The Adventures of Lisha and Jeran: Heroes Never Die: Part Five
The wind and rain beat heavily on the scrawny Bat-Thing
as he fought his way through the gale towards his Citadel. No, Kass's
Citadel. The name tasted bitter on his tongue. Bitter with… not contempt. Not
any form of hatred at all. Bitter with regret. He had led Kass, and all of his
people, down a road of violence and war. He was no better than his father.
You're thinking of someone, Dari? asked
Faith the white Weewoo, bracing himself as another gust of wind blew through
the region. He and Darigan had a telepathic link that had been forged when the
bat-creature had healed the Weewoo's broken wing. Your father. I can tell.
"Yes," Darigan said quietly. "Faith… Am I really
like Hadrunn? My father… he robbed a nation of the Orb. Their most valued possession.
Tried to take the easy route out of kingship…"
The proverbial apple never falls far from
the tree. Faith said in his usual blunt manner. Me, I never knew my parents.
But if they're anything like me, they must have been a treacherous pair. Corrupt
and greedy, selfish backstabbers.
"Don't be so hard on yourself," Darigan said.
"Besides, how did this conversation turn to you? We're talking about me, remember?"
A score of feet below, Darigan saw a troop of
battle Unis thundering their hooves. Just what Meridell needed to make the storm
complete. Darigan knew that it was far too late to stop this storm from coming.
He just hoped that it would pass quickly, and not do too much damage.
On one of the Unis, Darigan saw his former foe.
Sir Jeran Borodere, the Champion of Meridell. Had he ever looked evil in Darigan's
eyes? Had he ever seemed to be a beastly monster? The bat-thing could see none
of that now. Only a young Lupe, trying to do the right thing.
He could understand how hard that was.
With a warm gust of floral-scented wind, the
storm-clouds were pushed aside. Kass's troops were drained of all of their unnatural
strength. They looked at each other in puzzlement, while Darigan laughed. A
bell-like cry rang through the heavens. "Meridell Forever!"
I believe that's my cue, Faith said,
his beak curled in what Darigan swore must have been a smile. Faith flared his
wings, letting the newborn sunlight reflect off of them, then went into a steep
dive. He zoomed downward, in freefall. Falling, falling right past Jeran and
his troops. The sunrays splashed on him like liquid light, illuminating his
red, blue and gold stripes. A heartening cheer from the troops of Meridell as
Jeran lifted his sword triumphantly. Faith continued to plummet towards the
ground like a feathery stone. At the last minute, when he was inches from the
ground, he flared his wings again, casting my vision into a sea of red, gold
and blue. And he rose again, shining like a snow-white star. More beautiful
than ever before.
Once he was sure that the knights' attention
was back on the Citadel, Faith flew over to Darigan again. "That was amazing,"
The bat-thing said in awe.
"Pretty," said a bell-like voice behind us.
I whirled around to see an air faerie wearing a cornflower-blue dress and flaxen
hair. Beside her was a light faerie in a silver, full-length, 18th-century-style
gown. The light faerie's eyes were silver-grey, her hair was jet-black and her
wings were gold touched with glittering silver. "I'm Psellia, Breeze-child of
the Storm-Cloud Air Clan. But you can just call me Psellia," the air faerie
said with a giggle. "This is my friend, Astael the Reborn Star of the Renewed
Hope Light Circle. She used to be a grey faerie. Not fun."
Astael nodded solemnly. "Not fun at all. It
was horrid. About three years ago, I was an average air faerie like Psellia
over here. Then, I met Jennumara. A terrible dark faerie. She promised me riches,
power, everything, if only I would tell her where to find my family's clan.
Like a fool, I told. And she ripped my wings…
"For years, I cowered in a cage on a mountainside,
wondering what had become of my family. I was scorned by dark faeries. In my
waking, in my sleeping, throughout my life. I had fallen…
"Until I was rescued. Now, I'm a reformed faerie.
No more answering to promises of power or wealth. I'm trying to redeem myself.
