Battle Quills... ready! Circulation: 142,862,738 Issue: 176 | 4th day of Awakening, Y7
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Darkness Binding 4: Part Four

by nomad2


The council of shadow, now having the total focus on the room, thought about whether or not one or all will now tell their part in the subject of the trial. They each exchanged a glance to one another, carefully considering what to do. They knew not how it will affect the outcome of the trial, nor did they know who could best counter the arguments given against them.

      Creator looked up at Fyora and announced, "I offer to speak of the matter on behalf of the entire council of shadow."

      Harnessed then looked to Creator and said, "I believe we must each tell our interpretation. I vote on individual testimony."

      Pure looked at her feet and quietly said, "I trust Creator to speak for us. Let him be our voice."

      Inhabited shook his head and said, "We all have our own voices. I say we all speak."

      Twisted looked away from the other for a moment. There was a silence amongst them until Fyora broke it with, "Twisted, it comes down to what you say. Will you allow Creator to speak for the council, or will you each tell your side?"

      Twisted looked over to Harnessed and Inhabited. With a calm look on his face, he told them, "We must put our faith in Creator. I say let him speak for us, and trust the leader we have trusted for so long."

      The others remained quiet as Creator stepped forward. He gave a bow to Fyora before telling everyone, "I would like to start off by saying there are no regrets we should have. When dealing with such forces, it is understood among us that we were to bury our remorse to keep from being corrupted by it."

      Yorvick, in an outburst of anger, yelled, "Is that your justification for being so heartless!"

      Fyora jerked her head in Yorvick's direction and said in a demanding tone, "Let him speak. We will all act civilized in this room."

      After she returned her gaze to Creator, and Yorvick loosened up and leaned against the wall, Creator said, "When Cray came to the council to discuss Skotados, we knew the shadow had entered our plane. The uncontrolled force of its darkness was felt all the way in the frozen north. When a shadow joins with a Neopian, their physical forms fuse together to become one entity. Even though their minds are not one, there is no way to tear them apart. The only possible ways of separation are, well, forbidden for their cruelty. As for Cray, we did not want him to die, but it was a necessity. Before his death, the shadow in this room spoke of war with our plane. That would have the same effect as their exodus, being the destruction of balance, which would destroy us all. His sacrifice saved the world, and we honor him for it. It is true that we could have recovered him, but the price for it was too great for us to do. We only thought of the greater good for all Neopia."

      The room was quiet for a moment until Fyora asked, "Did you realize the shadow entered our plane in the beginning? You seem to have ignored the very beginning of the problems."

      Creator slowly shook his head and answered, "No, we were unaware of that. There was a second where we thought something was wrong, but it was our belief that it was the Shadow Usul fighting someone in the Battledome, seeing as how that one does that from time to time."

      Fyora rose an eyebrow and then questioned, "And sending Cray to talk to shadow instead of doing so yourself?"

      Creator gave a small cough before he responded, "Well, he was the only one who interacted with a shadow. That made him the best candidate, and our only hope for keeping them from entering our plane. We did considering going ourselves, but we didn't have the edge that Cray did."

      Fyora continued to have his somewhat puzzled look on her face as she looked down at Creator. Lastly, she asked, "What about Inhabited? She had contact with a shadow some twenty-five years ago. Did not even she remember that?"

      Inhabited looked away, both knowing and regretting the council's decision to let just one speak. She wanted to defend herself, but couldn't due to the laws of the trial. Under her breath, she even muttered something to herself quiet enough where no one heard her.

      Creator told Fyora, "As you should well know, my queen, the circumstances of Inhabited's encounter were...unique. It is hardly fair to compare the two incidents. Besides, Cray knew the shadow who came through and started the incident. We did not get the chance to meet this shadow."

      Fyora nodded to Creator, "Thank you for your testimony, Creator. Before a decision is considered, I must ask if there are any remaining statements or questions anyone can think of. This will be the last time anything can be added."

      Jhudora looked at Creator and asked, "How did you not notice the link between the shadow and Skotados after the shadow as sent back?"

      Creator looked at her and answered, "It was too weak of a signature. The link was most likely kept inside of Skotados, so it was able to keep isolated."

      "But it's still a tear between planes, which is always strong," she added.

      Creator simply said, "I have no response to that statement."

