The Forgotten Fortune
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This story is a sequel to the Powerful Demon series. It was originally going to be an entry for the Summer 2016 Chron Challenge, but I lost interest before writing the ending and didn't get around to finishing it until now.
"Turning the castle courtyard into a magical creature zoo was a good idea!" commented Chevodocus.
"I know," agreed Bellerophon. "I’m pretty clever! You see, magical creatures are my field of research, but it’s hard to travel around Cythera to study them because the citizens of Cademia keep needing my help with their stupid local problems. Sometimes being a judge is a major buzzkill."
"It might be a buzzkill, but it’s your duty as a mage," Chevodocus reminded him. "And you’re really good at it. You solve crimes so easily."
"This is true. That’s why I’ve made this zoo," said Bellerophon.
Bellerophon and Chevodocus were standing in the castle courtyard, which was full of titans, unicorns, ratlizards, wolflizards, giant crabs, asps, swamp gators, polyps, hydra, scylla, cave slime, giant slugs, and land jellyfish. The various creatures were either attempting to hide in the corners, attempting to eat each other, or attempting to eat the castle guards.
"There’s just one problem," said Chevodocus.
"What’s that?" asked Bellerophon.
"I don’t think goats are magical creatures."
Bellerophon looked down at the goat who was eating Chevodocus’s robes. "Huh. The servants must have gotten a little overzealous in rounding up creatures. Or maybe it’s a magical goat. I’ll look into it later. But now, look, it’s 10 AM! Time for our mid-morning snack. Ivor!"
Bellerophon and Chevodocus waited for an awkward moment, the goat continuing to eat Chevodocus’s robes. "That’s weird, Ivor is never late with our snacks. Do you think he’s okay?" Chevodocus asked.
"Let’s find out," said Bellerophon, and they opened the kitchen door and peered in. Ivor was screaming and chasing a ratlizard, waving a cleaver.
"Help! Help!" Ivor screamed.
On the other side of the kitchen Asius, the majordomo, entered, his eyes wide with horror. "Oh no! Not again!" he groaned.
Asius joined Ivor in the pursuit of the foul, six-legged vermin, but their attacks seemed to be doing more damage to Asius than the ratlizard.
"Holy health code violation, Bellerophon!" gasped Chevodocus. "We have to help them!"
"Oh no, I left my sword outside!" Bellerophon realized.
"With the goat?!"
Bellerophon quickly surveyed the kitchen for a make-shift weapon. A rolling pin? No, that wouldn’t be very creative. A kneading bowl? No, it was permanently stuck to the table. An oven could be a formidable weapon, but unwieldy. Ooh, a loaf of bread! If it was stale enough, it could knock out a ratlizard for sure! No wait, Bellerophon reminded himself, Ivor’s bread was fantastic - there was never any left over long enough to go stale. Oh, if only this was the kitchen back at the Magisterium! Stale loaves of bread abounded there.
The ratlizard somehow managed to bite Ivor, and he screamed in pain. In desperation, Bellerophon grabbed a big bag of flour and heaved it over to the ratlizard, dropping it on the beast. The bag of flour exploded, covering the kitchen in flour. As the flour settled, they saw that the ratlizard was dead.
"Don’t worry, Ivor," said Bellerophon. "There’s a mage somewhere in town who can alleviate your poisoning."
"It’s not that," said Ivor. "Do you know how hard flour is to clean up? The only way is to mix it with water to make dough, move the dough over, leave the area, and come back."
"Oops, sorry," said Bellerophon.
"Does this mean we don’t get a snack today?" asked Chevodocus.
"I’ll go find the healer," said Asius. He departed, but after a moment poked his head back in. "Judge Bellerophon, there’s been a crime!"
"Work, work, work," muttered Bellerophon grumpily.
Bellerophon went to the throne room and sat down on his throne. Asius brought two men before him. "This is Talos, the proprietor of the Alraeican Tavern," said Asius. "And Avatara, a fire-mage."
"Judge, this man has stolen 7,000 oboloi from me!" Talos announced, pointing at Avatara.
"Ohsnap," said Bellerophon. "Last time large sums of oboloi were stolen, an inter-dimensional demon was behind it. Have you checked for inter-dimensional demons?"
"Oh believe me, I recognize inter-dimensional demons when I see them," Talos assured him. "It was definitely this guy."
"Who, me?" Avatara asked innocently. "You can check my pockets your honor, I don’t have 7,000 oboloi."
"Of course you don’t!" Talos exploded. "It’s all over my tavern!"
"What’s the problem then?" Bellerophon asked. "I’m a busy guy, you know."
"The problem is it’s not oboloi anymore! It’s forks and spoons!"
