Violinist Of Hamelin Fan Fiction ❯ Bass's Storytime Hour: Sizer and the Seven Mazoku ❯ The... uh... story! ( One-Shot )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]
Sizer and the Seven Mazoku
A Hameln Fanfic
by Galaxy Girl

A/N: Heh heh heh heh heh... Boy, is this ever screwed up. Strange manga references abound. By the way, Irish Harp and Kazoo are two very low-level Mazoku who show up in manga #32 and die almost five pages later. ^.^;;; But I love them both so much, I included them in this story.

This story is dedicated to my two good friend Zel and Angered Fairy, who got me hooked on this wonderful series. Domo arigatou, friends.

Hell King Bass awoke to the rather annoying (but somewhat pleasing to his Mazoku ears) sound of a girl in peril. Her sobs were echoing all through the fortress of Hameln, and had roused him from his beautiful dream about ripping out some human's intestines.
"Oh great Hameln, what is it NOW!?" he mumbled angrily, blowing the point of his poofy nightcap out of his face. Already he'd been forced to wake up to deal with a gang of fiends who had been crushed to death by the sleepwalking Dragon King Drum, and to beat some silence into the perpetually snoring Warrior King Guitar. "Puppet! PUPPET! Wake up!"
There was a low moan from Lute's possessed body, and he rolled over. His elbow flew out, and in a freak stroke of luck, knocked the disembodied head of his possessor off of the velvet pillow on the nightstand and onto the floor.
"Stupid Puppet!" Bass cursed, shaking off the throbbing pain in his head (which was quite a feat, considering that he had no muscles). "Get the hell up and get me off the floor, you zombie!"
Lute sat up, rubbing the sleep out of his soulless eyes and glancing down at the upside-down head on the floor. He flung his legs over the side of the bed and reached down, scooping up the head in his right hand, and dusting it off.
"Good. Now, take me downstairs... Sizer's acting up again," he grumbled.
The boy and the head wandered through the hallways, still a bit groggy. Lute walked with a wobbly gait, frequently tripping on his oversized pajamas, and Bass had to save him several times when he narrowly missed colliding with a wall or tumbling down the stairs.

Finally, the Hell King and his carrier arrived in the chamber of Pandora, sleeping peacefully in her crystalline prison.
At least SOMEONE was getting her rest.
Crumpled at the top of the stairs below the crystal was the trembling form of a crying girl in pink pajamas, about the age of 9. Her slightly tainted white wings were folded up at her back, and she was emitting a soft moan, where a moment ago it had been a scream of loneliness.
"Sizer, what's the matter with you?" Bass barked angrily. "It's 2:00 in the morning, and nobody (PUN!!!) can sleep with you making all this racket!"
"I... I can't sleep, Bass-sama..." Sizer whimpered.
"And why not?" Bass grumbled, not wishing to play "affectionate parent" at the moment... or come to think of it, EVER.
"I... I don't know..." she murmured, shaking her head. "I just... I feel lonely..."
"As well you should! You're a poor abandoned fallen angel being raised in fortress full of bloodthirsty demons," Bass told her. "It's only natural."
"B-but... Ocarina is away tonight... and..." Sizer went on quietly, a little ashamed to be seen crying by the head (PUN!!!) of the Mazoku Generals. "And I guess without her... I really... I want someone to hold me..."
Bass stared at her with one eyebrow cocked. "... Why would you want a stupid thing like that?"
"All I've ever wanted is to know my mother and be loved..." Sizer moaned.
"Hold it. You're not allowed to brood and say things like that until you've become a bloodthirsty Hawk King general who kills lots of people," Bass scolded. "You're only halfway there! I don't want to hear all this angsty 'Boo-Hoo Poor Me I Don't Want To Be Evil' crap until you've got something to show for it!"
Sizer sniffled and wiped some tears away from her face. "I... I guess... you're right..."
"So go back to sleep!" Bass ordered. "Wake everyone up, why don't you... very inconsiderate..."
The puppet turned to carry Bass back to bed, when Sizer stopped him. "B-Bass-sama?"
Lute stopped, and Bass let out a vicious groan. "Whaaaaaaat?"
"I c-can't sleep..."
"Didn't we just go over this?" Bass said, irritated, forcing the puppet to hold him up over his shoulder.
"B-but Ocarina usually tells me a story before I go to bed!" Sizer wailed. "I can't sleep unless I hear a story..."
Bass let out a desolate sigh that lasted well over thirty seconds (which was quite a feat, considering that he had no lungs). Lute let out a sigh to match it, the two of them expressing Bass's annoyance in eerie unison. The puppet turned around again, and Bass groaned. "Do I really have to tell you a story?!"
"I-if you don't mind... p-please, Bass-sama?" Sizer whimpered hopefully. Her hands were clutched together, and she looked rather cute, even Bass had to admit it.
"FINE," he grunted, forcing Lute to carry him back over to where Sizer was seated. Lute plopped down on the step below Sizer, setting Bass down next to her and crossing his hands patiently in his lap. "You tell ANY of the others about this... And I'll rip your wings off and stuff a pillow with them."
"Okay, I won't tell," Sizer smiled.
Bass thought for a moment, Lute scratching the top of his head. Finally, he nodded (which was again quite a feat, considering that he had no neck) and said, "Right... I think I've got a perfect story for you, Sizer... It's called 'Sizer and the Seven Mazoku'. It is almost a true story..."
"I've never heard this one before!" Sizer giggled excitedly, wiping the tears from her face on her pajamas.
"Okay..." Bass began in a dramatic tone, fully prepared to rivet his two audience members (even though Lute really didn't get riveted by anything anymore) with the finest in dramatic theater. "Our story begins... like this..."

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess named...

"Sizer! Her name was Sizer, wasn't it Bass-sama?"
"Do you want me to tell it or not?!"

The princess was named Sizer. She was very beautiful and everybody thought that she was the coolest... She was also the greatest fighter in the land. Many a village had been stomped by the princess as she made her way around, picking flowers and doing all those princess-y things. Her wings were as white as snow, her hair was as blonde as... um... something blonde, and her armor-that covered her princess dress, of course-was as red as a rose covered in blood.
Princess Sizer lived in a castle in the south with her evil twin brother, Prince Hamel...

"Yes. Evil. Her EEEEVIL brother Prince Hamel."
"No, no, trust me. He was one bad guy."