Trying to help other lands, free other faeries. Because I'll never forget the
time I spent in that cage, fallen." She turned her face away in shame. "There
are times when I wonder if my family will forgive me for betraying them. If
I can forgive myself for betraying them…"
"I know what that's like," Darigan said, curious
about these two winged strangers. "To fall, to mess up so badly that you don't
think you'll get a second chance."
Faith nodded. Ditto.
"Well, that's what we're here to give you, silly!"
Psellia said, giggling again. Oddly enough, her giggles weren't annoying. In
fact, they had an odd charm to them. "A second chance. Come here."
Cautiously, Darigan flew towards the two faeries,
a mixture of curiosity and dread filling the pit of his stomach. What were they
going to do to him? He kept flying until he was face-to-face with Astael. She
put one of her slender, fair hands on his chest, singing in a deep voice like
"For he has fallen,
From the light, from the truth.
Return him to the path,
Guide him to his destiny.
Guide him, silver star,
Through this terrible, dark storm.
Guide him to the one that he must free.
Guide him to the battle he must fight.
Guide him to the light."
Darigan closed his eyes, feeling a warm sensation
crawling across his skin, reaching down to his core. Every inch of him felt
rejuvenated, ready to face whatever might come his way. In the back of his mind,
he was vaguely aware of the fact that he was growing, and that his burlap-sack
clothing was changing. But he paid it no heed. On that back of his eyelids,
a thousand colors rippled like waves in a pond. Red, gold, blue. Purple and
black. Orange, green, silver, grey, yellow, pink… a rainbow. Faces flashed before
his eyes. Galgarrath, a loyal commander until the end. Vex, the most cunning
dungeon keeper he knew. Kass, the traitor. Lisha, a foreigner who didn't seem
so strange. Skarl, a once-hated enemy. Morris and Boris, only children. And
Sir Jeran Borodere, the valiant Lupe-knight.
"You can open your eyes now," Astael suggested.
Darigan did. And he found that he had changed
His once skimpy burlap sack was now a dignified
toga, covering a strengthened body. His face was more dignified and less bat-like.
"You'll need the extra strength to fight Lord Kass," Astael said. "And before
we part, I have one more gift for you." In her hands, we conjured an orb of
golden light that glittered like a mine full of diamonds. With a sharp pang,
Darigan saw the similarity between this and his own Orb, so long ago. Using
her hands to mold the light like clay, she rolled it into a long, sturdy rod
and fashioned one end into four super-sharp sickles, protruding from the end
like claws. With a few muttered words from her lips, the rod changed from light
to wood, and the sickles became the keenest steel. "Use this wisely, Darigan,
Redeemed," she said. "Go, and defeat the evil one."
Darigan nodded and began to fly away, but a
strange feeling in his spine stopped him. He turned back to the faeries. "How
did you know my name?"
Astael smiled mysteriously, and made a zipper
motion across her lips. Psellia giggled again. "We've been following your story
for some time now, Darigan!" She said in her usual hyper-perky manner. "How
do you think you crawled out of that depressing hole in the ground in the first
Astael glared at her friend and raised her hand
as though she were going to slap her. Thinking better of it, she turned to face
Darigan again. "It's a long story."
"I've got time," Darigan said, folding his arms
Faith shook his head. Actually, Darigan,
we might want to move towards the Citadel now so we can prevent Meridell's troops
from being ground into a pulp.
"We've got time," the former Citadel ruler said
firmly, using his "I'm-leader-and-that-means-I'm-right" voice. It had always
worked on Galgarrath. Faith made a gesture that looked like a shrug, but it
was hard to tell because he had wings.
"If you insist," Astael replied, looking like
she was honestly going to slap poor Psellia. "You see, you were never really
dead. Your life was just contained in the power of the Orb. No one, not even
the most skilled mage, can bring back the dead.
"Anyway, the magic of the Orb still exists.
It's severely weakened, but it exists. I found the two halves of the Orb lying
in a Meridellian treasure room under tight security. Treasure, pah! Most of
that treasure is bronze plates smeared with mustard, gravy and other bits of
Skarl's food. But anyway, I tapped into their power and found your life lying
there. And then Psellia and I withdrew it from the Orb. Took a lot of power.
Five days we were in that chamber, sweating and groaning with the effort. But
the Orb relinquished you, and we reunited you with your body."
