Mumble is Humble
That day, Lakshman and Ondine spent their time in a guest room. Once they settled in, Marilia provided them with drinks and food. After a while later, Lakshman and Ondine wondered the training centre.
They went to different parts of the training centre and observed how everyone was training. The people doing the training used methods he always had used before. Yet, they also found some others that were unfamiliar to them.
There were those that were pulling on a metal rod with wire attached to a sack and pulled the sack up and down. There were others that lay on their backs and were pushing a large rod up and down which had two sacks attacked on either sides of it.
Lakshman and Ondine were astonished at how rigorous their training was. The people continued to training for an hour or two before taking break. During their break, they sat down on the floor and drank water or juice depending on their preference.
Once they finished drinking and the break was over, they returned to continue their training. Lakshman was appalled that they continued training right after drinking.
“Wouldn’t it create stomach cramps?” he muttered in a concerned voice.
Ondine shook her head and said “It’s only liquid, master. Stomach cramps is only when you exercise right after eating a large meal.”
“Ah,” he said in understanding.
Then they continued their observation the training everyone did. There seemed to be set procedures as what to do and when to do it. As far as they could see, there were no instructors to tell them what to do.
Once it got night, Marilia came looking for them. She led them back into their guest room where their meals were waiting. Their stomachs began growling loudly when they smelt the delicious smells of the food.
“We’re sorry for troubling you,” Ondine said apologetically.
“No need for it. You are our guests and providing proper hospitality is our manners,” Marilia said and she smiled at them.
After happily eating the food, Marilia took the tray of empty bowls and left. However, before she left, she asked them if they wanted to shower. When they said “Yes!” she smiled and took them to the showing place.
After a wonderful shower, both Lakshman and Ondine returned to their guest room. In their guest room, there were two beds which were separated by a small Illumination Crystal.
Lakshman smiled at her sleeping form. Then he pulled out a cloth from his bag and began cleaning his sword and thoroughly cleaned his staff. A while ago, the five friends of his father’s told him how weapons rust if they are not cared for. That was why he began cleaning them carefully.
Once the cleaning was done, he got into bed and quickly fell asleep. As he fell asleep, the light faded and left darkness within the room. Then, as if only a few seconds had passed, Lakshman suddenly felt conscious.
Through his eyelids, he could tell that it was partially dark. He can tell there was some light streaming into the room he and Ondine were staying, but that was not what woke him up. He felt a strange presence in the room.
“Ooh ooh ooh…” said a voice from nearby.
“Mmm?” Lakshman moaned sleepily as he sat upright and slowly opened his eyes.
When only partially opened, he saw a glow of light penetrating through the curtain. He realised it was early in the morning. Then he heard the voice again, but much closer than before.
“Ooh ooh aaa aaa eee eee aaa ooh.”
“What the?” he muttered as he slowly turned his face in the direction the sound was coming form.
When his eyes laid eyes on it, he did not recognise it at first. Then, his eyes widened in surprise, he realised what he was staring at. It was a small animal with brown fur which was on its legs and hands waving while its tail was twirling around. He realised it was a monkey.
“Wow…!” he exclaimed softly.
He had seen pictures of monkeys in picture books that Mariana, his family’s maid, showed him as a kid. Ever since then he had wanted to meet them in person, but was unable to due to them being uncontrollably wild. So this was his first time seeing a monkey up close.
The monkey was staring at him while tilting its head from side to curiously. Lakshman suddenly thought the monkey looked cute and compared its cuteness to the cat he always met in the forest. Then he suddenly came to the conclusion that the cat was much cuter than the monkey.
“Hello…” Lakshman said softly and he beckoned the monkey towards him.
The monkey did not move an inch and remained sitting in its stationary position. Then its ears twitched and it looked over its shoulder. For a moment, the monkey continued to look back before turning back to face him.
“Ooh ooh eee aaa eee aaa ooh!” the monkey said as it danced on its two feet and waving its hands.
“Um… What?” Lakshman asked and looked confused.
He obviously did not understand anything the monkey said. He wondered if it had to do with his lack of knowledge in the Beast Language. Before he could ponder any further, the monkey left the room.
