The Shade Flame Legacy: Valrigard - Part Nine
Stealth of a Dagger
Velle recovered just in time to block the dagger. She
spun around and thwacked Zayta directly in the legs, knocking her over. Velle
grabbed her dagger and hit the hilt on the Zafara's head, knocking her out.
She grabbed some ropes from her backpack and tied Zayta to a tree, after removing
all the weapons she could find. Then, she went to get Sheer. When he got there,
the mage pondered Zayta's fate.
"She nearly killed me!" Velle argued. Sheer
looked at the unconscious Zafara and said, "We could worm something out of her."
Velle couldn't argue with that. They collected some icy water from the stream
and sloshed it at her. Zayta woke with a start and glared at Velle.
"Tell us who you work for," Sheer said simply.
Zayta spat at his feet. "Wrong answer," he said and squeezed his fingers together.
The ropes tightened and Zayta gasped, the air being whisked out of her. She
wouldn't give in, though...
"Stop!" Velle shouted. Sheer loosened his grip
on the ropes and Zayta gasped for breath. "Like you said, we could get something
out of her," Velle reasoned. The two Draiks sat on a log in front of the silver
Zafara as she (being forced to) related her story.
"When I was young," she began, "I lived with
my grandparents in the woods. Grandma was really weak, and Grandpa was the worker.
Me and him would spend hours together just working, but we liked it. Grandma
and I liked baking and playing together, too. Then, one day, our home was attacked
by the Meridellians. They were searching for food, and Granpa said he wouldn't
give it to them. Granpa and Grandma were pacifists, so they didn't fight. The
Meridellians, thinking that my grandparents were Darigan supporters, captured
them. They told me to run and find someone called Tornac, and I did. Tornac
became my mentor in the art of fighting. After he died, I took the job as an
assassin. I've been that way ever since, and now I'm looking for my grandparents."
Velle exchanged looks with Sheer.
"How about this," she said, "you join us, and
we'll spare you." Before Zayta could reply, she continued, "Syvor obviously
has thousands of innocent pets stored away in his dungeons, and as soon as we're
done with this, we can search the dungeons for your grandparents. Alright?"
Zayta pondered this, then said,
"I'm not helping anyone because of weakness.
My job is to destroy whomever pets pay me to. I'm only helping because I want
to help the pets who raised me. You got that?" Velle and Sheer nodded.
* * * * *
A few hours later, we stopped for camp. We couldn't
set up tents or fires, so we ate cold food and decided to sleep behind stones
and such. We were out on the plains, so we were especially vulnerable. Jeran
had put on his armour and walked over to me. He was carrying a set of armour
very much like his own, except it was smaller and had two wing-holes in the
"No way," I protested, holding up my paws, "I
can't wear that." Jeran raised an eyebrow. "You'll have to," he answered, "What
if we're ambushed? You'd be killed." I pushed the armour away.
"What if I had to fly?" I asked, "The armour
would drag me down!" I later wished I hadn't said that. Jeran smiled evilly
and left. In a few minutes he was walking back with something else.
"This chain mail,"
he explained, "is perfect for flying pets. It's light as a feather and hard
as dragon scales..." he paused. "I usually use it under my armour, but I think
you should wear it." Before I could protest, I saw Jeran's fingers spark with
blue electricity. I knew that disapproving wasn't an option. I grabbed the chain
mail and pulled it on over my tunic.
"Remember," Jeran warned, "you must wear that
at all times. Even when you sleep."
"Do I have to wear it even when I'm bathing?"
I asked nervously. Jeran nodded, "Even when you're bathing." That was weird.
Oh well, decided, I just hoped that it wouldn't be uncomfortable to sleep in.
* * * * *
The next morning, we left. With extreme stealth,
we weaved our way through the grass and past the walls of the palace. We were
in Meridell. I fingered the pommel stone in my sword's hilt nervously. I shouldered
the bow and arrows on my back and checked my daggers. I was all ready to fight
and kill anything that would get in my way.
Dathlar killed the sentry shadow at the door
with a swift thrust by the dagger. Clyo shot another sentry with an arrow, and
it disappeared. Jeran snuck up on the other sentries and slew them. We were
like a walking death cloud. Once we were actually inside the palace, I nodded
and we split up. I took the middle passage. Once I was about half way down,
I broke out into a run. I couldn't afford to be slow. I hardly met any shadows,
but the ones that I did I killed. I turned around a corner and sat down for
Then, I heard something rustle. The tiny hairs
on my neck prickled in warning. Without a warning I sprang up and dashed around
the corner, nailing my stalker.
"Firescale?!" I gasped. The young Krawk looked
down at his scaly toes. I growled. "You shouldn't be here."
Firescale swallowed and said, "I have something
to ask you." I groaned, not really caring right now if I was being rude.
"You shouldn't have followed us here," I snarled.
"You're in danger. We all are now."
"But..." the Krawk began. I cut him off with,
"Later. C'mon..." I grabbed his paw and led him down the hall. We passed a few
rooms and I gave him my dagger for protection. I filled my body with the Shade
Flame magic. It was poised like lightning ready to strike from my paws. We darted
around a corner and ran down the hallways. I paused every once in a while to
check the doors and see if Syvor was there, but he wasn't.
