Dark Friend: Part Six
Aillira bit her lip. She was still tied to the chair, and was trying to figure out how to escape. She moved her hands around as much as she could, then she suddenly couldn't help but notice how close the knot was to her fingers...
"Ah, yes..." Rose said smugly, "anytime now, that Indera will be no more..." She paced back and forth in front of Kiro, Cindon and Aillira. "Then we won't have to worry about her, any longer."
"That's what YOU think!" Aillira exclaimed. She then whipped her head to the side and smacked the Princess with her braid.
"Ow!" Rose rubbed her cheek. Aillira knew that she now had but a few seconds to try to untie the knot that held the ropes in place. Fortunately, that was all the time she needed.
"Ah!" Aillira smiled as the ropes binding her arms became loosened. She wriggled out of the ropes, just as Rose's cheek stopped stinging.
"Why, you--!" Rose glared at Aillira, who pulled out her Light Faerie Sword and pointed it at the Princess.
"Don't even think of trying any funny stuff!" Aillira shouted. Keeping her sword and eyes on Rose, Aillira leaned over and, with one hand, untied the ropes that bound her legs to the chair. She tossed the ropes aside, and stood up from the chair, still keeping her sword pointed at Rose.
"I can't let you escape!" Princess Rose replied, and she started charging at Aillira.
"I warned you!" Aillira kicked Rose in the chest and knocked her to the floor. Aillira then rushed over to Cindon and carefully cut him loose from the ropes.
"Thank you, Aillira," Cindon said as he hopped off the chair.
"Go help Kiro; I'll take care of her," Aillira replied, gesturing to the Princess.
"You can't get away with this!" Rose exclaimed.
"Watch us!" Aillira replied.
Rose grimaced as Cindon finished untying the ropes that bound Kiro. Kiro sighed, and got up off the chair, stretching his legs a bit. Aillira grinned.
"Now let's go find and help Dina!" Aillira said, making a gesture to the door.
"Hey!" Rose yelped, as Kiro rushed out the door, Cindon following him, and Aillira following after both of them. "I can't let you--" Rose groaned, once Kiro, Cindon and Aillira had all rushed out the door. "...escape... great... now I'll be in trouble... stupid time-out..."
* * * * *
"Where are you, Indera? I know you are in here... I can feel it." Yollinda looked intently across the Neopoint piles.
Laura held her breath. She could hear Yollinda's footsteps almost directly above her. She felt a tear drip from her cheek; she knew this could be the end.
Yollinda closed her eyes, and stood still for a moment. Then she opened her eyes again, grinned, and started digging into the Neopoints below her. Once she had dug for a while, she found Laura hiding in the Neopoints, holding Dina in her arms.
"There you are..." Yollinda said smugly, looking straight into Dina's eyes.
"Not so fast!"
Yollinda and Laura looked toward the doorway, where they saw Aillira, Cindon and Kiro standing. Laura smiled, Yollinda grimaced.
"What are you doing here?! I thought Princess Rose had taken care of you!" Yollinda yelped.
"Yeah, but then we took care of her!" Aillira replied. "Now we're gonna take care of YOU!"
"I didn't want to hurt you, Yollinda, but... you're not Yollinda, anymore," Kiro added.
"We will do what it takes to safeguard Dina," Cindon said.
Wanda dug herself out of the Neopoint pile. "...and I'm going to help, this time!"
Laura stood up, and nodded. "...Whatever it takes."
Yollinda looked around; all around her were pets who wanted to stop her. But that didn't stop her. She just chuckled a malefic chuckle.
"It does not matter how many of you try to fight me... I can, and will, defeat you all!" Yollinda shot several small, purple bursts of energy around the room.
"Watch out!" Wanda yelped, as everyone dodged Yollinda's attack.
"Alright, you're goin' DOWN!" Aillira charged at Yollinda with her sword.
Yollinda met Aillira's sword with the Royal Dagger, blocking the attack. Yollinda continued blocking Aillira's swings for a while, until eventually Yollinda threw Aillira to the side.
"You shall not win!" Yollinda exclaimed.
"Oh? Watch us!" Kiro replied, throwing some Neopoints at the back of Yollinda's head.
Yollinda winced slightly when the Neopoints hit her in the back of the head, but it didn't damage her any more than that. She turned around, her sharp gaze meeting Kiro's.
