Undead Rising: Part Eight
"Are you ready?” Edlun grasped the amulet in his wing, ready to remove it and give it to Bernard.
Bernard nodded, holding his hands out ready to accept the amulet. Edlun slowly removed the golden amulet from around his neck, as his form began to fade into the sunlight. The amulet hovered in the air for a few moments before it landed in Bernard’s hands. It felt strange holding it… the last time he held it was when it was cursed and twisted. Now it just seemed to be brimming with power, pulsing in his hands.
The yellow Lupe hung the golden amulet around his neck, feeling the power coarse through his veins. He could feel his body transforming and growing stronger. His fur colour changed from yellow to pure white, and a long, golden sword and shield to match appeared in his hands. Bright golden armour protected his body, with a sun decorating the chestplate.
When the transformation was complete, Bernard looked around at his new getup. He turned to Jerdana and Zeena, who both looked proud and shocked at his new look. Jerdana shuffled towards the Lupe. “You realize that this will be a dangerous mission, do you not?”
Bernard nodded. “I know.”
Jerdana gently placed a hand on his cheek. “Do Neopia proud, young one, and please… be safe.”* * * * *
“You cannot do this…” Rasala weakly raised her head to meet the gaze of the two twins. The chains binding them to the obelisk continued to drain their energy, until all of them looked like elderly pets. Even Commander Flint remained silent, his jaw drooping and his tongue hanging out.
“Save your breath.” Kanrik breathed heavily. “You will only make it worse for yourself. Unless you want to perish here, you should keep your mouth shut.”
“It’s fun to watch you try and escape.” Lanie and Lillie taunted in unison. “It’s even more fun to watch your comrades fall.”
Rasala could barely focus anymore. Her vision was growing blurry the more the cursed chains sapped their health. She chose to point her gaze to the ground, accepting her fate as they now stood. This was the end for Neopia as they knew it…
“Lanie and Lillie.” A booming voice echoed across the battlefield, causing everyone to pause where they stood. Rasala weakly raised her head once more, eyes widening when she beheld the figure that stood at the top of the hill. A pure white Lupe in golden armor… could it be?
“Is that… The Sun Warrior?”
“The… what?” Kanrik didn’t move as he spoke. “What are you talking about?”
“An ancient warrior…” Professor Lambert began, “…one that fought the undead thousands of years ago… Only one with a pure heart can bring his spirit to their aid…” He found himself grinning slightly. “This Lupe must have been one such soul to do so…”
Lanie and Lillie frowned. “You don’t seem to want to have any fun with us.”
“Don’t you know when to quit?”
Bernard swung his sword threateningly. “I won’t quit until Neopia is rid of you.”
They crossed their arms. “You’re going to regret those words.” The twins pointed towards him, as hundreds upon thousands of zombies and ghosts raced towards Bernard.
The Lupe didn’t falter, readying himself into a battle stance. As tons of zombies rushed at him, Bernard slashed and sliced left and right, reducing each one to dust and destroying every ghost with the light magic from his blade. With every wave of his sword, he could feel himself growing stronger and stronger. Was this part of the amulet’s curse being lifted by the defeat of every zombie? Maybe. It was hard to be sure.
With every zombie that fell, the curse on the chains began to break as well. Slowly but surely, the leaders of the factions could feel their energy returning. Rasala glanced around at her comrades, or rather, enemies, then back at the Sun Warrior. She took in a deep breath then yelled as loud as she could, “Sun Warrior! We believe in you! Don’t give up!”
The other leaders looked shocked for a moment, then raised their heads towards him and nodded.
“You must win this. For the fate of Neopia…” Professor Lambert felt himself grinning.
“Win this for us, kid!” Flint bellowed.
“Heh. Guess I have to put my faith in you, don’t I?” Kanrik sneered.
The Duchess didn’t say anything at first, nodding in response. Perhaps she was too proud to have faith in the Sun Warrior. Whatever the case, it didn’t matter. She was appreciative, nonetheless.
Hearing the cries of the rest of the factions strengthened Bernard’s resolve to defeat the twins and their army. Though the different factions fought all the time for control of the obelisk and the Oracle herself, it was inspiring to see them all band together to fight the army of the undead.
Finally, the last wave of zombies was starting to make their way up the hill, as the rest of the factions watched in awe as Bernard effortlessly defeated them all one by one. When all the zombies and ghosts had been laid to rest, the entire battlefield went silent, with all members of all factions looking around for any sign of remaining zombies. As far as everyone could tell, there were none to be seen. The factions and the leaders cheered with joy that the undead had been defeated, and now they could resume their competing for the obelisk.
“Do not be so sure you’ve won.” The twins’ voices echoed across the battlefield, causing everyone to freeze where they stood. “There’s still one more friend of ours you have not faced yet.”
With those words, the ground began to shake. Some of the members of other factions began to stumble, while some of them had already fallen over and were gripping the ground for dear life. The earth below them opened up to reveal an enormous pit filled with a bubbling green goo. Out of the pit rose a gargantuan skeletal Grarrl, its lower jaw barely still attached to its skull. The Grarrl was nearly the size of the obelisk itself, and Bernard felt a chill run down his spine.
No. He had to be brave. This thing could be defeated… couldn’t it?
“Do you like him?”
“We found him here in Tyrannia.”
“All buried and covered in dust, he deserved another chance to cause chaos, don’t you think?”
The faction leaders gritted their teeth as they struggled in their chains. With the zombies defeated, the chains’ magic wasn’t quite as strong, but the chains still held them tight. Rasala pointed her ears towards the Sun Warrior. She so desperately wanted to help him, even if her magic was not as powerful compared to his.
