Chapter One Hundred and Fifteen: The Return of Sir Lionheart!
The upshot of the Insurance Siege was that all the hostages were rescued long before Haiter had his men together, and Crusader Daryl and his March Hill Crusaders were forced out of the building. This infuriated Daryl no end, especially when Crusader Alex then turned around and told Crusader Roger that Judith Jofrey was the secret sister of Mobster Marion.
“And when were you thinking of sharing this information with us Daryl?” Roger asked the night afterwards as the group sat in Rogers dingy office. Alex, Aiden and Alice were sat on the small sofa, trying not to look like they were enjoying watching Daryl get ripped to shreds. “You're lucky that Alex pays attention and knows who's in charge.”
“I thought everyone knew!” Daryl felt exasperated.
“No, we DON'T know Daryl, that's the whole point. Not everyone has had the privileged upbringing you had!” Roger snapped. “Thankfully.”
“What's that supposed to mean?!” Daryl snapped, only to cop the butt of Rogers gun across the jaw.
“It MEANS, you little worm, that you've had so much handed to you on a silver platter that you have absolutely no worth or ability outside of being a hindrance!” Roger barked. “You are USELESS!”
Daryl had never been struck like that before. Demon, while dismissive of Daryl of late, had never sunk so low as to hit his son.
He felt angry. Embarrassed. Sore. Vengeful. Roger would pay dearly for that.
“I don't get why you're so against rejoining your friends. They miss you like crazy. Couldn't you tell?” Judith asked as she folded up cloth nappies and put them in the top drawer of the baby table Daniel had made.
“I just don't want to, okay?” Daniel groaned as he held up two pieces of plastic. “This cot is a nightmare to put together.”
“That's not going to cut it with me Lightheart and you know it.” Judith put another nappy away. Suddenly she clutched her mouth and bolted out of the room and into the bathroom. Soon Daniel heard the sounds of retching coming from down the hall. Five minutes later, after rinsing her mouth, Judith returned. “You did this to me.”
“My apologies.” Daniel got up to rub her back.
“Are you EVER going to tell me why you won't be Sir Lionheart again?” Judith pleaded.
Daniel exhaled loudly. He had to tell her something. He couldn't keep fobbing the mother of his child off.
“I just…I've made a lot of mistakes as the leader of the Knights. Huge mistakes…” He trailed off.
Judith seemed satisfied with this.
“You think Marion's never made mistakes? I mean, look at Revolver. Heck, Chuckles and Giggles have made some HUGE blues, but they still keep going. Give yourself a break already!” Judith chuckled. “No matter how far you get knocked back, you gotta keep going forward. How do you think I got so rich?”
“You inherited most of it!” Daniel teased. Judith swatted him.
“Go be with your Knights. You need them as much as they need you.” Judith said.
“Even if we end up beating Marion?” Daniel raised an eyebrow.
“I think she needs to go away for a long time, and not just to gaol. Somewhere where she can work through her issues without pressure and attacks.” Judith sighed. “But that's you trying to change the subject again.”
Daniel groaned. He went back to the cot and started trying to put it together again.
Judith sighed, and continued putting things away. As Daniel was finally getting the cot in some sort of shape, he noticed Judith putting a toy lion on a shelf.
He rolled his eyes and tried to read the instructions of the cot again.
“WHERE ARE CHUCKLES AND GIGGLES?!” Lady Silent roared rather loudly as she ran from three Haunted Maze Troupers.
“Chuckles and Giggles and Giggles and Chuckles…” Sir Dark already had a heavy dose of the dust that the Haunted Maze Troupe were using.
“DARN IT! Guys, get BACK!” Lady Courage cried, trying to keep the Troupers away from the others, given she was the only one with any defence against their drugs due to her mask.
“How did they get THIS much stuff to use against us?!” Lady Luck tried to drag her husband to safety.
“Demon bought it for them, then lured us out here to destroy us! WHERE are Chuckles and Giggles?!” Lady Courage yelled furiously.
The situation? Two Troupers trying to sell drugs to children again at Pleasant Park. So when the Knights of the Last Order showed up, they expected an easy time. They didn't expect an ambush.
“We're doomed if Chuckles and Giggles don't get here with the Backpack.” Sir Hyper coughed, trying not to breathe in any of the drug that had incapacitated Sir Dark.
