Jade, Captain Jake, and the eight guards who had originally
taken her to the King stood on the shores of Meridell. The Captain sliced the
noose and ropes binding her paws. He then handed her her sword and daggers. She
sheathed everything and turned to them.
"You should best be off miss, as the King doesn't
like to have unwanted strangers on 'is land."
She nodded and spread her wings. In moments
she was heading in the direction of Sakhmet. Below Flem, Heilan, Jake, and the
other guards waved at her.
"She has a stout heart but will she succeed
in her quests?" it was Heilan who spoke up.
"We shall see Heilan, we shall see," Jake murmured
as the jade coloured spec got smaller and smaller.
Orlan stood in his chamber, in full battle armour. At his side a sword that
was as deadly as its master. Its black hilt looked brand new and slaves had
polished its blade. All in all he was a fearsome sight. However, there was one
final touch to be added, the name his entire army would begin to call him from
this point on. The Shadow Lord.
The army before Orlan was massive. Thousands upon thousands of fully equipped
and trained pets stood. All pets had at least one weapon, be it a sword or a
double-edged scythe. Each and everyone was covered in armour--the only thing
missing were helms. The reason for this was that Orlan believed helms would
only get in the way and minimize his chances of winning.
Standing to attention, side-by-side, Kiata and
Shokiba stared at their supreme ruler. Finally he spoke, "Shokiba, Kiata, rise
up the war cry." Then he called out to the rest of the army, "We leave in seven
The army cheered. There was no need to have
Shokiba or Kiata call out the war cry, they were already shouting it.
"Long-live the Shadow Lord! Long-live the Shadow
Taking hold of Kiata the Shadow Lord whispered
in her ear, "Go to Sakhmet. I want you to collect as much information as possible
and report back here in three days time. Take enough food and water and get
there and back again."
She nodded and was off to do his bidding.
It only took Jade a week to reach Sakhmet. When she had made her first stop
from Meridell she realized she hadn't gotten food or water. She was searching
through a small sack containing many things, including things from her past
As she rummaged through the pack she found a
small packet. Upon it there was a note and it read:
Jadestone, I know that you'll need food and
water so I packed you a weeks worth. I apologize for King Skarl's actions. Things
are tight here. Good luck to you and take care. Captain Jake
She smiled to herself, though her smile faded
as she thought about the task at hand. Slowly night crept over the horizon,
the morrow bringing new quests, adventures, and friends.
Shifting sands was all that could be seen for miles around. Upon a hill stood
Jade. Her black tunic swayed in the wind, which was now blowing sand here and
there. In the faint distance a palace could be seen with its palisade walls.
Outside hardly more than tiny specs could be seen. They were the market stalls
that sold goods to pets outside the palace.
Taking one final look at Sakhmet she set off
from the dune, head down against the blowing sand. From atop the dune she hadn't
noticed a particularly familiar Shoyru standing not too far away, soon to meet
up with Jade, then again in the upcoming war.
Kiata watched Jade leave. Flipping the hood of her sand, coloured cloak the
silver Shoyru followed her silently.
After an hour of walking and withstanding the
sand she arrived at the outskirts of Sakhmet Palace. Bustling and jostling pets
were on either side of her, some buying and some selling.
Jade disappeared into the crowd. Kiata tried
to catch up, but a group of Neopets got in her way. Getting annoyed, she unsheathed
her sword. Almost everyone backed away-however, there was the odd one who tried
to withstand her, but they were defeated in moments. When she saw Jade up ahead,
she raced through the crowds and stopped a good distance from her adversary.
Stopping before the guards at the wall gate Jade turned to look at the two
Lupes, fully dressed in armour. She bowed and said to them, "I am Jadestone.
I have come to Sakhmet to aid help, as you should already know the Shadow Army
will be advancing on Sakhmet Palace soon, to take both the palace, its inhabitants,
and the half of the amulet."
The guard on the right stared hard at her, as
if seeing if she was worthy enough, then spoke, "Yes we know. The Palace is
being heavily guarded. As for the amulet, it was stolen ages ago."
"Or was it?" grasping the gold chain around
her neck, she slowly pulled the amulet from beneath a fold in her tunic. There
it was-the golden half of the amulet of Sakhmet, dragon twisted around the glowing
The guards gasped and began scrambling around
to get the gates open. When they finally did get them open they both saluted
and said in unison, "Enter!"
Jade saluted back and didn't bother to replace
the amulet in the folds of her travel-worn tunic. She vanished into the city
The silver Shoyru had other ways to get into
Sakhmet City. Spreading her wings, Kiata silently flew up the side of the wall.
She landed on the top and looked down. The crowd was even worse. Kiata searched
for a certain creature that stood out among the rest when she spotted the jade
Like a shadow Kiata made her way down into the
crowd, following Jade.
The guards at the white doors leading into Sakhmet palace didn't give Jade
a hard time. They took one look at the amulet bouncing around her neck and instantly
threw the doors open.
She stared at the wide halls and stone pillars.
She shook her head and saw a set of stairs and a door ahead. Jade ran towards
them, taking less than a minute to get to them. When she arrived, she began
to scale the stairs leaving the door to be explored later.
Little did Jade know that Kiata was following her. As she neared the top of
the stairs, Kiata began to scale them.
When Jade got to the top she stared down the
long corridor. Vases that were intricately carved and painted stood on stands
of gray stone. Brown doors led off into other parts of the palace. Two guards
stood at the top of the stairs.
Jade passed by them without trouble, that is
until Kiata appeared at the top of the stairs.
"Get her!!! She's stolen the amulet of Sakhmet!!!"
Jade swiftly looked over her shoulder to see
her adversary standing on the landing of the stairs, grinning evilly. In front
of her, the guards were rushing towards Jade. Dropping to all fours, she dashed
down the hall.
Maids came running out of rooms they were cleaning.
Jade ran by them with the guards hot on her tail.
At that moment a red Shoyru stepped out from
the right hand room at the very end of the corridor. He wore a sand coloured
tunic, the standard uniform of Sakhmet.
He glanced at the scene before him and said
with a strong voice, "What's going- JADE- " he was cut short when she collided
The red Shoyru caught the vase that was sitting
on the stone stand, however, the stand wasn't so lucky. When Jade had collided
with the red Shoyru she had caused them both to crash into the stand. Stone
pieces lay in chunks around them.
Jade sat up, rubbing her head. She stared at
the red Shoyru and it dawned on her as to who it was. She blinked and then said
He grinned and slowly stood up. As he did so
he said, "Aye it's me. I won't bother asking you why you're here."
She stood up as well and glanced over her shoulder,
only to see that Kiata had vanished and to have two spears pressed against her
Sharn stared at them and growled, "Get those
spears away from her throat! She has the amulet because she brought it back
after Thrice had stolen it."
The guards muttered apologies and withdrew their
spear points. Swiftly they headed back to their positions on the stairs.
Jade shook her head and thought, "I wonder where
Kiata disappeared off to... no matter..."
To be continued...