Big thanks to Ultimate, who has become the editor of the series!
I stumbled backwards and collapsed into the door, shutting it with a loud bang. Tendrils of fear enveloped my heart. I wanted to scream, to run, to yell for the guards, to do anything but remain in my room that was now occupied by her.
Seconds passed, and fear was slowly replaced with an odd feeling of curiosity, wondering her intentions for appearing in my room. Well, for a creepy stalker who read minds and spawned bats, I didn’t think I should have expected her to know that breaking into a castle was not very proper. This Night Witch had mental problems. No doubt about it.
“I could tell you wanted a fuller explanation of why you’re different from the other Cannons. That’s why I came back to tell you a little more,” Raven started, a wide grin stretching across her face. “Oh, and by the way, I don’t have mental problems. Just wanted to clarify that.” And here she was, reading my mind again.
“What in the name of the great Royal Giant are you doing here?!” Whatever she wanted to tell me was just a bunch of lies that I didn’t need to hear. So go away, you desperate Night Witch. Find someone else to deceive.
“These aren’t lies, I can promise you that. I was there when it all happened,” she claimed. Quit this stupid mind reading thing already! And who was she to claim this wasn’t all a lie? After all, of every single person that I had ever met, she certainly seemed the most trustworthy!
“Get out of my room, and more importantly this castle, before I shoot you in the head and alert the guards.”
“Well you’re one to make threats. C’mon now, Danny, we both know who’s the more powerful of us two, and besides, I know you want to find out more about -” I blasted a cannonball at her, but she blocked it with her silver staff as if it were nothing more than a nuisance. I was quite surprised that her staff was purely unharmed. Raven continued talking, completely unfazed that I had just made an attempt on her life. “So… I’m not sure what you’re trying to get at now. I’m doing you a favor, am I not? I’m giving you valuable information that only I know about; is that not a good thing? And you must have also noticed that I’ve never tried to fight you, should you not be happy that you’re alive? Surely you must be interested in what I have to share about you.”
Having been very irritated by her questions, it was extremely hard for me to control myself from firing another bullet at her, but I couldn’t help but raise my voice. “I see what you’re saying now. So everything’s my fault, isn’t it?”
Raven looked slightly annoyed, but I could also tell that she was trying not to laugh. “Oh, for heaven’s sake, calm down, Danny! You’re gonna wake up the whole castle. Just kindly listen to what I have to say and then I’ll leave. Deal?”
“Fine.” I figured that the only way for her to leave was to listen. If she was really that desperate to tell me, I’d let her, but I wouldn’t take a single word of it seriously.
“Don’t you worry, this won’t take very long. You know Ashley the Archer, Luna the Healer, and Percy the Wizard, correct?” Stalker alert. I repeat, stalker alert. I wanted to say no, but Raven would read my mind anyways, so I nodded. “They were alive at the time when Healers had still existed, and at that time, the Royale matches were not even official yet,” the Night Witch added.
“What does this have anything to do with me?”
“Yes, yes, I’m getting there. I was also there at that time. And so were you.”
Now I knew I must have been right when I had made that statement earlier. Raven did have mental problems. How was I supposed to be alive before I was created? Even though what she said made no sense at all to me, it was interesting and therefore I wanted to hear more now. I wanted to find the relation to what she had told me the first time – how I wasn’t defected after all – and what she had just told me.
“Danny, you really crack me up at times. At first, you tried to kill me because you didn’t want to hear my message, and after I told you, you want to hear more now.” I couldn’t argue with this statement, because it was flawlessly true. The Night Witch twirled her staff and was gone again, leaving the purple smoke behind. At this, I simply pretended that nothing had ever happened, hopped onto my bed, and after having a few wandering thoughts, fell asleep.
The next few days, I was trying very hard to put together the messages from the Night Witch. True, everything could have been a lie, but there was always a chance that it was true, which made them worth interpreting. However, it was really hard to find a relation between the two pieces of information. First, I wasn’t a defect; I was deliberately created with feelings. And second, I had lived since the time before Royale battles were official. A possible theory is that maybe I did not always have feelings. I could have been stored in the castle’s storages since a long time ago, and because I wasn’t alive, I had no idea of my existence then. Once the Royale battles began, I would somehow get transported to Supercell’s factory and there, someone would purposely change up my programming. Then, I would be sent back to King James’s castle as a living Cannon. How does that sound? That was the fantasy that I would believe until I found one that made more sense.
Since Evelyn had taken away the pain, winning battles had become a little easier again, as I was no longer distracted from the soreness. I wasn’t as strong as I had used to be, but at least we didn’t have to suffer from the major losing streaks. It didn’t take long for us to get back to the Royal Arena. And soon enough, we would be in the Legendary Arena. All I had to do was wait.
King James announced that he was going to alter the Battle Team. I was hoping for him to allow Penny to battle, but he simply replaced the Skeletons for an entire Army, switched out a few Spells, and swapped Scarlet, the Valkyrie, for Hunter, the Mini P.E.K.K.A. Scarlet did not seem too pleased at the replacement overall, but she agreed anyway.
Not much later, a Royal Giant and two Elite Barbarians, who happened to be twins, joined the castle, and I could already tell they were going to be a pain to deal with. Unsurprisingly, the Royal Giant and the Elite Barbarians became friends the moment they had met. Logan, the Royal Giant, was the most arrogant man I had ever known. He stood around four feet taller than everyone else, and as he walked down the halls of the castle, he expected everyone to bow before him. When people refused, well… you’ll see for yourself what would happen to them. Tyler and Jayden were not much better, in my opinion. They had an odd habit of showing off to the ladies, and what made it worse, some actually fell for them.
