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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 27th day of Relaxing, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 100 > Continuing Series > Dragon Thieves: Assassin Integrity -- Part Four

Dragon Thieves: Assassin Integrity -- Part Four

by child_dragon

MiracleStar was waiting up for us in the inn. Skyil was fast asleep, curled up on the bed, tail touching nose. Her ear twitched every now and then in her sleep. I led Zarrel in and she immediately ran over to MiracleStar and hugged her.


     MiracleStar let go and turned away.

     "I'm MiracleStar now. Not Kristen."

     "A thief now."


     "It's a waste. You're wasting your talents."

     A funny look came across MiracleStar's face.

     "No… I don't think I am. Not after… ah, I didn't call you here to discuss the past. I need your help Zarrel."

     The Zafara's eyebrows rose in question.

     "You need my help. That's a surprise."

     "Yes, well. I have a fourth pet, an Acara named Jaix. He's in a spot of trouble."

     She quickly outlined the situation, including what Stan had told us about the assassin's guild.

     "You need my help for that?" Zarrel finally exclaimed when she was done.

     "Yes, well," the girl muttered, looking quite embarrassed, "I'm out of the loop now."

     It was then our owner seemed to notice us standing there.

     "Let's go for a walk," she said to Zarrel.

     The Zafara shrugged and the two headed out the door, leaving us behind.

     "Well, isn't that nice!" I snarled. "What the heck is going on around here?!"

     "Wha… huh?" Skyil interjected sleepily, "What'd I miss?"

     "More of MiracleStar being vague. Go back to sleep."


     I sighed and walked over to the window. Beneath us I could see the human and the Zafara walking off down the street, a bucket load of secrets between them.

     The next morning, MiracleStar proclaimed she had a plan. Normally she'd announce this with the air of a queen, on top of the world with her own brilliance. Not today. Her eyes were haunted and she was doing her best to hide it. Something was bothering her. I imagined that something was Zarrel's presence and whatever the two of them knew and we didn't.

     The plan was simple. Zarrel was going to lead the way to the assassin's guild and convince them to fess up and get Jaix freed. Failing that, we were to nab the assassin responsible and drop him off at the palace.

     "Oh, that'll work," Taffin said sarcastically, "just kidnap an assassin in the midst of countless others."

     "Have you ever seen your owner in action?" Zarrel asked.

     "Well, we've seen her thieve."

     "That'd be a 'no' then."

     For being in the desert, miles and miles away from her home, Zarrel did not seem in the least bit out of her element. She led us straight to a ramshackle complex of buildings and drew a small symbol on the ground with her foot to the door guard. He nodded and let us in without another word. MiracleStar hung near the back of the group. For some reason she was wearing her cloak with the hood up, even with the heat.

     We walked down a dimly lit corridor single-file. I couldn't see the ceiling due to the darkness.

     "There's archers on either side of us," Skyil hissed in my ear.

     I didn't reply but I did let one paw drop to my dagger.

     The corridor opened onto a large dimly lit room. There were shadowy figures all around us, and one regal desert Peophin in the center. He nodded for us to approach.

     "We need you to take responsibility for the attempt on Senator Barca," Zarrel proclaimed.

     There was dead silence all around us.

     "Oh? And why must we do this?" the Peophin inquired.

     "Assassin's integrity." she replied. "I am Zarrel Charmain and you are allowing an innocent be blamed for your crimes. I ask that you do something to prevent this."

     The Peophin looked at us intently.

     "I will not endanger one of my assassins for a thief."

     Zarrel didn't say anything, merely gestured to MiracleStar. The girl hesitated and then pushed her hood back. The Peophin's ear twitched but that was all. No other display of surprise was shown. Right then I desperately wished I was Skyil. But MiracleStar had told her not to read anyone's mind and I knew the Aisha would hold to that promise.

     "This changes things," the Peophin said, "very much so changes things. I will help… in honor of the past. But one condition Kristen… you have to help with my plan."

     She bowed her head in agreement. The Peophin gestured with a hoof and a fire Gelert stepped out of the shadows. His ears flattened back at the sight of us.

     "You three, come with me," the Peophin ordered.

     Zarrel and MiracleStar followed the two assassins into another room. We three were left alone. I could see other pets and humans around us but no one paid us any attention. Eventually I got bored and flopped onto the floor. Taffin and Skyil followed suit.

