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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 25th day of Sleeping, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 142 > Continuing Series > Journey of a Knight: Part Four

Journey of a Knight: Part Four

by laurensama

The gentle music floated from the glowing ground and up to the sky as the happy laughter mingled within it. On the brightly lit dance floor the happy peasants jumped and skipped with the music, some of them wearing their finest festival attire in this occasion. On one side of the makeshift dance floor the band played merrily on, their bright instruments reflecting the beautiful lamps that hung from above, putting perhaps even the brightest firefly to shame. Off the dance floor the fun was not extinguished as the guests happily ate and laughed with one another, a general feeling of happiness in the air. Jeran smiled at the peace around him, he simply couldn’t get enough of it. His thoughts drifted from the scene to the tournament in the upcoming days. He had continued to train though not as vigorously as he had in the past days. As he and Firiden had come into town they noticed the handsome knights and their glinting armor, while their powerful swords seemed to almost have a mind of their own. Sheepishly, Jeran looked at his own dull sword at his side. It had been his friend for the last thirteen or so years of his life, but his old friend definitely looked worse for the wear as the edges chipped and rust slowly over took it.

     Jeran sighed as got up, slowly walking away from the dancing to reflect on recent events. He wondered if he would simply make a fool of himself for his lack of a proper weapon or armory. “It’s skill Jeran, its skill!” He tried to tell himself nervously as he kicked a lone stone across the rolling grass. In front of him the castle loomed once again, a few lone knights standing upon its top pillars, looking forlornly at the festival. Jeran so very much felt the irony of the situation; he would perhaps give anything to stand where they were, instead of going to the festival, while they must have been the opposite. The young Lupe turned around, intent on going back to the inn to simply sleep the night away when an odd shadow caught his eye.

     The figure lurked in the gloom of the palace, silently creeping beside its walls. Hurriedly it dashed around the castle, disappearing behind a side of the castle, seemingly not noticed by anyone save Jeran. Jeran looked around himself cautiously before following the figure noiselessly. His large yellow eyes peeked around the corner where the he saw the figure disappear behind, scanning the area for him. His eyes finally rested on the stranger standing beside what looked like a stature. Indeed, the lone statue stood, a once proud memorial of what was a Draik knight, but not simply was overrun by weeds and chipped in so many places.

     The shadow cast an eye up at the guards, checking to see that they were all gathered to look at the festival. Upon seeing that it was indeed true, it pulled sinuous tail of the statue. Jeran watched with a hungry interest at the statue gradually scooted to the side, revealing beneath it a large gaping hole which the shadow slipped through. Jeran watched and waited as the Draik stature moved once again to fill up its hidden compartment. He bit his lip, wondering if he should call out to the guards or slip through the hole himself. Yet upon realizing that none of the guards where looking in his direction, Jeran decided to take the matter into his own hands as he pulled the tail of the statue and crawled through the opening. Step by cautious step Jeran climbed down the stairs, his keen ears perked up for any sounds though there were none to hear. His eyes squinted as a torch suddenly sprung to life next to him revealing the narrow stone corridor he was in. He knew that he should call for the guards, he should bring about more help…but Jeran had to find what was at the end of the tunnel…he had to know… He picked up his pace as he ran down the hall, faster and faster as the torches burst to life next to him. His heart began to thud in his ears, while an unmistakable grinding noise scratched and whirred ahead. Faster and faster he ran, intent on seeing whatever it was that made the noise…but then suddenly stopped.

     The sound had stopped and so, apparently, had his journey. The corridor abruptly ended with a solid stone wall with no other exit but behind him. Jeran knocked on the wall, then began to bang on it, wondering if perhaps there was a hidden notch to activate. However upon finding nothing the Lupe sadly turned his tail and hurried down the corridor and up the stairs. “There was something…I know there was!” He mumbled to himself as he climbed out from the hole. He looked around at the castle, grateful that he was not noticed, and proceeded to run back to the inn, eager to tell Firiden what he had seen.

