The Unsuper Heroes, Chapter 13

Are we there yet?” Narcius asked while squished in a chariot with Akintos and a royal guard.

From another chariot that also included Stocastin and another royal guard, Exelda answered sarcastically, “Yeah, we made it to the monster and decided to make a day trip to Mount Olympus instead!”

Narcius indignantly responded, “I meant are we almost there. Chariots aren’t built for three people!”

“There’s an olive field right there!” Kefalia shouted excitedly as she flew above their heads. “Can you believe it? We’re almost at the Agrotis village! My parents are farmhands there! I haven’t seen them in so long!”

“You’re parents are in the area getting attacked by a monster?” Stocastin questioned.

Kefalia’s face fell when she came upon that realization. “Oh no! I hope they don’t get eaten! Or smashed, or whatever this monster does!”

This prompted Exelda to inquire, “What kind of monster are we dealing with anyways?”

The guard on her chariot relayed to them, “It’s a big, shaggy-haired thing that doesn’t like to move much.”

Stocastin, Kefalia, Exelda, and Narcius all turned to Akintos, who reacted resentfully, “What are you all looking at me for?”

“It’s got horrible breath…” the royal guard continued.

“That sounds like you!” Kefalia giggled.

Akintos denied that, “It does not!”

The royal guard went on, “Some have said its ugliness alone could kill you!”

“Yup, that’s you alright!” Narcius guffawed. Akintos folded his arms and glared at them as they laughed.

“He’s eating all of our crops! And anyone who’s tried to stop him has turned into stone!” the royal guard concluded.

Everyone sobered up upon hearing that. Narcius told Akintos, “Okay, it sounds a little different than you!”

Exelda queried Stocastin, “Do you know about any monster like that?”

Stocastin shook his head. “It sounds vaguely familiar, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.”

“If you put your finger on it, you might turn into stone!” Kefalia remarked.

No one bothered to correct her as they started to get further inside the farming village. They began to hear screaming and saw people running in the distance. The royal guards stopped the horses that were hauling them, and the man in Narcius and Akintos’s chariot informed them, “We’re going to evacuate as many people as we can. Good lucky, guys!”

Narcius, Akintos, Stocastin, and Exelda gladly exited their chariots so that the guards could get out. People were running around in various directions, so the royal guards began ushering villagers down towards the path that they had road in on. Akintos crinkled his nose as he commented, “Is that is breath? It smells awful!”

Kefalia joined them on the ground. “No, that’s cow manure. It always smells like that here!”

“There’s nothing but houses in this neighborhood,” Exelda observed. “Kefalia, how do we get to more farmland?”

“Both streets lead to more farmland. How do we know which one to go down?” Kefalia fretted. They suddenly heard a burst of screams from the path on the left. “Oh, okay!” she said as they headed left.

When they got past the housing area, they discovered a field of grapevines with totally barren branches. Exelda joked, “Wow, looks like I kicked the habit just in time!”

The others nervously chuckled until they nearly ran into a statue. They grimaced as they gazed at a man frozen as he cowered in fear, and Kefalia gasped, “I know this guy!” They turned to her with wrapt attention. “He dumped me when I was a teenager! Ha! Good riddance!” She gave the statue a swift kick.

At that moment, Exelda spotted a mass moving in the distance grazing on some vegetation near a barn, so she cried out, “There it is!”

Stocastin squinted to try to get a better look. “Hmm… from here, it just looks like some sort of unshorn bovine. I doubt it’d be as easy to kill though or the farmers would have taken it out a long time ago!”

Akintos exclaimed, “I just remembered something!”

“What?” Exelda’s eyes brimmed with hope of hearing something that would help them with this matter.

“I need to take a leak!” Akintos declared.

Exelda clicked her tongue in annoyance. “Too bad! Now, we should quietly approach it so we can watch it from a distance and learn as much…” She noticed a couple of people advancing towards it with brandished pitchforks. “Never mind!” As they sprinted towards the vigilantes, she ranted, “What kind of idiots would just charge at it like that?”

Narcius used his super speed to push the people out of harm’s way. When the other heroes got closer, they saw the creature’s wild, stringy hair covered its face as it charged at the couple. When the beast realized it missed, it stopped with its head hung low and it let out an exasperated sigh as it repositioned itself to face Exelda, Stocastin, Akintos, and Kefalia. As they stood with their weapons at the ready, they heard a male’s voice call out, “Kefalia!”

“Dad?” Kefalia reacted incredulously. She saw that the couple with the pitchforks were, indeed, her parents, so she rejoiced, “Mom! Dad! You’re here! I missed-!” Narcius had to use his super speed to push her out of the way of the monster’s charging.

“Your parents are here?” Exelda uttered as the creature sighed again as it turned to make another attack. She caught wind of its breath and gagged a little.

Kefalia’s mother confirmed, “Yes, and our pet pigeon!” She took a bird out of her pocket and held it up in the air just as the creature swiveled in that direction. The pigeon gazed into the beast’s eyes, and it squawked in fright as it suddenly turned to stone!