For a few moments, Darigan hovered there in
silent shock. Then, one word escaped from his lips. "Why?"
"We weren't going to let Meridell be destroyed
by the forces of Kass," Astael said with a smile. "And you were the one predestined
to free the corrupt one from the demons of his own mind."
"Demons?" Darigan asked, gesturing for Astael
"Faerie-kind knows them as Sra Tre Rav'corien.
The Three Dark Hearts. Others know them as the Three. Some of our greatest scholars
question whether they truly exist. Whether they're shadows dreamed up by insane
and broken minds. It's impossible to tell, seeing as everyone who they conquer
has some sort of mental illness or problem with pathological lying. Most of
the records we do have of them describe them as three demons. Lady Gathelianne,
the Lady of Ambitions. A graceful, fair dark faerie wearing a circlet made purely
of diamonds and a cloak of black velvet. Lord Ranagro, Lord of Revenge. A tall,
dignified-looking Gelert wearing a black suit of armor. And Nuntio, Master of
Greed. An ogre-like Skeith with a hunchback."
"And these demons are controlling his mind?"
"And I'm supposed to free him from them?"
We're crossing the boundary on weird, here,
said Faith, with his usual dry chuckle.
"No…" Darigan muttered. "There's something familiar
about that story. About those Three. Sra Tre Rav'corien. I've heard that phrase
Do you know anyone who speaks the language
of the faeries? No. So you probably never heard it before. Must've been something
similar, like "I taste raving ice cream" or something…
"Be quiet!" Darigan snapped, putting one of
his hands on his head in thought. "A fair-skinned faerie, with raven-black hair
containing steaks of silver. Wearing a velvet cloak and… something else. A necklace…
A skull with green feathers protruding from it… And the other two… A Gelert
with a broadsword. An old one, with lots of chips and dents in it. And the Skeith…
nothing extraordinary about him. But for his unnatural strength… Those faces…"
Faith gave a snort. Dari's losing it.
"I'm not losing it! I saw their faces before!
And I know where! Reflected in a golden shell of the Orb! They sent me on my
rampage to destroy Meridell! They said I was greedy, ambitious, vengeful enough
to be supreme ruler of the world! Through the Orb, they spoke in voices like
the ringing of steel on steel. And I listened to those voices. And I loved those
voices. They'd lull me to sleep each night, be the first thing I heard in the
morning. Such sweet voices."
Dari lost it a long time ago.
"Put a cork in it, please!"
"They spoke to you?" Astael asked in surprise.
"You didn't think it was the Orb alone that
drove me insane?" Darigan replied. "No, the power wasn't enough to corrupt my
mind. The power, plus the Three… now that's a recipe for disaster."
"They were acting through the Orb…" Astael thought
out loud, rubbing her temples with her index fingers. "As shadows, they can't
manifest themselves physically. Meaning they'd need another object to work through.
Of course! They controlled you like a puppet, using the Orb as the marionette's
strings. When the Orb was destroyed, so was their hold on you."
"So all I have to do is destroy the object that
Sra Tre Rav'corien are using to control Kass!" Darigan did a loop-the-loop in
midair, laughing with the glee of finally figuring it out. "But what object
could they be using?"
"Something that he keeps with him at all times."
Astael said, twirling her hair around one finger. "Not his sword or his armor.
He doesn't have those all of the time. In fact, it's probably an article of
clothing. Like a shirt or a pair of shoes or…"
A shrieking cry resounded through the air. The
voice of someone without hope. Darigan knew that voice. "Jeran!"
He glanced at the Citadel, then back at Astael
and Psellia. "Thanks for everything! But I've got to go. I've got a Citadel
And with that, he and Faith sped into the night.
The Final Battle
For a few brief moments, Kass stood at the edge of the Citadel, staring at
the long drop down in amazement. Why had Jeran cheated him of his precious revenge?
Why had Jeran let go of his own accord? Why?
Ahh, it doesn't matter, he thought. The
fact is; the Lupe is dead. And I'm that much closer to reaching my goal.
Feeling the sheer glee in his veins, he gazed down at Meridell and laughed.
A laugh that could tear your soul to shreds. "Muahahahah!"
