Tales From Number Five: Legend of the Ghostkersword - The Beginning
Far away, in the Darigan Citadel, bare and cold, there is a prison. Guarded by a cruel, lying prison warden named Master Vex, it contains many prisoners. Some are from the war with Meridell; even though the war had been over so long ago no one remembered exactly when it had been over, Lord Darigan had his 'reasons' for keeping them.
However, besides these prisoners of war, there are others. Perhaps the strangest of all is the Old Lupe, who goes by the name of Number Five.
The first thing one would think upon seeing Number Five was that he had probably been lost in Terror Mountain for far too long. If one researches further, one will find he's definitely crazy enough for that, but he was never lost in any mountain.
Usually, he sits in his cell, banging his stick and ranting about a place called Jelly World, a place he claims was filled with jelly, jelly that reached up to the highest mountains.
Most of the other prisoners ignore him, and rightly so, because doesn't talking with an insane Lupe just eventually make you insane? Not only that, no one believes in his tales about Jelly World.
However, Number Five has seen so many things in his long existence, aside from Jelly World. While he may not usually indulge in them, sometimes, he shares one of these stories with the other cell-mates. Some may scoff, passing his tales as nothing more than his usual yarns on Jelly World. However, sometimes, they're crazy enough to be true.
* * * *
Meekel watched anxiously as the guards came in. Well, the guards coming in was never a happy opportunity for any of the prisoners, but it was doubly hard for Meekel. Galgarrath, one of the guards, put a food plate into the cell, and growled but didn't comment.
Meekel wasn't feeling at all hungry at the moment, a feeling probably inspired by the fact that the two Darigan Skeiths that had taken him were visiting today. So, he let himself be content with watching what the guards did.
Barallus was hanging upside down in his cell. He was held upside down and chained with chains that were made of the hardest substance known, and was enchanted not only by faeries but by Lord Darigan's dark magic itself. His wings were encased in a thin but powerfully enchanted metal. As if all these precautions were not enough, a Loafing Laziness potion was slipped into his meals at all time. Galgarrath didn't approach the cell immediately, he kept his sword at ready, and then slipped the dish into the cell.
For the thousandth time, Meekel wondered why Barallus was kept under such high security; how could the tiny Korbat do any harm to the armed guards?
"Wondering why Monk's in so tight?" a voice from somewhere came. Meekel snapped out of his reverie, and saw that Galgarrath had left. Then, he realised that the voice was coming from behind him. He whirled around and was surprised to see that the speaker was Number Five.
"Wha-what?" Meekel asked. Even though he was a good distance away from Number Five, he backed away a little.
"I asked if you were wondering why Barallus' security is so tight," the Lupe replied.
"Well, yes," Meekel said hesitatingly. Should he converse with Number Five?
"The reason is, he is in reality, SUNSHINE MONK!" At the last words, Number Five held up his hands into the air in a dramatic fashion.
"Who's Sunshine Monk?" Meekel asked, confused.
At this, the old Lupe lowered his hands and stared at Meekel, apparently puzzled at what he should say next. Then, clearing his throat, he said, "Sunshine Monk, you know, the owner of the Ghostkersword." Meekel still looked puzzled, so he added, "To explain all of it, I know a story. If you want to hear, come a bit closer."
Now, Meekel had a choice. He could continue listening to the Lupe's rantings, or he could just ignore him and continue on with boredom. But curiosity overcame him; there was nothing to do in the prison except look outside to the dark Citadel around them, so he decided to listen. He went a bit closer, but made sure not to go within the reach of the Lupe's stick.
* * * * *
No one knows from where the Ghostkersword came from. Some say it was forged long ago, back before even the first faerie had taken her breath. Others say it was forged in a dimension parallel to ours, which it escaped. Yet, others say it was made when 10,458 spirits were trapped in an ancient blade. What's the truth? Perhaps no one will ever know.
The sword was the most powerful blade of all time--
"Wait a minute," Meekel interrupted. "I know for certain there are much more powerful swords; there was one used in the war."
