Editor(s): Speedphoenix, Joker
“That should be good enough…” I nodded a few times in satisfaction as I looked around at my newly renovated surroundings.
The space was one of the many throughout the castle that hadn’t quite been finished yet. And though I had chosen this particular section, I wasn’t overhauling it because I intended for it to be serving some sort of purpose. In fact, I was fairly certain that it would be one of the many places that I’d never see again in my life. So why, one might ask, would I bother spending my precious time and energy renovating it? The answer was simple. I found it fun.
As far as I was concerned, fleshing out the castle’s interior was no different from building a tiny plastic gundam or assembling a model car. Errrr, actually scratch that. There is one tiny difference. I don’t have any blueprints to go off of, so I can pretty much make whatever comes to mind. But besides that, it’s more or less the same shit.
I stepped into another room and prepared to get started on a second set of renovations, but paused momentarily as I spotted a very specific group of three out of the corner of my eye. It was the triplets. They were exchanging glances and nodding while sneaking around, no doubt because they intended to try to pull one over on me. Heh. Jokes on you, girls. I ain’t getting trolled this time!
Seeing them allowed me to be every bit as prepared as I needed to, no matter what they pulled out of the bag. I’m like the boulder in the middle of a stream. Unwavering, unmoving, sturdy no matter wh—
“Woah!?” I nearly jumped out of my skin as I turned around. “W-when the hell…?”
All three had suddenly shown up right in front of me, despite being a fair distance away only a moment prior. And though the ghost girls themselves were silent, the bizarre expressions they made screamed “Boo!” more than loudly enough to compensate. Damn, Rui got me good… Friggin’ illusionists, making me see dead people and shit.
“That was a good one.” I admitted defeat. The trio had gotten so good at evading detection that I was having a very hard time keeping up with them.
They reacted quite positively to my comment. Rei, the eldest, smirked and crossed her arms as if to brag about how great the three of them were. Rui, the second oldest, puffed up her chest with pride as if to express that trolling me had been a piece of cake. Lowe’s manner of expressing herself was a bit different from her two older sisters. While they struck poses, she instead slowly spun circles around me whilst wearing a subtle smile. All three were most certainly cute in their own ways.
The sisters started tugging on my hands right as I was about to get back to work, as if to demand that I play with them.
“Eh… sure, why not?” With a devilish grin, I switched from conjuring up floor plans to drafting a set of incredibly sadistic pranks.
I spoke with just the top of my head poking out of the tall grass around me as I regarded our first victim.
“Geez, master’s such a playboy.” The dog girl hummed to herself as she spoke in the most singsongy of tones. Every once in a while, she would stop what she was doing to wiggle her cute little butt in joy. “I can’t believe he spent half the night tellin’ me how cute I was, or that he said he couldn’t go on without lil ol’ me.”
After listening to her, I realized that her mood came as a result of last night’s events. We’d spent it together at the inn, alone. And no, we didn’t do anything dirty, you perv.
“Rei, can you use your telekinesis to send the towel flying? Make sure you make it look like it’s being blown away by the wind. Rui, Lowe, get your spells ready. Everyone ready?.”
Oddly enough, the wraith girls had opted to give me cold stares instead of reacting with their usual enthusiasm.
“Err… were my instructions unclear or something?”
Again, all I got was silence. Harsh, painful silence.
“Aaaaaaaaanyway…” I averted my gaze as I tried my best to shrug off their judging gazes. “Let’s get this show on the road.”
The scenario played out the exact way it had in my head. Lyuu chased after the towel that Rei had blown away.
“Hey! Get back ‘ere!”
But right as she bent over to pick it up, she found herself screaming for dear life as she plummeted straight into a massive pit. There weren’t actually any pitfalls present, of course. I had no intention of allowing my pranks to cause real harm. Her terror stemmed from a combination of Rui’s and Lowe’s magic. The former had cast a spell to make it look like there was a huge pit, while the latter had messed with the warwolf’s mind in order to make her feel like she was falling to certain doom.
Lowe’s spell was on the weaker side, however, as anything more powerful would have led to potential side effects. As a result, it lasted no more than a few passing seconds, after which Lyuu found herself with her hands against the ground and her chest heaving in terror.
“Looks like we got you good.” I stepped out of the grass with my lips twisted into a wide grin.
“D-Darn it, Master! It was you!? I knew it!”
“Indubitably, my good madam.”
“When you start steppin’ in, the pranks the girls pull start gettin’ real sadistic, real fast!”
Heh. Compliments like that are what keeps me going.
“Yeah. Oh man, you should’ve seen the look on your face. You had no idea what hit you!” I said as I helped her to her feet.
“O’course I didn’t! What else did y’think was gonna happen, Master!? I demand an apology! I ain’t lettin’ this one go without some real reparations too!”
