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The Reluctant Dark Knight/Part 2

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Attack on Smurf Village

With so much food purchased off of the cook’s list, the trio had no choice but to walk back to the castle and rely on their noble steeds to carry the groceries. Bayard and Gentile showed no signs of strain while their owners led them by the reins, but poor Biquette was about to collapse – even with Peewit holding about half the load. He panted with his goat the entire way and complained once in a while; at the moment, they were passing through the forest.

“Can’t we take a snack break already? I’m starving,” he whined again. His face was concealed by his basket of apples, pears, and grapes. Johan sighed: “As I’ve told you before, we’re not stopping, Peewit. You’ll just have to wait until we reach the castle.”

“Yeah, if we let you take a break, we might not have anything left to take back to the cook,” Falla added in a slight joking tone. Her knightly companion chuckled behind her in agreement; Peewit, on the other hand, sighed loudly and continued walking. Suddenly he tripped on a tree root and tossed the basket into the air, spooking Bayard and Gentile.

“Uh-oh!” he cried as the horses reared up. Johan had his pet calmed in a moment, but Falla struggled to hold onto her reins.

“Easy, girl, easy!” she commanded, tightening her grip, “You’re okay!” When both were fine, he and she gave the little blonde jester a stern frown. He laughed sheepishly and brushed himself off, meekly stating that, “Anyone can make a mistake…” When neither one looked less angry, he hurriedly collected the fruit back into the basket and lifted it to show them. “Never mind, I got it all!”

“Peewit, sometimes I wonder about you,” Johan admitted. He noticed Falla already starting down the path again and turned around to follow her – he heard the goat bleat when she was again being led in the same direction.

It wasn’t long before a small yelp erupted from the ground, spooking Peewit. He fell back with the basket still in his hands and Biquette bumped into him from behind; it caught his friends’ attention. To their surprise, it was Clumsy and Brainy Smurf.

“Smurfs!” Johan exclaimed happily. They greeted the trio rather frantically – almost relieved to see them.

“Gash, are we glad to see you,” Clumsy said, “We’re in a heap o’ trouble!” The humans were surprised.

“Gargamel’s been spotted and he almost succeeded in taking Papa Smurf! Oh, it’s terrible, simply dreadful! This may be the worst thing to smurf in our village since I, Brainy Smurf, wasn’t allowed to smurf on the Vision Box, and furthermore -”

“Who's Gargamel?” Peewit asked, "The name sounds familiar..."

The Smurfs seemed shocked for a minute; finally Clumsy scratched his head and replied with another question: “You haven’t met Gargamel? Well, gash, that sure is funny. Don’t ya think that’s funny, Brainy?”

Brainy frowned with his hands on his sides, muttering, “I hope you don’t mean ‘Jokey’ funny, Clumsy.” Johan knelt down with his hands on his knees and politely interrupted them.

“Regardless – lead us to this villain and we’ll stop them from harming you,” he asserted. The Smurfs nodded and scampered away, urging them to follow, so they did. “Peewit, tie our horses to the tree and catch up with us!”

“Why do I have to do it, Johan?” the jester complained. Falla handed her reins to him and jumped to the knight’s side; he glanced back to say, “Later, Peewit!”

“Hmm. Later, always later!” He huffed and tied them together around the trunk of the tree beside him anyways. Biquette, however, was not: he decided to take her with him, just in case. With the horses secured, he mounted her and they trotted after their friends.

Back in the village, Gargamel cackled as he and his apprentice watched Azrael chase the Smurfs around in a petty game of Cat and Mouse. He nudged Scruple: “Open the sack, boy!” He complied.

Jokey dodged the feline’s claws and continued running for his life, unfortunately in the wizard’s direction. Gargamel scooped him up in a moment and tossed him into the sack while he cried, “This is not funny! Not funny at all!” Scruple snickered, deciding to join in on the fun with his master.