Prince Hamel was a bad, bad, nasty guy! I mean it, REEEAAALLY nasty! He had demon's blood in him, and it made him vindictive and weird! He was abysmally jealous of his sister and her beautiful angel blood and her angel wings, so he forced her to wear ugly, stupid clothes and an ugly, stupid hat with a big yellow feather in it! All day long he forced his sister to clean his laundry and wear seductive outfits to scare the villagers into bowing down to his whim... And... and... he was so bad, he trapped their mother in a crystal and hung her in the window so that she would reflect rainbows when the sun was shining on her! And they would get in people's eyes! And they were REALLY annoying!
And so, because of his vindictive, weird behavior, no one liked Hamel except for Sizer, because she was naïve to his hatred of her.

Hamel wanted one thing and one thing only: to be the greatest warrior in the land. So every day, when he was done torturing innocent little puppy dogs and ripping the skirts off of poor innocent little girls, he would stomp up to his tower and consult his Magic Crow.

Hamel smirked evilly as he paced back and forth before Oboe, perched inside a small cage. "Magic birdy by my hand, who is the biggest bad-ass in the land?" he barked, with a sinister tone in his voice.
"Oh mighty prince," Oboe replied, his voice dripping with sarcasm and obvious boredom. "You are without a doubt, the mightiest warrior in the land. Everyone is afraid of you. Oh yes, you scare the crap out of everyone."
"Good... into the donabe you go!" Hamel cried, laughing maniacally.
"WHAT?! But I answered right this time!" Oboe screeched, as Hamel squeezed him and threw him down into the donabe (stewpot).
"But I am such a mean and nasty guy, I'M GONNA COOK YA ANYWAY! WAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAA!" Hamel cackled.
"OH NO! SOMEONE HELP ME!" screamed Oboe, as Hamel dunked him into the chicken broth of darkness.

"... Bass-sama?"
"Why is Prince Hamel so mean to the poor Magic Crow?"
"I already told you. He was vindictive and weird."
"But why was he..."
"Shut up! I'm barely even started yet! Keep listening!"

So anyway, one day, Hamel was getting finished painting innocent townspeople's underwear green, when he decided to go and consult his Magic Crow.
"I must find out if I am still the biggest bad-ass in the kingdom!" Hamel said to himself as he marched up into his chamber.
As he flung the door open, Oboe was applying Neosporin to the burn wounds from the day before. "Oh no... not again!" he moaned.
Hamel reached down and clutched the innocent little crow in his deadly grip, holding him close to his face. "Magic birdy in my hand... Who's the biggest bad-ass in the land?"
"W-well..." the all-knowing talking crow said very quietly. "Um... Actually, Prince Hamel..."
"What?! Who is it?!" Hamel demanded. "Tell me or I'll stuff you with cornbread and serve you for Thanksgiving!"
"It's your sister, Prince Hamel," Oboe said quietly, bracing himself for a good deal of pain.
"WWHAAAATTT?!" screamed Hamel, obviously angered. His eyes became narrow slits, and his nostrils flared with rage. "Princess Sizer?! My sister?! How can this be?!"
"Silly hats and raggy clothes cannot hide her awesome ruliness," Oboe went on, knowing that there was only a limited threshold of pain that Hamel could deal to him. And he'd crossed it a long time ago, so why not rub it in a little? "She stomps everyone that she sees, and all the village is terrified of her. She is truly the biggest bad-ass in the land."
And with that, Hamel fired up his magic donabe and threw in the crow, eating him for dinner immediately afterwards.

Sizer's eyes were wide with shock. "H-HAMEL... did he really do THAT?!"
"Yes," Bass said, very proud of how his story was progressing. "Yes, he did."

After he had filled his greedy belly, Hamel called for his royal huntsman.
"OH HUNTSMAN!" he called.
The huntsman, Trom, who had formerly been the prince of Dal Segno himself but had had his kingdom stolen away by the evil Hamel, came into the room humbly, not wanting to end up in the stewpot himself. "Yes, my prince?" he said.
"I want you to find my sister and take her deep into the forest," said Hamel, glancing at Trom out of the corner of his eye. "Let her pick some flowers or eat a bear or something."
"O-okay..." stammered Huntsman Trom, not really getting what was being asked of him.
"And then, I want you to KILL HER!" Hamel cackled, throwing his arms up with lightning striking in the background, making a truly evil scene.
"HUH?! B-but sir! The little princess!" Trom gasped. "She'll kick my ass!"
"So kill her when she's not looking!" Hamel shrugged. "What's the problem? Do it or into the donabe you go!"
"OKAY, OKAY!" Trom cried, backing away from the insanely evil prince. "Jeez! All right, I'll do it, just keep that thing away from me!"
Hamel ladled up some of the chicken broth of darkness, and sniggered. "Yes... and to prove to me that you do not chicken out (PUN!!!), I want you to cut off her arms and legs with a chainsaw and put them in this duffel bag!"
The evil prince produced a shiny black duffel bag and tossed it to the huntsman, who caught it and grimaced, nauseated. "I-it shall be done, sir!" Trom bowed, shivering with fear. He stuffed the duffel bag into his pack, and fled from the chamber lest Hamel change his mind and eat him anyway.

"How terrible!"
"Yes, I told you, that Prince Hamel was one crazy mofo."
"Bass-sama, what's a mofo?"
"Er... anyway..."

So, that afternoon, Sizer and Trom went off into the beautiful meadow just outside the forest, where Sizer felt content to pick the beautiful wildflowers and sing randomly every couple of minutes. She felt especially content because Hamel had allowed her to wear her own clothes rather than his stupid hat.
Trom stayed behind her most of the time, a worried sort of grimace on his face the entire time. He waited and waited, until finally, Sizer turned away from him and kneeled down in the grass to aid a cute baby rabbit that was lost from its mother.
"Aw, poor little baby!" Sizer cooed, cuddling the sweet baby rabbit to her face. "What an adorable little bunny-wunny!"
Trom pulled a large sword that doubled as a chainsaw from his pack, and popped the top off of a can of gasoline that he always kept nearby for such an emergency...
"Where is your family?" Sizer asked the bunny rather oddly, considering that the bunny wasn't talking back.
Trom placed one foot on the chainsaw and tugged hard on the pullcord with all his might, unable to get the damn thing started. "UHGH... UUGHH..."
"Oh, there's your mother!" Sizer giggled, setting the bunny free to live happily in its natural habitat. "Goodbye! Goodbye! Goodbye!"
"G-goodbye to you too, P-Princess!" Trom grunted, still tugging on the pull cord as hard as he could, and still unable to get it started.
"Oh, gentle huntsman, do you need some help with that?" Sizer asked considerately, racing to his aid.
"Why yes, actually," Trom said cheerfully, handing her the end of the pullcord.
With one mighty bad-ass princess-y yank, Sizer got the chainsaw motor up and running, and she even revved it a few times, showcasing her wonderful charity. She handed the warmed-up chainsaw back to the huntsman, who saluted her.
"Thank you, Princess!" he said gratefully.
"No trouble at all!" she replied.
"NOW DIE!" Trom screamed, leaping at her with the chainsaw grunting and roaring like a hungry beast.
"AIEEEE!!!!" Sizer squealed, caught completely off guard.

