Jenni kept her head down as the warden guided her out of the Moltaran Dungeons. The Fire Pteri was covered in filth and avoided eye contact with everyone she passed. Most concluded that she was a broken prisoner, but if one looked into her eyes they would see that they sparkled with malice.
"Alright, you've done your time," said the Grarrl warden. "Now stay out of trouble."
Jenni cringed as she exited the dark prison and into the glare of the flowing lava. She began to carefully walk down the barren bridge across the lava.
"Oh, and don't you end up like your brother," called the warden. "We don't want you winding up here for good."
Jenni growled to herself. All she ever heard in her last few days in prison was that her brother had become a super villain menace.
"Now I see where you get your mean streak," the inmates would exclaim. "It runs in the family."
The morons didn't even realize that he was her younger brother. They immediately forgot her numerous heists and her brother's infinite failures. Jimmi was a disgrace to the name of evil; he'd yet to steal a diamond, and he couldn't even steal a single neopoint. But somehow he had ended up as supreme conqueror of Shenkuu, and by a twist of fate she had ended up in jail. She had a sinking suspicion that she had actually been released because people thought Jimmi was the truly dangerous one.
"First things first," she muttered to herself as she walked through the alleys of Moltara. "I've got to see Jimmi's empire. I just can't imagine him conquering anything."
Not too much later, Jenni had departed Moltara and had arrived on the outskirts of Shenkuu. Looking over the cliff the Pteri observed that the once majestic city had now been reduced to ruins. And there were swarms of different robots flowing throughout the city.
"Those look familiar," she mused to herself as she remembered Jimmi's love of inventing.
It was true that the creations bore a strong resemblance to her brother's toys. But his inventions were shoddily built and incapable of any action; he had clearly upgraded.
Jenni flapped her wings to depart from her vantage point. Gracefully she swooped into the crushed land. Immediately a pair of bulky robots surrounded her.
"No intruders permitted," they chorused in unison.
"I'm here to see my brother, Jimmi Chumpchange," Jenni declared studiously to the robots.
"No intruders permitted," they repeated.
"Look, my brother will want to see me," Jenni retorted. "And since he's your master it's probably best that you keep him happy."
"No intruders permitted," they repeated for a third time.
"Is that all you can say?" Jenni demanded.
"You know what, forget I asked," Jenni sighed.
"I can't believe that my pathetic brother managed to dominate an entire city with robots that only know one phrase," Jenni ranted. "What if the leaders of the world came to admit defeat? Would you just greet them, 'No intruders permitted'? Well, it would be pretty hard for people to surrender then, and if they couldn't surrender they probably just go back to fighting. If I had been the one to conquer Shenkuu, my robots have an entire dictionary programmed into their brain."
"No intruders permitted," the robots added.
"Okay, fine, remove me," Jenni challenged.
The two robots closed in on her. Both of them revealed sharp claws at the ends of their hands.
"What is this?" Jenni scoffed. "No flame throwers, no lasers, not even one of those crazy saws?"
The two robots proved to not only be weak, but slow as well. Jenni delivered a swift kick to one, which collapsed immediately. Jenni then swiped at the wheels of the second robot. It toppled on its side and futilely tried to regain its stance.
"Well, well, look who it is," came a voice from behind Jenni.
The Pteri turned around the see a short fire Chia standing proudly. He wore long draping robes made from the finest Shenkuuvian fabrics.
"My robots announced that there was an intruder on my territory," Jimmi laughed. "Who knew that it would be my own sister?"
Jenni was surprised by her brother's confidence. He had certainly changed since the last time she had seen him. However, this didn't stop her from treating him with disdain.
"Those robots are a complete failure," she snapped. "How do you expect to do anything with them?"
"Oh yes, I know there have been problems with the programming since day one," Jimmi sighed. "But I take it that you didn't come here to nag me."
"Would you believe that actually I did," Jenni scoffed icily. "Now take me to your big palace so I can nag you about that."
"You haven't changed a bit, Jenni," Jimmi sighed with a smile as he guided her towards the palace.
She wished that she could say the same about him.
The palace, like the rest of the town, was burned and dilapidated. However, there was a team of robots working vigorously on repairing it. Traversing through the palace was an odd experience. At one point there would be immaculate carpets, then upon turning a corner Jenni would find a massive hole in the floor.