Kiro's eyes widened. "Uh-oh!" He jumped out of the way, just as Yollinda attempted to shoot him with a purple energy blast. He kept dodging the blasts, but ended up getting hit by one of them. He was thrown back to the wall, next to where Laura was.
"Kiro!!" Laura yelped, becoming worried about her friend.
Dina reached towards Kiro, but couldn't reach from Laura's arm. She kept reaching and exclaimed, "Ma!"
Laura realized what Dina was trying to do, nodded, and knelt down so Dina could reach Kiro. Dina touched Kiro on the shoulder and closed her eyes. A few seconds later, she and Kiro opened their eyes. The Mynci's eyes were now indigo, and the Xweetok's were light brown. They had swapped places.
"Eh?" Kiro looked around, confused that he was now a baby Xweetok.
"I'll explain later..." Laura told Kiro, as Dina hopped to her feet and began to run around.
Dina ran past Yollinda, shouting, "Hey, you!" Yollinda turned and looked at her.
Yollinda kept her eyes on Dina. "What, do you..."
"Ha!" While Yollinda was distracted, Cindon kicked her in the back.
"Why, you--!" Yollinda whipped around and attempted to slash at Cindon with the Royal Dagger, but Cindon dodged the attack by jumping into the air.
Before Yollinda could figure out where he went, Cindon did a dive-kick and struck her in the back of the head, knocking her to the ground. But that didn't knock her out. She rolled over and stood up, glaring at Cindon.
"Do not think you will--" Yollinda was interrupted, Wanda came up behind her and scratched her in the back. "OW!!"
"You know..." Wanda thought aloud, dodging Yollinda's stabs and energy blasts as she did so, "every time I scratch someone in the back, they always... ALWAYS scream 'OW!'"
As Wanda had Yollinda distracted, Cindon got his distance and took a breath. Dina ran to him, stopping just beside him.
"Okay, stand still for a moment..." Dina said to Cindon, as she touched him on the arm. They closed their eyes, stood there for a moment, then opened their eyes, again. Dina was now in Cindon's body and Kiro was back in his own.
"Huh?" Kiro was confused. "How'd I--"
"Go get Yollinda!" Dina exclaimed.
Kiro was still quite confused, but nodded and ran toward Yollinda, anyway. Yollinda was still distracted by Wanda, so Kiro had the chance to sneak up behind Yollinda and whack her in the back of the head with his tail.
"Grr!" Yollinda growled, and attempted to swing the Royal Dagger at Kiro as Wanda escaped into the piles of Neopoints.
"Aah!" Kiro ducked under Yollinda's swing, and jumped over her next. He bounced off Yollinda's head and landed on the other side of her.
"You think you are so--" Yollinda, once again, was interrupted when Wanda jumped out of the Neopoints below Yollinda and grabbed her.
"Well, you seem to be a bit outnumbered, don'cha?" Wanda exclaimed, as Yollinda tried to wriggle free from Wanda's arms.
"It does not matter, I will still defeat you all!" Yollinda replied, and there was a flash of purple and Wanda let go of Yollinda and was sent flying backwards into a Neopoint heap.
"Wanda!!" Laura yelped, running over to Wanda. "Are you okay??"
"Yeah... yeah, I'm fine..." Wanda stood back up.
"You'b bes be cautious," said Cindon, who was currently in Dina's body, "Yollinda is ex-dweem-ly bow-oh-ful."
"As I've noticed, but that's not gonna stop me!" Wanda ran toward Yollinda, claws readied.
"Do not be foolish..." Yollinda remarked, and got ready to poke Wanda with the Royal Dagger. Wanda swerved out of the way of the Royal Dagger and poked Yollinda's side with her claws.
"I'm smarter than you think!" Wanda exclaimed.
"Hmm, perhaps... but I can still outwit you!" Yollinda replied, elbowing Wanda in the chest. Wanda was knocked over by Yollinda's attack, and Yollinda suddenly had a booming advantage.
"Hey! Leave Wanda alone!" Aillira charged at Yollinda, sword readied. Yollinda blocked Aillira's attack with the Royal Dagger, and Wanda got a chance to slip away.
"Something's just not right about her..." Wanda thought aloud.
