Swiftly, wind gathered and took the form of a bird, which flapped its wings briskly against Vita's cheek as it rocketed through the tightly-knit crowd. Swiveling like that of an artful dancer bound by no obsticle, the bird took flight into the sky, dissipating as a scarlet twin etched itself in the night air in its place. Gasp of wonder and excitement vibrated amongst the idle chatter and joyful shouts, increasing in volume further in the distance. If Vita pressed her toes firmly on the ground and elevated her back, she would barely make out the mystical and fantastic participants of the parade. Of course, it was Oren, not her, who wiggled and bounced about to try and get even a glimpse of the festivities barricaded by families and friends who firmly stood their ground. Basically, the only method of breaking through the soldiers of stone -- that is, based on how pressed together and awe-stroken the crowd was -- was to appear far more appealing than the parade.
"You certainly are a unique fairy, but someone so...tiny...well, I fear for your life." Vita face was grave, giving no hint of joking.
Oren, who had proceeded to use Vita's head as a launching pad to get a better view without getting lost, suddenly turned slightly pale at the thought of being crushed by enthusiastic fans. After all, he certainly wasn't as agile as the wind bird the burst into flames moments ago. Still, there was a glint in his eyes that suggested he would not give up with a fight. Reversing his plan, Oren went from a hostile spectator who obviously didn't notice the scowl forming on Vita's lips to a beggar who tried his best to appear innocent and well-behaved -- the latter failing to convince Vita right away.
"Benevolent master, who is most gracious, pleeeaaaasssseeee!"
"...I cannot grant or deny your request if all you do is flatter, beg, and act obediently." Although her features were mostly placid, a strange throbbing from her heart caused her lip to twitch. For some odd reason -- no, perhaps it was simply Oren's odd behavior -- Vita felt a rush of annoyance.
"Vita -- no, Master, please follow me so I may get a better look at the parade, please?" He eyed the parade desperately, forgetting all the while how deplorable such pitiful acting was in Vita's eyes.
"No." The answer came before her lips could prevent them.
"Wha- oppressive! You didn't even take a second to think about it! I'll report you!"
"First, I know you detest calling anyone your master, so for you to not say 'master' mockingly, you are deceiving me. Secondly, was it not you who earnestly wished to assist Amelia? Even if we hurry to get a peek at the parade, it would take quite some time. Lastly, I do not want to have a master-servant relationship. Remember? I only take the necessities. I do not need a servant."
All the while, Amelia, who had been leading, paused a few feet ahead of the bickering pair. She felt no consent to allow private matters remain private, proven when she glided effortlessly pass the relentless flood of people and waited patiently in front of them. When the situation became too akward to continue, Amelia clapped her hands together and merrily chuckled. Neither Vita nor Oren knew how to respond to this, so they simply stared at their elderly companion until she collected herself. Realizing she had the upper hand, she first adjusted the shawl she had given to Vita, her keen eyes noticing the faint signs of quivering. Then she cleared her throat, a pleasant grin on her face. Her tone was the embodiment of mirth.
"My, I have yet to see a fairy and elf so fond of one another. Ah, and don't deny it. Why, the two of you have a closeness like that of dear friends."
"...Friends? Well, I..." Now a new feeling was coursing through her, one she knew all too well. Fear.
"Haha, you know how to judge someone's character well. Vita, you're right. You don't need a servant, but I know better than anyone that you'd be lost without me. So, from now on, we'll be known as friends, 'kay?"
"I...you are very important and precious to me, Oren, but I..." "I'm afraid. Love and hate aren't far apart, just as happiness and pain follow one another. Oren, if you get too close, you'll only hurt."