“H-Hey!” Lakshman said and he jumped off the bed to chase after the monkey.
He ran after the monkey which was moving quickly for its small body. They went through corridors after corridors as he kept the monkey in sight. Then the monkey turned a corner and vanished from sight. When Lakshman turned the corner, he suddenly found himself outside.
He walked a few meters before hearing the sounds of the monkey . As he moved towards it, he also heard a familiar voice.
“Ah, there you are! I was wondering where you wondered off to! Seriously! It seems I can’t take my eyes off you for one second, you stupid monkey!”
Lakshman found a gate in front of him which he opened and walked in. There, standing only meters away, was the monkey and speaking severally to him was none other than Darian Ronald.
The monkey looked unhappy while Darian looked cross as he had a frown on his face while he looked down at the monkey. Then, hearing his footsteps, Darian turned and saw Lakshman approaching him.
“Ah. Good morning, Lakshman,” Darian greeted him with a smile.
“Ah, yes. Good morni… ing,” Lakshman said as he barely managed to stifle a yawn.
Darian laughed and asked “Let me guess. This stupid monkey here was the one that woke you up?”
“I… I guess so,” Lakshman said with a shrug of his shoulders.
“Now, really…!” Darian said and looked severally down at the monkey.
“Ooh ooh ooh aaa aaa aaa ooh aaa!” the monkey said when it looked up at Darian.
“That’s still no reason to go around waking out guests up!” Darian said in an annoyed voice.
“Ooh ooh aaa aaa aaa…” the monkey said and it looked sad which made Darian sigh.
“I’m sorry my friend caused you trouble,” Darian said apologetically when he turned to look at Lakshman.
“No, no! It’s fine, but… why was he there anyway?”
“Ah, well… he wanted to take a look at our guests and snuck into your room early in the morning.”
The monkey was nodding his head at Darian’s words.
Lakshman laughed and said “That’s alright. Besides, I usually train right about now.”
“On, really? So that idiot did start training you well then,” Darian said softly with a satisfied smile on his face.
“Sorry, but why are you calling my father… that?” Lakshman asked curiously.
Darian laughed and said “It’s because he was an idiot when he was training under me, that rascal! He was a living nightmare to discipline. He always did what he wanted whenever and wherever and never cared about what others thought of him.”
“Wow… I-I can’t believe dad was like that,” Lakshman said uncertainly and looked appalled.
Darian shrugged his shoulders and said “Heh! He was young, carefree and recklessly crazy! One day this was this and the next it was something else! He totally brought me into seriously beating him once, but even that didn’t change him!”
Lakshman looked astonished and said “Wow…! Dad, what were you thinking?”
Darian sighed and said “He was at his rebellious age, but boy have I ever met a boy as wild as him! I sometimes thought of him like a tailless monkey!”
“Tailless monkey…!” Lakshman said and they both began to laugh.
“Master… It isn’t right that you laugh at you own father like that!” said the voice of Ondine who had suddenly appeared behind him.
“I-I know, but…” Lakshman said as he clutched his stomach desperately stop laughing.
Ondine looked cross with a frown on her face and the monkey said “Ooh ooh eee eee eee eee aaa aaa ooh aaa ooh ooh eee eee eee!”
“Whatever! It’s not like he’s here to care or anything, is he?” Darian said to what the monkey said which the others did not understand.
“What did he say?” Ondine asked him.
“He said it’s rude that you’re laughing at your father and that you are a bad son,” Darian said and he rolled his eyes. Then he said “Like it’s a big deal! I’m just glad his son is not like him!”
“I was raised to be not like him,” Lakshman said cheerfully.
“Good!” Darian said and he gave Lakshman a thumps-up gesture with his hand.
After that, Darian invited them to join in his morning training. Just like them, he also pulled out his sword and began training by lifting it up and down. They did this with one hand while they folded the other hand behind them.
After a while, the sun really began to rise which was when Darian called their training to an end. They went into the training centre as it opened for the day. A while later, people started coming in with their training gear with them.
“Um… Mr. Darian,” Lakshman began nervously.
