Chapter Four: A Strange Reunion (Part II)
After glancing about at our surroundings, Chubs turned to face us. “Alright boys, on three I want you to light this place up good, got it?” I gave him a reserved nod, while Sin grunted excitedly. “Okay then, one… two… th-“ The Charmeleon already had his mouth open, with flame building inside it when Chubs abruptly stopped his countdown. I looked over at the Raichu, wondering what was going on when I noticed several townsfolk creeping out from the surrounding buildings, and they looked imposing.
The first one I noticed was a big, hulking Rhydon that seemed to be the closest to Chubs, who looked as if he had seen a ghost at this point. Next was a Golduck, with glowing eyes that made me shiver, as if it was exuding some kind of invisible aura. Aside from those two was the Kabutops from the prison, along with a tough looking Armaldo, and to our group’s surprise, the very Sceptile that was supposed to be our target.
The group of townspeople surrounded us, making it clear that we weren’t going to escape. The expression of worry on Chub’s face would have been amusing to me if I wasn’t so concerned about what was going to happen if we got in a fight here. “S-****, an ambush?” The Raichu mumbled under his breath while he sized up the group around us. “You self-righteous bastards might think you’ve got us pinned here, but your wrong!” Holding up a paw in the air, Chub’s snapped his fingers. “Get em’ boys!”
An eerie silence shrouded the night around us, and I could feel something was wrong. Peering about at the buildings where the other guild members had hid, I couldn’t see a single one of them emerge to aid us. It was as if they had just vanished, or more likely that they had been chased off by some of the other townsfolk that we hadn’t seen. “No one is going to help, you rotten scum.” The Rhydon’s voice boomed loudly over us, making my ears lay flat upon my head, while a sudden sense of dread filled me.
“Your kind think you can just walk into our homes, steal, kill, and do whatever you please… Well were going to show you just how wrong you are!” At that moment, three of the five townspeople leaped forward at us, initiating a simultaneous attack that at least caught myself off guard. The Armaldo dug one of it’s claws into the ground, slashing it forward, and sending a group of fairly large rocks flying towards Chubs, who nimbly dodged the attack.
Sin wasn’t so lucky, as a strong jet of water shot forth from the Golduck’s mouth, and slammed harshly into his chest, knocking him head over heels. In the blink of an eye, the Kabutops from the prison was right in front of me, his long bladed arm raised into the air. I had just enough time to react, jumping backwards to avoid what I realized would have otherwise been a decapitating blow, but not quick enough to avoid him completely. The guard’s blade managed to cut slightly into my lower neck, thankfully not deep enough to reach the vulnerable artery located there, but enough to make me cry out.
A bit of crimson seeped its way from the cut upon my neck as Chub’s, and I drew back to the Charmeleon who was struggling to raise himself from the ground, while our trio of attackers were preparing for their next moves. Switching things up, the Kabutops went first this time, setting his sights on Chubs. Raising his bloodied blade into the air once again, the guard raced towards the Raichu, leaping at him with the intention of stabbing him through the chest.
Before I even knew what had happened, the Kabutops’ blade was embedded deeply within Sin’s chest, surely piercing his heart, and possibly cutting it in half. The Charmeleon let out a scream that was loud at first, but grew weak while life quickly faded from his body. As I watched blood spill from around the Kabutops’ arm, and down Sin’s body, I realized that Chubs had grabbed his subordinate at the last moment, pulling him into position so that he would take the fatal blow for him.
Even the guard looked surprised, as his eyes went wide, making me feel that he had not intended to kill the Charmeleon, even though he was clearly out for blood when it came to me, and Chubs. In the confusion, Chubs dashed off behind the tower, surely wanting to make his way back to the forest. The Golduck was the first to spot the fleeing Raichu, and quickly made his way after him behind the Sceptile’s house.
I couldn’t worry about whether or not Chubs had escaped, because I was attacked from out of nowhere by the Armaldo, who pelted me with a flurry of sharp stones that dug into my torso. Crying in pain as I received many lacerations, I fell onto my back upon the ground, while Sin’s dead body was thrown onto the ground not far from me.
Desperately I tried to raise myself up when I felt a splitting pain in my shoulder that forced me back down. The prison guard was on top of me, his left arm had impaled my shoulder, and it felt as if it had been shattered, making me yell out loud. I lay there with the Kabutops above me, while crimson flowed slowly from the many cuts now upon my body. As the guard raised his other bladed arm into the air, I was sure this would be the end. “I knew it was a mistake to let you free Miasma, and now it’s over! You won’t take another innocent person’s life ever again!”
I closed my eyes, beginning to cry while the Kabutops reeled back before swinging his arm like a guillotine toward my neck. “Stop!!!” I cringed as I could not only hear, but feel the sharp point of the prison guard’s blade slam into the ground just inches away from my throat. I was too scared to notice who had shouted out at the last moment, and I sobbed continually from the pain that was wracking my body as someone approached.