"OH NO!" screamed Sizer, catching her volume level before she woke up even more people. "B-Bass-sama, did he actually kill her?"
"Of course not," Bass said, smiling at the reaction he'd received from his audience member. He glanced over at Lute, who was still staring at him blankly with his hands crossed on his lap. "And you, liven up! This is getting really interesting!"
Lute clapped his hands unenthusiastically. But then again, everything he does he does unenthusiastically.

Just as the chainsaw was about to slice Sizer into a bloody oblivion, she whipped her mystically bad-ass scythe out of nowhere and WHOMPED THE HUNTSMAN RIGHT IN THE HEAD WITH IT!
"OOW!" screeched Trom, leaping backwards and dropping the chainsaw on the ground uselessly.
"AND TAKE THAT AND THAT AND THAT!" Sizer cried, bashing the poor huntsman over and over and over again with the blunt end of the scythe. "AND THERE'S ONE FER YER MAMA! AND THERE'S ONE FER YER PAPA!"
"OOH, OW, OH GOD, STOP IT, STOP IT, I'M SORRY!" shrieked Trom, now sobbing like a little baby. Most people who came face-to-face with Princess Sizer when she was pissed ended up sobbing like little babies. "I APOLOGIZE, PRINCESS SIZER, IT WASN'T MY FAULT!"
"You tried to dismember me with a chainsaw!" Sizer screamed, her eyes going bloodshot with rage. "Of course it was your fault!"
"No, it was your brother, the prince!" wailed Trom, crawling to his knees and clutching on to Sizer's dress as though to beg for mercy.
"Hamel?!" gasped Sizer, absolutely unaware of the contempt that her brother held her in.
"Yes! H-Hamel!" Trom explained, still crying for his mommy. "He told me to bring you here and kill you! He's jealous, MAD jealous! You've got to escape, Princess! Run, far into the forest, far away! And never return!"
"Wh-why is he jealous of me!?" gasped Sizer, in disbelief.
"He's mad because you're an angel and he's a demon!" Trom burst out. "He's mad because you have long, beautiful blonde hair and he... um... also does! And you are the biggest bad-ass in the land, and he wants to be! I'm tellin' you, you'd better run! Run! Far away! Go! Go!"
And to get her going, he kicked her in the butt. "RUN, RUN, GO AWAY! BEFORE I HAVE TO CUT OFF YOUR ARMS AND LEGS WITH A CHAINSAW!"

Sizer was not one to take threats from a small child with a chainsaw lightly. So, she hauled-ass out of there as fast as she could, racing off into the forest. She ran and ran and ran until she felt she could run no more. And that's when she collapsed and fell asleep in the middle of nowhere. And it was cold, and wet, and dirty, and MISERABLE.

"Poor Sizer..." Sizer murmured to herself, having pity for her story persona.
"I know... tragic, isn't it? What a bastard that evil Hamel is," Bass smiled, pleased with the propaganda that he had crammed into Sizer's impressionable mind so far.
"But what happened to the huntsman? And what about the arms and legs in the duffel bag?" asked Sizer worriedly.
"I'm just getting to that part," Bass told her.

"Here you go, Prince Hamel," said Trom, placing the duffel bag that was leaking blood all over the floor... on the floor.
"Ah, excellent..." Hamel cackled, running his fingers together. "Let me see..."
He unzipped the bag and saw that, indeed, there was a pair of arms and a pair of legs inside. And they looked really, really gross. "Excellent, huntsman! What sort of noise did she make?"
Trom made a face. "Uh... sort of a cracking shriek."
"Example," Hamel ordered.
Trom let out a bloodcurdling scream, sounding exactly like Sizer had, right down to the extra exclamation points. "AIEEEE!!!!"
"PEEEERFECT," Hamel sneered, pulling one of the dismembered arms out of the bag. "My poor, poor sister... WAHAHAHAHA! Now I am truly the biggest bad-ass in the land!"
"Yes, of course, sir," Trom said, bowing, and making a face as Hamel draped the arm over his shoulder, pretending that it was still attached to whomever it had been detached from.
"Hey buddy, how ya doin'?" Hamel laughed, making a voice for the arm. "OOH, BROTHER, I'M FEELING NOT VERY BAD-ASS AT ALL! HOOHOOHOO... hoo... huh?"
Trom swallowed hard, and looked up. "Something wrong, Prince Hamel?"
"My sister had the hairiest arms of any woman I've ever seen!" he gagged, revolted at the sheer amount of blond hair on the arm. "I'm afraid to look at the legs."
Trom honestly felt like he was going to vomit. "I... I see, sir... That's very strange."
At that second, the door to Prince Hamel's chamber slammed open, and a very strange sight greeted them.
It was High Priest Clarinet of the neighboring kingdom of Sforzendo. Strangely though, his arms and legs did not look right... His left arm was made of straw, his right arm of sticks, his left leg of bricks, and his right leg of some sort of glowing rubber.
"THERE YOU ARE, YOU LITTLE BASTARD!" screamed Clari, pointing a straw finger at Trom, who turned very pale. "WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA, CHOPPING OFF MY ARMS AND LEGS WITH A CHAINSAW?! I'LL KILL YOU!"
"WAAGGGH!" screamed Trom, trying to duck under a table.
"TENRIN!" shouted Clari.
And with that, there was a big explosion of light, and Trom was blown to oblivion while Hamel ducked under a table for safety.
Unfortunately, the Tenrin spell had knocked a large chunk of rubble from the ceiling. It promptly tumbled down and squashed Clari flat, ridding the Mazoku of the priestly pest forever.
Hamel came out from under the table, observing the pile of ashes and the puddle of mush that had been Trom and Clari, respectively. He dusted himself off, and pulled his magic donabe out of the rubble. "Bummer. Lose more huntsmen that way," he mumbled. "But at least my stupid twin sister is dead, deceased, gone forev...... heeeyyy, wait a minute... Didn't Clari just say...?"
He paused for a moment to think. "... Naaaaaaaah."

Sizer's eyes were once again wide with horror. "B-Bass-sama?"
"Yes?" he asked, clearing his nonexistent throat.
"Wh... why did you bring High Priest Clarinet into the story just to kill him?"
"Plot device, Sizer my dear... Plot device."
"But then... you realize that the prince of Dal Segno is currently only 2 or 3 years old? So why, in this story, is he suddenly old enough to carry a chainsaw?"
"... Plot device, Sizer my dear... Plot device."

