The King of Qasala
King Jazan paced back and forth in front of his throne. He had woken up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, something that has been happening more and more often as of lately. He couldn't get back to sleep, he was too worried for his people.
Meanwhile his wife, Nabile, was off robbing merchants and citizens with the Nightsteed. She had never quite taken to life as a queen. Being attended to night and day had bored her greatly, so she regularly went out at night for adventure. Each morning after her games had ended, she would have the palace guards return anything she stole to their proper owners. Eventually Jazan's friend the Nightsteed decided to go along on these misadventures, helping Nabile travel faster and taking a great academic interest in learning her former trade as a professional thief. Jazan contemplated telling them about his fears, but decided against it. He couldn't bear the thought of bothering Nabile with such concerns, and was worried that the Nightsteed would do something rash to settle the issue.
Of course, the general public of Neopia was under the impression that his father HAD returned, bound under tight control, for last year's Heroes vs. Villains Daily Dare, but the truth was that was simply a robot that the Avinroo family commissioned a team of Moltaran and Kreludorian scientists to create a robotic likeness of him. Jazan felt so much disgust at the event. He did not consider himself to be a hero, and felt unworthy to serve as the mascot for that side of the challenge. He also thought that the robotic form of his father was a terrifying abomination. He feared the mere sight of it, and had even speculated that it could possibly serve as a vessel for his father's spirit to return to Neopia. His father was knowledgeable in arcane arts from all around the world, and it wouldn't surprise him if Mystery Island or Shenkuu or even the nomadic tribe living in the nearby Haunted Woods had an long forgotten spell that could allow him to control a likeness of himself. He couldn't simply destroy the machine, either, as after the event the machine was kept by Aristotle A. Avinroo, who dismissed Jazan's concerns and kept the monstrosity in some unknown location, either as a souvenir or with the intent to use it again for a future event.
The real Razul hadn't been seen in over a decade, back when Jazan's own dark magic had prevailed over him. Every single day Jazan had to struggle with the guilt of what he himself did before then. The general populace of Qasala, the Lost Desert, and in fact, all of Neopia, now accepted him as a hero for defeating his father, as well as for assisting in the mystery of the Faerie's Ruin, but he didn't feel like one. In a huge display of irony, he himself had brought unspeakable horrors to the Lost Desert in his attempts to reclaim Qasala. In the end, after wreaking too much destruction by transporting Sakhmet to another dimension and letting loose a giant two-headed Scorchio he had summoned to intimidate them into letting him have his way, he had also been the one to bring about the return of his father by marrying Nabile. The very same prophesy he had thought would return his birthright to him had in fact nearly destroyed the world, a thought which still made him shudder. He has sworn off dark magic since then, keeping his tomes and scrolls locked where none but he can access them, keeping the only set of keys to the library on himself at all times. But the fact that HE could still reach them was still a problem. Every single day he considered destroying the collection to prevent the temptation of using this magic again, but he feared that their use may be a necessary evil to defeat his father should he return, and he also feared that some of the tomes and scrolls may release bound monsters or cause other undesirable effects if they were destroyed. In truth he really never would go back to using them unless absolutely necessary, but he couldn't convince himself of that. The idea that they may even be necessary in the future also horrified him, that he may once again need to use such terrible arts if his father did return.
He looked out the window, and saw the sun rising over Qasala. Just as the dawn passed over his kingdom, a thought had dawned on him. He could learn light magic, the magic of the sun and goodness and life. If his father ever returned, he could defeat him using these powers, and prevent risking his return to corruption from needing to once again fight fire with fire. Nabile was returning with the Nightsteed just returning from their nightly pasttime. Nightsteed's horrific undead form was slowly dissipating as the sun rose, allowing him to return to his seemingly innocuous blue Uni form.
Jazan smiled at Nabile lovingly "Ah, my wonderful wife, I have missed you. Is there anything I can get you?"
She could sense that something was off. "What do you want now?
"Nabile, I may need you to watch over the kingdom for a few weeks. I plan to travel to Fairyland to learn how to practice light magic."
"Ugh. That sounds so BORING. I HATE court politics. Is this about your father?"
"H-how did you know?"
"I'm your wife. I hear you talking in your sleep when you have nightmares. You've been very distant lately and I figure you're afraid of your father returning. I know you tried to get AAA to destroy the machine of your father out of some fear he may use it to return."
"Then you understand why I must travel to Queen Fyora." he tried to argue.
"I understand why you think it's important, but I disagree. When you last defeated your father, it was not with dark magic, you used the power of love, the purest light magic of all. Your love for me, and for your people is what gave you the ability to prevail, and you still have that within you. You need to stay here, with your people. At heart I'm still just a common thief, not fit to rule a kingdom, even for a few weeks, and I can't stand the thought of not seeing you so long."
Jazan tried to think back to when he defeated his father. He saw Razul attack Nabile, and going blind with rage. He couldn't actually remember what spells he had used after that to defeat his father. The next thing he could remember, he had won the fight and Nabile had turned out okay.
"You're right. I don't need to learn light magic, I've had it within me all along. If he returns, I am confident we can defeat him, together." He was finally beginning to feel closure, finally forgiving himself for what he had done all those years ago. He finally accepted that he was a true hero, like the rest of Neopia had seen him.
The Nightsteed had meanwhile walked away unnoticed, using the very same skills he had learned from Nabile to steal the keys to Jazan's dark library...