them, it means to destroy all of us,» whispered his knight Theobald. «We, people, and the magic people, were always enemies. Nothing can be changed by one contract. After all, the magic creatures are cunning. They just deceive us, sleep our vigilance.

«But the seal from fire is sacred for them,» the count first did not listen to the advice of Theobald. «See, it still burns and burns your fingers, even stands on paper.» But at the same time the paper itself does not burn! Isn’t a miracle! Even they will not be able to break it, since they put on the contract, it means that it will not be broken. The seal of Dagda himself!»

He touched reverently it with his fingers. The magic fire of the seal flamed, but no longer burned. From it only slightly pricked the fingers, and beautiful colored sparks were blocked on the skin.

«I’m going to marry tomorrow. I need peace, you need a guarantee that we will no longer be attacked. At least, from the side of the magic people — that enemy, which is not overcome by the earth’s weapon. With conventional enemies, we can cope, but not with magical. It is better to make peace.»

«A truce,» corrected the adviser, always worn black in the sign of Mourning for the deceased family and the abducted bride, which was probably already dead or was enchanted. The Count could understand it. The grief of Theobald was great. Moreover, he did not want something like that repeated and with Amaranta. She was already driving here to become his wife. Her retinue is insignificant. But even if it was big, the elves can easily attack from the forest, from the steppes, from the water, from the mountains, even from the hills, not to mention the air and heaven — they live everywhere. Do not agree with them it means to become a victim. He himself is a knight and will perish with dignity if he has to fight. The main thing is that he did not enjoy it. After all, death from witchcraft is tormented and terrible. Angus’s ownership suffered from attacks of the magic people since time immemorial. Supernatural enemies fell suddenly, no one in advance warning about his invasion, which greatly distinguished them from the human troops, which first declare war, and then they lead the troops. It is a pity that the fairies and elves lived solely by their rules. If they have at least some rules. Their people were multiple, diverse and unusually strong. Now the hordes of magic creatures were surrendered to the count’s fields, pulling and burning sowing, the fairies blown out the villages of Sleepy Dusty, from which the peasants even after the awakening performed an unusual rash, and the minds were damaged.

People who were enchanted by fairies, then all their lives went like sleepy flies and painfully reacted to the light of the moon. And from the elves’ archers there was no salvation. They always took what they wanted, leaving behind the meadows and lakes covered with poisonous spells, and even the ashes. The rights of strong magic creatures worked whatever. And the councils on them were not. From their attacks suffered still grandfather and great-grandfather of Angus. And his father they generally reduced the world. No one was able to save the late count from some joker-elves, who came on the moon night and started the game with him not to life, but for death because of some flirty moon fairies. Naturally, the person in the magic game lost and exhausted from the incurable disease in a matter of days. After all, the bet in the game was no more than life. Anyone who played in the bones with elves, then confused thoughts, and blood oozed from under the nails. Magic creatures came, playing and joking, and people then died. Supernatural diseases caught by their charms mowed the subjects of the count, as if the harvest. Angus himself would endure this years. But Amaranta he wanted to ensure security. If it would not be his beautiful blond bride, he would not think about the security of all the surrounding villages and villages, not to mention the safety of the whole world. The old witch doctor, which in the district was also considered as a prophet, somehow predicted that hardly magical folk, playing, wrap all the county, then the king of the elves and the fairies’ Queen would unite and go war against the whole world.

Angus himself was not familiar with the king Dagda, nor with his girlfriend the fairies’ Queen, about which, by the way, was going to have rather sinister rumors. But the stray elf, accidentally met at the crossroads, explained to him that any white bird released right at the sunset, it was tented to Dagda himself.

«In the sunset, the gates to our world will open,» he explained to the count. This elf itself has the sunset in color, because his skin was orange, like fire. He could lie, because elves by nature are false. Nevertheless, the count listened to him and sent a message in such an unusual way. The postal dove released into the sunset obviously reached the target. After all, the answer came. Angus was pleased that the king of Elves reacted so quickly and even offered his friendship. He did not see any tricks in this.

«I respect your advice, but now it’s wiser to do so,» he looked at the crippled hand, which Theobald hid under the glove — evidence of the attack of elves. He snatched his hand, though mutilated, and the family could not save. And now he was depressed. Nothing consoled him, as if the elves infected his heart to a poisonous black longing. The hand reloaded and started to exhibit magic, tormented Theobald even more. He went to the holy fathers, they tried to help him but without success

«If it becomes very bad, I don’t come to the castle,» he promised all the time.

It was better to prevent danger at the root. The responsibility of the count was to follow the affairs, both outside and inside the county. He also lost his parents from the attack of the magic creatures, but did not get out. He cared for his lands and subjects. Old disputes of his ancestors with the people of Fairy do not have more meaning. And Dagda considers it now also. After all, he put his stamp. Now only the signature and sealing of the count are needed. The wandering magicians, whom he met on the roads of counties and which then disappeared somewhere, turned out to be much smarter than all of his advisers. They advised to bore the message to Dagda with their own blood, because by one droplet of your blood, the elves can easily understand that you are not hypocritical. Be that as it may, the answer immediately came, delivered to the castle window with a tiny dragon ruby-colored and with silver eyes. It is probably he got to put a fiery stamp under the signature of the most great ruler of the elves’ Dagda.

To conclude a truce with the elves is much more smarter than to fight with them. After all, the forces are unequal. The consent of Dagda must be taken as mercy.

The count itself would not go to that. But for the sake of their people… For the sake of defenseless old men and children of counties, for the sake of Amaranta… And he put a seal with an admixture of his own blood. The whole contract immediately broke out with a flame, in which, however, did not burn, but divided into two copies. One for Dagda, the Lord of the Magic People, the second for the count, the patron of local people. So mankind and magic came to the Union. The Count hoped that the Union would be fertile and fruitful. After all, the elves are great assistants in the war and in work, if they want, not to mention the magic. And soon the messenger of Dagda himself will come to visit. It’s time to drink for peace. A tiny elf has already been sitting on a barrel with wine and noisily noted that, devastating one fell behind another, each more than it is size. These creatures were able to drink, and it is no longer impossible to drive them. But the price is worth it. After all, it’s already going here Amaranta with her retinue. The world is mainly for her. To prevent her beauty to bloom in complete safety in the county.

White bird with an amber in the forehead

Amaranta came out of the carriage. The wheel of the carriage flew from the axis just in the middle of the bridge, perched through the abyss. By legend, moon’s elves were built it.

«If you stay here at night, we will see how they dance,» the accompanying girls whispered. «They say they will lead mortals with them if they are invited to dance. Someone is thrown into the abyss, tangling a minute with him in heaven under the stars, and someone will give immortality.»

More like a fairy tale, Amaranta decided to herself. But the bridge really made the impression of a magical structure. Its foundations protruded directly from the rocks at the bottom and folded into bizarre stone arabesques. The railing was not. For that only the bridge was held and why did it not still have fallen? The abyss under it seemed bottomless and ice. It was worth looking down and the imagination was involuntarily played. It seemed that there were tormented and hundreds of early beings were screaming. It was cold around. And the bridge itself seemed made not from the stone, but from ice.

Usually Amaranta had a common sense, but now she was drawn on fantasy. The sky looked as if the dragon was just flying, leaving a scarlet strip of fire in heaven. And according to the intricate bends of the decorations of the bridge, some white creature crawled, only remotely resembling the child. His thin white hands with gills beckoned Amaranta down. Does it want that she jumped into the abyss? And is it before the wedding itself? It seems that it is completely unkind. It is good that her companions did not notice him. The girls were too passionate about the chatters, and the men are busy with the repair of the carriage. And the coachman, and grooms, and even the footman were pronounced in the unbearable work for them. The junk wheel did not want to get back on the axis, as if it was enchanted.

