Stand behind yer sheriff Circulation: 164,193,775 Issue: 173 | 14th day of Sleeping, Y7
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Princess of Erodaire IV: Part Five

by christinetran


With one hand planted firmly against the cold, dark wall, I began to slowly walk forward. I had no idea where I was going for I couldn't see a thing in the smothering blackness. All I knew was that the direction which I faced felt right.

     The ground beneath my feet felt cold to the touch, and I continued to slowly make my way forward, blind to all else except pure instinct. I could feel the little bumps and dents of the concrete wall as I slid my hand upon it, and I flinched whenever something sharp grazed it's skin.

     I must've been walking for hours as I quietly traversed the darkness, but in reality, it must've been only a few moments. The callouses upon my feet felt torn, and my fingers picked up pieces of tar and dust as it traced itself along the guiding wall. The air grew thick and heavy, and my eyesight started to become dimmer and darker. My head felt like it had been flooded with dizziness, and my stomach grumbled with pains of hunger and regret. The only thing I trusted now was the ever constant whisperings of Rune...

     Go on, Andra...everything lies upon your shoulders...

     Everything was a mirage to me now. I did not trust my eyes in this constant blackness, and I did not trust what I felt with my hands. All I could trust was pure instinct, and Rune's reassurances. Because of this, when I saw the thin bar of light up ahead, I simply thought that my mind was hallucinating.

     "Blast the tricks the mind can play," I whispered angrily to myself, yet deep inside me, a thread of hope wished that what I saw was real. As I neared the thin bar of light, it started to died out. I felt the thread break, and I shut my eyes. I pitied myself...

     Look again...look again. Don't give up you fool...

     Reluctantly, my eyelids flickered open, and I saw the shaft of light once again. Then, like before, it flickered and went out. On and off, on and off...the bar of light continued to appear and vanish. I undoubtedly thought that I was going crazy now.

     Cautiously, I lifted my hand upwards and started to trace the ceiling with my fingers. Eventually, I felt something cold and smooth... steel. As I continued to feel it with my fingers, I realized that it was a handle. I grabbed it and pushed it upwards.

     A flood of light entered the darkened passage, and I was blinded momentarily. The brightness began to fade after a few moments...


     I rubbed my eyes in surprise and squinted, for my eyes were still foggy. The voice sounded familiar, though...

     "Here, grab my hand. I'll help you up. Just reach up."

     Awkwardly, I lifted my hand and felt someone grab it and pull me through the trapdoor. The moment I left the dark passage, I felt warmth creep back into my skin, and the loneliness that plagued me just seconds before disappeared.


     I turned around at the mention of my name...and the warmth that finally came back seeped out once more.

     "Ol..Oldraik..." I whispered. Although he was concealed in black clothing, his eyes gave away his identity. The same deep, red eyes that made me befriend him in the beginning... but this time, his eyes weren't cold. They were determined, and filled with some sort of goal or desire that I could not identify.

     "What are you doing here?" he whispered quickly and started to lead me away. "I thought you were supposed to be in the Summer Castle! It's not safe here! You're part of the royal family...they'll come after you as-"

     Oldraik was suddenly interrupted by the sound of clashing metal and angry shouts in the distance. It was at this exact moment that I finally recognized my surroundings; I was in the Castle of Erodaire.

     "What was that?" I asked in shock and started to quickly walk towards the noise.

     "No, Andra! Don't go!" Oldraik grabbed my hand once more and pulled me back. I glanced at him in suprise...and noticed three, red letters imprinted upon the front of his black clothing. D.o.E.

     "...Oldraik..." I whispered softly as tears started to appear. "How could you?"

     "So you would rather have me imprisoned? Your father is a tyrant, you of all people should know. How could I not?" Oldraik growled at me through gritted teeth. "I did not join the Deathdealers to betray you...I wanted to betray your father..."

     "And you have betrayed me as well, no matter your noble thoughts," I said back briskly and tore my hand away from his. I heard more shouts and yells once again, and the sound of crashing glass met my ears. Realization hit me like an arrow...

     The Deathdealers approach with every second

     "Father!" I cried and quickly started to run down the hallway. I heard Oldraik call my name, but I ignored him.

