"The Jade Scarab?" Bunny asked.
Karen lifted her head up and stared at the sky. "Yes. It's one of Kashi-Tara's
most well kept secrets..." She turned towards the city and lifted her paw, it's
index finger pointing towards the Stone Grarrl. "Long ago, Kashi-Tara and Sakhmet
were at war with each other. The war lasted so long that nobody even knew what
they were fighting for anymore. So both of the Kings cancelled the war, and
as a sign of peace, got together their best craftsmen, and out of a large jade
stone, they carved out a small scarab. The scarab was held in the castle for
a long period of time... but then an evil sorcerer came, and wanted that jade
scarab so badly, that he created a giant stone Grarrl and tried to destroy the
city with it. A young Zafaress from the Dark Faerie Tribe came and froze the
Grarrl into an endless sleep, and sealed it with the scarab. Now the scarab
lives deep inside the Stone Grarrl... it's worth billions of neopoints... and
Balthazar wants to have it," she finished her story with a frown. Bunny's eyes
narrowed as she looked around the forest.
"If he takes the Jade Scarab, the Grarrl will
awaken and destroy the city," Karen started, "But only Garo knows where it is.
Which is why he was kidnapped," she stared hard at the ground as she finished
Tron crossed her arms, her hand playing with the hilt of her sword. "So even
you don't know where it is? Well well, we will just have to follow them, won't
we?" Tron turned towards the desert, but found it wasn't even there anymore.
She froze in her stance, only her eyes moving. She scanned the area once again.
They weren't where they were when Garo attacked. "That's odd..." Tron thought
to herself, "We never left that area..."
Bunny's ears stood up, her eyes glancing around
her surroundings. "You guys, the forest is..." she started, but she cut herself
off when she saw the look on Tron's face. "Argh!! Curse him! Curse him!! Curse
his ugly hide!!" she growled as she dug her nails into the hilt of her scimitar.
"He did this to confuse us! Argh!" she cursed under her breath as she thought
about what happened that day. Karen stood there clueless.
"What do you mean?" she asked, glancing around
as the sunlight slowly started to disappear.
Tron sighed, placing her forehead in the palm
of her hand. "Balthazar has the power to change the forest... darn it all...
it's my fault, too..." she muttered to herself.
To Bunny, this would be hilarious if it weren't
for the fact that everything was going to heck in a handbasket. She had never
heard of Tron crying, let alone speaking slowly. Tron looked up from her tear-and-blood
riddled hand and glanced around the forest. She wiped her face with her right
hand, growling because she was still bleeding from Garo's attack. Tron glared
at the twisted metal of her once shiny iron gauntlets. "We have to get them
back... but how... are we gonna get out?" Karen asked nervously.
Bunny stared at one point in the forest. "I was
born in darkness..." she mumbled to herself. Tron glanced at Bunny. "That's
what they said," Bunny stated as she walked towards where she was staring, "If
that's true... then you could call me a Dark Faerie Zafara. And if that's true,
then the darkness means nothing to me." She raised her paw up, and everything
around them seemed to disappear. There was total darkness around them, except
for one path that had only the slightest illumination. Everyone stared in amazement.
"Bunny... is a...?" Karen was too scared to speak. Bunny already started down
that path, Tron following a few seconds after.
Karen growled, "I'm staying right here! I don't
trust Dark Faeries! I..." she gulped as she looked around. Eerie voices laughed
in the darkness.
"Umm... H-Hey! Wait! You guys! Wait for MEEEE!!"
"We're here, boy..." Balthazar snarled. Garo stared up at the monstrous statue.
Both of them were standing in front of the Guardian of Kashi-Tara City, the
Stone Grarrl. Garo glared at the silent stone, still in Balthazar's clutches.
The Stone Grarrl was made into a temple, and the entrance was the mouth. Balthazar
dragged Garo into the open mouth of the beast, Garo staring at the huge stone
teeth that lined the entrance. "Tell me where it is, boy!" Balthazar growled
as they reached two tunnels.
Garo sighed, "I don't know exactly where it is.."
he tried to lie his way out of this mess. It didn't work. Balthazar dug his
long nails into Garo's neck angrily.
"If you lie to me just once, Prince Garo, I will
literally chew you up and spit you out!" he threatened. Garo gulped as he felt
Balthazar's cold claws sink into his skin. "Take the right passage." He hated
himself for doing this. He wanted to lie, but he knew how Karen would react
if she found him dead.
"Please hurry, Kat..." he whispered as Balthazar
stomped down the Stone Grarrl's esophagus.
"We're out... thank you Bunny! Thank you so much!" Karen smiled at her. Tron
just snorted and walked towards the edge of the desert.
It'll take us forever to get there, she
thought, running her claw-tipped finger down her chin, Unless we fly there..
she let out a smile and opened her bat-like wings.
Both Karen and Bunny were amused. Neither of
them had realized just how large Tron's wings were, since she usually kept them
folded. She had a wingspan of almost 15 feet! Tron grabbed Bunny and Karen's
hands and started to run. Without hesitation she kicked off the ground and soared
through the sky towards the Stone Grarrl. She smiled as she felt the wind run
through her wings once again. She had been grounded since she was a child. Like
Bunny, she had a past she didn't want to remember.
For years she had been trying to bury that past
by searching for the thing she lost. But like the Kings of the Jade Scarab,
she had forgotten what she was fighting for. She had forgotten the feeling of
loving someone. For so long she had wandered Neopia, searching for something
she couldn't explain. She tried desperately to fill the emptiness of a shattered
heart with her love of adventure. That's how I got here, she thought
to herself. Bunny stared in awe as they flew over the desert. Karen stared ahead.
