Chapter 26: More Allies and Found Friends

After escaping their cell, the Beilschmidt brothers and their group found and freed the other prisoners, then continued sneaking around the palace, looking for the Holy Grail. While freeing the other prisoners, they managed to free Tokine's father, Tokio, and Yoshimori's mother, Sumiko, and his older brother, Masamori.

"Is there anyone in your family who doesn't have -mori in their name?" Gilbert asked Masamori. "Besides your mom?"

"Well, there was my grandmother, and my great-grandmother, and—" Masamori began.

"BESIDES THE GIRLS!" Gilbert and Ludwig both yelled in annoyance.

"Actually, every man in our family has the suffix "-mori" in their name," said Sumiko. "It's a tradition."

"My family has a similar tradition," said Tokio. "In my family, everyone has the prefix "Toki" in it. Except the ones who are Yukimuras by marriage, of course."

"Tradition, schmadition, it's stupid," Gilbert said. That earned a scolding glare from his father. "Sorry, Dad."

"Hey, Felli, could you use your Nenni and see if there's anyone coming?" Sharnid asked.

"Sure," said Felli. She activated her Nenni, which enabled her to see every nook and cranny of the castle. She found someone. "There's someone heading our way. It's hard to tell who it is, though, because they're not close enough."

"Alright, let's get ready to ambush them!" Liz said.

"Is that really a good idea?" asked Tails. "What if it's someone from our group?"

"We'll have to take that chance," said Kid. "It could be a guard wearing asymmetrical armor, for all we know!"

"WILL YOU SHUT UP ABOUT STUPID SYMMETRY ALREADY?" Liz shouted into Kid's ear, making the Grim-Reaper-in-training cover his ears in pain.

Masamori shushed Liz and Kid. "Everyone, grab something. I think they're getting closer!" He and everyone else grabbed something to use as a weapon. Then Masamori made a kekkai appear and hit whoever was coming on the head once they were close enough.

Everyone heard a loud bonk!, and a thud. They went to see who Masamori had hit, and found Rouge, who was, at the moment, unconscious on the floor.

"Oh no, Rouge!" said Tails.

"Rouge, are you okay?" everyone heard Nina call. When she came into view, she saw the unconscious thieving bat, and her uncle and cousins, along with everyone else who had just escaped from their cells. "What happened?"

Ludwig looked embarrassed. "We thought Rouge was an enemy, so the big -mori guy here whacked her on the head with some cubey thingy."

"First of all, kid, it's called a kekkai," said Masamori. "And second, my name isn't "The big -mori guy". It's Masamori."

"Whatever," said Ludwig. He pouted when he heard Gilbert snicker at the name he had called Yoshimori's big brother.

"Hey, Nina, what's going on over there?" Knuckles asked, also coming into view.

"This guy just hit Rouge on the head with a barrier of some sort," Nina explained. "And I found my cousins and uncle, and everyone else, along with a few other people who were being held here."

Knuckles picked Rouge up. "Poor Rouge. That's a shame, being hit on the head by a Sumimura's barrier. Must've been trying to steal his stuff or something, as usual."

"Actually, no, she wasn't," said Masamori. "It was an accident."

"Like, what happened to Rouge?" Feliks asked, catching up to Knuckles and Nina. Toris was right by his side.

"Oh, Masamori Sumimura here hit her on the head, thinking she was a bad guy," said Knuckles. He turned to Masamori. "Are you sure she wasn't trying to steal your stuff? Because if she was, you can say so."

"No, really, she wasn't trying to steal my stuff," said Masamori. "We didn't see who she was, so we assumed she was an enemy."

"Can we go now?" Gilbert asked impatiently. "I wanna get the Grail and go home."

"Okay, son," Claus said. "Everyone, let's go!"

While they were talking, Rouge started to wake up and saw Knuckles holding her. "Oh, Knucky-poo, you do care for me." She put her arms around Knuckles, which made the echidna feel uneasy.

