I TURNED TO Dorono and asked, "Can you fly over the castle, and tell me if
there are any sentries posted?"
"Right away Zarrel Charmain," he said,
and with a downward thrust of his wings, Dorono was flying through the dusk
Pup ran up to me, and shoved his Gelert muzzle
at my boot. "Zarrel Charmain, what can I do?" he asked.
"Nothing!" I snapped back, "You are supposed
to be gone, Pup. I let you lead me here, and that is all! Now go!!!"
"Butů" Pup started to say bumping me again.
"Leave now!" I yelled, smacking Pup, "and never
come back." Pup gave a yelp, and he jumped back. He looked at me with watery
eyes, and his ears back, and then he slowly disappeared into the forest.
"Zarrel Charmain!" I turned to see Dorono land;
his wings still spread out in the air. "We best enter the castle now Zarrel
Charmain, for they are just now changing sentry men. Then he cocked his hear
to the left then the right, "Where is Wherric?"
"Gone," I said, "Finally, he is gone."
"I almost feel sorry for the little Gelert,"
"No," I clearly said shaking my head, "If an
assassin starts to worry about a young pup they will not be able to complete
their tasks. We cannot worry about Pup, for we have a job to complete." I then
slipped on my dark blue gloves, and pulled out my green handled dagger. "Lead
the way Dorono."
Dorono nodded, and then started on his way towards
the castle with me following close behind. Under the cover of darkness we made
our way up to the moat surrounding the castle. "Now I just need to think of
a way to get over the moat," I said thinking, "Any ideas?" I turned to Dorono.
"What about that tree over there," he said
with a jerk of his head in the direction he intended, "You could climb up to
the edge of that branch that overhangs the moat. From the edge, you could probably
jump from it to the ground. Too bad I wasn't bigger though, because then I could
just fly you across."
I patted Dorono on the head ruffling up his
feathers, "Good job Dorono. You really do have the mind of an assassin, and
don't worry, for you will grow much bigger then me soon enough." And he smiled,
for that was high praise coming from me.
Once at the tree, I surveyed it to find the
best possible branches to ascend, and then I started. I swiftly made my way
up the tree branch by branch until I was next to the one that extended over
the water. Then I began to cross. I extended my arms for stability steeping
one foot in front of the other across the branch, and then I jumped. I landed
on the ground across the moat making sure to bend my knees as not to damage
them as I landed. Then I walked up to the wall of the castle. "Yet another hardship,
but not to great," I quietly said, "Dorono, come here." And he with just a few
flaps of his wings was standing next to me.
"Yes, Zarrel Charmain." I took out a grappling
hook from my pack, and I tied a rope to it. Then after making sure that the
rope was well bound to the device I turned to Dorono.
"Here," I said handing the grappling hook to
him, which he took up in his beak. " I need you to take this up, and wrap it
around one of the parapet. Make sure that it is fixed on though," I said, "For
I don't want to fall from the castle."
Dorono just nodded to me, for he could not speak
without removing the device from his beak. He spread out his wings, and then
with a mighty downward flap was airborne, but as he lifted off a single green
feather fell from his wings. I reached down and picked it up. I surveyed it,
looking at it from different angles watching as the moonlight glistened off
of it. Then with a smile I placed it safely in my belt, "For good luck," I said
silently, so that only I could hear. Dorono was the creature that inspired me.
He is the one who kept me from diving into never ending grief when Tarnox lost
his life to the forces of Teralk. I truly admired Dorono even though I never
said it aloud.
Dorono ascended up to the ramparts of the castle,
and then he wrapped the rope around one of the parapets securing the grappling
hook. Then he flew back down to me, "It is ready. I even checked it to make
sure that it was secure."
"Good work Dorono," I said, and even though
I would, and did, trust him with my life I checked anyway, and as I could have
guessed the rope was secure. Then I started my accent upwards. I lifted hand
over hand gradually lifting my weight up the walls. Even so, I was soon at the
top surveying the scenery. It was a marvelous view, but I couldn't loose my
head over it. I had a job to complete.
