The Whispering Wail Sword:Part Eight
"I never thought it was real!" exclaimed Talzadon. "I only read about it on one tiny shred of burnt-up parchment. It said the Whispering Wail Sword had a companion suit of armor, completely pure and blessed by Fyora, but there's no record that anyone ever wore it, even the hero who vanquished Zartarath."
Sir Weston approached the armor and touched its glistening surface. It was warm to the touch. He grabbed the chest plate and began to fit his head through it. "I don't know if that's a good idea," Mina began. "We don't know what kind of magic is in it." Right as Sir Weston got the plate over his ears, it flew off of him and back into its position on the wall. Startled, he jumped back. Talzadon chuckled to himself.
"Ha!" I guess that's why no one has ever worn it before. There must be some kind of condition as to who can where it or when it can be worn.
"Let me try!" Mina laughed.
"Oh, so now you want to try after I already found out it's safe!" scoffed Sir Weston. In the back of his head he began to panic. They had been away from Meridell too long. When they last left, Zartarath was in position to strike at the heart of the castle. They don't even know what happened to all their companions! Just as he was about to say something to the others, Mina grabbed the armor and slipped it over her enlarged Draik head. It glowed and magically shrunk to fit her. The rest of the armor flew off the wall and assembled itself on Mina. Lastly, the hilt of the Whispering Wail Sword came to rest in her paw.
Sir Weston and Talzadon stood mouth agape. Mina glittered in the faerie dust. The helmet fit snugly, and gloves glowed gold, and the chest plate proudly displayed the crest of Meridell. Mina suddenly looked quite serious. The sword looked light in her hand, when it was heavy before. She dropped the sword, but it made no sound as it hit the stone floor. She tugged at the helmet in an attempt to remove it, but it was stuck firm.
"Uh, guys!!" she cried. "I can't get it off!" She began to panic and Sir Weston rushed to help her, but it was no use. The armor simply wouldn't come off. While they struggled Talzadon wandered over to something on a shelf. Mina, feeling itchy, followed him. It was the crystal ball her great uncle used. Talzadon touched it lightly with his paw. Inside the ball was a dire scene. In the castle, the knights of Meridell were running around escorting the citizens to safety, while Min Marger battled the inky fiend Zartarath. He was holding him off with zaps from his wand, but it didn't look like he could keep it up much longer.
"We have to get back there! Zartarath could win at any moment!" Sir Weston barked.
"How are we going to help them?" replied Talzadon. "We don't know what the armor does, and it's all we have!"
"It's okay, Min will know," Mina smiled a bit. "Talzadon, take the sword and use it to teleport us to my uncle. Sir Weston, prepare to fight!" Sir Weston unsheathed his sword. Each with a paw in the middle, they closed their eyes as Talzadon uttered some sort of magical word. Light filled the secret tower, and when it faded, they were immediately thrown into the fray.
When Mina opened her eyes there was madness everywhere. Torches ran ablaze in every Neopet's paw. It looked like Zartarath might be afraid of the fire, as he avoided any one holding it. The Mage's Guild members were hard at work casting protective spells and creating shields, but no one was attacking. Mina was confused, wondering why no one was on the offence, but then she realized Min was missing. Mina scanned the room. Her heart dropped when she examined the dark spirit closer. Min was trapped, stuck in between the inky Smokey claws of Zartarath. "No wonder they're not attacking! They could hit my uncle!"
"What do we do?!" Sir Weston cried out, sword raised ready for battle.
Mina felt tears of frustration well up in her eyes. Her uncle's safety was her primary concern, so she had no choice but to chase after Zartarath herself. Just before she was about to take off, Talazon shouted something.
"WAIT! I have an idea! What is the chest plate of the armor works like the sword, what if you can trap him inside?"
Mina was curious, but didn't know how that would help. "We'd just be in the same place we started in! With him trapped in the most powerful artifacts we could never use!"
"No, not if we could somehow split his essence in half. If we forced him to separate his body into two smaller copies of himself, like the copy we saw earlier outside the castle. Then we could trap one half in the sword, and the other in the armor, and each half wouldn't have enough power to escape on its own! Zartarath and his power would be trapped forever in both, making the weapons safe to use in the future."
"If that's true, it's the most amazing, perfect plan I've ever heard, but you have no evidence to back that up," Sir Weston spoke.
"It's the only chance we have," Mina lamented. "But how do we force him to split into two smaller copies of himself? Why would he ever do that?" Stumped, the group hung their heads and thought deeply. Talzadon, his dark fur shining in the torchlight, carefully looked around the great hall.
