Chronicles of the Darkside: Keys to Fantasia:Part Three
Chapter 3: The Power to Destroy
"On a really technical basis," the gold draik explained, "you were all chosen ages ago, before you were born. We as fates deliver the news of destinies... And yours is to save us all. Fate, Faerie, and non-magical Neopet alike."
"SHE'S A CHILD SKYFOR!" Vitaqui shrieked.
"Vita you, uh... Know better than that." Skyfor muttered as he clammed up. He's smooth and savvy but no amount of that will make the grit of a sandpaper personality so it can't tear up a soft-hearted icon like he is in Qasala.
"Young lady I advise you to know your place." King Jazan hissed from the shadow of the entrance. It was well known King Jazan, with his knowledge on ancient and otherwise seemingly nonexistent magics, had taken a personal interest in this mission before anyone knew of the girl's involvement, possibly due to the fact one of the Gemstones had set up a sort of base in the Qasalan Palace, for which he granted his permission very publicly to the locals.
"Long time buddy of mine," chuckled Skyfor.
"Of course he is."
"His raised eyebrow says you need to zip that lip of yours until later." Skyfor growled.
"You mean to tell me that... Individual," Jazan snorted quietly to hide his amusement in the gemstone's apparent lack of awareness regarding Vitaqui's mindset, "is going to give a weapon of this caliber to a individual with such recourse? Certainly who ever called this card would rethink their decision?"
Skyfor shook his head sadly, "I don't call the shots on this sadly."
All four girls mouths were wide open in amazement. "So we were chosen for this." the enraged Vitaqui flew into a flurry of questions about how and why and somehow, someway, Skyfor was honest when he said he had no clue. "I still think you had a hand in this." the teary eyed Vitaqui, now with a throng of guards between her and Skyfor whimpered knowing there was nothing she could do to change this fate.
"Kya?" Ikufumi shouted, startled, "it's you again!"
"Ah yes, there you are. I am Topaz." a robotic voice, much similar to Diamonds, called from a corner behind Skyfor. This Gemstone was an Island Krawk. The krawk had orangish hair, and much like Diamond had a gemstone affixed to her person. In her case it was to be found on her right hand. "Rest assured, such tasks are not given lightly and are only granted to those with the highest chance of success... For your group as a whole I calculate 100% though there are some questionable variables to consider."
"Questionable?!" Vitaqui exclaimed.
Skyfor quickly motioned for the gemstone to silence but it would seem she did not see and continued "I only see a 45% chance of you returning home, it lessens further as you resist your mandated task." At which point Vitaqui fell silent. "Now, take this Key." A shot of energy pierced the air from this gemstones right hand to VItaqui, who shone for a bit before looking quizzically at the Gemstone wondering if that was supposed to do something. "What I just gave you is the Decadia Key, and the power to destroy. Much as you manipulate water you may now manipulate objects on an anatomical level, causing them to explode with great force." Satisfied that her task was done, Topaz wondered back into the back again. The time had come to move on to the next key.
"You guys to realize I'm from the Haunted Woods right?" Iggy had been listening to Ikufumi and Vitaqui bicker, peaceful bickering but nonetheless bickering, about how to to get to Shenkuu from here.
"Neovia, right? Only town I know of there..." Spahrks muttered, trying to stay out of the fight.
"No, actually! There's a huge city just passed the Deserted Fairground! It's technically part of Altador's Empire. We literally call it the Darkened Realm it's perpetually night where it's so close to the Haunted Woods, tons to do tourism-wise but it's all cheap because nobody ever wants to go there. It's sad because we really do have got tons to do."
"We're not looking for anything to do but like... How fast will that path get us to Shenkuu?" asked Spahrks.
"Faster than if we take Vitaqui's route."
"Days if not weeks."
"Vita, do you hear that? Iggy's got a faster way!"
