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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 22nd day of Swimming, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 102 > Continuing Series > Fates Entwined: Part Five

Fates Entwined: Part Five

by sarakrindel

"You say that Lupold's son was sheltered by Lord Sarkif, and that he is currently with Kithar the Kau seer and Merlod, an Aisha sorcerer?" King Mordeo asked. He sat in his elaborate robes which, in spite of careful tailoring, showed his plump features. He still had a lavender tinge on parts of his scales, slightly larger than normal ears, and awkward bone structure from what had ailed him until the very being he was talking to now had arrived the other day and cured him.

      But the chair on which he sat was made of cold and primitive stone, for Mordeo did not care for the many engravings depicting Lupes in glory that covered the seats of the old king.

      "Indeed," replied the light Faerie. She was a small, dainty figure hovering over Mordeo's shoulder. But any who saw her eyes would know that she was by no means gentle or kind.

      "I always knew that Lord Sarkif was loyal to the old king. But wait -- I thought Lupold was supposed to have twin sons."

      "Whoever helped Lupold and his young had a brain -- they took the other pup to grow up as a prince of Sakhmet and the Lost Desert," the light Faerie replied. The smile on her face was disturbing, as if she had sinister plans in mind, just waiting to burst into action.

      "Sack-meat and the Lost What?"

      "A kingdom you have never heard of, and one out of your reach, but don't worry; I already have an arrangement ready there to 'handle' the twin. At best we won't have to worry about him at all; at worst he is going to have a difficult time trying to oppose you for quite a while."

      King Mordeo thought on this. "I'm under the impression that you are helping me out of a grudge against some Dark Faerie. Mind you, I don't like Dark Faeries myself; the way they always lurk in the shadows makes one think they are keeping nasty secrets."

      The Light Faerie sighed. "Indeed, I wish to bring ruin to my rival, the Dark Faerie Jhunedra the Prophet, and take her place in Faerie politics. She has taken a prophecy, which was made by a magician you eliminated when you took the throne, and added to it. She claims that if Faerieland supports Lupold's sons, they will succeed in taking your throne, and Faerieland will benefit. I must ensure this does not happen, to prove Jhunedra a phoney."

      "I see," the malicious Draik replied. "I am familiar with that prophecy. While you are handling Lupold's son in Sack-Meat, I will be sure to pay Lord Sarkif a little visit, and perhaps prepare a treat for little Luparn."

      With that, they went to their tasks -- the Faerie to setting her spells in action, and the Draik to preparing a pillaging party.


It seemed to Coltzan he was one moment in the feast and the next in his bed, where he had been for three hours now since waking. According to Tekset, the celebration had been two weeks ago.

      "Do you have any more details on what you think happened?" Coltzan asked casually.

      "Majesty, this is serious! The only reason you did wake up was that the healers managed to get your heart working again swiftly, and that was as much due to luck as anything. I cannot stress enough the fact that you must take every precaution possible. One assassination attempt usually means another. Most kings and queens of Sakhmet have had to contend with at least two attempts on their lives, and the majority of the cases where it was less then two were when they didn't survive the first."

      Coltzan was still registering the fact that he had been close to his end. "Was it poison?"

      Tekset sighed. "Apparently not any normal poison. There is none known which has quite the same effects, and the remaining food on your dish was tested and found to be perfectly fine. More likely, there was some form of magic involved."

      Suddenly, Luparn came to Coltzan's mind. "How soon can I set out to make a long journey to the north?"

      Whatever the Blumaroo had expected, it was not that. "The idea is preposterous," Tekset exclaimed. "You came close to losing your life, and now you want to go off and risk your hide in an unknown territory for some silly purpose?"

      "It's not silly," Coltzan replied.

      "Well then tell me the purpose," the Blumaroo answered defiantly.

      Coltzan bit his lip. He couldn't confide, even in his own old mentor, that he wanted to see if his dreams were true -- if he did indeed have a brother. No, he was sure that he had a brother, but he wanted to really meet him in the fur and do what he could to help him take up their father's rightful throne.

      But Tekset had a point. It was dangerous to go off into strange lands, especially when Coltzan's only proof of their existence were dreams of his brother, although the young prince was sure that his heart knew the way.

      "If Sakhmet cannot protect you, then think of what danger must lie outside of the walls. At least until everything calms down, you should do everything possible to ensure your personal safety."

      Councilor Barca, a charismatic politician who was quickly gaining Status, entered the room and decided to join the conversation. "Why in Neopia would you go north, your majesty Prince Coltzan? All of your possible brides live east, west, or south of Sakhmet, with the exception of Lady Kisis, who is quite nearby. However, I would recommend that you go with Princess Hatori."

