"ACK, run!!" shouted Misty. "Follow me, I know where to go!!"
"And just how do you know tha--oh, forget it," exclaimed Midnight, "just lead
Misty jumped out of the hole in the floor, turned around and started running
away from the Kougra twins. The others followed. Jen, Ace and Shane all took
flight, while Midnight and Misty ran for their life. The Kougra twins laughed,
as they got ever closer. The five Neopets could not run as fast as them, and
they were getting closer every second.
"Okay guys, we gotta get ready to run into the wall," Misty said. "When I
saw now, run left, and hit the stone wall as hard as you can!!"
"You think that can," started Blaze.
"Get away that easily?" continued Daze.
They then both opened their mouths as they continued to run, and two large
fire balls shot out of them, and headed for the five Neopets.
"NOW!" yelled Misty, and they all turned left. The fire balls kept going straight,
and missed the Neopets. They both hit the wall and exploded, sending gusts of
wind through the entire stone mansion.
The place was very large, and the Neopets were still running toward the left
wall. The Kougra twins continued to run after them, and as they did, they shot
two more fire balls. The Neopets hit the wall with a thud, and a small stone
door suddenly appeared. They opened it quickly, went inside and closed it again
very quickly, and the very second they slammed it, they heard the loud rumble
of the fire balls slamming on the door. The fire roared, and shook the ground
the Neopets were standing on. Finally, it stopped.
"Wow, we made it," said Jen as she gasped.
"Yeah, but how did we make it?" Midnight thought.
The Neopets had no clue where they were, because it was pitch black. The Sword
didn't seem to want to light up.
"I can't see a thing," Jen said slowly. "Are we even safe here?"
"We're safe," Misty said. Then, the Neopets could strangely somehow see each
other. Midnight looked at the Sword that was still in her hand, but it was not
lighting the area. "It's my necklace," Misty said. They all then noticed that
the gold leaf on Misty's necklace was glowing red like fire, and it was giving
a dull light, so that the Neopets could only see each other's faces.
"And, yeah, we're safe for now, I guess," she said.
The others were speechless, and just looked at Misty in amazement.
"I don't get it," Midnight said. "Why won't you tell us anything? How did
you know about this place in the, in the wall?"
"If she doesn't wanna tell us, she doesn't have to," Ace said. "Let her keep
it to herself, if she wants to!"
"But we need to know!" replied Midnight firmly. "Knowing this could help us
in our journey, somehow! We gotta know. We have to what she's keeping from us!"
"Then, let her tell us when she's ready! Maybe she has a reason! Let's just
drop it for now, and continue on."
"I've dropped it too many times. I need to know!"
"Stop talking like you're in charge, Midnight!" Ace raised his hands in the
air as he yelled. "Nobody here is in charge, so stop taking the lead. If she
doesn't want to tell you, she doesn't have to."
"Misty," Jen said as Ace and Midnight continued to argue, "why don't ya just
tell us, so they stop arguing? It's a huge waste of time, it is! I don't know
why Neopets have to argue. They act so immature."
"I know, I wish they'd stop," Misty replied. "But as much as their arguing
annoys me, I can't tell them."
"C'mon, Misty! We need ta get going, and even I'm getting very curious now..."
"I refuse to tell anyone, and that's final!" she then turned to Midnight and
Ace to say something, but Jen interrupted.
"Why won't you tell us, then?"
"You may know soon enough."
"May? Oh, for crying out loud, stop acting like one of those mysterious wizards,
"I'm gonna get it out of you, if it's the last thing I do!" "That's what you
As everyone continued to argue, Shane sat quietly on the floor, waiting for
them to stop. Then, a loud rumble could be heard, and the ground they stood
on was now shaking. Everyone became dead silent. Them a tremendously loud crash
was heard, and the ground they stood on was now shaking so hard that the Neopets
crashed on the wall from side to side. They screamed as the crashes continued
and the floor shook crazily. It stopped very suddenly, but a soft rumbling could
still be heard. They then heard a hissing noise coming from deep in the shadows.
"Run!!" she screamed. "Run down the hall!!! This place is coming down!!! We
have to run while it's silent, and not shaking! GO!"
The leaf on Misty's necklace now literally caught on fire, and everything
could be seen now. They were in a small hall. The walls were all evilly dark,
and it sent chills down all the pet's spines. Midnight felt something grab hold
of her head. It felt like 6 long spikes digging through her skin.
