Enter the Snowflake's lair... Circulation: 90,555,988 Issue: 164 | 29th day of Collecting, Y6
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Run Away to Knighthood: Part Three


by precious_katuch14

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"He's gone!" screamed Kat, lifting one corner of the covers on Angel's old bed. Sure enough, she found not a blue Zafara but a pillow fluffed in a way that resembles Angel's curled up body. The girl turned to her three other pets in disappointment. "How couldn't you have noticed that he was gone??"

     Sweet the striped Kacheek was the first to speak. "Kat…we didn't know either…"

     Glitter the faerie Acara, followed. "But…you see…"

     Fluffy the white Aisha just sighed. For a moment she was silent, then she burst into tears. "I can't believe our little brother is actually gone," she sobbed. Fluffy sat down on Angel's bed and cried onto the pillow. Her owner and her two other pets glanced around the room - some of the toys and other possessions had been taken, along with the Zafara's backpack. Even Morpheus was gone, and that could only mean one thing.

     "But why would he run away?" asked Kat worriedly. "Maybe I was a little harsh on him when I grounded him? I was only doing the right thing…right?" Her pets searched the room frantically for Angel, and even tried the other rooms. There was no sign of any blue Zafara or even a blue Anubis.

     After several minutes of crazed searching, Sweet came up with an idea.

     "Let's go and look for him…I bet he's wandering around Neopia Central by now," said the Kacheek grimly. His sisters and owner immediately ran to pack a couple of backpacks. "We could pass by him hiding somewhere in the high street."

     ***

     "Angel, you don't hold your sword that way. Hold it like this, so you don't get easily tired. Yes, I think you're strong enough." Jeran and Angel were out in the castle grounds, and the aspiring young knight was trying to lift a sword given to him by King Skarl.

     The Zafara shifted his grip on the hilt of the shining silver weapon, and slashed at what looked like an old sack stuffed with straw perched on a stick. Angel grinned at Jeran and asked, "Was that better?"

     The great knight of Meridell gave him the thumbs-up sign. "Even better. You're learning the basics of knighthood here, Angel," he added proudly. "We can crush Tiberius' rebel forces in no time!"

     "Tiberius?" repeated Angel, as he put down the sword. "You mean the one who used to be Lord Kass' minion until the fall of his leader? The scheming Darigan Moehog who still wants to take over Meridell without Lord Darigan knowing? I heard lots about him from nearly everyone in the castle."

     Jeran nodded. "The very same, Angel. We were hoping that if you become a proper knight, you might be of help to us as we catch the most notorious of Kass' followers. Now, it seems that it's time for dinner. Let's go inside the castle, and maybe after that, we can go to your room. Before you go to bed, I shall teach you the proper care of your armor and some survival techniques." He reached out his paw, and Angel took it. Then the two started walking towards the dining hall of Meridell Castle, where a great feast awaited.

     The Zafara felt a slight twinge of guilt from leaving his family as he and the rest of the medieval party ate, but he didn't mind it much. But that same twinge started coming back every several minutes.

     ***

     "Angel?"

     "Come out, we know you're hiding around here!"

     "Come on, no more tricks! Please?"

     Kat and her three pets were still outside that night, calling for the lost family member. The four had stopped for a quick break and some sandwiches, and then resumed their search for Angel. Just as they neared Meridell, suddenly a shadow appeared from behind the trees

     "Look!" shouted Fluffy. "Come on, that could be Angel, playing hide-and-seek again! Let's go!" She led her siblings and owner on a run, chasing after the mysterious creature. It wasn't in the shape of a Usul, so the searchers were sure that it wasn't the Shadow Usul. Just in case, Sweet pulled out a Lost Desert Dagger, ready to fight and keep what was left of his family away from danger.

     The shadow led the group into a dense patch of trees just outside Illusen's glade. At first Kat, Fluffy, Glitter and Sweet thought they had finally cornered Angel, as the shadow stepped backward and backed against a tree. But when they all took a step forward, the quad was caught in a large net that had been hanging from a huge tree.

     Several more shadows appeared next to the first one.

     "They aren't Meridellians," whispered one of them. "But the citizens of this pitiful kingdom are always willing to risk their lives for anyone who gets hurt, right? So we shall hold them hostage until that oaf Skarl decides to give me the kingdom. Then I shall rule, but not before I overthrow that Lord Darigan as well. He used to be a great leader, till he grew soft."