«Do you want me to tell fortunes to you?» the creature already stood on the bridge. It resembled a large white spider with a face and body of an angular teenager. And the membranes and the selected eyelashes reminded of the winter. «I know how to predict the future! But you can not have it. You can right now go to this abyss. After all, your life is a threat for the well-being of our king.»

«Your king?!» Amaranta almost laughed. They also have a king! Curiously, he also lives in the abyss under the bridge. There is cold and uncomfortable. Where is there to take a whole kingdom?

The winter is approaching!» the creature was still illuminated and clung to ice claws in the hand of Amaranta. Although the girl prudently managed to hide both hands behind his back, but now the lines on her palm carefully studied whitish eyes without pupils. Eyebrows and eyelashes of a strange creature were also white as snow. He also spoke about the winter! Well, isn’t it the witchcraft?

Amaranta looked again in the abyss. The ice stretched out of it, the hell is intricate patterns, but did not reach the bridge. The ice vibrated, and she could not consider; is it in fact an ice or are the ice creatures climbing up.

The creature barely delivered his head to her shoulders, somehow climbed into the bridge, and others could not. Is he important among them? Dear rings on her fingers did not interest him at all. But the lines of her fate, which it, apparently, was read, forced him to be nervous.

«Not winter is approaching! You are approaching!» Amaranta nodded to the abyss. «You are alive, although you are made from ice.»

«We are not made. We were born in such state,» it did not even show greed, noting a massive chain of gold with the emblems of Aluar, which the king himself gave her when woven her. As a creature in such a wretched torn cape, barely covering his icy shoulders, can not be a begging or thief?

«And you crawl up, in our world,» she concluded. «You are the Ice elves, about which they say so much here. I imagined the elves of a little more beautiful creatures.»

Amaranta stopped, he was converted to thinking that it could regard such a phrase as a personal insult, but an angular ice creature did not even react to her chatter. It seems that he found a noble girl as an empty-headed coquette, whose speeches can not listen at all. All the same, nothing smart will not say.

It was rather strange that her jewel was not attracted him. Maybe he will ask for payment after the prediction.

«By the way, I do not believe in the divination by hand. Under the court in Aluar, I have already met the chiromants, and they could not even guess for whom I would marry. They predicted, what for the king, and I go out for the count.

The old king is such a prediction was very flattering, probably, therefore, the sly lets were given. Amaranta then it was very painful. She did not want to marry the king. He was old and ugly. And his kingdom was on the grain of war.

By the way, it was during the prediction of Amaranta for the first time and saw something unusual. A beautiful bird from the palace garden, flew out the window, sat on the back of her armchairs and combined:

«Do not worry so! The king in the world is not one. Suddenly you will meet one more?

Isn’t that the war who goes on us, thought Amaranth, but with a bird did not enter the debate, otherwise the courtesy would be laughed. After all, birds do not know how to speak human voices. All this is known. But the Amarante was heard in the bird shuttle, it was human speech. Probably, it was probably not worth drinking such a strong wine, which is served in the Aluar’s court. And it was not worth believing the chirromants. In order to heal in front of some influential and rich client, they are willing to utter any lie.

But the creature is from ice in itself was something magical, and many of the same creatures crawling up to the bridge seemed to be a mythical picture. From them the dark abyss was painted with white radiance.

Suddenly, the truth lives the magic. A strange ice creature in front of her knows how to foresee the future. From his touch, the fingers of Amaranta frozen and did not listen to the hostess, and it suddenly shuffled over her palm.

«Do not be afraid, Mrs. If your future spouse is making an alliance that hopes, we will not bring the eternal winter to your prosperous edge. We have to go somewhere else.»

«Who put you in the abyss? Or did you born there?» Amaranta was very much intrigued by the Ice Army than her own fate, in which so far everything was clear. «Can you get out or have any spell that releases you out? I heard some of the conversations in the villages, by which we drove.»

«Worry about us is very noble. Especially considering the fact that you will die, barely my brothers will get away,» he suddenly squeezed her palm so hard that Amaranta almost shouted.

«My palm hurts!»

«Get used to pain! You have a lot of difficult solutions ahead. If you do not go to the end of this bridge, we will never get out of the abyss. Fate gave you a chance to make a choice, stopping your carriage.»

The horses for her back piercingly rusted, probably feeling the presence of the magic creature. The grooms tried to calm them. Her maids complained of cold and demanded that the crew repaired as soon as possible. The girls could not understand how so far they had to fan from the heat, while they drove around the fields and meadows, and stopping on the bridge, they seemed to be in the ice strip of frost. It does not happen that the Earth shared on the summer and winter stripes. But here it is.

«Where did we come? «Adeline complained noisily, the most chatting maid of Amaranta. Only no one came to look back and see with whom speaks their mistress.

«If you continue your journey and pass the bridge, you will free all of us. And on your conscience there will be all that we do.»

She was slightly frightened. And the cold, passed from his icy fingers to her, became almost unbearable. She is frowned to death, if he does not let her go.

«You will go or crawl,» she looked down again. «Not on the earth of my husband, but somewhere else. Perhaps in deserted lands.»

He laughed.

«Your future spouse is likely to make a union on which the inviolability of your land depends. But you will most likely dissolve this union.»

«I will not do this. The peace is for me the most important. I do not like controversy and war.»

«And do you know, because of what people are fighting? Most often due to the fact that it is impossible to get a peaceful way and without which they cannot live on.»

«I do not understand! Personally, I wanted everything, I wanted to achieve a peaceful way, — she was only slightly not fair. The tactics of quarrels, tears and family scandals were almost military. Only war was carried out on the home front, when Amaranta knocked her right to marry not the old king, but the only young and beautiful fan that she had. Let him be a stranger nobleman who came to Aluar just once from far away, with not quite clear goals, but his beauty, youth, knowledge and wealth he had in stock all at once. If the applicant had only one of these qualities on her hand, then native could hardly let her choose him. Amaranta lived at the court and perfectly knew that youth and wealth is too rare combination even among the noblemen. Mostly young people are waiting for inheritance, and the elderly and wealthy in the meantime are woven to their chosen. Such is life in Aluar, the island kingdom, located among the rocks and seas. And on earthly continent otherwise, after all, Angus has all older relatives have long died. He remained alone and himself was the owner of the county. Amaranta The edge of the ear heard something that in the edges of which Angus arrived, people do not live long. Probably the case is in climate. Or in permanent wars. Having arrived here, she did not even think about the fact that she herself may not live for a long time. The ice creatures, for example, climbing from the abyss, did not foretell anything good. If they go on the surface, then everything will freeze around.

«If Angus signed the agreement, then the wars will be no longer. It is so?» Although from where the ice creature could know it. It is not a local spy? And the predictors are not given to know. They only see the perspective and build assumptions, if they do not pretend at all.

«Do not destroy what he did, otherwise we will come to you. And try not to look at our king.»

Amaranta even grinned. Here you can not threaten. Ugly Ice king is definitely not attractive. Yes, even if he was their king and was beautiful, then living in a constant cold next to him would not wish any lady. But the creature next to her still worried.

«You better choose a mortal husband.»

«But I already chose him, no one displaced me a magic one.»

He did not let the hand of Amaranta from his icy fingers. And she frozen more and more.

«Lines on your palm have not been noticed too clearly. But now it is clear that the spouses you will have two at once.»

«Two? It is unlikely that Angus will die so soon.»

And what does two husbands mean? She is a noble girl. Such hints are humiliating. Maybe Ice Beings may have ten spouses at once, but the noble Lords may have only one wife. He was strongly mistaken, equal to his race with people. When you compose for someone predictions, you need to be careful that your lies do not fit. And he clearly composed. Amaranta already wanted to give him an advice not to predict anything in those aspects in which he was not understandable at all through his ice origin. But he continued selflessly, as if he really saw something in her future.

