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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 Twelve: Things would have changed...
Grunt opens his eyes after the twisting movements; the heat and green flame disappear. He looks around, and he is in a dark cave. As soon as his eyes adjust to the darkness, he notices Mochi lying beside him. Mochi sits up and scratches the back of his ear. “Mochi? How did you…” Grunt begins.
“…You’re welcome. Now come on, we’ve lost Zero. We gotta find her before that crazed girlfriend of yours sends her hounds on us.” Mochi replied. Grunt was about to say that she wasn’t his girlfriend, but decided to save the arguments for later. He nods to Mochi and stands up, cracking his back. They both walk for a bit in the tunneling cave and keep a close eye out for anything or anyone trying to get them. “Mochi, where are we? Are we still in the mountain?” Grunt asked. Mochi looks up at him and replies, “Well duh. Of course we’re still in the mountain. This is just one of the passages to the main room where you almost got your behind handed to you. We’re heading the opposite direction, so I’m guessing this will take us out of here.” When he said that, they suddenly both heard a deep growl coming from behind. Grunt looks behind him and hears heavy footsteps coming their way. “Ugh, see I told you she’d send those stupid things on us!” Mochi says. Grunt squints to see a figure approaching in the distance. Three figures, actually. They all were at least the size of elephants. Sure enough, they were the same Corruption wolves Clover had sent on them earlier, only six times as large, and ten times as threatening. Grunt immediately grabs Mochi, carrying him over one shoulder. He runs forward, not looking back at all. The cave was terribly dark, and he would sometimes bump into things slowing them both down. When Grunt hears the wolves coming even closer, he panics and stumbles a bit while running. “Couldn’t you go ANY faster!?” Mochi complains as Grunt slows down, getting more and more tired.
When Grunt finally thinks he could outrun the wolves, his and Mochi’s luck comes to an end, and so does their path. Grunt crashes into a wall, and it appeared as if there was no way escaping. They had reached a dead end, there was a wall blocking their way and the Corruption was approaching closer and closer. “You said there would be an EXIT!” Grunt yelled at Mochi. Mochi shrugs. “Oops.” Grunt looks behind him to see the three enormous wolves advancing on them slowly, only several feet away. Grunt has nowhere to run, and Mochi couldn’t teleport anywhere else, he was exhausted from the previous event of having to teleport three people at one time. “Well?! Got any ideas, oh fearless leader?” Mochi asks sarcastically. “Actually…” Grunt said quietly while slowly reaching for the rod in his pocket.

Zero, taking a bit longer to wake up than Grunt did, scratches the back of her head and looks around the dark space she was in, also having to adjust to the darkness. She stood up, unsheathing he sword. She was in a dark room, with no sounds but cave noises and drops of water falling from the ceiling. It smelled awful inside of the large cavern; like some sort of burnt rubber, or maybe sulfur. She couldn’t quite put her finger on the smell, but she didn’t put much thought into it, as her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of Clover’s voice echoing through the dark room. “How wonderful of you to make it.” The voice said. Zero is startled by the voice, and she goes into a fighting stance, gripping her sword in front of her. She frantically looks around for Clover; her voice seemed to come from everywhere. “It’s funny you know…how long a good friendship can last. But when you’re looking at the clock, the world just slows down. When your enjoying every last part of being able to live again, being with the ones you quote unquote, ‘love’… time flies. Just like that, everything you thought would be private, everything that you could have hoped happen, doesn’t. And that Zero, is because this hellish world we live in…waits for no one.”
As Clover’s voice said those last two words, the room is instantly lit up, the sun and the blue sky is visible, and grass and snow lay in tufts on the ground. Zero covers her eyes for a moment; the brightness was another thing she had to make her eyes accustomed to. When she could see clearly, she saw Clover next to a small cabin on the grass before her, sitting down on a wooden bench, looking at her. Zero was confused; was this a cave, or the outside? Clover smirks at Zero, noticing her confused expression. “Do you know what this is?” She asked Zero, pointing with her thumb to the cabin. Zero shook her head; she couldn’t really quite understand much of what was going on at the moment. Clover frowns at Zero and clenches her fist. “This was the small cabin me and Grunt lived in before that storm blew it away…sky-high.” As she said that, waves of wind began to form around the cabin, the roof of it getting torn apart. The destruction travels lower and lower into the cabin, tearing it up from top to bottom. Zero stumbled back wards as this happened. The wind started getting stronger and the grass began to tear out of the ground, along with chunks of earth as well. As the wind began to finally die down, Clover walked toward Zero. “…You took him from me… YOU TOOK HIM AWAY! FOR SEVEN YEARS I WAS ALONE!” She yelled. Zero grips her sword tightly, hoping she wouldn’t have to use it against Clover.
