Book 1.5: Side Tales – Koko: The Puppet Asylum (part 4)
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Eh! Where Did My Pen... Pen... Go!?!

Book 1.5: Amaranthe Guild – Side Stories

Koko's Tale

The Puppet Asylum (Part 4)

“Yes, let's do this!” Pinkili said with a fist pump. She then gave Cylem a nod. “Send up Cybee. Let us know which room that monster is in.”

“Okay, Cybee. You're up.” Cybee 'beeped' and 'blipped' in response to Cylem's words as she retracted her mechanical limbs, releasing her hold on Cylem's torso, transforming her semi-orb shaped body as it opened and extended; A metallic pair of wings embedded with colorful rotor blades quietly came to life as Cybee took flight.

She quickly hovered up to the second story and began to circle the house scanning each window. Cylem's eyes glowed as she watched Cybee disappear around the side of the house.

A few moments passed before she smiled and looked towards Anancy and Koko who were standing at the ready by the side of the dollhouse.

“Yes. It looks like you're clear to go. That manster's shadow has been spotted moving across the window on the other side of the house.”

“Good. Now's your chance,” Anancy whispered next to Koko's fluffy ear. She gave Koko a gentle pat, feeling the tension in her body and saw the uncertainty in her eyes. “Don't worry, YOU can do this! It's just like an itsy bitsy learning to crawl up a water spout. The key is to picture your skin sticking and unsticking to the wooden siding of the house as you crawl your way to the open window above.”

Nodding her head, Koko closed her eyes and inhaled deeply; She held onto the breath as she pictured herself crawling up the side of the house like a spider, and then exhaled; Slowly releasing the tension in her body as her eyes shined, focusing on the goal above.

She stood up on her tiptoes, reaching up high with her right hand as her spine stretched, shifted, and lightly popped. So weird, feels like somethings... moving from inside my chest into my spine... changing?

Anancy squinted her eyes, focusing on Koko's back, watching it bulge and ripple through Koko's long thin t-shirt. Shaking her head, she half-patted, half-massaged Koko's back causing the tingling feelings in her torso to calm.

“Just focus on the parts of your body that will be touching the house... okay? Right now is not the time to call out the other aspects of your arachnid side because such changes may overwhelm you, causing you to pass out which is something you don't want to have happened... right? So for now, just focus on the bare skin of your hands, knees, and feet.”

Huh? Call what out from whose arachnid side? Just what kind of girl is this game turning me into because I don't ever remember reading anything about a spider bunny girl race in any of the books or online websites I've read? Koko turned her head to look back, her brows and nose scrunched and her mouth about to form words but she decided against doing so after seeing the seriousness in Anancy's face.

Guess now is not the best time for a question and answer session. Koko looked away, turning her head back towards the open window above with her arm still raised. Besides, maybe I'll find the answers in there.

She pressed the palm of her right hand firmly against the wooden siding of the dollhouse while thinking of sticky hands; Her hand slid downwards 5 inches and her feet came down flat against the ground before she felt an odd 'pins and needles' sensation on the skin of her hand.

Is it just the friction of my skin rubbing against the wooden surface that's causing that feeling... Or something else? Koko thought to herself as the tingling intensified; Hundreds of thousands of microscopic hairs sprouted out from the skin of her hand that was pressed up against the wall causing her sliding hand to come to a sudden stop, jerking her body upwards and lifting her back up onto her tiptoes. “Ah, m-my hand is stuck to the wall!”

“Yes! I knew you could do it, Funny Girl!” Anancy cheered, giving Koko some more pats of encouragement on her back as Koko tried to pull her hand free from the wall.

Koko's heart began to beat faster and faster as she continued to struggle with freeing her hand from the wall but couldn't...

“It's okay... It's okay. No need to panic. I'm right here with you. The first time is always like this. Just know if you can stick to the wall, you can unstick as well... okay? Now calm down and focus... picture your hand releasing its hold on the wall...”

