Sebastian's Special Assignment
The tall, husky general led Sebastian down the hallways
of Meridell Castle, chattering away at the yellow Skeith clad in golden and red
armor, clutching a matching shield emblazoned with a shiny 'S' and a long sword
with a glinting, menacing blade. The Lupe barely paused to catch his breath as
he kept on talking.
"I do hope you will like your new assignment,
Sebastian," said the general. "I'm sure King Skarl would like it too. Besides,
you should consider yourself lucky - you're out of the battlefield for a while,
or perhaps for a long time, depending on the king's wishes."
"Um, so what exactly am I going to do?" he asked,
stepping aside to let a Draik sentry hover by, twirling a long spear like a
baton. "You haven't told me what I'm going to do today."
The Lupe winked. "You'll see." They continued
on, passing by a few busy courtiers. An Usul-in-waiting was whispering into
the ear of a nearby Ixi guard, who snickered as the two whipped past them. Before
the Skeith could ask them what that was about, his companion led him away from
them. Soon, they found themselves in a quieter corridor, lined with portraits
of famous faces and coats of armor standing about like invisible, unmoving defenders.
Few doors dotted the sides, making Sebastian even more curious than usual as
to what was going to happen. They even went up a flight of stairs, the Lupe
stomping on with his soldier striding to keep up.
However, before Sebastian could wonder any longer
why the king wanted him, he found himself bumping into his comrade, who had
stopped abruptly in front of an ornate, decorated door. The general found the
polished brass door knocker and gripped it, knocking three times.
"Who is it?" called a familiar yet sleepy voice.
"I'm here, your Majesty," said the Lupe. "I have
my able soldier Sebastian with me."
The door creaked open, revealing the king of
Meridell. Instead of being in his usual royal attire, he was in a long nightgown,
with a jeweled matching nightcap.
"Sir, I'm just curious - it's the afternoon,"
said Sebastian with a small grin. "Are you sleeping in? Have you burnt the midnight
oil last night?"
The Skeith king nodded. "Yes, Sebastian," he
drawled, sounding even sleepier. "I'm very glad that you have been brought here.
I need someone to guard my bedroom and make sure nobody makes any noises outside.
You see, it is time for an afternoon nap, and my usual guard has taken the day
off to spend some time with his vegetable garden. Isn't it such a pleasant day?
I have nothing much to do, so why not have a nice rest?"
"Uh…yeah," was all the soldier could say.
"Well, good luck. If I hear ONE sound…" Here,
King Skarl leaned closer to the yellow Skeith, jabbing a finger at his chest
plate, "you'll hear from me because you have disturbed my peaceful nap. I bid
you both a good afternoon."
He slammed the door behind them both. The Lupe
glanced at Sebastian, who stared back just as bewildered.
"That's…all I'll be doing?" he asked. "Making
sure that King Skarl gets his nap?"
"Actually, yes," answered the Lupe general. "Eh,
it's kind of boring unless someone's out there making trouble. Besides, we had
to choose SOMEONE to replace the other guard. We wrote names on paper and drew
them from an empty jar. At least you'll be kept away from the battlefield, as
I've said. You'll be too busy hoping that nobody nabs the king in his sleep,
or worse, makes a racket out here."
And with that, he stalked off, holding his head
high. Sebastian was left beside the door to Skarl's bedroom, with nothing else
to do except stand, pace about, or count the lines in his shield. It seemed
as though the guys at Meridell Castle decided to keep a quiet life for now.
The yellow Skeith leaned back beside one of the coats of armor, examining his
fingers. He left his weapons against the wall beside him, seeing no use for
Just as he was about to take a nap himself, a
crash brought him back to his senses. Peeping into the small window to see if
the king was still asleep (He was still snoring on his huge canopy bed), Sebastian
drew his sword and glanced around the corridors.
There was nobody around.
That is, until someone peeked out from behind
another coat of armor, seeming to wave at someone else. There were two small
voices giggling happily.
"Try and catch me, Boris!"
"I'm coming to get you, Morris!"
Sebastian shook his head. The two squires were
running around the castle, probably playing some game of their own.
"Hey - hey, can you both keep it down?" he asked
The Quiggle stopped in mid-run, facing the yellow
Skeith. "Why?" he asked curiously. "Is there a surprise party for someone?"
A Blumaroo bounced past, nearly knocking Sebastian
against the wall. Morris stuck out his tongue before sprinting again, taunting
Boris as much as he could. Unfortunately, the Quiggle wasn't watching where
he was going, and did exactly what the soldier had feared. The sight robbed
Sebastian of all words of caution.
