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Fangs and Feathers

By Mikari

Humor / Romance

Chapter 1

A one-shot collection, full of humor and fluff. LaharlxFlonne

Fangs and Feathers

Episode 01: Lost

"Laharl..." Flonne called softly as she and the Netherworld prince made their way through the forest after being sent on what he thought was a wild goose chase by Etna. "Can we hold hands?" He had already admitted to liking her and she had told him she liked him back, though he had denied his confession a thousand times over afterwards, insisting that she misheard because she was a love freak.

"What?" Laharl jumped back. "Are you trying to kill me you love freak?"

"It's so I don't get lost?" Flonne made up an excuse; she was becoming better every day at getting Laharl to do what she wanted.

"Oh, I guess it would be troublesome if I had to look for you too," Laharl calmed down and nodded, "alright, give me your hand."

They continued through the forest for a while in silence, until Laharl grew impatient with his mission and started muttering under his breath. "Laharl," Flonne whispered softly.

Laharl ceased his grumbling and looked at the angel walking beside him, "what is it? Got any suggestions about what I should do to get back at Etna?"

"I don't think you should be mad at her, if she said she lost her earring here, then we should believe her. Why would she lie about that?" Flonne reasoned.

Laharl grumbled some more, two stray locks of blue hair standing up straight, "because we've been all over the place and still haven't found the earring! Why can't she just get a new pair? And don't forget that you offered to give me a reward if I came here and helped you look for it, a real reward."

Flonne nodded, remembering her promise, "I won't forget," she spotted something shiny on the ground and picked it up, "look, it's Etna's earring!" She cheered, "we found it! Aren't you happy that we were able to help her?"

"Of course not!" Laharl growled, "I am not happy to help anyone, I only came here for the reward! Since the earring was found, I want my reward now."

"Okay," Flonne smiled and gave him a kiss on the cheek.

Laharl's scream echoed through the Netherworld as he lay on the ground twitching, "are you trying to kill me?"

Flonne giggled and pulled him to his feet, "c'mon that wasn't so bad," she smiled.

Laharl grumbled something incomprehensible as he walked away with his face a bright red. He stopped, his back to Flonne, gaze in the distance, he extended his hand beside him, "well? Let's go, if you get lost Etna and the prinnies will whine about it, then I'll have to kill them for it and I'll have less people to boss around." Flonne took Laharl's hand and they made their way out of the forest.

xoxox xox xoxox

Episode 02: Reward

Laharl sat happily in his throne quietly chanting "overlord, overlord!" His feet dangled from the large stone chair not touching the floor and there was a big grin on his face.

"Good morning Laharl!" Flonne arrived to greet him with a smile as she always did. "You look especially cheerful this morning."

Laharl laid back on his throne, crossing his arms on the back of his head, "it's just one of those days when I feel really glad I'm the overlord and all I want to do is sit in my throne and be cool."

"Is it fun?" Flonne inquired with interest.

"Yeah," sitting in a throne all day may seem like a dull activity to some, but Laharl was truly enjoying it.

"Can I join you?" Flonne asked hopefully.

"Huh?" Laharl's shifted, leaning forward in his throne to examine the angel suspiciously, "what do you mean join me?"

"Can I sit next to you on your throne?" Flonne elaborated, "if it's so much fun, I want to try it too! Can I, please? It's big enough for both of us to fit."

"No way!" Laharl's hair stood on ends as it usually did when he yelled, "you can't just sit with me in my throne as if you were..." he trailed into silence thinking, 'my queen or something...' then quickly added in a hurried angry voice, "you can't sit in my throne!"

Flonne frowned and her eyes reflected sadness, but she was not going to give up so easily, "if you let me sit with you, I promise to give a reward."

Laharl grew very suspicious, "I don't know, your past rewards have all been terrible," he feigned disgust.

"This reward will be different from all the others," Flonne encouraged; she knew that if she kept insisting, Laharl would eventually give in.

Laharl gave it some thought, last time he decided to accept one of Flonne's requests in exchange for a reward she gave him a kiss on the cheek and he thought he was going to die. But what kind of an overlord would he be if he showed fear towards a reward, an angel or a reward from an angel? "Alright, but only for a little while, and your reward better be good this time!"

"Yay!" Flonne sat on the throne next to Laharl, content at first, then she shifted uncomfortably, "this throne is really hard."

"It's made of stone, of course it's hard, it has to be strong like the one sitting on it. Speaking of which, that's enough of having a weak love freak on my throne, give me my reward and get off," Laharl demanded.

Flonne reached into her pocket and took out a candy, which she gave to Laharl, "here's your reward."

Laharl stared at the candy in his hand, it was certainly better than Flonne's past rewards, but he was still disappointed for some unknown reason. He told himself that his disappointment was only because the candy was small. He removed its wrapping and threw it on the floor, then ate the candy.

"You shouldn't throw trash on the floor, Laharl!" Flonne scolded.

"Let the prinnies pick it up, that's their job, besides, the more work they do, the faster they'll atone for their sins. It's not that I care or anything, I just want them gone as soon as possible, pathetic creatures," Laharl huffed. "Besides, why are you still sitting there? I told you to get off my throne."

Flonne smiled, "I guess you have a point about the prinnies. As for my sitting on your throne, if you let me sit here for a while longer I'll give you another reward."

"Fine, but just for a little while and your reward has to be better than the last one," Laharl agreed.

"It will be!" Flonne assured.

A few minutes later Laharl announced, "time's up, give me my reward."

Flonne took two candies from her pocket and gave them to Laharl, "here you go, it's twice as much as the last reward!"

"I guess it's a little better," it didn't look like the love freak was going to do anything crazy so Laharl started to relax. He unwrapped the candies, threw the wrapping on the floor and ate them. "Are you going to get off my throne or do you have an even better reward to offer?"

"I still have more rewards to give," Flonne smiled and continued sitting on the throne.

Time passed and Laharl demanded to be given his reward again, which turned out to be three candies. The same pattern was repeated with Laharl obtaining four candies, then five, until Flonne ran out of candy. He watched her searching the pockets of her white robe without finding anything to give him.

"Did you run out of rewards? I guess that means you owe me for these last few minute you sat on my throne." Lahard crossed his arms over his chest and closed his eyes with a cocky grin, "what should I make you do as punishment for breaking your promise? Maybe I'll make you scrub the floors of the entire throne room with a tooth brush or maybe..." he turned his head towards Flonne, who had leaned in to try to give him a kiss on the cheek as a reward so she wouldn't break her promise.

Their eyes went wide when their lips touched and Laharl fell off the throne, his scream echoing through the Netherworld, "ah!"

"Laharl!" With her face bright red, Flonne jumped off the throne and gently lifted Laharl into her arms, his cheeks were bright red, the rest of his body was ghostly white and his eyes were out of focus. "Laharl, Laharl!"

A group of vassals rushed in to see why their young overlord was screaming. Among them was Etna, who felt as if she had missed something amusing, "what happened?" She asked Flonne with a mischievous tone, noticing her blush.

"Nothing," Flonne stammered, but Etna and the vassals kept staring at her. "An assassin, there was an assassin, he's still in the castle, go find him quick, he looked like... like a giant peanut!"

All the vassals except Etna spread out to search the castle. "Living in the Netherworld can really change an angel, killing the prince, lying to his vassals, what else have you done?"

"No!" Flonne cried, "Laharl is alive, love can save lives but it can't kill, it can't!" She hugged Laharl tightly.

"Let me go love freak, I can't breathe!" Laharl suddenly yelled; his face was purple from the combination of the red blush and the tint of blue from lack of oxygen.

The vassals returned to the throne room with a monster that looked remarkably like a giant peanut, "is this the one who tried to kill the overlord?"

Flonne didn't want some poor innocent creature to be accused, but she couldn't confess what happened so she made up an excuse, "did I say peanut? Oh sorry, I was just so worried and frightened I got confused, I meant to say that the assassin looked like a... like an invisible rock!"

The vassals let the peanut creature go and ran off to search for the invisible rock, discussing among themselves how they would go about that since it was invisible. As for how Flonne was able to apparently see it, they assumed it was something angels could do, they were strange creatures after all.

xoxox xox xoxox

The next morning, Laharl went to sit on his throne again and found Etna supervising as the prinnies cleaned the throne room. He looked at the throne and saw a big red cushion on it, "what's this doing here?"

"Flonne put it there," Etna revealed, "apparently she stayed up all night making it so she's getting some rest now."

Laharl glared at the cushion, he considered throwing it away but then got a better idea and sat on it. He noticed Etna was grinning at him and was quick to clarify, "it's not that I like it or anything. My real intention is to get back at Flonne by ruining the cushion she worked so hard to make. I'm going to flatten it with the weight of my body."

Etna continued to grin, "whatever you say prince..."

xoxox xox xoxox

Episode 03: Tree

"Prince, oh prince!" When Etna called in such a sing-song voice, Laharl knew right away it meant trouble.

