Visions III: Revealed - Part Six
The cell wasn't too bad. It had nice, smooth stone, an old mattress stuffed with straw, a pillow that was more or less decent, a bit of food, and even a little Tigermouse to keep the Kyrii comfortable. Compared to some of her previous living conditions, it was actually quite nice.
She looked at the ceiling and sighed. It won't be long until Jix comes in here to gloat, or Jazan's wife comes in to ask what I know about his location. She threw a shred of cheese at the Tigermouse and it happily ate it.
"You're lucky, you know that?" she told the Tigermouse. "No worries, just living one day after another, completely content as long as there's food." She laughed. "Huh, that was me, I guess. Then I got tangled up in this huge mess and now I've got the world on my shoulders and right now it's crushing down on me." She shook her head. And now I'm reduced to talking to a petpet to pass the time."
One of the guards clanged the bars on her cell. "Hush up, Nothing," he demanded.
"The name's Nil," she insisted, glaring at the fat Skeith with her good eye.
The guard just shrugged. "Means the same thing, and it's really all you're worth right now."
Nil sighed and turned her back to him, not wishing to stare at the abomination. The sad part was, what he said was true. She really was worth nothing at the moment, so long as the bars contained her, that is.
She heard the guard stand and say, "Queen Nabile! King Altador! Captain Brynneth! Ogrin Master! And..."
"Handsome Grand Master Thief Hanso," an annoying voice replied.
Still mature as ever, she thought, rolling her eyes. Much to her further annoyance, the guard repeated the title, messing up a couple of times before getting it right. He's still as stupid, though I don't think that could have changed in a few seconds. Still, repeating a fake title?
"We heard the Kyrii had been arrested finally," Nabile explained, or at least who she assumed was Nabile. She had never heard the Queen speak before.
"Yes, she's right in here," the Skeith replied.
Nil turned around and saw the group peering into her cell, save Master Fushi.
"That's her, alright," Hanso said, sticking his head between the bars and looking at her.
"Stop gawking at me or I'll use the knife I have," Nil threatened. She didn't actually have her knife still, but she figured it would get Hanso to back off.
It worked. The blue Ixi pulled his head out from between the bars. "Still as charming as ever," he said sarcastically.
"Still as annoying as ever," Nil responded, quite literal.
"Nil, what are you doing here?" Master Fushi asked, turning his head to where her voice had come from. "I thought it was the Wocky in here."
"No, Ma--Fushi," she replied, standing and going over to them. "He's still running around somewhere."
Altador moved towards her. "Are you claiming Xagam was trying to kill me rather than you? That's impossible! He told me it was his compass that was thrown."
"You also attacked me, and Xagam was right there," Hanso pointed out.
"Okay, yes that was me, but I didn't attack anyone else, on accident or on purpose," Nil replied. "Master Fushi knows I'm not the attacker."
The old Ogrin nodded. "It was a Wocky who attacked me, not Nil. The two moved completely different."
"I trust you, Fushi, but it's impossible," Altador replied. "Xagam traveled with Brynneth and Hanso all the way to Shenkuu. He could have easily killed them along the way."
Nil sighed. "Fine. Don't believe me." There has to be something to prove my innocence. She thought about all that had happened, and remembered the compass. That's it!
"The needlepoint of the compass that deflected the arrow was shaped like faerie wings," Nil stated, recalling the strange detail. "It also is sort of hard to open and there's a scratch on the glass running from the top to the bottom."
Altador turned to the Skeith. "Release this Kyrii immediately! We have to find Xagam."
The guard was about to, but Hanso stopped him. "She admitted to attacking me. How do we know she's not lying?"
"Ji--Xagam created an illusion and tricked me into attacking you," she explained. "Now can I be let out?"
Hanso shrugged. "Sure. Makes sense to me."
This time, Nabile stopped the Skeith.
"Make up your minds, people!" the guard exclaimed. "Do you want her out or not?"
"You can come out when you tell me where Jazan is," Nabile insisted.
Nil sighed. "I don't know where he is. The last I saw, Karan and Hara were carrying him off towards the palace. If the guards didn't get them, they should get to the palace. Now can you let me out?"
Nabile nodded. "Go ahead."
The Skeith muttered to himself and unlocked the door to Nil's cell. She exited the cell and noticed how everyone was still staring at her, as if they expected her to attack them. After a moment, Fushi spoke.
"We should confront Xagam," he suggested. "Let's be off." He began walking towards the other end of the dungeon, but Nil quickly stopped him.
