GRANDMASTER JONO

 &

THE FEARLESS FOUR

 THE MOUNTAIN OF THE ANGELS

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The images that you see in this story are basically representations of the main characters and scenes. These are just ideas of what I feel the characters could look like. I am not versed in the world of graphic arts, but I wanted to show some illustrations and present ideas for the graphics in this story. Additionally, there are lots of places in this story for more antagonists and conflicts (more battle scenes) and for more protagonists, perhaps other armies or clans that champion the cause of the main character, Grandmaster Jono. I apologize, this story isn't available for digital download because the current art work in this story is temporary. I wouldn't want the current art work to become the permanent art work. I would like to one day produce this story as an animated feature. If anyone out there is well versed in the graphic arts and animation, and if you feel this would be a project of interest to you, and if you are agreeable to waiting for a percentage of the proceeds, then feel free to Contact Me and let me know what your interests are. However, since this story is not available digitally, and only in print, I have decided to display it here in its entirety for anyone who would care to read it. If you do decide to read the story, please feel free to let me know your thoughts. 

If you would like a printed copy please go here: The Book Patch

This story is available as a spec script in 'Final Draft' format. Contact Me if you are interested.

CHAPTER ONE

Grandmaster Jono calls for his team. Everyone is instructed to arrive promptly at zero six hundred hours at the Tokoshi Pagoda on top of Fujimato Mountain.

The sun is rising, giving light to a new day. Bluebirds and Cardinals are busy flying about, gathering food for their young, and several creatures are having a cool refreshing drink from the crystal blue waters of Lake Tomadachi in the foothills of Fujimato Mountain. It is cherry blossom time in the realm of Fujimato Mountain and a gentle breeze releases the pink snowflakes of cherry blossoms drifting across the pristine panorama of this realm.

Inside Tokoshi Pagoda, Jono is in the meditation room, pacing back and forth. Walking upright, one paw behind his back, the other paw stroking his chin, and there is a worried look on his face.

Grandmaster Jono is the grandest tiger in all of the realms of mortal existence. His legend precedes him where ever he goes. He is immortal and has been training warriors and engaging in missions of extreme delicacy. He is also a master and a student of Zen. Next to Lady Shorinji, he is the wisest and most revered creature in all the land and he is a master of every style of martial art in existence. His super powers include speed and strength, the ability to jump extreme distances in every direction, and the ability to sense immediate danger. He can transform his claws into razor sharp Samurai swords any time he wants.

This must be a clandestine meeting, Jono thought, if word of this gets out it could be disastrous to Lady Shorinji, therefore this meeting must be held with utmost secrecy.

Jono steps out onto the fifth level balcony of Tokoshi Pagoda, the early morning air is brisk and cool and he gazes fondly at the majesty of Fujimato Mountain's reflection on the surface of Lake Tomadachi thinking about Lady Shorinji.

Lady Shorinji is the high priestess governing the Mountain of the Angels. She is immortal and has been personally instructing angels since the dawn of time and currently she has a little more than a thousand angels in training. Lady Shorinji is the fairest, most gracious, and just person in all the realms of the entire world. She is a beautiful creature of an elf like appearance.

Jono steps back inside and walks toward the kitchen. He opens the stove door and holds his paws over the crackling fire for a few seconds before tossing in a couple more logs. The tea kettle starts to whistle and steam rises from the spout. Jono pours a cup of green tea and as he slowly sips the tea, he meditates on the note from Lady Shorinji.

Recently four of her angel trainees are missing and her only clue is a note left in their place saying, “surrender to me or your precious angels will get their wings clipped. Instructions will be sent.”  She immediately sent a detailed message to Grandmaster Jono requesting his assistance. Jono sets the tea cup on his desk picks up his quill and responds to Lady Shorinji’s plea for help. His message in reply said that he would be there with his team in three days. They will arrive at Lady Shorinji’s Everangelica Castle under the cloak of darkness and no one on the mountain will know they are there.

CHAPTER TWO

It is raining softly and the air is cool when the Fearless Four arrive at the Tokoshi Pagoda. The light of day is beginning to break through the darkness on the horizon. The Fearless Four are walking up the steps to the main entrance on the first level. Jono is waiting for them on the fifth level. He is sitting in the Lotus position with his eyes closed. As the team approaches him he is focused on the rain in meditation. He greets each one silently because Grandmaster Jono and his team communicate telepathically.

Jono is still sitting in the Lotus position, but his eyes are open, he speaks with his mind and his team sits quietly and listens. “We are going to embark on a mission of great importance and secrecy is a top priority. Lady Shorinji is in dire need of our assistance. Four of her angel trainees are missing and all she knows is instructions will follow for her surrender. If that happens, the lives of everyone, and our realm, as we know it, will be shrouded in darkness and plagued with evil.”

Jono rises and starts pacing back and forth and his team could tell that this troubled him deeply. “We must find those missing angels and at the same time keep Lady Shorinji safe. We must also devise a way to protect the mountain from any future threats. This has never happened before and we must insure that it never happens again.”