«You will have repeatedly choose between magic and earthly life. And God forbid you to choose magic. You will burn it hard.»

«Oh really. And the personal dragon to damage it right now in the carriage and fly to the castle, I will not get.»

«The Ice predictor did not understand a joke.

«The dragons will not be foreseen,» he responded quite seriously. «But there will be one lady, the hostess of dragons, which you better beware.»

«Why?» Amaranta is interested. She never seen a lady with dragons in life. Yes, and the dragons themselves, to be honest, too, never met and strongly doubted that they exist at all.

«She will be,» the ice creature is slow. «As it is called, you, earthly women… A, remembered. Opponent!»

«My rival! The Lady with dragons! Well, thanks, you pleased me.»

She would have crouched in front of him in a joking curtsy, if she did not feel the cold that fades the whole body. Soon she herself turn into an ice, if he won’t let her hand.

«And the case, here are dragons?»

«How without them.»

«And you are not afraid that their fire will melt your ice?»

«Not all dragons breathe fire,» he mysteriously responded.

Amaranta decided not to judge him. She did not know anything about the dragons at all, however, as about ice creatures. The first meeting with such left an unpleasant precipitate from the lies about the future and frostbite on the whole skin.

«And you can’t read on my palm, will they fix the carriage soon?» was her next joke. Suddenly he will not be offended again.

The ice interlocutor answered nothing. Apparently, such a easily subject to check in the near future the topic is not discussed as the subject of divination. It is easy to lie only about what happens very soon, and therefore, it is impossible to catch a deceiver immediately. While you check that he lied, the years will be held.

«By the way, let’s meet in a year and check if your prediction came true,» which devil pulled her to offer him a bet. " «If a rival with the dragons and the second spouse appear in my life, I will give you everything you want. And if not, you will do everything I want, even frozen the entire district, if I don’t like it here.»

«I agree with you!» His whiten eyes lit up with a loose light. He even released the hand of Amaranta and rather loose palm. «I love deals with mortals and promise you that wherever you are, in a year I will come to you.»

Amaranta was very doubted that he could find her in some cozy castle tower, but still politely nodded.

«I will warn servants to exactly in a year they let you to me, as an extremely honorable visitor,» she promised, although, of course, such a stupid promise was not going to do. But it is necessary to console him at least before the eternal separation.

«It’s not worth it,» he almost joyfully responded. «Bypass the posts of guards is my favorite business. And I will give you a deposit.»

«What is the deposit?» Amaranta was alerted.

«Magic, so that you will believe in the predictions.»

He waved slightly with the ice fingers, and the carriage suddenly repaired itself. The grooms only shouted «Oh». They have already lowered their hands and began to argue who will go to the castle to have a help, and then suddenly the broken axis itself corrected and got into place.

«Like this?» Amaranta turned to the creature, but it was already crawled back from the bridge, deftly like a spider.

«Yes, remember your arrival in these edges marks the beginning of the war. And the war will not end until you make a choice between the magic and the earth,» the ice creature laughed, leaving the web of frost patterns. «Choose between the earth and the unearthly ruler it is difficult, Amaranta! But you better not to pester our king. Otherwise, my ice claws grab hold of your adorable throat. And it will be a year later on the night of our new meeting.»

He giggled for a long time. During their conversation, white creatures from the abyss seem to get almost close to the bridge.

Amaranta scolded to herself the winter and all ice creatures. Well, a joker! Why did you just need to come into conversation with this insane being? But she always pulled on the adventure.

The ice creature carried a complete nonsense. Like any predictor! It is necessary at least something to poison the brains for a good fee. By the way, he just did not take the fees.

But the merchant, too, waged on the bridge, offered some junk for money exclusively. Her companions, as discharged, became interested in his commodity and began to choose something. Amaranta was more interested in the axis, which was fixed by itself. She sat down and looked at the wheel. The axis on it turned out to be made of ice. And she did not melting. Where is the broken axis? And why did she suddenly replace the ice plant? Indeed, magic.

«The beautiful lady does not need a friend?»

Who said that? Amaranth looked around. Who can, seeing her escort, so brazenly impose.

«A girlfriend, which can predict the future, this is what you need,» the voice seemed to have come from heaven, for which the filament clouds crossed with a red sunset strip.

«No, thanks, predictions for me were enough,» she stopped, noticing that the merchant turned out to be a real wizard. He showed the tricks, and the girls applauded. The clothes on it was like on the eastern worship: a turban with a feather, a silk bathrobe, beaded jewelry and suspension. And she accepted him for an ordinary merchant! An instant and he won a white garden lily from emptiness to give it to Amaranta. The audience was applauded, and the lily revealed in her hands, and from the core of the flower was swept away to the upstream insect, suspiciously resembling a tiny fairy.

«Wonders! «Amaranth saw already at the court in Aluar the various magicians, but they were not capable of that.

«Who you are?»

He hid face behind a translucent cloth that did not close only his eyes. Of course, he did not answer her. But the luxurious white bird, sitting on his shoulder, shook:

«I want to her! I want to predict her fate!»

Well and miracles! It seems that this bird is a hostess of the merchant, and not he is her master.

«What is her name? And how much does it cost? «Amaranta stretched out her hand to a white fluffy bird. It was very royal she looked. And a major amber, as it turned out, grew right in her forehead, first seemed to be intricate decoration. Instead of sticking, the bird happily flew into the hand of Amaranta.

What is it lovely! She has a luxurious tail than Peacock. Feathers fluffy and gentle to the touch. Is there still paradise birds, white, like clouds? Or this is so unique.

«She is a great predictor of fate,» said the merchant.

«Yes, of course, I believe you,» Amaranta already pretended to the brain, as far as the poultry price will increase from this unrealistic praise. If the money taken on the road is not enough, you can pay for it with jewels. She has already prepared to part with the ring or with the earrings.

«This is a gift!» answered the owner of the bird.

Amaranta did not even bother him to believe. How can he give to someone such a miracle, and even gratis.

The mrchant meanwhile kissed her hand as a nobleman.

«You are beautiful as a fairy, lost far from her native magical kingdom,» he whispered so that the surrounding did not hear. «I’m so, believe me, I know how they look like. And the bird knows, so it will obey you. There are almost impossible to tame such birds, except for fairies. She still had no owners, so consider she as your girlfriend.»

«What is it called?»

«This bird is a fortuneteller. The magic bird. It is so called no reason, but because it gives predictions.»

And the bird really spoke almost the human language alternate with nightingale trills. Pure Magic! Amaranta smiled, and the merchant disappeared.

Or was it pulled under the bridge of ice creatures? Well, even though the bird remained.

«Let’s go, a white girlfriend with an amber in your forehead,» Amaranta wanted to bring her on her hand, but the bird was fought and flew over her.

She may spit on the prediction! Amaranta was going to leave the Ice Bridge and move to warm herself in a meadow from piercing cold. Let ice creatures scream in the abyss under the bridge. One of them warned her not to ride. Well, let! She made her choice. It’s time to go to the wedding! Amaranta turned around to look back to the bridge, whether all the same ice creature, threatening for goodbye. But there was only some beautiful blonde cavalier in clothes similar to the Eastern Bathrobe of the merchant and shook off the snowflakes from his hat suspiciously similar to the Turban.

The merchant was old, the cavalier on the bridge is young and handsome. A stranger smiled at Amaranta and waved for goodbye, as if she knew her well. Is it not strange that he suddenly found himself on the bridge in a deaf terrain without a crew and without a horse?

Amaranta dismissed from him some thunder from heaven. There is a thunderstorm or a dragon flies? Slightly leaning out of the window, the girl noticed the flying creature, something like a white dragon with a tiny silhouette of a rider. Did it stretched over the sky a sharp strip of fire or sunset? Probably, it was not a dragon, but simply the cloud-adopted cloud shape. Amaranta was distracted by observations, because the bird spoke to her again. And her tongue was human. It is good that companions are in a carriage sleep. You can talk with the great predictor of fate in bird plumage.

