Telltale the Darigan Dancer: Part Three
Chantel gently pushed open a door. Four ladies were giggling, whispering, and had tea and biscuits. "Hello, dear!" a Desert Aisha in a similar Meridell dress said, waving to the Court Dancer. "Please, sit down! We were just chatting to ourselves."
She sat between the Aisha and a White Draik. The ladies were garbed in the same dresses as Chantel. She itched to get out and slip back into the more comfortable garments Morguss had let her use.
"So, dear, what's your name?" a Purple Eyrie asked, sipping her cup. The Eyrie reminded Chantel of Kass, who was probably plotting Meridell's demise. She grimaced.
"It's, uhh..." It hurt to splutter it out. "Chantel."
There was a murmur through the gossiping maidens.
"Dear me, that sounds a bit...plain for a pretty one like her."
"Her name sounds so familiar; I think my brother mentioned a name like that after I had to pinch him out of that trance he was having."
"Your brother had a trance? Well, Kells was busy ranting off about that dancing gypsy. Shame! I had to thwack him with a frying pan just to stop his eyes going in twirls!"
Chantel stared at her cup of tea, feeling guilty. "I don't think she meant to do so much harm," she exclaimed to the older women, taking a sip.
"Pish tosh!" a Royal Acara scoffed. "The young sister of Sir Jeran, what was her name? Oh yes, Lisha. Well, Mistress Lisha knows well. Hark, what language she used and called the Court Dancer a big fraud, a fat prancing sack of rags!"
Chantel choked and began coughing madly. "Dear, me, Chantel!" the Desert Aisha cried, patting her back sympathetically. "What was that all about?"
"Nothing, this tea just...it needs more sugar!" she chuckled nervously, and reached for the box. She stared. Cubes of delicate white sugar. Brown sugar is all we have, Chantel thought, dropping a cube into the tea and stirring with a spoon. She gulped it down and felt as though her tongue was going to do a little jig. Gahh! Too sweet! I'll use honey next time!
"White sugar doesn't really suit me," she explained to the confused ladies, pouring a tablespoon of honey into the tea. The tea was the kind that was expected to be very sweet. She sipped cautiously and was satisfied with the taste. "So...what do you think about that special Meridell spy?"
"Oh, she's quite fine, but what puzzles me is that she seems too empty!" the Acara said. "She doesn't even tell his Majesty her real name! If you ask me she's probably working for that Kass person!"
Chantel looked very ill.
"Kass?" the Eyrie echoed. "You mean that general in Lord Darigan's army?"
"More like Lord Kass now!" Chantel spat. "Don't side with him. He'll make you beg for food on your hands and knees. If you don't fight in his battles, he'll make you until you're run in the fields! He's stupid, he's a coward, and he's-"
The Orb grabbed Chantel's mind hard. The Aisha dropped her cup, spilling the tea on the table, let a long gasp and buckled over to her knees again, clutching her head with her dainty paws. The ladies began chatting, helping the poor controlled thing.
"Poor dear," the Draik said, gently helping Chantel up. "Perhaps Kass heard you, and cursed you."
"My Lord would never do such a thing," were the words that managed to escape Chantel's lips. She gasped at what she just said and shouted angrily. The four ladies looked at each other, puzzled. "Maybe the hands of his Spellcaster slap me across the mouth," she said sadly. "I need to be alone. You are all so lucky; how peaceful your country is and how brave the warriors are."
And she disappeared, envying the surroundings in the peaceful country, hardly anything to her bitter place.
* * * * * * * *
Meanwhile Morguss was busy into deep thinking. She thought about Jared, the one she had chose, the one that died in the midst of battle. For ten years after the famine and curse spread across Darigan, he had not seen his young child.
Once he saw young Chantel before going into warfare against Meridell. "She's changed so much," he remarked as the ten-year-old slept. "I hope you've been teaching her well."
Morguss was not the mean old hag she was when the whole family was around. "I'm sorry," she said sadly to Jared, "but I've been mistreating her so much, I don't know what's come over me."
