I COULD NOT believe my eyes; I was looking at my brother. He had been lost
to me for so many years, but now. Now I was looking him right in the face. "Brother!"
I cried, and fell into his arms. A tear slid down my cheek, for I had not seen
him in years. "I am sorry," I said, "I don't remember your name. It has been
so many years."
He smiled at me; tears of happiness covered
his face, "It is Wintroq." But then his smile turned into a look of fret. "Oh
no! The trap!!!" He reached over and grabbed my hand. "Hurry Zarrel Charmain!
We must leave now if you are to escape. Oh, it probably is already too late."
He then started to pull me into the forest.
"What trap?!" I demanded of Wintroq, running
up to his side. "What do you mean!?!" I said staring into his fiery eyes.
Dorono then ran up to wintroq's other side,
"Enlighten us Wintroq!"
Wintroq looked into my eyes as we ran, "The
whole army is circling around this area. I was supposed to keep you busy while
they made escape unattainable for you! Forgive me sister!" and he grabbed my
hand pulling me to the ground.
"Enough!" I yelled. "It doesn't matter what
you did then. What matters is that we escape, so get up off of the ground for
we must hurry," I said lifting my brother off of the ground. Then I started
to run with Wintroq and Dorono right on my heels hoping for a chance of escape.
However, things were not so.
We were running top speed through the forest,
when a guard jumped out in front of me brandishing a sword. "Ahh, so I will
be the one to catch the assassin." He grinned at me, and raised his sword for
battle. I looked to the left and right for a chance of escape, but when I heard
the noises of feet crashing through the foliage, I knew that the only way out
would be to fight. I guess that Wintroq had already guessed that, for he had
taken out his sword, and was prepared for battle. I too took out my dagger,
while Dorono cast out his claws. Then the first blow came down, which I blocked
without any problems at all. The fight had thus begun.
"Drat!" I yelled as another legion of warriors
came. I could fight two, maybe even three creatures at a time, but I could not
battle twenty. At first I was holding off rather good against the warriors,
but in the end numbers prevailed, and we were overwhelmed. It seamed that for
every warrior that we felled, three more took its place. "At least," I said
to myself, "I shall take some of them down with me." I continued to fight as
hard as possible, with Wintroq at my side, and Dorono at my back. Then I yelled
aloud, "Fly away Dorono! Save yourself. If you stay you will suffer the same
fate as I." Because we all knew that when the enemy captures an assassin, that
the assassin would not return to tell the tale.
"I don't care what you say!" Dorono yelled over
the clashing of battle. "I'll stay with you, and fight to the end!" I knew that
he spoke the truth. He really would sacrifice himself for me. Right then I saw
from the corner of my eye, a Kacheek start to bring his blade down upon Dorono's
"No!" I yelled jumping into the Kacheek making
so that instead of his blade hitting Dorono, his shield hit me squarely in the
head. With that I slumped to the ground, and my vision got hazy just before
it went black with unconsciousness.
I steeped backwards as the assassin approached me. "Get away from me!" I said
as I tripped over a tree root, and fell backwards into the wet copper dirt,
Tarnox falling with me.
"Don't worry young one," the green Zafara
said in a deep voice putting his dagger away. Then he started to finer with
his ear, which had a couple of long ago healed tears. "Now tell me. Why was
that Shoyru after you?"
He stared at me with his hazel eyes, and I turned
away, because it looked as if he could see through me. "My father…" I whispered,
and then looked up at the Zafara Suddenly, I saw a flicker on the side of his
mouth, a bit like the start of a smile even though he never actually smiled.
"My father too was bad. I probably got all of
this from his influence," the assassin said spreading his arms opening
his cape to show that he was an assassin. "Though I must admit, he never did
send a creature out to destroy me."
I then smiled for the first time in a wile thinking
to myself that the assassin wasn't really half-bad. Though at the time, I never
would have imagined that he would be the one to change my life forever. "Well
Mr. Assassin. I'm Zarrel Charmain." I looked at Tarnox, "And this is Tarnox."
"Well then Zarrel Charmain, Tarnox. I am Kirin.
I'm also quite surprised that you know what an assassin is or how to identify
one at your age. By the way, has anyone you know… um… mentioned me?" Kirin said
looking at me.
"Why yes," I said bobbing my head up and
down Almost shaking Tarnox off my shoulder. "My mother always used to tell me
that if I didn't go to bed on time, that Kirin would get me." And I continued
on with my ever-widening grin.
With that Kirin let out a tremendous laugh.
"Well I guess that is what happens when you destroy other pets for a living."
Then he looked at me again, but this time with a smile, "Before you and that
Shoyru came rambling in to me I was cooking up some breakfast. There is plenty,
so why don't you and your Airax come along Zarrel Charmain."