“Well, uhm…” She averted her gaze and blushed. “I-I uhm… want a repeat of last night. I’d be real happy if we slept together again.”
“Huh? Uhm… Sure, I guess.”
“Hehe… M’kay, then I’ll forgive you ‘n pretend that this lil prank never happened.”
A brilliant smile bloomed on her face.
But the other three weren’t as content.
Wraith girls, pls. Stop staring at me like that. I wasn’t looking for this kinda reaction either… And it isn’t really my fault…
“Second targeted sighted.”
Pranksters Inc.’s first venture hadn’t been as successful as I’d wanted it to be, but we moved on and immediately invested in a second. This time, we were after Leila, who happened to be in the middle of making tonight’s dinner. Heh. Can’t wait to break through all her composure and see what she looks like when she’s got her mind blown. Today’s the day, boys! Today’s the day Leila finally does something other than smile!
Unfortunately, we couldn’t get started right away. Scaring her while she was in the middle of mincing a bunch of ingredients or in front of the stove was a recipe for disaster. We had to wait for the perfect moment when she was away from both.
And soon enough, it came.
“Now, Rei! Go!” The operation was kicked into motion the moment she finished mincing up a bunch of vegetables and set down her knife.
The eldest of the wraith sisters sent a nearby kitchen rag flying off the counter. But it was to no avail. Leila caught it in midair without even so much as glancing in its direction, placed it back where it belonged, and continued with what she was doing as if nothing had happened. WTF!? What kinda bullshit was that!?
“Shit! I can’t believe that didn’t work…” I grimaced. The entire plan was predicated on Leila picking something up off the floor. We were going to have to make a second attempt. “One more time, Rei! Now!”
The clever little poltergeist upped the ante by dropping both a rag and a wooden cup, but again, Leila showed us that she was more than just a Stormtrooper. She caught one of the objects in each hand, put both where they belonged, and went back to cooking. All without even turning her head. Hax! I call fucking hax! Goddammit, why’s the Force gotta be so strong with this one!? I thought it was a bunch of mumbo-jumbo-magical power holding together good, evil, the dark side and the light. Crazy thing is, it’s true. The Force, The Jedi, The Maids, all of it. It’s all true. But you know what, Ms. Almighty Jedi Maid? There’s one thing you’ve overlooked. The Empire always strikes back!
“We’ve got no choice but to resort to a head on. Rei, flip her skirt. We’ll carry out the operation while she’s distracted!”
There was no way that even Leila could stay calm with her skirt flipped. It’s over, Leilanakin. We have the high ground!
“Now! Do it! Flip her sk—”
“You can’t do that, Yuki! You can’t just tell the sisters to flip people’s skirts!”
But right as we were about to catch Leila mid (skirt) flip, we were ambushed from behind. Illuna, who had been staring into the kitchen from outside it, called me out for my misdeeds.
“Shhh, quiet! The target will realize we’re here!”
“Flipping a girl’s skirt is really rude, you know!”
“Look, you’re misunderstanding the circumstances. I’m not getting her skirt flipped because I’m a pervert. It’s a necessary evil.”
“Oh, my, so that’s what you were up to, My Lord? You wanted to pull a prank on me?”
The target was still smiling, but for some odd reason, I didn’t feel any of her usual warmth behind it. It was the type of business smile a cop would use whilst taking in an unruly delinquent.
“Yeah, we were just abo—wait a second, Leila!? You’ve got it all wrong. I’m totally innocent!” The wraith girls ditched me immediately. They’d retreated with enough speed to do the phrase “fast as lightning” justice. “Wait, girls please! Don’t just leave me here!”
Despite my pleas, they left me as I was with an angry Illuna and a sad looking Leila. Wait, sad?
“How could you be so cruel, My Lord? You’ve been immersing yourself in nothing but playing pranks while leaving me to do all the work.” She started tearing up. “I’ve been oh so tired lately…”
“Uhm… I’d appreciate it if you didn’t put it like that. You’re making it sound a lot worse than it really is.”
“Stop making excuses, Yuki! You made her cry!”
“Errr, my bad. I was getting carried away thinking about the fate of the gala—wait a second! You’re totally just messing with me, aren’t you, Leila!?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” The sad expression was instantly replaced by a playful, teasing smile.
Dammit! She got me! That was 100% unfair. Totally a low blow. What kinda maid trolls her master!?
“Geez, Yuki! Now you’re trying to change the topic! I’m going to go tell Lefi and Lyuu!”
“Wait, wait, wait, Illuna, chill! I know I messed up, and I’m regretting it, so please, anything but that!”
“If you’re sorry, then you should apologize.”
“…Yeah. My bad. Sorry.”
And so, Pranksters Inc. went out of business, and its goal was left forever unfulfilled. The smile that the firm had attempted to reap had only been replaced by one that was even more brilliant.