(A/N: Copyrighted, I know you know. Well, this is THE last chapter for Rescue of Princess, if the title doesn't already give it away xD – anyway, I hope you enjoy it because it is THE longest chapter in the book too. And I dedicate it to all of you reading and reviewing it Glad you have had many laughs, and hope you enjoy this! – Yukimi)
Do you remember when Elvan and Buff-Man didn't believe the End of the World was of any concern to them? Well, I repeat, fate has funny ways.
Elvan tripped and stumbled over himself as he ran through the mountain woodlands. The sounds of a billion low, raspy, and sometimes squealing voices echoed off the many, many trees. Elvan leapt over logs, his mind pounding with what he had recently learnt.
This was all a wild chase? All along they just needed to speak with the goblins, yet Tooloo the whatever-she-was told them to go all over the Sea of Mountains—for what? Cooperation. Elvan could see how selfish he had been before, but why did Tooloo have to do what she did? What about the princess? Was she really in trouble, or was she, too, just another made-up tale the whatever-she-was made up to teach him a lesson?
They went through the Shadowfangs, Lugger, and were chased all around by those menacing little goblins, shouting nonsense at them—only to find out it was fruitless. All along the goblins were trying to talk to them.
Elvan shook his head, and stumbled again as he reached the clearing where Buff-Man and the goblins were. Buff-Man was standing, however, seeming uninjured in the slightest. His sword was sheathed and he looked rather happy.
All the goblins around him were jumping up and down, speaking absolute gibberish.
"Elvan! Elvan, can you believe it? These little guys meant no harm! And they healed my leg!" Buff-Man pointed at his leg, which he moved around with ease. Elvan grumbled.
"They also know where Princess Princess is!" he said. Buff-Man blinked, and all the goblins hushed, turning their many heads in Elvan's direction.
"How do you know that?" Buff-Man asked. All the goblins looked at him as he said this.
"Because," Elvan said flatly, the goblins now looking at him. "Wise Lady, also known as Tooloo sent us on a wild chase, telling us to avoid the goblins (although she herself knew that they knew where Princess Princess was) just so I can learn a lesson!"
Buff-Man just stared, dumbfounded.
"What lesson would that be?" he said slowly.
"To be friends! To share! The basics," Elvan said, waving his hand uncaringly. His eyes lowered to the goblins, and Buff-Man's soon followed.
"So…" Buff-Man said slowly. He knelt down to become eye-level with one of the goblins. "Do you know where Princess Princess is?" The goblin stared at him for a moment.
"AGTAK CO CAN!" he shouted, causing Buff-Man to cringe. Pretty soon, the rest of the goblins chorused those words. Buff-Man stood abruptly as the goblins thundered passed them in unison, heading down a rugged trail. Elvan and Buff-Man exchanged glances. It was obvious they had to follow the little green and purple monsters.
"After you," Elvan insisted.
The duo courageously followed the big group of little goblins for what felt like hours – until at last, the goblins skidded to an abrupt halt. The sun was setting in the sky, and there was a warm breeze. There was also a strange scent in the air…a scent, that was not normal. A scent that they never smelt before. It tickled their noses and filled their mouths. Was it a good scent? Was it bad? No one could tell, they only knew it wasn't something they ever experienced before.
"What is that smell?" Elvan asked.
"Why have we stopped?" Buff-Man wondered.
The goblins spun on their heels in unison, facing the duo like a little army. They all raised their hands to the sky.
"Egto co can! Egto co can!" they chorused. Elvan glanced at the sky. It was a full moon. He looked down.
"Yes…a full moon…so what?" he said. "Can you speak Common, please? Or Elvish, if you even know that language exists…?"
The goblins exchanged glances and shrugged.
"We take you here! We take you here!" they shouted in unison, catching Elvan and Buff-Man off guard. They knew Common all along?! "Moon high! Pretty night. Face monster on own! We leave! You must go! Princess Princess expects you! Agtak co can!"
