A/N: Wow, guys. Hey. I'm so sorry that it's been so long. I just started college and... it all went nuts! Well, it's the summer now, and I have no more excuses. I reccomend reading the previous chapter again before you dive in here because the do go together and it's been so long. Please enjoy!
Jimmy, Cindy, Carl, Sheen, and Libby all gasped in unison as a gigantic dragon flew overhead. Only, this was no ordinary dragon. Its scales should have shone in the sunlight, but instead smooth, metallic gold plating was gleaming.
"Why must I always be right?" Sheen groaned in agony, assured that dragons did exist and that he was about to be eaten by one.
"Quiet!" Libby put her hand over his mouth. The dragon didn't seem to notice them and continued flying away toward a section of large hills in the distance.
"That was no dragon." Jimmy stepped forward and squinted at the dissipating form of the creature in the distance. "Did you see the metal work? It was a machine."
"Please tell me you didn't bring us to some alternate steampunk universe." Cindy grumbled.
"Of course not! Besides, steampunk it typically more associated with the Victorian Era." Jimmy asserted. "However, that machine was very large, very complicated and very well put together. I have a feeling we aren't the only time travelers here."
"Well, this was fun, but I think my mom is calling me for supper." Carl put his hand to his ear as if straining to hear his mother's grating voice. "Yeah, definitely her, I'll see you guys-"
"Carl, your mother won't be born for hundreds of years." Libby scorned. Cindy turned toward the castle and pointed with her sword.
"We should see if anyone's hurt. Maybe we can find out what's happening here." She suggested. Jimmy nodded, reluctantly agreeing to her plan.
"Onward!" he called as the trudged toward the charred stone walls.
When they reached the wall, they had to follow it down for a little while before reaching a gate. Jimmy had expected guards, but the found the gigantic wooden doors opened and unmanned. In fact, one of the doors was nearly completely burned through.
"I'm guessing our time travelling dragon friend isn't really all that friendly." Libby assessed as she passed through the gate.
The town surrounding the castle proper seemed deserted. No one was in sight. Smoke rose gently over several burned cottages and the stench of burnt hay was thick in the air.
"Definitely not friendly." Sheen agreed as he raised his spear.
"Hello?" Cindy called, "Is anyone here? We're travelers! I can help with your injured!"
"Cindy!" Jimmy hissed.
"What? I took a sports medicine class for camp counseling last summer. I can certainly wrap a bandage." She hissed back.
"No, you idiot!" Jimmy slapped his hand to his forehead, "They probably can't understand you very well. They'll speak Old English and maybe partially Middle English at best. The language is still developing. Did you ever try to read the original text of Beowulf?"
"I knew that!" Cindy said defensively. "It would be pretty close to German then, right?"
"Well, I guess it's a good thing Grandma Weber was too stubborn to learn English then." Cindy turned back toward the town. "Hallo? Guten tag!"
A few heads peeked out from behind doors. Cindy beamed.
"Who's the dummkopf now, Nerdtron?" Cindy sneered.
After a very long time trying to communicate with the townspeople and help wrap bandages form some of the burn victims, Cindy returned to the gang, who were sitting by a smoldering fruit stand.
"What's going on?" Carl asked.
"Well, the communication was rough, dealing with some very stark differences between Old English and my knowledge of modern English and German, but I think I got the main ideas across. Libby," She turned to her friend, "I figured since you are dress in the finery here, that I'd say you were our host. You are the daughter of a rich man from somewhere very far away. We are escorting you south to meet with your betrothed."
"Hey!" Libby protested.
"What? It's extremely believable to these people. Plus, it stopped a lot of those town boys that were staring at you." Libby blushed. Cindy continued, but hesitantly, with a look of mild disgust on her face. "I told them that…that Dweebtron here is a very brave and capable knight. I would have told them I was the knight, but stench of patriarchy in this place is rancid. I told them you had volunteered to fight the dragon and save their town."
"I suppose the Holy Grail can wait a few hundred more years." He replied. "We'd better get going while we still have daylight. I saw the beast descend into the hills to the west. We'll look for it there."
Cindy walked over to exchange a few more words with the townspeople, and then the gang headed to the gates.
"Abidan!" A young, dirty, town boy ran after them. "Deorf! Cwen habban mid min aeolu."
"What is he saying?" Carl asked.
"There is danger…" Cindy struggled to translate. "The lady can stay with…"
"Aeolu!" he called gesturing back to his little cottage.
"I think he means his family." Cindy said as she saw his parents opening the door and gesturing to Libby. She looked at her friend seriously. "I think you need to stay Libs. They wouldn't expect a proper lady like yourself to go fight a dragon."
"I have to stay here by myself? I can't even speak their language."
"I'll stay with you, babe." Sheen stepped in. "I know the language of love."
"Sheen, this is serious." Libby pushed him, but Jimmy saw her give a small smile.
Jimmy turned and glared at Carl, begging with his eyes for his best friend to come and be a buffer between himself and Cindy. He sensed she was giving him the same look. Carl looked very nervous and tense; his eyes darted between Jimmy and Cindy.
