The Adventures of Tarin and Zeke: The Dark Book - Part Four
Tarin and Zeke found themselves standing near the summit
of a cold, snowy mountain. Tarin shivered as a gust of frigid wind blew over him.
If he had known that they would land in the mountains, they would have dressed
for it. But that couldn't be helped. Not now. The recorder had vanished.
They looked around at saw many other mountains
in the area, but none quite as high as the one they stood on. Tarin was wondering
what they were doing in the mountains, when Zeke whispered, "Look! Over there!"
He gestured toward a guard tower, where a Darigan Uni and Mynci could be seen
quite clearly at the top. They turned around and saw large, black double doors
in front of them.
"I think I know exactly where we are," said
"Yeah," whispered Zeke. He looked a bit nervous.
"Well, we'll have to go on. There's no turning back. The recorder's vanished,
and we'd have a pretty hard time trying to get out of these mountains with all
those guards around. I don't even know this place."
"Should we, then?" asked Tarin. "Should we go
Before Zeke could answer, the doors swung open.
A Darigan Lupe walked out. He was armed with a short sword, a bow, and a quiver
of arrows. He looked surprised to see a little Kacheek and a blue Eyrie standing
"What are you doing here?" he asked, quickly
fitting an arrow in his bow and pointing it at Tarin. "Speak!"
"We, uh...." muttered Tarin.
"Who are you?" asked Zeke.
"A knight, that's who," said the Lupe. "I asked
you what you're doing here."
"Who do you work for?" persisted Zeke.
The Lupe glared at him and aimed the arrow between
Zeke's eyes. "The Faerie Narcissa, and I'm only asking you once more-!"
"Her?" asked Tarin. "So, we were right?"
"Ah, that explains everything," said the guard,
beckoning at someone inside a hall. A Darigan Eyrie walked out and drew a short
sword. "You're Tarin and Zeke, those little pests that Lady Narcissa took that
book from, aren't you?"
Tarin looked at Zeke. By this point, they were
almost able to communicate silently. Zeke nodded after looking into his friend's
"Alright, you have us," said Tarin, raising
his hands above his head.
Zeke followed suit. "We surrender," he said.
The Darigan Lupe and Eyrie looked at each other,
then they lowered their weapons.
"You're coming with us," said the Eyrie, after
he sheathed his sword.
Tarin and Zeke looked at each other, then smirked.
"I don't think so!" said Tarin. He leapt at
the Lupe, taking him by surprise, and punched him under the chin.
"YEOUCH!" cried the Lupe. When his bottom jaw
was hit, he had bitten into his tongue. "Why, you...."
He grabbed at Tarin, who dodged him easily.
Behind them, Zeke was wrestling his Darigan counterpart. He socked him over
the wing. The Darigan Lupe whipped out his sword.
"I have orders to bring you in alive, or destroy
you, whichever one you prefer," said the Lupe, grinning.
Tarin wasn't armed. He backed away quickly and
ran down a narrow path on the side of the mountain. He heard the Lupe shouting
behind him. He stumbled and rolled sideways down the path. Then, he slipped
and fell seven feet. He landed on his side, and the Darigan Lupe flew down next
"I suggest you look up there," said the Lupe,
pointing at the cliff behind Tarin.
Tarin couldn't help himself. He looked, and
he saw the Darigan Eyrie, sword drawn, standing over Zeke, who lay on the ground,
his paws bound behind his back.
"You!" breathed Tarin. He glared up at the Lupe,
"You can continue trying to fight and lose your
friend, or you can come quietly and his life will be spared, for now," said
the Darigan Lupe. "It's your choice."
Tarin wasn't about to lose his best friend.
He looked at his feet. "I-I give up," he said.
The Darigan Lupe laughed cruelly. He picked
up Tarin by the scruff of his neck and pinned him to the cliff. Tarin felt his
paws being tied tightly behind his own back, and he knew it was over.
"Let's go," said the Darigan Eyrie. He began
dragging Zeke up the path and to the doors. The Lupe flew up next to him. In
minutes they were dragged through the double doors and into a castle.
It was nothing like Meridell Castle or Fyora's
castle. There were purple tapestries hanging on the walls and a dark red rug
ran down the center of the floors. Portraits on the walls depicted the same
Dark Faerie that had stolen the evil book from them. Narcissa.
The red rug ran all the way to another set of
double doors. They were deep purple and had a black gem set in the center of
each one. A guard, a miserable-looking Darigan Krawk, stood outside the doors,
"We're here to see Narcissa," said the Darigan
Lupe. "We've captured those kids she mentioned."
