I'm NOT Losing The Bet!: Part Three
When Brynn and Hanso arrived at Brightvale Glaziers, the situation was worse than they thought.
“Whoa, crikey, what happened here?!” Hanso exclaimed as they skidded to a halt outside of the stained glass window shop.
All of the windows had been shattered on the exterior of the building, littering the pavement with multicoloured shards of glass.
Both of Fyora’s employees still had their Apple Sugared Gelert Gummy sweets in their mouths, but they were almost able to talk unhindered now that the sweets had dissolved significantly.
Brynn peered through the shop door and dared to ask, “Hello? Is anyone here? I’m Captain Brynn of Queen Fyora’s Guard... We seem to have a crime scene here. Anyone in?”
Hanso stared at multiple reflections of himself in the rainbow of broken stained glass and rubbed his chin in thought. Why would someone smash out windows?
“Hello?” Brynn asked cautiously, treading carefully into the shop. “Is the shopkeeper present?”
The Kougra noticed that half the stock in the shop had been destroyed as well, and the shopkeeper was nowhere in sight. She gulped, almost swallowing her gummy sweet. “If anyone is here, you are to come out and swear to Queen Fyora to tell the whole truth about what happened here!”
“Brynn! No one’s in there!” the Blue Ixi called through the window frame, looking dazzling as greens, blues and yellows shone onto his face from the glass. “I believe that this was a distraction.”
“A distraction?!” she exclaimed, whipping round to face him.
“Look at all the broken glass – this caused a massive commotion. The real crime is going on somewhere else.”
The urgency in the Ixi’s eyes convinced her that he was onto something.
“Okay,” Brynn agreed. “So where do you think the real crime is happening?”
“Usually somewhere much further away from the commotion,” Hanso discerned, glancing around frantically. “We need transport!”
Brynn dashed out of the shop and hollered, “Sir Shawn, are you at your post?!”
“Shawn?” everyone’s favourite Ixi enquired curiously.
“Sir Shawn,” she corrected him quickly. “SHAWN!”
“SIR Shawn, don’tcha mean?” he retorted smugly.
A White Uni galloped over, wearing colours of the Brightvalian Standard. He bowed at their feet. “Captain Brynn! Such an honour to see you.”
The Kougra smiled and straightened her posture. “At ease, sir.”
The Uni stood to attention. “How can I be of service, Captain of Queen Fyora’s Guard?”
“Ahem!” Hanso cleared his throat to bring matters back to hand.
“Someone destroyed Brightvale Glaziers. We believe that it is only a distraction. Can you transport us across town?”
“Where to? We don’t even know what the crime IS,” Hanso cried in disbelief.
“We will once we get there!” Brynn snapped.
“Still got the Gelert Gummy--?”
“Yeah!” She turned to Sir Shawn. “Take us to the Wheel of Knowledge – pronto!”
“Yes, miss! I mean, Captain...” Sir Shawn said bashfully as he let Brynn and Hanso take a seat on his saddle. Once they were sat down securely, Shawn set off at breakneck speeds in a canter to get across the kingdom in as little time as possible.
Hanso turned to Brynn and asked, “Why the Wheel?”
Brynn answered with a simple reply; “Call it a hunch.”
The wind blew back Hanso’s hair and he screamed with joy at the exhilaration of the moment. The Brightvale scenery became a blur – one big mush of colour rushing by them. He was yelling so much that he was at risk of losing the Apple Sugared Gelert Gummy in his mouth. He was NOT going to lose the bet so he refrained from yelling too much.
“The Wheel of Knowledge is approaching!” Sir Shawn announced as the illustrious Wheel came into view.
“Sir Shawn, stop here!” Brynn commanded as they arrived about twenty feet from the Wheel.
The Uni ground to a halt and Hanso flew face-first off the saddle, straight into the mud.
“Ow!” he yelled as dirt got into his mouth. Yuck!
Uh-oh. Dirt mixed with a gummy sweet? He would either have to spit out the mud with the sweet or swallow the mud and risk swallowing the sweet. Now he wasn’t sure what to do!
Brynn dismounted and scanned the horizon for any criminal activity.
“Thank you, Sir Shawn, you may return to your post now,” Brynn said gratefully to her friend.
“Yes, Captain,” the Uni said with a bow before galloping away.
“Hanso? Are you alright?” Brynn asked in concern as her partner did not get up.
Oh great. Now Hanso had to decide what to do with mud in his mouth.
He pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket and coughed noisily into it. He swallowed the remaining mud that had not expelled into the hanky and checked to see if the gummy sweet was still on his tongue. Good, it was still there. He could still win the bet against Brynn but he could no longer recall what the wager was anymore.
