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The Hero and his Halloween Nightmare

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“What do you mean there’ll be a Halloween Party at Hime-chan’s castle?” Alba asked as he was about to move a spoon filled with curry to his mouth.

“Exactly what it sounds like, Alba-kun!” Crea grinned. Alba was confused and turned around to Ross and Ruki. They were ignoring them, they didn’t want to argue with Crea during dinner. Alba sighed and continued eating. “So anyways, we have to think of what costumes we’re gonna wear!” Crea said.

“Crea, wait. Is everything else already organised?”

“Nope!”

“Of course…” Alba sighed. He was disappointed, but not surprised. “Ross…”

“Thanks for the food.” Ross said, stood up and left.

“Where are you going, this is a restaurant!” Alba yelled at him, but Ross continued on his way. “Ross! Get back here!” he turned to Ruki. “Ruki, why aren’t you saying anythi---“

“Nom nom nom, this curry is so yummy!” she ignored him and continued shoving her empty spoon into her mouth. Alba sighed, finished eating and payed for everyone. Whenever they met up to eat somewhere it always was Alba’s job to pay the bill. Ruki would just stuff herself with food, Ross would flee as soon as he’d finish and Crea would just do his thing. The three stood up as well and when they went outside the sun was already setting. Ross was leaning against a wall, waiting for the others.

“How come you always make me pay for everyone?” Alba glared at him.

“I thought you saved those in need of help, Hero.” Ross answered.

“That does not include paying for you.” he nagged and turned around to the other two. “Nor you and you!”

“Don’t worry Alba-kun, I’ll pay next time!” Crea smiled.

“You said that the last six times already!”

“My parents don’t give me that much allowance. And I always spend it on popcorn.” Ruki looked down.

“Anyways, let’s continue talking about the costu---”

“Wait! Before we do that we have to ask Hime-chan and the King if it’s okay. Crea you can’t just decide on throwing a party in someone else’s home without asking them about it.” Alba explained.

“Really?” Crea seemed surprised. “So that’s why last time they called the guards to chase us off, huh…” he put a hand on his chin and started thinking.

“That was a fun night.” Ross laughed.

“…let’s just go to the castle and ask them.” Alba said and started walking, the other three following him silently.

At the same time in the castle, Hime-chan had invited some of her friends to play Monopoly, although three of the four friends that were present were working for the palace anyways, so it’s not like they could've denied her wish.

“I’m winning!” Hime-chan said with a self-confident grin.

“Only until you reach my hotel, then you’ll pay for it!” Rudolf said. He was clinging to his last note of money. “Come on, I need to pay for some new pictures of Ruki-tan!”

“What?” Hime-chan turned to him.

“I… uhm… that’s… nothing.” he averted his eyes.

“Ares, go look through the stuff in his room. Now.” she turned to Ares who was lying on the floor. Since she had already lost all her money after a few rounds of playing she had nothing else to do.

“Will do!” she jumped up and started walking away.

“W-wait! You cannot---“

“Continue playing!” Hime-chan yelled.

“Yes Ma’am.” he said and rolled the dice.

“How long do we have do continue playing?” Foyfoy asked. They had been there for five hours already.

“Let’s continue, if I’m playing I don’t have to work.” Teufel yawned.

“But aren’t you a butler?”

“Yes?”

“So don’t you have to work?!”

“Yes?” Teufel looked at him. They stared at each other for a few seconds without saying anything, but then Teufel noticed. “Oh you mean why I don’t want to work?” he said and Foyfoy buried his face in one of his hands. Meanwhile, Alba and the others arrived at the castle gates.

“Oh, Teufel, Alba and the others arrived at the castle gates, go open the doors for them.” Hime-chan said.

“Ehhhh? Do I really have to?” he scratched the back of his head.

“How do you know they’re there?” Foyfoy was curious.

“Huh? What do you mean? The narrator just said so, didn’t he?” she explained.

“What?!” Foyfoy didn’t understand her. Before he could ask her what she meant, the doorbell rang.

“See, they rang already.”

“Since when do castles have doorbells?”

“We installed it last week.”

“I see.”

“Yeah.” they remained silent for a while until the doorbell rang one more time. “Teufel!” Hime-chan turned to him.

