A Cannon’s Dream – A Clash Royale Fanfiction (Episode VI Updated)
May 21, 2017
Hey all! It’s Scarlett here, and as some of you may have heard, I am starting a new fanfiction series! This is my first fanfiction on Clash Royale, titled “A Cannon’s Dream”, and I really hope you guys will like it, as I literally spend hours each day writing it. I am still in the process of writing the story, and I am going to post them episode by episode. I’m not sure how many episodes there will be in total, but I will try to keep you guys up to date on this stuff. Well, hope you enjoy… 🙂
They created me from pure iron, perfectly polished, and packaged me inside a tiny silver chest. I was cramped pretty tightly, but I didn’t care, because I knew this was all part of my destiny. There was a paper taped to my back that read:
Defected Cannon: My apologies, we accidentally made a minor error in Danny’s programming. He has proved in our experiments to be highly intelligent for his kind, and unlike all other cannons, he actually has a brain, feelings, and emotions. We tried hard to turn him back into a normal cannon, but after several failed attempts, we couldn’t fix the bug.
This note kinda disturbed me, but it also complimented me at the same time. I was soon shipped to a stone castle, where a King opened the chest that I was trapped inside and carefully lifted me up and out of the chest. He read the note taped to my back silently, and smiled even harder. Beside the King were two princesses, who I believe were his daughters. I could tell by his joyful grin and his cry of delight he was happy to see me, and I couldn’t help but feel the same. After all, I had finally found a master.
“Welcome to the castle, Danny. I am King James IV, and these,” he said, pointing to the Princesses, “are my daughters, Hannah and Holly. Follow me, Danny, and I will lead you to your first practice battle.” King James motioned for me to follow him and led me through a narrow hall leading to a door which he slowly pushed open. I walked outside the door and was excited to see that I had been led to an area with fresh air, where the grass was so green and the sky so blue. Six stone towers were ahead of me, three coated in red and three in royal blue, and a red banner that read “Training Camp: Trainer Basil VS JamesTheGreat” was held high above the trees. Hannah and Holly each occupied one of the two smaller towers coated in blue, and the biggest tower was located between them.
I also saw a few friendly creatures sitting on a bench behind the biggest tower, including a scarlet-haired girl holding a double-bladed axe, a man with a mohawk sitting on the back of a pig, a purple-haired girl wearing a metal helmet, and four bony skeletons. The king told me to sit with them on the bench, and I quickly listened, knowing that he was my one and only master now. I sat next to the pretty girl, with the solid metal helmet, purplish curls, and a musket held tightly in her arms.
“Hey,” she said, waving at me. “Call me Violet.”
“Hi Violet, I’m Danny.”
“So the rules of the match are simple; we have to destroy the towers coated in red while protecting our own. Also, don’t worry about the elixir payments and that stuff; King James will take care of that. So this is the Training Camp, obviously, as I’m sure you can read the banner. Basically, King James takes us here to test our skill, and if he sees potential in you, you might just get the chance to battle in the Builder’s Workshop, in which I’m sure you will get the chance to,” Violet explained.
“What’s the Builder’s Workshop?” I asked in confusion.
“Oh,” she smiled. “That’s the name of the Arena we battle in. When we win a battle, we gain trophies, but if we lose, we lose trophies too. One day, I believe we will collect three-thousand trophies and be able to fight in the Legendary Arena, which is located on a floating island!”
I may have been a little over excited when I heard that I would have a chance to show my skill and possible battle in the Builder’s Workshop, for there was such a high possibility that I would screw up and ruin my biggest chance. Violet also introduced me to two of her friends, Scarlet and Joe, and she explained that she was a Musketeer, Scarlet was a Valkyrie, and Joe a Hog Rider.
“Wassup, Danny! You ready for your first battle in Training Camp?” Joe asked me.
“Yeah, I guess, but I’m a bit nervous,” I admitted.
“Everyone’s nervous at their first battle. Hear that, Scarlet?” Joe laughed.
“I. Will. Throw. My. Axe. At. You,” said Scarlet with a don’t-mess-with-me tone.
“Oh, she’s always been cold with me. What I mean, Danny, is that during her first battle, she was so nervous that she dropped her axe, and out of embarrassment ran off the Arena. And this was in an actual battle where everyone was watching, not a Training Camp like this here. Sounds familiar, Scar?” Joe teased. Triggered as she was, Scarlet stepped up from the bench and threw a hard punch at Joe’s shoulder. He took one step back in alarm, and regained his balance after a few failed attempts.
“Geez, Scarlet. Chill,” Joe said, rubbing his shoulder. “I was just trying to make Danny feel more confident in himself, right my friend?” he asked, patting me on the back. “And also,” he added to Scarlet, “Do you not know how tough that fist of yours is? It seriously feels as if it’s made of iron. No joke.”
“Hey, Joe? Be thankful I didn’t use my axe. And by the way, lesson learned, eh? Don’t mess with me,” Scarlet shoved Joe again and then took her seat at the bench. Joe simply raised his eyebrows and muttered something I couldn’t hear.
When we were out of earshot from Scarlet, Joe whispered to me, “That girl is pure savage.” I nodded in agreement and sat down next to Violet after she was done conversing with the skeletons.
After we were settled, the King climbed onto his tower and the match began. I watched Violet and noticed how easy it was for her to shoot down the enemy troops. She swiftly shot down an entire horde of Minions and then managed to get a few shots off of the enemy tower, until she succumbed to the tower’s arrows and left a pile of elixir on the grass. I was worried for her for a bit, but then she somehow spawned on the bench beside me again, and I was relieved to see she was unharmed. I was too busy watching Violet earlier that it took me a while to notice that a huge army of enemy skeletons were heading toward our tower! King James sent Scarlet onto the Arena, and she somehow destroyed the whole army with just a few spins of her axe. Then Joe was sent behind her and together they destroyed the first tower. They were amazing, alright, but they only made me more nervous. How was I supposed to be as good as them?
The king was calling out the players on the bench to get on the Arena one by one, until he finally pointed at me. I was a little anxious, but I took a deep breath, got off the bench, and planted myself between the two towers with Hannah and Holly on top. A purple-hooded lady with pink eyes, who I believe is the Witch, came walking towards me from the opposite side of the Training Camp. This was not too hard of a start, as I easily took down the Witch with my cannonballs, feeling really accomplished. Perhaps I shouldn’t have said that, for at that moment a Giant came along and soon enough, I disappeared and respawned at the bench.