W-well... if anyone would know, she would, so let's just do as she says.

Koko closed her eyes, picturing herself unsticking from the wall as she used her other hand to 'grab' higher up on the wall followed by her knees and the toes on her feet... sticking and unsticking over and over as she crawled higher and higher up the side of the house.

She heard soft clapping coming from behind, or more to the point, below her as she opened her eyes to look down.

Her eyes widened and her lips curled upwards as she muttered quietly, “It's working... it's really working. I'm doing it...” And just like that Koko found herself crawling up the wall towards the window.

Wow! This is amazing. I-I didn't think I'd be strong enough to pull the weight of my body up but either I'm way lighter than I thought I am... or way stronger. Maybe both?

Koko grasped the wide wooden sill of the open window, pulled herself up, and moved the satin curtain aside to peer into the dimly lit room; The room looked similar to her current room in colors and layout but the room's size was a lot bigger and the black wooden victorian furnishings were more ornate.

Good. I'm in position and looks like there's nobody inside... and the door is closed so I guess this is it. Koko felt a strong urge to enter and begin searching for her grimoire but shook her head side to side, deciding to stick to the plan in case 'it' could sense whenever somebody entered the house.

Looking down she gave a nod to Anancy who turned to Pinkili and said with a fanged smile, “Game on!”

Giggling, Pinkili, Kilijoy, and Nessi made their way to the front of the house where they found a nervous Harvey waiting for them.

Nessi waited by the side of the house where she could easily see the front door and still have a clear open path to the backyard so that nothing would obstruct her voice in case she had to sing out a warning.

Kilijoy walked up to the side of the door, put her back against the wall, and stood still as colorful smoke matching the colors of her hair billowed about below her knees.

Seeing everyone was set, Pinkili pat Harvey on the back and then moved to the other side of the door to stand at the ready with a pair of long needles in her hands that she took from the cuffs of her jacket's sleeves.

“Okay Harvey, your up... ring that bell!”

Harvey gulped, took a deep breath to still himself, and then stepped up to stand in front of the door. With a shaky hand, he pressed the doorbell.

A discordant echoing ring could be heard by those waiting outside as a loud muffled voice growled and cursed from upstairs.

BAM!

An upstairs door slammed causing Harvey to flinch.

Koko heard loud stomps and spied a shadow rush past the thin gap at the bottom of the bedroom's closed door.

“It's coming... Harvey, your Rabbit Hole!” Pinkili hissed from her spot as the doorbell's ring continued to echo; It wouldn't stop ringing until the front door was opened which only served to add to the man-beast's annoyance. The only good thing was that once that blasted doorbell was pressed it wouldn't work again for at least an hour which was the reason Harvey had to stay in front of the door and keep that monster occupied.

As for why the doorbell worked that way, none of them knew since they didn't build this place; But maybe the one that did build it did so unconsciously to torment the one imprisoned within.

“Ah, I forgot!” Harvey's hands moved to a pair of round dots on the sleeves of his coat. He grasped a pair of dots, frantically pulled them off his coat as he heard the angry muffled voice getting closer and closer, stomping its way down the stairs.

Using both hands, Harvey quickly increased the size of the round dots like pizza dough, infusing them with his energy. Satisfied, he quickly turned around and tossed one of the shadow dots onto the porch flooring behind him and the other one onto the yard about a dozen yards away.

He turned back around right as the front door was yanked open and a pale feral faced man with bulging veins near his temple and along his neck looked down at him with blood-red eyes partially covered by his dark wild hair. He opened his maw-like mouth, and harshly spoke, “Get off my porch you little piece of...”

As Harvey shivered before the large feral storm of spittle and curses Koko's feet lightly touched down onto the hardwood flooring inside the bedroom above.

She turned her head towards the king-sized canopy bed on her right. A pair of large wooden bookcases, black as night, stood tall on both sides; They held a mix of treasured books and familiar-looking 'friends'.

