Tangled Up in Blu: Part Four
The room fell silent. Blu’s mouth dropped open. Kwahre let his fanged mouth contort into a grin. And King Grauhre just laughed his humorless laugh.
“Yes, this girl is the reason that we are in such poverty. She is the reason that day occurred, and she will pay.” Grauhre’s voice was barely above a whisper, but the silence in the room allowed his voice to reach everyone’s ears.
Blu, stunned beyond belief, could not control her thoughts. How dare he! He has no proof that I am solely to blame for whatever happened on that day! I don’t even know what happened on that day! What do I do?!? Blu’s thoughts swam in a panicked blur through her mind.
“Now, I bet you’re all wondering how I know that this particular ne’er-do-well is the one we’ve been searching for all these years. But take a closer look at the accused, and you too can be sure that she is indeed the neopet who caused the downfall of our fair kingdom!” Grauhre invited the crowd to come look at Blu.
“How dare you!” Blu found her voice, and it came out as a shrill cry. The crowd of neopets looked stunned. Grauhre, however, looked annoyed. “How can you simply accuse an innocent visitor to your fair kingdom they’re the reason why it’s in a shambles! I did nothing wrong, and refuse to be put on display! I don’t even know what happened on that day!” Blu felt her eyes fill with tears. She was so scared. Scared, and confused. Her head was pounding and nausea grasped her stomach.
“Temper, temper,” Grauhre taunted. “You must be terribly confused if you’re as innocent as you say. But you’re not. So you must be terribly stupid. Let me enlighten you.” Grauhre backed away from Blu and began to pace the area in front of her.
“Twenty five years ago our kingdom was a bustling site that had people coming in and out daily. Our population was over triple what it is now, and business and trade flourished. Our buildings were of impressive architecture and the interiors were beautifully furnished. Our society depended on the power of the sacred Trident that powered the bulk of our kingdom. It provided us with other alternatives of light rather than those wretched glowing rocks we use now. It kept our city alive, quite like the orb Meridell stole from Darigan. One fateful day, the kingdom had a visitor. She was heavily disguised, so to this day we cannot know for sure what type of neopet she was. Touring the city, she learned the legend of the Trident and the power it possessed. Greedy little creature that she was, she wanted the power for herself. So she snuck past our guards and attempted to steal the Trident! The guards caught her and threw her in the dungeon. Somehow, she managed to escape from Mephtik. In the veil of the night, she successfully stole the Trident. Chaos ensued. We sent our guards after her, but our weapons, which got their power from the Trident, were useless. The girl attacked mercilessly, and so we were forced to send our armies after her. That wretched beast; we were completely unaware of the powers she possessed! Paired with the power of the Trident, she wiped out our armies. She destroyed much of our kingdom and what she didn’t destroy later crumbled without the Trident’s power to sustain it. Stealing away from the kingdom, she fled. And she was never seen again in these parts.” Grauhre finished his tale.
“I don’t understand. If you don’t know what this pet looked like, how do you know it’s me?” Blu was terribly confused. She’d never even heard of this place before, let alone been here. Besides, she wasn’t even twenty-five years old yet!
“Well, what we could see of this creature was covered in strange scarred markings, much like the ones you have. Since no other neopet has such markings, we can conclude that you are guilty of escaping from prison, stealing the Trident, and destroying our kingdom.” Grauhre stated calmly.
Blu was completely blown away. It was impossible! She did not commit any of these crimes! Markings like mine? No it can’t be! I think it happens every fifteen years or so, but I don’t know what they mean! And that Trident, it’s not here, it’s-
“Maraqua!” Blu shouted. The entire crowd turned its attention on her, eyes taking in the sight of her markings.
“What do you babble about?” Grauhre demanded. Blu was thinking out loud, but not realizing what she was saying.
“The Trident’s in Maraqua! I didn’t steal it, it was used to build Maraqua and it’s there now!” Blu rambled senselessly. Grauhre laughed his humorless laugh as Kwahre scurried over to him. The Hissi began to whisper harshly to the king who grinned wider with every second that ticked by. After what seemed like hours, the Techo turned away from Kwahre.
“The accused does not lie. And because Maraqua has Dehytrezn’s Trident, there is only one logical thing to do. I do hereby declare that the kingdom of Dehytrezn and Maraqua are at war!” Grauhre roared. The crowd of neopets cheered, pumping their fists in the air. Blu’s cobalt eyes widened. What have I done?