"I JUST WANNA GO HOME!" he shouted and ran to be next to Sheen and Libby.
Jimmy sighed and forced himself to look over at Cindy. She was giving him a glare that he was pretty sure could scare the dragon off itself.
"Well?" she snapped impatiently, "Can we go now?"
Jimmy sighed again as the exited the gate together, a large gap of empty space between them.
They trampled through the fallen leaves on the floor of the forest; the crunching beneath them was the only sound that could be heard. Jimmy would glance up every once and a while to look at Cindy. She was faster than he was, and had therefore ended up in front of him, as if she were leading this quest. The thought made Jimmy slightly angry, but he had to admit that she looked pretty formidable in the front with her sword held out before her, so he kept quiet. That, and he really didn't want to talk to her.
He hadn't been alone with Cindy since they decided to close up the Operation. It should have been strange to feel so distant, but it really wasn't. His relationship with Cindy had always seemed very distant, no matter how close they were physically. Everyone had always said they were so similar, but as he watched her climb over a fallen log in front of them, he felt that he didn't know who she was.
"So," Cindy broke the silence, looking back at Jimmy. He tried to pretend he hadn't been staring at her. "I figured we should probably talk about what the townspeople told me about this dragon we have to slay."
"Probably." Jimmy said casually.
"Well, they told me that the dragon has been coming on a pretty regular basis to the town and several surrounding villages. And he's not alone. He has a rider."
"Our time traveler."
"That's what I was thinking. They think he wants to be king. He captured the residents of the castle and the real king. The people are very upset. They say their king was kind and good. This time traveler has the building additions to the palace so he can move in. He comes around every once and a while to check on it. He is always dissatisfied, and he burns down their homes when he is not pleased." Cindy frowned.
"Well, we'll have to stop him." Jimmy decided. Cindy nodded solemnly and continued on. They were still a long way to the hills when the sun began to set.
"We should make camp." Jimmy said as he looked at the dimming sight of the hills.
"I hope you have the hypercube." Cindy remarked as she sat on a large rock.
"Always do." He said as he pulled out one of his earliest inventions and removed some sleeping bags and a large tent from inside.
"You maybe have a space heater in there?"
"Of course not." Cindy sighed. "I can make a fire."
Luckily, the ground was covered in debris like sticks and dry leaves that would be perfect for lighting a fire. Cindy assembled one rather quickly.
"I do have a lighter." Jimmy said as he tossed it over to where Cindy knelt in the underbrush. She lite the fire and sat there, warming herself, as Jimmy pitched the tent. He watched her face as is glowed in the light of the dancing flames.
"I have chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers." He told her.
"Oh. No thanks." Cindy turned away again. Jimmy came over to the fire and sat down, but she immediately got up. "I'm tired." She stated, and hurried quickly into the tent.
"Okay." Jimmy said to no one. "I'll take the first watch, then, I suppose."
Jimmy made himself a s'more and thought of the last few months as he sat by the fire and listened to himself crunch on his lonely snack.
They woke up early and made it to the foot of the hills in a few short hours. As they trudged up the first mound, a cave in the nook between two hills a few miles away became visible.
"I think that's our place." Jimmy guessed with confidence, considering there seemed to be a metallic tail sticking out of it.
"Duh." Was all Cindy said as she picked up speed toward the large cavern.
They crept slowly toward the mouth of the cave once they got close. From the base, they could tell it was about twelve feet tall and around twenty wide. As they entered, they could hear the dull thudding of rap music. Cindy looked at Jimmy and mouthed, Do you hear that? He nodded and they went on.
Jimmy noted that the mechanical dragon appeared to be off as they came around its front. The music was fairly loud now, and he could see a corner of the cave in the distance that was shining with LED lights. It looked like the messy game room of a rich bachelor pad.
Cindy prodded Jimmy side and gestured to a mound to their left. When he looked closer, he saw that it was several people all squished together and tied up. One of them, the elderly man in tattered finery, must have been the king. C'mon, Cindy mouthed as she trotted over to free them. She quietly unsheathed her sword and began to cut the ropes. As they were freed, the noble men and women escaped quietly from the cave. Cindy saved the king for last. At first, as she was cutting him loose, he looked grateful. Then, as she was removing his gag, he began to struggle. It loosened, fell off, and the king screamed.
"Behinden!" he bellowed. Jimmy figured out the meaning quickly and whipped around.
"Well, fancy seeing you here." A familiar voice sneered.
In the glare of the modernized lights that seemed too bright to ever belong in this time period, the looming figure of Smallie Big Big stood smiling at Jimmy and Cindy.
"What are you doing here?" Jimmy shouted incredulously. This was the last person he expected to see in medieval England. "Aren't you in prison?"
"Go," Cindy turned to the old man. "Gehen! Farhen! Reisen!" the king hurried out after his people, but not before he kissed Cindy's hand.
"How touching." Smallie scowled as he stood before them in a white velvet tracksuit.
"How are you here?" Jimmy demanded.