“How beautiful,” Koko whispered as she eyed the scene before her. “It's like I stepped into an upscale version of my own room. The books and doll friends I grew up with... everything...” She stood near the window lost in thoughts when a sudden 'bleeping blip' caused her to jump and turn to face the window mid-air.

She landed with a soft thud and felt a great sense of relief wash over her as she discovered the source of the sound was just Cybee.

“Hey, Funny Girl. Stop standing there lost in la-la land and find your grimoire. We don't know how long Harvey can keep distracting that manster for... okay?” Cylem's voice said, coming out from a hovering Cybee.

“Ah, okay,” Koko replied with a nod, then turned back to face the bookcases. “Hmm... judging by the empty spaces it looks like there are 3 friends missing from the shelves of each bookcase... and one doll that seems to have been torn limb from limb... poor fellow.” Koko found herself stepping towards the broken doll on the shelf but then stopped due to a loud growl, followed by a string of muffled curses, reaching her ears from downstairs.

What am I doing? I don't have time to mend'em right now... I need to find my grimoire before time runs out.

Koko closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and exhaled slowly, letting go of the anger that the broken doll had unknowingly stirred up within her.

Finding her focus, she opened her glowing eyes as three sets of images merged together into one, allowing her to see threads of energy streaming out from her body towards a dark plushie pillow... no, not pillow but a book; It was placed up high on the second shelf from the top of the bookcase on the other side of the huge bed.

“Hmm... let's see... I could jump up and snatch it off the shelf, which would be quicker, but with how big that grimoire is (and how small I am) the landing would be... noisy. Well then, since that's the case, it's a good thing I learned how to climb...”

As Koko made her way past the large wooden chest at the foot of the bed, wending her way towards the bookcase, a damp Harvey found himself in growing danger as the 'monster' was tiring of Harvey's gibberish.

“P-Please sir! If you'd only take a l-look in the kitchen... I-I'm sure you'll find our... our 'w-whatchamanot' lying on the floor. It f-flew in there through the w-window just a moment ago while we were playing...”

“Quit your **** babbling you ****! I'm sick and tired of you rats scurrying around and playing...”

On and on the beast scolded a poor flinching Harvey as Pinkili and Kilijoy gave him a big 'thumbs up' from the side since he was doing a great job of keeping the 'monster' distracted by the door, buying precious time for Funny Girl.

Unfortunately, they didn't notice that there was something missing from the man-beast...

Upstairs, in the dimly lit hallway, a large shadowy mass rose up from the dark hardwood floor taking the form of some type of tall humanoid beast.

The beast turned the side of its leathery, ashen gray head towards the closed door. Its long wolf-like ear, covered in scraggly black hairs, twitched as it strained to listen to what lay on the other side...

Koko found herself standing up high on the bookcase, using the shelves like a step ladder, as she stared at the large grimoire.

She reached out with her right hand to pull the grimoire out a bit, to get a good look at its cover, and felt a jolt of cold energy surge through her body the moment her hand made contact.

Her right foot kicked out a little, hitting a marionette that was sitting on the shelf her foot was planted on. The wooden marionette fell over, shifting to the edge of the shelving but luckily did not fall onto the hardwood floor.

Koko failed to take notice of its precarious position as her mind began to fill with images of a blue-tinted night in front of a tall gate made of silky webbings and playful totems made of dolls.

On the left side of the gate stood a doll-sized ghost of a masked girl with long bunny ears. She was dressed in a long Victorian dress holding onto an open umbrella. Dangling from the open umbrella like tassels were various doll heads whose eyes seemed to be watching her. And attached to her waist was a silver bell.

On the right side stood another masked female dressed in a dark flowing cloak. She had a trio of eyes on each side of her otherwise featureless face and six spidery legs sprouting out from her back. She was armed with a long scythe which had a trio of dolls attached to the top of the weapon's shaft. Floating around her in the air were beautiful jewel-toned soul lanterns.

