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The Great Journey: Chronicles of Grunt
The story behind my character, and continuing short stories every few days or so.
Chapter Nine: Taken
Grunt had woken up quite early the following morning, due to the fact he had decided not to eat anything the previous day. The reason being was of course, his fear of Zero pouncing on him for eating the smallest crumb of food in her pantry. Grunt actually laughed to himself about that silly thought, and he formed a joke within his head that, whenever in trouble or surprised, he’d say, “Oh crumbs!” to poke fun at the moments he had decided to munch on Zero’s food, and when he’d get in trouble for it. Happily eating his self-prepared breakfast without guilt, a thought comes upon him. The only weapon he had, which was the extending rod that he has kept since he found it in his pocket many years ago, was beginning to seem like it wasn’t needed anymore. As if he was beginning to change his ways, and to try and hold back from his demon self. He loved life as a mortal, and even though he didn’t remember much of his past anymore, he thought it’d be a good thing to start over. He wasn’t sure if it was his destiny, but he knew the violence had to come to an end. After he was done eating, he waited for Zero to wake up, which took about 3 hours since she always stayed up for extensive hours at night. When she woke up, he took his rod in hand, and went to talk with her.

“Zero, listen. I’m trying to change who I’ve become…I’m trying to leave back those harmful powers to lead a better, more peaceful life. I need you to help me, too. So, here.” He takes his rod, and snaps it in two. Purple smoke emits from the broken rod as he does so. “He hands Zero the pieces, and she looked shocked. “Grunt! I couldn’t! This is your weapon…I couldn’t take it! Come on mate, you don’t have to give me this.” She said. Grunt smiles at her and says, “Zero, please. It would make me happy if you took it. Keep it safe.” He said.
“…Of course. I’ll keep it with the highest of care! And I’ll put it where it will be safe from anyone. MOCHI!” She called. Mochi comes up to the two of them with a disgusted look on his face. “What do you want?!” he said, frustrated. Zero doesn’t reply, but instead shoves the two pieces down his mouth, which was also a pack of which she kept things safe inside. Mochi was after all, a backpack. Mochi just scratches his behind, and walks away.
Later in the day, Grunt and Zero sit down on the couch, waiting for Clover to wake up. It never happened, and she hadn’t woken up since noon the previous day. Grunt was beginning to worry, and he didn’t think this much sleep was normal at all. Zero was worried as well, but she kept quiet not to disturb her if she really was asleep. Grunt however, KNEW this behavior wasn’t regular for her, so he decided to see what was going on. “Zero, Clover hasn’t ever done this before. This is very unusual…I’m going to go check up on her; to see if everything’s okay. Please accompany me.” He told her.
“I don’t know, mate. What if she really is asleep?” Zero asked.
“If she’s asleep, then we know she’s just tired. We’re going to check.” With that, Grunt walks to the bedroom along with Zero, to check up on Clover. He slowly pushed the door open, and peered inside. To this day he wishes he hadn’t. Inside of the bedroom was not Clover, but bloodstained sheets, and a hole in the wall leading outside to the forest. There was blood smeared on all the other surrounding walls. Zero gasped and stumbled backwards as she saw this, and Grunt stood there, white-faced. Grunt dashes outside of the room, into the forest. He sees a trail of some black substance on the ground. He looks around to see a few trees marked with blood.
“Corruption…” Grunt said. Clover had been taken, and judging by the trail of black goop on the ground, it was either a pure form of the Corruption that she had shown to Zero that had taken her to corrupt her further, or something else. Grunt knew he had to explain to Zero what exactly Corruption was, and what he knew so far about it. He didn’t know much about it himself, Clover had told him very little about the things it was capable of. He hurriedly went to Zero and explained what had gone wrong. “Zero, listen! I need to tell you what I know before I go and look for her… This Corruption stuff, it not only lurks inside of Clover, but it also is scattered in different parts of the world. It isn’t living, yet it can move and infect others all on its own. Clover says it can take on many different forms, animals, other creatures, even humans. Why it came here to capture Clover, I have no clue. But she has also told me the things it is able to do. It feeds on mortal souls, and corrupts your thoughts and mind, also making you ten times stronger in the process. My guess is that it was hungry for another soul to corrupt, and Clover fit their description of a ‘free’ soul. This is all I know, Zero. Please stay here, I’ll be back as soon as I find her. If it’s not too late, I mean…” He runs out, following the trail of Corruption on the ground, and into the snowy day, in search for Clover.

Zero stood there, not sure of what to make of the information she had just been given. It made sense to her, but it was almost impossible to believe without sight. She sat down on the bed, and took off her hat which she always wore. She began to think…If Clover knew so much about these Corruption things, and demon powers, why didn’t Grunt know anything?

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