Nick ran up the grand staircase and onto the balcony while
the king was looking at Ara. Laura got in position near the wall, on Keira's left.
Darren stood near the band. Doumeh had just opened his mouth when Nick jumped
off the balcony without him knowing. His job was to distract the crowd, and that's
just what he did. He swung his sword out just before he hit the ground. The crowd
started wondering what was going on. Some wondered if this was an attack, or perhaps
Ara stood up in surprise. "What is going on
here?" said Doumeh angrily. Now it was Darren and Laura's turn to move. Darren
ran with great speed toward Doumeh, snatching his scepter right out of his grip.
Laura started running toward Darren, but Cedric had caught on. He blocked Laura
from getting to Darren and started attacking her. She fought back poorly, but
managed to dodge a few of his strikes.
The plan was that Darren passes the scepter
to Laura swiftly and get out of the castle. Well, that didn't happen. Darren
passed the scepter to Nick instead, who was right behind him. Nick ran through
the crowd and to the ballroom doors. He had tripped over a shifted tile and
the scepter fell on the ground.
The crystal falling onto the floor, not shattering
like glass… but spilling like liquid. Ara was speechless while Doumeh was about
to use one of his magic electric balls right at Nick. Darren grabbed Keira and
slid her across the floor toward the fallen scepter.
The crowd parted as she passed. She saw the
guards coming to try and fix the situation. Doumeh had sent his magic out toward
them, just before Keira slid into the liquid spill. A bright while light surrounded
her as everyone in the crowd covered their eyes. The room was so full of light
you couldn't see the person standing next to you. When the light went down,
Keira was gone.
Everyone started looking around for her, but
she was nowhere in sight. Not even Nick, who was right beside her. Darren and
Laura disappeared too.
"GUARDS!" yelled Doumeh. "SEARCH THE CASTLE
AND FIND THEM!!"
Ara tried to calm the citizens while the king
sat in his chair talking angrily to Cedric. Keira, Nick, Darren, and Laura in
fact, had escaped. They thought it was strange that they could see where they
were going, but everyone else obviously couldn't. The group was running through
the castle halls, through corridors and doorways. Everyone was running except
Keira that is. She had fallen asleep, just as Ara had said.
They were heading toward the tallest tower,
also known as the dream portal. They didn't know quite what would happen, but
they had a feeling that this is what they had to do. Darren carried Keira through
the halls. Keira's tiara had fallen sometime during the escape, but they hoped
it wouldn't leave any clues. They finally reached the tallest tower. They opened
the door and walked inside. Once they all got in, the door shut behind them
by itself. They were in a hall, with stone steps leading up to a portal.
This was it. They took a breath before stepping
inside the swirling blue vortex.
* * *
They were in Keira's dream, or was it a memory? Nick, Darren, & Laura stood
on a balcony overlooking a ballroom of a warm castle. It was the castle of Smellyworld,
but decorated differently and with a different feel. The floors were metallic
white and gold marble. The whole castle seamed to be mix of royal colors with
a slight tropical twist. The door on their left opened, it was Keira.
She looked beautiful in her shimmering tiara.
All she did was smile at them while she passed. She didn't seem to notice much
that they were following her. They heard the doorbell but Keira knew the guard
would get it so she continued on her way. She went down a few halls and lounges
with her friends following. There were some people walking about here and there
like maids, friends & knights.
Right when she turned a corner, someone was
standing there. It was Dr. Sloth.
"What are you doing here? Your evil ways
are not welcome here," said Keira, looking up at him. "I'm not scared of you."
"Scared of me?" said Sloth laughing. "Why all
Neopets are frightened by my greatness and power. Go now you foolish girl."
He walked passed her, leaving a cold chill in
the air. Keira hung out in the library after dinner, still not really caring
that her friends were there. She didn't talk to them much, just a few answers
about what she was reading.
"The Magic of Royal Kougras by James Poogletin,"
she replied. "Magic is in us you know, we just have to find a way to bring it
out." They did ask where her mother and father were though. Keira replied, "They
are were attending a city meeting this evening. They should be back now."
Keira closed the book and exited the library,
her friends following. She walked through a nearby lounge and into a corridor
that overlooked the entrance hall. The halls around here were awfully quiet.
The room coming up was yet another lounge, but with a jungle theme. It was quite
large with surrounding columns. Keira hid behind one of the large columns. As
for her friends, they hid behind a plant in the center of the corridor.