"NOOOO!" Morris and Boris cried in unison. Realizing
that those two were still present, Kass turned towards them. What in the name
of green Gruslens were they doing here? Surely Skarl wouldn't insult him and
his forces like this. "King Skarl sends children against me? How considerate."
Danner, who had managed to work free of his
Skeith-captor's iron grip, saw the children's peril. Only one thing to do
in a time like this, Danner. He thought to himself. Go after the enemy
in a subtle, unpredictable manner.
So he threw his sword straight at Kass's back.
Kass let out a cry of pain, letting go of his
sword. Unfortunately, Danner had forgotten about the Skeith behind him. Enraged
at the fact that Danner had injured his master, the Skeith clonked Danner on
the head with his sword hilt. Stars exploded in front of Danner's eyes. The
Wocky fell to the ground, dazed.
An infuriated Kass rubbed his injured back and
picked up his sword. Contempt filled his words as he glared at the blue Wocky,
friend of his hated foe. "He can join his commander. Throw him over the
side." The Skeith grinned like a child with a toy, picking the Wocky up as though
he were no more than a rag doll. "Up ya go, Danny!" He chortled. He tensed his
muscles, ready to throw… when something blocked his path. Something big, grey,
and wearing a toga.
And Kass's mind froze.
How… how could this be? Darigan was supposed
to be dead! People didn't come back from the grave! They just didn't! "You?
"Dead?" Darigan asked, his voice weighed down
by sorrow. "I thought I was dead, too."
A mixture of confusion and rage boiled in Kass's
veins. This wasn't how things were supposed to happen! This fool of a Bat-Thing
was messing up his plans! "A mistake I'll be happy to fix, old friend," He said,
his voice dripping with acidic contempt.
He was so close to gaining the revenge he had
always dreamed of. And some little winged pest wasn't going to stop him.
He grabbed Nalarus, his faithful sword, and
Darigan dodged the thrust and lunged with his
razor-edged staff, missing Kass by inches. "You were supposed to DIE, Darigan!"
Kass raged, nearly foaming at the mouth. "I'M the lord of the Citadel now!"
Darigan circled his one-time friend, his energies
solely concentrated on the battle ahead. The power that Astael had given him
could help him beat a low-level enemy like the Pant Devil, but without the Orb,
Darigan couldn't stand a chance against Kass. All the long years he had spent
training the young Eyrie and improving his stats had turned against him. You
had to appreciate irony like that…
"You can't last a minute against my power!"
Kass roared, his eyes glowing red. By now, he was more beast than anything else.
A beast of darkness and fury, a channel for the dark magic of Sra Tre Rav'corien,
the Three Dark Hearts.
He knocked Darigan down with the flat of his
sword. Unwilling to be beaten that easily, Darigan stood up again. He was facing
Kass, most of his energy depleted, trembling like a child. Kass had worked himself
into a terrible fury. One swipe of Nalarus, and it would all be over…
A mysterious bell-like laughter from afar. The
familiar twang of a bowstring, and Kass clutched his back in pain. Darigan turned
to face his rescuer. He was a mischievous green Draik in a dashing Robin-Lupe-style
hat and chain mail that was two sizes too large. He smiled, drawing his bowstring
again. Beside him, a cloud-colored Eyrie brandished a sword in the light of
the morning sun. "Don't hurt him, Kass," she threatened, "Or we'll overrun your
"Oh yeah?" Kass sneered. "You and what army?"
"Our army." The Eyrie raised her paws, gesturing
towards a band of the most unlikely soldiers. Peasants, nobles, merchants, sailors,
pirates. Tyrannians, Krawk Islanders, Mystery Islanders, Lost Desert citizens,
and citizens of Neopia Central. Scorchios, Ixi, Moehogs, Skeiths, Jubjubs, Lupes,
Chias, Grarrls… and so many more! Hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of them,
spread in every direction, brandishing every weapon from Wet Snowballs to Ghostkerswords.
Kass's Amulet flashed green. This would be a
piece of cake.
Carefully, he drew a tiny pinch of power from
the amulet at his neck, and rammed it into the Eyrie. That's all it took to
send her flying. "Anyone want to join her?" He asked. Some of the warriors surrounding
him looked rather shaken, but they all held their ground.
