Tales of Dark Mountain: Moonlight - Part Seven
Part Seven: Scorgan
“Ral!” Tamack cried in surprise.
“What would you four be doing out of your cells?” Ral asked.
“Just let us through,” Soria said flatly.
Ral’s gaze hardened. “I have orders to take you to Scorgan for your punishment. Do you think I’m going to let you get away and risk harming others?”
“Is it others you’re worried about, or yourself?” Soria asked venomously.
“How dare you!” Ral cried, anger visible in his features.
“We shouldn’t be fighting amongst ourselves when we have a more dangerous enemy to fight!” Kiak cried pleadingly. He turned to Ral. “We face a common enemy. Please let us pass.”
Ral looked indecisive. It seemed like he really wanted to, but he was afraid of what might happen if he did. He stood firmly in front of the doorway, though worry shone in his eyes.
Kiak sighed. “If you won’t let me through, will you at least let the others through?” he asked.
Ral slowly shook his head. “I can’t risk it,” he whispered hoarsely.
An idea began to burn into Alex’s mind. “Yes, take us to Scorgan!” he cried.
Ral’s jaw dropped at Alex’s statement. “What?”
Soria grinned broadly. “We could get to him without causing any suspicion,” she said.
Tamack nodded, his eyes gleaming. “All he said was to take us to him. Did he say anything about us not taking weapons?”
Ral’s eyes shone. “Yes! That’s a wonderful idea!” He turned slowly to Kiak. “Go back to the Sorsay. They’ll need you now.”
Kiak nodded slowly. “I may not take orders from a Lirse, but I understand that my band needs me.” He walked past Ral and out the door. Before he disappeared from sight, he said, “The Lirse and Sorsay weren’t always enemies. We don’t have to be enemies now.” With that, he sprang into flight to get back to the Sorsay.
Ral turned to the three neopets remaining before him. “Grab cloaks off the wall to hide your weapons. That way, we may have the element of surprise.” The trio nodded their agreement, and went over to the wall from which cloaks hung. They slipped them on quickly. Then Ral led them out the door and down the hall in the opposite direction of the prison.
Ral led them down the long passageway before taking a sharp left turn. This led into a small, dark room, with light only from a single torch at the end. They left the room to enter a dark tunnel that was too narrow for torches. The tunnel wasn’t long, and they entered into a bright cavern. The sound of running water echoed through the cavern. Alex saw that a stream flowed on one side of the cave to travel into another dark tunnel. Ral led them through this cavern and into another tunnel. Its walls were lined with torches. This tunnel seemed to last for the longest amount of time.
Ral stopped the group from advancing when they reached a dark passage way. “I can’t guaranty your safety. I just wish you good luck.”
“We chose to do this, Ral,” Tamack told him calmly. “We will follow through.”
Ral nodded slowly before leading them into the passage. Alex swallowed hard. It felt like it had when he first started this journey. He was scared, but he knew he had to face this. He felt Soria’s breath on his neck as she whispered, “We’re all in this together.”
“Right,” Alex replied quietly, thought nervousness still swam like a fish in his belly.
The passage ended abruptly and opened up into a large cavern. It was dim in there, with only two torches at the farther end of the cave. Standing at that end, outlined in the glow from the torches, was a mighty red Draik. His scales reflected the fire of the torches, causing them to glow eerily. His eyes glowed with a deep, burning anger that seemed to sprout from the depths of his heart. “You brought them,” he rumbled.
Ral nodded. The Draik, who Alex knew could be none other than Scorgan, pointed back the way they had come. “Leave me to punish them,” he growled. Ral backed up a step, then turned around and fled out of the cavern.
There was a long pause as Scorgan studied them. Then he said, “Cloud, Ash, Fury, come.” Three neopets stepped out from the shadows. One was a shadow Shoyru with a light blue crescent moon on his right arm. Another was a white Shoyru with a red-orange sun on his arm. The final was a green Draik whose eyes were cold and black. Scorgan pointed one long, hooked claw at the trio in the middle of the cavern. “Kill them,” he growled.
“What?” Soria screeched. “What have we done to deserve that?”
Scorgan smirked at Soria. “I didn’t expect to see you again? How’s the family doing?” The way he said the words was taunting.
“Be quiet!” Soria snarled.
Scorgan’s eyes glittered with a cold fire. “In answer to your question, you interfered.”
“You mean like you did with the lives of the Lirse and the Sorsay?” Alex asked, fear ebbing away to anger.
All eyes turned to Alex. “What do you mean by that?” Scorgan snarled.
“I bet it was you who spread the rumors that the Shoyru bands were going to destroy each other.”
Scorgan seemed to know exactly what Alex was talking about. He smiled maliciously. “I confess; I started those rumors. I wanted to get the Lirse and Sorsay to fight.”
“Why?” Tamack cried, anger clear in his voice.
“My reasons are my own,” Scorgan replied, his eyes like flint. He looked at the three other neopets in the room. “Now, kill them!” The three neopets drew their weapons and lunged for Alex, Soria, and Tamack.