Inside were Dr. Sloth and the king. This king
looked much nicer, and quite handsome. He still had his fire Kougra look, but
he had a happier appearance. He still had the necklace with the lifelike flame
in it tough.
"King Victor, sir," said Sloth. "I have here,
a piece of the Darigan orb. It is said to bring great power to the beholder."
"That is only a mere piece," replied Victor.
Sloth went on, "I am conducting a study. You
would be a fool not to help me."
"A fool am I?" roared the king.
They just glared at each other for a moment.
"You need to meet someone before you make that
decision," said Dr. Sloth. Out of the shadows appeared Ara, the grey Faerie.
"Victor," she said. "Prepare to become one of
Before Victor could do anything, Ara took the
Darigan orb piece and with her magic, she pressed it into the king's large paw.
He just about fainted, but brought himself together.
"What are you doing to me?" he said dizzily.
"My study consists of seeing if evil can run through someone as good hearted
as you," said Sloth. "I will return when the evil has overpowered your good."
With that, he left the room with Ara. They didn't even notice Keira and her
friends hiding there.
Keira wanted to go and talk to her father but
wanted to see what was happening first. The King walked onto the balcony while
Keira walked quietly into the room. Through coughing, he began a spell. Keira
could just see out the balcony from where she was standing. Blue color shot
out from his paws, and then surrounded the city.
"Can't… let the evil… get out," said the King.
Ara came back into the room not noticing Keira was there.
"What are you doing?!" Ara asked. She walked
to the king and tried to stop him.
The King sent out a blue spell ball from his
paws at Ara. A spell ball is a spell kept in a small ball that won't be in effect
until it hits something. Ara blocked it and made it fly towards the king. He
ducked and it flew out the balcony and into a cart of dung heading towards the
Nick happened to glance at the clock and to
his surprise it was exactly 3:00 am. King Victor finally saw Keira standing
in the room. "Keira," he said while magic fighting with Ara. "Go Keira go! Run!
Don't stay here. Get as far away as possible. Tell your mother too." Keira stood
there, tears swelling up in her eyes.
The scene faded away into the library. "This
is another memory," said Nick to the others. They seemed to be invisible, because
they were standing right in front of Victor and Dr. Sloth, whom were talking
to each other. The two were sitting in a chair. The king looked like he was
planning an attack by the way he was looking at Dr. Sloth. His eyes were a dark
red and his fire coat seemed to be a deeper color than usual.
"Where's Keira?" Laura asked. Darren and Nick
looked around the room for her, but she wasn't there. The king stood up and
took their attention.
"I heard a Kacheek in the city has made a potion
for the dung that is consuming the city. I don't like this. GUARDS!" the king
said. A red Kougra entered the room. It was Cedric.
The king stared at him and said, "You are only
in training… what are you doing taking orders from me now?"
"I have just finished training sir," Cedric
said. "What is it that you wish for me to do?"
"Go and take five hundred bags of the Kacheek's
anti-smell potion. Destroy his stall afterwards."
"His name is Mr. Binnder, sir. I will attend
to your orders at once," said Cedric, bowing afterwards. He left the room.
Laura decided to follow Cedric while the others
keep an eye on the king. She followed him down to the entrance hall doors. "Cedric?"
said a voice from on top of the staircase. Both Cedric and Laura turned.
It was Keira who spoke. "Where are you going?"
she said. She didn't even see Laura standing next to Cedric.
"I'm going into the city upon the king's orders,"
Cedric said. Keira was obviously still shocked about what happened to her father.
"Come back soon okay?" she said. Cedric smiled
and nodded before leaving.
Laura didn't leave with him. Instead she looked
at Keira standing up there. The queen walked into the room, out from the deck.
She was a beautiful snowy white color with silver stripes and blue eyes.
"Keira, how is Victor today?" she said looking
up at her. "He had quite a strange night last night… hopefully we got that Dr.
Sloth out. Did you happen to see any of it?"
Keira broke down in tears. The queen went upstairs
and hugged her. Laura thought this was so sweet, she even felt a tear roll down
Meanwhile back with Nick and Darren in the library,
they saw the plot unfold in front of their eyes. Dr. Sloth and the king thought
up a new name, King Doumeh and discussed what to do about the dung appearing
"Simple… barriers," said Ara while entering
the room. It startled everyone. She was so sneaky and quiet when she walked.
"I herd the queen discussing it with one of the guards, she has a magical mind
you know. What do you want to do with her and her foolish daughter anyway? They're
getting rather curious about what is going on here in the library."
To be continued…