A Lighter Tale Part Five

Chapter 4: Explodahead? More like explodamouth.

A bubble cube slowly pushed its way out of the rubble of the Belly Up Hider, rubble rolling off of it. Inside the bubble was Dookie and Lofan, comepletely unharmed. More rubble fell off various adventurers as they revealed that through one method or another they had survived. Nobody seemed particularly distressed.

“Um… my b-b-bubbles can even do this” Dookie said, abashed again.

She popped her bubble, and Lofan tumbled down. Dookie landed on her paws however.

A laughing Hammer crawled his way out of the ruined tavern. His belt was still pristine and scraps of his burnt hide pelt he wore still remained. His hoop stick was unbroken.

“That was brilliant!”

He grabbed Dookie’s shoulders and shook her.

“You are brilliant, can we do that again?”

“no! i mean please don’t do it again” Lofan wailed.

He may have been brave, but that didn’t mean he enjoyed encountering explosions.

Lofan noticed Battler sitting on top of the upside down hider, there was a clear circle around him and the trophy. It seemed that the piled rubble on the edges of the circle had thousands of little fistmarks imprinted in on them.

Clearly Battler still had quite some ability left from his days of as an adventurer, though he did seem quite exhausted. Lofan approached him, leaving Dookie to fend off Hammer’s adoration alone.

“i am dreadfully sorry about all this battler, it isn’t much but I can give you the rest of my valuables”

Battler turned around, the hider honking slightly as his paws shifted on the leathery abdomen.

“You needn’t bother, this place gets blown up every couple of months or so, we are used to it here”

Indeed, Lofan saw that already the adventurers of the Belly Up Hider were putting the building back together again, through magic, brawn, abilities and whatever other ways they had. They were making good time on it too, they were definitely quite used to this.

Lofan now noticed that the drinks cabinet was unharmed, it was made of some shimmering bluish semi-transparent metal.

Battler gave a grin that sparkled.

“Besides, if anyone is to blame it is that fool Hammer and that newbie Dookie, well I wish you good fortune in whatever your objective is, unless it is something bad, then I hope you fail badly and Hammer explodes you, good day”

Battler wandered off to complain at how someone putting in a brick. Lofan a little awed and dumbfounded, collected Dookie and Hammer.

“do either of you know where the markets are?”

“Not really” Hammer answered.

This was not surprising, Explodaheads after all need only what they call delicious fuel. Basically any flammable or explosive liquid. Some denizens even believe that explodaheads need no sleep. Supposedly a Explodahead that doesn’t drink fuel withers up and goes into a state of hibernation.

“I um… know, guess I’ll lead us, er there, we need uh, supplies right?” Dookie of course knew.

While blokkits could survive indefinitely in their stony cube form they need to eat and drink normally like a regular herbivore.

Taking Lofan on top of her head to make better time, Dookie lead them through the path she usually took to get from the tavern to the market. Lofan had never seen such a disreputable maze-like set of alleyways.

Dookie lead them past all manner of dodgy looking types, and numerous times Lofan thought he could hear scuffles and altercations away from their dark path. This was Cozzlanga he guessed. The shining white buildings didn’t fit the sour reputation the place had, but these hard angled dim winding alleyways between the buildings certainly did.

Dookie decided to ask Lofan something as they passed through a group of particularly rough looking bats, all hanging upsidedown from a pole between two buildings. Course bats often got a bad reputation due to being more active in the night, but these bats were clearly ruffians, chuckling to each other and flashing the weapons hanging on their bodies to anyone who passed them by. The bats wisely didn’t try this act on Hammer.

“S-so, where we, um, going anyway?, I mean, i-if you don’t mind saying”

Lofan made an effort not to look back at the bats, he was sure they were far enough away. Still Lofan felt that it wouldn’t be wise blabbing about the Kindling.

“well there is an artefact i need to get from the mountain of no great importance in the dragon mountains.”

Lofan however has underestimated the hearing of bats, and while they heard nothing after what he said, they had heard there was an artefact in the mountain of no great importance.

“Somehow I’m not surprised there is something there dude, still an artefact? Fairly standard request”

Hammer was satisfied. Dookie however was a magician and such types can often be a curious sort, but she sensed that Lofan would not be giving more information.

“how did you two become adventurers? If you don’t mind my asking.” Lofan inquired.

