Chapter 7: Being the Town's Hero
"Remind me again why you decided to drag me along with you?"
"Because, Shad, I need someone to hang with so my run to a few places didn't seem suspicious."
"And wearing that hooded garment and carrying a saber does not?"
Sonic chuckled at the dark knight, who kept a straight face. "Oh, you were serious?" Sonic mentally slapped himself. "Oh, wait. No, you're always serious."
"Just tell me where we are going." Shadow demanded.
"I got a few days errands to run. Amy needs her rest and I have no doubts that Knuckles and Tails will keep her from following along." Sonic smiled to himself. "She's got so much spirit."
"Anyway, I need to check up on the towns people. Make sure they're doing alright."
"Wouldn't they always?" Shadow asked. "The King seems to have nearly abolished poverty."
"Ok, maybe he has more towards the kingdom his castle lies in, but for the other town's under his rule, they're still suffering."
"Just wait and you'll see when I take you there. This is just part of my duty of being the Winged Saber."
"It's not like it's a job you get paid for."
"Maybe not, but I do it because I love my people. They deserve better than what the King tries to sugar-coat."
Shadow decided to say nothing as they continued to walk the trail. He wasn't in the mood for another verbal fight like last night.
"You seem to take a liking towards the princess."
"Huh?" Sonic went wide eyed from the sudden change in conversation. "Whatcha' mean, Shad?"
"First of all, don't call me that. Ever." He warned. "I don't like those childish nicknames you come up with."
"Well, gez, you didn't argue when we were kids."
"That was a long time ago, Sonic."
"Okay, okay. What's your other point?"
"You seem to like the princess."
"A-Amy?" Sonic stuttered, and quickly held up his hands. "Hey, hey. Hold on now-'"
"I'm not stupid. You ran downstairs last night like you saw a ghost." Shadow noted. "You were blushing."
"Don't mention ghost to Knuckles." Sonic laughed nervously. "He'll freak-'"
"Stop changing the subject." Shadow ordered. "You know having feelings for the princess will lead you nowhere. She can't marry a peasant or a wanted criminal for that matter."
"I never said I had feelings."
"You didn't have to." Shadow looked at Sonic. "You can deny all you want, but I can see it in your actions and attitude with her."
Sonic shrugged his shoulders. "Say what you want, but I don't like her like that."
"Whatever…" Sonic mimicked, looking at the ground as he walked. "Give me a break, we were childhood friends…"
"I know. We were too at one point."
Sonic only sighed, agreeing with the dark one. "Guess a lot can change in a single night."
"Besides, if she was to become queen one day, she could easily change the rules of marrying prince's if she wished. Wasn't it you who said, 'Be the queen you were meant to be.'?"
"That's... not the same thing."
"Sure it isn't."
The two hedgehogs continued their pace until finally stopping at an old village. This was one of the smaller and poorer places in the kingdom of Ocovia. Around here, more crimes were committed and the King's hands basically untouched this part of his growing kingdom.
Sonic never knew why exactly this town had been the least of the King's worry when it came to keeping them under his thumb. Granted, this area did cause the most ruckus when it came to trying to overthrow the King.
Small town? Yeah, it was, but even small communities can create loud voices. For the King, these voices were something he wanted to silence and silence he did.
This village was basically starved and refused any care from the King for years. Ever since the King found out the village people were helping Sonic with his reckless attacks and attempts to over throw the royal family, the King's nearly cut them completely off. Forgetting them like a child who out grew his toys.
Sonic's been trying his best to get these people food and other necessary supplies to keep them going. But it's become more and more problematic this past year. A lot of other villages refusing to donate food to this village because of the stirred trouble it caused. So, Sonic resorted to stealing food for the most part.
The village was consistent of muddy and worn paths that acted as roads for these people. The road would sink your feet beneath the earth and soak anyone's toes. The buildings were made of old clay, that looked like it would collapse at a moments notice, but was roofed with straw to keep it from being top heavy. Though, the roofing did little in the wet seasons.
Shadow looked around, and nearly felt his nose crinkle from the ungodly smell. He didn't even want to know how dirty this village was, but he could assume from the pig-like stench.