"What is it now? Has someone issued a challenge for me? Is the Netherworld being invaded? Is Mid-boss causing trouble? Don't tell me this is about finding someone's lost pet..." Laharl went over the list of possible disasters in his head.

"No, it's nothing like that," Etna had a big grin on her face, "this is something much, much worse! Even worse than all those things put together, for you anyway."

Laharl gave Etna a suspicious look, "what do you mean by that?"

"Oh, you'll see," she began to walk out of the throne room, motioning for Laharl to follow her. "I should warn you, I will not be held responsible for what may happen to you when you lay eyes upon what I found."

The suspense hung in the air and the tension continued building up as they walked to the portal, "just tell me already!" Laharl yelled.

"You'll see it when we get there," Etna insisted.

Flonne saw them and happily skipped over, "hi, where are you going?" she smiled, looking as if she were glowing.

"You look more cheerful then ever today," Etna noticed, "what's the occasion?"

"She's in denial," Laharl cut in before Flonne could say anything.

"About what?" Etna's curiosity grew.

"Let's not get distracted," Laharl protested, "first you have to show me that oh so terrible thing you found," he reminded Etna.

"Fine, but you're going to wish you haven't seen it," Etna could clearly imagine Laharl falling to the ground and twitching while screaming in agony, it would be amusing. "C'mon Flonne, you should see this too." The three of them disappeared through the portal towards the forest.

xoxox xox xoxox

At the forest, Etna led the trio to a specific tree. "Here it is!" She pointed at a tree where Laharl and Flonne's names were carved.

"That's it?" Laharl was not surprised, terrified, or agonizing. "That's the same thing Flonne was in denial about. I've already seen this, in fact, I was the one who carved it."

Etna stood there in absolute shock, "what?"

"The love freak was playing around here and going on and on about how much she loved nature, so I told her I would stab a tree with my sword and in the most pathetic voice she said: no Laharl you mustn't!" Laharl imitated Flonne, in an exaggerated silly high pitch, then continued narrating normally, "of course I wasn't going to listen to her, but I got a better idea. I carved her name into the tree so Flonne's reputation would be stained with nature abuse. But I couldn't let her take all the credit, so I carved my name into it too. You should have seen the love freak's face turning red with anger and frustration," Laharl pointed at Flonne's blushing face, "just like that!" He then observed Etna's wide eyed and open mouthed expression and his grin grew if it was even possible. "Impressed? You're amazed by the amount of evil I possess, hahahaha!" Laughing wildly, Laharl made his way out of the forest and back to the castle.

Etna finally recovered and rolled around with laughter, though Laharl was no longer there to hear her. She had learned from Gordon and Jennifer what it meant to carve two names into a tree in human culture. If Laharl ever knew the truth he might just drop dead. It was nice having that to hold over his head, even if he was completely unaware of it. "Flonne, you're one evil angel!"

xoxox xox xoxox

Episode 04: Pudding

Etna looked left and right, back and forth. Good, there was no sign of Laharl. She observed the box she held with a victorious grin. She had decided that she would savor her pudding that evening in the sunset, it was the perfect moment for pudding. She placed the box inside the hallow three that was surrounded by flowers. Laharl didn't like flowers; it was Flonne who had insisted on spreading their seeds all over the place. They were particularly abundant there, around that three atop a little hill. Laharl would never think to steal her pudding if she hid it there, but just in case, Etna had another plan.

The redhead returned to the castle and entered the throne room. The place was empty as Laharl was sleeping in. She placed a note on his throne, which held the cushion that Flonne had made for him insisting that the throne was too hard. It was on that cushion that Laharl sat practically every day, claiming that he wanted to make Flonne sad by ruining the cushion with the weight of his body. However, the cushion remained as soft and fluffy as ever, his evil deed was a work in progress, Laharl would excuse himself. One cannot do something truly terrible without the proper preparation, evil takes time. After leaving the folded piece of paper on the throne, Etna went off to find Laharl.

xoxox xox xoxox

Meanwhile, Laharl had been turning the castle's kitchen upside-down looking for pudding. He knew there was some left, Etna must have hidden it. Flonne innocently entered and greeted Laharl cheerfully as usual. The young overlord was not in a very cheery mood since he couldn't find the pudding and decided to order someone around for the sake of ordering them around. Conveniently, Flonne happened to be there, "I hereby order you to clean the throne room!"

Flonne blinked in confusion, "the prinnies have already done that," she pointed out.

"I don't care!" Laharl argued, "go clean the throne room, now!"

Flonne frowned in disapproval at Laharl's senseless yelling, "I think you're cranky because you need a hug!" She extended her arms, but before she could hug Laharl, the young overlord let out a rather girly squeak of fright and ran for dear life away from the love freak.

xoxox xox xoxox

A small while later, Laharl was walking down the hallways of his castle. Maybe by then Flonne had gotten over her need to hug him, besides, he could have just ordered her not to, he was the overlord after all. He found Etna heading in the opposite direction with a wicked rin. "You!" Lahard pointed his accusing finger at Etna, "you took the last serving of pudding, didn't you? Where are you hiding it?"

"I don't know what you're talking about, but I saw Flonne doing something to your throne," Etna feigned innocence and tried to guide the conversation towards another topic. "You better go see what she's up to or you might find that your throne has pink hearts drawn all over it or something."

"My throne!" Laharl was easily distracted and ran off in the direction of the throne room, momentarily setting aside his quest to find pudding.

xoxox xox xoxox

After Laharl had run away from Flonne, she had gone to find him and checked the throne room. She noticed a paper on the throne and wondered what it was. She read the note and gasped in surprise, "I wish to express my love for you in the tree that's surrounded by flowers on the little hill at the forest clearing." Flonne knew the place right away, since she, Laharl and Etna had gone there on a picnic a few days ago at her own insistence. She remembered how Laharl had told her to clean the throne room, maybe she was meant to find that note that he was too shy to give her in person. Clutching the note to her chest, ignoring the fact that Laharl's grammar would not be that good, Flonne ran off to the place mentioned in the writing.

xoxox xox xoxox

Looking forward to a good laugh, Etna had followed Laharl to the throne room. When they got there, Flonne was already gone and there was no note for Laharl to find. Etna knew that if there was something love related waiting for him at the location, Laharl would not dare to go near it. It seemed that though he would never admit it, love still frightened him. He didn't seem to hate it anymore, not that he would admit that either, but it still intimidated him somewhat. She was looking forward to witnessing his reaction when he saw the note he was meant to think was from Flonne.

"At least she didn't ruin it, but where did she go?" Laharl sat on his throne feeling as if he was forgetting something. Sometimes having such a short attention span was a bother. "The pudding!" The realization came to him, "I was interrogating you about pudding!" He pointed his accusing finger at Etna again.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Etna continued her act, though she wondered where the note disappeared to. Maybe one of the prinnies threw it away while cleaning.

Some time passed with Laharl trying to get Etna to confess that she had taken the pudding, with Etna constantly denying it. Then Flonne arrived back at the throne room. "Laharl, I came to thank you," she smiled and blushed.

"Thank me?" Laharl was honestly confused, "for what?"

"You know, that note you left for me, I really enjoyed your present," Flonne continued smiling and blushing.

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Laharl continued to insist. He hopped off his throne and eyed Flonne suspiciously. Flonne giggled, it was so cute when Laharl was being shy, she immediately glomped him in a tight embrace and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "It burns!" Laharl bellowed as loud as he could, "she's killing me, get her off, it burns!" Flonne giggled in response and hugged Laharl tighter, determined to help him overcome his shyness.

Etna had put two and two together and figured out that Flonne must have found the note assuming it was directed at her from Laharl, as it possessed no signature. She twitched upon realizing that she set up her pudding to be stolen and that Flonne must have indeed consumed it already, "my pudding!" Etna fell on her knees, hitting the floor with her fists in frustration. "My pudding, my precious pudding, it's gone, all gone!" Flonne was too focused on Laharl to notice Etna's misery, plus his cries of agony drowned out all other sounds all around.

Being led to the location by the noise, Mid-boss peeked into the throne room and saw Etna on the floor in misery and Laharl apparently being strangled to death, by that point practically begging for mercy that Flonne seemed unwilling to give. "And here I thought she was the angelic one..." he backed away from the door before Flonne saw him and threw the same doom upon him that had afflicted the other two. With a thoughtful expression, he mused, "maybe she is exactly what Laharl needs, it'll do him some good, toughen him up to be overlord and she would be the perfect queen for him." Continuing his solo mutterings Mid-boss nodded to himself, "I know the day will come when I shall call Flonne my daughter-in-law. Little Laharl you've grown up so fast, papa is so proud of you." Ignoring the random passing prinny that was staring at him strangely, Mid-boss went off to share the news of what he witnessed with a few others that may be interested.

xoxox xox xoxox

Episode 05: Engaged

On that fateful day, Vyers arrived at Celestia going on and on about Laharl and Flonne. He said so much so fast that his wish for them to one day be engaged was interpreted by Seraph Lamington as them already being engaged. 'They are young, but true love cannot be held back,' Lamington mused. Vyers continued prancing around, gossiping about the young Netherworld overload and his apparent crush. Without any further clarifications, Lamington was left to his own theories, 'young Laharl has overcome his fear of cooties and found true love. I must formally congratulate him in person.' "Prinnies," the prinnies from Celestia stood in attention, "prepare for a celebration!"

xoxox xox xoxox

Some time later, Laharl was sitting in his throne, enjoying being overlord when a prinny came in with a letter for him. "I have a letter for Overlord Laharl and Flonne, it came from Celestia, dood!"

