Author’s note: I’m going to change the schedule to Sunday and Wednesday. It’s a bit easier on me, instead of Monday and Wednesday. Enjoy
Castle Infiltration VII
Jasper was silent for a moment. He opened his mouth to speak, but closed it seconds later.
“Ah, come on. Stop dragging this on.” Rod was rolling around in the air like a little kid throwing a tantrum.
“Does your name represents a specific flower?”
“Yes!” Rod was dancing around with joy. “Bring on the pain!”
Metal needle flew over Jasper’s doll. He gulped in fear as he watched the needle insert itself into Jasper chest creating a painful shock wave.
“Augggh!” Jasper crunched over, holding onto the rail for his dear life as if he was going to fall.
“Gahahaahaha!” Rod flipped in mid-air with a large smile plastered on his face. He rubbed his white belly with joy. He then stops and brings back his posture like nothing was wrong. “Ehem, the question is do you like Silver?” He wiggled his tails and eyebrows looking over towards Jasper with interest.
Silver crosses her arm, she was piqued by his answer, wondering what he would say.
“Yes.” Jasper spoke without hiding anything and stood there unwavered by his answer.
“Romantic relationship or just as a friend.”
“Romantically, I don’t think that’s even possible right now. We only have met for two days, but as a friend I will always help her and stand by her side. She had helped me numerous times and I feel like I owe her something for all the things she has done. I stand by my words Silver, I will repay you for your kindness.” Jasper gave her a smile. The doll skipped to the right.
“Booo. That’s so boring.” Rod shook his head in disappointment. “I was looking more dramatize story. Then how about this? If you were to save yourself or Silver, who would it be?”
“I’m not so sure. I believe I must make an effort to survive and come out of it alive. Though right now, I’m more leaning towards Silver. A life for my life is needed to be paid.”
“That’s quite something. Ladies and Gentleman this is more than we have asked for. Shouldn’t we have a game to put them together to see if what he says will actually be put to action?”
The crowds in the background were cheering with hype. They all wanted to see what Jasper said was true or not.
“Look at the crowds reaction! This is definitely worth trying for. Let’s change up the rule shall we?”
“That’s not fair. We’re playing this game with the rule already set, how the heck are you even allowed to change it repeatedly?!” Tyler was yelling in outrage.
“Calm down scar face. This will be more in all of you guys favor.” Jasper’s doll was picked up and all of a sudden Jasper himself was pulled up by the nap like a mother lion picking up her cub. He was suddenly brought up on top of the seesaw.
Jasper crouched low trying to find balance between in the middle. He fearfully stare at Silver at the predicament he was in. Even Silver solid mask slightly slipped, wondering what was happening before them. She was pleased with Jasper answer, but was annoyed that Rod had used it against them by putting it to the test. The ground around Jasper opened up into an endless abyss, welcoming Jasper to fall. A cold whisk of wind picked up, blowing out of the abyss in an angry howl.
“This round is simple and the only time when a live human can be brought up to be judge. Same rules applies, but this time you get three tries to guess Lucky’s Rabbit’s name. The more you fail the more pain he will gain. If you fail on the third time, he will die by falling to his death.” Rod was deliriously smilingly happily in excitement. “Lucky Rabbit, please spin your dice!”
The die was rolled, and every so slowly the number six were about to land, but at the last minute it changed to a one.
“Gahhh! You serious?!” Rod was pounding on an invisible ground throwing a tantrum. “Fine! Get the questions ready!”
Silver and Jasper made eye contact. Jasper stare back with shaking fear, but he didn’t plead at her to save him. Instead, he silently stood up straight and took a deep breathe. She was surprised that he didn’t beg her to save him, she thought by the danger he was put in his mind would change and take back what he just said.
She shook her head and focused on the game. In total they were three hints that went through Silver head: she liked purple, letters in between A through L, and her name represents a flower. Each one wasn’t significant hint, but it helped her narrow down her question even further.
