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The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part Ten


by smurfafied1800

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Snowager's Battle

An enormous black Reptillor slithered out of the door. It was about the size of a four foot Neohome when it held up its head. Its long body coiled in after it, and it still stuck through the door. Firescale gasped and turned around, but I held him firm.

      "We can't turn our backs to it," I hissed. "It's smarter than we think." Firescale nodded. We turned and faced the snake.

      With eye-blurring speed the snake lunged at us, fangs bared. I held Firescale in place until we could feel the snake's breath and we ducked. The Reptillor's head ran right over us in a deadly trap. I could feel its scales running over my back, then it pulled back and lunged again. On instinct, I rolled and dodged the way. Firescale hadn't been born with that instinct, but he followed suite and rolled the other way. The massive snake's head collided with the wall and it hissed in anger and frustration.

      The Reptillor reared up and looked at us. After a split second, it decided that Firescale was better prey and lunged at the defenseless Krawk. I opened my wings and took off, then rammed the snake's head in order to take its attention off Firescale. The snake thrashed around with me hanging onto its head, being able to fall off at any time. I clutched onto the smooth scales and prayed that I wouldn't fall off. But, my prayers were in vain.

      The enormous snake rammed its head against the wall, ramming me with it. I lost my grip on the snake's scales and fell off. The snake pressed its large coils on my body and pushed down; it was suffocating me. I gasped for breath under the massive weight, and then I heard the Reptillor scream. The temperature was suddenly getting much warmer. I heard a familiar voice echoing in my head.

      "Well, well, aren't you the troublesome type? First you start a war, and now you become the damsel in distress. Or should I say the damsel of distress?"

      "You have a very shrewd sense of humour," I snapped telepathically, "but right now, I'm suffocating. Could you just make yourself useful and get this oversized worm off me?!" The creature mentally snorted and I heard the Reptillor scream again. Slowly, its weight began to lift off my body. I gasped for air and looked up. The Snowager was fighting the Reptillor angrily. The two massive snakes attacked each other in a frenzy.

      The Snowager reared up and fired a volley of ice shards at the Reptillor and it screamed in pain. The Reptillor lunged at the Snowager and delivered a poisonous bite.

      "No!" I gasped. The Snowager ignored its wound and lunged at the Reptillor again. With a screech he snapped at the Reptillor and bit deeply into it, causing it to scream again and attack. I couldn't just stand by and let the Snowager be killed. I looked around through the sand and something caught my eye: a long, sharp rock. I grabbed the rock and hurled it at the Reptillor just as it was about to take a bite out of the Snowager... and it made its mark.

      The rock struck the Reptillor sharply in the eye and it screamed in fury. It whirled around blindly and its good eye met mine. It glared at me, blood streaming down its face, and lunged. That gave the Snowager time to attack.

      With a final mighty roar, the Snowager fired a beam of ice at the snake. It froze in mid-lunge with its sharp teeth nearly inches away from me. I sighed and collapsed, but my rest was short lived. The doors on the opposite side of the arena burst open and Syvor flew in at me, claws bared. With more power than I expected he bowled me over and had his claws at my throat.

      "I shouldn't have left killing you to that oaf, Skarl," he hissed in my ear. "I should've had the Three dispose of you before you grew strong. But no matter, you will die now." He held up his claws and prepared to rake them across my throat when he roared out in pain. I looked over to see Firescale burying a sharp rock into the Eyrie's back. Syvor rolled over and knocked the young Krawk off, then lunged at him.

      I finally felt that burst of energy that I had been longing for. The drug was finally wearing off, and I used the Shade Flame power. With all my might I summoned the Shade Flame and I fired it at Syvor. The Eyrie screamed in pain and raked his claws across my face. I ducked just in time to miss the attack, but Syvor was getting faster.

      "You're dead!" Syvor screamed, "I'll flay you!" Syvor shot the deadly Shade Flame at me and I blocked it with my own Shade Flame. I wasn't strong enough! The last time this had happened, I had ended up being the damsel in distress. I had only lived that time because of Jeran! Just as Syvor began pushing the power back at me, I heard a voice in my head.

