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“Do I even want to ask what you’re planning on buying…here?”
The tension between the pair of played-out pathfinders was so thick you could hack through it with a rusty spoon. Dumbledalf’s ominous odyssey had finally come to an end at the foot of a ruthlessly rocky ridge, strewn with stone spikes that could skewer even the most skilled of scalers. From far above their heads a verdant veil of vines crept across the cragged cliff, their point of origin an unknown mystery. With the butt of his staff, Dumbledalf smacked the closest cluster of twisted tendrils out of the way, revealing a moss-covered, wooden door. The words “Bizarre Bazaar” were roughly chiseled into the surface of the half-rotten material, while a rusty padlock held the door firmly closed.
“Well I don’t know about you, Mr. Judge-y Pants, but I’m all out of warrior-saving magic points”, clapped back Dumbledalf with an attitude that would put a sassy preteen girl to shame. “I don’t see an inn anywhere, so unless you’ve got an elfin elixir in your back pocket that you’re not telling me about: yes, we’re gonna go buy some weapons. God, play a damn JRPG.”
Still unable to tell whether or not the old man was truly an ally, the warrior did his best to listen past Dumbledalf’s condescending tone. Clenching his fists, he sighed heavily and tried to stop his ego from getting the best of him. Now was certainly not the time to be dismissive of any form of assistance – no matter how incredibly annoying it may be.
“We’ve gotta be through the worst of it by now though, right?” asked the Warrior of Wubstep, finding it hard to believe they were still in immediate danger. “Surely, they’ll have backed off, at least for the time being?”
“Sheesh, I remember my first time pissing off an entire alien species” scoffed Dumbledalf, while beginning to forcefully kick the pathetic-looking door. “Strap in, Señor ‘Hero’. That moustache-sporting maniac is only going to be upping the ante from here on out. We’re gonna be seeing a lot more of those putrid, purple poop-heads. KEEEEEYAAAAAH!”
With a triumphant battle cry, he launched a final attack. The sound of splintering wood punctuated the end of his sentence as his leathery foot collided with the door, tearing it off of its hinges entirely. The rotten wood was no match for the alarmingly crooked-but-powerful toes of Dumbledalf the Disappointing.
“Shall we?” chuckled Dumbledalf, motioning towards the now-open entranceway.
“Over here, stranger. What’re ya buyin’?”
From the far corner of the bazaar, a raspy voice called out of the darkness. A cowardly scream escaped Dumbledalf’s lips as a single torch roared to life, covering the makeshift shop in a flickering, orange hue.
“Oh, err…my bad, strangers. Didn’t realize there was two o’ ya” grunted the shopkeeper, now visible in the torchlight. He was a slender, shadow of a man, hunched over a grime-covered counter on the opposite side of the shop. A tattered, dark tunic clung to his shoulders and his face was shrouded in darkness by the dusty, black hood enveloping his head. Thick plumes of nauseating smoke swirled around him, smoldering from a cheap cigar that was clenched between his teeth. Unfortunately, whatever illusion of evil anonymity he was trying to portray was quickly shattered by the bright red “TRAINEE” badge pinned to his lapel. The “Hello, my name is: TRICKY TREV” nametag underneath it wasn’t doing much for him either, to say the least.
Dumbfounded by the sheer number of wicked whatchamacallits, deplorable doodads, and nefarious-looking knick-knacks lining the shelves, Dumbledalf did a brief double take before shaking his head and approaching the inexperienced entrepreneur. “Yo Trevvy,” Dumbledalf asked, rudely tapping on the glass as he pointed at the assortment of alien-looking armaments inside the display. “Whaddya got in the body-part-dismembering-laser-gun category?” He continued on, about as far from subtle as a person could possibly be when inquiring about illegal weaponry “Y’know, something that can rearrange a few facial features? Poke a couple extra holes in someone’s meat tubes? Make their sphincter more distinct..er? That sort of thing.”
“Uhh...maybe I do, maybe I don’t. But one thing’s for sure: a tool like that, if I sold it, would be for professional use only. And, even if a tool like that was available for purchase, it would require some pretty hefty levels of clearance to take a peek” Trev replied, his fingers menacingly tapping the grip of a pulse pistol poorly hidden his waistband. “Got ID?”
“Yes, yes, of course” replied Dumbledalf in a deceptively pleasant tone. An identification card materialized in his hand, leaving everyone in the room wondering exactly where he’d been stashing the smelly piece of plastic. Considering all he was wearing underneath his pocketless wizard robe was his beloved pair of boxer shorts, both the shopkeeper and warrior knew better than to ask.
Dumbledalf slid the ID across the counter, watching Tricky Trev closely. The hooded figure paused for what felt like an eternity, his faceless gaze flipping between the laminated card and the withered old man who had handed it to him. Finally, his voice broke the silence. “Well, well, well, I didn’t realize I was speaking to a medical professional! My sincere apologies for givin’ ya a hard time.”
Reaching into the display, Trev grunted as he hoisted a high-tech looking case onto the countertop. Dumbledalf’s eyes grew wide with anticipation and a scandalously sly smirk slowly slithered onto his face. Nothing got the old wizard going quite like seeing one of his sneaky schemes come together.
“Now this li’l beauty is the Colour Cannon 9001” began Trev, lifting a vibrantly coloured rifle from the case. “The first thing you’ll want to take into account is the safet—”
“I’LL TAKE IT. Does it come in purple?” interrupted Dumbledalf, ripping the lustrous laser launcher from Trev’s grasp.
“I uh…yes, yes it does” replied Trev. “Follow me ‘round to the shooting range, Doc Wubbenstein. I’ve got a selection of “targets” for ya back there. Take yer pick and give it a whirl. Oh, and mind the locks on the cages, will you? I do NOT want those little bastards gettin’ out again”