“Does the first letter of your name falls in the range A through G?”
“Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!” Rod was pumping his cute bunny fist in the air and slide on the floor in excitement. “This is even better!”
An metal pin appeared floating before him. Jasper gulped and the needle flew towards Jasper’s right arm and pierced him. Blood seeped out from the wound as metal pierced through his hand.
“Auggggggggggggggghh!” Jasper yelled with a painful scream and stumbled. He caught himself before he tumbled forward into the open void that welcomed him with open arms. Tyler, Cole and Rose stare at Jasper in horror at what just happened before them. Rose shuddered and averted her eyes, completely in shock. Cole fell onto his butt unable to move, but gape like a fish. Tyler winced and stood still unable to pry his eyes away.
The pain that Jasper felt didn’t transfer over towards Silver, she stood in place without being harmed. Silver kept still watching as an ugly scowl erupted on her face. She felt guilt for inflicting pain on Jasper, her expression quickly changed back to her normal expressionless face. She didn’t want to give Rod any joy in figuring out that what Jasper experienced actually bothered her, she knew that breaking out or losing her mind wouldn’t get Jasper off the seesaw any time soon. In actuality, it would the opposite and get him killed faster.
“Dum. Dee. Dum.” Rod whistled. “Question time! But before we go on, I have a very special reward for Silver if she fails to consecutively answer the question with truth. You will gain an item called Moonlight Gaze, but if Jasper survive, he will gain a different reward instead. Now to make this enticing is that Moonlight Gaze is a very special item, it has the ability to revive the holder three times when they die. They must have this item during the time of death or it wouldn’t work.”
Everyone was stunned as greed filled their hearts. This was a very special reward that would bring back the dead three times, allowing them to survive throughout this hellish world without worrying about death. Anyone would want this special item for themselves, but was it for the right cost? Rose was staring at Silver with jealously, when they heard what she will receive if she tells a lie three times, but with a cost of a life.
Silver felt her gut twist in guilt. She had to get the Moonlight Gaze item, this was why she had come here for, but she should’ve known that it was with a high cost. Her eyebrows furrowed, thinking about the choices she had to make. Lie three times and kill Jasper to gain the Moonlight Gaze, or tell the truth and allow Jasper to live and he gain some other reward.
A life for a life. Jasper owed her his life, just like he said, but was it worth the price? Three resurrections that could’ve saved her the first time she went through the game and even possibly saving the whole humanity, but if she used it to soon, it would be a waste.
“Now let’s start the questioning shall we?” Rod drums his finger. timer resets and begins counting down. “What have you really came here to do?”
Silver was silent for a moment. In her heart she was in a turmoil. Was her life worth three times of death to equal out Jaspers if she got the Moonlight Gaze or was a life worth more than just three? The answer were bubbling inside of her, her greed was like a sick festering wound that slowly took over her self conscious. She took a deep breathe.
Jasper gaze at her wondering what she would say as he held onto his bleeding hand.
“I came here for the Moonlight gaze.”
Everyone was stunned at what Silver had said. The seesaw tilted to the right, and an invisible force tugged Jasper to move even though he was injured.
“Did you guys hear that? This twerp here will throw away his life for her, but she won’t save him at all. Instead, she wants the Moonlight Gaze for herself,” said Rod with an evil grin. “I wasted so much time talking that the time flew by so quickly.”
Silver replied, “How about instead we get straight to the name guessing.”
Rod went silent amused at Silver’s words. Silver spoke so confidently about going straight to the name guessing that it completely took him by surprise.
“Are you sure?” Rod asked excitedly at Silver’s confidence. He was doing small loops in the air.
“Yes” said Silver. “ I don’t need to even ask the question.”
“I’m liking this even more.” Rod grin became bigger almost to the point where it look disgustingly scary. “If you fail, you will only have one last chance. Are you sure about this?”
The others was wondering where the sudden confidence was coming from.
“Wonderful!” Rod threw his hands up in the air. “Then let’s get this show on the road!”
