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Yellow Gazebo on a Hill

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It's been ages since there was a new dungeon, but there it is, sitting on a hill that wasn't there the day before. It's a small building open at all sides, painted a cheery yellow and topped with a gabled roof. The hill is blooming with wildflowers in a riot of colors and lush green grass topped with seedlings.

"That's not a dungeon. It's a gazebo," Tear says.

"New dungeon!" Recette repeats excitedly.

"Maybe it's full of loot," Charme says.

"What part of gazebo do you not understand?" Tear has that disapproving look on her face that shades into disappointment. It's not enough to dampen Recette's enthusiasm.

"Don't worry, I'm sure Arma stocked it with many exciting things," Recette reassures Tear.

"It’s not a dungeon," Tear insists.

It is absolutely a dungeon. Look at all those frolicking bunnies! Enemies everywhere, which Charme skillfully darts past, pulling Recette and Tear with her.

When they get up to the dungeon, the first floor is less a maze and more a single platform with a small grouping of custom chests. They look kind of like picnic baskets and a cooler. In the middle of the wooden floor is a blanket with a little table on top.

"Loot!" Charme cheers.

The loot includes a teapot filled with tea and four teacups to go with it. One of the teacups is small enough to be fairy-sized. The tea is still steaming hot.

"It couldn't have been wine?" Charme asks, but she fills the four teacups and places them on the table.

Tear leans in to sniff the tea. She takes a delicate sip. "Acceptable."

The cooler is filled with desserts: fresh-cut melon, apples, grapes, and cherries; Mont Blanc, shortcake, taiyaki, and mango pudding. The picnic basket that didn't hold the tea holds a variety of foods: nut mixes, ham sandwiches, walnut bread, roast chicken, sushi, burgers, and more. Recette's mouth waters looking at the array of treats, but she also knows she could sell most of it for a tidy profit. Maybe not the cut melon, but the rest looks ready to be dropped in her store window to lure in the customers.

Charme starts setting it out on plates that were also included. "C'mon, tuck in."

"You don't want to sell everything?" Recette asks Tear uncertainly.

"It's up to you," Tear says, though the possessive way she clutches her tiny teacup belies that, "but it's a nice day. There's nothing wrong with taking the occasional—very occasional—break."

Recette kneels at the table and picks up her own tea. It's flowery and sweet. Tear might have something to say about the notes of flavors threaded throughout, but all Recette can say is that it's not too bitter and will wash down the taiyaki. Speaking of which—

"Dessert comes after dinner," Tear says firmly, stopping Recette's reaching hand.

"Let the kid live a little," Charme says, already on her second Mont Blanc.

Recette grabs some walnut bread instead to start. The mixed nuts she kind of wants to save for a future project. Speaking around her first bite, she says, "Why do you think there are four teacups?"

"Don't speak with your mouth full," Tear says, though there's no bite to it. She taps at her chin. "And I would think because we're expecting a fourth guest. Or should I say host?"

"Correct." The flat voice comes attached to a familiar face. Arma stands at the entrance to the gazebo. "How is the food?"

"Delicious!" Recette says after swallowing hastily. "Did you put this all together for us?"

"I did." Arma comes to sit at the table, though she doesn't grab her own plate. She puts her hands around the teacup without drinking it.

"Why?" Recette wonders. This isn't like any dungeon Arma has designed before. There's only one level; maybe two if you wanted to count the top and the bottom of the hill. The only enemies are the bunnies, and they're not actually attacking. The closest thing to a treasure is the tea set, which Recette is strangely reluctant to part with.

"I thought it would be fun," Arma says calmly, directing her unblinking stare at Recette. Almost uncertainly, she says, "Is it?"

"A picnic in a pretty dungeon with my friends?" Recette beams. "I can't think of anything better."