The Killer Shopping Spree – a Short Story

1.

“And here we are, Space Gate SouthWest!” the tour lady presents using one of her six porcelain hands to slow the trolley to a halt.

The cart of nineteen tourists would have all rolled out an impressed “Oooh!” at the incredible sight before them: a miles-long entertainment plaza contained in the perfectly controlled interstellar space station environment of Ultramall, but by this time they have already been in the structure for an hour, and that is more than enough time to put it all in perspective.

The tour guide gives a delicate, knowing smile before continuing.

“This is the most busy of the space gates in Ultramall, as its proximity to Jeran’s and Giga Extremonics are closer than any other gate. Notable restaurants include Jean Le’luc’s own ‘six star’ experience, Whitefire: Dragon-Kin Steakhouse, and the Super Nirvana Lounge. It’s also home to two theme parks, one water park, three movie theaters, two arcades, and- Oh! Look! Someone’s using the gate now!” she exclaims, gesturing with her lithe frame for the numb tourists to look about to the now-humming space gate.

Someone’s coming through from another dimension, and as customary all companies within Ultramall are required to train their employees to give a loud, hearty greeting to every new customer that enters their consumerist realm.

“Please, join me in greeting our newest friends!” she says, rousing only the overly-clingy young elf couple and some blob thing to wave at the space gate.

No sooner do the first pair of blacker-than pitch, light-absorbing antennae emerge from the rift, is an automatic alarm triggered.

Everyone who knows begins scrambling, clearing out, closing up shop, leaving those who are slow to catch on to follow along just a step behind.

The tour guide says nothing, but rather drops all presumption of etiquette and shoves the lever for the trolley in full reverse. She’s driven this thing around this marble-fountain hell long enough to know how to maneuver through the running crowds without killing anyone and thus risking a strike on her next employee evaluation.

She races them off, the tourists instantly awake and excited at the new, mysterious development: Ultramall has not disappointed.

Who should pull himself from the portal but The One High Overlord and Master of All Weapons, Chaos. At his hip height is Numbers Minion, her clip board and various notebooks all ready for reference. Even lower at his knee is Tourism Blogging Minion, her camera already snapping pictures of the glorious, wonderfully busy site of the mall.

Woooooooow!” she starts, the camera still pressed to her eye as she swivels about and takes pictures in every direction. “I can’t believe it! I can’t believe we’re finally heeeere!

Numbers Minion clicks her primary pen, only one of several that she could use as backups in the slim chance that she would ever misplace anything. “I estimate that it took us only seven point four-five seconds from portal entry from Towerne to this point in time. Does that really seem so-”

Yes! I mean no! I’ve been waiting to do a post on Ultramall for ages!

Numbers Minion clicks her pen again, not because she has anything to write down, but more so because she just feels like it makes her look more official and provides some form of value to what she has to say.

“That would have been a helpful thing to note, considering we only knew we were going about five minutes ago.” She looks up to her overlord.

“Executive, sir,” she starts.

Chaos, his expression struck with a bemused confusion as he watches thousands of people run off in all directions, takes a moment before glancing back to her with his perfectly circular glowing eyes.

“Numbers Minion.”

“What’s on your mind, sir? Are you lost?”

He nods his head to the side, not so much in agreement, but more so in polite acknowledgement. “Not at all. One is only lost if they have to arrive somewhere, and we have all day!

She crosses her arms and kilts a bit to the side. “Eh, yes, sir. I suppose you have me there. So then what is on your mind?”

He grins. “All of these people are so strange. If I’m not mistaken it’s their policy to train employees to all run and scream whenever I arrive here. I assume it’s some long-running inside joke that I’ve forgotten, but I think I should just play along anyway,” he says, going down the steps and walking over to one of the tens of thousands of food court chairs in the Southwestern plaza.

Numbers Minion hums concernedly. “And just how will you do that, sir? If I were to guess I’d say it’s because you’re rather… well, infamous, sir, and they might be worried that you’re going to hurt them.”

Chaos laughs at the mere idea. “Nonsense… well, probably nonsense.” He rests his hand on the back of the chair, and firms his grip. “Behold, animals!” he roars before tossing a chair just a bit to the side, causing it fall over.

Numbers Minion watches with a slant gaze as her overlord utterly dominates the sovereignty of the innocent chair by gently rolling it over with his foot and then resting it upon it. Tourism Blogging Minion is still shooting pictures as if she were getting a dollar per snap.

Fools!” Chaos exclaims before striking a mighty, depraved pose, going for the “estranged but ultra-powerful secret final boss” vibe rather than his typical “invincible destroyer of nations” aesthetic; the difference of which are generally maintained between the posture of the arms. He cocks his head back brilliantly. “Now no one will ever forget why the gods themselves answer to me,” he says with a powerful tone.

“Because you push over chairs, sir?” Numbers Minion asks.

Chaos pauses, as if he wasn’t really sure himself, but nods all the same. “But of course. It is a necessary evil in order to make a fitting example for the lesser parties of our universes. They are always invited to rebel if they so choose, my dear, but may they ever remember the fate of those who defy me.”

“…The chair, sir?”

The Interminable Challenger clears his throat, and gently sets the chair back. “I suppose you’re right,” he says with a bashful smile as he starts off down one of the great boulevards, nodding his two cohorts along with him. “Now, why don’t we get down to business?”

Numbers Minion clicks her pen the very second Tourism Blogging Minion clicks her shutter on one of the massive theme park rides.

“So, why are we here, sir?” Tourism Blogging Minion asks, her fake multipurpose “press team” badge swinging daintily about her neck.

From his dimensional jaws the overlord pulls a roll of official-looking parchment tied up with a fine red string. With his sharp hands, that which has torn a million necks and strewn just as many corpses, he gives the cute tie of string the littlest, most delicate of tugs.

Scrolling down, Tourism Blogging Minion immediately snaps a picture of the unrolled document while Numbers Minion actually reads it. Her luminescent eyes slant with immediate suspicion.

“A shopping list, sir?”

Chaos nods with a proud grin. “Now you see the dark extent of my plans. How deliriously sly of me to go here and do precisely what everyone else does! They would never expect it.”

Numbers Minion clicks her pen with a little hesitation at the beginning of the press – a nervous click.

“Sir, you… you understand that you… you’re an overlord.”

“I am.” He nods.

She nods back. “Perhaps more realistically, the overlord.”

He gestures his hand in a bashful shooing motion. “Oh, goodness. You do not need to flatter to curry my favor; I love you unconditionally.”

“Wonderful, sir, but what I’m saying is that you could just send your minions who are… you know, good at doing independent tasks to do something this simple.”

Chaos squints at the riddle. “I… I have minions that can do that?”

She lifts up her hand to count them off. “Uh… Scout Minion, Raider Minion, Tactical Infiltrator Minion, NBC Attack Minion, Sneak Minion, Fight Mini-”

“I see your point, pardon,” Chaos says, cutting her short with a permissive nod.

“Good, so understanding that, you could have sent one of them with the list, or honestly just ordered the store owners to cough it up. It’s not like they’re going to say no to you.”

Chaos hums with a doting, pushover-sort of tone as they round the corner to another enormous stretch of amazing, eye-popping store displays. “Oh, well, it wouldn’t be very polite to steal.”

Numbers Minion has to click her pen a few times for this one. “Okay… so… so sir, you have raided… tens of trillions of sin’s worth of relics from stupendously influential and powerful figures.”

“Mhmm.”

“Ancient and cursed weaponry that would possess the hearts of the mightiest of human heroes.”

“Yes.”

“You can use that. You can use any of that.”