She had felt the Darigan Aisha's tough but gentle paw rest on her shoulder, and a warmth of comfort spread. "As ugly as we are, as mind-controlled as you, it's not your fault." He was dressed in full armor and threw his arms around the Moehog. "I will miss you whilst in the war."
And with magic she had cheated seeing Jared. At times she would send thought messages to Jared, even letting Chantel do as she pleased. It was when she noticed Jared's best friend, Darrell, locked in a battle with a Meridellian Zafara mage, Zora. They were armed but continued to stare at each other, and finally Zora had cast a magical blazing spell. It was blue. Morguss realized it was meant to be a shield. She gave herself a smile, and watched as Jared jabbed a Koi knight with one of his spearbutts.
Then she saw Kass, still one of the most best generals. He had ran Zora with his sword. Darrell had watched in shock. "She was a Meridellian, but she didn't deserve that," Jared had muttered. To his surprise General Kass had come straight at Darrell full force. Morguss and Jared had watched horrified as the Darigan Zafara swordsman crumpled to the ground.
Kass turned to Jared, his eyes aflame. The Aisha began throwing spears at full force, and was chagrined as Kass simple blocked. His lance was in a Meridellian, so he had grabbed a spear axe called a halberd. Morguss's heart pulsed as he used the thunder magic that the Moehog Spellcaster had entrusted in the halberd. Kass was wounded.
It didn't stop Kass from throwing his sword. Morguss screamed as Jared fell off his Uni, who galloped away. "Morguss...I know you watch..." he had muttered heavily, and gave his last smile. "Take care of Chantel...she will help you in return." Those were the last words he said before Kass charged at the fallen Aisha with his own halberd.
Stunned at her daydream, Morguss felt her eyes watering. She furiously wiped the salty tears and turned back to what she really wanted. She knew Kass had slain Jared and was a traitor, but she needed to be entrusted with Lord Kass' true trust.
The spell of watching was long forgotten by the Spellcaster Mage, so she couldn't see how her heathen child was doing.
* * * * * * * *
Chantel was dancing in the court, the full greed, vanity and flirty ways of the Orb in her head. She grinned at everybody, including Lisha, and gave a smile, but threw flaming daggers of hate at the pesky Aisha with her eyes. Lisha was staring at her, he mouth open-wide, then turned around and ran.
Chantel grinned. Coward, she thought as she continued to dance. She twirled around. Oh, the joy to dance! Her mother Morguss had done a fine job at the spell. Lord Kass would be very pleased. Soon he would be Emperor Kass, and rule Neopia. Then she could dance for the whole world, because she knew she was the best! Oh, yes! It felt good; she could already feel the victory in her paws and her feet. She wouldn't even need a Brown Paintbrush. She would be the most beautiful of all Neopia!
Suddenly a familiar voice echoed the court. Every single sparkle of magical dust she used vanished. "Court Dancer Chantel, your time is up!"
Snapping back to attention, the Court Dancer knew that her mother had taught her a spell with those last four words; a spell to break other spells. She turned to Lisha, who was pointing a finger at her and holding a spellbook. Reality coursed through her mind. She began to panic. Lisha was going to reveal her true form!
Lisha knew. Chantel's eyes darted towards Kayla, who held a potion in her hand. Visibility Mist.The Court Dancer knew it revealed those of invisible spells...or illusions! "She sprayed in my direction so that idiot Aisha could see me!" Chantel gasped, and began dancing away frantically.
"That which is hidden cannot hide," the Yellow Aisha chanted, ignoring Chantel's gettaway. Chantel and Lisha began to glow with a pulsing green light. Chantel's mind seemed to make her shake all over. "Where there is truth, lies cannot abide..."
"No, stop!" Chantel cried, turning to Jeran's sister. "I command you to-"
"You from the King, I must wean, everyone here..." Lisha continued, and the two Aishas blazed in a slow green fire. Lisha's face scowled and jabbed her finger at the Court Dancer. "...LET IT BE SEEN!"
The green flames surrounding Lisha thrashed towards Chantel. "No! No! NO!!!" she repeatedly shrieked. The Orb glowed with rage. Chantel gave a scream of mercy and pain and clutched her head as pain ached all over her body again. She could hear everyone gasping, Lisha and her dreadful chuckles, and besides her, something else screaming.