Silver stood in place with unwavering dedication. Even though she said it with confidence, she felt the weight of Jasper life. It was a powerful feeling of having someone’s life in one’s hand. She could do anything to him, drop him down to his death to get to her goal or save him and lose her chance. Her palms were getting sweaty, she reached down to her skirt, wiping it away from prying eyes.
“Her name.….” Silver stopped and breathed in deeply.
“Yes? Get going.” Rod motioned his hands for her to speak impatiently.
“You are wrong! Kyahahahahahaahaha!” Rod flopped over on his back with his belly up in the air.
The needle appear dangerously in the air ready to strike downwards at Jasper’s shoulder. Jasper was holding back his arms with fear. He started to sweat heavily as the needle came closer and closer.
“No. I am correct.” Silver voiced her opinion out loud to catch Rod’s attention.
Rod flipped over and floated downwards towards Silver. His ears flopped over forward. His nose twitched at what she had said and faced her square in the eye. “Really?”
“Don’t look at me. You should look at your Lucky Rabbit.” Silver lips turned into a curl staring at him with confidence.
Even the needle stopped moving towards Jasper eye and he gulped. Sweat trickled down his face and around his shoulder. He could even feel his hands start to clammer up. Rod curiously turned his head over towards where she pointed.
“Gargaglraurgh-” Lucky Rabbit started to twitch sporadically, scratching at her neck with her nails. Her skin was peeling away from the noose line. Her head snaps to the side shifting into an odd angle.
“W-w-what’s going on?” Rod flutters over towards Lucky Rabbit. “That was not her name. How is it possible?”
“So you even didn’t know her real name.”
“What are you talking about her real name is Lilac.”
Silver smiled with a wide grin. “Thank you for giving us an answer. Her name is Lilac.”
“W-w-what?” Rod was confused and he realized what he had done. “H-how?”
Lucky Rabbit’s mask started to crack and pieces started to fall down her face. The same women on the portrait was present before them. Her face was shredded and stitched together like a Frankenstein.
“The answer is simple. She had Iris flower decorated all over her body on the portrait. The moment when Kathy asked what her color was I had my suspicion. It was a slim chance, but the result was clear when Lilac reacted and you my friend fell into the trap.”
Rod went silent and he started to turn beet red. His wings buzzed and fluttered around her sporadically. A high pitch sound of whistle escaped from Rod’s lips, the anger was dispelled in moments. Instead, he slowly clapped his hands, all the dolls and the giant needle disappeared. Jasper was picked up and placed down back on the safety of the ground.
A giant sword appeared out of thin air and decapitates Lucky Rabbit in one swing. She fell over lifeless onto the ground, unmoving as blood spilled out staining the floor red.
“Wonderful. Truly wonderful,” said Rod as he slowly clapped his hands. “Who would’ve thought you would get me like that.”
Silver shrugged her shoulders, not really caring Rod’s reaction..
“We won” Tyler replied in a whisper. He look at Silver and back at Rod. “Lets us go.”
“Let you go? Oh no. We have one last game to play.”
“What? There is more?”
“Obviously. The game is really simple actually.” Rod flicks his wrist and five blue crystals the size of his fist appeared before each one of them floating in front of there faces. “I won’t change the rules. All you need to do is get out of here with the crystals in hand. It’s simple as that, though there is one thing that we can’t forget.”
All five of them weren’t happy when they heard what he had to say. Even Silver felt unease when he heard Rod state that there were more.
“We still have not finished with the punishment for Silver, when she failed the second guess.” Rod momentarily paused, making Silver very uncomfortable. She knew that this bunny would hold some kind of grudge from tricking him. “I’m going to throw in some extra dogs to chase you instead. So run little humans. Run!” In seconds, Rod disappeared into smokes, the ground shook as the floor underneath them raised them up, allowing all of them to jump towards the exit.