Laharl took the letter the prinny handed him and examined it. "A letter from Lamington, for me and Flonne? I wonder what this is about." Laharl opened the letter curiously and read. "Dear overlord Laharl and Flonne," though he wasn't thrilled to have both Flonne and himself addressed in the same letter, Laharl was please to see that Lamington had not forgotten to include his title of overlord. Maybe the Seraph was lazy and decided to write one letter instead of two. "I wish to personally congratulate you on your glorious occasion. Please come to Celestia for a celebration and feast in your honor this evening. I look forward to seeing you both, and of course, Etna and all your friends are very welcome to attend. Best wishes, Seraph Lamington." Laharl looked over the letter one more time; where did that come from? "I get it!" He suddenly came up with a theory, "Flonne must have entered us in some kind of sweepstakes without telling me and this party is the prize! There's no sense in wasting party food, I might as well go."

xoxox xox xoxox

Meanwhile, another prinny ran to find Etna, who was bossing random prinnies around the castle, with a wireless phone. "Master Etna, you have an urgent hone call from Seraph Lamington!"

"Why would the Seraph be calling me?" Without waiting for the prinny's theory on the matter, Etna took the phone and spoke into the receiver. "This is the beautiful Etna speaking."

"Etna, I am glad you were able to take my call. I am in need of your advice," Lamington's voice came from the phone.

"My advice?" Needless to say, Etna was quite surprised. "Sure, I can give you advice, what's your problem?"

"That is good to hear, you see, I do not know what types of foods Laharl and his guests like," the only one whose tastes he could confidently guess were Flonne's. "I wish to provide a truly enjoyable feast for the celebration this evening. Did Laharl and Flonne already mention it to you?"

"There's a party?" Etna gasped in surprise. "No, they haven't told me anything," she frowned. Laharl leaving her, and everyone else for that matter, out of a party was believable, but she didn't expect it from Flonne.

"Ah, well, I'm sure they were just about to tell you. Of course you are invited," Lamington explained. "About the food..."

Etna pouted, "yeah, I'm sure they just forgot," she didn't really believe that and someone was going to get an earful. "Pudding, make sure there's lots and lots of pudding and also..." she continued for a long time, listing all the things she liked to eat.

"Thank you for all your help. I wrote down everything you said and will make sure it is ready. You have my most sincere gratitude and please do not be angry at Laharl and Flonne for forgetting to mention the festivities. They just got engaged and must be absorbed in each other, but I'm sure they would have remembered to tell you on time." Lamington's parting words left Etna in shock.

xoxox xox xoxox

A few minutes later, Etna hurried towards the throne room to ask what this engagement business was about. She literally ran into Flonne in the hallway. The girls stumbled backwards as they bumped into each other, with Flonne being the first and only to apologize. Brushing off her apology, Etna quickly asked, "is it true that Laharl proposed to you?"

"Proposed?!" Flonne's eyes went wide.

"Yeah, you know, asked you to marry him," Etna further explained.

Flonne's face turned a deep shade of crimson, "I... um... he... ah..." the thought made her stumble on her words and she simply couldn't form a coherent sentence.

Etna observed Flonne's flustered reaction, "I'll take that as a yes," which meant she had a lot of teasing to do. Thus she hurried the rest of the way to the throne room.

xoxox xox xoxox

Etna skipped into the throne room loudly singing, "Laharl and Flonne sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G," Laharl twitched and growled at Etna. "First comes love," she emphasized the word making Laharl twitch more violently, "then comes marriage and here comes-"

"Laharl!" Flonne entered the throne room with her face still red.

"With a baby carriage," Etna continued.

"Not too big," one of the prinnies tuned in.

"Not too small," another prinny chimed.

"Just the size of a candy ball!" Etna and the prinnies finished the song in a chorus.

"Shut up!" Laharl growled so loudly that the prinnies fled, leaving only the young overlord and his two vassals in the throne room.

"Um... ah... Laharl..." Flonne stammered, she caught Laharl staring at her strangely and felt her heart pounding faster.

"Why is your face so red?" Laharl directed the question towards Flonne, then glared over at Etna, "and why are you more infuriating than usual today?" Etna had taken a liking to teasing Laharl and lately it had become relentless.

"Is it true?" Flonne finally asked, "is it really true, about... us?"

Laharl blinked, wondering how in the world Flonne found out about the party they won. One of the loud mouth prinnies must have told her. Oh well, the Seraph might ask about her if she's not there. Who knows, maybe they both need to be there to claim the prize. There was no use in hiding the party to himself anymore. Besides, there would probably be enough food to go around. "Yes it's true, Lamington is throwing us a party this evening to celebrate our, in his own words, glorious occasion." Flonne promptly fainted, leaving Laharl more confused than ever.

"Sorry about that..." Etna uncharacteristically apologized.

Laharl became further confused as he rushed to Flonne's side, not realizing how it looked. "Why are you apologizing and what's wrong with Flonne? Is she sick?" He didn't even bother checking her forehead for a fever, since her red face seemed to be all the confirmation he needed to conclude she had quite a temperature.

"She doesn't even have the ring yet and I told her about it before you could. Actually, why did Lamington know before Flonne?" Etna wondered, "being overconfident as you usually are you could have assumed she would be okay with it. Then again, I wouldn't really blame you for that assumption, it is kind of obvious. Honestly, were you planning to let someone else be the one to tell her from the beginning?"

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Laharl thought about the mention of a ring. Flonne should no longer need a piece of jewelry to survive in the Netherworld like when she used to need her pendant. Or at least, she shouldn't need it as far as he knew, then again, she was a weirdo. "Does she need a ring?"

"Of course she does!" Etna insisted.

From what Laharl could understand, Flonne apparently needed a ring to survive and somewhere along the way, that piece of information was lost to him. Etna and Lamington were apparently informed. "What are we waiting for? Let's go get her ring, where is it anyway?"

"You're asking me?" Etna sighed and shook her head, "this is something only you can do. Go to the jewelry store and pick the ring you think is best for Flonne."

"Something only I can do?" Laharl mused on Etna's words. Maybe giving Flonne a ring symbolized giving her permission to live in the Netherworld, thus only the overlord could do it. Maybe it wasn't about the ring per se, but the action of receiving the jewelry from the overlord which made it work. "You take care of Flonne; I'll be right back with the ring." Full of determination, Laharl left Flonne in Etna's care and ran off to find a ring.

xoxox xox xoxox

Some time later, Laharl returned with a ring for Flonne. It had taken him a while to choose, but he feared that if he chouse the wrong kind of ring, then it would have no effect and Flonne would not be saved. By then Flonne had woken up and was pacing nervously around the throne room waiting for Laharl to arrive and formally propose to her. "I see you're awake now," he noticed that her face still looked flustered and he could practically hear her heartbeats. It must all be due to her fragile state of health, which would hopefully soon be solved. "I got your ring," he wasn't sure how the ritual or whatever was supposed to go, but Flonne had extended her left hand, as if waiting for him to place the ring on her finger, which he did.

The ring had a big diamond in the center with a pair of rubies on the sides. The second Flonne had the heavy piece of jewelry on her finger; she recovered her voice shouting, "yes!" And glomping Laharl in a bone crushing hug.

"Ah! It burns!" Laharl screamed at the top of his lungs, though he was relived that Flonne got her strength back so quickly.

Etna realized what time it was and reminded the other two, "if we're going to be at Celestia by this evening we better get going." Laharl took longer than expected to choose a ring and it was getting late.

xoxox xox xoxox

The group journeyed to Celestia with Flonne clinging to Laharl the entire way and Laharl constantly complaining, claiming that he couldn't breathe. They were received as the guests of honor and led to the party hall were a feast had been served. They were seated and before dinner officially began, Lamington reminded everyone what the celebration was about. "Friends, let us enjoy this feast in honor of the upcoming marriage of overlord Laharl and Flonne, may they live happily together."

"Marriage?!" One second Laharl was staring hungrily at the massive amount of food on the table and the next he was overwhelmed into losing consciousness.

xoxox xox xoxox

Later that night, Laharl woke up in his own room to find Flonne sitting next to his coffin. "What happened?" He looked at her left hand searching for a ring, but found none.

Flonne smiled, "did you have a pleasant rest?"