The battle kept going on as usual, as after I respawn, I rest, and after I rest, I fight in the battle again. King James also occasionally sent random supernatural things onto the Arena, such as a fireball or a mini lightning bolt. The cycle continued until the match was over, and we beat the trainer three towers to none.
Back in the castle, King James told me he had a surprise for me. “Would you like to join the Battle Team? We have battles every Tuesday mornings.” he said. I was speechless, but I could tell he understood that my answer was yes.
I was overjoyed as I had found a way to prove myself and show my master what I was capable of. I was careful not to grow too out of control, as King James reminded me my first official battle was tomorrow morning and to meet in the Main Hall.
“And before I forget, Danny, now that you have come to our castle, your room is the second door down the hall on the left side of me. You may settle yourself in there if you like,” he added.
“Thank you, sir,” I bowed.
King James winked at me. “Just a tiny secret, Danny, I’ve been waiting so long to unlock a cannon, until I finally found you in my silver chest earlier today. You might not understand, but cannons are amazing right now, and you were the last piece I was missing to form a perfect Battle Team, otherwise known as the Trifecta.”
“Trifecta?” I cocked my head to one side.
“Yep. That’s the name of our Battle Team,” he smiled a kingly smile.
“Don’t be nervous. Even if you lose your first battle, which I’m sure you won’t, I’ll keep you in the Team. I’m sure you’ll meet every expectation I have for you during your first battle. Off you go to dinner. Good luck tomorrow!” he waved at me.
I couldn’t hold back my happiness, so as soon as the king dismissed me, I rushed to find Violet in the Cafeteria after I stopped by the kitchen to get my dinner.
I brought my meal to the Cafeteria and found Violet and Scarlet sitting at a table together, eyes glued to a newspaper titled “News Royale”. They saw me approach them and Scarlet set the newspaper back on the table. I noticed that both of them were changed out of battling armor, and Scarlet even had her hair tied in a messy ponytail.
“How did it go?” asked Violet, before biting into a chunk of chicken.
“I did it!” I exclaimed. “I’m part of the Battle Team!”
“Nice,” said Scarlet, her eyes moving down the newspaper again. “Hey guys, check this out!” She pointed to one of the main headlines and the paragraph underneath it. It read:
Let’s Welcome Two New Warriors to the Arenaby Nick A. Nyte
There have been rumors about two new warriors in the Arena, but no one has ever been sure of those interesting theories. It has now been confirmed that Stephen Supercell has surely created them as we had expected, and you will read about them in a moment. These two are extremely rare to be found in chests and can be considered legendary.
First off, there is the Princess. This stunning Princess shoots flaming arrows from long range. If you’re feeling warm feelings towards her, it’s probably because you’re on fire. Hopefully, she won’t make the Tower Princesses too jealous, as she is clearly much more powerful.
The second new warrior is the Ice Wizard. This chill caster throws Ice Shards that slow down enemies’ movement and attack speed. Despite being freezing cold, he has a handlebar mustache that’s too hot for TV. As handsome as this bad boy is, he still has some competition with his long lost brother, the Wizard.
Welcome to the Arena, most beautiful Princess and most handsome Ice Wizard! That’s all the news we have.
“Cool!” said Violet. I nodded. The Princess and the Ice Wizard were probably both what people would be looking forward to. I, myself, couldn’t wait.
“I hope they join our castle soon!” I commented.
“It’s possible that they never will, actually,” said Scarlet reading over the paragraph again.
“Why not?” asked Violet looking up from her plate.
“Well, these warriors are ‘Legendary’, meaning they are much harder for kings to collect. It’s very likely that King James won’t ever find them in his chests,” Scarlet explained.
I lowered my head. “Oh, that’s too bad then.” We finished our dinner and dashed downstairs, only to find ourselves interrupted and followed by a Skeleton.
“OMG!!!” he shouted in a squeaky voice. “I’m your guys’ biggest fan. I’ve always dreamt of meeting you all in person, as the closest I ever get is watching every one of your battles. I sooooooo wish I could be part of them though, but still… THIS IS SO COOL!!! May I PLEASE have your autograph?” The skeleton stuck out his bony arm and grabbed a pen. “Please, please, please, please–”
“LARRY! Come back here, right now!” A Witch was catching her breath and running towards us. She turned to Scarlet, Violet, and me. “I’m so sorry. My son’s kinda…” she moved her index finger in a circular motion beside her head.
“But, Mom! They’re part of the Battle Team. This is like my only chance!” Larry complained. The Witch and Larry soon left the scene and Scarlet let out her laugh.
“That guy sure has a lotta energy,” she said.
“I think we should have signed his arm…” Violet noted, adjusting her curls.
“I dunno, that was pretty awkward,” I admitted. We were about to enter the Game room, but then we were interrupted again by a Prince this time.
“Have any of you seen my horse?” he asked, scratching his head. It seemed to me that he was the only one wearing his battling armor.
“Um, can you describe how it looks?” Violet asked.
“She is the most beautiful thing that has ever existed on Earth, almost as beautiful as you, my lady.” He knelt down and kissed Violet’s hand.
Scarlet cringed. “Thank you for your very precise description of your horse. It really helps a lot. And no, we haven’t seen her. Good day, Charles,” she said, grabbing Violet’s arm.
We walked inside the Game room, seeing that we were the only ones there, occupied the softest pillows and set up a game of chess.
Violet and Scarlet sat there, moving pieces as the game went, and I was watching carefully to see if either of them missed any good moves. I noticed that Violet clearly had more skill than Scarlet, seeing that she had won the game in just two minutes.
“Checkmate,” announced Violet as she moved her Knight piece a few tiles forward. Scarlet examined the chess pieces carefully and nodded her head.
“Well played, my friend. I never seem to be able to beat you in chess, Violet, but arm wrestling is a piece of cake,” laughed Scarlet.
“Hey Danny! Wanna join the chess game? I’ll set up another board and I’ll play against both you and Scarlet at once,” said Violet. I agreed to her request and helped her set up another board. We played chess for about the next half an hour, and as expected, Violet won both games.
“So… what now?” I asked Scarlet.
“Um, do you guys want to play another round of chess?” Violet asked me and Scarlet, while she ran her fingers down her hair. Scarlet simply shrugged and I shook my head, as one round of chess was enough for me. Then, Joe walked into the room and took a seat on one of the pillows.
