The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part Eleven
The Last Battle
I grabbed the Uni's reins and steadied myself. My heart
was beating wildly in my chest. Drops of sweat beaded on my forehead. I reached
up a paw to wipe them off, but I nearly lost my hold on the reins. My hands
shook on the reins, and I wondered how I could be such a coward.
You can't be brave, a voice in my head told
me, You can't be brave like Jeran. You can't be brave like Darigan or Sheer...
or even Velle. She said that it was selfish of me to not let her go...and she
was right. I sighed. Whatever little voice in my head that was tormenting me
was right. Jeran, Darigan, Sheer, and Velle had all accomplished great things.
Jeran had lost his only family at a young age.
He had fallen into a strange world, and he had found a place in it. He had become
a knight and eventually a Champion of Meridell. He had fought in another war...and
he had fallen. Jeran had been caught by a passing Faerie and brought back to
his sister. He then fought off his own king for my sake, and he had come to
the invasion with me. I knew that I had a great friend in Jeran, and it was
a friendship that would never waver.
Darigan had lost his peaceful land when he was
in his maturing years. He had survived a plague that had taken many lives, and
he had fought back. Darigan had taken the Orb, a powerful weapon, and had used
it evily. I couldn't blame him, he was just trying to defend his peace at first,
and when he had learned of the Orb's actual power, he had been seduced by it.
He suffered an explosion, and then had risen from the ashes as a hero. He had
defeated Kass and had taken back the Citadel. He ended the war and brought a
seemingly unstable peace to Meridell and the Citadel. Then, he had joined me
as a friend when I had tried to kill him. Darigan was certainly very brave and,
even though he tried to hide it, kind.
Sheer was a great mage. He had been born shortly
after Darigan's land had been plagued, and he had grown up in the hardship.
He had grown into a powerful magic wielder in his peoples' time of need, and
he had saved them. But, Morguss had stolen his power and used it for her own
haggish reasons. She had laced all the mages' power and used it so she could
do as she pleased and took the spotlight for it. Sheer and the other mages had
been left down in the dungeons to rot while Morguss sucked their power out like
a tick sucks blood. Sheer had nearly lost everything...and then he had won it
back. He was always armed with patience and understanding first, but he fought
valiantly when he needed to. I could always go to Sheer for help, for he was
sort of like a father to me. His wisdom reached far beyond others'.
Velle...she had been my first friend. She had
saved my life more than once, the first time was in the river. The second time
was when she had given me energy to escape from the execution. The third time,
she had given me energy again, and I had fought Syvor. Velle had believed in
me when nobody else had, and risked everything for me. She had risked her own
freedom and life that I had been longing for so long while in that jail. Velle
was different from all the friends I had...she was unique that way. She acted
tough and strong on the outside, but on the inside, she was more then just a
The Uni neighed loudly for attention, and I
hushed it up. "You don't want all the shadows to here us, do you?" I asked somewhat
nervously. The Uni brayed in protest. We finally landed on the Darigan Citadel.
and I jumped off the Uni. Slapping his rear, I sent him flying away. "I don't
want you to get into this," I explained. I found a comfortable rock to sit on
and sat down. They would be here any minute.
* * * * *
Syvor had the servant boy fit on his chest armour.
The young shadow Shoyru fit on the leg armour and knocked it to make sure it
would stay on, and stood up.
"M'lord, you're fully armoured." Syvor waved
his paw lazily. "Fine then, just go," he said. "I shall take it from here."
The young Shoyru bowed and left. Syvor looked at himself proudly in the mirror.
"Oh you handsome warlord you," he mused to himself. He grabbed a blue Draik
plushie from a nearby shelf and looked at it. It resembled his greatest enemy,
Valrigard. That stupid Draik had stolen his power...his Shade Flame...He would
make Valrigard ShadeFlame pay dearly for his heinous sin.