Sensing Vita's growing unease, Oren decided to not press the matter any further. Instead, he pretended to be preoccupied with the festivities all around him, so as to bring more stress upon her. Besides, as he knew Amelia must be getting more anxious the closer she got to her family, leaving the both of them together might alleviate tension. That, or they would remain in unnerving silence while Oren bobbed in and out of wheeled carts and stalls. Luckily, he eventually spotted an actual target to investigate. There seem to be all kinds of shiny trinkets glittering flamboyantly even amidst the chaos all around him. Shrugging at the sight of Vita keeping her head bowed and Amelia folding her arms behind her like that of a mentor, he dipped and dived his way to his destination.
"Greetings. Welcome to Fieyira's Enchanted Domain. Heh, sorry, I always wanted to say that."
Eyes as auspicious as those belonging to Amelia gazed with admiration at Oren, at which blush came to his face without warning. This youthful elf, who was most certainly named Fieyira, laughed alongside the jingle coming from around her head. To be precise, the grand tune bleonged to golden ornaments dripping like teardrops from a wreath clinging to her locks of light caramel. Judging from her tanned complexion, she was a high elf, just like Amelia. Actually, the more Oren scrutinized the energetic merchant, the more she reminded him of Amelia, aside from a slightly more bubbly personality. Did he dare ask?
"Aw, you can call me Fia, though I'm glad you said my name properly."
"Fia, are you related to -- that is, do you have a grandmother named Amelia?"
For once, the mesmerized expression that in itself could have passed for a demure fairy quickly shifted to that of being stunned. After a few seconds passed, at which Fia's jaw remained stiff and unmoving, her hands rushed with a loud BAM! on the counter rising just at her waist. Surprisingly, none of her well-crafted good were even tapped in the process, as if she had memorized the order and placement of each object without fail. What came next could only be could only be compared to the blare of a screaming fan girl. During the duration of the lengthy and painful dialogue Oren had to endure, he learned the importance of pressing one's hands to one's ears.
"No way! You know of my grandmama?! Oh, lucky, lucky! I struck a fortune my mother would be most proud of! I heard tales of her grandeur from papa many times! The talented seamstress who could sew such magnificent cloths in record time, each fitting for the passing seasons, as if she could foretell the weather as she journeyed across many lands. Ah, my mother, Mien, she is quite educated in magic. The fabric she sews each have an attribute of the elements, but they can only counter extreme elements. She deeply admires my grandmama. As for my papa -- his name is Xan -- he's an Auspice."
"You know, my papa and mama met in the midst of duty. Papa was ferociously protecting the travelers who were headed to Qualus -- you must know merpeople are opposed to visitors. Well, mama was quite found of all that sparkles beneath the depths of Qualus. In the end, she and all the other travelers cut their visit short -- most were researches who deeply offended the merpeople -- but those two stayed hand in hand ever since. The only problem is that they are nomadic, so it must have been quite a disruption when I was born. Heh, but I'm sure it is a miracle. Because my birthday fell on Moon Day, we all gathered here to reep the benefits and also come together as a family."
"Okay, now that I am done babbling about my family background, how about a gift? Since you listened so kindly, I'll give you a momento. Here!"
Fluttering over to Fia's outstretched hand, Oren found himself looking at a petite mask of intricate design. A flat piece that had been warped into a curve as to fit perfectly upon a fairy's face could be seen, illuminated with a serene azure. If one watched carefully, it was as if waves lapsed within it, overcasted with a misty substance. Around the eye holes were golden rings, which slanted down in an alluring quality. The mouth was also lined with gold, formed in the shape of an oval. Reflected in the texture of water was Satir, Ura, and Pent, as if their positions in the sky materialized exactly in proportion upon the mask. Of course, Oren had to admit the best feature on the mask were thin, flexible feathers of gold that also had crystalline pieces similar to the base of the mask. Truly, for such care to be placed on something so miniature in size, it could be deemed a masterpiece.
"Wow, you give away treasures as great as this just for listening to your story? Wanna be good friends?!" Oren immediately secured the mask upon his face, his upturn lips contradicting the mouth piece.
"Well, I do hope you'll let me meet my grandmama. I take it you were traveling with her?"
"Yup! Come on, let's hurry! I didn't know the moons were already reaching their peak!"