«Well, are we friends with you? «Amaranta tried to warm up the fingers, touching her fluffy bird.

«We are not be friends if you are so naive as today,» a luxurious bird said brazenly. «But since you yourself are very stupid, I’m going to become your adviser in everything.»

«Well, thanks,» Amaranta was offended. There would not be such a beautiful bird, she would immediately drive her for rudeness. Coach rolled forward, and the new girlfriend began to absorb residues of fruits from the basket without demand. She so highly appreciated her advice, which did not even notice sarcasm in the voice of a new mistress. Although no, as the merchant said there. The hostess of this bird cannot be, you can only become her friend.

Wedding Casus

«You want to invite the king of elves to your wedding,» Theobald did not understand. «This is no joke! What will people say? What will the priests think? To marry you will arrive a bishop of the Roshen itself. Everyone will see the king of elves with a retinue of magical creatures on your wedding.

«And good! Now we are allies! Let everyone know about it! No war! We need to rejoice, Theobald. Who did not take another disgusting taste of helplessness in the fight against supernatural creatures? But how good they are when you are asking them to help you.

Angus himself watched the ugly Horde of Finodirries, who deftly dragged huge blocks for the construction of a grand cathedral. Such blocks could not raise the whole group of skillful builders. And these terrible freaks, wool and claws, everything was very cleverly went out. Cancelled masters!

«Do you remember that in no case they can not be thanked for work?» asked the Count.

«Even if, despite all my bias against them, their work will make an unprecedented impression on me?» Theobald crushed incredulously. «I do not like the active Finodirries, I really did not like them. Such boys can conquer the whole world, and they suddenly are here and build something. This is not good! In all this lies some trick.»

«They can not be thanked if they were pleased you with their work!» said Count Angus. «You don’t remember, I told you about them.»

«Yes, something about the fact that their ancestor married a simple girl, and from this union were born such freaks endowed with a random power and immortality. And then an unusual couple ignored some solemn reception in the country of fairies, and for it all the descendants punished with a curse — they are doomed to be slaves of someone else’s will of all eternity. To work and build for anyone who will like or lubricate them with cunning, but any words of gratitude will burn them like a whip. They will conquer from pain at the sight of a gift or having heard the word „Thank you“ and disappear. So can thank them right now. Hey you!»

«Do not even think about it!» objected the count. A flock of Finodirries has already wrapped the shaggy heads in anticipation of the next commands.

«Go on!«Angus told them, and Theobald was dressed down. «You don’t remember that Dagda himself sent them here. Insult him and the Union will end. Again, you will have to lead a senseless war in which we will lose in any case. Reconcile yourself to the fact that the magic people are stronger than us. It is better to be friends with them, not to be enimies.

«The fairies and elves will never be friends of people,» Theobald again felt the pain from his long-standing injury obtained in a duel with evil spirits. «Believe me, I know.»

«No matter how hard it is, we must try,» Angus was adamant. He did not tear off the eye from the construction, which grown out of nothing on the empty plain in one day. Finodirries were famous that they were able to dry the swamp and build a luxurious palace complex on it in just one night. It will be necessary to ask them to build a chic palace for Amaranta, barely finish with the construction of a grandiose wedding cathedral.

Dagda decided to make a great gift and told the magic builders to create a cathedral for the wedding, which will be remembered by a lot of generations, because it was at this wedding that the Union was announced, which was concluded by mortals and fairies. And it became that this wedding will become significant.

«What will the priests say, when will learn that the most luxurious cathedral is rebuilt with evil spirits?» said Theobald. Having received a dangerous wound from the fairies, he was biased in everything that was in connection to the people of fairies, but he could not take his eyes from the next magnificent building. «Fabulous thing! But what if these monolithic walls get crouched into the dust, barely the visitors come into the cathedral? Do you not know how the elves and the fairies are sly!

«You are too suspicious!» Angus in a friendly way slapped Theobald on the shoulder, and scared when the friend turned pale and almost fell. It seems that the count hurt his old wound.

One of the Finodiries immediately jumped to them and raised the bottle with a sparkling greenish elixir.

«Your friend becomes better… for a while,» said he.

«This is a poison!» suspected Theobald, but the Finodirry has already flew back to working friends. They circled over an unfinished cathedral like a dance of black jinns. From afar it seemed that they did not work, but dancing, fluttering in height. The monstrous and something beautiful spectacle! While Theobald looked at them, the count made him drink a gulp of elixir. And a small miracle happened. Instead of poisoning, Theobald felt relief.

«The fairies’ jokes,» muttered still, he wanted to spit, but the grass under his feet sparkled from some kind of magic pollen, and he was sorry for her to dump.

«I heard about the ancient King of Moran, who crushed over the swamp, which was fruitless,» told the count an old legend. «It was impossible to dry the swamp, a different creature was jumped out of it, hungry, and terrible voices were heard. Somehow that the king managed to call on a Finodirry. Just one, and not a whole company. That Finodirry per night drained the swamp and built a fortress on it. The graceful king decided for this to build a magic builder to the noble rank, to make his approximate and left him a gift from the dried swamp — an exquisite court outfit with all regalia, a hat, boots. Nearby was waiting for a skilled tailor with a large mirror to help the monster to have a sophisticated clothing and if you have to, urgently fit into size. And a little bit, the royal retinue was hiding, wishing to see how Finodirry was getting on an expensive outfit and will be quietly looked at himself in the mirror in full growth. Especially for him found a mobile mirror of a huge size, because the Finodirry is much higher than the people. Yes, and the fabrics for the outfit chose the best. Buckles, buttons, laces — everything was the highest quality and expensive. Seeing this luxury, Finodirry howled. He did not appreciate the gratitude of the king, only was offended and began to smash something that his paws, claws and horns were not a place where there is a similar luxury that he was driving, and he should leave. With that, notice, no one drove him. On the contrary, he was offered an enviable post at the court. The king could not lose such an employee. But offended by the gift Finodirry destroyed some church in the thickets and disappeared.

«And what conclusion should I do from this story?»

«The Magic creatures are not bribes, not seekers of rich patrons, not cunning. It is useful to make friends with them.»

«Yes? And this is not that Finodirirry who seduced the wife of the king and a terrible freak was born from their connection instead of the laid heir. By the way, the queen and Finodirirry met in that destroyed church.»

Well, maybe it was another Finodirirry. Look, you do not distinguish them from each other.»

They jumped so vigorously, as if flew. One dusted Finodirere chopped the stone block, but fortunately managed to catch him raid before he smashed his head to a whole team of the count.

«You are not afraid that one day they will become dangerous.»

«Dagda will hold them away,» the count has objected confidently, «while we are in friendship.» He is their ruler. No wonder they need a strong king.»

«And if something happens at the wedding.»

«Only Dagda himself and his chosen retinue are invited to the wedding. Monsters there will not be, only fairies and elves. They can behave decently.»

«But they can also be dangerous. Their pretty appearance is deceptive.»

«And they also have a court etiquette. They know how to behave in order not to provoke a new enmity.»

— And what if Dagda himself is dangerous? What if he just pretended, that does it want to make friends with you?»

«I do not think! No wonder he has rumored about him that he is the most noble of all the rulers of the elves, which were before him.»

«It is true, others did not agree to go to the world. But it does not mean at all that it is necessary to believe him unconditionally.»

«I do not believe! I check it! Therefore, he was invited to the wedding. Let me get him acquainted with my bride. He must promise that he will not hurt her, only then we will become real friends and allies.

«It’s all because of Amaranta, yes?» It seemed to Theobald for a moment that he looked into the heart of his friend. «In order to provide her security, you are ready for everything.»

