Battles, Bards, and Buffoonery
Chapter 5: Sparks, Swords, and Stupidity
Travel north of the River Schticks and up the Trails of Despair, and one will find the Shark Tooth Mountains: A series of mountains that shoot straight up into the sky to a jagged point in a triangular shape, just like the teeth of a...predator of some kind.
"So how do we find the dragon?" asked Malin. He and Launfal were standing in front of the mountains, looking up at the top.
"Simple, we just look for signs indicating its whereabouts," answered Launfal.
"Oh, do you mean like tracks or broken twigs?"
"No, I mean like that." Launfal pointed to a wooden sign that read, "Beware of falling rock."
Malin laughed. "Sir, I think you meant to point to that sign." Malin pointed to another wooden sign that read, "Caution: dragon ahead. All door-to-door salesmen, tax collectors, and charity collectors will be eaten on sight."
Launfal groaned irritably.
"So now that we found the dragon," continued Malin, "how are we supposed to get to the top?"
"I guess I'll just have to climb up there on my own," said Launfal as he tossed his bag to the side. "You stay here while I go rescue the princess." Launfal grabbed the side of the cliff.
He clung to the rocks, grunting and struggling as he ascended. He climbed up for nearly a mile, gripping to every foothold he could find, fighting the winds and the dizzying heights. Every foot he climbed was slow and agonizing.
When he reached the top, he pulled himself over and collapsed onto the ground, lying in exhaustion. "I made it." He laughed from the shear adrenaline of the climb. He got onto his feet and looked out at the land below in triumph.
"Here's some water for you, sir," said Malin as he handed a water bottle to him.
"Thanks," said Launfal. He grabbed the water bottle and took a swig of it before spitting it out in shock. "Malin, what are you doing here?" Launfal saw the dirt path behind Malin. "Don't tell me you found a trail off to the side and walked up here."
"No, there was an elevator." Malin pointed to the elevator to the side, obscured by a wall of rocks.
"But why would they build...? Oh never mind. Let's hurry up and get that dragon."
They both wondered into a dark and dank cave. Malin carried the lantern, but its light was so dim, he could not see far into the darkness. It was so quiet, and yet Malin was jumping with the sound of dripping water scurrying mice.
"Help me!" came a woman's voice.
Launfal fidgeted with excitement. "That must be the princess! Hurry, Malin."
The two ran down the hall, the sounds of growls and screams echoed throughout the cave. Eventually, Launfal saw a shadow of a dragon just down the other end of the cave. Without a moment of hesitation, he ran toward the shadow, sword drawn. Without regard toward the echoes of his footsteps or his heavy breathing, he charged the dragon, not stopping even as his sword went through its side. He withdrew his sword, ready for another stab, but then he noticed that from out of the wound was not blood but hay. Without warning, a bucket of water was dumped onto his head, sending shivers down Launfal's spine.
"It worked!" cheered Sparky while he uncovered the lanterns. "That was hilarious."
Lantern light filled the cave, and Launfal was surprised to see that he had stabbed a pile of hay with a sheet on top. He was even more surprised to see Princess Anna standing nearby, laughing at him.
"W-What is the meaning of this?" he demanded.
"Oh, I just thought I would have fun with you when you arrive," quipped Sparky.
"Enough with your trickery," said Launfal. He grabbed Princess Anna by the hand. "Don't worry, your highness. I am here to save you."
Princess Anna slid her hand out of Launfal's grasp. "Like I'd need saving."
"What are you talking about?"
"Well, I know this may sound strange, but I really like Sparky." Princess Anna cuddled next to Sparky. "He's actually a nice dragon. It's so good to find someone I could relate to."
"And to be honest," said Sparky with a smile, "I never liked the taste of princesses anyway." He affectionately nuzzled Anna with his nose, causing her to laugh.
"Blast, it seems the dragon has bewitched you," proclaimed Launfal. "Don't worry, I'll slay the dragon and free you of his curse."
"Oh, you knights are so..."
"Don't worry, Anna," said Sparky as he approached Launfal. "I've dealt with many knights like him. This will be over quickly." He crouched down on all fours, ready to face whatever Launfal had for him.
Launfal raised his magic sword to Sparky, gritting his teeth.
Sparky rubbed his claws together, causing energy to flow through them. With a swing of his claws, a bolt of lightening shot toward Launfal, but it immediately arced and struck the sword instead.
The sword grew red hot, but quickly cooled as it absorbed the electricity. Scoffing confidently, Launfal charged toward Sparky.
Sparky easily soared overhead and shot another blast of electricity, but it arced around the knight and was absorbed by the sword.
Launfal spun around on the balls of his feet, and made another beeline toward the dragon.
Sparky fired more blasts of electricity from his claws as he dodged the swing and jabs of the sword, but again, his electricity was absorbed.
"It seems that you have one of Alazne's magic swords," said Sparky.
"Correct, and now taste the wrath of your own electricity." Launfal aimed his sword at Sparky, gearing himself to say the magic words. "Klaatu...barada...nico." He tensed up, awaiting the lightening, but nothing happened. "Hold on, let me say that again. Klaatu barada niaco...nilco...nirpo...oh hell. Malin, do you remember the spell?"
"Alazne never told me the spell."
Sparky cleared his throat. "I think the spell is 'klaatu barada nikto.'"
The tip of the sword began to glow as energy built up in it. "Aw, think you, dragon. Now, prepare to get fried." The lightening was expelled from the sword's tip, aimed at Sparky, but it inexplicably did a hard U-turn and zapped Launfal instead. Launfal convulsed violently before he collapsed to the ground, scorched and burned. "But...How...?"
"Silly knight," said Sparky with a toothy grin. "All of Alazne's spells work the same way: once the spell is spoken, it will attack the enemy of whoever said the spell."
Princess Anna knelt down over Launfal and said to him "I'm sorry to disappoint you. Maybe you'll have better luck saving aristocrats from giants."
Launfal stared at the ceiling, groaning. "Maybe I will do that. I've had enough of dragons."
Princess Anna approached Sparky and put her arm around him. "Come on, let's go to my home."
"Are you sure the king won't mind?"
"Oh yeah, good point."
Princess Anna climbed onto Sparky's back, and without so much as a final farewell, they flew off into the sky, leaving Launfal and Malin behind.
Malin knelt down over Launfal and asked, "So are we going to find another princess?"
"Not now," said Launfal. "I'm too burned out to care."
With the noble and handsome knight defeated, Sparky and Princess Anna flew off into the sunset to live happily ever after...unless a sequel is made.
Author's Note: First off, I would like to thank all of my readers for reading and reviewing my story. I would have been satisfied with just one review, but I never thought I would develop a small fan base. Secondly, the sequel IS available. If you want to see the continuing adventures of Anna and Sparky, then check out "Battles, Bards, and Buffoonery 2: Random Antics."