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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 17th day of Eating, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 125 > Continuing Series > Dark Flame: Part Seventeen

Dark Flame: Part Seventeen

by child_dragon

Kraim cios They released me. A single claw swipe and my bonds were cut. I easily stood and summoned my spear to hand. The Kougra nodded appreciatively.

     "Very well then. Go fight, stranger from above."

     I grinned ferociously and started to walk away.

     "Kiddo," my brother called out after me, "Wait a second."

     I turned to face him.

     "You think you can take on the Monoceraptor?"

     "Yes."

     "Alright then. But this thing isn't the Monoceraptor. They said it was similar, meaning this kraim is different. Must be a strictly underground version. It'll be weak against light in that case. And Kiddo… good luck. Don't do anything stupid."

     "I won't," I said, and turned towards the tunnel the creature would come through.

     I waited for it just outside the tunnel exit. It would be at its most vulnerable then as the tunnel would not afford it much room for maneuvering. I would be able to hit it with my light magic and then hopefully drive it off with my spear. I could hear it coming now, the ground trembled and I could hear a deafening roar echo down the tunnel. I held my ground.

     It appeared around a bend. It was indeed an offshoot of the Monoceraptor. It was smaller, to fit through the tunnels I imagine, and it walked on all fours. But it had the same squat head and iron-tough skin. This would not be easy. It bellowed when it saw me and quickened it's pace, it's sides scraping along the tunnel wall. I grinned savagely as it approached. Almost.

     Its head had just cleared the tunnel when I struck. I raised my spear with a cry and released the light magic I had been holding in one brilliant explosion emanating from my spear tip. The beast howled in agony as the light slammed into its eyes. It violently shook its head back and forth and I charged, leaping into the air and landing on its muzzle. I drove the spear down as hard as I could right between its eyes. The jolt of the impact shot through my arms and shoulders and the creature howled in pain. My spear was sunk into its head but not deep enough to do any real damage.

     The beast charged blindly out of the tunnel, shaking its head and throwing me off. I hit the ground and rolled, quickly recovering my feet. The beast stood near the entrance to the cavern, still shaking its head back and forth blindly.

     "Hey, you brute!" I shouted. "I'm over here!"

     The thing turned towards me and opened one eye in a half-slit. It growled low in its throat and charged. I waited and leaped into the air at the last minute, twisting in midair to pull my spear free and land squarely on the thing's back. I then plunged my spear into its flank, again, not piercing enough to do any real damage but enough to enrage it further.

     It tried to shake me off but I leapt into the air and onto the ground. It swiped for me and I rolled to avoid its claws. One hit would end it for me. The thing was just too big. I came up on my feet again and dodged underneath its second attack, jamming my spear into the joint of its forearm. I yanked my spear free and dove to the side as the thing came down heavily where I had just been. It scrambled for a purchase on the stone and then stood again, glaring at me with one good eye.

     "Com'n you overgrown lizard," I growled, holding my spear before me, "I've got one last surprise for ya."

     I side-stepped until I the creature was between me and the tunnel entrance. It roared and started to move cautiously for me, realizing its blind rage wasn't helping things any. I took a step towards it and channeled my light magic into the spear tip.

     Dazzling beams of light burst out of the crystal top and directly into the creature's face. It screamed and backed away from the source of the light. I followed, forcing it back into the tunnel entrance. When it was far enough back I raised my spear above my head and slammed it point first into the ground. Power rippled out and through the cavern walls. The creature howled and retreated further back as stones rained down upon it. Then the ceiling collapsed and the thing was blocked from my view by dust and stone. I waited for a few moments until a rock crashed down mere inches away from me. I gasped and wrenched my spear free. I'd overdone it and the entire tunnel was collapsing. I turned and ran as the stone rained down around me, cursing under my breath. I could see the tunnel entrance now, disintegrating as I ran. I dove and rolled out as the rest of the tunnel collapsed behind me with a deafening roar.

     I lay on the ground for a few moments, feeling the dust around me slowly settle as the cave-in died down. I then hauled myself to my feet and gazed around me. The Infernals had gathered, cheering. I vainly tried to beat the dust out of my hair and caught the chief's gaze. He nodded and shouted some orders. A couple pets ran off and I could see them releasing my group. I grinned savagely and hoisted my spear into the air. A deafening roar arose in response. Shi'tri's bid to stop us had failed utterly.

     The chief persuaded us to stay for a feast that night. We all had bathed in the underground lake and I was feeling much better now that the dust of two cave-ins was off me. I had also healed all my friends and family that were injured. Un-eairkagh was laying on a mat eating an entire bowl of mushrooms on his own while talking a mile of minute to a gaggle of female Infernals. I could tell they didn't speak our language and therefore had no clue what Un-eairkagh was saying but that obviously wasn't stopping him.

     "What's he see in them?" Terraile whispered to me, "They're nasty hairless things."

     "They're also the only thing female that hasn't called him an immature brat."

     "Oh."

     My brother was staring dubiously at his food, some kind of meat and mushroom mix.

     "It's fungus," he said despondently.

     "Oh, just eat it," I snapped.

     "But it's fungus."

     I rolled my eyes and turned my attention to the chief, who had just shown up, bedecked in a ceremonial robe. He settled himself next to me and an Infernal quickly presented him with a large plate of food.

     "So tell me," I said, "how did this village come about?"

     "A long time ago a group of pets left the above ground to live here, where they would not be part of Neopian society. They settled on the banks of this lake for its supply of water and food and also because of its proximity to the Forge."

     "And what is the Forge?"

     "It is where the elements of Neopia reside. No one has been there and returned. We can get close, but we are unable to go further. It is too hot to survive. But legend says that it is a place where all the elements of Neopia meet and is a place of immense power. That is why the elements can manifest physically there."

     "As opposed to being summoned by a wizard."

     "Exactly. Am I to understand that you have summoned them yourself?"

     "No," I admitted. "Although I have met with them while they were under someone else's summoning."

     My mind flickered back to BrightSong and the Shadows.

     "See," I continued, "I am the Essence of Neopia. All the elemental powers are embodied in me. I am part of Neopia, as are the elements."

     "Interesting," the Raitos murmured. "We did not know such a thing existed."

     "Not many people do, actually."

     He thought on this for a few more moments and then lifted his head sharply.

     "Why are we talking of such things?" he declared angrily. "There is time to worry about what you will find in the Forge tomorrow! Eat, dance, enjoy yourself. Forgive me, I am being rude prying into your affairs when you have done such a magnificent deed for my village."

     He rose to his feet and bellowed something out in his own language. A chorus of cheers met his announcement and several pets pulled out drums. A group gathered around the campfire and the dancing began. I cast a quick glance at my brother.

     "No way on Neopia," he vowed solemnly.

     "Fine then, I'll go myself," I retorted, pushing myself to my feet to join in the dancing.

     Nothing like making a fool of yourself.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Dark Flame: Part One

Dark Flame: Part Two

Dark Flame: Part Three

Dark Flame: Part Four

Dark Flame: Part Five

Dark Flame: Part Six

Dark Flame: Part Seven

Dark Flame: Part Eight

Dark Flame: Part Nine

Dark Flame: Part Ten

Dark Flame: Part Eleven

Dark Flame: Part Twelve

Dark Flame: Part Thirteen

Dark Flame: Part Fourteen

Dark Flame: Part Fifiteen

Dark Flame: Part Sixteen

Dark Flame: Part Eighteen

Dark Flame: Part Nineteen

Dark Flame: Part Twenty

Dark Flame: Part Twenty One

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