This forest was a pain in the ass, Bai Yu thought as he saw his carving in the stone for the third time in a row. It was almost as if he was going in circles and the whole forest shifted every five minutes or something.
Exhausted, he sat on that said stone and exhaled loudly. “How the hell will I get out of this forest again?”, he exclaimed in agony, as if he had been trapped in this forest for weeks and not just for some hours. He should have heeded his master and not followed the small gremlin who stole one of his elixirs. Oh, but it was such a good elixir, he had spent so much money on it. In the end neither did he have the elixir, nor a way out of the forest.
The only reason he went into this forest was to get a rare plant that should be more common in this kind of vegetation. But to his own bewilderment he was now seated on this stupid stone in this stupid forest and his stomach started to growl as well. He had been expecting to be home within a few minutes, so he hadn’t bothered to eat anything yet. But the hunger started to become more prominent and his stomach began to squirm uncomfortably. He silently cursed his past self and stood up again.
Bai Yu was determined to get out of the forest this time! But what he saw in front of him, stopped him in his tracks. A small male fairy buzzed close to him, almost bumping into his face as the fairy examined his face very closely.
“Hey, did you ever hear about personal space?”, Bai Yu smirked and took a small step back. The fairy stopped moving in seconds, only the beautiful wings fluttered about as if they needed to be somewhere else within the next few seconds.
“What are you doing here?” the fairy questioned in a small voice, who was unable to hide the blush on his face despite his size.
“Oh, I am lost, little fairy. By any chance would you happen to know the way out?”
“First, tell me your name and why are you here?”, the fairy said as if he was trying to hide his shyness behind an armour of boldness.
“I am the great magician Bai Yu! I have been searching for the rare Helianthus annuus but sadly my search resulted in getting hopelessly lost and without even a glimpse of that wonderful flower.” The fairy started moving again and was circling his head.
“If you are a magician shouldn’t you be able to teleport yourself out of this forest?”, the fairy asked curiously.
“I can’t! I tried it already, but my magic doesn’t seem to be working here.” he said with an exhale.
“Can you help me, beautiful little fairy?”
“Zhu Yi Long.”
“What?”, Bai Yu asked in confusion as if he hadn’t heard the fairy, even though he was so close to his ear.
“My name is Zhu Yi Long.” The fairy spoke in a flustered tone and started buzzing around him again. “I might be able to help you but what will I get in return?” Being the shameless guy he was, Bai Yu smirked in response.
“How about a kiss?” He leered at the tiny fairy with a wide smirk and then started laughing as the fairy started buzzing even faster. So fast that he nearly missed the fairy glow a bright red.
“No, no! Don’t worry! You can get some gold, if you want?”, Bai Yu added as an afterthought. “Would that be enough in exchange?” Zhu Yi Long stopped in his tracks and landed on Bai Yu’s shoulders.
“How about this… Will you grant me one wish in exchange for showing you the right way?”, he asked. “Would that be okay with you?” It almost seemed as if the fairy wasn’t sure the magician would be okay with this exchange, knowing the weight of such promise. He obviously didn’t know the fairy, nor did he know if it was pure of heart. Despite the size of the fairy he could still feel the fairy rest on his right shoulder and smiled a little when he tried to picture that. He was in awe about the fact that the fairy seemed to be so comfortable with him, that he sat on his shoulder, without knowing if he was dangerous. The fairy, Zhu Yi Long, seemed to be a bit naïve or just too already exhausted, Bai Yu couldn’t be sure.
“That’s okay with me. You are the Boss! So, where do we need to go?”
As the fairy bossed Bai Yu around the forest, he smiled like an idiot. Zhu Yi long was not only cute but also a nice companion for this journey. Whenever Bai Yu would hum a song, he would almost instantly start humming along with him. He even sang some tunes of his own, making this experience even more beautiful than expected.
“You have a beautiful voice.” Bai Yu complimented him with a wide smile on his face as they took a turn towards a darker path.
“It’s average for a fairy. There are better voices than-“ Zhu Yi Long protested with a smile threatening to take over his face and a pair of red ears as he got cut off by Bai Yu.
“-And I don’t care. I like your voice! It is soothing to my ears and harmonizes so beautifully with mine.”, as he said this, he tried to get a good look at the fairy flying in front of him.
As the fairy was flying in front of him again, he finally got a chance to take a closer look at his new companion. The slim fairy had brown hair, which was long enough to be tied together into a ponytail at the back of his head. He wore a longer green dress. Only at second glance he realized that it wasn’t a dress at all but a skirt and a moos-green shirt instead. The wings were a beautiful shade of pale green but when some sunlight shone on them directly, they started shimmering in all the colours of the rainbow. The fairy Zhu Yi Long was really, really beautiful, that was for sure.
However, his stares didn’t go unnoticed.
“What are you looking at?” Zhu Yi Long questioned with curiosity written all over his face, probably sensing his burning stare on his back.
“I am looking at… the beautiful fairy in front of me.” Bai Yu replied with a coy smile on his face. The small fairy got flustered again and turned away from him.
“We need to go left now.”; he mumbled in a low voice as he began to fly faster.
“Hey! Not so fast!”; Bai Yu started to jog to be able to keep up with the fairy who had gotten oddly fast.