"Welcome," Sonic said, "to Elvedon."
"This place stinks." Shadow said bluntly.
"Hey, watch it. This is where I was born. Lived here for a few years up until my training as a knight began."
"So, is your family here? I mean, I know your father's dead-'"
"Shadow," Sonic stopped the dark hedgehog, "lets not go there right now…"
"My apologies…" Shadow cleared his throat. "Anyway, what errands do you have here?"
"I have to give some people some homemade bread my Uncle made at the tavern." Sonic pulled out a bag from beneath his cape, handing a warm loaf to Shadow. "I want you to find someone who needs this while I give the rest to other hungry people."
"Why me?" Shadow asked annoyed.
"Because you need to realize the damage the King's done over the years. This is the only way I can show you. Make sure to be observant."
"Halt!" Two men bolted towards Shadow and Sonic.
Sonic took notice of the men wearing the knights armor, and pulled his hood lower to his face. Shadow gazed at the knights, who looked surprised that he was in this village.
"Sir Shadow?" One of the men asked, looking to his buddy next to him, then back to Shadow. "What are you doing here? I thought you were on the hunt for the Winged Saber."
"I was, but then I ran into this old resident who… had info on the Winged Saber."
Sonic raised an eyebrow, but quickly understood and went along with Shadow's lie.
"Oh, you seek the Winged Saber, child?" Sonic changed his voice, making it sound like an old witch who was about to offer a poisoned apple. "I heard whispers of him in the Diamond Caverns. He hides there with the princess."
"You speak the truth?" One of the soldiers asked.
"Why of course." Sonic moved his hands frantically. "Big saber and a pink gal in a dress? Can't miss it."
"Well, you heard them. Go to the Diamond Caverns and search there while I continue my search in this village."
The knights shook their heads and made their way out the town.
Sonic waited for the knight's silhouettes to disappear before he turned back to Shadow, smirking. "Oh, you're such a liar."
"Shadow The Hedgehog, lied for little ol' me?"
"I said shut up. We got errands to run."
"We?" Sonic continued to tease the poor knight.
"I'm going my own way to deliver this piece of bread. Just anything to get away from you."
Shadow made his distance and walked around the village as Sonic ran the opposite direction.
Taking a better look at this village's state, Shadow could see how rundown this place was. Besides everything mentioned earlier, he could also see a lot of moldy food scraps on the ground, where small mice were having practically their own Thanksgiving. Some children that ran past Shadow were dressed in old rags and were barefoot. Mud was basically their shampoo and body wash.
Shadow hated seeing any place in this sort of state, but to see it in Ocovia, it was hard to believe. Granted, maybe Sonic was trying to prove a point to Shadow: the King has a hard side of his own.
Shadow held the loaf of bread close to him, still feeling its warmth. "Give it to someone in need…"
Shadow suddenly felt eyes on him. He turned around and saw a little boy standing before him. He was a orange hedgehog, who was covered in muck, making his fur seem more brown than orange. His eyes were bright blue and held slight fear in them.
Shadow remembered this boy. He was the boy who's family helped Sonic escape and jump out their window. The pigs pin was their leading point in the search.
Those fear in the boy's eyes were something Shadow knew he created. He had tortured the boy's family to speak of the whereabouts of Sonic a few days ago.
The boy looked at Shadow and shook from the dark one's sight.
Shadow's eyes softened. He's never had a kid look so afraid of him. Granted, him and his knights did squeeze information out of him to find Sonic's location.
Shadow then remembered the conversation Sonic and he had the night before.
"How many people did he torture over the years just to find a small hint of where I was?" Sonic had asked him. Shadow was just proving his point. The King was striking fear into his people and Shadow couldn't help but feel bad for doing so.
Shadow bent down to the kid's level, removing his mask to let the boy actually see him. "I treated you and your family like dirt." Shadow's voice was soft and genuine as he spoke. "I was once a peasant myself. I shouldn't have been so harsh, especially to you. Do you find it in your heart to forgive me?"
