"Are we there yet?"

Serafyr felt the corner of his right eye twitch. "For the seven hundred and seventy fifth time, no!"

Azaril moaned and tugged at the back of the semi-reptilian warrior's cape. "But I need to use the restroom."

Serafyr raised his lip; he did not need this. "Goldy, how long until we arrive to our destination?"

Goldy, or Goldershelingreshbootdadrhel as she was known among her kind, turned her massive head to one side to look at her two passengers. "Not long now. If you look ahead, you can already see the Puddle."

Serafyr shifted his gaze. Indeed the Puddle, Hypnosia's largest lake, was in sight. Clear, blue water stretched out as far as the eye could see. Apart from a couple of extremely shy lake serpents, there was nothing there but peace, beauty, and tranquillity.

Naturally, the thought alone repulsed Serafyr.

The warrior crossed his arms. "I am not happy with this arrangement."

"You've made that clear," Azaril said. "The way you screamed at Simiel when she told us her plan-"

"While I am not one to question the beloved princess and her delightful notions." Serafyr waved his hand around in a dismissive manner. "I fear that she did commit a dire misjudgement sending me out for a vacation."

"Come on, Serafyr, this'll be fun." The tiny wizard smiled.

"Fun?" Serafyr raised an eyebrow. "I sincerely doubt that, little one. You may find the thought of being stuck in a dingy, old house absolutely fascinating, but my requirements are very different indeed."

"You're such a pessimist. The royal summer mansion isn't that bad." Azaril dug around his massive sleeves and pulled out a book entitled ’Legendary and Extravagant Estates of Hypnosia’. "It says here that the mansion has been the site of several royal keggers, which have consequently led to the conception of several Hypnosian rulers. Uh... Serafyr?"

"Please tell me you did not wet your robes."

"No. But what's a ‘kegger’ and what does it have to do with how babies are made?"

Serafyr shook his head. "I shall tell it to you once you are a bit older. Anyway- Since when did you find out how babies are made?"

"I found one of Simiel's books. It had pictures."

The warrior looked at the wizard in pure shock. "And... You do not feel as if you have been mentally scarred for life?"

"No." Azaril shrugged. "It's a lot better than wondering about it. Seriously, I thought babies were made in a lot more disgusting way than that."

Serafyr shuddered, he did not want to know what this "a lot more disgusting way" was. The warrior blocked all the disturbing images from his mind by returning to his previous state of dissatisfaction.

"This is simply unbearable! I am a hero, and it is inconceivable and unacceptable for me to take a respite. How could I lounge around on some veranda, sipping whatever metrosexual drink the waiter brings to me, while there are villains on the loose? How am I supposed to defend all that is good, if I am not where the action is?"

"Please, even the bad guys are taking a break. It's been too hot lately."

"Evil shall never rest!" Serafyr stood up. "And if evil shall never rest, than neither will I! I must be alert at all time, ready to thwart the sinister deeds of those who-"

"If you won't sit down back there, you won't live long enough to thwart anything!" Goldy shouted.

"Very well." Serafyr sat down and continued his heroic tirade. "Who has ever heard of a hero taking a vacation? It does not happen. It is unnatural and wrong!"

"I don't remember there being a law against it," Azaril said.

"Well, once we return, the gods willing, I shall ask Simiel to make it a law."

"Okay people, we're getting ready to land. Please wait until you're off the dragon before you vomit," Goldy said and began her descent.

The magnificent golden dragon touched down on the well kept lawn of the lakeside mansion of the House of Buduar. Serafyr often thought that the fact that the House of Buduar did not own any houses but plenty of mansions, castles, palaces, and most likely a lighthouse made the name ’House of Buduar’ kind of pointless. Serafyr jumped off Goldy's back landing in a heroic pose befitting his image.

Azaril was having trouble getting down from Goldy's back: he was hanging ten feet off the ground with his tiny legs waving madly beneath his robes. "Serafyr, I want you to catch me!"

Serafyr sighed and held out his arms. "I am ready."

Azaril fell directly into Serafyr's waiting arms and snuggled against his ornate chestplate.

Serafyr glared at the wizard. "I just realized that you could have levitated down."

Azaril looked up and giggled. "Oh yeah, I forgot."

"I am beginning to believe that that book of Simiel's did have an adverse affect on you." He dropped Azaril on the soft grass. "Thank you for the ride, noble Lady of Dragons."

