There was a small amount of light that was shining through the
hole but the sun was already setting so it wasn't too clear
underneath. Nuttingham recoiled back from the shock of what he
saw. It was hidden in the shadows against the opposite side. He
could not make it out clearly but he did saw a face staring
back at him. He was pinned back, however he regained enough
sense to control himself. Still being cautious, he stood
straight up. Apparently what was staring back at him did not
move at all.
"Nuttingham? Nuttingham!?" Lucky was screaming from above but Nuttingham did not respond back because his fear was now curiosity. As Lucky kept screaming for confirmation, Nuttingham crept closer to examine whatever it was that was there.
"Lucky!" he shouted, "I found something!"
"Is it a monster!?"
"No, it's not a monster. It's some kind of rock shaped like a raccoon." What Nuttingham got scared from was a statue. It was a carving of a raccoon's head, sitting on top of a pedestal. It looked like it was carved ages ago. Nuttingham has never seen anything like this.
"What was that, Nuttingham?" shouted back Lucky.
"A rock. It's a rock that's shaped like a raccoon. I've never seen anything like this." Nuttingham proceeded to inspect the statue. "Wow. This thing looks great. It's almost like a real raccoon's head."
"Nuttingham, what are you doing down there?"
"Huh? This thing is loose." The statue was heavy but Nuttingham was strong enough to notice that it was not attached to the wall.
"Nuttingham, get out of there before the monster eats you." shouted Lucky.
Nuttingham grabbed both sides of the statue and pulled it out of the wall.
"Whoa! It's a cave!" Behind the statue, an opening that was perfectly rectangular in shape was present, as if the statue was merely the door to this opening. "There's a cave behind this rock."
"NUTTINGHAM! WHY WON'T YOU RESPOND TO ME!" screamed Lucky.
"Today is full of surprises!" Nuttingham said to himself.
"Nuttingham! What are you-"
"Stop screaming already." Nuttingham finally responded to Lucky. "I'm coming back up." Nuttingham climbed back up and met up with Lucky.
"Nuttingham, you're okay. The monster didn't eat you."
"No, no, There was no monster."
"But you said-"
"No, Lucky, listen. There's a strange rock in the shape of a raccoon down there but what's cooler is that there's a cave behind it, and we're going to check it out."
"But what if there's a really big monster inside the cave?"
"Yeah! This is the adventure we've been looking for!"
"Well not me! I'm not going in!" Lucky started to head back to the village. The situation has left him temporarily shocked. He needed to calm himself.
"Wait, Lucky!" Nuttingham grabbed Lucky by the shoulder. "How many times you have said that you were bored with this life? How many times have you wished for an adventure? Well this is your chance!"
"That was YOU who said that!"
"Well...you've said it too!"
"No, I haven't!"
"Oh come on Lucky!"
"Why don't you just go in by yourself?"
"What? You don't want to share my adventure?"
"Yeah. If you want to go badly, go by yourself."
"If that's how you feel, fine, I'll explore it on my own and keep all the treasure to myself."
"Well good luck then!...Wait, did you say treasure!?"
Days passed since the Wonder Roosters became prisoners. They
toiled day and night with little rest and even less food but
they did not waver one bit. They were determined to not give in
to King Geo and his Overlord. Today, they were sent back to the
court room to have audience with the evil King and entered with
only their assigned brown shorts. They were not even allowed to
wear any formal clothes.
"Thus Louis and Silver," said King Geo, "how be days contained by the manacles of slavery?"
"We don't care about anything you do to us!" responded Louis, "We won't give you the card!"
"What!?" said Blade, "You little punk! I'll gut you open!"
"Blade!", said Flame, "Calm down will you!"
"I can't! This runt's getting on my nerves!"
Louis continued "We know all about the Chariot's power. It's the only thing that will defeat you and Lar."
"I see," responded King Geo, "as a result, you repudiate to offer the Card of the Sun?"
"Very well. Guards, direct her in." From behind Geo on the opposite doorway, in came three guards with a girl being forced forward by knife.
"Se...Selena!" screamed Louis. Selena was Louis childhood friend. Though she was not adventurous as the Wonder Roosters, Louis and Silver always came home after their ventures to simply relax with her company. Sadly, she is now in the mercy of King Geo.
