The Kougra Klan: Part Five
As soon as she knew she was out of view, Riyita stopped
and turned around. She wasn't going to run away, not this time. Wherever these
Kougras took Guanya, she was going to follow them there. Keeping behind trees
and bushes, she vigilantly retraced her steps, creeping silently along until the
Kougras came back into view. She ducked behind a large tree trunk and poked her
head out from behind, narrowing her eyes and watching them intently.
The Kougras were gathered in a circle around
Guanya, who appeared to have given up the fight. His body lay limp in the net,
and his eyes had glazed over. Two Kougras crouched down next to him; one held
his legs firmly down, and one held his arms. The paws were digging tightly into
him, pressing him down so there was no way he could move. Riyita felt awful
for him. He obviously wasn't going to try and resist anymore, so why did they
have to treat him so cruelly?
"We are sorry we had to take you like this, Oka,"
one of the Kougras boomed in a slow, monotonous voice. "But soon you will be
grateful to us."
Guanya did not say a word. He just blinked, and
a single tear rolled down his cheek. Riyita barely managed to subdue her own
"You'll be much happier with us," said the leader
in his gruff voice. "Come."
With that he picked up Guanya, still all tangled
in the net, and threw him over his shoulder. Guanya let out an initial yelp
of surprise, then slumped back over in submission. The leader nodded to the
other five, then they all moved off into the forest beyond.
Riyita stayed in her spot behind the tree for
a while, until she was sure there was enough distance between them. Then, she
slowly moved out and began to weave stealthily through the trees, heading in
the direction the Kougras had gone. With the aid of the huge paw prints embedded
in the muddy ground, it wasn't hard to tell which direction they'd gone. She
hopped over rocks and ducked under low branches, all the time wondering how
she was going to rescue Guanya. It seemed almost impossible.
Soon, she heard distant muttering and quiet laughter
echoing through the forest, and knew she was gaining on them. However, she was
not worried about being caught. The forest was thick with overgrown plants and
dipped in shadows, providing plenty of places where Riyita could hide if she
got too close. The loud rustling of the trees as their leaves were teased by
the wind and the low humming of insects masked her footsteps. She felt unusually
confident for once.
Riyita followed the Kougras over a small, gurgling
stream. The water was icy cold and she shivered all over. This had better pay
off, she thought. The distribution of trees began to thin and sunlight flooded
into the forest again, and Riyita had to take care again so she wasn't seen.
There were plenty of large rocks scattered around, and she darted between them
cautiously. Soon the Kougras emerged out into a large clearing, but Riyita fell
back and stayed pressed up against a large rock. Poking her head around, she
found out where all the huge rocks had been coming from.
A large hill rose out from the ground, and on
top of it a pile of old, weathered rocks were piled up precariously. They reached
up high into the azure blue midday sky, forming crumbling battlements at the
top. Towards the bottom archways and pathways were cut into the stone, leading
into shadowy caves. The ground around the bottom of the hill was littered with
large stones, which were damp and covered in moss. Weeds grew from cracks in
the stones and vines were slithering up the walls. Riyita looked up at the formation
in awe, knowing she was looking at the ruins of an old castle. Though it was
in ruins, it was still magnificent.
Riyita snapped out of her trance and reverted
her attention back to the Kougras. By now they had begun to scramble up the
slippery moss-covered stones that lead to the base of the castle, trying hard
not to lose their footing. They came to a small, dark archway at the base. A
red Kougra holding a large spear stepped out and asked them something that Riyita
could not hear from where she was standing. The leader shouted at him in response,
and the guard bowed and stepped aside quickly to let the group storm past. He
then moved back into the doorway and took up his position again, looking around
Riyita stayed pressed up against the damp, cold
rock for a long time. How on earth was she going to get past that guard? He
was surrounded by open space; there was nowhere to hide and no way to sneak
past him. And there was no chance of her getting past him physically. She thought
of turning back, but managed to push the thought out of her head. She couldn't
just leave Guanya imprisoned in there. And plus, she didn't have a clue where
she was. It was either find a way to get in there, or get lost.
Riyita had a fleeting hope that perhaps there
was another entrance to the fortress around the other side, one that was less
well guarded. It was a foolish idea--all the entrances would be guarded meticulously,
and she would risk being captured even more by trying to get around to the other
side of the castle--but Riyita was not thinking rationally, overcome by the
desire to save Guanya. So when the moment came, and the Kougra guarding the
archway turned his attention towards a Pawkeet screeching and rustling the boughs
of a tree above, she seized it.
