472 Harvest Fair: Titan Cub

    Ronnie sighed heavily, the archer expected to be dunked at least once or twice.  "Maybe we should let them shoot arrows instead."

    Bali nodded in agreement.  "Horrible...  Next!"

    A dark face stepped in front of Bali and flashed her a bright smile.  "My turn!"

    "Floyd?"  Sharl's voice carried from her place beside the tank.  "I thought you were too busy to come."

    "How could I miss this?"  Floyd's dark hair was cut in a tight mohawk, his verticle irises stared at the target.  "Ready to swim?"

    Ronnie nodded.  Although Floyd was relatively young, as a Naga he was already physically mature.  "I taught you to throw, so you better show me something."

    Floyd tossed the ball up in the air casually.

    [Whisper: Sharl to Ronnie]  Is Floyd your date for the dance?

    [Whisper: Ronnie to Sharl]  Yep, he wouldn't agree to come otherwise.

    [Whisper: Sharl to Ronnie]  Good job then!  I approve.

    [Whisper: Ronnie to Sharl]  Stick with me Sis!  I have a plan to abduct Nix too!

    Sharl stared up at her sister who was grinning from the planked bench.  The Inferno tank didn't offer a comment but her lips did curve in a slight smile.

    The sound of a ball bouncing off of the target echoed by a loud splash caused everyone to cheer suddenly.  Ronnie had spent the better part of an hour insulting the throwers, quite a few faces were smiling as the soaked archer climbed back up the ladder.  The sight of the dripping wet woman caused quite a few of the Ain'Dhassi rangers to head back into the line.

    Nix chatted with the Titan leaders while his companions helped everyone get cleaned up from the mud-pit.  The normally boisterous Morti was obviously disappointed in not being able to take part.

    [Whisper: Ducky to Nix] Can't we do something?

    Nix glanced up from his Jack-n-Poy match with Mortimus, his yellow eyes contemplating the titan cub's angst.

    /Inferno: Nix: Special event down at the mud-pit.  Members of the winning team will get a legendary puppet, crafted by myself.

    /Inferno: Pon: Legendary?  Like a Phoenix?

    /Inferno: Nix: Something close, but equally as cool.

    /Inferno: Wind: I'm in.

    /Inferno: Semmi: I just cleaned the mud off!

    /Inferno: Nix: The winners won't get muddy.

    /Inferno: Sharl: Is there a limit on numbers?

    /Inferno: Nix: Nope, come on down.

    [Whisper: Ducky to Nix] A lot of people are coming... Can you make that many puppets?

    [Whisper: Nix to Ducky] I won't have to.  Only the winners get one.

    Shae showed up a few minutes later, dragging an impossibly long coil of rope that was bigger than her.  The salamander dropped it on the grass like it weighed nothing.  "This what you wanted?"

    Nix nodded and thanked her with a kiss.  "Grab an end, Fey, and bring it to the other side of the pit."

    Pon and Wind arrived just when the rope was being pulled crossed the pit. The old mage was smiling from ear to ear.  "We doing a tug-o-war?"

    "Yep."  Nix put a small loop on the end he was holding.

    "I want a Phoenix, just like yours.  Maybe a bit larger," Pon added.

    /Inferno: Nix: All participants go to the eastern side of the mud-pit.

    /Inferno: Semmi: All of us?  Aren't we going to divide into teams?

    /Inferno: Nix:  Teams are already made, it's you guys against Morti.

    /Inferno: Pon:  The ** is this?  You better not skimp our prizes, Nix!

    Nix watched as thirty members of Inferno took their places on the grass across the pit.  "Can you beat those guys, Morti?"

    Morti was sitting on his large butt, panting slightly in the afternoon sun.  "Yep."

    /Inferno: Nix: It's an easy contest, if you get pulled into the mud then you lose.

    Nix held out the looped end to the Titan cub, a moment later his powerful jaws clamped down on it.  "Give them a chance before you embarrass them.  I'll make sure you get a tub of Sharl's honey when you win."