“Okay okay, fine.” he stood up in slow motion and stretched his arms. Then he stretched his legs, his back, his fingers, his arms again and yawned a few times. He scratched the back of his head and started stretching again.

“Hime-chan, Alba and the others were at the door so I let them in and brought them here.” Ares said as she came back.

“Oh thank god…” Teufel was relieved and sat down on the soft pillow he had been sitting on the entire afternoon. Hime-chan rolled her eyes and thanked Ares.

“Good evening, Alba and company.” she greeted them.

“Shii-tan, we’re a company!” Crea’s eyes sparkled as he turned to Ross.

“Yes we are.” he patted his friend’s head.

“Hey, so… uhm…” Alba was thinking about how to best ask her about the Halloween Party.

“A Halloween party?! Yes, I’d love to!” Hime-chan smiled.

“Hey, who told you it’s okay to tell her!” Alba formed a fist, pointed upwards and yelled at the ceiling.

“What are you doing?” Ruki asked confused.

“He’s just angry at the narrator.” Hime-chan giggled.

“Seriously, who is that supposed to be?!” Foyfoy asked again.

“Oh no, the Hero has infected the Princess with a serious disease!” Ross exclaimed all of a sudden.

“Huh?” Alba turned around.

“Quick, someone has to save her and put the Hero under quarantine!”

“Will do!” Ares jumped up at once.

“Wait, wha---“ but before Alba could say any more, Ares grabbed him and ran off with him on her shoulders. The others observed the scene silently.

“So you’re cool with the party?” Crea was the first one to ask.

“Sure!” Hime-chan answered.

“Cool, see you then!” Crea smiled and turned around. “Bye bye!” he said and started walking back to the entrance door. Ross and Ruki followed him quietly until they exited the castle.

“I think it’s time to head home, it’s getting late already.” Ross said.

“Is it true that Alba has a disease?” Ruki asked Ross.

“Well, he’s dumb, but I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a disease.”

“Then why did you say that?”

“I like seeing people weep in despair.” he said with an innocent smile on his face.

“Well then, let’s meet up tomorrow to decide on everything, okay?” Crea asked.

“Sure, why not.” Ross chuckled.

“I’ll bring popcorn!” Ruki raised her arms.

“Yay!” Crea high-fived her. They said their goodbyes to each other and walked home. At the same time, Alba was sitting on the ground of a prison cell, wearing a prisoner’s outfit, waiting for Hime-chan to realize that Ross had lied. Alba didn’t panic, he just waited patiently. He knew they wouldn’t let him sleep in the cold, damp cell. After all, it was the third time he was in prison that week; and it was only Thursday.

When Alba got home he was scolded by his mother, for the third time that week and, still, it was only Thursday. Whatever he tried to explain as to why he got home so late, his mother wouldn’t believe him the first two times, so Alba didn’t even bother to come up with an explanation the third time. But because of that, his mother prohibited him from leaving the house the next day. Alba sighed, went to bed and just wanted to sleep for the next week. His hopes got crushed in the morning when Ross and the others came to visit him. They unanimously decided to hold a meeting in Alba’s house. When he opened the door and let them in, he glared at Ross, waiting for a response as to why he had told that lie the day before. Ross had no intentions of answering him though, he just grinned and silently stared at Alba. After Alba had walked to the living room to grab a cushion and scream into it, the four of them sat down at the kitchen table and started discussing the party. Halloween was just around the corner.

“You called?” a pumpkin-headed person stretched out his neck and looked around the corner of the kitchen.

“No, not yet, Jack.” Alba sighed.

“Oh, sorry.” Jack said and disappeared again.

“…who---“

“Nothing, Crea. Let’s continue.” Alba said and they continued.

The days passed without further prison stays and soon the sun set on Halloween Day. The full moon rose and was illuminating the eerily decorated path to the castle. Alba, Ross, Crea and Ruki were already in the castle because they had to make everything ready for the party. Alba was assigned to decorate the castle. Crea would be in charge of welcoming new guests at the entrance and lead them to the main hall. Ruki was doing the catering. Ross was supposed to help Alba, but everyone already knew that wouldn’t be happening. Just when everything was ready, Hime, Ares, Foyfoy, Rudolf and Teufel walked towards the entrance door and were about to leave the castle. When Alba asked where they were going, Hime simply answered that she wanted to go to the Halloween party and not just be there when it started. Alba was confused, but he decided it’d be best not to ask more questions and just shrugged.