Chaos nods as if it were common knowledge, though in truth he probably just forgot. “I… suppose that is the case.”

“Do you remember the time an arch demon tried to politely summon you to his hell to overthrow his overlord?”

Chaos hums perceptively. “I… I’m not sure.”

“Well it turned out it was just that one arch demon who voted for that. It was him and you, versus that entire dimension.

The crosses his arms as he eyes over a baker’s wagon, the poor gentleman quivering in abject horror behind his cart of wonderful-smelling pastries.

“That sounds rather dangerous.”

Numbers Minion clicks her pen again. “And then you were so excited after killing them all that you actually descended to the hell those demons went to for punishment, just so you could kill them all again.”

He clears his throat awkwardly after hearing this. “They… were very naughty, you see.”

She clicks her pen again, as if being her reminder to stay on topic. “What I’m saying sir, is that after news got out about that, among your other thousands of frankly quite ludicrous achievements, people have gotten sort of used to seeing you as something they can’t really say ‘no’ to.”

Chaos hums once more, and nods.

“If you are so certain of my authority among the other realms, then let us test it.” He immediately turns into the Southwest candy shop. The term “candy shop” is used with exceptional liberty here, as while it is technically a shop, that would not summon up the appropriate image for most people.

It’s less of a “shop” and more of a “largest in the world type emporium”.

A silly gnome toddles up, his ludicrous standard-issue bell hat jingling inanely as he inhales to greet the visitors that just walked in.

This of course produces a rather awkward affect for the three etheriae, as to them it just looked like a silly little man with a funny hat got up from his seat, took a deep breath, and then immediately turned tail and did his ridiculous walk in the opposite direction.

“Whoa, a local!” Tourism Blogging Minion exclaims, making sure to get lots of shots of the now-dashing gnome as he makes for one of the shop’s “employee only” doors.

“I think that was an employee,” Numbers Minion says with a quick twitch of the antennae and gentle tap on her clip board.

The three step up to a bird person, who was yelled at by his manager yesterday for leaving the register to get a bathroom break. He is now the only person in the overlord’s immediate vicinity, and he is not having a good time.

“H-h-h-h-hhh-h-hhh-h-hhh-”

Chaos nods with perfect congeniality. “A fine ‘hhh!’ to you too, you exquisite foreigner! I’d like a…” he takes a glance at his shopping list. “Do you have a ‘Red Sunrise’ Flan? Apparently my little Gourmand Minion has read a magazine that said you were the only people in the… erm, everything that would have it.”

The gentleman’s beak quivers with a senseless uncertainty, but his eyes do steadily shift over to a very fancy, high-tech refrigerator at the side of the desk. Through the clear glass window of the appliance and upon a plate with a ludicrous price tag attached, is the most fragile, pinkest delicacy made by any hands anywhere.

“It’s… q-qqq-quite a lot, your hi-highness,” the bird-man mutters, his feathers curling in a stress-induced molting.

Chaos shoos his hand in a dismissing gesture. “Oh, that’s of no consequence.”

Numbers Minion hovers from behind Chaos, sending out an expectant gaze to the bird. “Especially considering that you’ll be giving it to us,” she says with a decisive hiss and sly grin.

The bird’s tremors pick up, his hand slowly raising up as if to speak his last words, but Chaos interrupts him when he draws out a small brown pouch from his dimensional jaws.

“You certainly will! After we’ve paid!” Chaos undoes the small latch over the pouch, producing a satisfying “click” noise.

Numbers Minion clicks her pen. “Sir, I thought we agreed to just save the bother and take it fr-”

Without an ounce of hesitation, Chaos pours the contents of the pouch out onto the table. A river of the highest value and purest-quality coin minted pours out onto the table. As if it were a fountain, the bag does not stop until Chaos properly covers every inch of the check out desk. He redoes the pouch and rests it over his shoulder.

“I assume that should be enough.”

The bird creature looks at the immensity of wealth right in front of him, and yet again fails to react.

Well?” Numbers Minion blurts out. “Aren’t you gonna give him his change?”

The bird man still fails to move as Chaos, already over at the refrigerator, pulls out the flan and packs it himself in one of the nearby pastry boxes.

“Oh, no it’s quite alright,” Chaos notes with a smile as he heads out with the precious treat.

Numbers Minion gives a dumbfounded click of her pen. “Uh, but you’re overpaying- by like… ten thousand percent!”

Chaos shrugs as he grabs a handful of sour fruiterinos. “It’ll be a tip!”

She just clicks her pen a single, decisive time before following behind the two, leaving the now-millionaire bird man behind.

Numbers Minion rushes up aside from the side and matches Chaos’ pace. “I mean, I’m sure he’ll appreciate it, sir, but do you really think just handing out that much money flippantly is such a good idea? People might get the wrong idea.”

Chaos hums at the idea, his voice backdropped by the consistent clicking of Tourism Blogging Minion’s camera shutter. “Could be. At the very least maybe word will get around and we’ll be able to enjoy the mall like everyone else.” He glances back at the list. “After all. It would be nice to keep salespeople courteous, and money is the sort of thing most of their decrepit souls respond to. I’m sure that after a few spots the word will get around and we’ll have people flocking to us to get us whatever we desire,” he says with a certain grin.

 

2.

“Teams one through four hundred are ready to be dispatched,” a rather densely-set ghost speaks from the ether over the shoulder of a certain lesser dragon-kin.

Overlord Greed, Ultramall’s primary stockholder and sworn hater of annoying black things, lights a fine cigar in ultramall’s center saferoom, where an army of screens display swarming tourists and shoppers escaping through the dimensional gates with wild abandon. He leans back into his vibrating leather recliner and rolls the cigar between the thin teeth of his reptilian jaws.

“Cut off the gates,” he says.

A rather scantily-dressed planar entity hired as an IT operator strikes a few keys at her console.

“Done,” she says, her various constituent shapes rumbling about midair with an alluring magnetism.

Overlord Greed watches with calm pessimism as the screens show droves of people panicking at the gates.

“That manadraw system cost a shitload, but looks like it’s finally paid its due,” he says, leaning up to his executive table, lined with very expensive mementos, beverages, and a few legendary pens.

“We’re trapping the customers?” the ghost asks, his huge arms crossing.

“Yes.”

“So we’re sending in the teams.”

There’s a pause in the office, the great grandfather clock giving a steady ticking ambiance to the scene.

“No, Jiles. We’re not.”

The operators and various high-level executives all at least glance Greed’s way.

“Then what if I may ask, are we going to do? He could turn violent at any time and the hull couldn’t handle a hit like that. My boys are ready to give their lives in the company’s defense,” the ghost, Jiles, explains with a bland, even look about him.

Greed grunts with a hum and taps his boot into the side of the desk. A swimsuit model rushes up and postures herself on her hands and knees like a footrest, just in time for him to lower his feet onto her back.

“Call The Knights.”

Not skipping a beat, Jiles reaches into his ethereal jacket and produces a very physical chat stone. With a spark of mana, the stone alights. Jiles dangles the stone next to Greed’s face, so he doesn’t have to move to speak.

“Hey.”

There’s a pause over the other end of the line, everyone’s ears poised to listen.

“What do you want?” a female voice responds, sounding somewhere in her mid twenties. Her voice is crisp, strong, and still with a sliver of hope.

“Sleeping on the job, young lady.”

“I’m at least five times your age.”

“Chaos is here at my little mall, Order. You need to pick up your stuff and do your job,” Greed says, rolling his cigar to the other side of his mouth as he kicks one foot on top of the other.

“…What.

“Guess he thought he should go for a little murder spree, who knows.”

