The Sorceress and the Prisoner: Part Five
Jeran stared at himself in the mirror. He was wearing his full, steel armour. As he put on his helmet and held both his sword and shield, he saw himself for who he really was. A knight of Meridell, strong on the outside, but breaking on the inside. He had yet to hear from Tormund about Lisha and could only hope the Lupe hadn't also been caught despite Jeran's directions on where to enter and where the dungeons were. Outside of these walls, he could hear the battle raging on. Darigan had ambushed them at dawn, only an hour ago. King Skarl had had to organise his army in the quickest time possible and now everyone was running out there to attack. Suddenly, a huge rock from one of Darigan's catapults hit the castle, sounding a huge bang. Jeran looked at himself for one moment longer, then hurried outside to join in the fight.
It was almost unbelievable. Meridell was at war once more. For a third time! No other country had surely been to war this many times. As he left the castle, he thought of Brightvale, not even half an hour away. They never bothered to help in Meridell's time of need. No, they were never in need themselves. They kept out of anything and everything. No wonder everyone thought they were snobs that looked down on people that weren't fully educated and smart.
He was getting distracted. The sight before his eyes was not a pretty one. Stood next to Jeran right now, was King Skarl. He yelled the orders, he never fought himself. Jeran couldn't help noticing Lord Darigan was in the midst of the battle, greatly damaging Meridell's side. Not wanting to waste a moment longer, Jeran nodded at the king then jumped down from the balcony he was on.
Meridell was now a battlefield, a crazy, unpredictable battlefield. Villagers ran for shelter in Illusen's Glade. The faerie had agreed to allow the villagers to hide there, where her magic would protect them all from any harm. Sadly, she could not extend the shield protecting her glade outwards any more, but she promised she would think good thoughts and concoct several healing spells just incase. That was all she could do – all any faerie could do to help. This was not their battle, and Illusen was only involving herself this time as it was to protect the innocent, as she also now permanently lived in Meridell. King Skarl had to accept what she was doing and graciously thank her, which he did, begrudgingly. With Lisha missing, there weren't many other sorcerers around as powerful as she was. A faerie's magic would come in handy. He could only hope Psellia was watching from the skies.
Jeran turned, and made a signal at all of the archers. They lifted their arrows. “Fire!” Jeran shouted, and they obeyed. Thousands of arrows soared into the air and hurtled downwards onto the field.
“Catapults...get ready! Take aim!” Jeran saw Galgarroth amongst the fighters far in the distance. He watch as Lord Darigan flew into the air, flapping his enormous, impressive wings, his arms folded. His eyes seemed to be glaring straight into Jeran's, and an evil smirk rested on his lips. “The first five will strike when I give my order...” He paused, getting more angry by Lord Darigan's obvious smug mocking of the knight. “FIRE!” Giant, fiery balls of rock were flung into the air. The last stone was aiming straight for Lord Darigan. It soared towards him – and he held up his hand.
The stone smashed into pieces as it hit Lord Darigan's hand. He had punched the rock with all of his might. Jeran couldn't help his shock. What on Neopia...? How had that managed to happen? Since when was Lord Darigan so strong? He couldn't let the Korbat see he had shocked him though. The pieces of rock fell to the ground. Lord Darigan remained in the air, almost laughing now.
Jeran had to come up with a strategy to defeat Lord Darigan fast.
And yet...above him, Jeran saw Lord Darigan retreat back to the Citadel. A wave of confusion crossed his face. What was he up to?
“You don't have time to look away, Sir Borodere!” A voice called.
Jeran turned around, startled. Galgarroth stood in front of him, sneering. “Fast work, but if I hadn't warned you, would you have been able to have blocked that?” He asked, before pouncing forward.
“Why are you starting this war right now? So suddenly?” Jeran shouted. “Was it because of our disagreement? Mine and Lord Darigan's?”
Galgarroth laughed. “You'd love that, wouldn't you? Anything to make your name more well known. The person who started this whole war...Sir Borodere! And no doubt, the person that finished it to redeem yourself? Lord Darigan was right, you do have one flaw.” He added, thoughtfully. He stepped backwards, bringing his shield in front of himself. “You're fighting a useless battle, Jeran. Darigan will reign supreme this time. This battle is just the beginning.”
“Useless.” He repeated – then suddenly, without warning, pushed past him and ran into a sea of people. Jeran couldn't make out what direction he had taken and had lost him.