She screamed, and fell to the ground on her knees, holding her head. She heard
Ace yell faintly, but after that, she heard nothing. There was a silence that
she had never heard before. She slowly opened her eyes, and saw that her friends
were also on the ground holding their heads with their mouths opened, but she
couldn't hear them yell. She gathered her strength, and yelled once more. She
couldn't even hear her own voice. She closed her eyes again.
"What's happening?" she thought to herself. "Is this gonna be the end of
She thought for a second, and then realised that she was not the one who thought
the word "Yes". The pain in her head lessened, but she still held her head,
and kept her eyes closed.
"...Was that... me? No, it wasn't, my pretty."
Midnight froze in fear. There was something in her head, or speaking to her
mind, somehow. She tried to open her eyes, but she could not.
"What do you want? Leave me ALONE! Never, little one! You cannot get rid of
me now. Why are you doing this to me? Who are you? I am that the one you wish
to destroy! ....No way...."
Midnight was finally able to open her eyes. The pain in her head lessened
a little more. She saw her friends laying on the floor unconscious. She looked
beside her on the floor and saw the Sword. She tried to speak, but couldn't,
so she said it to herself in her thoughts again.
"My friends. What did you do to them!?! They are safe for now." Midnight suddenly
realised that when this other force spoke to her, her lips moved, and it said
it aloud through Midnight, yet Midnight herself could not say a word. "What
have you done!? What's wrong with them!?" Midnight heard nothing in return.
"ANSWER ME!!" At those two last words, Midnight yelled them aloud, and she could
now speak. Her voice echoed through the hall. "Must I?" it answered at last.
"Yes, you must! What is going on here!?! As I said before, your friends are
safe, for now. Their minds rest in the Staff of Dreams. The staff of dreams...
That's what we came here to find, if that is it's name. I know. I know your
quest well, fool! Listen to me. Their physical bodies are no longer. But their
souls rest in the Staff. If you use the Staff to find your way to the Tree,
your friends minds will be lost forever. It will hold their minds, until it
uses it's power. Then, along with it's magic powers, their minds will go. They
will be destroyed."
Midnight froze. She thought of all this thing had said. A tear started to
come to her eye, but she held it back.
"What am I to do?" she said. "My dear friends... The Tree... I need to put
the Sword back, but I need to use the Staff to do it... and if I use the Staff,
my friends will be destroyed. But they will be destroyed anyway if I don't put
it back. Misty, Shane, Jen... Ace!!"
She jumped up and ran toward her friends, who weren't far in front of her.
She first went to Misty. She checked for a pulse. Excitement and hope grabbed
hold on Midnight when she felt the pulse!
"Misty!! Her physical body is alive!!! You lied to me!! She's ALIVE! What's
this?" the other voice that came from her mouth sounded confused. Midnight then
realised that as this other thing spoke through her, it hissed. It no longer
sounded like Midnight's voice. It was no longer in her mind, but it still used
"Indeed, this makes little sense," it said. "I do not understand this at all.
Why is her physical body still alive?" There was a short silence, and then the
voice came through again in a loud hissing rage. "Ssss!! What a terrible, terrible
pain!! That necklace she's wearing! Take it off, now, fool!!!"
"I refuse to do that!" Midnight answered in her own rage. "I can plainly see
that if it is taken off, she will die!! I can hear your rage, and I understand
why you want it off! I will NEVER take it off, you hear?"
"Oh, won't you? Sssss!!" it laughed and hissed at the same time. "You know
that I have power over your mouth, right? Well, I can also use your arms and
legs. I will take it off!"
Midnight saw her paw move all by itself. It went forward to Misty's necklace.
It was still burning red with fire and lighting the area. Midnight thrust her
paw back to her side.
"Never!! I have free will! I will fight you, and get rid of you!!"
"You will have a hard time fighting me, I promise. Yehehe.."
Midnight felt a chill run down her spine, but it was a chill of a different
sort. Her body shook all over crazily. Midnight shook her head.
"Most likely, this is all in my head," she said. Midnight stood up and walked
over to Ace. She checked for a pulse. Fear grabbed hold of her heart. "No pulse..."
She then went to everyone in turn, but felt no pulse at all. Misty was the only
one with a pulse. She ran over to Misty and tried to rouse her. "Wake up! Please
Misty, you fool, wake up!!" She finally gave up, and sat on the ground with
he chin in her paws.
