Beware of Hungry Bears
Vespa Honey, honey produced by the Vespa Bees in Xatyre, is a common ingredient used for medicines to cure ailments such as colds or sore throats. The sweet nectar is a luxurious treasure of the Vespa Bees. It is highly valued by the ferocious Xatyre Bear, a violent creature that will harm any who dare to tread on its territory. The only thing that can sooth this savage beast would be Vespa Honey which is given to it by the Vespa Bees as compensation for protection and occupancy. While the bees make the honey, they give a portion of it to the bear which dwells in a cave in its territory.
The Xatyre Bear keeps the honey stored in a large pot that it carries with it.
And it was their mission to get that honey.
The question what can they actually accomplish this task?
Nuzzled in its cave with a pot of Vespa Honey in its arm was the Xatyre Bear. Although it was sleeping, that didn't make their job any easier.
Hidden behind several trees and bushes were the
"So who's going first?" Dio asked as he was reluctant to go. He has had bad experiences with the animals here and didn't want any more. Thank you very much. The previous day's incident left a slight trauma on the dark blue haired Idun's psyche.
"Isn't that obvious..." Linus confidently said.
He sounded so assured. It made them Dio feel slightly interior since he was scared to face that ferocious beast all by himself.
"Lapis..." Linus places his hand over Lapis's shoulder. "Now's the time to finally make yourself useful for once..."
"Why you little... You plan to use me as bait?!"
"Now, now, Lapis. Let's think this rationally. You stink so badly at magic that you're just dead weight. The only thing you be would be bait. That's all you're pretty much good for so make as well make the most of it!"
"How is that any good?! If things go wrong, I'll be in serious trouble?!"
"Don't worry, Lapis. I have confidence that you'll at least make it out half alive!"
"And I have confidence that it won't be me who'll be the one's half alive."
So far things weren't going anywhere. Dio wondered how the two remained friends like this. He was lucky. For he had confidence, that Rood wouldn't dare use him as bait... probably. He wouldn't, would he? He knows Rood would never dare do such a thing to Lidusis since he cares about him so much and it's his mission to protect the gray haired Idun, but what about him? Sure, Rood was a little mean and harsh to him on multiple occasions, but that was only just playful teasing. Friends do it all the time between themselves. That's what makes them friends since they would only do such things to their friend... right?
Dio was starting to lose confidence in himself on whether Rood would actually use him as bait or not.
"How boring... All I have to do is just get that shoddy piece of junk away from that thing... That's easy."
Shicmuon steps forward toward the bear.
Being the only one who knew Shicmuon's identity as a magician, Dio grabs hold of Shicmuon by wrapping his arms around the crazy magician's waist. If he's going to do what he thinks he's going to do, better stop him right here and now before any catastrophic happens.
"Just what are planning to do?!" Please let him be wrong.
"I'm going to kill it and take that jar?" Shicmuon answered as if it were obvious.
"Don't?!" Lapis forcefully interjected. "Do you not know what will happen if you as much as harm the animals much less kill them?! They even have security guards and patrollers around! That's an endangered animal right there! Are you trying to cause a national problem?!"
"Is that all?"
Apparently, Shicmuon didn't care if his actions lead to a major national problem for their country.
Is this guy crazy?
I feel sorry for Rood for having to deal with this guy...
Lapis and Dio shared the same opinion of Shicmuon. They think he's crazy.
"What are you guys doing?" A feminine voice asked.
Dio, Lidusis, Lapis, and Linus turn around to see Iel and Lin. So it was Iel's voice they just heard.
Left with no other choice, they decided to let them know what was going on but left out a few details such as what was plaguing Rood and that he was getting worse by the second. Axel told them that it would be problematic if word got out about Rood's condition. Aside from the professors and his teammates, letting anyone else know would only cause unnecessary trouble and panic among the students since this trip was originally designed for their enjoyment. And so after given an explanation, Iel and Lin quickly got a grasp of the situation.
"So that honey is a necessary component for the medicine." Iel did find it odd how Rood suddenly got ill but to think that it wasn't just a cold. She never would have imagined it was something worse although she didn't know Rood was bedridden by something like a simple cold.
"Yeah, but the problem is how to get it from that bear.." Dio didn't want to go through another scenario like yesterday.
"Uhm, one of the staff told me to give you this..." Lin shows Dio a medium size package.
Back when she and her best friend Carmille were heading to meet up with the rest of their classmates to find out what they were going to do for the day, Axel showed up and asked Lin to deliver this package to them.