"I had this weird dream that Lamington was throwing a party and..." Laharl felt his face turning scarlet, "I can't really remember the rest," he lied. "It was just a dream, it doesn't matter. What are you doing here anyway?"

"Oh nothing, just checking up on you," Flonne continued to smile innocently.

Laharl huffed, "creepy stalker love freak..." He lay down again in his coffin, "I'm going back to sleep, so quit staring at me," he took the coffin's cover that had previously been off and closed it.

"Good night, Laharl," Flonne exited Laharl's room.

xoxox xox xoxox

Out in the hallway, Flonne saw Etna, "Laharl woke up for a few minutes, but went back to sleep," the blond informed. "He thinks the entire thing was a dream," she pulled a chain out of her shirt with a diamond and ruby ring on it, hidden from view.

"I knew he was too immature to be a husband," Etna rolled her eyes. "Oh well, I have no complaints since I got to eat his share of pudding and enjoy the party while he was out."

"It's too bad Laharl spent all the festivities asleep. At least we were able to borrow some of Celestia's prinnies to help us carry him home," Flonne sighed and hid the ring again. "Maybe we're both too young and not ready to be married yet. I still think it was sweet when he proposed. Maybe next time he won't think it was a dream..."

"Don't hold your breath waiting," Etna chuckled, "he's still got a lot of growing up to do."

"That's okay," Flonne smiled, "I can be patient."

xoxox xox xoxox

Episode 06: Be Careful What You Wish For

In all honesty, Laharl could barely remember what the argument was about. It was probably something about his recent prinny abuse. Yeah, something like that. Maybe Flonne was upset because he had been making the prinnies work harder than usual, or pushing them around or calling them mean names. Perhaps what really upset her was when he decided to play bowling with them, with the prinnies playing the part of the bowling equipment. That had resulted in a big explosion that left the left wing of the castle in shambles. Well, at least he got a strike, even if it was at the cost of the prinny ball, the prinny pins and the castle bowling alley.

It didn't matter, the point was that Laharl was in a bad mood and try as he might to figure it out, he didn't know why. There was something, some unknown sensation growing inside him that Laharl couldn't figure out. To say the least it unnerved him greatly. He needed some kind of outlet for it and picking on the prinnies seemed like a good option. "Be quiet you love freak!" Laharl snapped as Flonne mentioned something about prinnies deserving love too in the middle of her speech. "You're really getting on my nerves. I wish you would just go away!"

Flonne frowned, but she knew deep down Laharl didn't mean it. "Do you really want that Laharl? Do you wish I was gone?"

"Do I have to repeat myself?" Laharl growled in frustration, with that unknown something shifting in protest, the sensation becoming warning, as if telling him not to be so harsh. He pushed the odd feeling away and tried to contradict it, being stubborn even against himself. "Yeah, I wish you were gone, in fact, I wish you haven't come to live in the Netherworld. If you haven't been sent here that time, you could be in Celestia right now. You'd be an angel, buried neck deep in missions from the Seraph with no time to bother me!"

Flonne's frown deepened as she gave Laharl a heartbroken look, "if that's how you feel than maybe I will go back to Celestia." She walked away, leaving Laharl to cool off by himself.

xoxox xox xoxox

The next day, Laharl woke up to the voice of a prinny calling, "overlord Laharl, you must wake up, master dood. I'm here to wake you at exactly 2:00pm just like you ordered, so that you may get an early start on your evil doings for the day, dood. Please wake up overlord Laharl, dood!"

Laharl sat up in his coffin and looked at the pocket watch the prinny was holding, "2:01pm? Why would I tell you to wake me up so early?" He cleared his throat, as his voice sounded different.

The prinny jumped back in fear, "oh no dood, I was one minute late! Please don't hurt me oh mighty evil overlord. I'm sorry dood!"

Laharl got up ignoring the prinny, then noticed the prinny looked smaller. He took a step forward staring down at the prinny with curiosity. "Did the prinnies get smaller or did I get taller?" He spoke in that new yet familiar grown up voice, then the prinny blew up. Apparently the prinny had been shaking so violently, he simply exploded. Grumbling in annoyance, Laharl walked out of his room.

Despite his bad mood the previous day, Laharl wouldn't let that, or the incident with the cowardly prinny, ruin his mood. He felt proud of himself for having grown up so much apparently overnight; he wanted to show Flonne and Etna. It would be hilarious to see their faces when they realized how much taller he had gotten. Unfortunately, Laharl was having a hard time locating the girls and the prinnies ran away in fear before he could ask them where they went. Did the bowling incident really scare them that much? Somehow, it seemed like there was more to it than just that. They were prinnies; they should be used to being thrown around and exploding.

Finally Laharl cornered a frightened prinny and, ignoring as the creature begged for mercy, he asked, "where are Flonne and Etna?"

The prinny summoned all his courage to reply, "You exiled Etna to the human world because she broke the law of the pudding, dood. The law says that by decree of the evil overlord Laharl, only he, I mean you, may eat pudding and no one else is allowed to ever enjoy it, dood. I don't know any Flonne, dood. Did I answer right? Have mercy on me great overlord Laharl, dood!"

Laharl was confused to say the least. He exiled Etna over pudding and no one knew Flonne? What kind of a strange day was this? "I get it!" Laharl theorized, his sudden outburst scared the prinny into jumping several feet in the air and exploding when he landed. Despite the explosion, Laharl continued voicing his theory. "Flonne and Etna must be playing some stupid joke on me. I'll go sit in my throne until they realize they can't trick me. They should come out of hiding soon enough." Said and done, Laharl went to sit on his throne.

xoxox xox xoxox

Time passed as Laharl sat waiting on his throne, then suddenly there was a loud crash and a wall was brought down with a cloud of dust. When the air cleared, Laharl saw a space ship in his now damaged throne room. The ship was of human design, clearly from Earth, but more advanced than Gordon's ship had been. From the ship emerged a human male dressed similarly to Gordon, but he had blond hair. He was accompanied by a high tech looking robot. "It seemed we have arrived, Friday," the young human male announced. "You," he pointed accusingly at Laharl, "it's been a thousand years since you sent the past defender of the Earth in an emergency retreat. For a thousand years we have been fearing that you would attack the Earth any minute. Then something unexpected happened, we have gained an ally that promised to lead us to the Netherworld so that instead of fearing your coming attack, we could take you out before you decided to conquer the Earth. I shall avenge my ancestors' defeat with this victory!"

"Don't you humans ever shut up?" Laharl huffed in annoyance. He didn't understand what that human was blabbering about.

"Nope, they never do shut up." Another figure emerged from the space ship, but this one was female and she wasn't human.

"Etna? Is that you?" It seemed Laharl wasn't the only one who was all grown up. Etna had also turned into a young adult.

"Yes it's me," Etna glared in anger. "You thought you got rid of me when you exiled me to the human world, did you? All I wanted after working so hard as your vassal was one cup of pudding, just one. You couldn't allow me that small pleasure. You want everyone to be just as bitter and miserable as you are! Now it's time for my revenge. All your vassals have abandoned you, not even the prinnies will stand beside you."

"My vassals have left me?" Looking around, Laharl noticed that he was indeed alone. He had only seen prinnies around the castle and they were few and far between.

Before the exchange could continue, A bright light invaded the throne room as another being entered through the hole left by the space ship when it crashed in. Her wings were big and soft, covered in pure white feathers. The young lady looked so angelic it was frightening. "Evil Overlord Laharl," she spoke with both disapproval and sorrow. "I am Flonne, an angel from Celestia sent here to assassinate you. You have done many terrible deeds; the pain you caused in the last thousand years is unforgivable. It is clear that as long as you continue to exist, you will only further sink into the darkness. I used to think that everyone could learn to love, but it seems I was wrong. You can never love or be loved!"

"Flonne?" Laharl gasped in surprise. "You really did go back to Celestia and became an angel!" He was overcome by an intense pain, how could she leave him? Flonne was a love freak and even she was convinced he couldn't love or be loved. He should say it was true, that he was the ultimate evil overlord, but seeing her so upset at him made the air in his lungs become thin and his voice was lost.

"Wait a minute," Etna protested, "I should be the one to kill Laharl!"

"What about me? I'm the defender of the Earth, I should kill him!" Gordon and Jennifer's distant descendant insisted.

"Well, we could all just kill him at the same time," Flonne mused. "Or better yet, we could take turns punishing him for his evil deeds and then kill him together!"

"I wouldn't normally make a deal with an angel, but it's clear we all have a common enemy here. I suppose it's okay to team up to make him suffer," Etna agreed.

"Count me in!" The current defender of the Earth added.

"Beep, beep, me too!" Friday chimed in.

"What?" The group approached Laharl surrounding him. "You can't betray me!"

"You're the traitor!" Etna accused.

"You're a wicked being that has betrayed even his own kingdom, the tales of your evil deeds are known everywhere," Flonne scolded.