"What does that mean?" Buff-Man wondered as Elvan was imagining terrible, gruesome monsters waiting for them nearby.
"Agtak co can mean nothing!" the goblins snickered in unison. "Bye bye!"
"What? Wait!" Elvan sputtered as the goblins dispersed into the woods. He fell off balance and hit his face on the ground as the last goblin scurried away into the shadows. Elvan pulled himself onto all fours and spat out the dirt in his mouth.
"Come on, we must save Princess Princess from whatever monster has her," Buff-Man said as he helped his companion to his feet. Elvan swallowed and, shakily, nodded. He glanced as Buff-Man pulled out his sword.
"R-right after you, buddy," he said half-heartedly. He swallowed, trying to moisten his dry throat, as they advanced through the path. Then, something that felt like it had happened before occurred. Actually, Elvan was able to remember that it had happened before. Twice. They were tumbling down another steep hill.
Elvan's breath caught as he landed on his back, and saw the incoming sword. He rolled just in time as it pierced into the ground. He stared at it, breathing fast, and dumbfounded for a moment. He looked to his left, about to scold the recovering Buff-Man, until he heard something. He yelped as a dark figure leapt from the shadows and landed nimbly in front of him. The sword was taken from its place in the ground, and pointed at his neck.
Elvan was forced to look up, into the dark eyes of a shadowfang. And not just any shadowfang…
"Nicccce to meet you again, Elvan, and Bufff-Man," said Bud with a smile. He ran his dark-colored tongue across the points of his teeth as he looked darkly at either of the elves. The sword now pointed at Buff-Man's neck. Elvan swallowed.
Was this the monster they had to face?
Buff-Man was obviously thinking the same thought.
"Sstand!" Bud barked, taking a few steps back. Buff-Man and Elvan scrambled to their feet. Elvan dimly wondered if this was the end, whereas Buff-Man was wondering why Bud was here, and why he was being hostile toward them.
"What do you want, Bud?" Buff-Man asked. The shadowfang leader narrowed his eyes, his skin a pale gray, and his stringy hair hanging from his head in locks.
"Do you know why I cursed King King's daughter?" the shadowfang asked with a hiss.
Elvan shook his head.
"It was not because of that splinter…it was of deeper issues," the shadowfang's face contorted with a crude smile. "Come and follow me…if you wish the answer."
"We have come to save Princess Princess, not to listen to your past drama!" Buff-Man said sharply. At this, the shadowfang turned and glared at him. His dark eyes reflected the moon in his scathing look.
"Past-drama?" he repeated flatly. "Strong words for one who hides behind the lies of his appearance! Now come! Unless you wish to dine with the werewolves, be gone!" At this, Elvan and Buff-Man exchanged glances. As much as they wanted to save Princess Princess, becoming werewolves was not something they were willing to do. They began to follow the shadowfang. Bud laughed in his throat. "Knew you would see things my way…"
They were led for about a half-hour, along the path of a mountain's side. The moon's pale light drenched their surrounding a doleful blue tint. The trees thinned as they walked alongside the mountain rocks, until only bushes and few scattered patches of glass remained. As they rounded the corner, a sight painted itself before them—a sight that neither of the elves had ever set eyes upon. It was also the source of that smell—the salty smell of ocean water.
The End of the World.
Elvan's breath was taken away as he stared at the vast ocean that stretched as far as the eye could see. Its waves of water overlapped one another, brushing up and pulling back from the bank—as if constantly trying to reach something that was just barely out of its reach. White birds fluttered to their nests that lay in the mountain cliffs which loomed above. The sky itself was beautiful. The stars glittered and twinkled at them—the brightest among them seemed to give a light of amusement.
Then, the duo remembered the tales of the End of the World. They both had their eyes upon their captor, Bud. The shadowfangs were said to be from the demonic world just beyond the End of the World. Could it be that Bud was taking them there, to suffer a terrible death? Or what if it was a gathering of shadowfangs, where they roasted elves as their food?
