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Midnight over Meridell - Chapter II: Part One


by ratling_guardian

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Special thanks to: zagazw, ex_princess_fairy and my friends, who let me use their pets in various stories! Note: Just saying thanks to all those Neomails I received!

Part I: A New Threat

A spider skittered across a dusty dungeon floor, and a moment later a Wadjet flicked its tongue out and ate it greedily. Another moment, followed by another, and then distant footsteps could be heard from down the hall. A second later, the dungeon door opened and a Striped Shoyru stormed in, looking rather uncomfortable. However, this was no ordinary Shoyru - he might have looked harmless, what with the holly-jolly pink on blue set-up, but something about him, most probably the cloak with demonic symbols sewn on it, somewhat ruined the effect.. He was not the pet to be tampered with, either, as not only did the symbols make him appear intimidating, but he had an aura of great power around him. The Wadjet, seeing the Shoyru's discomfort as he sat down on a velvet chair (this Shoyru's quarters were oddly furnished), slithered over and looked enquiringly at its owner. The Shoyru, however, was able to communicate telepathically with his Petpet, an ability bestowed upon him by his master, and he was able to translate the look.

      "What's wrong, Ingi?" the Wadjet hissed. Ingibong waited a moment before responding.

      "It's him, Snickedy," the Shoyru replied. "He's getting slightly out of control, I mean, it seemed all right when I agreed - massive power, which I've got," he added hastily when the Wadjet opened its mouth to point that fact out, "but even still, this was never part of the deal, and I'm nowhere near strong enough to stop him myself…"

      Ingibong sighed, and hung his head.

      "I'm worthless. I can't believe I didn't listen to Zag, and now… now…"

      The Wadjet wound itself around Ingibong's shoulders as they began to shake.

      "Calm down, Ingi," it hissed soothingly, "he can't be too bad…"

      "No, he is," Ingibong said, raising his head, with tears now visible on his face, "he to... to…"

      "What is it?" Snickedy asked.

      "Snickedy, he actually went out of control, he wants to take over completely! And destroy!"

      The Wadjet fixated Ingibong with a stare, pitying the Shoyru who had once owned a pure heart. Ingibong was originally an average Neopet, kind, gentle yet strong, and the build of a normal pet. But ever since he had been corrupted, he had never been the same…

      "Drow can't be that bad," Snickedy said.

      "He is," sobbed Ingibong, "he wants to destroy Neopia completely, once he's taken over! And now he's going on about some hugely powerful weapon… Snickedy, I have to stop him, but I know I can't…"

      "You have to leave him," Snickedy insisted, "You just have to go and not turn back…"

      "I can't!" Ingibong said, looking fearful at the very thought. "He'd track me down and destroy me in seconds! It'd be worse for both of us!"

      "You have to," pressed the Wadjet, "before it's too-"

      Ingibong silenced his Petpet, as he felt something probing his mind.

      "Oh no," he said, paling slightly, "he wants me to do something else!"

      And sure enough, the all-too familiar feeling began to attack his brain again. It started off small, pricking his brain lightly, and then it began to be insistently painful, completely destroying his current sanity and pulling him into Drow's possession. He stood up.

      "Out of the way," he said, shoving his Wadjet aside, "my Master wants me."

      "But Ingi-!" Snickedy protested.

      "But what?!" he snarled, rounding on the Petpet with his fists raised menacingly, fireballs springing on them.

      "…Nothing," the Wadjet said.

      "Then don't bother me!" Ingibong snapped, hitting the Wadjet to the ground and storming from the room. He could not care less as to what happened to that stupid Petpet, not when his Master needed him. His Master… that cruel, crazed Lupe… Ingibong shook his head. What was he doing? His Master wasn't cruel, or crazed, he was wise and powerful, and he hurried to the throne room where Drow was waiting, looking smugly at the Shoyru hurrying towards him.

      "You called for me," Ingibong said. Instantly, Drow sprung to his feet.

      "You dare to address me like that?!" he roared, and his hypnotic illusion was broken, and instantly Ingibong resented and hated Drow like nothing else again, and regretted hitting Snickedy.

      "Apologies, Master," Ingibong said to the floor, kneeling down.

      "Better," Drow said, sitting down and attempting to hypnotise his minion once more, but his rage got in the way. No matter, his power was enough to get the pathetic Shoyru to do as he wanted, and if not, well; he could do it himself anyway.

      "What do you wish?" Ingibong said to the floor, struggling to keep his voice even.

      "You may have noticed I disposed of an owner and several pets before?" Drow said lazily.

      "Yes," Ingibong said, recalling the picture of the six pets and the owner plummeting to the ground.

      "They survived," Drow said.

      "What?" Ingibong said quickly, jerking his head upwards.

      "They survived, you stupid fool!" Drow snarled, "And keep your head down when speaking to me!"

      "Yes, Master," Ingibong said, bowing his head once more.

      "So now I need you to destroy them."

      Ingibong began to look up suddenly again, and thought better of it.

      "Yes, Master," he said again.

      "Very well," Drow said, standing up and beginning to stride around the room. After securing a foothold in the mountains of Meridell, Drow had taken to indulging himself. He had his slaves make him a silken purple robe that gave him the perfect image of a Warlock, and a hood draped over his head added to the effect by shadowing half his face.

      "May I inquire as to where they are?" Ingibong asked.

