When in doubt
Try and try again
Unless you are a fool
Then don't bother trying at all
- Wisdom, Scribe of Unknown Origin
"DAMNATION, ROSARIO! LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE! I TOLD YOU TO TAKE OUT THE GUARD, NOT ANNIE! NOW INSTEAD OF WORRYING ABOUT WHERE THE WANDERER IS I'VE GOT A WHOLE LOT OF DRAMA IN MY HANDS DAMMIT!" screamed Josephus. Turning his attention to Annie, he is shocked at how brutal the attack pierced her body. "Damn! That attack got you good in the chest."
"It's not my fault! The whip-sword had a mind of its own and cowardly attacked an unsuspecting human!" Rosario was shaking, calling back his whip-sword. Annie then fell on her knees, breathing heavily from the ruthless yet unexpected attack. This day of his was getting worse. From the morning where he accidentally knocked Josephus off the motorbike because he braked so hard to not his a rabbit, to interrupting Josephus singing his 150 Melodies of Destruction routine. It seemed all he could do was screw up. But Josephus would forgive him every-time it seemed. What a good friend he was, thought Rosario.
Josephus had enough. Time was running out, he had to find a way out of this situation. With his free hand, he took out a piece of paper from his pocket. "Remember this, Rosario?" he asked the poor man with the mustache. "It's the Friendship Contract you signed. To be a great slave friend for the greatest fabulous Josephus! You signed this at a time whilst I was serenading the enemies at Valley, before the FeralDust/SkyLord civil war. I saw you as a greatest distraction. The greatest screwup. Whose idiocy helped me take out my targeted contract. You helped me get into MONOCHROME. So that's why I allowed you to become my friend in the first place. I appreciate it, from the bottom of my heart."
Rosario lifted his head. "I'm glad, Josephus, that you still consider me a good friend..."
"This contract is no more."
"Eh?" Rosario looked on in horror as Josephus tore the contract with his teeth. His other hand busy holding Big Bones hostage with his pistol. "You, are no longer my friend. As far as I'm concerned, you don't exist in my life anymore."
"Nooooo. NO! NOOOOO! NOT AGAIN! STUPID ROSARIO!" screamed the mustache man, as he punched the ground in dismay, having yet lost another and only friend to situations in his mind, had no control over. "But why? What did I do to deserve this? If we were to look a this situation, there was nothing I did wrong! Why do you have to hurt your best friend like this?"
As the pitiful Rosario was wailing on the ground, Bones Jr stopped aiming at the crossbow at Rosario, figuring he was unlikely to attack him anymore.
"I don't need to tell you why, you stupid simpleton." Josephus waved his former friend away. "Figure it out yourself. Stupid idiot. Now leave!"
Rosario clutched his chest, hurting for the unkind words of his former and only friend in the world. "Ow." Turning around, he ran away from the group, heading towards the dark outskirts of Josiah.
"Serves you right, go die alone now." whispered Josephus. Noticing his serious grim nature enveloping his entire aura, transformed himself into the grand, cocky entertainer he was when he walked into Josiah's broken walls. "You, guard of Josiah! Thank you for waiting! Now to the main event of the Festival, of Violence!" Turning his attention to Big Bones Josephus asked him, "Where's my Wanderer, idiot!"
But he replied instead, "Big Bones."
Confused, Josephus leaned towards the guard and leered "Come again?"
"My name. Big Bones. You..."
"Don't give a shit." interrupted Josephus, tired of the slow, primitive speech of Big Bones. He quickly fired a heap of bullets into the skull of Big Bones, pulverizing his head. The body of the once alive Big Bones fell on the dusty grounds of Josiah, after the dead who died from the Mos Quito disease.
Bones Jr was the first to react to his fallen brother. "No! BROTHER! NO!" Aiming the crossbow at Josephus, he asked the pistol-wielding madman, "Why? He did nothing wrong!"
"I wouldn't point that pea shooter at me if I were you." "Besides, you are responsible for his death."
Bones Jr, confused with the cryptic words of Josephus, asked him. "What are you on about..."