     However, from the shadows of the castle a pair of eyes watched Jeran as he rushed off; in turn also running off to tell what he had seen…

***

“And so, where was he?” the voice questioned, not even bothering to look up from the paperwork before him. The one-eyed-Buzz continued to stare at the colorless Eyrie, his tattered black cape resting about him.

     “He was in the entrance, sir!” the Buzz informed, pointing at the large brute of a Lupe next to him. “This idiot here didn’t even see that the Lupe was following him, so he walked RIGHT into the entrance!” The hulking Lupe snarled dangerously at the insult, attempting to grab at the Buzz yet stopped from a single look from the Eyrie. He slowly stood up, approaching the two pets who tried nervously to stay as far away from the jail keeper as possible. “Do you know how long I was locked up in that dungeon?” he asked in a silkily quiet voice. The duo shook their head in a dumbfounded manner while the Eyrie turned and inspected a delicate gold scale on one of his shelves. “I was imprisoned for nearly forty years in that dungeon for a crime that I never committed. Well eventually the truth was known, but it was forty years too late... “That fool Skarl apologized; said that he would rectify the error. Do you know how he repaid me?” He posed another unanswerable question, to which he barley even waited for an answer before continuing. “He put me here! In charge of the prison that held me for so long. A cruel twist of irony that I will never forget! “Oh yes, I could have declined, could have left. But in an instant I saw it! I saw that if I stayed in this castle and worked within it I could be so much closer to that fat king as to extract my revenge upon him! So I have dwelled in my dark torture so that I can throw him in these dark depths that he banished me to. So that HE can know how it feels to loose forty or fifty, maybe even a whole LIFETIME, which you cannot get back!” He said in a harsh tone. The Eyrie unsheathed his sword and swung with amazing force at the cabinet in front of him, the wood seemingly nothing more than air. The terrified Buzz and Lupe watched as the Eyrie straightened up, his pale eyes more frightening and dangerous than anything which they had ever seen before. “I will not loose another forty years down here! Now dispose of the Lupe, or I will dispose of you!”

***

Though the time was far into the night, the festival still raged on with little signs of stopping. Jeran forcefully pushed himself through the crowd, desperately trying to make his way towards the town square. “Excuse me… sorry… can I please just get—through,” he grunted, stopping only once he was in front of the old inn he and Firiden were staying within. It was a rather shotty place, seemingly made of nothing more than wood and stone; yet the beautiful parlor and cheerful fire that crackled merrily along with the roar of the crowd inside instantly made up for its lack of aesthetic beauty. Two by two Jeran hurled himself up the stairs and down the corridor, wrenching open the door and bursting forth from his mouth…

     ”FIR! YOU WON—,” He quickly stopped and looked around for his friend who was no where in sight. Jeran walked about the small room, the Ixi’s bed seemingly untouched while all of his parcels still lay on the bed. The blue Lupe gave a small frown as he sat down on the squishy bed, unclipping his belt and sword, and throwing it on top of the other parcels which belonged to Firiden.

     As Jeran stared up at the ceiling, he couldn’t help but wonder who that shadowy figure was, dashing about the palace lawn? The wanted posters slowly crept into his mind as a link began to form in his consciousness. Could it be that one of the escapees had something to do with this? What exactly was that hallway underground? He mulled these things over in his head while the band’s music wafted through the closed window, slowly lulling Jeran to sleep. It didn’t take long for him to drift off into a deep and uneasy sleep, not more than one minute before his friend returned to the room.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Journey of a Knight: Part One

Journey of a Knight: Part Two

Journey of a Knight: Part Three

Journey of a Knight: Part Five

Journey of a Knight: Part Six

Journey of a Knight: Part Seven

Journey of a Knight: Part Eight

Journey of a Knight: Part Nine

Week 142 Related Links

Nonsensical Verbiage
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by laurensama



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