I silently walked towards the nearest door with
Dorono walking besides me. I tried to listen for sounds from his paws, but there
were none. He was walking as silently as an Aisha. I opened the door as silently
as possible, but even so it emitted out a long moan, which sounded more like
the crash of thunder then a door. Dorono and I stood there, ears pricked for
any sound of someone coming to investigate, but there were none. So with a silent
sigh of relief I continued on down the corridor.
We walked across the dimly lit passageways waiting
for someone to appear, but the only sounds we heard were the soft patting of
my boots, and the silent intakes and out takes of our breath. Outside in the
cool air, there had been faint wisps of steam from our hot breath on the cold
night air, but here there was nothing for the castle was slightly insulated
from the cool night air.
We were about in the middle of the castle when
I heard the sound of approaching footsteps. I silently ran towards the nearest
door, and opened it gesturing Dorono inside. Then as soon as he was safely inside
I followed. We were in some sort of guest room, but I had dared not investigate
any more, and I closed the door all the ways except for a slight crack in order
to see who was coming down the passageway. As the footsteps got louder I motioned
for Dorono to be completely silent.
An armed Kougra slowly walked by. He had armour
on, and I guessed that he kept it well oiled, for it reflected his surroundings
like a mirror. He held a spear in one paw, and his eyes shifted left and right
looking for intruders, like me, who shouldn't be here. He had a helmet on that
covered his ears that had two long coloured feathers hanging down from the top.
He walked just a little bit past where Dorono and I were hiding, and then he
turned and started his way back down the hall.
The way the guard walked it looked as if he
was guarding some important creature, and then it hit me. The Kougra would be
guarding Chagen. I needed a way to get past the Kougra, but it seamed impossible
to get by any other way except by fighting. The thing was that if I fought I
would surly awaken the whole castle.
Suddenly an idea came to me. The helmet! The
Kougra's helmet covered up his ears making it harder to hear, so that way I
could sneak up on him without him knowing. Then I could attack him from behind
making sure that he does not utter a sound.
Since the Kougra had gone a reasonable distance
away from the door that I stood behind it was safe to leave. I walked out without
making a sound. Breathing just as silently, with Dorono doing the same. We walked
towards the Kougra, and right before I pounded upon his unprotected back, Dorono
stumbled, and the Kougra turned.
I cursed under my breath as the Kougra got ready
to swing his spear at me, but before he could I jumped on him and tackled him
to the ground. He had the advantage of weight in this struggle, and if it had
not been for Dorono joining in on the fight, the Kougra's massive paws would
have crushed me.
Dorono held the Kougra down by pushing his paw
over the Kougra's chin, and before the Kougra could call for assistance I had
bashed him over the head with his own shield, rendering him unconscious on the
floor. "We proved to be quite a hindrance, didn't we?" I whispered to Dorono
as we walked down the hall.
I knew that we were at the right door when we
walked up to a door larger than all the others, and laden with thin layers of
gold shaped as a Kiko. "He should have just written his name on the door,"
Dorono whispered rolling his eyes. He had the same thought as did I.
We walked up to Chagen sleeping as only a Kiko
could, a little bit of saliva dripping from the corner of his wade open mouth.
He snored, and I got a faint wisp of rancid Kiko breath, and I almost gagged
at the stench. I then reached into my pack, and took out a small needle sharp
dagger the size of my smallest finger. This blade I could not test to see if
it was sharp enough to do the job required of it, for it had a layer of the
most deadly poison in Neopia on the tip. I held it over Chagen, and then I pierced
the edge of his arm confident that the poison would very soon do its work.
I slipped the special dagger back into the pouch
that I had taken it from, and then I laid it to rest inside of my pack. Then
I backed away from the Kiko, and watched as his stomach moved in and out with
intakes of breath. I watched until it had stopped, and then I knew that I was
finished with my job, and could return to the Shoyru Makum, and receive my pay.
