Hero's Diary: Day 1, Part 12
11/01/26 at 13:23 EST

"That was the third time I had to explain a huge misunderstanding," Pirohiko explained to Etranger. "That's why a lack of privacy can lead to despair."

"I certainly feel unpleasant, having heard that." Etranger shuddered. "So, what is your big master plan for this Gaspacho mission?"

"Everything is already under control, thanks to my charge. Unlimited Bravery Ranger!"

Etranger folded her arms and looked around. "Oh, yeah, him...Where is that little pipsqueak, anyway?"

"Why, he's following -" Pirohiko looked over his shoulder. "Hmm..." He continued to look around. "I'm not sure where he went. MIA Ranger!"

"You're hopeless. You know that, right?"

"No way," he replied. "He and I have established a bond of trust. I was just playing around; he's actually headed deeper into the dungeon to face the untold dangers that lie in wait, to save Gaspacho's granddaughter, Maria."

"And does he trust his Guardian Angel to be a Guardian? Or at least, an Angel?"

"Establishing independence is good for a man's soul!" came the paper-maché retaliation. "He's fine! Still, I should go make sure...to supervise! I'll use my keen eyes to observe any mistakes he might make, so he can work on them and turn those weaknesses into strengths! Let's go!" With a triumphant fist, Pirohiko charged into action.

Etranger sighed, resting her head in her hand. "Some mentor you are. Denial Ranger!" She shuddered again. "Dammit...now I'm starting to talk like him..." She followed after him.

And me? I had reached the bottom of a long staircase, to what I had hoped was the last floor of the dungeon. I sat on the bottom steps, staring into a wide-open cavern. Lava bubbled in the depths below. The cavern was very evenly shaped - nearly a perfect square, in fact. It looked like an arena, even. A handful of familiar faces dwelled within. I had met enough of these gimp-suit goons and wolf-people to know that they all wanted to kill me, but none of them seemed to be aware of my position at the base of the staircase. A tiger-esque looking wolf-lady at the far end of the cavern was engaged in conversation with some kind of jester on a floating ball. Its eyes were very geometric in shape and glowed unnaturally. It was probably a robot of some kind.

There was no sign of Maria, however. Still, maybe one of them knew something about her whereabouts. It couldn't hurt to ask.

Ha, ha, ha. It's going to be an extremely painful question.
Tagged under: ZHP
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