"I'll rip your head from your shoulders, you
disgusting waste!" he spat at the doll, tearing off its head. The doll's head
landed a few feet away and landed with a soft thud. The shadow Tonu, the one
who had caught Valrigard earlier, came in.
"Lord Syvor," the Tonu said, bowing. "The Draik
is at the Citadel., waiting for you. The army...they are no where in sight."
Syvor grinned evilly. "He's not alone. He probably has that puny army of his
in a hiding place...the question is, where?"
"M'lord," the Tonu said, "they are hiding in
the forest. Our spies saw them earlier." Syvor nodded.
"They'll be expecting me to go with my entire
army," he mused to himself, "Then they'll attack from the back..." He thought
to himself for a moment.
"General," he told the Tonu, "gather the army.
I shall go and fight the Draik, while you launch a surprise attack on the forest.
I shall use my own magic to create a shadow mirage, and they shall fall for
it. Once they make ready to take off, attack them. Kill them all, including
the children, the women, and the men. Give no mercy to anyone. Kill them all...including
that Draikess." The Tonu nodded and left. Syvor picked up his blade and sheathed
it. He took several daggers and a great war axe, one he had named Tomraw. He
grabbed a bow and a quiver and looked at himself once more in the mirror. He
looked like a real warlord now.
* * * * *
The entire army of Neopia waited silently for
the signal. Valrigard would send up a spark of the Shade Flame, and then they
would attack. A Weewoo somewhere sang out a single note. Sheer looked around.
Where was Velle?
* * * * *
I opened my eyes. Syvor was walking strait toward
me, with his sword drawn. I stood up on the rock and drew my own sword. I grabbed
out with the Shade Flame magic and poised it, ready to strike. Behind Syvor
was his endless army of Shadows... an army that I couldn't fight alone. An army
that no other could fight, because numbers was their strength. They were as
vast as the ocean itself, but much larger. I summoned all the Shade Flame I
could. If I had to fight them all, then I would. I would fight until the last
breath of life I had.
Syvor's cruel laughter filled my ears and I
gasped out it pain. I fell to my knees clutching my aching head. Was this how
he preferred to fight? Syvor's seeing me down like that made him laugh even
harder, and that increased my pain. Finally, I put the pain aside and sent a
Shade Flame spark into the air. The army down below lunged.
I waited for a few seconds. I stared down at
the forest, but they didn't come. Syvor laughed again, sending a sharp pain
through my body. Then the realization of it hit me.
"They've betrayed you, Valrigard ShadeFlame!"
Syvor roared. "They've betrayed you and they're not coming back!" I couldn't
believe it. He was wrong. My friends would never betray me... but then again,
the army had never really trusted me. Ghyr had challenged me to a battle, and
I had beaten him. That young Lupe had put me down about my training, and I had
taught him a lesson. But, under all the cover of trust, the army had their doubts.
All Neopia had their doubts about me, and about my leading. They had doubts
about if I was really innocent, if I was really good. They all thought that
I was still a traitor. The truth stabbed me like Syvor's sword. I felt real
pain, and the feeling of blood being released from my body...wait. That wasn't
the truth. It was Syvor's sword, and it had stabbed me in the side.
Pain exploded in my side, and I gasped in pain
again. Syvor released his evil laughter and I doubled over, hacking. Syvor grinned
with glee. This was his kind of battle. I grabbed my sword and slashed at him,
but he jumped easily out of the way. He slashed at me with Tomraw, but using
an axe isn't easy when you want speed. I rolled over just in time to avoid being
slashed in half. My side still ached from the sword's bite, but I couldn't favor
sides. Syvor would figure that out and attack my weak point. I slashed at Syvor
with more experience, and I could see fatigue catching up with him. But he didn't
give up easily. He discarded his sword and took out his hateful axe, Tomraw.
