Flame of Ice: The Story of a Warrior - Part Five
Part Five: The Inner Warrior
“Bigger riddle?” Amy asked. “What do you mean by that?”
“It’s nothing important,” Sam said quickly. “So, how do you get to the secret cave?”
“Why do you want to go there?” Phoenix asked. “My two brothers and my sister all disappeared after going in that cave.”
“What color were they?” Sage asked.
Phoenix looked startled, but replied, “They were Ice.”
Sage gasped, and Sam fell back a bit, but caught himself. “What?” Amy asked worriedly. “What is it?”
“Well, we think we know what may have happened to your neopets,” Sam said. Sage glared at him, but he pretended not to notice. “Some creature attacked them and took control of them. Now they’re his slaves.”
Amy’s eyes got wide and weld up with tears. “You’re... you’re lying,” she said, trying to keep her voice from shaking.
“If you don’t believe me, look me in the eyes,” Sam said. They stared at each other for a long time before Amy turned her head away, knowing it was true. “We can help them, though,” Sam told her. She looked up, hope shining in her eyes. “Lead us to the secret cave that they found, and we’ll see what we can do for them.”
“You will? Really?”
“Yes, we will. I promise.”
“Thank you! Thank you so much!” Amy cried. Then she looked at Phoenix. “Phoenix, will you take them there? You were there with them when they found it, and I wasn’t.”
Phoenix nodded. “If it means saving my brothers and sister, I will.” Phoenix signaled for Sam and Sage to follow, then walked out the door.
As they followed Phoenix, Sam said, “Well, it seems that not all humans are bad.”
“Well, I still don’t trust them,” Sage said.
“You can feel what you want,” Sam said, “but I think that you would be wrong if you said they were ALL bad.”
Sage just shook her head. “I guess you can feel what you want, too,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean I’ll feel the same.”
“Uh... right,” Sam said, rubbing his arm. After taking a quick look around, he said, “Hey, Sage, does any of this look familiar to you?”
“No,” she said quietly. “In all the time that I lived on Terror Mountain, I’ve never found this place before.”
Phoenix stopped in front of a cave with a door in front of it. “This is the cave,” he said, staring up at it.
Sam went up to the door and tried to pull it open, but it wouldn’t budge. “It’s locked,” he said.
“I know,” Phoenix replied. “We didn’t have the key, so we charged it. Eventually, it did open, but we were all sore by that time. I decided that if the door was that hard to open, there was obviously something inside that wasn’t meant to get out. I went back home, but the other three advanced in. Now, I think maybe I should have stayed with them. Maybe I could have protected them.” Tears rolled down his feathered face, though he tried to keep them from doing so.
Sage walked up to Phoenix and put a hand on his shoulder. “Phoenix, I don’t think that you could have done anything to protect them if you went in. You would just be that creature’s slave, as well. Then who would have been able to find the cave and save you?”
Phoenix smiled slightly, but sadness still glinted in his eyes. He lifted his head up and watched Sam examine the door. “I would look for the key if I were you,” he said. “It hurts if you try to open it by force.”
Sam traced two holes in the door with his paw. “Sage, come here,” he said. She came to stand by him. He indicated the two holes in the door. “Do you think the coins will fit in these?”
“It’s worth a shot,” she said. She reached over into Sam’s pack and retrieved her coin, while Sam pulled his out of his pocket. Together, they put their coins in the holes. A bright light flashed, and when all of them opened their eyes, the door was open.
Sam set his pack down and turned to Phoenix. “Could you watch my bag for me?” he asked. “It would only weigh me down when we went through.”
Phoenix nodded. Sam and Sage both walked into the cave, taking their coins out of the holes as they did. “Be careful!” Phoenix called after them. Then, behind them, the door slammed shut.
The two jumped and looked back at the door. “Come on,” Sam said, “we’d better keep going.”
They quickly proceeded through the cave, until they found a small cavern. In the middle, there was a large hole in the floor. “Do you think that’s where the creature is?” Sage asked.
“We won’t know unless we jump down it,” Sam said. Then, he ran forward and jumped into the hole. Sage shrugged and ran after him.
It turned out that the hole was actually a tunnel downward, one made entirely out of ice. The two slid all the way down, until they landed in a pile of snow at the bottom. The walls were lined with long poles of ice. A piece of ice stood tall on the cave floor. An area of water was at the far end of the small cave. “It looks like a prison,” Sage said, looking around.
“How correct you are,” came a voice from the water. The two looked over at the water as it bubbled. Suddenly, a larger than normal Mutant Jetsam exploded from the water. His eyes glowed an eerie yellow, and his mouth curved into a wicked smile, showing all of his pointed teeth.
“You’re the Creature,” Sam said, drawing his sword. At the same time, Sage drew hers.
The Creature laughed. “Yes, I am what you call ‘the Creature’. But, you may call me ‘Master’.”
“Monster’s more like it!” Sage shouted angrily.
“Call me what you like,” he said, “but no matter what you say, you will not be able to change your fate.” He laughed an evil laugh that shook the room. From behind a few blocks of ice came three Ice Neopets. The first was a Hissi, the second a Xweetok, and the third a Bori. “Now, my slaves,” he told the three, “attack the intruders, and show no mercy!”
“Yes, master,” they said in a zombie-like tone. They advanced quickly on both Sam and Sage.
The Hissi lunged for Sam. He put his sword up to block the Hissi’s attack. However, the attack never hit. Sage had knocked the Hissi down and away from Sam. “I’ll take care of these three!” she called to Sam. “You take care of the Creature!”
“Sage,” Sam said quietly, “I’m not going to leave you to battle them alone.”
