Echoes||Betrayal: Part Two
Tyrrik, recovering from the shock of what he had witnessed,
began shoving through the crowd.
“Out o’ the way, Cap’n comin’ through! Ya alright
there, Axey?” His face was swimming in and out of focus and it was then that
I realized that I was on the ground again. I sat up and rubbed my head. I was
“As alright as I ought t’be, I guess,” I growled.
“Yer lookin’ different nowadays,” he joked, laughing
“What’re you talkin’ abou-?” I looked down at my fur.
I was now electric blue? How was that possible? And this wasn’t the normal electric
blue of a Gelert. The lightning bolts now adorning my fur were not the light
blue typical of one who had used an Electric Blue Paint Brush. These bolts were
a very bright gold. “What’s goin’ on?” I whispered to myself.
Tyrrik leaned down and whispered in my ear, “I know
exactly what’s goin’ on, Echo.”
I looked up. To my horror and confusion, I saw what
I had been dreading to see all this time. The Gelert looking back at me was
not the Tyrrik I remembered. His eyes were piercing red. I looked around and
saw that every recruit was now had pitch black fur and those same eyes.
Tyrrik raised a paw. He held a large rock in it that
I noticed a little too late. It came crashing down between my ears. I could
hear the raucous laughter of everyone around me as I blacked out.
I sat up and tried to rub my head. My paws were shackled
to the wall behind me. I heard someone, or something, stirring outside of my
cell. It wasn’t long before a pair of menacing red eyes appeared outside of
the tiny barred window at the top of my cell door.
“Yer comin’ around then. That’s good, the King said
to bring ya to ‘im soon as ya woke up,” growled whoever the eyes belonged to.
There was the sound of clinking keys and then the creak of rusty hinges as the
door was pushed open to reveal a large Darigan Skeith. His misty red eyes revealed
no emotion as he withdrew a rope from a belt around his waist. He unlocked the
shackles from my wrists and quickly bound them with the rope, leaving my hind
paws bound with a chain that had been there when I had awoken.
The Skeith hauled me upright as if I weighed nothing
before ambling down the scarcely lit corridor of the dungeon, dragging me along
with the rope. I dug my heels into the stone as best as I could to slow him,
but he continued on as if I wasn’t there.
“Ya might as well give up strugglin’. I can’t let
ya go, the King ain’t gonna let ya go, and ya ain’t getting’ out o’ here by
yerself,” the Skeith growled. I stopped trying to slow him.
It wasn’t long before we reached the throne room.
The Skeith knocked three times and waited. A deep voice growled from the other
“The prisoner’s come around, yer Majesty,” the Skeith
“Bring him in, bring him in,” growled the voice in
a bored tone once again. The large wooden doors creaked open and the Skeith
dragged me in.
At the end of the hall was a large throne, and sitting
imperiously upon it was an enormous Darigan Lupe that I could only guess was
Syrokai, the king of the island. The Skeith dragged me up the hall to a point
directly in front of the king. He tossed me unceremoniously to the floor before
bowing and stepping aside.
“So,” Syrokai growled. “My sources tell me that you
are the Chosen One, the Echo. Is it true?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about!” I growled
back, my voice muffled by the fancy red velvet carpet, “What ‘Echo’? What ‘Chosen
One’? Why am I here?”
The Lupe laughed cruelly, “I suppose I should tell
you then, if you truly do not know of your own destiny. Tyrrik! Come forth!”
I turned my head the best I could from my position.
At the back of the hall something moved. Suddenly Tyrrik appeared from the shadows,
his red eyes gleaming maliciously. I growled, which only made him laugh as he
swaggered up to stand behind the throne.
“Tyrrik! Why?” I shouted, still confused.
He laughed. “Why? It’s simple, really. They offered
me power, riches, legions at my command, and all I had to do was spy on you.
That was enough for me. We will have the world! And the only one that can stand
in our way is you.”
“Yes,” Syrokai hissed maliciously, “But as you will
not be living much longer, I assume it is safe to tell you of your destiny.”
He paused for a moment and then continued, “Long before any of us were born,
shortly after the creation of this world, there was a war that waged between
good and evil. It seemed that there would be no end to the war, but then, from
nowhere, seven pets stood forth. They were each gifted with an element: air,
water, light, darkness, fire, and earth, except for one, who possessed a power
far greater then any of these. That pet was their leader, and together they
defeated the evil and brought peace to the world. Recently, though, before you
were born, a prophecy was made. It said this:
‘A hero reborn shall awaken them soon,
Pelt streaked with lightning of gold.
His namesake and weapon, one and the same,
Echo of the heroes of old.
Blessed with powers he cannot yet control,
An army of evil destroyed by his will,
Scars of the sky line a face bright with youth,
Product of a destiny yet unfulfilled.
As you can see, you fit the pet described by the prophecy,
and that little show out on the battle field proved it. Of course, I never would
have sent my shadows to attack you if I was not sure that you were the one I
sought, thanks to the reports of my shadow spy, Tyrrik.”
”’Scars of the sky?’ What’s that supposed to mean?”
I asked, forgetting my anger in my curiosity.
Syrokai motioned to one of the guards, whom left the
room and returned shortly with a large mirror. He held it up to my face on another
motion from the king. The wounds on my face had miraculously already healed.
I could see a long crescent scar across my left eye and the X pattern on my
left cheek, but they were not average scars I was viewing upon my own features.
They were light blue. The color of the sky on a clear summer day. After recovering
from the initial shock of this discovery, my anger quickly returned.
“So,” I growled, more to myself then anyone else,
“It was an ambush! I knew there was something suspicious about that path!”
Tyrrik laughed humorlessly. “That’s right, Echo. You’re
a bright one, I’ll give you that.”