“Run! Kahahahahahah!” Rod voice echos all around them. The lights flickers on and off until it finally turned off. “Run!” His voice became even lower and more demonic.
Every one bolted and ran out of the castle. Jasper on the other hand was falling behind, holding his bleeding arm in pain. Silver slows down her pace on equal speed with Jasper, she pulls out two red crystals that she hadn’t eaten from her storage. She hands it towards him, Jasper stares at the crystal in her hand confused.
“Eat it now. It’s going to stop the bleeding.”
“But that’s yours!”
“I can get more. Your life is mine to do whatever I want with it. There is no point in you beginning dead and not making it back in one piece.” Silver quickly hands it to him while they were running. She felt a tinge of regret for not getting the Moonlight Gaze as she wanted, but knew that this was a better choice. Three lives couldn’t compare to what Jasper could possibly do one day, especially having a cheat like stats.
“Thanks.” A low whispered escaped his lips. Jasper cringed at the thought of dying, he took the red crystal and ate both of them. The moment he swallowed them, the wound in his hand started to close as it also rejuvenated his exhausted body. He even started to pick up speed, allowing both of them to run faster.
“Gaaaarrwoo!” The familiar sound of multiple Kilkenny’s howl could be heard from all around them.
They bolted through the forest, and the thirty-five Kilkennys appeared around them snapping at their heels. Alarmed Silver kicked one on its head that got to close to her leg, causing a loud yelping sound from the direct hit to its eye. Both of them broke through the swarm that converged on all sides, just barely, before they could be boxed in. The Kilkenny tripped upon each other as they fell, giving them a chance to pull further away.
Off in the distance before them, the platforms that were under the water were once again brought up, filling up the gaps. All the other platforms that were spread out were quickly converging onto one, creating a simpler type of obstacles. This gave them an easier path, allowing them all to run in a straight line.
“Finally, something easy!” Rose yelled out thrilled.
“Don’t jinx us women!” Tyler was yelling from in front of her.
“How much farther do we have to go?” Cole was panting heavily as he was holding the blue crystal tucked in his armpit.
Both Silver and Jasper finally caught up, but eventually their speed was starting to leave the the others a bit behind.
“How is the shrimp so fast?” Rose was baffled at how quickly Jasper were getting ahead of her. “He’s a kid for crying out loud.”
“I’m not a kid!” Jasper retorted back with a growl.
“No time to complain or your ass is going to get eaten. Move. Move. Move!” Tyler was pushing forward as best as he could, trying not to look back.
They finally came upon the floating platform and noticed that the numbers before them had not changed. Halting in front of the numbered platforms, they stare with apprehension and worry.
“Do you think it’ll fall if we step on the same number?” Cole was anxiously glancing under his foot as he took a step.
Silver and Jasper were already jumping and running on the numbers that they were stepping in reverse order from when they first came. The others followed suit, trying there best not to step on the same number twice, but what happened next made them all run faster.
For a brief moment, the Kilkenny stopped advancing forward. They paced back and forth, trying to figure out a different way to get to Silver’s group. Others sniffed the platform, growling with annoyance. A couple snapped at each other out of annoyance and made their move. They jumped onto the floating platforms, and the moment they stepped off it, the numbers fell from the sky.
“They’re coming!” Rose yelled out fearfully.
Not a single Kilkenny fell, in actuality they seem to do a lot better in the strange hop-scotch like game. Their feet were quick and confident, giving them a lot more stability, in which it allowed them to move forward without any trouble. Even though Silver’s group was running and hopping through the obstacle course, they were very weary about not falling off to the side and into the waters, so their jumps and runs were a lot more careful.
Silver’s group were finally reaching the three-fourth point of the obstacles, while the Kilkenny was making there way past the halfway points.
“We’re almost there!” Jasper was starting to breathe heavily, even though the crystal that Silver gave to him it was still not enough to heal him completely.
“Damn it. At this rate we’ll get completely overwhelmed!” said Tyler. He jumped to number 34 to 33.
