The Tower Journey: Part Seven
Part Seven: Meridell; Corrupt Kings, Brave Knights, Dung Fields?
"And after fighting them off single-handedly," Toggerneo
whispered to the amazed school kids, "I took all their treasure and brought
it all to port! Well, I put some of it in my bag, to go back to the Faeries."
"Wow!" exclaimed the kids at once, and Toggerneo
smiled. He liked any sort of attention, even if it was based on a bit of an
"Yep. You see, I'm a secret agent for Fyora,
sent to spy on-"
His grin vanished as two large Draiks grabbed
him by the shoulders and started dragging him forwards, away from the ship and
the captivated kids.
"Hey! Get off! I have rights! I work for the
"Sure, mate, the faeries," snorted one of the
guards, who wore large metal armour and had a sword at his side. "The faeries
told you to break into the King's vault and steal money. The Faeries told you
to knock out the hero Jeran and steal his sword."
"WHAT?!" The Gelert was shocked. "I didn't do
that! I only just arrived!"
"From where we were stood you looked to be leaving."
The Draik scowled, and rubbed his eyes. "And my eyesight is perfect."
"Your armour is on the wrong-way around!" the
Within an hour Toggerneo was stood in front of
a huge throne in a vast, echoing hall. Hundreds of Draiks and Poogles were sat
behind him, watching the events, and then many more pets of every kind were
stood by the large doors, straining to catch a glance of the criminal.
Suddenly there was a loud crashing noise as a
heavy oak door swung open behind the throne. Two figures stepped forwards, one
a tall, dark-blue Lupe that strode quickly, determinedly into the chamber, the
other a huge Skeith with a scowl on his face. He was glaring at the prisoner
as he sat down on the huge throne, Lupe at his side, and there was a slight
'parping' noise. He stood again to a round of laughter, produced a small whoopee-cushion
from beneath the cushions, and then ate it.
"If I catch who did that," he said as he swallowed
the small toy, "they will also be eaten." The laughter vanished. "Now, I call
this meeting to order. This pet is accused of stealing from my funds and knocking
out my chief bodyguard, before stealing from his also. Now, Jeran, is that the
Gelert that knocked you out?"
The Lupe was staring with curiosity at the confused
pet. He frowned.
"They look similar… but something's different…"
He shook his head. "I can't be sure, sir."
"But he WAS running away, guards?"
Toggerneo considered speaking up, but the threat
of being eaten was not one he liked.
"Have you found the gold or blade in his belongings?"
"No, sir. His backpack was empty."
"So basically, he looks the same as the intruder,
was running away, but did not have the items. He could easily have sold them
already, or hidden them."
"I didn't!" exclaimed the Gelert, forgetting
the threats of being consumed. "I only just got here! Check with the crew of
the Krawk Island Crusader!"
"We did. The Wocky Captain started babbling on
about windy decks. He wasn't in any fit state to answer questions sanely, without
babbling at the end about goats."
"They put him back in charge?"
The King rolled his eyes. "I find you guilty,
and sentence you to work on the Dung Fields until you have repaid your debts."
He grinned. "See you in 945 years."
And so, within the course of an hour, Toggerneo
had gone from happy, to confused, to annoyed, to sad, to smelly. It was like
something out of a movie, or book, but of course this was real, and that worried
the Gelert. He knew, though, that the Faeries would worry about him and rescue
He waited about a half-hour, just long enough
to realise that what he was working in was worth millions (Being Starry, Glowing
and perfect for Battle) and shovelling as much dung as he could into his backpack.
Then he gave up, and started trying to think of a way to escape the loose chains
he wore, which made him feel like a ghost wandering around a huge mansion. Without
the mansion. He'd been told off for moaning spookily, he got so involved in
the idea of being a spirit. Unsurprisingly, throwing dung at the lock hadn't
worked, nor had telling it off ('Bad chains! Unlock! Unlock!') so he was out
After a hard day of work, during which Toggerneo
only managed to fit in four hours of dozing, the prisoners were taken back to
the cells, which were tiny, cold and damp. The pet shivered as he tugged the
small, rough blanket over himself, and with a sigh closed his eyes.