“Just do it!” Sage shouted, blocking an attack from the Bori. Sam hesitated, not knowing what to do. “Sam, someone needs to stop him!” Sage told Sam. “Please, Sam! If you don’t, he could escape, and then we may never be able to find him again!”
Sam nodded, understanding the weight of the situation. Turning, he ran up to the Creature. “Creature!” he called. As the Jetsam turned around, Sam jumped up and slashed him across one of his tentacles. The Creature cried out in pain. Sam grabbed onto one of his tentacles. The Creature brought that tentacle up to his face. He opened his mouth to reveal his deadly fangs. Sam quickly jumped off the tentacle and grabbed onto the top of the Creature’s maw. He climbed up and slashed the Creature’s nose. He roared in pain, and grabbed Sam. He threw Sam onto the ground. Sam let go of his sword and quickly grabbed one of the Creature’s tentacles to keep from hitting the ground. His sword shattered when it hit the ground.
“Hah!” the Creature laughed. “Now, you no longer have a weapon to fight me with!” He tossed Sam off his tentacle and onto the ground.
Sam groaned as he picked himself off the ground. “That’s where... you’re wrong,” he said. Sam got down into a fighting position. “I’m not going to give up! I’m not going to let you win!”
The Creature’s eyes narrowed. “Those words were once spoken by another. But, you won’t be able to pull it off. His sword is trapped in ice, and I doubt that you can get it out.” The Creature extended a claw to the large piece of ice Sam and Sage had seen when they had entered.
“The sword may be powerful, but it’s just a sword, all the same,” Sam told him. “The real weapon is the warrior who it belongs to.”
The Creature growled. “You shall die all the same.” The Creature whipped a tentacle at Sam. Sam dodged it, though it was hard on the icy floor. The Creature saw his opening, and knocked Sam down with his next strike. He shot another tentacle at Sam. Sam held up his paws to block the tentacle, but the Creature was easily stronger than him. He pushed with all his might, put he knew that he couldn’t keep it up for much longer.
Sage looked up from her battling and saw Sam, trying to keep one of the Creature’s tentacles off him. “Sam!” she called. She quickly sprang into the air and flew over to the Creature. She slashed the tentacle holding Sam down with her sword. The Creature gave an angry cry. He glared at Sage, eyes filled with hatred. He knocked her down with one of his tentacles, and held her there. He turned to her, opening his massive jaws as his head got closer to Sage.
Sam looked over at Sage, watching in horror as the Creature moved his head towards Sage. “Sage, no!” Sam called, his voice echoing through the entire cave. A light shone from the piece of ice in which the Gelert and the Sword of Ice and Flame were trapped. Part of the ice broke off, and the Sword of Ice and Flame fell out. It transported itself into Sam’s paw. Sam raised the sword, and swung it at the tentacle that still tried to push him down. The Creature screamed and pulled his tentacle away. Sam raised the sword and said, “Let my friend go!” A light shone from the sword, and Sam jumped and attacked the tentacle holding Sage down. He slashed the sword down. The Creature screamed in agony as it lifted its tentacle.
“Sam, remember what the Draik said?” Sage asked. “The coins are magical! We could use them against him!” Sam nodded, and pulled his coin out of his pocket. Sage opened her hand to reveal her coin.
They both held up their coins up high. “The Tear that burns!” Sam shouted.
“The Fire that Melts!” Sage cried.
“The storm that shatters the call!” they shouted in unison. “But the flame of ice shall win the brawl!” The coins shot blasts of power at the Creature. Sam added the power of the Sword of Ice and Flame. The Creature screamed, and was frozen in ice. The three Ice Neopets were set free from their curse, and the rest of the ice broke off the frozen Gelert, and he was set free.
There was a rumble throughout the cave, and then the cave started to fall apart. “This way!” the Xweetok cried. There’s a secret way out!”
When they finally found their way out, the whole cave collapsed. Phoenix was still waiting there for them. When he saw his brothers and sister, he cried with glee. “If there’s anything I can do to repay you, just name it!’
“Well, there is something,” Sam said.
Dac stood alone on a beach of Krawk Island. He looked into the sky, and saw a Green Eyrie and a Fire Shoyru flying toward the Island. When the Eyrie landed, a Green Gelert jumped off. “Sam?” Dac asked.
Sam nodded. “This is Phoenix,” Sam said, indicating the Eyrie, “and this is Sage,” and he pointed to the Shoyru.
“You know, you did a very irresponsible thing, Sam,” said a voice from behind Dac. It was the Warrior Shaman.
Sage was about to speak up, but Sam put his paw up to keep her quiet. “No, she’s right, Sage,” he said. “Taking the coin off the Island would have made it easier for the Creature to get it. I know what I’ve done, and I’m ready to accept my punishment.”
The Warrior Shaman smiled. “You’ve grown a lot since you left here, Sam,” she said. “I think that you have finally found your inner warrior.” An odd magical power swirled around Sam. In an instant, he was changed into a Maraquan Gelert. The bandana was still tied around his neck, and the Sword of Ice and Flame was still belted at his side.
From the water, the Draik and the Gelert that were known as the Guardians of the Coins appeared. Both Sam and Sage handed their coins to them. They took the coins from Sam and Sage. Then, the Draik pulled out two gold bands. “We are the Guardians of the Coins,” he said. “You are the Guardians of the Bands. The Tear that Burns,” he said, putting one band over Sam’s paw, “and the Flame that Melts,” and he slipped the other over Sage’s hand. Sam and Sage looked at each other, knowing their adventures were far from over.
There was a legend once about the great warrior who defeated an evil beast so many years ago. Now, stories are told of the warrior Samari and the Sword of Ice and Flame.