Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 110,063,438 Issue: 169 | 10th day of Celebrating, Y6
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The Tower Journey: Part Four

by neonick19881988


Part Four: Bagguss Bombs Galore… and some other stuff

Toggerneo smiled. There, on the crypt wall, was a large mask. He checked his list again.


     "Well, that was easy." He reached up quickly and plucked the mask from the wall, before stuffing it into his bag. Something was hanging from the same hook as the mask had done, glittering, and it drew back the now multicoloured-Pet's gaze.


     The bracelet was coated in gemstones, and Toggerneo knew this must be a Bracelet of Kings. He took that, too, and once it was safely in his backpack he started looking around for an exit. As he turned, though, the hook behind rumbled and slid upwards. Suddenly a voice boomed through the chamber.


     "Oh dear…"


     The sand above, seemingly held by magic, started to shake and loosen. A few pebbles tumbled down, and Toggerneo had to leap back to avoid being hit. Then-

     Nothing. Complete silence.

     "… Huh?"

     With that one noise the entire ceiling collapsed down, and the Gelert was almost immediately lost in the golden grains. He gasped for air, struggled to climb up through the heavy sand, couldn't reach the surface-

     And then the sand blasted away from that central spot, and at the same moment Toggerneo was sent hurtling upwards in a crazy spin.

     "What thAAAAHHHHHHHHH!"

     He reached the surface and then started to drop again, only to be flung up by another explosion. He landed on solid sand, and quickly turned and looked back into the pit. Somehow the sand had set off some other sort of booby trap-

     "Bagguss? Bagguss bombs?" Those strange, quivering fruit-bombs were what had saved him, but he knew that they could also easily do the complete opposite. Bagguss Bombs were on the list, sure, but he didn't fancy dropping back down into the mine field. "So how do I get them?"

     And then he heard the ticking from behind him. He turned, and saw that a large, wobbling Bagguss had been blown out of the hole and was now lying next to his foot.

     "………… Oh."

     With one fast movement Toggerneo swung the bag down over the bomb, enveloping it in the thick material. The explosive food was gone, and after a few seconds that lacked an explosion, the Gelert breathed a sigh of relief.

     "Do any of you know how to diffuse a large fruit-bomb?" Fyora asked hurriedly.

     "Of course," came the response from a tall Fire Faerie in the corner. "What, like it's hard? Hand that thing over."

     Toggerneo knelt down and closed his backpack up tightly, before leaning back. He expected to be lying on his back in the sand, getting his breath back. Instead he was falling back into the crypt. He didn't even have time to be shocked when he hit the sand.


     "Why is there a large hole in our ice lake?" the Bruce asked, swinging his skates in one hand and scratching his head with the other.

     "I dunno. It's shaped like a Gelert," his friend, a jet-black Ixi, replied. "But Gelerts don't fall from the sky, do they? Whatever it is, it's ruined our ice rink. What do we do now?"

     "Hey, look!" The Bruce was pointing beneath the ice, and following his gaze the Ixi saw a faint colourful shape at the bottom of the lake.

     "Ooh, that's never a good thing. We better call for help."

     "Only if I can keep it as a sculpture. Look good on my mantelpiece."

     It took a few minutes, but eventually a group of Flotsams in bright green uniforms (which most tried not to draw attention to, out of embarrassment.) They observed the situation, discussed methods for removing the frozen Pet, had some tea, and eventually simply dove into the icy water and dragged the ice cube up with all their strength. Their blurry forms wavered under the water, with the weight tugging them back down, but eventually it bobbed up to the surface and was dragged onto the solid ground. When the pair of friends finally saw who they had saved they gasped.

     "Toggerneo?!" the Ixi whispered at the ice. "Grian, it's Toggerneo!"

     "I can see that, Cheerie," replied the Bruce. "But he's Rainbow! And- what's he doing breaking our ice?"

     "What's he doing, falling from the sky?"

     "I think my question is more important."

     "No it's not!"

     "Yes it is!"

     Even frozen solid, Toggerneo's eyes seemed to roll in exasperation.

     "… and then I fell backwards INTO the pit! I hit one of the bombs, they all went off, and I went flying into the air!" Toggerneo waved his hands upwards, and the kids stared wide-eyed. "I grabbed the backpack, thinking I could use it as a parachute when I came back down… but…" He didn't want to tell them that he had been too busy screaming to think of parachutes. "I was going too fast! I fell down into the lake, and got frozen." Taking another sip from his cup of tea, the Gelert watched the pair's reaction. Cheerie was still simply staring at him, while Grian was grinning broadly.

     "That is SO COOL!" the Bruce yelled, startling Toggerneo.

     "Cool? I was almost eaten, blown up, squished… what's cool about that?" He rubbed his still-cold nose as he spoke, hoping it had turned back to its usual black colour.

     "I think it's cool too!" piped up Cheerie, nodding rapidly. Toggerneo sighed, and then reached into his pocket, retrieving a long piece of parchment. He browsed over it and smiled.

