The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part Five
The War Begins
"VELLE!" I screamed. Syvor smiled evilly and yanked on
Velle's leash, laughing cruelly. The captive Draikess glared acidly at her keeper.
I could hear my heart, echoing loudly in my ears. My throat felt like it was
about enlarge itself and stuff up my throat. My muscles tensed, eager to throttle
"L-let her go," was the only thing I could manage.
Syvor glared at me.
"You didn't kill Darigan. My plan isn't going
along smoothly, Valrigard," he said. "But, I suppose someone else will have
to be the end of them. How about we make a deal?" I looked at Velle, who was
shaking her head vigoriously. I looked at Sheer, who was glaring at Syvor with
a hate that could blow planets away. I attempted to swallow the huge lump in
my throat and said,
"Fine." Velle squeezed her pretty eyes shut,
tears threatening to spill out. Syvor chuckled. "Fine," he said, "come with
me. And one wrong move will cost your pretty little friend's life." I gulped,
knowing it was true. I motioned for Sheer to follow me, and he obeyed reluctantly.
Syvor grinned evilly and clapped his paws together, saying,
"After you," then the world around us began
to blur, and I lost all consciousness.
* * * * *
I woke up, but I thought I was still asleep.
Everything around me was dark, like shadows. I could hear Sheer waking up next
to me, and I could hear Syvor's obvious pleasure. He was laughing like a maniac
of some sort. I could hear Velle crying as silently as she could, and I wanted
to help my friends more then anything. I leapt to my feet and ran in the direction
of Syvor's laughing.
Almost instantly, I felt the Lead Spell overtake
me. My body was pinned helplessly to the ground, and I couldn't get up. Syvor
melted into my view.
"Now," he said, "about my terms." I sighed and
said, "What do you want?" Syvor's beak curled into a sneer. He waved a paw and
someone I had never expected to see appeared out of thin air. It was an important
pet to Meridell. Someone who's loss would cause great woe. It was Meridell's
new Champion, Meridell's new defender.
It was Jeran, Champion of Meridell.
"Kill him," Syvor finally said. "Kill him, and
I'll spare your friend." I bit my lip, unsure of what to do. Jeran wasn't in
his armour, he was wearing an ordinary and unprotected tunic. His sword was
absent too. I finally walked over to the confused Lupe and whispered in his
"We're all on the edge of death, Jeran," I said.
"So is Meridell. I want you to help me." Jeran took one look at me, and his
"Valrigard?!" he asked. "Valrigard the Traitor?!"
Instead of giving my normal reply as 'I'm no traitor,' I said,
"Valrigard Redeemed, Jeran." Jeran slowly broke
out into a smile, despite our just meeting. "Fine," he said. "What're we going
"Hurry up and kill him!" Syvor spat, his grip
tightening on Velle's rope. The Draikess snarled a warning, but he didn't listen.
I called out, "Sheer," and the Draik slithered over to me quietly. I whispered
something in Jeran's ear, and then in Sheer's.
"HURRY!" Syvor screamed, beginning to think
that I'd chicken out on him. "KILL HIM!!" On cue, Jeran howled like a wounded
animal. Syvor laughed, thinking that his opponent was dead. Sheer and I walked
over to him, saying,
"Done," I muttered, trying to sound guilty.
"Now release Velle." Syvor nodded and threw Velle at the ground. She got up,
now free of his evil hold. We began to walk towards the wall with our crying
friend when Syvor decided to see Jeran's dead body, just for fun. He blinked
his eyes hard and opened them, now everything in his vision was bright green.
He searched for the body...which wasn't there. His sharp eyes darted in the
direction of the wall. They were escaping! They were escaping with Jeran and
"Fools!" he roared in fury. "Idiots!" With a
scream and a beat of his wings, he was in the air.
"Now!" I shouted to Sheer, who fired a volley
of ice shards at the Eyrie. Syvor dodged the shards with incredible speed, and
dive-bombed us from above. The Darigan Draik hurled a whirlpool at Syvor, which
was a little more successful. With a loud bubbling sound, he was trapped in
the whirlpool. Syvor snarled and growled in fury. Finally, after what seemed
like forever, we found the wall. First to escape was Velle, then Jeran, then...
