A Cannon’s Dream: Episode XIV
I hoped with all my heart that it was out of mere coincidence that we reached the Jungle Arena only four days after King James swapped me out for the Ice Spirit. The people were overjoyed and many had complimented him for finally taking me out of the Battle Team.
It didn’t bother me. Let them celebrate. Let them criticize me all they want. After all, I was just a weak, unintelligent Cannon, wasn’t I? So go ahead. Call me salty. Call me cocky. As long as I still had Mavey on my side, I didn’t mind if everyone else hated me.
However, I still missed battling. The cheers from the audience, the satisfaction of clutched and comeback wins, the glorious golden trophies, and the intensity of overtime were all distant dreams now. I wasn’t even going to hear Cadey’s constant insults of King James’s idiocy.
Yes, I was being selfish, as nearly everyone didn’t get to battle, but I didn’t care what others thought of me. This was my moment to shine and nobody else’s. I was and would always be the only special Cannon.
But I knew I couldn’t fight in the Arena anymore, not now or ever. King James had made it every clear to me that I had the health and damage of a skeleton, and unless I was buffed, he would not put me in the Battle Team. He was very sorry for this, but I didn’t want his apology. It wasn’t fair that I had gotten a nerf when I very well deserved a buff. I just wanted to be a star like I used to be so long ago, and thanks to the rotten Night Witch, that was never going to happen.
Cadey’s Sparky stared at me thoughtfully while I walked past her, and I tried my best to give her the nastiest glare I could. I didn’t want company, and I most certainly did not need another friend, let alone the worst card in the game. Sparky stepped towards me, but I went the other way, laughing at her feeble attempts to catch up to me.
I didn’t spare her another glance and continued heading towards my room while she trailed far behind. Looked like Trashcan-on-Wheels really was as slow as a trashcan.
“What do you want?” I spat angrily.
She looked guilty for bothering me, but spoke anyways. “I… I know how it feels to be hated, and if you want, I could–”
“I don’t need your sympathy!”
Sparky inched closer to me, and I jerked away. “That’s not what I meant,” she said.
I shrugged. “Whatever.”
“I know you haven’t been doing well ever since you were nerfed, but maybe you should look on the bright side. I mean… at least people don’t call you a trashcan. It really hurts–”
“Yeah, yeah, I don’t care,” I said, waving her away.
“Well… If you feel like you need someone to talk to, I’ll be there.” Of course you will be. And unfortunately so.
Just as I said that, a gang of giggling Archers walked by, talking about whatever stuff girls talk about, and among them was Penny.
“Aww,”one of them, who I recognized as Zoe, cooed, nudging her. “Danny has a new girlfriend. Jealous, Pen?”
Penny jabbed her elbow into Zoe’s side. “No,” she said, glancing in my direction. “Not at all.”
“I suppose that’s a good thing.” Zoe looked at Sparky and then at me. “You two are a perfect match. Both ugly, both dumb, and both useless.” All of the Archers laughed at her joke. Sparky and I were the only ones who weren’t amused.
Sparky turned red in the face, and it looked as if she was going to cry any moment. I felt bad for her, so I decided to defend her on this one. I wasn’t sure if this was going to qualify as a comeback, but it worked well enough for me.
“And you’re such a beautiful, intelligent, and wonderful person,” I said to Zoe.
If she took any offense from that, she hid it well. “Why, thank you, sir,” she replied.
“You’re welcome, my lady.” I bent into a low and awkward bow.
I saw her open her mouth to say something, but no words came out. The conversation was over, and I was the one who had the last laugh. I was honestly surprised that she could not think of anything to respond to my statement that wasn’t even anything close to a roast. The Archer gang left without a word, all of them following close behind Zoe.
“Danny?” I heard from behind me.
Oops. I had completely forgotten about Sparky. My bad. “Yeah?”
“Danny…” she repeated. “I… I think I’m… falling… in love… with you…” And then she fell, face first, to the floor.
I remained where I was and stared at her motionless shape. She was alive, for sure, breathing, yes, but from a distance, she looked as dead as a corpse. I didn’t know what to do. It would have been rude to just walk away and leave her lying there, but I had no idea how to help her.
Seventy seconds later, I finally made the decision to be a good person – ugh, Cannon – and wake her up. I dared myself to get a little closer, so I took a few steps forward and poked her on the shoulder.
I poked her again, harder this time.
Still, nothing happened.
“Sparky? Um… hello?” It was starting to get really awkward, so I gave up and walked away, looking around to check if anyone else saw what had happened. To my surprise, not one person was around. Sighing in relief, I gave the Sparky one last look and found something better to do.
Later that day, I returned to my room and found a handwritten note lying on my pillow. I unfolded the letter and saw small bats dancing around the edges of the paper. The penmanship was beautiful, but the words stung like a thorn pierced through my heart.
I hope you are doing well. Since you don’t want me to visit you anymore, I shall gladly write down everything you need to know on this sheet of paper. Please read this thoroughly and don’t miss a single detail, as every word is important.
In case you don’t know yet, Supercell has agreed to create a whole army of Night Witches under my command. I have complete control over him and everyone else in his factory, so I suggest you to surrender immediately. If not, I will nerf every card loved by King James, and you will no longer breathe.
But what’s the fun in that? I’ll give you another choice, one more desirable than anything you can ever imagine. You kill King James, and I will turn you back into a human. You’ll be my Dark Prince, and I promise I will give you everything you wish for.
If you refuse to make a choice, I will kill off every last member in this castle, until you’re the only one left. Then, I will force you into a human form, and you will be skinned, your stomach cut open, your ribs plucked out, and your body will be fed to the birds. Your father will watch this wonderful scene, and then I will kill him too.
Choose wisely, Danny. Your life depends on it. Literally.
Alright, enough with the choices. I’m sure you’re wondering about your past, and I’ll tell you as much as you need to know, probably even more. It’s quite obvious, but your mother was Luna, the healer. And no, she was not murdered by Ashley, nor Percy, nor even me. Your mother is still alive, as a matter of fact, and she does not remember you.
No one does.
You probably don’t believe me, but I can guarantee you I’m not the type of person who would lie. I’m not afraid of the truth, unlike you. Also, you were your father’s favorite son. He loved you far more than he loved Hannah, Holly, or Charles. Maybe even Luna. And honestly, I’m not sure why. If I had to choose between the four of you, I think Holly would be the most favorable child.
And you might have figured already, but I’ll explain this to you anyways. I wasn’t always evil. Actually, I wouldn’t use the word “evil” to describe myself. “Misunderstood” maybe, or “hungry for power,” but “evil” doesn’t quite fit. I began as a young Witch so many years ago, and I was one of the brightest kids you could ever meet. Of course, I later discovered how much power I could have if I chose a different lifestyle. I killed my parents, brainwashed my brothers, and lived with bats for a few years. Killing people became very easy, and I no longer felt sorry for my victims.
I turned you into a Cannon out of jealousy, since you were actually loved by your father. I expected him to hate your new form, but he only loved and protected you even more. I noticed my plan was backfiring, so I decided to make you feel pain by other means. I thought breaking your heart would be enough, but you still overcame it and forgot about Penny.
Since you refuse to succumb to my wonderfully awful schemes, I will make sure you pay. And this time, I won’t be as nice as I was before.
To be continued…