"What are you doing?" screamed Blade at Louis. "Bow down to the King." Louis stood his ground. Even in front of the face of the evil King, he would not wield to him. Blade, however, could care less about how he felt. He clenched his talons and punched Louis in the jaw. "BOW DOWN I SAY!" he shouted as Louis was smacked and fell to the floor.
"Now now," said King Geo, "compose yourself General Blade Laru. Acquiesce to not be so strict toward our privileged company."
"The Wonder Roosters be the most honored warriors of our world. I deem them 'privileged' to be in my court."
"Actually, I meant to ask what privileged means."
Flame spoke up "Stop being stupid, Blade."
The elf troops who were summoned to the gathering were ordered to return to their post. Now only Louis, Silver, the Generals, and King Geo were in the court. Louis got up and straighten himself as best as he could as his two hands were tied by the wrist. He moved forward to speak to the evil King, who was 4 times bigger than him.
"So you're the one who began the Era of Darkness, Geo!" he said.
King Geo replied "And you two must be the grand swashbucklers who boast about dodging my clout protracted."
"Geo, what have you done with the Princess?"
"Your patrician is secure. Do not be distressed concerning her."
"She better be!"
"HEY!" exclaimed Blade, "Watch your mouth you little cretin."
"What are you planning on doing with the Card of the Sun." continued Louis, ignoring Blade's warning.
"Enough." spoke King Geo, "It be I who shall solicit the inquiries at this juncture. Do not be up to snuff to slight your position, infantile swashbuckler, for I am the sovereign of Asthar at present. Now respond toward this inquiry. Is it factual to facilitate that a hawker has furnish over the imperative Card of the Sun to you?"
"Yeah. What of it?"
"Watch the attitude!" once again exclaimed Blade.
King Geo continued "How did the dealer clasp the card?"
"I don't know."
"What more did he acquaint with you?"
"He told us that we'd be able to summon the Chariot and defeat both you and Lar."
"What!?" once again Blade spoke out. "You mean to say you can summon the Chariot of Sorrows right now?"
"Yeah, if I had the card in my hand." answered back Louis.
"So where be the card at this instant?" asked King Geo.
"It's hidden and I'm not telling you where it is."
"Oh no?" said Blade. "You'll change your mind if I cut your fingers, one by one."
"Torture me all you want. The world will be in a lot worse condition if I give the card to you guys."
"He he he. Well Master? Will you grant me my request?"
"Compose yourself, General Blade Laru." said King Geo, "Acquiesce to not be too hasty."
"Is that a yes or a no?"
"Uhh...is that a-"
"It means NO, stupid!" replied back Flame at Blades questioning.
King Geo paid no attention and resumed questioning the Wonder Roosters. "Do you distinguish that at hand, there is naught you can act?"
"I know that I'm in danger," answered back Louis, "but I won't risk Asthar for my own safety."
"How gallant of you, but I shall contract that card no matter what. If you do not relinquish the card to me, consequences will follow."
"Do with us whatever you like. We've prepared ourselves for anything, isn't that right, Silver?"
"That's right." responded Silver, "Do your worst."
"Very well then." said King Geo. "I was hopeful that the stipulations would go serenely, but I comprise no alternative. General Flame Laru, General Blade Laru, take them to the edifice tract for enslaved proletariat toil. Let them labor for their foolhardiness."
Flame bowed down and said "Yes, your ma-"
"SLAVE LABOR!?" bolted Blade. "But I wanted to torture them."
"Shut up and do what you are told you jabberwock." replied Flame to Blade's outburst.
"Oh, I never get to have any fun."
"Is he alright?" asked Nuttingham.
"Yes. He's just exhausted. He just needs to rest."
The mysterious white raccoon was brought in to the home of the only doctor. He was laid on the ground of the shack where the doctor and Nuttingham where waiting for him to awaken. However, they were not the only ones. Outside of the shack, the whole town was waiting at the front. The news of the white raccoon has stirred the entire populace in such a way that no one has ever experienced anything like it. This was a spectacle that may not happen again.