“You must find a way to topple it!” She shouted. “Skeletons are frail, once they fall, they’re nothing but a pile of bones!”
The twins whipped their heads around to glare at Rasala. They pointed at her, immediately silencing her with their remaining magic. The Bori desperately tried to shout, but no sound came out.
Bernard gripped his sword tighter. The twins were still too powerful with this thing around, but what strategy could he use to defeat this thing? All of the zombies and ghosts were fairly easy to defeat, but to have a gigantic beast like this wouldn’t be easy to beat.
The Grarrl lumbered forward at Bernard, swinging his tail around with all his might. The bones rattled and whipped up the dirt from the ground, creating a large cloud of dust that shrouded his vision. The Lupe rushed back and forth, trying to see through the thick dirt cloud. In an instant, the Grarrl’s head slammed down on his body unexpectedly, flattening the Lupe to the ground and causing him to lose his grip on his sword and shield. The Grarrl grasped Bernard in his large jaws, lifting him high into the air. The Lupe dangled in his jaws, stunned by being attacked so suddenly. His ears were ringing and his head was spinning, but he was barely able to make out the voice of Commander Flint…
“Kid, you listen and you listen good! That thing will crush you if you don’t get that thick head of yours out of the clouds!!” He shouted, practically barking orders at the Lupe as if he were one of his underlings.
Bernard desperately clung onto his consciousness as best he could, shaking his head and rubbing his temples to try and focus. It was then that the young Lupe heard a familiar voice in his ears.
“Do not be afraid. Remember… The amulet is the most powerful weapon you have.” It was Edlun’s voice. He spoke so confidently, as if he already knew the fate of the twins and this gargantuan friend of theirs. “Focus your mind… Whatever your heart desires… wish it upon the Sun Amulet.”
Bernard did as he was told, nodding his head confidently and grasping the amulet in his palm. He closed his eyes as he felt the amulet pulse in his palm. My one desire… Yes… I know.
His armor began to shine brightly, so bright that no one could handle it. The rest of the factions and leaders squinted and looked away, as the bright light began to dissolve the Grarrl skeleton into nothing but dust. In the center of the light, a new figure appeared to the faction leaders. When Rasala lifted her head, she could see it. A silhouette of a Lenny wearing impressive armour, wielding a long sword and large shield, could be seen in the sunlight overhead. She gasped, her jaw dropping. “The Sun Warrior…”
Lanie and Lillie could feel themselves growing weaker and weaker by the second. With their entire army gone, there was no more power left for them to play with, no more ghosts or ghouls to manipulate. They screeched in frustration, gritting their teeth at the Lenny silhouette in the sky.
“You rotten agent of light…”
“Why’d you have to go and ruin everything?”
With that, the twins disappeared in a cloud of purple and black smoke, their voices echoing across the battlefield.
“You just wait…”
“Someday, we’ll return… with more friends than you could ever imagine.”
“You’ll be more than surprised.”
“You’ll be scared to death.”
The air around the battlefield grew still as the chains fell from around the faction leaders. They all stood awkwardly next to each other, glancing around at their members. Each commander took action to make sure that their members were not injured too badly by the undead army, then turning their attention to where the Sun Warrior once stood. In place of the Warrior that they once beheld and revered, lay a young yellow Lupe, injured and beaten from the long battle.
Rasala and Professor Lambert were the first ones to help him off the ground, the Lupe shaking his head groggily as he tried to focus his vision. “Wha… what happened?” He mumbled, his voice slightly slurred.
“You did Neopia a great service today.” Professor Lambert remarked. “The twins army is sealed away for now… but I do not think they will strike back anytime soon.”
“You truly are a hero.” Rasala patted him on the back. “I’m impressed for someone so young to revive the Sun Warrior like that. You’re a brave one, to be sure.”
Bernard’s ears perked up. “Wait, where is he? Where’s the amulet?!” The Lupe frantically searched the dirt around them, desperate to find out the fate of his friend.
“Do not fear, friend. I’m here.”
Bernard whipped his head around, expecting the white Lenny he had seen in Altador when he was revived with the amulet. Instead, the timid ghost Lenny with the torn jacket replaced the once-gallant hero. Bernard slowly approached Edlun with confusion. “But… you’re back to how you were before the amulet revived you.”
“True. But that does not mean my memories have faded.” He smiled. “I may not look like the Sun Warrior anymore, but I am perfectly content with this form. Even taking on a different identity… I do not mind in the slightest.”
“So then…” Bernard smiled awkwardly. “Should I call you Edward or Edlun?”
The Lenny chuckled. “Whatever you prefer is fine with me, young one.”
Bernard turned back to the faction leaders. Rasala and Professor Lambert seemed happy at the result of what just happened, while Flint, Kanrik, and the Duchess remained silent, shooting each other glares every couple of seconds. The Lupe rolled his eyes. “You guys are just gonna be at it again in a couple days, aren’t you?”
Rasala sighed. “Perhaps. This war doesn’t seem to end, what with everyone fighting for the Oracle’s power.” She crossed her arms. “Regardless… It matters not right now. For now we will rebuild and regroup. You need not worry yourself with us anymore.”
“With the twins gone for the time being, there should be no trouble around here. If they should come back… we will quell them quickly.” Lambert added. “Now then… You should get yourself on home. Your family is probably worried sick about you.”
“And me too!” Bernard glanced behind him, finding that the voice was Zeena, fluttering across the dusty Tyrannian landscape to reach the two heroes. “I’ll make sure you guys get back home safe.”
Bernard sighed and slumped his shoulders. “Thanks, Zeena.” He looked up at Edward. “Let’s head home. I’m exhausted.”
The Lenny nodded, smiling. “I couldn’t agree more.”