"I wonder who pointed me to this place, to where the Wanderer is supposedly was. Let's try to describe this person, shall we? This kind of person is a normal, well-adjusted man of society, at first glance. But no, deep down inside, this person doesn't feel quite right with society. You see, he decided. A terrible, horrible decision! He chose, highlight the word, CHOSE to betray his fellow countrymen by aiding the enemy. Now why would he do that? Maybe the enemy had equipment he desired, maybe the enemy has acquired a potion to saved someone who he loved. Who cares, for this man every single person from generation from generation knows is a Spy. A modern-day traitor. Now, I wonder who this person is..."
Bones Jr froze. For Josephus was talking about him.
"Haaaaaaaaah. What a waste of time." Josephus shook his head, disgusted at how lame this Festival of Violence has gone in Josiah. "Now, the no fun work begins. Making an effort to find that Wanderer. Which means the main event of unsanctioned, completely unjustified violence shall have to wait. Dammit." Josephus took off into the distance, towards the castle of Josiah, for he figured the Wanderer would be held there, if he was still at Josiah. "Farewell, traitor of Josiah. I hope your sacrifice was worth the price." Smirking, Josephus dashed away.
Now Bones Jr was left alone, with the dead corpse of Big Bones, and the dying body of Annie. Going towards her and crouching, he held Annie, crying of his loss. "This is all your fault! if you didn't bring the Wanderer here, then my brother wouldn't have died! Why did you lot have to come here... Hey, Hey... Hey?" Bones Jr looked in horror as the head of Annie went backwards. "HEY! LISTEN TO ME! DON'T YOU DARE DIE ON ME NOW ANNIE! OPEN YOUR EYES! YOU ARE NOT GOING TO DIE! WAKE UP! AREN'T YOU A FEDERAL OF LORD HOOD! WAKE UP!"
"I'm telling you, this is not the way towards Servant, you fool!"
"Patience, Wanderer. We've just got our weapons back, now perhaps if we go towards this corridor, we will be within the gates of Josiah."
"And why would Ancient's Hell would she be waiting for us at the place where a load of guards would be stationed?"
"I hate your hunches. Besides, how would you know what Servant is disguising herself as?"
Dashing towards the front entrance of Josiah was the duo of Alphonsus and Nailcutter, arguing about the way to get back the disguised Servant. Blitzing through the halls and narrow roads of the SkyLord shelter, they took out many guards by sneaking up behind them whilst in patrol and punching them at the back of the head, knocking them out. Hiding behind the shadows and pot plants - their only cover in Josiah - they successfully found their weapons in the armory, but not Servant, who they were hoping was still in the castle. So they made a break outside the castle, and were now running for their lives, dodging the bullets and arrows being pelted by the guards who they didn't knock out.
"Alright! We've lost them." Nailcutter grinned. As both men took their time recovering their breath, they noticed a dirt orange haired man, with a devil grin, dashing towards the castle. It seemed the purple shirted gunblazer did not notice them, as he continued running towards the castle.
"Who's that?" Alphonsus asked Nailcutter.
"He looks like trouble. Trouble for the guards of Josiah to handle." Nailcutter replied.
As he finished that sentence. Gunshots were heard, followed by the agonizing screams of men. A screeching speech was heard by the two:
"Awwwww Josiah! Welcome! To the Festival of Violence! Listen up, for I'm only going to say this once! I am the one! The only..." the voice trailed off then with more cracking gunshots heard in the distance.
"Strange fellow. Hope we never have to see him again." Alphonsus muttered. Having recovered his breath, he started walking towards the place Nailcutter was pointing towards. "I do hope Servant is where you said... what in the blazes happened here?"
The scene they saw was the violence Josephus caused earlier. But they did not know that the gunblazer caused a horrific situation.
"Hey! You two! I don't know how you got out, but thank the Ancients you're here! She's dying, save her!" shouted out Bones Jr, snapping both men out of a trance.
Rushing towards Bones Jr and a fallen Annie, Nailcutter inspected the situation. "I don't even first aid. Sorry, looks like she'll be sleeping forever soon."
Crestfallen, Bones Jr turned towards Alphonsus, "Do something Wanderer! I don't care if you have to use in the Dark Arts of Resurrection..."