These thoughts and more flowed through Elvan's ever-active mind. However, Buff-Man was curious more than anything. He did not get the feeling of hostility toward them, although the shadowfang acted like it. He couldn't feel anything wrong in the air. Everything felt fine. Absolutely fine. Never better. Just peachy.
But why were they being taken to the End of the World?
A wall of tall stones that created a funnel-like trail downward blotted the view of the End of the World. As they descended, Elvan looked at Buff-Man.
"If we die," he whispered. "I just want to say that you were a good friend. See you in Afterlife!"
"Calm down, Elvan," Buff-Man returned in a whisper. "I don't think we're in dang—"
Buff-Man was cut short as they emerged from the tunnel, and onto the sandy land of ground-level. They were greeted with possibly fifty shadowfangs, all standing around torch-lights and drinking ale and laughing loudly in their hissing voices. There were several large fires, where huge hogs were being roasted or boiled. The biggest source of light, however, was a large diamond that was oddly shaped, and oddly familiar.
Elvan and Buff-Man cocked their heads.
"Is that…?" Elvan began.
"That is," Buff-Man confirmed with a nod.
The two stared at it, slightly disgusted.
"You came! You came!" a woman's voice suddenly echoed. Elvan and Buff-Man were caught off guard as a beautiful young elf woman ran up to them—her white dress fluttering behind her. She had long braided golden hair that seemed to levitate in slow motion with every move she made, and beautiful scarlet eyes that stole away their hearts. As she jumped and hugged the duo, Bud cleared his throat. "You too!"
Elvan and Buff-Man, blushing slightly, started as the elfmaiden hugged the shadowfang. Elvan looked at Buff-Man.
"Please tell me that's not her…" he said in a quiet, hopeful voice. "Please, please, please!"
"Princess Princess, we have all come to your wedding, as promised," Bud said with a smile as he patted her head. At that, Elvan and Buff-Man gawked.
Princess Princess's wedding?! Elvan just stared, how could this be a wedding?! Buff-Man was just as shocked.
Suddenly, there was a loud horn being blown. It made Elvan cringe and clamp his hands over his ears, and Buff-Man winced slightly. Princess Princess, however, beamed.
"Come quick! It is about to begin!" she said excitedly, grabbing their wrists and dragging them behind her. Elvan and Buff-Man looked behind them at the slowly following Bud. The shadowfang leader was smiling in his ominous way, as if amused at their bafflement.
Elvan and Buff-Man were dragged between rows of the grayish-silver skinned, shadowfangs, receiving many dark looks and sharp-toothed smiles, before they were seated in the front row. The seats were made of rocks, of course—as they were not real chairs. Elvan and Buff-Man sat, still staring. At the head of all these shadowfangs, and themselves, was the stupid-looking something named Lugger.
Of course, Lugger was dressed for the occasion. He had a large robe that hid his enormously useless wings. Because of its size, and the shape of Lugger, the robe looked more like a tent than anything.
"Time to begin! BOCK! Time to begin!" Lugger shouted, silencing the hisses. "BOCK! Princess Princess come forth BOCK! BOCK!"
As Princess Princess walked up the aisle between the rows of shadowfangs—and Elvan and Buff-Man of course—Elvan was rocking slightly in his seat, staring at the ground and biting his lip.
Shadowfangs – Princess Princess – a wedding – Lugger – WHAT KIND OF RESCUE MISSION IS THIS?! He thought in panic. Then dismay washed over him. This is the Curse of the Princesses, I know it! She must have fallen—
"BOCK! Lucius Rithgard come forth! BOCK!"
Elvan shakily, with dread, turn to look at the groom. He was so low in despair when he saw an ugly monster stomp down the aisle. Not much was to say about the monster – except he was green…hairy…with one large eyes and an overlapping bottom lip.
Elvan dropped his head into his hands, unable to stop crying with hysteric sobs.
