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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 1st day of Running, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 61 > Continuing Series > The Threat: Part Five

The Threat: Part Five

by averyangryshaylir

A dull thudding pain pulsed in the back of Zayal’s head, She’d had these kinds of head aches on and off for as long as she could remember so it normally didn’t bother her. This time was different. There was something insistent about the steadying rhythm of pain, and she couldn’t shake off the feeling. It wasn’t at all different from the feeling she had when that odd dragon thing had been watching her. A sudden fear gripped her as she spun around quickly, expecting sinister eyes to be staring at her from the leaves of any of the nearby trees, but there was nothing. She silently scolded herself for being so foolish and paranoid.

     “What are you doing?” Toyan asked, one of his eyebrows arched in a cynical manner. He had stopped when he heard the slight rustling of Zayal’s feet spinning around abruptly.

     “I thought I heard something," she replied with a slight shrug. In reality she hadn’t heard a thing, but how would it sound if she told Toyan she thought she “felt” something terrible was imminent?

     “Well, If there was anything I would have heard it," Gilro broke in, his pointed Kyrii ears perked. “I may be loud myself, but I can hear anything.”

     “I’ll give you that Gilro, I'll give you that.” Toyan was chuckling now and he gave Gilro a friendly clap on the back as he trotted by briskly looking ahead. Now the three of them were inside the sleeping kingdom of Shaylir. Triken had chirped sorrowfully as they left him alone. Toyan had told Zayal how Triken hated being alone, and Zayal felt wretched for leaving him.

     The only thing truly impressive about the inside Shaylir was the castle itself, Zayal noticed that all of the cottages for the normal citizens were similar in shape in size to Amberclaw’s cabin. Toyan and Gilro didn’t bother leading Zayal through the back of the kingdom, there was no need for it since there were no people on the main road, or so they thought. They ambled along at a slow pace down the main path of the kingdom.

     “We'll be able to stay on the main pathway until we get closer to the castle, then we'll break to the left to where we found the secret entrance to the dungeons," Toyan explained pointing along the long dusty path. Zayal yawned and nodded. “See...the town is kind of set up like a “ladder”. You see...the poorer...less “royal” citizens live nearer to the gate. The more noble families live closer to the castle," Toyan continued pointed to the indicated parts of town.

     “You mean... they judge people by their blood-line...and how much gold they have?” Zayal asked, her eyes blinking in astonishment. That was ridiculous. She scrunched her face up into a look of disgust.

     “Yeah, It’s pretty stupid. I don’t like it much myself. ‘Specially cause...” he let his voice drift off as he looked at Gilro who turned a bright shade of crimson all the way up to his fluffy kyrii ears.

     “Gilro... it’s not like I actually like living close to the castle... it’s actually really horrible and...” Gilro was stumbling over his own words trying to convince Toyan that it didn’t matter and how he’d always be his friend no matter what. Toyan’s shoulders slunk. He had to family anymore. They all had died from some serpent. Toyan had to live on his own for years, he had no stable home or anybody to take care of him. He pawed the dirt furiously with his front hoof and then he shook his head.

     “It doesn’t matter. There’s nothing anybody can do about it now...I shouldn’t worry about the past. Live for tomorrow, eh?” he asked trying to sound convincing. Zayal nodded encouragement and Gilro gave a slight shrug.

     “Hey Gilro, Do you think we should take the turn towards the castle closer or further away...?” Toyan blinked in surprise as he turned to his left and Gilro wasn’t there. “Umm...Gil...” Suddenly Toyan reared backwards as he looked upwards.

     “Toyan...Toyan...what’s going....” as Zayal peered up she saw Gilro suspended in mid-air, or so it seemed. It took a moment for her eyes to see the long arm clutching tightly onto Gilro’s collar. Another arm was snaked around Gilro’s head and was clasped over Gilro’s mouth. As Zayal followed the arm she saw a body...and a head...which eventually made a lupe. A lupe who was quite sinister. A lupe on a shadow uni, barely visible in the darkness.

     “I knew you three were up to no good the moment I saw you climb over that wall," he sneered, Zayal couldn’t make out many of his features but she could tell by his voice what his face showed.

     “You had no business watching us!” Zayal burst out suddenly, her eyes flaring. “Who do you think you are anyway?” she shot at him. Toyan practically crumpled to the floor. His eyes were wide with unmistakeable fear. He obviously hadn’t expected meeting this man here.

     “Zayal...you imbecile...he’s...” Toyan was cut off by the harsh voice of the lupe.

     “General Ryon. Your obviously new around here, but that doesn’t mean you can get away with sneaking around at night. I don’t tolerate," he paused to put an emphasis on the next word. “children disobeying me. Trust me, You shall regret shouting like that girl.”