Alphonsus waved his hand at the guard. "Wanderers don't specialize in that crap. However, I can do something much more useful." Neither Bones Jr nor Nailcutter were sure about what he was talking about, but when the Mad Wanderer's right hand and arm slowly turned into a fiery-coated flame, Nailcutter understood.
"Finally, I get to see the Quant of the Mad Wanderer. This should be interesting.
"My Ancients! You punched her in the boob!" yelled Bones Jr, startled of the sudden attack of the Mad Wanderer.
"Shut up! I'm trying to save her!" Alphonsus retorted, readying his arm again for another punch.
"What, by punching her in the boob!" Bones Jr dropped Annie on the floor and got his crossbow locked into Alphonsus. "Look! You did it again! I knew it! You're just a sick pervert! That's right! Stop or off with your head!"
"Nailcutter!" called out Alphonsus. "Restrain this idiot!"
Nailcutter smiled, finding the power of the Wanderer... fascinating. "With pleasure."
"You bastard of a bandit..." started Bones Jr, but before he could turn his crossbow towards Nailcutter, the bandit threw one of his nails into the stomach of Bones Jr. Stunned, Bones Jr dropped the crossbow, fell to his knees and clutched his stomach with his arms, expecting a lot of pain. But after a few moments, he realized that nothing on his body was hurting.
"I'm... fine? What did you do..." asked Bones Jr, before he felt his body freeze up on him.
"He's restrained." called out Nailcutter. "You finished healing her up, Wanderer? We don't have much time."
"I'm almost done!" answered Alphonsus. "You know. It's not so easy restarting the heart and blood flow from a cold standstill! I also needed to heal up the broken blood vessels, bones and lungs which were ruptured hard by burning new material together with my Heat! I won't be able to fully heal her, but she should be able to move!"
"So that's why you were punching her in the boob." pondered Nailcutter, stroking his metal mask with his fingers. "Interesting."
"No other way! Alright, it's done. She will be fine, but she needs to be carried to the bus first. Now what?"
An explosion at the castle surprised the duo. A couple of guards fell out of the walls of one the towers of the castle which sported a new hole, hollering out in despair of their inevitable death.
"We're leaving. Now." Nailcutter told Alphonsus.
"Alright, what do we..." Alphonsus picked up Annie with his back and started to walk to the bus where Nailcutter left it, before realizing the grave gravity of what he just stated. "Are you serious?"
"This may be the only chance of us escaping." Nailcutter spoke.
Alphonsus was livid at Nailcuter abandoning Servant. "But what about..."
"She'll be fine, she'll understand." Nailcutter said. "I have to complete my quest first. That's of much more importance. This is for family."
"You're a horrible father, you know that?" Alphonsus stood in front of Nailcutter, staring him down.
Nailcutter pushed Alphonsus off to the side. "Unless you have raised a child you have no right calling me that. How dare you judge my actions!"
"Wait!" called out a voice from the shadows of the corridors.
Pointing at the direction of the voice, Nailcutter spat out, "See! We need to go or else we'll be caught."
Alphpnsus was not so sure. "...I don't recognize that voice. Is that Servant?"
"Have you not realized Servant can't speak, you dimwit?" The iron masked bandit facepalmed himself. Time is running out, he could feel the seconds drifting away, the time to escape ticking down.
Going through the memories of when he first met the slime person who wore the lion mask with wings, it finally made sense to Alphonsus why he never heard the Servant's voice. "Right. So that's why..."
"Wait! I'm sorry Josephus! Please forgive me! I might have figured out why we had an misunderstanding!" interrupted the voice of Rosario.
Rosario and the duo of Alphonsus and Nailcutter stood for what felt like eternity, staring each other down. Both wondering who the heck the other person was.
"Oh. Hello. I'm Rosario..." the mustache man started, wondering if those two could be his new friends. Please don't screw this up he thought to himself.
"You there. You look... strong." Nailcutter started, trying to find the words to compliment the thin looking blonde. But he was too busy staring at Rosario's pants. "You don't look like you come from here. Care to help some poor folk out? We kinda need some help leaving."
Rosario's eyes were sparkling. Those men need his help? Only friends ask for help in need! This is promising! Don't screw this up he thought. "Sure! What do you need?"
"Carry this stunned body as we are taking my bus and getting out of this hellhole." Nailcutter spoke.