"Do you know what happened to him?" asked Nuttingham.
"I'm not sure." answered the doctor, "All I know is that his body is extremely tired."
"Doctor! Look! He's waking up!"
The white raccoon started to move. First it was just slightly but eventually he started to get up. Finally, he was sitting up straight, holding his head. "Urgh!" he said, "My head. My body."
"Hey, are you awake?" asked Nuttingham.
"Huh?" answered back the white raccoon, "Who are you?"
"He's awake!" Nuttingham said with a big smile on his face. In no time, he quickly ran towards the white raccoon. "Oh boy! Hey, can you tell me what the outside world looks like? What kind of food do they have? Why is your fur white?"
The doctor came and started pulling him back. "Nuttingham, get off my patient!" However, Nuttingham was still shouting off questions and struggling to get back in front of the white raccoon. The doctor eventually over powered Nuttingham and kicked him out of the doorway and locked the door. The doctor returned to his patient.
"I'm sorry about him." said the doctor, "He's always eager to learn new things. He couldn't help himself."
"I guess that's alright." said the White Raccoon as he got up.
"Though I'm not surprised. This whole village has never seen a white raccoon."
"Well speaking of that, where am I?"
"I'm afraid I can't answer that. This village is very secluded."
"Secluded village? So I'm in some kind of outskirts?"
"What does that mean?"
"You don't know what an outskirts is? Man, I must really be far off."
The white raccoon looked around and he finally noticed something. "Wait a minute, was I recuperating on the floor?" Suddenly, a feeling a fatigue hit him. "Urgh! I feel really tired."
"Well you were found somewhere on the big water. If it wasn't for Nuttingham, you probably would've drifted off."
"Yes, I assume that's how you got here. This village is covered with trees and there is no way to enter."
"Wait a minute!" The white raccoons eyes where wide open with concern. He got up, ran up to the doctor, and clutched him by the fur of his chest. "Listen! You got to help me! You gotta hear what I got say!"
"Huh!?" the doctor was confused.
"HELP! I NEED HELP! THERE'S TROUBLE! BIG TROUBLE!" screamed the white raccoon.
Outside on the doorway, the entire village was looking at each other, trying to figure out what was going on as they heard all these screams, including Nuttingham.
"HEY!" Nuttingham shouted back, "What are you doing to White Raccoonham?"
"Calm down!" said the doctor. "What do you think you're doing, screaming like that?"
"I...I'm sorry!" said the white raccoon as he calmed himself. "I just got excited, but I have something to tell you."
"Well, tell me without panicking."
"The world...the world is in danger!"
"Yes, our world is going to be destroyed. There's a yeti who's aiming to transform this entire planet into ice!"
"Yes. Word of mouth is spreading around that a monstrous yeti wants to transform the entire planet into one giant ice block."
"Ice?" The doctor had no idea what the white raccoon was talking about. At this instant, the door slammed opened. Nuttingham ran in and tackled down the doctor.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO WHITE RACCOONHAM!?"
"Nuttingham," said the doctor as he got back up from the pounce, "what are you doing, attacking me like that." He got up and got in front of Nuttingham.
"Well he keeps screaming so I keep thinking you're doing something awful to him."
"Why would I do that?"
"I don't know. You're the crazy doctor."
The white raccoon spoke up "Calm down there...Nuttingham is it?"
Upon hearing this, Nuttingham pushed the doctor aside and ran as fast as lightning to the white raccoon, shocking the white raccoon at his speed. "Yeah, Nuttingham, soon to be a great adventurer, just like you."
"Me?" answered back the white raccoon, "Hold on, I'm no adventurer."
"You're not? But aren't you on a big adventure right now?"
"No. I just ended up drifting here."
The doctor spoke "Well how exactly did you ended up here?"
"Well, I lost my way when I was on my journey to a place called I'scrim."
"I'scrim?" asked Nuttingham, "What is that?"
"It's supposedly where the yeti lives."