"You probably should have done a better check over on yourself before you left my mansion. You were unconscious for quite a long time, if you recall. Which, I suppose by definition of unconscious, you don't." he smiled. "I bugged you, Jimmy Neutron. Did you know you speak aloud when you draw up plans for your latest inventions? Quite convenient. My employees had been waiting for you to come up with something that could break me out of prison, and voila! A machine that travels through time and space." He gestured to a machine very similar to Jimmy's that lay behind him. "Once I escaped, I knew they would find me eventually in our modern day. So I decided to forgo my life there. I decided to become a king! A real king! And so I have arrived here, to claim my throne. Not too shabby, I think."
"I didn't invent the dragon!" Jimmy protested.
"You're not the only genius I've tried to hire, Neutron. Most accept the job." He grinned again. "Unfortunately, you know who I am, and I can't let you go back and tattle on me." He pulled a remote control out of his pocket. "Oh, Drakkus!"
The ground shook as the metal dragon rose to life. Its eyes were red lights that bore down harshly on Jimmy and Cindy as it cornered them. They had to squint, or else be blinded.
"I hope you prefer fire to ice," Smallie taunted, "because you have no choice about how you will die now."
Jimmy raised his club, but before he could do anything, Cindy ran at Drakkus with her sword out. The head of the dragon lunged at her, but she dropped to the ground and somersaulted until she was beneath the beast. She began to slash at its belly. Smallie's foolish choice to build Drakkus in a gold alloy made it easy for Cindy to put some real gashes in. Steam rushed out of wherever she stabbed. She changed goals to the dragon's legs and began removing its limbs.
Jimmy continues to squint at the beast, trying to find its weak spot. It thrashed about, trying to get Cindy out from beneath him, but she was too quick. The bulky dragon was a tortoise in comparison. As Drakkus lunged once more for Cindy as she swung at his leg, Jimmy noticed a hatch that must be for a control panel.
"Hey, King Cranium!" Cindy shouted, nearly out of breath, "A little help soon? I can't keep this up forever!"
"I got it, I got it!" Jimmy said as he began to sneak over to the dragon's skull. However, he mustn't have been as stealthy as he thought, because the dragon whipped its head to face him. It opened its mouth and Jimmy was sure he'd be turned to a crisp.
"Jimmy!" Cindy shouted as she rushed from beneath the dragon. "Take this!" She yelled as she ran to Drakkus' harshly sculpted face and stabbed him in the skull, right through the control panel. An electric shock ran through her sword and Cindy was thrown back from the beast. Drakkus shivered and collapsed.
"Cindy!" Jimmy rushed over to where she was. She was propping herself up.
"I'm fine, I'm fine!" she pushed him away as he knelt. "Where's Smallie?"
Jimmy looked over to his 'crib' area. No more Smallie. No more time machine.
"We haven't seen the last of him." Jimmy stated grimly as he walked over to remove the sword from Drakkus' lifeless form.
"How did I survive that shock?" Cindy wondered aloud to herself. "I feel fine."
"It's was probably my specially made armor." Jimmy smiled to himself.
"Oh, your armor!" Cindy yelled with sarcastic awe as Jimmy removed the sword and held it in front of him.
"Arthur?" a voice called from the mouth of the cave.
Jimmy turned to see the group of people he freed gathered at the end of the cavern, slowly stepping forward. They began to chant.
"They misheard me!" Cindy said, vehemently. "When I said your armor- they think I said yur Arthur!"
"So that means-" Jimmy beamed.
"There's no way-" Cindy seethed.
"I am King Arthur!" Jimmy bellowed from atop the dragon, sword raised high.
"As if your ego wasn't big enough!" Cindy shouted at him, but she couldn't be heard over the people chanting.
They were escorted back to the castle with honor. Cindy kept trying to explain that Jimmy's name wasn't Arthur and that she had actually slain Drakkus, but there was either a language barrier or they just weren't listening.
Libby, Carl and Sheen were doing just fine. Carl even seemed to make a friend in the town boy's hog. He was loath to leave it behind, but the promise of a McSpanky's burger on the way home lured him back. The King offered them a huge feast, but they all just really wanted to get home. Cindy told them what happened and the way back to the time travelling machine.
"And so, your favorite rapper strikes again, Libs. And now Arthurian legend is based off of King Cranium here, even though I did all the hard work."
"King Cranium?" Jimmy smirked. "I believe that's King Arthur to you, peasant."
"I still have the sword, Dorkus Maximus. I'd watch out if I were you." Cindy threatened and, despite her best effort, let slip a smile.
A/N: Now that it's summer, I'll hopefully start updating on a regular basis again. Perhaps I'll finish up the story by August. We'll see. The point is, I had loads of fun writing this again and I can't wait to hear some new feedback. Thanks to everyone who dutifully reviewed the last chapter while it was on hiatus. I'm so sorry to those who waited, because I read plenty of fanfics too and I know how frustrating it can be. But I'm back, and I'll do my best to keep up with you guys! Read, review, see you soon!