"You will be punished for your cruelty!" The defender of the Earth dramatically declared.

"No!" Laharl yelled. "You can't do this!" He knew he couldn't fight them all at once. "No!"

xoxox xox xoxox

"Laharl, are you alright? Laharl!" That voice...

"Flonne?" Laharl slowly became conscious of his surroundings founding himself sitting up in his coffin with Flonne kneeling beside him, her arms wrapped tightly around his torso. Peering over her shoulder, he noticed Etna at the door accompanied by a few prinnies; she seemed to be arguing with someone out in the hall.

"I'm telling you there's no danger. Laharl was probably just having a nightmare. You and the rest of the vassals should just go back to sleep. You too prinnies, everyone back to sleep." Etna looked back at Laharl. "You were so loud you woke up the entire castle and all the vassals panicked, thinking you were hurt."

"They were worried?" Laharl blinked away the remaining sleep from his eyes as the realization sunk in that everything had been a dream. He was only a day older than he had been when he went to sleep and his vassals were still in the castle. There were also plenty of prinnies around and they didn't shake in fear until they exploded. Flonne was still there, she had not returned to Celestia and Etna had not been exiled to Earth.

"Of course!" Flonne pulled back, just enough to look at Laharl's face. "We were all worried about you."

"Than you're not going back to Celestia?" The question came out with more concern than Laharl would ever willingly allow himself to show.

Flonne smiled, "I'm staying here with you."

"Right... I was just... um... testing the vassal's response time. You know, in case there's an emergency, not that I would ever need any help," Laharl excused himself embarrassed.

"Testing their response time, right..." Etna rolled her eyes. "Since the test seems to be over, I'll be returning to my beauty sleep." Seeing that all was well, Etna went back to her room.

"Laharl," Flonne spoke softly, "do you want me to stay here and keep you company in case you have another nightmare? I mean, do you want to test my loyalty as your vassal by having me spend the night here to um... guard your royal chambers from intruders?"

"Yeah, sure, not that I couldn't handle an intruder... In fact, it wouldn't even matter if you fell asleep on the job because no one would dare invade the chambers of the great Laharl anyway." Laharl lay down in his coffin again.

Flonne placed the coffin's cover next to it and curled up in it. It was hard and uncomfortable, but she would be okay if it meant helping Laharl feel safe. "Good night Laharl..."

xoxox xox xoxox

Episode 07: Mine!

Due to a random misunderstanding involving Vyers being gossipy, Lamington jumping to conclusions, Etna joining the confusion and Laharl being clueless, it became apparent that the young overlord was engaged to Flonne. After Laharl fainted during a feast the Seraph was hosting in his honor when he finally realized what everyone thought, it was decided that the young overlord simply wasn't ready to be a husband, thus the marriage was postponed and the status of his engagement hung in the air. Most still believed that he was indeed engaged to Flonne and they were simply having a very long engagement. People were secretly advised not to bring it up so as to not pressure Laharl and thus it remained generally quiet, save for some gossiping here and there.

Some prinnies in the hall outside of Laharl's room were discussing the matter when the young overlord emerged from his chambers and overheard one of the prinnies expressing his opinion. "I think that if he takes too long to do something about it, someone might steal her away, dood."

Normally, Laharl would disregard the prinnies' gossip as useless rubbish, but the next part caught his attention. "You have a point, Flonne might be stolen away right from under Laharl's nose, dood!" The prinny in question was gently nudged by his companion, indicating that it was not the best time to talk about Laharl, since Laharl himself was in earshot.

"What was that about Flonne being stolen?" Laharl questioned more fiercely than he intended.

"Nothing, dood!" The prinnies squeaked and hurried away to do their chores around the castle, but Laharl was not convinced.

xoxox xox xoxox

The young overlord entered the castle's kitchen with a feeling of uneasiness. He was greeted by Flonne's cheerful, "good afternoon, Laharl!" He immediately noticed the large chocolate cake she was holding and couldn't take his eyes off it. "You're just on time for cake!"

"Yeah, even if he didn't help make it," Etna voiced.

A random prinny who was washing the baking utensils and putting them away foolishly commented, "but you didn't help make the cake either, dood."

Etna glared and growled at the prinny, making him squeak and dash out of the kitchen. Seeing Laharl's somewhat amused look, she defended herself, "for your information, I tried the batter for quality assurance. Every baker needs a quality inspector."

"I could have done that!" Laharl argued.

"But you didn't because you were sleeping," Etna countered.

Laharl only huffed and sat down in response. Flonne served them each a generous slice of cake and took one for herself as well. The trio sat at the kitchen table enjoying the mid afternoon treat, which was more like breakfast for Laharl. While enjoying the cake, Laharl remembered what the prinnies were saying not too long ago about Flonne being stolen. He didn't know in what sense they meant it and came up with his own theories. What if someone stole Flonne for her cooking skills and forced her to bake sweet treats morning, noon and night until she collapsed? He could almost see her passed out in a dim dungeon-like kitchen, with a ball and chain attached to one of her ankles. Her dress was torn, her hair was full of flour and her face had some batter sticking to her cheeks. With her final breath she would call out his name...

"Laharl," Flonne's real voice woke Laharl from his thoughts. "You were spacing out. Are you enjoying the cake?"

Laharl tried to look angry, pushing away any thoughts of concern for Flonne's well being. "It's disgusting! I'm only eating it to show how tough I am."

"I'm glad you're enjoying it," Flonne smiled, seemingly hearing whatever she wanted to hear. In truth, she was able to see beyond Laharl's words. "I made it with love!"

The thought of one of Flonne's love speeches brought another theory to Laharl's mind. What if someone kidnapped her to use her as a torture device? He could picture her in an underground dungeon with dim hallways and dark cells. She would walk up and down those halls going on and on about love until her throat hurt and her voice gave out. The prisoners would surely suffer having to hear all that. Exhausted from the speeches and no longer able to speak, Flonne would collapse and move her soundless lips as if calling his name.

"You're sure a space case today, are you thinking about joining Gordon's crew?" This time it was Etna's question that woke Laharl from his thoughts.

"No way!" Laharl growled in response.

Seeing that Laharl had apparently not heard her, since he didn't comment about it, Etna repeated her earlier question, which she had asked while Laharl's mind was elsewhere. "Aren't you going to make a fuss about the cake being poisoned?"

"Poisoned?" Laharl blinked in confusion.

"Yeah, Flonne said she made it with love," Etna explained than did her best impression of Laharl, gripping her throat with both hands, "you fed me love? Are you trying to kill me? This cake is poisoned! It burns!" She dramatically reached out to the ceiling with an agonized expression.

Flonne giggled, "that was really good, you sounded just like Laharl. You're a great actress Etna."

"One of my many talents," Etna grinned.

Laharl glared, "I already told you, I'm tough enough to eat Flonne's cake of doom!" He stuffed another large portion of chocolate cake into his mouth to prove his point. In truth, his mind was so occupied with thoughts about Flonne being stolen that he didn't even feel his usual self-induced imaginary pain. He decided to push the thoughts away. It wasn't like him to worry about anyone, let alone Flonne.

xoxox xox xoxox

Later that afternoon, Laharl witnessed a most suspicious scene. There was an angel boy, younger than him, perhaps only eight or nine hundred years old. He had a pendant similar to the one Flonne used to have, the pendant which she gave her and he secretly kept hidden under his scarf. The boy was talking to Flonne and smile, she was smiling back. Laharl couldn't hear what they were saying from that distance, but the boy took her hand and led her away. "Stop right there!" Laharl dashed over to them and took Flonne's other hand. "You're not taking her anywhere!"

"But she has to come with me," the angel boy pouted cutely and tugged on Flonne's hand.

Laharl pulled her away from the boy by the other hand, "no she doesn't. She's my vassal and you're not going to steal her!"

The commotion caught Etna's attention and she hurried to the scene. Grinning wickedly upon realizing that Laharl was needlessly jealous, she teased, "I heard Flonne likes younger men."

It was not a lie, though in his frustration, Laharl failed to remember that he was younger than Flonne too. "This kid can't have her! She's mine!" Laharl pulled Flonne away from the boy so harshly, that the young angel lost his grip on her hand. Propelled by momentum, Flonne crashed into Laharl and tackled him to the ground.

The entire occurrence upset the angel boy, who began to wail loudly. Flonne scrambled to her feet, pulling Laharl up with her. "Are you okay Laharl? Aw Tenshi, don't cry!" Wanting to assure Laharl and console the angel boy at the same time, Flonne wrapped one arm around each of them and pulled them into a group hug.

The angel boy, called Tenshi, sniffled and ceased his crying, "You're Laharl," he realized, then looked at Flonne, with a few leftover tears in his big blue eyes. "You said Laharl wasn't bad. If that's true, how come he won't let you come visit and play with me?"

Flonne looked at Laharl as if searching for an explanation. "I know your plan," Laharl accused, "you're trying to steal Flonne away from me!"