The four friends left in the castle finally decided to put on their costumes. Ross was dressed as a vampire and Crea as a werewolf.

“Alba-kun, what are you wearing?” Crea asked.

“…I’m a pumpkin.” Alba answered monotonously. Ross burst out laughing.

“What happened to Jack? He was so excited because Halloween was just being around the corner.”

“In fact, he was so excited that he slept around said corner and caught a cold, so now I’m kind of replacing him, I guess?” he sighed and put the big pumpkin on his head.

“Even Ruki just wearing Halloween themed clothes and doing something with her hair is more impressive than your outfit, Alba.” Ross snickered.

“Yeah!” Ruki agreed. “Hey!” she turned to Ross when she noticed he wasn’t exactly complimenting her.

“Don’t mind, Alba-kun.” Crea put an arm around Alba’s shoulder. “You can do it.” he smiled.

“Whatever, let’s just get this over with.” he sighed. “I’ll wait in the main hall.” he said and walked off. His other job was to welcome the guests in the main hall. Shortly after he left, the doorbell rang and the Halloween party had officially started.

“Hey, welcome! Come in, come in!” Crea said enthusiastically as he opened the door to welcome the five that had just left a few minutes ago. “Nice costumes! Especially Foy-kun’s costume!” he pointed finger guns at him, they were wearing the same costume, but Foyfoy’s version could be described as somewhat of a wilder look while Crea was the fluffier one. Hime and Ares were wearing couple outfits, Ares was the zombie groom and Hime the zombie bride. Rudolf was a mummy, bandages around his head and face as well.

“Can you see anything like that?” Crea asked him.

“No, but that was the point. So he won’t do anything suspicious.” Hime answered.

“What? That’s the reason why?” Rudolf asked.

“Don’t complain, otherwise we wouldn’t have allowed you to come along.”

“I see.”

“No you don’t.” Foyfoy added.

“Is Teufel underneath that white blanket?” Crea looked past the others and pointed at the white blanket.

“Yes, he’s a ghost!” Hime said. “Right, Teufel?” she turned around but there was no response. “Oh no, he fell asleep again.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll carry him.” Ares said, grabbed him and held him with one arm. They followed Crea to the main hall even though they were all playing Monopoly in that same hall a few hours before, like the other day. In fact, they’ve been playing Monopoly almost every day, Hime really liked the game. They joined Alba and Ross in the main hall and started talking to each other while Crea walked back to the entrance. The doorbell rang again with perfect timing as soon as he got there.

“Trick or Treat!” a group of eight people – to be precise, seven people and one cat – said in unison.

“Welcome, come in, come in!” Crea smiled.

“Where’s our treat?” the three youngest ones asked.

“Don’t worry, Lake-kun. Shii-tan and the others are waiting with lots of treats inside!” Crea patted Lake’s head.

“Really?” the other boy’s eyes started sparkling through his glasses.

“Let’s go, Salt!” Lake said.

“Yes!” Salt answered and the two ran off on their own. Lake was wearing a onesie with a skeleton print and Salt was dressed as a ninja.

“You’re not gonna follow them, Lym?” Crea asked her. She only sighed. “Cute costume.” he patted her head.

“Th-thanks! I made this fairy dress myself.” she said proudly.

“Awesome!” Crea said with a smile. At the same time, another one of the guests started purring and shoving his paw into Crea’s face.

“Elf, stop that. One does not just shove one’s hand into someone else’s face, that’s impolite.” a blonde, long haired wizard said.

“Nya? But why not, Alf? I’m a cat, I’m just purrfectly imitating one.” Elf answered.

“I’m sorry, he really wanted to be my familiar and---“ Alf wanted to say but Elf shoved his other paw into his face.

“This is what a party with friends is all about. And if you shall ever need me for organizing another one, I promise I’ll gladly help. I’ll even build you a new castle to hold the party in.” a buff, red haired guy in a shark costume said. “Because I’ve promised my friend!”

“That totally makes sense!” a black haired guy in a tomato costume said.

