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Run Away to Knighthood: Part Four

by precious_katuch14


"I just hope you know what you're getting yourself into," said King Skarl as he and Jeran fitted Angel with some armour. Meanwhile Lisha and Kayla were busy helping each other create a healing potion, just in case Angel got injured. "After all, Tiberius is no regular villain. He's ambitious, treacherous and wicked. Plus, he's very clever, and can think of an evil scheme in no time flat!" added the king nervously.

     "I'm still going to save my family," mumbled Angel through the helmet. He straightened up his visor in time to see Jeran whisper something into Skarl's ear. The Zafara saw the king raise his eyebrow and open his mouth to say, "Very well, Jeran. You, Alphonse, Roland and Lisha can accompany our young squire on his quest. There's safety in numbers, and we'll send reinforcements when you aren't back in three hours. My guards will stay, in case some of Tiberius' minions try to sneak into the castle."

     Angel grinned as he picked up his sword and shield. "Thanks, Your Majesty," he said, bowing before the king.

     Alphonse and Roland were already there, bowing before Skarl and comparing swords. Lisha waved to Kayla as the Aisha pocketed the small bottle of potion, and Jeran started sharpening his sword. "Come on," said the Lupe knight finally. "We have to hurry before he does anything terrible to the hostages."

     "So where's the hideout again?" asked Roland as they ran towards the front doors of the castle, and out onto the grounds. Stars were scattered all over the Meridell sky, like diamonds spilled on a sheet of black silk. The night was quite dim, so Alphonse the Kacheek brought along a torch and he and Jeran led the troupe.

     "It's somewhere in the forest next to Illusen's Glade," answered Jeran. "The guards said they saw the captors and their victims disappear into the trunk of a large tree bearing apples as green as the grass."

     From the light of the torch, Angel and Lisha saw Roland point. "Is that the tree?"

     The rescue team sprinted over to the direction the Kyrii pointed out, careful not to fall into any traps Tiberius might have made. Alphonse transferred the torch to Jeran, who picked a safe way through the trees. After minutes of weaving in and out of the forest, Roland suddenly bumped right onto the tree they were headed for.

     "Found it," he mumbled, rubbing his head. "But how do we get in?" He started feeling around the bark of the tree, while Lisha knocked onto the trunk, as if looking for a secret door. Alphonse and Angel kicked the roots of the tree, while Jeran kept watch for anyone who wouldn't want them near that tree.

     Suddenly everyone heard a rustling sound. Angel looked up in time to see the Lupe knight charge towards a Darigan Skeith. The evil minion held out a shield bearing the old crest of Lord Kass just before Jeran could bring his sword down on him.

     "Jeran!" shouted Angel as he ran over to the dueling pair.

     "Angel, no!" said Jeran as he dropped to the ground, avoiding a slash from the Skeith's sword. "You're too young…let me take this!" The two swords clinked together in the night, the sound echoing as if from a gong.

     The Zafara didn't listen. He ducked to avoid the swinging blades and dived into a nearby bush. Angel waited until he heard the sound of the Skeith's sword fall to the ground, and then seized it. Jeran's opponent now only had his shield and tried to block most of the Lupe's blows and slashes. As the enemy backed away, just in front of Angel's hiding place, he brought down not the blade, but the hilt of the sword on his head, knocking the Darigan Skeith out.

     "Angel…you did it!" said Jeran brightly as he gave his apprentice a hug. "You actually defeated him!" Before Angel could say anything else, they heard the voice of Lisha call out.

     "We found the entrance! Hurry, you guys! There's no time to lose!" The two knights sprinted towards the Aisha, who was now standing beside a tree trunk with a gaping hole, just large enough for all of them to slide through, one by one. Alphonse and Roland had climbed in, and were followed by Jeran, Lisha and Angel. The troupe could not contain their excitement as they whizzed down the tree trunk and into the hideout. None of them could find the words to describe the suspense that they felt as they got closer and closer to their quarry. Angel clutched the hilt of the stolen Skeith's sword tightly. Lisha gripped her wand and bit her lip. Alphonse and Roland traded a look, but Jeran still wore the same determined look as during the battle with one of Tiberius' minions.

     The rescuers plopped onto a small bunch of rags spread out at the bottom of the wooden slide and looked around. There was a small table filled with bottles of different contents. Swords and other weapons hung on one wall, and shields were neatly placed on hooks on the wall over the table. Much of the place was quite dark, and within the blackness, the team heard some muffled scuffling sounds.

