ACT 1: The Fate of a Nation
Chapter 4: The Snakebone Pit
Ty, Posh and Gosh quietly made their way down the rocky hillsides to reach Viper Manor in hopes of finding a secure way inside without being noticed. The moonlight shined brightly behind the haunting manor as the party edged closer. Crickets and running water could be heard alongside the murmuring of Gosh, who found what they were doing to be revolting. Gosh stepped in front of Ty, stopping him, “This is degrading! I am a distinguished wealthy gentleman! I cannot lower myself to the level of a common criminal! Posh let us go and knock on the front door. If we explain the situation I’m sure everything will be understood,” he said quietly.
Ty stretched his arms behind his head and stared off into the distance with an uncaring expression, “Fine, suits me just as well. Do what you want and while you guys distract the security I’ll sneak in and find the others.”
Gosh gave Ty a silent but cross glare, “Come sister, we have little time to spare!”
Stuttering, Posh fumbled unable to decide for herself, “B-but…, I…,” she said as she stamped her foot down. “Ty I believe going through the front door would be best, don’t you think?”
Ty sighed as his body went limp. “Alright, we’ll try your guys’ way first, but if that doesn’t work then we do things my way!” he finished with a grin.
“Deal, I will show you how to be a real gentleman!” Gosh said confidently.
The party regrouped as they traveled the cobblestone pathway to the front gate of Viper Manor. Upon arrival, two large figures stood at the gate. They were humanoid, but not human. Their bodies were made of metal, bronze to be specific and the bronze ‘armor’ was complemented with maroon colored cloth accents. The figures were hunched over, their heads jutting from their broad upper bodies instead of setting upon a neck and their bulky arms nearly reached the ground. The creatures were mechanical in nature and turned to meet the visitors. One responded with a raspy mechanical voice, “GA-PI-GA-PI-PI?” it sounded.
Instantly upon hearing this, Ty realized something, “That’s the same thing the ‘monster’ said when it hit me over the head the first time I was here!”
Gosh was astounded, “Wow, a real life humanoid robot! Steam powered no less!”
“Certainly has wonderful craftsmanship!” Posh added with admiration.
Ty kept his distance while Gosh cleared his throat, “Ahem, we are Gosh and Posh Lords from the Explorer Corps of Chorus! We understand you have a few of our co-workers visiting here. To be frank, we have come to retrieve them as they have long overstayed their welcome and must return to Chorus at once!”
“GA-PI-GA-PI-PI!!!” steamed the mechanical doll as it threw its large arms into the air irately.
Gosh backed off immediately in a frightened manner. “Gah, I’m sorry, no need to be so angry!”
Posh gave her brother a long disdainful gaze as if to call him pathetic while Ty simply grinned slyly. Ty approached Gosh, “See, now will you do things my way?”
Gosh ground his teeth in frustration, but finally relented. “Fine, if it will…, allow me to see my wonderful Tomo again…, we will do things your…, way…,” he gulped as he swallowed his pride.
Ty grinned widely, “See that wasn’t so bad was it?” he gloated. “Come on let’s go find a good spot to sneak in!”
With Ty in the lead, the party trekked through a rocky wooded area that overlooked the eastern side of Viper Manor. “Hmm, I think the terrace is our best bet. I haven’t seen anyone move down there since we started looking,” Ty deduced as he gazed discreetly from behind a tree.
Posh grew nervous, “Er-erm, yes, just as long as we avoid the search lights!” she stammered.
“That is an awfully long walk across that courtyard…,” Gosh sighed.
“Nah, the guys working the spotlights don’t seem like they’re really paying much attention,” Ty noticed. “Come on, let’s move!”
With that the siblings followed Ty closely as they dashed quickly and quietly across the grass and cobblestone courtyard. Luckily, the infiltration went smoothly as they reached the steps to the terrace. Each member of the party took cover behind a pillar to catch their breath. “Oh, that was rough!” Gosh complained. “I almost tripped over a misplaced patio brick!”
“Try running in elevated heels, I thought I was going to twist my ankle!” Posh followed.