The next morning, Sizer woke up, covered in mud and dirt and generally not very clean-looking. "Oh, I'm so afraid!" she wailed. "Where will I go now that I can never again return to my castle for fear of my brother turning me into a torso?"
She swooned dramatically and stared up at the sky. "If only I could find my prince! He would whisk me up onto his white horse and we would ride off into the sunset to his castle to be happy forever more!"
Sizer's romantic dreaming was interrupted by a loud noise coming from just a little to the north of where she was. KABOOM!
"What on earth was that?!" she gasped, making her way towards the source of the noise, curious to find an answer.
Sizer finally stumbled upon the source of the noise- it was a very small castle! It was only as big as a house, in fact. Built of black stone, with lots of cool gothic gargoyles and spikes all over the place. The noise had been the drawbridge lowering. The torches outside were not lit, and it appeared that no one was home.
"Oh my!" Sizer said in awe. "A very small castle! Some mighty warriors must live inside... Perhaps they will let me stay with them, rather than in my little mud pit I stayed in last night!"

Sizer found her way to the great hall of the castle (not very hard, since it was a cheap, two-room castle), where she found it to be a total pit. In the center of the room was a table with seven chairs and seven sets of dishes set around it. The seven warriors appeared to be extremely messy. Bones and chunks of meat and blood were all over the place. The floor was coated in a thick layer of dust, and cobwebs were stringing from every corner.
"Apparently, they are very untidy warriors," Sizer said, wiping her finger on the table. It was coated with dust when she lifted it. "Perhaps if I clean up this room, it will surprise them and they'll let me stay here for a while!"
So, Sizer picked up a broom from the corner of the room, opened up a few windows, and called in her servants, the many birds of the forest! With the help of the birds, Sizer cleaned up the room and made it shiny and sparkly.
Once the room was clean, Sizer decided to have a look around the castle (which wasn't hard, considering that there was only one more room she could possibly look inside). She made her way up the creepy, spike-lined stone steps in the back of the great hall, and she found herself in the bedroom of the seven warriors.
There were three little beds, one little dog bed, two little perches, one little velvet pillow, and one gigantic birdcage. Each of the items had a name carved into them, and each one was complete with a soft, cuddly quilt sewn especially for the warriors by their mothers.
"Let's see... 'Bass', 'Lute', 'Drum'... What funny names for warriors!" Sizer mused, reading the beds. 'Kazoo'... 'Harp'... 'Vocal'... and 'Guitar'!" The large birdcage was engraved with the word "Garuda".
Seeing the many beds made Sizer very sleepy... Remember, she'd shared a sleeping arrangement with a bunch of worms and bugs the night before, so she was ready to be comfortable. "The warriors won't mind if I take a little rest," she yawned, curling up in the gigantic bed that read "Drum" on the side. Within minutes, she was fast asleep.

"Bass-sama, I didn't know you and the other generals were in this story!" Sizer giggled, pleased with the pleasant turn the tale had taken.
"Well sure," Bass nodded. "We're everywhere. It's finding somewhere we can't get to that's the trick."

Sizer had been wrong about one thing... The castle did belong to seven warriors, but they were seven powerful Mazoku warriors! They spent each day out in the towns and country roads, terrorizing townspeople and eating them occas- er... they... worked in a mine. Yeah, that's it. Forcing humans to dig up the rocks for them!
And right now, they were on their way back home.
The head (PUN!!!) of the Mazoku was the one named Bass. He was unbelievably handsome, with a thick, luxurious goatee, soft blue skin, and a nice hat. Unfortunately, he was debilitated in... a freak mining accident years ago, so he required a little help moving around.

"But Bass-sama, didn't Prince Lute..."

The second Mazoku was named Drum. He was a huge, lumbering, three-headed dragon with no brain whatsoever. He was very stupid, but he was also very easily angered. The others liked to call him "Grumpy".
The third Mazoku was Guitar, who looked like a scary dog-deer thing. He liked to collect swords and knives. Pointy swords and knives. That burned with the fires of a thousand evils. But they were lots of fun, you have got to admit.
The fourth Mazoku was Vocal, and he was a humanish-looking one with large bat wings for ears and big claws and teeth and horns. He carried a large ball and chain with him at all times, because Bass thought that he got out of line too often. He liked to kill things.
The fifth Mazoku was Harp. He was a skeleton in a thick suit of armor, who sort of looked like Lawrence of Arabia. He had a pet demon bird named Garuda, who all of the Mazoku loved and treated like their own pet demon bird thing.
The sixth was Kazoo. He was spazzy, loud, and getting him to shut up was quite a feat. He also had pets, three little worms that were attached to his hair. He liked to make them bite people, and they were really gross.
And the seventh Mazoku was Lute, Bass's good friend and personal chauffeur. He carried Bass everywhere the Mazoku went, and he never said much, because Bass kept mind control on him the entire time.
Anyway, at this particular moment, the Mazoku were on their way back home, singing a cheerful song.
And the Mazoku had just reached their house when suddenly, Bass forced Lute to stop quickly, sending them all crashing into each other and Drum nearly toppling over on top of Guitar and Vocal, which would have killed them both instantly.
"Look!" cried Bass. "The torches are lit! The drawbridge fell down!"
"SOMEONE'S IN OUR HOUSE! KILL!" Drum screamed, extremely peeved by this discovery.
"Ouch, Drum, you're standing on my paw!" Guitar snapped.
"What did he say?" asked Harp, as Garuda let out a loud shriek.
"He said, 'Drum, you're standing on my spleen,'. Heh heh heh heh!" Kazoo snickered, finding it quite funny.
"Quiet!" hissed Bass. "Do you want the intruder to hear us coming and escape!?"
"What if it's Queen Horn?" asked Guitar nervously.
"We'll rip her into pieces," Vocal piped up, having pulled himself out from under Drum.
"What if it's Prince Lute?!" gasped Drum, soiling himself at the very thought.
"You idiot, he's right behind us," Harp snapped, bopping Drum in the head.
"OH MY GOD!" screamed Drum, leaping away from Lute.
"He's been brainwashed by Bass for years now, you fool!" Vocal barked.
Lute didn't say anything, he just stood there holding Bass and looking blankly at the castle.
"Wh-what if it's Lord Clarinet?!" mused Kazoo, his face turning very pale and his worms retracting back into his skull with terror.
"Relax, I killed him earlier in the story," Bass assured the terrified fiend Mazoku. "I'm the narrator, you know."
"If you're the narrator, why don't you tell us who's inside the castle?" grunted Vocal impatiently.
"Yes, why don't you?" asked Harp, trying to relax his frightened Garuda with a pat on the head. Garuda purred like a giant demon bird impersonating a cat.
"Oh... okay, you've convinced me. It's only the princess Sizer, seeking shelter from her evil brother Prince Hamel who also happens to be our mortal enemy."
"Oh, dear, let's help her!" suggested Harp. "She could prove to be a valuable ally to us Mazoku!"
"All right, let's go inside and wake her up," Bass nodded (which was quite a feat, considering... oh jeez, you know). "She's asleep in Drum's bed."
"Wait a minute... DRUM'S bed?" gasped Guitar, stopping the demon troop short before they headed into their home.
"MY bed?" gasped Drum, equally shocked.
There was a brief moment of silence. Then, all seven of the Mazoku, and Garuda in the background, let out a unison chorus of "EWWWWWWW."