     The walls were covered with hanging tapestries filled with images of the noble deeds of my ancestral history, but I barely glanced at them. The crimson carpet beneath my feet reminded me of what might be shed during this ambush, and I felt sick. Ahead of me, I could see the tall, wooden doors that led to the Grand Hallway...

     I pushed the doors open with my hands and I felt someone crash into me from behind.

     "Andra! Get out of here!" Oldraik cried and tried to drag me through the door once more, but my eyes had already seen the scene before me.

     Neopets dressed in black clothes and armed with daggers and swords ran around, yelling. I could see the Erodairian guards try desperately to fend them off, but one by one they fell upon the floor. My eyes searched around frantically for any sign of my father, but I couldn't see him amidst all the commotion. Broken glass and splintered tables littered the floor, and the throne of the King and Princess had fallen off the pedestal they once stood on. The fall of the royal family...

     "Andra! Watch out!" Oldraik cried and pushed me away as an arrow came whizzing by my head. I gasped and looked at my attacker...Vevina.

     "Oldraik, who's side are you on?" Vevina whispered bitterly at him and drew another arrow through her bow. She aimed it at me. "Nice to see you again, Andra."

     Oldraik instantly unsheathed the sword at his side and stood before me, blocking Vevina's path. I saw her eyes narrow as she lowered the bow. She was adorned in black clothing as well, but unlike the others, her face wasn't concealed. She spat upon the floor in anger and glared at me before running off to join her comrades in the battle.

     "Oldraik, you shouldn't hav-"

     "You're right! I shouldn't have," Oldraik glared at me angrily and thrust a dagger into my hands. "Here, take this. I can't protect you anymore...I'm in enough trouble as it already is." And with those words, Oldraik went off to follow Vevina.

     I stood there in shock, and my hands felt shaky as I held the dagger in my hand. I shut my eyes slowly and breathed in deeply... my nerves must not get the best of me at such a critical moment. Opening my eyes once more, I just had enough time to duck as another arrow came whizzing past my head. Taking in a deep breath. I looked around and tried to desperately spot anyone that I knew...

     Pain suddenly shot through my arms, and I clutched at it in shock as I fell upon the floor. In front of me stood one of the Deathdealers, but the black clothing hid his or her identity. I saw their eyes glitter menacingly as they raised their sword, but before they brought it down, I thrust my dagger into their heel.

     My foe cried out in pain, but before I gave them a chance to retaliate, I was already on my feet and dashing away. I quickly grabbed a convenient dagger that must've belonged to one of the fallen, and fell back against the wall. My head felt queasy as I recalled my actions, but I quickly shook it off. I stared around once more before I saw another arrow come flying towards me. I ducked just in time.


     I looked up at Vevina in surprise as she quickly placed another arrow into her bow and raise it towards me once again. "Vevina...don't do this..."

     "I've been meaning to ever since I met you, Andra," she spat at me angrily and pulled the bowstring back. "You don't deserve a mother like you-"

     Vevina gasped in surprise as something collided into her body and knocked her upon the floor. The creature who knocked into her had a crown upon his head, and his eyes were red and filled with flame. He was a Mutant Draik, and he held a grand, bejeweled sword in his hands. He lifted it up and stared menacingly down at Vevina as she cowered in fear.

     "Dad..." I gasped in surprise.

     "Nobody harms my daughter you filthy backstabber!" King Alastare growled. "Especially you, Vevina."

     I watched in horror as he lifted his sword higher and readied himself to bring it down. I saw Vevina crouch even closer to the ground, and her hands covered her head in angst. As I stared at this horrific scene, a figure in the corner of my eye quickly approached my Father from behind... clutching a sword in his hand. Before my father had a chance to bring his sword down, I saw the figure thrust the sword through my father's back...

     "Father!" I cried.

To be continued...

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Other Episodes

» Princess of Erodaire IV: Part One
» Princess of Erodaire IV: Part Two
» Princess of Erodaire IV: Part Three
» Princess of Erodaire IV: Part Four
» Princess of Erodaire IV: Part Six

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