“Will you two quit complaining, you’re going to alert the guards!” Ty warned sternly. As the party regrouped under the safety of the terrace roof, Ty located a varnished door with bronzed accents. Ty opened the door only slightly so he could take a peek as to what was on the other side. It was an entrance to the corridors and hallways of Viper Manor. “Hmm, looks like the coast is clear, this where the real fun begins!” Ty whispered as the party quietly snuck into the manor.
The party walked quietly through the halls of Viper Manor, checking doors to see if they were opened. Posh on the other hand attempted to find her way by reading signs that were attached to the brick walls. “Mister Drayguard, you said you heard the Acacia Dragoons speak of using the Quadffid Seeds on ‘prisoners’ correct?” Posh asked quietly as she adjusted her steeple hat.
“Yeah, that’s what they said,” Ty responded.
“Then perhaps our destination lies beneath the manor, in the Catacombs,” Posh suggested hoping for approval.
“Great thinking Posh, did you figure out where the door is to get there?” Ty asked hopefully.
“Er-erm no, I haven’t yet exactly…,” Posh stuttered.
“It is this way,” Gosh interjected, now returning the pitiable gaze to his sister.
“Alright, let’s keep moving we don’t have time to waste!” Ty retorted confidently.
The party headed down the corridors until coming to a large door that read ‘Catacombs’ on an ornate sign above the door. However, as Ty tried to open the door he found it to be locked up pretty tightly. “Rats, I didn’t think it was going to be this easy, but it was a good try…,” Ty said bummed out.
“It seems we need the key, where do you suppose they keep it?” Posh asked.
“Around Viper’s neck probably…, no I’m kidding…, but it probably has to be around here somewhere,” Ty said as he was placed in bewilderment.
Suddenly, Gosh’s attention was grabbed by echoing voices emanating from down the hallways. “Gah, Acacia Dragoons, we must hide or else they’ll kill us!” he panicked.
“Ah, crud!” Ty said as he and the twins began searching for an open room like a closet or otherwise to take shelter in. Luckily, they found an open room. The room they took shelter in was dark and they could not see. “Somebody flip the light switch please!” Ty said irately as he tripped over a can.
Gosh searched the side of the way and found a lever. He pulled the level up and it latched, completing a circuit. The lights in the room came to life. “Eww, yuck, patooie! This room is a kitchenette and a slovenly one at that!” Gosh said reviled.
“My, even the cupboards are emptied!” Posh said with surprise. “This is no doubt that gluttonous tomboy’s doing!”
Ty was enraptured by a large orange frog kept in a hanging square cage. “Nah, if Tomo was here, this frog would have been eaten too…,” Ty chuckled.
Then suddenly, the frog opened its mouth and it spoke words, “Please release me, ribbit!” it said.
The party withdrew in surprise, “What the-! It talks!” Ty said in shock. Ty leaned in to get a closer look and then tapped the cage.
“My Boss would be very upset if I were eaten!” the frog claimed.
“Um…, okay, here you go…,” Ty said as he unlocked the cage.
“Thank you, ribbit!” the frog said as it escaped the cage and escaped through a hole in the wall.
“That has got to be the weirdest thing I have ever seen,” Posh stated.
Gosh regained his composure, “Whatever, it seems quiet outside, we should get moving!” he said.
As the party continued they found a large set of double doors that said ‘Ballroom’ above the door. The door creaked as Ty quietly opened it. Inside was a beautiful but eerie room. A large organ lies at the far end of the room taking up the entire wall. The room was illuminated by numerous candles that bathed everything in a soft light. “Nope, there doesn’t seem to be anything of interest to us in here,” Ty said as he walked up to the old organ. Gosh turned to the door and witnessed someone holding it open slightly staring at them through the crack. However, just as Gosh noticed this, the door shut quietly. Gosh turned to the rest of the party in fear. “S-someone knows were here!” he shivered.
“What, how do you know that?” Posh asked curiously.
“Someone was glaring at us with the door cracked open!” Gosh responded.