«Well, besides her, I am obliged to patronize all the inhabitants of the county, my vassals, servants. I am entrusted concern for many.

«You yourself would fought to the last drop of blood. You did not forget that the elves were the invaders, they murdered your parents. They damaged us by centuries while we did not do anything bad. You see, all these lands, on which we live, were their property even before the first person arose. They considered us only as parasites in their private territories.»

«Stop doing that! Everything is not so bad!» The count takes a spyglass to consider the works of the Finodirries better. Still a little bit and they will finish. And the sun is not even beginning to tear up to the sunset.

«Great workers!»

«Just do not invite them to work in our county. They are very dangerous.»

Although the cathedral was built on a deserted plain, where it was not necessary to build anything before, and where, because of bad rumors, no one tried not to enter, gossip about the shaggy workers had already separated throughout the county. Somewhere there remained the imprint of their clawed foot size. Somewhere heard their laughter, from which global walls of rural houses were shook. Somewhere broke the roof, on which they jumped in passing.

«Do you really believe that banshees lived in this plain?» interrupted his reflection the count.

«The rustic girls accurately heard them. These spirits are howling, foreshadowing a tragedy. And even if they were driven by Finodirries, the place to build a wedding cathedral here is very unsuccessful.

Where banshees are howling, it is always better to build a chapel for funeral and prepare the graveyard for the funeral, but Theobald didn’t say about it. Why once again alarm the friend. In addition, the elixir of Finodirry gave temporary relief from the wound. And thank him.

Only thanks to say it is impossible not to provoke hysteria and discord. Theobald stopped himself in time.

Society of gold masks

Amaranta did not notice how she fell asleep. She dreamed that she walks among gold roses. It was amazing! The flowers, in fact, were made of pure gold, but they could not be called jewelry as they grew right on the bushes and trees. From their radiance blinded eyes. And some dark shadow swept in the sky. Amaranta touched one of the roses, but only pricked a finger about gold spikes.

«Caution, you are very close to the boundaries of the magic kingdom,» said someone suddenly. Amaranta raised her head and noticed a bird on a high branch with a human head. It seems such creatures were called Sirin. Or alkonost? Or Hamayun? And they existed only in fairy tales. This bird had a luxurious, almost peacock’s tail with sparkling stones. What are they just growing from her feathers? It seems that this bird is Sirin, because her plumage is light, and a smile friendly. Alkonosts’ and Hamayuns’ feathers are dark, and the faces are gloomy, as they predict tragedies. The Sirin is a bird of joy. The maiden’s head on a bird body was crowned with a real crown with rubies and diamonds.

«He’s coming!» said the Sirin. «He is so close to you, as he has never been. And he will take you with him! Soon!»


But the Sirin only smiled. And the gold roses ring, as if the bells. There were here hundreds, thousands of roses. And from each was heard a melodic ringing. Someone hugged Amaranta from behind. She turned around. Nearby there was someone state and attractive. It was warm and pleasant with him, but a little confused that his face was completely closed with a gold mask. Amaranta wanted to remove it, but suddenly realized that the mask was his face. Do not remove it!

The dream broke off. The carriage sharply slowed down, and this was the reason that the girl woke up from blissful dreams. Only all her companions still dreamed. Probably, it is a knock of wheels and monotonous landscapes outside the window have affected all sleeping.

«No matter how they attacked the robbers,» said the white bird with an amber in her forehead, «I heard, there are many robbers in these forests. And there are also those who are worse as robbers.»

«About what are you talking?» Amaranta abruptly remembered a stranger from the dream.

The bird was silent, brushing her luxury snow-white plumage.

«Listen, have you ever seen birds, the same luxurious, like you, only with the human head?

«You have little that I am talking to the human language, you want me to be the girl?!»

«No, what are you! I did not want to offend you. By the way, how can I call you. Do you have a nickname?»

«A nickname?» The bird was displeased.

«Well, okay, a name, not a nickname,» went to the assignment Amaranta. «It seems that I speak to a real lady from a notable birds’ race!»

«You can choose a name for me. My birds’ language you don’t understand. It is too difficult for people. But I give you a carte-blanche to choose a new.»

«For example, Your Majesty,«Amaranth jokes.

«Not so high!»

«Then the White Queen,» the girl looked at her plumage. «or a snow-white marchioness.»

«More like titles than the names.»

«And what will be suitable for you?»

«The name is not just a beautiful sound, it should characterize me, give individuality. Do not call me like a dog.»

«Well, well,» Amaranta began to bend fingers and put all his ingenuity into the move. «A Gossip? A Snowflake? An Amber? I think the nickname of an amber is best suited.»

«Well, no, there is a feeling that the stone is the main thing that I have.»

«Then — the fluff. You are easy in flight, like a fluff. And the touch is the same soft.»

«No, I don’t want to compare me with a fluff,» the bird was capricious.

«Then,» Amaranta urgently sought a compromise. «Infanta!»

«And what does it mean?»

«I somehow saw a princess who came with the ambassador from a distant state, where girls are sweet, beautiful and decorate their hairstyle with the peacocks’ feathers. They would like them. The heiress of the throne in those states is called infanta, and I will call you so much.»

«Well, it doesn’t sound bad,» said the bird. «Infanta! I like.»

«Then now it’s your name,» Amaranta made a note for herself that the word «a nickname» can not be used. For some reason, she did not want to insult the bird. They did not spend an hour together, and she had already started to treat the gift of the merchant, as the best girlfriend. It’s amazing how they did not wake up anyone from her maids with their loud conversation. Even Adeline peacefully dreams. Not to mention the old nurse, which Amaranta also took with her. It will be very good, if Angus does not come in bewilderment, seeing such an unusual escort. He can not send such an unusual escort away. All of her fellow travelers will have to find some place in the castle. They are as if part of the dowry. By the way, she has almost no dowry, not counting the jewels of her mother that she got as the only daughter. But Angus was not embarrassed by this fact. Probably because he himself was very rich. He has more fertile lands than Prince or King!

Someone gently knocked at the window of the carriage. Amaranta was ready to swear that on a moment she saw an unusual hand with sparkling claws and fingers, swirling, like a twig.

«Welcome to the land of the elves, Ms. Amaranta!»

What is this, a joke? Amaranta looked out and did not believe her eyes. At the carriage stood a boy in a green coat. He hid face under a mask, skillfully made of small golden leaves.

«You accidentally turned out the wrong way,» he explained delicately. «The coachman fell asleep, and the horses moved to the call from the elves’ lands. It happens here with all the travelers. But according to the contract between us and the inhabitants of the county, I have to warn you that you are going directly to the cliff.»


«You need to turn around and drive a little back, then you will not fall in captivity or trap.»

«You want to say, the robbers’ nest is nearby?» Amaranta repeated what she heard from her bird.

«Oh, no, they have long shied Arachnes.»


«Golden spiders, they weave their web on the way ahead. Therefore, it is safer to turn back.»

«You do not want me to come back, change my mind to play the wedding.»

«In no case! The wedding of people is an interesting event for us. We all want to visit it, but, alas, not everyone is invited.»

«So I can fix it. I invite you all.»

Words themselves flew from the language. Amaranta did not have time to regret them, because they were not so many ones in gold hard masks. Just a dozen or a couple of dozens? Or are there several dozen? Ladies and cavaliers in the golden leaves opposed trees. They are suddenly like mushrooms. It costs to break through that she invites them all. Such an army and at the royal wedding do not fit.

Fortunately, the boy, originally spoke to her, delicately explained:

«We can not appear there to everyone. Our lord does not tell us. And otherwise there will be riots. People still do not like us very much. That is, most people… Some people, as it turned out, is very good. You are, for example.

Amaranta seemed suddenly that he touched her hand, although they were separated by a much greater distance than his hand could reach. Oddly enough in her hair, she suddenly stuck one gold leaf in the form similar to aspen. It was subtle, but tough, precisely metallic. Sack reminds clean gold.