The sounds of 'gigglings' and 'singing' led her to look past the silk bars of the gate to what lay beyond; A cobblestone path wended its way through a forest of ghostly trees that resembled blossoming Sakuras.

Misty tendrils rose up from the dark watery surfaces of burbling streams and bluish-gray stone water fountains. In the distance, she could make out the dark outline of a large mansion-like building.

Playing within the forest was a plethora of spirits, puppets, dolls, and denizens from the Netherworld; Some of which began calling out to her in sing-song voices...

“Demora...” “Eona...” “Come little one, to play with us...”

Koko found herself drawn to the voices as the gravel beneath her feet crunched with each step. Enchanted, she reached out with small hands to pull the gate open but was stopped as both guardians flitted beside her in a blink and placed their ethereal hands onto her shoulders, gently restraining her.

She looked up at them with glazed eyes causing them to gently shake her as they spoke in unison, “Sorry, but now is not the time for us to enter and play Miss Demora Eona Wyckersin; Now is the time to learn...”

She felt something cold prick the center of her forehead causing the scene before her to clear as wisps of ghostly lights danced in her mind forming words as the name she was given softly echoed in her head. “D-did they just give me... spells? And a-a name... Demora Eona Wyckersin. I really like it... whoa!...”

Demora nearly shouted in panic as the large grimoire slipped out of her hand and began to fall towards the floor due to being pulled too far off the shelf. With no time to waste, she sprung into motion reaching out with both hands; She caught the falling grimoire and brought it in tight to her chest.

No longer holding onto the shelving, she felt her body losing her balance so she bent her knees and hopped off the bookcase. Her small body flew through the air in an arch towards the large king-sized bed as her foot brushed against something during take-off.

She landed on the soft fluffy blankets with her grimoire secured, overjoyed that she didn't bring down the bookcase and cause a huge ruckus. “Okay, I got what I came here for! Time to go before my luck runs ou...”

CLACK!

The wooden marionette clattered onto the hardwood floor causing Demora to feel as if her heart was in her throat.

Click

The door to the room slowly opened.

A long gangly figure covered in dark scraggly hairs lowered its antlered head to enter the room as a series of 'bleeping blips' sounded out in alarm from right outside the open window causing the shadowy beast to stare at Cybee with hungry onyx black eyes.

Time seemed to slow as Demora jumped up to her feet atop the bed; Her eyes locked on to the shadowy beast in recognition... No way, that looks like a-a... Wendigo!

She had seen various illustrations of such beasts in an old Native American lore book she kept at home which had been passed down for generations on her mother's side of the family.

According to her book, such beasts were the workings of dark spirits that possessed the body of chosen humans; From within, the spirit nurtures the base nature of its human host. As the human falls deeper and deeper under the influence of the dark spirit it begins to partake in vile deeds such as child abuse, drugs, violence, murder, insatiable greed, cannibalism, and various cultural taboos; The viler the deeds it commits, the greater the loss of its humanity until it all that remains is a hate-filled beast.

But the book never mentioned anything about that dark bloody ethereal tether attached to its back leading out of the open bedroom door; I wonder if that monster below has anything to do with it?...

Ah, forget it! I-I need to get out of here before it spots me and decides to turn me into a bite-sized snack!

Realizing that A: the dark plush grimoire in her arms would only serve to slow her down and B: she needed her hands free, Demora quickly spun into action.

She took the book in both hands, turned her small body at the waist, and used the force of her upper body to help her throw the grimoire across the room; The book flew through the air like a frisbee! Flying past the shadowy Wendigo, out the open window, and landing in the mechanical limbs of Cybee.

Yes, it worked! Now to get the Neth out of here.

The shadowy Wendigo roared causing the man-beast below to turn his head and glare upstairs. He quickly turned back around, most of his humanity gone, and a wide fanged grin on his face causing Harvey to raise his leg to step back.

