Chapter 7:

Hermits and mental breakdowns.

The Hero and I are going to rebuild the world! But first we have to destroy it...

The morning air was warm. The colossal black birds were whistling an eerie morning tune.

Moth girl was rolling in the wet morning grass. Rodelia was tearing down the makeshift tent and Chun was helping her.

They both finished collecting everything and sat down for a moment on a dry log.

“Hey, what’s that noise?” Rodelia said, looking up.

“Yea, I hear it too. Sounds kinda like a whip cracking?” Chun replied.

Rodelia nodded in affirmation. Suddenly, a piece of paper that was being carried by the wind settled beneath their feet.

“Huh, a carnival?” Chun questioned. “But this is the middle of an abyssal forest? How did this flier even get here?”

“Abyssal forest must really like clowns.” Rodelia said, picking up the flier.

“I was going to say maybe it’s ancient and over time was pulled here by the wind. But it can’t be? It looks so new and pristine.”

“I agree, let's just toss it. We need to find a way out of this place first. Also, I’ve been thinking-” Chun was cut off.

Honk honk! A parade of clowns began to pass by them. Slowly dancing by was a parade of different circus acts. Mixed in were a few vendors trying to shout out to market their products, like hot dogs, or different novelty items but were drowned out by the blasting horns and elephants trumpeting loudly. Clowns laughed with their faces covered completely in white.

“Dear father God, I know I haven't really been in contact with you for a while. But I have come to tell you I regret becoming an atheist. I believe wholeheartedly that there is hell, and I am now in it. I am now a believer in the Lord, so please wake me up from this nightmare!” Rodelia rapped faster than Lin Manuel Miranda.

“!? What’s wrong with you?” Chun said before pausing. “Oh right, clowns.” He said, looking over his shoulder as the parade continued. The entire forest was filled with the echoes of the merry parade music.

Rodelia was covering her ears and hugging her knees on the floor. She was whispering to herself incoherent things.

“Hey wait, Rodelia look.” Chun said, tapping her shoulder.

The parade was beginning to thin out. A large float and the last piece of the parade began to come into view.

There was a woman standing on a red and yellow float that was slowly being tugged along by lions. She had red hair and was wearing a ring masters outfit. In her left hand was a whip.

A horrid sounding crack boomed, even overcoming the slightly ear bursting parade tunes.

“Let’s distance ourselves a bit. My ears hurt.” Chun said looking at Rodelia who was still curled up in the grass. “Why do these things keep happening?” He whispered to himself.

Rodelia hobbled along Chun as they went over to Moth girl. She was a lot further away from the parade and was picking at moss. Chun set Rodelia in a patch of small sprouting clovers and went back to watch the parade finally drift out of view.

“Well, that was over surprisingly fast.” He whispered to himself. Chun sighed and walked over to Rodelia who had calmed down.

“I knew you hated clowns, but I didn't know you were that scared of them.” Chun said, squatting down and putting his hand on Rodelia's shoulder.

“Yeah, well, I never thought we’d be running into a mime in the middle of fantastical medieval Europe. Oh, shit jesters exist, never mind…” Rodelia trailed off.

Moth girl looked at both of them in concern and rubbed up against Rodelia trying to comfort her.

“Yeah, the Crimson Troupe is pretty weird.” A woman appeared suddenly out of a cloud of dust.

“C'mon, man, why is the pacing in this world so shitty?” Chun said, rolling his eyes and looking for the popup for answers.

“Hold your tongue, boy! I am Lira the Librarian Witch. Did you really think this forest was empty? An endlessly quiet place where no mortal ever comes? Of course, this place would attract hermits and weirdos! Why I’m one of them,” Lira coughed. “The hermits I mean, I'm not a weirdo. Anyway, now follow me. You two are the heroes, right?”

“Yeah?” Chun said unsure about the rogue forest grandma.

Rodelia stayed silent.

“Well, c'mon, let's go.” Lira pushing the two along.

“And where are we going?” Chun said, not moving an inch.

“Why to my house of course.” Lira said, putting her hands together and smiling.

“Well let's go!” She waved her hand, and they suddenly appeared at her house.

Sam is a scam