“Samejima and Janua are as close as always, huh?” Crea laughed. “Alright, let’s head to the others.” he said and led the others.

“Don’t you want to ask me about my costume?” the cat asked Crea, but he ignored him.

“See Mii-chan? I told you wearing a questionable leather outfit wouldn’t be very helpful.” Janua said. But instead of feeling sad for being ignored, Mii-chan was ecstatic and filled with joy because he was ignored. Janua sighed and continued following Crea to the main hall.

Quite some time had passed already when Alba started noticing that more and more people were filling up the hall. For some reason, there were a lot of people he didn’t recognize. He started looking for Crea, wanting to ask him what was going on. After walking around for a while and listening to Janua’s discovery of a new method to grow tomatoes more efficiently, he finally found Crea, talking to a stranger.

“Crea, there you are, I---“

“Alba-kun, listen! This auntie here travels around the world on her Rubbernecking Tornado!” Crea said enthusiastically.

“…who?” Alba was confused.

“She’s the Rubbernecking Auntie!” Crea continued.

“…what?!”

“The Rubbernecking Tornado is a---“

“What, no! Why is she here? Who invited her?”

“Oh I saw her outside, sitting on a bench so I decided to invite her.”

“Why?”

“Because we’re having a party!” Crea smiled.

“…” Alba raised his finger, trying to come up with something to retort, but in the end he just sighed.

“Everything okay?” Crea asked.

“Yes, I just---“ Alba suddenly stopped talking and jumped up.

“What?!”

“…I feel like someone needs my tsukkomi.” Alba said with a worried expression on his face. “Sorry Crea, gotta go and find Ross.” he said and rushed away. At the same time, the castle’s doorbell rang again. Crea excused himself and headed to the entrance door. He opened it and…

“Trick or Treat!”

“Ohhh, nice costumes!” Crea said. “You’re a creepy clown! And you’re a bear. And there’s a dragon too. And Frankenstein’s monster. And---“ he stopped at the shortest of the six people and tried figuring out her costume. “I’m sorry, but what are you dressed as?” he crouched down and smiled.

“Hee hoo!” the girl said.

“Excuse me?”

“Hee! Hoo!” she repeated.

“Don’t try, no one knows what Februar’s dressed as.” the one in the bear costume said.

“Just like I said, her costume is too vague!”

“As if you’re one to talk, Guilty Justice! No one can identify yours eith---“

“She’s a mecha robot pilot, right?” Crea said.

“Ha!” Guilty said victoriously and crossed her arms. “Are you proud of me now, Dezember?” she turned to the clown.

“Whatever.” Dezember sighed. “Can we get our treat now?”

“Sure, come in, come in!” Crea laughed.

“No, we just…”

“Don’t be shy, come on! There’s enough sweets for everyone.” he said and pulled them inside. At the same time, Alba had finally found Ross. He was standing on a chair, holding a glass filled with a red liquid. He cleared his throat and started singing.

“Boys and girls of every age, wouldn’t you like to see something strange? Come with us and you will see, this, our town of Hallowee---“

“Ross! Shut up!”

“Huh? Why?”

“What do you mean why? You can’t just sing that song, it’s copyrighted or something.” Alba exclaimed. “Probably.” he wasn’t sure.

“Ohh, then… uhm…” Ross thought about it for a moment. “Okay, I know!” he cleared his throat again and started anew. “Slimes and trolls of every age, wouldn’t you like to see something change? Come with us and you will see, this, our castle in Senyuu-land!”

“What’s with that half-assed parody? It’s almost as bad as the Rossnix Wri---“

“Objection!” Ross stretched out his arm and pointed at Alba, jumped down the chair and approached him. His face got closer and closer to Alba.

“Wh-what?” he said, Ross’ face only millimetres away.

“Boo.” Ross said calmly, turned around and walked away while drinking whatever was filled in his glass.

“You better stop the songs or this story can’t be uploaded anymore!” Alba yelled after him.

“Sure thing, my Hero.” Ross said without turning back. Before Alba had time to sigh, a new problem had reached him; more specifically, six problems.

“Hee hoo!”

“Hee what?” Alba turned around and saw Crea and six new guests in front of him. “You!” he pointed at Dezember.

“You!” he pointed back.

“Oh you know each other? That’ll make things easier.” Crea said.