"We failed!" he whimpered through his hands. Buff-Man arched an eyebrow.
"Do you think she only loves him…because of the curse?" he whispered. Elvan paused. Why didn't I think of that?!
"Of course!" Elvan whispered, lifting his head and looked critically at the big elf. "We must stop this wedding! Then we will take Princess Princess back to Kingdom WOW and she will be saved! I'm a genius!"
Buff-Man furrowed his eyebrows as the monster—Lucius Rithgard—halted next to Princess Princess, who was smiling lovingly at him.
"BOCK! Before begin, any objections?!" Lugger shouted. There was silence. Elvan glanced at Buff-Man.
"I object!" he shouted, standing up. But then Buff-Man grabbed his tunic and forced him back into his seat. All of the shadowfangs sent hissing threats toward them, and Princess Princess, Lucius, and Lugger stared at them.
"He doesn't know what he is speaking of," Buff-Man said.
"I do—BAH-YAY-WHOO!" Buff-Man clamped his strong hand over Elvan's mouth, muffling his words. Elvan struggled as Buff-Man smiled innocently.
"He's just an idiot, continue!"
The hisses halted and Lugger looked back at the hideous couple.
"BOCK! You be Lucius wife?!" Lugger said loudly at Princess Princess.
Lugger looked at Lucius.
"BOCK! You be Princess husband?" Although Elvan was still quite angry, he couldn't help but to snort with laughter. Princess Husband…never heard of that! Ugh…be real, Elvan! There's your chance of heroism and it's being thrown away, all thanks to big fat lard here… He shot a glare at Buff-Man. But why? Did he know something he didn't?
"Yessss." Lucius let out a hiss that sounded just like the hisses of shadowfangs. Elvan turned his head and stared.
"BOCK! You husband, you wife. BOCK! Kiss bride. BOCK! Bye."
As Lugger hopped away in a ridiculous manner, Lucius leaned down and kissed Princess Princess. Elvan revolted, feeling bile run up his throat. But he managed to swallow it as his jaw hit the floor in utter shock.
Lucius wasn't hideous anymore! The moment Lucius and Princess Princess kissed, Lucius's green skin changed to gold, and his overweight size shrunk into a slim build, and his ugly, one-eyed face turned into the face of a…human. But it wasn't a human—not by a long run. His hair was black, too, and when he smiled, he bared sharp, white teeth that looked a lot like the teeth of shadowfangs!
"What the…who…wha…how…my gods…" Vision faded for Elvan, and the next moment when he opened his eyes, he was staring up into the faces of Bud, Buff-Man, Tooloo, Lucius, and Princess Princess. The sun was up, too.
"Rise and shine, Day-walker." Bud greeted with a hissing grin. Elvan blinked, his eyes darting from one face to the next. Slowly, but surely, memory returned to him.
"What happened?" he said, sitting up. He found himself swaying a bit on a wooden floor. He looked around, seeing railing…a few huge posts with large sails that were tied up, and a rudder way back. "What the abyss is this place?!"
"It's called a ship," Buff-Man explained, extending a hand. Elvan absently accepted it and was helped to his feet. He staggered, but kept balance.
Elvan didn't immediately think about the 'ship,' for he was still trying to figure out what had happened the night before. Princess Princess was getting married...to a big ugly monster. That monster turned into some weird creature. Elvan's eyes looked at the gold-skinned being, and then at Bud, and then to Princess Princess.
"Can somebody please explain what happened—not you, missy!" he jumped, pointing at Tooloo. "I've had enough of your strange…ness!"
Tooloo grinned, hiding a laugh. She was in her ugly witch form, and her hat shadowed her eyes and much of her face. "As you wish."
