The Legend of the Lupe: Part Four
Polador snapped out of his contemplation. "Thalion, get
ready," he ordered.
Thalion nodded, and pulled out a million degree
sword and super ice sword. He held each sword in each paw, ready for whatever
lurked behind the third door. He nodded to Polador, and on cue, he pulled the
door open. A few seconds, and still nothing. The atmosphere was tense with a
mixture of anticipation and fear. Slowly, a red Bilguss waddled out. Thalion
kept to his hostile stance. He had been confronted by a cute Petpet before,
and had singed fur to prove it. Polador was equally wary, and kept his large
metal shield in front of him. The Bilguss merely moaned sadly, a dull, melancholy
cry. Thalion felt a bit strange. For some reason, he felt angry. He felt like
he was angry with everyone and everything. He felt a hot, boiling, consuming
rage at everyone in Neopia. He recounted all the unfair moments of his life.
Like the time when he was barely even two years old, his next door neighbor
had refused to give his Cybunny bouncy ball back when it had accidentally bounced
into his yard. And the time his birthday cake had been squashed by a clumsy
Skeith. And the time a Pteri had entangled himself with his special one-of-a-kind
Somewhere in a corner of Thalion's mind, a little
voice fuelled his anger, his hatred. A little voice slyly feeding Thalion false
unhappy memories, irrational reasons to hate. Polador, unaffected, stood there,
just observing the Bilguss. Then he noticed his friend was snarling, baring
all of his teeth, a deep growl coming from deep within him. He noted that the
veins and muscles on Thalion's paws were protruding, meaning that he was certainly
gripping his weapons with immense force. Suddenly, the handle of the million
degree sword buckled, crumpling like so much tin foil. It was then Polador knew
something was wrong.
His theory was confirmed when Thalion started
charging at him, and Polador was forced to jump out of the way. Thalion was
still snarling like a madman, flecks of saliva flying through the air as he
yelled a war cry. Polador ducked a savage sword swipe, and jumped to the side.
Taking a quick glance over his shoulder, he noticed the Bilguss appeared to
be smiling. But that's impossible, he thought. Bilguss are naturally always
depressed. It is their species trademark, after all. Suddenly, he realized what
might be happening. Evading another sword swipe, he leapt towards the Bilguss,
and grabbed it. He threw it back into the room where the Buzzers had come from,
and closed the door. Thalion snapped out of his fury instantly. He stood there
a little bewildered, and slumped onto the floor.
"W-what happened?" he asked.
"Well," explained Polador matter-of-factly,
"I think that Bilguss was influencing your mind somehow. And then you tried
to savagely kill me."
"What?" Thalion looked shocked. "I can't believe
it! Can you ever forgive me, buddy?"
"Sure! I mean, I know it was really the mind-controlling
petpet that was behind it all. And it's not every day my best friend tries to
Thalion smiled at his friend's attempt at humor.
Polador quickly spun around, facing the open doorway where the Bilguss had entered
through. Standing in front of the doorway was a Sunutek, its single eye glowing
eerily. Thalion saw the Sunutek, and released a blast of frost from his super
ice sword. The ball of magical ice smashed into the desert petpet, but instead
of forming a chamber of ice around it, shattered into a million pieces. Thalion
backed away slightly. His faithful sword's frost blast had never failed before.
This was no ordinary petpet. But then again, the petpets they'd had to fight
so far hadn't been exactly normal either. The Sunutek grunted, and a ray of
light shot from its eye. Thalion and Polador watched, entranced, as the ray
of light grew wider. The light abruptly increased with brilliance, and Thalion
and Polador, not expecting it, had no time to shut their eyes. Both Lupes fell
to their knees, clutching at their eyes, moaning with pain. Blinded by the light,
they were helpless, and did not see as another figure emerged from the doorway.
The Mallard started wailing, its usual hyena-like noise. It's pitch started
climbing, and the volume grew louder and louder. Thalion and Polador were forced
to clamp their paws over their ears, the eardrums ringing with agony. Yet another
creature emerged from the doorway. This time, it was a Walking Carpet. Not that
the Lupes would know. They were deafened and blinded. The Walking Carpet took
a deep breath, then breathed out, releasing an unearthly stench. Thalion scrunched
up his nose. The smell made him want to throw up. Beside him, Polador did exactly
that. Wait a minute, thought Thalion. That smells like the Dark Faerie ability
But that's impossible, he realized. So far,
they had only faced Petpets, and no Petpet could use Neopet abilities.