The Fearless Four sat silently and no one uttered a single thought. Jono looks at the Fearless Four with great concern. “Retire to your quarters now for we have a great distance to travel, sleep well, and be ready we depart at zero five hundred hours.”

CHAPTER THREE

The following day Grandmaster Jono and his Fearless Four set out for Angel Mountain. Even though they all have the super power of speed it will still be a long trek over some very rough terrain. They must travel through many realms to reach the foothills of Angel Mountain.

Some realms will be dangerous and everyone must be on their guard.”  Jono continues, “when we reach the half way point, we will be in Stagmoor Forest, home of the mighty elk herd, and here we will set up camp on the outskirts before continuing on to Angel Mountain.” King Moulsotong rules this realm and Jono considers him a close personal friend.

They have been travelling over rugged terrain for six hours when they arrived at the Valley of the Croodites. They have another six hours to go before they reach Stagmoor Forest.

Jono explains, “most who travel throughout this realm will travel around the Valley of the Croodites, but the extra time it would take would be too critical and must be avoided at all costs.” Jono turns and faces his team. “The Valley of the Croodites is a miserable place where every step could be your last. One wrong step and you sink into the abyss where a metamorphosis takes place and those unfortunate will become a Croodite.” Fortunately Jono’s ability to sense danger will lead them safely across and hopefully they will pass unnoticed.

“Everyone, step only where I step, touch nothing, and be extremely vigilant.”Jono said with his mind. “Do not make a sound, breathe long slow, and silently, the same as when you are meditating but with all your senses wide open and extremely alert.”

Greaselblack Castle from this distance is but a small shadowy figure of a castle. Looking ahead, the castle comes into full view. It is a hideous sight of pure evil. This is a very dark and dank place where the castle and surrounding buildings appear to be covered in a thick black oily residue. As they approach the center of the valley, and quietly and carefully with each step, they sneak past the monstrous Greaselblack Castle. Looking back and forth, left and right, there are worker Croodites all around them, but so far our heroes remain undetected. Jono is concerned as he notices there are many Croodite leaders but no sign of the evil lord of this realm, Desann.

“We must be extremely careful,” Jono said, “Lord Desann is nowhere to be seen. He is a master of trickery and disguise and a dragon of the most hateful quality. His power comes from the fire that burns deep within him and he will incinerate anyone who gets in his way. If he sees you, you will need all your powers to escape him.”

Off in the distance the evil dragon, Desann, can be seen spewing fire as he flies closer to his own castle. A few feet past the castle and the wind begins to blow strong causing a large tree branch to break and crash close to our heroes. The noise of the fallen branch attracts the attention of the Croodites and they see Jono and the Fearless Four.

Jono very loudly instructs them, “RUN! Follow my steps, do not engage them here.” The team moves very swiftly following Jono’s steps exactly, “we are five hundred yards away from solid ground if they are still following us we will engage them there.”

They reach the outskirts on the other side of the valley where the air is a little clearer and there is a little more light. Once they are on solid ground the battle begins. Each of the Fearless Four has a sword and two of them are expert marksmen with a bow and arrow. Jono stands upright as his front paws make a sweeping forward thrust and expose four razor sharp Katanas on each paw, and he slices through the Croodites with ease. They take on the Croodites with little difficulty. Jono’s swords are flying with lightning speed and by now most of the Croodites have been eliminated and the remaining few retreat and flee back to Greaselblack Castle.

As night begins to fall our heroes arrive at the outskirts of Stagmoor Forest. Stagmoor Forest is a realm of lush green rolling hills, towering fragrant pine trees, and crystal blue pristine lakes. There is a strand of pines where our heroes are preparing to settle in for the night. King Moulsotong, Lord of the Elks, and king of the mighty Stagmoor Forest approaches.

“Grandmaster Jono, how good it is to see you again my friend,” King Moulsotong with his massive antler crown bows. He has ruled this realm for a thousand years. He isn’t immortal, but he does have an incredibly long life. He is a giant of an elk with noble stature.

“It has been too long King Moulsotong,” Jono greets him and returns his bow. “I wonder if I may impose upon you for your hospitality? We have travelled a great distance and tomorrow we have a considerably greater distance to go.”

“You and your team are always welcome here,” King Moulsotong offered. “You look troubled my friend is there something more I may help you with?”

“I would not ask you my friend,” Jono replied, “it comes with great risk.”

King Moulsotong is fatherly and wise. “I would be honored to fight in battle by your side Grandmaster Jono and I also know that if something is troubling you it must be of the highest order. Come, you and your team must be hungry, comfort yourselves in my dining hall, enjoy some food, and tell me what’s troubling you.”

Jono and his team are walking beside King Moulsotong, followed by six elk advisors and six castle guards, as they approach the giant wooden castle doors. King Moulsotong instructed his servants to prepare some food immediately as he leads Jono and his team into a spacious room with a long table and many comfortable chairs. There is also a very large fireplace at the end of the hall where Jono and the Fearless Four warm themselves for a few minutes while Jono enlightens King Moulsotong regarding Lady Shorinji and the Mountain of the Angels.

