A Queen's Ascension - Justice: Part Five
Frezon had to admit, he was surprised by what Sankara had suggested. It was now almost a week since his coronation, and Vyssa and Tomos’ escape (with no news of the two of them) and he had to say he was enjoying kingship. Everyone bowed down to him, obeyed his every whim and treated him like the powerful individual he was. He thrived off his new found power and felt completely in his element. Everything just kept going his way. He would make sure to deal with Vyssa and Tomos if he ever caught them or heard of them again, but in the meantime Sakhmet was his, and nobody was going to take that away.
And now, Sankara was suggesting immediately adding Khamtef to his list of kingdoms. He was to become King Frezon I of Sakhmet and Khamtef, effective as soon as she signed over the monarchy to him. Sankara, it appeared, had discussed this with her advisors back in Khamtef, they had agreed, talked to her people about the matter and now all that was left was for Frezon to sign the documents.
He scanned the last page of the document now, which was where he had to sign. He held a quill in his hand, but paused at the final moment as something caught his eye.
“It says here you would be the heir to my thrones?” He said, sounding uncomfortable.
Sankara smiled. “Well, yes, dear brother. As your closest living relative I would be heir to Sakhmet and Khamtef, and eventually all of the Lost Desert, which soon enough you will have conquered one way or another. However, you’ll also see it clearly states I will be heir until you have children of your own. You won’t have to worry too long. Your succession will be secure.”
“Oh, I see.” Frezon muttered, double checking the contract. He knew how ambitious his sister was and he found this to be a very strange move on her part. “And you’re really okay with becoming a princess? That’s a bit of a step down from queen.”
“Queen of Khamtef,” Sankara shrugged, “that’s nothing. King of Sakhmet, now that’s something. Princess of Sakhmet and Khamtef, that’s good too. It’s me and you against the world, brother.”
Frezon chuckled. “Don’t forget our mother. She must have received my invitation to the coronation but she didn’t show up, as predicted.”
“You know what mother is like,” Sankara said dismissively. “She likes to remain undisturbed. But I will pay her a visit next month to check up on her. Call it a diplomatic mission.”
“Thank you, Sankara. Make sure she knows how grateful I am for her convincing acting skills and brilliant potion making abilities.”
“Oh, I will.” She replied, rather chirpily.
Frezon looked at the document one last time, and then he signed it. Later that evening, he would have to draw the crowds of Sakhmet to the great steps of the palace for the third time that week to announce his new kingdom. As he cast a sideways glance at Sankara, he wondered if she had rather outstayed her welcome here. Perhaps he should send her back to Khamtef to lead there in his stead. She knew the place well, after all. She used to be their queen.***
Tomos frowned, scratching his head. “I’m sorry, Nabile. Explain that again. You want us to do what?”
He and Vyssa had been ushered by Nabile into what had clearly been an old underground lookout station, now abandoned and refurbished into a comfortable room, complete with a bed, a sofa, a stove and a table and chairs. Leading off of the main room was tiny washroom, complete with a running water line which was, according to Nabile, from a well nearby. It dripped like a small waterfall above them and was suitable to use for washing, which was brilliant. Tomos couldn’t help but muse at the suitability of this all for he and Vyssa, and Nabile confirmed it.
“Okay, I used to use this place as a chance to get away from palace life. Not even Jazan knows about it. When I heard about you and Vyssa being captured…I knew you could use here. I know there’s only one bed but you can sleep on the sofa, Tomos. Only I know this place even exists anymore. I found it while I was looking at old blueprints of Qasalian war efforts.” Nabile explained, looking somewhat sheepish. “You can stay here as long as you need, but I really think time is of the essence here. And that’s where my plan comes into play.”
Having explained it once, Tomos was clearly still confused. Nabile sighed.
“I know it sounds extreme. But we have to deal with Morgana before we can deal with Frezon and Sankara. And I really feel like Sankara is our biggest threat of the three of them. She’s the mastermind behind it all. Frezon is just the front man and Morgana supplies the goods.” She looked at Vyssa, who was nodding slowly. “You remember how cunning and convincing Sankara can be. Add in some magic potions from her mother and we’re all toast. At least if we get rid of the potion source we know we’re acting in our own free will, and we won’t have any…incidences…happen again.”
Vyssa bit her lip at that last comment, delicately worded by Nabile. “Alright.” She said. “Explain that one more time for Tomos, Nabile, and so that I can be sure it’s really what I want to do.”
Nabile nodded. “Right. You guys both go down there, search for the evidence you need, and get out as fast as you can. Morgana will undoubtedly be down there too, and you will have to deal with her. Negotiate with her if you can, don’t make it into a fight if you can help it. Use the secret entrance you used to get out of there last time at the closest possible moment. I will be there with some Eyries. The Eyries will drop rocks down into the well until it is completely blocked up. At the secret entrance, we will push a huge boulder there together and Morgana will be sealed in forever, negating her as a threat completely.”
There was a pause as Vyssa and Tomos digested this. It sounded plausible, but it also sounded like it rested on a lot of what ifs.
“What happens if it goes wrong?” Tomos asked. “We’ll be in there with Morgana, a powerful sorceress, remember? It could be dangerous. I really doubt she’s going to just stand there and let us look for something.”
“I thought of that.” Nabile said. She chewed her lip. “Jazan has a lot of spellbooks he keeps locked away. Only he has access to them. Well. I do too. Technically.” She was suddenly very uncomfortable, looking down at her lap. “I’m not sure if just anyone can perform these spells, but considering he keeps the books locked away it seems likely…” She dug into her pockets and pulled out a crumpled, old looking piece of paper. It had definitely been ripped out of a book.
“Nabile!” Tomos gasped. “You didn’t?”
“Those books contain bad spells…” Vyssa whispered. “We can’t use anything from there!”
“We don’t have a lot of choice.” Nabile told them. “But don’t worry. It’s just a stunning spell. Morgana will be frozen in one spot for at least sixty minutes. It’s not long, but it might just give you enough time to search for the evidence you need.”
“You’re going to get into so much trouble with Jazan for doing this,” said Tomos anxiously, patting Nabile’s arm. “Not to mention if anyone else finds out. Like Sankara. You really shouldn’t be doing this.”
Nabile took his hand and stared at him intensely. “But I am.” She murmured. “For you, Tomos. For you, Vyssa. But most of all for the future of the Lost Desert.”
Tomos looked down at their clasped hands and blushed, quickly removing his hand and placing it in his own lap. He knew that Nabile was doing this because despite everything it was the right thing to do. Even if she got into trouble, she was sacrificing herself for every other Neopet who lived in the Lost Desert. The future looked bleak. But maybe, just maybe, these three could change the trajectory and do something about it. Nabile’s plan seemed like the best option.
He turned to see what Vyssa thought and noticed the same facial expression of acceptance of what they had to do. It made him smile slightly, despite it all. Vyssa had completely changed, especially from the Viola he once knew. It had taken tragic events, but she was a better Neopet now. And Tomos knew she would make an amazing queen.
“When can we do this?” Vyssa said determinedly. Her eyes had a steely look about them and for once she seemed completely calm.
“Myself and my most trusted guard will meet you both one hundred metres west of here first thing in the morning tomorrow, just as the sun is rising.” Nabile replied, appearing just as composed.
Tomos exhaled the nerves he had been feeling. This was it now. It was all really happening. They were going to save Sakhmet. They were going to defeat Morgana. Tomorrow.
To be continued…