He roared and brought his axe down. I couldn't
move fast enough, and the axe came down on my sword. With a loud splitting noise,
my sword broke in two. My sword arm cracked heavily and I gasped in pain. My
arm was broken. Biting my lip so I wouldn't let out a cry, I slashed at Syvor
again with a broken sword. The Eyrie laughed and set another course of pain
through my body. I dropped the half sword and lashed out with the Shade Flame
magic. Syvor just barely managed to dodge the magic and stood up again. His
fur was singed slightly. I reached out and grabbed all the Shade Flame magic
I could find. I aimed it at a point and hurled it at Syvor. The Eyrie screeched
in pain and dodged, but half of his face was badly burnt. His left eye was burnt
shut, and I wasn't really anxious to see if the eyeball survived.
The Eyrie hurled his own Shade Flame magic at
me. I dodged it easily. The Shade Flame magic was less hurtful on me; I was
a lizard, so it was easier to withstand heat. I shot more of the magic at him,
and he dodged. Little did I know, someone was coming to my aid. Someone that
I cared about was coming to help me.
Syvor decided to play dirty. He hurled a ball
of Shade Flame at me, and I ducked. With one of his hind paws, he scraped dust
and dirt into my eyes. I coughed and hacked up the dirt, and Syvor swung his
axe down at me. I curled up and prepared for the end, but it didn't come. Instead,
I heard hissing and scrambling. Someone else was fighting Syvor. I snapped open
my eyes and looked up. The breath caught in my throat.
"Velle!" I screamed, jumping up. Regardless
of the searing pain in my arm, I hurled myself at Syvor. The Eyrie knocked me
away with a free paw and continued fighting Velle. I couldn't let her get hurt...I
couldn't. I brought the Shade Flame magic to my free hand, but I couldn't throw
it. I might've hit Velle. I felt completely useless just watching my friend
fight without my help. I needed to help...
My chance didn't come. It would never come,
for Syvor's next action stopped all reasons to help Velle. The Eyrie swung back
his paw and thwacked Velle across the stomach. The Draikess fell on the ground
and didn't have the time to get up. Syvor pounced on the helpless Draikess and
threw her into a wall with all his might, and that was a lot of might to use.
Velle thudded against the wall with a crack, then slumped to the ground.
"VELLE!" I roared like a wounded animal. I charged
at Syvor with the light of death in my eyes. The Eyrie, who was happy at his
defeat of Velle, backed up, actually looking scared. I formed a Shade Flame
sword in my paw, and I attacked with all my might. Syvor kept backing up, and
then, he played dirty again. He grabbed me by my broken arm and swung...hard.
With a gasp of pain and surprise, I fell. There
was a hold nearby, and that was probably Syvor's target. It was. With another
pull of my bad arm, he sent me falling into the hole. My wings were too exhausted
to fly, so I fell like a rock. Maybe I would die...like Velle...that would be
With a powerful roar, Syvor jumped down at me,
Tomraw raised. I heard the last dying thoughts of Velle...
Valrigard... the voice seemed to die off for
a second. Use...use my dying power. The familiar feeling of Velle's power inhabiting
my body returned, and with the that amount of strength I had...I raised my broken
I squeezed my eyes shut and heard a strangled
scream. I felt something fall on top of me, but the sharp edge of Tomraw wasn't
it. I opened my eyes and gasped. Syvor had landed on my sword. The broken edge
was protruding from his back, and his eyes were glossed over. I pushed the dead
weight off shakily and stood up, then fell back down. My strength was fading...but
I needed to get to Velle. Maybe I could still save her. I weakly pulled myself
up the hole. I wished that my wings weren't injured, because a flight up would've
been much easier. I finally reached the top and gasped for breath. I hadn't
realized earlier how much energy I had lost during the battle.
Finally, I found the strength to stand, and
I ran over to Velle's broken body (it wasn't snapped in two or anything). I
kneeled down next to my dead friend and felt hot tears crawl into my eyes. I
sat down next to Velle, and threw my broken sword as far as I could.
"You know Velle," I said quietly, fighting off
the urge to cry, "I never really got to tell you."
To be continued...