The boy seemed to be thinking as he stared into Shadow's eyes. But his body loosened from its stiffness and the boy gave the knight a warm smile.
"I forgive you." The boy said with a hug, throwing Shadow off, but the knight returned the gesture.
"Hey, how about you have some warm bread to take home to your family?"
The boy then nodded at Shadow, taking the loaf. "Thank you… Sir Shadow." He said with a smile. The boy held firmly onto the loaf as if it was a new toy given to him.
Shadow at least knew he did something right here.
"You are friends with the Winged Saber?" The boy asked.
"Hm? Oh, sort of."
"My father was sent a note by the hero. He wanted him to make a weapon for someone. Can you deliver it to him for us?"
Shadow thought for a moment, not really wanting to help Sonic in any way. I mean, he was under the King's orders: bring the hedgehog back and his daughter. Nothing more, nothing less.
Wouldn't delivering a weapon be helping Sonic in his fight against the King?
Shadow didn't have much of a clue what was the right decision, but he let the thought drift aside of dishonoring his role as a knight. Instead he decided to take a different role: a role of a friend.
"I can do that."
The boy took the knight's hand and led him across town. There were a few times where the boy got lost and forgot his way, but then a light bulb would hit his head and he continue running. Eventually they did make it to the house.
Shadow walked in and examined the room he was in. It was a small living room with a few old chairs and tables. Candles were lit and lightly gleaming the room with some sort of light. There was nothing much besides that.
"Hold on. Let me get the weapon." The boy said with excitement and hurried to another room. He came back after a few moments, dragging something by the handle. It was covered in a protective cloth, but the size was enormous.
Shadow helped the boy and picked up the weapon's handle. "Nice and heavy, but light weight too?"
"The Winged Saber requested a weapon that would pack-a-punch." The boy balled his fist and punched the air. "My dad worked really really hard on it. So make sure whoever it's for, takes great care of it, okay?"
"I will," Shadow rubbed the child's head, "and thank you. Enjoy the bread and make sure to share with your family."
Sonic ran all around town delivering bread to several people. After getting the usual appreciation from the town and offering to sharpen his sword, he ran back toward the villages limit.
He ran along the mucky path and met back with Shadow, who was waiting by a tree. "Well, that took a tad longer than I thought. But the errands here should be done for now."
Sonic then noticed a handle leaning against the tree where Shadow stood. Shadow picked up the handle and held it out. "A boy told me to deliver this to you. He said his father had a personal request from you to make a weapon for someone."
"Oh," Sonic grabbed the handle, "yeah, this is Amy's weapon I promised I'd get her."
Sonic examined the weapon and weighted it with one hand. It wasn't too heavy, but it was enough to pack-a -punch for anyone who used it. In Amy's case, it was light enough for her to use as her weapon.
The weapon was a giant hammer. It was made from the strongest metal of the land, able to crack even steel. The weapon was designed to handle large amounts of shock waves and pressure it would have on it. Besides the necessities, Sonic had requested it be painted red and yellow. While they weren't 'manly colors', he knew Amy would probably appreciate the color choice in general.
"This is perfect for her."
"You got her a hammer?"
"Well," Sonic said, "She was alright using my sword, but she obviously felt awkward with it. I just… Had a feeling she would be accompany to a weapon like this. When she fights in the battle-""
"If she does." Shadow corrected.
"Right. If she does agree to help us in overthrowing the King, then she can have this hammer."
"Fine but let's hurry along and finish the rest of those errands you want to do."
Sonic nodded and they both journeyed on to their next destination. Well, not without picking fun with the dark hedgehog.
"I am Sonic, God of hammers! Thou shall fear me!"
Shadow watched him, annoyed but held so much effort in not letting a smile crack his frown.
"Sonic, shut up."
And there's chapter 7! This was a side chapter that I thought would be a little bit fun aside from the main focus of the story. Give some breathing room and character building with Shadow and Sonic. Giving a good hint on their past relationship when they were kids.
Next Thursday Chapter 8 will be posted!
Anyway, Thanks for reading and reviews are GREATLY appreciated!