“I didn’t realize that fairies can fly so fast.”, Bai Yu commented with a hint of wonderment when Zhu Yi Long slowed down to a moderate speed and was flying beside him again.
“Then you have never encountered a real fairy before.”, he replied without missing a beat and then proceeded to sit down on a large, drooping yet a beautiful leaf.
“We are at our first stop.” Bai Yu looked around and froze in shock. Zhu Yi Long became nervous and asked quickly: “You were looking for this one, right?” As he waited for a response, he got more and more nervous, his beautiful doe eyes looking away shyly. Too shy and too scared to see how the magician would react. A loud “Wow!” startled the fairy and he finally looked back at the magician.
“These are even more beautiful than all the drawings I have seen so far.” Within seconds he was in a field, surrounded by the lovely flowers in yellow. Some bigger examples of the helianthus annuus almost reaching his shoulders, other nearly his knees. He took some samples while smelling them with a big smile on his face and a spring in his step. Like a child running around in a field of yellow flowers.
Zhu Yi Long watched him in awe as his thoughts started running. How could a man as big as him look like a child while prancing around in this enormous field of flowers? Just looking at the joy in his face, made Zhu Yi Long’s heart jump a little. A feeling he was unable to identify. Almost out of habit he touched his chest, trying to calm his jumping heart. What was this feeling?
Bai Yu on the other hand was fully concentrated on taking his samples and didn’t even realize Zhu Yi Long’s weird behaviour. When he was finally finished, he turned around with a radiant smile on his face, which outshone the bright flowers around him.
“Thank you, Long-Ge! You really didn’t have to bring me here!” The heart of the fairy jumped wildly this time: He didn’t thought he was worthy of his very own nickname but Bai Yu seemed to have decided that for him anyways.
“Long-Ge? Zhu Yi Long? Are you with me?”, Bai Yu asked again, getting closer to the fairy.
“Ah- yes! Sorry.”, the fairy said and started flying around again. “What did you want to know?”
“I just thanked you for bringing me here, I didn’t expect to find the helianthus annuus so soon.”, Bai Yu explained with a soft smile on his face.
“Oh, they were on the way anyways and if you really need them...” He fiddled nervously with his hands. They weren’t on the way really, if the fairy was being honest; he had taken them here because he wanted to, even if he had to go out of his way. But he wouldn’t be able to say that to the magician. He would surely tease him about it and Zhu Yi Long was sure he wouldn’t be able to handle it.
He was a weird guy really, who goes out into an unfamiliar forest without a guide or even a map? A loud grumble interrupted his thoughts and he saw how Bai Yu was clutching his stomach.
“Are you hungry?”, Zhu Yi Long asked but then felt dumb immediately afterwards. Of course, a human would need more food than a fairy and if he recalled correctly, they often ate around two to three meals a day.
“My beautiful fairy, no, no, no, don’t worry about that, let us get out of this forest soon, yeah?”, he spoke with a forced smile on his face, slowly lifting his hands off his stomach and straightened up slowly.
“As soon as I get out of this forest, I will make sure to eat well.”, he tried to placate him with a reassuring smile. Zhu Yi Long was apparently fine with that answer and promptly sat down on his shoulder.
“Come, we should get going in order to get you out of here as soon as possible.”, he said tenderly and began to give him new directions. They took some more of those dangerous short cuts but in the end, they finally arrived at their destination. The fairy got up and started buzzing around again but he felt a bit hesitant now that their journey had come to a conclusion, leaving them both a bit nervous as to how they should part in the end.
“So here we are. I did my part. You are finally out of this forest.” Zhu Yi Long said with a rueful smile. He didn’t want to leave Bai Yu, he had gotten so comfortable with Bai Yu in the short journey they had shared together that he even felt safe with him despite actually knowing him for only an hour or two.
Bai Yu grinned at him suddenly and his heart jumped again.
“Yes, you did, now I need to hold my promise and grant you your one wish.” he said with a toothy smile and then his look softened, making him appear fond. The fairy’s cheeks began to burn, and he looked away when he caught Bai Yu staring back at him.
“I- I don’t know yet.” His voice got smaller and softer with Bai Yu’s stare making him even more nervous than he already felt.
“Oh, come on little fairy; I am sure you must have at least one wish in mind. I can perform magic for you, can give you gold, a kiss… or whatever you want.”
“I want to stay with you… For a while, is that okay?”, the fairy couldn’t bring himself to look back at Bai Yu after mouthing his request.
“Of course, that is okay, as I said, you can wish for whatever you want.”, Bai Yu answered softly.
“Can I give you a small sign of gratitude?”, the fairy blinked his eyes innocently at Bai Yu feeling giddy inside and also a little bit greedy.
“Since you are going to be my companion for some time it would only be fair, wouldn’t it?”, Bai Yu’s face lit up with a smile that made him appear warm and bright just like the sun.
Zhu Yi Long flew close to his face, put his small hands right above Bai Yu’s eyebrows and kissed him softly on his forehead.
It only lasted for two seconds but Bai Yu’s heart melted into a puddle of goo with this pure display of affection. The warm afternoon sun was nothing compared to the warmth of the kiss.
As the they walked toward the small wooden cabin sitting on an endless field of grass, Bai Yu smiled while thinking to himself about the wonderful turn of events.
Who would have thought that this awful day would end so perfectly?