“Hey, guys! These pillows are comfy, aren’t they?” Joe asked as he patted the soft pillows with his hands.
Scarlet clenched her fists.. “Now that you’re here, they aren’t.” She stood up and headed towards the door.
“C’mon, Scar. Cheer up,” Joe said. “Is there any way we could just be friends?”
“Don’t you notice it’s impossible for me to be cheerful when you’re around? If you want to… well, be my friend, then leave the room. Otherwise, stay in here and flirt with Violet all you want. Good afternoon, sir.” Scarlet stomped out of the room and slammed the door hard behind her.
“Gee, why is she so savage towards me?” Joe turned to us, and we returned a shrug.
“Heard that,” Scarlet replied from the other side of the door. Both Violet and I were trying very hard not to laugh.
“Well,” Violet stood up and faked a cough. “I’m gonna go with Scarlet.”
“Same here,” I said, following Violet towards the door.
We left Joe inside the room all by himself and watched through the crack as he took out his teddy bear and clutched onto it tightly. “Theodore, sometimes I feel like you’re my only friend,” he sighed.
Violet held back another giggle and whispered to him, “Don’t worry Joe, Scarlet’s actually quite a nice person if you get to know her well enough. But for now, goodbye.”
We hung outside for awhile until it was getting late, and I soon headed back to my own room. I laid myself on my bed and looking towards the ceiling, I imagined being the all-star player focused in a battle on a floating island, in the place where we all wished to be: Legendary Arena. Everyone would be cheering for me “Danny! Danny!” and their roars would fill my ears. This was my one and only dream that I would set for the rest of my life, and there was nothing I could care more about right now.
But reality would always flow back to my mind, telling me that my dreams would never come true, that there was no way these silly imaginations could ever come to life. My head was always in the clouds, never on Earth.
Then thinking about my first battle that awaited me tomorrow, I closed my eyes and slowly drifted to sleep.
The next morning, I woke up all hyper and energetic, finished my breakfast as quick as I could, and ran straight into the Main Hall where the Battle Team was supposed to meet. Scarlet, Joe, Violet, and the skeletons were already in the hall, and so were King James, Hannah, and Holly.
“Is everyone here?” King James asked, standing up from his throne and counting the number of heads in the Hall. I was shaking with excitement as the king gathered us to the center and adjusted his crown.
“Alrighty…” he said. He clapped his hands twice and the world spun around me.
I blinked just once, and after my eyes were open I realized that I was no longer in the Main Hall of the castle.
I was sitting on a wooden bench, with the usual six towers in front of me, three coated in red and three in blue. The Arena’s floor was made up of wooden tiles, instead of the grass in Training Camp, and the paths along the Arena were paved with stone. The river I had expected was replaced with gears, and on either side of the Arena were places for the audience to sit in. A banner was held high for everyone to see, that read “PotatoPotato VS JamesTheGreat”. This was without a doubt the Builder’s Workshop.
King James walked towards the center of the Arena and shook hands with the king we were opposing. Hannah and Holly also curtsied and bowed to the princesses dressed in red as a greeting to each other. Then, all the members of the royal family took their spots on top of the towers.
“Guys, I think I’m gonna mess up.” I lowered my head and admitted the truth, but Violet, of course, always had something to say to me.
“Danny, I’m a hundred-percent positive that you’re gonna win your first battle. Tell you what, King James has been waiting so long to receive you from the chest, that he exploded with happiness when you appeared in his silver chest. That just shows how powerful cannons are in our leagues right now,” Violet said. I didn’t tell her that King James had told something similar just the other day, but I nodded my head in thanks.
“And I have to bring this up again, but if you ever feel like you’re not doing as well as you should be during the battle, think of what Scarlet did at her first battle. Then you will know that nothing worse could happen,” Joe smiled. “Wait, why isn’t Scarlet pounding me to the ground? Hold on, where is she?”
I looked around and saw Scarlet on the other end of the bench, busy trying to feed Joe’s hog some bacon. The hog was trying to yank his head away from Scarlet, but Scarlet held firm, pulling his mouth open. Before she could shove a piece of bacon in his mouth, Joe ran towards the scene and pushed her away.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO POOR MAX?!?!?” Joe yelled louder than he ever had before. He placed himself between Scarlet and his hog. “It’s okay, buddy. Don’t eat anything that THAT LADY gives to you, okay? Good Max,” said Joe to Max. “And Scarlet? DON’T EVER LET ME CATCH YOU FEEDING MAX BACON AGAIN, OR ELSE!”
Scarlet laughed and rolled her eyes. “Or else what?”
“Um… I’LL MAKE YOU WISH YOU WERE NEVER BORN!!!” Joe barked.
“I’d like to see you try,” Scarlet sneered, and Joe returned the glare.
“Let the battle begin!” King James announced. Thank you King James. I didn’t have to deal with the annoying arguments between Joe and Scarlet, but I had to admit, they were quite funny.
As Joe headed back towards his seat at the bench, Scarlet muttered under her breath, “So close” and slapped herself on her knee.
The opposing king, yes, the one dressed in red, began the game by pushing one of the buttons in front of his cannon. An Elixir Collector appeared behind his tower, and King James sent Violet behind his tower also. Then, he pulled one of the joysticks before him and a fireball came from the sky and severely damaged the enemy’s Elixir Collector. Then, King James told Scarlet to get on the Arena in front of Violet, and the opponent used a Mini P.E.K.K.A to counter the push, but Violet still survived to get a shot on the tower before she disappeared and respawned with Scarlet.
A few seconds later, the Elixir Collector disappeared and a Giant was sent in the corner of the enemy’s side of the Arena. By the time the Giant had reached the bridge, a Witch and a Skeleton Army were placed behind him.
King James zapped the Skeleton Army and called me along with four skeletons onto the Arena to take out the Giant. I took a deep breath and quickly dashed to the place I was instructed to go to. Before the Witch could target me and the skeletons, Scarlet was done with her break and ran in between the Giant and the Witch, inflicting damage to them both.
I died to the Giant, but after I respawned at the bench, I was glad to see that most of the enemy push had died down with me, and only a newly placed enemy Baby Dragon was left on the Arena, who was shot down by Violet. An enemy Mini P.E.K.k.A. was running down the other lane, but King James used Skeletons to counter him.
