Canto 7 – Dat Killah Nite
When Fairies die, at least, when the good ones die, they do not leave a corpse behind. The magical energy they are made of, originating from the sun, disperses into the air, sometimes leaving tiny bones behind, but usually leaving nothing.
When the corrupted minions of the Unseely Court, the evil Fairies, die, they turn back into the mud and clay they were originally animated from.
So, a battlefield of a great Fairy battle would look exactly like the Arcanum looked as the little band of Fairies led by Flute entered into its vastness.
“The bodies of Gobbuluns are everywhere,” said Flute as he pointed out several lumps of Wartole-shaped mud and clay. There were a couple of Cyclopes-shaped mud piles as well.
“There was a huge battle here?” asked Tod.
“Obviously. First the dead Trolls, and now this.” Flute shook his head sadly.
“Did our side win?” asked Poppy.
“There’s no way to tell. If the Fey Children won, there should be living soldiers and Fairy beasts on the field. The dead have returned to the air.”
“But, Flute, perhaps the winners have already left for home. You don’t know for sure that we lost.” Tod looked extremely upset.
“We shall see. We must search the battlefield,” said Flute as he picked up a fallen banner from the Castle Cornucopia.
Glumly they continued to search the battlefield.
Suddenly, little Schtinker in Poppy’s lap became highly agitated.
“Dat killah nite!” cried the squirming boy Sylph.
“What are you talking about?”
The Sylph pointed at a silhouette on the top of a nearby knoll. It appeared to be an armored Sylph knight astride a ridinghawk. Next to him was a younger Sylph astride a pigeon.
“Hail and well met!” called the knight. “You are late to the battle, Prinz Flute.”
“Lord Lancelot! How did the battle go?”
With a short swoop, the hawk brought the famous knight near to where the roosters had stopped. To their credit, neither rooster flinched at the presence of a red-tailed hawk.
“We would’ve lost had not the yon squire known as the Rascal and I cleverly used my immortality as a Storybook to slay the remaining Gobbuluns from the air after the Legion of Cornucopia overwhelmed the Dark Lord Ebon Sneezer.”
“None other of the Cornucopians survived?” asked Tod in horror.
“The Castle Guard remains at Castle Cornucopia,” said Lord Lancelot. “All the rest are dead.”
The Rascal on his pigeon fluttered up. “Lord, we must return to the castle quickly! The Storr and Lord Toxiss will be sending a siege army there. They will be overwhelmed without us!”
The Rascal looked at Lancelot with an expression of urgency on his young, dark-eyed face. The knight looked back at him exhausted and pale.
“We go, then. Prinz Flute, we need your aid, both magical and swordical. Or our ally, King Mouse, will be lost.”
Almost immediately the hawk launched into the air.
The Rascal looked at Flute and his companions, smiled a weak, dispirited smile, and took off on the pigeon.
“We no go wid dat killah nite!” protested Schtinker. “Heem will murdah all ob us!”
“What is the urchin saying?” asked Tod.
“I think he saw Lancelot kill the other trolls and is afraid he will kill us too,” said Poppy.
“Nonsense. He’s a great knight and trusted friend.” Flute shot a disgusted glare at the child.
“Heem let alla guyz in heem armies fit furst, den heem killah alla Trollz wayne dey iz dead.”
“Is he saying that Lord Lancelot wastes the lives of his troops even though he’s immortal himself?” asked Glitter.
“Surely not. The little stinker doesn’t really know how to speak the Slow Ones’ English,” said Tod.
Poppy tried to calm Schtinker. But he was deeply agitated. And as to whether Schtinker could talk or not, she wondered at the fact that Lancelot had used the word, “swordical.”
“The situation is dire, no matter how you look at it,” said Flute. “So, we go to Castle Cornucopia immediately.”
They spurred the roosters to run to the northwest. But Poppy did not feel good about it.