Pumpkin King

Chapter 26

"Erk." The boy said slowly.

The girl looked at him curiously. "Erk? I think I've heard that somewhere." She furrowed her eyebrows in thought. "Hey…have you peeped on me before?" She suddenly asked.

Erk blushed. "I-I don't think so." He stuttered. He would have said no, but something in his gut told him that was wrong.

The girl shrugged her shoulders. "Too bad. I wouldn't mind giving you a peak. You're kinda cute." She said slyly.

Erk had to stop his jaw from hitting the floor. Then he gulped and cleared his throat. "Uh, don't you think it's more important that we figure out where we are?" He asked.

The girl huffed in disappointment but said, "We're in some sort of abandoned building, underground, and in a spider's nest." She lifted a finger for each point and shook her head at him like it was they were the most obvious things in the world.

"…Huh?" Erk said simply. "How do you know that?" He challenged.

The girl sighed in annoyance. "Why did I think you were smarter than this?" She mumbled. Then she said loud enough for him to hear, "Look at the walls. This isn't just some cave. Someone built this." Then she pointed at a space above one of the unbroken cocoons. "And look up there. See that?" Erk followed her finger to where the spider webs half concealed where a large chunk of stone had fallen off, revealing dirt instead of the open sky. "And I know its abandoned because," she waved at all the spider webs "who the hell wants this in their basement?"

Erk nodded. Then his eyes wandered over to the two other unbroken cocoons. "If we were inside the cocoons," he thought out loud, "think there will be more people in those?"

The girl turned and studied them carefully. "Who knows?" She walked over to one of them. But just as she did, one started shaking and something cut through the front of it. Whatever it was, it was sharp. And the blue light from the lacrima made it look like a muddy brown color. It started sawing at the web like a knife.

The two jumped back quickly, not sure what was going to come out of it. But it kept on sawing, making something that crudely looked like a door. And when it was finished, the webbing fell away and a small, imp like creature holding a spear trotted out closely followed by a man with messy black hair and tan skin. He wore a white t-shirt underneath an unzipped black leather jacket and a pair of black cargo pants. Like Erk and the girl, he had no shoes on.

Taking a closer look at the imp, Erk saw that it was made entirely out of dirt.

The shaggy haired boy patted the Earth Imp on the head and said, "Nice job, imp." And then it crumbled into a pile of dirt, spear and all. Then the boy glanced around the room until his eyes landed on Erk and the girl, both of whom were watching him warily.

"Erk! Tamashi!" He suddenly yelled, waving at them and walking over. "Glad to see you guys are okay." He said with a grin.

Erk and the girl, who he guessed was Tamashi, glanced at each other. "Uh…do we know you?" He asked slowly.

The other boy's grin faded and he raised an eyebrow. Then he smirked. "Okay, I know that the light in this place is ruining my dazzling good looks, but don't you recognize me?" He stood between the two and wrapped an arm around each of their shoulders. "It's me, Dante."

Tamashi scoffed and stepped out of Dante's arm reach. "Liar. I've never met you before in my life." Her eyes moved to look at Erk, who hadn't moved away from Dante like she had. "Don't tell me you actually believe this guy?"

Erk moved out from underneath Dante's arm and shrugged. "I don't know." He said after a pause. "But neither of us remember anything and he seems to know us. He knew your name." He pointed out.

Tamashi rolled her eyes. "I don't even know if that's my real name. He could have made it up on the spot." She countered.

"And why would he want to do that?" He shot back. "He was in a cocoon too. He's probably in the same boat we are."

Dante jumped in the middle of them. "Okay you two, stop acting like an old married couple." Erk's jaw dropped and Tamashi looked horrified at the prospect, which cause Dante to nearly choke from laughing.

Finally he regained control of himself and said, "S-Sorry. The looks on your faced were," he sniggered slightly, "just too funny." He looked at Tamashi and Erk's annoyed faces. Then he cleared his throat. "Right. So you don't remember me, which means your memories of the guild are gone." He said seriously. "What do you remember?"

Tamashi huffed but decided to play along. Going over to the webbing on the wall, she searched through it until she found what she was looking for. She held it out for the two to see. In the middle of her palm was a small, dead spider. It was pitch black with its legs scrunched close to its body. "I remember this." She said with a mischievous smile.

At her words, a small, black magic circle appeared above the spider husk and small tendrils of black mist crawled off it. The tendrils reached down towards the dead spider hungrily and enveloped it. Erk and Dante watched as the mist seeped into the spider's body until there was none of it in sight. And then it jerked slightly, it's legs uncurling and body shaking until it flipped itself around and stood unmoving on Tamashi's palm.

She brought it close to her face and cooed softly. "A little small, but it's still kind of cute."

Dante nodded while Erk stepped close to look in fascination. "So you remember your magic. That's good." He looked at Erk. "How about you?"

He looked up from the little spider, which Tamashi had started making it dance around on her palm. "Uh…just my name."

Dante winced. "That's it? Dang. He really went hard on you."

Erk wasn't sure how he was supposed to respond to that so he rubbed his neck awkwardly. "So…what happened? Where are we?"

Dante sighed and ran a hand over his face. After a moment of silence, he said, "Fine. I guess I have to explain it to you." Pulling off his jacket, he showed them his bicep, where a black Jack-o-Lantern wearing a crown was tattooed. "You both should have a mark like this somewhere on you."

Erk quickly started looking all over himself. Then he finally found it. The same symbol was on his chest, only his was yellow.

Tamashi immediately found hers. Her mini skirt only partially covered it on her hip. Hers was red.

"We're all from a wizard guild called Pumpkin King." Dante explained. Then he lowered his voice. "We got hired for a job to take down a dark guild." Both Erk and Tamashi opened their mouths to ask a question but Dante stopped them. "Later." He fell silent as a low scuttling sound filled the room. And it wasn't coming from Tamashi's spider. It was coming from above them. And it was getting closer. Dante started talking quickly. "They've got this weird magic around the building. Healthy people can't get in."

Tamashi immediately caught on. "And we're not healthy." She said, filling in the gaps. She gestured at herself and Erk. "We're suffering from amnesia."

Dante nodded vigorously as they heard a rumbling sound. Looking up, the ceiling began to split where the lacrima hung. Dust and web fell on them as the ceiling split in half and began to slowly slide into the walls.

"Oh dear lord tell me that's not a giant spider." Erk whispered weakly.

Neither Tamashi or Dante could tell him otherwise. Far above them, a spider the size of a large house was crawling down a tunnel towards them.

Dante cringed but kept on going, not taking his eyes off the spider as it crawled closer. "We're not alone though. We've got someone already on the inside." He laughed slightly. "Well technically two people."

The spider stopped when it was just above them. It had black, hairy legs and what looked like hundreds of unblinking eyes. There were bright green streaks going across it's back.

It lowered three legs down, one for each of them. Erk practically screamed as he backed away as far as he could and Tamashi wriggled and squirmed as one wrapped around her. Dante stood motionless as one leg wrapped around him and lifted him off the ground. "Whatever happens, find her!" He shouted at them. "Find Lorelai!

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