I turned, my cape flapping behind me, and headed
for the door, but before I could open it the door burst open making me jump
back against the wall. A fire Zafara ran into the room wielding a sword. "Chagen
my lord. I saw the guard unconscious, andů You're not breathing!" then for the
first time he noticed me. "An assassin!" he cried, and ran at me with his sword,
but I ducked, and was running out the door, and down the hall next to Dorono
before the Zafara could say another word.
"Quickly Dorono," I said as I ran down
the hall towards the exit as the Zafara ran from the room and started running
"Sound the alarm!" he cried as loud as he could,
"There is an assassin!" I heard bells clattering, and the dong of the giant
bell used to wake everyone. We must hurry if we wanted to escape with our lives.
Dorono and I quickly located the door that led
to the parapet, and we ran out into the cold night air, which cut through me
like a knife. The archers then let loose their fire, and I jumped from side
to side to avoid being hit by an arrow. I looked over the edge of the wall,
as the archers reloaded, and the Zafara ran through the door at me. I had no
time to climb down the wall, so I pushed Dorono off of the wall, and just as
the archers fired I dived from the wall listening to the arrows hit the spot
that I had been standing on.
Dorono spread his wings, and flew out of range
of the arrows, but I didn't have that choice. I put my arms over my head as
I neared the moat, and prepared for a dive. Another volley of arrows were fired
at me as I hit the water with a painful smack, but as the arrows hit the water
they slowed and sank to the bottom as I swam to the surface, sputtering and
coughing up water.
"Grab my paw Zarrel Charmain." And Dorono put
out an assisting paw for me as I slowly swam to the other side of the moat.
I crawled out of the moat panting, and looked up to see the Zafara talking to
the creature that seamed to be second in charge, and then to my utter dismay,
he dived into the moat after me.
"Drat!" I cursed, standing up ready to fight
as the Zafara climbed out of the moat just as waterlogged as I was. If it was
a fight he wanted a fight he would get. I scowled at him, and then I said loudly
and clearly so that he could hear, "If you want to fight I will take up your
challenge, but don't beg for mercy when I have you pined to the ground, for
you are messing with the best sword hand south of the Kajer River."
"Well," the Zafara said. "I am the best sword
hand north of the River, so this will be a fair fight. I don't want it to be
too easy you know." And he flipped his sword in the air, and caught it between
his middle and index finger.
"I too can do sword tricks." And I spun my dagger
using my right hand, and then I threw it in the air catching my blade by my
left. "But enough tricks for now. Prepare for battle!"
We each took out our blades, and fought viciously.
Steal clanged on steal as we fought in this life and death struggle. He swung
at my side, which I protected, and then he blocked two more of my swings. Once
he knocked me to the ground, but I kicked him in the stomach, my strong Zafara
feet pushing him a few meters away, but before I could get to him to strike,
he was back on his feet. The battle between us lasted on, and victory could
still go to any side, until Dorono came in to help. He motioned me to bring
the Zafara backwards, and as I did so Dorono took his place. Then right as I
dealt a good swing at the Zafara, Dorono jumped in behind him, and tripped him,
and before the Zafara could move I knocked the blade from his hands.
"I have failed my fellow creatures. You have
won assassin," he said in a calm mood "you can now strike me down, and I will
die an honourable death."
I sneered at him, "Now you will think twice
before messing with Zarrel Charmain." And I raised my blade ready to strike,
but the Zafara's face stopped me.
He was wide eyed, and his face was pale as if
he had seen a ghost. He got up on his knees, and looked at me with a definite
longing in his eyes. "Zarry," he whispered as quietly as the wing on a
spring night. "Zarry Char." He reached for my boot, and I backed away from his
hand. His eyes were watery, and I was sure that I saw a tear roll down his cheek.
"Zarry Char. It's me. You know who I am, right?"
I dropped my dagger, and backed up my hand over
my mouth. I remembered my dreams that I had been having for the past few nights,
and right away I knew who the Zafara was. "My brotherů"
To be continued...