Then Scarlet and Joe were both sent in front of Violet, forming a fast-moving push. The opponent king tried to send a Skeleton Army on top of Violet and Joe while Scarlet was not in range, but King James quickly zapped the army. The enemy also tried to use a Witch, but it wasn’t enough to counter the entire push. The three of them made a perfect team and took down the first tower with ease.
The last minute of the game came, and I noticed that we were sent onto the Arena a lot faster. King James decided to defend for the most of the last minute, where he needed me to eliminate the Giants, the Mini P.E.K.KA.s, or sometimes the Witches. Near the end of the match, he sent another push containing Scarlet, Joe, and Violet and he cleared the second Princess’s tower. The match ended, and the enemy king was required to give King James about a thirty of his trophies (Gee, that’s a lot). My first battle resulted two towers to zero, much better than I had expected.
There were four more battles after the first one, and the wins seemed to come easy to me; except the last one, which we nearly lost. King James clapped twice the same way he did before, and we found ourselves back in the Main Room of the castle.
“You did great!” Hannah, the Princess, exclaimed to me, while setting aside her bow. The other members of the battle team congratulated me as well, until we were all dismissed to lunch and heading towards the kitchen. I was not trying to brag, but my first battles were actually pretty easy. Well, as King James and Violet had both said, Cannons were currently really powerful, and I hoped they were right about that.
After I received the meal from the kitchen, I walked inside the Cafeteria and scanned the area for someone to sit with. Where was Violet? I could only see Scarlet sitting at a table with some of her other friends, but Violet was nowhere to be found.
I set my meal at a seat beside Scarlet and meanwhile asked her if she knew where Violet was.
“She told me she was going to get a napkin. Don’t worry, she should be back soon,” said Scarlet. I trusted her and started poking at my food with my fork. After about two minutes, I got out of my seat and decided to look for Violet.
“Where’re ya going?” asked Scarlet. I told her what I had in mind, and she said okay.
I left the Cafeteria and quickly looked around at my surroundings. There were mostly just people traveling in packs, some alone, chatting and conversing about random topics. (Some were discussing about the new legendary warriors.) I received a few stares, but I ignored them all, knowing I was a building, and I wasn’t supposed to have feelings.
I walked further around the area and spotted Violet sitting in one of the corners, surrounded by four Barbarians. She looked bruised and on the verge of tears. Everyone who walked by just glanced at Violet and pretended as if she wasn’t there. I kept my distance too, as the Barbarians didn’t look too friendly, and I didn’t think Violet saw me. What was I supposed to do? I wasn’t really a good fighter, not to mention standing up to bullies.
“MAKE THAT A PROMISE!!” demanded one of the Barbarians who threw a kick at her side.
“Fine, I promise,” she choked out, voice full of regret. “I’ll speak to King James and tell him to let you guys take my place on the Battle Team. But please, whatever you do, don’t hurt my friends.”
“Well, now that you promised, you can’t back out. But you’re at our mercy right now, and who says we can’t beat up your friends also?” the second Barbarian laughed.
Behind me, a smoky gray robot with blue glowing horns and one glowing eye lightly pushed me aside. “Out of my way, sir,” the Mini P.E.K.K.A. said in a robotic voice. “I have a duty to do here,” he added, taking a bite into a pancake that he somehow found from nowhere. He walked to the scene where Violet was being mistreated, and he stuck out his sword, raising it towards the sky. I wasn’t sure if weapons were allowed here near the Cafeteria, but I didn’t object. After all, I hoped this was for good use.
The robot chased away the Barbarians, pointing his sword at their backs and later approached Violet.
“Hello, ma’am,” he said with the same monotone voice and helped Violet to her feet. She was a little shaky, but she later regained her balance.
“Oh, um. Thank you.” Violet brushed her skirt and turned a little pink.
“No problem. I’ll be there whenever you need me,” said the robot, hooking his sword back onto his belt. “Call me Hunter.”
“Violet,” she said. Violet and I headed back to the Cafeteria, and apparently, Hunter insisted that he come with us. He stopped by the kitchen to receive his lunch and seeing there was no way to reject his offer, we allowed him to sit with us.
When Scarlet asked about her bruises, Violet explained what had happened, and Scarlet simply nodded. The two of them plus Hunter had finished their meals, and they told me to meet them in the Game room. I hadn’t finished my lunch, so I tried to clear it as fast as I could.
As I was hurrying to get to the Game room, I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going so I accidentally bumped into an Archer who just came in for lunch.
The food on her plate had spilled, and I quickly rushed to help her, grabbing napkins to clean it up. She had neon pink hair chopped above her shoulders and wore a hooded blue dress. This girl I ran into was no ordinary girl. Her hair was as smooth as silk, eyes as bright as sunshine, face as soft as snow, movements as graceful as a gazelle, and I couldn’t help but stare as her eyelashes fluttered while she was cleaning up the mess. Soon the mess was gone, and the Archer stood and shoved her hair out of her face.
“You’re Danny right? The king’s new cannon?” she asked me. Little did I know, but I was blushing really hard under my metal.
“Yep, that’s me,” I said with little hesitation.
“I heard you did really well earlier today at your first few battles. It was probably hard for you, considering the fact that you barely had any practice beforehand,” she said.
“Well… I guess, but I overcame the fright,” I replied.
“I’m glad you did,” she grinned. “You will have battles every Tuesday, I believe?”
“Okay, you don’t have to worry about the mess; I’m not really hungry anyway. My twin, Channary–she’s been infected by a disease. I have to leave the castle temporarily and go to the forest to find a particular type of berry that can heal her disease. Unfortunately, there are no doctors here anymore. I hope to see you around later then.” The Archer straightened her back and was about to leave, but she stopped mid-track. “Oh, and by the way, I’m Penelope, but you can call me Penny.” She turned to leave again, but I interrupted her before she could go.
“Wait, Penny!” I called.
“The forest isn’t a very safe place to be around alone, so…” I paused, “maybe I can accompany you?” I thought about how Violet had told me to meet her in the Game room, but I figured I could make some excuse for this later.
“Okay, then. Wait for me here,” she instructed. Penny left the area around the Cafeteria and was soon out of sight. She came back about a minute later with her hood on, a quiver of arrows slung on her back, and a bow in her right hand. “Just thought I needed to be prepared,” she smiled.
“Do you know the way out of this castle?” I asked.