«I don’t know who your master, but I am not just a guest at the wedding, but the bride.» On ancient tradition, I have the right to invite everyone I want.

The boy looked back concerned, where the state strangers in hardwood masks suddenly turned out to be as much as trees in the forest. It seems that for each tree was at least one of them.

Infanta was anxious and didn’t fly out of the carriage.

«I invite at least you and your companion,» Amaranta recovered a little.

A little behind the boy stood a slim lady in a luxurious green dress and the same mask from golden leaves, fully closed face. The feeling was such that the mask grows straight from her skin. Moreover, the same golden leaves visited the same golden leaves on the palms under long grains of green sleeves. Probably, the lady wore bracelets. But how does this impression come from that these leaves germinate from her hands?!

«A companion, hmm…» The boy who met the carriage, clearly felt a little embarrassing. «Mrs. Iveina is not entirely the satellite.»

«But still let him come. Will be a guest. Or even a girlfriend of the bride. One of my maids fell ill and died during marine voyage. Now I miss the bridesmaids for an even number. They should be even quantity.»

«Uriella did not die. One of the sons of the sea called her with him from the ship, and she jumped into the bunch behind him. He can let her go to the wedding. I can transfer him a message from you, written on the shell. Only in this case the son of the sea, who kidnapped her, will come to a wedding with her, and wet traces will remain everywhere. So I don’t really advise you to invite Uriella and him, if you do not want the lock partially flooded. You see, since the Queen of Lilofey (she was a terrestrial princess before it became the wife of the sea king) tried to escape back to the father, the sons of the sea no longer trust their sweethearts who ask to visit their relatives on the Earth. These girls, even if they love their kidnappers, sometimes have a strong nostalgia. It is worth them to step back to the ground, and they can hate the underwater kingdom, where they lived comfortably among the wonders and treasures.

But this speech of the boys has already resembled a draw or nonsense.

«Did you decide to tell me fairy tales?»

He crashes as if he was struck.

«No, sorry, I just thought that your friend Uriella, for sure, did not leave you a farewell inscription on deck with blood and water. And if she left, then you did not understand it. The language of the underwater inhabitants is too complicated, and if they want people to understand them, they are came themselves, and everything becomes bad from their manners. Therefore, I decided to explain to you, where your maid disappeared. She did not show any disrespect for you, that she left, she was just lured under the water. When the water pop up from the waves and play on the swirls, mortal girls are hypnotized by their music. Even love Sonata is no longer needed.

It seems that he did not understand that the girls who jumped from the ship to the open sea are most likely becoming drunk. The fact that their corpse did not come to the surface, does not mean that they became princess in the underwater kingdom. Amaranta frowned, remembering that symbols drawn by blood and water on the deck really appeared. Sailors were baptized for a long time, finding them a bad omen. And Uriella before disappeared, she was sick for a long time and complained that she hears some kind of melody straight from the waves. Others did not hear it, but Uriella had blood from it from ears.

Sorry for Uriella. She was the most beautiful of the girlfriends of the bride, but she began to talk to the waves and rushed overboard. Only its veil then swam on the water.

The sea is a terrible place. Amaranta would not be able to transfer a long voyage a second time. When you are in the open sea in cloudy weather, really you start thinking that thousands of monsters are watching you out of depths, scratching the bottom of the ship, and fiercely whisper about people who accidentally found themselves in their possessions.

Once Amaranta had a nightmare dream about the underwater inhabitants who keep the advice: heat their ship or not. The vessel really threw out of the side to the side and almost listed on the reefs. Someone one of the sea creatures said that it was not worth it, because one of the girls on board was too valuable. Which they meant? Uriella, which was kidnapped. Here, she is already starting to think like a boy. Under the influence of anthracite eyes under deciduous mask slots. The lady for his back his eyes were aquamarine, like two gems. She was silent all the time. Iveina, so it was called. Curious name. Sounds like rustling foliage.

«What is your name?»

The boy even embarrassed from the fact that she was interested in his humble person.

«I am Ivor,» he retreated a step back instead of wing, as it should be.

«What is the name of that wizard who made you such a mask?»

Here he was no longer answered, and Iveina laughed in the woolly. Her lips under the golden leaves were not visible. Laughter proceeded, as if from the inside of the statue. Amaranta satellites even did not wake up from it. It seems that they hit the sleepy kingdom.

Or maybe all this dream? And she just sleeps? Amaranta reached for Ivour. He was completely real. And his clothes from soft velvet. And on the palms of the same leaves like at Iveina. And they grew up with the back of the palm, and with outdoor. Grew? Amaranta didn’t believe it too much, but failed to touch them. Ivor snatched his hand.

«I had to tell you something,» said he.

Amaranta looked at him closely from the window of the carriage.

«We welcome you! And… Ivor accurately frowned under the mask, because gold leafs were trembling in eyebrows. He could not remember something important.

«And?» Amaranta suggested.

«Dagda ordered me to tell me something, but I do not remember…»

Dagda? What is the name? Like an ancient pagan god or the ruler of wild tribes. From the politeness Amaranta nodded.

«Do not remember, then do not remember. I’m not angry with you.»

«Oh, you are very generous. Looking at you, I begin to respect mortal girls.»

Well, here he is again for his jokes. He repels about people as if he does not apply to them, but to the race of the gods. For him, this is normal, he, after all, the child could also go. But the adult lady for his back would have to interrupt the draw. If only it is not included in some local traditions of receiving the bride from other people’s edges. There are a variety of wedding rituals in different countries. And in small island kingdoms on holidays, there are even strange rituals. Suddenly, here the masks from leaves are something ritual. It is worth checking out.

«Can you remove the mask?» She asked for Ivor.

«Not now!»


He looked at Iveina

«Why can’t you take it right now? I want to see your face, not a mask.»

Ivor bent to the window of the carriage and whispering a conspiratorial tone.

«It grows into the skin with the sunset.»

So it, however, grows out of skin. Or is he joking? Amaranth managed to tear off one leaf.

«Ouch, it hurts!» Ivor straight screamed.


She turns a sparkling leaf in the fingers. He was made of pure gold.

It seems that Ivor really was hurt. His companions at once were alerted and began to remind ready to rush into the battle. Ivor said something to them in an incomprehensible language, and then he turned back to Amaranta. He did not go blood from his chin, although it was from there and a golden leaf was revealed. So, he still did not grow out of the skin, since there is no blood. And pain can be depicted.

«All the mortals are the same jokers,» Ivor’s voice suddenly became no childish but evil and cruel. «There are many troubles from them. They ruin the fields, and the forests are damaged, our flowers are torn, they expel our vassals from all holes. Therefore, we fought. You do not want a new war?»

His words were angry. It seems that from the underground kingdom, the whole rail of terrible monsters warriors is breaking, which to bear numbers. It is standing to pass out, and they will reach the human world in one fell.

Ivor did not talk about anything, but it seemed that he said, and showed.

«Don’t make me angry,» he bounced offended and suddenly disappeared, as if he was not. His companions are no longer visible. The road is empty.

«In vain, you did it,» Infanta said, greedily looking at the golden leaf, which Amaranth spit in her hands.

The grooms began to wake up, her maids too. Amaranta barely managed to prevent them that they need to turn from this road.

«There’s the way to cliff, I was explained by a passing peasant,» she turned out. For some reason, she did not want to tell about the people in golden masks.

Expand the crew turned out to be unexpectedly difficult, as if some creatures were clung to the wheels and did not give to go on. Amaranta seemed that she hears their laughter and even sees how they swing on the axes, trying to pull them out of the wheels. They were frozen and shaggy.

«Do not stick to us!» they were angry.

Only none of the satellites have seen them, besides the horses who tried to flood them with hooves.