When Sizer awoke, the first thing she heard was the terrified yells of seven demons and one demon bird.
The first thing she saw was a tremendous flash of green as Drum tried to hide himself behind a curtain, way behind the rest of the Mazoku, who had already sought and occupied hiding places.
"Oh! Please, don't be frightened!" Sizer said. "My name is Princess Sizer, and I've come here to hide from my evil brother Hamel. Please, please let me stay!"
"I dunno if we should trust her, Bass!" Guitar mumbled from his hiding place among Kazoo's stuffed animal collection.
"She DID clean our house after all," Harp pointed out. "That's a very strange thing to do in a demon's castle." He was secured inside the dresser at the end of the room.
"Most people run away screaming," Kazoo agreed, from his hiding place inside a bedside cabinet with his worms poking out of a flowerpot. "Or get eaten."
"I dunno, she's kinda cute," Vocal snickered. Always the first one out of hiding, he was perched on the end of Drum's bed, staring down Sizer with a maniacal grin.
"You... you must be Vocal!" Sizer guessed well, placing out her hand to shake. "How do you do?"
"Pleased to meat you... and meat is spelled with an 'a'," Vocal giggled in a sinister tone, shaking Sizer's hand.
"Sit, boy!" Bass ordered from his spot, where he was disguised as a lamp. The ball and chain at the end of Vocal's wrist grew very heavy, knocking him to the floor comically, Inuyasha-style.
"Everybody come out now! She seems safe... I don't think she's holy or anything," Bass said.
"At least not yet!" Vocal cut in from his spot on the floor.
"Hello everyone. How do you do?" asked Sizer politely, nodding her greetings to the Mazoku as they came out of hiding.
"HOW DO YOU DO WHAT?!" growled Drum angrily, coming out from behind the curtain.
"You must be Drum!" Sizer said cheerfully.
"How do you know THAT?" he barked.
"I'm sleeping in your bed. I recognize the smell," Sizer said.
"OOOOH, ZING!" Kazoo cackled, slinking out from the bedside table. "I like her! She's witty!"
"You're Kazoo!" Sizer guessed, pointing at him.
"How do you know?"
"Your perch has three little sleeping masks hanging off of it," Sizer said.
"Ooh, she's good," Kazoo nodded.
"You're Guitar, you're Harp, you're Bass..." Sizer pointed, as Mazoku began to come out of hiding. "And... you must be Garuda!" she giggled, pointing at Garuda.
Garuda bowed politely.
"Which leaves Lute..." Sizer murmured.
Bass forced Lute out of his spot next to Sizer on Drum's bed, where he'd been pretending to be one of Drum's precious dolls. He waved emotionlessly.
"Oh, there you are. Hello!" she greeted.
"Lute doesn't say much," Harp told her calmly.
"Why? Is he shy?" teased Sizer.
"No, I have him under a powerful mind control spell at all times," Bass explained.
"Oh. That makes sense too... Please, please, all you wonderful Mazoku! Please don't send me away! If I leave this place, Hamel will surely find me, and he'll cut off my arms and legs with a chainsaw!"
"She can't stay here!" Drum boomed (PUN!!!). "If Hamel finds her here, we'll all be toast! He's the successor, you know! He could blow us all away!"
"Aww, but I like her!" whined Vocal, who had crawled off of the floor and was crawling all over her, licking her face.
"VOCAL! MIND YOUR MANNERS!" threatened Bass.
"It's all right. He's sort of cute!" Sizer assured him. "But please... I promise I won't be any trouble. If you let me stay, I'll keep house for you! I'll wash your dishes and do your laundry..."
"Better think twice about that one, sister," Kazoo whispered in her ear from where he was perched at the head of Drum's bed. "Have you seen the size of Drum's underwear? And Harp's facemask really stinks after he's been breathing on it all day. And Guitar's sweatsocks... PEWWW."
"And I'll clean house and cook..." Sizer continued.
"COOK?!" gasped all the Mazoku.
"Yes, I can cook."
"Can you make blood pudding?!" piped up Guitar excitedly.
"Or blood sausage?" asked Harp, rubbing his nonexistent stomach.
"Sure," Sizer shrugged.
"Can you make brain and kidney pie?" queried Vocal.
"RAWWWK!" Garuda shrieked.
"Garuda wants to know if you can make worm stew," asked Harp.
"NOT IN FRONT OF THE BOYS!" Kazoo shrieked, covering the ears of his hairdo.
"What about ladyfingers?" asked Bass suspiciously. "Or Girl Scout cookies?"
"Oh, I'm the best at cooking those," Sizer smiled.
"With real ladies?! And real Girl Scouts?!" gasped Bass, in awe.
Sizer paused. "Er..."
"WHO CARES, SHE CAN COOK! SHE STAYS!" cried the Mazoku happily, even Drum, who had to admit that a nice, fresh Girl Scout cookie was sounding good to him.

"So Sizer lived with the Mazoku from that day on?" asked Sizer.
"The story is just getting to the good part!" scolded Bass. "Be patient!"

The arrangement worked out better than Sizer or the Mazoku could have imagined. Sizer kept the castle nice and clean and tidy, and she made the best food any of them had ever tasted, from ingredients that they brought her fresh from the vil- ... from the mine. Yes, from the mine.
Sizer became best friends with the Mazoku. She lived with them. She partied with them. She went on rampant sprees of destruction with them. She had the best time of her life, and the thought of Hamel ever discovering where she was didn't even cross her mind...
But maybe it should have.