    Morti nodded, not showing any reaction when the rope was pulled taut.  "Hv dey sarded?"  [Have they started?]

    /Inferno: Nix: Begin!

    Morti growled happily but didn't make any effort to stand up.

    /Inferno: Pon: Shit... We need more guys!  Where are the Aquarions?

    /Inferno: Milat: On the way!

    The groans of effort started getting louder from the eastern side, every once in awhile Morti gave the rope a slight tug.  A dozen Aquarions joined the contest and suddenly the titan cub was forced to stand up.

    Morti's deep growl rumbled across the pit as his hug paws dug deep into the ground.  "Ish at evun?" [Is that everyone?]

    "Almost." Nix grinned when Elan Mtui and a handful of dragon spawn joined the far group.  Together they managed to pull the cub nearly a meter.

    Ducky clapped and cheered the Titan as he pulled against the combined effort of nearly fifty people.  "Don't let them push us around!"

    Nix placed a hand on the muscled shoulder of his spirit companion.  "Show them a little."

    Morti's sharp claws dug into the ground as he took a short step backward.  The rope looked like a tightly wound guitar string as the first person in line was pulled a step closer to the pit.

    Jun Li's face showed the effort she was putting in, she had the unfortunate position of being first in line.  "Just hold him for a few seconds!  He's just a cub, he'll tire out."

    Nix watched with interest as the Aquarions tried to pull in timed surges, unfortunately for them, they were competing against Morti.  "Okay  Morti, you can let them wallow in the mud."

    Morti's big paws dug deeper to the ground as he yanked back with all of his power.  The opposing team didn't even have the chance to let go of the rope as they were blasted into the air like a flailing kite.

    Mortimus's booming laugh echoed loudly when the bodies started landing in the pit.  He shared a look with his wife, who was doing her best not to laugh.  "They should have known better."

    "Not fair!"  A disgusted Pon approached Nix.  "You set us up!"  A moment later his arm flashed forward, slinging a mudpie at the Inferno leader.  Unfortunately, it missed and hit Morti right between the eyes.

    Nix laughed at the old man's expression.  "Now you've done it.  Gonna let him do that, Morti?"

    "Nope!"  Without hesitating, Morti charged into the mud-pie, his enormous girth stopping him from sliding too much.  One swipe of his huge paw sent a wave of mud cascading over the retreating mage.

    "Morti..."  Scarlett sighed loudly when an all-out mud-battle started up with her son at the center.  His black fur was splattered with mud within a few seconds.

    Mortimus cleared his throat and stood up.  "Well..."

    "Don't do it!"  She commanded too late as her husband jumped into the pit and picked up a handful of mud.

    /Family: Nix:  Let's go!

    Nix and his small group charged in.  Very quickly it turned into a battle royale with everyone trying to get each other.

    A lonely Scarlett watched from the sidelines, hiding her smile carefully.

    An hour later, all of the participants made their way toward the fishing club's favorite spot.  They were a motley looking group that was covered entirely in red mud. Morti's fur was matted with caked mud as he waddled happily beside Nix.

    The clear waters of the river turned into clouds of red as the members of Inferno finished off the events of the day with a swim.  Nix ran his fingers through Shae's hair, helping her rinse off.  The salamander had been on his side, but he was sure she ambushed him at one point.  "You have fun?"

    The redhead smile and slicked her hair back with both hands.  "It's nice to see everyone smiling."

    Nix nodded in agreement, glancing at Morti who was being helped by Ducky and Fey.  The cub looked like he rolled in the mud, which of course he did.  Alpha team was nearby, Fajii hadn't participated in the tug-o-war but she joined the free-for-all afterward. Being a Scorched Earth mage gave her a huge advantage in a mud fight.  She ruthlessly pelted anyone in her path with machine-gun-like speed.

    /Inferno: Pon: Damn... That cub is strong.

    /Inferno: Wind: Word.

    /Go Fish: Semmi: We should go fishing in the morning.

    /Go Fish: Nix: I'm in.

    /Go Fish: Jun Li: Me too.
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