Run Away to Knighthood: Part Six
"They did it," said Lisha happily. "They got him in time.
Look!" She pointed her wand towards a Darigan Aisha who tried sneaking up behind
her. The battle stopped momentarily as the rebels sadly watched their leader being
led, chained, towards the drawbridge of the castle. As the two Ixi guards pointed
their swords at Tiberius' back, he reluctantly entered the castle, and the door
was shut behind them.
"Hurry, let's chain them all and throw them into
the Meridell dungeons!" yelled a nearby Scorchio, who had one of the rebels
in a headlock.
Jeran grabbed two Darigan Skeiths who tried to
grab him, and chained their legs quickly. Meanwhile his sister tried to suppress
a Darigan Uni and ended up binding all four hooves. Alphonse, Roland, Angel
and the rest of the fighters continued subduing the reduced forces. Some of
the castle guards left the battle in order to take the criminals to the dungeons,
and came back to grab the rest.
"Thank goodness for help!" exclaimed Angel as
he and Roland defended themselves from one of their opponents. As the Kyrii
grabbed the attacker's hind legs and fastened chains on them, he called out,
"Angel! We've caught another one!"
The blue Zafara perked up and replied, "We did!
That's like…" But his voice trailed off, and Roland heard a thump in the grass
behind him. Sure enough, the Darigan Aisha was clutching a sword, the hilt over
Angel's head. The young knight was unconscious on the ground, not moving an
inch. Someone - the Darigan Aisha - snuck behind Angel and hit him over the
head with the handle of a huge sword, knocking the Zafara out cold, and a couple
of Tiberius' minions had been attacking him before the hilt was brought down
upon Angel's head.
"Angel!" yelled the Kyrii, pushing aside a couple
of Darigan Techos to get to his comrade. "Angel, speak to me buddy! Please wake
up! Hey, can't anyone get help? Angel's not moving at all!" Roland shook the
young knight's shoulders and his lower lip trembled in fear and anxiety.
Fluffy shoved another subdued rebel into the
paws of a nearby Ixi guard and ran towards Roland, who was bent over in the
grass. Glitter and Sweet followed, dodging another attempted attack from one
of the rebels.
"Our brother…" whispered Sweet as he lifted one
of Angel's little wrists and let go, watching it fall limply beside the torso
of the young Zafara. Glitter sniffled and a tear rolled down her cheek. Fluffy
slapped Angel's left cheek gently to try and wake him up, but to no avail.
"What should we do?" asked Alphonse, kneeling
before Roland and taking the Zafara's head into his arms. "Should we take him
to the castle and see what they can do?"
"I guess it's the right thing," whispered Fluffy.
"He was so brave…so young…and he was our littlest brother…" She shuddered, and
tears welled up in her eyes.
Jeran and Lisha accompanied the rescue party
as soon as they got the last of the evil comrades suppressed and chained. Lisha
whimpered and mumbled something about being a good student in knight lessons.
Jeran patted Angel's furry head and shook his own in sadness. No one could see
the Lupe brush a tear away from his own eyes. Suddenly they all heard a scream.
"Angel! Angel! What happened to him?" asked Kat
as she sped up in order to catch up. At the sight of her Zafara's unconscious
body, she bit her lip and tears began falling from her eyes. She couldn't bear
to look again as the young knight was taken to his room, and laid upon the royal
covers of Angel's bed. Lisha ran off from the group, and in a few minutes was
back with a small bottle of purple liquid.
"One of Kayla's healing potions," said the Aisha.
"Hold his mouth open." Alphonse gently stretched the Zafara's mouth, and Lisha
slowly poured the contents down his throat. Everyone else watched, waited and
prayed that Angel would be fine. Kat wiped her eyes and finally looked at Angel.
After a few minutes, his body jerked to one side.
His head turned to the left, his eyes opened, and the Zafara immediately sat
up. Just as he sat up, everyone hugged him, obviously happy that he was alive
and well…especially his siblings and his owner, who were the happiest of all.