"Ahhh... Magic birdy, in my hand, who's the biggest bad-ass in the land?" asked Hamel lazily one day, to his replacement Magic Crow.
"Well..." Ocarina stammered, terrified to be in her current position. "That is, Prince Hamel..."
"It's me, isn't it?" asked Hamel darkly, staring at Ocarina with a vicious glare.
"Er..." Ocarina stammered again.
Hamel took a deep breath and sighed. "Magic Crow... if there's something you need to tell me, I promise I won't be mad. Just get it all out and be honest."
Ocarina took an even deeper breath, and burst out. "In a castle north, in Hameln, with seven Mazoku in a band, there dwells your sister Sizer, biggest bad-ass in the land."
Hamel's eyes widened. "Ocarina, that was beautiful."
Ocarina looked immensely relieved. "You really think so? PHEW! I put it in a poem so you wouldn't cook me and eat me like you did to my dad."
"Except for that one part... What was it? About... who was it again?" asked Hamel, a hint of rage coming to his voice.
"Um... Sizer?"
"Yes... Sizer... my sister... And that part after that, about... what did it call her again?"
"The biggest bad-ass in the land?" Ocarina squeaked.
"Yeah... I have a problem with that part."
"SIZER IS SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD!" screeched Hamel viciously, squeezing Ocarina in his fist.
"Those were the arms and legs of High Priest Clarinet!" Ocarina squealed. "You were tricked! Sizer is still alive, and she's living with the Seven Mazoku!"
"I won't believe it! I can't believe it!" Hamel snarled, a deep growl coming to his voice. "Magic birdy, in my hand, who's the biggest bad-ass in the land?!"
"It is Princess Sizer, she kicks ass! She'll turn anybody's butt to grass!" Ocarina replied again, knowing full and well that she was going to die anyway. So why not rub it in?
"NO!" Hamel cried. "I'M THE BIGGEST BAD-ASS!"
"Sizer, Sizer, she's our man! She kicks your puny demon can!" Ocarina replied crassly.
With that, Hamel flung her into the donabe, where she was killed instantly and became his dinner for that night.

"OCARINA!" gasped Sizer, sobbing her eyes out.
"Yeah! What a bad man that Hamel was!" Bass encouraged her. "Hate him! Hate him, that's it!"
"Wh-what happened next, Bass-sama?!" squeaked Sizer.

"This will not stand!" Hamel barked evilly, pulling his overly-large violin out of the closet and tuning the strings. "I will go to the castle in Hameln and take care of Sizer once and for all! Then everyone will see who the biggest bad-ass in the land is!"
Hamel had a plan. A bad plan. A bad, evil, mean, NASTY plan.
He slunk downstairs to his secret laboratory, carrying his violin on his back. He plopped his silly-looking feathered hat onto his head, and strapped a long black cape over his shoulders. "I'll show Sizer! I'll show her who's boss!"
In his laboratory, Hamel prepared a poison. A deadly poison, that would close the eyes of its victim in eternal sleep, forever! ... That's pretty redundant. He mixed it all together with the bow of his violin, and then, he pulled an apple out of the cabinet.
"That's it... what a perfect plan!" Hamel cackled. "But I can't plot evil things on an empty stomach..."
He was about to eat the apple, when he accidentally dropped it into the poison. "D'OH!" he grunted. "MY POOR APPLE!"
But that's when Hamel revised his plan. Instead of eating the apple, he would give it to Sizer! She would eat it, and then she would be in eternal sleep, forever! ... Man, that's redundant. The Mazoku would think she was dead, and they would bury her! And bad-asses can't be bad-ass if they are buried!
"My perfect plan will never be spoiled!" cried Hamel, pulling a sack of costumes out of the cabinet where he'd gotten his apple. "First, I will disguise myself as a traveling violinist with a big mustache."
And that's precisely what he did.
"Now, I will ride to the castle of the Seven Mazoku with my trusty ostrich, Bonanza-chan!" Hamel said, fiddling with the end of his mustache.
"HAMEL, LET ME OUT OF HERE!" squealed a voice from inside the ostrich.
"SHUT UP! SILENCE! NOT NOW, FLUTE!" Hamel barked, kicking the ostrich. "Now, let us ride... TO HAMELN!"

The very next day, the Mazoku were leaving for work again, leaving Sizer all alone in the castle.
"Now Sizer, be very sure not to let anyone else inside the house! And don't talk to any strangers!" ordered Bass, as Lute straightened the hat on his head. "We don't want anything to happen to you!"
"Don't worry Bass, you can count on me!" Sizer smiled, kissing him on the head. She gave Lute a peck on the cheek before the two of them set of to go ki- ... to go to the mines. That's it, the mines.
"And don't let anyone sleep in my bed!" snarled Drum as he left.
"Don't worry Drum, I won't," Sizer assured him, hugging his leg.
As Drum lumbered off, Guitar came from behind him, a large bag full of weapons and pointy sharp things on his back. "Well, take good care of the house, and yourself."
"Thanks Guitar," Sizer smiled, kissing him on the nose.
"Bye, baby," Vocal hissed, licking Sizer on the cheek again.
"VOCAL, WATCH YOUR MANNERS!" screamed Bass up ahead. (PUN!!!)
Suddenly, the head was hurtling through the air, slamming into Vocal and knocking him to the ground.
Sizer gasped as Vocal threw Bass off of him, grumbling angrily. Bass was screaming, "LUTE, YOU STUPID PUPPET! I DIDN'T TELL YOU TO DO THAT!"
"Shut the hell up, you stupid head!" Vocal snapped, standing up and carrying Bass back up ahead (PUN!!!).
"Always fighting," scolded Harp, on Garuda's back. Sizer moved out of the way, waiting for them to get out of the doorway.
"Have fun Garuda. And be careful not to fall off, Harp!" Sizer cooed.
"Thanks, Sizer," Harp said, as the two of them flew off to kill-... the mines. They went to the mines.
"Eheheheheh..." Kazoo sniggered as he left the house. "I left some intestines in the fridge if you get hungry."
"Kazoo, you're so thoughtful!" Sizer giggled, giving him a kiss on the cheek. "Have a nice day Uno... Deux... Renee," she said to the worms.
And as the seven Mazoku walked away, Sizer waved. "Don't anybody worry! I've got everything under control!"