Ty drew his daggers cautiously and quietly walked over to the door and placed his ear to it. He could not hear anything on the other side and decided to slowly open the door. He placed his foot in front of it to prevent any surprise attacks. Ty clutched his dagger; his blood ran cold as he slowly cracked the door. He looked through the crack but did not see anyone. He opened the door a little more just enough to poke his head out and look both ways, but found nothing. Breathing a deep sigh of relief the party left the ballroom and continued now on edge, more than ever before.
As the party continued a room that Ty recognized came into view. Curious, Ty checked the door and found the room to be open. He and the party entered and Ty realized that this room was in fact, Lady Riddel’s room. It was the very same room where he was poisoned by Viper. Ty walked up to Lady Riddel’s bed and found her missing. He thought quietly with a sense of relief, “Good, it seems she has recovered after all, well that’s one worry off my shoulders.” Feeling reassured, the party realized that nothing left of interest was in this room and they left.
The party soon snuck their way to the center of the manor and ended up in an atrium. The cool night breeze echoed throughout the atrium as the centerpiece fountain poured water from the snake statues. The party took a moment to take in the relaxing scenes while being careful not to make any noises. Ty approached the fountain. He smiled as he took a coin from his pocket and flipped it into the fountain’s waters. The water rippled, reflecting the moonlight from above. After their little rest the party made their way to the other side of the manor.
The first room they found unlocked was a study. It was a spacious room lined with tall shelves that were packed with books. Its walls were lined with eerie paintings, some paintings depicting leaders of the Viper Clan and then some that were surreal depictions of events throughout history. The party searched the study closely, hoping to find anything that could help them. Then suddenly, footsteps of those who wore heavy armor echoed throughout the hallway outside. The party freaked, “Quick, everyone take cover under the desk!” Ty urged as they haphazardly hid themselves underneath the studies large mahogany desk. The party stayed quiet as the door opened.
A dragoon’s voice could be heard, “Funny, I thought I heard something in here…,” he said. “Meh must be my imagination.”
As the door closed, the party sighed in relief. Unfortunately, their relief was replaced with imminent fear as another pair of footsteps entered the room with a creak at the door. The footsteps were heavy, but not with armor, they shuffled around for a bit and then left the room closing the door behind them. Posh clung to Ty in fear, her breasts suffocating him. Gosh was back to back with Ty, to afraid to even breathe, for fear it would be heard. Ty managed to speak underneath Posh’s ample bust, “Posh, I am no masher, but as much as I am enjoying your chest I have to ask you to release me, so we can continue…,”
Posh released Ty, her face as bright red as a tomato, “Dear me, how unrefined! This is not the place for such…, activities…!”
Gosh cleared his throat, “Ahem let us leave here now shall we?”
The party left the study with extreme caution. Luckily, the corridors were empty so the party continued. After searching many locked doors a large metal door that seemed to stand alone awaited them. Ty placed his ear to the door, “Hmm, I hear mechanical noises coming from inside.”
Gosh edged closer, “Don’t open that door Ty, what if more of those mechanical dolls we met at the front gate are stored here?”
Posh added, “Yes, this room is not one we’re-!” she said as she was interrupted by Ty opening the door. Without immediate expression, Ty close the door. “What was inside?” Posh asked puzzled.
Ty began walking away, “Exactly what Gosh said would be in it, alongside the inner workings of a clock tower. That’s what was making all the noise. The gears to the clock tower,” he said obviously attempting to comically hold back his fear.
After a while, the party came to yet another room, it was the armory. Ty and the party searched the armory and found it to be stocked to the brim with newly crafted weapons and armor. “Wow, they really are preparing for war…,” Ty said with a whistle. With that, another set of footsteps came to the door and the party quickly hid behind suits of armor. As the party hid Ty grew curious as he peeked out beneath one of the arms of the armor suits. The figure had its back turned to them, but Ty made out some of its features. “Biggs, is that…, is that you?” he thought with an eerie chill as goose bumps emerged on his arms. The figure left the room and the party left their hiding places.