“Hmm,” King Moulsotong said with a deep look of concern on his face. “Grandmaster Jono, the way I see it, this is of concern to everyone who dwells in these lands. Oh I know there are some evil and undesirable realms in this world but, mostly everyone leads a peaceful existence, and that will all change if we do not band together.”

“You are right my friend, but as it stands currently, I do not even know what or who we are dealing with,” Jono continues, “that is why we are going to meet Lady Shorinji and find out who is responsible and hopefully we will meet with her before she receives those instructions.”

“We stand ready to protect and defend what is ours Grandmaster Jono and I offer my assistance to you as well.”

“Well…I…,” the conversations he is hearing from the Fearless Four tells him that he should consider King Moulsotong’s offer.

“Grandmaster Jono I could have one thousand of my best warriors including me accompany you and your team and perhaps if I am with you I would be able to provide any assistance to you and Lady Shorinji if you should need it.”

“Thank you for your offer King Moulsotong, you are generous with your warriors and your hospitality, but I really cannot allow you to put anyone in harm’s way.”

King Moulsotong looks at Jono with a warm respectful smile. “I was not asking Grandmaster Jono…now come everyone, eat, you do not need to camp on the outskirts, rest here comfortably within my halls.” Everyone is eating and talking and the spirit of brotherhood and camaraderie is enthusiastically high.

CHAPTER FOUR

The next morning, the sky is displaying a glorious sunrise with colors ranging from the very warm where the sun is coming up over the horizon to the coolness in the clouds where darkness from the previous night is still hanging on, and Jono thought it would be a good idea to get a jump on the day. He telepathically told the Fearless Four to meet at the castle entrance. Inside the castle walls Jono is approaching the entrance from one direction and the Fearless Four are approaching from the opposite direction, arriving at the castle door precisely at the same time.

“It is very early, be silent, and let us not disturb the others,” and the Fearless Four nodded in agreement.

They quietly opened the giant castle doors, and quietly closed them again, and as they turned to walk away King Moulsotong is standing there with one thousand of his finest warriors ready to accompany Jono and his team on their journey.

“King Moulsotong, I did not want to disturb you, and…”

The king smiles kindly at Jono and snorts a bit of a laugh. “I know you too well my old friend.”

“I am indebted to you my old friend,” Jono replied, “and your company is most welcome.”

Half way between Stagmoor Forest and Angel Mountain they will pass through the realm of Falcon Point. Before they arrive at Falcon Point they will have to battle their way through Grimsloodge Valley and Sludgdanken Town.

 

There is a gloomy overcast and a thick smog cloud that reeks with a foul odor as everyone approaches Grimsloodge Valley and in the heart of this valley is Sludgdanken Town. The only creatures in Grimsloodge Valley are the sludplants and the only creatures in Sludgdanken Town are Sludgdanken people. No one lives in Grimsloodge Valley except for the sludplants. The sludplants are towering plants eight feet tall and some even taller. In fact the sludplants are the only thing Sludgdanken creatures won’t eat. Whenever any activity is detected a toxic sludball is hurled at the movement and on contact creates an intense burning sensation. The sludplants are protecting their domain and this discourages anyone from trespassing. Fortunately Grimsloodge Valley is not a large area to cross.

There are many rows of sludplants. The stalks and leaves of the plants are various shades of green, but their large round heads are bright red and most of their head and face are teeth, large dagger like teeth, surround by fat puffy red lips.

“I am very familiar with this area,” King Moulsotong said. “Over time I have developed a shield coating that will provide protection from the sludballs. Each warrior’s shield has this coating and I brought along a shield for each one of you.”

“You are truly a great king among all kings,” Jono said as he bowed to King Moulsotong, “and your efforts will be rewarded.”

“Thank you Grandmaster Jono,” as he returns Jono’s bow, “but I do this to protect my realm and that is the real honor.”

“Indeed,” Jono replied, “indeed.”

Everyone passed through Grimsloodge Valley with little difficulty. However as they approach the entrance to Sludgdanken Town. Jono assures everyone it will prove to be a bit more trying.

There are of thousands of them and everyone must get through this town as quickly as possible.”

Jono scans the outskirts of Sludgdanken Town and looks back at everyone. “Under these circumstances if we take the shorter way through Sludgdanken Town to save time we may actually spend more time in battle and at great risk of losing someone and that is one thing we cannot afford. I think it would be best if we avoid them altogether and travel quietly around this most difficult area,” Jono said with concern. “King Moulsotong, my team and I will lead the way along the outside edge of this town taking care of any insurgence along the way and you and your warriors stay as close as you can prepared for any encounters from behind.”

As they swiftly but quietly made their way along they could hear a terrible crunching sound as if Sludgdanken creatures were eating bones and they could hear equally disgusting sounds of slurping and growling. They are ugly creatures with green skin and glowing yellow eyes. They have long horns protruding from the top of their bald heads and they have sharp jagged teeth surrounded by thick red lips.