"Get off me, Rouge!" Knuckles said. He dropped Rouge on the floor after successfully getting her off him.

"That's no way to treat a lady," Rouge nagged.

"Since when are you a lady?" Knuckles asked mockingly.

"Maybe I should've pretended to be unconscious a little longer," Rouge said. "Then you would've done mouth-to-mouth resuscitation." She finished up with a wink.

"Blech!" Knuckles exclaimed. "Yuck, no way on Earth!"

"Are you guys finished yet?" Vash asked, his eye twitching. "'cause we're going ahead." He and the others left without Knuckles and Rouge.

"Wait for us!" Knuckles and Rouge yelled, running after their group.

While the Beilschmidts and their group raced through the castle, ducking behind walls whenever they saw guards coming their way, they finally ran into Roderich, Elizabeta, Harley, the Vargas, Braginski, Jones, and Honda sibs, Sonic, Amy, Francis, Antonio, and Layfon. Long story short, they ran into the rest of their group, excluding Yoshimori, Tokine, their dogs, and the Warner sibs.

Ivan tried hiding behind Toris because Natalia was being her usual scary-as-Hell self.

"Big Brother, let's become one!" Natalia exclaimed, trying to get to Ivan. "Come ooooooonnnnnnnn! Marry meeeeeee! MARRY MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

"Nooooo, I don't want to!" Ivan cried. He pushed Toris closer to Natalia, much to Feliks' displeasure. "Here, take Toris, marry him! Please, leave me alone! Go away!"

Feliks kicked Ivan where the sun doesn't shine.

"OW!" Ivan shouted.

"Like, don't you even think about making Liet a sacrifice to Natalia!" Feliks said, glaring daggers at the Russian boy. "Or else Russia's capital's totally gonna be Warsaw!" He and Ivan stuck their tongues at each other, and Feliks flipped Ivan off, while Katyusha held Natalia back.

"Will you guys stop it?" Amy said. "This isn't the time or the place to be getting into stuff like this."

"Sorry," Feliks and Ivan said.

"Now that we're all back together, there's one thing I'd like to ask," Roderich said. "Did anyone find any clues as to where the Grail could be in this vulgar place?"

Everyone gave their own replies. They were all worded differently, but they all had the same meaning: No.

"Roddykins, I just did a head count," said Elizabeta.

"Who's missing this time?" Roderich asked tiredly. "It better not be Gilbert."

"I'm right here, Roddykins!" Gilbert said.

"Don't call me Roddykins!" Roderich said to his cousin. "Is your name Elizabeta Hedervary? No! So you can't call me that. Now, back to the one who's missing: Is it Matthew?"

"Matthew's standing next to me, dude," Alfred said, pointing to his brother.

"Yeah!" said Matthew.

"Another Alfred?" Roderich asked.

"I'M MATTHEW, DAMMIT!" Matthew shouted.

"Okay, okay, sorry," Roderich said hastily. "It's not Sonic again, is it?"

"No, I'm obviously right here, Four-Eyes," said Sonic. "Why do you wear those, anyway? I know fake glasses when I see them."

"I look plain without them, you moron," Roderich said in a snobby manner.

"Roderich Edelstein, don't call anyone a moron," Claus scolded his nephew.

"Sorry, Uncle Claus," said Roderich. "Anyway, Lizzie, who's missing?"

"Yoshimori, Tokine, and the Warner kids," said Elizabeta. "I don't see Yoshimori and Tokine's floating dogs, either."

"My baby's here?" Sumiko exclaimed fearfully.

"My poor little girl!" said Tokio.

"Oh, shit," Masamori said worriedly. "He better be safe, as in not in any danger whatsoever."

Roderich sighed. "Okay, guys, let's go find the kids and the floating dogs. Come on."

"Right," everyone else said, and started searching for Yoshimori, Tokine, the Warner sibs, Madarao, and Hakubi.