Chapter 8: A new ally
The six minions ran up to the wall as Qeb tried to rip out the stones but only in succeeded in breaking off a few of his claws as he slammed his fists onto the stone. "Master! Master!" he cried hysterically. They had failed . . .
Grimm growled as he threw down his knife in anger. Spoon and Egg slumped to the ground. Steve got quiet as his ears dropped. "How we get to Ancients now?" he asked quietly.
Qeb walked back as Grimm helped wrap up his now bleeding fingers in a cloth he had found. "Me . . . . Don't know," Qeb whimpered. Grimm felt his own ears fall flat as he too sat down beside Egg and Spoon. The minions were at a lose. Their master couldn't hold out for much longer and everyone, the whole brown tribe, was counting on them to make it out.
Cham looked at the wall as he walked up and tapped at the stones. The stones were too snug in place for them to try to dig out. He sighed as he too sat on the floor, playing with his tail when a scent filled his nose. He lifted his head and sniffed the air, as he looked around, his cow-like ears perked forward.
The Lady! But how?
He looked around, looking for the Lady. All he saw was the storage area and the five browns. Getting up, he began to follow the smell as he stumbled upon a barrel. It had a strange smell to it. He tried to recall where he smelled it. He blinked as he remembered his time back at the Halfling burrows.
The Halflings had these strange barrels all over the kitchens. Cham was one of the first reds to awaken. He remembered running around and lighting up these barrels. He looked at the barrel and noticed it was missing the strange string he had to light.
He sat down and pondered. No string, no boom. He had to find a way to light it. Getting up he wandered out to the hall as Grimm looked over at him. "Where you going?"
Cham looked at him. "This way!" He said as he pulled on the brown's arm. He showed him the barrel as Grimm looked at it, raising a brow at the red. Cham however, seemed overjoyed to the point where he was shaking with excitement.
"What is this?"
"It a boom barrel!" the small minion said dancing happily.
"Boom . . . barrel?" Grimm said blinking, slightly confused.
"Yes yes!" Cham said as he tried to pick it up. Grimm sighed as he kneeled down and helped him carry it but even that it was still too heavy to lift. Growling he looked over at Egg, Steve and Spoon.
"Spoon, Steve, Egg! Help us!" He yelled. Qeb was still tending to his wounds. Grimm didn't want him to hurt himself any further. The five carefully moved it towards the wall as Cham guided them back. Very carefully, they set the large barrel down by the wall.
Qeb looked over at them as he walked over. "What is this?"
Cham was dancing up and down on his feet as he said happily, "It boom barrel!"
"Boom Barrel?" Qeb asked looking at the other four browns, who all gave an unsure shrug at him. "What boom barrel?"
"Boom Barrel was back in Halfling burrows. Me light then, then they sizzle and burst into flame! Once me light wrong barrel, it went boom! Killed many Halflings too!" he said dancing up and down. Qeb watched him move up and down, as his eyes followed him.
"Oh?" Qeb asked, puzzled.
"Yes yes!" Cham replied happily before calming down. "But we miss something."
"What we miss?" Egg asked, puzzled as he looked at the Red.
"Stringy-thing," Cham pointed to where the fuse was supposed to be. "No stringy-thing. No boom."
The five browns pondered. Where could they get string long enough to stick down the hole and small enough to fit? They would have to go search the castle. Again. Qeb sighed as he picked up the map and looked at it, laying it out.
"Here food place, above us," he said, pointing at the kitchen. They had taken the long way around to avoid the kitchen. Grimm looked it over as he pointed at the bedrooms.
"Think it here?" he asked.
Qeb looked at it as he scratched his head. He wished he learned how to read like Gnarl. "All way at top?"
"Oh!" Cham pepped up. "Me been up there, nothing good."
The minions sighed when they heard a noise. Someone was coming down the steps! "Hide!" They all said as they darted off to hide among the food and shelves. Cham squeezed under a rack as he watched the person walk down the steps.
Rollick hummed happily, as he walked down the stone steps. He whistled a tune to himself as he looked around the shelves for an item. Cham eeped as he was forced to move. He could see the other four minions all watch him with wide glowing yellow eyes. Cham had to belly crawl to avoid exposing his stomach as he kept his tail tucked between his legs and under him.
Rollick sighed and stood up, "Now where did that sack of potatoes go?" He looked around and found the potatoes on the bottom shelve. As he lifted them up, Cham was exposed as he froze dead in place and locked eyes with the human. Rollick blinked, and stared back, unmoving.