"Um, guys... There's a SANDSTORM in front of
us!" Karen screamed. Tron opened her eyes just in time to stop her flight. Immediately
she jerked to the side, the sandstorm whirling past them. Tron looked around,
shielding her face with her right arm.
"There are so many sandstorms... What's going
on? Is the weather normally like this, Karen?"
Tron flew up a little higher, getting out of
the way of some of the sandstorms. It seemed the entire desert was on fire.
Karen's eyes widened in shock as she looked around the place she was born and
"These aren't normal sandstorms," she gasped,
"These sandstorms were created by an evil force... something bad is happening
to the Stone Grarrl! We have to go there! Hurry, fly Tron!!" Tron didn't have
to be told a second time. She flew as fast as she could towards the Stone Grarrl.
Bunny's paws played with the hilt of her sword, her claws tapping at the leather
gripping. She knew her sword was special. And she knew that she would use that
sword very soon. Tron descended as they came nearer to the temple. She folded
her wings slowly as her decent went into a nosedive.
"Hang on, guys! Keep yer arms and legs tucked
in, unless you want 'em torn off!" she yelled as she flew right into the mouth
of the Grarrl. She flew down the esophagus and landed hard on the stone floor
of the Grarrl's belly. "Ouch! Why must it be stone..." Tron whined as she rubbed
her bottom. Bunny and Karen landed safely and looked around. "Where could they
be?" Karen whined.
Bunny's eyes scanned the area. She started walking
down the right path. "I can sense an evil presence down here," Bunny snarled,
"It's Balthazar." Tron followed closely, Karen close behind. Tron's heart was
beating fast. "Today, I'll get revenge on you for everything you've done to
me... I'll let you know what it's like to die..."
"Are you sure it's here, boy?!" Balthazar snarled,
eyeing the ivy-covered walls that were once the ribs of the Grarrl.
Garo sighed, "I'm sure it's here. Why would I
lie to you?" He didn't even want to look the monstrous Lupe in the face.
Balthazar growled angrily,. "I don't see nothin...
you're lying to me, boy!!" He threw the Aisha to the hard stone floor angrily.
Garo winced as he landed on his lower back. His short Aisha claws dug between
the cracks of the floor and loosened the stone from the moist soil. Balthazar
towered over the fallen Aisha and glared angrily down upon him. "This is the
last time you lie to anyone!" He raised his huge fist and slammed it against
the rock hard walls of the Grarrl's ribs. Balthazar's fist made a huge hole
in the wall, small pebbles falling from it. Garo just sat there staring. Balthazar
grinned, "Yer in awe of my power, eh boy?" his hot breath blew down upon Garo's
Garo shook his head, "No... look!" he raised
his bloody paw and pointed towards where Balthazar had smashed the wall. Balthazar's
eyes shot open as he looked into the small hole. A small shining object rolled
out of the hole and onto the floor, glistening from it's own light. Balthazar
picked up the small object and stared at it, his eyes examining the unidentified
thing. His lips rolled into a large toothy grin as he realized what it was.
"By Fyora's tower, this is the Jade Scarab!"
Laughter bellowed from Balthazar's throat as he clutched the scarab in his paws.
Garo stared at the floor in shame. How could
he have let it get into Balthazar's hands? He felt so guilty. He felt as if
the entire episode was his fault. Garo's ears drooped as he listened to Balthazar's
psychopathic laughter. Then his heart leaped. He heard footsteps in the distance.
Garo's long Aisha ears stood up, rotating to catch the sounds. He looked up,
his blood red eyes piercing into the darkness, trying to find the source of
the sound. Suddenly they stopped. Garo stood still. What was going on?
His thoughts were interrupted by a paw reaching out, grabbing his neck.
"I don't need you anymore, boy!" Balthazar snarled.
Suddenly he screamed in pain. Garo looked up to see a few fireballs slam into
Balthazar's chest, knocking him to the floor. Garo stood up smiling.
"I'm so glad to see you guys!" he laughed as
Bunny, Tron & Karen emerged from the shadows.
Balthazar snarled, clutching the Jade Scarab.
"You... you've come to ruin my day again, haven't you, Tron?" he growled as
he stood up.
Tron smiled as she raised her right hand towards
him. "How would you like to feel what my friends felt? You know... the ones
you slaughtered that day." Her smile fell as she thought about her fallen friends.
It really was our fault that this happened, Tron thought to herself.
Everyone was silent. Suddenly-
"What the heck was that?!" Bunny shrieked. That
sounded like moving stone... she thought to herself. Suddenly, the ground
started to shake. Everyone fell off balance as the floor tilted side to side.
"No! This can't be happening!" Garo screeched
as he tried to climb up the stone walls. "THE STONE GRARRL IS ALIVE!" he yelled
over the earthquake. Tron and Balthazar slid to the back of the tunnel, crashing
into a hard stone wall. The Jade Scarab flew from Balthazar's clutches, falling
through a hole in the floor. A large boulder was dislodged from it's grave and
it rolled down the floor towards the entire gang. Bunny and the two Aishas barely
got out of it's way.
"Tron! Look out!!" Bunny yelled, eyes wide in
shock. Balthazar growled and held out his huge muscular paws. He caught it as
the boulder fell into his hands.
"You have to do something!" Tron screeched, "Hurry!
Before we're buried under the stone! Hurry you fools!!!" They didn't have to
be told twice. Bunny & the Aishas dived into the hole where the Scarab had fallen.
It was a long, long drop. They landed in the soft, warm sand of the desert,
slightly dazed from their fall. Garo shook off his daze and looked up in shock.
Towering above them was the Stone Grarrl...
To be continued...