The golden web on the left side of the new road, which was able to leave, no one also noticed. But the flickering creatures are crawling along it, or women, whether the spides, gloatingly whispered after Amaranta.

«How good that you arrived! We all welcome you!»

It was worth turning to the rear window of the carriage, and they no longer see them behind. Either the carriage is going too quickly, or a huge web with Arachnes was only an illusion.

Golden game

The king of the elves appeared suddenly. Angus did not expect him to visit right now. And how can he call the guest of the one who originated right from the emptiness on the other side of the table from you.

Just ranked somewhere bells, sounded right above the ear of wonderful voices, and here the elf is already here. Dagda clearly made a moment when Angus remained alone and without servants, and without vassals. Obviously, before appearing to all the inhabitants of the county, he wanted to agree on something with the count personally. But as it turned out, he wanted only to play, and the invisible servants were taken in care that all items disappeared from the table. Instead of them, the gold figures were lined up on the countertop: or chess, or checkers. They moved themselves. They did not need to even touch them. Angus has never become a participant in the game in which it is not necessary to play. Everything is done by yourself.

«I just check the honesty of your intentions,» Dagda admitted, «and see that they are honest.»

«And how can this be seen?» perplexed Angus. Unless the elf knows how to read thoughts in the face.

«They catch all your intentions,» Dagda waved his hand to spinning figures, which resemble golden tornados. His nails were also gold covered with some embossed patterns. You do not need to wear with such nails and rob. Such nails are already as a jewel.

Angus felt not in his place. Although he was sitting in his own chair in his castle, and Dagda was here just a guest. But in the presence of an elf, the owner of the castle felt himself uncomfortable.

«So, do you know all my thoughts?»

The elf looked at him through the table with clean azure eyes, for which, as if darkness was hiding.

«They know!» He nodded again on the figures, reminding the ghosts from the golden sand.

«You have a lot of thoughts, but among them there is not a single insidious idea,» the king of Elves decreased to clarification. «From the people you’re the first one, whom I can call sincere. So let’s be friends.»

A good offer! Is it an honest one. Angus remembered the disturbing stories of the peasants and even several knights who returned from the forest in a terrible state and swore that the evil spirits almost pinched them to death.

«In our areas, they say that Elves can not honest,» Angus admitted. He did not want Dagda to consider him petty or unfriendly.

«In my country the elves talk about people the same,» said the guest indifferently. «But I see that it is not always worth believing what they say. People are different as we, elves.»

«Among you there are not only an elves,» Angus did not even know how to call those terrible creatures that sometimes began to appear here together with quite harmless fairies.

«Now I offer friendship from the face of the whole of my magic people, no matter how much varieties do not belong to them, as you have suggested a friendly union to me on behalf of the whole county, although not all the knights are also generous as you.»

«You already know about their contradictions?»

«I know about everything,» Dagda unexpectedly caught one of the golden figures with his hand. Under his fingers, it took the outlines of the flower closed by the petals in the ring.

«You think now about your bride, which sailed here through the sea. Give it to her!»

Angus took the ring uncertainly. For such elegant work, no earthly jeweler is capable.

«She exactly likes it!»

«I know how to please how to earth girls and fairies,» Dagda had a self-confident appearance.

«How can I thank you?»

«Only being honest in communication. I can’t endure hypocrisy.»

And it says master of all elves. Is it worth trusting him or is it a tricky trap? He came here and now lubricate people to himself in the magical seven hills, and then rip them on the feast. Doesn’t the legends go about him that he did this with his enemies from the magic clan?

«The danger was waiting on the sea,» Dagda said. «Your bride had not to saile by the sea. Water like beautiful girls, but the risk is already behind. Amaranta is save and sound on the shore.

«You even know her name!»

«You know it, and I know everything you know.»

«And I don’t know anything about you. Do you have a Queen?» Angus asked with trepidation and felt relief when Dagda denied it. Seeing the real elf, unwittingly feel jealousy. He wanted Dagda to belong only to him. Even thoughts about Amaranta disappeared somewhere. Angus fed to the guest charm.

«At least you have a bride?»

They want to impose me one, but before it happens, there will be the next war. Already between us, elves. It will not affect you.»

It is easy to say!

«This bride is so ugly that you do not want her. She is a monster from the forest.|

«She’s something like a black storm, which if you let her in our possessions, enlisters with her black everything and enslave us all.»

«Then do not marry her!»

«It is easier to say than to do.»

The creature, who came with Dagda diligently made the view that he did not overhear the conversation. The game on the table was done by itself. In the hall hung such a pleasant atmosphere, as if everything was warmed from the sun, descended into the castle straight from heaven. It is a solid pleasure to have an elf as a guest.

The king of elves, it should be noted, was incredibly beautiful. Near him, Angus was almost ugly. Is all elves so beautiful that even the most impoverished earth guy compared to them can be considered crippled? They are also strong not like people, but as titans. Dagda easily crushed the stairs to the railway, forgotten by some of the guards, while not borrowing about her spikes and not even noticing what he did.

He would be the whole castle to crush with one fist. It’s well to have such an ally. With him no war is terrible. You just need to try so that he does not become an enemy again.

Near Dagda, a green creature was expected, resembling a living tree. It held a bundle of pure gold keys. What are the gold resources of elves, if they don’t even have copper keys, but gold? How would you take all this at least partially?

Angus himself could not understand where such a bad thought was from. He was never greedy. And to steal something from the elves is almost a suicide. They are hundreds of times stronger than people and immediately account for the thief. So what does he think about their wealth?!

«Take something from them! At least try!» As if someone is a terrible, monstrous and planted in a distant underground cell, woke up and fiercely whispered in his ears. This someone, dark and terrible, oddly enough led to a beautiful and shining Dagda. It did not lead, of course, in the literal sense, but his presence was pending, like a black cloud. This someone is angry with the fire of the rod of his cell. He demanded to make some kind of evil. Angus shook his head to get rid of the title. It seemed that the thunderstorm cloud was hung over the hall, and the rain was not water from her, but a black fitness and blood.

Vision instantly passed. Did Dagda see it? The elf looked entirely focused on the game. His golden eyebrows frowned, eyes under the sparkling eyelashes stressed the figures. His eyes change the color, Angus noted it with surprise. They are green as grass, then blue, like the sky. Slightly curly hair reached shoulders. In color, they were also like pure gold. And on the face of the king of elves is nice to look. It immediately causes sympathy. It even entails him. Probably, for the girl it is impossible to be near him and immediately do not fall in love with madness. It is probably why he decided to meet alone with the count so that no one else saw him. Otherwise, broken hearts will bear numbers.

«What are you waiting for? He is near, and you don’t even try to cripple him or kill,» the wary voice came out again. It was worth covering eyelids, and Angus almost saw a monster in a cage that appeared to him from the dungeon. «Call at least pops from rural churches, if you are weak yourself. They know how to harm elves.»

This gloomy creation in a cell has dozens of clawed hands and hundreds of heads. All this is a crazy dream! He got drunk too much. Angus shook his head, trying to come to himself.

Dagda frowned, watching the game.

«Do you feel it too? Someone third is between us?» honestly asked him Angus, but did not receive the answer.

Dagda only flashed with golden eyelashes and smiled as if he was able to look into his soul and read all human fears and doubts there.

Their eyes met: Blue of the Elf and brown of the count. From the look of Dagda came an unexpected calm, as if a multi-headed and multi-rigid monster in a cage did not exist even in a dream.

«I am more pleasant to have you in friends than in the enemies,» Dagda noticed and ordered his companion to transfer the count one of the gold keys. «Just turn it in your hands and call me instantly when you wish.» No matter how far I am, but I will immediately be on the call.

The key lay on the pad from the green leaves and really reminded the magical.

«So you can lure you into the trap.»

«But for the sake of friendship, I go to risk.»

How this elf is unusual. And how nice to make friends with him! And what would be a fight with him?