"Huh? Oh. Alright...." the Krawk said. He opened
a door, and Tarin and Zeke were dragged inside, and down towards a throne, where
Narcissa sat. They were thrown forward and landed on their chests. They got
up slowly, but only rose to their knees.
"We've captured the Kacheek and Eyrie you told
us to find, milady," said the Darigan Lupe, bowing.
"They were right outside the front doors," said
the Eyrie, also bowing.
"So, you came to stop me from using this book,
did you?" asked Narcissa, looking down upon her captives triumphantly.
"Well, yeah," said Tarin. "Of course we did.
You're evil, so, naturally, being good guys, we wanted to thwart you."
"And you failed," said Narcissa. "I would have
you executed, but having you locked up for the rest of your miserable lives
would be more fun."
'Keep her talking,' Tarin thought nervously.
'Distract her long enough to come up with a plan.' Then, he asked, "Since there's
no way we'll ever escape from this well-guarded castle, why exactly did you
take that book, your evilness?"
Narcissa stared at him for a minute. "Well,"
she said. "You're actually right. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to tell you. You
won't be able to run off and get Fyora, anyway. I simply wanted the book, because
with the dark magic in the book, I could do many things, like hypnotizing weak-minded
"And you sent those guards after us when we
were in Meridell, too didn't you?" asked Zeke angrily.
"Yes, I did," replied Narcissa. "And I've obviously
failed. If it weren't for Illusen, you'd be hanging from the dungeon ceiling
by your ankles right now. Not that you won't be soon. Of course, there would
indeed be many other things I could do. I could create a vast army, unlike one
Neopia has ever seen before. I could turn forests into volcanic regions and
kill crops. I could turn Jeran Borodere against his king. Hmmm! Sounds like
fun! I could even imprison or destroy Fyora herself."
"It'll never work," said Tarin. "You're no match
for the Faerie Queen!"
"Oh, I will be the Faerie Queen soon, you little
pest," said Narcissa. "There's nothing you can do about that. You've lost."
"Not yet, we haven't!" said Zeke.
"Really?" asked Narcissa, in mock surprise.
"You're both pathetic. Guards, take them away. They can rot in the dungeons."
The Darigan Lupe and Eyrie bowed again, then
they seized Tarin and Zeke and dragged them backwards out of the throne room
and down a flight of stairs, through a door, and down another hall. They stopped
at a door and unlocked it. A scary sight met Tarin's eyes.
They had entered the dungeons. They were cold,
smelly, and only lit by a few torches sitting in brackets along the walls. There
were a few cells. Tarin and Zeke chained to a wall across from a table by their
wrists. A Darigan Grarrl sat at that table. The Lupe and Eyrie left.
Looking around, Tarin and Zeke saw another Darigan
Lupe in a cell. His head was on his paws, but he was not asleep, he was depressed.
"We rarely use these dungeons, kids," said the
Grarrl. He had seen them looking at the imprisoned Lupe. "There are times when
Narcissa orders us to lock up traitors or enemies. You're very young, though.
Dull Fangs over there," he said, lowering his voice to a whisper and indicating
the Lupe, "wasn't very happy with one of Narcissa's decisions. He'll be gone
in a few weeks, if you get my drift."
Tarin shivered. "And are you happy working for
that old bat?" he asked.
The Grarrl raised his eyes. "Are you kidding?"
he asked. "NO. I hate life here. Narcissa's the worst. She's possibly more evil
than Kass, as far as evil dictators go. She was banished from Faerieland, and
those loyal to her were banished as well. I'm here because I'm strong and I
have sharp teeth, and I don't want anything to happen to my kids...." He blinked
away a tear.
"You were blackmailed?" asked Tarin. "I'm sorry.
I wish there was something I could do to stop all of this, but I'm stuck now.
I've failed. I should have told Fyora I couldn't do this. I should have gone
home to Katie."
The Grarrl looked up at him again. "You came
on a mission for Fyora?"
The guard stood up and took a set of keys from
the wall. Then, he peeked out into the hall. He came back in and quickly unlocked
Tarin and Zeke.
"What are you doing this for?" asked Zeke, suspiciously.
"I'm letting you go to stop Narcissa," said
the Grarrl. "I know I'm risking my life doing this, but if you can at least
get away or do something, it'll be worth it." He looked at the imprisoned Lupe.
"But if you breathe a word of this to anyone-!"
"I'm taking the secret to my grave, old friend,"
replied the Lupe in a deep voice.
Tarin looked at Zeke. They had one more chance.
To be continued...