Grimm growled as he creped forward, grabbing one of his knives. If the human moved to kill Cham, he would be the first to leap at him. His yellow eyes were fixed on Rollick. Cham cowered beneath the human, shaking hard.
Rollick dropped the sack of potatoes as he kneeled down to the strange creature. Cham couldn't breath as he tried to suck in a breath of air, he was freaking out. Rollick blinked, "Whoah, easy there little . . . thing, or whatever you are. I won't hurt you." Rollick slowly and carefully extended his hand out as he placed it on Chams head.
Rollick blinked as to how warm Cham was as he carefully picked up the small creature. Rollick was around the same age as Malkor as the trainee chef picked up the minion. "There now, don't need to fret."
Cham whimpered in his arms as his ears went flat against his head. He was still shaking. He swallowed loudly as he looked at the human. Rollick had dark red hair and olive green eyes. Cham blinked and studied his eyes for a moment. He could tell things about a person by their eyes. Rollick was true to his word. He did not mean any harm.
"Now, what are you doing down here in the cellars? Don't ya know if anyone caught ya, you'd be killed?"
Cham swallowed, not sure, if he should speak. He looked to the browns as Rollick followed his gaze and jumped slightly in surprise. Five glowing yellow-brown eyes were staring back at him. "More of you? Well, come on out. Come on." He urged.
Qeb crawled out from his hiding spot as the other four slowly followed and formed behind him. Egg and Spoon kept their distance. Grimm was still untrusting to the humans as he gave a slight growl, his knife out. Cham swallowed as the minions exchanged glances between each other.
Rollick set him down as he noticed the barrel by the wall. "What is this doing by the wall?" Rollick asked as he lifted it up. Cham cried out, "Nooo!" Rollick, startled by Cham's sudden cry, dropped the barrel on his foot as he gave a loud yowl and hopped around, holding his sore and tender foot.
Cham ran up to him, "Me sorry, you okay?"
Rollick had to sit down to avoid falling down from the sudden rush. "Did you just talk?"
"We talk," Qeb pepped up, before receiving a jab in his ribs by Grimm. Qeb glared at him as the two exchanged glares. Rollick blinked, still puzzled.
"What are you?"
"We minions!" Egg and Spoon said together as they sat down by Rollick. Rollick looked at them.
"Yes, we serve the Master!" Egg called out happily.
Then it hit them, the Master! He was still trapped down below! The minions looked at him as Cham spoke up first. "We need stringy-thing!"
Rollick made a face as he raised a brow, "Stringy-thing?"
Cham pointed at the barrel. Rollick blinked, "Oh, you mean a fuse for the explosive . . . wait, what are you going to do with the explosive?"
"Master trapped below," Qeb spoke quickly as he pointed a still bleeding finger to the stonewall.
Rollick jumped up in shock. "Malkor's in trouble? So that's where he's been all this time?"
The minions nodded as Rollick looked at the brick wall. "Ah, I see, you're trying to blow up the wall to the lower chambers. It's going to take more than just this single barrel to blow up these stone bricks. We need another barrel."
The minions all flopped to the floor at the news. Where could they get another barrel in time? Rollick sensed their distress as he pondered on what he could do. He remembered, "Ah I know, we need to get to the command posts along the outer walls. The kitchen has a back door that leads straight to there. However, it will be heavily guarded."
The minions all gave a slight moan. More guards and even worse off, more damn guard dogs. Rollick smiled softly, "Don't worry. You have me. It's almost lunchtime. You will have at least half an hour to get in and out with the barrel. I'll distract them as long as I can."
The minions sprang to their feet at this news. They had a new ally! Rollick seemed true to his word. "What are you waiting for, get moving!" Rollick urged them. He quickly grabbed what he needed as he hurried up the stairs. He stopped the minions as he peeked around. "Ok, stay by me, we can't let old fuss bucket see you."
The minions looked at each other confused. Who was this 'fuss bucket'? They had a feeling they didn't want to know. They followed Rollick, staying on his heels as Cham rode on his shoulders, piggy backing it. Rollick didn't seem to mind as he ushered them out through the back door. Cham slipped off his back as the minions looked at him.
"Ok, hide among the armor and weapons. The cost will be clear when you hear the lunch bell ring."
"Trust me, you'll hear it. Now I must go, before the Head Chef gets angry." With that said, Rollick hurried off as the Head Chef began to yell for his name. Rollick hurried back down to the kitchens. "Coming, coming!" he said as before dropping the sack of potatoes, as they spilled everywhere.
