Princess of Erodaire IV: Part Five
With one hand planted firmly against the cold, dark wall,
I began to slowly walk forward. I had no idea where I was going for I couldn't
see a thing in the smothering blackness. All I knew was that the direction which
I faced felt right.
The ground beneath my feet felt cold to the touch,
and I continued to slowly make my way forward, blind to all else except pure
instinct. I could feel the little bumps and dents of the concrete wall as I
slid my hand upon it, and I flinched whenever something sharp grazed it's skin.
I must've been walking for hours as I quietly
traversed the darkness, but in reality, it must've been only a few moments.
The callouses upon my feet felt torn, and my fingers picked up pieces of tar
and dust as it traced itself along the guiding wall. The air grew thick and
heavy, and my eyesight started to become dimmer and darker. My head felt like
it had been flooded with dizziness, and my stomach grumbled with pains of hunger
and regret. The only thing I trusted now was the ever constant whisperings of
Go on, Andra...everything lies upon your shoulders...
Everything was a mirage to me now. I did not
trust my eyes in this constant blackness, and I did not trust what I felt with
my hands. All I could trust was pure instinct, and Rune's reassurances. Because
of this, when I saw the thin bar of light up ahead, I simply thought that my
mind was hallucinating.
"Blast the tricks the mind can play," I whispered
angrily to myself, yet deep inside me, a thread of hope wished that what I saw
was real. As I neared the thin bar of light, it started to flicker...it died
out. I felt the thread break, and I shut my eyes. I pitied myself...
Look again...look again. Don't give up you
Reluctantly, my eyelids flickered open, and I
saw the shaft of light once again. Then, like before, it flickered and went
out. On and off, on and off...the bar of light continued to appear and vanish.
I undoubtedly thought that I was going crazy now.
Cautiously, I lifted my hand upwards and started
to trace the ceiling with my fingers. Eventually, I felt something cold and
smooth... steel. As I continued to feel it with my fingers, I realized that
it was a handle. I grabbed it and pushed it upwards.
A flood of light entered the darkened passage,
and I was blinded momentarily. The brightness began to fade after a few moments...
I rubbed my eyes in surprise and squinted, for
my eyes were still foggy. The voice sounded familiar, though...
"Here, grab my hand. I'll help you up. Just reach
Awkwardly, I lifted my hand and felt someone
grab it and pull me through the trapdoor. The moment I left the dark passage,
I felt warmth creep back into my skin, and the loneliness that plagued me just
seconds before disappeared.
I turned around at the mention of my name...and
the warmth that finally came back seeped out once more.
"Ol..Oldraik..." I whispered. Although he was
concealed in black clothing, his eyes gave away his identity. The same deep,
red eyes that made me befriend him in the beginning... but this time, his eyes
weren't cold. They were determined, and filled with some sort of goal or desire
that I could not identify.
"What are you doing here?" he whispered quickly
and started to lead me away. "I thought you were supposed to be in the Summer
Castle! It's not safe here! You're part of the royal family...they'll come after
Oldraik was suddenly interrupted by the sound
of clashing metal and angry shouts in the distance. It was at this exact moment
that I finally recognized my surroundings; I was in the Castle of Erodaire.
"What was that?" I asked in shock and started
to quickly walk towards the noise.
"No, Andra! Don't go!" Oldraik grabbed my hand
once more and pulled me back. I glanced at him in suprise...and noticed three,
red letters imprinted upon the front of his black clothing. D.o.E.
"...Oldraik..." I whispered softly as tears started
to appear. "How could you?"
"So you would rather have me imprisoned? Your
father is a tyrant, you of all people should know. How could I not?" Oldraik
growled at me through gritted teeth. "I did not join the Deathdealers to betray
you...I wanted to betray your father..."
"And you have betrayed me as well, no matter
your noble thoughts," I said back briskly and tore my hand away from his. I
heard more shouts and yells once again, and the sound of crashing glass met
my ears. Realization hit me like an arrow...