"With this sword, I hereby dub thee, Sir Angel
of Meridell," proclaimed King Skarl as he touched the blunt end of the long
sword upon Angel's little shoulders. Just a few moments after he awoke, the
Zafara was dragged quickly for the knighting ceremony that would officially
declare him a true knight. As Angel finally stood up from where he was kneeling
down, he could see a huge crowd, waving, watching, and applauding. Among them
were his family, his new friends from Meridell, and of course, the one who taught
him the fine art of being a knight.
Angel looked on and waved slowly, and felt his
cheeks get hot.
"I knew you could do it," whispered King Skarl
in his ear. Jeran flashed the thumbs-up sign at his direction. Fluffy, Glitter
and Sweet were all jumping and cheering.
"So," said the king, loud and clear this time,
"will you be staying here with us in Meridell, in order to help us whenever
trouble enters our midst?" At this Angel's smile faded. He loved the place,
he loved being a knight, but he truly missed his family, his real family in
Neopia Central. The Zafara felt as if he truly belonged in both places and could
not bear to part with either one of them. Everyone's eyes were on him now.
But Angel knew exactly what to answer. "Your
Majesty," he began, bowing before Skarl, "I would definitely help you all whenever
trouble threatens the land…" Before the Zafara could finish, applause rang in
his ears again, along with cheers and whistles from the many Meridellians. He
held up his paw to signal a stop.
"Unfortunately, my destiny is not here in Meridell.
I'd like to be here when you need help, and yet I must go to my family, to my
real home, in Neopia Central. I cannot bear to be away from home any longer,
and I'd prefer to stay with my family, whom I've discovered, loves me after
The crowd was silent for a moment. Suddenly more
clapping and cheering arose…louder and more pronounced this time. Jeran stood
up and patted Angel on the shoulder. "Angel, there are so many things you possess
that make you a good knight, and you know what they are. Use them well, whenever
you come pass by us again, or even when you are in another distant land," he
said, and gave his young squire - who was now a knight - a hug. Lisha immediately
followed, whispering, "We'll miss you," in the Zafara's ears.
Alphonse and Roland smiled, and tears formed
in their eyes at the same time as they waved at the little knight in awe. Then,
at last, Angel ran into his owner's arms and began to cry. "I'm sorry I ran
away from you," he mumbled softly. "I'm sorry I thought you didn't love me…I
was too ignorant and unappreciative of your love and care…of the time you adopted
me and made me as your own."
Kat grinned and embraced her Zafara. "We forgive
you," she answered. "And we would like to thank you for choosing to be with
us. Of course, we'd understand if you would want to stay in Meridell."
The young knight just grinned and said, "I think
I'd rather stay with you guys," he said. "Although we can always visit this
place, right?" His owner just nodded, and so did his brother and sisters. Morpheus
appeared from behind Kat and ran towards Angel, who picked up the little Anubis
and patted its head.
"We were worried about you, Angel," said Glitter.
"We thought you were a goner," said Fluffy.
"It's never the same without you," said Sweet.
"We're so glad you finally decided to come home after all the adventure you
must have had here…"
Angel felt a paw tap his shoulder. He looked
behind him and saw Jeran, holding a sword before him. It was the same one the
little knight had used in battle, and in his lessons, and the sword Skarl used
to knight him.
"Take this," said the experienced knight, putting
the sword into the Zafara's paws. "So you may never forget that you are a knight
of Meridell, and will always be. We will never forget you, especially on the
day you shall reappear and help save us from the forces of evil." He and Lisha
were both beaming. Angel felt his cheeks get hot once again as the crowd applauded
another time, this time also for Jeran and the rest of the rescue troupe who
saved the hostages from Tiberius' clutches.
Angel made mental notes to always cherish this
memory…to remember the great thing he has done for Meridell…and the fact that
he shall stay a knight, no matter where in Neopia he may be…to never forget
the wonderful friends he met…or the family he has been with for a very long
time. As he, reunited with his owner, brother and sisters, left the castle amidst
the beaming crowd, he looked at the sword and smiled.
Suddenly the memory of running away from home
felt like a distant past.