Later, Sizer was busy in the kitchen cooking a great feast for the Mazoku to enjoy for dinner. She was interrupted when she heard strange music coming from outside. "What beautiful music..." she whispered.
Sizer peered out the front door to see a young man sitting on an ostrich, playing an overly-large violin. She could not see his face... But secretly, it was her twin brother Hamel!
"Oh, what beautiful music you play!" she said as she stepped outside.
The young man looked up. "Oh, I'm glad you like it," he said cheerfully. "Oh, you have wings... They're very pretty."
"Thank you," Sizer said. "You know... without the mustache, you'd look just like somebody I know."
Hamel nearly had a heart attack. "Wh-what?! That's silly! I'm sure I've never seen you before in my life! We've never met before!"
"My Uncle Keyboard," Sizer continued.
"... OHHHH. Say, young lady... as a thank you for listening to my beautiful music, why don't you take this apple?" suggested Hamel in a sinister tone, extending his hand with the apple in it.
"Oh, I don't know..." said Sizer nervously. "I mean, Bass told me not to talk to strangers..."
"Oh, I won't hurt you. I'm just a harmless young man with a mustache and a large violin," Hamel chuckled. "Go on... It's a special apple."
"How is it special?"
"I grew it myself, at home," Hamel explained.
"That's not THAT special..."
"But it's also a magical apple," Hamel announced proudly.
"Magic?" asked Sizer in disbelief.
"Yes. It's a magical apple that will make all your dreams come true."
"Sweeeeet," Sizer whistled, taking the apple from him. "Can I really have it?"
"Oh, sure. It's a special present for you, for enjoying my song," Hamel said cheerfully. "All you have to do is say your wishes, and then eat it!"
"Let's see..." Sizer pondered. "Well... I've always wanted to meet a handsome prince who would sweep me off my feet onto a white horse and take me away to his castle where we'd live happily ever after..."
"Great. Now eat it," Hamel urged.
"There's more!" Sizer shot back. "I want good things for my friends... I hope Bass finds his body someday, so that Lute can be released... I hope Drum finds a ski cap his size, and I hope that Guitar finally earns enough to afford that Daimou sword he's always wanted... I hope Garuda finally finds a worm big enough to whet his appetite, and that Harp will someday teach Garuda to say 'Demon want a cracker'... I hope Vocal finally escapes from his ball and chain, and I hope Kazoo and his worms finally start that barbershop quartet, too..."
"All right, all right, Little Miss Charity, just eat the damn apple already," Hamel snapped.
And with that, Sizer took a bite.

"OH NO!"
"Wait, wait, I'm not done yet, Sizer! You've got to stop interrupting!" Bass growled.

Hamel watched with anticipation as Sizer swallowed.
"Hey... that's pretty good," Sizer commented, taking another bite. "Tastes like chicken..."
Hamel watched, dumbstruck, as Sizer took bite after bite of the apple with no ill effects. She didn't even look less hungry or anything. His face sunk as she finally ate it down to the core, and handed it back to Hamel.
"Thank you very much, it was very good," Sizer said, nodding to him. "I hope that all of my wishes come true."
Hamel was absolutely stunned. His plan... it had failed!
Suddenly, a new one struck him.
"Hey, look, something distracting!" he cried, pointing over Sizer's shoulder.
"WHERE?!" gasped Sizer, spinning around.
Hamel raised his violin over her head and WHACK! Conked her one right in the noggin!
Sizer dropped like a sack of wet mice, and Hamel laughed maniacally.
"Ow, what did you do that for?!" Sizer grumbled, sitting up.
Hamel bashed her in the head again, and she dropped to the ground yet again.
"You stupid jerk, you'd better not..." Sizer began, sitting up yet again.
"WHY WON'T YOU DIE?!" Hamel screamed, hitting her over and over again. "DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, FOOLISH SIZER, DIE, DIE, DIE!"
"HANG ON FELLAS, I FORGOT MY HAT!" a voice boomed from over the hill near the castle.
Hamel looked up just in time to see Bass and Lute step over the hill. Bass's eyes nearly popped out when he saw Hamel, violin raised, over Sizer, who was suffering from a very bad head wound.
"H-HEY! SIZER!" bellowed Bass. "YOU'RE HAMEL!"
"FWAHAHAHAHA!" Hamel cackled, throwing his violin over his shoulder and speeding away. "YOU'RE TOO LATE! SIZER IS DEAD! I BEAT HER SKULL IN WITH MY VIOLIN! NOW I AM THE BIGGEST BAD-ASS IN THE LAND!"
At that second, the rest of the Mazoku appeared on the hill next to Bass. "SIZER!" they gasped in terror.
"GET THAT MAN!" yelled Bass, as Lute pointed at Hamel. "STOP HIM, DON'T LET HIM GET AWAY!"

The chase was on.
Hamel sped through the backcountry woods of Hameln, panting and gasping and trying to escape from the mob of angry Mazoku who were chasing him. "I MUST ESCAPE!" he cried. "MUST! ESCAPE! SO! I! CAN! BE! BAD! -! ASS!"
But Bass and the others were gaining on him. Harp, on Garuda's back, was almost right above Hamel, aiming to snatch him up. "You'll pay for hurting Sizer!" growled Harp.
"AHAHAHAH, CATCH ME IF YOU- AAAAAAAAAAGGGHH!" screamed Hamel, who had the misfortune of stepping over the side of a cliff.
The Mazoku paused at the side and watched Hamel go plummeting down to the bottom.
He landed with a WHAM, and the Mazoku all winced.
They continued to stare down into the cliff, and they heard this conversation.

"OW... thank God something broke my fall..."
"Hello Hamel."
"Eh? Flute?! OH! GOOD FLUTE! Thank you! If you hadn't been wearing that ostrich costume, I would have died!"
"I have something for you Hamel."
"What is it?"
"... A box? WAIT A SEC! PANDORA'S BOX?!"
"Flute, let's talk this over! Bonanza-chan!? COME ON! COME ON, FLUTE, PLEASE!"

"And with that," Bass went on, "Hamel was sucked into Pandora's Box, never to be heard from again unless some raging teenage fangirl writes him out, or unless he becomes the demon king and we Mazoku set him free."
"B-but..." Sizer whimpered, a little disturbed at Hamel's fate. "B-but what about Sizer?"

The Mazoku arrived back to Sizer's side too late. She had fallen under Hamel's spell... Turns out, the apple only takes effect AFTER you fall asleep. Plus, he'd bonked her in the head quite a few times. It was a miracle that her brain wasn't totally a puddle of mush. She was in eternal sleep, forever. Jeez, that is REALLY redundant.
The Mazoku were saddened greatly by this turn of events. They felt terrible about poor Sizer... She was so beautiful and so cool and so bad-ass, the Mazoku couldn't find it in their hearts to bury her. So, they crafted a coffin out of glass and gold that they stole from the hu-... Mines. They got the gold from the mines.
They crafted a coffin out of glass and gold, placed Sizer inside, and they stood watch by her side at all times, on shifts... Only Vocal wasn't allowed to, because he kept gnawing on the coffin.
And Drum wasn't allowed to, because he got bored and would wander away from the coffin.
And Lute wasn't allowed to, because all he ever did was sit there and stare at the trees like a zombie.