“This is a very dangerous place the Sludgdanken are ravenous mindless creatures and they will eat anything and everything that comes into their territory and rarely does anyone make it out alive,” Jono said with his mind, “something must be done to rid our world of this mindless evilness.” The Fearless Four agreed.

 CHAPTER FIVE

Falcon Point has rolling green hills, fragrant breezes, and warm sunny skies.

It is mid day when they reach Falcon Point and everyone walks up to the front entrance to Feathercrest Castle. A majestic falcon who rules this realm is waiting for them at the entrance. He is a falcon of great power and speed with a massive wing span. He is King Talonire, lord and master, of Falcon Point and Feathercrest Castle. He bows as Jono approaches him.

 

“Welcome Grandmaster Jono, it is good to see you again my friend and it has been far too long.”

Jono returns his bow, “yes…it has been too long my old friend.”

King Talonire acknowledges King Moulsotong with a respectful bow. “King Moulsotong, Lord and king of the mighty elk kingdom, good to see you also my friend and you are always welcome here.”

King Moulsotong returns the bow, “thank you for your generous hospitality.”

“I’m afraid I bring troubling news,” Jono looks at King Talonire.

“Yes…I know, Lady Shorinji contacted me in case you would not be able to get here in time. She requested that I provide assistance to you when you arrive. Follow me to my dining hall, we shall have some food, and discuss what we should do about our immediate problem.”

King Talonire leads everyone through the castle doors and across the courtyard into the dining hall where everyone is being seated at a long dining table with comfortable overstuffed chairs.

“We are here for the same cause,” King Moulsotong stands by the fireplace, “if Lady Shorinji is captured our world will not survive, this threat affects our very existence, and if we do not band together we shall all perish.”

“I agree,” King Talonire said, “I have five hundred winged warriors ready for immediate dispatch.”

“Excellent,” Jono is standing next to King Moulsotong warming his paws over the open fire, “and here is how we are going to proceed. It is essential that we use our speed capability from here on out. King Talonire, you are the only one that can match our speed so you will be with me and my team. Have your winged warriors camp in the Sandalwood Forest near the base of Angel Mountain. King Moulsotong, take your warriors and meet up with King Talonire’s winged warriors’ encampment.”

King Talonire provides nourishment for his guests. “Eat heartily everyone, for we have a great distance to go before we reach the foothills and please carry with you what you possibly can.”

“King Moulsotong when you reach the encampment with the wing warriors have everyone ready to move on a moment’s notice.” Jono continues, “after our meeting with Lady Shorinji we will formulate a plan and then we will arrive at the encampment to brief everyone.”

King Talonire said, “it is time to go.”

Jono agrees, “everyone move out, and good luck.”

 CHAPTER SIX

Under a star filled clear sky, everyone travels into the realm of the Mountain of the Angels. By the time they reach the foothills of Angel Mountain it will be dark, and they will use their ninja skills to sneak past the tiny villages of the foothills near Sandalwood Forest, making their way to the top reaching Lady Shorinji’s Everangelica Castle.

Everyone follows Jono to the main entrance of Everangelica Castle. This is the most beautiful and ornate structure in all the realms of existence, from its gleaming white façade to its curved and pointed rooftops, it is the very foundation of the force of life.

Everyone waits as the castle doors begin to open. Lady Shorinji greets them personally and invites them to freshen up and have some food while they discuss the details of the missing angel trainees.

Lady Shorinji smiles when she sees Jono. “Grandmaster Jono, how wonderful it is to see you again.  I wish it were under more pleasant circumstances.”

“Lady Shorinji,” Jono bows, “I promise to visit more and under more pleasant circumstances. I have brought additional help my lady, King Talonire will have five hundred winged warriors camped at the base of your mountain very soon.”

King Talonire bows to Lady Shorinji and she returns it with a bow of gratitude.

“King Moulsotong will be joining the encampment with one thousand of his finest warriors. I think we will stand strong against any evil force.”

“You always do plan ahead,” Lady Shorinji said, you have been my close friend and confidant for many, many centuries, and that’s one thing that has never changed about you Grandmaster Jono, you always plan ahead and I for one am grateful.”

“You offer kind praise my lady, I am honored.”Jono bows his head in gratitude.

Lady Shorinji has a senior advisory board that she consults in matters of extreme importance regarding the angels and their mission. “Everyone, please join me in my main royal conference hall. We will have nourishment as we contemplate the details of our, or rather Grandmaster Jono’s plan.”

The royal conference hall is decorated with regal elegance and there is a soothing calming effect as everyone enters the hall and takes a seat of extreme comfort. There are two large fireplaces on each wall providing the light and warmth creating an overall ambience of fellowship and good will. Lady Shorinji sits at the head of the main table as servants are placing platters of food from one end of the table to the other.

