With their attentions drawn to a new activity and off of wrong guesses and swapped, Poppy rested on a bench nearby with a steaming coffee while his charges had yet another opportunity to squabble with each other. At least their hands would be busy.
The ugly sweater vendor couldn't possibly be prepared for the forces of nature that were the royal twins. Neema and Fang descended upon the table of sweaters like feral beasts. Of course, they grabbed the same red sweater with sleeves of two different lengths. It was ugly on its own, so it was perfect, and neither of them would let go. Sparks flew between their eyes as they glared, then the screaming began. Despite being adults, when the two were together, they usually acted like petulant children.
"Gimme that sweater!"
"NO, I SAW IT FIRST!"
"H-Here's another just like it, but in green...." a nervous attendant wheezed, holding out an equally hideous, uneven sleeved mirror image of the red sweater, only in bright emerald. The twins paused, looking between the two sweaters, then both grabbing the new one at the same time.
The arguing began anew over who would get which color as they tugged on both. The attendant gave up and went to help or shield others from the chaos until eventually, Fang wrenched the green one from his sister's demonic clutches with a bright grin. This was more infuriating than a sneer since Fang had a habit of those happy facades that hid his nasty intentions.
With the sweaters finally settled the two set to decorating them with gaudy decorations. Shiny ornaments of all colors were hung in the woven fabric by the hooks and gingerbread men of felt were glued on. They both seemed to have the same idea, taking glitter paint to write 'I'm with stupid' and arrows pointing in opposite directions. The phrase was a little ostentatious for where they were from, but Neema had preferred Fiore's irreverent approach to things ever since she'd lived here. Fang had found the stories of her time here very amusing, so it seemed he'd adopted her love of these silly things, especially since they were so...unroyal. It wasn't like he'd be King anyway. A bitter thought, but it had it's small advantages.
Neema wove candycane ribbon haphazardly over the fabric, while Fang took some shears to his and cut it to make it look more edgy. The glitter paint wasn't enough for the girl, so she proceeded to dump glitter all over it, while Fang glued tinsel around the bottom hem as a gaudy fringe. By the time they were finished, they were quite ugly indeed. They'd been keeping them secret from each other, working on them back to back instead of side by side. Pulling them on over their clothes, they whirled on each other to reveal them, only to find their sweaters calling each other stupid. Curse the stupid twin brainwave thing! Even though they were over 800 years old and vampires, they still had to put up with some classically human phenomena.
"You copied me," Neema huffed, puffing out her cheeks and moodily placing her hands on her narrower, boyish hips.
"Funny, I was about to say the same thing," Fang smiled in his sicky sweet way, looking even more angelic and frustrating as a girl.
Either way, the sweaters were done and were what they were, so they wore them out from under the tent and moodily continued their terrorizing of the festival. As they peered toward the bench where they'd left Poppy, he mysteriously wasn't there.
Poppy had sensed the malicious disturbance before it breeched the festival grounds. He was on high alert, as a servant-turned-bodyguard should. The beautiful red-head had no intentions of being heroic and saving all the innocents. No, his focus was entirely on the two he protected, though they could defend themselves just fine. They also couldn't really die, none of the trio could. Not by conventional means. Even so, his job was everything, and he was quite bored with this Christmas mumbo jumbo. He also never missed an opportunity to earn some praise.
They came at him one at a time as he stepped out of the town's gate as if drawn to his life force. First was a little girl. A ghost? He was familiar with all types of spirits, but there was no time to chat. This little girl probed his brain and showed him quite an old scene with ice and illusion. A woman in knight armor gestured toward another with purple hair. There was no sound, but he saw himself walking toward the lavenderette, and he knew what came next. He'd done it of his own will serving under someone else, but it still had quite the effect on him. As he plucked the eyes from his own brother's skull and handed them to the woman, Poppy had had enough of this game. A frown tugged at his lips. His luscious locks extended and darted forth, acting like hundreds of whips to bash the little ghost out of existence. She disappeared, but this wasn't the only one, was it?
Poppy didn't wait for the other ghosts to do their thing. He'd had enough of mind probing and illusions, so as an older version of the little girl riding a skull-faced deer approached, he made a mallet with his hair and bashed it out of existence as well. Yet another ghost came, this one black and looking like death's wife, but it was also easily dispatched with his beautiful red hair and a little work with his magical sword. He thought that might be the last of it, but a geezerly cackle from a very real person revealing themself informed him that this was the source of this miserly fun. Seems he had a grudge against the holiday, which he found just about as dumb as the holiday itself. He resummoned his ghostly tormentors, but Poppy didn't enjoy playing around.
In an explosions of hair, silky crimson strands elongated and served to lift him into the air and rush him across the field. The rest of his thick coiffure acted almost as if it was a beast with many appendages. He acted as the core, and the mass of hair did the rest. He didn't care what this old man had planned or why. If he ruined the fun for Neema, he'd have failed his duty. His moved as a tsunami through the spirits, pulverizing them back out of the realm of the living and burying the old man. He claimed he was strong, and probably thought so because he was old, but if only Duke Scrooge of Humbug knew just how much older and more powerful Poppy was. Not that it mattered, because within moments, he was dead...and that beautiful red started to flow. Beautiful~
Just as he stooped down for a taste, Neema and Fang appeared out of nowhere, drawn by the scent of fresh blood. A little sip whlie it was still warm wouldn't hurt, right?
[wc: 1185 || total: 2400/2000 || Gift Guess and Ugly Sweaters done for 5/5 Peppermints. Ghosts of Past, Present, and Future defeated. Scrooge murdered and drained like a juicebox~]