I had not realised how hungry I had become until
then, and with a chance at food I had to agree. "I would love to!" I emphasized
hopping up and down in front of Kirin making him steep back with a chuckle.
"Bour bot as blad as 'verone says," I said swallowing a mouthful of food.
"That's better. Sorry Kirin, what I meant to say is that you're not as bad as
everyone says that you are. I always heard that you would destroy a Neopet for
just looking at you. Really Kirin, you are nice," I said with a smile.
Kirin then tossed his dagger into a tree. He
had really good aim. "Well Zarrel Charmain, I like those rumours to keep on
circling around. They really help keep young pets from fiddling with my affairs,
for I really like my privacy."
"Then why don't you seem to care about us bothering
you?" I asked
"I don't know," Kirin said retrieving his
dagger from its embedment in the tree, and then placing it safely into his leather
belt,"Perhaps it is because I haven't talked to anyone for a long time.
Well, anyone except for employers, and other creatures who do not really know
who I am." Then he looked up into the sky as a bird flew over screeching out
its call. "Or perhaps it is because we both had a problem with our fathers,"
he said that to me more then Tarnox. Kirin then stood up, and started walking
off through the forest with Tarnox and me following closely on his tail.
"Where are we going?" I asked.
"You shall see," Kirin said, and we walked
a little farther, until I could hear the sounds of other Neopets. We then walked
out of the forest into a small village bustling with activity for its size.
I looked captivated at the different shops, the bakery, the tavern, and all
the other shops that were in a village. "Welcome to Krikanu," Kirin said
leading me into the tavern, "This is where I grew up."
We walked up to the counter of the tavern where
a burly Scorchio was drying out a glass. He looked up from his task, smiled,
and in a low voice he said, "Ah, Kirin." And the Scorchio patted Kirin on the
back, "It's nice to see you. The usual I presume." And he took out a glass,
and was about to fill it with a thick steaming liquid when Kirin motioned for
the Scorchio to stop.
"No, not this time Breagin." And Kirin motioned
his hand down at me, and then he helped me up to a stool in order to see better.
"You see, I picked up a young passenger and her Airax out in the woods. She
had a Shoyru after her head."
Breagin laughed and ruffled my fur making me
pull back, and when he didn't stop I tried to bite him as did Tarnox, and then
scowled making Breagin withdraw his hand. "Feisty little Zafara if you ask me
Kirin. Now how did you get her to not run away scared from you like any sensible
creature would?" and then Breagin pulled out a cup of ice cream for me, and
some bird food for Tarnox, and set it in front of us. I however, just sat with
my arms crossed, and I turned my head away. I had lost all trust in creatures
except for Kirin, for any one of them could bring me to my father, and who knows
what he would do to me.
Kirin looked at me with care with a twinkle
of laughter in his eyes. Definitely not the Zafara assassin that had kids trembling
in their covers, "Don't worry Zarrel Charmain. Breagin is my friend, and he
wouldn't hurt you or your Airax for any reason." And with that I smiled, and
went to work eating my ice cream, which had already started to melt, while Tarnox
quickly went to work on his bird food "She really is a brave creature that Zarrel
Charmain." I heard Kirin say to Breagin. "If she was older I might have considered
"But she is a … she!"
"No real difference. Besides females tend to
do better, because their opponents get cocky," Kirin said just as I finished
up my dessert. I sat there licking my lips as Kirin bent down over me. "Zarrel
Charmain. I am afraid that I am going to have to leave you with Breagin. The
forests just are too unsafe for a creature of your age."
I looked at him with frightful eyes, "But what
if my father comes. Or some of the other bad pets."
"Don't worry. If that does happen send your
Airax for me, and I will rush here as soon as I can to help you. But for now
I must leave." And with a pat Kirin left the tavern with Breagin hovering over
"Here, let me lead you two to your room." And
I followed him up the stairs of the tavern, both of us unawares of the cloaked
figure that slunk out the door, for he had heard enough of the conversation
between Kirin and Breagin to be able to tell his master that he had found the
It had been quite a few hours since Kirin had
left the tavern, and I stood leaning on my windowsill with Tarnox on my shoulders
looking out at the stars. "How many do you think there are Tarnox?" I asked
my new-found friend.
"I don't rightly know," he said in a far
off voice. "But I think that there are as many stars as there is fireflies…"
then we heard a loud crash, and each jumped up alert to everything going on.