"Is this all still in your head? Ssss."
"Yes, it is," Midnight said. "At least you are!!"
There was another silence. Midnight was thinking of what she could do. Would
she believe this thing that could all be in her mind, or figure this out for
herself? And if this thing was real, then would she use the Staff, and watch
all her friends be destroyed? But if she didn't use the Staff, they would perish
anyway, as well as all of Neopia. A tear finally rolled down her cheek.
She had no hope left. She wished that she were back home with her owner, playing
games and eating food.
"Who is you?" came a strange voice from behind Misty. She quickly turned around
to see a red Kougra. It was wearing a cloak with the hood over it's head. "What
is happened to you's friends?"
"Who are you?" Midnight asked full with suspicion. "What are you doing here?
How did you get here?"
"I is John. I know of you's quest, so don't you's worry about me. I is here
to help you, not to make you's quest more difficult. I is just here to give
you something." With that, John walked up to Midnight, and handed her a letter.
Midnight felt strangely safe with this Kougra, and did not fear him when he
walked up to her. She read the letter slowly.
"Dear Midnight, Jen, Shane, Misty, and Ace,
I understand that you, Midnight, are probably struggling with a decision.
I know not what decision you have to make, but I hope this will make it easier
for you to decide. Read this letter carefully! If you misunderstand one thing,
it can easily throw you off track, and you will probably choose the exact opposite
of what you should.
First of all, if you are in the Castle, trust not the King. The King is a
Quiggle. His intentions are good, but he causes much more trouble than good,
though he does not know it. Keep far from him, and do not answer his questions,
if he asks them! And if you are in the Castle, but in the Hall of no Will (it
is a hall that is completely black. If you look closely at the shadowy walls,
you will see images of things that have lost their will in this hall), the thing
you hear in your head is REAL. Take it seriously!
If you take it lightly, it will take over all of your mind, and your image
will be on the wall with many others. But beware, for it is a liar! If it says
you, or one of your friends minds are in the Staff, that is FALSE!
I am in haste. I would explain more, but I must go. Farewell, Midnight, Jen,
Shane, Misty, and Ace!
P.S. The sharp may be strong, and carry great power, but once you at last
get down to the very last hour, the strong will bring healing, not the end;
for causing that will bring you your very last breath.
Use the help from the Great Golden Tree to help the strong heal all that may
be. But you will not see it, and you will know grief, and that's when you'll
need the single Gold Leaf.
Once you have both Strong Death and Life, bring them together, and fear no
knife; for the knife will turn when it touches your skin, and so it will be
for all your kin.
For you have NOT the strength to heal! So wait for the strong! The only thing
Midnight looked at the black walls, and for the first time, saw white mists
of figures on the wall from time to time. It was very, very faint, and could
only be seen when you tried to see.
"It is not signed. Who wrote this, John--"
But when she turned around to meet his face, he was gone. Midnight suddenly
felt scared again now that he was gone.
"Do you really believe that letter?" said the hissing voice once again. "How
can you be sure that I am not the one who wrote it, or some other evil force
to fool you? So that you will use the Staff, and lose your friends? It isn't
"Yes, it isn't signed," Midnight said slowly. "Maybe you're right.... No!
You are wrong! You trickster, you will not fool me anymore! Leave me, NOW!"
The thing hissed crazily in a rage, and then stopped, saying nothing. Midnight
"Ooh, so I have power over you," she said.
"Sss!! No! I have power over you, you fool. You have not the strength to tell
me to leave you!"
Midnight picked up the Sword.
"But I do, with the Sword!" Midnight laughed as the thing hissed quietly.
"The Sword has dominion over you! It will get rid of you, and you will perish!!"
Midnight raised the Sword in the air.
"STOP!" came a voice out of nowhere. Midnight was confused. She was going
to cast out this thing that was in her and destroy it, but something was holding
her back. Was it the thing inside her? She didn't think so, because the voice
did not sound like the evil thing.
"Why should I?" Midnight answered.
"Think this through!" it answered. A loud roar was heard in the Hall. Midnight
slowly raised the Sword in the air.
"Leave me, NOW!!" she said in a commanding voice. She saw a black shadow before
her eyes, and then nothing. She heard nothing more of the evil voice after that.
She sighed. "It's gone."
"Huhhn?" came a groaning voice. It was Ace waking up!!
To be continued...