Pumpkin King

Chapter 29

Erk remembered what Dante told him back when he woke up in the cocoon. "Find Lorelai." He said. Well he found her. And if what Dante said was true, then she was from a wizard guild, just like Erk was. Well he didn't really care much about guilds. He was more concerned about getting his memory back. All he had was his name, nothing else. And everything was happening too quickly, he could feel panic gnawing at the back of his mind. If he didn't figure something out soon, he was going to scream. And maybe Lorelai would know something about him.

But that thought was dashed from his mind as she pointed directly at him and said without emotion, "Him. He's most likely to die."

The blood drained from his face. It really doesn't help one's state of mind when your supposed friends are saying you're going to die.

The scar faced man smiled menacingly. He walked to the edge of the platform so that he loomed over Erk. "What do you have to say to that, boy?" He asked tauntingly. "She thinks you're useless. If she's right, I might decide to kill you right now." He studied him with his good eye. "I don't need anything weak in my guild."

He had the urge to run again, but he choked it back. The man looked like a hungry wolf. The moment he started running, he would be on him before he reached the door. So instead, he stared the man down, trying not to look at his scar.

They were silent and Erk could feel tension building in the room. Will, Picksy, and the rest were staring at him, like they were expecting him to do something. But Erk didn't know what…hopefully not die.

But he was saved of doing anything as Bligoro stepped up to his master. "Master. Him good, him have potential." He leered in Dante's direction and jumped off the stage to get close and sniff at him. "Bligoro no like him. Him smell funny. Bligoro no smell good."

Dante shifted uncomfortably and put his hands up to keep Bligoro from getting too close. "Easy there, big guy. Maybe it's that piece of fruit lodged in your nose. Seems like that would mess up your smell."

Bligoro shook his head vigorously, causing his face to jiggle with the movement and bits of fruit to fly everywhere. "No! Bligoro know. Bligoro no smell good. Smells like dirt and mud." He pointed an furious finger at him. "You no good! Bligoro no like you! Bligoro kill-!"

He was stopped as the scarred Master shot him an aggravated glare. What looked like static cling built up around his feet before shooting across the ground and connecting to Bligoro's bare feet. The fat man froze and arched his back in pain, his face grimacing. But he made no sound.

After a few short seconds, Bligoro teetered on his feet before falling backwards on his butt, breathing heavily with sweat on his brow. "M-Master Harlas?" He managed to wheeze out.

Harlas gave him a withering look. "How many times have I told you not to cause a scene in my presence?" He jumped off the platform and single handedly picked up Bligoro by the throat, holding him in the air.

Erk was surprised. He didn't think anything could lift a man Bligoro's size without a crane. But this guy was stronger than he looked. Much stronger. He was feeling really glad that his attention wasn't on him.

Bligoro was grasping his Master's arm in an attempt to detach himself. But his grip held firm. "M-Master." He whimpered.

Harlas scoffed. "I hate weaklings." He grip tightened, causing Bligoro to let out a strained yell. A murderous look flashed through his eyes, but then something happened. A thought seemed to have got into his head. Something that made him uncertain and angry at the same time. He tossed the larger man on the ground. "But you've been useful to me, Bligoro." He jumped back onto the stage. "But don't ever anger me again. Or I'll kill you."

Bligoro whimpered pitifully but nodded and forlornly walked back on stage.

Erk was shaken by the scene. He had no doubt in his mind that Harlas would have killed him. He half wondered why he didn't. The other half of him was too relieve it wasn't him to care. He took a quick glance at the others to gauge their reactions. Tamashi didn't look like she cared while Sissy was making goo-goo eyes at the Master. That was a bit creepy…and gross. Ulrich was tensed, like he was ready to fight the moment he had to while Dante hadn't moved an inch. But his hands were shaking.

Master Harlas turned back to them with an annoyed look. "From this day forth," he started with a commanding voice, "you are members of the dark guild Demon Horn. I am your Master, my name is Harlas Dretch. Everything you are belongs to me now. You live because I want you to. You'll die because it pleases me for you to die." His eyes narrowed. "And if I suspect even a hint of weakness, you will die." He beckoned for Spindel to stand next to him. "But before you start working and taking jobs, I need to give you one last test."

He raised his hand to the ceiling and some sort of hissing and clacking sound came from Spindel. The room shook a little and everyone looked up to see a giant spider staring down at them. Erk almost wet himself.

Then spider detached itself from the ceiling and landed with a crash into the chairs that filled the room behind them, leaving only the rows near the front intact. It reared up on its legs and hissed, baring it's fangs at them.

"A test of survival! Let's see which of you is worthy to stay in my guild!"

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