The angel boy pouted, "I can't steal your girlfriend; I'm related to her! All I wanted was to play with sis like when she lived in Celestia."

"Girlfriend?!" Laharl's face paled, then turned crimson.

"Tenshi is my cousin," Flonne tried to explained, blushing at his girlfriend comment. "We grew up as next door neighbors in Celestia so we're more like siblings really."

"Seriously Prince, anyone could tell those two were related!" Etna laughed, "that boy, he looks just like Flonne when she was an angel trainee."

Still in shock about the boy's girlfriend comment, Laharl observed him. The young angel had big blue eyes, pale blond hair, small feathery wings and was dressed in white robes. Finally, he recovered his voice and shouted, "she's not my girlfriend!"

"Oh right, sorry, I meant fiance," Tenshi smiled.

Laharl felt himself twitched in frustration and growled, "do you have a death wish, kid?"

Tenshi pouted and complained, "Flonne, your husband to be is being mean to me!"

Flonne laughed nervously and whispered to Tenshi, "Laharl is really shy so it would be easier for him if you acted like we're just friends."

The angel boy nodded in understanding, "I mean, I'm not trying to steal your friend," he clarified for Laharl's benefit.

Letting out an exasperated breath, Laharl conceded, "to say friend is a stretch, but let's leave it at that. So you're not being kidnapped? You're just visiting relatives?"

"That's right, why don't you both come with us? I'm sure uncle and auntie would love to have you over. We can visit my parents too!" Flonne cheerfully suggested.

Laharl backed away in terror. Something about meeting Flonne's family made him feel uneasy, but he couldn't quite figure out why. "Yeah, sure, I could go along, but I can't because of my overlord duties. I have lots of important overlord duties to tend to here in the Netherworld, so I can't possibly go to Celestia. Etna can go, you know, just in case you get ambushed on the way to Celestia or something, strength in numbers and all that stuff."

Flonne decided to have mercy and didn't press the issue, "alright, maybe next time you'll have time to come. Good luck tending to your overlord duties; I'll help as soon as I come back. You'll come with us, right Etna?"

Etna mused over her options, she couldn't deny that she was curious, "will there be pudding?"

"Yes and cookies too!" Tenshi cheered.

"Count me in!" Etna agreed.

Laharl grumbled something inaudible and stomped off to pretend he was working on important overlord business while Flonne, Etna and that annoying little angel boy enjoyed pudding and cookies.

xoxox xox xoxox

Episode 08: Vampire

The spices, ingredients and other such things were precariously balanced in covered bowls and pots one atop the other in a mountain carried by Flonne and another similar mountain carried by Etna. Flonne had been talked into helping obtain the rare treats by Etna, who managed to find such an impressive amount of supplies to make desserts and spicy treats that she couldn't carry them on her own. As for the prinnies, they had recently gone away with the red moon and the next batch was yet to arrive, leaving the castle severely understaffed.

Flonne stepped into the stairs reaching out with her foot to test the distance, she couldn't see with the mountain she was carrying. Etna came up from behind, also unable to see where she was going, and accidentally bumped into Flonne. With a yelp of surprise and the fear of the impending fall, Flonne spun around desperately trying to regain her balance. Just as this occurred, Laharl curiously and somewhat suspiciously approached the girls to ask what they were doing with so many pots and bowls, and what was in them. As Flonne spun she accidentally shoved the mountain she was carrying into Laharl's arms.

The young overlord took the items as an automatic reflex and balanced them on instinct, save for the spices on top which fell off the pile, spilling on Flonne. By the time he and Etna managed to put their respective towers of ingredients down, Flonne was halfway down the stairs tumbling and rolling all the way. She finally landed on her head with a loud thud and a pained whimper; she did not get up. The other two rushed to their fallen comrade and tried to wake her, with Laharl loosing his nonchalance momentarily as he lifted Flonne's head gently and matched Etna's worried look, even surpassing it. "Flonne?"

"Ow... What's a Flonne?" The disoriented blonde asked.

Relieved that she was well enough to talk, while remaining ignorant of the gravity of the situation, Laharl attempted to recover his mask of nonchalance. "You're Flonne, hmp, clumsy." He helped her to her feet, pretending he didn't notice the action and gave Etna a serious look. "Make sure she doesn't break anything else, the prinnies can put that stuff away when the new batch gets here in a few hours... and I want some of those spicy treats when they're made!" Laharl glanced at Flonne again, who smiled at him still dazed, though she seemed to be well enough. "I have overlord duties to take care of now, so I'll be on my way." Dramatically flipping his long red scarf behind him, Laharl walked away.

"Well at least no major injuries came out of this," Etna finally spoke, knowing all too well that Laharl had just charged her with nursing Flonne because he was simply too stubborn to admit he was truly concerned.

Flonne replied with a somewhat silly giggle. "What a handsome boy that was, his antennae are so cute. What's his name? He said I was Flonne, is that my name?"

Etna blinked examining Flonne's expression, she wasn't kidding. "His name is Laharl. That hit to the head must have been worse than I thought. C'mon, let's get you cleaned up and stop by the infirmary."

"Infirmary?" Flonne repeated in confusion, "are you sick miss... um... what's your name?"

"Etna," the redhead replied as she led Flonne to her room, which the blond probably didn't remember the location of due to her amnesia.

Upon arriving at Flonne's room, Etna found that the other girl's closet was empty and remembered that hers too had only a few clothes left in it. "Ugh, all the clothes are in the laundry room, those prinnies better get here soon and wash them. Remind me to work the prinnies to dust until everything gets done when there's a red moon coming. Who would have thought they were all ready to go this time around?"

"What's a prinny?" Flonne inquired; her smile still present.

"I really need to get you to the clinic..." Etna sighed; Laharl would probably be stressed out if he knew, even if he would fight not to show it. "Okay, I'll let you borrow one of my outfits, since you've ran out of clothes to wear, until the prinnies do the laundry. Don't move I'll be right back." When Etna spoke those words, Flonne was about to point at something, her prinny plush toy, and ask what that cute thing was, but she froze, her finger in the air and her lips slightly parted. Etna hurried away, retrieved the clothes from her room and handed them to Flonne who remained frozen the entire time. "You can move now."

"What's that? It's cute!" Flonne asked her intended question.

"It's a prinny doll, now go take a shower and change, the bathroom's over there," Etna pointed.

"Okay!" Flonne chirped and skipped over to get cleaned up. A while later, she came out all clean, wearing Etna's borrowed clothing, the outfit was the same as what Etna usually wore. She had a towel wrapped around her long hair, which she had just washed.

"You know... I actually kind of wanted a sister," Etna admitted. "Let's see what we can do with that hair." It was okay, right? The castle's hospital branch wasn't going anywhere if they took a little longer. Some time later, Etna finished drying and brushing Flonne's hair into a pair of long pigtails that reminded her of some heroine from a magical girl anime series. "Okay, now let's go see the doctor."

"Oh no, are you hurt Etna?" Flonne pouted in worry. She didn't want her new friend to be in pain.

"I'm fine, it's you who needs more help than you realize," Etna led her away.

"I'm not sick," Flonne smiled as she went along with Etna. "I feel good."

"It's just a precaution," Etna finally excused and they walked the rest of the way to the castle infirmary.

The two girls arrived at the infirmary where the doctor examined Flonne and determined that she was physically alright. "Her memories should return on their own. I can't say when, there's nothing that can be done about it."

"This is too inconvenient," Etna frowned; her frustration was destined to evolve into mischief as a stress reliever. Flonne was amnesiac, the prinnies were late and Laharl was probably worried about Flonne while having an inner battle with himself about hiding his concern. As one of the top vassals of the Netherworld and more so due to her promise to the late king, Etna knew it was up to her to keep things in order, but it was simply too much at times.

"Etna, I'm hungry," Flonne complained as she and Etna left the castle's hospital branch and walked down the long halls. She was making an adorable pouty face that contrasted with her current punk-goth look.

To think that the whole mess began because the next batch of prinnies was running later. When they got there that evening, they better be ready for a massive amount of chores. "We're vampires," Etna finally blurted out at random, as a side effect of her frustration. "Our food is blood; you'll have to hunt down a victim if you're hungry."

Flonne adopted a thoughtful expression, "was that boy from before, Laharl, a vampire too?"

Etna grinned, no longer vexed, she was amused, this could be interesting, "nope."

"Do you think he'll share some of his blood with me then?" Flonne wondered, not taking the time to question Etna's revelations. This girl was her friend who taught her many things when she felt lost and confused, she worried about her health too; she wouldn't lie.

"Sure he will, go on and bite him, he doesn't mind," Etna's wicked grin grew, she had to see this. "I think he's over this way."

Flonne hurried after Etna to the throne room where Laharl was pacing around in front of the massive royal seat. He composed himself the second he noticed the two girls. "Flonne? Why in the world are you wearing Etna's clothes?" He blushed not understanding why. Etna, who he would never in a million years admit he cared for like a sister, wore clothes like that all the time and it never bothered him, why was it different with Flonne?