“Ty I am growing weary of all this, where is that key to the Catacombs?!” Gosh said with frustration.
“Only one place left to try and look…, Viper’s Quarters…,” Ty responded.
“Wonderful, let us make it fast, I do believe we are being watched somehow…,” Posh said as she looked back and forth nervously.
With that, the party left the armory and headed to the second floor. Every room here was someone’s living quarters and they were locked up tight for the night. The party avoided getting caught by night patrol throughout the second floor as they came to the largest set of double doors on the floor. “This is it, Viper’s Quarters,” Ty said as he cautiously placed his ear to the door. No sounds came from the room as he opened it. The room was mysteriously unlocked and empty as well. No one was home.
“We are in luck he doesn’t seem to be in!” Gosh said as both he and his sister began searching for the keys to the catacombs. The room was simple in design and was very similar to Lady Riddel’s room. Ty searched Viper’s desk and found a secret compartment that opened a drawer that revealed two keys on a key ring.
Ty took the key ring, “One key for the catacombs, and one for the…, nice the vault key. Now why would this key be…, with the…, other one…” he said as he slowly came to a realization.
“Ty, you seem pale is something wrong?” Posh asked worriedly.
“Oh, nothing…, but I believe…, that we have been being led this whole time…,” Ty said with his whole body running cold.
Posh and Gosh also lost color in their faces. “Y-you’re saying we were…, expected?”
“Well I did tell Viper…, I’d be back…,” Ty said as he stored away the keys and the party left the room.
“Great, so what do we do, what if we are headed into a trap?” Gosh said worriedly.
“We don’t have any choice…, we go to the catacombs…,” Ty said as the party began heading towards to catacombs entrance.
Ty turned the key albeit hesitantly and opened the door. As to be expected, the staircase leading into the catacombs was dark and only illuminated by wall mounted torches. The party breathed deeply and descended. Upon reaching the midpoint of the stairs a corridor line with jail cells awaited them. However, Ty wanted to see what was at the bottom of the stairs so the party continued. Upon reaching the bottom a large vault door lay before them. Gosh gulped, “Ty, do you think this is where the trap would be laid? After all you are a treasure hunter.”
“Maybe, but luckily for me, I have a ‘key’ of my own,” Ty said confidently. “Just prepare yourselves…,” he said as he approached the vault door. Ty inserted the ornate key and turned it. He then turned the large tumbler lock and the door opened. The party drew their weapons and entered cautiously. The room was circular and made of sandstone. It was filled with mountains of gold coins. “HOLY SHRIMP!” Ty shouted in awe. “This is the most gold I’ve ever seen!”
“Well, when you have to finance a war a large amount of money is required!” Posh claimed.
“This is far more money than we have and I though ‘we’ were wealthy!” Gosh said astonished.
The party looked around and Ty found a blue and bronze treasure chest in the corner. “I wonder what’s inside…,” he asked no one in particular. As Ty knelt down to touch the chest a smoke cloud erupted and two entities came forth. The two entities were spiritual beings that possessed treasure chests. Once was a large treasure chest with burly striped arms and legs while the other was smaller with very thin lanky arms and legs. There voices spoke in unison, “Heh, heh, heh, we’re the Boxer Boys! We want to play a game with you! Make a choice, hit one of us. If you choose right we’ll give you a special treasure! Choose wrong and we’ll rough you up!”
“What should we do?” Posh asked hoping for an answer.
“What else, we let Drayguard decide!” Gosh began. “I hear you’ve encountered these monsters numerous times and was always successful.”
Ty took a long gaze at both monsters and without warning he kicked over the large one. Posh and Gosh grew anxious as the Big Boxer got to its feet. It dashed up to Ty and then stopped suddenly. It opened and revealed a small burlap sack that it handed over to him. With that Ty took the goods and the Boxer Boys vanished into thin air, “Nice job, until next time!” the Boxer Boys said in unison.
“Oh thank goodness,” Posh sighed with relief.
“What did the monster give you?” Gosh asked curiously.