"Fine," Kass said. "Let the battle begin."
* * *
Martin was among those soldiers on Unis. The
yellow Lupe strategist had seen a lot of battles in his day, including the one
against the Spectre of Darigan. But this would be the greatest battle ever to
rock Neopia. Kass had far too much power. Too many lives would be lost. He had
to do something. He eyed the Citadel, then a small yellow Draik to his left.
An idea came to him. It was ruthless. But nevertheless, it was an idea. And
certainly the lesser of two evils. There was no way he could do it; he was too
large and old. But that Draik would be the best candidate for the job. "Kid,"
he whispered to the Draik. "What's your name?"
"Carron, sir," the Draik said meekly. "Carron
"Carron," Martin continued, "how would you like
to do a great and heroic service for Meridell?"
"What?" The Draik asked, his ears perked.
"Go underneath the Citadel," Martin said. He
could feel his voice cracking. This was a child! And he was asking him to go
on an insane, ruthless, terrible mission! "Beneath the west tower, there's a
place where the rock is thin. Use your sword to chisel away at it. When you
have a hole big enough, squeeze yourself through it. You'll hear the grinding
and hissing of engines. Follow that sound until you get to the engine room."
"What do the engines do?" Carron asked curiously.
"They help Morguss to keep the Citadel afloat,"
Martin answered. "Now at the back of the room, there's a master switch. Pull
"But wouldn't that…"
"Yes," Martin replied, his voice without emotion.
"It will cause the Citadel to fall. Not immediately; Morguss can keep it afloat
for some time. But not forever. Before long, the Citadel will fall."
"But that's insane!" Carron protested, horror
showing in his eyes. "Think about all the innocent people in the Citadel! Kass's
subjects have children, you know!"
"Just do it, okay!" Martin said dully. "It'll
be a quick end to the war. Fewer lives will be lost this way. It's better than
letting the war drag on…"
"Okay," Carron said obediently, drawing is Sword
of Domar and flying towards the Citadel. Thoughts swarmed through his head as
he flew. He would be responsible for the fall of the Citadel, and all of the
people in it! He felt as though his breakfast was making a comeback.
He followed Martin's instructions precisely.
Didn't take him long to hack through the weak stone of the Citadel's bottom,
and he found the engine room without trouble. The buzzing and whirring of machines
filled his ears, nearly drowning out his thoughts. His head felt as empty as
a drum, and the machines were the drummer, pounding a painful rhythm into his
skull. Stumbling across the room, he reached the master switch. And yet, he
couldn't pull it. Not knowing how many people would suffer on account of his
"An' then 'e said ter me, 'Vanthegann, yer nuisance,
git back ter yer post!' An' I said ter 'im, 'Who der yer think yer are?'"
Darigan-colored soldiers, coming into the engine
room. A Draik, two Cybunnies and a Lenny. Carron's breath caught in his chest
as the four came closer. Thanks to a machine riddled with slits for air ducts,
Carron was able to see the soldiers, but they couldn't see him. "Put a cork
in it, Vanthegann!" hissed the Lenny to the Draik. "I think I 'eard sumthin'."
"Prob'ly a rat," said the male Cybunny. "This
cursed place is full of 'em."
"No," said the female Cybunny. "It was a Neopet.
I knows it." The Draik came closer and closer to Carron. Around the slit machine.
"AHA! It's one of 'em Meridell folks! Prob'ly a spy, by the looks of IM"
"No!" Carron shrieked in terror. "I'm not a
"'onest," Vanthegann the Draik scoffed. "Yer
don' tell me nothin' 'bout 'onest. Why I'll…"
In panic, Carron pulled the switch. The monotonous
drone of engines ceased.
And Vanthegann looked at Carron in horror.
"What'd'ja do that for? Now we need ter set
the system up 'gain!"
Taking advantage of his enemy's shock, Carron
darted past him and back towards the hole. The two Cybunnies and the Lenny were
hot on his tail. "Intruder in the Citadel!" They shouted. "Intruder!" Thankfully,
most of Kass's army was on the battlefields and unable to help catch Carron.