“And all this time I trusted you. I actually thought
we were friends,” I spat angrily.
“Haven’t you learned? Trust only makes you weak!”
Tyrrik laughed once again.
“Your execution will be tomorrow, at dawn, and then
I will send Tyrrik to find and capture, or kill if necessary, the remaining
Echoes. Take him back to the dungeons! Pleasant dreams Conaxe Darkfang. They
will be your last.” Syrokai laughed cruelly.
I snarled and fought as the Skeith once again hauled
me upright and dragged me back to my cell, but it was no use. When we reached
the dungeons he tossed me back into my cell and relocked the shackles around
my wrists. He slammed and bolted the door and then was gone.
I hung my head. I wasn’t going to live to see my family
again. The faces of my mother and father drifted into my mind but were quickly
replaced by a much smaller, younger face. My little sister, Galaduine. I sighed.
It didn’t matter now. Nothing mattered. Tyrrik’s words rang through my mind.
Trust only makes you weak.
“Trust only makes you weak,” I muttered before I drifted
off to sleep.
“Hey! Hey! Conaxe, wake up!” Someone was shaking me.
I opened my eyes with a snarl, ready to fight to the end. My eyes widened in
disbelief when I realized who it was.
“Voraki? But, but you! You were one of the shadows,
weren’t you?” I spluttered.
The Darigan Aisha held a paw to her lips. “Shh! You
don’t want to wake the guards! I’ll explain everything once we’re out of here,
but first…” She held a paw over one of the shackles that held me to the wall.
It clicked open and fell noiselessly back.
“How did you-?” I started in disbelief.
Voraki unlocked the other shackle. “No time for that
now. We’ve got to get you out of here and fast. It’s nearly dawn.” She quickly
undid the chain around my hind paws. “Now, come on.”
“But my axe! I can’t leave without it!” I whispered.
Even in my current situation, something told me that I couldn’t leave without
it, some small voice at the back of my mind.
“Already taken care of,” Voraki whispered back before
withdrawing the weapon from beside the open cell door. “Found it on a sleeping
guard. They really should beef up security around here.”
I looked it over before following the Aisha. She crept
along the passage silently with me following closely behind.
“Ah, here we go,” Voraki muttered as we reached the
end of the corridor. She leapt nimbly up to a small window, barely big enough
for me to fit through, and sat on the sill. “Up you come,” she said, offering
a paw. I took it and scrabbled up after her. Luckily the window was open and
Voraki slid easily out of it and onto the grass below. I tossed the axe after
her before attempting to squeeze through the tiny space.
It was tight, but I managed to pull myself through
and jump down to where the Aisha was standing. I picked up my axe and dusted
myself off, “What now?” I asked somewhat nervously, wondering if it was safe
to trust Voraki after all.
“Follow me,” the small Aisha replied before jogging
off into the darkness. For all that had happened since I had met her, Voraki
was surprisingly calm. She questioned nothing, as if she already knew all about
me. I was slightly unnerved by it.
I gripped the axe tightly with my tail, holding on
to it partly with one ear to balance it before dropping onto all fours. It was
awkward, but I sprinted after the Aisha as well as I could with the hindrance.
When I finally caught up to her she had stopped. I
looked around. We were on a beach. Voraki was watching the horizon where the
first pale light of the sun was beginning to show when I sat next to her. She
“Come,” she muttered quietly before getting up and
trotting over to a small rowboat tied to a peg that was hammered into the ground.
She hopped into it, motioning for me to do the same. When I was in she swiped
at the rope, her sharp claws severing it easily.
I took up a pair of oars. “So, what was that lock
thing?” I asked.
“Oh that? It was nothing. Just a bit of magic,” she
replied, gazing into the water as I rowed us away from shore.
“So you’re, like, some kind of sorceress then?” I
stared at my reflection in the smooth waters. A lightning bolt streaked the
center of my forehead, identical to the others, coming to an end between my
She nodded an affirmative. “A spellcaster and shape-shifter
“Why did you save me?” I voiced the question that
had buzzing around in my mind.
She took a deep breath, as if she were about to tell
a very long story. “I am sure Syrokai has already informed you of your destiny.”
I nodded, “But, I don’t understand. Why did he want
to kill me?”
Voraki sighed, “You are the Echo, and not just an
elemental Echo. You are the Echo of Power, and as such, it is your destiny to
lead the other Echoes to victory. Syrokai believes that if he kills the Echoes,
you in particular, he will be able to awaken the ancient demon that nearly destroyed
the world so long ago without anyone to stop him. He thinks that the demon will
obey him and that he will be able to rule the world, but that is not the case.
The demon is not one to be controlled. If awakened it will cast the world into
darkness and destroy or enslave all of its inhabitants, including Syrokai.”
I considered this. She was right. If what she said
was true, no one, or even a thousand pets, could control this demon. “I suppose
I have no choice then. This is what I am. I can never change what I am destined
“Where are we going?” I asked, pulling the oars rhythmically.
We were a ways from shore now.
“We are going to the place where the Echo of Darkness
is said to be, the Haunted Woods.”
“Neopia?!” I was startled by this announcement.
“Yes. You are the only Echo that does not reside on
the Neopian mainland. The trials ahead will be difficult, but I believe in you,
Conaxe Darkfang,” the Aisha smiled.
I grinned back and rowed faster, content in knowing
that in a world of evil and hatred, here I had found a friend.
Author’s Note: I hope you enjoyed the first installment in what will (hopefully)
be a long series. I always appreciate feedback. I’m still looking for an Echo
of Light, Earth, Air, and Water. If you’re interested, Neomail me for details.
Be sure to watch out for more of the Echoes story in the future!