Clover repeats, “YOU TOOK HIM AWAY FROM ME!” Zero doesn’t understand who she was talking about; she wasn’t aware of anyone whom she lived with. “W-who are you talking about?” Zero asked shakily. Clover responds,
“The same man who you helped out of a hole in that damned college, F.D.” Zero looks at her in disbelief. She had no idea she had lived with Grunt before! If Grunt had lived with her for so many years, it must have been hard being away from him for that. Long. They were closer friends than she had expected. Then Zero realized what Clover meant by “You took him away”. Zero had also kept Grunt in her house for two years at one time, then five years at another. Those two times together were seven years. If Grunt had been with Clover the times that he wasn’t with Zero, then that meant the same went in vice-versa. Clover repeats once more, “You took him away from me… YOU DID!” Zero slowly stands up and lowers her sword. “C-clover! I’m sorry, okay!? I had no idea you two lived with one another!” Zero cried. Clover frowns again at her and says, “What, you think I’m about to take my revenge on you for something like that?! Of course it plays a large part in this, but that isn’t the real problem here. IF GRUNT HAD BEEN WITH ME THOSE YEARS, THINGS WOULD HAVE CHANGED!”
Clover's face begins to be overlapped with Corruption, and her eyes glow yellow. Zero screams back, “Are you saying that if Grunt was with you, the storm wouldn’t have happened?! That’s INSANE!” Clover sprints up to Zero and grabs her by the neck. “I never said the storm would have fallen… I said things would have changed. More… pleasant. I WOULDN’T HAVE TO WATCH ANOTHER GRANDFATHER SUFFER BECAUSE OF ME! This wasn’t because of me… Grunt would have relocated… this is because… OF YOU!” She squeezes Zero’s neck while pushing her claws through her flesh, injecting what little Corruption she had stained on her fingers at the time. Tossing Zero aside like a rag doll, she grabs her purple rod-staff, and expects her to get right back up. Sure enough, Zero gets up again, and is in battle position with her sword pointed towards her. Her neck is dripping with blood, but it wasn’t a major concern at the time. “Now instead of watching a loved one suffer, I think I’ll just watch YOU suffer!” She twirls the rod in the air, and then slams it into the ground. The impact was surprisingly strong; there had been a small mark and crater when she had jabbed it into the earth. The entire room goes dark until it is suddenly lit by torches with green flame illuminating the huge cavern. Then where Clover had made the dent on the ground, three large masses of goop-looking things drop from the ceiling and absorb the energy she had made into the ground with her staff. “Let’s see how you do with a little variety…” Clover whispered to herself.
The three large blobs (obviously being Corruption,) take different living forms so they could attack. One was a lion with a mane engulfed in a black flame, the other a giant worm-looking thing with teeth, then the last one a wolf. Zero glances at the worm form first; that particular form looked weak. Immediately after transformation, the three Corruption forms advance on Zero, all baring their blackened teeth for battle. Zero sprints toward them as well, as the wolf was quite big, and she knew how to mix things up. As soon as they were about to make contact, she slides under the large wolf, then quickly slices the top part off of the confused worm form. The lion lunges at her and she dodges, its dark claws barely missing her stomach. It tries to paw her, but instead gets both its arms sliced clean off by Zero’s katana. It surprisingly adapts to this, and stands upright. It dashes toward her, but she dodges yet again, and slices off its legs. Catching her breath, she takes note of the body parts slowly forming again. She had mistakenly laid her attention on something less important though, because whilst catching her breath, she was pounced on by the large wolf form, and it began clawing at her…Corrupting her.

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