"Whatever. I have to head back to my eggs, before some farm-boy steals one, again. I'll come and pick you up in two weeks." With that Goldy rose into the air and flew away.

Serafyr lifted his bag up and looked at the royal mansion. "Strange, where are the cheeky rustic servants and buxom maidens? I require a proper welcome."

"Maybe they're all inside." Azaril ran to catch up with Serafyr's long strides.

"They better have a good explanation as to why they were not out here to greet me," the warrior muttered. ”I’ve heard that country folk can be rude, but I will not stand such breaches of etiquette.”

As he and Azaril made it to the front door of the mansion, a note taped to the door caught Serafyr's eye. The further along he read it, the further up his brow shot until it was completely obscured by his red hair.

"What kind of deplorable joke is this?" Serafyr bellowed.

"Gone to local festival. Will be back once out of detox, local ale notoriously addictive. Sorry about this. Love, The Staff." Azaril tilted his head. "Sounds like quite a party."

Serafyr roared, smoke spewing out of his nostrils. "How dare they? I, Lord Serafyr Halfdrake of Draakoa, cannot be without servants! Who will massage my tail? If I do not get it massaged every other day, it gets cramps and I cannot defend justice with a cramping tail!"

"It's not that bad." Azaril pushed the door open. "Just think of this as a wild and rugged adventure."

"Rugged it very well may be, Azaril, but an adventure this is not. This is far worse than a dangerous trek through the wilderness to face unknown horrors." Serafyr rubbed his forehead. "Now I shall perish of boredom and lack of service."

"Whatever you say. Now, where's the little wizard's room?"

* * * * *

The following days were filled with much frustration and cabin fever on Serafyr's part. He scoured the Puddle on a sleek rowboat for the elusive lake serpents, but came out with nothing more than a rather large pike, which was no match for his awesome powers. The warrior then busied himself with ridding the estate of vermin, chasing unfortunate mice around with his Sword of Might. Serafyr then set out to write his memoirs. But as that activity was soon followed by him rampaging the halls of the mansion with an axe, he thought it best not to continue his literary efforts.

As morning moved on towards the inevitable afternoon, Serafyr ran across the front lawn of the mansion, dressed in a bathrobe and swinging the Sword of Might above his head. He had returned from the estate's sauna, only to find himself under siege by a swarm of mosquitoes. He was currently pursuing one pesky member of the swarm.

"Come here, you six legged coward! I shall smite thee!"

The Sword of Might slashed its way through an ancient oak, several rocks and a portion of the mansion's wall as Serafyr ran after the mosquito.

"I will not be defeated by a creature that lacks a spine! No one sucks the blood of Serafyr, unless they are a voluptuous vampiress! And even then they shall be stricken down by my trusty blade!"

The crafty mosquito shot upwards leaving Serafyr on the ground, proving that just because it had no spine and a much smaller brain-capacity than its pursuer, it could still beat the haughty warrior in a game of survival.

Serafyr heaved the Sword of Might onto his shoulder. "Curse you, you vile insect! Curse you and all your wretched, bloodsucking kin!"

Serafyr sighed, reflecting with great melancholy at his present situation. His noble heart was not built to withstand the challenges of vacationing. His was born to battle horrible villains and save the world, not to save Azaril from having to get a stool to reach a pack of sugar on a high shelf in the kitchen. He was destined to save damsels and have many illegitimate and handsome children he would never meet, not to take cold baths. He could face any terror that evil could throw at him, but he had never suspected that he would have to face something as terrifying as not having someone to make his bed for him. He was not some crude barbarian, who could sleep on the bare ground, he was a lord for the gods' sake!

Just as Serafyr was about to go in search of the other mosquitoes or maybe even some fearsome horse-flies, Azaril came running out of the mansion.

"Serafyr! Come quick!" The tiny wizard was waving his hands around frantically.

"Azaril, I have told you before, if the water goes over the sink, you have to turn the faucet off."

"No, it's not that. I was looking for some juice and figured I could find some in the cellar, you know, next to the wine and moonshine. I thought that the door that was all locked up was the cellar's door, but when I opened it, this horde of dead people came out."

"Silly, little loon, ghosts are not real," Serafyr chuckled, smiling at Azaril in an utterly patronizing way.

"Yes they are, we have lots of them back home. Anyway, these dead people weren't ghosts, they were all moany and corpsy."

"Did they reek of death and decay?"