"We'll get to that at the end of the story, now stop interrupting!" Number Five said angrily. Meekel became quiet at once.
So, the sword was the most powerful blade of all time, and unlike any normal blade, it did not just lie inanimate on the ground. It had a will of its own, and could command the very winds to do its bidding.
And so, for eons it had soared across Neopia, at speeds so great it could be at Terror Mountain in one instant and in another in Shenkuu. For countless years, it traveled just like that.
For over 50,000 years, it continued like that. Up, above the clouds, even though it had no eyes, it could 'see' better than the sharpest Pteri.
* * * *
Mr. Marx was a plain old Blue Bruce. He had a family of five to feed, and worked in a factory. As you can imagine, he didn't have a lot of Neopoints to go around. Still, for over a year he had saved from his meager income, to finally buy a new house.
That, was really what his family needed. Their current one was just an old shack that even Sophie wouldn't inhabit, and was far too small. With the bag of Neopoints the Bruce held in his hand, he could afford a better Neohome. Not necessarily a big, fancy one, but one that wouldn't cave in and would have enough room.
Unfortunately, why Mr. Marx was good-hearted and hard-working, he wasn't too bright. So, even though he was coming back from his factory, and it was about sunset, he decided to go at that moment, withdrawing most of his savings from the National Neopian Bank.
He should have known better than to wander around Neopia Central at nighttime, that could never lead to any good. Still, he decided to head towards Neopia Central Housing Ltd.
However, he had enough common sense to place the bag in his bag, rather than outside. Still, what he had not realised was that it would still create a rather large jingle, something even an amateur thief could hear.
So, Mr. Marx continued walking onwards, through that alley, down this street, and so on. Suddenly, he heard a noise from behind him. When he looked around, no one was there. Still, he quickened his pace.
There it was again. The same noise. Knowing he definitely wasn't hearing things, Mr. Marx broke into a run. He stopped after a few turns, panting.
Then, dread hit him. He realised he had no idea where he was. He had never seen this street before. Moreover, it was completely deserted. Litter blew over the street; it was the perfect place to get mugged.
Apparently, the thieves that had been following him thought the same thing.
They came out, one by one. There were at least six of them, two Ixi, a Kougra, a Skeith, a Grarrl and an Eyrie.
They were all chuckling, apparently unbelieving at their luck that they had caught such easy prey.
"Now, now, we've heard the jingling of those Neopoints miles away. Hand over them now, and maybe we won't hurt you," said one Ixi who appeared to be their leader. At the last words, the gang chuckled. Perhaps they weren't going to let him off so easily.
Mr. Marx knew he was in big trouble now. He couldn't give up the Neopoints; they were his savings that his entire family depended on.
Just then, there was a brilliant flash of light. When Mr. Marx opened them, he noticed he was holding something in his hand.
'Twas a blade, a beautiful sword. On the hilt, there was a yellow eye, and the weapon was angled and sharp. It seemed to have found its way into Mr. Marx's hand.
Astonished, the thieves thought they still had a chance as long as they outnumbered him, and they pounced.
How very wrong they were.
Without meaning to, Mr. Marx swung the sword. It created a gust of wind so powerful that all of the thieves were knocked back at once. Then the sword began to rise, taking Mr. Marx with it.
The moment his feet left the ground, Mr. Marx closed his eyes, too afraid. Then, suddenly, his feet hit the ground again, and he opened them.
There was no sign of it. Absolutely no sign of the mystical blade that he had wielded. He looked ahead and found himself in front of Neopia Central Housing Ltd. He shook his head, and went in. Soon, he forgot all about it.
The same could not be said for the sword. Its memory stretched till the point it was created. It was soaring once again, far above Neopia.
You see, every sword needs a master. Someone who can take it to its full potential. The Ghostkersword had been looking for that someone for over 50,000 years. It had helped many a Neopian, but none it deemed worthy of using it. Where, oh where, would it find that one Neopian?
Little did it know, that it would soon find out.
To be continued...