Without hesitating, Alex threw his cloak off. He saw the other two do the same. Soria knocked an arrow and aimed for the Draik. Both Alex and Tamack drew their swords and went for the two Shoyrus. Alex’s blade met with the white Shoyru’s blade in a shower of sparks. “You ready to die?” the white Shoyru growled at Alex.
“It won’t be me who’s dying!” he cried, backing a little bit away from the white Shoyru.
“I believe it will,” said a new voice. Alex felt something heavy crash down on him. He gasped with surprise as he tumbled to the floor. Alex realized that Scorgan had joined the fight with the white Shoyru.
He smelled the Draik’s rancid breath as he whispered close to his ear, “Scared yet?”
Alex struggled, but couldn’t break free from Scorgan’s hold. “I won’t deny it,” he growled in response. “I am scared. But I’m willing to face that fear. I’m not going to let you harm any others.”
There was a deep growl from Scorgan. “You shall die!” he hissed. Alex felt his whole body tingle with fear of what Scorgan might do to him. He felt Scorgan’s weight disappear for a moment, and realized Scorgan was getting ready to come back with a killing blow. In that brief moment, Alex rolled out of the way, just barely escaping Scorgan’s attack.
Scorgan turned to look at him, anger glowing in his eyes. Alex noticed that there was more than just anger in Scorgan’s eyes. Fear glimmered there, as clear as crystal. Surprise hit Alex like a stone. What reason would Scorgan have to be scared of him?
The moment ended when Scorgan lunged at him again. Alex rolled away once again. His sword dropped out of his hand. There was an echoing sound of metal hitting stone as his sword hit the ground. Alex scrambled to his feet and watched as Scorgan did the same. He curled his lips back in a snarl, his jagged teeth reflecting the light from the torches.
“This is the end,” Scorgan growled.
Alex nodded slowly. “For you.”
Scorgan let out a screech of pure fury as he lunged again at Alex. Alex ducked once again out of the way. He tumbled back onto the ground. He felt a shard of stone stab into his right hand. He grimaced in pain.
Scorgan turned back to him. An idea began to form in Alex’s mind. He wrapped his hand tightly around the pointed piece of stone. “Come and get me,” he growled.
“Gladly,” Scorgan hissed in reply, lunging. Alex pushed the pointed end of the stone up. It hit Scorgan’s shoulder, pushing through the scales and into the muscle underneath. Scorgan gasped with pain, which Alex echoed as Scorgan landed on top of him.
Alex groaned, and pushed the weight of the red Draik off of him. Scorgan pushed himself away and got to his feet. He pulled the shard of stone free and looked at it blankly. “Dark stone,” he whispered.
“What?” Alex asked curiously.
Scorgan glared at Alex. Alex then realized the tides had changed. The green Draik was lying in a life-less heap on the cold stone floor. Soria and Tamack had driven away the white Shoyru and the shadow Shoyru away. They were facing Scorgan now, as well. Scorgan looked nervously at the three. “The tides have changed, Scorgan,” Tamack said.
Scorgan clutched his shoulder as he looked around furiously at the three. “So I see,” he growled. His gaze rested on Alex. Fear and anger glowed in them. “This isn’t over. We will meet again, and then things will be different.” In a flash he whipped out the shard of stone that Alex had used to stab him. He tapped it, and a portal of dark energy opened behind him. He walked backwards into the portal. Alex lunged at him, but he had already entered the portal and the portal had vanished.
Alex landed with a thud on the floor. He pushed himself back up and looked at the place where the portal had once been. “He got away,” he said quietly.
“But the Lirse and the Sorsay are also free,” said a voice behind him. He turned and saw Tamack and Soria standing before him. “He may still be alive, but the Lirse and Sorsay won’t have to worry about his influence anymore,” Soria said.
Alex smiled slightly. “Yeah, I guess.”
“What do you mean you guess?” Soria said in frustration.
Alex held up his hands. “I didn’t mean it that way!” he cried.
Soria sighed. “I know. I’m sorry.”
Alex looked at her in surprise. He hadn’t expected her to give in so easily. Tamack was the one who broke in. “We still have to help the Lirse and Sorsay, though. We have to tell them what we found out, and help them to work together.”
Alex nodded. “And we can’t leave until Scorgan is gone once and for all.”
“Right,” Soria said.
Alex looked at his friends. Tamack was the one who had gotten him started on this journey, and become a friend and ally over time. And Soria, who had originally been like an enemy, until the battle against Scorgan had driven them closer, possibly even to a future friendship. Alex knew that they’d be by his side the whole way.
Tamack and Soria walked out of the cavern and into the dark tunnel. Alex followed behind. Before he entered, he turned to once again scan the room. He thought, for a moment, he could hear Scorgan’s voice saying, This isn’t over. His eyes narrowed. “No, it's not,” he whispered. Then he walked into the tunnel after his companions. Even though he knew this adventure was far from over, he knew that he and his companions had the strength to face it.