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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 22nd day of Eating, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 95 > New Series > Into the Battle: Wintroq’s Story--Part One

Into the Battle: Wintroq’s Story--Part One

by meratocat

After Zarrel met Kirin, but before Zana Taru and Kowl, there was a great battle between Laxcorna and Gerake. Here is the story of the battle as Wintroq saw it…

Be sure to read some of the previous stories on the Zafara Assassin.

Bakel flapped his wings wildly, to try and stay aloft with the parcel that he held between his talons. It was one of great importance, one that Queen Laiondite would not be so proud to receive. Bakel smiled to himself as he caught an upward drift, and rose higher into the air.

     Queen Laiondite, no matter how long she had been queen, Laiondite would always be the princess he met in front of Teralk's HQ those many days gone past. That was when he they first saw the true colors of the assassin Zarrel Charmain. She wasn't half as bad as the world made her out to be. She was more or less just misguided.

     Bakel would have smacked himself had he not been flying. He had almost forgotten his other message to report to Laiondite. That he had met Zarrel Charmain. Though of course, when he reported that little bit of info he would have to be in secret with the queen, for the whole experience with Zarrel Charmain, and how she was the real one who saved Laxcorna that stormy night was only between Laiondite, Corinth, and himself.

     Bakel looked up ahead at the castle, and smiled to himself. It looked so beautiful with the sun's rays bouncing off of the rock surface. It also meant that he could recite his information, and take a much-needed rest. He had flown non-stop for almost two whole days in order to get that message through.

     "Queen Laiondite!" Bakel yelled bursting in through the window, finding her to be in a meeting with some ambassadors from Laxcorna's sister cities.

     Laiondite let out a surprised gasp at his sudden entrance, but before she could say anything, Regan, her life partner the king, piped up. "Bakel! We are in a meeting, you do not interrupt royal meetings without punishment!"

     "No, let him be heard Regan," Laiondite said putting ahead her authority. Even though she was only the Queen, she still had the true power over Laxcorna for her wisdom and strength of mind. "I have known Bakel for a very long time, and I know that he knows better then to interrupt a meeting without a very important reason to."

     Bakel just nodded; for he was so much out of breath that talking was next to impossible.

     "Look at that note that he has!" Harlem, take it from him, and read it to us please." Then with a nod the castle herald took the parcel from Bakel's grips, and gasped as he read it to himself.

     "So," said a finely dressed nobleman Aisha of a far-off city. "What does it say?" If he was to travel all this way and then be interrupted during his speech, the news had better be good.

     The herald cleared his throat, and then read the startling message aloud to all:

Laiondite,

Us of Gerake have grown much in power over the last few years, and so we take that power into our hands. We propose that you pay us a yearly due of gold, manufactured items, cloth and food for as long as you wish to live. If you refuse this offer, the forces of Gerake shall be unleashed upon you as soon as I give the word. You have one month Laiondite. One month before I destroy you.

Vernok

     Laiondite looked down at the ground and sighed, "We cannot give in to his offer, but even so I do not want to see my citizens perish!"

     Corinth, the head of the Laxcornian army walked up behind her with a stern face. "It looks like it has finally began," he said slowly. "We have been expecting war for almost two years now. It is no real surprise."

     Laiondite nodded, and then turned to face the startled group of leaders before her. "Now you can see the full extent to as why I have summoned you. We need your help in this war."

     "Why should we risk our citizens to help you?" the Aisha said receiving several nods.

     "Because!" Corinth yelled breaking in with anger, "Laxcorna is the only stronghold between Gerake and your precious cities, and if we were to fail, would Vernok stop there. Of course not! He would go on and on destroying and looting everyone else who stands in his way."

     "You see!" Laiondite called out. "The only way that we can protect all that we love is if we work together, and form an alliance against Vernok. We have one month before he wages all out war on Laxcorna. Make your decisions by then, and report back here. You are dismissed." And then the Usul queen turned her back to her courtiers, and walked away down the hall to try and think out her problem.

***

"Steep stroke, steep swing, step block. Good!" Wintroq laughed as he watched the younger pets attempt to use the sword. The fire Zafara smiled. Life had been good to him in Laxcorna since he had come to live there, and now he after having become one of the higher ranked in the Laxcornian army under General Corinth, got to spend his leisurely days training young Pages-to-be out in the vast clover fields of green.

     The young Draik who was taking his turn at the current moment, stuck his tongue from the side of his mouth as he tried to out-maneuver the full-grown Zafara warrior. Wintroq put on a scowl at the youngster. "Grrr, after I am through with you, I will use your fur as a rug for a Puppyblew!" and it was hard trying to keep a straight face at using one of the childish insults that the youngsters had become fond of.

     "Well I'll boil you in a stew and eat you all up!" the Draik said, flailing his small sword at Wintroq, who purposely let himself be hit.

     "Oh no! You got me!" he cried, and then lay still in the grass holding the small sword up to his side. The little blade was specially made for the practicing youngsters, so that as it looked real enough, it would not cut flesh.

     "Mr. Wintroq?" the Draik said shacking him. "You're not really dead, are you? Wintroq!"

     "Boo!" he yelled bounding up at the youngsters, and several of them jumped back with a scream, and Wintroq fell down laughing. It was a great way to spend a sunny spring day.

     "Wintroq!" a familiar voice called out to the warrior, and he turned to see a Scorchio come running up. "It is Corinth. He requests to see you at once."