Then Dina came running up to Wanda. "You should rest a bit, Wanda," she said, then touched Wanda's shoulder and closed her eyes. Wanda also closed her eyes. When they reopened them, Dina was in Wanda's body and Cindon was back in his own.
"What an unorthodox experience..." Cindon commented.
"Come on!" Dina exclaimed. "We've gotta get Yollinda!"
Cindon nodded, and he charged at Yollinda and kicked her in the back. Yollinda swung the Royal Dagger at Cindon, who ducked under the attack, then stood back up and did an uppercut, hitting Yollinda in the chin.
"Ow!" Yollinda yelped, clasping a paw to her chin. Then Dina came up beside her and started scratching her in the side.
Yollinda swung the Royal Dagger at Dina, who ducked under the attack and continued scratching. Yollinda then did a low swing and Dina jumped over it. When Dina landed, Yollinda glared at her, straight into her indigo eyes. Then she smirked, and grabbed onto Dina's arm, tightly.
"Ahh... here you are, Indera," Yollinda said smugly.
Dina groaned, and attempted to get away from Yollinda, but Yollinda's grasp was too tight.
"You cannot get away; I will not let you escape!" Yollinda said.
"Hey, hands off her!" Aillira exclaimed, as she slashed Yollinda in the back.
"Aauugghh!!" Yollinda screeched, loosening her grip on Dina, allowing her to break free.
Dina gave a quick smile and wave to Aillira in thanks, then ran off. Aillira gave a brief nod back, then slashed at Yollinda, again. Yollinda blocked the attack with the Royal Dagger, then looked at her left front paw and extended her claws. With a grin, she swiped at Aillira with her claws, knocking her away for a moment.
Yollinda then charged at Aillira, with the Royal Dagger readied. Aillira was just barely able to block the Royal Dagger with her Light Faerie Sword, but the force of the attack threw her backwards into the door. The doors burst open, and Aillira fell backwards onto the floor in the hall. Yollinda charged after her, and Aillira continued blocking the attacks for a while as everyone inside the treasury took this moment to catch their breath.
"That was too close!" Dina gasped.
"Yeah, but I'm glad you're okay..." Laura sighed.
Dina nodded, then looked at Wanda, the baby Xweetok in Laura's arms. She looked into her yellow-green eyes, then touched her on the forehead. They both closed their eyes and stayed motionless for a moment, then they reopened their eyes. Dina was back to being a baby Xweetok, and Wanda was back to being a Faerie Bori.
"Ah, back to me," Wanda said with a sigh.
Kiro stepped forward, "Hey, what about Yollinda and Aillira?"
It was just then that Aillira stumbled back into the treasury, Yollinda chasing after her. Aillira was sweating and panting; she was getting to be exhausted. But Yollinda seemed just as active as ever.
"Aillira!" Wanda yelped.
Aillira looked over at Wanda briefly, then whipped around and blocked an attack from Yollinda. Wanda got a concerned look on her face, and turned to look at Cindon and Kiro. They nodded and ran over to Yollinda. Kiro attempted to punch her, but it ended up more like a weak smack, and Cindon kicked her. Both attacks hit Yollinda's same side, at the same time. This knocked Yollinda away from Aillira, to some extent, and Wanda came up to Aillira.
"You should rest for a while," Wanda told Aillira.
"Yeah..." Aillira nodded, and she walked over to where Laura and Dina were while Wanda, Cindon and Kiro distracted Yollinda.
"Oh... you look like you need a nice, long nap," Laura said to Aillira.
"I probably do..." Aillira panted. "Yollinda... she's so strong... it's unnatural."
"Watch out!" Kiro yelped, as he, Cindon and Wanda dodged an energy blast from Yollinda.
Yollinda chuckled evilly. "You are all so weak and useless... far too much so to even imagine defeating me!"
Aillira, although she was still tired, couldn't let Yollinda win. She charged at Yollinda from behind, sword readied, exclaiming, "That's what YOU think!"
Yollinda groaned in pain as Aillira slashed her in the arm. Yollinda clasped her arm and knelt down onto the Neopoints.
Wanda looked at Aillira with a slightly concerned look. "Aillira?"
Aillira gave Wanda a smirk, then exclaimed, "Come on, everybody! All at once!" There were some nods, then Kiro and Cindon ran over next to Aillira. Aillira grinned, "Okay, on three!"