"Damnit Rollick, now look what you did, hurry up and pick them up!" The Head Chef barked as he began to prepare lunch. Rollick sighed and did as he was told. He worked quickly with the vegetables as he stirred the soup. The Head Chef noticed this sudden . . . quickness in Rollick. Normally Rollick always went at a sluggish, sloth like pace yet now, he was moving around the room like a rabbit.
"Is there something going on?" He asked, raising a brow at him.
"No, no. Just the guards must be hungry no?"
The Head Chef just gave a slight unsure nod. "Uh huh . . . just make sure you don't mess it up this time. And no damn pumpkins!"
Rollick sighed, "Yes sir." When the coast was clear Rollick pulled out some mashed pumpkin as he poured the contents into the soup. Pumpkin always gave the soups a special added flavor. When the soup was done, he grabbed the bell and banged it as loud as he could, hoping the minions could hear him.
Cham, Qeb, Egg, Spoon, Steve and Grimm all waited. The wait seemed like eternity. "How do we know we can trust this human?" Grimm growled.
"We must," Cham said. "We must save the Master!"
Just then, they heard the bell. Rollick banged it loudly. The minions waited few moments as the guards walked past, talking of matters they cared not for. When the coast was clear, they shot out and through the corridors. They followed Cham as he locked in onto the strange smell inside the barrels.
"Here! In here!" he said as he pointed to a large door. Grimm and Qeb quickly worked together as Qeb stood on Grimms shoulder, picking at the lock with his knife.
"Hurry, open door!"
"It lock!" Qeb growled annoyed as he fumbled with the lock. Grimm growled as he struggled to keep the constant moving minion balanced.
"Hurry!" Grimm shouted. Qeb growled before shouting aloud in joy as the door swung open, knocking the minions back. Cham hurried in and pointed a barrel.
"This one, this one!" he said, pointing to a large barrel. The browns walked over. It would take all six of them to carry it down the steps. Acting fast, the minions hoisted it up, groaning. Even with all six of them, the barrel was heavy and the contents inside it moved and shifted around.
"Hurry, hurry!" Cham panted as they struggled to lift the barrel up. They had wasted much of their time, trying to open the heavy door. The minions moved as quickly as they could. Now, they had only a split second window, to move through the kitchen, back to the cellar. Rollick was busy trying to keep the kitchen clear.
Seizing the moment, the minions moved. They managed to reach the stairs when suddenly, a guard shouted, "The demons are back!"
Rollick gasped as he tried to convince the guard, it was only mice and he would handle them. The guards ignored him as he was pushed aside. He fell over and landed in the potatoe peel pile. "Run, you lot, run!" he called out to the minions. The minions wasted not a second as they hurried down the stairs. Cham however, lost his footing as he slipped and fell forward.
The barrel rolled down, taking Spoon with it as he was dragged down the steps. The barrel landed as Cham gasped. If the barrel exploded now, they would all be hurt or worse, killed. The barrel, to their relief, merely bounced and rolled into the room.
Cham was about to let out a sigh when he heard a whooshing sound as one of the guards tried to take off his head. He rolled to the side, forgetting he was on the stair lip as he tumbled down the steps, tripping the other four minions as they all were sent sprawling through the door. "Hurry!" Qeb said, getting to his feet. The guards were after them.
Acting fast, Grimm and Steve slammed the door shut as Spoon fumbled to lower the massive bar on the door. It wouldn't hold the guards back for long. "Quick, roll, roll, roll!" Cham urged as he tried to push the barrel. He wasn't as strong as the Browns so he struggled greatly to even get it to twitch. The five browns joined alongside him as they all teamed up, rolling the barrel to the door.
In the room, Egg had found the strange 'string' Cham had been looking for as he quickly shoved it into the barrels and rolled it out. Cham struggled to create a fireball in his hand. Behind them, the Guards were cutting through the door. They all jumped as one of the guards swords managed to break through as they struggled to widen the hole in the door.
"Hurry, light it!" Qeb urged. Cham swallowed as he dropped his small fireball onto the fuse line. The fuse sparked up as the spark traveled down the fuse line. Just then, the guards managed to kick the door in as the minions all jumped and began to away. In their current state, they were no match for a horde of armored guards.
The minions backed away as they dared to the barrels as the guards slowly moved in. They were trapped. Cham swallowed, as he looked back, eyes wide. The barrels ignited. Rollick, finally managing to get out of the potatoe peels hurried to the steps ----