A month passed, and the legends spread all over of the beautiful princess who slept forever in the glass coffin with all the creepy demons watching over her. And news got to a handsome young prince and Warrior of Love named Raiel, who was traveling across the country on his motorcar that he had fashioned out of his golden piano.
"I, the Great Warrior of Love, must see this beautiful princess for myself," Raiel said to himself one day.
So, traveling north, he finally arrived at the place where the Mazoku kept an eternal vigil by Sizer's side.
"Excuse me," he said, unfolding a road map. "Is this the place where the Mazoku keep an eternal vigil by Princess Sizer's side?"
Lute didn't say anything.
"Hello?" Raiel said impatiently, poking Lute with his foot. "Helloooo?"
"Huh?" snorted Bass, waking up. "Who the hell are you?"
"Hello, disembodied head," Raiel greeted politely, taking a bow. "My name is Prince Raiel, Great Warrior of Love, and I have come from far away to see the beautiful Princess Sizer who sleeps forever in a coffin made of glass and gold. Is this the place where the Mazoku keep an eternal vigil by her side?"
"Why yes," said Bass. "Come with me if you want to see her."
So Raiel followed Bass into the clearing, where the other Mazoku were holding a kegger around Sizer's coffin.
"CHUG, CHUG, CHUG," they chanted to Kazoo's worms, who were each clutching a bottleneck in their throats. Kazoo himself was egging them on, taking sips from a can of his own.
Raiel's eyes widened with shock, and Bass turned extremely red. "YOU GUYS! WE HAVE COMPANY!"
The Mazoku turned, saw Raiel, and immediately threw the alcohol into a trapdoor in the earth. They dropped to their knees, started throwing flowers at the coffin and sobbing.
"Yonder, she lies in eternal sleep, forever," Bass said sadly. "... That is really redundant."
Raiel staggered over to the coffin as Harp and Guitar lifted the glass lid off and set it in the grass. Raiel dropped to his knees in front of it, and clasped his hands in prayer.
"What a beautiful, angelic, heavenly maiden..." he whispered. "Eternally beautiful in this cursed sleep, brought upon her by a poisoned fruit and a big violin..."
"Yeah, sad, ain't it?" sniffled Vocal.
Raiel wasn't done yet. "What an angel you would be... They wouldn't even need to give you wings, messenger of all that is pure and gentle..."
"Hey, this guy's pretty good," said Drum.
"We could hire him to write greeting cards and put pictures of Sizer on the cover!" Guitar piped up.
Raiel leaned over Sizer, closing his eyes gently. "This kiss is all I have to offer you in my sympathy... It will dwell in my heart forever, the guilt, that I could not save you, beautiful maiden..."
He kissed her, and even the Mazoku were moved to tears.
Raiel rested his head in his hands, shaking it slowly. "Poor, beautiful, heavenly maiden..."
But as is so cliché in these sorts of stories, you'll never guess what was needed to rouse Sizer from her eternal sleep that would last forever... Redundant, isn't it?
Sizer's eyes fluttered open, and she gasped.
All of the Mazoku gasped too.
Raiel made the loudest gasp of all.
Sizer sat up slowly, looking around in disbelief. She looked at her friends, the Mazoku, gathered around, slow smiles coming to their faces.
Then she looked at her rescuer, who stood up and was gazing at her with a mixture of love and shock.
"Ooh, BABY," she whistled. "I'd like to once upon YOUR time!"
Raiel immediately burst out in a tremendous nosebleed, moaning helplessly and collapsing on the ground, where he would twitch every once and a while.
The Mazoku burst out laughing as Sizer stood up from her coffin, reached down, and scooped up the hemophiliac prince in her arms, carrying him back to his golden piano, parked nearby.
"Sizer, where are you going?" called Bass.
"I'm going to live happily ever after!" she called back, jumping onto the piano and holding Raiel's head up over his heart. She didn't even seem to mind that he was bleeding all over her. "Thank you for everything guys, goodbye!"
"GOODBYE, SIZER!" called the Mazoku.
"Goodbye, sweet princess..." Bass said quietly. "And may the flights of other angels sing your happy ending..."
"HEY BASS, I FOUND ANOTHER KEG!" Kazoo burst out.
"BUD," said Uno.
"WISE," said Deux.
"ERRRRR," said Renee.
And there was much drinking and rejoicing, as Sizer and Raiel drove off into the sunset on his golden piano, leaving a trail of blood wherever they went.

"And they lived happily ever after," Bass concluded dramatically, taking a deep breath.
He waited for the tremendous applause, but none came, except from Lute, who was still clapping his hands from about ten pages back.
Sizer was curled up in a little ball on the top step, fast asleep. A big smile was on her face.
"Damn, I'm good," said Bass, forcing Lute to pick him up and begin to carry him back to bed. He would just leave Sizer here for the night... It wasn't possible for him to carry her back to bed. And besides, she looked so happy.
Bass was just about to leave, when a few other voices from the shadows stopped him. "B-Bass-sama?"
"Who's there?" he grunted.
Drum, Guitar, Irish Harp and Kazoo peered out nervously.
"What are you all doing here?!" snarled Bass. "You didn't hear that, did you?"
"The whole thing," Guitar snickered smugly.
"You're a pretty good storyteller for being the Hell King of Hameln," Harp snorted.
"Oh DAMMIT..." Bass groaned. "Now I'm never going to hear the end of this."
"Nope. NEVER," Kazoo snickered maniacally.
"But... um... Bass?" murmured Drum.
"WHAT?" he snapped.
"We... can't sleep," they all said under their breaths.
Bass paused for a moment. "You have GOT to be kidding me."
"Can we hear another story?" asked Guitar shyly.
Lute slapped his forehead. Then he slapped Bass's forehead.
"What do I look like, a damn nursery school teacher?!" he snarled. "Go back to bed, you toddlers!"
"PLEEEEEASSEEE?" pleaded Drum.
"Eh... uh... Bass-sama?" whispered Sizer from the far end of the room. "Don't be so loud... You woke me up..."
"AGGGHHH!" Bass screamed. "ALL OF YOU, BACK TO BED, NOW!"
Sizer stood up, and followed the rest of the Mazoku out of the room. Bass slammed the door behind them, leaving Guitar standing by himself.
He gazed up at the sleeping Pandora in the crystal, and then bit his lip in thought.
"Y'know..." he said quietly. "That IS pretty redundant."