Pumpkin King

Chapter 58

At Pumpkin King, Jekyll and Corwin stood stunned from where Tamashi and her undead animal army had emerged from the floor, careful to keep their distance from the hole lest more creatures crawl out of it. Taboo didn't seem too perturbed by the entrance. He simply tilted his head towards the red haired girl.

The movement spurred Corwin into jumping back to join Taboo and glare at him. "Why didn't you tell us that there was another one coming?" He demanded.

Taboo didn't move in response. He simply said, "I was curious by her magic." He put bluntly. "She will not be a threat, but I am curious none the less." He stepped towards Tamashi calmly. "Dark Resurrection hasn't been seen in this world for many years. I simply wished to feel it myself before dispatching her."

Tamashi was almost caught off guard by the comment. She narrowed her eyes. "How do you know about my magic?"

It wasn't Taboo that answered however. It was Corwin. He mouth was curved into a sadistic smile as he studied the group. "Taboo is special that way. He can sense all forms of magic. What they are, where they are, what they are capable of."

Then Taboo held his knife over Corwin's face. "Don't speak." He said, agitated. "What purpose did you have in telling them that information?" Then he stared gazelessly at Tamashi. "But he is right. I can sense the true power of a magic. And you are using nowhere near the full capability of yours."

Tamashi sniffed at him. "Well you can blame the Magic Council for that. They'll lock me up in jail if I do. Besides," she smiled slyly, "where's the fun of bringing back humans when animals are so much cuter?"

Taboo raised his knife and smiled. "That you believe the bringing back of humans is the true purpose of 'Dark Resurrection' shows just how incompetent you are. You know nothing of your magic."

While everyone had been paying attention to Taboo, no one noticed Bertrand. The old man had been gathering up as much magic as he could and focused it in his cane. While his body had weakened in his old age, his magic wasn't anything to sneeze at. Age and wisdom had bolstered his inner magic two fold since he, Jack, and Rosemary had first challenged the Valmagus.

These people had broken into their guild, hurt their friends, threatened the safety of every person on the planet, and were trying to undo all the hard work and suffering not only he, but Rosemary and Jack had to endure in order to keep the world safe from the Valmagus.

Well, enough was enough.

He stamped his cane against the floor. "Fog of War!" Fog erupted from the tip of his staff like a tidal wave and washed over the entire building, even flooding outside. The area for miles around was blanketed in a cloud of fog.

A merchant peddling his wares, along with his customers, were on the outer edge of the fog. They approached the fog warily. The merchant took a step forward and reached out to touch the fog, but just as he did, the looming figure of a soldier in armor, made entirely of the fog, erupted before him and slashed at the hand with a sword made of the same substance. The merchant and his customers backed away from the fog in fear.

After catching their breath and calming down, they all looked passed the fog towards where they knew the Pumpkin King building usually stood and wondered what was going on in there.

Inside the building, Tamashi, Sara, and Reese froze as the fog rolled over them, obscuring their enemy from view. They weren't sure what Bertrand had planned, but they knew that acting rashly would ruin whatever he was scheming.

Then the old man stepped between them, sweat accumulating on his brow from the effort of gathering up all that magic. It had been a while since he put up a serious fight like this. "You kids alright?" He asked.

They all nodded and looked to where the enemy had been last. "We're fine." Reese answered. "But I'm not sure if this is good or bad. On one hand, they're as blind as we are. They can't rush us like they did before. But on the other hand, that means we have no idea where they'll attack from."

Bertrand shook his head. "I can see just fine. This is my fog after all." He looked back at Sara, who was standing in front of the still unconscious Lucina and Julio. They needed to get the two to somewhere safer, but they couldn't risk carrying them anywhere. The sounds of their footsteps might give away their position and invite an ambush. He shook his head. No. They had to stay here and protect them.

His eyes strayed to where Jekyll, Corwin, and Taboo where standing. Jekyll and Corwin were casting their eyes around blindly, trying to see their way through the fog. Taboo was acting oddly, however. He was griping his head with his eyes tightly shut. It looked like he was in pain.

Then he looked at where Rosemary was sitting in the magic circle to their right. She was still concentrating on building her barrier, giving no attention to what was happening.

Steeling his resolve, he said just above a whisper, "I'm going to cause a disturbance and get them to split up." He looked at Tamashi and her assortment of undead animals. "When you get the chance, put Jekyll in a corner." Then Reese. "I'm not sure what that Taboo can do, but it looks like something is happening to him. Can you use that magic of yours to keep him off balance?" It didn't feel right asking the younger wizard to face someone like Taboo. Something just felt off with the man. But they didn't have any other options.

Reese nodded. "I think so…" He hesitated. "But the guys looks a bit unstable. I mean, hell, he's never felt happy before. His emotions could be a big jumbled mess. But I'll try to figure something out."

Bertrand nodded. "Then I'll take Corwin." He said, his eyes were blazing with an inner rage. "I have a few questions for him." If his suspicions were correct, he had a bone to pick with Corwin in particular.

Reese almost took a step back from the old man. The way he said 'questions' made him nervous. He always had a hand on the emotional states of others. And the way he said that single word felt…furious. Well whatever he had in store for him, it was none of his business that's for sure.

Bertrand straightened his back like he was twenty years younger and turned to Sara. "You stay here and keep an eye on these two." He said, gesturing at their unconscious friends. Then he tapped his cane lightly against the ground. At the tap, the air around the group thinned out, leaving a circle of fogless area.

In the fog in the rest of the guild, shapes started taking form, phantoms of soldiers and cavalrymen, and infantry. They glided around the room soundlessly, randomly hacking with ghostly swords and spears and axes.

"Let's start our counterattack."

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