"Kneel down you!" said the front most soldier as he kicked her down.
"NO! SELENA!" yelled Louis. He wanted to ran towards her but Blade snatched him by the arm with his talons. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO HER!"
"Well," said King Geo, "it emerge you do care about this lass, neigh?"
"LET HER GO, GEO!"
"Oh, I shall allow her to be off." He then raised his cloud hands and hover them above Selena. "As before long I shall renovate her into a wooden statue so as to be."
"If you do not long in favor of this woman toward becoming a wooden statue, bestow me the Card of the Sun!"
"Louis..." uttered Silver in a concerning matter.
"What should I do?" Louis was thinking to himself, "I can't let Geo have the card, but he's going to turn Selena into wood. What am I going to do?"
"Don't do it Louis!" said Selena.
"What!?" responded Louis.
"Everyone is depending on you two to save us! Don't worry about me! Worry about the future of Ashtar!"
"No Selena! I can't let him turn you into a wood statue."
"My safety is little compared to Ashtar. Let him do what he wants. Just don't give him the card!"
"What do I do? What do I do?" Louis was now stuck between a rock and a hard place. If he gave the card, he could save Selena but the Era of Darkness would never end. If he didn't give the card, there could still be a chance the save Asthar but Selena would be sacrificed.
"Louis," said Silver, "How about it?"
"It might be our only chance to save Selena."
"Silence!" said Flame, "Nobody gave you permission to speak."
"You don't mean-" said Louis.
"Let's show him the card." said Silver.
"Hey!" said Flame, "I thought I told-wait, what?"
"Something tells me the situation is not going to get any better." said Silver, "Let's just take a chance and hope for the best."
"Yeah, listen to your friend. It's all over for you, Wonder Roosters! You might as well just give up!"
"No," said Selena, "Don't do it! With the card, Geo will take over Asthar and the Era of Darkness will never end!"
Louis closed his eyes, his head tilted downward. With a sad expression in his voice he said "Alright Geo, you win. I'll show you the card!"
"Louis, No!" cried out Selena.
"What?" said Flame, "Are you serious?"
"Yes." said Louis sternly.
"Well alleged, Louis." said King Geo, "Now, inform me where the card is."
"I'm going to need my clothes first."
"What for?" said Flame, "You're not going anywhere. Just tell us where the card is."
"I'm going to need my clothes before I tell you where the card is."
"Why you! Your majesty, he's planning something, I know it."
"Do not be unquiet." said King Geo, "I do not deem so as to his garments will pretense any tribulations."
Louis made another demand, "I also want my pistol back."
"Hey!" said Flame, "That's asking too much now!" Blade positioned himself in attack mode. He too was disturbed by this request.
"That is no quandary at all." said King Geo, "Bestow him his weapon as well."
Flame was hesitant but he had no choice if it was the King's order. "Alright, but it's not going to be loaded."
"That's fine with me." said Louis. A few moments later, Flame showed up with all their clothes and accessories. He hurried them to get dressed on the spot, which they did.
"Alright," said Blade, "you got your clothes, now tell us where the treasure is."
"What about my pistol?"
Blade had Louis' arrow pistol clutched on his talons, waving it in front of him. "If you want your toy back, give us the card first."
"Alright, fine." Louis got on down on one knee.
"What are you doing?" said Flame.
"It's a TRAP!" said Blade.
"No." said Louis, "The card is inside a secret compartment between the sole and heel of my shoe."
"Between the soul and heal of your shoe?"
"No wonder we didn't find anything when we searched your clothes." said Flame.
"Yeah." said Blade. "Quiet ingenious."
"Don't praise him, stupid."
Louis stood up straight. "Alright Geo, I got the card." In his right hand, Louis had it: the Card of the Sun, the sole item that could save Asthar and defeat King Geo and the Overlord.
"Tremendous," said King Geo, "now dispense it over to my secondaries."
"That's the Card of the Crown?" said Blade, "But it's just a piece of paper."
"Yeah." agreed Flame, "It's junk. Your majesty, he's tricking you." Both generals were not impressed with this card. It was old with jagged edges due to age. It looked worn and brown. As they say, it was pretty much a piece of paper.
