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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 24th day of Gathering, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 15 > Continuing Series > Fight for Fate: Part Two

Fight for Fate: Part Two

by frost_acceber

Tarquinta looked hurriedly up to the stars, the black of the night surrounding her. The stars would never fail her. She sought out the brightest star and followed it - north.

She slipped under the large black gates that had always forbidden her to leave in daylight. Her hunter green cloak gave off warmth in the cold night, and as she dropped to the ground outside the gate, panting, she watched cautiously. Her breath was misty and clearly visible in the frigid night. They were following her.

Up on wall of the castle, armies were patrolling speedily, calling to each other. Tarquinta focused on the stone wall that they were running on. Her eyes glowing, she slowly cracked the wall right in front of the leader of the horde. The leader halted, trying to warn the others, but Tarquinta saw no more. She swiftly descended into the dark forest.

She flailed her paws about, trying to discern a path among the bushes and trees. Her wings disabled by her cloak, she was forced to run through the woods. Half way through, she grabbed a nearby tree and ducked behind it at the sound of a cracking twig.

There were more soldiers marching towards her. They were each assigned by the leader a way to take to find the missing Shoyru. Tarquinta had no time to panic. A soldier appeared around the side of the tree. Tarquinta scrambled up silently, and, climbing swiftly branch by branch, worked out a plan in her mind.

Her backpack bounced against her back as she rested on a thick branch high above the soldiers. One had heard her moving in the sycamore.

The army of Lupes herded towards her, shining flashlights into the high branches. The flashlight beams missed her by few feet; she was too high. Her cloak was her camouflage among the leaves but she had to take it off to fly away. She was faced with an important decision with no time to think. Quickly, she took off her knapsack and tied her cloak around her thin waist.

The guards were calling for assistance while a Lupe attempted to climb the steep trunk of the tall tree. She hastily launched herself off of the thickset branch and soared through the air. There was a burst of commotion as they spotted her flying overhead. They had lost her; she was free.

She hadn’t flown far when Tarquinta felt a stinging sensation through her wings. She was too exhausted to continue. Not far ahead north lay a large open meadow. Tarquinta would have to choose another route to avoid being spotted. She pondered over her decision of either east or west; in the west was a small brook where she could soaked her wings in cool water and continue, or east where they were many trees she could slip between without being noticed at all. Either way, she was going out of her way and taking a large risk.

Slowly, the young Shoyru tilted to the east. No matter how much her wings stung, she had to remain unseen while the horde was on her trail. She dipped down every once in a while, and finally, she realised she needed to turn around. Perhaps the army would expect her to go into the forest. Her wings were cut and scraped and her throat cracked at the thought of water.

Gradually, Tarquinta flew downwards into the small field where the brook lay. She could hear it bubbling as it swiftly sliced through rocks and trickled gleefully into a clear pond. Her reflection shone in the night.

As she lathered water over her wings, she stared down at her reflection. Her backpack had fallen as she had landed, and the insides had tumbled out. She took one glance at the items, turned to the brook, and angrily splashed her reflection. She was a horrible Shoyru. She was frustrated and confused.

Would the Sorceress be pleased now?

Tarquinta stared at the things she had stolen from the palace. There was a dagger, jewels upon the golden handle, designs carved on the bronze case, some food, a Fire Whip, but what amazed Tarquinta the most were three objects. There was a silver chain with a pendant on it. The pendant was bronze with a symbol on it. The symbol was new and puzzling to her, but Tarquinta liked it. The only thing that stole some of its beauty was that it was cut jaggedly in half. Tarquinta longed to tie it around her own neck, but she thought it sage not to until she was fair distance from the Kingdom.

There was also sword. It was much like the dagger with a golden blade, but it was unique and looked like a belonging of royalty.

And last was a staggering orb; purple in colour and completely unbelievable. Tarquinta was astounded she had successfully stolen it. She gazed at it, wondering its powers and forgetting all her misery for a moment.

Tarquinta shivered. She was soaked and didn’t realise that the air was so frigid. Her cloak forbade her to fly and with the army not a mile behind her, she had no time to waste.

Quickly at the sound of muttering, she seized the dagger and slashed two lines in the back of her cloak. She folded her wings as she pulled the cloak over her body then she slipped them through the opening. It fit almost perfectly. Throwing the stolen articles into her bag, she pushed herself into the air.

Only minutes ago had she committed a crime.

The king of Herongedy had held the annual ball and had invited a numerous amount of citizens. The Sorceress had given her strict orders not to bother with houses along the way, though they were easy targets. She wanted something from the palace – from the queen’s chamber.

Tarquinta had come from a land far yonder where they were trained to steal there way through life if they had no parent or guardian. Tarquinta was safe, until her parents were destroyed for refusing to accept the challenge to steal something from the palace.

So the Sorceress had turned to her, burdening her with the task of traveling far to the south, and stealing from the king and queen.

Tarquinta was swift, slipping in through the top window. She had fancily greeted anyone she saw being skeptical on her behalf – she needed to blend in. As she made her way down to the queen’s chamber, which lay on the middle floor, she had smiled and tried to look like she belonged.