     "Who are you?" asked Kat worriedly. Sweet and Fluffy tried cutting the net with their weapons but it was no use. Their trap was too firm and dense to be cut by simple daggers and swords.

     "I am Tiberius, the soon-to-be ruler of Meridell AND Darigan," said the nearest shadow, the one who spoke earlier. "I have thought of using hostages in my plans, you know. Meridellians are better, but you little twits will do in a pinch." He laughed a high, evil laugh that made the hair on the prisoners' necks stand on end. "Now, if you'll excuse us, we will first lead you into our lair in this dark forest."

     The creature knocked three times on the largest tree, and a door opened within. He and his companions stepped in, and a couple more entered as well, clutching the net full of hostages.

     Unknown to them, a couple of Meridell guards had seen the whole thing, and were now running back to King Skarl.

     ***

     That night, Angel was having a dream. The castle was quaking! He had to run outside before the ceiling and walls collapsed on him…but he couldn't get up. The shaking continued…until…

     "Angel," whispered a rough, low voice. "Angel, wake up. We've still got a lot to learn."

     The blue Zafara opened his eyes. "Jeran…Jeran, is that you?" he asked sleepily. Angel slowly got up from the bed and rubbed his eyes. Morpheus was still dozing on a little petpet bed beside his own large bed. He ran to change into his squire's clothes and followed the knight out of the room.

     As the two ventured down the stairs, the blue Lupe started going through all of what Angel learned, and tested the aspiring knight on the basic principles and knowledge of what it takes to be a knight. Sure enough, the Zafara proved to have attentive ears and answered all of his mentor's questions correctly. Lisha and Jeran even made a paper with questions on it, and after Angel scribbled all the answers with a long, golden quill, Jeran picked up the paper and showed it eagerly to King Skarl.

     "Your Majesty," said the Lupe eagerly. "We have a new knight…"

     "Hold it!" said the king angrily. "Are you saying that this little Zafara, who has no innate knowledge of knighthood, has actually aced your tests? Jeran, you have to be kidding me! He's even younger than Lisha! You'll have to train him even more…perhaps a simulated villain will do the trick, and maybe…"

     Two Draik guards swooped down on the Skeith, nearly making him fall out of his throne. "What in Meridell…!"

     "Tiberius has struck!" gasped the nearest guard. "He captured four innocent civilians! They weren't Meridellians, but we still have to save them! There was an Acara with wings, an Aisha, a Kacheek wielding a sword…"

     "…And they actually captured a human girl!" finished the second Draik. "Long black hair, brown eyes…"

     "…In a net! Led to a secret hideout just outside the forest next to Illusen's Glade…"

     "…Disappeared in the trunk of a huge apple tree! We think it's a secret passage…"

     "Tiberius is just trying to trap us!" interrupted Skarl. "Besides, you said they didn't even look like Meridellians! So why should we even lift a paw to help them out? Who knows what will happen?"

     While Skarl was busy bantering, Lisha looked at Angel, who was staring at the ground. He looked deep in thought. She tapped the Zafara on the shoulder and whispered, "Do you know the prisoners? Is that why you suddenly fell ever so silent while the guards were telling us what they saw?"

     Angel bit his lip, and a tear fell from his eyes. "Yes…" he mumbled.

     "Can you tell us who they are?" asked Jeran, kneeling beside his sister and brushing away the tear from his trainee's eye.

     "Well, the girl was my owner," replied Angel anxiously. "She used to be my owner until I ran away from her. And the three pets…they were my siblings. I ran away from home because I thought…I thought they didn't love me anymore. And then they go and get captured just because they were trying to find me…" He burst into tears, as Lisha gave him a little hug and a pat on the shoulder.

     The young squire sniffled and added, "It's only now that I realized how much they actually care for me. I want to save them." He wiped his tears away and pulled his sword out from under his belt. "Your Majesty, I want to save them, no matter what it takes."

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Run Away to Knighthood: Part One
» Run Away to Knighthood: Part Two
» Run Away to Knighthood: Part Four
» Run Away to Knighthood: Part Five
» Run Away to Knighthood: Part Six



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