"Neigh." said King Geo, "It be the Card of the Sun incontrovertibly. It's clout, it inveigles me in. It is undeniably the factual card."
"I don't get it but if you say so, King Geo."
The mythical Card of the Sun. There is a legend that says that the Sun Chariot will come forward to those who bare the card. In the Battle Between Good and Evil, the card was used as a last resort, however, King Geo was powerful enough to repel the Chariot's power and in the end, the Chariot was lost. King Geo, though he now ruled Ashtar, could not rest for the Sun Chariot, as long as it remained, was a threat to him. The only way he could truly rule Ashtar is if he either destroyed the card, as it was the only thing that could summon the Sun Chariot, or to have the card summon the Chariot and destroy it. But as he stated earlier, he wanted the Chariot to be presented as a trophy to his Overlord. He was going to inhale the power of the Chariot and expunge it so that the Chariot was nothing more than a hollow husk, and thus the Chariot would be nothing but decoration and the card just another piece of paper.
Louis just stood there, staring at the ancient relic. This card that everyone talked about, the one that could save the world, the most valuable treasure in all of Ashtar second to the Sun Chariot itself, it has been in his possession all this time. Louis never thought anything of it until now.
"WELL!?" Flame yelled, snapping Louis from his blank state. Apparently, Louis and Silver were waiting for something to happen. "What are you doing? Give us the card already!"
"Yeah," followed Blade, "hand it over already!"
Louis and Silver were now back to back, pressed against two very angry and violent Generals.
"Silver," said Louis, "nothing's happening."
"I've noticed," said Louis, "but we can't give up now that they've seen it. We gotta buy more time."
Louis thought for a moment but he had no idea what to do, as did Silver, who was usually the one with inspirations. But in this situation, he too was at a lost.
"Uhh..." stuttered Louis in an attempt to stall for time, "I'm...uhh...Se...Selena! I want Selena freed before I give you the card!" With a gesture from King Geo's hand, Selena was released. She ran all the way to embrace Louis in his arms.
"We're going to need more than that." said Silver.
"Selena!" said Louis as he embraced the scared Selena, "Are you okay?"
"Alright," said Blade, "you got your girlfriend back, now hand over the card!"
"This is not good." Louis said to Silver, "The card isn't doing anything, Silver."
"I noticed." said Silver with a more calm voice, though he was just as worried, "It was just a theory."
"Well that theory has-"
"ENOUGH!" said Flame, "I see what has happened! You changed your minds! Well it's too late for that! You're odds of winning now are up in the air! Give us the card!"
At this instant, something clicked in Silver's head. He suddenly had a thought. "Wait a second!" he said.
"Do we even have that much time left!?" said Louis, desperately.
"Louis, remember what that peddler said?"
"'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.', yeah I know it but what of it?"
"That must be it. You got to raise it up in the air."
"What? Are you being serious?"
The Wonder Roosters were too busy trying to decipher the proverb that they didn't notice that there was a crowd of guards now surrounding them.
"If you're not going to give us the card," said Blade, "we'll just take it away from you! Guards, take that card!" At an instant, the guards suddenly rushed towards our hero.
"LOUIS!" said Silver.
"Alright, here goes!" Louis raised the card above his head as high as he could while the soldiers were now inches away from stabbing them.
Suddenly, everything was swallowed up in white light! The light was so strong, no one could see through it. The light was so grand, from the outside, the Demon's Tower had rays of light shooting from every single opening going straight up into the sky. The light was so magnificent that from the highest mountain, you could see a giant beam of light shooting straight up from the Green Deck mountains, expanding more as it climbed higher and higher. The light was so powerful that from the heavens, you could see the massive light shooting like an arrow, cutting the dark skies of the fairy tale like scenery of the cosmos, coming straight from the star Asthar like a beacon of light going through a lighthouse. The light was so brilliant, that from the farthest reaches to the farthest star, it looked like a thin streak of light on the night sky of whatever denizen of whichever star would gaze on either the day or night sky.
"Nuttingham, look!" said Lucky, as he looked upon the midnight sky from the secret spot. "There's a white line going across the night sky!"
"Looks like a shooting star." replied Nuttingham. "I've seen a lot of those."
999,969,884 words left.