Thanks to Duncan MacCocker, the rescue of Jaillat Kubiak and Brendo Welsh was a smoking success! Until the tent in which they were being interrogated… caught fire. From their vantage point, Helgaga and her "Iopfus" were readying their swords to save their brothers in arms…

Perched in a walnut tree, an Osamodas dressed as a Iop gave a thumbs up to a distant thicket from which a telescope protruded. From the top of the thicket, a furry brown arm extended, and at the end, the thumb and index finger curled round to meet each other in a hand signal to the hiding adventurer.

"Duncan is in position. We must be ready to act once he's created a diversion…"

Six strange Tofus circled around the adventurer. On their Piwi heads sat red crests, in true Iop style.

"Wait, where's Toota?" asked their owner.

Helgaga counted her little ones: "1… 2… 3… 4… 5… 6. There's one missing! Where is she?" One of the birds flew out of the group and flapped under the Osamodas's nose, chirping and motioning toward the far-off thicket.

"Argh! She flew off and followed Duncan! I need all of you to do better and stay in position. Right, let's go over the plan! Phase 1: We go in, we locate the hostages and we get them to safety. Girls: Toofa, Toola, Tooba, Toona, you have your work cut out for you saving Jaillat! Boys: Peeto, Jaspo, you take care of Brendo."

The Iopfus nodded their agreement under the firm stare.

"Phase 2: If nothing goes wrong, we get out of there! If we face resistance, we use our secret weapon!"

Helgaga and her feathered team watched as Jaillat was escorted by two militiamen into the nearest tent to where they waited. They then watched as Brendo emerged under escort and was led into the middle tent. Two people dressed in white then appeared in front of the third tent at the back.

"Malco Dracfoy from the Magic Committee and Father Perledelaih from the Inquisition! Now there's an interesting team…"

The two men quickly followed behind Brendo. Soon after, there was a commotion and the two militiamen also went into the tent.

"Grrr… What's Duncan doing?!"

Helgaga climbed down from the tree and moved toward the tents, quickly and furtively, closely followed by her Iopfu unit. The Osamodas suddenly stopped running when she noticed the canine handyman a few kameters away quickly leaving the tent at the back. He held Toota tightly between his paws. He spoke to her and then… rolled her into the tent where Brendo and the others were as if she were a bomb! Before Helgaga could figure out what was happening, a thick white fog suddenly spewed out of the tent fabric. It was time for action!

"It's now up to us, my winged knights! You know what to do!"

They moved toward the tent entrance. Toofa, Toola, Tooba, and Toona split off from the rest of the group to enter the tent where Jaillat was being held prisoner. Helgaga looked behind to wink at Duncan, who was close by, before covering her face with a red scarf.

She then unsheathed her Iop sword and rushed into the fog.


White smoke was everywhere. She heard the thrumming of wings of Peeto and Jaspo close behind her. Suddenly, a bird whizzed by her, propelled by a jet of smoke emanating from her feathered backside: "Toota!" shouted her owner instinctively.

"Who's there?" said a female voice Helgaga didn't recognize.

"Haha! It's Helgaga! And she's here to give you clowns a good ass-whoopin'!"

It was Brendo. Peeto and Jaspo immediately flew toward the voice.

"Oh, it's just you fine fledglings! You gave me a fright… Wow… Okay, you're just going to lift me into the air, just like that! My diet was obviously a good ide…aaaaaa!"

Brendo's voice faded as she left the tent.

There was suddenly a crackling sound. And then another. And then Toota shot by Helgaga again, this time propelled by purple flames! "Eiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Suddenly, the Osamodas noticed the dark stare of Father Perledelaih, who was being protected by two militiamen with spears.

"Kill her!"

The militiamen's blades pierced the fog and clashed heavily with Helgaga's sword. Single-handedly, she knocked back the two assailants, then kicked one between the legs and hammered the other with her wide blade.

The tent caught fire. It was engulfed in the same bright purple flames that streamed out of Toota's behind. The Tofu finally stopped and fell from the air, exhausted, drained, and unconscious. Helgaga rolled to the side to catch her, one knee to the ground, just before the bird touched the floor. A militiaman thrust out his spear in a fit of rage, aiming for the Osamodas's heart. She knocked it aside with a backward swing of her sword, but the second militiaman took the chance to pierce her exposed right side.


With Toota still in one hand, Helgaga dropped her sword to pull out the blade that had pierced her above the hip. She then ran to the exit. The heat of the fire was suffocating. Someone wearing a white wig, which was now slightly crooked after the skirmish, blocked her way. Helgaga was panting. He looked like an injured animal having accepted its fate. Malco Dracfoy gave her a nod, then moved out of her way.

"Imbecile! Stop her!!!" screamed Father Perledelaih.

"Barbarism may be the Inquisition's chosen path, but it certainly isn't chosen by the Magic Committee."


The somber preacher grabbed the bloodstained spear and rushed at the Osamodas, but the two TSB agents called out:

"Make one more move…" said the Feca, threatening Father Perledelaih with her baton.

"And we'll make sure you can't sit down for a week!" added the Osamodas, cracking her whip.

Father Perledelaih dropped the weapon, raised his hands and slowly turned around. He then suddenly cast a blinding spell and fled, while the agents, the militiamen, and Malco Dracfoy momentarily lost their sight in the middle of the burning tent…

To be continued…

The Rise of the Scrollsayers is happening now in DOFUS!