"Ma--Fushi, that leads to a wall," she told him.
He nodded and turned around. "Right. Well, let's go."
"Stop!" King Jazan demanded. Karan and Hara halted and set the Kyrii down.
"What's the problem?" Hara asked, bending over Jazan and examining him.
Karan looked off towards the end of the tunnel to see if anyone else was coming, as it would be revealed by the torches that lit up to anyone's presence. There could be someone totally silent and undetectable by magic, he thought, though he doubted there was anyone that fit the description.
"Karan, hand me your knife," Hara instructed, and he obligingly did so. She began cutting up a leaf and he turned away from her.
Where could the guards be? he wondered. I thought they would have caught us before we even got to the passageway, but they're still not here. Maybe they can't get in here, or they don't think anyone else can aside from King Jazan.
"I should have brought some strips," Hara muttered as she handed a bowl to Jazan. "You still with me, Jazan?"
"King Jazan, and yes," the Kyrii replied, his voice slightly strained. He took it and drank.
Hara pulled out a glass container and took a few green leaves from it before replacing it inside one of the satchels. She handed them to Jazan. "Here, chew these. They're mint leaves. It'll give you something else to focus on, plus they're pretty tasty." She took the container out again and popped a few of the leaves inside her own mouth and started chewing them.
Karan tugged at the collar of his shirt nervously, wishing he knew what happened to Nil. It was nerve wrecking to sit still while his sister was running around somewhere, trying to evade trained guards.
"We'd better get going," Hara said as she packed her items carefully inside her various satchels.
"Alright," Karan replied. He was about to pick up King Jazan's arms again, but the Kyrii stopped them.
"I can walk," he insisted, and slowly stood from the ground. He stood straight for a moment, but stumbled slightly and Karan caught the Kyrii before he fell.
"You sure?" Karan asked.
"The spell's gone, but you're still going to be weak, my King," Hara reported, starting off. "As long as you lean on either of us for support, you should be fine. Now come on. We have to get back to the palace!"
Karan followed after her with Jazan leaning on him. It felt good to be moving again.
"Here they come," Xandra whispered to her 'pet.' "Be careful."
The 'pet' nodded and turned towards the door as a pink Ixi came through with five others.
"Queen Nabile," Jix greeted, bowing to the Ixi. "What brings you here?" His eyes wandered over to the yellow Kyrii who stood next to the blind Ogrin.
"You've been caught, Jix," the Kyrii said, stepping forth. "I told them everything and they believe my story because it's not a lie."
Jix didn't drop his act and Nil glared at him, seeing the deformed face of Xandra through her blind eye.
"She's magical," Jix insisted. "She was just trying to trick you."
"Then how could she know so much about the compass?" Altador challenged. "It didn't open when it fell, and there's no other way she could know about it unless it was hers."
"Nil attacked both Brynn and Hanso," Jix insisted. "They both know it was her, and I was even a witness to Hanso's attack."
Brynn stepped forward this time. "Whoever attacked me wasn't half-blind. The first strike was to my left shoulder. That's the attacker's right. Nil would never strike to her right first. She would go to her left."
"Let's say I was the attacker," Jix offered. "How would she manage to know everyone I was going to attack? There have been plenty of attacks on Altador before."
"Yeah, how did she know that stuff?" Hanso asked. "It seems sort of impossible."
"Then, if Nil was the attacker, how would you know about who she was going to kill?" Brynn countered.
"Simple," the Wocky replied, smoothing his fur. "I stumbled across her journal and figured out exactly how to stop her. Now, are there any more questions, or do you need King Altador to show you the journal I found and handed to him?"
This time, Nil approached him. "One: can I read?" She shook her head. "I never learned how, and it would be overly difficult for me to teach myself, being half-blind." Although, I haven't been half-blind for that long, she thought. They don't know that, though.
"Are you really believing her lies?" Jix asked, turning to the other Neopians.
Hanso took out a piece of paper and scribbled something down in it. He then handed it to Nil and she took it.
"This isn't going to prove whether or not she can read," Jix insisted. "She can easily lie about something like this. Lacking knowledge isn't a hard thing to portray."
Nil tried to focus on the letters, but failed to recognize any of them. They were meaningless scribbles, only a series of randomly drawn lines that was supposed to have meaning behind them. Meaning she didn't understand, or ever could.
"What does it say?" Brynn asked, peering over Nil's shoulder.