"A yeti! Oh my goodness! You've seen a yeti?"
"You don't even know what that is." said the doctor.
"But it sounds exciting." answered back Nuttingham. "What's a yeti? What's a yeti?"
The doctor pulled back Nuttingham once again to give the white raccoon some breathing room. "Knock it off, Nuttingham. White Racoonham, please tell us everything in detail, starting with who you are."
"Yeah, sure." replied the white raccoon. "My name is Doubt. I come from a far off place called Fireheart."
"Oh, what is that?" said Nuttingham, who has reappeared right in front of the white raccoon called Doubt to the amazement of the doctor, who swore he had a grasp on the overzealous squirrel.
"Uhh...Fireheart is where I live, but I guess its uncharted to you guys."
"Uncharted? What does that mean?"
"It means that it hasn't been recorded. In fact, I'm sure there are hundreds of places in this planet that has not been explored, like this village I suppose."
"You mean the whole world is a mystery? Sounds like a great adventure to have."
"You're really optimistic about adventuring, aren't you?"
"If that means excited, then yeah. I'm going to become a great adventurer and I'm going to explore the whole world and-"
"WILL YOU TWO SHUT UP FOR A MNUTE!" yelled the doctor, who was exasperated by the chatter the two were having. Nuttingham and Doubt were completely surprised and ended up falling to their knees.
"What's the deal?" said Nuttingham.
"Yeah." said Doubt.
"What are you doing?" the doctor addressed Doubt, "You were panicking about the world being destroyed earlier, and now you're just-"
"AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!" screamed Doubt, causing Nuttingham to drop on the floor completely from shock as he covered his ears. "I FORGOT! THE WORLD IS-"
"I know! I know!" said the doctor, "That's what I'm trying to figure out. Just tell me what happened."
"Oh yeah." Doubt took a deep breath. "Yeah, okay. It all started back when I was in Fireheart. I was just hanging around with my friends, just having a good time, when someone came rushing by us. We were curious about this so we decided to follow him. Turns out, there was a meeting with the village chief. He said that there was an evil omen in the distance. The village chief said that word of mouth has been spreading that the world's end was coming. An evil force was going to submerge the entire world into ice. He told of this to our leader, Great Master If Looks Could kill, but the Great Master did not believe it. He just scoffed that it was just a rumor, so he wanted proof. According to the rumors, the yeti whose responsible for this lives in the very far north. We prepared our journey to the unknown land of pure snow and ice known as I'scrim. We had little to go on how to get there, but we proceeded nonetheless. After preparing ourselves, we walked for days until we reached Raclantis to seek Great Master's guidance. He provided us with a ship and wished us luck on our journey and we set off to the top of the world. We spent days sailing to the I'scrim but tragedy struck when we were attack by that no good pirate and his cannon balls. Our boat ended up getting destroyed. I was knocked out but when I woke up, I was on a piece of wood from what was left over from the ship. I spent days and nights on that piece of wood, drifting in the endless ocean. The only thing that kept me alive was the fish that I had to catch with my bare hands. After weeks on my small raft, it started to fall apart, and eventually it did. I swam for hours and eventually landed on a small clearing."
"Then what happened?" asked an excited Nuttingham who was sitting on the floor as Doubt told the tale.
"I lost conscience and eventually you found me, I guess."
"Wow! That was an amazing story!"
"So in the end," said the doctor, "you never found out if the rumor was true?"
"No," replied Doubt, "I did not."
"Are you going to go back to this I'scrim place?" asked Nuttingham.
"I don't know. I don't even know where I am anymore." A sudden pain suddenly hit Doubt. "AGH! My stomach!"
"You're still injured." said the doctor, "You gotta rest."
"Well how about giving me a bed?"
"I don't know what that is."
"You don't even know what a bed is? This village truly is out in the boondocks. Can't you give me something soft to lie on then? Unless you don't know what that is either."
"Yes, we know what 'soft' means. I doubt we have anything of that matter however but I'll see what I can do."