Exelda commanded to Kefalia’s parents, “Don’t look in its eyes!” They covered their eyes to protect themselves, and since Kefalia was in that area, she followed suit. Exelda yelled, “Kefalia, open your eyes and fly away!”

Kefalia complied, but Narcius had to use his super speed to get her parents out of the monster’s trajectory again. Exelda ran to the creature’s side and tried to stab it, but her sword couldn’t penetrate its skin. The beast slowly spun her way, so Exelda shuffled to stay out of its sight. It didn’t deter the beast, who spun in circles trying to find her. Stocastin turned invisible and tried to stab it. His unsuccessful counterattack distracted it from Exelda, but it grew confused trying to figure out who was behind the strikes as Stocastin continued to target it in different spots.

Kefalia, Akintos, and Narcius met up with Exelda, and before anyone could ask the question that they all had about what to do, they caught a glimpse of its face. It’s snout was large and had green slime coming out of it, it had odd bumps on its cheeks, and the two halves of its jaw didn’t match up. It let out another exasperated sigh, and they all caught a whiff of its breath, which made them all heave from nausea. As they were recovering from this bodily shock, Narcius suddenly proclaimed, “Wait a minute, I recognize this thing!” Exelda, Kefalia, and Akintos looked at him in surprise. “It was on the cover of that children’s book you threw at me! It was shrieking in pain as it stared at the moon.”

“That’s how we destroy!” Exelda figured out. “Moonlight!”

“Too bad it’s midday!” Akintos grumbled.

Staying invisible and continuing his attacks, Stocastin educated them, “Technically, the moon doesn’t produce its own light. The glow we see comes from the effect of the sun’s position behind it.”

Exelda surmised, “So, to simulate moonlight, we need to block the sun.” She mulled it over for a moment. “Kefalia, do you think you can block it?”

“It couldn’t hurt to try!” She turned towards it and hurt her eyes. “Oh, I guess it can hurt to try!”

“Turn your back towards it,” Exelda instructed.

Kefalia inquired, “Then how will I know where to fly?”

Exelda replied, “We’ll have to direct you. Oh, but then how can we do that without hurting our eyes?”

“I got it!” Akintos declared.

After Akintos snatched Narcius’s mirror from his belt, Narcius whined, “Hey!”

Akintos turned his back to the sun and held the mirror so he could see behind him. “Go left!” Kefalia did as he said. “Too far, go a little more right. Now move up. A little more. More than that. There!” He frowned. “She’s too small! She needs to hold something to fill in the sides.”

“But what?” Exelda queried as she and Narcius scanned the area for material Kefalia could use.

At that instance, Kefalia’s father shouted, “Here, sweetie!” They took off their togas and threw it her way.

“Ugh!” Exelda, Narcius, and Akintos yelled upon seeing their nudity. Exelda saw that they completely missed, so she set her discomfort aside, swooped up the togas, and threw it up to Kefalia, who draped them as if they were wings. The sun became totally blocked, and the monster shrieked as it suddenly turned into stone!

When they saw that the battle was over, they all cheered and celebrated. Kefalia then flew towards her parents without looking at them and strongly suggested, “Put these back on, Mom and Dad!”

After their clothes were back on, Kefalia’s mother praised her, “Good job, darling! Where did you meet such a talented bunch?”

As they walked back towards the main part of the village, Kefalia told her, “These are my housemates, Mom! Remember, your boss didn’t have room for me anymore, so I went to live with the people at the old smithery!”

“The old smithery?” her mother repeated. “No, that can’t be true. Those guys are weirdos, and these guys seem so nice!”

“You’re findings are based on rumors,” Stocastin disputed, “They aren’t true.”

Her father insisted, “But then why does everyone say it’s a house of sorcery?”

Exelda explained simply, “Because we have superpowers.”

“Oh!” Her father paused before he added, “So, you’re not polyamorous sorcerers?”

“No way in Hades!” Narcius and the others had revolted expressions at the sheer idea.

“Alright, alright, if you insist, we’ll believe you!” Her mother relented. All of a sudden, she recalled, “Oh, I almost forgot my pet rock!”

They stopped to wait for her to retrieve the stone pigeon, and Narcius remarked, “So, guys, we really need to start doing more research!”

Exelda threw her hands up in frustration. “Oh, now you want to do research!” The other four shifted guiltily, and although she shook her head, she let the matter go. When she got a glimpse of Akintos, it reminded her of something. “Oh, since we’re waiting, you may as well go pee now.”

“I don’t need to go anymore,” Akintos said sheepishly.

“You were lying?” Exelda growled.

Akintos refuted, “No, just when I saw the beast, I… Say, who’s up for another trip to the bathhouse?”

Narcius, Stocastin, and Kefalia all snickered, so Exelda admonished them, “Come on, guys! We’re in our thirties, not our teens!” After Kefalia’s mom rejoined them, Exelda found herself snickering too. Akintos pouted while they headed out.

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