“No, like… which mall?”

Greed scoffs good humoredly. “There’s only one Ultramall, kiddo.”

“Got it.”

“You didn’t know?”

“Why would I care?”

“You’re saying you’ve never been?”

“Of course not.”

“Why? We have everything here.”

“I doubt that.”

“Have you ever gotten high off five different psychoactives while in a rollercoaster massage parlor?”

Order scoffs from her end of the chat stone. “No, just four. I guess you got me there.”

“So come one down.”

“I said no.”

Greed takes a steady drag from his cigar. “Young lady, there are trillions at stake.”

“Trillions of people?”

“… Well-”

“Money, got it.”

“But still, the space gates have cut out. I think one of his minions broke the power grid and now we have at least a hundred thousand innocent interdimensional citizens trapped. It’s actually quite serious,” he explains, firing off a shit-eating grin to the people around him; even the swimsuit model footrest nods with approval in the face of such a sly deception.

Order hums. “Right, but I can’t trust you. If you’re lying and working with him, I could force my way into there just in time for him to show up in Reinen and cause trouble.”

Greed laughs. “Oh, your big strong king can’t handle that little pipsqueak?”

“…Can’t you?”

Greed sighs. “Anyway, I guess it doesn’t have to be you, just send a knight and have them shoo him off or something.”

Why?

“Just think of all these people, dear!”

“I bet there’s like five actual humans there.”

He raises a scaly brow. “Wow, that’s not very sensitive of you.”

“We have lots of real problems to worry about, and that doesn’t include a bunch of freaks at the moment. Sorry, but the country and planet takes top priority. I don’t think you understand how thinly stretched we are right now.”

“And yet I can call you up any time and you just so happen to be doing nothing.”

There’s a sigh on her end.

“…I’ll see if I can get the location coordinates. Maybe we can spare someone to check it out. I know Meeo goes there to shop every Tuesd-… uh, I’ll talk to you later,” she says, hanging up abruptly and pulling her side of the mana from the stone.

Greed gives a smug, public hum before looking over to another intelligence operator. “What day is it on that bitch’s calendar, again?”

The gentleman types on his console for a moment with a myriad of purple-black tentacles.

“Tuesday, sir,” he gurgles back.

Greed chuckles with a fattened superiority. He leans back up to his desk, but not before giving a gentle nudge to his footrest model to get out of his way. “Run a mana signature scan for anything over ten thousand SMU.”

Yet another operator at yet another console begins clicking about his scanner software. A few cool sounds later, and he turns his normal human head to address his boss.

“Two signals, sir. One centering on the target and the other signal on some lady who just excited Lattere’s wholesale.”

Greed’s smile curls with a draconic slyness. “That’s her. What’s her current direction.”

“Heading towards Electrohell Southwest… she’s on a course to meet with the target.”

“What do we do?” Jiles asks, meeting his hands behind his back with a professional grace.

Greed leans forward as he clears his throat. Another, differently-trained supermodel rushes up to initiate a shoulder massage. “We wait… oh! That’s good!” he says as he pushes back into her hands a bit.

Jiles and the others nod amongst themselves. “Pitting them against each other right away. A lucky situation with an obvious call,” he adds with an approving tone.

The human operator manning the signature scanner turns back to his console upon hearing another loud ping.

“Huh, three signatures matching that description now. One is on rout via coalescence-gating.”

“Ballsy.”

“I don’t know, sir. Portal integrity started ten seconds ago and it’s already at half integrity.”

The employees show an immediate discomfort, but Greed just shrugs. “I’m sure Order’s just trying to go get her before she gets herself killed.”

“So she’s after this Meeo character?” Jiles asks.

Greed nods. “Knight Love. One of their nastiest, I hear, but a very… congenial personality.”

“I’ll say. Love sounds like sort of a dainty title,” Jiles says.

“I’m sure all the people she’s killed thought the same thing,” he says with a grin.

The operator gets yet another ping on his console, and this time everyone looks dead at him.

“A forth, sir: also coalescing into the point.”

“A mana hunter?” Jiles asks, causing a few uncomfortable whispers from among Overlord Greed’s squad of talented swimsuit models.

“Unlikely. Only an idiot would dare cross one of my investments… we’re just going to have to wait and see… oh, but do get the private gate ready to activate in case we need to route one of these idiots here,” Greed notes, glancing over to yet another model, who salutes chipperly before rushing off to prep it.

 

3.

“Ahh! And here is the next one!” Chaos says, his arms holding a span of precious, expensive gifts spanning at least a dozen hobbies.

Oh! That’s cool!” Tourism Blogging Minion bleats as she raises up her camera to snap a bunch of pictures at a bunch of notable, unique stores, displays, and fountains. She swings a full one eighty degrees and gasps in awe at yet another array of one-of-a-kind wonderment. “That’s even cooler!” she yells, practically slapping the camera to her face to take a picture of the hot tub roller coaster filled with riders who haven’t quite yet realized that the area has almost completely cleared out of regular folk.

Amidst the crazed flurry of camera shutting, Numbers Minion just sighs and gives a deflated click of the pen.

“Sir, are you really sure you don’t need help carrying something?”

“Oh, it’s quite alright! Nothing like some good weight-resistance to keep the body in fighting shape!”

She sighs. “Sir, I’m pretty sure that’s not how that works for you.”

“Really?”

“Our bodies don’t use muscles, I… I don’t think.

Chaos squints at the question, and switches all of his baggage over to a single arm to free one up. “Let’s find out, shall we?” he asks out loud as he begins forcing his astrally-dense hand into his bicep.

Seeing the manic look in his eyes, Numbers Minion begins clicking her pen rapidly. “I, uh, honestly sir; I think that would be a rather poor idea. I think that might be painful.”

“Nothing finer to balance out the bliss of a day of aimless shopping,” Chaos says with a wide, murderous grin, the immense pressure he’s putting into his arm beginning to draw up white infusia.

“Whoa, sir! Please maintain your composure! You… You… ” her eyes scan about quickly for a distraction. “Look! A store for losers!” she says, pointing out the dark trappings of the omniverse’s largest Uuwoo, a popular chain of counter culture interest outlets that stocks everything from the horrible to the inspiring. It is the weird-smelling corner store you don’t want your parents to know you visited to end all weird-smelling corner stores you don’t want your parents to know you visited. This is, assuming, of course, that you want your parents to like you, rather than think you’re an edgy weirdo.

Chaos scans over, takes a whiff of the incense, and peers through the lightly-tinted windows. Taking a quick glance back at his official-looking shopping list, he notes that at least one of the items must certainly be from an Uuwoo’s.

“You’re quite right. Let’s go in!” he says with an excited trot forward.

“Wh- yeah, okay.”

“Oh! Oh wait!” Tourism Blogging Minion exclaims, jumping up and down for attention.

Chaos glances back. “What is it, dearest photographer of mine?”

She points with animatedly another, far larger candy store than the one they had first gone to. Chaos eyes over the gaudy candy replicas of omniverse-famous figures, himself included.

“Can I go there?! My readers really wanted to see it!”

Chaos hums, continuing to eye over the banners strung across the massive, mountain-sized sweets emporium with outlandish claims like “more varieties than you have seconds in your life!” and “17,000,000,000 gallon heated chocolate fondue wavepool!”. He waves off on it.

“Go with my blessing and do what you will. Meet us back at the gate in an hour. I know they will be happy to see all you’ll have to show them.”

Tourism Blogging Minion gives him a quick hug before rushing off to the candy store, here mere presence causing an uproar of screams from the inside.

