Wasteful Armed Robert crumbled to the shining onyx floor, gasping for breath. Velociraptor Ninja bowed toward a bloodruby throne and paced backwards a few steps, keeping its head low.
A form swathed in milky-white robes, a hood shadowing its face, sat upon the throne. Long, delicate fingers gripped ornately-carved arms on the seat. The form leaned forward and a whispered voice asked, “Now, Wasteful Armed Robert, prove worthy of the salvation my agent has visited upon you. Tell me all you know of the plans of Big King Violent Llama.”
The man climbed off the floor to his knees, keeping his eyes on the dark floor. He gasped a few times, letting the cool air fill his lungs. His ribs ached. “She Who Resides on the Throne of Parched Lips, I can tell you little. Big Kong Veelunt Wamba glar nik drama degund.”
The form on the throne raised a hand. The fingers worked an ornate pattern in the air, tracing infernal shapes. Finally, the fingers pressed their tips together before releasing them in a burst. “The fool llama thinks his magicks can resist me?”
Wasteful Armed Robert blinked. “I can talk! I can talk!” He smiled and bowed low. “You have my allegiance, great Queen of Thirst.”
“Then… tell me.”
A door on the distant end of the throne room clattered open. Velociraptor Ninja spun. Its left toe claw clicked on the ground.
Pounding feet resounded. Finally a monk with a shaved head collapsed on the ground. “Forgive me, Mistress of the Empty Glass! I have news of Jeradice Massimla!”
“He’s taken a pufferfish blimp across the Asphalt Sea to the Orphanage at the End of the World. He is without his usual network of support.”
The form at the throne stood. “This is our chance. Velociraptor Ninja, I send you to give chase. Destroy our hated foe!”
The black-clad form bowed.
“Mistress! If I may!” Wasteful Armed Robert bowed again. “I know Jeradice. It is his responsibility that I was forced to work for Big King Violent Llama. I beg your leave to accompany your agent. I will tell all I know before we leave.”
The form sat silent for but a moment. “Go with this trusted monk. He will record your words on a scroll. If you should complete this task before dawn, you may join Velociraptor Ninja.”
He kept his forehead on the cool floor. “Thank you, mistress! Thank you!” He stood and followed the monk out of the throne room.
When they were alone, the figure addressed her ninja. “I will not abide traitors in my service. If he sells out Big King Violent Llama, he will turn on me for less. Spill his blood on the Asphalt Sea.”
This is a Barrelbottom Tale.
Wasteful Armed Robert and Velociraptor Ninja were last seen in The Enlightenment of Wasteful Armed Robert.