As the doctor left to find something for Doubt to lie on, Nuttingham took this opportunity for a one on one chat.
"Hey, White Racconham."
"Why do you keep calling me White Racconham?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, actually, why do you add 'ham' to the end?"
"Huh? Well that's how you refer to an elder you don't know. Someone who you never met or meeting for the first time."
"Oh...you mean like Mister?"
"Yeah. Where I live, you would be calling me 'Mr. White Raccoon'."
"Oh, I see. So...I would be Mr. Nutting in your home, right?"
"Nuttting is your name? I thought your full name is Nuttingham."
"Nope. My name is Nutting but everyone got used to calling me Nuttingham, so that's what I go by."
"Well as I was saying, White Raccoonham, you kept mentioning that ice stuff. What's ice?"
"You can call me Doubt, you know. You really don't know what ice is?"
"Well let me put it this way. You know what water is, don't you?"
"Well ice is water but hardened."
"Hardened water?" this concept was apparently hard for Nuttingham to imagine. "How is that possible?"
"Well where I live, it's so cold that the water becomes hard. So cold that it will hurt your hands if you hold on to it for a long time."
"What happens when it gets hot?"
"It turns back into water."
"WOW! That's amazing! Tell me more!"
"Well...there's also snow."
"Yeah. Snow is like ice but much softer. It's still cold however."
The two continued on with their conversation with Nuttingham hanging on to every single word that Doubt would tell him. On the outside of the shack, both the doctor and Dawn were eavesdropping on their conversation.
"Nuttingham is getting along fine with him." said Dawn.
"Well you know him." said the doctor, "He's always interested in learning things about the outside world. Though I feel sorry for him. Doubt's arrival will just make him more anxious to leave, even though he can't."
"Well why not?"
"Dawn, don't start that again. He still hasn't grown up. You know that."
"Well I still think he's capable of handling himself."
"Well the Village Elder said no and he gives the final say on the matter. I'm sorry Dawn."
"Well I'm not giving up. I'll find someway to convince the Town Elder."
"Go ahead." the doctor started to walk away, "You're just wasting your time."
She could hear Nuttingham's laughter going through the shack as he embraced all the words that Doubt would tell him. Stories of Doubts hometown Fireheart and the surrounding areas. "Tell me more! Tell me more! I want to know everything." She could hear Nuttingham's excitement going through the shack.
"Don't worry Nuttingham," she said, "I'll get you out of here no matter what."
Beneath the darkness of the Grimm Forest floor, there laid a system of tunnels. This was a gold mine where King Geo sent out slaves and prisoners to mine. The area was lit by florescent flowers that glowed and provided light. The trunks of the trees from above, and all around, grew vegetation and moss. The caverns where largely due to the digging everyone was doing. It was quite spacious that one could get lost if they strayed too far from the main path. The workers were aforementioned slaves and prisoners but also some of the common folk were sent here to work, both men and women elves alike. The main job for these peasants were to stack up rocks on mining carts, though these weren't regular carts. These carts were flat surfaced and the bottom was arched with spikes underneath and with a decorative face on the side. It suspended from the ground with magic. And to make things worse, elf soldiers were abundant to keep things in order.
"Come on you useless slaves," shouted Blade, "put your backs into it!" Normally the mines were regulated by an officer in charge but in this case, the generals were sent as well. "Come on, the gold ain't gonna mine itself. Come on, come on."
"Blade," called out Flame, "don't forget about you know who."
"I JUST TOLD YOU NOT TO FORGET! I'm talking about the Wonder Roosters."
"What about 'em?"
"Stupid jabberwock! These are the Wonder Roosters I'm talking about! We got to be extra careful with those guys!"
The Wonder Roosters, the heroes and hope of Asthar, where now slaves to King Geo. They have been stripped of their weapons, their accessories, even their clothes save for a pair of old, brown, grimy shorts. At this moment, two elf soldiers were taunting the duo and Louis was about to throw a rock at one of them, but Silver stopped him and pulled him back.
