A Mysterious Heir: Part Four
Syri couldn’t take it anymore. “I am the princess of Mysica! Answer my question right now!”
The reaction she got was nothing like the one she had expected. The stranger, a Darigan Pteri, didn’t gasp and wonder how this could be, his eyes didn’t even widen in fear... he just smiled. “Believe me, I know exactly who you are.” He paced back and forth for several seconds, just long enough to upset the Xweetok even more. “I am Lord Vyroske; however, you can just call me uncle.”
Syri could sense his amusement as he watched her face fill with shock. Of all Neopians... it just had to be her uncle. Suddenly, Syri sprang to her feet in realization. “You!”
“Me?” An innocent look spread across the Pteri’s face, and Syri growled in frustration.
“Yes, you. I’d been wondering who the one that left me in that forest was... It was you. And don’t even try to play dumb with me.”
Vyroske shrugged. “What can I say? You were an inconvenient little pest who was in my way. I had to get rid of you somehow.”
“But you never considered I’d figure out my true identity, did you?” Syri asked slowly.
The evil lord paused and gave her question some thought. “No, I’ll admit I never expected you to show up here claiming to be the princess.”
“What do you mean, ‘claiming?’ We both know I’m Mysica’s princess.”
“Is that right? And what proof do you have of that?”
Syri hesitated. She hadn’t even considered what she would use for proof. “I don’t know,” she whispered in defeat.
Vyroske smiled triumphantly. “Now then, are you going to come quietly or do we have to do this the hard way?”
The frightened Xweetok quickly made up her mind and yelled loudly, “Help! Mother, Father, Kora! Please, help me!”
The evil Pteri roared with laughter. “They can’t hear you, my precious niece. Your gullible mommy and daddy are off in search of some Dark Faeries that have been causing trouble. And I assume Kora is the name of your annoying little Wocky friend? Yes, I know about her. In face, I imagine she’s getting to know my guards rather well at the moment.”
Syri’s heart skipped a beat. “She has nothing to do with this!”
“Oh, but she does. Dear Kora has helped an imposter reach Iscalle Castle in a conspiracy to claim Mysica’s throne! And alas, who else but brave, heroic Lord Vyroske was there in time to stop the traitors?”
But the Xweetok wasn’t having any of it. “Why would anyone believe you?”
Vyroske sneered. “Funny, I was just about to ask you that very same question.”
Syrietta finally gave in. She was outsmarted, had no power, and her only ally had been captured by Vyroske’s guards. What else was left to do? “Fine, you win. Throw me in the dungeon or whatever you plan to do. Just get it over with.”
Her evil uncle smiled. “Somehow I knew you’d see it my way.”
Never before in all her life had young Syri felt so defeated. Sitting on a rotting chair in a damp, gloomy dungeon wasn’t exactly what she’d had in mind when she arrived at Iscalle. If she had known this was in store, she wouldn’t even have come in the first place. All the Xweetok could think about was wasting away in her new home for the rest of her days. Even worse, she didn’t know what had become of Kora. If something happened to her, Syri would never be able to forgive herself...
CLANG! A nearby noise put her restless thoughts on hold. She blinked quickly, trying to force herself out of whatever illusion this was. CLANG! There was that noise again—it sounded closer this time. But what in Neopia...? CLANG! As the noise came a third time, Syri finally realized where it was coming from. Only a few feet away, a tired-looking brown Eyrie was hovering just on the other side of her cell window. How had Evon found her?!
Syri leaped to the window in disbelief and stared at her savior. He frowned in return, not exactly the reaction she had been hoping for. He made a quick motion with his paw and Syri tried to figure out what it could mean. She watched Evon grow more and more irritated until he finally pointed to the corner of her cell that was farthest from the window. She raised an eyebrow at this strange command but trotted over to where he had pointed.
Syri’s eyes widened as she made the connection. The Xweetok covered her ears and squeezed her eyes shut, waiting for the—CRASH! Sure enough, Evon was standing among shards of glass when she opened her eyes. Emotion flooded over her and she rushed forward, flinging her arms around the Eyrie. “Oh thank you, Evon! Thank you for rescuing me!”
It could have been a trick of the light, but Syri thought she saw Evon’s face turn slightly red. “Uh, you’re welcome.” He looked around in confusion. “Where’s your annoying friend?”
“Kora?” Syri took a step back. “I thought she was with you! How else would you know where I am?”
It was no trick of the light. The Eyrie’s face was definitely reddening. “Um... I just... I was worried you two might get into some trouble so I kinda, sorta... followed you.”
The Xweetok couldn’t decide if hearing that made her feel better or simply creeped her out. “Well, thanks, I guess... but where could Kora be?”
“Hmm... does Kora have any fears?” asked Evon.
“Not that I can think of,” Syri replied, her brow furrowed. “Wait! There was one time she wouldn’t climb a mountain with me because she insisted it was too high... she’s afraid of heights!”
Evon nodded. “The guards must’ve locked her up in one of the towers.”
“Then what are we waiting for? To the tower!”
“How are you doing down there?” an exhausted voice asked. The voice belonged to Evon, who was carrying a considerably larger amount of weight than he normally did. Dangling a few feet below him, her paw wrapped around his back leg, was Mysica’s princess. Together, the Eyrie and Xweetok were on a mission to rescue their friend Kora.
“I’m fine—you’re the one I’m worried about,” admitted Syri.
This surprised Evon. “Why are you worried about me? I’ve flown many times, but I doubt you have.”
“Well... okay, but don’t overexert yourself.”
The Eyrie grunted. “Is that an order, Your Highness?”
Syri rolled her eyes. “Now you’re starting to sound like Kor—” she stopped midsentence. “Oh... so you know about that too, huh?”
“Like I said, I was worried,” Evon mumbled.
The Xweetok knew his face was turning red, so she decided to drop the subject. “Is that the tower just ahead?” she asked, pointing to a violet turret not far away.
“Yep, that’s where we’re going,” Evon replied, glad to be talking about something else. “As soon as we get up there, I’m going to set you on the tower’s peak for a moment so I can shatter this window just like I shattered the other. I’ll be quick, so you needn’t worry about slipping or anything. Is that okay with you?”
Syri thought it was sweet that he didn’t want her to crash through the window as well. It seemed like his main priority really was protecting her. “That’s fine with me, but please don’t hurt yourself!”
The Eyrie just laughed. “As you command, Princess.”
Syri began to growl lightheartedly but soon decided it simply wasn’t worth the effort. In seconds, Evon had reached the tower and was ascending to the very top. He hovered above the peak and watched Syri let go of his leg, clinging to the tip instead.
“I’ll be back for you just as soon as I break this window,” Evon told her.
Syri nodded and gulped as the Eyrie flew away. She hadn’t realized it would be this high... looking down, Iscalle’s mansions were no bigger than her paw. The Xweetok squeezed her eyes shut. CRASH! The familiar sound of glass breaking was a very welcome one indeed as Evon soared back to the top. He looked amused, causing Syri to wonder how he could possibly be enjoying himself.
“She’s in there, all right,” he assured her, the amusement still on his face. “Here, come see for yourself.”
In confusion, Syri grabbed hold of his back leg again and held on for dear life. Thankfully, it took only a moment until she was safely in the tower as well. She released Evon’s leg and looked around, but there was no sign of Kora. Panic set in and the Xweetok ran forward. She searched under a stuffy-looking chair, desperate to find her friend.
Syri, bewildered, turned her attention to Evon, who was perched on the window ledge, a twinkle in his eye. Just as Syri was about to ask him what was so funny, something heavy knocked the wind out of her and everything went black.
To be continued...