Chapter: The Evil Beneath
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Previously: In the Wonderland realm, Madnes and his group have split up in their search for the 7 crystals of the Terraforming Spell (a dangerous spell currently threatening to destroy their home on Earth, Okinala Island). Cheshire is with Cosmic, Harrey is with the orphans, and Madnes with Alice. They now journey through their individual missions, but the Red King has his own plan to put a stop to them, sending out his knights and Wanted posters. Meanwhile, the story follows Harrey, Ash and Drisel up in the Floating Isles of the Baa people as they hunt for one of the crystals. Their new Baa friend Thimble had been kidnapped, and it was Ash who finally found her, but now he must face the evil man responsible for, Man in Moon…
A weapon of claws and teeth, Wolf plunged through the air straight for Man’s bearded face.
Man’s palms were raised to either side, and the silver stars and moons embroidered into his robes began trembling, moving, spinning.
“Wolf, watch out!” Ash tried to warn as he crouched by Thimble. Silver stars flung from Man’s robes like a hundred shurikens, each star point a cutting blade as they spun through the air, arcing upward at Wolf.
Wolf raised his forearms, helpless to do anything but block the star blades from reaching his body’s vital organs as he descended to the floorboards.
Ash made a pitiful sound as he watched the torrent of silver weapons depart from Man’s robes to cut and slice red across Wolf, a hundred silver streaks drawing blood. Wolf landed with a hard thump and almost fell to his knees from the pain of several star points embedded into his flesh.
“You will get what you deserve!” Wolf raised his head, refusing to let pain stop his attack, and dove into a charge at Man.
“The powerful win. The weak lose,” Man in Moon coldly responded, bending his spread palms to face forward, his twisted beard twitching down to his feet.
A crescent moon escaped Man’s robes next, curving down at Wolf like a deadly boomerang. Wolf turned his left side out of the way just in time, but as the moon sailed past, more moons followed, streaking toward him in a torrent.
Ash watched, feeling helpless to do anything as Wolf dodged, ducked, side stepped, and stumbled out of the way of the flying projectiles. He couldn’t avoid them all, and a yelp tore from his throat when one sliced his calf.
The wolf boy’s charge slowed but he kept on, finally getting within reach and ramming his clawed hands into Man’s abdomen and forcing the old man back. Man gave a hideous growl and shot his hands down, wrapping his fingers around both of Wolf’s wrists and hoisting Wolf up into the air and overhead, throwing him with great force into the far wall.
Wolf grunted as his body struck the wall and rolled to the floor.
With him down, there was nothing to keep Man from going at Ash next. Ash tried not to let his teeth chatter together as Man slowly turned his head around.
His only options were do something now, or regret it forever later and label himself a coward. He couldn’t let cowardice win—not this time! Ash crouched low and charged forward at Man—into Man’s knees and toppling him over. He didn’t have a plan, no weapon, nothing but the goal to keep Man from winning and taking the captive Baa away. He hoped that goal was enough to give him strength.
He heard Man growl, and then there was a blinding bright flash of white. Ash felt his body lift from the ground and soar into the wall, slamming into it back first. “Ah—!” Ash pushed himself upright, his body feeling like a thousand bruises. “Why,” Ash coughed, “are you doing this? The Baa people adore you!”
A grainy chuckle sounded. “Baa make excellent slaves, and they sell for a high price in the lands below,” said Man. “I am a trader, a seller of objects from other lands—why not do the same with slaves? It’s been very,” he sneered, “profitable.”
Ash’s knees trembled to keep him steady. “That’s more than horrible… How can you live with yourself?”
“And you’ve allowed Wolf to take the blame for all of it, encouraging the Baa to hate him!”
“Yes, he made for a perfect suspect and decoy,” Man rose to his feet without moving a muscle, as if some invisible force had lifted him upright. “None would suspect beloved Man in Moon, not when there was such a loathsome wolf to be suspicious of. But enough talk.” Man’s palm aimed for him. “I have a schedule to keep, and a buyer to sell all of these slaves to.”
More sharp stars materialized, and Ash moved to avoid them—rolling head over heels forward into Man’s ankles. But this time, Man didn’t tumble or even stumble. Instead, Man’s slippered foot drew back and kicked hard into Ash’s gut.
“Ugh—!” Ash rolled aside, clenching at the pain.
“Goodbye.” Man loomed over him, a knife moon ready in his wrinkly hand. Ash watched with horror as the blade approached his neck…
Whump! Something rammed into Man from behind, a flash of black fur, and Wolf dug his claws into Man’s chest. Ash’s heart leaped to see Wolf.
Man hissed and tried to fling the wolf boy off again, but this time Wolf locked one of his arms tight around Man’s neck, refusing to release as star points and moon blades slashed through the air in a frenzy.
Ash got up, ignoring the burning gut pain, and lunged for Man’s wrists—putting all that was left of his strength into pinning Man’s hands down. The slashing stars and moons teetered, slowing, useless without Man’s power to guide them, and they vanished into nothingness. But Man was powerful, and Ash knew that he and Wolf couldn’t keep him down forever. And Wolf was growing weak, bleeding out of many wounds.
Man’s muscles strained against Ash’s hold. Ash could feel his hands’ grip tearing apart…
“Harrey to the rescue!” a familiar voice shouted, and the older boy leaped down from the ladder and through the air, down onto Man, a cudgel swinging in Harrey’s grip to crack over Man in Moon’s head.
Man’s eyes rolled in the back of his head, and Harrey wrapped rope around his limp wrists. Baa Thelma appeared after Harrey, wrapping fishing net over and around the villain—adding a kick to his backside for good measure. Relieved, Ash stepped back, and Wolf slumped down. Thelma rushed down the length of chained Baa then, finding Thimble and working to undo the shackles.
“How did…you find us?” Ash struggled to say against the onset of fatigue.
Harrey grinned, “Frobbit’s locater signal came through! Not for long, but enough for me to pinpoint where he was. Good job finding the missing Baa, by the way! Madnes would be proud,” he said, and then looked concerned. “You okay, kid?”
Ash’s lids drooped. “Help Thimble, and Wolf…”
Harrey to the rescue, lol! Share this story with friends and see what they think! #MadnesSolver
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