Jeran stood still, in the midst of everything. He did not know what to do, but thoughts of his sister swarmed his mind, distracting him, making him looking weak. He wanted to scream at the top of his voice for everyone to stop, to make peace. That wouldn’t work – he knew that. But he couldn’t stand here for a moment longer and observe all of this. It wasn’t right. None of this was right. He had to go and find Lisha, even if that meant being stripped of his title of the King’s Champion. The blue Lupe heard a noise close behind him and quickly looked around, feeling tense, but instantly relaxed when he saw the knight in front of him.
The knight stood in front of him was a yellow, young, Lupe. He had warm eyes and ruffled fur – there was a wound forming above his left eye but he seemed otherwise uninjured. “Jeran,” the Lupe breathed, relieved to have finally found him in all of this chaos. “I have so much to tell you.”
He would not be able to tell him whatever it was, though, not at that moment.* * *
Lisha squinted as she held the book to her face. The words blurred, then cleared, then blurred once more. She held the book closer but that only made it worse. The further away she held the book the better, but she still couldn't quite make out the words properly. She could read a 'then' or a 'spell' or a 'potion' here and there, but that wasn't going to be much help. She was cursed with her poor eyesight and needed someone to read the words to her, but Master Vex couldn't be seen doing that right now. He had been called away by Lord Darigan for an urgent matter. She hoped it wasn't about someone finding out about Tormund. The other prisoners would never tell. No one had seen him, had they? He had promised they hadn't, but that shred of doubt remained. She could only wait and see with that. The book, large and purple and green in colour, was here and now.
The book that was going to, hopefully, save the day. The book that was all Master Vex's idea. It was a spell book, full of powerful spells, bought from Jhudora with everything Master Vex had. Lisha couldn't help admiring the Mynci's courage for doing all of this. He had given Tormund all of his money and a slip of paper that told Jhudora what they wanted the book for, and Tormund had managed to return with it. Jhudora was feeling nice today – something about war always put her in a good mood, he wasn't sure. The book was theirs, they only had to hope it contained the spell they needed. Lord Darigan would never ask anyone else for help, but he had often talked about this book and Master Vex had often overheard him. He knew this book might be their only hope. Lisha sighed, almost dreamily. Master Vex was certainly something special for standing up for his own opinions and going against what his whole country was for. If only he were here right now to dictate this to her!
She had a sudden thought – Prisoner Five! He must have better eyesight than her. She walked over to his end of her cell, and tapped on one of the bars three times. The prisoner jolted with a yelp and hurried over to the source of the noise, forever mumbling under his breath about something or other.
Lisha leaned towards him. “Can you help me?”
He jumped, startled by her voice. “Help? She needs help...help...I'll help her, she's in need...damsel in distress, indeed...” He muttered.
“Is that a yes?” Lisha persisted uncertainly.
“Yes, yes, a million times yes!” The Lupe told her, sounding impatient already. “What is it, my dear, that you need my help with?”
“I apologise for the lengthy demand. But Galgarroth broke my glasses, you see, and I cannot read without them. I want you to read this book out loud to me – but quietly, so only I can hear.” Lisha hesitated, feeling the weight of the book in her hands. It had to have at least six hundred pages with tiny text. “On second thoughts, you don't have to, it's a large book, and -”
She was cut off by the Lupe snatching the book from her hands and opening it up. She heard him make a clicking sound with his tongue, then it sounded like he almost laughed for a second. “What is it you want to find with this?” He sounded almost normal now, and Lisha found herself getting more hopeful by the minute. Her hopes were crushed slightly as he added in a ramble, “The secret yes? To the Jelly...I knew you would...young one, silly me, they say it doesn't exist, but it does, I can prove it, if they just let me out!”
Lisha rolled her eyes. This was getting her nowhere. She was also missing her wand – her previous spells had always been cast with a wand. She wasn't used to using her hands, but they would have to do if they found the spell. That was a big if as it was. But at least she was getting somewhere, rather than just sitting her in this dreary cell waiting for someone to come and rescue her. Master Vex had told her he could never set her free – the other prisoners would start a riot and it would jeopardise a job he, surprisingly, loved. (Lisha suspected it was because of all the Cell Block he got to play).
“No. It's a spell that...” She paused, chewing her lip. Could she tell everything to this stranger? Something about him made her want to trust him, so she went with her gut instinct. “It's a spell that will mend anything ever created. This is the only book rumoured to have some like that. It is of the most vital importance I find the spell in this book. It could save the world. It will most definitely save Darigan Citadel and Meridell.”
Prisoner Five threw her a playful grin. “Well, why didn't you say so in the first place?” He chuckled.
To be continued…