Chaos watches her leave with a mild, proud smile. “I’m so happy she’s been finding success with the things that make her happy.”

Numbers Minion glances about, not sure how to react.

“She used to be so quiet before she found out what the internet was, now it’s all she can talk about,” he says with a final, fatherly glance. He finally turns back to the store. “I won’t dwell on it, but I’ll miss that part of her at times.”

Numbers Minion smiles back reminiscently. “You’re better to us than we deserve, sir. Please, let me carry the next few things we get.”

Chaos nods. “Very well. In we go.”

The two enter via the enchanted veil of darkness that surrounds the store, giving it that cool and edgy image that new overlords and teenagers cannot help but fall for.

They go in the very moment a certain witch knight rounds the corner down the boulevard, her stupendously-topped funnel cake leaving a sweet air-trail of powdered sugar as she steps along.

“Omigosh! Uguuu~ Welcome t- oh shit,” the cat-eared lady hisses, stopping herself short with the expletive once she realizes who it is at the other end of the mist veil.

“Ahh, good whatever it was you just said to you too!” Chaos says with a wide grin and a friendly wave. “We’re looking for your… erm… void-filling items.

Numbers Minion flinches instantly, her pen immediately receiving a measured set of panic clicks. She definitely was not expecting something like that to be on the shopping list.

The cat woman, her guise of nerdy patronization briefly shed, does her best to regain the act. “O-oh my how very… unexpected! We carry all of those products in our adult section! I assume you’re both over twenty five?”

Chaos, still grinning naively, glances over to Numbers Minion, who has the most displeased, awkward look on her face.

“Numbers Minion, would you happen to be ov-”

“Of course I’m over twenty five, sir! I’ve been your accountant for hundreds of years.

Chaos clears his throat pleasantly. “…That’s right, isn’t it.” Chaos turns back to the cat girl. “We are ready to view the secrets. Take us.”

She attempts to strike one of her deplorable anime poses as per store policy but cannot bring herself to do it.

“Th-this way, master~” she says with a thinly veiled quiver of horror.

She leads the two through aisles among aisles of questionable games, toys, apparel and memorabilia, until they pass through a poster-covered door leading into a richly-scented, repulsively-neon room filled with all manner of stress relief apparati.

“I assume you’re looking for something… erm, for yourself, my lord?” the cat shopkeeper asks with a mentally-unstable twitch of the eye. She can hardly even begin to imagine.

Chaos looks down the rows and rather impressive displays, along with a few especially spurious-looking test models.

“Sir,” Numbers Minion starts with a cough. “You’re not really going to make me carry one of those out, are you?”

He glances over them a moment more, and then turns back to the cat with a polite smile.

“Excuse me. I should have been more specific. By ‘void filling’ items, I mean those that fill the need for companionship.”

The cat-lady glances over to Numbers Minion, who just shakes her head and clicks her pen nervously.

“Uh, m-master sir, I uh… think this is probably what they were referring to. These are all perfectly capable of ma-”

“Pardon me, miss, but you simply do not understand. This minion wants one of those companionship-void-filling pillow people,” he explains in the chamber that’s practically vibrating from the hundreds of devices whirring away excitedly.

The cat’s ears perk up awkwardly in tandem with her tail. Numbers Minion gives a single, punctuating click of the pen with a wide, horrified smile.

“Ohhhhhh. Oh, mister overlord sir. That’s not here at all! Please follow me,” she starts with a patronizing tone, but geared more to a clueless elder than a socially dejected teenager.

The two are led out of the questionable palace back into the store. Aisle 823 holds what they’re looking for. In front of dozens of others like it and hundreds of varieties, lies a plush, wonderfully soft pillow with a depiction of Royal Knight Love on it, sprawled out across the entirety of the pillow with a playful, sensual energy. Her color-streak hair spills over the theoretical bed of the image, and her perky underwear leaves little to the imagination. If you turn it over it bears an even more flattering depiction of her backside, providing a semi-3D affect for spooning with at night.

As if the pillow were a true icon of inequity, Numbers Minion cannot react to the sight any way other than by staring. The devices of the adult room were bad, but to take up a pillow containing a naughty depiction of the enemy, and then to carry it through Towerne where all the other minions are would be a fate to surpass all punishments save the Minion Wagon itself. She would never live it down, she’s certain.

“S-sir. Please don’t make me carry it,” she whimpers.

The cat stifles a chuckle while Chaos squints at the pillow. His antennae flick up immediately. “Oh? I thought you wanted to help carry-”

“Anything but that. You do it, just give me some of the bags. I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t.”

“Mmm, well I thought the artist did a pretty good job,” a female voice comes from the side of the aisle.

Numbers Minion and the cat look over while Chaos just flicks his antennae a single time, not looking over from the pillow on its shelf.

“I thought I felt you,” he says with a gentle smile.

Stepping up with shopping bags on both arms and a stressful amount of bubblegum in her mouth is Royal Knight Love, Meeo Letlind. She’s not in armor, or even the standard court regalia of a Reinish Knight. Rather, she’s wearing pajama bottoms and a loose tank top- a very off-duty look, particularly for a millennia-old dragon-slaying witch knight.

“I spotted you go in and figured I’d say hi,” she says with a light tone, admiring her own, ludicrously-exaggerated image alongside Chaos. “So, do you like it?”

Chaos grins amidst the shocked silence cat and Numbers Minion. “I’m afraid not. One of my minions is apparently quite the admirer to you.”

Love smiles sweetly. “I guess it’s good to be passionate about things you care about.”

The two share a light-hearted chuckle, while the two bystanders just exchange a quick, uncertain glance.

“So, what brings you her my domain?” Chaos asks with a slant look of flooding charisma. “Doesn’t Rayda have some insipid chores for you to be running around this time of day?”

She shakes her head with the calmness of a star in Winter. “I’m actually here for him, believe it or not. It’s a super special secret mission,” she says with a sly wink. “He loves giving gifts to the knights but he’s too busy to go out and do it himself. He has me go out and get stuff for their birthdays.”

Chaos’ antennae perk up as he takes up the Love Pillow and folds it under his arm. “How fascinating. I would have thought he’d be more about gifting them literature and philosophy books.”

“Perhaps to you, Chaos, but not for them. Some of the nights are into some frighteningly average things, you know,” she says with a bashful look aside.

Hmm- like what?”

She grins and opens one of her paper bags from a nearby store.

Chaos had already seen it as he has already seen through everything that one might bring close to him, but now that he knows for certain it’s for a knight, a stupid grin crosses his face.

“Oh, dear, dear simple youth,” he says aloofly, presumptuously. “How very precious.”

“I suppose so,” she says with a hint of distaste; an expression rare for her. “I suppose I’m not too much better.”

Chaos shakes his head with an air of perfect forgiveness. “You are only human, after all.”

She coos as if he said something funny. “Well, I do suppose that’s true, but I’m partial to books myself.”

Chaos hums. “You seem like the bookish type.”

“I am, but as of late I think it’s all been starting to wear on me,” she says with a mixed look.

Numbers Minion and the cat just stay frozen solid as they watch the two. Even a storekeeper would know that the two of them are supposed to be mortal, murderous enemies.

“What’s wrong?” Chaos asks, his antennae aiming higher in concern. “If you like, I could give you some reccomendatio-”

“It’s not that, Chaos,” she says. “I have… you know of realmancy, don’t you?”

Chaos hums. “I do. A rather dangerous magic for the unprepared and too-sane.”

She nods in agreement. “What if I told you I’ve been using realmancy to find books?”