«The war is not far off,» the same evil voice made from the cage, but Angus had never listened to it.

«By the way, I bring the wonderful wine as a gift and pretty girlfriends to entertain you while you are waiting for the bride.»

From the last Angus wanted to refuse, but the beauties in the eastern robes and with the wings already arose near, offered him sweets and mouthpiece. From vapor and aromatic smoking made dizzy the head. One of the peri reminded him Amaranta, and the entrance door was tightly closed. No one will see, unless in the keyhole, that the groom spends time with wizards. Dagda himself, kindly offered them, has already disappeared somewhere. Apparently, he himself did not like to entertain. Or, that black, like a cloud, bride poisoned his interest in women and fun. Angus even felt abandoned from the fact that the king of the elves went somewhere. Although it is difficult to feel himself abandoned in the company of the magic beauties.

Elves at the wedding

The day of wedding came. Amaranta was in a white silk dress, decorated with the flowers and with a bouquet of roses in her hands. A heavenly vision! And the temple is just heavenly, although created by the hands of the fairies. In the arches behind her back reflected the sky and clouds. The temple tiers were arranged so cunning, as if the structure was in heaven. Such close clouds seem only here. Amaranta looked like a flying angel. The bridal veil from lace framed her blond curls. The face is struck by incomparable beauty. Well, not a fairy! Even Dagda will envy such beauty.

«You can’t imagine how right are you!»

The count shuddered. Where did the voice come from? It seemed from the emptiness itself. Or from the clouds? This is again the jokes of the elves or this time is it a warning from angels. If the first one, then nothing, even with the elves and the peace is concluded, but they love to fool all the same, but the second alarmed. The count sighed with relief, noticing that it says an unusual bird flying for Amaranta. It was white with a bright amber spot in the forehead, resembling a gem and a fluffy cockle on the head. He was already warned that this bird knows how to speak to the people. There is nothing surprising in this. He himself used to collect in the poultry house the speaking parrots delivered from foreign countries. But in the fluffy bird of Amaranta he preferred to see the special blessing of heaven.

It was attributed to the ability to predict the future, but in this count preferred not to really believe. What this bird was called, he did not even know, although he collected the most rare feathered species in his poultry house. But the birds possessing the gift of foresight, he has not yet seen. And did not even hear about the probability of existence. Unless she flew out of the Magic World of fairies. But then he knew about it. All creatures who came to the county after the conclusion of his union with Dagda, were in line, because now they were obliged to come, fly or cord only after official warning. So installed Dagda himself. He, too, as it turned out, did not want to quarrel anymore.

«He is very merciful, our ruler,» a tiny drunk elf tumbled in a barrel. Now he drank without fear, and therefore did not hurry to fly away when he got drunk, and his tongue was unleashed. «Good, bold, brave, humane, no one punishes in vain. There were still no such as he. Therefore, for him a couple of centuries ago, everyone voted unanimously.»

«Were there many others?» asked Angus.

«Yes, many…» The elf did not remember himself from intoxication. «Wait, after all, he rules not a couple of centuries, but already four or five,» he began to count on his fingers and suddenly it turned out that he had a lot of fingers than a pair of dozens on every tiny handle.?

The count was curious about the world of elves.

«But someday you will start this world to destroy,» the bird whispered, sowing him on the shoulder at the altar, as if acknowledged for the owner, the future husband of the hostess.

And the count again did not believe it. It’s just a bird chatter. It is not wiser than the words of the scientist parrot.

There were many supernatural guests. Residents of the county have already managed to get used to them, but here are people invited from the city, they are frightened. Fortunately, there was still no fight and quarrels. Angus was thinking about how to avoid mutual offense, since the townspeople are frightened by his magic guests. It was not necessary, of course, to invite anyone from Rodolit — the city closest to the county, but then the bishop would be nowhere to call. According to the traditions of the country, the Count had to marry not a simple priest and not even a cardinal, but only a bishop sent by the king himself. Now the rumors will reach the king that in the county, evil spirits live side by side with mortals. Probably, everyone will give a hint that it’s time to finish hostility. The magic creatures are stronger than people. You can not fight with them, you can only make a compromise. And Count Angus went to it. But is it worth expecting such humanity from the others? The bishop was displeasured, settled on the elves and fairies, although they were all beautiful as on the selection. And for some reason, they came to the wedding in white. Probably, they are considered to be a festive color. In snow-white clothes with a sparkling edging, they looked very solemnly. That’s just their wings occupied a lot of space and sometimes they whipped the people not on purpose. There were heard outraged exclamations, but no one was able to call the elves to the duel. Immediately it was clear to them to lose.

Amaranta did not show the slightest fear, having learned that the elves were now settled in the county, as if she was familiar with such creatures before. At the sight of ugly trolls and Finodirriers in the crowd, she also did not express squeamishness. But her companions, including the old nurse were very frightened.

Angus also noted that even though elves and fairies decorate the wedding, but the freak-dwarfs and goblins even in exquisite costumes, cause a strong disgust. The guests who have stuck next to them, almost fell into fainting. Yes, it will not be easy, to make people discard all the prejudices and make friends with the magic folk. At first there will be many difficulties, but in the end, the Union with Dagda will lead to peace and prosperity.

But where is he himself? Why is he late for the celebration, which he himself helped to organize, sending the builders of the cathedral. By the way, they are now hiding under high domes, rustling with black leathery wings. If something needs to be urgently built, they are here. And also, as it turned out, they could plow overnight and falling down all the fields of county, and the overall already gather harvest. Excellent workers! It is true, bringing them, Dagda put forward the requirement that people from the county stop cutting out the forest and plant the land under arable land. This, you see, harms his subjects, and they become talking on the fact that people build mills and equip the gardens on their territory. How then to engage in agriculture? The exit found the same servants of Dagda. It turned out, they are able to feed the whole army, ensuring edible reserves only during the day. The fruits of them from their spell ripened even on dried trees. Angus saw the Fairy himself, which turned a dry bush into a fragrant peach tree.

If so, then you can make concessions. But how not to cut the forests, if in winter there will be nothing to trample fireplaces? And what are the housing, if you do not have enough stone and sandstone? Dagda promised that he would send some fires so that they all warmed. And the buildings will make, of course, Finodirries. Where they will get the material, this is their business. That white stone from which they rebuilt the cathedral was great, but it was not to get in human quarries. It is taken from somewhere from another world.

The bishop looked at the white walls as if they were about to bring down, and the elves would then wear a ditch over the mass death of people and laugh. But nothing happened.

And Amaranta before the wedding admitted that she was glad that she got a young and beautiful groom instead of the famous old man, who was at the beginning her groom. It was not quite a love confession, but Angus still felt happy. For the sake of this girl, he risked and entered into an alliance with the magic kingdom. And now she becomes his wife.

Everything would be fine, but only there is no main guest at the wedding. Where is Dagda? Angus helplessly looked around the crowd of guests, looking for him. How could the king of elves might not honor with his presence a wedding of a new friend? Did he start to doubt the intelligence of their agreement? But then why are his subjects here?

The bishop is about to faint. He is bad in this cathedral. It is time to make a rite of wedding, and the honorary guest is not here.

And then a silver breeze blew. The air at the top above the crowds heads climbed. The guest in the crown suddenly found himself in the center of the crowd. Behind him, the creatures were flying, reminding two miniature golden dragons. The fairies began excitedly whispered. The very same king of elves had a bored look until his gaze fell on Amaranta.

«Is he the king of Ilira, your native country? «Amaranta squeezed his groom’s hand so that he almost scratched his fingers.» What is it with her? Dagda deliberately enchanted the bride to behave strange? But why should it? Maybe he was insulted by the fact that the rite is conducted by a bishop, which, by the way, tormented from here to escape.

«No, he is the king of the elves,» Angus whispered on the ear of the bride.

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