“Looks like some extra equipment, let’s see; we have a Power Glove and a pair of Bronze Knee Caps, nice,” Ty said as he placed tossed the equipment to Posh and Gosh.
“But Ty, this stuff is yours, why give it to us?” Posh asked worriedly.
“Because, you need extra protection while Gosh over their needs to swing that sword of his a lot harder,” Ty claimed with a grin. The party then regrouped and came across an ornate pot on the other side of the room. Upon touching it, it too came to life. “Crud, this one’s alive too?” Ty said as he drew his daggers. Posh and Gosh did the same, but as they did, the monster acted strangely. Two leather bands that acted like arms grabbed Ty’s feet and dragged him before the pot. “Whoa, what’s it doing?” Ty shouted as he tried to shake the monster’s hold. The lid opened and a puff of red smoke revealed a very obese female genie with tan skin, three striped horns, and long maroon colored hair that was tied back in a long ponytail emerged. Her big belly giggled as did her bust when she made even the slightest movements. Instead of attacking however, she seemed amorous towards Ty. Ty was astonished, “I didn’t know Potty came in a female variety!”
Potty had a deep voice as she blew Ty a kiss, “My, hello there handsome!” she moaned coyly. “Why don’t join me inside my pot here for some real entertainment!”
Ty ever polite responded nervously, “Well now…, I’m not offended by larger women! Nevertheless, I am…, in the middle of something important!”
“Aw, now, now, don’t be that way!” Potty said with a sultry tone. “I’ve been alone for sooo long and I really could use the company!”
Posh reacted with pure hostility as she used her magical brooch to cast her Gravity spell. The spell caught Potty off guard and sent her into the ceiling. She came back down and the magical pot she stayed in shattered and she vanished unwillingly, returning to the spirit realm. Posh scoffed, “You should really be more careful Ty. You are more desirable than you realize, even to filth like that genie!” she ended with a pouting face.
Gosh ran his hand through his hair, “Well now sister, let’s not be quick to judge! That genie was perfect for our friend here!” he said with a slight blush.
Ty chuckled with unease as he rose to his feet. The party then returned to the center of the room and they discerned that it was not a trap. However, as the party got ready to vacate, the door opened revealing three figures. The three figures entered the room. “Biggs, Wedge, Piette, where have you three been and…, what the hell has…, become of you?” Posh said as she realized the strange change that has overcome her co-workers. The three co-workers had gained sickly deep blue skin and red fiery hair and black eyes with blood red irises.
“Quadffid poison, they are afflicted with it!” Ty claimed as he drew his weapon. “Posh, Gosh, cover me for a second, I need to apply the antidote to my daggers!”
“Right!” they responded in unison. However, before Posh and Gosh knew it, Biggs and Wedge leaped on top of them with ferocity. While Posh and Gosh were pinned to the ground by their zombified co-workers Ty was tackled by Piette and he dropped the jar of antidote in a nearby coin pile.
The party struggled against their demonized co-workers brute strength. “We have to be sure…, not to kill them!” Ty said as he shoved Piette off of him. Ty leaped into the coin pile and grabbed his antidote and quickly took a cotton swab and dipped it into the slick oily solution. He then wiped the solution onto the blades of his daggers and managed to place the antidote away before once again being thrown to the ground by Piette.
Posh screamed, “Agh, Ty I could use some assistance, Wedge is touching me in a place I did not permit him too!”
“You heard her Drayguard you oaf!” Gosh said as he continued to struggle with Biggs.
“Patience is a virtue!” Ty said calmly but with growing frustration as he struggled to raise his dagger to Piette’s triceps. With luck, Ty gridlocked Piette’s strength as he sunk his dagger’s blade into his triceps. After a few moments Piette began to cough as the regular flesh color began returning to him along with eye color and hair color. Ty then threw Piette off him and into the gold coin pile. Biggs threw Gosh to the ground and he stood angered. His prideful demeanor changed to one of wrath. Ty threw him the cotton swab with the antidote. “Gosh swipe your rapier with that and give Wedge a non lethal cut! It’ll cure him!” he said as he went to help Posh.