“Call me Darian, lad. I don’t like such high respectful stuff,” Darian said easily with a smile.
“O-Oh… Alright then…! Darian, how long do these people train each day?”
“Well, there are those that come ones a week while others come regularly. So from the pattern of their coming and going, I would say they train for about… four to six hours a day.”
“Four to six hours a day?! Isn’t that a lot of hours spending just on training?”
“Maybe, but some of them want to get into shape while others want to be fit and there are those trying to build muscles. You’ll find various people coming here for various reasons, but they all come to train!”
“Wow…!” Ondine said in amazement.
“I see, but wouldn’t that hurt their muscles? Dad told me not to train too hard, otherwise I’ll stretch a muscle and hurt myself terribly,” Lakshman said in a worried voice.
“Your dad’s right and that’s why my training centre is surrounded by a barrier that transfers all physical damage to their minds. Sure the equipment breaks sometimes, but do you know why it’s best to use a barrier for these sorts of things?”
“Um… Although the equipment can be repaired, healing magic won’t work on injuries that easily,” Lakshman said a little hesitantly.
“Not quite, but it’s actually because we can’t afford a healer,” Darian said and he looked sad.
“Yes. Right now, healers are rare to be seen. So anyone that can heal are treated with high respect! That’s why doctors and nurses get highly paid jobs while people like farmers and labourers get low payment for their work.”
Darian looked annoyed for a moment. Then he shook his head before he smiled at them.
“Anyway, how about we all go and have breakfast? I think a wonderful breakfast after a good morning workout is perfect for our bodies!”
A while later they got their breakfast along with everyone, who was lined behind a queue. It turned out Darian’s Training Centre had its own canteen and food serving. There, people were getting drinks and food to eat.
While they were eating, Lakshman casually asked “By the way, I still don’t know what your monkey’s name is.”
“Ah. His name is Mumble,” Darian said while he bit his portion of food.
“Oh! So he’s mumble!” Lakshman exclaimed in surprise.
Mumble, who was eating bananas, suddenly looked like he was smiling and made a pose with pride. Darian raised an eyebrow when he saw this and looked quickly back at Lakshman.
“Why are you so surprised? Don’t tell me this crazy furbrain is getting famous or something!” he asked in a concerned voice.
At his words, Mumble started making noise, but was quickly silenced with a glare. As he turned back to look at them, Ondine went to answer him.
“During one of our difficult training times, Indra said that we were slower than a monkey! When we inquired who he was comparing us to, he said he was referring us to your pet monkey.”
“Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh eee eee eee eee eee ooh!!!” Mumble said angrily and started waving his fists in the air.
“Ah, clam down already. Sheesh! That idiot really called Mumble my pet?” Darian asked as if he could not believe her original words.
Ondine nodded and said “Yes he did! Then he praised mumble and made our training hard.”
“Heh! Is that so…? Well! The next time we meet, he’s going to get it!” Darian said ominously and a dark shadow suddenly fell over him.
“Is he not your… um…” Lakshman began and hesitated when he saw the dark look on his face.
“No, he’s not my pet! He’s my best friend! Both he and I’ve been through so much in our lives, we’re friends for live!”
“A friendship for life between a Sword King and a monkey that goes wild if something upsets him!” said the voice of Marilia as she joined them.
“Go wild if something upsets him?” Lakshman asked and looked puzzled.
“Oh, yes indeed! There was this one time someone took a banana from Mumble’s food tray.”
“Ooh ooh ooh eee eee aaa aaa eee eee ooh!” Mumble made angry sounds and Marilia continuedspeaking .
“We usually have it labelled to keep people away, but it seemed that day the label wasn’t there. Anyway, that person was—!”
She was in the middle of speaking when a loud shout was heard coming from the lunch area. They were sitting away from the lunch room, so they did not know what was happening.
As muttering and noise filled the room, a lady rushed over to them with a worried look on her face.
“What is it?” Marilia asked sharply.
“Madam, it seems this muscly man is eating the bananas from Mumble’s food tray!” the lady said urgently.
There was short amount of silence in which everyone turned to look at Mumble. The monkey was staring blankly at them. Then they rose to their feet and rushed over to the lunch area.