"What's that?" I whispered to Tarnox who just
shrugged, my voice quivering. "Let's go find out," I said getting over
my fright, and then I silently crept over to the door. I reached over to open
it, but before I touched it the doorknob started to wiggle. I jumped back, and
threw my hand over my mouth to keep from gasping. I did not want whomever that
was trying to get in to know that I was awake, but one thing was for sure. I
was glad that I had locked the door. I sighed in relief as the doorknob stopped
wiggling, and when I heard the unmistakable sound of feet going down stairs.
I smiled up at Tarnox who was perched on my
shoulder, but he looked exceptionally stern. "That creature is coming back Zarrel,
and with bad intentions. I don't know how I know, but I do." I am not sure what
it was in his voice that made me believe him. However, I believed Tarnox nonetheless.
We stood next to the door for several minutes,
but to us each minute seamed like an eternity when the sound of some creature
running up the stares petrified me. "At least he can't get through the door,"
I thought silently to myself. But was I ever so wrong.
This time the creature did not even try the
door. I heard a swoosh, and the sound of something hitting the door. Whoever
was after me was going to break down the door. Slowly the door started to creak
from the heavy blows, and then it started to crack inwards. I jumped back with
a yelp of fear when an axe burst through the door. Slowly the hole was being
made bigger from the axe to the point where I could see the one who was after
me. A figure in a cloak stood on the other side of the door. I really could
not make out his face because the cloak enveloped it, but I could make out two
slightly glowing reddish eyes. The only part of the attacker that I could make
out was the ends of his claws holding on to the handle of the axe. I frantically
looked for a way of escape, but when I could find none I turned to Tarnox. "Tarnox,
go find Kirin. Tell him to help, and hurry!" I yelled out frantically, and as
soon as I had finished, Tarnox flew out the window looking for Kirin. As soon
as I saw Tarnox disappear into the night I heard another very loud snap. I turned
around to see the creature reach in threw the crack in the door, and unlock
it. Then before I could do anything the creature burst in threw the door. He
turned to look at me, the red eyes piercing right through me. Then he threw
down the axe, and pulled out a silver dagger from within his cloak, which glinted
in the moonlight.
"Zarrrel Charrrmain, I have come forrr you,"
the creature hissed. "Yourrr fatherrr wants you dead or alive. Perrrferrably
dead." Then the creature held his dagger high in the air ready for the final
blow when all of a sudden Breagin ran up the stairs.
"Stop you beast! Get away from that Zafara"
And he reached his hands into the air holding a pan, and got ready to strike
the creature. However, the creature ducked, and moving like the shadows, he
struck upwards into the Scorchio's wing. I watched in remote horror as Breagin
fell to the ground stained red. Then the creature lifted his dagger to strike
Breagin while he was on the ground, but I could not let that happen. I ran up,
and pushed the creature that fell down the stairs. First, I looked at Breagin,
but he was all right, he only had a wing injury. Then I looked down at the attacker
lying crumpled up on the floor. I walked down the stairs, and then bent over
the creature to get a better look at him. I started to lift the cloak off over
his face, when suddenly his eyes opened up, the red of them terrifying. I started
to run away from the creature, but he whipped his tail at my feet tripping me,
and then he slowly stood up, the cloak coming from his face. I was staring into
the face of a Krawk who was evil eyed, and full of hatred.
"You shouldn't have done that. Now you will
pay with yourrr life Zafarrra." And he got ready to throw the dagger at me.
"No you don't!" and the Krawk turned around
to have a dagger flash in his face. The Krawk put his claw up to his face where
the dagger had slashed him. Then, when he removed it, I saw the path that the
dagger had taken on the Krawk's face. It went from his left eye down to the
tip of his snout. He turned to face me once again, but was met by his attacker
who now showed himself. There stood Kirin the assassin, ready to risk his life
for me. Kirin was ready to fight, but the Krawk had different ideas, and with
a loud hiss, he ran off into the night with Kirin chasing after him. I stood
up as Kirin walked back in the tavern. He walked up to me, and helped me to
my feet, "That Krawk was extraordinarily fast, and I couldn't catch it. If your
Airax hadn't got to me when he did, I probably would not have been able to save
you. Now Zarrel Charmain, are you all right?"
"I am fine, but it is Breagin who I worry about."
"Don't you worry, I'm okay." I turned to see
Breagin limp down the stairs.
"I thought that Zarrel Charmain would be safe
in here, but I was wrong," Kirin said shaking his head. "I will have to
take her to the forest in order to be safe."
"All this trouble over a Zafara?" Breagin asked.
"I know, but I don't think that I could just
let her father's men destroy her." Then Kirin walked over to Tarnox and me.
"Come with me. I'll take you to the forest where you will be safe." And so I
followed Kirin out of the tavern, and into the woods with Tarnox on my shoulder
on my way to becoming an assassin.
To be continued...