The yellow Aisha leapt out from behind her rock
and mad a mad dash towards another rock a few metres away, gasping and stumbling
across the uneven ground with little agility, too caught up in the adrenaline
rush she was experiencing to realise that what she had just done was incredibly
stupid. Hearing pounding footsteps and gasps ringing through the still air,
the Kougra guard looked down to see a blur of yellow beneath him.
The red Kougra leapt from his spot and flew down
the rocks, using his spear to keep him upright as he skidded down the mossy
slope. Noticing she was being pursued, a panicked Riyita spun round and ran
for her life back towards the woods, ears flapping about her flushed and fear-stricken
face. Her only hope was to get deep enough into the forest to lose him, and
"Oh no, you don't!" cried the guard, who was
gaining on her at an alarming pace, his heavy footsteps thumping against the
ground a good indication that he was big, brawny and fearsome. Riyita's legs
seemed to be moving of their own accord now, wheeling underneath her in an almost
comical fashion, desperate to escape. The forest was nothing more than a green-and-brown
blue rushing past her face as she bulldozed through it, shattering the serene
piece with her shrieks.
Riyita leapt backwards, eyes wide, as a spear
flew past her and embedded itself in a tree that lay centimetres away from her
with a mighty thud, quivering for a few seconds after the powerful impact. After
her initial shock, her found herself smiling. Fool, she thought. He
has left his weapon in my hands! She wrapped her paws around the spear,
apathetic of the fact she had no idea how to fight with it, and began to tug.
It was wedged deeper into the tree than she had
thought. She pulled and pulled, growing evermore frantic, but it would not budge.
"It's no use," said the voice that accompanied
the strong hand on her shoulder.
Riyita let out a nervous laugh, trying to sidle
away. The hand on her shoulder gripped her tighter. "Look, I don't want to cause
any trouble," Riyita said. "I was just... out walking, and I just happened to
stumble across your... base... so I can just leave now and-"
"No one stumbles across the Kougra Klan
base." The red Kougra gave her a forceful shove and flipped her around to face
him - and then they both froze.
"Sampson!" Riyita cried, diving forward and throwing
her arms around her brother, a massive smile stretched across her animated face.
She pulled back to study his face--he looked so different, so much older and
more mature, and so much less innocent than the big brother she had known. "I
can't believe I've found you after all this time! Listen, we haven't got much
time. I need your help. My son, well he's not my son but I've looked after him
all his life, is a Kougra, and they came and said he belonged to them, and they
took him here, and if only you could help me get inside I could rescue him-"
Sampson cut into her babbling. "Whoa. I'm sorry,
Riy, but I can't help you," he said, raising up his paws as if in defense.
Stunned, Riyita asked, "Why on Neopia not, Sam?"
Sam glanced around him to make sure no other
Kougras were coming. "I'm part of the Kougra Klan now," he said. "I have to
do what they tell me. I have to be loyal."
"But they kidnapped you!" Riyita cried in disgust.
"They took you away from your family, and your home! How can you show them loyalty
"I have no choice, Riyita," Sam replied, shaking
his head sadly. "I don't have their blood. I don't have their powers. If I do
not do what they command, they can destroy me. I cannot run from them and I
cannot rise against them." Riyita opened her mouth to protest, but Sam continued.
"They have fed me. They have trained me to fight. They have provided for me.
I cannot go against all this now. I'm sorry. It's best that you leave now, Riyita
- your son will not be harmed."
"After all they did to you. After all they did
to me, and father, and little Bella... I can't believe this. You're not the
noble big brother I remember you as, Sam. I don't know if I can call you my
brother at all anymore..."
Sampson hung his head.
At that moment, another Kougra emerged from the
archway leading into the fortress, and spotted the two Neopets. "Hey, what's
going on?" he called down to Sampson as he began to make his way down the rocks
towards where they were standing.
Riyita turned to run, but her brother grabbed
her by the arm. She was too confused to struggle as he locked his strong arms
around hers so that she could not get away. He swung her violently round to
face the other guard, who was now standing a few metres away, giving Sampson
a questioning look.
"I found an intruder," Sam said, his voice devoid
of any emotion. "You go back to your post. I will bring her to the Chief."
The other guard nodded and turn to walk away,
leaving Riyita to look up at the brother who betrayed her with horrified awe.
To be continued...