“Yep, follow me,” Penny said confidently, and I followed her through a series of stairs and hallways, until we left the castle through one of the side exits.
The sky was entirely clear, other than the radiant sun that shone much brighter than the light blue emptiness. I adjusted my eyes to the change of light, and saw a wide expanse of grass covered with a few trees and plants, along with a shadier forest up ahead. There was a sandy path along the grass, leading to the forest.
“This way,” she said, running towards the forest and clutching onto her bow a little tighter. We entered the shady green of the pines, and Penny was bending down and examining each of the plants.
“You seem to know your way around here very well,” I commented.
“I guess I do. When I’m dying of boredom, I often visit the forest and practice some archery. I prefer to target the tree branches, however, rather than killing poor animals. My aim is decent, so too bad I don’t get to participate in the battles anymore,” she sighed, continuing to study the berries.
As she was kneeling down, I saw a black-hooded figure approaching, sneaking up behind Penny. I narrowed my eyes to check to see if I was hallucinating, and realizing I wasn’t, yelled in alarm.
“Hey, watch out!” I yelled. “There’s a bandit behind you!”
Penny loaded her bow and shot an arrow towards the hooded figure. The bandit dodged the arrow and charged at her, slamming her into a tree and making her drop her bow. A yelp of pain escaped her as the bandit beat her against the tree with a wooden club. Penny tried to kick at the bandit, but it stuck its knee into her stomach before she could make a move. She then produced a struggle and tried to wiggle her way out, but the bandit already had her pinned to the tree.
“Either give me everything you own or–” The female voice was interrupted when I grabbed a random apple and threw it at the bandit’s thigh, cutting her off. I immediately figured an unloaded cannon was useless.
“Let her go!” I yelled at the top of my lungs. Keeping one arm on Penny, the bandit turned to me.
“A talking cannon?? I wonder how much that’s worth…” she spat. While the bandit was distracted, her grip on Penny slightly loosened. With this advantage, Penny turned and swung her elbow into the bandit’s ribs. The bandit slid back in alarm, rubbing the spot where she was elbowed. She got back on her feet and as quick as a snake, caught Penny on the leg with her club. The bandit advanced towards Penny again, but Penny was faster and kicked her in the side, causing the bandit to lose her balance. Realizing her victory, she quickly grabbed her bow, loaded it with an arrow, and directed it towards the bandit.
“Take off your mask,” she panted. “And reveal yourself.”
The bandit removed her mask as well as her hood, and I noticed she looked a whole deal like Penny. Same turquoise eyes, hair texture, and face features, only the bandit’s hair was dyed white.
Penny gasped, narrowed her eyes, and lowered her bow. “W-what? Ashley?? You’re still alive???”
Ashley’s gaze was as unblinking as a fish, and she slowly stood up. “Oh dear, how did I not recognize you at first? Gee, my memory is really fading…” she wandered in thoughts, until she remembered again the question Penny had directed at her. “Anyway, yes I’m alive, but don’t tell the others. Penny, what are you even doing here?” Wait, they know each other?
A surge of hatred flooded through Penny and instantly replaced her surprise. “Why do you care, Ashley?”
“Penny, I know you probably don’t trust me, but I have an explanation–”
“YOU MURDERED THE LAST HEALER, AND BECAUSE OF THAT CHANNARY IS DYING NOW!” Penny was seething with rage, and I tried to calm her down the best I could, though it was hard when I didn’t even know what was going on.
“You actually believe the rumor that Percy created? Just trust me, I was at the wrong place in the wrong time and I didn’t–” Who’s Percy?
Penny’s face was burning now, her hair in a tangled mess, and she was definitely not as pretty as when I first saw her. “IT ONLY MAKES SENSE THOUGH! WHAT ELSE COULD HAVE HAPPENED THAT NIGHT?”
Ashley took a deep breath and reminded herself to stay calm. “When have I ever lied to you, little sister? Just please, allow me to explain–”
Penny grabbed her bow and aimed at Ashley. I tried to hold her back, but she refused to listen and pulled away. “YOU DON’T DESERVE TO LIVE, ASH. You n-never did…” Her hands and legs were shaking, and she couldn’t hold onto her bow properly. Penny eventually gave up and slumped to her knees. When Penny saw Ashley at first, I was expecting it to be a lovely reunion, but I could have been wrong.
“Uh, hello? Can someone kindly explain to me what’s going on here?” I asked as politely as possible. “An unbiased version of the story, please?” I added.
“I’ll do it,” Ashley volunteered, and Penny sat on a rock looking disappointed. “Many years ago, I remember myself as an Archer in King James IV’s fine castle. I am –as you might have figured– the older sister to Channary and Penny, who happen to be twins. My room in the castle was located right next to the Luna’s office, and coincidentally, the only room beside her office. Luna’s the Healer, by the way. During my free time, I often helped Luna with her sick or injured patients, guiding them to the rooms where they would sleep and also calming them down.
“One day, I was fast asleep in my own room, until a scream coming from Luna’s room awoke me. I figured it was midnight sharp, but I didn’t care. I grabbed my bow and arrows and scurried to Luna’s room, finding the door locked. I slammed my bow against the window of the door, breaking the glass. I climbed through the hole I created and accidentally cut my hand on the broken glass, but again, I didn’t care. I needed to save Luna. I rushed into her room, only to find more broken glass scattered on the floor, and Luna, lying unconscious in a pool of blood.”
“No details, please,” I squirmed, scared at the mentioning of blood.
“Alright,” Ashley cleared her throat and continued. “Obviously, I was too late. A few guards swarmed into Luna’s room and saw me standing there with my bow and arrows. Of course, they all thought it was me who killed Luna, no matter how many times I told them I wasn’t the murderer. I never found who the true killer was, but I suspect Percy, the Wizard. He was the one who was the most passionate in accusing me to be the murderer, and he also has shown negative feelings toward me his whole life. Luna happened to be the last Healer remaining, and because someone had killed her, there were no Healers left.
“King James IV banished me from the castle, and I was never to return again. It was sad, leaving the castle I had loved most, but I couldn’t blame King James, knowing he went with the most reasonable theory of who the killer was. Now I’m just living here in the forest, as a lone bandit, dressed entirely in black and wearing a mask so I couldn’t be recognized easily. I even dyed my hair white, so that people couldn’t tell who I was by my once vivid pink hair. Robbing was the only way I could survive, and believe me, I regret all of this. Maybe it would be better for me to die of starvation rather than stealing from others, but it’s too late to turn away from that now.”