     "It came from over there," whispered Lisha, pointing to a far corner of the room with her wand. Her compatriots followed closely behind her as she felt around in the dark with her weapon, and hit something metallic.

     Alphonse lit the torch again and brightened their surroundings. Within their feeble light, they could see four faces staring up at them. Lisha found herself staring into the eyes of another Aisha. Alphonse and Roland covered their mouths before they could both gasp at the sight of a trapped faerie Acara. Jeran observed a Kacheek desperately trying to slice through the bars of the cage they were in. As for Angel, he stared into the eyes of the most familiar creature of all, who stared back at him with the same bewildered look, with brown eyes behind a pair of spectacles…

     "Kat!" whispered Angel happily. He tried to fit his paws through the bars to hug his former owner, who had tears in her eyes and attempted to hug her lost Zafara back as well. "I'm so sorry I ran away, I thought you didn't love me, and I'm now really, really happy I found you…look! I brought company, and we're going to bust you all out of here!"

     "Are you crazy?" grumbled the Acara, crossing her paws in front of her chest. "We can't get out of here till that oaf Skarl hands over Meridell to that nutty Tiberius guy."

     "I must admit that my sibling is quite correct," said the white Aisha quietly. "We seem to find no means of escape out of this place our captors have made."

     Jeran looked at the two pets in their eyes. "You two don't understand. We will find a key to your cage, get you all out and find another way out of here. If there is a way into this hideout, there has to be a way out, right?"

     "Over there, precisely," said Roland the Kyrii, pointing to his right. Sure enough, a rope ladder dangled at the top, perfect for when captives want to taste fresh air once again, especially three pets and their human owner. "Come on, let's find a way to get them out." He and his Kacheek comrade started combing the area by the light of their torch.

     Meanwhile Lisha found a small jar of something giving off an eerie green glow. She picked it up to light her way, and started searching by the verdant light. Soon she saw a small bunch of glittering things on the table, next to a bottle full of bubbling red potion.

     "I found the keys!" she said triumphantly. She tossed the keys over to her brother, who started shoving a key with jagged teeth into the lock. Kat and Angel's siblings watched intently as Jeran desperately tried to work the lock. But just as he pulled out the ill-fitting key and decided to try another one, they all heard a faint, scuffling sound. Jeran perked up from where he was turning a smaller, rustier key in the keyhole.

     "Hide!" said Angel. "Tiberius and his minions could be here right now!" The Zafara and Lisha dived under the table of potions. Jeran, Alphonse and Roland hurried to find hiding places as well. Unfortunately they were too late.

     Darigan pets burst out from the secret passage, clutching daggers, swords and other weapons in their claws. A Techo seized Roland by the neck, making the Kyrii gasp for breath. Alphonse could feel his legs being dragged by another Skeith, and tried to kick his captor. Lisha and Angel shuddered as they saw their comrades trying to save themselves, but the Aisha's gaze was fixed on something else…

     "Jeran!" Lisha couldn't resist the urge to yell. Sure enough, the mutant Korbats clutching the Meridellian knight in their claws turned toward the direction of the table. Angel sprang forward, holding his sword and ready to fight. A Buzz swooped down on the Zafara, who ducked just in time and retaliated by wrestling him to the ground. Jeran wriggled out of the Korbats' grasps and engaged in a duel between them. Meanwhile Roland and Alphonse struggled as their captors tried to stuff them in a second cage.

     As for the young Aisha, she sprinted away from the hiding place and picked up the ring of keys her brother dropped. She crawled quietly among the fights and duels, and finally ran towards the cage with the keys in her paws.

     Suddenly, a Darigan Moehog jumped towards Lisha, pointing a dagger right at her chest.

     "And where do you think you're going, little Meridellian lass? Little girls must not put themselves in danger, you know…" He clapped his hooves on her shoulders and dragged her away from the cage. Tiberius did not see Lisha hurl the keys towards the hostages, nor did he see a striped Kacheek's paw reach out and try to grab them.

To be continued...

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Other Episodes

» Run Away to Knighthood: Part One
» Run Away to Knighthood: Part Two
» Run Away to Knighthood: Part Three
» Run Away to Knighthood: Part Five
» Run Away to Knighthood: Part Six

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