When they entered, they immediately saw what was causing the commotion. A tall muscly looking man was standing near a table with bananas on it. He was nonchalantly eating the bananas from a food tray which clearly was labelled “Mumble’s Bananas!”
Once the man finished a banana, he burped and said “Come on! Is this the only bananas you people have? They taste so weird, are they even bananas?! I could’ve found better bananas than this dump of tasteless crap!”
Darian’s eyes widened in surprise and Marilia looked as if she could not believe her ears. Everyone was silent as they stared at the man as he picks up another banana and begins eating one piece at a time.
This time after finishing, he burps and asked “Anyway, where is this Monkey King? He’s beaten up my good friend a month ago! Bring him out, I want a word with him!”
Everyone stared at him and then looked at each other in a worried voice. Darian was trying to think of what to do when Mumble appeared behind them. He made his way to the front and saw the muscly man eating his bananas.
Mumble immediately froze and looked like a stone statue as he gazed at the man gulp down a banana and start eating another.
As if to make matters worse, the man then said “I heard these bananas are like his life! Where the hell is he? Did he stop being a Monkey King and decided to be a Chicken King became I’m here?! Ha! What a buffoon! He should be called the Monkey Loser from now on! Monkey Loser! Where are you, Monkey Loser?!”
Mumble suddenly seemed to come to life at those words and angrily said “Ooh!”
“M-Mumble, that’s not a good idea…!” Darian said imploringly, but Mumble slowly walked towards the man.
Mumble looked tiny compared to the muscly man who towered him. Mumble then tapped the man in the leg and the man looked down at him.
“What the? What’s a frigging monkey doing here?! Go away you! Go get your master! Otherwise, I’m going to spread word that he’s really a Chicken King and no lame brained fool would believe this Monkey King crap! Shoo! Go get your master, stupid monkey!”
A vein pulsed dangerously on Mumble’s temple as his temper reached its peak. He straightened up and looked up at the towering man fearlessly.
Lakshman wondered if he should lend a hand. He moved forward slightly, but was immediately pulled back by Darian.
“Don’t interfere! I don‘t like what will happen next, but it’s a good lesson to this arrogant brainless brute!” Darian said and he made a smile full of malice.
Lakshman stared at him in disbelief, but resigned to staying where he was. Then he turned around to witness events that blew his mind.
Mumble’s anger finally peaked and he angrily said “Ooh!”
The next moment, he grabbed the man’s leg.
The man looked at him and angrily said “Get your furry hands off my nice clean boots, stupid imp!”
Mumble finally shouted “Ohh!”
The next instant, he lifted the man with his hand and slammed him on the ground, hard. The force of impact caused a deep groove to appear on the floor in the form of the man. Mumble did not stop there and lifted the man and began slamming him here and there.
Lakshman watched, in shock, as Mumble effortlessly lifted and slammed him numerous times on the floor in all directions. Then he lifted and began swinging him around in circles. After a certain amount of turns, Mumble lets go of the man’s leg.
The man goes sailing through the air and out of the training centre. A few seconds later, they heard a loud bang and loud crashing sounds. Then there were loud angry shouts as stall owners became angry at him.
“Goddamn fool got beaten good by the Monkey King!” was what the people were shouting outside.
“Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh!!!” Mumble said loudly as he hit his chest with his hands several times.
Then he jumped onto the dining table and began eating his bananas that stilled remained while staring at the entrance way. It looked like he was ready for round two, but the muscly man seemed like he was pretty beaten to try again.
“Mumble is weird and crazy at times, but he is also called the Monkey King,” Marilia said quietly.
“The Monkey King is a very sacred title and anyone daring to mess with them will end up beaten into a pulp. That guy just got lucky because he just ate Mumble’s favourite bananas, but it could’ve been worse,” Darian said softly.
“Yes. Upset Mumble, he will be humble in the way he beats the day lights out of you!” Marilia said and she looked at Mumble who was happily eating bananas.
Lakshman and Ondine stared at Mumble in disbelief. They did not know the small monkey was actually that powerful. They learnt another lesson in life in that instant; do not believe everything that you see with your eyes.