Part 7

Back in the village, Polaris Psyche was sitting alone in his house in a meditative pose, trying to reach out with his mind in order to find Empath. He didn't like the idea of having to do this in the middle of a honeymoon between Empath and Smurfette, as he respected their privacy on most occasions. But here he felt like it was a necessity to reach him.
Polaris could sense only as far as the ocean along with all the living creatures that were in the ocean when he heard a door knocking. He sighed with frustration at the interruption of his effort. "You may enter," he said sharply.
Tapper entered carefully, trying his best not to disrupt what his friend was doing. "Excuse the intrusion, my friend, but I was curious as to know what you were smurfing here in your own privacy that would smurf you away from your friends," Tapper said.
"This one is trying to reach out to Empath by using telepathic meditation, but so far this one's efforts are proving to be fruitless," Polaris said.
"I don't understand why you are desperate to reach Empath, considering that he may not want to be contacted during his honeymoon," Tapper said.
"This one's reasons for doing so are my own, and this one does not wish to share those reasons at this time," Polaris said, sounding a bit offended.
"Well, you don't have to smurf them even with me, if that's what you're comfortable with," Tapper said. "However, I would advise you to smurf yourself a break and let Empath be alone to enjoy his private time with his wife. I have faith that they will return within a week and that you will be able to reconnect with Empath when he returns."
"This one is concerned that there will be no return for Empath or Smurfette, that this honeymoon will be the last any of us will see of them," Polaris said.
"I don't know how the Great Ancestors work as far as your faith, but I do know that the Almighty is able to smurf wonders even to those who have yet to believe," Tapper said. "I don't believe that He would let those two marry each other and not smurf them safely through the valley of the shadow of death so that they would know Who's smurfing out for them for their salvation."
"Well, this one appreciates you sharing your insights, but this one will not be distracted from trying to reach out to Empath no matter what," Polaris said.
Tapper sighed, realizing that there was nothing he could do to persuade Polaris from going about the situation his own way. He quietly left Polaris' house and closed the door behind him.
Barber and Sweepy were waiting outside when Tapper said. "So what's smurfing on with the mate there, Tapper?" Sweepy asked.
"I smurf in my spirit that he would rather be left alone to smurf out to Empath through his own means, my friends," Tapper said.
"Oh dear, this is really serious," Barber said.
"Cheer up there, mate," Sweepy said. "We still have the Almighty on our side. He hasn't let us down, and neither will we to make sure our friends return safely home."

Empath and Smurfette came across two people who were rushing toward them, seeming like they were desperate for help. "What smurfs to be the trouble, my friends?" he asked.
"My name is Chugga and my brother's name is Conroy," the first person said. "We have a pet that has run loose and he's steaming mad, and he needs to take a bath."
"Yeah, but the problem is, when he gets steaming mad, he's impossible to touch, so he needs to be cooled off before you can carry him," the other person said.
"Oh dear, we must smurf a way to smurf him back," Smurfette said.
"Is there a way that you can cool the creature down so that you can bring him back here for his bath?" Empath asked.
"My brother's been working on this invention that sprays water, but it hasn't been tested yet," Chugga said.
"It instantly refills when you bring it into water, so you can recharge as many times as you need as long as you're near water," Conroy said.
"This smurf would like to give this invention a try, if it is available," Empath said.
Conroy went inside the house to get the invention he and Chugga were talking about. He came back with an oddly-shaped backpack-type device that had a nozzle that sprayed high over Empath's head.
"All you have to do is press this button on the controls, and it will spray a stream of water for a short duration," Conroy explained, showing Empath the controls.
Empath removed his backpack and put on the water spraying device, which felt a little cumbersome weighing on his back. He took the control device and pressed the button, spraying a stream of water that accidentally doused Smurfette. "Oops, sorry, Smurfette," Empath said, seemingly embarrassed.
Smurfette snorted. "Not as sorry as you're going to be later on tonight, Empath."
"Wait a minute...are the two of you married?" Chugga asked, sounding curious.
"As a matter of fact, we are...or at least, as long as we survive this honeymoon we're on together," Smurfette said.
"We were just married recently, Chugga," Empath said. "We still have some things to smurf out between each other."
"Oh, well, that I will leave between you and your wife," Chugga said. "Anyway, you shouldn't have any problems trying to find Bulldozer. He doesn't go very far from our house, at least not in the last few times he has broken away."
"You may want to stay with us, sweetheart," Conroy said. "I think your husband should be able to handle this problem alone."
"Empath, you're going to smurf this?" Smurfette asked.
"Don't worry, Smurfette, this smurf should be able to handle this pet of theirs without any problem," Empath said. "You just smurf here with these two and leave smurfing him back to me."
The three of them watched as Empath headed off in the direction that the path was taking them on their quest.
"Your husband is a brave soul, if I may say so myself," Chugga said.
"He's endured a lot worse before, but I wouldn't want him to smurf himself headlong into any danger that's bigger than he can handle," Smurfette said.