"Go!" I shouted. Sheer shook his head. "You
first!" he insisted. I let out a small warning growl and he finally listened,
disappearing behind the wall. I followed and took to the air as soon as I could.
Wind rushed past my scales as I flew through the night sky. Ahead of me, I could
see the other Draiks, Sheer carrying Jeran on his back. Velle was a distant
speck in the sky, as Jeran and Sheer were only a few meters ahead of me.
Suddenly, I could feel powerful claws raking
my tail. I gasped in pain and terror, then I turned around to see Syvor clinging
onto my tail and laughing like a nutter. His fur was doused in water, giving
him a limp appearance. But, he was as strong as ever and even more desperate
to kill me. The Eyrie's wings were pinned to his body, and he was dragging me
down. I grabbed my sword and attempted to smash the pommel on his head, but
he let go of my tail and opened his wings. Now airborne, he shot at me like
Syvor reached my unprotected throat. With all
his might, he squeezed it. I gasped and panted for breath, but Syvor's grip
was too strong. I withered like a dead plant, and the only way I could cry for
help was to make a dry, raspy sound in my throat. I was going to die...
Suddenly, a burning sensation erupted in me.
My paws curled into fists, and I could feel a black fire surrounding them. My
whole body seemed to flow with magic. Then, Syvor was screaming in agony. I
could feel his paws release my throat, and I gasped for breath. I could see
Syvor, looking at his paws in sheer terror. They were severely burnt, like the
leather bottom of shoes. The bottom of his paws were pitch-black and still burning.
"N-no!" he managed to scream. "You can't control
Shade Magic! Th-that's my power!" I didn't care what power he possessed. He
had hurt my friends, the only friends I had ever had. His own magic would be
the end of him. I forced the magic this time, and hurled two black fireballs
at him. Syvor managed to dodge this attack. I cursed and hurled two more fireballs
at him, but it didn't work. The blue Eyrie hurled a fireball identical to mine
at me, and I only managed to dodge it.
This time, Syvor charged at me, with a black
fireball poised. I did likewise, with my own fireball. We collided in midair
and held there for a while, and I could feel Syvor's energy beginning to diminish.
I grinned and kept fighting, my fireball getting stronger and stronger each
moment. I nearly had him when he noticed his dire situation, and forced his
fireball bigger with all his might. Mine was shrinking rapidly...and it would
soon be out. I tried to force it bigger, but Syvor's determination was too great.
Then, just when I thought all hope was lost,
a dark-blue thunderball zoomed at Syvor's, dousing it in a second. Syvor screamed
in fury and threw himself at me, but my skin was still burning-hot. He found
that out soon enough, and let go with a horrified shriek. His paws were burning
up to his arms, and the foul smell of burning feather reached my nostrils. Syvor
finally flew off limply, screaming,
"Death to Valrigard! Valrigard the Traitor!
This is war! Death and war!" I wanted to follow him and finish him off, but
Sheer held me back. I struggled only slightly, because I was beginning to see
what a large amount of energy I had lost.
"You're too weak to fight," he said, but it
sounded like humming and grunting. Everything around me began to swim in all
directions, even my friends. Voice sounded like blurs too as I fainted.
* * * * *
I was having another dream. This time, I was
in a great hall. Well, at one point it had been great. The banners hanging from
the ceiling were torn and shredded. The walls were stained with beer and something
black. The windows were shattered. I walked over to a piece of one of the windows
and picked it up. I gasped. The Meridell Emblem was on it! I looked around nervously,
as if suspecting an attack. Nothing came. This was the Meridell Castle...but
how had it gotten this way?!
I walked over to one of the walls and pressed
a paw on the black stains. Bringing my paw off, I saw that it was blood! I gasped
and tried to shake it off, but it stuck. I wiped it against the wall, but I
only got more blood on my paw. A sound made me whirl around and come face to
face with a brown Zafara. He was wearing a black cape with a skull pendant on
the front, and I could see the glint of daggers and poisonous darts under his
cape. He looked like an assassin. I raised my hackles and prepared to fight,
but the Zafara kept walking. He walked right through me and towards the throne.
