"You guys, you know, no one knows how to dance." Jare slurred as he stumbled in a crowd, "Here, let me show ya'll." He got up onto a table and raised his voice, "THIS IS A TRADISIONAL, UH, DNACE OF BEAT-MAN."
In one fluid, elegant, and graceful motion, he stripped himself by ripping his clothes off. With a strange animal cry, he began shaking his hips and body back and forth, moving his arms up and down at the moon.
"Ha ha ha, Big bro is so dummy head." Anhel slurred from the ground, "This is the best Juice evers . . ."
"Anhel, you shouldn't drink so much; you aren't used to it." William sighed and propped his brother up onto his butt.
Anhel looked over lazily at William, "You shut up, you stupid head. You aren't talking funny, you liar."
William scratched his head awkwardly, "My apologies younger brother, but my speech impediment fades under the consumption of vast quantities of alcohol. It will not last."
"Whatevaaa . . ." Anhel's eyes rolled into the back of his head as he collapsed backwards.
William sighed again and picked up Anhel over his shoulder, "Alright, let me pick up Jare and you two can learn the real meaning of pain tomorrow."
Across the street, Jonas and Nat held hands as they walked slowly through the lights. They didn't look at each other, but soft, warm smiles adorned their faces as they made their way through the crowds. Gran and Fiora followed behind them.
"At least we got them together finally." Fiora observed as she walked with her hands behind her head.
"Well, they should enjoy themselves for as long as possible. Let's just enjoy the peace while it lasts." Gran let a small smile grow on his face.
"This does kinda frustrate me you know; I want to find a good life partner too" Fiora complained with her eyes closed.
Gran chuckled, "You'd have to find a man as fearless as you, not an easy task you know."
"Oh shut it you, you're just jealous because you haven't found anyone yet." Fiora snapped at him.
"I have fiance and have been with her for 10 years. We'll marry in 10 years." Gran said simply.
Fiora sighed, "Geez, I thought the leader always went first with love. All my teammates are traitors." She muttered to herself.
They walked a little farther before the heard a loud voice.
"Come one come all! Polaris the magnificent has brought wares and wonders from all corners of the country! Buy, sell, look, and enjoy everything I have to offer!"
"Oh, is that oaf here too?" Fiora said in surprise, "Well this is a surprise."
She walked over to a large tent, where the large merchant was shouting out advertisements.
"Oy Polaris, why didn't you tell me you were in town?" Fiora grinned as she placed her hands on her hips.
Polaris turned and looked down at the firey haired women. He grinned, "Oh, if it isn't the little firecracker. How's the bomb I sold you?"
Fiora shook her head, "I used those things up a long time ago. They worked out well; got anymore?"
"Of course my dear! Come in and I'll give you a discount."
Across the square, an old man walked slowly, using his walking stick as a third leg.
"Oh, my poor back."
A stall owner felt pity, and handed the old man a skewer of meat, "Here sir, take this meal and feel better."
"Oh thank-you young hero, thank-you so much for your help!" The old man bowed and scrapped as he walked away. Once he was around the corner, he grinned and changed his plain staff into one with a knotted piece of wood on the top which surrounded a green gem. His plain robe was replaced by one of finery, and his unkempt hair was replaced by long straight hair and full beard.
"Ho ho ho, this is a good place." He chuckled as he stroked his beard, "The young piece are so kind these days."
"Guards! That's the man who stole my bottle of ancient elf wine!" A voice startled the magus as he turned around to see a shopkeeper pointing him out to a couple of elf guards.
"Uh oh, time to vamoose." Falcon paled as he made his get-away.
"GET BACK HERE YOU CRIMINAL!" The guards yelled as they chased him.
"THE ELDERLY ARE INNOCENT!"
As the night grew darker, the full moon rose over the town, creating a perfect background to the mother tree. Everyone gathered around the mother tree for the final festival.
Adventurers, miners, merchants, elves, humans, beast-men, young, old, man, woman all joined together under the mother tree.
