Perth & Bo 5: The Ghost King's Gold, страница 1
Perth & Bo: The Ghost King’s Gold
By S. R. Mulrune
Copyright © 2012 S. R. Mulrune
All rights reserved.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
First eBook Edition: October 2012
Second eBook Edition: December 2015
CHAPTER 1: THE GHOST KING'S GOLD
Two small pioneers traveled the mythical land of Miyus. One was Perth, a talking koala. The other was Bo, a wise little fuzzball. Their adventures have taken them far from home.
They were traveling through the edge of the enchanted forest of Greenmaze when it started to get dark. They needed to find a place to sleep, and spotted a small castle in the distance. They found a strong man in a black cape who lived in the castle. He invited them inside to stay the night.
"Good evening," Perth said, ever the friendly koala. "My name is Perth, and this is my little friend, Bo."
The man in the castle waved and said, "My name is Tidnab, and I am the ruler of this castle. You may stay in my castle if you share some of your food for dinner."
"We travel long distances all the time, so we have plenty of food," said Bo, ever the smart fuzzball. "We accept your offer."
Tidnab led his two guests to the dining hall, where they had a feast. Perth and Bo carried seaweed crackers with them, which Bo liked more than Perth. But, they were a light and nutritious snack, so they often carried them. The seaweed crackers went perfectly with the shrimp stew Tidnab had in his kitchen. The three ate to their fill.
"This castle is beautiful," said Bo, noticing the fine construction out of rare stones.
"This is Castle Spectacular, one of the most brilliant castles in the land."
"Where are all the other people?" Perth looked around, and saw no one but Tidnab lived inside the castle.
"I let them all go on vacation," said Tidnab. They'll all be back next Spring. "You know, they like to go fishing and hiking and taking long journeys to visit their families. I decided they needed a break."
"That is kind of you," said Bo.
"I'm one of the kindest people around," answered Tidnab. "I'm big and strong, but people know I'm one of the most gentle souls in the world."
The guests were led to their sleeping quarters, which was a fine room decorated with pretty art and contained a soft bed. Perth and Bo crawled onto the soft mattress and fell fast asleep.
Something stirred at midnight and awoke Perth and Bo. They watched from the darkness and saw a ghostly young woman enter their room and sit at the mirror. She grabbed the comb and started to comb her hair.
Perth was too terrified to do anything but hide under the covers.
Bo, even though he was tiny, was brave enough to hop up to the ghostly young woman and say, "Hello, I am Bo. May I ask who you are, pretty ghost?"
The ghostly young woman stared down at the little fuzzball and asked, "You're not afraid of me? You're not scared because you're so small?"
"I am a mighty dragon," Bo said. He puffed up and growled a little, which sounded more like a squeak. He was still smaller than the ghost's foot. "But I am not scared."
"Nice to meet you, Bo the tiny fuzzball dragon. My name is Alice. I used to be the princess of this castle before the bandit took over. Now I'm a ghost, and coming here at night to be in my room makes me happy."
Bo looked around and asked, "Where is this bandit?"
"I don't know," said the ghost princess. "My father, the king will know. He might be visiting the wizard in the tower."
In the morning, Perth and Bo asked Tidnab if there was ever another king who lived in the castle, or even a princess or wizard. He told them there was never anyone but himself and his servants, who were all on vacation. He told them to be on their way before they had a chance to eat breakfast.
"Something is strange about that castle," said Bo.
"I wonder if Tidnab is hiding something," said Perth. "We should come to spend the night when we pass through the forest again."
"I agree," Bo said, coming up with a plan.
It was another week until the travels of Perth and Bo took them back to the edge of Greenmaze. They made sure their trip would bring them near Castle Spectacular in the evening. Again they approached the castle, and again Tidnab let them stay the night in exchange for food.
This time Perth had brought his buttered crackers, which went perfectly with the tomato soup Tidnab had in his kitchen.
"These buttered crackers tasted much better than the salty seaweed you brought last time," said Tidnab. "As a reward for such great food, you can choose any room to sleep in."
"I'd like to sleep in the tower," said Perth.
"Are you sure? It's scary up there." Tidnab tried to talk them out of it, but the duo said they wanted to sleep in a scary place.
The tower was a scary place. There wasn't much light, and there were creepy animal bones and potion making machines everywhere. There were manikins used to make magical clothing, but none of the magical items. It was cold in the tower, and a few families of bats had occupied the upper floors.
Perth and Bo found an uncomfortable wooden table to sleep on. A ghost came into their room at midnight. He went right to a desk and started mixing potions from ingredients scattered in the tower.