     "And no, Nianso, I didn't read his mind. So don't bother asking," she said.

     "Darn it."

     It took about an hour for the four to conference. It was the most boring hour of my life.

     It was early noontime when we finally approached the Sahkmet Palace. The fire Gelert was in tow with us, his hands bound, head down, and his fur scuffed. Somehow he'd managed to appear like he'd just been beaten rather badly. We received odd looks from passerby's but I did my best to ignore them. MiracleStar was once again in her innocent schoolgirl form. The infernal bow was back on my ears. Zarrel was nowhere to be seen. She'd slipped off quite early in our approach.

     "So what's the plan?" I hissed.

     "When chaos breaks loose get out of there and meet up at the east gate of the city."


     "Just do it," she replied tersely.

     It was then I noticed that MiracleStar carried no weapons. I'd learned to identify when she was carrying her hidden daggers but today there were none. My heart skipped a beat. Something really odd was going on. I glanced back at the fire Gelert. He flashed me a grin and a wink. I growled and ruffled my fur. This was getting ridiculous.

     MiracleStar got us admitted to the Princess in record time. She quickly explained the "true" story of the assassination attempt. Jaix was out late around the palace, she had gone to fetch him back and the assassin had ran past. Earlier that day she'd seen the assassin in an alleyway and followed. She accused him of attempting to murder Senator Barca and he had attacked her. Fortunately, Taffin had stepped in and brained him with a rock before he could hurt her.

     "See, he even managed to cut me!" she exclaimed, rolling up her sleeve to expose a bandage.

     The princess nodded and turned to her advisor.


     "I think --"

     He was cut short by the Gelert behind us laughing.

     "Idiots!" he chuckled. "Listen to the girl, she's right. I am the assassin."

     The Gelert suddenly was free, his bonds falling away. He laughed maniacally and quickly disarmed the first guard attempting to restrain him.

     "Stop them! They're in league with the assassin!" someone screeched.

     "Now this is where the fun begins," I growled to Taffin.

     Sure enough, pandemonium broke loose. I punched the first guard that came for me in the stomach, wrenching his sword out of his grasp and smashing the hilt across his head. He dropped like a rock. The next two guards came a little slower. I leaped into the air and dove for them, knocking one to the ground and catching the other's sword on mine, deflecting the blade onto the ground. I then kicked his feet from beneath him.

     "Com'n Dragon Thieves!" the Gelert cried. "This is our cue to leave!"

     He threw something to the ground and smoke billowed out, filling the room. I raced for the door, running into someone in the process. I staggered aside and dropped to all fours. I couldn't see a thing due to the smoke and my eyes watered.

     "Le-la-haha!" the Gelert cried from somewhere in front of me. "This is the most fun I've had in a long time!"

     I growled and raced after the sound of the crazy Gelert's voice. Some fun this was. I was soon free of the smoke and free of the fight. We weren't free of pursuit, however.

     "Com'n now, this a-way!" the Gelert smirked. "Keep up now!"

     "You're enjoying this way too much."

     "I know."

     "Wait!" Taffin cried. "Where's MiracleStar?"

     The Gelert shook his head.

     "Don't worry. This is part of the plan."


     "Do you want to be caught?" he snapped. "Let's go!"

     We had no choice but to follow. He led us down the corridors and outside. A troop of guards met us with bows raised and arrows drawn. The Gelert just grinned.

     "Com'n, fly me out of here," he instructed us, grabbing my paw.


     "Just go."

     I took a deep breath and spread my wings. Instantly the guards let go of the strings. I gasped, fully expecting to be full of arrows a second later. But all that happened was a volley of snapping noises. The guards were left holding bows with broken bowstrings.

     The Gelert laughed at their astonished looks.

     "You think an assassin doesn't know how to cut bowstrings?" he taunted.

     "Enough!" one of the guards shouted. "Get them!"

     The troop drew swords and charged. But it was way too late. We were already airborne, hauling a giggling fire Gelert between us.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Dragon Thieves: Assassin Integrity -- Part One

Dragon Thieves: Assassin Integrity -- Part Two

Dragon Thieves: Assassin Integrity -- Part Three

Dragon Thieves: Assassin Integrity -- Part Five

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