Lady Shorinji explains. “As most of you know the central mission of Angel Mountain is to provide training and education to protect and love every individual throughout all the lands of this world. When someone goes astray a seasoned well trained angel is dispatched to help without the individual knowing. Once an individual starts down the road to evil they will be given every chance to return to the good. Many we save but sometimes we do lose a few.”

There is sadness in her eyes as she looks away, “Grandmaster Jono.”

Jono rises and with great care holds Lady Shorinji’s hand and when he looks into her eyes he can feel her pain. “Do not feel too sad my lady, when you have done everything you can to save someone from evil and they still fall, it is their destiny, and you know as well as I do that neither you or I can influence that.”

Jono gives her a reassuring look in an attempt to make her feel better. “Your missing angel trainees are a different story. They do not want to be in the realm of evil. They were taken against their will and we will find them.”

“Lady Shorinji,” King Talonire said in a comforting tone, “please do not despair my lady. There are two things we have in our favor, we’re confident that the trainees have not been harmed in any way because they are being used as a bargaining chip.”

“And the second thing?” Lady Shorinji asks.

“They do not know we have Grandmaster Jono and his team with their special abilities on our side.”

“Yes, you are right,” Lady Shorinji agrees, “and for that I am very grateful. As living beings, we are not without fault, and sometimes we cannot see what is right in front of us. Thank you for reminding me King Talonire.”

King Talonire bowed, “always at your service…my lady.”

“Speaking of my team and their special abilities,” Jono said, “I think everyone should know who they are.”

Jono walks around the table and touches each one on the shoulder with an affectionate paw.

“This is Bowser. In all the realms there is no one that can match his strength and power, except for me of course.”

There is a low rumble of laughter throughout the hall.

 

Bowser is a large muscular wolf and the alpha male of the Green Moss Forest Wolf Clan. He sports a black coat with silver tips, four white paws, and  a silver streak running down his nose between his eyes. His legs and chest are muscular and powerful. His wisdom and gentle nature are evident in his steel blue eyes. Except for Grandmaster Jono, his strength is unmatched by anyone.

Jono proceeds to the next one holding her paw and he gently pats her on the head. “This is Katerina. Her special powers are telekinetic giving her the ability to attract or pull as well as repel or push away any object.”

Katerina is a snow leopard and queen of the Ice Mountain Realm. She is twice the size of most snow leopards. She has very powerful legs and her ultra thick coat has silver tips that glisten in the sunlight. She is soft spoken and demure but when riled to action she is a force to be reckoned with. The more she engages her abilities, the stronger they become, giving her the power to toss her enemies a considerable distance with ease.

Jono walks around to the other side of the table. “This is Carrotracs. Her vision is so powerful that she has the ability to clearly see through any object.”

Carrotracs is the leader of the Desert Warrior Rabbit Clan. She always has a serious look on her face and she is very wise and fierce. The expanse of her realm is mighty and she rules it with a loyal inner circle. She is an expert with the bow and she never runs out of arrows.

Jono approaches the last member of his team. “This is Honshu. He comes from the extreme cold country up in the highlands near the hot springs. With his unique ability he can create fire from one hand and ice from the other.”

Honshu is the alpha male and leader of Shokugawa Clan, a band of snow monkeys from the Northern Realm. He is also an expert with the bow and he has an endless supply arrows.

As Jono introduced each member of the Fearless Four they stand and bow to Lady Shorinji.

 CHAPTER SEVEN

“Grandmaster Jono,” King Talonire asks, “do you know who is responsible for this most despicable crime?”

“There is an evil force on the other side of this mountain approximately half way to the eastern shore. This realm is known as Blazington. It is a large expanse with a ruthless leader. This domain lay dormant for many centuries and there was rarely any activity. I have travelled through this realm many, many times and never sensed any danger. However a couple of centuries ago while travelling through this realm again I felt a heightened sense of evilness and reminded myself to keep that area under observation.”

Jono was upright pacing back and forth with his front paws behind his back and even though he felt a heightened sense of evil while traveling through this land a couple of centuries ago he also felt that his abilities were overly sensitive. He had convinced himself that this realm was a dormant and barren land with no inhabitants. He knows now that he should have listened to his instincts because they have never failed him before.

“I have since looked into this matter in great detail. Legend has it that the ruler of the realm is a dragon who goes by the name Craug. His total obsession is world domination and he will stop at nothing to obtain it. In the deep dark caverns and caves he has been secretly and quietly building an army of epic magnitude. No one paid much attention to this realm it was thought to be deserted for many hundreds of years and a barren wasteland with no positive usefulness. Even though I have travelled across this domain many times I have never sensed any cause for concern, until recently.”

Jono realizes that his possible error in judgment may have been the cause of this evil uprising. He also realizes that it will do him no good to dwell on the past and on what he should or should not have done. The only thing that matters now is to plan a way to defeat this evilness although he is not really sure if this task would have been easier when he first dismissed it.

“Craug has no conscious. He knows he cannot take Lady Shorinji by force. If he does he knows her powers and abilities will have little to no effect. In order for him to absorb her full potential she must give it willingly and he knows she will not stand for any sacrifice in her place.”