Brynn frowned and helped the Ixi to his feet. “Hey! Hanso, you’re not hurt, are you?”
Hanso took out his notepad and pen and wrote:
I THINK I CHIPPED A TOOTH.
The Orange Kougra ruffled his hair, smiling. “You’ll live. Now look over at the Wheel of Knowledge. Can you spot the criminals?”
Hanso stared at the two Tuskanninies who were harassing the Wheel of Knowledge Draik. He wrote:
I DON’T GET IT. WHAT’S THE APPEAL OF ROBBING THE WHEEL?
Brynn nudged him and indicated what the robbers were stuffing into their swagbags. “Job Coupons. They’re stealing Job Coupons!”
THEY WANT WORK? Hanso enquired on his notepad with a look of bewilderment on his face. KIND OF IRONIC, WHAT WITH THEM STEALING STUFF.
Brynn facepalmed. “No. They must want to sell them. The market value for Job Coupons is quite high!”
WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR? LET’S BUST THEM! Hanso wrote with a look of determination to match his words.
“Let’s go!” the Captain agreed, encouraged.
The duo stealthily sneaked up to the Wheel of Knowledge and observed the thieves going about their routine. Hanso tutted in his head – they weren’t very good at this – in fact, he thought the thieves were plain idiotic. Although smashing panes of glass in Brightvale Glaziers was a clever decoy, he was not impressed with the thieves’ methods of a five-finger discount.
Brynn indicated a Tuskanniny in a tracksuit and gestured that she would foil and arrest that felon. She then pointed at the other Tuskanniny who was wearing a grey silk dress, suggesting that Hanso should apprehend her.
They nodded in agreement and leapt into action.
“FREEZE, thieves!” Brynn commanded dramatically as the Guard and Master Thief made themselves known. Brynn had her sword drawn. Hanso was standing nearby looking cool. “I am Captain Brynn of Fyora’s Guard and you are under arrest for destroying shop stock and conducting general theft.”
Hanso side-tackled the thief in the grey dress and withdrew his dagger to hold at her throat. He did not say any of the typical “you’re under arrest” banter because his mouth still tasted of mud. Instead, he just handcuffed the girl.
Brynn frantically looked around for something to stop the other Tuskanniny from making a break for it. She located some rope that was at the base of the Wheel and took a dive for it. Once she had the rope she treated it like a lasso and caught the criminal in one quick movement, tying him up immediately.
Knowing that the thieves were secure, she asked Hanso, “Still got the sweet?”
“Yeah I—” Hanso gulped involuntarily. This was a result of having spent the past few hours without a sip of water. The only problem was that the second he swallowed, the sweet went down his throat in the same moment. Oh no...
Brynn looked at him victoriously. “You swallowed it!”
Hanso shook his head slowly. The troubled look in his eyes told Brynn otherwise.
“Hanso, stick out your tongue.”
“Prove you still have the sweet.”
“Please. We’re in front of CRIMINALS. It’s not very professional...”
Brynn strode over to him and wrenched open his jaw. “HA! I knew it. You lost the bet!” She now gave proof that she still had her own sweet, and knowingly victorious, she swallowed it. She had won the bet, after all.
Hanso scowled and folded his arms. “What were we betting for anyway?”
“Who could stand not eating a gummy sweet for the longest possible time,” she reminded him with an air of triumph to her voice. “And be the first to win. There was no wager.”
That was anti-climactic. He really should have upped the stakes to give him more incentive to win.
“Okay, now the bet’s over with, can I get some water? I don’t know how some folks eat Mud Pies for lunch, it’s disgusting stuff!” Hanso complained unhappily, gagging at the taste of dirt.
“Sure, do whatever you want... Within reason.” Brynn’s last two words were placed there as a disclaimer. She knew that Hanso would find the loophole in her sentence and exploit it. Then she had a second thought; “Actually, help me get these fiends to prison and THEN you can get some water.”
“Alright, but not because you asked me!” he groaned, dragging the female Tuskanniny to her feet. “C’mon, you miscreant. Let’s go.”
As the crime-fighters walked away with their prisoners, Brynn spoke to Hanso with a childish glint in her eye. “Want a gummy sweet for the journey?”
Hanso looked at her blankly for a moment before saying. “Sure. What harm could it do?”
Little did he know that those words would come back and bite him, as later that evening the criminals he had helped to apprehend had escaped from prison. Who knew that gummy sweets could play a role in prison break? Well... indirectly at least. Hanso could have sworn that the gummies were cursed. Brynn disagreed and told him to stop watching Neovision at night because it gave him stupid ideas.
But whether it was gummy sweets or Neopoints, Hanso and Brynn always passed the time on long journeys with some kind of bet. What can we say? The pair likes to live life dangerously!