Ashley finished explaining her story and took a step back. “It was nice seeing you guys, but I should probably get going now,” she retreated. Before she could go, Penny shed a tear from her eye and jumped to hug her sister.
“I’m so sorry…” she confessed. “I didn’t know… And… and… Percy’s still living in the castle, as if nothing had ever happened… Th-That’s not the way it’s supposed to be…” her words turned into a sob.
“It’s okay, Penny. Just forget it,” said Ashley, lightly pushing Penny away. Penny released her, and asked one last thing.
“Do you think you can return to this castle?” Penny begged with puppy eyes.
“I wish I could, but…” she sighed. “No one would trust me now, not after the incident that occurred many years ago. Percy hates me, Penny. You don’t understand; he’s been jealous his whole life. He wanted to kick me out of the castle, and with so many people trusting him, he can develop more conspiracy theories about you and I, and you could be in danger. I could have started a whole fight to defend myself all those years ago, but that would only cause more conflict and distrust. The better choice would be to simply leave the castle and keep the peace. I’m so sorry, Penny…” Ashley ran deep into the woods, black cape blowing behind her, until she was out of sight.
“That kinda brought us off track,” I pointed out. “We were supposed to find the berries.”
“Oh. Right…” said Penny, kneeling down to study the berries again. “Dark blue berries with turquoise spots, big pointy green leaves… uh… tiny red-and-yellow flowers…” she mumbled to herself. “Ooh! Found it!” Penny exclaimed, lifting up six bluish berries strung from a small branch.
“C’mon, let’s head back,” I pleaded.
Penny led the way as we were heading back to the castle, and I noticed she had a concerned look on her face, so I decided to ask her about it.
“Is there something wrong?” I asked. “You seem to be a bit…” I looked for the right word. “Gloomy.”
“Nah, I’m fine,” Penny replied. She noticed I wasn’t satisfied with that answer, so she decided to give in. “Looking back at my life a few years ago, I didn’t realize how much Ashley had cared for me. She could tell how much I wanted to be a part of the Battle Team, and she even resigned from her own spot in the team to let me join; as you know, she then began to care for people with Luna. She taught me the basics in archery and eventually the advanced tips. Though I was later removed from the Team, I was glad to have the experience. Anyways, Ashley was always there for me, and yet today I called her a murderer and a liar.”
“It’s okay, Penny. That isn’t worth hating yourself for,” I told her.
“Yea, I guess. Now I just wish she could be with us in the castle. She’d know exactly how to heal Channary, unlike me, who is just panicking.”
“I don’t think she would want to be back in the castle, to be honest. It’s quite a big transition, considering what people probably would think about her. No one would trust Ashley, and Stephen Supercell would be the one to decide whether bandits should be allowed in the castle,” I said.
After the conversation, we arrived at the castle and entered through a side entrance. Penny returned to her own room, and I decided to find my friends in the Game room. They asked where I was, and I simply ignored the question and joined them in a game of checkers.
Dinner soon came, and as quick as a flash, it was nighttime.
I must say, life was going quite well for me at this point. Exploring the castle every Sunday, practicing in Training Camp every Monday, a series of battles every Tuesday, meeting Ashley in the forest every Wednesday, learning Archery from Penny every Thursday, practicing my hobbies for the rest of the week– my life was happy and full. Meanwhile, I received notices from Penny on how Channary was doing, and I was happy to hear she was getting better.
I won almost every single one of my battles on Tuesday, and King James even told me I was his favorite in the Team, despite the others having more experience. I had to face quite a few Legendary warriors in the battles, but King James somehow managed to win. Maybe it was his strategy? I could tell that the Battle Teams that other kings had used were changing a bit, and there seemed to be a lot of Hog Riders and Giants around in the Arena.
A few months later, I found myself fighting in Royal Arena! I was coming closer to achieving my goal and battling in Legendary Arena, but there was still a fair distance to go.
King James welcomed many new warriors to his castle, including the hyper Fire Spirits and the shy Ice Golem.
During this time, Scarlet was still hostile to Joe, but I realized she did have a soft side as Violet had said. Hunter began a bit annoying, following us all the time and that sort, but we eventually got used to him and opened up our group of friends. Ashley was asking about updates on what was going on in the castle, and Penny told her everything was just fine. We continued asking Ashley whether she wanted to come back to the castle, but she refused with a passion every time. Scarlet, Violet, and Joe didn’t have a clue about my visits to see Ashley, as each time I told them I was just exploring the forest with Penny. Penny and I were getting closer, and I soon realized we were more than just… well… friends. About a year had passed since I had first joined the castle.
Overall, it seemed as if nothing could ruin my life right now, until one seemingly normal day, I woke up and headed downstairs for breakfast, interrupted by a tall, blonde man dressed semi-formally. He didn’t dress at all like the rest of us at the castle; in fact he looked as if he came from the future. He looked familiar, but I couldn’t pinpoint who he was. I was soon struck by realization, and I immediately recognized this man. He created me. He found me a home here in this castle. He could be no one other than Stephen Supercell.
Stephen Supercell adjusted his sleeve and cleared his throat. Why was he here? The last time I had seen Stephen Supercell was when one of his workmen brought me to him with a complaint. I was irregular, he had claimed. I was strange. Unnatural. Peculiar. But here was how I preferred it being said: I was intelligent.
All because buildings were not supposed to have brains… so having one made me special? During the process of creating me, I had spoken to them. A simple “hello” had one of the men freaked out, and he took me out of line to inform Stephen Supercell. Since when was there anything wrong with a talking cannon?
There, all Stephen Supercell had done was quickly type out a note and paste it against the side of my hard metal. “No big deal, he’ll still do,” the words floated back to my mind. Then I was put back in line with the other cannons, as if nothing had ever happened, and placed inside a silver chest. That was the last time I had seen him, or in other words, the only time I had ever seen him.
Well here he was again, stopping me mid-track on my way downstairs to breakfast.
“Everything will be alright,” he said.
“Okay,” I responded.
Stephen Supercell widened his eyes in surprise. “So you really can talk, can’t you?”
“I–I thought you already knew that.”
“Well, sorry, but I wasn’t really sure whether or not to trust Mr. Parkson. You see, he tends to hear and see things that aren’t really there,” he explained.