"You're students from that school that's staying over, right? Could you do me a favor and hand this over to someone? I forgot to give it to them earlier. I'm sure you already know them. If not can you give it to them, if you see them. It's a small group of students wearing a similar uniform to your's. They'll be easy to notice. One is a stupid looking, blue haired kid. Another is a completely useless blond with no future for magic who reeks of incompetence. One is a wimpy, gray haired kid. One is a sexual harassing, homo pedophile. And the last one is a psychotic redhead. If possible, please don't give it to him."
Finished with listing off the people to give it to, Axel hands Lin the package.
Hearing Axel's opinion of them, Dio and Lapis burst out in rage. Is that what he's thought of them this whole time?! Or rather who could he describe them like that to other people?! Why did it he make it sound like he was describing a person based on their features?! How was anyone going to get that?! And why didn't he use something more specific and normal like hair color or eye color?!
"Who does he think he is?!"
"And why is mine always so long?!" Lapis didn't get why was it that whenever someone insulted him it was always really long. Enough. If they were going to insult him, at least, make it shorter.
"Where does he get the gall to say such rude things about others?!"
"Hey Linus, you say something too!" Like them, Lapis bets that Linus was pissed off too.
"Why?" Contrary to his expectations, Linus wasn't the least bit anger. In fact, he didn't even seem fazed.
"Why?! Isn't that obvious?" Out of all them, his was the worst. How could he not get mad?
"But it's not like I was included in there."
"I know he was referring to you guys although he didn't really say anything about me."
"Though I wonder who that 'sexual harassing, homo pedophile' he was talking was?"
"Could it be Chevel? I heard that guys with long blond hair are often taken as homosexuals."
What should I do?! This guy obviously has no clue that it's him. Lapis wasn't sure how to break the ice with him or if he should for that matter.
"What's in here anyway?" Moving on, Dio wondered what sort of package did Axel send them. They didn't think he'd be the type to just give gifts for no reason. Could it be he foresaw that they would need assistance and sent this to help them?
Despite his venomous tongue, he was a really good guy. Dio was starting to change his opinion of Axel. Who knew he was so caring.
Lifting up the cover, Dio found a giant, full body, female bear costume followed small plush doll of the costume.
Why him... Why did he have to do this?
Out of all of them, it had to be him.
Quietly making his way, he slowly makes his way to the sleeping bear. He didn't get why did he have to wear this ridiculous costume when there were two girls with them although they did refuse to wear it. Not that he can blame them. He too would have refused if he had the if it's for Rood's sake, then he'll bear with it even if the costume is humiliating.
The only good thing so far is that there was a small glass jar with the costume and plush doll. At least, he didn't have to steal the honey jar from that dangerous, sleeping beast. Otherwise, his chances of survival would be zero removed the honey jar from it.
Peering from a safe distance, the rest of the onlookers observed to see how their scapegoat was faring.
"So far so good. Doesn't look like the bear is waking up." Linus speculated.
"Uhm, is it really a good idea to do this...?" Lin wasn't sure if it was really a good idea to do this or not. She couldn't help but pity the fellow who was forced to got and wear that costume.
"Don't worry. Out of all of us, Lapis has the least presence so he won't be found out so easily."
That wasn't what she meant. How could he say something like that! She wasn't sure if he was amazing or missing a few screws in his head.
"And even if he did, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. It'll be a good distraction. While it's busy tearing apart Lapis, we'll take the honey. It's a win-win!"
This guy was definitely missing a few screws in his head. Hearing how casual Linus was about his close friend's demise, Lin sweat drops at the plan. She just prays that the bear doesn't wake up.
"Hey, look the bear is doing something." Dio grabs their attention when he notices something strange happening to the bear.
It looked like it was starting to wake up seeing it move a little. Did Lapis blow it already!
If the bear woke up, that'd be lousy timing since Lapis was just a few inches away from that honey. Petrified, Lapis stopped in his tracks when he saw the bear slightly shift. He didn't recall doing anything that would alarm the bear. Where did he go wrong?
Seeing the bear lift up its paw, the others wonder if this was the end for Lapis.
Slowly drawing it paw near...
All the way...
To its nose.
All their doubts and worries just flew out the window. All that suspense for nothing. It was just scratching its nose. Talk about misleading. They almost thought that they were done for.
"I almost had a heart attack there." For him to get all worked up over nothing, Dio wanted to get this over with already.
"Wait, there's more." Lin pointed out directing their attention back to the bear and Lapis.
