Part 8

They came to a clearing up ahead where they saw various huts in the distance. "There it is, the Minimal Village, straight ahead," Fauna said.
"So what's keeping us from entering into it, Fauna?" Smurfette asked.
Suddenly they could hear a growling that sounded like it came from an animal, as well as the snapping of jaws hungry for prey. "It's a Snapper Dragon that's been planted at the entrance," Fauna said.
"A Snapper Dragon?" Empath asked, wondering what she meant.
Fauna drew them closer to the entrace of the village, and Empath and Smurfette saw for themselves. It was a carnivorous plant that looked like something they were used to seeing in the Smurf Forest, only much more dangerous. The Snapper Dragon's bulbs reached and snapped their jaws at the three who were approaching it.
"So that's why you can't enter the village," Empath said. "This shouldn't be a problem...although this smurf doesn't like destroying plants, this smurf sees that it needs a pruning."
Empath raced toward the Snapper Dragon and tried to fight against it by punching its bulbs, but the Snapper Dragon just grabbed Empath with one of its jaws and shook him around for a while before throwing him away, landing next to Smurfette and Fauna.
"Apparently it doesn't like the taste of you, Empath," Fauna said.
"But how are we going to defeat it if we can't use strength against it?" Empath asked.
"I was hoping one of you has brought a very powerful scent," Fauna answered. "Snapper Dragons usually don't like smelling those kind of scents."
"A powerful scent," Smurfette wondered. Then she reached into her backpack and pulled out a bottle of something that looked like perfume.
"Smurfette, you brought a bottle of perfume along just for a hike?" Empath asked, sounding incredulous.
"I just figured we may need it, if not just for a private romantic seclusion, Empath," Smurfette said. "Besides, I'm not going to let a wedding present from Vanity smurf to waste."
Smurfette sprayed a bit of the perfume onto the Snapper Dragon, which reacted by coughing and hacking as it seemed to weaken. She sprayed more and more of the perfume until the Snapper Dragon wilted and then disappeared altogether.
"You did it, Smurfette," Fauna said, sounding excited. "You got rid of the Snapper Dragon."
Smurfette giggled. "I'm surely going to tell Vanity about what his perfume smurfed when we return from our honeymoon, Empath."
"Who knew that his perfume would be a plant killer of sorts?" Empath said, also seemingly amazed at what it did to the plant.
Fauna walked in ahead of Empath and Smurfette and found herself greeted by the residents of Minimal Village. Empath and Smurfette were both surprised to find the truth of Fauna's statement, that they were all various types of animals that were now the size of Smurfs.
"Hey, Fauna, good to see you again," a penguin said.
"Did you come to check out my stripes?" a zebra asked.
"I think she may be beary hungry right now," a bear said.
"But who are her friends that are with her?" a gorilla asked.
"I don't know, but they look like they came from the North," a pelican said.
"You mean like from the northmost north?" a walrus asked.
"Well, I'm sure we can cure them of their blueness with something," a squirrel said.
"Maybe they're just born that way, who knows?" a rabbit said.
"Friends, these are Empath and Smurfette, who are both visitors to this island, and they are here to celebrate their honeymoon together," Fauna announced.
"A honeymoon? I didn't know moons were made of honey," a bee said.
"They could be made of cheese," a mouse said.
"I'm sure that means that these two are married and want to experience their first days of being in love together," an owl said.
"That's actually what we were her for," Empath said. "But then we discovered the legend of the Mystic Star, and we decided that we would help assemble it back together and rid the land of King Tortarus."
"King Tortarus?" all the Minimals said together.
"Ooh, he's so frightening, and all his minions," the mouse said.
"I wouldn't want to go anywhere near them if I can help it," a mole said.
"Well, if these two can defeat that giant tortoise, I'd be glad to assist them," a fox said.
"So what do you have to bring us, my fair lady Fauna?" an oppossum asked.
"Just my song to sing to all you Minimals, since it has been a long time from the last time I visited you," Fauna said. "Gather round here so that I can sing my tune to you all and give you hope in the days ahead." Empath and Smurfette watched as all the creatures of Minimal Village joined together to sit around Fauna as she began her song:

I sing to you a song of joy,
For every Minimal girl and boy,
A song that brings you lasting cheer
To bring a smile and wipe away your tears
Rejoice, rejoice, O Utopians,
I sing of peace through all this land

And as Fauna continued to sing, they could see something shining bright over their heads. Empath and Smurfette recognized it as one of the pieces of the Mystic Star, which then joined with the three other pieces they collected.
When her singing ended, Fauna was greeted with applause from all the residents of Minimal Village. "Oh, that just sounded so sweet," a polecat said.
"Ah, shucks, it just touched my heart," a beaver said.
"I wish that you could stay and sing among us all the time," a goat said.
"I will stay with you for awhile, and then I will return to my mother where her garden grows," Fauna said. "In the meantime, my friends may need a place to stay for the night."
"All our houses are full, but there is a hayloft they could sleep in," a pig said.
"I'm sure that they will be very comfortable there," a goose said.
"This smurf appreciates your hospitality, but me and Smurfette will be fine sleeping out under the stars tonight," Empath said.
"By all means," a horse said. "But be careful, because the Tortans are on the loose."
"We will be very careful, I promise you," Smurfette said, sounding grateful.

Out in a private spot near the Minimal Village, Empath and Smurfette lay together on the ground, with Empath prefering just the softness of the ground while Smurfette brought herself a blanket to sleep on. The both of them felt very tired and yet also very restless from all that they have experienced on that day alone.
"So what do you think of the hike we're smurfing on so far, Smurfette?" Empath asked.
"It was a little more than I bargained for, but overall it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be," Smurfette said.
"But just think of what we will tell our fellow Smurfs once this week is over," Empath said. "They will wish that they were here with us, or just with you."
"I don't want to think about returning home yet, Empath," Smurfette said. "Besides, I could only wonder what would happen if we did collect all the pieces of the Mystic Star."
"That makes this smurf wonder where the last piece of the star could be, if it could be anywhere on this island," Empath said.
"Who knows?" Smurfette said. "It may be that King Tortarus might have it, and he's smurfing it under guard so that we cannot get to it."
"So it smurfs like we have to smurf into the lion's den, so to smurf, to get that final piece and restore the Mystic Star," Empath said.
"I don't know if I'm brave enough to smurf it with you, Empath," Smurfette said. "You usually handle all the action stuff, and I get to handle the stuff that requires brains."
"The Utopii said that strength and beauty must smurf together, Smurfette," Empath said. "So far you haven't failed to smurf your part in this adventure."
"Let's rest for tonight and not think about smurfing the final piece of the Mystic Star until morning," Smurfette said as she snuggled herself close to Empath.
Empath sighed as he held Smurfette close to him. "Have a restful night tonight, Smurfette. We will smurf each other again in the morning."

Empath and Smurfette both slept peaceful that night, but in the middle of the night Empath heard a voice calling in his head. Empath, can you hear this one?
Empath recognized who the voice was. Polaris, why are you trying to communicate with this smurf right now?
This one had felt the disconnection between you and this one the other night when you were...mating with Smurfette, Polaris said.
This smurf apologizes for that happening, Polaris, Empath said. But you got to know that the two of us, meaning this smurf and Smurfette, had just formed a new bond between us as husband and wife.
That is what this one has been sensing, Polaris said. In any case, this one does not mean to intrude upon your private time with Smurfette right now.
The both of us are just resting tonight, so we won't be having any intimate moments between us until the time we return to Utopia Village, Empath said.
Your private moments with Smurfette are not this one's business to know about, Empath, Polaris said. But suffice it to say that this one does miss your presence being in the Smurf Village right now.
Don't worry about us, Polaris, Empath said. We will return home in a week. We will smurf in touch with each other when we come home.
This one understands and acknowledges, Empath, Polaris said. Continue to enjoy your honeymoon with Smurfette, and have a restful night.
And then things became quiet in Empath's mind again.