“I see,” I said, a little offended at the fact that he didn’t believe that I could really have a brain.
“You don’t really need to eat breakfast, do you?”
I shook my head. “I normally do, but missing one meal won’t hurt. Especially because I don’t even get hungry.”
“Then why eat breakfast? Like, what’s the purpose?” he asked.
“I have no idea,” I answered. But really, I had a perfect idea. It was so that I could see Penny, and have a decent excuse for seeing her.
Stephen Supercell motioned for me to follow him, and I understood immediately. I realized he was taking me to the Main Hall, where King James usually sat doing “kingly business”, as everyone called it.
I kept my pace behind Stephen Supercell and stopped before the king’s throne. “Your Highness?” he bowed, and King James laughed in reply.
“You don’t have to greet me that way, my man,” he said, taking off his crown and setting it beside him.
“Ugh!” He slammed his fist on the table. “Why do I even have to act all ‘kingly’ and everything? Is there anything wrong with being chill? Since when did I have to act superior to all and be the most honored guy here anyways? All these bows and ‘Your Highness’s are driving me crazy! Do I really have to deal with this nonsense everyday?!”
King James rolled his eyes and slouched his body forward, but then paused for a moment as if someone had knocked some sense into him. King James suddenly remembered we were still here, waiting for him to listen to whatever Stephen Supercell had to say.
“Oh yea! I totally forgot. Forgive me, I often get lost and start ranting about having to act like a king and stuff whenever I get annoyed by the way people greet me. Anyway, it’s you, Stephen! It’s all cool, bro. Just call me James.” He winked, and Stephen Supercell nodded slowly.
Now I understood who King James really was on the inside. He surely was not as all-powerful and “kingly” as I had expected at first. He didn’t even talk like a king. I was surprised it had taken me almost half a year to notice, but it wasn’t too surprising, as he acted differently to everyone else.
“Before we get too off topic, I want to remind you that there is some business we need to attend to, relating to Royale battles. This involves Danny, sir–I mean, James.” Stephen Supercell straightened himself in a business-like manner.
“Oh,” King James said, scratching his head. “Is it another one of those ‘buffs’ or ‘nerfs’ or whatever you call those things?” Again, he clearly did not speak like a king, but I didn’t think it mattered… or at least not at this moment. In fact, I’ve already started seeing him as more of a general rather than a king.
“Yes, sir. You see, cannons are far too powerful right now, as you may have noticed already. Therefore, I will need to borrow Cannon-8754389 and slightly decrease his statistics to keep the Royale program balanced. If you would allow me to proceed, I would like to–”
King James, with a visible look of disappointment on his face, waved his arms around wildly. “I get it, I get it. Just take Danny for your ‘nerf’ thing. You’ve done this many times before already.”
“I appreciate your cooperation. Thank you, James.”
He clapped his hands twice–the same way King James did when we had to transport to the weekly battles–and as I had expected, I was no longer in the Main Hall of the castle. What I had not expected, however, was to be surrounded by… how should I describe this? Some future technology stuff? I was in a small-ish room, with walls painted white, and a blue-and-gold crown hung on the door. There was a wire, dangling from a laptop (which sat on a desk), with a magnet-looking thing hanging on the end of the wire.
Stephen Supercell grabbed the magnet-like thing and stuck it onto the left side of my head. “Try to relax and not to move too much,” he told me. “This may hurt a little.”
He pulled back a chair and sat before the desk, typing something on the laptop. A television screen was hanging on the wall, which read,
“Hitpoints: Decreasing by 11%…”
All of a sudden, a surge of energy bursted through the wire and the magnet and into my body. The wire continued vibrating, and I felt a stinging shock of pain for about thirty seconds. I flinched when the pain first hit me, and my body shook for the rest of the thirty seconds. Clearly, I was not very good at enduring pain and had failed to relax. Half of my energy was drained from body, and I felt a lot weaker in general.
The words “Decrease of Hitpoints Completed” flashed onto the television screen.
“See? That wasn’t so bad, wasn’t it?” Stephen Supercell grinned. I nodded. How else was I supposed to answer? If by “not so bad”, he meant stinging pain, a drain of energy, removal of strength, and an electric shock, then sure! It wasn’t so bad, I guess. “There are still a few more modifications we have to make. Hold still for just a while longer, and we will soon go back to the castle. For this next one, you will barely feel anything,” he promised. Sigh. Why did I ever admire this man?
He typed some more on his laptop, probably to allow the modification to proceed, and I saw “Range: Decreasing to 5.5… ” on the screen, followed by “In Process…”. This time, I felt energy waves flowing through the wire, clashing with the magnet, and entering my body. The waves continued vibrating upwards until I felt it collide with my brain, and then it was all over. Stephen Supercell was partially correct when he said that I would barely feel anything, because truth was, it didn’t really hurt at all. I’m not quite sure how to describe the feeling, as I’m sure no one has ever had to go through a similar situation.
After the Range Decrease, the screen had said “Lifetime: Decreasing to 30 seconds”. This had totally freaked me out, as I thought my life was going to end in half a minute. Thankfully however, after the modification was over, I did not die.
“We’re done.” I heard Stephen Supercell say, and I breathed a sigh of relief. My whole body ached, but at least I knew it was all over now. There was no need for any more “nerfs”, whatever that even meaned. I didn’t really understand how the nerfs were supposed to affect me in battle. A Decrease of Hitpoints by 11%? A Range Decrease of just 0.5 tiles? A Lifetime Decrease by 10 seconds? These nerfs were barely anything. I’d still be the star of every match, and we’re still gonna win every battle. I could bet 100,000 gold that these nerfs would never have an effect on me.
Turned out, I shouldn’t have agreed to that bet, and you’ll see what I mean later. So, here ya go. 100,000 gold.
I woke up sore in every part of my body, and there was an especially awkward feeling in my head. I wished there was a way to escape the pain, but unfortunately, I would just have to wait until… Until what? It had been five days, and this strange soreness refused to leave me. If only healers had still existed, I would actually have a chance. Anyways, there was much more to life than just the physical way one’s body felt. Today was Battle Day. I had almost forgot. Stupid, stupid pain.
Leaving my room, I walked into the Cafeteria without even bothering to pick up a breakfast from the kitchen. Stephen Supercell was right. What was the purpose of eating if the only thing I was doing was reducing this castle’s resources? (I didn’t know at this time that the castle actually had an infinite amount of food.) I scanned the area for Penny and spotted her on one of the corner tables. She saw me when I came over, and the first thing she did was stand up from her chair and bombard me with questions.