This time the bear's nose was twitching. Did it smell Lapis? Not just that but it was also starting to open its mouth.
"Oh no, Lapis is going to be eaten!"
"We should tell him to get back before it does!" Dio added. Like Linus, he didn't want to see Lapis get eaten by a bear. Otherwise, who else will get that honey for them.
Before Lapis or the others could react, the bear had already started making its move. Revealing its sharp, pointy teeth, the bear's mouth widens and widens some more until it...
Lets out a yawn.
More so an animal, it was acting more like a human based on its actions. It's not everyday you see a bear scratching its nose or yawn.
Continuing on with their original plan, Lapis was now close enough to extract some honey into the jar. Now all he had to do was...
Unfortunately before Lapis could move a muscle, the sleeping creature had swung its arm coincidentally knocking the jar out of Lapis's hand. So hard that it was sent flying.
Dio's eyes pop out at the sight. Lidusis and Lin too. Lapis would have had the same reaction if he wasn't wearing the mascot head. Both Linus and Iel were surprised by the bear's unconscious action. If it had that much strength in its sleep, there's no telling what kind of monstrous strength it'll have when it's awake. Better not wake that thing up. But more than the issue of the bear waking up and its crazy strength, Lapis no longer had anything to use to store the honey.
Unable to continue on, Lapis turns to the others for aid.
"Just steal the honey jar!" was what Linus wrote on a placard sign as he lifts it over his head to show to his friend.
"Are you crazy I'll die!" Lapis shouts to Linus in a whispery manner not wanting to wake up the bone crushing beast.
"Don't worry I believe in you."
"It's not a matter of believing or not. I'm going to die."
"Your body will handle it."
"No, it won't! It'll break for sure!"
"You really are a baby you know, Lapis. Why don't you suggest something instead of complaining?"
"Who are you calling a baby?! You have no right to say that!"
"How rude. I'm no baby. I just like watching over manual labor."
As the two were quietly arguing, Dio wondered if this was really effective. He knew they needed the honey. However couldn't they have come up with a more decent plan than this? He means all they did was just make Lapis wear that female bear suit and sneak over to the bear to get the honey. Not much of a plan in his opinion especially the part with the bear suit.
Wait, what was that he just saw?
"Which is more important that honey or my life?!"
"The honey obviously."
Before the situation escalates any more, Dio kindly intervenes.
"Uhm..." Dio subtly draws their attention back to the issue at hand.
Curious to what Dio was referring to, Linus looks to where Dio was pointing at... Ah, now he understood the meaning behind Dio's actions. This certainly wasn't good.
The others excluding Shicmuon who had no interest in the matter followed suit and were left stunned as well.
Being the only one out of the loop, Lapis wondered what had them all riled up. Was there something strange behind him? All there was was just the Xatyre Bear and it was sleeping at the moment. Although he could hear some strange sounds behind him like heavy breathing. Not just that but also some warm winds blowing from above. It was even slighter darker for some reason. Was it getting that late already? No, wait. On closer inspection, it wasn't that it got darker. It was just only dark in the area around Lapis. It was just a large shadow hovering over him. But the question rang: Whose shadow this was?
Reluctantly, Lapis slowly turns his head around to see the owner of the shadow casting over him.
And to his horror, the first thing he meets is a ferocious pair of fangs snarling down at him with the hungry look of a predatory. It didn't look too happy considering that Lapis did interrupts its nap. It was much larger now that it was standing compared to when it was quietly sleeping on the ground. And the scar over its eye made it look 10 times scarier.
Linus signals over to his friend.
"Pretend you're a passing by female bear and charm it into giving you the honey." Linus wrote down on another placard sign to Lapis.
There's no way that's going to work?! But if it's to get the honey... Lapis didn't want to, but he doesn't really have a choice in the matter. Even so, this was really humiliating. There was no way he could do it. But still...
Oh, this was just too much for Lapis.
As Lapis was contemplating on whether he should go with the plan or not, he felt something soft on his shoulder.
Shifting his gaze, he saw that what he felt on his shoulder was the bear's paw. Looking up, he could see the disapproving look on the bear's face shaking its head as if it were telling Lapis not to do it.
Great, a bear was just pitying him.
Meanwhile, back at the inn, Axel was having a small chat with his teammate Lunette as he came to give her something. However the contents of the package were quiet strange as it wasn't what Lunette had requested. Instead, they found a blowpipe along with several sets of blow darts. This clearly wasn't what Lunette requested for she didn't have any interest in this simple toy.
And then it donned him.
"Ah, I gave them the wrong one..."