Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 110,063,541 Issue: 170 | 19th day of Celebrating, Y6
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The Tower Journey: Part Five


by neonick19881988

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Fire and Ice and Feet

Toggerneo took a step back and bumped into the pile of treasure. The Snowager, usually curled around its hoard, had slid off to find its prey, and was currently licking its lips with a serpent-like tongue.

     All of a sudden the beast lunged. The Gelert leapt up the treasure pile behind him, just getting above the blow of the creature, and saw a red flash out of the corner of his left eye. He turned and saw nothing, and once more his attention was drawn to the Snowager, who had drawn back. It was glaring at him, ready to smash down, and Toggerneo just managed to roll to his left as it struck at the pile of treasures.

     Something dug into his back, and he felt a strange heat on his neck. Toggerneo managed to twist and see a blade hilt, and hearing the whoosh of the Snowager lunging again, grabbed it. He turned back, drawing the sword high-

     And seeing crimson flames dance around a light blue ice. The Snowager stopped immediately, enchanted by the blade, and Toggerneo took another look at it himself.

     "A Fire and Ice Blade!" he whistled to himself, before getting a better grip on it and pointing the tip at the monster. Moving the blade seemed to break the spell, though, and the beast roared once more before lunging. Toggerneo yelled and tried to climb out the way, but it was too late, the monster was so close-

     "Bad Snowager!"

     The creature froze, mere centimetres from the multicoloured Gelert, before slowly twisting to stare at the Snow Faerie. Toggerneo was confused, and this feeling wasn't helped when the faerie wiggled her finger and the creature rolled over onto its back, sorrow in its eyes.

     "That's better." The Snow Faerie turned to Toggerneo, and the blade in his hands. "I hope you weren't going to hurt my pet, little Gelert. He's just a bit grouchy."

     "He's your… your PET?!"

     "Yep. Cute, isn't he? And very useful. He gives me stuff from his hoard, so I can pass them on to helpful people. That is, people who get me ingredients for my potions. And, of course, I feed him and look after him."

     "But… how did you…?"

     "Just rub his tummy and he's as happy as a Grundo in a plushie factory."

     "Uhhh… rigggght…"

     "Anyway, here you go." The faerie tossed over a large bag which Toggerneo managed to catch in his free hand. Inside he found a load of Snow Faerie Plushies, and placed them quickly into his backpack, along with the glistening blade.

     "Thanks, I guess." He was none the wiser, but at least there didn't seem to be a risk of him getting eaten anymore. "Now, what else is on my list… Terror Mountain would be the best place to find a Snowball Machine, wouldn't it?"

     "I would assume so. It IS a frozen valley."

     "So where can I get one?" the Pet asked.

     "At the home of a well-armed Mynci. Down in Happy Valley, which isn't an appropriate name for someone who blasts things all day."

     Toggerneo gulped.

     "Don't worry, he's just as friendly as Snowy here." The faerie pointed at the Snowager, who had gone back to sleep.

     "That THING tried to eat me!"

     "You woke him up. I bet you're not at your best straight after being woken so rudely. Now, go!"

     "Welcome to Snow Wars, what can I do ya for?"

     Toggerneo stared at the short purple Mynci with a mixture of interest and… intense terror. He could barely see over the counter, but this didn't remove the dangerous effect created by the Mynci juggling Snowball Machines. One thudded into his hand a little heavily, and shot yellow snow at Toggerneo.

     "Yuck! Stop that!"

     "Sorry, mate." The Mynci smiled apologetically, placing the machines on the floor and drawing two heavy Cement Mixers from under the counter. "Can you hold still a second? I need to check the sights on these are correct."

     "NO!" the Gelert yelled quickly. "Listen, I need some of those Snowball Machines. We're restocking the Hidden Tower."

     "Sure, sure, now wait a moment…"

     There was a boom and Toggerneo was hurtling backwards, coated in the thick grey snow. The Mynci smiled.

     "Perfect. Listen, you can take all the Machines you want. I got the payments, but no courier arrived to collect them."