      Valrigard...My power was growing.

      Valrigard...It was Velle. She was lending me her power again.

      The Flame of Shade shall win the fight,

      The Blade of Soul shall awaken,

      Once dead the friend of dreams shall have a chance,

      For life that was once taken.

      Shade Flame, a passing legacy,

      That goes from pet to another.

      One day they shall be reunited,

      Like sister and like brother.

      Shade Flame, the pack leader,

      Who failed his chance of good,

      Was thrown to death and lived again,

      The Lupes were saved and lived.

      Caeson...

      Valrigard...

      Caeson...

      Valrigard...

      CAESON!

      VALRIGARD!

      SHADE FLAME!!!

      The voice boomed in my head and I felt the power within me grow. With a roar I pushed the Shade Flame farther and farther back. I could see a hint of fear flashing in Syvor's eyes. The confidence in me grew, and I used it to destroy Syvor's Shade Flame. It exploded and my energy began to drain rapidly. I collapsed in a heap and lost consciousness.

      * * * * *

      When I finally woke up, the arena was gone. Underneath me, I could feel the Snowager's icy cold skin. I sat up and looked around. We were in the plains of Meridell. The scenery zipped past and I realized that we were riding on the Snowager Wait a minute...we?!

      "Where's the others?!" I asked, beginning to panic. "Where's Jeran? Darigan?! Where are they?!"

      "Hush, little one. They are fine, and they are asleep. Our escape was dangerous, and you certainly didn't help." I sighed.

      "I'm sorry I couldn't have been any service to you," I said. "But if you had to control this whole Shade Flame thing, you would loose consciousness too." The Snowager wheezed in what was an unmistakable laugh.

     "Oh would I?" he asked.

      You forget, young one, that you are much more inexperienced at magic than I. I have been in Neopia since the dawn of time. My lair is as ancient as the faeries, and so am I. I witnessed Sloth in the Battle of the Lost Desert, and I scoffed as that idiot Brucey B. got his pathetic coin back. Your magic may be powerful, but that doesn't change the fact that I could hold your magic longer then you easily.

      "Thank you for your moving speech," I muttered. "It was very...observant. I know that I'm not as powerful as you are when it comes to magic, but I still have time to learn. Now, if you'd be so kind, I need to think."

      "That's not very useful," he said, "I can hear everything you think." I sighed.

      "What should I do?" I finally asked. The Snowager snorted, as if I knew all the answers.

      "Hatchling," he said sternly, "you can't fight Darkness in it's nest. You must lure the leader out, and destroy him. Doing that will kill his endless army. Do you understand?"

      "Yes," I said, "but how do I lure Syvor out? He's not stupid, and he'll never leave the sanctuary of the Shadows."

      There was a pause, and then, "You are Syvor's main goal to kill. If you are out of the way, Neopia will be lost. You may not know this Valrigard, but Jeran and the others are no match for Syvor. He can only be killed with Shade Flame, and you are the only one to posses it. I hate to say this, but Syvor will only come out if you...go without your army."

      "Are you mad?!" I asked, astounded, "I'd be ripped to pieces! Syvor would win!"

      "I'm not saying that you would have to do it completely alone, he said, I'm just saying that you have to look like you are alone. You could leave the army behind and go to the Citadel, and when Syvor would be at the head of your army and ready to kill you...then, your army could attack from the back. Do you understand, young one?"

      "Yes," I said. "Thank you, Lord of Ice. He replied with a bow, "My pleasure, but all I really want from this war is horde, and you know it. I dared to muse and said, Don't I?"

      I heard a moan and knew that Firescale had woken up. The young green Krawk sat up and rubbed his head, then looked at me. "You okay?" he asked. I nodded.

      "We were all worried about you when you fainted like that," Firescale said, "We thought you had died or something." I shifted uncomfortably. I still had to consider Firescale being my apprentice.

      "Firescale," I said, "I can't train you now." The young Krawk seemed to wilt.