“Crea! Those are the 12 Demons! Well, six of them, I guess…” Alba counted them again, just to be sure. “Yes, six!”

“Since when does Guilty Justice count as one?” Dezember asked.

“Hello!” Guilty smiled happily and waved her right arm.

“Five then.”

“Marl?” Foyfoy emerged from the crowd and approached Alba and the others.

“Onii-chan!” the girl disguised as Frankenstein’s monster said. “And didn’t I tell you to call me April when I’m with the guys?”

“I still don’t understand why you hang out with them.” Foyfoy sighed.

“They’re not as bad as you think they are.”

“That clown over there killed me once though?” Alba added.

“Yeah, but only once.” Dezember answered.

“See? Only once.” Marl said.

“That’s one time too much already!” Alba yelled.

“I thought getting beaten up was your hobby.” Dezember said.

“No it’s not!!”

“His hobby is going to prison.” Foyfoy nodded.

“That’s not my hobby either!”

“I bet he collects stamps.” Marl said.

“Stop assuming other people’s hobbies!!”

“Hee hoo!” Februar continued.

“And what’s wrong with her?”

“We-hee don’t kno-hoo-w.”

“Uhm, Juli?” the dragon asked.

“What, Neun?” the bear named Juli asked.

“You just…”

“Hm?”

“Oh nothing.”

“And what’s with you two!” Alba turned to them. “Isn’t Juli the dragon shapeshifter and Neun the one who's normally wearing bear clothes? Why did you switch, that’s super confusing.”

“Did you just assume our species?” Neun asked indignantly.

“I… what?” Alba was lost.

“Dezember!” Guilty clung to him. “I want to hee hoo!”

“If I get you something to eat, will you stop clinging?” he asked her. She nodded vigorously. Alba widened his eyes. He wasn’t sure if he had been imagining things and hearing weird sounds; but he wasn’t.

“Thanks for clarifying.” Alba looked upwards.

“Who’re you talking to?” Neun asked.

“Uhm… no one. I… gotta go now, have fun on the party.” Alba said and started walking away. Crea had disappeared among all the chaos and Alba was still trying to find him. But it didn’t take long until he got stopped again. “Oh god no, who is it now---“ he said as he bumped into someone. “I’m so sorry, I---“

“There have been thieves around lately.” the person said.

“Uhm… excuse me?” Alba raised an eyebrow. Another person approached him.

“There’s no point if you don’t equip your weapon.”

“Wh-what weapon? I left my sword at home and---“

“If you’re poisoned you should take an antidote.” a third one said.

“Wait…” it slowly dawned on Alba.

“It’s dangerous to go alone, take thi---“

“Oh my god, who invited the villagers of Averagetown?!” Alba yelled.

“There have been thieves around lately.” the first one repeated.

“Yes, I… “ Alba sighed. “I know.”

“If you’re poisoned you should---“

“Take an antidote, I… I know! Okay?!” Alba started walking away and ignored them. But they started following him. “Don’t make them follow me, god damn it!”

“You called?” a person with the word ‘god’ written on his forehead turned around to Alba.

“The God of NPCs!” Alba exclaimed.

“I shall lead them to paradise since their part in this story is completed. Farewell, protagonist.”

“Thank you.” Alba said relieved and ran away, just to be sure. But because he wasn’t paying attention to where he was running, he ended up tripping and falling down. He stayed on the floor for a few seconds, contemplating the meaning of life, thinking about whether it was worth standing up again or not.

“Are you… okay?” a calm voice asked. Alba looked up and saw a red-haired boy standing in front of him. He was wearing a black, hooded robe and was holding a scythe in one of his hands.

“Oh please no, not yet Shinigami, I’m not ready to die yet.” Alba said and jumped up from the floor.

“What? No, it’s just a costume.”

“Oh! Oh, I see. Sorry.” Alba laughed.

“It’s okay, people always misjudge me…”

“Oh, no, I… that wasn’t my intention. Sorry.” Alba apologized. “Uhm, but… you do know there’s a guy behind of you copying all of your moves, yes?” he pointed at said black haired guy.

“I’m Himura-kun’s shadow.” he said.

“What?”

“That’s Yami. He wanted to be my shadow for Halloween since he already is my shadow all the time.” Himura-kun explained.

