Crimes of the Fay II, Chapter 36

“Let’s see if he’s smarter than last time!” Aidan aimed at the leafy wall in front of us and commanded his wand, “Create a hole!” A small window formed, and Aidan assessed, “Apparently, I got dumber, but he stayed the same! Okay, let’s try this again! Large h-!”

“Could you not?” a man larger than my hand requested. We stared in amazement as a crowd of these small dudes in loincloths began rapidly repairing the domain that Aidan destroyed! The little fellow who previously spoke encouraged his peers, “Come on, guys! Wade warned us that this might happen! Let’s keep going!”

Aidan mumbled, “Damn! He did get smarter!”

I told the minute men, “Alright then, we won’t mess up your work anymore and be on our way!”

“Oh, I don’t think so! We can’t let you leave!” Another one of them threatened us with an ax in his hand as dozens of others did the same. “We were hired to protect these parts, and-!”

“Large hole!” Aidan exasperatedly interrupted his speech.

After the opening was manifested, the axeman cried out in frustration, but we ignored him and his colleagues as we stepped over them and went onto the other side.

The instant we distanced ourselves from that bunch, we found ourselves in the midst of another set of them! “O-M-G! How many of you are there?” Minna moaned. 

“Man, I feel like Gulliver!” I remarked.

“Who’s that?” a member of the throng inquired.

I replied, “Ooh, you haven’t heard? Well, once there was a traveler who stumbled across a land where- spray lots of water!” Our miniscule adversaries didn’t realize that they were in danger fast enough! I sprayed them like I would with a hose, and they washed away from our vicinity! I briskly wiped my hands, and then I posed to the others, “How deep do you imagine their weapons would have cut us?”

Aidan responded to me, “I was picturing something like a chihuahua bite. Large hole!” 

While Minna went through this newly-formed entryway, she commented, “You know, I was a bit nervous about our odds of success, but now it seems like this whole ordeal will be a breeze!”

Suddenly, a strong wind hurled itself in our direction! If that wasn’t bad enough, it was accompanied by a horrible shrieking and a very offensive odor! I asked the other two, “Is this another monster, or did Wade’s illness give him some major digestive issues?”

Soon after I expressed that, a woman with green, mossy skin and seaweed hair appeared above us! Her breath made us all literally gag, so when she got close enough, Aidan bode his wand, “Give her a mint!” A peppermint candy flew into her throat, and the green lady choked on it! She collapsed onto the wall, which made a gap big enough for us to walk through it! “That was convenient!” Aidan noted as we moved on.

We came to a long aisle, and although it was a relief to no longer manufacture chasms for our travel, we had the worry of what would emerge from the various passageways that sprang from it! We cautiously crept forward, and after a minute, we espied a shadow lurking from around the corner! We assumed it was somebody lying in wait, so we prepared ourselves to ambush them. Aidan and I jumped into the intersection and yelled, “Freeze!”

To our astonishment, the object of our concern was already as still as anything could get! “Is that a statue?” Minna queried.

The figure looked as though it were made of marble, but Aidan and I examined it just to be sure. It didn’t react to any of our movements or gestures, and when I laid a finger on it, nothing occurred except for me getting a bit of dust on myself! “Why is there a giant fish statue here? It doesn’t seem to serve any purpose! I mean, it seems like a lot of work to bring it here simply to scare us!” I grumped. Aidan and Minna shrugged, and with an eye backwards in the event that this was some sort of trick, we traversed onto the next one.

“Oh gosh! That row has a statue too!” Minna assessed.

“Be careful! It could be real!” I cautioned her.

Minna dismissed that as she indicated to the silhouette on the ground, “It’s a giant flower! How’s that supposed to repot in the clouds?”

Aidan considered this concept for a moment, “Hmm… That is a valid point! Wait! That doesn’t mean you should-!”

It was of no avail! She took his pensiveness as consent and went right up to it! Aidan and I ran to catch up to her, and when we came into her view, she merrily waved to us while calmly standing beside an enormous, jade plant with buds the size of a piano! She confidently relayed to us, “See? It’s totally harmless! And very realistic! The paint on it almost makes it seem like a genuine-!”

Preceding the completion of that sentence, the bud unhinged its mighty mandible and engulfed half of her body! During her desperate flailing of her legs, Aidan petitioned me, “How do we kill a flower that doesn’t need soil for its roots!”

“Easy!” I aimed my wand at the base of the stalk that was presently trying to digest Minna, and I ordered, “Set it on fire!” The stem burst into flames, and the flora shrieked as it spat Minna out! “Unlike the noni sapling, I don’t feel guilty about this blaze!”

“I hope they’ve sorted out the drought problem by the time we get back- I’m gonna need a long shower!” Minna asserted as she examined the slimy entrails that covered her as a result of that venture. “So, I’ll go out on a limb and say that this thing isn’t a statue!” Aidan rolled his eyes, and I presumed that she learned her lesson as we continued our journey.