     "Well, while I'm here I can get the Snow Faerie's Plushie. And maybe even an Ice Scorchstone, if I'm lucky. Where would I get one?"



     "Why do I bother helping out at the library if you never actually READ when you're there?"



     "Great. Just great."

     "Oh, wait!" the Ixi said excitedly. "You might find one in the Snowager's trove!"

     The other two just stared at her.

     "Oh, you big wimps, he's not that dangerous!"

     "Apart from the huge teeth, icy breath, angry temper…" Toggerneo said, worried where this was heading.

     "Aww, he just gets a little grouchy."

     "Grouchy?!" Grian was staring at her with shock. "He blasts people with large chunks of ice!"

     "Only mean people. Usually. He's kinda cute. Loveable rouge, isn't that what they call those sort of creatures?"

     "This is a loveable rouge who can eat you."

     "Shut up and go check it out, you big wimp."

     And, somehow, that ended up convincing Toggerneo to enter the huge Ice Caves and stand before the Snowager. It was wide awake and looked extremely angry, but he stood his ground. At least until it moved slighty, when he turned and ran as fast as he could.

     "AHHHHHHH IT'S AFTER MEEEEE!" he yelled, scaring everyone he passed. When he finally came to a stop, coughing and panting, he wasn't back in Happy Valley. This place was rugged, biting cold, with a strong breeze blowing Toggerneo's ears behind him. There, on one of the ridges, was a large hut-like building. Somehow Toggerneo knew it belonged to the Snow Faerie. Probably because a big wooden sign outside said "Snow Faerie", even if Toggerneo would later attribute it to his cunning and intelligence.

     "Needs more sauce. Lots more sauce." The first thing he saw when he entered the hut was a tall, pale figure tasting something out of a large pot. "And maybe some anchovies," she said, before she finally noticed the colourful Gelert standing in the doorway. "Can I help you?"

     "Uhh, yeah. I've been sent by Fyora, to ask for some more plushies."

     "My plushies? Little old me? Are those things still selling?" She seemed amazed.

     "We're out of stock with everything."

     "Well, isn't that sweet!" The faerie sipped a little more of the potion, and coughed. "And perhaps… a cookie or two?"

     "So, can I get some?"

     "Only if you get an Ice Scorchstone from the Snowager."

     "Huh?" Toggerneo was shocked. "How did you know about that?"

     "I have eyes and ears everywhere. Well, not my own, that would be weird. I have spies and… spears? Spies and spears everywhere? That'll do. Anyway, if you face your fears and get that stone, I'll give you a few of my plushies. OK?"

     "No, not really. Why?"

     "To teach you a deep, mystical lesson about the value of facing your fears."

     "I don't want deep, mystical lessons!"

     "Tough. More spinach!"

     So the Gelert found himself in front of the Snowager again, but he was in luck. It had dozed off, and even with the snores shaking the entire mountain, Toggerneo was more confident. After a long, deep breath he was walking up to the pile of treasures this gigantic snake-like creature lay on, looking for anything that faintly resembled a Scorchstone.

     "Look at all these key rings!" Toggerneo muttered to himself as he circled the pile. "This is treasure?" He continued around, seeing a few plushies, a couple of Neggs, a small stack of scratch cards… the Gelert sighed.

     "This is hopeless! How am I ever meant to find what I'm after?"

     The huge Snowager shifted slightly, and Toggerneo froze. One of its eyes slowly slid open, moving around the cavern, checking for anything out of the usual. The eye settled on Toggerneo, obviously curious, and the Gelert held his breath.

     A few seconds passed, and then the huge creature moaned and shut its eye. Within moments the snores were back, and Toggerneo, who had been turning blue, could finally breathe again. After a few gasps that he tried to keep as quiet as possible, he continued creeping around the vast pile.

     Out of the corner of his eye the tall pet saw something flickering, like fire, but when he turned there was nothing. But as his head had turned a pale blue flash had come from the middle of the pile, and when he looked back he saw it. The Ice Scorchstone was a little way up the pile, and at the front, as if on display.

     Toggerneo checked the Snowager. It was still asleep, twitching slightly in a dream, but otherwise still. The Gelert put his right paw out, taking a firm grip on the pile of treasure, and, with one last glance at the creature, started to climb up.

     With almost every single foot upwards he would slip slightly, whether it was because he stuck his foot in a soft plushie or because he hadn't gotten a firm grip, but eventually he was next to the glittering stone. With one swift movement it was in his hands, and then into the bag, and he smiled.

     And that's when he heard a long, deep roar behind him, shocking him so much he lost his grip. His slid and bumped his way down the steep hill of items, finally slamming into the floor painfully. His eyes were tightly shut, scrunched up in fear, but another roar forced them upon.

     The Snowager was awake, and staring straight at him, anger filling its eyes.

     "… Uhhh…." Toggerneo said nervously, "… uuh… hello?"


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 Five
» The Tower Journey: Part Six
» The Tower Journey: Part Seven
» The Tower Journey: Part Eight
» The Tower Journey: Part Nine

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