Pumpkin King

Chapter 20

"Ten hours!" Jilo finished for him with a laugh. "You have ten hours to find your little friends or…I'm going to blow them to kingdom come!"

Erk glared at the man angrily for a moment before pulling his goggles back over his eyes. "Hey Sara, think you can get Lucinda out of here?" He asked simply.

Sara shook herself and looked at her friend. "I think so, sir."

Erk kept his eyes on Jilo, who was juggling the balls of light in his hands like the whole situation was some kind of joke. "Then run. And try to wake her up when you're someplace safe. After that, go look for Latran and Becky."

Sara nodded and managed to drape one of Lucinda's arms over her shoulder to support her weight. "But what about you, Mr. Erk?"

Erk smirked. "He pissed me off. So I think I'm going to kick his ass." Before anyone could react, he shot forward with the sound of a train whistle and rammed right into Jilo.

The white clad man was slammed backwards by the force of the hit, which cause him to lose his grip on the balls of light. They flew into a building on the other side of the plaza and instantly exploded on contact, demolishing the whole structure and sending dust everywhere.

But Erk didn't let that stop him. With the goggles protecting his eyes, he jumped into the air and pointed at a spot on the ground. "Rail Change!" A yellow magic seal appeared on the spot he was pointing at and he was pulled to it like a magnet. When he landed on the circle, he immediately shot forward again to where Jilo had been standing.

He heard a grunt of pain as he made contact with something, but didn't pay it any mind as he sped on passed and jumped into the air again. "Rail Change!" Again he landed on a magic circle and was launched forward, carrying all of the momentum and speed he'd been accumulating with him.

Again he slammed into Jilo, the dust separating in front of him as he ran from the sheer amount of force he carried and again he repeated the whole process.

After his third time, he finally stopped a few yards away, breathing hard with his hands on his knees. He could feel the barrier that protected him straining under all the pressure he was putting it under. There was still dust obscuring his view of Jilo, but from what Erk could see, it looked like Sara and Lucinda had been able to get away.

Erk quickly looked back at the center of the plaza and stood up straight. The dust had settled and he could see Jilo lying on his stomach.

Taking a deep breath, Erk pulled his goggles up and smirked. "Heh. You weren't so tough. How the hell did Latran and Becky get beat by a guy this weak?"

"Oh you'll find that I'm tougher than I look."

Erk's eyes widened as Jilo rose to his feet like a puppet attached to strings and began brushing the dust off his coat. "But that's some unique magic you have there. If it weren't for the fact that you're a member of Pumpkin King" he said the words like they were poison, "I'd offer for us to join forces." He sighed sadly. "But alas, it is not to be." He smirked darkly. "So instead…Bomb-Bomb-Bombardment." He snapped his fingers and red dots started glowing all around Erk's body.

"W-What the he-." He couldn't say anything else as all the dots detonated, resulting in small explosions all over his body. He screamed out in pain and nearly went unconscious as he fell to the ground, his clothes and skin covered in burn marks.

Jilo walked over to the fallen guild wizard and loomed over him, his shadow falling over him. "Words of the wise," he said in a smug voice, "when coming into contact with an enemy, it's the perfect chance to plant some attacks of your own when they aren't looking."

Not a moment after Erk first attacked, Sara managed to drag the unconscious Lucinda to a nearby building.

Outside, she could hear Erk's train whistle and the sounds of him hitting something.

Shaking her head, she grabbed Lucinda and tried shaking her slightly. "Milady, you must wake up." She didn't stir. "Please, milady! Mr. Erk needs your help." Still no response. She was starting to panic. "W-We need to find the others. We need to get them to safety." Nothing. "Please wake up…Lady Lucinda."

"Heh. It's been a while since you've said my name."

Sara gasped as Lucinda opened her eyes blearily. She grinned weakly as she sat up until her head throbbed. "What hit me?" She asked, gingerly rubbing her head.

"It was that man, milady." Sara said quickly. Then she looked down, avoiding eye contact. "He threw a bomb at you. If Mr. Erk hadn't pulled you out of the way, I'm not sure what would have happened."

Lucinda looked annoyed. "That little asshole." She jumped to her feet only to stagger a bit. "I'm going to shove my knife so far up his-."

"Milady you shouldn't talk like that!" Sara interjected. "Besides, Mr. Erk asked us to-."

This time, Lucinda was the one to cut her off. "Yeah, yeah." She said in a bored tone. "While he gets to have all the fun, we gotta go looking for the perv and Becky." She sighed before raising a hand and opening a hole in the air next to her. "It'll be quicker if I do it this way. Guess all we can do is search this place house by house." She looked at her friends apologetically. "Sorry, Sara. But I don't think I have enough magic left to make one big enough for both of us. Think you can stay here and back Erk up?"

Sara looked a little shocked with a mix of worry. "B-But what can I do? I'm not strong like the rest of you. I can't fight."

Lucinda sighed and walked over to her friend and bopped her on the head lightly. "Have a little more confidence in yourself. You're just as strong as me and Erk and anyone else in the guild." She smiled. "Remember when we first met?" She walked back to her portal. And just before she jumped through, she said, "You're strong. You just have to believe in yourself." Then she was gone.

Sara could still hear Lucinda's words ringing in her head as a series of explosions ripped through the air, followed by the sound of a scream.

It was Erk.

Without thinking about it, Sara was running out the door. But she was stopped immediately by what she saw.

Erk was lying on the ground with smoke coming off him. Jilo was standing over him looking like a smug cat who'd just caught a mouse.

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