“Where’s your breakfast?”
“I’m not hungry.”
“Are you still sore?”
“Yea, but don’t worry about it.”
“So everything’s alright?”
“Even if you weren’t fine, that would still be your answer, correct?”
“You’re battling today, aren’t you?”
I felt a strange tingle crawl up my spine, and I knew it wasn’t just one of the side effects from the nerf. Was it just a coincidence that whenever Penny was around I would start to become really nervous all of a sudden? Could it be that I just happened to feel a sense of excitement when I figured Penny truly cared for me? Of course not. No matter how hard I tried to avoid the truth, it would simply come back, haunting me like an evil spirit. Or maybe an angel in this case. I was in love with her, and madly so.
I knew she and I were already friends, but some small section of my heart wanted more than that. But I was just a Cannon. An unwanted, useless piece of metal, and nothing would ever change the obvious fact. Not unless I took matters into my own hands. But why should I? I wasn’t going to give up everything I had ever dreamed of just for a girl. And that was the whole problem, right there. The only thing I was dreaming of now was Penny.
It was about time for me to meet the others in the Main Hall, so I said bye to Penny and headed for the Hall. Most of the Battle Team had already arrived, but we were still waiting for Hannah and Joe.
“How are you feeling, Danny?” I looked up to see King James waiting for an answer. “If you happen to be hurting from the nerf, I can substitute you out for someone else.”
This was my chance. I could tell him that I was suffering, get replaced, and then spend more time with Penny. However, my brain said no. I needed to focus on my dream and get to Legendary Arena, rather than hang out with her. Before my mind had the chance to process this any further, I blurted out, “I’m fine, thanks.”
It wasn’t long before Hannah and Joe arrived. King James did the usual double handclap, and we teleported to the Royal Arena. Red and blue flags hung high in the sky, and the ground was paved with gold. The first battle began, and the pain returned to me, even more extreme than I had felt before. It was hard to focus during the battle, whether it was because of the excruciating pain, or because I couldn’t stop thinking of Penny. Even though I knew she didn’t mean to, Penny was hurting me far more than the nerf had. There was a hole in my heart, and I just wished she could be here too…
The opposing king was using a Balloon Goblin Barrel sort of thing, and it was quite a big surprise for the others when we had lost. However, I didn’t seem to care as much as I thought I would have. But then we lost the second battle. And the third. And the fourth. And the fifth. Until King James had finally decided for us to return to the castle, we had just kept losing. Strangely, I had known immediately that the cause of the repeated losses was on me. Whether it was because of the nerf or because I kept thinking of Penny, I did not know. What I did know was that my life would only go downhill from here.
The nerfs just kept coming. I thought they were supposed to keep the game balanced, but this just seemed to make me the most terrible in history. Even though King James himself knew how horrible I was doing in battle, he refused to remove me from his Team. He claimed that he had friends who continued using Cannons and how well they were working for them. So here I was again. A useless defect, and yet King James somehow still saw potential in me. We soon dropped back into the Builder’s Workshop, and I actually cared this time. How was I supposed to get to the Legendary Arena if I couldn’t even get past the Builder’s Workshop? The answer to this I did not know.
“I’m going to go for a walk in the forest,” I told Penny one day during dinner.
“Alright, just let me finish my dinner really quick, and I’ll be–”
“Alone.” Penny looked a little taken back, but she nodded her head as if she understood.
I exited the castle and checked to see that I was loaded just in case. I walked towards the forest, and once I was already surrounded by pine, I just continued walking, not having any idea where I was planning on going. I just needed some alone time to think about life in general. I was simply a confused Cannon, unsure whether battling was more important or my social life.
I stopped walking when I heard something brush against the trees. A pillar of blackish-purple smoke appeared right before my eyes on the forest floor, and the smoke soon vanished, replaced by a tall woman with empty blue eyes, dressed in a black hood that dangled all the way down to her knees. She held a silver staff in one hand, embedded with a blinding blue stone that shone brightly in the shade that the trees provided.
I took a step back, but I couldn’t run away, and I wasn’t sure whether it was because of my surprise or because this strange person had me in some sort of trance. I mustered up enough courage to talk to her, but all I could say was, “Who are you?”
“I am Raven, the Night Witch. I can sense you are afraid of me. Why is that so, Danny, the Cannon?”
Uh… I dunno, because you just appeared out of nowhere in purple smoke and happened to know everything about me? “How do you know my name?”
Raven giggled and slammed her staff against the ground, and two bats spawned on either side of her. “Oh, Danny, I know everything about you. I can feel your thoughts and your emotions. You’re in love with an Archer, aren’t you? And you’re confused about whether or not battling matters more than that Archer friend of yours.”
This Night Witch was either a creepy stalker or had some sort of supremacy. “That doesn’t answer my question, but I suppose it doesn’t matter now. Well, I don’t know who you are or where you come from, but I’m leaving this place,” I said. But when I tried to run away, my legs were glued to the ground. Now I knew for sure that she was controlling me.
“You’re not leaving this place,” Raven laughed. “You don’t even know the way back.”
I was about to object, but then I realized that what she had said was true. I had been walking deeper into the forest, unaware that I had no idea how to return to the castle. Perhaps I could retrace my steps?
“Have you ever wondered why you are the only Cannon that wanders around in the castle, rather than motionless in the storage as you’re supposed to?” she added.
“I already know why. It was a defect in the programming, according to Mr. Supercell.” I didn’t know why I was telling her this, as she didn’t seem like the most trustworthy person to talk to. Raven summoned two more bats one either side of her, making a total of four.
“I’ll tell you this – It wasn’t a defect. It was meant to be.” And with that, the Night Witch made a twirl with her staff, and disappeared in a puff of dark purple smoke. I could see the smoke spell out the words “WE WILL MEET AGAIN”, which soon faded away leaving nothing but the dusty ground and the pines surrounding it. Something made me wish that she had stayed to tell me more, but at the same time, it was a relief that she had left. I wanted to find Ashley and ask her if she knew anything about this strange yet compulsive Night Witch. Where was she today anyways?
I suddenly felt intensely sleepy, and I collapsed onto the forest floor, too weak and tired to return back to the castle. Then the next second, darkness loomed over me, and everything went black. I had fallen asleep.