Or so she had anticipated. A month later, back at Zero’s house out in the middle of the forest, Gramps had just left to finally complete his holiday journey for unexpected reasons. Grunt and Zero stayed home the entire week, for the snow falling outside was nearly a blizzard, and her house was close to being snowed in.
Christmas Day, 2006.
Zero, Grunt and Mochi gather around the living room the first thing in the morning; and were so happy to finally make it to Grunt’s first official Christmas (the other years were merely too eventful to have any real Christmas celebration) and for also the first time ever, have a tree large enough to stash all the presents they surprisingly received from Gramps. Grunt and Zero sat in front of the tree collecting each gift that was addressed to them, and Mochi sat it the back of the living room, exceptionally grumpy due to the fact that he never receives gifts for Christmas. Grunt had received three gifts: one wrapped in red and green paper, another in a fairly small red box, and the final in an average sized purple box. “You open yours first, mate!” Zero said excitedly. Grunt chuckled and nodded to her, then began to open the red and green box. He happily tore off the paper from the box and quickly peeked inside. There were three black rocks sitting at the bottom of the box. Zero suddenly burst out laughing. Grunt, looking quite bemused checks what the label says.
FROM: Grandpa Chris
Don’t look so surprised, my boy.
Zero laughed hysterically at this, and Grunt simply sat there confused. “Aw, mate! HAHA! It’s okay! You got…..c-coal…HAHA!” she patted Grunt on the back and smiled at him. Grunt had absolutely no idea what coal meant as a gift; he knew it was a crummy one, but…why? He shrugged it off then went for the purple box beside him. He tore off the ribbon holding it together, and opened the top. He looked inside and there laid a large black traveler’s shawl. Grunt smiled that what he had found within the box wasn’t rocks, and he pulled out the shawl. Taking off the mask that he always wore which covered his mouth, he put the shawl around his shoulders and Zero gave a thumbs-up. “That looks awesome, mate! It matches your clothes and best of all, it’ll keep you warm on those chilly adventures we go on, eh?” Zero joked. She knew she wouldn’t have to go on another ‘Chilly’ adventure in quite awhile. Grunt smiled at Zero, but it wasn’t quite visible as his shawl covered his mouth. “This is great! It’s just like my old mask…except comfier!” Grunt said. Zero excitedly pointed at Grunt’s last gift box. “You got one more, mate! Go on now, open it up!” She said.
Grunt nodded happily and took the small box behind him which looked like it was big enough to hold at least a small hat. It wasn’t wrapped; the box looked as if it had gone through a lot of trouble to get where it was. It had a label attached to the side of it. Grunt read it aloud:
“From: Grandpa Chris
1. attach carefully to the bottom
2. Adjust fire/water settings
3. To activate, turn small knob to your preferred setting.
Grunt: Do not tell anyone of how you acquired this item; if you do, they will find me and they will stop at nothing to retrieve it. Protect the weapon you posses with great care, and do not let it out of your sight.
I’ll certainly miss you, my dear boy. You’ll see me again.
PS. Only use when you are in danger, and with the death of the Demon you shall receive the natural abilities to power it.”
For a moment Grunt sat there staring at the label in confusion, but he shook his head and thought that maybe opening the gift would make everything clear to him. “Cryptic…” He muttered to himself, beginning to open the small box. He hoped it wasn’t some bomb he was entitled to use or anything, but then he remembered Gramps would never send him something that dangerous. Inside the box was a small metal cylindrical object with what appeared to be a small gauge on the side of it. For a moment all Grunt thought was, Oh crumbs, I was right… But he then shook it off and noticed the top part of the object had three metal points sticking out of it, much like a plug. “What…er…is it, mate?” Zero asked impatiently. Grunt merely shrugged and inspected it for a bit until he just set it aside. “I’ll check it out later. Let’s see the stuff you got, eh?” He said.
Meanwhile, Mochi was sitting upside down on the couch, still sulking about Christmas. He grumbled to himself, “Stupid Christmas….stupid Santie Clause…I don’t need em….I never needed em!” He rolled onto his belly on the couch, and then stood up. He prepared to jump over to the coffee table, but as he did, he was interrupted by a loud voice coming from outside. “Hey! Anyone in there! Where am I?!” it yelled. Mochi stumbled off of the couch, toppling over and bonking his head on the coffee table. Fuming, he climbed back up onto the couch and looked out the window to see who the idiot was who was making the noise. “What kind of simpleton screams out in the middle of the forest this early in the morning…Why I oughtta-” he stopped mid rant. He couldn’t believe what he saw…if he had some sort of heart it would have stopped. He fell backward again, off of the couch, landing on the floor. “It…can’t be…”
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