      "But," he perked back up, "I'll think about it after the war. If we live through this, then I'll think about it. Agreed?" Firescale nodded vigorously, and I was confused. I couldn't understand why he wanted to be my apprentice. His father was dead because of me! I had caused him extreme pain in the torture room! I had even dragged him into my own execution! I guess that I would never understand kids, for I had never really been one myself. My childhood had been a miserable experience in a slave fortress, and my mother had died when I had been very young. My paw darted over to the necklace holding the Lightblade emblem and I thought of my mother.

      Jeran had woken up, and he walked over to me. "What're we going to do now?" he asked in a somewhat dull way. "Now," I said, "we prepare our next battle at the Darigan Citadel." Jeran looked at me quizzically but said nothing. Darigan came up to us and sat down next to us.

      "I can arrange for that to happen," he said. When I looked at him questioningly, he simply said, "I have friends in high places."

      "That reminds me," I pondered out loud, "Syvor said something about sending the Three after me. I've only just heard of them, but from what I've heard, they're not nice people. They're supposed to manipulate other pets and bend them to their will or something...right?" Darigan nodded solemnly.

      "If Syvor has control over the Three..." Darigan trailed off, then his eyes went wide. "He was the one who commanded the Three to command Skarl to kill you! He commanded them to command me to command the pets to war, and then he used them to command Kass to command the pets to continue the war!" When he got our looks, he blushed slightly and said, "When you've been controlled by the Three, I mean, Syvor before, the word command seems very cool."

      Jeran nudged my shoulder playfully and we laughed. Darigan was pretty fun if you looked under all that leader covering. The Snowager suddenly lurched to a stop and Firescale fell forward. He lifted himself up and grinned at us, and we all laughed even harder. This was one of the happiest moments that I would have in a long time.

      * * * * *

      Later, I alerted the troops of the plan. They took it pretty nicely, seeing as the pets of Roo Island were the only ones to scream and object. I never really had liked them, except for Von Roo, who always possessed a funny side. He simply licked his lips evilly and said, "I just hope zhat zhe army doesn't carry around stakes and garlic, if you know vhat I mean."

      When we prepared to leave for the battle, Jeran came over to have a talk. I had no objections; Jeran was a good pet to talk to.

      "So," Jeran said, sheathing his sword, "are you excited for the battle?"

      "Not really excited, mostly nervous," I muttered. I didn't understand how Jeran could keep such a cool head at a time like this! I supposed that it was from battling many more times than me. I hadn't really been in many wars, due to my time in the dungeons.

      "I wonder what will become of us after the war," Jeran said with a hint of wonder in his voice. He failed to mention if we didn't die during this last battle. "I'm sure that you'll settle down with Velle and maybe start a family or something..." at these words I bolted up.

      "Why start a family?" I asked rather shakily, "I mean, come on. Velle's just a friend." Jeran chuckled, and I could feel my scales growing hot. I feverishly hoped that I wasn't blushing...too late. I was.

      "Ah, c'mon Valrigard," Jeran said, "I've seen you with Velle. You're all talking to her about things you wouldn't confide in any other pets, not even me or Sheer." I remembered the night that I had dismissed Sheer after his asking about Velle. I felt a pang of guilt in my stomach...or was it embarrassment?

      "And," he continued, "No matter how much you deny it, no pet in Neopia can say that Velle is ugly. She's the prettiest pet I've ever seen, and I'm a Lupe." Velle was very beautiful...

      "Let's just say," Jeran concluded, "that I won't bother you about it until after the war. If you do end up starting a family with Velle or something, you owe me."

      "What would I owe you?" I half-joked. Jeran smiled. "Friendship, or maybe you could join us in the next war, huh?" I smiled. I would like entering more wars, helping other pets, and destroying the evil ones. I could imagine all my friends at my side: Jeran, who had saved me when I had nearly been killed. Darigan, who had been a friend to me and had given me the new title, Valrigard Redeemed. Sheer, who had taught me about the Shade Flame and who had been a great friend in doing so. Firescale, who was young yet ready to learn, and in his own way, wise. And...Velle. She had been my first friend and companion, and maybe she was a little more then a friend. Just maybe. I personally smiled to myself.

