Chapter 101:

Saving the Village with No Name 3

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

The morning that greeted the town's victory was also the eve of an Aqueenian holiday known as The Feast of First Harvest. It was a time when the first of the crops would begin to bear fruit, and the people would celebrate with a massive festival. In the modern Resh, where food was more abundant, it had become simply a time to set up stalls and eat lots of food that might not traditionally be grown at that point in the year.

The quiet village quickly became bustling as the villagers eagerly prepared for their first free festival after a long while. They had planned their revolt against the bandits to coincide with the festival's ending when they suspected the leaders would be drunk. As such, the festival preps were continued as normal to avoid suspicion. The excitement at the arrival of Princess Fiona and the Nonpareil had ended up causing the timetable to be pushed forward considerably.

As the town began joyfully preparing for the celebration, Mamie was preoccupied with what to do with the bandits. Their weapons were taken, and they were restrained. Odell had explained what the anti-Needaimus glove did to an overclocked mortal, and he expressed a strong desire not to watch it happen again. Old Gus volunteered to remove the other Needaimus from Grimes and Flora, saying, ‘I’ve seen worse in my time,’ and promptly removed the remaining Needaimus. Mamie remained to watch, feeling she had a responsibility for being in the room as the acting village head, but other parties were sent elsewhere.

The bandits were restrained and tied to a fence as Rheba and Odell made the prison cell inoperable with their breakout. The injured members were taken to a hospital in the village, which quickly filled up. Many of the miners had received cuts and gashes that required bandaging. Several had broken limbs or concussions, but the number was small. The ones dismissed immediately went to help with the festival.

Of the fighters that remained in the hospital for the remainder of the Feast’s eve:

Adan, the miner’s safety leader, suffered from excess contusions and needed an extra day to recover. He was down for the count and fast asleep.

The Princess Fiona Fan Club, with Simeon, who needed his right forearm put back together. Siegfried, who needed his left upper arm reconstructed, and Sinatra, who had a shattered left leg. None of the trio seemed to care about their injuries and instead wanted to help prepare for the festival.

Fiona had been battered endlessly by Flora and was bruised in multiple locations.

Harlan had smashed into a wall which tore off multiple scales from her back and left some bruising. It required bandaging until they would grow back in.

Odell suffered several cuts and bruises from the glassy shard book storm Grimes had used. He had a part of a rib fracture, but it was quickly mended once identified.

Gwyn managed to get away with some bruises and minor pains, and both Rheba and Hal had not experienced much damage.

Most of the Needaimus users laid a bed as they recovered. Though some injuries were not as bad, as soon as the Needaimus was removed, all the excess fatigue and wear caught up instantly. The Needaimus ability to limit pain and fatigue was well known to have a bad side effect after intense use. Rheba was the only one who sat in a chair as she had mostly taken down minor bandits in the raid. She stayed behind only to support her companions.

Hal stubbornly stayed sitting up in his bed to hide how tired he actually was. In reality, he was the best off of the rest since his training as a soldier included adjusting to the after-battle fatigue. Odell, Adan, and Harlan were fast asleep, and Gwyn and Fiona both laid awake and groaned.

“How is it that I’m this tired from one fight!” Gwyn grumbled.

“Don’t you remember when you fought the unkillable? You were out for a day after that,” Fiona groaned back.

“Isn’t there some sort of wonder drug for this fatigue?” Gwyn moaned back.

“If there were, we would have brought bottles of it,” Fiona sighed.

“If you two can complain like that, you are not as bad off as you think,” Rheba offered in the most friendly manner she could.

“Indeed, you pollute the air with waste, silence your pathetic groanings,” Hal snapped at the two as he rolled his yellow eyes.

Although not for Hal's sake, Fiona and Gwyn quieted their complaints, Mamie had just entered the room, and they thought it best to collect themselves.

Bonfilia ran into the room after her mother and up to the beds. She frantically looked around at each of the beds and decided who to talk to first. She settled to run up to Gwyn’s bed. The small green child stopped by the bed and looked down to the floor for a moment.

“I’m really sorry,” she said softly.

“For what?” Gwyn asked with genuine confusion.

“For making you fight,” the girl replied.

Gwyn chuckled.

“Don’t worry; I’ll be back up in no time!” Gwyn said with confidence. Hal rolled his eyes, and Rheba shook her head as they recalled his complaining only moments prior. The Nonpareil’s words were enough for Bonfilia, and she nodded before running to Adan’s bed. He was still asleep.

“Adan, I’m sorry I didn’t make you a protection necklace… I thought you’d be okay…” the girl lamented. Mamie crossed the room and put her hand on her daughter’s shoulder.

“Dear, he just needs to rest. He’ll be up and about by the festival tomorrow for sure. Why don’t you go help with preparations?” Bonfilia nodded and wiped some tears from her eyes. She ran out of the room. After her daughter left, Mamie turned to the team and politely bowed to them.

“Thank you for all you’ve done; I’m not sure we would have won as easily without you,” she said to the group.

“We were happy to support you; in the end, you helped us just as much to win,” Rheba replied as she made a seated bow back to Mamie.

“We plan to build a statue of you all in the center of town as soon as possible!” Mamie happily told the group,” We would like an artist to meet with you before you leave; so we can capture your likeness!”

“Uh, that’s okay,” Gwyn replied.

“Yes, I don’t need a statue,” Fiona added.

“My form cannot be easily rendered in stone,” Hal backed up the other two.

Rheba shrugged and nodded. Having a statue of oneself was considered bragging rights in Bentulousian culture.

I must insist that we at least capture Princess Fiona and the Nonpareil at the very least. I understand the rest of you contributed just as much, but most townsfolk consider them the raid leaders.

Gwyn and Fiona shook their heads to say ‘no’ in unison.

“Don’t… leave me… out of that statue….” Odell muttered. The others turned to him, thinking he had woken, but he was only talking in his sleep.

Mamie kept asking them questions about the statue until she finally got the group to agree reluctantly to a likeness of the six of them.

“Great!” she said, “Now, I thought it would be best to inform you what we plan to do. We will send some representatives to Quenth to report on everything that transpired here. We will have them send troops to pick up the bandits.”

The group had no objections to Mamie’s plan and nodded to show their agreement.

“And now I must get going for the festival preparations, they are really excited about this year, though I can’t blame them. We did find your vehakul as well, it seems like something was wrong with the engine, so we fixed it.”

“You did it without me!” Odell shouted as he suddenly awoke and shot up in his bed. He hazily looked around the room and fell back onto the pillow, out cold.

“Uh,” Mamie said before continuing with her update to the group, “Anyway, we have everything prepped for you to leave, but we would like to ask that you stay here for the remainder of the festival and enjoy yourselves.”

“Sounds good to me!” Fiona said. She had not realized, but she responded before Rheba could politely decline.

“Perfect, well, I’ll let you rest.” Mamie made one more bow to the team and headed out the door. They were left to rest after the long fight.