There was a click, and his eyes flicked open
again. The door to his cell had been unlocked, and he leapt to his feet to see
Jeran, the hero of Meridell.
"What's going on?" he asked, frowning as the
Lupe slid some keys into his pockets. "Why are you letting me out?"
"Hurry and you can find out," the hero whispered
as he started walking back down the corridor. Toggerneo followed quickly, although
still puzzled. The Lupe didn't speak again until they had gone through several
sets of large oak doors and exited into the moonlit-outdoors.
"Listen, I got word from Kauvara. I sent her
a message, and she confirmed what I thought. Someone bought a Rainbow Gelert
Morphing Potion earlier this week."
"Rainbow? I'm red… oh, wait. The Swirly Potion."
"What? Oh, never mind." The Lupe was still walking,
making it hard for the colourful Pet to keep up. "A lot of strange things having
been coming down from Darigan's Citadel recently, and strange noises have been
heard. I think that would be the best place for a person to hide stolen goods-
even I dare not go up there, amongst the demons."
"You speak funny."
"Shut up. You must get to the Citadel and find
if someone who looks like you is hiding there. Proba- THERE!" Suddenly the hero
was sprinting, and the Pet he had released gasped. Not far ahead, coming from
the direction of Meri Acres Farm, was a Gelert that looked almost identical
to Toggerneo. Upon seeing a tall Lupe running towards it, roaring angrily and
tugging a large dagger from his pockets, the impostor turned and shot towards
the general direction of Darigan's Citadel. It was amazingly fast, and soon
out of sight, although Jeran didn't stop trying to chase for five more minutes.
"So… what do you do in Meridell in your spare
time?" the Gelert asked, to break the silence. Jeran looked down at him with
a frown. "I, uhh, hear the Turdle Races are quite fun?"
"I wouldn't know."
A little more silence, in which Toggerneo thought
about home. Suddenly he felt the Lupe at his side tap his shoulder.
Up ahead was a large ladder, dangling out of
the sky. The pair were finally directly underneath the Citadel, and staring
at a the only way to climb up to the floating rock. Toggerneo gulped.
"This isn't a good idea, is it?" the Gelert asked.
"Climbing a poor-quality rope ladder, up to the centre of evil in Meridell,
where I'm a fugitive, chasing a pet who has framed me for a huge crime."
"Not a good idea? Don't be daft."
"Oh, well, that's O-"
And then the radish hit Toggerneo in the back,
knocking him to the ground, and Jeran growled.
"The guards are here! Get up there quickly, or
they'll realise I've helped you!"
The Gelert rubbed his head and nodded, before
climbing to his feet. Quickly his paws were grabbing at the rope, tugging him
higher as crossbow bolts and radishes hurtled past him. A sprout smacked into
his leg, but other than that he managed to reach the top unharmed.
On the surface the Citadel looked deserted, and
dead, but every now and then Toggerneo thought he saw something move out of
the corner of his eye. He shivered. A door slammed nearby, and he jumped. The
Central Tower of the Citadel was the closest building, and so the pet hurried
across to the stone structure, his feet making strange faint noises amongst
the dead grass.
The door to the Tower was heavy and old, but
Toggerneo managed to tug it open. As he entered he saw a flick of a tail vanish
up a curving staircase, and, shoving the fear to one side, gave chase.
Every step took him higher and higher, until
he was dizzy, but a faint flick of a tail or one long ear would draw him on,
He emerged into a large room, where everything,
all the ancient furniture and strange glass objects, was coated in dust. Strange
shapes made by the moonlight, as it poured through the windows, made him shiver.
The place looked like it wasn't lived in.
And then Toggerneo knew the place WAS inhabited
by someone. Because that someone was holding a large, dangerous sword against
the Gelert's side.
"Uhh, you know, I think I have the wrong evil
fortress of doom. I'll just be leaving now-"
A voice floated into his large ears, casual but
with a strange tone.
"So soon? That's no fun."
To be continued...