So therefore, it just couldn't happen, he concluded.
So maybe it wasn't! He unscrunched his nose, convinced that the smell would
be there no more. And he was right. Hey, Sunuteks can't generate that much light,
he realized. So it must be impossible too, and therefore could just not be happening.
He opened his eyes, and sure enough, there was
no blinding light. He lowered his paws from his ears. And there was no sound.
Just a deathly silence. He looked to the side, and was sickened to see that
Polador was still curled up tightly into a ball, hands clamped over ears and
eyes tightly shut, whimpering softly. Thalion pulled Polador's left paw off
his ear, but Polador howled with pain in response. Thalion contemplated his
situation. He had successfully beaten the blinding light, deafening noise and
overwhelming stench, just because he refused to believe in their existence.
Maybe, he thought, Polador still thinks that
they're there, so that's why he's still curled up like that.
And didn't he say something about the red Bilguss
controlling my mind? he recalled.
He rushed over to the door which had released
the Buzzers, and swung it open. Sitting there was the same red Bilguss, eyes
shut tight, obviously concentrating hard. Thalion smiled nastily. He picked
up the Bilguss, and its eyes fluttered open, its concentration broken. Immediately,
the whimpers coming from Polador stopped, and Thalion knew his idea had worked.
He quickly slipped a Slave Collar over the Bilguss's chin, since it had no neck,
and its eyes glazed over. Slowly, its form seemed to melt away, revealing a
small Psimouse. Thalion dumped the petpet onto the ground, and closed the door.
Polador was rubbing his eyes, and finally, asked "How the heck did you stop
the Sunutek, and the sources of those sounds and smells?"
"I didn't," said Thalion. "Remember the red
Bilguss? The one that made me try to kill you?"
Polador nodded in response. That was one Bilguss
he wasn't going to forget in a hurry.
"Well, first of all, it actually turned out
to be a Psimouse. I think it just generated the illusion of a Bilguss so we
wouldn't suspect it was psychic. And I think the Sunutek, the light, the noise
and smells were just illusions that it generated."
Polador nodded again. That made sense. But he
still had one question. "How did you know it was an illusion?"
Thalion grinned. "Remember how I'm always in
the Battledome, getting blasted by Faerie abilities? Let's just say the experience
came in handy."
Together, they walked to the final door. They
stood before it, knowing, deep in their hearts, that Farolt was behind it. Polador
realized something was digging into his left hind paw. He lifted it up curiously.
Underneath was a crystal. Not just any crystal, but one filled with swirling
light and colors. Polador popped the crystal into his backpack next to the candle.
It was rather nice-looking, he thought. Would probably look nice on the mantelpiece
at home. Thalion placed his paw on the doorknob, and felt the cold, sharp tingle
run up his arm. He twisted the handle, and almost like magic, the door swung
inwards. Polador, using his Sun Ray ability, dispelled the gloom and darkness
within. They stepped inside, and the door swung closed behind them. Thalion
gazed at his surroundings. They were identical to the room he saw in his dreams,
the one he could see when he was trapped.
Now in the room, Thalion dropped his backpack
next to the door, and walked to the center of the room. Just as he knew it would
be, there was a pedestal. Nothing special, just a dull, gray, ordinary stone
pedestal. Thalion saw an amulet resting on the pedestal, arranged awkwardly,
as if hurriedly placed or even carelessly thrown. The amulet was a clear half
of a round crystal, the top surface, or forward surface if worn, curved outwards
gently. The crystal was backed by a solid gold circle, edges intricately wrought
into fantastic designs. The chain that was attached was broken, leaving just
an inch or two, the ends twisted savagely, as if it had been snapped by a huge,
powerful beast. Thalion reached out to touch the amulet, but hesitated, paw
hovering awkwardly over it, just a mere inch from contact. He felt a shiver
run up his spine, and knew that in his dream, he had been the one imprisoned
in the amulet. His view of the room had been one of from inside the amulet.