     "Okay," Wintroq said standing up, "Bring all the youngsters home, will you Terow?"

     "Sure Wintroq, I'll do that. By the way, you'll find Corinth at his cottage most likely. He was headed that way when he told me to get you."

     "Thanks," Wintroq said giving a slight bow to the older Scorchio before then running off to find out what it was the Corinth wanted.

     Sure enough Wintroq found the yellow Zafara general to be sitting on the porch of his cottage next to his young rainbow colored son Erred. "What is it that you wanted?" Wintroq said walking up to Corinth and Erred.

     "You had better go on inside Erred," Corinth said with a smile, and with a loud 'Awwwww!' the rainbow colored Zafara walked off inside leaving Wintroq and Corinth alone. "It is about Vernok." And with that name Wintroq cringed.

     "What is it?" he asked. "What has that slime done this time?"

     "It is war. He has finally declared it."

     "I knew that it wouldn't be too much longer," Wintroq said squeezing his fist.

     "We have just under a month to prepare troops for the defense of Laxcorna," Corinth said. "And if there is anything that you can say to aid us about Vernok. Well, considering the fact that you worked with him for so long…"

     Wintroq laughed. "You really mean that because he's my father."

     "Yeah. I just didn't want to rub it in."

     "Thanks," Wintroq said putting a hand over his friends shoulder. "I appreciate that, but as for information. I don't know much more than you do. He is a killer, unpredictable, even to the extent of murdering his whole family."

     "Yeah. I do believe that you already told me of the incident with the mutant Eyrie. I am still amazed that you and Zarrel both made it out of there with your skins from the way you tell it." Corinth smiled, but then that smile disappeared. "Back to business. Wintroq, you are probably the best leader and sword hand that I have out here, so I would like you to help organize the troops with me. Plus maybe do one other thing for me."

     "Yes to the first part, but what is the other?" Wintroq said.

     "It is your sister. Zarrel Charmain. Perhaps you could see if she would help us out some bit." Corinth sighed. "I will never forget back when she not only saved both Laiondite and myself from the clutches of Teralk, but also single-handedly saved Laxcorna."

     "I'll ask," Wintroq said, "But don't expect much. She is still a rouge at heart. As good as that heart may be."

     "Good," Corinth said. "I just hope that we can win this war."

***

Wintroq was off on the hour, and traveling through the woods to try and find his sister, Zarrel Charmain. It was tough going, but once he had taken anything upon himself, Wintroq always carried it through.

     It took several hours of hiking through thick underbrush, and dense foliage before he finally came around to the areas that he knew as spots where Zarrel Charmain resided. Wintroq was just taking another steep foreword when two green paws grabbed his shoulder, and turned him around face to face with an angry looking green Eyrie with a broadsword.

     Wintroq practically jumped out of his fur at sight of this Eyrie, for the memories that he had of him were not friendly ones. Dorono. Zarrel Charmain's partner, who also had almost slew her. "It's Wintroq!" Wintroq called out to Dorono.

     But before Dorono could do anything, a beautiful red Zafara with a brown tunic, and a blue cape practically materialized from the trees. "Wintroq," she said with a smile.

     "Hello Zarrel Charmain," he said bowing to his sister.

     "What is it that brings you so deep into the forest?"

     "It is a request of you by a friend," Wintroq said with a smile to the assassin.

     "Couldn't he have sent a messenger more suited to forest travel then a lumbering warrior. I could hear you from a mile away. Most of my employers usually sent a winged messenger, not a Laxcornian warrior," she said laughing. "Besides," Zarrel Charmain said. "I would usually expect a brother to drop in to see how things are going, not to get an assassination from his sister."

     "Actually, that isn't really why I'm here," Wintroq said with a tinge of embarrassment. He really had no intention of asking his sister to do his dirty work.

     "Then why are you here?" said a deep voice, and a green Zafara appeared behind Wintroq wearing a green tunic, and a red cape. He was Kirin, Zarrel Charmain's life partner. It made sense to Wintroq that of everyone she could choose, that she would take a rouge of her status.

     "You see," Wintroq said, "the one who sent me was Corinth, and that is because Vernok is planning an attack on Laxcorna. Corinth wanted to know if it was at all possible that you could help out in some way?"

     "I can't," she said looking a little irritated. "The only future that I would have in Laxcorna would be sitting in a grade C jail cell at best. No one welcomes an assassin into his midst. Especially one who did in their prince eight years ago."

     "I am sure that Corinth doesn't mean for you to go as you are. He most likely means for you to disguise yourself."

     "It is still no, for if I go, so shall Kirin and Dorono, and it isn't everyday that three strangers appear in your city who are all excellent weapon handlers, and seem to have no past," she laughed. "Most of your military would think we were spies from Vernok, and Corinth would have a heck of a time trying to break down the many rumors that spread up. Besides, it isn't too often that a warrior is female either."

     Wintroq just starred into her ice-blue eyes for a bit. She had defiantly proved Corinth and him wrong. There just would be no persuading the Zafara assassin to join into the battle directly. "Well, if there is anything that you can do, the we would be happy if you could, but Corinth will understand why you can't come." And with that, Wintroq turned and walked back towards Laxcorna from his fruitless encounter with Zarrel Charmain, Dorono, and Kirin.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Into the Battle: Wintroq’s Story--Part Two

Into the Battle: Wintroq’s Story--Part Three

Into the Battle: Wintroq’s Story--Part Four


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