      Jhudora then asked, "Why did you not consider bathing Skotados in a pocket of shadows? That should have sustained the shadow enough where it would not have such a strong hold on the host. By nature, shadows do not cling to their food when they have had their fill."

      "It was not willing," he replied. "And it was not like we could grab Skotados and throw him in. If it were there by accident and wanted to go home, that would have made things easier."

      Yorvick harshly told Creator, "I was able to knock him out. He could have been put in a shadow pocket in that state. Instead, you say nothing and let him die. You should have said there was a way."

      Creator yelled back, "There was not enough time for preparation. He would have woken up long before you even got him to the temple, let alone get a shadow pocket ready to put him in."

      Fyora screamed to everyone, "That's enough!" Everyone become quiet, and she continued calmly, "The time for questions and statements is now over. I will leave to think over the situation alone, and be back shortly with my decision. Wait here quietly and don't get into any arguments or else the guards will escort you to your rooms."

      Fyora stood up and walked past the council as they stepped to the side. When he left the room, the doors slowly shut, leaving everyone standing around inside. For nearly twenty minutes, which seemed much longer to everyone, they wondered what the decision will be. The most calm one was the shadow, who was only so calm because twenty minutes is nothing compared to the eternity his kind spends in his native plane.

      When even the faeries who were observing seemed to be restless, the doors opened again as Fyora entered the room. As usual, she sat upon her throne and looked upon everyone in the area. "Sorry that took so long," was the first thing she said to everyone.

      Creator looked up at her and asked, "What is your decision on this matter?"

      Fyora kept a straight face as she announced, "It is my belief that the council of shadow did not properly perform the duties they were sworn to. It is also my belief that the deaths caused by their decisions could have been prevented if all options were considered."

      Yorvick's face lit up, and the shadow seemed to look up as if relieved. The council, on the other hand, looked down. Twisted mumbled under his breath and Creator looked devastated by Fyora's words.

      "It is therefore my decision," she continued, "that the council be disbanded permanently. Now, because of the services they have provided us in the past, they will not spend any time in prison for the deaths caused, but their power will no longer be permitted to be used. The disciples in the canyon will be able to continue their practices, but on their own time in their own homes. They will, however, have to leave the canyon and pursue their lives as they were before. As for the temple itself, its energies will be removed and it will stand abandoned until time weathers it down. I wish the five of you luck on building your new lives, for your old ones will do you no good."

      Pure cried out, "The council was all we had. This decision destroys everything we've ever done."

      Fyora responded, "I am being sympathetic right now. The decision could have been much worse considering you destroyed the lives of others."

      Creator asked in a frustrated manner, "And what of balance? Without a council, who will keep them in check? Answer me that."

      Fyora answered, "Jhudora will watch over Neopia, and the shadow next to her will watch it from within. Together, I am confident they will do well with the task."

      The shadow nodded its head, "I thank you, corporeal. Perhaps this will keep me from being so bored in the shadow plane."

      Jhudora responded, "Well, it's more work, but it needs to be done. I suppose I can do it."

      Fyora told them all, "That is all for the matter. You are dismissed."

      Everyone left Fyora's throne with the exception of Yorvick, who remained where he was during the trial. She looked over and asked him, "Was there something else, Yorvick?"

      "One thing," Yorvick said, "I want Cray's grave brought to Mystery Island. I want it placed next to where Skotados lies. I am sure Cray would have wanted to stay with his friend instead of in the frozen wastes."

      Fyora slowly nodded, "Very well. I will have it arranged that his coffin and headstone be transferred. I hope you find peace now."

      Without anything more, Yorvick left the room. There was no more business to attend to, so he returned to Mystery Island with a burden feeling it was just lifted from his shoulders. It was as if there was peace once more.

      Three days later, Yorvick stood in front of the two graves of his friends. He looked down at them with a straight face. "Cray, I know you learned from the council, but they weren't what they seemed. I am sure you will be able to rest in peace now that the focus of your powers are no longer bound to their influence. And Skotados, I am sorry I did what I did. I was blind, and I hope your spirit can forgive me. I have righted what I could, and now both of you are not where you are in vain. I will visit you two often, my old friends."

      That night, Yorvick went to sleep, and it was the best night of sleep he ever had.

The End

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Other Episodes

» Darkness Binding 4: Part One
» Darkness Binding 4: Part Two
» Darkness Binding 4: Part Three

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