When it was over, her original mind had returned to normal, the Orb weak in power. The heavy D hung from her chain. Her purple spotty fur returned. The spikes, which laid only on her tail, grew. Her ear had a notch. Her curls turned to messy locks. Her yellow and emerald green entrancing eyes was turned to angry burning red and forest green pupils. The paint on her lips she had applied had washed off, and instead looked fat and disgusting on her. She glared and hissed at Lisha, her fangs really sharp again.
Everyone gasped again. "Wh, what?" King Skarl burbled, then screamed at the sight of Chantel. "Guards, seize her!"
She suddenly felt a presence in the room, which was her friend. Before she could think, Zephyrne yanked her paw. "Let's go!" she yelled, running towards the doors.
"Get the Zafara!" King Skarl roared. "She works for Kass as well!"
Tears streamed down Chantel's eyes. She actually thought Kass as Emperor Kass, had thought her mother was the best, and was very greedy. What had caused all this? she though while sobbing.
* * * * * * * *
Chantel threw open the doors of the Kass Citadel and stared horrified as Morguss stepped forward, Lord Kass behind her. "You mindless daydreaming Aisha!" she screamed. The Orb was cackling silently as Chantel fell to the floor again, her mind throbbing. "Who was it that discovered you?! TELL ME!"
The dancer wailed as the Orb continued tormenting her. "Lisha, sister of Jeran Borodere-" She gave a loud scream as the Orb and Morguss whacked her.
"Shame, girl!" Kass barked at her. "Double Agent, take her to the dungeon."
"Zephyrne, don't let them do this to me," Chantel begged, but the spy just yanked her arm.
"I'm sorry," she droned. "And don't call me Zephyrne." Chantel's eyes widened as Zephyrne dragged her away. That Zafara still didn't know who she was?! And had no feelings at all for the one she befriended.
"Idiot..." the Aisha hissed.
Soon they came upon one of Master Vex's favorite dungeons: his own. He was busy playing Cellblock with his partner, Galgarrath the Grarrl Warrior. "I win again," Master Vex smirked, moving one of his pieces. Galgarrath groaned, then heeded attention as Zephyrne swung Chantel in the cell. She turned the key to the heavy lock.
"Traitor!" Chantel screamed angrily, banging on the bars. "Zephyrne, you monstrous, stupid little-"
"I am not called Zephyrne! Why do you keep calling me that? It's not my name." was the reply.
"Zephyrne? Oh, no, this is NOT Zephyrne, dear Chantel," Vex explained, and began the fourth game in a day by moving his pawn. "Zephyrne was a free spirit, her mother a Meridell Mage and her father a Darigan Fighter. This Zafara has blank emotions and is harder to read than a dim-witted Droolik."
"Let me be," Zephyrne growled before slipping the keys in her pocket. Galgarrath shook his head and Chantel screeched angry dark words and continued slamming into the bars.
"Face it, miss," he said, standing up. He placed his Darigan claw on Chantel's shoulder. She turned his head to him and snarled. "You'll never convince Zephyrne that she is what she is. That oaf Kass had put her to sleep for a huge amount of time that she forgot all about her previous life."
"Kass made her forget?" Chantel seethed, getting more furious by the seconds.
Master Vex nodded. "That's how bad Kass is. If you saw that her mother and father were slain, er, um, you tell her, Galgarrath."
The Grarrl sighed. "Chantel, your father, Jared, was one of the best Uniback knights," he explained. "He could fight with spears, a lance of steel and a magical halberd that Morguss had given him before the Meridell war."
"He was slain by the Meridellians?" she gasped, getting even more angry.
"No," Master Vex murmured. "Chantel, it was KASS that slain your father."
Chantel threw herself against the bars of the dungeon, denting it slightly and was screaming furiously with even more dark words. "Kass, you impudent ignoramus!" she yelled at the top of her lungs, squeezing the bars. "You mindless stupid warlord! Your family are a bunch of soil-sucking losers, you worm! I want vengeance! You're gonna DIE!!! LET ME OUT!!!"
- TO BE CONTINUED... -