The young Draik sped through his hole and saw Martin there waiting.
"Deed done, sir," Carron said breathlessly.
"Good work," Martin said. "Meridell will reward
you for it."
Wordlessly, Carron flew away. He couldn't accept
Meridell's reward. He had done them no favor.
* * *
Meanwhile, on a deserted plain outside Meridell,
Kasha lay on the grass. She wasn't crying. She had no tears left to cry. She
was just sort of… staring. Staring at the nothingness. It felt as though someone
had hollowed her out, and random thoughts were floating through the emptiness,
making thudding, booming sounds as they bounced off the walls. The Traitor's
Star blazed on her forehead, an eternal reminder of her wrongdoing.
A cry echoed through the fields. A despairing,
empty cry. She'd know that cry anywhere. "Jeran!"
Leaping to her feet, the Lupess struggled to
make sense of the thoughts in her head. Jeran was gone. Really and truly gone.
His words echoed through her head like a gong as she fingered the ring he had
given her. "I'll return to you, this I swear… Kasha, when this war is over,
I promise I'll spend much more time here at home. It'll be you and me, spending
our lives together…"
But that wouldn't be. It could never be.
She was alone again.
Alone, but not helpless. She had to do something.
But what? What could a rejected, traitorous Lupess possibly do? She had no food,
no money, and no fighting skills. What could she possibly do to help the knights
Magic. Magic was the one thing she still had,
the one thing she would always have. And her inner, magical senses were telling
her that time was running out. Kasha dashed through the fields, and back to
her homeland of Meridell.
* * *
It was just as it was in her dreams. Fire and
soot everywhere, burning the wooden houses of peasants. Petpets screeching in
fear. Children crying, parents shouting. People through the streets, surrounded
by flames on three sides. And even in the midst of this chaos, people paused
to stare at her. The odd one, walking by. Branded an outcast by the star on
And one of those gapers was Jacob, the Kyrii
Seeing her one-time mentor gawking like a daft
Mallard, Kasha tried to avoid him. But he leaped in front of her. Wordlessly,
he still stared at her forehead.
"Take a picture, it'll last longer," Kasha snapped,
tearing past Jacob. Outside one house, she saw a saddled Uni. His reins were
tied to a burning tree. Evidently, someone had tied him there and forgotten
him. Kasha darted toward him, but he backed away in fear. "Don' get near me,
ye… unna'ural fing!" he said, trying to maneuver his tongue around his bit.
"What're you going to do to stop me?" She asked,
stepping closer and closer. He backed away as far as he could. She untied him
and gripped the reins in her paws. He pulled away from her, but she controlled
him with a jerk of the reins. With one fluid motion, she mounted the Uni and
dug her heels into his sides. "Listen, buddy. See that big, dark, scary Citadel?
You're going to fly me up there."
"An' wha' if I refoose?" the Uni asked.
"You won't refuse," Kasha assured him, jerking
the reins again. "Now let's fly!"
He flapped his wings, complaining the whole
way about crazy Lupesses and their insane schemes to ruin his life.
Higher and higher they flew, dodging the steady
rain of novas falling from the skies. Finally, Kass Citadel was in clear view.
And it was a sight to see! Lord Kass and a small troop of Skeith and Eyrie guards
defending themselves against thousands upon thousands of Neopets warriors… and
holding their own very well. In fact… they almost seemed to be winning. They
are winning! Kasha realized in horror as she saw Neopets crashing down,
falling like the novas. Time to put my magical skills to work.
"Behave yourself," She warned the Uni, putting
all of the reins into her left paw and holding her right one aloft. She hummed
a quiet tune that Jacob had taught her, (Jacob! How she missed him!) And fought
back tears as she tried to concentrate all her energies into one thing; creating
a safety net of magic below the Citadel for the fallen. Not an easy task. Because
it covered such a large area, her magic was strained, and pocketed with rips
and holes. She had no crystal or trinket to magnify her magic. Only Jeran's
ring. Let's see if this thing will work, she thought, removing the ring
from her finger and channeling her powers into it.
For a few agonizing moments, nothing happened.