Flonne approached the confused Laharl, "I'll try to do it as nicely as I can," she was referring to the vampire bite she was planning to give him. Etna said he wouldn't mind, he must be very kind to help feet vampires. Flonne would make sure not to drink more blood than what she needed; she didn't want to abuse his generosity.

"Huh?" Laharl blinked in confusion, tilting his head to the side in a sign of curiosity.

The action was interpreted by Flonne as acceptance of her necessity for her to have easier access to the side of his neck. She gently pulled his red scarf down to reveal the flesh where she assumed her fangs would find their way by instinct.

"What are you..." Laharl couldn't even finish asking Flonne what she was doing before her lips touched the warm skin of his neck. She was testing the area, wondering where exactly she should bite. The overlord's eyes went wide, his face turned scarlet, his mouth fell open and a second later his red eyes rolled back as his eyelids closed and he lost consciousness.

"Oh no!" Flonne held the unconscious boy in her arms. "I didn't even bite him!" A theory formed in her mind that followed the logic of the vampire story. "He must be suffering from anemia from allowing vampires to feed on him. I have to take him to the doctor!" Flonne picked up the knocked out boy bridal style and rushed away with him back to the infirmary. Practically rolling in laughter, Etna fought to stand up and follow them.

Somewhat disoriented in her haste, Flonne found herself at the stairs where the ordeal first began. The multitude of pots and bowls was still there, set aside for the prinnies to put away when they arrived. Some kind of spicy dip was spilling out from a lopsided pot, its cap askew. Flonne's foot stepped on the slippery substance and she slipped, tumbling and rolling down the stairs some more. She hugged the boy she carried tightly and protected him from harm at the cost of hitting her head again.

"Flonne! Laharl!" Etna rushed down the stairs and knelt beside them.

"What happened?" Laharl finally woke up from having fainted and looked around in confusion.

Flonne was waking up as well, with her memories restored. "Did I drop them?" Flonne looked to the pots and bowls piled up at the top of the stairs. "It looks like everything's okay. Laharl?" When did he arrive?

Etna cleared her throat and prepared an explanation. "We were carrying those things then Flonne tripped as you approached and you ended up falling along with her."

"I see..." The explanation seemed logical enough to Laharl, except for the fact that he didn't remember seeing Flonne wearing Etna's outfit when he first approached. He had a feeling that something was hiding in his mind, like a self defense mechanism. He ignored it, it was probably best this way.

Flonne noted her outfit and wondered when she changed into that, she didn't remember. She attributed the disorientation to having fallen down the stairs and assumed she must have changed before going out to collect ingredients with Etna.

One of Laharl's many vassals arrived at the scene, announcing to the young overlord that the prinnies had arrived. There was a lot to do, so Laharl and Etna busied themselves in bossing the prinnies around while Flonne did essentially the same thing in a much more polite and friendly tone. As for the event that took place while Flonne had been told she was a vampire, Etna laughed every time she remembered it, Flonne was blissfully ignorant and Laharl remained unaware of the memory that was locked by shock in the deepest corner of his mind.

xoxox xox xoxox

Episode 09: The Celestial Cake and the Distressed Overlord

Laharl shifted uncomfortably as he walked stiffly down the main street of Celestia. Flonne was skipping as she went, pointing out shops and places and explaining what they were, commenting on how little they've changed since her last visit to Celestia, which wasn't all that long ago anyway. Etna walked briskly, keeping up with Flonne's pace minus the skipping.

"Look, there's the manga shop I like to visit," Flonne pointed out and from there on the conversation between her and Etna evolved into something manga related. Though their personal tastes contrasted, they found that there were certain titles they both enjoyed.

Angels passing by would sometimes look at them, especially Etna, in curiosity. Some time ago the Seraph had announced the piece agreement between Celestia and the Netherworld so Etna's presence was not anything to be alarmed about and most of Flonne's acquaintances had already seen the change in her appearance.

An angel around their age gave the pair a curious look, his pale blue eyes focusing on Etna for a moment. She winked teasingly, which caused the boy to turn scarlet and hurry away in embarrassment. Etna laughed at the reaction, though Flonne didn't seem to understand the boy's distress if a wink was a sort of compliment.

It was around then when the two girls noticed that Laharl was no longer closely following them. Instead he was several feet behind them, his hands in his pockets and his face half hidden by his scarf. They waited for him to catch up and Etna took the opportunity to tease him. "What happened to the high and mighty overlord of the Netherworld? You almost looked scared."

"I'm not scared!" Laharl argued, though Etna's snicker told him that she didn't believe him. "I'm not," he insisted, stomping his foot. "In fact, I can't wait to meet Flonne's family!" That was the purpose that brought them to Celestia; Flonne's mother was going to bake a delicious cake and insisted on sharing it with her daughter and her friends.

"Really?" Flonne beamed with happiness. "I'm so glad, because we're here!" She announced upon their arrival of the house down the street. The structure wasn't too large or too small. It had a light blue roof, white walls, gold-lined clear glass windows and was surrounded by floral scents. The garden was planted with abundant yellow and pink daisies and not a single weed could be seen. A path led to the front door past the picked white fence, the gate was unlocked and parted as if to tell visitors to go ahead inside.

Etna looked at the house and took the time to notice that it was not as odd as she imagined; a massive pink structure with red hearts all over. To Laharl however, the house was a horrifying place because Flonne's parents were waiting inside. What if they hated him just because he was from the Netherworld? Not that he cared about what they thought or anything. Plus Flonne wasn't prejudiced, but that didn't mean her parents were similar to her, they could be as different as night and day, as different as Laharl stubbornly believed himself to be from Krichevskoy. What if they were carnivorous creatures that liked to eat unsuspecting visitors from the Netherworld? Okay, maybe he was letting his imagination run away with him...

Flonne opened the front door before Laharl had time to fully prepare for whatever may be behind it. She cheerfully called, "mom, dad, we're here!" As she led her guests inside. Etna curiously followed Flonne immediately, taking in the appearance of the residence's interior. White was the predominant color accompanied by other pastel shades. The fluffy white carpet reminded Etna of clouds and she wondered how many prinnies were needed in the household just to keep it clean. The walls were painted a pale blue, the same color as Celestia's sky in a clear day. There was a pale blue couch, a golden lined white coffee table with a glass top, a flat big screen TV mounted to the wall opposite to the couch, with golden lined white speakers distributed around the room playing a soft, barely perceptible, celestial tune. Though the music wasn't what Etna usually listened to and the volume was set low, she could still appreciate the entertainment system and wondered how the house would shake to the tune of a rock video from her favorite Netherworld band at max volume. She grinned just thinking about it.

Laharl followed Flonne, seconds after Etna, at a slower pace, feeling his blood run cold as Flonne shut the door behind him. He was too focused on figuring out what in the world worried him so much about this place and didn't even have time to take in the house's appearance as Etna did. Two angels emerged from another room, the kitchen judging by the appetizing scents emerging from it. The woman looked a lot like Flonne, with long blond hair and blue eyes like Flonne had when she first went to the Netherworld. Her wings were long and slender, resting on her back from her shoulders to her ankles with golden rings on the top line. The wings would no doubt be very long horizontally if extended.

The man's hair was a paler platinum blond color, his eyes also a lighter shade of blue than his wife's. His wings were not as long as her, instead wider and he had two pairs originating on his upper and mid back. Both the angels' wings were covered in pure white feathers that looked soft to the touch. They both wore white, a common color for clothing in Celestia. The man's robes were adorned with simple golden details. The woman's robes were more elaborate with golden embroidery and blue ribbons. Laharl felt his insides twist in a knot and his head become light, but he fought to stay conscious and alert.

"Welcome!" Flonne's parents spoke in unison, hugging their dear daughter.

"We missed you so much, honey," Flonne's mother smiled fondly as she brushed her daughter's long hair with her fingers.

"Yes, it's so nice to see you and I'm glad to finally meet your friends," her father added. "This elegant young lady here must be Etna, Flonne has told us a lot about you in her emails."

"Oh yes, you match the character perfectly," Flonne's mother paused, explaining her statement. "My husband and I are full time guardian angels, but we have a little hobby drawing manga and sometimes we publish them. I write the stories and my beloved illustrates them. Lately I haven't been able to picture the protagonist of my new story clearly, but your style matches her perfectly."

"Really?" Etna's eyes shone, "you mean you can turn me into a manga character?"

"If you don't mind. I really can't wait to start illustrating this new project, we're very excited about it," Flonne's father requested.

Etna's smile grew, "of course! Draw all you want!"

"What charming friends you have, Flonne," her mother united her hands in a sign of being pleased. "What about that boy you like so much? Wasn't he coming too?"

Flonne blushed and warned, "mom..." as if reminding her parents of their previous discussion concerning Laharl being somewhat shy. "Laharl is right here."