Hammer naturally enough spoke first, “well, I’m an exile from my magazine and I gotta earn stuff to get fuel somehow, and adventuring is low risk for my kind, not much more to it than that”

Lofan was not particularly surprised to hear confirmation that Hammer was an exile, and how readily he offered the information spoke well of Hammer. It was probably not for a foul act that Hammer was exiled.

“Err, my reasons are also simple. My b-b-bubbles, I want, I want to get better at magic. O-only so much you can get from, ah, studying”

So, a guy simply making ends meet and someone trying to better her art. Lofan supposed that he could easily be in worse company.

“well i’m glad to be working with you, hopefully it won’t be too much trouble to get the artefact from its cave in the peak”

Both Dookie and Hammer winced.

“You know dude, saying stuff like that is asking for problems.” Hammer warned.

Adventurers were a superstitious lot sometimes.

In any case they reached the market and began to buy supplies. The most vital things were climbing equipment and lots of rope. Next was a tent and a good frying pan. Lofan got dried vegetables and fruit for himself and Dookie. Hammer only needed a single small cask of ale. Lofan did not believe that it would be a long trip, but the land of elcon does not always stay the same, one day you take an hour to journey from one place to the next, the next day it could take months and you could encounter a village between the places you went between before.

However, while Lofan was trying to buy some moggin crystals (actually a kind of fruit that due to its crystalline nature doesn’t spoil), the blokkit merchant seemly innocently inquired where they were headed.

“Oh, we’re going to the mountain of no great importance, you know, in the dragon mountains” Hammer blabbed loudly.

“Oh, but nobody goes there, you really shouldn’t, I mean nothing important is there!” The merchant slyly stated.

Hammer spoke again before Lofan could stop him.

“Yeah well shows how much you know dude, we are going to get a sweet artefact from there!” he boasted.

“get us out of here!” Lofan hissed, feeling the interested stares of various people upon his small group.

Dookie grabbed Hammer by the hand and they fled the market with what supplies they had purchased.

They heard a clicking noise.

There around them leering down was a gang of bats. One of the bats waddled forward.

“Wese heard youse going to some mountain of no great importance, and wese were wonderings, where on this pretty little mountain is youse going, donts worries, we jus looking out for yas…”

The bat leaned back and clicked to his fellows, a smirk beneath his huge nostrils.

“…Wese just donts want anyones to get hurt is all”

Lofan was sure he could deal with this, he just had to give the bats bad directions, and thus lead these greedy denizens away from the kindling. At least he could have dealt with it.

As it was, Hammer spoke up and ruined things.

“so you are after the artefact too dudes? Not cool, We’ll get to the peak first, and we aren’t gonna let thugs like you stop us”

With that, Hammer put his head into his hoopstick, and rushed the bats. Lofan could not believe it, Hammer just couldn’t stop opening his mouth. He had told the bats that the artefact was at the peak.

As Hammer laid into the bats, Dookie and Lofan noticed something odd, Hammer’s head was not exploding. The petty street thugs were no match for Hammer, who hit heads and bashed bodies, as if the bats were straw training dummies.

A few bats got over their shock at a non-exploding explodahead, and over the shock of realising how stupid of an idea threatening a group with an explodahead had been. One of the bats had metal claws put onto his wingtips, he slashed here and there at Hammer, but he just took the blows and smacked the offender in the side of the head.

The second bat to try his luck was a windtosser, a common type of fighter to find among winged beings. The windtosser pulled back his wings high and then threw his wings forwards, sending deadly sickles of wind at Hammer. This did halt Hammer’s advance throwing him back, but to really hurt or stop an explodahead you need magic or overwhelming physical power. As the windtosser drew his wings back, he was stuck by Hammer’s hammer, who had quickly thrown it.

The third bat to unwisely stand up to Hammer did something really stupid. He grabbed the Hammer.

“Hello dude!” Hammer said from the hoopstick.

The bat stared in horror at the explodahead head before him.

“Boom” Hammer said, and so he did, blasting the bat away. He strode over to his hoopstick and stuck a freshly grown head in.

The remaining bats however finally remembered they had wings and flew away.

Lofan, was not pleased. The journey had turned into a race, he was sure the bats would head back to their gang and report their information and wounds to higher up gang members. Lofan however didn’t chew Hammer out, if he could spend time lecturing him, they could spend that time going to the mountain.

“dookie, hammer. we are leaving for the mountain right now.” Lofan wasn’t about to be beaten by a gang of bats.

He just hoped Hammer’s blabbing at the market didn’t result in any other groups coming to the mountain.

Author: SnowyMystic