His eyes slant with intrigue, uncertain if what she’s doing is genius, taboo, or both. “Books that do not yet exist would certain give you some… privileged information, were they of an accurate enough variety. Have you actually be able to do it?”

She nods, and with the loosest gaze he’s ever seen her have, she addresses him with her eyes. “It’s going to be an exciting few centuries,” she says.

For the first time in a good long while, probably many years, Chaos pauses.

Not because of one of his forgetful episodes, or to provide dramatic pause before tearing off someone’s head in public. Oh no.

This is a pause given when one is not sure how to take a certain bit of news. It’s a small piece of the biscuit, but the implications to him are highly disturbing. He decides he’ll have to look into this some himself.

He nods. “Well, I certainly hope so, especially considering you’re bringing the future here to the present.”

She smiles in her lovable sort of way and turns back to the pillows. “I’m a little surprised they had one of me.”

“If you think about it, the knights are a bit like celebrities among extra dimensional society.”

“As hard as we try to keep to our own,” she says with a puff.

Chaos laughs. “Indeed. Yet here we you are. Did people notice you?”

She nods with a mixed expression as she scans over the racks. “It’s been pretty weird… oh no.

“Mmm, what is it?”

She steps over to another spot and draws out a pillow of Overlord Chaos. His light-defying abs glistening with erotic abandon.

“Si-sir, they must have a death wish!” Numbers Minion bleats with abject disgust, clicking her pen with a vicious speed.

He takes up the pillow like a precious relic, flipping it over to properly inspect the other side. “How deliriously narcissistic,” he says with a relaxed smile. He turns to the cat. “I must have it.”

She smirks in horror.

The next five minutes are taken with Chaos and Love picking out more ridiculous pillows based on people they know personally, including the most relaxed Knight Order they’ve ever seen and an Overlord Greed that’s much, much taller than reality, then talking about them all the way to checkout. Chaos overpays once again, leaves it as a tip, and then escapes with his arms full of four body pillows.

Love buys some incense to be polite, and she exchanges a friendly wave goodbye with the High Overlord before stepping off to continue her shopping.

An emotionally-charged Numbers Minion watches her leave. “So… sir.”

“Yes?” he asks, adonized, hyper-sexualized versions of legendary figures including himself comfy in his grip.

“Do you like… know her?”

He hums. “I may. What of it?”

“…She’s a royal knight, you know.”

“There’s plenty of royal knights. There’s lots of different courts in the Omniverse.”

“Like, one of the royal knights, sir; of Reinen?

He shrugs. “She’s a very nice lady, Numbers Minion. You surely understand that the stringent lines of war hold no sway over pleasant acquaintances.”

She sighs. “Sir, that’s… that’s not something that the minions should find out about. There would be talk of traitorisms.”

He chuckles. “More treacherous than one of my minions owning a Knight Love body pillow?”

“Eh… well that’s…” her antennae click down deflatedly. “Good point, sir.”

“We can’t take this sort of thing too seriously, you know. Interdimensional battle requires at least a little bit of good humor, you know.”

“Wh-how does ‘good humor’ help you win?!”

He grins. “You don’t win anything if you don’t first enjoy it.”

She groans. “Sir! That’s ridiculous!

“It most certainly is not. You would simply find benefit from-” like a nightmare, his features contort into an almost serious expression. “…challengers,” is all he says.

Numbers Minion sputters, clicking her pen with rabid, terrified abandon, but cannot for the life of her see what he’s looking at.

“What, uh, where is it?” she asks, allowing her inner child to activate instantly as Chaos picks her up with his only free utensil for grabbing: his jaws.

His arms filled with questionable pillows and his mouth full of Numbers Minion’s torso, he just-short-of-teleports over to a nearby fountain display, the ferns and tropical plants providing a wonderful humidity in their enclosure. He had moved so fast that one of Numbers Minion’s bags flew out of her hand, but that’s of little consequence.

As if charmed in a split second, the bag stands up at attention the very moment it lands. It makes a grating but cute paper bag sort of noise as it runs over to into the relative concealment of the wonderously-scented plants. The bag huddles into Number’s Minion’s arms for safety, and Chaos’ eyes light up with a perception that would put radar equipment to shame.

“They’ve sent us some challengers,” he says with a competitive grin. “I hope they’re prepared to meet the sting of abstract steel!” he adds with a tone of such murderous excitement that the paper bag’s last thoughts in its state of animation are that of terror.

It quivers in Numbers Minion’s arms as she clears her throat to speak.

“Erm, sir, I understand that there’s plenty of very threatening people at the mall but I think killing them might be a bit of a-” she stops flat the second a zinging bullet slips right past her antennae, caught firmly by Chaos’ now free hands.

“Watch the pillows,” he says with a maniacal gaze before standing up.

Looking down he can see them clearly: multi-armed like most preferred operators to high-rollers, decked up and down with O.E.L. grade firearms, black high-grade impact ceramic armor, and so much “tactical” Velcro that every movement, no matter how sneaky and necessary, is accompanied by that grating, hilariously-unstealthy “flcc”ing sound.

The bipedal, but four-armed operators bunch up around the corner, tapping in sequence before pushing forward and rushing to take cover.

Chaos takes a pause to inspect the bullet he caught. Vibrating with fatal excitement, the munition glows in the palm of his hand with at least five different arcane scriptings.

“Not your typical security,” Chaos notes before tossing the shell back behind him into the brushes.

He stamps his foot, causing the team to cower behind their cover. The strike into the marble floor is so great that it cracks under the weight a fully ten meters from all sides. The sounds reverberates through the hundreds of mall avenues like a pile-driver struck perfectly into concrete.

“I suppose I’m not welcome to go where I please?” Chaos asks outwardly.

“D-don’t do anything hasty!” the team leader says, clearly a lieutenant as judged by his forward and yet simultaneously horrified nature. Chaos can also see the rank from the hundred meters between them.

“Oh? Something like… this?!” Chaos shouts, immediately breaking out into dance.

It’s become more common, Numbers Minion will admit: these instances of her beloved and wise overlord utterly embarrassing himself without a single semblance of tact. She adores him all the same, of course, but it does concern her at times.

Chaos finishes the dance with a backspin which he executes perfectly; she’ll also give him that every time he goes off the wall he does so with one hundred percent effort, which she also quite admires.

Well?” Chaos asks with a grin, leaning sprawled across the floor on his side with a brilliant poise. “Will you shoot at me for that?”

There’s a bewildered pause as the team exchange quick, slant glances between each other from their scopes.

“Uh…” the lieutenant starts, “get up or we’ll shoot.”

“Oh, what a bother you all are.” Chaos gets up to his feet with a relaxed look of thinly-veiled mania. Numbers Minion is certain he’s just a step away from breaking his patience.

He steps forward with his hands raised high.

“V-very good, sir,” the lieutenant says, absentmindedly slipping “sir” in his command. “Now get on your knees.”

Chaos squints a round eye. “Didn’t you just tell me to get u-

“Well that was then. Don’t ask questions!”

Chaos laughs in a way that sends a chill down each and every one of the operator’s spines, but he relents and takes to his knees with a stupidly-wide, head-accommodating grin.

“Tell me, do you whim about legendary murderers often?” he asks to the lieutenant, who Chaos can see is not shaking from behind his cover.

“N-now just stay there!”

Chaos smiles congenially. “Fine,” he says while his antennae flick about with a few decisive jolts.

From behind the foliage and pillows, Numbers Minion can immediately feel her master’s words, but they’re not for her. She wonders what he was saying, and to whom?

Very slowly and with as little tactical initiative as possible, the team of operators pop out from cover, leapfrogging as one set of them keeps overwatch for the other set.