      Velle walked up to me with an unfamiliar silver Zafara. On this Zafara, I could see warrior stamped all over her. Yet, she looked cunning and swift. She was an assassin.

      "This is Zayta," Velle said, "she says that she's willing to join and fight."

      "But," Zayta said quickly, "I'm only doing it for my grandparents. If we all live through war, you're going to give me a personal pass to the dungeons. Agreed?" This was all going a little too fast for me, but I said, "Sure." The Zafara turned her tail sniffily and walked off. She was a little too proud for my liking. Velle sat down next to me.

      "I heard that your invasion didn't work out so well," she commented. I was silent. "I'm glad that you're okay," she continued. I wondered if she was saying just me, or everybody else.

      "You were lucky that the Snowager was there," she said, trying to strike up conversation. I wasn't really in the mood to talk. Velle put a hand on my shoulder. "Valrigard..."

      "You helped me again," I said quietly. "You gave me the strength to fight Syvor. If it weren't for you, I would be dead more than once, Velle." The Draikess gave a pretty smile.

      "Velle," I began slowly, "I don't want you to come to the next battle. You could get hurt, and..."

      "Valrigard, I'm not a child. I can fight, and I will. If you try to keep me, you had best tie me up in a bag, for I shall follow anyways." I stared at her.

      "If you were shot in battle or hurt or something," I snapped, "I would never forgive myself. If I have any say in this, you will STAY." Velle returned my glare.

      "Valrigard," she began slowly, then became more confident, "If I were to take away your sword and say that I cared too much about you to let you fight, wouldn't you think me selfish?" I paused...she was right. But it wasn't me who I was afraid for. It was Velle, and I wouldn't let her go. Besides, she was giving me the "I care too much for other pets not to fight, so don't be selfish" talk.

      "Velle," I said insistently, "this is MY battle, and I won't let you get hurt. I don't care if it's selfish...you're NOT coming. If I have to tie you up in a bag I will. If I have to paint you shadow so you look like one of Syvor's army, I will." Velle looked stunned. I continued. "All I want is your safety, and if you can't give me that, then I feel pretty much useless." Velle looked down, tears in her eyes. I couldn't bear this much longer.

      "Velle," I began very slowly, "there's something I need to tell you..." Velle listened intently, but the words didn't come out. Just when I was about to speak, Jeran and Darigan walked back up to us.

      "Night has fallen," Darigan said, "and I've sent an Airax to Syvor telling him that you plan to meet him at the Citadel We have to go." I nodded and walked away from Velle, who sat there obediently.

      Even though her heart knew what was right.

      "Goodbye, Valrigard ShadeFlame," she whispered, a tear sliding down her cheek. I didn't have the heart to look back and say goodbye also. Jeran patted me comfortingly on the shoulder, and Darigan gave a small smile. I knew that this was my last battle, and I didn't even have the courage to tell Velle what I really felt about her.

      * * * * *

      We mounted the Unis that would take us up to the Citadel. "Once we see you battling Syvor up there," Jeran explained, "we'll fly up and fight the shadows. Syvor will probably choose to fight you only, and that's what you'll do. Okay?"

    I nodded and muttered, "Okay." I flew off on the Uni towards my deathbed. Back down on the ground, a pirate Poogle whispered to his friend,

      "I'll bet yer fifty dubloons that the ol' Draik's dead meat, eh?" the other pirate was about to laugh in reply when Sheer grabbed him by the shoulders and hurled him down. A hush fell upon army. Sheer had always been a Darigan Draik armed with patience. Jeran and Darigan were right next to him.

      "I'll take that bet," Sheer spat at the quivering Poogle, "and you'll beg for forgiveness if I have a say in it. Valrigard will be fine, and he'll kill Syvor. Our land will be rid of this great shadow that has fallen upon us." He paused and looked up and the sky, where the Uni and the Draik were becoming a speck in the distance.

      "We will be rid of the shadow..." he whispered to himself. Yes, he thought, Valrigard will triumph.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part One
» The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part One
» The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part Three
» The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part Four
» The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part Five
» The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part Six
» The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard: Part Seven
» The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part Eight
» The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part Nine
» The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part Eleven
» The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part Twelve



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