The Fall of Qasala: Part Seven
I watched as Razul restlessly paced the walltops, now and
then anxiously throwing a glance out at the bare sand below. I felt helpless,
a feeling that I had never felt much before. But before was a forgotten, alien
time now, a time when I, knowing that I was the most powerful mage in all Qasala,
had had the luxury of feeling safe.
And I did not like this new feeling. As much
as I hated Jazan, I knew that Razul loved him intensely, and that his loss would
prove devastating for my King. I wanted more than anything to go down onto the
sand and search for Jazan and Nightsteed. I could tell Daysteed and Razul had
the same thoughts as me. But I still possessed my common sense, and as I looked
down I could tell that under the thick blanket of night there was no hope of
All I could do was wait.
"Nabile," Amira said coldly as the Ixi entered.
The Jeweled Scarab was annoyed - a messenger had come simply asking for her
attendance at Amira's tent without further explanation. But Nabile knew that
the Princess was a sensible creature, and that she would not have called her
here without reason, and good one too.
"I'll get straight to the point here. I need
information, fast, before Atro's troops are demolished, and the only way I can
get it at the moment is from the Kyrii. He has not told me anything, despite
how friendly I was to him. I am not willing to use other measures at the moment
- one I have done so there is no going back. Perhaps I, in all my extravagance,
have intimidated him."
A sensible creature Amira may be, thought
Nabile wryly, but a modest one she is not.
"So I need someone who can be ordinary, someone
who is skilled at getting out information, someone who is not foolish enough
to give any information out themselves in the process. And as you probably have
guessed by now, that someone is you. I know you need persuasion, and I have
it. Once Atro conquers the city, I will have no use for it. I will need a ruler,
someone who can properly look after it. I will be looking among those who have
proved most useful to me. Understood?"
Nabile grinned, nodded, and slipped away.
Jazan looked up as the pink Ixi approached him.
He was tired, bored, and annoyed. Nightsteed had been taken away to some other
place, and the young Kyrii prince wanted some friendly company.
"What do you want?" he asked warily.
"Not much. I was just noticing how badly the
Princess has been treating you - you haven't been given a tent, you haven't
been fed or anything, and she's been doing nothing but asking endless questions
of you all day long! Unfair, really. I mean, even if you are the enemy, we should
still give you proper treatment. Come to my tent, we can talk and feast there.
You must be hungry."
Though Jazan was still suspicious of this too-nice
Ixi, he was hungry and the thought of food made him get off the sand and follow
Nabile into her tent.
"You know, that city of yours looks like a great
place to live in. I'd love to have magic like that. Poof! - and all your troubles
disappear! Have you heard about the faeries that live in the clouds? I've heard
that they have magic too. It's supposed to be really, really powerful - even
more powerful than what your city's Neopets can do... "
"That's not true!" Jazan cried out, stung by
the insult to his pride. "Qasalan magic is far stronger than faerie magic!"
"Oh, is it? Is there a difference, really?"
"Of course there is! Faerie magic is based on
the things around them - if they don't have power, then the magic is useless.
But our magic is based on the mage's strength of character, on their belief,
"I see," replied Nabile, jotting it down in
her memory. "Do you have that magic?"
"No." Jazan silently cursed himself for letting
his guard down.
"But you seem to have a very strong character
to me. I'm sure if you just believed in yourself you'd get it." Thoughts were
racing through Nabile's mind. What if, somehow, miraculously, the Kyrii managed
to get his magic with her help? Then he would be eternally grateful to her,
and she would be able to command him to move against his own city. He seemed
stung at not having magic. She had heard it said that magic often depend on
one's belief - if they believed they had it, then they would get it. If that
was true, then the Kyrii would not have had had much belief in himself. Maybe
she could change that. She decided to take the gamble.
"You know," she said a little softer, leaning
close to Jazan, appearing as though she was confiding in him, "your city isn't
the only one with magic around here. I have magic too."
"Really?" Inwardly, Jazan was filling with hope.
If he could go back to the city, magic in paw, having bravely vanquished the
enemy all by himself, Razul might forgive him for running out in the first place.
And this Ixi could help him do it. She looked like she wasn't very well off,
financially. If he could promise her riches, he was sure that she would help
"Yes. But I have a special kind of magic. My
magic helps Neopets gain magic."
"Then why didn't you help your own troops gain
magic?" A small part of Jazan was still wary; the rest was warming to his new-found
"Because," she replied even more softly, "they
aren't my troops. I'm not on their side. I work for me only. I give my blade
and my powers to those who know that I have them, and who have gold."
Jazan was ecstatic. If he could bring the Ixi
back to Qasala, if he could persuade her to make it so that all Qasalans had
magic... they would be unstoppable.
"And I could give you magic, if you were willing
to pay the price." Nabile was beginning to think that this would work very well
for her indeed. Not only would she be the ruler of a city, she would have a
lot of gold into the bargain.
"Name it," Jazan whispered.
"Not now. My magic is erratic." Nabile wanted
to be sure of just how wealthy the Kyrii was before she started making any demands.
"It has a high chance of working, but it still could fail. I don't want to take
your gold, spend it and have the spell not work. Besides, you don't have very
much with you now - I would have to wait until we got back to your city to pay,
and that would be too late - without your magic we wouldn't be able to get into
your city anyway. No, what I will do is perform the spell first, and you can
pay me later."
"Very well." In his eagerness to please the
King, Jazan was willing to do anything. "When can you perform the spell?"
"Now, if you like." The Ixi grinned slyly. All
she needed to do was persuade him that he had magic. "I'll go get the ingredients."
Nabile put some berries on the sand. They were
just ordinary twirly fruit imported from Mystery Island, but she guessed that
Qasalans, being cut off from the rest of the world, would have no idea what
"Magic berries," she added by way of explanation.
Drink their juice, and it enhances your magical powers."
She began to crush the fruit in a small bowl,
chanting as she did so:
"Magic, magic, come out here,
Be you far or be you near,
Enter this juice as I say,
Magic, come here this day."
Sakhmet not having Neoschools, Nabile had never been
much of a poet, but she was pleased with her 'spell'. She poured the juice of
the berries into a cup and took a spoon. She stirred the juice three times clockwise
and seven times anticlockwise, then handed it to Jazan.
Wordlessly, Jazan took it and drank. The juice
was spicy and sweet, and tasted delicious.
"Well?" Nabile asked. "You should have your
magic now. I heard that your Qasalan mages were creating illusions. Try it now."
Jazan closed his eyes and concentrated. He asked
the air to rearrange itself. At first it resisted, but Jazan, made confident
by the 'spell', kept pushing.
Nabile smiled. In front of her was a two headed
green Scorchio, looking fierce and angry as it exited her tent and flew out
to the sky.
Jazan grinned, elated. He had magic now - he
felt more powerful and commanding than ever before.
"Well," Nabile said, breaking the silence, "we
have work to do."
To be continued...