Only seconds pass, and the team is in cover at only about ten meters from the High Overlord and Indomitable Star Destroyer and Planet Breaker.

“W-we did it,” the LT mutters to himself, only audible to Chaos and his minion before he speaks up again over his mic. “Sir! Target secured! Awaiting follow-on orders!… yes… yes, we’ll hold him here. Too easy.” He sighs before addressing the overlord.

“We’re going to be watching you until follow-up backup arrives.”

Fuu,” the overlord casts under his breath.

“What?”

“Oh, pardon me, I meant to say you should always focus on preventing wizards from speaking, but that’ snot pertinent anymore.”

“Heh, I got my wizard silencer right here,” a sergeant says with a gentle tap of his rifle receiver.

Chaos shrugs as the other operators share a superior chuckle.

The LT scoffs. “Well you best be quiet anyway or you may end up with a few more holes. The rest of us can handle the stress of arresting you just fine. No casting spells or you’re dead.”

Chaos nods with a winsome smile. “Very well. Just don’t fall asleep waiting for that help of yours,” Chaos says with a smile.

“Wh- oh… fucking reall-”

His spell finally breaking through the anti-enchantment magic over the team, each of the men fall to their sides in a heavy sleep, each filled with wonderful, welcome dreams.

Chaos stands up and addresses a nearby security camera.

“Is that really the best you can do?”

 

4.

Overlord Greed stares at the screen in his safe room with a put-off, distant scowl.

“Granted, I suppose you should have trained them for that beforehand,” Greed says with a cold tone.

Jiles meets his ectoplasmal hands behind his back in embarrassment. “My men are the best trained for any situation that… uh….”

“It’s okay,” Greed says with a slant brow. “I couldn’t think of an excuse for that kind of incompetence, either.”

Jiles clears his throat and Greed swings about in his office chair.

“So the royal knight did literally nothing, and all of our men are useless… I’m afraid we’re starting to run out of options.”

“Sir, we don’t need to escape. We still have hundreds of team members left if we need-”

“-them to fall asleep? Yeah, I’ll keep it in mind,” Greed interrupts as Jiles takes a full step back. The lizard man kicks back, takes a deep breath, and reaches for one of the super-fine cigars. “I guess the problem’s contained enough for one more move,” he mutters. “Detach wing Gamma,” he adds, casting a quick match spell to light up his cigar.

There’s a collective whisper of discomfort among the team members, operators, and bathing suit models.

The station console operator, a literal giant slug and the individual responsible for the station locking mechanisms, turns aside with salt-free tears welling up in his eyes. “Wh-b-b-b-”

“Don’t slobber about it,” Greed says with a scowl, snapping his fingers for another swimsuit model to give him a massage from the back of the chair.

“Sir, there’s still tens of thousands of people in that wi-”

“Better than losing hundreds of thousands of people,” Greed says, interrupting another operator.

“They’re having the Omniverse Rod League’s annual show today, sir. The press would be exceptionally ba-”

“They’re just a bunch of fucking gearheads!” he yells.

The slug takes a quick breath. “P-please sir, don’t m-make me do-”

Send it, or I’ll get up,” Greed says, shooting the slug an unhinged, appropriately dragon-kin glance.

The slug turns to his console defeatedly. He raises a single eye to the keyboard, and slowly works through all the bleeping warnings and popups required to get to the final disconnect screen.

Greed works his slender tongue across his razor sharp teeth. “Sometimes a little lose for a big win,” he mutters to himself.

The slug hits the enter key.

 

5.

A great rumbling overtakes the area as an enormous set of bulkheads slowly close over a set of halls.

Chaos laughs. “Apparently it is.”

Numbers Minion busts up from comfortable concealment between Order’s ludicrously large imaginary pillow-form breasts and Chaos’ challenging non-existent pillow-form manhood.

“Sir! They’re detaching us from the station!

Chaos smiles sweetly. “Oh, how unlike Greed for him to give me some privacy!”

“No, sir! Ultramall’s gravity is maintained by a star!

Chaos pauses with that loose smile. Even he knows what this means. “Oh, so I suppose we’re going t-”

*ADMINISTRATOR ALERT: UNTETHERED VESSEL REACHING CRITICAL SAFE VELOCITY*

“Ow, my ears!” Numbers Minion hisses, still managing to get a click of the pen in while trying to cover up her antennae.

Chaos stands upright and looks toward the far-off glass skylights of the food court. He can see the great sun above them steadily increasing in size.

“That might be difficult for all these people,” he notes to himself more than Numbers Minion. “I’ve heard that most life cannot survive in adverse temperatures.”

“A-adverse temperatures?! Sir, it’s a star… can’t you like, tear a portal and get us out?”

“I could, but then many innocents would die due to Greed’s pathetic lack of foresight. Something will have to be done…” his expression mixes awkwardly once he says this. “…but I had already done something… and that something might make that new something a bit more… challenging.”

She clicks her pen indignantly. “Wh-what?!

“I had given Tourism Blogging Minion a specific set of orders.”

“Sir… what were they?!”

He turns to her with the gentlest, most trusting grin a father can have. “Pick up the gifts, don’t get them wet…” he leans in with a crazed excitement. “Don’t get them wet.”

Her gaze sharpens in confusion. “D-don’t get them we– sir, what are you even talking abou-”

*Click* goes the camera of Tourism Blogging Minion as she takes a picture of the look on Numbers Minion’s face.

“All done!” she says peppily, covered head to toe in chocolate fondue, however her camera is completely unblemished.

Chaos grins and pats his little minion on the noggin. “Well done my little terrorist, you! Now, go with Numbers Minion to the car show, steal a vehicle, and go for a lap around the mall up to the space gate.”

“Wow! Yes, daddy!” she says, giving him a joyful hug as if to a doting father.

Numbers Minion is still not sure how to process any of this, but rather just picks up everything and starts running off with Tourism Blogging Minion.

“What will you do, sir?” she asks, glancing behind her to the unmoving Chaos.

He smiles. “I need to find a way to power a space gate,” he says.

The two race off at that admonition, rushing at Olympian speeds for the car show.

“So just why are we getting a car?” Numbers Minion asks.

“I dunno! Maybe it was because of something you two did?” Tourism Blogging Minion returns with a grin, tag-teaming the body pillows and bags with her cohort as they split the load.

Numbers Minion hums with a clear uncertainty. “Erm, I’m pretty sure we didn’t do anything. Were you just looking at candy?”

Tourism Blogging Minion’s antennae shoot up and her grin shears to both sides of her face. “Oh man, all of those sweets were so tasty looking! I was deciding on what to buy to do a review on for the blog when Daddy hit me up via antennaephone.”

Numbers Minion’s eyes slant bitterly as they turn a corner. “Is that actually what you call telepathy?”

She nods back with a giggle. “Uhuh! So then he was like: ‘Haha! Delightful! You know that something something billion gallon wavepool of chocolate?’ and I was like: ‘yeah cuzzz’ he was all: ‘how excelleeeeent! Seal the runoff valves below and hit the big “force purge” lever!’ so then I was like ‘but whoa isn’t that like a bad idea? Doesn’t the pool purge using the runoff pipes?’ then he was all like ‘yeah, but whatever!’ so I went over there and there was so much chocolate, it was like looking out at an ocean! Then I did the thing!”

It takes Numbers Minion a moment to properly internalize Tourism Blogging Minion words, but when she understands what her little friend is trying to say, her pace picks up with a considerable quickness. She’s not worried about getting burnt in the sun, that’s for losers; she’s far more concerned about all of the gifts getting gross.