Hanso giggled. "I called her a mutant slorg."
"You called me a what?!" Nil exclaimed, immediately turning on Hanso and gripping his jacket.
"Hey, it proved you couldn't read," Hanso replied, prying her hands off his coat. "You should be thanking me."
Jix's expression grew frustrated and he turned his purple eyes on Nil. "Why didn't you learn how to read?"
Nil felt the anger rise in her chest and she launched herself at Jix. She grabbed his shirt and lifted him up. Suddenly, the room faded into mist and she felt light-headed as she and Jix became completely weightless. Then, all of a sudden, gravity took hold of them and they were in a different room in the palace. Jix immediately took off towards a doorway and Nil waited for a moment for things to come into focus. She dashed after him into a room with a sign over it.
Really useful, she thought, not bothering to decipher the seemingly pointless marks. She entered the room and immediately took note of the wooden staff on her left. There were other weapons lining the room, but none she was overly familiar with. The staff was the best choice, and she could tell Jix had already selected a sword from one of the racks.
A thought came to mind and she almost didn't grab the staff. She remembered her vision. Jix was going to land a major blow on her if she pursued him.
I'm the only one who knows where he is, though, she realized and took the staff. I need to stop him, and fast.
Nil ran towards the next room, ready to face whatever fate had in store for her, even if she did end up losing the fight.
The tunnel lead them right next to the weapons room. As they came out, Karan noticed a flash of dark blue come from the doorway that lead into the room with a sign over it that said, WEAPONS ROOM.
"I think Nil just went in there," Karan said, pointing to the room.
"What is she doing in the palace?" King Jazan asked, standing up on his own but still seeming a bit weak.
Karan began running towards the room, but the Kyrii stopped him.
"Jix has been training to kill me and he almost succeeded," Jazan explained. "If I'm right that she's chasing after Jix, you won't stand a chance against him."
"If you're going to chase after him, I'm putting my foot down," insisted Hara. "As a trained medic--"
"As your king, I ask you to back down," he interrupted and went off towards the weapon room.
Hara began to go after him, but Karan stopped her. "He's as stubborn as Nil can be. Nothing we say will change his mind." He felt a chill run down his spine as he thought of the danger Nil was facing. Whatever she was doing, it was going to hurt her, and he was helpless to stop her.
Jix led Nil into an empty room with only one way out. He was sure they wouldn't be disturbed for some time, which was good. He wanted to take his time killing the pesky Kyrii who had been on his tail for so long.
What am I thinking? He shook his head and Xandra felt her control over the Wocky slipping just as Nil ran into the room. She quickly took complete control and turned on the Kyrii, raising the sword.
"It's over," Nil said, her voice trembling slightly at the end. "Give up already." It felt strange to say the words. She knew it was exactly what she said in the vision, and it was still so natural to her.
Jix smiled at her and said, as he had before, "Not a chance." He shot the staff out of her hands, sending the force down her arms before it flew across the room.
She backed up slightly, headed towards a wall. Here comes the next strike, she thought, the vision running through her mind. He was at an advantage, and he was going to attack her with all he had.
"This is for stopping me in Altador," he said, sending the black lightning from his hand.
I don't know what happens next, she realized, her back hitting the wall. She touched the wall with her hands and looked straight at the mad Wocky who stood only a couple of feet away. There was no way out now and Jix was readying for another strike.
"This is for revealing who I am," he said between his teeth. This time, he sent a ball of black and purple mist at her and she barely managed to avoid it. Still, she was weakened greatly and couldn't fight back.
Nil slid down the wall, landing on her knees. She was going to die, she was sure of it. There was no way to stop him from just killing her right now.
"And this is just for me," Jix said, raising the sword this time, and she readied herself for the final blow, but a sudden shield appeared in the path of the sword,
Unseen by either of them, Jazan had come limping in and now stood to Nil's blind side, deflecting Jix's sword with a spell he finally remembered.
Jix backed up and glared at the Kyrii, sensing the tables had turned.
"Give. Up." Jazan's voice was commanding and showed none of the weakness from his injury. It was clear by Jix's expression that the Wocky feared what Jazan might do to him.
How does he do it? Nil wondered. Her head was pounding against her skull and she was beyond being able to hold herself against the wall, even sitting down. She fell off to the side and landed on the ground. She began to fade into blackness, like the curl of black smoke that emerged from Jix's mouth just before he collapsed.
Black, like the night sky, she thought, and was gone.
To be continued...