Gosh grunted hesitantly, “Fine, as I see no other way…,” he said as he caught the cotton swab. He swiped it across the Mithril blade and the dim light of the vault reflected brilliantly off of it. “Please forgive me Biggs, but I have no other choice but to slap you as Sir Cyrus would!” he announced as his muscles tightened and his senses increased. Biggs leaped like a beast towards Gosh and Gosh retaliated with a super fast dash. When the attack connected, Gosh’s Mithril Rapier had pierced Biggs’s right shoulder. Just like Piette, Biggs began to revert to normal as he clutched his shoulder.
“Agh, Ty help!” shouted a distressed Posh as Wedge used her as a human shield.
“Bad move Wedge!” Ty claimed strongly as he used a technique of his own. Ty’s body surged with power and he moved so fast he appeared behind Wedge as if he came from the shadows. “How do you like my Stealth Strike!” he shouted as he cut Wedge alongside his back. Like his two other peers Wedge quickly began to revert to normal.
After finally reverting back to their normal selves, Biggs, Wedge and Piette were patched up and they thanked the party greatly while bow and scraping. Gosh approached them worriedly, “That’s enough you three where is my lovely Tomo?!”
Wedge responded, “S-she’s in the torture chamber on the floor just above us!”
“We have no idea what they have done to her though but if it’s anything like us, I’m sure it’s horrid!” Biggs added fearfully.
“Please, you have to help her!” Piette pleaded.
“Just who exactly did this?” Ty asked curiously.
Biggs faced Ty, “It was some Harlequin’s idea she informed the General right after Lady Riddel was cured!”
“Yeah, they wanted to test out the poisoned fighters against someone!” Wedge claimed. “When you arrived, the General made sure your every move was watched!”
“Lucky for us though, I don’t think they expected you to have a cure for the Quadffid toxin Ty,” Piette added with a little confusion. “I’m just glad you were able to reverse the effects!”
“Well, now that that’s taken care of, let’s go get Tomo!” Ty said sternly. The party left the vault and dashed up the stairs. They returned to the jail cell room and at the far end of the maze-like structure a large metal door stood. Ty placed his ear to the door and heard female moans of pain come from within. Ty drew his daggers and without turning to face them, he spoke to the rest of the party. “Gosh, Posh, take Biggs, Wedge and Piette and get out of Viper Manor. I think I’ll take it from here…”
They were distressed, “Ty no, you need us to help you!” Posh said sternly.
“Yes, and ‘I’ shall be the one to rescue my fair Tomo!” Gosh followed.
“Look, Biggs and the others are scuffed up pretty badly and still need to be treated for additional toxins,” Ty explained. “Whatever I’ll find in there at this point is something only I can handle…, I have the antidote. There should be a soldier from Porre fixing up a steam car in front of Fiona’s Shrine. Get there and wait for me and Tomo.”
“But it is only right for the prince to save his princess!” Gosh continued urgently.
“Gosh you can court her all you like once this is over!” Ty added frustrated. “I can’t see her anymore after this anyway. I’m not even supposed to be here. So this is like…, saying goodbye in a weird stupid sense. After this is all said and done, I won’t bother you guys anymore…”
Posh was unable to say anything as her brother relented, “Fine, just bring her back safely would you!” Gosh said as he gritted his teeth. “Come on everyone let’s let the bilge rat have his moment in the spotlight!”
As the party left Ty alone, Posh shouted back, “You don’t bother me Ty! You can bother me all you like after this, just please, come back!”
Ty chuckled, “That woman…, alright let’s see what’s behind door number 2!” he said as he opened the door. Ty entered the room and found it to be noting more than a circular room. The room was only barely lit and someone was bound with ropes at the opposite end of the room. As Ty approached he was stopped in the middle of the room by a puff of smoke that revealed none other than Harle. “Harle, you bitch!” Ty spat angrily.
She waved her finger as a taunt, “Ooh, someone is a little grumpy, yes?” she teased.
“Just get outta my way you harlot-quin!” Ty said irately.
