The next morning Elanor returns with her tiger. She struts over to Vickie, the village's cook with a cocky look. "Here I hunted this for the wedding!" Elanor says while proudly sticking her chest out.
Vickie smiles gently at the beauty with the grotesque meat sack. "I'm sorry darling," she pauses her nose twitching as she considers how to continue, "It unfortunate but its organs are ruptured it's surely covered in feces. We need to clean and drain the beasts before cooking. This... well I don't want people to get sick," she informs diplomatically.
"You stupid tiger! You're not even good enough to eat," Elanor berates the bag of flesh. She then winds up and tosses it away into the sky creating a meat bomb. "I just need to find something stronger," she proclaims while making a guts pose. If the tiger knew of this treatment, he would surely cry.
Elanor looks over at Laurel's hut with a smile. 'I guess I can go play a bit,' she conspires. "Well don't worry about that garbage beast the next one will be perfect for the wedding!" she says before leaving a bewildered Vickie.
In a different location a little girl once again secretly scurries up the hill. Elanor could learn a bit about stealth from Donna as she lays flatly on her belly to avoid the eyes of the adults. After an exhausting trek, she peaks over the hill's crest.
Finding the coast clear she jumps up and runs toward Joe. As she nears the bull, she stops and points at him. "Ball!" she exclaims confidently. She then points at the nearby bush. "Bushy!" she states happily.
Donna nods a few times as if congratulating her own intellect. She then pulls on her pouch unbuttoning it. She pulls out a few berries. They are her snack for the day. With a sour face, she sticks out her hand towards Joe. "You have owies... So I give you a snack like a good girl," she says reluctantly.
Joe looks at the berries curiously. 'what's the point of giving me this little bit,' he thinks. Still, Joe's stomach is bottomless so he can't hold back and quickly gobbles down the gift.
The cold nose tickles Donna's hand surprising her causing her to step back. Her foot lands awkwardly in some mud causing her to lose her footing. As she stumbles, John instinctively moves some branches to catch the girl. Donna closes her eyes tightly as she prepares to hit her bottom, but even after a few seconds, she doesn't fall. She slowly opens one eye peaking to see what happened. She sees leaves around her as a few branches hold her up.
Donna jumps up in shock. Her eyes bulge out making her look like an owl. "Bushy," she squeals. She grabs the branch and looks it over.
'oops, I messed up,' John chastises himself. 'She's just a little girl she'll forget if I stay still,' he decides.
She spends a few minutes poking and prodding the bush skeptically. "Bushy move!" Donna yells with puffed out cheeks. The little girl shoves the bush in frustration. When nothing happens, she tries to grab a branch yanking and pulling with all her might. When the branch doesn't move at all her face turns red with anger. Finally, she's reached her limit and opens up her little mouth showing a bright set of teeth. She chomps down on one of Johns leaves and pulls while on her hands and knees. She looks like a dog playing tug of war with its master.
Joe snorts at this hilarious sight. "Moo," he states with a smile.
John transmits his thoughts with condescension to Joe's mind, "Oh you think this is funny? It does remind me of old times when some stupid bull had a tantrum as well."
"MooOh" Joe replies with malice.
"So what if you could actually eat me. It was you having a fit like a baby."
As they were arguing, Donna ignored the commotion as she racks her brain on what to do. Then she comes up with a great idea! She jumps up and pats her own head as a reward. "Bushy look!" She yells as she runs around in a circle with her little legs. She then turns away from John and plops down towards him recreating the previous scene.
John isn't going to make the same mistake twice, and this time Donna plops on to her bottom. The little girl looks back at John with a look of immense shock and betrayal. "Mean bushy!" she screeches as her eyes begin to leak. "Why you be bad? Donna is good girl sniff. I gave up my snack!" she cries.
"Moo," Joe says accusingly.
"She did it to her self," John harrumphs.
"I'm not being heartless!" John retorts. Still looking at the young girl bawling her heart out he could only give in. "fine, little girl, it takes me a lot of energy to move so I couldn't catch you a second time. Now stop crying."
"Bush weak?" she mumbles as her sobs slow.
"I wouldn't say I'm weak," John replies as his branches droop.
"Bush a girl?" Donna asks with curiosity as she wipes the snot and tears away with her sleeve.
"Well no I wouldn't say I'm a girl. But a plant's sex is a bit different than a human's so it's not very easy to differentiate. Actually, most plants have both sexes so to say that a bush is one or the other I wouldn't do that normally. But I would consider myself male personally," John explains to the little girl.
"Momomo" Joe laughs at the bushes denial.
"It's alright bushy I understand," Donna says as she pats John's branch. Her eyes, however, said she didn't understand at all.
"Um, little miss your eyes seem to say something different."
"I go tell daddy now. You stay there bushy. Bye bushy, bye ball!" Donna says while waving. She then trudges back down the hill ignoring John.
In a military headquarters in the Red River Empire general, Remicus Flarrel broods over his new orders. His aid Samalus looks over his shoulder and shakes his head while asking, "do you want me to send a few patrols to get rid of the rat?"
"No, this may sound like a simple task, but I fear it will be quite dangerous," he replies with a disgusted face. He then pulls out a map of the Unbroken Region. Much to his chagrin, it was poorly made and full of unexplored territories. He then points to the area in question. "Those men from the Avarice Souls sect were paid quite well to find those who escaped. I fear that they may have run into some trouble. Thus it falls to us." he explains to his aid.
"Mercenaries are lazy and unreliable. Isn't it more likely they just wanted to do the minion work?" The Samalus reasons.
"I genuinely hope that is the case. It just doesn't feel right though. Those bastards love to ****, pillage, and torment the weak. Either way, they were hired because the zone is still untamed. It's likely a small patrol wouldn't even make it to the location of the village," Speculates out loud.
Remicus taps on the table for a few minutes before ordering, "Send out a recruitment notice and begin building supplies for 20,000 men."
"That much?" Samalus asks in shock. This is enough men to crush a small kingdom.
"It's better to have too many and survive then to get bogged down fighting demonic beasts," He states with a sigh.
Thanks for reading.
Honestly, Donna is one of my favorite characters to write. I enjoy fun cute characters.
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