Avatara grinned, and Bellerophon burst into laughter. "Nice one!" he said, high-fiving Avatara. "Ouch." Bellerophon frowned at the burn on his hand.
Suddenly there was a loud shrieking, and a horde of harpies flew into the throne room!
Everyone screamed, and the harpies shrieked. Bellerophon still didn’t have his sword, and he did not want to fight a horde of harpies with a bag of flour, so he bolted out the back door. Chevodocus, faithful as always, was by his side. Bellerophon tried to escape through the the unused bedroom across the hallway, but the door was locked. "Ugh, where’s the key?" Bellerophon asked.
"Move over, I know Unlock," said Chevodocus. He unlocked the door with magic. They ran through the room, and Chevodocus unlocked the door on the other side too. Now they were in the castle’s backyard. This section of the yard was walled off from the rest of it, and there were locked doors on either side.
"We need one more Unlocking spell," Bellerophon pointed out.
"Sorry, I’m out of mana," said Chevodocus.
"Nooooooo!" despaired Bellerophon. "We’re going to be killed by harpies! Oh wait, we could hide in the Tyrant’s Tomb."
"The Tyrant’s Tomb?" asked Chevodocus.
"Yeah, I discovered it when I was curing Alaric," Bellerophon pointed to a tunnel in the ground. He and Chevodocus scurried down it.
"Wow, this place hasn’t changed at all since the last time I was here," said Bellerophon, looking around at the dusty abandoned underground fortress. "You know, I think I left some oboloi down here that I couldn’t carry at the time. Let’s go find it!"
Bellerophon and Chevodocus ran excitedly through the dungeon toward the treasure.
"Wow, this brings back memories," said Bellerophon. "Look, there’s the spike trap where Timon died!"
_A spike trap popped up under Bellerophon, tickling his feet through his gator-skin boots. Compassionate and considerate as always, he called back a warning to his followers, who lacked his superior footware. "Watch out for spikes."
"Huh?" asked Hector. "Ouch!"
"What, Hector?" asked Meleager. "Ouch! Ahh, my foot!"
Suddenly they were all plunged into darkness as Timon, who was holding the light source, stepped on the spikes and instantly died._
"But Timon can’t be dead, I’ve met him!" pointed out Chevodocus.
"Oh, I resurrected him, of course."
"That was nice of you. Your kindness is truly outstanding, it’s an honor to be your friend!"
"Well, I had to, it was too dark without his magical staff."
"Ah, here we are!" announced Bellerophon, as they stepped into the burial room. On a pedestal was a coffer filled with oboloi.
"There’s hundreds of oboloi in here!" exclaimed Chevodocus. "How much should we take?"
"Let’s just take the whole coffer," said Bellerophon. "I can use the money to expand my zoo!"
Chevodocus lifted up the coffer, and suddenly a portcullis crashed down in the doorway, blocking them in the burial room!
"NOOOOO!" despaired Bellerophon. "We’re trapped in here forever! We’re doomed! We’ll die in here, buried with the tyrant!"
"Hold on," considered Chevodocus. "What is the first spell they teach you at the Magisterium?"
"Directed Nexus. Why do you ask?"
Chevodocus stared at Bellerophon for a long moment.
"OH!" said Bellerophon at last, and cast the spell to send them both to LandKing Hall.
It took the heroes hours to walk back to Cademia. When they arrived, they found all the dangerous magical creatures in their zoo had been killed. Talos and Avatara were standing around looking proud of themselves.
"You missed it, Bellerophon!" said Talos. "The biggest wild animal attack Cademia has ever seen! There were harpies, polyps, hydra, gators, asps, giant crabs, ratlizards, wolflizards, cave slime, and even scylla! Some kind of evil villain with control over animals must be out to get Cademia! But don’t worry, we saved the city and defeated all the monsters."
"My zoo!" wailed Bellerophon.
"Uh, thanks for your valiant efforts, you guys," said Chevodocus.
"A good deed is its own reward," said Avatara. After an awkward silence, he coughed. "It is customary to give a real reward though," he stared pointedly at the coffer in Chevodocus’ arms.
"Dinner is served in the dining room!" called Ivor, who didn’t seem to be poisoned anymore.
Bellerophon and Chevodocus ran off to eat, leaving Talos and Avatara a bit disgruntled.
The next day, when Bellerophon got out his coffer, the oboloi that had been in it was gone. However, on his mantle was a cute collection of new iron makiri, in the shapes of the creatures from his zoo.
1The flashback was stolen from posts 4 and 5 from this thread.
Katerei last edited by
I have too many favourite lines to point out, so just trust I liked the entire thing.
Amusing, as always. Nice to read another entry in the adventures of Judge Bellerophon . He is quite good at the job. Alaric should really just abdicate the throne to him.