The head Trouper had a small machine that was spewing out dust around them, making it impossible to get close. The Knights were surrounded.
“I swear if I see either of those two again…” Lady Courage growled as the noose tightened.
That's when the head Trouper dropped, and their machine smacked across the park against a tree by a replica of the Dragon Scale Scythe!
“SIR LIONHEART!” The Knights screamed in joy.
“Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiions…liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiions…” Sir Dark hummed in his drug-induced stupor.
The other Haunted Maze Troupers looked at each other. One walked over to where the head Trouper lay, dizzy from the blow from the replica Scythe. He stabbed the fallen Trouper, killing him, before they all disappeared.
“You're KIDDING. The moment things don't go their way they start killing their own and running away?!” Sir Lionheart shook his head. He didn't have much time to wonder though, as he was mobbed by the rest of the Knights.
“YOU CAME BACK!” Sir Hyper cried.
“I KNEW YOU WOULD!” Lady Courage cried.
“WE MISSED YOU!” Lady Luck cried.
Lady Silent hugged her old friend tightly, while Sir Dark started singing randomly.
“We should probably fix up Sir Dark.” Sir Lionheart pointed out.
The others at least had the decency to look sheepish.
“So you're back for good?” Sammy asked as they let TJ sleep on a pile of old mattresses.
“I hope so.” Daniel smiled. It wasn't a complete smile, but it was much more than they'd seen for a long time.
“If you need to talk to us, we're here, okay?” Petunia patted his arm.
“I'll try to remember that.” Daniel sighed.
Then he heard the snoring.
“Have homeless people started sleeping HERE now?” Sunny asked.
“They avoid the place like the plague for some reason.” Tammy pointed out.
“Then who is it?” Sunny asked as Daniel went to look.
“You're KIDDING me!” He cried.
Fast asleep in an old car were none other than Chuckles and Giggles.
“YOU TWO JERKS!” Sunny banged the hood of the car while Petunia reached in and beeped the horn, waking the two heroes up.
“Wha-?” Chuckles bumped his head on the roof of the car.
“You two losers left us to face the Haunted Maze Troupe alone! An AMBUSH if you don't mind!” Sunny cried. “I thought I was your SISTER!”
“We were on our way to come and help you…” Giggles looked confused. “I don't know what happened!”
“Maybe you two should look at taking a break if you're randomly falling asleep.” Daniel suggested as the two got out of the old car, which promptly fell apart.
“I think we might.” Chuckles scratched his head and the whole situation.
Daryl Jones was furious.
He had gone for a long walk on the road between Fallsville and Pleasantville, trying to calm himself and figure out what to do. No one respected him. No one liked him.
He was the son of the Mayor! He had been School Captain, both at primary AND high school. He had grown up well-off, which had turned into filthy rich once his father had become Mayor. He wasn't a loser like the Masters or the Beglys or his snotty little sister.
Daryl growled. Sunny. She had ruined his life when she had been born – his parents had never let him forget it. He had been nice enough to allow her living space and to let her help him torment people, and what did she do? She turned on him to go and cosy up to the Masters and Begly families. It was a toss-up who he hated more – Sunny or Lady Courage.
As he walked, simmering in his hate, he stopped himself. Sunny was worthless. She could do nothing to him. As for Lady Courage, he was certain she'd be taken out by the Haunted Maze Troupe, who were far more efficient than the Death Valley Mobsters. No. Daryl's main problem right now was Crusader Roger.
After he'd lost the Ruby Suit and been kicked out by his father, he'd had no where to go but to retreat to Fallsville. In Fallsville, people were even worse off than they were in Pleasantville. Nearly everyone there was in debt to the March Hill Crusaders leader Roger. It's how he'd roped in Daryl. Using Daryl for his connections to City Hall and the Mob.
Well, that had failed, hadn't it? Daryl had no more connections to use or favours to call in. He was skint. So Roger had started spying on him and trying to turn the rest of the Crusaders against him.
If Daryl had any ounce of self-reflection he would have realised that his sense of entitlement and poor attitude were doing plenty to turn everyone against him, and Roger didn't need to do much at all. Alas, Daryl was spoiled, selfish, and just an overall crappy person. There was no room for self-reflection in Daryl. What there WAS room for however, was revenge.
Daryl continued walking down the long highway, as Pleasant Gorge came into view. He would find a way to have his revenge.
And when he did, everyone would have to respect him.