Moving at blurring speeds, the man-beast turned Wendigo reached out past the doorframe with its long sinewy arms and grasped onto the front of Harvey's coat, taking him by surprise before he could disappear down the rabbit hole.

“Ahahaha... It seems like my 'shadow' has found one of you filthy rats scurrying about upstairs in that worthless brat's bedroom. Did you stupid **** actually think that I didn't know you were up to no good?

Ahahaha... you're not nearly as clever as you all think you are. Now then, let's go on up and take a look at what happens to such uninvited and unwanted guests...”

Alarmed by the sudden turn of events, Kilijoy sprung into action, moving from her spot to stomp in front of the door. The Wendigo, startled by her movements, jerked back as a spout of colorful smoke snaked onto its face. Harvey cried out in panic as his body slid forward due to the Wendigo's hold.

Taking advantage of the Wendigo's now impaired vision (thanks to Kilijoy's noxious smoke attack) Pinkili launched her attack, stabbing her long needles into the Wendigo's hands that were holding onto Harvey.

Cold piercing pain caused the Wendigo to release its hold on Harvey and open its maw to howl in pain only to find itself choking as the smoke slithered down its throat!

Coughing up phlegm and eyes burning the Wendigo retreated towards the stairs as muffled sounds of growling, howling, and things falling streamed down from above.

As for the little **** attackers, they hopped into the Rabbit Hole which Harvey had tossed earlier onto the porch floor; One by one they disappeared into the hole, only to reappear a second or so later out of the other Rabbit Hole which rested on the lawn a dozen yards away.

During this time Nessi had sung her warning song reaching the ears of Anancy and Cylem.

Anancy burst into action, crawling up the wall towards the window to get a view of what was happening within the room while Cylem (now holding onto the grimoire that Cybee passed down to her) continued to view the happenings through Cybee's optic lens.

Through the window, Anancy spotted the shadowy Wendigo chasing after Funny Girl who was crawling and hopping about the walls, bookcases, ceiling, and bed.

Dolls, books, and other items tumbled to the ground as the Wendigo flailed its long arms at the little spider bunny girl leaving behind deep claw marks and shredded blankets, pillows, and canopy drapes.

The shadowy Wendigo howled in pain once again as it stomped onto another fallen object; Breaking it under the force of its step and weight of its body as the broken item formed jagged edges that pierced the bottom of its clawed foot.

“Funny Girl... over here! I'm here to help against that... that... umm, what is that thing?”

Demora, who was currently atop of a wooden post of the canopy, glanced towards the window, spotting Anancy and shouted out while she continued moving about, “Ah, Anancy... I-It's some kind of Wendigo! It k-keeps blocking my escape! I need something to... to b-blind it!"

Anancy thought about what Funny Girl was asking her to do but wasn't sure if shooting her webbings at the beast's eyes was such a good idea; Afterall, she might hit Funny Girl instead.

That being the case, she scuttled halfway down the house and asked Cylem if she could help. They spoke for a brief while, then Anancy turned, and crawled back up to the window.

“Hey Funny Girl, great news!” She shouted out as she grasped the window curtains and pulled them down so that they wouldn't get in the way. “Cylem said that Cybee can do it! Just let us know when you're ready to make your move. And be sure not to jump high into Cybee's line of sight... okay?”

“Okay!” Demora shouted, sounding happy but winded. “I'll make my move on the count of three... ready?”

Anancy looked down, surprised to find not only Cylem looking up but the whole group as they surrounded the little cyber witch. Cylem gave her a thumbs up.

“You're good to go, Funny Girl.”

“1...” Demora hopped off the wall towards the top of the bookcase by the bed, the shadow Wendigo trailing closely after her.

“2...” She hopped back onto the wall near the bedroom door as the flailing shadow Wendigo's feet skidded on the hardwood floor as it shifted direction back in the opposite direction it was moving in.