The overlord was quieter than silence itself behind the two girls. As soon as Flonne's mother spotted him, she scooped him into her arms in a tight hug. "Aw what an adorable son in law, my grandchildren will be so cute!"

At that point it took even more energy from Laharl to stop himself from fainting as he mentally chanted, 'I didn't hear anything, I didn't hear anything.'

Etna giggled in amusement and Flonne gave another warning, "mom..."

Flonne's father gently placed his hand on his wife's shoulder, "put the boy down dear, his face is starting to look as blue as his hair."

Upon finally being released, Laharl could do nothing more than to take a deep breath and hope the ordeal would be over soon. He felt that luck was not on his side as Flonne's father grabbed his hand and shook it firmly. "It's a pleasure to meet you, please take good care of our precious little girl."

"Dad..." Flonne warned again, poor Laharl looked so overwhelmed.

A ding from the oven called the attention of Flonne's mother back to the kitchen. "The cake is finished! I'll set it out to cool while we have some dinner." She excused herself to the kitchen.

"Flonne, you should show our guests to the dinning table while I help your mother set things up for dinner," Flonne's father suggested.

"Okay," Flonne smiled, "then I'll go help too."

"Actually," Etna grinned, "why don't I go help set things up too?" It seemed out of character for her to offer like that, but she had a reason. The appetizing scents from the kitchen had caught her attention and she was curious to take a peek inside right away.

Laharl's eyes widened at the offer, had Celestia already corrupted Etna? This place was dangerous! Before any more words could be spoken, there was some knocking on the door.

"Thank you for volunteering, you kids go on ahead, while I get the door," Flonne's father already knew who to expect. "Must be the Seraph and..." The angel had already gone off to open the door, the last part of his statement lost to Laharl's ears.

Upon realizing that Lamington was coming over for dinner, Laharl felt strangely reassured. Despite their differences, Seraph Lamington seemed to project peace, even to him and always took him seriously.

Flonne, Etna and Laharl made their way to the kitchen with Flonne announcing their offer to help set the table. Being this her parents' house where she grew up, Flonne already knew where everything was and didn't need to be told where the golden plates for special guests were kept.

"Take eight, dear," her mother pointed out upon noticing that Flonne had not picked up enough plates from the cupboard.

"Okay," Flonne handed Laharl the golden plates since he looked at a loss of what to do.

Etna had busied herself in curiously asking Flonne's mother "what kind of spices are in the food? They smell good," and the pair began a conversation about food and ingredients, quickly getting caught up in it.

Since Etna and her mom were entertained, Flonne grabbed some soft white napkins and golden eating utensils, smiling at Laharl who had the plates, "this way."

Still feeling uneasy, but fighting to calm himself, as he would be terribly embarrassed to appear cowardly in front of the Seraph, Laharl nodded and followed Flonne.

The dinning room's atmosphere was similar to that of the rest of the house, but instead of the light flowery scent that seemed to linger in the living room alongside the scents streaming from the kitchen when it was in use, this room was full of even more appetizing scents being closer to the kitchen. "Let's set the table," Flonne continued to smile, hoping to encourage the unusually quiet Laharl.

Laharl moved automatically placing a plate in front of each chair until the load he carried ran out. Flonne followed him distributing the napkins and eating utensils. A prinny came over seemingly out of nowhere with a basket of bread and set it in the center of the table, then scurried away to do something or other in another part of the house. The young overlord observed the set table, musing at last that he shouldn't have helped set it as it was more so a prinny's job, but there was nothing he could do about it now that it was already done. He also observed that there seemed to be extra plates. There were eight plates set up on the table. Flonne, plus her parents, Etna and himself were five, add Lamington and that was six. "Eight? I heard Lamington was coming, who else?"

Flonne was filled with relief at hearing Laharl actually articulate a full sentence. She took it as a sure sign of improvement, he must have finally started to relax, however, she couldn't answer his question. "I'm not sure, I didn't even realize the Seraph was coming to dinner too, my parents just mentioned that they might have a friend over."

"Maybe it's one of Lamington's vassals or something," Laharl reasoned as he took a bread biscuit and popped it in his mouth, it was covered in honey and extremely sweet. While the Netherworld's food tended to be spicy, Celestia's culinary was known for its sweet flavors, so it came as no surprise.

Their short conversation ended when Flonne's mother emerged from the kitchen with Etna, both carrying several pots and trays full of food. Flonne joined them on the following trips to the kitchen to bring out the rest of the food as did Laharl, automatically following Flonne's lead despite thinking this was prinny work. The prinny from before also assisted.

Flonne's father entered the dinning room in the company of two guests and they all prepared to sit at the table among greeting. It was then that Laharl noticed who exactly was attending the dinner along with Lamington. "Mid Boss!" He pointed.

"No, no, I am known as the Dark Adonis!" Vyers corrected, though Laharl was clearly ignoring him.

"Why are you here?" The young overlord demanded to know.

"For dinner of course, I was invited," Vyers insisted.

"And we're glad you came," Flonne's mother finished, "now let us sit down and enjoy a nice meal in excellent company."

"But Mid Boss is-" Laharl began to argue.

Etna silenced him with a discreet elbow to the ribs as she whispered, "shut up and sit down, you're being rude."

"We're supposed to be rude," Laharl whispered back at Etna.

"Not when there's delicious food to be eaten!" Etna whispered back and practically dragged Laharl to sit down between Flonne and herself, that way they could keep him under control.

Laharl pouted as he shifted in his seat, the plush covers of the chair were very soft. To his right was Flonne and to his left Etna. Next to Flonne were her mother and father, then Lamington sat directly across from Laharl. Next to Etna was Vyers and between him and Lamington there surprisingly sat a prinny. Albeit Laharl thought it was strange to allow a prinny to eat at the table, he seemed even more shocked by Mid Boss' presence.

In a split second the previously quiet table was filled with all sorts of chatter as the food was passed around for each person to add some to their plate. Since Laharl was busy glaring at Vyers, despite Etna's attempt at serving as a barrier between them to ensure her meal wasn't interrupted by a petty fight, Flonne took the task of adding food to Laharl's plate during his distraction. The scents right beneath his nose finally caused Laharl to break away from the glares and actually eat, it was sweet, but it was great.

The active conversation continued with comments about anything and everything, while Laharl focused on eating. He was beginning to feel better by the second and was actually enjoying his time there as long as his mouth was full. The conversation took a turn for the better in Laharl's favor when the Seraph noted what a great job he was doing as overlord and the significant progress that had been made in the relation between Celestia and the Netherworld. Encouraged in such a way, Laharl soon began to take part in the conversation adding in anecdotes of random occurrences that he thought were interesting, much to the amusement of his audience. He even teased Mid Boss, though it fortunately didn't result in a fight, instead evolving into playful joking around.

After dinner was consumed there came the time for dessert. The promised cake turned out to be several cakes of different consistencies and flavors all of which everyone was curious to try. Laharl had not eaten that much since he was very small, back when his mother still lived and used to cook for him. After the large meal and dessert, Lamington had to return to his duties as the Seraph and Vyers claimed he had to return to tend to his admirers, though no one took him seriously. The house prinny began to clear the table and make preparations to do the dishes, which would evidently take a long time.

Flonne's mother had promised Etna some recipes which she went to get while the prinny washed the dishes. Etna intended to make the Netherworld castle prinnies cook those recipes for her. Meanwhile, Flonne and Laharl talked with her father, who was thankfully, not an eater of Netherworld citizens as Laharl first imagined, and seemed rather fond of him praising his accomplishments. Laharl liked to be praised more than he would ever admit. In the end, the young overlord was in fact in such a good mood he somehow overlooked the hints of something concerning a wedding between him and Flonne, assuming that any parent would want to marry off their daughter to the great Laharl, and played along occasionally causing Flonne to blush.

At the end of their visit, Flonne's parents insisted that they spent the night over as it had become late. Flonne took her friends up to her room and showed them around. As expected, Flonne's room at Celestia was similarly decorated to her room in the Netherworld, littered with all forms of cute items and toys. It was a place of terror in Laharl's opinion, but nothing could stop the overlord when he was feeling brave. Flonne revealed her impressive stash of sweets and the three laid in sleeping bags, eating candy and watching TV until very late that night. Needless to say, seeing Celestia's local programming was an experience in itself which led to Laharl claiming the remote control and changing channels extremely often until, tired of the constant switch, Etna initiated a pillow fight. It was almost morning by the time the three finally went to sleep and rested until well past mid day.

After another delicious meal before leaving, a much more confident Laharl exited the house. Etna held an envelope with a few sample sketches of the manga character based on her and was looking forward to seeing the finished manga. She had also shared some story ideas with Flonne's mother while discussing the recipes. As they walked down the street towards the gates of Celestia, this time Laharl wasn't lagging behind or trying to act invisible, instead actively participating in the conversation and being his usual prideful yet secretly well meaning self. Maybe the visit had been for the best after all.


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