With my newly gained knowledge, I was escorted from the casino by one of the same nice bodyguards that nearly shot me in the a few moments ago. But no hard feelings between us, though he might have some trouble finding his misplaced pouch later. In front of the casino stood Squeakly and three rats identical to him, or were they also Squeaklies? I don’t know, I can’t really grasp the hive mind concept. Anyway, all the Squeaklies were pale in the face as rats can be and looked very distraught. Once they saw me however, some glee returned to their cute little fuzzy stupid kidnapping faces. “You were there for ages, I thought they killed you or something!” So nice to see him caring for me, even though he was technically the reason I was in any danger anyway, but I was feeling rather magnanimous and I didn’t really hold that against him. I told him everything about my endeavour into the casino… well most of it, and almost all of it true I swear. But before getting to the ending of the story I made a slight pause so he could properly show his shock and utmost admiration. “You really sneaked your way into there, fought off against two of the boss’s 10 foot tall bodyguards and you held him at knife-point and interrogated him about the recipe?” Like I said, most of it was true. I told him the important stuff after that, and his face got all sunken again, the Gardener seemed to frighten him as much as they frightened the Don. “Judging by your expression, I expect that this Gardener isn’t some laidback fellow with a knack for planting flowers, aye?” A shaking head and a grave silence were my answers. “Well do you at least know the way to this Garden of his? Remember, this is your only hope if you don’t want to lose your head (or heads, I don’t know), so muster some courage. Where did that splendid mood of yours go?” I punched him affectionately in the shoulder, but it didn’t seem to raise his mood. He was still all sulky and depressed, and he only replied with cryptic: “Maybe losing my head would be the better option, if meeting the Gardener is the only alternative” I was furious with this attitude, and I would have none of it: “Listen here Squeakly, you are going to take me to this Gardener, if he is evil or something we are going to beat the rat out of him, we are going to find the cure for your Ratxellence and I will have my gold, capiche?” This seemed to have given some semblance of life back to him, he looked at me with a slight smirk and said. “Did you call me Squeakly?” “Holy hells man, I’m trying to coerce you into meeting with this supposedly diabolical being that everyone is afraid of, you have few days left or you will be executed, we are looking for a possibly non-existent cure, and this is what’s on your mind!? What’s bloody wrong with you!?” I tried to be deadpan in my delivery, but I cracked a smile during the last part. Squeakly was now visibly more energetic, and whilst still visibly terrified, he took lead and was now leading me to this enigmatic Garden. It was quite a stroll, but after some time, we got into a part of the city where almost no one lived. The buildings were crooked, unkempt and most of them abandoned, they created quite an ominous atmosphere, which was only stronger once I saw goal of our destination: A small seemingly abandoned church with broken shutters and scraped off plaster. The church was surrounded by a wall and I expected that between the wall and the church would be a graveyard, and my prediction was somewhat correct. Once we nearly reached the church, the unsettling silence was broken by a rhythmic sound, the sound of a shovel being jabbed into the ground. Squeakly was trembling so much, that I was surprised that his teeth weren’t the most deafening sound in the vicinity, but I was somewhat proud for him nonetheless, as he kept moving towards the source of his fears anyway. We opened a gate to the courtyard and I was surprised by what I saw there. Yes, it was a graveyard all right, but there was some weird beauty to it all. There were thousands of various plants planted all over it, most of them covering many of the tombstones. There were flowers of all colours and shapes :bright and colourful, dark and gloomy, and withering and decaying. I could see why someone would find this place unsettling, but I found it somewhat…comforting. And in the midst of this all stood a tall hooded figure in a dark robe and a plague mask. They were just digging in the ground with the most menacing shovel I have ever seen. I began approaching them and I noticed some more distinct features: their garment was covered in various fungi and moss and other plants, they had a giant book strapped to himself, but the most unsettling thing was, that his hands weren’t those of a rat or a man, they were of a skeleton. As I got closer they looked up from their work, and I found myself face to face with this creature. It took the shovel in its hand, and I could see that it had a very nasty sharp point that someone could easily be skewered with. Then it started slowly walking towards me. I stood frozen, but it wasn’t fear that paralyzed me this time, nor was it any witchcraft or sorcery. No, it was my own willing choice to stand and wait, for no undead murderous creature would put so much care into such a beautiful garden, this creature was of a different sort, and I was anxious to find out what that sort was.