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The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part Nine

by smurfafied1800


Stealth of a Dagger

Velle recovered just in time to block the dagger. She spun around and thwacked Zayta directly in the legs, knocking her over. Velle grabbed her dagger and hit the hilt on the Zafara's head, knocking her out. She grabbed some ropes from her backpack and tied Zayta to a tree, after removing all the weapons she could find. Then, she went to get Sheer. When he got there, the mage pondered Zayta's fate.

      "She nearly killed me!" Velle argued. Sheer looked at the unconscious Zafara and said, "We could worm something out of her." Velle couldn't argue with that. They collected some icy water from the stream and sloshed it at her. Zayta woke with a start and glared at Velle.

      "Tell us who you work for," Sheer said simply. Zayta spat at his feet. "Wrong answer," he said and squeezed his fingers together. The ropes tightened and Zayta gasped, the air being whisked out of her. She wouldn't give in, though...

      "Stop!" Velle shouted. Sheer loosened his grip on the ropes and Zayta gasped for breath. "Like you said, we could get something out of her," Velle reasoned. The two Draiks sat on a log in front of the silver Zafara as she (being forced to) related her story.

      "When I was young," she began, "I lived with my grandparents in the woods. Grandma was really weak, and Grandpa was the worker. Me and him would spend hours together just working, but we liked it. Grandma and I liked baking and playing together, too. Then, one day, our home was attacked by the Meridellians. They were searching for food, and Granpa said he wouldn't give it to them. Granpa and Grandma were pacifists, so they didn't fight. The Meridellians, thinking that my grandparents were Darigan supporters, captured them. They told me to run and find someone called Tornac, and I did. Tornac became my mentor in the art of fighting. After he died, I took the job as an assassin. I've been that way ever since, and now I'm looking for my grandparents." Velle exchanged looks with Sheer.

      "How about this," she said, "you join us, and we'll spare you." Before Zayta could reply, she continued, "Syvor obviously has thousands of innocent pets stored away in his dungeons, and as soon as we're done with this, we can search the dungeons for your grandparents. Alright?"

      Zayta pondered this, then said,

      "I'm not helping anyone because of weakness. My job is to destroy whomever pets pay me to. I'm only helping because I want to help the pets who raised me. You got that?" Velle and Sheer nodded.

      * * * * *

      A few hours later, we stopped for camp. We couldn't set up tents or fires, so we ate cold food and decided to sleep behind stones and such. We were out on the plains, so we were especially vulnerable. Jeran had put on his armour and walked over to me. He was carrying a set of armour very much like his own, except it was smaller and had two wing-holes in the back.

      "No way," I protested, holding up my paws, "I can't wear that." Jeran raised an eyebrow. "You'll have to," he answered, "What if we're ambushed? You'd be killed." I pushed the armour away.

      "What if I had to fly?" I asked, "The armour would drag me down!" I later wished I hadn't said that. Jeran smiled evilly and left. In a few minutes he was walking back with something else.

           "This chain mail," he explained, "is perfect for flying pets. It's light as a feather and hard as dragon scales..." he paused. "I usually use it under my armour, but I think you should wear it." Before I could protest, I saw Jeran's fingers spark with blue electricity. I knew that disapproving wasn't an option. I grabbed the chain mail and pulled it on over my tunic.

      "Remember," Jeran warned, "you must wear that at all times. Even when you sleep."

      "Do I have to wear it even when I'm bathing?" I asked nervously. Jeran nodded, "Even when you're bathing." That was weird. Oh well, decided, I just hoped that it wouldn't be uncomfortable to sleep in.

      * * * * *

      The next morning, we left. With extreme stealth, we weaved our way through the grass and past the walls of the palace. We were in Meridell. I fingered the pommel stone in my sword's hilt nervously. I shouldered the bow and arrows on my back and checked my daggers. I was all ready to fight and kill anything that would get in my way.

      Dathlar killed the sentry shadow at the door with a swift thrust by the dagger. Clyo shot another sentry with an arrow, and it disappeared. Jeran snuck up on the other sentries and slew them. We were like a walking death cloud. Once we were actually inside the palace, I nodded and we split up. I took the middle passage. Once I was about half way down, I broke out into a run. I couldn't afford to be slow. I hardly met any shadows, but the ones that I did I killed. I turned around a corner and sat down for a rest.

      Then, I heard something rustle. The tiny hairs on my neck prickled in warning. Without a warning I sprang up and dashed around the corner, nailing my stalker.

      "Firescale?!" I gasped. The young Krawk looked down at his scaly toes. I growled. "You shouldn't be here."

      Firescale swallowed and said, "I have something to ask you." I groaned, not really caring right now if I was being rude.

      "You shouldn't have followed us here," I snarled. "You're in danger. We all are now."

      "But..." the Krawk began. I cut him off with, "Later. C'mon..." I grabbed his paw and led him down the hall. We passed a few rooms and I gave him my dagger for protection. I filled my body with the Shade Flame magic. It was poised like lightning ready to strike from my paws. We darted around a corner and ran down the hallways. I paused every once in a while to check the doors and see if Syvor was there, but he wasn't.

