Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 184,258,786 Issue: 482 | 18th day of Awakening, Y13
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Tales From Number Five: Legend of the Ghostkersword - Barallus


by rider_galbatorix

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Barallus's ancestors were monks from Shenkuu. They were powerful, but due to the war they decided to settle in Meridell. His parents had been good fighters too, before the plague took them.

     Unfortunately, Barallus had not inherited what his family called 'the fighting gene'. He wasn't brave, valiant, or any of the characteristics a warrior would have.

     Instead, he stuck to simple farming in the village of Breth, which was but a normal village. No, it didn't have any dragons, wizards, or mythical beasts, and travelers probably passed there once a month. Quite unusual within Meridell.

     Barallus wasn't very good at farming, but he was very determined. There was an annual Marrow-growing competition in his village, and he wanted to win. He wanted to do something, earn some name like his ancestors.

     Unfortunately, he knew next to nothing about Marrows. So, he waited. Every day, he would check on his Marrows in a secluded part of his field, away from prying eyes. He would check what made them grow better, what caused them to diminish. For three years, he stuck to this, until he finally succeeded.

     Yup, his Marrow was the biggest for miles around. A Marrow of that size probably hadn't been seen in Breth in over a century. So, almost everyone agreed that Barallus would be the clear winner.

     But, the moment that Barallus had grew that Marrow, he wasn't an ordinary person anymore. He was special, and as we all know, special things attract everything.

     So, Barallus wasn't at all surprised when a carriage rolled up next to his farm. There was only one noble for miles around, and that was Lord Rikth, a blue Kougra. He was also the tax collector, and had a habit of using his claws on those a bit less willing to part with their hard-earned funds.

     So, Barallus expected that Lord Rikth was just there to collect taxes. What didn't enter his head was that Lord Rikth had won the Annual Marrow Growing Contest for years in a row, and would hate losing.

     "Here, this should cover it," Barallus said. He held a bag of Neopoints, which contained nearly all of his funds.

     "What? Where's the rest?" Rikth asked with a gleam in his eye. This confused Barallus; he knew that the bag should have been more than enough, and probably was. Lord Rikth seemed to have a lot of wealth to throw around.

     "That should cover everything," Barallus said.

     "Wrong. It would have covered everything had you been a normal farmer." Then, a nasty grin appeared on his face. "But, with such a big Marrow, it must mean much more taxes."

     "But... but I don't have any more," Barallus said.

     "Oh, too bad. I guess I'll just have to take your Marrow and consider that as payment." Barallus started to protest; he turned around to show his field, when there was an overwhelming pain in his left ear.

     "Why did you do that?" Barallus asked.

     "Well, obviously because I'm a Kougra, you know. I have claws, so I clawed you. If I were a Koi, I'd have flippers, and then, erm, what, flip you?" Rikth said.

     "No, why did you strike me?"

     "To teach you never to turn your back on your enemies." Rikth smiled. He attached a hook to the Marrow, and his carriage went out of sight.

     After a while, once the pain in his ear subsided, Barallus got up. He was enraged, Rikth had made all that stuff up. He was a corrupt and greedy tax collector, and now he was going to put his foot down. He was going to complain directly to King Skarl.

     He went inside his small house, put some ointment on his ear, and then set forth. He had a map of Meridell; one of his ancestors had been a surveyor.

      * * * *

     King Skarl wasn't having a happy day. For one, his cooks had all overslept, and let all his food burn. Not that it made a difference with most of the food cooked in Meridell Castle, but burnt water was taking a bit too far.

     Needless to say, he was far from happy when a green Lenny, a messenger arrived.

     "Sir, there is some urgent news," the Lenny began. King Skarl said nothing, so the messenger saw fit to continue. "In one of the villages in our immediate vicinity, there is a village. It's currently being terrorized by a gang. They don't listen to anyone, and have been causing Lord Sape lots of trouble."

     "Sape should be able to handle such a problem on his own," Skarl said.

     "Yes, but they are cunning and wily. He has requested that you send soldiers to his aid."

     "Fine then, send a few of our finest knights," Skarl said. The messenger gave a deep bow, and then left.

      * * * *

     Barallus wiped the sweat off his forehead. He had been able to reach Meridell Castle rather quickly. He wasn't too good at flying, and preferred to stay on normal, solid ground, but was able to take a shortcut over the forest rather than going through it.

     Most of his food had run out; he was either going to hope to get something from the King's kitchen, or he would have to forage for wild berries. He hoped it didn't come to that.

     He took one step after the other, and before he knew it the Castle was in sight. It was pretty big, so that didn't mean there wasn't much of a walk left.

      * * * *

     King Skarl was still in a bad mood. Nothing good had happened. His throne had collapsed yesterday under his weight, and now he had to sit in an old antique chair while it was repaired.

     Then, the same messenger arrived.

     "Your Majesty, the criminals have been apprehended. Lord Sape is sending them to you as we speak for judgment," the Lenny said.

     King Skarl just grunted, which the messenger took as a sign he had understood.

     "Another thing, the leader of the gang will be sent first. He is a Korbat, but do not let his meek appearance sway your judgment; he is as cunning as Jhudora."

     "I know how to deal with criminals," Skarl said. The Lenny left. With Skarl in such a bad mood, and the crimes that he had committed, they might as well have been readying the cell for the criminal.

      * * * *

     He had made it. Meridell Castle. It was huge, which was doubly shocking for someone who had lived his entire life in a village. So, Barallus stepped forward and made his way to the throne room. The moment he entered, King Skarl shouted,

     "JELLY WORLD EXISTS!"

     "Impossible," Meekel said. "King Skarl would never confirm the existence of Jelly World."

     "Well, he didn't," Number Five said. "I just have a habit of saying that, that's all." Meekel just stared at him. And so, Number Five continued.

     What King Skarl really shouted was,

     "I know exactly who you are."

     Barallus was confused. Did someone warn King Skarl about him?

     "Lord Sape has had a lot of problems with you," King Skarl said. Now, Barallus was confused. Who was Lord Sape?

     "No, your highness, really-" he began, but was cut off.

     "I want none of your nonsense. Guards! Take him away." Several armed guards walked in, holding their extremely sharp weapons at Barallus, who slowly backed away.

     Then, there was a blinding flash of light, and when Barallus opened them, he found out he was holding something.

     'Twas a blade. A long, deadly blade. It glowed, and Barallus felt it emanate power. It had a yellow eye on the hilt.

     The guards were equally astonished, but they continued their advance. So Barallus did the only thing that seemed to make sense; he swung the sword.

     One single blow knocked back all of the Knights, and the other strikes managed to create cracks in the buildings.

     Before he knew it, the sword was pulling Barallus, pulling him upwards, into the sky, far above Neopia.

     The only thing different was, unlike what had happened last time, the sword did not leave Barallus. If the Ghostkersword could sing, it would have. It rejoiced, it had finally found the swordsmaster who would take it to its true potential.

     The blade then bonded with Barallus. Now, they exchanged thoughts. Barallus could feel the thoughts of the sword. If one got hurt, the other would feel pain as well.

     However, using this connection the sword could transfer power to Barallus. It transferred much of its strength to the yellow Korbat. Now, if Barallus wanted to, he could probably punch for a wall.

     He kept his eyes open now. The speed they were flying at no longer seemed to be extremely fast, rather a normal speed. He could even see many things on the ground below as they sped past. And so, sword and sword master flew on, above Neopia, into the limitless sky.

To be continued...

 
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