      Tekset stared at the Acara stateswoman. "Why, I think Coltzan is worthy of going after Princess Lightfoot!"

      "Who will probably become Queen Airhead if married, not that 'Baron' Nehlaki would agree to the union anyway -- may he fall off his desolate tower and break his tail."

      As Tekset and Barca argued over potential wives for Coltzan, the prince himself saw that there was no way he was getting out of Sakhmet any time soon. That meant he wouldn't meet his brother, and if his brother needed aid there would be no support. Coltzan could see no way around the first, but the latter truly irritated him, and he felt that he should be able to at least do something.

      An idea struck Coltzan.

      "Call a servant immediately," he said to Tekset and Barca, "to fetch that scarab which was acquired by my namesake, King Coltzan I-- you know the one. The royal magicians can transport it to a place over a thousand miles away, can't they?"

illustration by Smudgeoffudge


      As swiftly as legs could run, the Scarab of Coltzan I was brought to the bedroom.


Luparn and company were still in the Rocky Shires in Kithar's cave, though they expected to set out the next morning to rendezvous with Coltzan. They had been making all the preparations possible for the journey ahead -- collecting supplies, mapping out routes, and discussing what they would do when they met with Coltzan.

      "Why do you look like you have seen a ghost or something?" Merlod inquired. Worry was etched on Luparn's face.

      "I haven't seen Coltzan in my dreams for two weeks -- as long as I've been here," Luparn complained.

      Kithar reacted strongly. "Something must have happened to Coltzan so that he doesn't have dreams; it takes two to connect. And somehow, I think there is more to it than that. My intuition tells me that something is also in store for us, and that we must change our plan."

      "You mean that I won't be seeing my brother?" Luparn inquired, with a twinge of disappointment.

      But as if on cue, a figure came out from the back of the cave. "Mordeo has a new ally -- my political adversary, the light Faerie Inclementa," Jhunedra said glumly. "I came here to warn you. If Inclementa can prove my prophecy false, she can easily replace the status and position I had under the old queen in the new court of Queen Fyora-"

      "But I got a message from Queen Valis--" Luparn interrupted.

      "--from three years ago, according to the date," Kithar completed.

      Jhunedra was itching to get back to the point. "Inclementa has effectively blocked Coltzan from leaving Sakhmet. She is also helping Mordeo in her effort to harm me. I am about as powerful as Inclementa, but all I can do is make a spell to ensure Mordeo and Inclementa will not perform more espionage on you. The new queen demands a lot of me, or else I would do more. You must use your last advantage: surprise."

      "I would not trust a Dark Faerie's word," Merlod responded coldly.

      "Do you think I had any choice in whether I was a dark Faerie or not?" Jhunedra snapped. "Luparn, Mordeo sacked Lord Sarkif's holding the night after you came here, and even now he has bands of scouts looking for you. Sarkif and his most loyal servants managed to escape, but within three days they were captured and are now all being held in Mordeo's prison, as Draiks take control of his and your holdings. If it weren't for the magical protections of this cave you would have been found a week ago. Now you must go to the King's castle to face Mordeo."

      Luparn was instantly picturing the beloved home he had grown up in being attacked by those same Draiks who had crowded over him that night of the Skeith hunt so long ago -- carrying torches, setting every piece of wood afire, and forcing the inhabitants to flee. But Merlod and Kithar were thinking.

      "The idea is preposterous -- we should hide Luparn again, this time in a safer place," Merlod claimed.

      "Normally I would agree with Merlod," Kithar said, "but hiding cannot last forever, and now that Luparn knows who he is, his chances of beating the Draik are as good as they will ever be. And the last place the scouts will look for Luparn is in the monster's den."


      "What do you think, Luparn?" Merlod asked.

      Luparn was still deep in his anger. "Let me have my revenge. Mordeo removed my real father and mother from the throne and degraded them to the level of mere peasants. Mordeo would have casually killed me when I was merely a pup lost in a Skeith hunt. Mordeo has ruined Lord Sarkif, who treated me like a son. And now Mordeo is hurting my land, which I am lord of…."

      "Really, Luparn, I do not think it is appropriate to get so furious now. It will not help you beat the usurper," Kithar retorted. But then Jhunedra leaned over to the Kau seer, whispered something in her ear, and Kithar became more content, although she still looked uncomfortable.

      With that the Dark Faerie retreated back into the shadows, leaving the three to contemplate what lay ahead and the swiftly approaching test that would result in their triumph... or in their end.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Fates Entwined: Part One

Fates Entwined: Part Two

Fates Entwined: Part Three

Fates Entwined: Part Four

Fates Entwined: Part Six

Fates Entwined: Part Seven

Fates Entwined: Part Eight

Fates Entwined: Part Nine

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