"Calm down, Louis," said Silver, "You're going to get in trouble."
"Well they keep taunting me."
"Louis, we can't be reckless anymore now that we're prisoners."
"I know, I know." Louis said with desperation in his voice. No sooner that this was said, Blade stepped in.
"What are you doing, slacking off? Get to work!"
"Alright, alright!" said Louis as the duo ran back to their task.
"GET TO WORK ALREADY!" Blade returned back towards Flame.
"Don't keep your eyes off of them Blade. They are up to something."
"Oh calm down, Flame. We took their weapons and set up guards everywhere."
"Don't be too confident. Remember, the Wonder Roosters are the only adventurers who have defied King Geo over and over. They are not to be taken lightly."
The once troublesome twosome went back to their post. Louis grabbed a pickaxe and started hitting the rocks in front of him while Silver was in charge of collecting rocks and putting them in a mining crate. Behind the two and the crate stood an elf soldier, watching them as they worked.
"So how are we going to get out of this?" whispered Louis.
"I don't know if this is a good plan but I have a theory. Remember what the peddler said about the Card of the Sun?"
"Yeah. 'He who holds the Card of the Sun up upon them on the top of the Demon's Tower shall call forth the Sun Chariot, slay the wicked, and soar the heavens.'"
"Well I just had a thought. That court room where Geo sits. I think that's the top of the tower."
"Wait a minute, are you implying..."
"Yeah. I think we can summon the Chariot from that room."
"So you are saying that when were in that room, we use the card right then and there?"
"Exactly, but the problem is I don't know if it will actually work."
"Well we can't risk doing that. If it fails, then Geo will have the card on his hands and all hope will be lost."
"Hey," said the guard, "what are you two talking about there?"
"Nothing." answered back Silver.
"Don't give me that. If you are planning a breakout, forget it. We got our eyes on you."
The duo went back to their duties and Louis whispered "He's got a point. There are guards everywhere. We can't move a step without being followed."
"You're right." said Silver. "It's impossible to leave right now."
"Great. Looks like I'll have to put up with being a prisoner for now. Let's save that theory you have as a last resort."
"HEY!" said the guard. "Quiet down you two."
"OH MY GOODNESS!" said Nuttingham, "Lucky, you missed out on all the great things he had to say."
"Well what did he say?" said Lucky.
"You won't believe the things he had to say! It's like a completely different world from here."
"Like what? Like what? I want to know! I want to know!"
"Follow me, Lucky!"
The boys who were at the entrance of the secluded forest started walking towards the secret spot. There was no better place for Nuttingham to talk about the great things he has heard about the outside world from Doubt, but his excitement got the better of him and he proceeded to explain things along the way, all the while jumping and skipping from joy. "He told me about giant mountains covered in white powder. He told me about people called pirates who go on adventures. He told me about pointed buildings called 'pyramids' where kings and treasure are buried. He told me about mountains that spit fire. He told me about a forest haunted by a spirit that will snatch you up. He told me about a town where raccoons dress in funny clothes and live in big houses."
"More! More! I want to know more!"
"Imagine this Lucky! Huge mountains, white as the moon, filled with white stuff called 'snow'. It's very cold and wet. Now imagine climbing this white mountain and you see a hole, so you go and get a closer look, and it starts to spit out fire! Fire that reaches the sky. You start to run away but you end up tripping and falling into a- AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!" Nuttingham was so excited that he was not paying attention and ended up tripping on the big hole that was in the middle of the forest. Nuttingham fell down but landed just as fast. It turned out the big hole that was a mystery to Nuttingham was not as deep as he thought to be. "OW!" he said.
"Nuttingham!" screamed Lucky from above. "Are you okay?"
"Argh! My head! Yeah, I'm fine!"
"Can you see anything down there?"
"Yeah, there's a bit of light down...AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!"
"Nuttingham! What's going on!?"
"There's some kind of weird thing down here! I think it's some kind of MONSTER!"
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