She sees it in the corner of her wide eyes: a great, inspiring tidal wave of milky brown, deliciously sweeping the mall a few avenues behind them. It’s almost the height of the ceiling.

“That’s too much chocolate!” she yells.

“Yay, consumerism!” Tourism Blogging Minion adds in with a laugh.

At once, secret stars coalesce and align a gate through the ethers of the Omniverse, stepping out in front of them is none other than Overlord Torment, his astral flames wrapping around him like a wreath of power.

“Oh Chaos, did you really think I wouldn’t sniff you out?” he questions in proclamation, his handsome frame shifting between purple and red flames.

Numbers Minion immediately enters a stance for quick movement, but Tourism Blogging Minion already has her theoretical guns loaded.

Ew,” is all she says as the two blast past him.

It was only one word, but Numbers Minion realizes instantly that Tourism Blogging Minion is in fact well worth her title. Her inflection on the “ew” was so flawless, and so coy, and even she wanted to slap her for it, and it wasn’t even aimed at her.

“Uh, wh-” Torment stops himself, looking over his shoulder to look at the two minions. His grin returns in all of its pretentious glory. “Heh, typical loser servants of the temporary High Overlord.” He clears his throat to yell across the boulevard of shops and vendor stalls. “Run all you like. Once I kill your master, it’s all you’ll do!

He watches them zoom off, past confused shoppers and unaware security.

Torment shrugs with a crass smile. “They’re so adorable. I wonder why they were in such a hurry,” he says at an average volume and tone, the very moment before he turns around to be met with the milk-chocolate tsunami.

Numbers Minion puts all she can in running, and Tourism Blogging Minion would too, if she weren’t also taking pictures at the same time. The tidal wave is hardly even half a minute behind them, and it seems to only be picking up speed.

They reach the auto show, filled with awesome cars, stupendously rich people and, you guessed it, supermodels.

“Okay!” Tourism Blogging Minion says between a few shutter flashes, “which one are we heistin’?”

Numbers Minion looks over the displays with a terse, rushed look. She was just about to pick the closest one when she sees, at the center of the show floor, none other than Gas Minion and his famous “Galattico Tourismo” Towerne-Mechanical Effervescence. It’s just as perfect matte black as the overlord himself, and the cool blue hum under every curve and edge is suggestive the kind of sexiness that only a machine can contain.

As usual, Gas Minion is standing close to his vehicle with a set of adoring fans, each trying to get a peek under his semi-ironic white shutter shades for a peek at his smoldering hyper-sexuality.

Oh, and he’s a meter high; he says “the girls” think it’s cute.

“There!” Numbers Minion shouts, weaving into the traffic of stationary cars and professional detailers to get up to the always relaxed Gas Minion.

They both give an easy pass to the guard that attempts to stop them, and the two slide right into his inner circle.

“Gas Minion!” Numbers Minion shouts amidst the shocked group of people, aliens, monsters, and what-have-you.

Gas Minion says nothing, but just notches his head up in acknowledgement. Naturally this results in a collective swoon from almost everyone save the most utterly asexual of individuals. He is so cool.

“We need you to get us to the space gate as fast as you can!”

He smiles, causing yet another joint swooning, even Numbers Minion is having trouble keeping on her feet.

“Sorry, show ain’t over,” he says, his voice like a gently simmering mixture of cinnamon, honey, and pure sex, despite thinking sex is for losers like the vast majority of Chaos’ minions.

At that simple utterance a female dignitary falls over with a helpless moan, weirding out everyone, though they can all understand. Gas Minion’s really cool.

Numbers Minion sputters as she waves her hands about as if to enunciate the urgency. “N-no! Like… there’s a big… a really horr-”

“If you don’t do it you’ll have to redo your weather coat and sand the lights,” Tourism Blogging Minion says as she snaps a few pictures of what might be his car’s last and greatest moment.

Like a spell, Gas Minion flicks his head down just perfectly enough so that his shades slide lower on his antennae, which reveal his eyes.

“Oh my god!” a gentleman says, falling to his knees under the irresistible sway of Gas Minion.

“Hop in,” he says to the two minionettes, the very moment a great rumbling overtakes this section of the mall.

To the great horror of his cult, Gas Minion and our original pair hop into the effervescence. The two girls don’t buckle up, but Gas Minion does. Safety is ultra cool.

“Snap in those seatbelts,” he says, using his keyless autostarter to snap the hyper-enchanted into on with an explosive heave of magical energy.

Tourism Blogging Minion is a good girl and just does as he says, but Numbers Minion is too frazzle-brained to see it his way.

“We don’t have time! The chocolate is this close!” she shouts, pointing at the arcing liquid delicacy poised like a viper to forcibly sweeten the untasty masses.

“It only takes a second.”

“We won’t make it!

Gas Minion drops his shades even further to actually establish full eye contact, a rare privilege he usually only affords to the overlord.

“I’ll wash this girl a million times before I put you in danger,” he says, giving a side-glance to his beloved sports car.

Numbers Minion blushes white, her thumb slapping into the back of her pen to produce a single, defeated “click”. She buckles up and averts her gaze.

A semi-second from the chocolatey impact, Gas Minion hits it, and he hits it hard. With a non-acceleration time of exactly zero, the car takes off to eighty, then one hundred, then two hundred over the course of four seconds.

With skill unwitnessed due to its speed, Gas Minion swerves perfectly through the crowd, using ultra-arcane-geometry driving techniques to bypass the molecular structures of anyone in the way, racing past with a complete badass. He soars gloriously through the mall, banking sweetly and driving across the wall to escape the gigantic conference center before flipping the far and spinning out on a sick 720 before continuing speed as usual.

The delectable wave is right behind them, containing the flushed out contents of thousands of stores, and tens of thousands of shoppers, entertainers, cooks, cashiers, managers, and the sports cars of all the slow-pokes that aren’t named Gas Minion.

With the only consistent sound being the GT’s engine and Tourism Blogging Minion’s camera shutter, the three blast through the place as the system’s central star becomes ever closer to the skylights above.

Going through all the sub-wings of Wing Gamma, they finally arrive back at the Southwest food court. Along with it is the space gate with none other than Overlord Chaos directly on top of it. With an enormous surge, he channels mana into the gate, forcing it open with the help of Knight Love, who caught on quite a while ago and had offered to prepare the gate’s destination.

The gate bolts on, its portal opening, and whatever coalescing presence still moving there routing naturally to the portal for convenience’s sake. After all, why would you spend all that time doing the other, more difficult half of creating an interdimensional portal when someone does it for you?

From the gate emerges Royal Knight Order, wearing a sundress, but also wearing her sword Monument’s dimensional sheath. Looming over her, Chaos grins at her half-baked preparation, but he can always at least empathize when it comes to her.

Order looks around, her senses immediately beset with magical red-flags in every direction.

“Uh, Meeo?” Order asks, glancing over to Knight Love, who’s just standing daintily next to the space gate’s entrance.

“Hey Ran. Hold your breath,” she says with a sheepish smile the very second a GT holding three minions soars up and through the dimensional gate.

Order gives the fondue wave a single, cursory glance. “Did he actually?”

“Yes, I did,” Chaos says, hanging right above them.

Meeo clears her throat, and Order draws in a huff of breath, not even looking back to acknowledge him.

The next few moments for everyone but the interminably-focused Chaos are a blur. It’s a delicious blur for the tens of thousands of people delivered through the vacuum of the space gate via the chocolate sea, and it’s particularly noisy for the three minions, one of which is pushing his GT farther than she’s even been before. For Order and Torment, all they are seeing is red. Love, on the other hand, just has her mouth wide open hoping that it’s only chocolate she comes in contact with.