“It’s better than those fish. I swear I don’t want to deal with them again.” Cole skidded just in time before he almost fell forward into the water. He gulped as he tittered on the edge.
“Keep moving or you’re going to die!” Tyler was next to him as he was balancing on platform 33. It was an uneven platform, that caused him to titter from side-to-side. He caught himself just in time by placing his foot on platform number 32.
Silver and Jasper hopped over to number 23 to 22. They were getting closer and closer. Running and jumping, hopping and dodging obstacles that became more taxing as they got closer to platform one.
“Five more.” Jasper gritted his teeth trying with all his might to make it through the end.
A giant metal door groaned opened, signaling them there exit. Silver jumped and landed on the final number and made her way across solid land. With steady steps, she let out a relief like sigh. She knew from her past memories that the monsters usually couldn’t pass through the gate. With heavy breath, she leaned over trying to catch her breathe.
“Made it!” Jasper let out an exhilarated relief. “I never want to do another stupid obstacle ever again!”
Silver looked over and saw Jasper on the ground completely wiped out. She couldn’t help but chuckle at his reaction and felt relief that she had made the right choice in saving his life instead of getting the Moonlight Gaze. The nagging feeling of throwing away someone behind for a selfish reason wasn’t something that she wanted to do, especially because it left a bad aftertaste in her mouth. There were no second chance of getting another, but this didn’t stop her from moving forward. They were a lot of other items that she remembered bits and pieces of that she would make sure to get, without fail.
Tyler and Rose came out next panting with heavy breathe. They fell on their knees trying there best to catch their breathe, but Silver could tell that it was not easy. Even though she had a stronger body than before, she still had trouble breathing. Winded, exhausted with breathing difficulties, and aching muscles were a terrible combinations that drained her energy quickly.
Rose coughed, hunching over in pain.
“I swear that the gods truly hate us. Who would think of such wicked game?” Tyler wiped his hands across his sweaty head. “Wouldn’t it be a better if we just have a simpler test with no repercussion of death?”
“Guys.” Jasper spoke. “Guys!”
“What?” Tyler replied. He saw where Jasper was pointing. Silver and Rose also saw what Jasper was trying to get there attention.
Cole was desperately running towards them, behind him was a large number of Kilkenny, streaming behind him like rabid dogs.
“Shit!” Tyler jumped onto his feet. “Run!” He was about to turn around, when Silver raised up her hands.
“It should be fine. They won’t be able to pass the gate.”
Tyler stopped, but he was on the edge of wanting to sprint and leave them all behind. It took a lot out of all of them not to bolt off screaming. “Are you sure? Those monsters are just a step behind him!”
“Look, the door is closing.”
Before them the giant door that lead into the mini-game doors was slowly closing. Cole desperately ran with all his might, trying his best to get through.
“You can make it!” Jasper yelled. “You’re almost there!”
“Coooooome on!” Tyler shouted, trying his best to cheer for him.
“Kid, you can do it!” Even Rose was cheering for him as well. She was screaming at the top of her lungs.
With heavy steps, Cole ran for his dear life. He could feel the Kilkenny’s hot breathe nipping at his back. With the last spurt of his strength, he jumped from platform 3 to 1. He fell forward and tumbled through the gate, causing himself to scrape his arms and legs.
“Hell yes!” Tyler cheered. He ran up to help Cole up his knees.
“I knew you would make it.” Rose swipe her hair to the side as if nothing happened.
The gate shook and slowly closed, they all felt relief that the test ended. The Kilkenny roared with intense anger as they dashed forward towards the gate. Even though the door was closing, the Kilkenny was coming closer and closer. Time seem to slow down as Silver watched what happened next.
“Shit. Shit. Shit!” Rose turned on her heel to run, but tripped over Tyler who was behind her. They both tumbled forward, stalling her from running away.
Silver had a very, very bad feeling about what was going to happen next.
“Run! They’re not stopping!” Jasper yelled and they all bolted towards the inn.