Wanda smirked, "One..."
"Two..." Kiro readied himself.
"THREE!" Aillira exclaimed.
Then, all at once, Aillira, Cindon, Wanda and Kiro charged at Yollinda. They all struck her with their varying forms of attack, and Yollinda was sent flying backwards on impact. Her grasp on the Royal Dagger was loosened, and it flew from her paw and landed on a small pile of Neopoints. Yollinda also fell to the Neopoints, and was rendered unconscious.
There was a moment of awkward silence; everyone looked around at each other. Then Wanda finally spoke up, "So... did we win?"
Yollinda began to stir, and everyone else jumped with surprise. They prepared themselves for whatever might happen. Yollinda then sat up, and opened her eyes. Her eyes no longer looked cold or sharp; they were back to the way they were before she entered the castle.
"Huh...? Where am I? What... happened?" Yollinda looked around, confused.
"...Yollinda?" Kiro wondered, and he took a step closer to Yollinda. Wanda, Aillira and Cindon readied themselves, in case they had to fight some more.
"Kiro...? What... what happened?" Yollinda asked.
Kiro, slowly and steadily, began to inch toward Yollinda. "Can... you remember anything... at all?"
"I'm not sure, everything seems so fuzzy..." Yollinda attempted to stand up, everyone else jumped as she did so. "I remember running around and doing things... but I can't remember where I went or what I did... what is this place?"
Laura took a deep breath, then managed to say, "We're in Vladimyr Castle. The treasury, to be exact."
"The... castle?" Yollinda breathed. "Yeah... I remember... Kiro was showing me around... and then I heard this voice... calling me... they wanted me to..." Yollinda gasped, "Oh no! I didn't actually hurt someone, did I?"
"Yes, you did... and you did a fine job at it, also."
Aillira looked around. "Huh? Who... who said that?"
"That voice..." Yollinda thought aloud.
"Ha ha ha, yes. That is correct, Yollinda. I am the one who called you here."
"Where... where even are you?" Kiro looked around the room, nervously.
"Foolish Mynci... I am right over here."
The Royal Dagger began to lift itself off the ground. No one could believe their eyes; the Royal Dagger floated in the air, right in the middle of the room.
"No... could it be?" Wanda breathed. "Could the Royal Dagger itself...?!"
Aillira glared at the ruby-adorned weapon. "Who exactly are you?"
"I am the Royal Dagger; that is all you need to know."
"Wh-what do you want?" Laura swallowed.
"Heh heh... I wish to do what I was designed to do... destroy the Indera."
Dina tried to hide in Laura's arm, and Wanda stepped forward. "What did the Indera ever do to you?"
"Oh, many terrible things... much more than you can imagine."
"Why did you call me here?" Yollinda asked.
"Well, because Princess Rose could not help me defeat the Indera, I needed someone else... someone who would be willing to do what I wanted... that is when Yollinda came to Vladimyr village."
"But... why would Yollinda want to do what you want?" Kiro asked.
"It is very simple. You see, the weak-minded are very gullible... they can easily be manipulated to do your bidding."
"'Weak-minded'...?" Yollinda had a solemn look on her face.
"So... this entire time it was you commanding Yollinda," Cindon thought aloud.
"That is correct."
"And all those magical abilities Yollinda was using... was that her, or...?" Wanda asked.
"'Magical abilities'?" Yollinda looked confused.
"Ha ha ha... of course it was not her: she is not magical in any way. I was simply transferring my own power through her."
"What?! What in Neopia did I DO?!" Yollinda yelped.
"Well, first you knocked out a bunch of Shoyru guards..." Kiro started.
"...then you tried to kill us..." Aillira added. "Shooting big ol' energy bursts in every which direction..."
"Oh dear! Really?" Yollinda gasped.
"Yes, and you did it quite remarkably."
Yollinda bit her lip, and lowered her head. "I... can't believe I'd do such things..."
"Don't feel bad, Yollinda. You know you didn't mean to..." Kiro tried to comfort Yollinda.
"It was all the Royal Dagger..." Wanda growled.
"Heh heh heh... that is correct."
Laura glared at the Royal Dagger. "No matter what... I won't let you hurt Dina!"