"Wait you are taking him as well?" asked Alphonsus.
Nailcutter replied. "Just so he doesn't sell out where we went."
"Does that mean we are now friends?" asked the new companion. Nailcutter was astonished at the relative ease Rosario picked up Bones Jr with one hand and placed the man onto his back.
Might as well tell the new companion what he wants to hear. "Whatever. Just shut the hell up and do as you are told."
"Yay!" Rosario yelled. New friends! They seem better than the no-good Josephus who ruined his life. He sprinted out with Big Bones out of the broken wall he himself destroyed.
"No you idiot! The bus is the other way!" called out Nailcutter, chasing after him. "Wait, who destroyed this wall in the first place? Didn't see that before..."
Alphonsus was left alone. Emotions scattered, trying to figure out what just happened.
"I just hope we didn't pick up a strange one..."
"Bandits, they are all the same. They promise you one thing, do the opposite. Time and time again. They betray who they love, and help who back-stabbed them before. A most logical mindset of those from the Waste. Don't you think so?"
Thus spoke Karhu towards the Servant, who was still disguised as the guard. He already knew that she was in disguise by him inadvertently punching the guard in the stomach in the castle infirmary. The way the punch seemed to rebound off the stomach like gum was the giveaway that the guard was somebody else.
"You should well know that we are not of this country. We are outsiders, forced to live in the Waste due to different circumstances. Immigrants, with no home to go back to. And yet you have this irrational belief that the bandit who 'saved' you will come back for you. Well, why don't you look outside and truly see your saviour."
The slime servant walked towards the windowsill to get a better look at the group Karhu was looking out for. As her eyes darted towards the dead soldiers, riddled with bullets, to the dead citizens from the latest epidemic, she finally saw some moving human beings... who were running away. Visibly shaken that the hero Federal was right; that Nailcutter was an insufferable man only looking for himself, the slime crumpled down, disintegrating the body of the guard, for which only the gooey clear green slime remains.
"Hate to say I told you so. Anyway, perhaps you can ask him why he's abandoned you?" Karhu said to the sad slime. He offered the lion winged mask back to the slime; having acquired the item from the prison once he got news of the escapees. "Come. Let's..."
"WE MEET AGAIN, WANDERER! YOU ARE A BITCH TO FIND... oh Karhu! I knew you'd be here! How you doing?"
The sudden shout was none other than Josephus. The Servant, frightened by the MONOCHROME self-proclaimed superstar, slid towards the cupboard and hid in the drawers. Karhu on the other hand was not pleased his former companion returned in chaotic fashion.
"Oh Ancients, why do you torture me with this man's presence..." Karhu muttered.
"Hey! That's not nice of you so say that! Aren't we great friends?" Josephus asked, putting his arm over the back of Karhu. "Just like old times right? We unite together to rid of great evil!"
"I take my men who are dressed by multiple bullets were murdered by you."
"They are too soft you know, weak beings unfit for someone like you. I thought strength is something you dream of, why support yourselves with weak scumbags?"
"Strength is move than physical power alone..." Karhu mumbled, but Josephus wasn't paying attention. Josephus was busy checking out the slime hiding in the drawers.
"Hey girl! Aren't you from the famous circus MONOCHROME's sponsoring? What brings you here?" Josephus asked, smiling like a kid who has found a pot of chocolate.
The slime, embarrassed being seen in such a state, jumped out of the cupboard and redressed herself as a girl. Snatching the mask off the hands of Karhu, she wore it again, unsheathing her bone swords, weary of the power of the two men.
"Man she's feisty. I like her already, if I could. But worry, we won't harm you." Josephus leered, readying his duel pistols. Before either person could make a move, Karhu got in between them.
"While you two are preparing to duel I would like to remind you both the Wanderer is escaping." the hulking figure told them both.
Instantly Josephus eye's lighted up. "So the Wanderer is actually here! They are escaping! What are we waiting for? Let's get after them!"
Sighing Karhu pointed his fingers at the Josephus and Servant. "It pains me to say this. But Josephus is right. We better go after them now. However, I would like to propose a temporary truce between the three of us. Yes you heard me. We're teaming up. Whether you like it or not."