     "OK, I'll-"

     "Well, that's a lie. He arrived, but ran away. I guess I might have been aiming a large cannon at the door, but it was only for research purposes. And blasting kids who try to sneak in."

     Toggerneo got to his feet and brushed the snow off him. "Well, it's-"

     "Actually, you can only take them on one condition."

     "I thought we'd paid-"

     "Just let me try out one more weapon with you."

     "No yellow snow?"

     "Nope! It's perfectly safe."

     Toggerneo shook his head.

     "Still no. If we've paid-"

     "Either let me test out my new toy or no Machines for you."

     Toggerneo sighed, but after a few moments consideration nodded. "Well, I've survived the last two, I guess I can last another-"

     "Good work!"

     And that is how Toggerneo ended up in a catapult, with three Snowball Machines in his hand and fear in his eyes.

     "Now, don't worry, it'll be a soft landing in all this snow! Just don't open your mouth! My uncle popped when he did this with his mouth open. Too much snow is bad for you."

     "Actually, I have a meeting, I think I should get off this ride, I'm allergic to too much air, I-"

     "FIRE!"

     Suddenly the Gelert was shooting forwards, up over the battlefield- and further, and further, and further…

     "A little too powerful," the Mynci said to himself as Toggerneo became a small dot in the sky. "Next time he's around, the catapult will ROCK!"

     The Jelly Chia was asleep, in the middle of Jelly World, when it heard the whooshing. Looking up and seeing a red blur fall from the sky wasn't very exciting. Seeing it crash into the huge jelly wasn't either. Seeing it stuck IN the jelly, though, was another matter. If a living creature was going to be consumed by jelly in this town, it would only be the Jelly Chia that did the consuming. It had never liked the look of the Giant Jelly ever since it had appeared.

     The wobbly figure leapt towards the mass of Jelly, and was soon at its edge. With one strange little jig the Gelert was inside the Jelly Chia, and it grinned, or at least did the best it could with no face.

     "Lazy-boned Gelert no catchy the Mynci."

     Toggerneo's eyes flicked open, and he saw the aged face of Scorchio.

     "Wha- what?"

     "You sleep for too long. If my brother in Dojo, the Master, here, you would be on street! Only there no street! You would be on dirt!"

     "I'm sorry? What's going on?" The rainbow-coloured Pet rubbed his head and looked around. "Where am I?"

     "A party of adventurers found you in far away land," the Scorchio said in its strange accent. "You were coated in jelly, and licking lips. But you were asleep!"

     "I sleep eat. So?"

     "So they bring you back to train in the ways of proper jelly consumption. If you had eaten any more in that wrong fashion, you might have turned into gloop! Messy gloop! Though your belly already look like it!" With a laugh this strange Pet poked at Toggerneo's belly.

     "Thanks."

     "We found plushies, put them in your bag."

     "Wait a second…" Toggerneo rubbed his eyes and thought. "Jelly Chia plushies? How convenient! So? Where am I?"

     The Scorchio grinned, now in his element. "Welcome to the Training School of Mystery Island. I care for it while Master on vacation. He visiting Kreludor for antigravity spa massage."

     "Lovely. Wait, this is the Dojo? Do you have any…" The Gelert drew his list out of his jelly-filled pocket. "… well, anything from here?"

     The Scorchio glanced down the list and nodded wisely.

     "We have Asparachucks and… the Asparagus Daggers. But only give them to those worthy enough."

     "I need some, for restocking the Hidden Tower." Toggerneo smiled. "Please?"

     "The Hidden Tower? I been waiting three weeks for order! No, you only get if you earn them."

     The Gelert sighed. "How do I do that then?"

     "Defeat me in a battle of great honour! We shall battle upon the slopes of Techo Mountain, in the vast ocean, and-"

     Toggerneo yawned, and the Scorchio gasped in horror.

     "How dare you?!"

     "I'm tired-" the Gelert tried to explain, but he was cut off.

     "You must have some nerve! We shall fight five times more!"