As a bell rang, the crowd grew silent. From within the tree, a small group appeared. Three elves dressed in flowing gowns of leaves surrounded a female elf who was dressed in silk with a veil over her face. The dress flowed over her body, accenting her curves and giving her a mysterious air.
The small group walked up a pedestal to a round stage which resembled the inside of a tree. When the stopped at the center, the three male elves moved to the edges and kneeled down.
“Greetings of the forest to all of you.” A soft, gentle voice flowed over the crowd. She said it softly, but everyone from the front to the back heard her clearly.
“We gather here tonight to commemorate this new mother tree, and to celebrate the peace we have here.” She lifted her hands to the sky, “From human, to elf, and every other race here; we are gathered in a night of celebration and peace. This town, this realm of possibilities, is the ideal world everyone strives for. It is where those who work hard earn rewards, where those who risk find reward or loss. It is amazing, so amazing, that it only took a new place of opportunity to gather us all together.”
“Above all,” She continued, “We offer our thanks to the dungeon for all of us being here. I know it seems strange to honor a monster, but through it’s action we have prospered. To peace, and to the dungeon.”
“TO PEACE, AND THE DUNGEON!” The crowd roared out in agreement.
Unbeknownst to anyone, a pair of little legs dangled back and forth from the top of the mother tree.
“I think this is the first time a dungeon has ever been this appreciated.” Claire giggled happily, “You should feel honored Doc, now you’re an icon.”
“I have no idea how to feel about this.” Doc told her in her head. He was sharing her senses as she hung out in the tree, “And I’m really concerned you’re so close to so many people.”
“Oh quiet you spoilsport.” She chastised him, “This is a night of fun, so let me let loose. I’m going to steal some of that elf wine and bring it back.”
“Fine, but be careful.”
Back at the crowd, the lady raised her hand to quiet the crowd. “Now, in order to finalize this ceremony, I will call upon the power of nature to bless the mother tree. Watch, and wonder at her power.”
The lady turned and held her hand out flat in front of her. From the stump, a staff rose up as if the wood was made of water. This staff was carved with exquisite detail, outlining vines and leaves. She grasped the staff and pointed it at the tree. A beautiful golden light flowed up from the stump, through the staff, and up into the tree. It spread around the tree, casting the entire area in its golden light. The crowd ‘ooh’d’ and ‘ahh’d’ at the sight.
When the entire tree was cover in light, it sparkled for just a moment before the light collected in the branches and leaves. The golden light began to fall in sparkles down to town below it.
“This light will restore you and heal your spirit. Feel free to bottle the light for future use.” The lady announced to the crowd, “It will continue to fall until first light, so do not fight over it.”
The crowd cheered again, and the four on the stage bowed, and sank slowly into the stump.
The crowd dispersed to collect the falling light. Claire flew above the quarter, a small jar of light in one hand and a large bottle of wine in the other. Oddly enough, she could carry the bottle that was bigger than her entire body with a single hand.
“Doc, I got something interesting for you.” She said in a sing-song voice.
“That’s great! I can’t wait . . .” Doc stopped talking abruptly, prompting Claire to hover for a moment.
“What’s up Doc?”
“Something is coming . . .something bad. Hurry back!” Doc warned her. Claire zoomed away back to the forest entrance.
Meanwhile, the crowd was enjoying themselves in the after party. Suddenly, the crowd began to shake violently.
“Earthquake!” Someone cried out, and the happy cries turned to scared ones. People fell to the ground and grabbed whatever was still as the tremors shook the area. To the shook of everyone, the ground on the plain’s side of the toon began to move apart as something rose up.
In no time, a mound was now next to the town. To make it worse, this mound had an entrance and 5 large spires on top of it.
Jare, sober at this point, slammed his hammer into the ground. “CALL THE CHURCH!” He roared out, “THAT’S THE TOMB OF THE FORGOTTEN KING!”
“THE UNDEAD PHANTUM DUNGEON HAS COME!”