“No, no, I cannot do that. I am glad you survived Gaea’s Naval because that means we can play some more!” she said as she revealed a strange jingle bell on a string. “And now I can play with your fat girlfriend too!”
“Well, Tomo isn’t my girlfriend…, wait…, fat?” Ty asked quizzically.
“You shall see! 1…, 2…, and 3!” Harle said as she rung the strange bell. Although Ty could not see clearly, the person bound at the back of the room violently reacted to the ringing of the bell. “You two play nice now!” Harle said as she vanished in another puff of smoke.
The person broke through their bindings and was consumed with a dark aura as they began to grow enormously in height and weight. “Tomo…, oh no…, I should not have said she would one day become a monster…,” Ty lamented as he realized the Acacia Dragoons made her consume the Quadffid Seeds. Tomo’s body deformed as she grew to around nine feet tall and her body fat kept pouring on like rising bread dough. Her skin turned the same sickly blue color that the others had along with the eyes and hair. When the transformation ended, Tomo was massive. She was almost as wide as she was tall. All the excess body fat made her slow and she took up a lot of room. She was given a new hammer made from solid bronze that she carried easily with one arm. She glared at Ty with a monstrous expression Ty had never seen before. She did not seem to recognize him at all.
Harle’s voice echoed off the walls, “Meet Hell Tomo, you two go ahead and get friendly with one another! Oh, to make things even more fun the ceiling of blades will slowly descend, so you’d better hurry!”
“Damn you Harle!” Ty shouted as he quickly dodged Tomo’s hammer strike. In addition, he could hear the ceiling scraping against the walls as it began its long descent. Ty dodged hammer swing after hammer swing. Due to all Tomo’s access girth, she was ridiculously slow, but very powerful. “I have to be sure not to get hit, getting hit is very bad,” he said aloud as he continued to dodge. Tomo then took one really big swing and Ty jumped to her left. Her strike missed and the hammer got stuck in the ground. As she tried to pull the hammer out Ty swung at her massive thighs giving her some superficial cuts that were stricken with the antidote. Ty managed to keep this pattern with her for a little while but then began to notice something strange. “Why isn’t the antidote working?” he mused as Tomo stomped around while getting a better grip on her hammer. Tomo began to stare Ty down as she tapped her belly with her hammer and then she began to wildly slam her hammer in unpredictable ways as she dashed randomly around the room. Ty worked hard to make sure to avoid her, but her jiggling body made it hard for him to read her movements properly. He then realized something, “That’s it, it’s her body fat! That’s why the antidote isn’t working her fat is just soaking it all up! I need a heavier dose of it!” he said aloud. This revelation came at a price however as Tomo was able to catch him off guard and swat him away like a fly. Ty felt the side of the hammer collide with his torso and he spit up blood as he felt some bones in his ribs become bruised.
Tomo laughed heartily as Ty wearily got to his feet, holding his torso. He then took the jar of antidote from his rucksack, “Got to make this count, can’t take another hit like that!” he said as he ran towards her. She laid her hammer down and Ty used all his strength to dodge the hammer, climb the hammer and leap up to Tomo. He stood on her chest, “Open wide, it’s time for your medicine!” he said sarcastically as he shoved the jar into her open mouth. The entirety of the antidote was swallowed by her gaping maw and Ty was thrown to the ground. Unlike the others the antidote took a while but it was having an effect. Tomo still tried to attack Ty albeit wearily as her body began to shrink very slowly.
Harle’s voice echoed off the walls again, “Ohh, but the fun’s just starting!” she moaned as she appeared on Tomo’s shoulder. “Let’s see what happens when she gets her magic ring back!” she said as she appeared with a puff of smoke and forced the ring onto her ring finger. Harle vanished immediately after and Tomo raised her hand as she began gathering energy in her palm. She then pointed her hand towards Ty. Ty knew what would happen to him if the beam connected, but with his injury he was not capable of going anywhere. Then, Ty shut his eyes as the beam of light enveloped him. However, nothing happened and even Tomo was surprised that nothing came of it.