"I'm afraid that acquiring this town required some destruction," Jimmi sighed. "But I'm working on repairs and soon it will be back in all its glory. With me as emperor."
After climbing to the top floor Jimmi opened the massive doors to the throne room. This room was another contrast to the rest of the palace. The throne looked as ancient as ever, while against one wall were top of the art screens displaying surveillance of many different locations. Then stashed away in a corner were a piled of books that seemed to be engulfed in the shadow of the corner itself.
"You said that my robots were useless," Jimmi started to explain as he gestured to the screen. "it's true that their actions are limited, but their presence is enough to keep the terrified townsfolk in line."
Jenni nodded then pointed to another screen and asked, "What's going on here?"
The screen displayed a team of robots ramming into a wall and shooting crossbows at various warriors.
"Ah, I'm moving onto Altador while I tidy up here," Jimmi explained. "I particularly proud of my crossbow-bots; lasers are far too expensive nowadays."
"You seem to be making good progress," Jenni exclaimed, genuinely impressed.
"Yeah, not for long," Jimmi sighed. "Watch."
A large Skeith vaulted over the wall and glared at the robots menacingly. He wielded a massive sword, yet still managed to swing it rapidly. In a matter of seconds the robots were reduced to heaps of scraps."
"Who was that?" Jenni gasped.
"The hero of Altador," Jimmi explained. "Every land has a hero that is bound to defeat any villain."
"What about Shenkuu's hero?" Jenni asked.
"Ah," Jimmi exclaimed with a smile. "He's right here."
The short Chia tugged on a rope and pulled back some curtains revealing a statue of a raging Ogrin.
"Wha—" was all that Jenni could work out.
"I managed to cheat the system through the powers of the Dark Arts," Jimmi boasted.
"I suppose that's what all those books are," Jenni said as she pointed to the corner.
"That's right, I'm hoping to use dark magic to achieve my second victory," Jimmi explained.
Jenni felt a new resentment burst inside of her. The Dark Arts were incredibly difficult to master, and yet her failure of a brother had mastered it in a few months. This couldn't be right; he must have simply gotten lucky the first time. There was no way that his domination would stretch any further. Yet Jenni couldn't help but feel the paranoia as she thought of her brother completely over shadowing her name.
The Pteri reached down and grabbed a book. It was so old that she thought it would dissolve in her wing. The cover displayed various archaic symbols.
"You would not believe how complex these books are," Jimmi elaborated. "I had then sent to me from every library in the land, yet reading them and understanding them could not be more different. Perhaps you would like to give them a glance and let me know if you find anything."
"Anything for my baby brother," Jenni said, faking sincerity.
"Thanks a lot, Jenni." Jimmi sat. "You and I could rule Neopia together. Now I've got to go and collect my taxes."
Once the Chia was gone, Jenni picked up the book again and sat on the throne. Rule the world together, as if. She knew that if she let her brother go on like this, he would be known as the conqueror of Shenkuu and maybe more. And she would only be the conqueror's brother.
The book, like Jimmi had stated, was quite perplexing, yet Jenni was able to understand certain lines. She secretly hoped that she would find some way of tricking Jimmi into turning himself into a Slorg. What she found was even better.
The book described an artifact that was used to trap evil warlocks. It was known as The Eye of Purity and it trapped any user of Dark Arts. And best of all, it was buried in Altador.
"Did you find anything?" Jimmi asked as he returned with a sack of coins.
"Nope, nothing of interest," Jenni lied. "But I've got an idea. Why don't I go to Altador and see if this Skeith guy has any weaknesses. They'll be expecting another attack from you, but they have no idea who I am."
"That's brilliant! You're a genius, Jenni," Jimmi exclaimed. "It must run in the family."
Jenni had to resist the urge to cringe at that comment.
Jenni soared from the depressing land of Shenkuu and into the still beautiful Altador. The army stood ready to defend against the wall. Standing among them was the unmistakable Skeith.
"Excuse me," she said as she perched next to him. "May I speak to you for a bit?"
"What can I do for you?" the hero asked as he smiled a small but friendly grin.