"Ha ha... you talk big, for someone so weak."
"Whatever it takes..." Laura said with a nod.
"Heh heh, you do not have to worry. I will let you live this time, Indera, but next time, I assure you, I will not be so kind!"
Then the Royal Dagger fell to the pile of Neopoints below it, and everyone stepped back nervously as it did so. There was silence for a moment.
Wanda then broke the silence. "Come on, let's get out of here!"
Laura nodded. "Yeah, let's!"
And then everyone left the treasury and attempted to find their way out of the castle.
* * * * *
Once everyone had found their way outside, they took a moment to talk about what they had just experienced.
"The Royal Dagger... so it's actually... a living thing?" Wanda thought aloud.
"It sure seems so..." Laura replied, "the more I learn about this whole Indera thing, the more worried I get..."
"Well," Kiro sighed, "at least Yollinda's back to normal!"
"Uh, yeah..." Yollinda said, "Um... Laura? Well... whatever it was exactly I did back there... if I hurt you or anything... I'm sorry."
Laura nodded. "It's alright. It wasn't really even you."
"Eh!" Dina cooed.
"Oh... I hope I didn't scare Dina too much..." Yollinda sighed. "Little babies can get scared of lots of things..."
Kiro's eyes widened. "Oh, that reminds me! Jimmy, Timmy and Zack! They came looking for you, Yollinda... I told them to wait for us, like, an hour ago!"
"What?! Oh, they must be so worried!" Yollinda yelped. "Oh... I hope nothing bad has happened to them!" then she ran off.
"Yollinda, wait for me!" Kiro chased after Yollinda, and they faded off into the distance.
There was a moment of awkward silence, then Aillira asked, "So... now what?"
"I would recommend returning home to Faerieland, but that Gnorbu has not yet brought us that map..." Cindon replied.
It was just then that the green Gnorbu came running up, carrying a map. "Here, miss Faerie! I brought you the map!"
"Well, there you go," Wanda chuckled.
Aillira smiled. "Wow, thanks! You found my--!"
"Yep!" the Gnorbu interrupted Aillira. "Here's your map of Neopia. Now, where's my level?"
"I completed your quest; you're supposed to give me a level-up!"
"Oh, right..." Aillira sighed. Then she waved her arm in the air and the Gnorbu was surrounded by a bright light. After a few seconds, the light faded, and the Gnorbu smiled.
"All RIGHT!" The Gnorbu grinned. "Now I'm level two!"
Then the Gnorbu ran off, and Aillira rolled her eyes. "See? They're always so pushy... that's another reason I hate giving out quests!"
"Yes, but we now possess a map of Neopia!" Cindon replied. "So, now we can find our way home!"
"Ahh... I can finally sleep in my own bed, again!" Aillira sighed.
"So... you're leaving now?" Wanda asked.
"Yep!" Aillira nodded. "We can go home now that we don't have to follow the fair all over."
"...and now that we possess a map," Cindon added.
"Will... you ever come back and visit?" Wanda wondered.
"Sure, we will!" Aillira replied. "You're our friends; we have to stay in touch!"
Wanda smiled. "Yeah! And I'll Neomail you!"
"Maybe we'll even visit you, sometime!" Laura nodded.
"Ha, maybe sometime!" Aillira chuckled.
"And now... farewell!" Cindon said with a wave.
Then Aillira grabbed onto Cindon, and they flew into the sky, off into the distance until the Songdreams could no longer see them.
"Well, we should go home, too," Laura said to Wanda.
"Yeah, we should... it's getting really late," Wanda agreed.
And then the family headed back home, leaving another great adventure behind them. As they made their way back, they made some conversation with each other.
"Hey... while we were in the Royal Treasury... why didn't we grab some of those Neopoints? We could have used them..."
"Are you crazy? We could get in trouble for that!"
"Yeah, I guess you're right... but we really could have used some extra Neopoints... just think of how many different patterns of wallpaper we could buy!"
"I told you, Wanda... we're not getting new wallpaper!"
Author's note: And my sequel comes to an end. I had lots of fun writing it; I hope you had just as much fun reading it! Many thanks to dptdtkf for both proof-reading my story and helping a bit with that last fight scene! Thanks to TNT for letting this story into the Times! And thanks to everyone for whatever they may have done!