"I've got it," he said. "Fire, he doesn't like fire. If we could concentrate a beam of flame right at him fast enough, he'd have to split in half to dodge it, there wouldn't be time to move left or right since he's so large."
"I'll do it," Mina stood tall. "And I'll save my uncle!" She launched into the air before anyone could say another word. She raced towards Zartarath, Whispering Wail Sword between her paws. She flew past the defensive shields of the mages, and straight for the terrifying monster before her.
"PUNY NEOPET" Zartarath bellowed in a deep, resounding voice. "YOU THINK YOU CAN STOP ME? I grow more powerful by the second as darkness spreads across Neopia! Even with that sword, you are no match for my magic!" Mina didn't bother to reply, but using her fire strength, sent a large stream of flames straight for the center of Zartarath. He gasped dropped Min, who landed safely on the ground. As expected, Zartarath split in two, separating himself into two twins, each with half of his power. Mina charged at the left one. She rose the Whispering Wail Sword to touch it to Zartarath, but he swatted her out of the air.
Mina landed with a crash on the ground, the Whispering wail sword clattering to the ground a good distance away from her. One of the Zartarath copies made a lunge at the sword. "No!" cried out Mina.
But then the sword vanished from the floor. Mina and the Zartarath halves looked about the room, and just as Zartarath was turning to face him, Talzadon brought the enormous blade down on Zartarath. The room turned white with light, a great crack was heard, and the Zartarath half was sucked into the sword, screaming the whole way in. Now trapped inside, Zartarath unwillingly gave his powers to the sword, which Talzadon now wielded like a wand, channeling its magical powers.
Mina was astounded, and confused. But how Talzadon managed to get the sword mattered not, because the second half of Zartarath was terrorizing the knights of Meridell. "FOOLS! When I defeat you not only will I rejoin with my other half, but I'll have the power of the sword in my grasp." In a ghostly fashion Zartarath dove rapidly towards Talzadon, who turned in fear to run. Mina rushed after them, and just before Zartarath reached Talzadon, Mina slammed into him, knocking him far away, but right next to Sir Weston.
Weston leaped into action, and pinned down Zartarth by the tail with his sword. The blade tugged at the spirit like it would tug at fabric. Wasting no time, Mina loosened the armor, which now wasn't as sticky to her as it was before. She flew up and placed the chest plate on top of Zartarath's head. Magically, it expanded to Zartarath's size, and when it finally fit onto him, he was absorbed into the metal. The crest of Meridell shone brightly upon it as it sucked up the last powers Zartharath possessed. Suddenly there was silence, and the great hall, while a mess, was calm.
After a moment of quiet, the hall erupted in cheers, form citizens, farmers, knights, and mages. The Kingdom was safe at last! Talzadon kicked the chest plate far from the sword, not wanting to bring the two halves together, just in case. Mina turned to Talzadon. "How did you do it? How'd you get the sword?"
Talzadon smiled and said "I think finally mastered teleportation spells, even without the sword's power to help me out!" Mina smiled warmly back and congratulated him on his improvement, and for saving Meridell. She was relieved to see her Uncle was alright, and Weston seemed no worse for the wear either. Together they had defeated the horrendous threat to Neopia they had accidentally unleashed.
"Wait everyone! Is the light back outside?" someone called from the back of the room. There was a stampede towards the draw bridge to go check. When Talzadon reached the gate he saw that indeed, the light had returned to Neopia. The sun shined bright and high in the sky, and the warmth of the day felt wonderful on his fur. But there was still another problem. The landscape was scorched and barren. The trees were dead, and nothing grew anywhere. Talzadon approached the Royal Wizard, Min Marger, and presented him with the Whispering Wail Sword.
"I'm sorry, I never should have taken this in the first place. Only a true master mage can fix this now." Min Wordlessly took the sword in his red paw. In his old age he struggled with its weight, but still managed to raise it high. The sword began to dance with color, and a magical aura surrounded it. Still Covered in faerie dust from the secret tower, and now with half of Zartarath inside, it was more powerful than it ever had been before.
Min brought it slamming down to the earth, where it stuck deep inside the ground. Blots of lighting danced across the surface of the ground. In an instant, the juppies began to grow, the leaves on the trees turned green, and the landscape was rich with life again. With the farming fields restored to order, Meridell could finally rest.
In the aftermath of what later became known as 'The Zartarath Incident,' Mina and Sir Weston were promoted to knights first class, and Talzadon was able to rejoin the Mage's guild. As for the sword and armor? They are locked away deep in the vaults of the castle. There have been talks about how to destroy the weapon, so Zartarath may never rise again, but to this day no one has figured out how to break such a powerful object. Others say they should keep the sword intact. After all, you never know when Meridell might need it…