"I think I can help you in your fight," Jenni whispered. "My brother is the one you are at war with, but I only want to put a stop to all this suffering. I know my brother needs to be punished, but I'm hoping if we stop him soon I can help him."
"Hm, and why should I trust the sister of my enemy?" the Skeith asked.
"Like I said, I only want to help the greater good," Jenni said. "And I know of an artifact nearby that will put a stop to all of this without any more bloodshed."
"This is intriguing," the Skeith said, "but I do not like to take risks, and believe that we will be able to stop this war soon, even without your help."
"Oh, it is that what you think?" Jenni said mysteriously. "Well, I happen to know that my brother has been going easy on you. He's got an army twice the size of yours made up of robots as big as houses. And if that wasn't enough, he has been practicing the Dark Arts."
"Oh my, this is much more serious than I thought," the Skeith gasped. "What was this artifact you spoke of?"
Soon Jenni was leading him through the crypts of Altador. She stopped at a marking that was identical to the one of the book. Leaning down, she revealed a old dusty pot. Carefully she opened it and reached in. She retrieved a trinket that looked like it might have beautiful once but the dust and dirt had had rotted the gem to a dull grey.
The duo emerged into the sunlight and Jenni explained, "This little gem is The Eye of Purity; it will trap away any warlock. Once we have imprisoned my brother, I will release him somewhere where he can get the help he needs."
The last part wasn't necessarily true; Jenni might have considered it if she had known how to release someone from the spell.
Jenni eventually took off to the sky and gestured for the Skeith to follow. Like his swordplay, he was quite the swift flyer, despite his size.
"Are you sure this is wise?" he asked. "I've seen robots all around the town, and you claim that he has a massive army."
"Don't worry, the robots are useless without any commands from Jimmi," Jenni scoffed. "We can float right into his palace and they'll do nothing."
Jenni proved to be correct as the duo arrived on an upper balcony without any trouble. The Skeith held The Eye of Purity out and marched into Jimmi's throne room. The Chia was sitting on his throne currently we he jumped in surprise at the appearance of the Skeith.
"You!" When he noticed Jenni, his face changed from surprise to pain. "Jenni?"
"I'm sorry, Jimmi, I'm doing what needs to be done," Jenni said without much sympathy.
"Behold the power of The Eye of Purity!" the Skeith barked.
The jewel fired a frenzy of blue lightning at the Chia. Yet he remained unharmed.
"What?!" Jenni gasped. "The Eye of Purity imprisons all warlocks."
"I'm afraid that I may have led you to believe that I was a warlock when that wasn't the full truth," Jimmi explained with a smug grin. "But that doesn't mean that I didn't pick up a few tricks."
The Chia raised his hand and uttered an ominous chant. In a flash of toxic smoke the Skeith was replaced with a statue of himself.
"And what luck, it would seem as though The Eye of Purity has been reduced to stone as well," Jimmi cackled.
"I suppose that I'm next," Jenni sighed grimly.
"No, Jenni," Jimmi declared. "You did what villains do best, and I respect that. In fact, I'd be surprised if you didn't try to usurp me."
"You really have changed," Jenni said with a slight smile. "But I really should be on my way." She switched back to her cold all business voice. "There are banks that need to be robbed and rich princes that need to be kidnapped. However, before I go, could you explain to me how you managed to take over all of Shenkuu if you're not a true warlock?"
"There was... someone else," he said slowly. "Someone more powerful than me. But she's gone now."
Jenni nodded, unsure of what to make of that comment. On the one hand, if someone powerful had blessed Jimmi than maybe he did have a shot at world domination; but on the other hand, if she was gone, then that left him with nothing.
"Good luck with your conquest," Jenni said finally as she departed. "It was good to see you again."
"You too," Jimmi called out.
The two didn't acknowledge the unsaid words. That if either one saw each other again they would be back to war. Jimmi couldn't have any other major villains getting in his way of world domination, and Jenni wasn't about to allow her brother to erase her notorious reputation.
But until then Jimmi was on his way to conquering his second land and Jenni was free to commit all sorts of crimes.
Author's Note: Hey, y'all. Thanks for finishing my story. If you would like to learn about how Jimmi came to power, I invite you to read my previous story, Hostile Takeover.