Finally, we reached the high tower. I pulled
the door open and saw the blue Eyrie snoring loudly in his bed. In his paw was
an empty beer can, and the beer that had been in it was splattered all over
the room. I left Firescale at the door and crept over to the sleeping Eyrie.
This was it. I was going to have my revenge soon. I pulled out my sword slowly
and prepared to strike when...
A loud thud hit me in the back of the head.
I heard explosions and I whirled around, only half-conscious. Firescale was
begin held by a shadow Techo and a shadow Tonu had been the one to hit me across
the head. I couldn't see much, everything was becoming a blur. I grabbed at
the Shade Flame magic and hurled myself at the shadows, sending them scattering.
Another explosion at the back of my head made me double over, and I could feel
claws raking across my back. I gasped in pain and whirled around too late. Syvor
had awakened and was raking his claws across my back, leaving long, deep gashes.
I felt a third club in the back of my head and my skull seemed to crash. I finally
* * * * *
When I came to, I was lying on a hard, cold
stone floor. When I raised one of my paws, the other paw came up like a puppet.
I was in shackles. I looked across the cell and saw Firescale lying on the ground,
as limp as a bone fish. He was shackled and bound also, and various wounds decorated
his body. The realization of it all hit me. Was he dead?! I struggled to stand
due to my shackled feet and hopped over to the limp Krawk.
"Firescale," I murmured, placing a paw on his
shoulder, "are you alright?" The young Krawk groaned and turned over, but at
least he was alive. When I had been worried, I hadn't even noticed my own condition.
I was bruised terribly and cuts lined my body. My head ached without mercy due
to the three times I had been hit. My back ached and pulsed because of the cuts
Syvor had delivered to my body. Firescale finally sat up and rubbed his sore
"What happened to you?" I asked gently. "You
didn't fight. The shadows just grabbed you and then..."
"That wasn't all," Firescale said."After you
left consciousness, they took us both here. Since you couldn't talk, they took
me to their torture chambers." I gasped. The poor Krawk had been tortured on
my account! I felt guilt growing inside me like a never ending river.
"Are you alright?" I demanded. Firescale nodded.
Another question hit me. "You didn't tell anything, did you?!" I hoped not.
Luckily, the green Krawk nodded. I sighed.
"I hope Jeran and the others are okay..." I
muttered. Firescale nodded hopefully. A guard came in and shoved some bread
and water over to us, and we took it. Firescale took the first half of the food
and I took the second half. A while after we ate, I tried to summon the Shade
Flame magic. It wouldn't come.
"What's going on?" I asked myself. Usually,
it was easy to summon my magic. My answer came when Firescale fell asleep instantly
and snored loudly.
"We're being drugged..." I whispered to myself.
I wouldn't be able to summon my magic for a few hours at the least. There were
no windows in our cell, so I shoved the food under our itchy blankets. I shook
Firescale gently and asked,
"What was that question you were going to ask?"
Firescale was dazed from the drugs, but he answered groggily.
"Well," he muttered, "since my father is...well...not
going to return to Maraqua with us...I was wondering..." he trailed off. Before
I could prod him further, he continued.
"I was thinking that you could...well, kinda
adopt me. I can't stand going back to Maraqua, and you're a great fighter. I
could maybe become your apprentice or something..." he murmured before dropping
back down and snoring. I thought about it for a while. Having Firescale as my
apprentice would be hard...partly because I blamed myself for his father's death.
I would have to think it over later. I crawled to the other side of the cell
and grabbed one of the blankets. I draped it over the young Krawk's beaten body.
I grabbed my own itchy blanket and fell asleep.
* * * * *
When I woke up, it was sometime in the afternoon.
I heard a guard clunking towards our cell and woke Firescale up. The young Krawk
groaned and stood up groggily, then fell back down. I helped him up and we watched
the guard coming towards our cell. He opened it with a clink and grabbed us
by the ropes on the shackles.
"Where are we going?" Firescale dared to ask.
The guard grunted and said, "No one lives after trying to kill Lord Syvor of
the shadows. Your execution is about to take place." I could hear the young
Krawk whimper and I put a comforting paw on his shoulder. It didn't help my
own terror. We were about to be killed! I had dragged Firescale into this mess,
and now a young innocent pet would die.
If we're lucky, I thought, it'll be quick and
painless. I cursed my thinking so evily. The guard yanked on my rope and I stumbled,
causing him to laugh hoarsely. I tried to grab out for the Shade Flame magic,
but the drugs were still slowing my ability. I snarled and pulled sharply, causing
the guard to stumble instead.
"That's what you get for mocking Valrigard Lightblade!"
I spat. The guard growled but kept going.
We were finally brought out into the open and
the light practically blinded us. I shielded my eyes until they adjusted to
the scene. We were inside some sort of dome, making it impossible to fly out.
A transparent metal screen surrounded the arena so pets could watch the execution
without being harmed. The dome caused the sun to intensify harshly, making the
temperature extremely hot. Firescale and I were used to it though, being reptiles.
An enormous door on the other end of the field opened, and the executor emerged.
I gulped. This executioner was far worse then
the bulky Skeith with the axe that I had imagined.
To be continued...
Thanks to: sara_mossflower, allhailtheprincess, nomad2, and other friends
who didn't give up on me. Feedback LOVED.