I whirled around and glared at his back...and then at the throne. Someone...or
something was sitting on the throne, but whatever it was, it was cloaked in
the shadows. I crept closer.
Whoever these pets were, they couldn't see me.
I crept up towards the throne and gasped. Syvor?! Why was he controlling the
throne of Meridell?! I grabbed for my sword, but it wasn't there. I tried to
summon the magic that I had used earlier, but it didn't work. I snarled in frustration.
"Lufayne, you are my most trusted assassins.
I want you to get that Draik and kill him, no matter what the cost." I heard
a low, raspy voice that could only be the voice of Lufayne.
"Vell, zis vill be hard...I require more points
of the neos." I heard Syvor chuckling to himself, and the Zafara growled dangerously.
"Do not make fun of moi's accent, Syvor," the brown Zafara hissed. Syvor nodded
and waved his paw. "Go," he said somewhat dully. I pondered this. Was I seeing
the future? Before I could ask myself anymore questions, lightning cracked,
and I was at the top of a high tower. The brown Zafara...Lufayne was staring
strait at me. I gulped slightly.
The brown Zafara walked casually over to me
and said, "You are ze Draik, are you not?" I nodded against my will. The Zafara
smiled evily. "Zen die," he cackled, and hurled an unexpected knife at me. I
ducked just in time and the knife buried itself in the stone behind me. I didn't
have any weapons...I was helpless. Lufayne walked toward me, causing me to back
up. My back collided with the stone behind me and I felt the hilt of the dagger.
If I could stall him, maybe I would still have a chance.
The brown Zafara grinned with malice and hurled
a dart at me. I ducked just in time again, and I wrenched out the dagger. I
grinned and held out the dagger for him to see. The Zafara growled and said,
"You cannot defeat Lufayne Assassin zat easily! I control ze dreams of Neopia!"
With one quick movement he hurled another dagger at me. I ducked just in time
to avoid being impaled, and I ran at Lufayne, dagger out.
The Zafara couldn't run fast enough, so he blocked
my dagger with his own. The two of us locked in a death battle and I shoved
the brown Zafara to the edge, causing some of the rocks from the tower to fall
off. Lufayne gritted his teeth and wouldn't give up. He shoved me to the edge,
and we battled continuously to see who would go over.
I felt that strange magic spark in me again,
and Lufayne screamed in agony, just like Syvor had. He released me and looked
at his paws, which were burning like crazy. I felt slightly guilty for causing
such pain to other pets, but my guilt turned to rage when I thought of how these
pets had hurt me and my friends. I brought out more of the magic and fired it
at Lufayne. With a death scream, he lost his balance and fell from the tower.
I realized my mistake and jumped to catch him, but my arm missed his. I watched
sadly as the Zafara fell to his death.
Then, everything around me began to swim again,
and the tower was disappearing. I felt the stones shake under my feet and disappear,
but my wings caught me in time. I felt the burning under my scales again and
I woke up.
When I finally came to, I was lying on a bed.
Everyone surrounding me gave a sigh of relief. I struggled to sit up against
the pillow, but I finally managed. Everyone looked at Sheer, as if waiting for
him to say something. While I was waiting, I looked at my left paw. The black
blood was still there, but I didn't show it to anyone. I hid my paw under the
"Well," I muttered, "spill. I'm not gonna wait
all day for you to say something." Sheer swallowed and looked at Velle, Jeran,
and Darigan, who had just come in recently. They looked back at him, and Darigan
finally said, "He'll have to know, sooner or later." Sheer took a deep breath,
"Syvor has declared war on Meridell and the
Citadel both. He says he has a great army ready at his disposal, and he'll stop
at nothing to kill us all. He also says that he's gonna make you wish that you
were never born, Valrigard."
As he said this, the air in my lungs seemed
to freeze like the coming winter.
To be continued...