Jono walks over to the fireplace and rubs his paws together for a few seconds before turning around to face everyone. “Craug calls his army the Crauggites and they will obey every command without reservation. There is only one way to defeat Craug and his army and that is to kill Craug. Once he is dead his army will vanish into thin air like dust. However I must warn you that killing Craug will be a most difficult challenge.”

Lady Shorinji stands and walks over to the fire to warm her hands. Jono could clearly read the expression of deep concern on her face. She stares into the flickering flames of the evening fire for a moment before expressing her concerns.

“Grandmaster Jono, I have never condoned the suppression of any life form and this troubles me deeply. However I do not see any other way.”

“No, my lady, there is no other way,” Jono said with great concern, “this evilness must be stopped or our entire existence will be changed forever and not in a good way.”

King Moulsotong has arrived and his army has set up camp in Sandalwood Forest. He proceeds up the mountain and Jono meets him at the castle doors and escorts him across the courtyard to the Royal Conference Hall.

“If Craug is this mighty evil you say he is, how will we be able to fortify our position against him?” Lady Shorinji also asked, “How can we possibly defeat him?”

“Fortification is something we need to concern ourselves with only after we have defeated Craug…there is one weakness…and we shall have only one chance to defeat him.”

King Moulsotong and King Talonire at the same time requested Jono to explain.

“At the very end of Craug’s tail is a small crease where the end of the tail bends at the last scale where a package of explosives could be placed and then by the direction of a fiery charge, setting off the package, a chain reaction will rise upward through his tail. Once the reaction reaches the brewing fire in his belly it will explode ending Craug’s life.”

“How do you propose we find this small space in his tail?” King Moulsotong asked.

King Talonire followed up with another question, “I don’t know if I am fast enough or precise enough to place this package in such a small space and even if I could how would I ignite it?”

“Those are very good questions indeed,” Jono went on to explain. “Carrotracs will be able to see the exact location in Craug’s tail. While I appreciate you stepping up to the challenge King Talonire, it is because of our telepathic abilities, Carrotracs would be able to relay that location and direct Bowser to place the package precisely, even while Craug’s tail is moving wildly about. With Bowser’s brute strength and lightening fast speed, he could place the package and return before Craug discovers it, and even if he discovers the package once it is in place, he will not be able to do anything about it, so it will do him no good.”

Then Lady Shorinji asked, “couldn’t Craug remove it and how could it possibly be ignited before he does?”

“No my lady, he could not remove it and it will do us no good if it cannot be ignited.” Jono looked at Honshu and he nodded back in agreement. “Honshu with his ability to produce fire and utilizing his speed  will ignite the package with precise accuracy.”

“Hopefully this plan will solve our immediate threat,” King Moulsotong interjected, “but how are we going to provide protection should an attack of this nature arise in the future?”

“I have given this considerable thought,” Jono stares into the evening fire, “and I have determined there are two parts to the solution. First I must pay close attention to my internal sense of danger. As I travel throughout the many realms of this world I must accurately assess the capabilities of the domains that are like Grimsloodge Valley and Sludgdanken Town and determine if a credible threat does indeed exist. Fortunately the Fearless Four and their abilities will be of valuable assistance.”

Jono walks the length of the conference table stroking his chin while deep in thought. “Second, once this current situation has been eliminated a magnetic polarity shield must be constructed over this mountain preventing any future terrorist attacks. Complete control of this shield will be given to Lady Shorinji and she will keep the exclusivity of this mountain intact.”

“I should have thought to have this shield many centuries ago, Lady Shorinji has a sad expression on her face as she looks off into the distance, “I never thought a time like this would ever arise.”

Jono walks over to Lady Shorinji and with a kind and compassionate expression on his face he held her hand to comfort her.

“Do not despair my lady. I, if anyone, should have foreseen the possibility of a threat such as this, after all I travel throughout all the realms of this world and even when I sensed there might be a threat brewing in Blazington I chose to dismiss it. For so many centuries we have lived peaceful lives without any possibility of terrorism. So, no dear lady it is not for you to despair, the responsibilities rest squarely on my shoulders.”

Jono walks back to the center of the room as he continues, “but placing blame will not help us now, our efforts will be better spent containing the serious threat that faces us, and making the necessary changes for future protection.”

Lady Shorinji then spoke up, “our resident wizard, Micatrel, will have the knowledge and the powers to construct a defensive shield for our mountain. He shall have the assistance of our mountain caretakers in the construction process.”

Micatrel is an immortal wizard of the highest order. He has been a constant and close advisor to Lady Shorinji for thousands of years. His wizardry skills are unmatched by any other wizard in all the realms of the world.

The large bell near the entrance to Lady Shorinji’s castle rings out signaling that there is someone at the main gate. King Talonire flew over the castle courtyard to a steeple bell tower where he finds a note which he promptly returns to Jono.