“I understand.” Alba stopped for a moment. “Actually no, no I don’t. But that’s okay, I’m used to it.”

“Okay…”

“Soo… uhm, I… gotta go.” Alba pointed to his right as if signalizing he had to go in that direction.

“It’s okay…” Himura-kun sighed. “I’m just like a simple sketch, I have neither a story nor a background. It’s just me and Yami.” he sounded sad.

“Aww, don’t say that.” Alba put his hand on Himura-kun’s shoulder. “I’ll make sure to come back and then we can talk some more, okay?” he smiled.

“You’ll give me a part in your story?”

“I’ll give you your own story!” Alba winked and slowly started walking away.

“Did you hear that, Himura-kun? That’s awesome!” Yami said. One couldn’t see his eyes behind the mask he was wearing, but he was looking into Himura-kun’s eyes. And for the first time he could see some kind of light in his eyes.

“Crea! Where are you you?! Come out, I’ve gotta talk to you!” Alba yelled through the crowd that was growing and growing. “Where do all these people come from?!”

“Oh Hero! Hero!” Ross jumped out of the crowd and startled Alba.

“What?!!” Alba’s patience was almost wearing thin already.

“This guy wants to show you a trick.” Ross pointed at the person standing next to him. Alba took a very, very, very deep breath and turned to said person.

“Yes?” he asked. The person moved his eyes from left to right a few times before he slowly approached Alba’s ear.

“Do you… have eggs?” he whispered into Alba’s ear. Alba slowly backed off.

“Uhhhmmm… why?”

“I promise it’s great, you’re gonna love it.” Ross said.

“I’m not so sure about that.”

“Trust me. Did I ever betray your hopes?”

“Yes. All the time. Constantly. Actually, just a few times today.”

“Hehe, yeah.” Ross chuckled.

“Okay you know what, fine. Wait here, I’ll get some eggs from the kitchen. I wanted to talk to Ruki too anyways.”

“One egg is enough.” the guy whispered again. Alba sighed and headed to the kitchen and entered. Every step he took in the kitchen was followed by a loud crunching noise. When he looked down to see what was on the floor, he noticed that there was a layer of popped popcorn on the entire floor. In the middle of the kitchen, Ruki was standing on a table, next to a pot spilling with popcorn as well.

“Alba…” Ruki looked at Alba when she saw him in the kitchen.

“…what happened?” Alba knew what happened.

“I tried making popcorn and---“

“Why?”

“…I wanted to eat popcorn.”

“Oh Ruki…” Alba buried his face in his hands.

“I’m sorry.” she said sincerely.

“It’s… okay, just… don’t make any more popcorn.”

“Okay!” she smiled again. “Everything’s okay, Mister Monster.” Ruki turned to her left.

“What?” Alba did the same and noticed a light purple coloured monster sitting in the corner of the room. “Ruki?”

“Yes?”

“Did you use the monster summoning pot by accident again?”

“…maybe?”

“It’s all gone pear-shaped.” the monster said.

“…what?!!” Alba was visibly confused. “Who is that?!”

“That’s the monster that appeared on the right-hand side in episode 1 when the demons were first introduced.” Ruki explained.

“…”

“I named him Mister Monster.”

“We were just having a good ol’ chinwag.”

“I have no idea what he’s talking about.” Alba said.

“That’s the problem, me neither.”

“My, it’s brass monkeys out today, isn’t it?”

“Stop!” Alba didn’t know what to answer Mister Monster. He didn’t know what the monster was talking about. Ruki didn’t know either. No one knew. “Yes, you do! You’re writing this!”

No one knew.

“Haaahhh…” Alba was slowly losing it. “Ruki, do you have an egg?!”

“Why do you need an e---“

“Just gimme that goddamn egg!”

“O-okay!” she jumped of the table and hopped over to the fridge, opened it and handed an egg to Alba.

“Thanks. Bye.” he turned to the monster one more time. “What is even wrong with you?”

“Sweet Fanny Adams, sir.” Mister Monster replied.

“…I’ll go now.” he turned around and left the kitchen.

“Toodle-pip!” the monster waved his arms, but Alba was already on his way back to Ross and the person who asked for an egg.