At that moment, Johan and Falla approached; never before had either side seen each other until now, and it was a rather strange moment that passed over them like a crashing wave. Brainy and Clumsy scurried away to locate Papa Smurf, but were soon fleeing from Azrael.

“Save us, Johan!” they shouted in unison. Upon their request, the brave knight drew his sword from its sheath and jumped in front of the cat.

“Scat, you vile creature!” he commanded with a frown. Azrael reeled back with a shriek, sprinting through his legs and over to his master; Johan turned around and faced him, positioning himself in a fighter’s stance with his sword held high. “So you’re the scoundrel who’s been terrorizing the Smurfs all this time,” he stated.

“Oh, what’s it to you?” Gargamel snapped; he pushed Scruple in front of him. “Keep him busy while I gather more Smurfs – and use Azrael while you’re at it!” He snatched the brown sack from him and trudged away. His opponent had no choice but to face his apprentice and pet instead – he glanced over his shoulder to his companion.

“Falla, go after Gargamel while I handle these two!” he explained quickly. Before he knew it, he was engaged in a sword-and-tree-limb battle with the boy while the villainous feline clawed at his feet.

“I can take him, Johan,” she assured him. She leapt over the little mushroom houses like a pixie without wings, raised her dagger from her belt, and stood before the old man confidently. He had no time to react as she cut a hole in his sack, freeing the imprisoned Smurfs; he became furious at her and stamped his feet.

“Ooh, you despicable, horrible girl – how dare you help those awful blue creatures! I’ll turn you into a toad for that!” He lifted his arms and summoned a spell, looking directly at her as he chanted, “Slippery, slimy, and straight from the bog, I command you to become – oomph!” He was interrupted in the nick of time by Peewit riding Biquette; they ran him over.

“Peewit, Pee-weeeee!!”

“Oh, thank goodness,” Falla said, relieved. She smiled at him, checking back on their friend – Johan pushed his offender away at last and approached her. He stood proudly at her side, and then they turned towards the villains together with their weapons visible.

“Give up, Gargamel, you are no match for me and my friends,” he told him. Peewit agreed with him, as did Falla. While Scruple and Azrael hid, their master sneered and thrust his hands forward – a gust of magical wind pushed him to the ground.

“You handle yourself well, young man,” the old wizard said, “Why don’t you join me? Together we could rule the kingdom and have everything we ever wanted!”

Peewit and Falla helped Johan to his feet as he boldly replied, “As long as I’m a good lad at heart, I am bound to protect the Smurfs. I’ll never join the side of evil!” His friends backed him up, leaving their opponent with a sour expression. “Leave at once!”

“If that’s how it’s going to be, then fine! But you haven’t seen the last of me, knight!” he threatened, storming off with his sidekicks following obediently. As soon as they were out of sight, the Smurfs cheered and Johan sighed, sinking to his knees; everyone gasped.

“Johan, are you alright?” Falla asked, placing her hands on his shoulders. She knelt down beside him as several Smurfs clustered around them. Peewit came to the rescue, shooing them away: “Give him some air, guys!”

“Don’t worry, my friends, I’m not badly hurt,” he reassured them all. “My feet are scratched up awfully, but it’s nothing some bandages and rest won’t cure.” He tightened his jaw at the stinging pain; the girl exhaled – having held her breath before – and smiled. The little Smurfs were just as relieved to hear it.

“Come on,” she said, helping him up again, “We’d better take you back to the castle so you can get some rest.” He complied and leaned on her shoulder as they returned to their horses not too far away; Peewit waved good-bye to the village for all three of them and caught up a minute later with Biquette. It was inevitable that Johan would be just fine – he always was.

Author's Note

This chapter is primarily focused on the first battle between Gargamel and our trio - this is the event which sets the plot for the rest of the story. I've always wondered why Johan and Peewit never crossed paths with Gargamel in the show, so I figured they ought to for the sake of decent storytelling.

Continuation

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