At the next intersection, we didn’t see anything waiting for us. “This has gotta be a trap!” Aidan articulated. Minna and I agreed, and we paused our gait briefly to ensure our safety, and even though we didn’t perceive anything that caused us to doubt our security, we still felt hesitant in crossing that lane! Eventually, Aidan begrudgingly esteemed, “Well, we can’t fight Wade from here, so…”

Minna guessed, “So, we’ll practice here until we can?” Aidan and I gave her a reproachful stare, so she sighed, “I’ll go first! It’s nice that I can’t die again, but it kinda sucks that I can still feel pain!”

Guilt over this decision twinged inside of me a tad, but we didn’t really have any other option! Minna got to the halfway mark without incident, so we stepped forward with my remorse ebbing. At least I felt decently until the floor beneath started to shake! I groaned, “Oh no! Whatever that is, it sounds like there’s a lot of them!”

We gazed at the cacophony barreling towards us, and we braced ourselves for the worst! I expected to view a frightening herd of monsters, but to my astonishment, they were merely wild boars! “Really, Wade? What’s so scary about a slew of pigs?”

“Isn’t that what killed Kaleo?” Aidan probed.

“Dammit!” I shouted as they drew closer. Their teeth had considerable size to them, and their sheer number worried us! Aidan and I racked our brains to come up with a jinx that would vanquish them all, but we found that to be unnecessary! The air above us darkened, and a rush of gliding wings befell upon us! Initially, I regarded this as another opponent for us to conquer, but in actuality, this herculean hawk did not fancy us for its meal! The swines all scurried to avoid its talons, but for one unlucky hog, the bird managed to snatch it and fly off! The remainder of the assemblage returned to their sanctuary. “Okey-dokey!” I verbalized as we pressed on.

We had one more set of paths to contend with prior to getting to the Fate Particle, and none of us were fooled into believing that this final stretch would be a cake walk, although we were tempted into letting our guard down when we beheld two unmoving entities! “Yeah, so those look like buffalo! If they were alive, they couldn’t resist moving, right?” Aidan speculated.

I recommended, “We should be ready  just in case they aren’t weird pieces of art!”

Aidan nodded, and we both positioned our wands in a defensive manner while Minna lingered behind us. Upon closer inspection, I could discern the craniums of these creatures appeared bovine, but the torso was human! “Wade and Jera are playing a joke on us, aren’t they?” Minna catchized.

“I dunno about Jera, but Wade has no sense of humor!” I conveyed to her. “And while that louse is a dog, he’s technically human! Moreover, we’ve encountered one of these guys before…”

“Hey, it’s our old buddy!” Aidan joshed as we faced two frozen Minotaurs. Either one of them could have been the replica, but we were positive a specific effigy was, in reality, a cowardly beast we met prior to this instance! We kept our wands at the ready out of an abundance of caution, but we relaxed considerably! Aidan sardonically stated, “Oh, he’s not talking to us! Whatever shall we do?”

I pretended to mull it over, “Hmm… Well, one of these two could be an enemy, so we had better destroy them both just to be sure!”

We raised our wands as though we truly meant to emit a potent amount of magic, and the Minotaur on the left relented, “Fine, I’m not a statue! Don’t hurt me for following orders!” As he backed away further into the depths of the labyrinth, he advised, “Watch out for the hidden door by the exit!” When he got far enough away from our trio, he turned and fled.

“Why did he bring this idiot back?” Aidan questioned. “Seriously, what good did he do last round?”

“Wade was probably desperate!” I conjectured. “For real, how many massive creatures can a dying man bring up here?” We shrugged and then ambled towards the ultimate phase of this affair.

We could feel a static energy emanating from the boundaries of this nearly translucent orb covering a small beam of light, and despite having such a close proximity to our destination, we did not maintain the naive mindset of all obstacles being overcome, especially with that Minotaur’s guidance. We tiptoed towards the platform until I spotted it. “There’s the door he mentioned!”

Minna curiously canvassed us, “Where do you suspect it leads to?”

“Let’s not find out!” Aidan suggested.

This was his grand finale?” I scoffed. “He’s losing his touch!” As we bypassed the trapdoor, we found ourselves on a surface that raised itself above the maze! “Oh… Maybe he hasn’t!”

An ethereal male’s voice commanded us, “In order to proceed, you must answer this cryptic complexity…”

Aidan griped, “Ugh! I hate riddles!”

The voice sonorously broadcasted, “What begins every dawn and is the first thing you see at dusk? Daybreak couldn’t exist without it, and midday is centered around it. It can’t be found in the sun, but no day can exist without it! What is it?”

“What do we do?” I whispered to Aidan.

“No clue!” He fretfully reported. “Last time, we were able to go around the riddle-giver, but I don’t see how we can avoid the-.”

Gazing down with eyes sparkling from excitement, Minna shrieked, “It’s the Night Marchers!”

The enigmatic individual lost his celestial tone as he hollered, “Oh, shit! It’s her!”

Our expanse abruptly plummeted to its original place! As we recovered our stance, we beheld a group of ghostly warriors all scrambling to escape us! Minna called out, “Hold on, don’t go! We have so much to discuss! I’m not living anymore, so we should be friends!”

“Minna, don’t!” I vociferated due to her entrance into the Fate Particle’s realm. I tried to warn her, but I was too late…

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