“3...” She hopped over the shadow Wendigo's head, landing on the foot of the bed as the shadow Wendigo spun around with raging eyes wide open.

A blinding beam of light struck its eyes, causing burning pain. It covered its eyes with its large hands and howled in pain as Demora hopped towards the open window, flying through the air with arms stretched out to finally make her escape.

Her arms were halfway out the window when she noticed Anancy's face not filled with joy but panic. A split second after, she felt a clawed hand bite into the flesh of her left ankle, grasping her in a vice-like grip, fully stopping her forward momentum!

The hand's owner laughed darkly as it began to pull her back into the room but Demora's hands slapped down onto the strong wooden window sill as she used her strength to try and pull herself outside.

Anancy, having recovered from her panic, grabbed onto Demora's upper arms, and pulled.

Demora's muscles and limbs strained as she desperately held on with everything she had. Cybee sent out its mechanical limbs, wrapping them around Demora's arms as well. As for using its laser light again on this new beastly arrival, it couldn't since it was on cooldown.

“Ahahaha... It's so funny that you little worthless **** think you can actually win this tug of war against me. That annoying brat from last time thought the same thing right before his limbs got pulled apart! What was it you all called'em?... Zack?...Mack?... Oh ya, I remember now... Jack.

I left that little idiot's broken body right over there on that shelf...”

Memories of that broken doll flashed through Demora's mind, the energy in her body stormed, and all of her eyes flared as she looked back to see the new Wendigo that grasped her ankles, spoiling her escape.

“I-It's YOU!” Demora shouted out as she glared at the vile Wendigo, recognizing the man it used to be. “You really are a monster!”

“And you really are a worthless unwante...”

The energy in her body crawled up into her spine causing her back to bulge and ripple more violently than before.

“Let GO!” Demora shouted, summoning strength from within as her voice covered the sound of her t-shirt tearing; A dark pair of razor-sharp appendages sprung out from her back and sliced down past her feet leaving afterimages in the air.

A painful howl echoed in the room as Demora's body shot out the window, freed from the beast's grasp. Anancy bent backward while releasing her hold on Demora's upper arms, narrowly avoiding a painful collision! Her cluster of eyes tracked Demora's escape flight, watching as her new pair of spider legs returned into her body.

Cybee joyfully bleeped and blipped as it used its mechanical limbs to guide Demora to a safe landing below. The moment her feet touched the soft ground she found herself surrounded by all her new friends who were smiling and cheering.

“That was amazing Funny Girl!...”

“...I was so scared when it grasped onto my coat. I thought I was dead for sure...”

“Just what kind of beast was that thing...”

“Funny Girl said it was a Wendigo...”

The small group continued to chatter and giggle around Demora, giving her time to recover from the emotions and adrenaline coursing through her body.

She stared up at the window, wanting to get one last look, but found that it was now closed; The curtains were reset and drawn blocking her sight of that vile monster; A monster that she would have to one day soon defeat and throw out of her head forever.

“Eww Funny Girl, are you sure you want to wear such a creepy gross anklet!?!” Kilijoy asked as she pointed downwards.

The whole group stopped talking to look down at her ankle. A chorus of “Eww's” and “Gross!” rang out as Demora kicked her leg, trying to dislodge the Wendigo's clawed hand (that was severed at the wrist) off her ankle.

“It's okay Funny Girl. Just calm down and stop kicking. Let Cybee remove and dispose of it for you...”

Nodding her head, Demora stood still as Cybee hovered low to the ground and used its mechanical limbs to free her ankle.

“Thank you, Cybee! You're a real lifesaver.” Demora praised as she gave Cybee a gentle pat.

Cybee responded with a series of happy blips and flashing lights as it returned to the sky above them.

“So Funny Girl, did you get what you came here for?” Pinkili asked.

Smiling, Demora replied, “Yes, I did! Thanks to all of you. If it wasn't for your help I don't know if I could have done it on my own... Anyways, I tossed it to Cybee so it should be...”