      "I have sensed them moving towards the island you Neopets call 'Mystery Island'," Drow said, "and if my senses are correct, then they are indeed trying to retrieve the Sword of Four Colours." He rounded suddenly on Ingibong. "You do know what the Sword is, do you not?"

      Still staring at the ground, Ingibong shook his head.

      "Of course you wouldn't, you're a Neopian, not an Aldarian," Drow said, brushing his robe, "well, my Master-"

      "You have a Master?" Ingibong asked, unable to stop himself.

      "Of course I do, there are those much more powerful than me out there," Drow snapped. "Foolish Neopet, the Aldarians were idiots to try and start out anew. Well, I should probably start from the beginning…

      "Eons ago, in the Elemental Realm, a huge form of matter erupted, taking the form of five colossal Elementals of Fire, Water, Earth, Air and Mana. Their names were Firtar, Aquis, Vinniys, Gallious and Mnaas. They crafted each and every planet known to Neopet and Aldarian alike, and are known as the Five Rulers of the Elements. Now, after several thousand years, the Rulers couldn't help noticing that on their planets were demons like I, and other Dark minions like you. And there were so many that the Rulers did not know where to begin eradicating us." Drow seemed to pout for a moment before continuing, "And so they created five Lesser Elementals - in Elemental order, they are Nar'Gual, Kiellenas, Mrod, Garrascant, and Khlas. And after several more thousand years, Khlas grew bored, and created Aldaria, with the help of the other five Lessers. However, Khlas grew bored with his job once more. He liked to brood over Aldaria, yet he found the inhabitants to be depressingly dull. They would have nations and such, but should they bicker over each other's land, they found some treaty. Khlas was so depressed with the lack of action that he did what resulted in his exile from the Elemental Realm - he created his own Darkness army."

      Ingibong was absolutely enthralled by this story by now that he wasn't bothering to either kneel or keep his head bowed. Drow seemed not to notice.

      "The Rulers and Lessers were unable to not sense the wave of magic used to create the army, and were drawn to the source. When they found Khlas using Forbidden Magic, they stripped him of most of his powers and threw him unceremoniously from the Elemental Realm. And so he created his own realm, the Shadow Realm, where he could do as he wished, with no about resistance from the other Elementals. After his army was complete, he created four Daemons to command them. I am one of them. The others are Scorned, Rar and Entrada."

      "There… there are more of you?" Ingibong said, his throat suddenly dry, and constricted.

      "Yes, my Master was not content with just one of us," Drow said, striding around the throne room. "And after several attempts, he managed to conquer Aldaria. Unfortunately, the Aldarians themselves managed to escape."

      "To where?" Ingibong asked, but he dreaded the answer.

      "Here," Drow said lazily, still striding, "you foolish Aldarians tried to escape, which you did, and tried to hide your identity by changing your names to 'Neopians'. Well, no one escapes the power of Khlas. He will destroy this pathetic land, alongside Aldaria, and then we shall show those Elementals."

      "But… what about everything I…?" Ingibong started.

      "Oh, you shouldn't have to worry," Drow said, finally settling down on his throne - the pacing was only worsening Ingibong's nervousness, something that Drow could sense and was enjoying, "I'll recommend you to Khlas; he might let you live. And then again, he might not."

      "Oh… wonderful…" Ingibong muttered.

      "Anyway, coming back to your mission. Track down these people and destroy them. I cannot let them restore the Sword, or the mission will fail," Drow said promptly. "They should be trying to get the Gemstone from Mystery Island."

      "Yes, master," Ingibong said, addressing the floor once more and bowing out of the room.

      "And while you are there, get the Gemstone," Drow ordered after Ingibong, "Undoubtedly someone else will be sent to retrieve it…"

      Ingibong returned to his quarters as quickly as possibly, eager to put as much distance between himself and Drow. He collapsed on his velvet chair again, and Snickedy wound himself around his shoulders again.

      "Don't worry, I forgive you," he hissed as Ingibong opened his mouth to apologize. "Something tells me Drow isn't the easiest thing to resist."

      "He isn't," Ingibong said, rubbing his head, "the aftermath is awful… Gives me a huge headache, and I always feel sick afterwards…"

      "Don't worry about it; it'll go away," Snickedy said soothingly. "What did he want this time?"

      Ingibong started - he hadn't really thought of the seriousness of what he had to do.

      "He wants me to… he wants me to, uh…"

      "Destroy someone?" Snickedy asked.

      "Yes!" gasped Ingibong, "But I can't do it, I've never done something like this before, how can I-?"

      "Don't," Snickedy said.

      "What?"

      "Don't do it."

      "But I have to!" Ingibong said, louder than intended, "If I don't destroy them, he'll destroy me! Oh, Snickedy, why did I do this…"

      He fell forward, sobbing into his arms. Snickedy slithered in front of him.

      "The real Ingibong I knew would never have done something like this," he said, "You would stand up and fight, not lie down and take orders. My owner is gone."

      And with that, Snickedy slithered away, leaving Ingibong to plan a way to destroy us and allow Drow to scour life from Neopia. Ingibong knew all hope was lost for both him and his Petpet, and no matter how hard he could try, nothing would stop Drow's mission, let alone allow him to escape. The impact of this hit Ingibong like a ton of bricks, a mixture of shock, hopelessness and a variety of other feelings, and he collapsed into tears once more, and this time, no matter how pathetic he looked, no matter how hard he cried, there would be no loving Petpet to comfort him - he was on his own now.

To be continued...

 
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