Empath soon found a trail of what seemed to be hot liquid on the ground. Already he could sense that it was coming from the creature that the two brothers said was their pet. Then he could hear what sounded like a mechanical chomping noise that was nearby. He had a feeling that it was their pet Bulldozer.
He got as close as he could to the source of the sound, and soon he saw the creature for himself. He looked like a giant metal ball on a chain with eyes and a gaping jaw that was constantly snapping. He seemed so incredibly hot that it was making Empath feel faint being near him.
Empath decided it was time to draw the creature's attention. "Hey, Bulldozer! Over here!"
Bulldozer heard his name being called. He turned and saw that it was Empath, armed with a water spraying device.
"That's it...smurf a little bit closer...this smurf is not going to hurt you," Empath said.
Bulldozer then suddenly charged at Empath, knocking him down to the ground. The heat of the creature was so painful that it made Empath feel like he was being branded with a hot iron.
"Okay, my metal friend, it's time to cool you down," Empath said. He got back on his feet and pressed the button on his water sprayer control, issuing a stream of water that soaked Bulldozer. He shrieked and started to run off in another direction.
"Oh no, you don't...you're not smurfing away from me!" Empath said.
He chased down the creature until he found him just a short distance away. He again sprayed Bulldozer down with water, which made him more upset, until he was no longer red-hot in appearance.
Empath sensed that the creature was now safe to touch. He grabbed the chain that was at the end of Bulldozer and pulled on it with all his might. Bulldozer screeched as he was being pulled inch by inch by the meddlesome stranger he encountered, not wanting to go back to where he came from.
Chugga, Conroy, and Smurfette watched as Empath came dragging Bulldozer with him by the chain. He seemed to have successfully brought the creature back. "Where do you want this smurf to take him?" Empath asked.
"Uh, just drop him into that pit of water over here," Chugga said, pointing to the pit that was near his and his brother's house.
"That would be this smurf's pleasure," Empath said, before he felt the chain becoming hot again. The three others stood back and watched as Bulldozer became red-hot and enraged, turning the heat back on and ready to dart away.
Empath reacted fast to this. He quickly rushed right in front of the creature and sprayed him again with water. Bulldozer again screeched as he felt the water cooling him down again until it was no longer dangerous to touch.
"He's surely not making this thing easy," Empath said as he picked up the chain again and dragged Bulldozer until he could use his strength to hurl him into the water pit. The creature landed in it with a splash and calmed himself down, closing his eyes and his jaws as he rested.
Both Chugga and Conroy stood there, looking impressed. "Wow, if he able to deal with Bulldozer like that, imagine what he could do to King Tortarus," Chugga said.
"That's one fight I'd like to see and watch as it happens," Conroy said in agreement.
Empath took the water sprayer off his back and handed it back to Conroy. "This smurf would have to say that your invention smurfs flawlessly," Empath said.
"Thank you for helping us, Empath," Conroy said. "Smurfette tells us that you're on the quest to recover all the pieces of Mystic Star, so we would like to reward you with this."
Chugga then produced what appeared to be another piece of the Mystic Star. Empath and Smurfette both watched as that piece now joined with the other two pieces they have in their possession.
Just then, a young female approached them. "You must be the new visitors to our island who are seeking after the pieces of the Mystic Star," she said. "I may be able to help you with that if you can help me."
"We would be able to help you, but what's your name?" Smurfette asked.
"I am Fauna, the daughter of Flora, and I am on my way to the village of the Minimals," the female answered. "However, the way to the village is blocked, and I am not able to get through to meet with my friends and sing my music."
"This smurf may assist you in removing whatever's blocking your way to the Minimal Village, Fauna," Empath said.
"But who are the Minimals?" Smurfette asked.
"Oh, they're a friendly bunch of animals that have all migrated to this island because they're so small, like us," Fauna answered. "I'm sure you'll like them and that they will like you."
"Well, shall we smurf ourselves going on this journey?" Empath asked Smurfette.
"Yes, by all means," Smurfette said, as Empath put his backpack back on and they started along the path with Fauna as their guide.
"Just be careful getting there, that you don't run into the Tortans," Chugga called out as he and his brother watched the three of them depart.

The way to the Minimal Village was a bit harder than they expected it. The path was now becoming difficult to traverse as they had to skirt around the mountain on a very slim path that required the three of them to maintain their balance. Empath used his telekinetic power to keep the three of them safe as they navigated their way across the narrow ledge.
Then they came across something that they didn't expect: a slippery ice ledge. The way became even more treacherous to cross as Empath now had to keep his party from slipping on the ice and falling to their doom on the rocks below. Smurfette also slipped off, but she felt herself being lifted back up and hugging the side of the mountain for all it was worth.
Then the three of them went sliding down a water channel to the bottom, which to Empath and Smurfette felt like going down a water slide back in the Smurf Village. They landed in a pool of water, soaking wet but still alive.
"Are the both of you all right?" Empath asked as he picked himself up out of the pool.
"I'm fine, Empath, don't worry about me," Smurfette answered.
"At the very least, it got us close to where we needed to go," Fauna said as she looked at her immediate surroundings.
"If you want to, we can wait until you're dry before we can proceed," Smurfette said.
"There's no need to, for I have my ways," Fauna said. She then closed her eyes and began to sing a beautiful song, and as she did, a strong warm wind blew upon Fauna, and then about a minute later her hair and her clothes were all dry.
"Great Ancestors, this smurf didn't expect you to have magic in your singing," Empath said, looking at Fauna in amazement.
"Well, that's what I have been gifted with, and I make the most of it in every situation," Fauna said. "My mother says that I have the most beautiful singing voice, and the Minimals seem to agree with that."
"Well, I think your voice sounds beautiful enough to be heard by my fellow Smurfs, if you should ever meet them," Smurfette said.
"I appreciate that," Fauna said. "Anyway, let's get ourselves going. The day is nearly reaching its end, and I don't want to be late."
"We're ready whenever you are," Empath said as he let Fauna take the lead again.