“Here you go,” Cylem said, stepping forward and passing the large grimoire over to Demora.

The grimoire was soft to the touch, wrapped in night hued satins and silks. Demora's lips curved up as she noticed that the image on the front cover of the book was the same as the image she had entered. And the title of the grimoire (written in webbings) read Nethrika Grimoire of Vodaruun.

“I actually already learned quite a bit the moment I touched it,” Demora said, as she began explaining what had occurred between her and the grimoire.

“Ooh, so Funny Girl has a real name...” Kilijoy said.

“A pretty name...”

“Calm down loverboy! Don't go getting any weird ideas in that furry little head of yours.” Pinkili chastised Harvey as his cheeks reddened. She then turned to Demora, “So what should we call you? Demora or Eona or maybe a fun nickname like... Mora... or maybe De-ah...”

“Dea... that's a good nickname. Don't you think so too... Dea?”

“Of course it is Anancy. After all, it was given by my big sis!”

“So Dea, what spells did you learn?” Cylem asked with great interest since she had a great love of magic.

“Let's see... It seems I learned a trio of spells, the first of which uses the ectoplasmic energies from the Netherworld to blast my foes with ghostly orbs.

The second spell requires needles so I won't be able to use it until I find the right ones to soulbind with.

And the last spell requires two things: Doll heads, which there are plenty of where I'll be heading back too. And spirits which I'll need to summon to possess and control the doll heads for the duration of the spell... it's a haunted doll head type of spell.”

“Pick me!..” “No, Pick me! I'll do it...” “I'll go! Summon me!”

“Alright, alright! Settle down everyone,” Pinkili ordered. “Let's just take turns okay! Right Dea?”

“Y-yeah, we'll do that. You all can pick the order in which you'll take turns coming out to help when summoned. I'll be casting that spell the moment I return so please decide quickly... okay.”

The group all nodded their heads in agreement and began a fierce battle of rocks, paper, scissors. Kilijoy jumped up and down in cheer while the others all grumped about losing before starting another round to see who would go second.

“Are you going right now?” Kilijoy asked excitedly.

“Ah... that's right,” Demora said, looking at the grimoire in her arms. She really wanted to sit down and read it but knew she couldn't since she had to hurry and return to her body to face an angry Kresh. “Hmm, since I'll be heading off to battle again, is it alright if I leave my grimoire in your care?”

“Of course you can!” Cylem said, having won second place as the rest started another round for third place. With a big smile on her face, Cylem received the grimoire and hugged it close to her body. “We wish you luck in your battle ahead... and look forward to your summons!”

Demora stood there for a moment, her thoughts filled with wanting to return to her body but unsure of how to do so when suddenly the ground opened up beneath her feet and she felt herself... drop!

“Aaiieee!”

She felt as if she was on a roller coaster going down a long steep slope as her stomach rose and the rushing wind caused her eyes to close.

She came to a sudden stop as the sound of a counting Kresh reaching “Tree” informed her that she was back in her real body.

With her grimoire mission completed and spells in mind Koko... or rather, Demora is ready for her showdown against Kresh! A room filled with loot awaits her, should she win. Coming up next in The Puppet Asylum Part 5.

Side Notes: Sorry for taking so long to write again. Had some issues that were quite unexpected. Anyways, I'll be spending the next two weeks writing at least 4 hours per day to do my best to catch up to where I wanted to be at this point and time in the summer.

I also wanted to share a couple of rough draft sketches of Ceri that my niece sent me this weekend. There are some changes that will be made for the final illustrations (i.e. making her mouth more dragonesque, having her spiln fur on the upper half of her body a bit longer/fluffier, and such.) But overall, she came out very cute :) And now for the links to the Ceri Illustrations: Ceri 1   and   Ceri 2 (this rough draft was made with starry stripes on her body.)

**********

Chapter Revised on 9-11-2020

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