The Deathdealers approach with every second
"Father!" I cried and quickly started to run
down the hallway. I heard Oldraik call my name, but I ignored him.
The walls were covered with hanging tapestries
filled with images of the noble deeds of my ancestral history, but I barely
glanced at them. The crimson carpet beneath my feet reminded me of what might
be shed during this ambush, and I felt sick. Ahead of me, I could see the tall,
wooden doors that led to the Grand Hallway...
I pushed the doors open with my hands and I felt
someone crash into me from behind.
"Andra! Get out of here!" Oldraik cried and tried
to drag me through the door once more, but my eyes had already seen the scene
Neopets dressed in black clothes and armed with
daggers and swords ran around, yelling. I could see the Erodairian guards try
desperately to fend them off, but one by one they fell upon the floor. My eyes
searched around frantically for any sign of my father, but I couldn't see him
amidst all the commotion. Broken glass and splintered tables littered the floor,
and the throne of the King and Princess had fallen off the pedestal they once
stood on. The fall of the royal family...
"Andra! Watch out!" Oldraik cried and pushed
me away as an arrow came whizzing by my head. I gasped and looked at my attacker...Vevina.
"Oldraik, who's side are you on?" Vevina whispered
bitterly at him and drew another arrow through her bow. She aimed it at me.
"Nice to see you again, Andra."
Oldraik instantly unsheathed the sword at his
side and stood before me, blocking Vevina's path. I saw her eyes narrow as she
lowered the bow. She was adorned in black clothing as well, but unlike the others,
her face wasn't concealed. She spat upon the floor in anger and glared at me
before running off to join her comrades in the battle.
"Oldraik, you shouldn't hav-"
"You're right! I shouldn't have," Oldraik glared
at me angrily and thrust a dagger into my hands. "Here, take this. I can't protect
you anymore...I'm in enough trouble as it already is." And with those words,
Oldraik went off to follow Vevina.
I stood there in shock, and my hands felt shaky
as I held the dagger in my hand. I shut my eyes slowly and breathed in deeply...
my nerves must not get the best of me at such a critical moment. Opening my
eyes once more, I just had enough time to duck as another arrow came whizzing
past my head. Taking in a deep breath. I looked around and tried to desperately
spot anyone that I knew...
Pain suddenly shot through my arms, and I clutched
at it in shock as I fell upon the floor. In front of me stood one of the Deathdealers,
but the black clothing hid his or her identity. I saw their eyes glitter menacingly
as they raised their sword, but before they brought it down, I thrust my dagger
into their heel.
My foe cried out in pain, but before I gave them
a chance to retaliate, I was already on my feet and dashing away. I quickly
grabbed a convenient dagger that must've belonged to one of the fallen, and
fell back against the wall. My head felt queasy as I recalled my actions, but
I quickly shook it off. I stared around once more before I saw another arrow
come flying towards me. I ducked just in time.
I looked up at Vevina in surprise as she quickly
placed another arrow into her bow and raise it towards me once again. "Vevina...don't
"I've been meaning to ever since I met you, Andra,"
she spat at me angrily and pulled the bowstring back. "You don't deserve a mother
Vevina gasped in surprise as something collided
into her body and knocked her upon the floor. The creature who knocked into
her had a crown upon his head, and his eyes were red and filled with flame.
He was a Mutant Draik, and he held a grand, bejeweled sword in his hands. He
lifted it up and stared menacingly down at Vevina as she cowered in fear.
"Dad..." I gasped in surprise.
"Nobody harms my daughter you filthy backstabber!"
King Alastare growled. "Especially you, Vevina."
I watched in horror as he lifted his sword higher
and readied himself to bring it down. I saw Vevina crouch even closer to the
ground, and her hands covered her head in angst. As I stared at this horrific
scene, a figure in the corner of my eye quickly approached my Father from behind...
clutching a sword in his hand. Before my father had a chance to bring his sword
down, I saw the figure thrust the sword through my father's back...
"Father!" I cried.
To be continued...