“R-Roots, what are you talking about? This rat killed your sister, and your telling me to stop?!” As the Kabutops stammered, I forced my eyes open, looking up to see the Sceptile walking over to us. “Yes, that’s right… I don’t wish for revenge. I believe that he’s suffered enough…” Roots wore a sad expression as he looked down at me, almost as if he felt sorry for me. “I want to pardon him for his actions.”
The Sceptile’s words made the Rhydon looming in the shadows burst out. “You can’t be serious! This monster is a murderer, and a thief who has been nothing but a threat to the good people of this town, and you want to let him live?” Roots frowned, and gave the Rhydon a nasty look. “I don’t think I stuttered.” To my surprise, the Rhydon remained silent, as if intimidated. Turning back to the guard, the big lizard spoke calmly. “Now if you’d kindly get your arm out of the child’s shoulder, I’d like to take him into my home to treat his wounds.”
Hesitating at first, the Kabutops stood himself up, pulling his arm upward in a vague attempt to pull it out. The blade stuck in my shoulder for a moment, raising me into the air a bit before I finally slid free from it, falling onto the ground with a thud, and a cry. As the guard backed slowly away, Roots knelt down, and carefully took me into his arms. I was still sobbing while the merciful Sceptile began carrying me to his tower, glancing over his shoulder at Sin’s body that now lay in a pool of blood upon the ground.
“Make sure that kid gets a proper burial, will you? I’m sure it will make us all feel better…” The other townsfolk remained silent as Roots took me to his front door, opening it with one hand while he held me in his other arm. Once we had made our way inside, he closed the door behind him, and barred it shut with a solid looking piece of wood. Walking up a long spiral staircase, we arrived at a bedroom where the gentle Sceptile lay me down upon the rather generously sized bed located underneath a window that overlooked the town.
I was sure that my blood would have stained the covers the moment I was placed upon them, but Roots didn’t seem to care, apparently being more worried about me than he was his bed. “Try to stay calm while I get some things to stop the bleeding. Take deep breaths, and try to focus on something other than the pain.” I nodded weakly, cringing a bit from the awful sensation flowing through my shoulder.
It seemed like an eternity until the lizard finally returned, carrying a bottle containing some sort of purple liquid, along with quite a few long pieces of white cloth. “Alright, I’m going to need to roll you over so I can get to the exit wound on your shoulder. It might hurt a bit, but just try to bear with me.” I didn’t like the sound of having to move so much, seeing how the pain was rather intense while just laying here, but I figured it was important to stop the bleeding before things got worse.
Placing the first aid items on a nightstand next to the bed, Roots placed his arms around me, and carefully helped me roll over upon the covers. I yelped at the pain, but managed to get myself turned over with the Sceptile’s help. “I’m going to pour a potion on the wound that should help seal it up, but it won’t fix that broken shoulder… I’m sorry to say you’ll have to deal with that yourself once you leave. This might burn just a bit…” Suddenly I could feel a strong burning sensation pierce through my shoulder, making me moan until the awful feeling slowly receded.
During the minutes that followed afterward, Roots mended the other side of my shoulder, along with the rest of the cuts on my body, bandaging me up liberally with the cloth from the nightstand. Although the potion burnt for a little while, its healing effects began to make me feel calm, and the rush I had experienced from nearly losing my life quickly wore off. Now that I was all bandaged up, the Sceptile surveyed his work. “You lost quite a bit of blood, but I think you’ll recover just fine. That said, we should get you out of that bed so I can change the covers. We can’t have you sleeping in it the way it is now.”
Helping me out of bed, Roots led me to a chair at the side of the room, sitting me down in it while he went to change the bed sheets. Closing my eyes, I couldn’t understand why he was helping me, after the suffering my actions surely caused for him. I murdered his sister, and yet he stopped the guard from dealing the final blow to end my own life. Surely he should have enjoyed watching me be executed right then, and there, but instead he seemed to feel sorry for me. Once the bed had been made, Roots assisted me in getting up from the chair, and helped me slide under the covers of the bed.
As I lay my head down upon the soft pillow provided for me, I looked up at the Sceptile with half closed eyes. “Why…? Why did you stop him? Why are you helping someone like me…? After all I’ve done to you… I-I’m a horrible person…” Roots placed a finger on his lips, shushing me quietly. “You need to get some rest right now. We can talk tomorrow once you’ve gotten some sleep.”
Before I could say anything else, the lizard turned away from me, and walked over to the stairway that led to the first floor of the tower. Along the way, he blew out the lamp that had been lighting the room, leaving only the glow of the moon coming through the window above me. As Roots made his way downstairs, my weariness quickly overcame me, and before long I drifted off into a deep slumber.