Violet’s sisters, who were Musketeers just like her, had also come to the castle, along with a few Guards. It was nice to see how quickly we were growing in numbers.
The gossip had spread fast about a new Arena, Jungle Arena, I believe, and many people were going nuts. I wasn’t too excited though, because there was still a long way to go before we could battle there. However, we weren’t too far from the Frozen Peak, and I was pretty sure that we would reach it in the next month or two.
I could tell that people were starting to talk about the relationship between Penny and me. Apparently, they did not agree with the fact that a building and a human could be friends, and I started to dislike the stares I received from people when we walked around the castle. In my opinion, there was nothing wrong with a friendship between a Cannon and a human. If Violet could be friends with a Mini P.E.K.K.A., a purely programmed robot, then I didn’t see the problem with a Cannon, especially one that could think for itself.
I later heard from Channary, Penny’s twin, that Ashley was trying to look for a job in the Royale Arenas. It sounded like a good idea to me, as she was originally a banned Archer. So far, she didn’t seem very successful, but Channary claimed that Ashley almost never failed at what she did and that she could be the start of a new Royale warrior, joining a castle again one day.
Nothing too important happened during this time, except for a big commotion at lunch one day. I was sitting with Penny, just one table away from the major scene that had occurred. Scarlet and Logan, the oh so annoying Royal Giant, were in the center of it. Even in the Cafeteria, Logan still expected everyone to bow to him and to call him “Logan the Great”, which to me was really lame. Scarlet, as bold as she always was, laughed at his command.
“You want me to get on my knees before you? Oh, I’ll die before I do that! The most powerful Logan the Great, why don’t you first try to lose some weight before requesting such a ridiculous command? Then, there might be the slightest chance that anyone may consider bowing to you,” Scarlet sneered.
“Watch what you say, little girl,” Logan’s deep voice bounced off the ground. “Because believe me, you will regret it.” The Royal Giant picked Scarlet up from the floor with one hand, and his huge fingers enclosed around her throat. Scarlet was struggling with every strength she had, trying to escape from his grip, but Logan was too strong for her.
“Stop this, Logan, you’re going to kill her!” I heard Violet beg to Logan, but if he had heard, he didn’t care. Scarlet’s face turned a vivid purple, but she refused to let out a scream or a wail.
All the heads in the Cafeteria were turned towards the horrifying scene, but only some took action. It took about ten people to pull Scarlet out of Logan’s choking grip, and when they did, Logan did not look satisfied. He forced Scarlet to bow to him again, and realizing she had no choice, she decided to lean to his will.
Soon, things began to die down in the Cafeteria, and everyone was eating again as usual. Scarlet was still massaging her neck and cursing at Logan for almost killing her. A few minutes later, Tyler and Jayden, the two Elite Barbarians who sat at my table, got up from their seat and confronted Scarlet.
“I must say, you really deserved that back there. How dare you insult the great Royal Giant?” Jayden said. Though he may have sounded angry, he was grinning, and he was obviously trying to taunt Scarlet.
“Back off,” warned Scarlet, her face reddening.
“I SAID, BACK OFF!!”
“Aww, how darling,” Jayden said condescendingly. “Little Red has anger issues.”
As swift as a viper, Scarlet turned around and slashed Jayden in the upper arm with the knife she was holding. A fresh wound appeared in the place where Jayden was stabbed, but he didn’t look bothered by it, not even when blood was gushing out. I recoiled at the sight of the blood, and I saw that Penny had also looked disturbed. Anyone who knew Scarlet well enough should have known not to mess with her, so clearly, Jayden did not know her very well.
“What’s your problem?” Tyler stepped forward and cracked his knuckles.
“Your idiotic brother, that’s the problem,” she spat, “And how could I forget you?”
“Fight me,” he challenged, his hands balling into fists.
“My pleasure.” Scarlet stood from her seat, and I noticed she was not much shorter than Tyler and Jayden. At times, I really thought that Scarlet took things too far. She was only one girl, and she had agreed to face two muscular men. She was clearly going to get beaten up.
“Tyler, she isn’t worth our time. Like, c’mon now, we’re actually going to waste our precious energy on this senseless little girl?” Jayden was smiling again, as if he didn’t even notice that his own flesh was ripped apart. “Oh, oops, I almost forgot. I could probably squish her without using up any energy at all.”
Scarlet’s hand was still clutching onto the knife, so tight that her knuckles were turning pale. She looked like she was going to strike any moment now. “Are you asking for me to throw this at your face?”
“Scarlet, calm down! He’s just trying to provoke you.” Violet was attempting to pull Scarlet back, but she simply shook her off.
“Go ahead. Throw that knife at him. I dare you.” Tyler was standing beside his brother, waiting for Scarlet to make the first move. These people were insane. Confirmed.
But before another fight could start, the people near our tables pulled them apart. I heard Tyler yelling things like “Why didn’t you let me break her nose?” and that such. Soon however, they did calm down, and that was the end of this commotion. Ever since this fight today, knives were banned in the Cafeteria. So how were people supposed to cut their steak? I had no idea.
Meanwhile, I continued trying to crack the code – the information that the Night Witch had given me. I wanted to know the full story of my past and why I had to be such an outcast. I was not a normal Cannon, and I stood out from the rest of the castle members, being the only building. People didn’t treat me the same as they treated the others, no matter how hard I tried to blend in. So I was hoping to see the Night Witch again soon, as the last time I had seen her was that one time when she had invaded my room. During the nights, I even sneaked out of the castle and walked into the forest to see if Raven would appear to me. (And yes, it took me that long to realize that the Night Witch only appeared to me at night.) Unfortunately, she did not come to see me, and I wondered whether she ever would.