Jono unfolds the note and reads it aloud. Lady Shorinji, come alone to the northeast cave entrance at the far reaches of the Blazington realm by noon two days from now or the angel trainees will be killed. If you do not comply more angel trainees will be taken and killed until you surrender.”

Jono places the note on the table and for a few seconds looks around the room. “Everyone, the hour is late, retire to your quarters, sleep well. Tomorrow we will join the others in the forest at the foothills and brief everyone on our plan of attack.”

 CHAPTER EIGHT

The following morning is brisk and cool and the sun is shining brightly in the eastern sky as our team of heroes leaves Lady Shorinji’s castle and heads for Sandalwood Forest. Sandalwood Forest is lush and green with free running streams and plant life in abundance.

Immediately upon entering the forest there is alluring, almost hypnotic, fragrance of sandalwood with relaxing qualities.

Jono stands on a platform with the Fearless Four at his side as he instructs the troops and explains his battle plan.

“King Moulsotong, you will engage Craug’s army at the forefront, once the battle ensues he will become enraged so you must draw your troops and his army away from him to escape his fiery breath. King Talonire, your warriors must create a diversion keeping Craug himself busy so that Carrotracs, Bowser, and Honshu can complete their tasks. The flight speed and timing of your warriors must be precise and you and your warriors must keep your distance from the fiery storm that brews within his belly.”

Jono steps down from the platform and motions for King Moulsotong, King Talonire, and the Fearless Four to join him as he explains, “we have one advantage that we must use to our benefit and insure that it is most effective.”

Jono has a look of deep concern on his face and with his front paws clasped behind his back he went on to explain. “I believe that Craug thinks his plan to capture Lady Shorinji is without fault. He will expect her to fully cooperate and arrive alone as instructed. He knows that once he has her in his possession the four trainees will be of no use to him and he will kill them anyway. We have the element of surprise on our side, he is not expecting us nor is he expecting an attack.”

Jono looks at Katerina and she nods back affirmatively. Once we are deeply engaged in battle, Katerina will use her speed and telekinetic powers to locate the angel trainees and carry them back to Lady Shorinji and the Mountain of the Angels before Craug has realized what has happened.”

“Grandmaster Jono,” King Moulsotong said, “the look on your face tells me you have a greater concern, what is it?”

Jono looks at King Moulsotong with one eyebrow furrowed, “am I that easy to read my lord?”

“Maybe not to others,” King Moulsotong said with a sincere smile, “but I know you too well my old friend.”

Jono pauses for a moment as he looks at everyone, “I am concerned that once Craug has realized what has happened his fury will be unleashed a hundred fold and his rage will become so powerful that we may not be able to stop it.”

“We can only do what we are capable of,” King Talonire said, “and besides if we fail or do nothing we are all doomed so we must endeavor to do the absolute best we can.”

“You are right King Talonire,” Jono strokes his chin, “but I do have one final ploy that may save us all. In this order, these are the steps we must take, without fail. At that moment when Craug discovers what has happened as he feverishly attempts to remove the explosives from his tail, and at that split second after Honshu ignites the explosive package, and before the explosion creates a chain reaction reaching the fiery chasm in his belly, Honshu will use his great speed and create a thick wall of ice around Craug containing his fiery breath and the explosion. His timing will be critical but I do believe he can do it, and more importantly, so does he.” Jono looks at Honshu and he responds telepathically insuring that this will not be a problem.

Jono then turns his attention to both kings, “you must tell your troops that once Honshu starts on the ice wall they must retreat quickly and meet at the edge of the Blazington realm. The ice wall should be containment enough but I cannot be sure as we have never attempted anything of this magnitude before.”

CHAPTER NINE

By nightfall of the first day everyone had made camp at the outer edge of the Blazington realm. There is a chill in the night air as Grandmaster Jono and the Fearless Four are sitting by the fire meditating. The warriors of King Moulsotong and King Talonire are bedding down for the night. Jono is still meditating, but the expression on his face shows that there is no doubt in Jono’s mind that he is eager to end this battle and he is also deeply concerned for everyone involved. Still, he feels confident that he will accomplish what he has set out to do.

The early hours of the morning came fast. Jono was up before dawn stoking the fire and warming himself. As everyone begins to stir, Jono commands their attention. “We should reach Craug and his army by midday, be extremely careful and precise in your attacks, and when you see the ice wall begin to form retreat back to this encampment. Everyone gear up and move out.”

“This is a dark and gloomy place be ever on your guard,” Jono said with his mind and the Fearless Four responds in agreement.

Even though it was getting close to midday the sky overhead grows darker and rain begins to fall. The closer they come to the entrance of the main cave it rains harder with the sound of thunder and lightning strikes one after the other. They approach the entrance of a large dark cave. The piercing red eyes of Craug could be seen clearly coming from within the cave and they became more luminous as he gets closer to the entrance.

A whiff of smoke rolls out of the mouth of Craug as he begins to speak. It is a foul odor of burning rotting bodies that he had incinerated earlier for disobeying his commands.

“Who dares to come into these lands? “ He bellows, “who dares to come into my realm?”