At the same time, a group of five was lurking outside of the castle walls. They were hiding in a bush next to the path that led to the castle. They were all wearing black hoods, hiding in the dark of the night.

“Boss, do we really… do this tonight?” one of them asked.

“Of course, that’s why we’re here.” Boss answered. “Let’s go.” they approached the door and rang the bell. Only seconds later the door was opened by Crea.

“We are---“

“Alba?!” Crea interrupted Boss.

“Uhm… no, I…”

“Ohhh, you’re dressed as Alba, cool! You look like Alba in his Super Hero Magic… something mode!” Crea smiled.

“Uhm…”

“Come in, come in!”

“No, we’re… my name is Boss, I’m the Hero from a parallel dimension. I am the leader of ONEMUS, an evil organization created to destroy all of the worlds that were saved by the Great Hero.”

“Awesome, you even came up with a story and invented an organization name.”

“I didn’t invent the… well, yes, at one point I guess I did, but---“

“I’ll introduce you to Alba, come on in!” Crea pulled them all inside.

“Boss, who is this clown?” one of Boss’ lackeys asked.

“No, Dezember is the clown. I’m a werewolf, silly.” Crea laughed.

“…I have no idea, Makura.”

“Here’s your stupid egg!” Alba handed the egg to the weird person. Ross was nowhere to be seen. Alba was disappointed, but not surprised. He could see Ross’ nasty grin in front of his mind’s eye. “So?”

“Okay, let’s go.” the guy said and concentrated on the egg. Only a split second later an egg yolk fell on the floor. “And?”

“…”

“Speechless?”

“…”

“People call me the guy whose magic can take out egg yolks without breaking the eggs, Panman.” Panman said proudly.

“…make sure to clean that up.” Alba said monotonously, turned around and started walking away.

“Albaaaaaaa!” Crea yelled through the hall.

“WHAT?!” Alba was close to freaking out.

“Look!” he shoved Boss in front of Alba. Alba’s eyes widened in surprise.

“Okay what’s going on?”

“We’re ONEMU---“

“This guy’s costume is crazy awesome, doesn’t he look just like you?” Crea’s eyes sparkled.

“It’s not a goddamn dress-up, I’m the Alba from a parallel dimension and the leader of ONEMUS, trying to destroy all the worlds!!” Boss said.

“Wh-what?” Alba was speechless. “Why don’t I know anything of this, huh?” Alba looked upwards.

“He probably didn’t tell you because we only appeared as new characters in the latest chapter of that extra Senyuu manga thing that’s currently ongoing. It kinda went viral and dozens of people started drawing us, it was crazy, I tell you.” Boss explained calmly.

“Oh, I see.”

“Yeah, yeah… I mean… maybe we’ll meet someday in the story, so…”

“Yeah…”

“Now you know, haha.” Boss forced a laugh. “Spoiler alert, I guess.”

“Uh-huh…”

“You should check it out later.”

“Oh, yeah, will do that after the party, sounds interesting.” Alba said.

“Cool.”

“Yeah.” they remained silent for a while and stared at each other awkwardly. “So… you’re gonna attack me now or something?” Alba asked after a while.

“Oh, uhm… n-no, I think… I’ll just enjoy the party, yes. It’d be… awkward to do that now, yes.” Boss scratched the back of his head. “We’ll just… head over there, see ya.” Boss bowed down slightly. “Come on guys.”

“Boss, are you sure?”

“Don’t object me.”

“Could you maybe, deep down, wish for the Great Hero to save you too---“

“I said… shut up.” Boss said. His four lackeys stopped talking and followed him silently as they vanished into the crowd.

“Huh…” Alba thought to himself and just as he was about to ask Crea where all the people had come from, a shrill noise suddenly echoed through the entire hall. “What was that?” Alba started running into the direction of the noise.

“Alba-kun, watch out!” Crea exclaimed out of nowhere, but it was too late.

Alba slipped on the egg yolk and fell down head first.

“Heeeeeeroooooooo, noooooooo…..”

“Shii-tan, why are you talking and moving in slow motion?” Crea asked Ross who was moving his arm slowly into Alba’s direction.

“To raise the dramatic tension.” Ross answered.

“Ingenious!” Crea was amazed.

“You told me to not clean up the egg yolk because something funny would happen.” Panman said to Ross, standing next to him.

