Rasputin's Revenge:Part Three
The darkness that had threatened the shining kingdom of Altador had only gotten closer as the hours passed. Rasputin now seemed to have set his sights on taking over the grand city. Soon, it would be overridden with darkness, just as Moonstone island fell victim to. King Altador still hasn’t arrived back with the reinforcements. Nera worried that something had happened to him on the way to the Lost Desert. She had hoped not, if so then her heart would be crushed. Going with him for help was the choice she should had made. Alas, it was already too late and she could only focus on what was happening now. She could only hope the Lupe was safe and had gotten the help they needed.
Nevertheless, Nera had to protect her people. The army of Altador surrounded the coast of their land. Each guard had been armed with a mighty sword and a shield. They stood tall and proud, ready to defend their nation against any dark creature. Even Queen Nera herself stood by her soldiers. She changed into a more appropriate outfit for moving around, a white shirt and pants. The queen herself held a sword, also ready to defend. The council members stayed within the city, to protect it from the inside.
Before the army departed, Nera had ordered the citizens to stay indoors and it not go outside of the city walls. She had hoped they would listen to her. If any Neopian had gotten hurt during the ordeal, she’d never forgive herself. They were her sole responsibility. She had to protect them. Nera and her army watched as the darkness moved through the sky, approaching the coast. Right before their eyes, the cloud shifted, landing on the ground and spreading across the ground in front of them.
As the darkness cleared, a figure all too familiar to Nera had appeared. It stood tall and fearless, ready to face the wrath of a nation.
The figure was of course, Rasputin.
The army moved forward, holding up their weapons in defense, ready to protect the city and their beloved queen from the infamous evil-doer.
"My, my, my.." the mutant Ixi chuckled, approaching the large group of soldiers and locking eyes with Nera. "I see someone I knew from my tragic past has grown."
"What are you doing here?" Nera glared at the corrupted sorcerer. She had hoped they would never have another encounter. She rather deal with a case of NeoPox than to ever see the Ixi again.
"Well my dear Nera.." Rasputin frowned at the army holding their shields and swords at him. "I’m here for revenge of course. Why else would I come all this way to see this sad excuse of a kingdom?"
Without a trace of emotion, Rasputin immediately waved his hand in front of himself, freezing the powerful army with his dark magic. Nera was the only one from the group that was not affected. She knew the man wanted to talk to her, make her suffer just as she made him all those years ago, so that was why he didn’t freeze her. Rasputin never cared for the well-being of others. It showed in his personality and actions. He enjoyed being the villian. Nothing else made him happy besides that.
"But..you’re supposed to be-" the Xweetok backed away from the mutant, dropping her sword on the ground.
She knew she had no chance against him. The only way to win against the villain, was with his own magic. Nera did not have his book of magic, or even remembered the spell she had used against him the first time. It’s been over a thousand years since she casted that spell, there’s no way in Neopia she would remember it. Fighting would be useless for her without either of those things. She was just..one Xweetok. She couldn’t possibly win by herself. Not even the greatest army of Neopia could, they were frozen in less than a few seconds. The entire situation seemed to be hopeless.
"Banished? Trapped for the rest of my life in a silly piece of jewelry? Oh please!" He laughed, still approaching her as his long purple robe slid across the grass, tainting it with darkness. The grass turned a dark shade of purple, the same shade Rasputin had turned the army into. Moonstone Island had been covered in the substance for centuries. Now Altador would suffer the same tragic fate.
Before the queen could make her escape, Rasputin grabbed her by the arm, making sure she wasn’t able to fight back.
"Fortunately for me, a few not so bright adventurers just happened to stumble on my pretty little island and found my trinket. I was freed and well, they ran off, absolutely terrified out of their minds." Rasputin spoke, trying to make the Xweetok even madder.
"Let me go!" Nera struggled, trying to get free. She couldn’t care less about what had happened to him. The fate of Altador rested in her hands, and the outcome wasn’t looking well. Something had to be done quickly.
"No, if you think I’ll just let you slide by on what you did to me, you’re clearly not thinking right." Rasputin snarled. "We’ll just see if the old Moonstone natives remember old Raspy huh?"
"Don’t you dare set one foot in that city!" Nera found herself clenching her fists and yelling at him.
She couldn’t let him walk in there and hurt the island natives again. She didn’t want the other Altadorians going through the horrid events they endured either. She had to save them. They needed her and she was stuck out here, defenseless and without an army to lead.
Rasputin smirked. "You and what army are gonna stop me?" He then looked back at the frozen army and laughed. "Oh wait.. they’re frozen! You and your sad little city are defenseless. Nothing you can say or do can stop me. I told you I would come back for revenge. Well..here I am miss I-Can-Save-Anyone."
Nera struggled again. "You’ll be punished for your crimes, just as you had been before."
Rasputin only laughed. He felt no sympathy for the outcome of his actions.
Nera unwillingly was taken back into the city with the horrid Ixi. On the way there, the queen tried fighting back to make an escape. Each time, she failed, never even getting out of the sorcerer’s grasp. Rasputin takes her to the dungeon, which was located downstairs in the main building of the city. It was mostly used to punish thieves and other Neopians who decided to break the laws of the land. Only a few Neopians were in there, serving a minor sentence of a few days stay. Rasputin locked her away with a shadow draik, who sat on a stool, playing a shiny harmonica. He wasn’t very good at it, and Nera heard the others in the dungeon complaining about the noise.
"I hope you suffer in your imprisonment as much as I did, your highness." Rasputin frowned at her as she locked the door.
Nera didn’t reply, and only watched as the mutant walked away and up the spiral staircase. Once she knew he was gone, she rested her head against the cool bars of the cell. She had failed her subjects, she failed her kingdom and everything it stood for. Some queen she turned out to be. Because of her, the entire kingdom was falling apart.
"Something troubling you miss?"
Nera glanced behind her. The shadow Draik had watched her ever since she was locked in the cell.
"There is, Altador is in danger. I..I don’t think there’s anything I can do." She hated saying those words, but it was the truth.
The Draik shook his head. "Things always turn out alright in the end, you’ll see."
"You think so?" Nera sat down on the floor, pressing her back against the bars. She didn’t care if her white clothes would get dirty. "I just..I don’t see how. The army is frozen, I’m stuck in here and my husband is..I have no idea when in the world he’s at. It just seems hopeless."
"Well miss... in my countless years of experience, I have learned that things never get better if you don’t try." He said, and started playing his harmonica yet again. The Draik may have been kind towards her, but he couldn’t play very well. The sound made Nera’s ears ring in pain She couldn’t be rude and ask him to stop. It would be impolite and a bad first impression.
Nera wanted to ask how long he had tried to get better at playing the harmonica. She was afraid to ask, fearing he would ask her opinion and she would either hurt his feelings or have to lie. She thought over both options, and neither of them sounded very pleasant.
As the Draik kept playing the awful tune, Nera could only hope Altador would arrive back with help. That seemed to be the last hope for the ancient kingdom and its citizens.
To be continued…