"I will be obliged to explain this," said Lucius Rithgard with a smile. "Princess Princess and I have known one another for a long time." He looked at Princess Princess, and smiled, and she bashfully smiled back. "We were childhood friends, those many years ago. King King always let me come to the courtyard to play with Princess Princess—until one day I had eaten a nasty piece of fruit, given to me by the king himself. Of course, he didn't know it at the time, that it was soaked in manure—" at this, Elvan's eyes grew slightly round, "—but at any rate, its affect cursed my image. I turned into that ugly monster you saw me as. King King assumed it was my father—" he indicated to Bud, "—who did that, thinking he intended on me destroying the royal name. He didn't want his daughter playing with a monster, apparently.
"Of course, my father grew very angry," at this, Bud smiled as if enjoying the memory, "and he placed a curse on King King's daughter. At least, that was what he made King King believe…" Lucius now smiled, along with Bud, his apparent father, and his wife, Princess Princess (or should she be called Queen? Elvan didn't know.) "What my father did, was place a spell on me…that my true love's kiss could return me to my normal body.
"Of course, at the time, none of us knew it would be Princess Princess," Lucius continued. "However, to pass the time, Princess and I have exchanged many letters over the years, since we could not be together to talk. When I told her about the spell, she of course didn't believe it. Although it was exceedingly rude," he gave a hard look at Bud, who shrugged indifferently, "Father had sneaked into all of my letters I have received from Princess, and concluded that she was my true love…which of course was true. So, Father went to 'collect' Princess Princess. That was when King King sent word to Buff-Man."
Lucius took a breather for a moment, before continuing. "King King of course believed in that fake curse, so he needed the best of the best to retrieve her. However, Buff-Man is not the best, as you now know, but he, too, was a friend of mine—although he had no clue I was a shadowfang's son. At any rate, I wanted him to be at my wedding."
Elvan looked at Buff-Man in disbelief. Was this why he had silenced him? Did Buff-Man know of Lucius's curse somehow, and realized that monster was Lucius, and so he silenced him? Elvan knew it was true, and found himself just staring at them.
"So…I'm the only accident here?" he said. "I mean…every one of you were already planned to be here…except me. What does that make me?" Lucius looked at Princess Princess, and then at Bud. They seemed…clueless for the answer. Elvan scoffed. "Yeah. Of course—I'm the sidekick. Well, I guess this has been a decent adventure, so thanks, I suppose. I should return to my place in the human city, then. I obviously don't belong here…"
He walked by the group, rubbing his neck as he thought about everything. He was just dragged into this, with no apparent reason at all. Sure, Buff-Man had no clue when they set off on the journey, but still, he was wanted at the wedding. But Elvan wasn't. He was just a 'tag-along-good-for-nothing…loser.'
Elvan narrowed his eyes as he said this to himself.
"Elvan," Buff-Man's voice halted him. Elvan paused and turned, arching an eyebrow.
"Yeah?" he said. Buff-Man folded his arms.
"None of us may know your reason for being here, but one does," he said. "And unfortunately, you told her not to talk to you." Elvan's gaze shifted to the ever-smiling witch.
"She does—you do?" he said, looking at Tooloo. Tooloo lifted her head so that the sun shone upon her ugly face.
"Aye, of course I do!" she said. "Dear, dear, you really must have learned by now, that if Tooloo plans this…Tooloo surely must know the reason. Understand?" Elvan blinked.
"What is it, then?" he asked. Tooloo's eyes looked at him softly.
"You are a hero," she said. "Your human heritage has brought out the best of your personality, and through this journey, you have learned to care for others, to cooperate. However, this crazy tale will not end with your returning to your village, telling people about these adventures. No, of course not. Your dream as a hero has only begun…this is why we stand upon this ship. Where these other people shall return to your land, this ship will set sail with the select few who wish to explore the vast world beyond. As you see…this is truly not the End of the World, nor an entrance to a demonic world.
"Elvan, your purpose has not yet been revealed…but it shall one glorious day, if you wish to set sail in search for it," Tooloo continued, walking up to him and changing her form with each step. She was now in the beautiful-woman form, with her hand outstretched. "I have brought you here to fulfill my final mission in this cursed form; to make you a hero that will be remembered throughout all of time. A legend will be written about you."