Empath slept soundly the rest of the night. In the morning, he woke up and found out that Smurfette wasn't there beside him. He scanned for her presence, but couldn't seem to find her anywhere in Minimal Village. He decided to ask the villagers questions.
"Excuse this smurf, but has anyone seen where Smurfette might have smurfed off to last night?" Empath asked.
"No, Empath, and I don't think most of us were awake last night to see anything," the zebra answered.
"Maybe she returned to Utopia Village when you weren't awake," the mole suggested.
"But why should she do that?" the penguin asked.
"I don't know," the walrus answered. "Maybe she forgot something that she left back there with the Utopii."
"Maybe it's the Tortans that came by night who took her," the bear suggested.
"Perhaps I can help you find the lovely blue lady of yours," the fox offered.
"This smurf would gladly appreciate the help," Empath said.
The fox went with Empath over to the spot where he and Smurfette were sleeping together. The fox sniffed the ground and detected something. "Aha, I do smell the scent of those wretched Tortans. They were here last night, and they have taken Smurfette away to King Tortarus' lair."
"Do you know where the lair is, and how we can get in?" Empath asked.
"I do know that it's up in that mountain on this island, but how to get in is one thing I do not know," the fox answered. "There are many secret entrances leading to that place, but finding just one of them is going to be impossible unless we can get our hands on a Tortan."
"Then that's what we'll have to do," Empath said, picking up his backpack.
Just then, Fauna came out of one of the huts. "What happened, Empath?" she asked. "I just heard that Smurfette is missing."
"Smurfette may have been taken by the Tortans, and this smurf cannot sense where she is right now, probably because where she is has been shielded by magic," Empath said. "We're going to have to find a Tortan that will take us to her."
"Oh dear," Fauna moaned. "I only hope that Smurfette is all right. Who knows what King Tortarus has in store for her?"

Meanwhile, Smurfette found herself in a secret location that she couldn't find out exactly where it was. The room she was in had no windows, and the only thing came from a crack in the ceiling. She had no idea how long she was in there for. She only hoped that Empath would find out and come to her rescue soon.
Just then the door opened, and two guards came in, holding spears. "You are to come with us to King Tortarus, young lady," one of the guards said. "Cooperate with us, and you will not be hurt."
Smurfette realized she had no choice. She went with the guards into the chamber where King Tortarus was sitting on his throne, and was pushed down onto her knees to fall and give worship unto the tyrant king.
"I'd say welcome, my pretty little darling," the King said. "You seem to have a knack of being in places where you don't belong."
"King Tortarus, why have you brought me here?" Smurfette asked. "And where am I?"
"If you must know, you're still on the island, and I plan to conquer everything that is on it very soon," the King answered. "It's you and your little blue friend that are the problem. You are collecting pieces of a sacred treasure that you have no right to collect. And I would rather you give up those pieces that you have before I do something very terrible to you."
"I don't have those pieces," Smurfette said. "Empath has them. If you want them, you'll have to smurf a hold of him."
"I plan to, by having him come to you so that he can try to rescue you," the King said. "And when I do, I will have the both of you in my clutches, and the Mystic Star will be splintered in pieces again, and scattered to places where nobody can find them ever again...especially the last piece that I have in my possession."
"You had the last piece of the Mystic Star all along?" Smurfette asked.
"What is it to you if I did?" the King said, sneering. "When I get my hands on your friend, none of you are going to do anything but watch me break it again. And your little quest to overthrow my future reign on this island will come to nothing, and everything here will submit to me, King Tortarus!"
"Empath will come and defeat you, and you will fall before him!" Smurfette said defiantly.
King Tortarus seemed tired of having to talk to her. "Guards, take her back to her cell," he ordered. "I will figure out what I will do with her next."
The guards then came and took hold of Smurfette, forcing her to leave the king's chambers, while the king continued to sit on his throne and brood.