'A Group of Singers'


"It's just so rude!" Jessica kept saying over and over.

We were now on the bus to the palace, and I was doing nothing else than hearing Jessica complaining about what had happened. I was as annoyed as ever. With the corner of my eye, I could see Ermi chuckling at me. You must be finding this hilarious, huh? I thought to myself, momentarily shooting my brother a glare. I was so going to take revenge.

"We asked her a simple question!" Jessica continued, "A simple, 'Who are you?'! A simple, 'What's your name?'!"

"A simple, 'Tell me who you are already, will ya?'!" Elisa added, trying to sound as angry as the Water Fairy.

"In my opinion, you should have been more polite" I told Jessica, "This is Zinonos, the capital city. There are many people who prank others here"

"Well, still!" Jessica exclaimed. Man, she sure was stubborn. "She could have at least said her name! All she did when we asked her again was to simply disappear in mid air! Who does she think she is?"

"Or he" Dafni chuckled.

"Oh, right! She or he was disguised, so we don't know if it was actually a she!" Elisa pointed out.

"See if I care!" Jessica snapped, for the tenth time today, "No one plays that kind of tricks on me! If I ever see her again, I'll--"

At that moment, the luggage that were above Ermi's seat magically fell, right on top of him.

"Ouch!" he exclaimed in pain.

"Hah!" I laughed at my brother's reaction, a devious grin on my face, "That's what you get when you're chuckling at me!"

"Ooooh!" Elisa and Dafni said in unison, imitating a crowd.

Ermi firstly straightened up on his seat, rubbed the back of his head and then looked at me, the lost-in-thought expression never leaving his face.

"Ah, I see" he said calmly, "You still remember how to use magic"

I was a bit shocked. Wasn't he going to take me back for that? "Wha..? Aren't you hurt? Aren't you not mad at all?"

"Of course I'm mad, and I'm kinda seeing stars right now" Ermi replied, pretending to be counting something only he could see, "But, as much as I want to, I can't hurt my lil' sister. I'm the older brother, after all" he picked the luggage up and started placing them back, "I'm supposed to take care of you, not hurt you"

"Aww, he cares" Jessica giggled.

I pretty much ignored her. I had started feeling a bit stupid right now... What I did was just a little joke, something ridiculous and stupid to laugh. I wasn't expecting Ermi to get all emotional like that. I mean, we've always been playing jokes on each other, so what now?

Could it be that, he has changed?

"I'm sorry, for throwing the luggage on you..."

"Humma?" asked Ermi, turning to me.

Looking down, I repeated, "I'm sorry for that..."

"Ah, there's no need to apologize" Ermi said, uttering me a smile.

Hearing that, I smiled as well, "Thanks, I'm glad that-"

"Although I'm not exactly sure if I want to forgive you yet. Maybe you could give Sandilia a nice long bath first and then clean my shoes. Oh my clothes need some washing as well. Then you could also help me do the dishes and after that clean up my room. Ah, yes, that place is a real mess I tell ya..."

"Aah forget it! I take my apology back!" I interrupted him, crossing my arms. I knew he was just messing with me, but it still was very annoying.

Ermi chuckled, once again, "Still, you're forgiven..you'll always be"

I didn't get the chance to respond, as the bus had finally stopped and the two fairies had bursted out. I didn't exactly tried to give him a response either, just ran after the girls, Elisa sitting on my head. I pictured my older brother sighing and walking after us.

Running out of the bus, we were greeted by a happy Sandilia, who had landed next to the bus' doors. Petting the white dragon on its head, I stared up at the enormous walls that were standing only a few meters away of us. The Golden Barrier. Just by looking it, you could imagine how the palace itself would be like.

The walls were covered by gold, just like the statue's crown. The golden color looked even more fascinating the way the sun was dropping its gentle afternoon sunshines on it. On the golden walls there were engraved pictures of every single living being on Hilenster. Seeing that, I remembered. Hilenster wasn't only known for its beauty.

It was known for the perfect balance between the creatures on it.

"Welp, we're here" Ermi spoke up, making us quit staring at the walls.

"It's...gorgeous" Dafni murmured fascinated.

"Absolutely different than the village..." Jessica admitted.

"I've seen bigger walls" Elisa, who was flying next to me, said, not showing enthusiasm.

We all looked at her and snickered, leaving her with a confused expression.

"What?"

"Nothing, nothing" I said, another snicker accidentally escaping my lips.

"Doesn't look like nothing to me!" Elisa pouted.

Seeing her cute pout, I snickered again. She was so cute, I couldn't help it. That's probably what the others thought as well, seeing how they were trying to hold back their chuckles. Eveyone, except for Sandilia, who was staring up at the sky.

The white dragon snarled and turned to Ermi, who then looked back at it as if it had called him. I watched them as they were looking at each other, often turning their sights to the sky. I never really understood why they did that, they looked like they were actually communicating.

Finally, I decided to ask, "Guys, what are you doing over there?"

"They're coming," Ermi replied, his lost-in-thought expression never changing, "they're going to open the gates for us in just a bit"

"They're?" asked Dafni curiously, "Who are 'they'?"

"Maybe he means the loyal family or something!" guessed Jessica.

"Oh, you have no idea" Ermi chuckled.

Suddenly, sounds were heard from not very far away. I focused on listening to those sounds. I realized that I was listening to the same song that was coming out of my window every morning for the last two years. It wasn't a song written by humans, no. This one had nothing to do with it. All you could hear were many different tweets.

When the singers came into sight, my eyes went wide open.

It was a group of a hundred pigeons, ninety nine grey and one, the one that looked like it was leading them all, white.