     Zayal didn’t give a damn if he was a general or not. Suddenly she drove at him with her dagger using her entire body weight to attack him, This feeling of rage had never overcome her before. She couldn’t control it. There was something about this man she despised. Her whole body began to shake. She wasn’t used to being spoken to in such a manner, her life had been an isolated one. Politics wasn’t Zayal’s strong point. Before her dagger could even make a scratch on his cloak she was lifted into the air with Gilro who was now gasping for breath after having his mouth covered.

     “Zayal...” Toyan muttered.

     “Shaddup. I’m taking you to the king. He’ll decide how to punish you," Ryon announced to them as he herded Toyan in front of him with his own uni.

     “Doesn’t the king have more important things to do then deal with children straying out at night?” asked Zayal furrowing her eyebrows in hatred as she flailed around. She couldn’t believe he had the nerve to lift her up in the cold night air like that. Loathing filled her, she didn’t want to be controlled in any manner.

     “I think you, m’dear, are a special case.” Zayal noticed the malice in his voice and a long cold chill traveled down her spine. An icy grin appeared on the man’s face as he kicked at the uni and galloped off not giving Toyan a second thought.

***

Slowly, Toyan gained self-control. It took a moment for it to click in his mind but he realized the disadvantage. The General had basically no arms to work with, just his stuffy old horse which was absolutely simple to get ride of. Sure, Toyan would probably have to be on the run for awhile until Ryon forget what he had done but it would be worth it. He just couldn’t let the general take Zayal and Gilro. Neither of them would ever forgive him and he wouldn’t have any right to blame them. Ryon was just finishing is little chat with the dangling Zayal when Toyan charged forward.

     “LET THEM GO!” Toyan shouted as he rammed his side into the stallion’s soft belly jamming the girth of the saddle into the black uni’s ribs. The uni reared in surprise but didn’t immediatley bolt, he was too well trained for that, and Ryon was too trained a rider to fall off.

     But not even Ryon was skilled enough to hold two people in his arms while his horse reared and bucked.

     “Run!” Toyan shouted at Gilro and Zayal as they both tumbled out of Ryon’s reach. Ryon was enraged and he leapt off of his uni and landed right next to Zayal scooping her up and lifting her over his shoulder. Gilro was too busy scrambling to his feet and trying to get away that he took no notice.

     “Gilro! Toyan!” Zayal was suddenly jolted as Ryon climbed back onto his uni with her across his shoulder. With Zayal over his right shoulder and a whip in his left, he cracked his long green whip onto his uni’s backside and he began to gallop forward toward the castle courtyard.

     “Gilro! Get up you fool! You won’t be able to keep up. Stay here! I’ll try and get her back!” Toyan was practically screaming as he raced after Ryon and his horse. Ryon had already discarded his whip so he could use his other hand to hold onto the sheath of his sword. He didn’t need to hold onto the stallion’s reins. He was a well-bred horse and knew the way to the courtyard. He knew not to drop his master.

     “Back, you Halfbreed! You have no business interfering with Shaylir!” Ryon shouted fiercely, his eyes now filled with mocking laughter. Toyan blood seemed to boil beneath his skin. This anger was what he needed to keep up the pace. He was gaining...gaining....It seemed that the horse was slowing down...or was Toyan gaining speed....

     There was a whoosh as a blade swung through the air, striking. Toyan gasped in pain, he was reeling now. The world was spinning. He hadn’t even seen the great general’s sword drawn. All he could see was the world spinning around him. He was dizzy and hurt.

     “Stupid Child. Never interfere with politics,” was the warbled version of Ryon’s voice. Toyan couldn’t hear anything with the blood pounding through his ears.

     He didn’t hear Zayal’s shriek of anguish as the world begin spinning faster and faster before going completely black.

***

“Toyan! Zayal! What have I done? Come back! You can’t do it all by yourself! I know you think I’m a coward Toyan...but I can help...please!” Gilro had fallen to his knees and felt pathetic. Why couldn’t he have just made some kind of sound to warn Zayal and Toyan that the general had been watching them? Why? Well, He wasn’t going to let Ryon do that to his friends. He wasn’t going to screw up anymore.

     “I’m coming Toyan, whether you like it or not!” Gilro yelled out to the empty air. He quickly slung his bow over his shoulder and he was swiftly running across the path towards the castle. He couldn’t let down Zayal and Toyan. He just couldn’t. He had to do something...for once.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

The Threat: Part One

The Threat: Part Two

The Threat: Part Three

The Threat: Part Four

The Threat: Part Six

The Threat: Part Seven

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