When she reached the queen’s chamber, she had produced a thin wire from what she had disguised as a silver bracelet around her wrist and straightened it out. The lock was easy for her to pick. She slipped in when no one could view her criminal actions.

She searched the oak drawers, the shiny hutch, and the polished jewelry boxes, finding many valuables, but none that would thoroughly please the greedy queen. And then her eyes got a glimpse of the beauty; hovering inside a clear vase, the orb required a spell to be set free. Tarquinta panicked. She heard voices coming her way. She had never learned spells from others.

Tarquinta scanned the room. She grasped a silver pendant she saw lying on the night stand. She stuffed it in her bag and looked at the vase. She picked it up, and hearing a key being wiggled into the door, and perplexed voices discussing why the door was oddly unlocked, smashed it on the night stand.

It shattered loudly into slivers of clear crystal, the moon’s reflection captured upon them. The chandler was turned on.

There was a moment when both the Shoyru and the royal king stared. He looked at the sack upon her shoulder and then to the night stand. The pendant had been the gift the king would present to the queen that night, and now, with the realisation that it was gone, he hollered stridently.

Tarquinta had no time to draw the stolen dagger from her bag. She dodged the king and ran down the hall.

The king cried piercingly as she ran past dazed bystanders. Quickly, as she was halted at the conclusion of the corridor, she focused her vision on the door to her right. A hole burned through it and she jumped into the room.

It was gold in colour with hunter green carpeting. Tarquinta seized a sword nearby. She removed it from it scabbard and pried the window open with its point. As people crowded in, Tarquinta held the sword steadily.

“Stand back!” She ordered firmly. “Anyone moves and I will do my worst to your palace!”

The king stepped forward, disregarding her warning. “Return our belongings or I will send my guards after you.”

Tarquinta’s eyes glowed green as she understood she was weak in the eyes of the king. “A curse on you and your monarchy! You didn’t take me seriously, but what are you without your orb? Nothing! You will forever regret the day you dealt with me, for your palace now obtains a hex!”

With that Tarquinta vanished into the night sky, and so begins our tale.


Looking out the cold window into the brisk winter day troubled Bessira, her breath turning into fog as she sighed. Outside, Happy Valley had abandoned its cheery manner and replaced it with desolate silence. Signs were hung upon each shop or business reading: “Closed; Please come again” with the traditional Happy Valley smiling Chia at the bottom.

Bessira sipped miserably at her hot cocoa. Not long ago had the village been filled with cheery citizens. It had been rumoured that there was going to be an evil visitor. Of course, Bessira knew that it had been a rumour spread by the town gossip, whose name she hated to say, but everyone feared the prophecy would come true. Apparently, it had been told to him by the Island Mystic while he had been on vacation and he felt he had to rush back to tell everyone. Taking caution, they all took shelter in their homes. Also for this cause had Bessira closed up her little book shop that was nice and heated. Roughly calculating, Bessira knew that a lot of money could have been raised today, being few days before the Annual Festival.

Bessira put down her mug of hot cocoa and rose. She pushed in her chair and stood in front of her window. Her gloomy presence was heartrending. The golden Meerca turned and pulled her mantle off its hook. Wrapping it around her, she lifted her tail and walked out into the sharp winter day.

The one thing she would change if she could, Bessira thought as her numb feet crushed the crunching snow, would be that every day was winter. In summer, the air was a slight bit warmer, possibly warm enough that you couldn’t see your breath, but it would never surpass that.

Of course, if she were to move into the Ice Caves, where it was colder, there would be warmth near the split in the ground. As she passed the Advent Calendar, Bessira stared at the long slope that led up to the Ice Caves. It was then that she heard the wind circle around her.

Making her way slowly to her friend’s home, she could see and smell smoke coming from the chimneys of the startled villagers who were hiding cowardly in their warm homes.

Bessira sudden knew something was wrong. She stopped dead in her tracks. The wind whizzed around her and her mouth dropped. She could feel goose bumps rising over her body.

She turned rapidly in one swift movement. There was nothing before her but the deserted Valley. Then the echoes of an alluring voice flooded her ears.

“Come closer, my slave… Come stare into the eyes of your master!”

Temptation drew her closer to the circling wind until terror sunk in and she froze. She tried to scream, but her jaw froze and she could merely squeak.

Then, the smoke from a nearby building churned into the cackling face of a ghostly Peophin. It grinned and bared its unusually sharp Peophin teeth at the frightened Meerca.

The wind twirled around her paralyzed body as the smoke became a hole. Bessira felt the mighty pull as she was sucked into the gap. When she was completely through, the fissure closed up, and left nothing but the peaceful Happy Valley behind it.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Fight for Fate: Part One

Fight for Fate: Part Three

Fight for Fate: Part Four

Fight for Fate: Part Five

Fight for Fate: Part Six

Fight for Fate: Part Seven

Fight for Fate: Part Eight

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