"Oops," said Morris, standing back as one of
the coats of armor began to wobble. He rubbed his head before running off, with
his friend hot on his tail. But it didn't keep the armor from falling. On the
verge of panic, the Skeith dived forward with his arms outstretched. The metal
display landed into them, thankfully intact. He let out a sigh of relief, realizing
how close he had come to interrupting Skarl's regal nap.
Standing up gingerly, he pushed it back to its
place, where it stood up again. At first, Sebastian thought that something was
lopsided, but it looked fine. He began to pace the floor in front of the bedroom
after checking in again on the slumbering king, extremely glad that the short
fiasco was now over.
Unfortunately, he saw yet another stranger standing
in the corridor. It began to walk towards him, some kind of cloak billowing
out from underneath its feet. Its head was pointed, but when the figure came
into view, the yellow Skeith saw that it was simply a hat. A young red Zafara
was standing before him, holding a bottle of something bubbling and sparkling
at the same time.
"Greetings, Kayla," he said slowly, hoping with
all his might that she wouldn't stir up the same trouble that her friends had.
"Greetings…Sebastian, are you?" she answered.
"I was looking for his Majesty, King Skarl. See, he wasn't in the throne room.
Guess I decided to find him in his quarters. I think I've perfected a nifty
little potion that can blind, confuse and damage opponents in a fight. All you
need to do is open the - "
"This is not really the time," he said nervously,
his eyes fixed upon the chaotic mixture that could probably flare up if Kayla
even moved the cork of the vial just one bit. "He's sleeping, but I'm sure he
will like your new invention when he awakes."
The magician-in-training's face fell. "Oh…well,
I can wait."
Footsteps sounded while Sebastian and Kayla fell
silent. The form of a yellow Aisha with red-framed glasses walked up to them,
smiling as she brandished a small dagger.
"I found this, Kayla!" she announced grandly,
waving the pint-sized blade. The Skeith winced, watching every move of Jeran's
younger sister and making sure that she was safe from the flashing sharp side.
"Maybe we can use it…"
"No, wait," said the Zafara, waving a paw. "The
"Aw, if he's grumpy, I bet this will cheer him
up!" Even Sebastian shook his head as a warning while the Aisha continued speaking.
Her dagger moved up to the cork of her friend's bottle.
"That's not a good - "
"Lisha, listen to - "
A sudden flash blazed past Sebastian's eyes,
causing him to keel over onto the carpeted floor. His body felt quite heavy.
A booming sound like thunder briefly numbed his sense of hearing. The only thought
registering in his brain was King Skarl's disturbed nap.
"That…was one loud blast!" said Lisha excitedly,
her eyes slightly unfocused. She adjusted her glasses and squinted at her two
compatriots. "I do hope the king heard that! She raised a fist to knock on his
door. Before she could even make contact with the wood, the yellow Skeith pulled
her wrist back.
"His Majesty…napping…trying to tell you awhile
ago," he managed to choke out. Obviously he was still suffering from the after-effects
of Kayla's potion.
The Zafara sighed. "At least I can make more.
But Lisha…if you woke the king…"
"It wasn't my fault!" The two girls argued along
the way as they left Sebastian alone. Apparently neither of them wanted to stick
around and feel the Meridell monarch's wrath.
"You better give back that dagger too…"
"Of course I will! What do you think…?"
Their voices died away. Once again, Sebastian
let out a breath of relief. His king was sleeping quite soundly, judging from
another glance into the tiny window at his door. Wondering how in Neopia King
Skarl kept on sleeping throughout two crazy incidents, both involving lots of
noise, he stood back again casually at the wall beside the door.
"That must be one good nap," he said loudly to
himself. His arm accidentally tripped the blade that had been leaning on one
side during all this time, and it fell to the floor with a metallic crash, clanging
against his shield that had been resting beside it.
"One more trick like that, and it'll be your
head, Sebastian!" came the voice of the Skeith king, peeking out from the door.
His nightcap was slightly tipped to one side, giving him a comical appearance.
"What was that racket for, anyway?"
Another sound rang through the corridor.
It was the sound of the soldier slapping his
Author's Note: The idea for this story has been inspired by another TCG
card, this time, from the Battle of Meridell expansion. That was card #96, "Skarl's
Personal Guard", in case you didn't know. But thanks for reading my short story