Elvan slowly reached out and touched her slim hand. What was she saying? That he had some major importance in this world? Of course…she just repeated it like five times… Elvan swallowed.
"What should I do?" he asked. Tooloo smiled and touched his cheek. Elvan's eyebrows raised, the touch itself sending goose-bumps up his arms. Tooloo brought his ear to her lips.
"Release me," she whispered. "In this form, I am weak and slowly losing my life…"
Elvan swallowed. He looked at her. "How?" Tooloo transformed into her ugly form, making Elvan jump in disgust. Tooloo tapped her long finger against her taught cheek.
"Plant one right there, dear!"
Elvan glanced when he heard snorts of laughter in the background. He furrowed his eyebrows.
"What kind of joke is this? Because it isn't funny!" he said flatly, receiving more laughs.
Tooloo sighed. "Perhaps you aren't the hero I have been seeking…"
Elvan looked at her, somehow feeling guilty. Tooloo, in her own strange way, had an essence that was rather likeable. She had dragged him through all this mess, thinking he was some grand hero, apparently. Least he could do was return the favor… Biting his tongue, Elvan knew he'd probably regret this.
He put his hand on Tooloo's shoulder, making her pause, and leaned forward, placing his lips on her rough cheek. His eyes were squeezed shut, expecting any moment for his insides to rot from her ugliness—but it never came. He opened his eyes when he noticed his lips were on air.
"Holy humbladodourse…!" Buff-Man breathed. A shadow washed over them. Elvan looked up to see a glittering silver dragon take off into the vast sky. Wings the color of the stars themselves spread and beat through the air—harnessing it. Its slender tail whipped through the air, and she turned his knowing gaze down upon him, before turning and soaring away.
Elvan's lips parted in amazement. Tooloo wasn't human…but a dragon! And not only that…Elvan had released her from her forms as a human. He saved her.
Before long, the dragon vanished from the sky in the distant, after letting a grateful roar behind her. Elvan couldn't help but to smile. He looked when he felt a hand on his shoulder. Buff-Man was looking down at him.
"So…Elvan," he said. "Do you think there are any more princesses needing to be rescued?" Elvan tapped his chin for a moment.
"Perhaps," he said. "But no more princesses, okay? Maybe…some other kind of damsel in distress, but never princesses."
"Hey…why does Lucius look nothing like a shadowfang?" Elvan wondered as Lucius, Princess Princess, and Bud were leaving the ship.
"Because he's part 'Day-walker,' their word for us elves, and the humans," Buff-Man answered with a shrug. Elvan nodded, and then looked at his friend.
"Are you planning to return to Kingdom TGKOAKITWOW?" he asked. Buff-Man seemed to consider this. Then he shook his head.
"Wouldn't be the same without a certain little elf," he said with a laugh. "No, I would like to see the worlds beyond this, if there truly are any." Elvan looked at the ship, and nodded.
"I guess that makes us a team, huh?" he said. Buff-Man nodded.
"I guess so."
An awkward silence fell as the ship swayed and creaked. People—the ship's crewmen suddenly emerged from the belowdecks.
"No more silences, Buff-Man because that's just weird!" Elvan said sharply. "I don't care if you were a woman before, don't try to ugh—"
"I was not a woman, Elvan!"
"I don't care, you just know a lot about women it seemed!"
"I just know that—"
And so begins a new adventure with the duo. Elvan and Buff-Man were finally considered heroes—and although they still had a few things to work out between them, they became as close as brothers. One day they just may save a beautiful princess (or two) and settle down. But as far as it goes currently, the duo expected a lot more adventure before that day comes.
And that brings this story to The End.
(A/N: final note: Humbladodourse is a nonsensical word I created for my published book and can be seen with my other books (which I haven't posted on here o.O) a lot. It's funny isn't it ? Anyway, tell me what you think of this short-story!
- Yukimi a.k.a. FoxyWriter)