"Hello, I am Bo," said the fuzzball, who was unafraid of the ghost. "The princess said we could find the king here talking to you."
"Nice to meet you, Bo," said the wizard's ghost. "I'm Merloco, the wizard of this castle. I used to serve the king until the bandit took over. Now, I'm a ghost, and making potions is the only thing that makes me happy."
Having seen his second ghost in the castle, Perth was brave enough to come forward and ask, "Can you tell us where the king is?"
The wizard ghost thought for a while, then said, "On the final night, he tucked his daughter in to bed, then came to me to chat for a while. Then, he went to the kitchen to get a snack. He might be there."
"Thank you, kind wizard," said Bo. "May I ask what type of potions you are making?"
"I make all manner of potions, but my favorite are growth potions."
Perth and Bo went back to sleep. Bo dreamed about drinking a growth potion and being a mighty dragon rather than a tiny fuzzball.
In the morning, Perth and Bo said nothing of the wizard's ghost to Tidnab. They did ask him if he ever found potions in the tower, and Tidnab said he sometimes found old potions up there, but they had always been there. He said he figured the bats made the potions, and said they were probably magical bats.
Perth and Bo returned to their travels once again.
"I don't want to call Tidnab a liar, but something is funny about his stories," said Perth.
"It is rude to call someone a liar, but if they are lying to you, the shame is theirs, not yours," Bo corrected.
It was another week until Perth and Bo traveled to the edge of Greenmaze. They went to Castle Spectacular to stay the night, and this time had brought sugar-coated mina berries. They tasted amazing on their own, but went well with the spiced mashed pumpkin Tidnab had in his kitchen.
After the feast, Tidnab said the two could stay anywhere in the castle.
Perth and Bo said they would like to sleep in the kitchen and Tidnab said that would be fine as long as they promised not to steal any food. The two agreed and were allowed to use sacks of flour as their beds.
A ghost came into the kitchen at midnight. It went to a sack of dry beans and munched at the content
"Hello there," Bo said, hopping off his sack of flour. "I am Bo, and this is my friend, Perth. We have heard a bandit took your castle from you."
"Yes," the king said. "I am King Auric, also known as the golden king. I used to rule this castle, until a bandit came and took it from me. Now I am a ghost, and munching dry beans is the only thing that makes me happy."
"Eating dry beans is bad for you," said Perth, who was grossed out by the idea of eating dry beans.
"It is what makes me happy now that I'm a ghost," said the king. "Besides, I'm a ghost. Do I need to worry about things that are bad for my health, anymore?"
Perth asked, "Can we help you kick out the bandit and take back your castle?"
The king nodded and smiled.
Bo asked, "Can you tell us where this bandit is?"
"He's right behind you," the king said, pointing to Tidnab, who was standing in the doorway. "That is the bandit who stole my castle."
Perth and Bo were shocked their kind host was the bandit the whole time.
"Bandit Tidnab, it's the same word, just backwards," said Bo, who was ever the wise fuzzball. "Get the sack of beans quick." He leaped into Tidnab's face to distract him.
Perth grabbed the sack of beans, which Tidnab never ate, but the king had every night. It was almost empty, and the koala put the sack over the strong man's head.
The ghost of the wizard showed up, and used a potion to make the sack larger, so that it would cover Tidnab's entire body. The ghost of the princess showed up, and she used a hair pin to secure the bag to keep the bandit inside. The other ghosts in the castle came, and they cheered at the capture of the evil bandit who lied to guests.
"This bandit will no longer rule your castle," said Bo. "We will take him to the constable, and he will go to prison for his crimes."
The king thanked the duo, and said, "You are welcome to stay here any night you wish, for no fee. However, please let everyone know to change their maps. This is no longer Castle Spectacular, for there is no one left to enjoy the riches in this castle. Ghosts have no use for money, and Tidnab tried to take all the gold and treasure in this castle. Now that he has taken almost all the treasure, and this castle is filled with ghosts, this will now be Castle Spector."
"We are just doing our jobs as messengers of the realm," Bo said. "We must stop crime anywhere we see it. Bringing justice to criminals like Tidnab is its own reward."
"Thank you again," said King Auric. "There was one last treasure he didn't find. My secret vault hidden behind my throne. You're welcome to it, or anything in the castle, to take as a reward."
Perth and Bo tried to object, saying they were just doing their job. King Auric ordered they take something, and they could not resist the orders of a king. Perth took as much gold as he could put in a sack. Bo asked if he could have some small samples of Merloco's growth potions, and he was given seven small vials.
The two went on their way to finish delivering letters, and the ghosts celebrated the return of King Auric to the throne at Castle Spector.