“Xaize, take her away!” Grauhre commanded over the roar of the crowd. Nodding, the Grarrl guard roughly grabbed Blu’s arm and led her out of the palace.
Xaize led Blu back they way they had come, opening the prison complex doors with a push of his fins. He led Blu back to her cage and shoved her into her iron prison again. Mephtik rose from his seat on a rickety wooden chair and locked the door. When Xaize had left, Mephtik gave Blu an icy glare.
“How could you?” The Elephante’s voice was level, but Blu could hear the disappointment in his tone. Blu just stared at the floor.
“Speechless and redundant!” Treyirle’s insane call reverberated in the silence. Blu lifted her head to Mephtik. His expression was stony and unsympathetic, his eyes hard and cold. Blu felt the tears come to her eyes.
“How did you find out?” was the first thing Blu could think to say. Mephtik’s expression didn’t change.
“They sent out guards ta tell all the townsfolk ‘bout the war. I asked why, an’ they told meh the tale.” Mephtik shook his head. “I thought you were just a lost little Gelert, an’ I took pity on ya. I feel like such a fool.”
“You don’t understand. I’m only fifteen! I couldn’t have done something that happened twenty-five years ago! You have to believe me!” Blu struggled to keep her voice from shaking.
“Wha about those spots ya got all over ya? Those prove it!” Mephtik wanted to believe Blu, but the evidence was against her.
“I’m almost certain that every ten or fifteen years, an island neopet is born with similar scars. I thought all of them passed away in the great Mystery Island famine, but I assume one of them must’ve stolen the Trident! It wasn’t me, Mephtik, it wasn’t me.” Blu could no longer control her voice. A single tear rolled down her cheek. Wiping it away, she hoped that Mephtik wouldn’t think she was an overemotional wreck.
“Alrigh’. I’ll believe ya. There’s somethin’ about ya that makes me believe that yer telling me the truth.” Mephtik spoke soothingly, the coldness dissolving from his expression.
“Talk is cheap and lies are expensive,” Treyirle added. Blu smiled amidst her tears. Wiping them with the back of her paw, she calmed herself down.
“I suppose we’ve gotta get you outta here, so you can set things righ’ with the world, eh?” Mephtik smiled at Blu, who smiled back. “Fortunately, yer lookin’ at the Elephante who can getcha outta here quickly and quietly.” Mephtik jangled his key ring in front of the iron barred door. Quickly selecting a rusted iron key, he unlocked Blu’s cell door with a soft click. Blu laughed, throwing her arms around the loveable giant.
“Thank you so much, Mephtik,” Blu whispered. She couldn’t thank Mephtik enough for being a friend when she really needed it.
“Don’t get all soft on meh now, poppet! Yer gonna take ‘em all on an’ win! Good luck to ya! Now go on, an’ get outta here!” Mephtik smiled. That Gelert was going to do something great. He wasn’t sure how he knew or what she would do, but there was something about her...
“Good luck, you’re gonna need it, where I’m going if I get there at all!” Treyirle cried a goodbye to Blu.
Blu waved to the two and then swam swiftly and silently out the door. Mephtik waved until the doors shut behind her then settled down in his wooden chair again.
“Tha’ girl, she’s gonna do somethin’ great. I don’t know what, but she’s gonna do it. She’s stronger than she knows she is. I can sense some untapped power inside o’ her. Can’t ya?” Mephtik sometimes conversed with Treyirle when he had something on his mind. There wasn’t anyone else to talk to, and Treyirle could actually say something that made sense.
“Destined for anything at all.” Treyirle nodded in agreement. He may have gone insane, but the blurred edges of his sanity actually helped him to sense things others couldn’t. That Gelert was a force to be reckoned with. Those markings meant something, but Treyirle couldn’t remember what. Whatever it was, when Blu found out, her destiny would change forever.
“Well, Trey, I think it’s time ol’ Meph got some sleep. It’s been a long day.” Mephtik interrupted Treyirle’s thoughts. His slightly cracked mind wouldn’t let him revert to his previous thoughts, and he completely veered back into the dark, broken depths of his tortured mind.
“One full circle ‘til I’m nauseous!” Treyirle cried, falling back into his lapsed state of sanity. His insight had escaped him, and he was once again comfortably numb in his view of the world through his psychotic veil of thought.
“Well, I guess your lil bout of sanity’s gone, eh Trey?” Mephtik chuckled, “Ah well, I just hope Blu’s okay...”
And she was. For the moment...
To be continued...