Ty opened his eyes to find that his body was still intact, “Huh, I guess it doesn’t promote cannibalism! Lucky me!” he grinned weakly. With that, Tomo transformed again. The form she took though was not the form Ty was expecting. Tomo was back to her original skin color, eye color, hair color and height, but she was still very overweight. Her blubbery body was shaped like a pear. She sat on the ground trying to regain her senses. The ceiling above them stopped and Ty approached her. “Tomo…, is that really you?”
Like a small child, the plump rosy cheeked woman rubbed her eyes as if waking up from a nap. She then rubbed her tummy and yawned. “What happened, why do I feel so heavy…, I…,” she said as she suddenly came to and realized where she was and what became of her. “Ahh, no wait!” she said as she got a good look at her own body. “This…, this was not something you were ever supposed to see Ty!” she said frustrated.
“What…, I don’t understand?” Ty said puzzled.
“This is…, my normal self…,” she began. “This is what I truly look like…, a big fat blob of a woman,” she said as she started to grow saddened.
"Um, does it have something to do with that ring of yours?” Ty asked as he pointed to the ring that was now painfully cutting off circulation to her plump finger.
“Yeah, I can compress my access with it…, so to speak…,” she said as she struggled to get up. “Go ahead and laugh…, I deserve it for being so gluttonous…”
“Tomo, I don’t want to laugh at you,” Ty said weakly. “I don’t think I could if I wanted to…,”
Tomo gave Ty a slightly brighter expression, “You mean, you don’t think I’m…, disgusting?”
“No, why would I think that? I’m just glad you’re alright!” he said happily.
“So does that mean I’m still your biggest rival?!” Tomo asked eagerly.
“In more ways than one…,” Ty chuckled. “Ah, it hurts to laugh…”
“Hey, you said you wouldn’t laugh!” Tomo scolded as she pouted.
“Just playing with you Tomo…, but…,” Ty started gaining a sad expression on his face.
Tomo became worried and leaned in, “But…?”
Ty sighed, “Because you and the others got captured…, your dad, doesn't want us to hang out anymore… or he’ll fire me or kill me. Probably not in that order,” he lamented.
Tomo gave Ty a gentle smile, “Ty, we’re adults, we can hang out with whoever we please, I’m not going to stop competing with you just because my dad says so…,”
“Heh, for now, can we just go…,” Ty started with a chuckle. “Let’s get out of this death trap…”
As they headed towards the door Tomo stopped and turned to Ty with tears of joy in her eyes, “Brace yourself, this might hurt a little!” she said as she gave Ty an enormous squishy hug. “Thank you…, for seeing me as I truly am and not hating me!” she finished as Ty weakly returned the hug and suppressed his pain.
She released him, “Oww, my back and ribs…, your welcome Tomo…,” Ty said with a cough.
Harle’s voice echoed for the last time, “Aww, so adorable, but it would seem that our little game has ended! I have much more important matters to attend to! See you around!”
Ty and Tomo wore angry expressions as they listened to Harle gloat, but then relaxed as soon as she was done, “Let’s get the hell outta here,” Ty said with a grin.
“No argument here!” Tomo added.
*San Dorino, a Day Later*
“So you have to go all the way to Guardia Castle?” Tomo asked as she sat on the bed across from Ty. She had reverted to her thin state using her ring and warned Ty to never tell Posh or Gosh.
“Yeah, so I need to leave as soon as I can,” he said as he rose from the bed patched up and fully rested.
“Well um…, good luck I’m headed back to Chorus to get some extra antioxidants and talk to my dad,” Tomo said kinda down. “I guess I’ll see you when you get back to Chorus…”
“Yeah, catch you later Tomo!” Ty said as he left the Inn and headed for the Ferry.
And so, Ty boarded the Ferry to Guardia and was in for a three day ride. As he sat on the deck and watched the water below he let his mind run and think about all the things that had transpired up until this point. He thought about what awaited him at Guardia and about his job. As he thought, he let his head back and breathed deeply. But, unbeknownst to him…, his hardships were only beginning…
*End of Chapter*