Chapter 26
by Warteen

**Monkey swings through the trees after the female monkey he heard. The woods get thicker and thicker, but, being a monkey and all, Monkey has no trouble getting through. Suddenly, just as the woods are at their thickest, the sound stops.**

Monkey: Eek?

**He continues forward about ten yards to where there is, strangely, a clearing about 20 yards in area with trees all around it. He swings off the tree and lands in the middle of the clearing, expecting the female he heard to join him at some point... well, as much as a monkey can expect something. Suddenly, seemingly from nowhere, a vine reaches out into the clearing and wraps itself around Monkey's right ankle.**

Monkey: EEEE! ee-EEE!

**Monkey rips at the vine but can't seem to do any damage, so he gets down and chews it until it finally releases its hold on him. Just then, another vine swoops out from above him, towards his head. He dodges just in the nick of time and quickly jumps back to the safety of the trees he came out of. He heads straight back toward where he expects to find Bob waiting for him. After about two minutes of super-rapid swinging, he makes it back to the spot. He looks around, confused, as Bob isn't there.**

Monkey: Ook?

**Monkey, not one to panic (except when killer vines are wrapping around his ankles), leans against a tree and quickly falls asleep.**


Q.Laine: *quickly picks herself up from the undignified heap and gains her bearings* ....Raine?! What are you doing here?! *QR grins evilly but remains silent. QL then notices the elf trailing behind her sister, who seems panicked to see the two of them together and seems to be preparing to use an attack spell on QL.* Never mind, I don't care. I'm out of here! *She runs past her sister and the elf, back towards the fork in the road. QR makes no motion to stop her.* (running) Magic is all... well and good... (huff, puff) but sometimes there's nothing quite like.... doing things the... old-fashioned way! BOB! BOBBBB!!! Wait for meeee!


**Meanwhile, Warteen is sitting outside a pub in the town he finally made it to after traveling about a mile and a half on the left path. He had planned on trying the right path, but changed his mind, deciding it would be better to go the wrong way than to let QL know she was right. Thankfully, he was lucky and the left path was right after all. I mean, the left path was correct. Not right. The right path was wrong. ...You know what I mean. Anyway, Warteen has already purchased the greens (silkis variety, which were the second-cheapest) and has them in his pack, but he was asked to leave the pub when he asked for a glass of water. Well, to put it more accurately, he was thrown out by several large, angry men, which is why he is currently sitting outside, on his now sore bum.**

Warteen: Ouch! That wasn't very nice, was it Mo... *remembers that Monkey isn't with him* Hmph. Was it? *gets up and dusts himself off* Well, anyway, I got the greens. I may as well head back.

**Warteen takes about two steps before Bob the Ninja approaches.**

Warteen: Bob! Aren't you supposed to be waiting for me?
Bob: No. Have you seen Erronius?
Warteen: No, but I expect I'll find him on my way back. Did you run into Laine?
Bob: I did, but she went the other way.
Warteen (misinterpreting): Man, she already went back? That's pretty impatient. Well, I got the greens. Are you about ready to head back?
Bob: .....
Warteen: Oh, you probably want to wait here for Erronius. Well, how about this, you and I will go look for him instead of just waiting here. If we can't find him, we'll come back here. Okay? Bob: Fine.

**They are about to depart, when suddenly...**

Lemonlighter: Wark! *runs up to Warteen and Bob*
Warteen: Lemonlighter! *notices that Erronius is leaned forward, unconscious, on Lemonlighter's back, his staff strapped to his back* Erronius!

**Bob leans forward and shakes Erronius, who does not respond. He puts his fingers on Erronius's neck to check his pulse, when suddenly Erronius stirs.**

Erronius: *leaps off Lemonlighter and does an amazing flip in midair, and finally lands in front of Bob and Warteen* Who's there!!! Ehh? *goes from standing upright to his usual hunched over position, and grabs his staff to right himself* Oh, I had a dream that I was young again. How disappointing.
Bob: Master!
Erronius: Oh, it's you.
Warteen: Old man, you okay?
Erronius: Huh? Of course I'm okay! I just stopped to take a nap and the next thing I know you three hooligans are picking me up and carrying me to this airport...
Warteen: Well, everything seems to be in order here.
Lemonlighter: WARK!!!
Warteen: Oh, right, so sorry. *reaches into his pack and pulls out some silkis greens* You wanted these, right?

**Lemonlighter nods eagerly. Warteen throws the greens on the ground, and Lemonlighter happily starts eating them.**

Bob: You bought enough, right?
Warteen: Of course. Can't you see? That's more than enough for him. *pats Lemonlighter on the back*
Lemonlighter (in between bites): Wark!
Bob: No, I mean, for the whole trip.
Warteen: ......
Bob: Of course you didn't.
Warteen: No big deal, the pub is right there. I'm not crazy about going back in there, but with a ninja and a sage at my side it shouldn't be a problem!
Bob: You have money?
Warteen: Well, uh... didn't you know that I'm a thief too? *Bob sighs.* Just kidding, calm down. I have some money left... I'll steal later if I have to.
Erronius: ZZZZZZ....
Warteen: *looks at Erronius and gives Bob a look of long-suffering, which is lost on him* (into Erronius's ear) ERRONIUS! WAKE UP!!!
Erronius: Ahh! Eh? Heh?
Warteen: We're going inside.

**The group is about to head inside, when suddenly...**

Warteen: I really wish that would stop happening.
QL: *runs up rapidly* Bob! (huff, puff) Warteen! ...Erronius, too! Wow! (huff)
Warteen: Breathe, Laine.
Bob: Well, this is convenient. Let's go in.
QL: (confused) Huh?
Warteen: We're just going to buy some greens.
Bob: Some MORE greens.
Warteen: Whatever. C'mon.

**Erronius, Warteen, QL, and Bob head inside (chocobos aren't allowed inside, of course). The large, grumpy patrons of the bar get up when they recognize Warteen, but sit back down when they realize he's with a few threatening-looking companions, particularly Bob. Then, when Bob pulls out 3 pointy shurikens and gestures toward the door, they all clear out, leaving the bar empty except for our heroes and the bartender. Warteen purchases more greens with little event, enough to fill up his bag and even some for Q.Laine to put in her pockets. After Bob gives one last menacing look to the bartender (because he seems to enjoy doing that) and the man shrieks shrilly, the group prepares to leave. Just then, the boards on the windows of the rustic building swing in and close with a bang, and the door slams shut, making the room almost completely dark. The bartender slinks back against the wall.**

QL: Oh, now just what the...
Warteen: Oh, poo.

**In unison, the group slowly turns around.**

<-- | -->