Thalion rapidly made up his mind. His paw darted forward, and then he held the
charm. It was as cold as ice, the cold traveling through his veins, through
his entire body. And he knew something was terribly wrong.
Even as he realized this, the crystal surface
turned to inky blackness, and started to swirl in a complex pattern, faster
and faster until it was a meaningless blur. Thalion dropped the amulet, as if
he had suddenly realized he was holding a red-hot coal, but it was too late.
A flash of pure blackness, the color of the night, the essence of shadows, streaked
upwards from the falling crystal, and lightning-fast, pierced Thalion's forehead,
right between the eyes. The flash quickly started to absorb into Thalion, and
before the amulet even it hit the floor, it had fully entered. Thalion's scream
of agony mingled horribly with the sound of the amulet shattering into a million
shards. Polador watched as Thalion fell to his knees, his scream of agony slowly
becoming one of animal, primal pain. Polador rushed forward, and held Thalion
upright, as he gazed at his friend suffering. As abruptly as it had started,
the scream ended. Thalion lay limp in Polador's arms, as Polador looked on in
horror. Polador felt like time had stopped. He felt nothing of the outside world,
just his own grief and fear. And that was when Thalion sat up.
"Thalion!" cried Polador happily. "You're alive!"
Thalion, face turned away from Polador, his
voice strangely deep and somehow slick, replied, "No, he's not."
"What do you mean?" asked Polador, puzzled.
"Of course you're alive. If you weren't alive, how are you sitting up?"
"I never said anything about me not being alive,"
"But, but, you just said…" stuttered Polador,
more confused than ever.
His back still to Polador, Thalion gave a low,
deep, menacing chuckle. "Thalion is no longer alive… but I am."
Before Polador could respond, Thalion leapt
into the air, landing a few metres away. He turned to face Polador, and for
the first time, Polador could see Thalion's eyes. Eyes that burned as black
as coals. Eyes that had pupils of the deepest red. Eyes that contained the essence
of the purest evil. Polador stood up shakily, and took a few steps back. This
was not his best friend. This was some kind of abomination.
Polador, voice shaking, asked, "What have you
done with Thalion?"
The thing in Thalion's body merely chuckled again, and answered, "Thalion
is gone. I am him now."
Polador refused to believe him so easily. Mind
racing, he struck upon a solution. "Farolt!" he cried. "Help! Some kind of monster
has possessed Thalion! Help me!"
The abomination let out a full-throated laugh,
the sound eerily reverberating through the room. "Fool! I am Farolt!"
Polador stood there, speechless. His only trump
card had been played. He felt sickened, to the very pit of his heart and soul.
Thalion had strived with all his might to release a creature he had thought
was a wrongly imprisoned noble warrior. But as a bitter irony, he had released
a horrible creature that had taken over his body. Farolt strode towards Polador,
grabbed him, and with unnatural strength that no amount of codestones could
obtain, threw him to the side like a ripped blue Chia plushie. Polador slammed
into the wall with a sickening thud, and slid down the floor, where his body
slumped like a lifeless corpse. Farolt didn't look back as he walked out of
It had been so long since he had walked and
roamed free in a physical sense. Albeit this time it was not in his original
body. But nevertheless, this body was a Lupe like his original, and would serve
him well. He hadn't stepped free of that cursed amulet for thousands of years.
All because of his greatest enemy. Now it was time to take revenge. He crouched,
catlike, in the center of the room where Polador and Thalion had stood side
by side and battled the monstrous Petpets. In one fluid movement, he sprung
upwards, and soared through the air with unearthly strength. He flew through
the hole in the ceiling, and landed heavily in the clearing. He looked upwards.
The sun beat down strongly, managing to filter through even the densest of the
jungle foliage. Judging by the position of the sun, it was midday. And the peak
of the hunt. He strode out of the clearing, but not by way of the path leading
to the hotel courtyard. He went in an opposite direction, pushed his way through
the jungle. Using his bare paws, he created a path, smashing boughs, snapping
vines, and demolishing anything in his path. He hadn't felt so good in years.
Not mention much stronger than he had ever felt while he was alive. He trekked
on, intent on vengeance before the day was through.
To be continued…