Azaril nodded his head. "Pretty much. And they looked like they were going to eat me, so I ran here to get you."

A triumphant smile crossed Serafyr's face. "Azaril, you wonderful moron! Your addiction to juice may have just saved me from fatal boredom!"


"What you have just released onto the world is a hideous plague of zombies."

"Uh..." Azaril looked perplexed. "Isn't that a bad thing?"

"Normally, yes, very much so. But under these circumstances, it is a good thing. Now I shall partake of a battle filled with so much gore that the War of Countless Buckets of Blood and Nasty Things shall pale in comparison!"

Serafyr's declaration of joy was interrupted by the sound of moans and dragging feet. The warrior twirled around on his toes, elated at the prospect of random bloodshed.

Meanwhile Azaril climbed up to a nearby tree and produced a glass of ice tea from the netherworld inside his sleeves. "I'll just stay up here then."

"A smashing idea, little buddy. I would not advise you to watch this for it will very likely be unsuitable for your less-than-of-age mind."


Serafyr brandished the Sword of Might and waited. Slowly, very slowly, zombies appeared from around a corner. They were a disgusting horde, each more repulsive and rotten than the next. Limbs were missing; skins were discoloured; wounds were gaping, and eyes, those that were still in their sockets, were staring blankly ahead.

"How I adore the stench of death in the afternoon," Serafyr sighed to himself. "Let the gore-fest begin!"

While Serafyr was well aware that zombies can only be killed by destroying their brain, he took his time to chop off hands and tear out intestines as the undead horde stumbled towards him.

"By the Firepits of Draakoa, you shall be slain! Though you are technically dead, I am not one to get caught up on technicalities like that. Die, foul ghouls!"

Blood and stomach fluids flew across the air and smeared the grass in a sickly mixture of red and green. Serafyr laughed like a maniac, overcome by an inhuman bloodlust as dismembered limbs littered the ground beneath the blood-soaked hem of his bathrobe. The zombies, being too dead to know fear, were undaunted by the possibility of being destroyed and thus continued their assault on the homicidal warrior.

The battle of gore went on until early evening, when Serafyr finally stabbed the Sword of Might through the forehead of the last zombie.

Serafyr flipped his fiery red hair out of his face and surveyed the scene with a great feeling of gratification. "Ah, victory. Once again good triumphs over evil! Tonight the adorable woodland creatures may rest easy, knowing that their forest is safe from the undead hordes."

Azaril clambered down from his roost in the tree. "Boy, you sure made a mess."

"Evil is messy, you should learn that." Serafyr wiped blood off the Sword of Might and returned it to the Scabbard of Greatness.

Azaril walked over to where the warrior stood, trying to avoid stepping on anything repulsive. "Shouldn't we do something about this mess?"

Serafyr laughed. "When have you ever heard of a hero doing any cleaning? No, I think we ought to leave this to the staff. That will teach them never to leave this place unattended."

"You know, it's going to smell pretty bad once the sun starts to heat this up during the day." Azaril poked at a torso with the tip of his shoe.

"Ah well, Goldy is going to retrieve us tomorrow evening. Till then I believe you and I can stand the smell."

"We could go fishing till then," Azaril said, with a hopeful gleam in his enormous eyes.

"I suppose—"

"Hurray!" Azaril jumped into Serafyr's arms.

"But what shall I do about those dreadful mosquitos? They are sure to follow me onto the lake."

"I think I've got the solution for that." Azaril handed Serafyr a can.

"Ezramil's Killing Spray?"

"Yeah, Uncle Ezramil asked me to test it before he starts manufacturing it for the mass market. It kills any kind of insects and most small fey."

"You delightful, fructose dependent wizard. If this thing works, I may actually enjoy our last day here." Serafyr opened the can's lid and sprayed its content on his face, then fell to his knees, screaming in agony. "Aah! My eyes!"

"Ooh, you really shouldn't spray that stuff in your face," Azaril pointed out.

"Oh gods, it is so painful!" Serafyr said between screams.

"Lets go to the shore and wash it out." Azaril grabbed Serafyr's cape and began to guide him towards the lake. "You know, I wonder how those zombies ended up in that cellar..."

”We can worry about that after I regain my eyesight.”

Next Month: An Encounter of Some Interest

Stories and artwork Copyright 2009-2010 by Mette Pesonen. Copying in whole or in part is prohibited. However, you may link to this page.

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