Then, the ring began to glow a soft violet color. It was working! The ring was
giving her the extra power she needed to mend the holes and strengthen the net.
She remained there until the battle was over.
Then, she landed the Uni onto the remains of a farmhouse and set him free. Finally,
exhausted from using up so much magic, she fainted.
* * *
Lisha also heard her brother's last despairing
cry. "Trouble is afoot," she said to Kayla. The two were still on Jeran's bed.
The Aisha wiped her teary eyes on her sleeve. "The storm is directly above us
now. We're unable to hide. The only thing left to do is embrace the lightning."
"Do what you think is right," Kayla said solemnly,
straightening her midnight-blue witch's cap. "And good luck out there. There
are a few Unis in the courtyard. Take one of those."
"Thanks, Kayla," Lisha said with a smile. Then,
she left the room and headed towards the courtyard, her mind abuzz. The reality
of Jeran's fall was just starting to hit her full force. Her brother was gone!
She had just gotten him back… and she was losing him again! Correction: She
had already lost him.
And it was Kass's fault.
Drawing her Wand of Ultranova, she stepped into
the courtyard and beckoned to a Uni. A young, female Uni from Neopia Central,
wearing a Tiki Amulet around her neck. One of the volunteer soldiers. "Ready
and waiting to take you wherever you like to go, Lady Lisha!" the Uni said with
a fake-cheerfulness. The poor girl was scared to death, but hiding it very well.
"Just get me to the Citadel," Lisha said, her
voice strained with weariness. The Uni nodded, and Lisha mounted the Uni. The
two took off.
What a sight to see! It seemed as though the
whole of Neopia was fighting against Kass. Creatures from all regions of Neopia,
all species, all walks of life were here, united. Neopians are a gutsy bunch,
Lisha decided. I'm glad to be one of them.
Her thoughts were interrupted by a piercing
shriek. Two Jubjubs who had been fighting against Kass had each been hit by
Nalarus, that monster sword that Kass carried around with him. Lisha watched
in horror as they went tumbling towards the earth. In the nick of time, a shimmering
violet safety net opened below them. One JubJub was caught. The other vanished
through a hole in the net. "You're not scared… are you?" She asked the Uni,
gripping her reins so tightly that her knuckles turned white.
"Terrified," the Uni replied. "But willing to
do this anyway."
"You're a brave girl," Lisha said. The Uni beamed
with pride. "Get us to the Citadel," Lisha commanded. "Drop me off there, then
get back to the courtyard. There may be a few more people who need transportation."
"Yes ma'am!" The Uni said, throwing a mock salute
with her left fore hoof. Lisha giggled. And the two rode towards doomsday…
Dodging fireballs and blasts of Kass's Amulet's
magic, the Uni was finally able to find a safe place on the Citadel to land.
She dropped Lisha off, and the Aisha dusted off her skirt. "For Jeran!" She
cried, waving her wand aloft.
"For Jeran!" the Uni echoed, sending a blast
towards Kass with her Tiki Amulet.
Big mistake. Kass turned and noticed the Uni
and Lisha, sister of his long-time foe, standing there. Sensing danger, Lisha
held her wand in a defensive position. The Uni did the same with her Amulet.
Kass let out a blast of green magic, straight
into the Uni's left wing. And she fell…
Lisha looked at Kass. Then at the place where
the Uni had been. Then back at Kass. "Why do you hurt so many innocent people?"
Kass didn't respond. Just sent another blast
of magic at Lisha. The Aisha dodged it, and sent an Ultranova towards the Eyrie
warlord. The nova was blocked, but in his haste to block it, Kass had left a
spot on his back unguarded. A young Moehog with a few battlecards sent them
flying into his back, causing the Eyrie to whirl around. Slowly, the tide of
the battle was turning. The fallen warriors in the net of magic gulped down
healing potions and rose again, more ready to battle than ever. Whoever created
the net has reduced the amount of casualties drastically. Lisha thought.
Finally, Kass fell to his knees, overwhelmed
by the attacks of the spirited Neopians. Seizing his opportunity, Darigan sent
the butt of his staff crashing down upon Kass's Amulet.
And the Amulet shattered.
To be continued...