     "Uhh… you know, I…" Failing to come up with something, the Gelert sighed sadly, knowing he was an awful fighter. Failing Fyora wasn't an appealing idea.

     "AGAIN?! How can you act so casually about a battle with ME?!"

     "Huh?"

     "That sigh! And now confused?! How?! Why? When?" The Scorchio was struggling to get his head around it all, and finally shook his head. "How can you think… uh oh…"

     His accent was gone, replaced with a common voice that totally broke the mystical feel around the aged pet. Toggerneo grinned.

     "I won't tell anyone if you give me the weapons."

     "I- but… no! We shall fight now!" Suddenly the Scorchio spun on his heel and swung towards Toggerneo, yelling. "HIYA!" The Gelert, out of terror, leapt backwards, and the swinging foot continued around, twisting the Scorchio off his feet. The winged Pet tumbled to the ground, shocked, and coughed furiously.

     "Hrmfp. OK. Take them… you are worthy…"

     "Let me get this straight, Brian," came a voice from behind the pair. "You're giving away my prized possessions to a Gelert who yawned, sighed and can fall over backwards."

     Toggerneo turned and gasped. There, in the doorway, was the Master or the training school, luggage in one hand and a small plastic bag in the other. He dropped the luggage and kicked it hard, sending it spinning away, until it was safely against the wall. From the other bag he produced two objects; one was a short piece of asparagus stuck to an even smaller handle, while the other was a long chain with two pieces of asparagus on the ends.

     "Weird," was all Toggerneo could muster from his tired and confused brain.

     "These are what you are looking for?"

     "Uhh… yeah. Can I take them?"

     "No."

     "Oh."

     "But you can earn them."

     The long-eared Gelert sighed again.

     "I'm no good at fighting. I once tried entering a boxing tournament- got beaten by the Pfish. Startled me as I was walking in the door, made me fall over and hit my head. Darn bubbles."

      "No fighting, then." The Scorchio frowned. "Then we need another quest of great might… hmm… might… I know! Let's say… bring me back some volcanic rock from Techo Mountain."

     "What? Why?"

     "It's good for my feet."

     "Down those long, dark tunnels, until you come to the mighty pit of doom."

     "That doesn't sound good."

     "It's a nice warm lava pool."

     "Lava?!"

     "Well, maybe. It might be magma. I forget which is which. Well, in you go!" The Master slapped Toggerneo on the back, propelling him into the darkness.

     "Oof!"

     "Hurry it up!"

     The many-coloured Pet scowled, but started walking.

     After a lot of trailing through some dark, strangely-shaped tunnels, failing to see any loose rocks whatsoever, Toggerneo almost gave up. He felt completely lost.

     "How can the faeries expect me to do all this?" he muttered to himself angrily. He had hoped to find some of the volcanic rock in the volcanic tunnels; it made sense. But when he had seen a Tiki Tack Tombola poster on the wall, he decided it would be unlikely. All the loose stuff had been taken as booby prizes- Toggerneo had enough in his Safety Deposit Box to know this.

     All of a sudden he saw a flickering red light not far away. The cavern he'd been sent to was a lot smaller than he'd expected, but that made it even spookier. The lava/magma/stew made shadows dance across the rocks, strange shapes that looked like monsters. They seemed to move of their own accord, roaring and leaping, and the only reason Toggerneo didn't run was because they weren't real… right?

     There it was- a large piece of rock lying on the edge of the pit. With a quick glance at the boiling mixture Toggerneo walked over to the pebble.

     Ssssshhh…

     The Gelert turned quickly and looked around. Nothing had changed, but he was sure he had heard… nah. He bent down and scooped up the rock, stuffing it into his pocket before straightening up again.

     And noticing that a giant flaming beast was glaring at him with a strange grin on its face.

     "Oh, that's not good."

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» The Tower Journey: Part One
» The Tower Journey: Part Two
» The Tower Journey: Part Three
» The Tower Journey: Part Four
» The Tower Journey: Part Six
» The Tower Journey: Part Seven
» The Tower Journey: Part Eight
» The Tower Journey: Part Nine



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