Vitaqui perked up at the sound of that, but when it registered that it was a way offered by Iggy she returned to being concerned. "My worry is that any route through the Haunted Woods would have Wraiths..."
Iggy shook her head "Naw, not unless you get right on Faerieland maybe. I personally haven't seen any of the creature's everyone's at war with the way I go and its path lets out on this end just north of Qasala."
The war. It would seem everyone in this moment except Iggy had forgotten about the war. What has simply become a perpetualization, "the war" is the fighting that broke out between two being that wished to considered fates but were deemed to dangerous and everyone in Neopia except the actual fates. Odd right? These two trashing the fates names as they were working so carefully to rebuild right and left and the fates were oddly against their destruction, leaving the rest of Neopia on their own against them. The leader of one side, the Glamour, can turn Neopets into wraiths at will if they are weak of heart and the leader of the other side, the Shimmer, can turn them into soulless oracles if they are weak of spirit. At this point in time the twosome control almost all of Neopia not claimed for any particular land, making travel between locations difficult if not dangerous at any given time.
Vitaqui sighed. "Well... If you're sure."
The girls traveled well for several days, passing Altador, the Deserted Fairground, and the swamp. It wasn't until they reached the base of the mountains of Shenkuu that the four ran into trouble... Real trouble.
"Vita, it was light just a minute ago, certainly it hasn't gotten that dark that quick?" Ikufumi whimpered.
Out of a nowhere, a flurry of light and darkness attacks rained down upon the group, wraiths, oracles, all manner of nastiness surrounded them. Thinking quickly, Vitaqui pulled the other three pets close to her and fired off her Decadia magic in a circle around them. When the air cleared, they could see they had been followed by a pair of something fearsome: the leaders of the Shimmer and Glamour monsters.
"Of course, this would be the one time you all show!" Iggy bellowed.
"Hush it. You all don't even have all the keys yet." the Shimmer leader, an Eventide Draik with a black, angled blunt bob and piercing blue eyes who glew ominously in markings of light, slanted.
"But the one they do have has some nip, Kira." the Glamour leader, a camouflage Jetsam with cre, grumbled.
"Yes, I agree Gurr. Perhaps a hint for you hard working 'heroes' then. Do you really think it'll be worth it? Do you not think there are bigger fish to fry in the world? I mean, you saw how eerie those gemstones were. Do you really think they wish you luck and good fortune on this mission? While you're pondering that, perhaps some help since you seem more lost than you are."
And with a snap of her fingers and a clap of his fins they both proceeded to disappear into the setting sun, the world swirled colors around them and all three girls were set at the front steps of the Lunar Temple..
"Did that even just happen?!" the girls exclaimed in unison, rattled and afraid after what had just happened. They had been transported to Shenkuu, and in one piece no less.
"That it did. I am Sapphire. I am thankful you made it safely, regardless of how." the ever familiar robotic tone of a gemstone chimed from a water Shoyru standing at the temple entrance. Though different from the others, she was noticeably the gemstone because her gem was visibly positioned on the back of her left hand.
Sapphire ushered them into the Lunar Temple, not giving the girls time to even admire their new surroundings. She explained to them what she knew of the Glamour and Shimmer beings plans... Though it honestly wasn't much, just that the two had been looking for a way into the heart of the earth for some time. As she finished offering the Centuria key to Spahrks all the girls had a sense of unease about them.
"So they're after us because they want into the Heart of Neopia too..." sighed Spahrks.
"Yes, sadly." confirmed Sapphire. "Your new Centuria power will grant you easy passage to the next Key through places they can't really reach, though! Just adjust some rocks between here and there and you're a hop, skip, and jump away from Tyrannia, though be warned, there's quite a lot of the Shimmering Oracles there with it being so close to the Obelisk and those creatures can mess with time just enough to cause trouble. And speaking of time, time is of the essence, please don't wander around like you did in Faerie City" the little Shoyru merrily chuckled.
To be continued…