“Well I was right.”

“But the Great Hero slipped and fell!”

“Exactly!”

“Alba-kun, are you okay?” Crea crouched down and knocked on Alba’s head. “Alba-kun?”

“Is he okay?” Panman asked worriedly.

“I think he’s out cold.” Crea stood up again.

“Cool.” Ross grinned.

“Shii-tan, that’s not nice of you!”

“I know.” he continued grinning.

Alba wasn’t out cold, at least not yet. He had been listening to what they were saying. We wanted to punch Ross in the face, but slowly and surely his consciousness was fading away, just like his hopes of ever being free from pain induced by Ross.

The first thing Alba saw when he opened his eyes again was darkness. He looked around and couldn’t see anything. He was starting to get worried and tried sitting up when someone finally took off the blanket that had been put on top of him. He was lying in his bed, Ross, Crea and Ruki sitting on chairs next to it.

“…what?” Alba asked, still half-asleep.

“Are you awake? Are you okay? What’s my name? What's your name? How many fingers do you see?” Crea asked one question after the other.

“I… I think I’m fine. What happened?”

“How many fingers!!” Crea repeated.

“Five.” he said. “Four and a half.”

“Shii-tan, stop eating the fingers!”

“I’m hungry.” Ross said with a stuffed mouth.

“Why chicken fingers?” Alba asked finally.

“Your mom made them.” Crea explained.

“…wha---“

“You were unconscious for a few days.”

“I was? Really?” Alba sat up on his bed. “What day is it?”

“The first day of November.” Ruki said.

“Ya called?” Elf stretched his head through the door of Alba’s room.

“No, not you.” she turned around to him.

“Oh, sorry!” he disappeared again.

“Why is Elf here?” Alba asked.

“He wanted some chicken fingers too.”

“Wait, it’s the first? Didn’t you say I was out cold for a few days?”

“Yes.”

“That doesn’t make sense if I fell unconscious at the party when I slipped and---“

“What are you talking about, Alba-kun?” Crea asked confused.

“I think he’s still sick, let’s hit him again and put him to sleep.” Ross was about to stand up but Crea stopped him.

“Huh?” now Alba was confused as well. "Wait. 'Again'?!"

“You fell unconscious in Hime-chan’s prison cell the other day! We had to organize everything on our own, but man, the party was super amazing! Really awesome! The best Halloween party ever!” Crea’s eyes sparkled.

“It was pretty great, yes.” Ross nodded.

“And all the popcorn!”

“But… what about the 12 Demons? And Panman?! And the Averagetown villagers? And the friendly guy I promised to talk to again? And my other self from a parallel dimension that was the leader of an evil organization, wanting to destroy all of the worlds and… and…”

“Alba, do you want a chicken finger?” Ruki asked.

"No!!"

“Maybe it was a dream?” Crea took a bite from another finger.

“More like a nightmare.” Alba corrected him. “But oh well, if you say so… that was one lively dream.” Alba fell down on his bed again. Thinking about everything that had happened; or had not happened. Downstairs, Elf was already eating some of Alba’s mother’s chicken fingers.

“They’re really delish, Miss Hero’s Mom!” Elf complimented her.

“Aww, thank you.”

“Elf, don’t eat all the fingers!” Alf scolded.

“Don’t worry, there’ enough for everyone.” Alba’s mother said. “After all, Jack made sure to tell me how to properly make them.”

“Who’s Jack?”

“Oh, he was just here a moment ago. Maybe he went home already.”

At the same time, Jack was walking down a path that led into a deep forest. Before entering it and disappearing inside of it, he turned around one last time and started talking.

“I hope you enjoyed this Halloween story. But now, it’s time for me to head home again. I have to get ready for next year’s Halloween after all. Until then, my friends.” he bowed down, turned around again and vanished into the forest. Only moments later, a small figure appeared from behind of one of the trees. The small, light purple monster was enjoying a cup of tea. Suddenly, he stopped drinking and stared into the distance. It was as if his gaze was fixed on something. His dark, black eyes widened, as if he was staring right into your soul. Waiting for you to lower your guard and attack you when you least expect it. His eyes widened more and more. He started taking a deep, deep breath and...

“Toodle-pip!”