At first no one answers, no one made a sound. Then Craug’s gravelly voice became louder.

“I COMMAND YOU TO ANSWER ME OR YOU ALL WILL DIE IMMEDIATELY!”

Still no one answers. Craug is still inside the cave but getting closer to the entrance and in a softer voice but no less irritating he said, “I can smell you, there are many of you, do you know the danger you are in? If you turn and leave now your lives may be spared, if not,” then his voice becomes loud again, “YOU WILL FEEL MY WRATH!”

Jono stands, his front paws crossed, showing the tips of his swords ready to spring forth. “Craug, we will leave but not until you return the angels to me.”

“Ah, Grandmaster Jono, I thought it might be you. You have a smell that is uniquely you.” Craug now pokes his mammoth head outside the cave entrance. “May I assume that Lady Shorinji is not with you?”

“That is correct Craug. Return the angels to me or you will meet your demise.”

“Ha,” Craug snorts another puff of foul smoke from his nostrils, “I do not fear you or this pitiful army you have brought with you. What makes you think you can kill me? I cannot be defeated and now since Lady Shorinji is not here the angels will die,” and his voice becomes loud again, “AND SO WILL YOU!”

Craug commands his army to attack but King Moulsotong and his mighty elk herd attack from the left flank and from behind. As Craug spins around to counter the attack, King Talonire and his fearless swift winged warriors created a diversion causing Craug to spew fire in their direction. The warriors escape the flames with ease as the elk herd, Jono, and the Fearless Four attack Crag’s army.

As Jono is slashing through the Crauggites he uses his mind to communicate with Bowser that now is the time. Craug is spewing fire in every direction but Bowser with his brute strength and superior speed found the opening in Craug’s tail. Bowser closes in and places the small package in Craug’s tail and lightning quick returns to the battle and fights alongside Jono.

Carrotracs scans all the dwellings, seeing through walls, and locates the missing angels. Katerina receives a mind message from Jono that Carrotracs has located the missing angels. She engages her telekinetic powers and pulls the image of the missing angels to her mind. She sees the area where the angels are held under lock and key. Using her speed she is there in seconds. She instructs the angels to move back away from the door, and using her powers to push the locked entrance, she causes it to crumble. She then uses her speed to transport them to safety at the outer edge of the Blazington Realm.

Honshu also with his amazing speed ignites the package and in seconds constructs a wall of ice around Craug. Jono commands everyone to retreat to the gathering point. Just as Craug had realized what has happened he saw the ignited glow in his tail and he thrashes about trying to extinguish it seconds before he explodes into a fiery ball that quickly burst into ashes and at that point all the Crauggites turn to ashes as well and the battle is over.

CHAPTER TEN

The battle is over, Jono stands and looks across the battlefield and all he sees are small piles of ashes that were once Craug’s army. Craug has exploded into a million particles of ash, and all of the Crauggites have been reduced to small piles of ashes. The skies over the realm of Blazington begins to clear and it is the first time in many centuries that they are blue and free from the evil darkness that once covered this realm. Everyone cheered and congratulated each other on their victory.

“Once we leave,” Jono said telepathically, “this realm will be truly uninhabited.” The Fearless Four nodded in agreement.

Everyone heads for the outskirts of the Blazington Realm where Katerina and the four angel trainees are waiting and they began their long journey back to Angel Mountain, Everangelica Castle, and Lady Shorinji.

The sun is beginning to set as everyone is making their way through the foothills of Angel Mountain. King Talonire flies ahead to inform Lady Shorinji regarding the victory and the return of the four missing angel trainees.

Lady Shorinji instructs her staff to prepare the Royal Conference Hall. In anticipation of their arrival Lady Shorinji has a feast prepared in their honor. Jono leads everyone across the courtyard and into the Royal Conference Hall where everyone is comfortably seated.

“May I have your attention please,” Lady Shorinji raises her glass, “before we begin I just want to say a few words to express my deep affection and gratitude to Lord Talonire and Lord Moulsotong and their gallant brave warriors for their assistance in eliminating an evil threat in this world.” Kings Talonire and Moulsotong stand and respectfully bow to Lady Shorinji.

“I would like to give a special thanks to the Fearless Four and their extraordinary abilities in bringing home safely my precious angels.” The Fearless Four stand and bow and each one of them look at Jono and he telepathically tells them how proud he is to have them on his team.

“Lastly, but certainly by no means least, I owe a debt of deep gratitude to my closest personal friend and confidant Grandmaster Jono. Without this illustrious and most honorable individual whose wisdom and intelligence were instrumental in this mission would have surely met with great failure. Grandmaster Jono how can I ever repay you?”

Jono stands and bows most respectfully. “Your kind praise and deep appreciation for everyone here is all the payment I will ever need. I think I can speak for everyone here my lady, it is your unconditional love that holds our worlds together and I, for one am greatly honored.”

Everyone cheered and toasted to Lady Shorinji and Grandmaster Jono and the warmth and fellowship could be felt throughout the entire realm.