A second later, the increasing pressure caused by Chaos’ second spell spews positively everyone out into Reinen’s center gate, the warmth of the gold-black kingdom met with the overwhelming scent of chocolate.

Of course, Chaos had pre-torn a portal for the GT and his minions to send them back to Towerne, closing it remotely just in time for the swarm of on-duty knights to fly in on their dragons.

All they find is an enormous population of chocolate covered extradimensional beings of most every variety, a laughing Love, a crying Torment, and a screamingly-indignant Order.

She pulls up from the waning current of chocolate to reenter the gate, but it closes with the overlord’s grinning face right behind the folds.

Overlord Torment makes a stealthy escape amidst the confusion, and Order has to give a lengthy explanation why the inner plaza of the city is now covered with a literally unbelievably large supply of chocolate fondue.

 

6.

Back at the safety of Towerne’s Center Tower, Gas Minion slings the GT out from the portal in a smooth fishtail to the applause of the unwitting but always-ready-to-party minion populace.

Chaos slips out from a separate portal, the creation of them between dimensions an innate act, even simpler than speaking to him.

“Ahh, Gas Minion! You hadn’t told me you were going to be at the auto show this year! I would have come and supported you!”

Gas Minion cuts the engine and swings over the door of the convertible top like it’s literally nothing to him. Wow.

“Hey man, it’s cool. I like surprising you,” he says, pulling off his shades and speaking to Chaos like a regular human being.

Chaos grins and nods with a relaxed genteel. “Of course, my dear racer. I’m as happy to be there as I am to give you the space you need to grow.”

Gas Minion scoffs with a suave, soft puff of recognition, glancing aside coolly scratch where his nose would be if he still had one.

“Thanks, man.”

Chaos turns next to the two lassies.

“And I trust you both are safe with my charge?”

Numbers Minion proudly presents the multitude of sensible, considerate gifts placed in the various bags, and of course the embarrassing body pillows.

“Here you are, sir,” she says, giving a single, decisive click of her pen in confirmation of her successful completion.

“We’re good, daddio, but who all are the presents for?”

Chaos grins. “Well you’re quite welcome to come with me to give them out!” he says.

So she accepts, and they do so. Of course, no one gives either of them flack about the pillows, because even Super Maniac Minion knows better than to make fun of someone’s tastes when Chaos is in “gift giving” mode.

Chaos and Tourism Blogging Minion cheerfully go about saying hello to various minions with presents of all sorts:

A special flan for Gourmand Minion, who’s overjoyed and thanks them both profusely for the five seconds it takes her to deliver it to her mouth.

A new pan for the always hard-working Cooking Minion, who isn’t really working hard all the time, but his old cast iron is so beat up and crusty that Chaos thought it would be a good way to show he cared.

A set of rare scented candles and essential oils for Hippie Minion, who knows it will be the perfect addition to her “horizonal therapy yoga sessions” that she hosts for some of the more inward-conscious minions.

A sleek new broadsword for Raid Minion, who tries it out on a nearby tree the second he got his hands on it. He exclaims: “If this were a person, they’d be dead!” and at that the two leave him alone.

A cool new rifle cleaning kit for Ranger Minion, who just nods instead of salutes, as his hands are already full of parts for his M4. He does say “thanks” though, which the two quite appreciate coming from him, seeing as he hardly talks.

A lovely book of spell parchment for Magic Minion, who nods gracefully as always, and puts it right up on her shelf of other blank spell parchment books – she’s sure he’s trying to hint her onto something, but she’s not going to practice magic more than a few hours a day.

They go down the list one by one, until finally they get to the pillows.

“Well… what do we do with them?”

Chaos smiles. “Do you want one?”

Tourism Blogging Minion shakes her head with a presumptuous smile, and Chaos nods.

“I do not blame you… ahh! Have this one arranged to be sent in secret to Order,” Chaos says, handing the pillow of himself over to Tourism Blogging Minion. She sputters in laughter.

“Okay.”

“And the Greed pillow to… hrm… just send it to him. I’m sure he’ll get a kick out of it. Perhaps he’ll interpret it as some vague disparaging statement.”

She nods. “That just leaves the Love pillow and Order pillow.”

He grins. “I’ll take care of those. I know who they should go to.”

She gives him a one-armed hug, her other arm compressing the two pillows. “Alright, bye bye! It was super fun! My blog is gonna freak over this new post!”

Chaos gets on-knee a moment to hug her back. “It’s always wonderful to spend time with you.”

She jaunts back to her full, Gas Minion height, and gives a half-salute. “One hundred percent the same. Bye!”

Chaos stands back to his own full height as he watches her race off. “So long. I love you,” he says with a doting smile.

At that, he goes off to yet another tower with the two pillows.

Deep down in the seventh-floor basement of the Swamp Tower, Chaos knocks on a door plastered over with pictures of anime girls and game posters.

“Go away,” a weary voice mutters out.

Chaos grins at the side of the door. “I have something you might be interested in.”

“Oh… dad? What’s up, dude?”

“I went by Ultramall for a few things and I think I found your… erm… thing that you wanted.”

Wh-!?… No way!

A pitter of footsteps race to the door, and it opens to reveal Shorts Minion, a piece of pocky hanging from his mouth and one of his weird virtual novel games on pause in the corner of his room.

His maniac excitement locks onto the Order body pillow, as it’s the one visible from Chaos’ side. The little Shorts Minion seethes in abject disgust.

DAD THAT’S NOT THE ONE!

Chaos turns aside with a gentle smile of fatherly concern, displaying the Knight Love pillow on the other side.

Instantly Shorts Minion gasps, his demeanor regenerating completely as he leaps to wrest the pillow from the Star Slayer God Murderer.

“M-Meeo chan!

“Yes… that is… her,” Chaos says with a mixed look.

He loves all of his minions, of course, but he does not always love the things that they choose to obsess over.

“This is awesome! So lifelike and soooooft!” the little minion says as he swings the pillow, almost twice his height, from side to side.

Chaos nods. “I trust it’s the one you wanted, then?”

Yes! Soon my alter will be complete!” Shorts Minion says between a couple of poorly-suppressed stalker laughs.

There’s a short pause, and Chaos just nods again. “Well, you take care, dear minion of mine.”

“Eh, yeah, thanks dad!” Shorts Minion says, giving a half-assed wave before closing the door behind him. He stops when it’s only a crack.

“Oh, hey, and who’s the Order pillow for? Not that I care or anything.”

Chaos smirks. “It’s for someone who would appreciate her delicate personality.”

Shorts Minion snorts from behind the door. “Okay, got it. Some loser. Well say hi to whoever it is.”

Chaos nods with a knowing grin. “Will do.”

Shorts Minion gives a “bye” from the side before shutting the door behind him entirely.

The overlord of limitless power and cruelty stands about a bit in thought as he mulls it all over in his head.

“Well, “hi” me,” he says to himself with a smile as he takes up the Order pillow to inspect it from up front. He gives a bemused chuckle as he looks over the ridiculous depiction of his ancient, most powerful nemesis, the blade of her holy sword Monument crossing over the image to barely conceal her thighs.

A look of weird nostalgia washes over him. He looks almost sad.

“Well, I suppose you’re not as good as the real thing,” he starts with a chuckle as he starts down the way with it under his arm as if it were her, “but we’ll figure it out one of these days. How would you like some dinner?” he asks with a smile.

Obviously, the pillow doesn’t respond.

He sighs. “I cannot imagine what he sees in these things,” he says with a laugh before patting the pillow on its top. “No offense, of course.”

-End-

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