      Finally, we reached the high tower. I pulled the door open and saw the blue Eyrie snoring loudly in his bed. In his paw was an empty beer can, and the beer that had been in it was splattered all over the room. I left Firescale at the door and crept over to the sleeping Eyrie. This was it. I was going to have my revenge soon. I pulled out my sword slowly and prepared to strike when...

      A loud thud hit me in the back of the head. I heard explosions and I whirled around, only half-conscious. Firescale was begin held by a shadow Techo and a shadow Tonu had been the one to hit me across the head. I couldn't see much, everything was becoming a blur. I grabbed at the Shade Flame magic and hurled myself at the shadows, sending them scattering. Another explosion at the back of my head made me double over, and I could feel claws raking across my back. I gasped in pain and whirled around too late. Syvor had awakened and was raking his claws across my back, leaving long, deep gashes. I felt a third club in the back of my head and my skull seemed to crash. I finally lost consciousness...

* * * * *

      When I came to, I was lying on a hard, cold stone floor. When I raised one of my paws, the other paw came up like a puppet. I was in shackles. I looked across the cell and saw Firescale lying on the ground, as limp as a bone fish. He was shackled and bound also, and various wounds decorated his body. The realization of it all hit me. Was he dead?! I struggled to stand due to my shackled feet and hopped over to the limp Krawk.

      "Firescale," I murmured, placing a paw on his shoulder, "are you alright?" The young Krawk groaned and turned over, but at least he was alive. When I had been worried, I hadn't even noticed my own condition. I was bruised terribly and cuts lined my body. My head ached without mercy due to the three times I had been hit. My back ached and pulsed because of the cuts Syvor had delivered to my body. Firescale finally sat up and rubbed his sore temples.

      "What happened to you?" I asked gently. "You didn't fight. The shadows just grabbed you and then..."

      "That wasn't all," Firescale said."After you left consciousness, they took us both here. Since you couldn't talk, they took me to their torture chambers." I gasped. The poor Krawk had been tortured on my account! I felt guilt growing inside me like a never ending river.

      "Are you alright?" I demanded. Firescale nodded. Another question hit me. "You didn't tell anything, did you?!" I hoped not. Luckily, the green Krawk nodded. I sighed.

      "I hope Jeran and the others are okay..." I muttered. Firescale nodded hopefully. A guard came in and shoved some bread and water over to us, and we took it. Firescale took the first half of the food and I took the second half. A while after we ate, I tried to summon the Shade Flame magic. It wouldn't come.

      "What's going on?" I asked myself. Usually, it was easy to summon my magic. My answer came when Firescale fell asleep instantly and snored loudly.

      "We're being drugged..." I whispered to myself. I wouldn't be able to summon my magic for a few hours at the least. There were no windows in our cell, so I shoved the food under our itchy blankets. I shook Firescale gently and asked,

      "What was that question you were going to ask?" Firescale was dazed from the drugs, but he answered groggily.

      "Well," he muttered, "since my father is...well...not going to return to Maraqua with us...I was wondering..." he trailed off. Before I could prod him further, he continued.

      "I was thinking that you could...well, kinda adopt me. I can't stand going back to Maraqua, and you're a great fighter. I could maybe become your apprentice or something..." he murmured before dropping back down and snoring. I thought about it for a while. Having Firescale as my apprentice would be hard...partly because I blamed myself for his father's death. I would have to think it over later. I crawled to the other side of the cell and grabbed one of the blankets. I draped it over the young Krawk's beaten body. I grabbed my own itchy blanket and fell asleep.

      * * * * *

      When I woke up, it was sometime in the afternoon. I heard a guard clunking towards our cell and woke Firescale up. The young Krawk groaned and stood up groggily, then fell back down. I helped him up and we watched the guard coming towards our cell. He opened it with a clink and grabbed us by the ropes on the shackles.

     "Where are we going?" Firescale dared to ask. The guard grunted and said, "No one lives after trying to kill Lord Syvor of the shadows. Your execution is about to take place." I could hear the young Krawk whimper and I put a comforting paw on his shoulder. It didn't help my own terror. We were about to be killed! I had dragged Firescale into this mess, and now a young innocent pet would die.

      If we're lucky, I thought, it'll be quick and painless. I cursed my thinking so evily. The guard yanked on my rope and I stumbled, causing him to laugh hoarsely. I tried to grab out for the Shade Flame magic, but the drugs were still slowing my ability. I snarled and pulled sharply, causing the guard to stumble instead.

      "That's what you get for mocking Valrigard Lightblade!" I spat. The guard growled but kept going.

      We were finally brought out into the open and the light practically blinded us. I shielded my eyes until they adjusted to the scene. We were inside some sort of dome, making it impossible to fly out. A transparent metal screen surrounded the arena so pets could watch the execution without being harmed. The dome caused the sun to intensify harshly, making the temperature extremely hot. Firescale and I were used to it though, being reptiles. An enormous door on the other end of the field opened, and the executor emerged.

      I gulped. This executioner was far worse then the bulky Skeith with the axe that I had imagined.

To be continued...

Thanks to: sara_mossflower, allhailtheprincess, nomad2, and other friends who didn't give up on me. Feedback LOVED.

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Other Episodes

» The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part One
» The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part One
» The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part Three
» The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part Four
» The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part Five
» The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part Six
» The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard: Part Seven
» The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part Eight
» The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard

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