A Deal with the Daniels: Part Two
"As you can see here," Miri explained, "he has gone from Shenkuu to Altador. Judging by this map it would be easiest for him to move through this mountain passage and head onto Kiko Lake."
Godry nodded for the Shoyru to continue.
"The Lake doesn't stand a chance, and once he has boats, both Meridell and Brightvale will make easy targets."
"Then we need to stop him before he gets that far," Godry declared determined.
"Right, so far Altador is still resisting him," Miri continued.
"So we need to get to Altador and put a stop to him once and for all," Godry finished.
The Gelert got up and retrieved his sword.
"We should depart as soon as possible," Godry declared. "Do you think that we should bring any other heroes along? I have a friend in Brightvale who is shaping up to be quite the swordsman."
"No," Miri answered, "I've thought about this, but heroes should remain where they belong, I wasn't even sure if you and I should be dealing with this, but someone has to stop him before it's too late. And Dark Magic is incredibly unpredictable; there should be someone to stay behind... in case..."
Godry nodded in comprehension.
"This Chia shouldn't be too much of a threat for two trained heroes like us," he said, "with or without magic."
"Good, my apprentice, let the darkness course through your veins," Daniels instructed to Jimmi. "Let all the hate and evil inside of you manifest."
The Chia was on the floor with his eyes closed. A dark aura was beginning to irradiate off of him. His flames seemed to absorb light rather than expel light.
"Now unleash the power," Daniels commanded.
"Myxas streag ngthyp," Jimmi hissed icily as he opened his eyes.
The wall in front of began to rot, and then suddenly in crumbled into a hole. The Chia noticed a wisp of shadow snake between his hair, then down his arms, and then into the ground.
"You have grown rapidly over these last few days," Daniels praised.
"Yes," Jimmi muttered, "but now I've got to repair that wall again."
"Then I suppose that you should stop practicing on walls and move on to Altador," Daniels said with an evil grin.
Jimmi quickly equipped his jet pack, one of his more successful inventions. In a blast he had departed from his throne room and was on his way to Altador. Daniels had decided to walk. The old Krawk proved to be extremely swift even on foot.
Soon the Chia had arrived at the wall of Altador. Looking over he saw that the robot army had demolished many of the smaller houses, yet the larger buildings were still standing. Many townsfolk had placed themselves on the roofs of the remaining buildings and were launching whatever they could find at the robots.
"Go to them and show them your true power," he heard Daniels command.
The Chia turned around and couldn't see the Krawk, yet he noticed that the shadows behind him seemed thicker and darker.
"Orys Callmo poxily," he cried as he raised his paws.
Suddenly a strong gust of wind swirled around the buildings and townsfolk. Growing stronger, it swooped up the resisters and sent them crashing to the ground.
"Give in to your new ruler!" cackled Jimmi.
"It's time for your reign of terror to end," barked the voice of Miri as her whip knocked Jimmi to the ground.
Jimmi jumped back up and tried to think of new spell, yet he found his confidence had evaporated.
"I... I already beat the... the hero of A-altador," he stuttered.
"And you're going to pay for that," snarled Miri as she raised her whip.
"Uh... Daniels, Lord Daniels.... help!" cried the Chia as he dodged the Shoyru's whip.
"Giving up so easily?" came the Krawk's voice, yet again he was nowhere to be seen.
The Chia assumed that this meant that the Krawk had left him to his fate, until he saw his own shadow transform into the shape of a Krawk.
Suddenly Miri screamed in pain as she swerved back and forth frantically.
"What have you done to her!?" cried Godry, who had been watching from the side.
The Gelert drew his sword and approached Jimmi. The Chia immediately began to run as the Gelert closed in on him.
"Make it stop," ordered Godry.
"Uh... actually," Jimmi began as he dodged a slice to the side, "I can't."
Jimmi had to duck another slice then repeated, "Seriously, I can't."
This time Godry managed to cut off a piece of his hair.
"Like as in, I'm not the one doing it," Jimmi further explained.
Again Daniels's shadow appeared. The Gelert tumbled to the ground clutching at his stomach.
"Godry!" Miri cried as her own torture came to a stop.
Then she noticed the shadow of Daniels. She realized that there were tendrils of shadows branching out around the central shadow. Everywhere they touched seemed like it was infected with some terrible disease. Miri could feel the dark energy all around her, pulling her down, making her wings heavy and her body weak. She knew that there was a much more powerful force in the area and that it was very dangerous.
"Godry, we need to get out of here," she cried.
The Gelert slowly came to his feet, still suffering from a thousand invisible needles in his stomach.
"No little sorcerer is going to get the best of me," he growled as he drew his sword.
Slowly he approached the Chia; then suddenly was shot back to the ground.
"I'm putting a stop to all of this madness," he promised as he rose again.
Jimmi backed up and in fear as the Gelert continued to approach. He prayed that Daniels would save him again, yet his shadow was an ordinary Chia.
As Godry raised his sword, Jimmi whispered, "Ratxa Lllorh Cacli."
Instantly Godry's sword melted in his hands. He stared at it in surprise, but then continued to advance on the Chia. However, Miri's whip wrapped around him and pulled him back.
"Sorry, Godry, but I'm not going to let you get yourself killed," said Miri as she pulled him with all her strength. Soon Godry was fleeing too. The duo didn't look back until they were past the Altador wall.
Godry and Miri had returned to Meridell. By now Jimmi had conquered Altador and the duo were planning how they would stop him before he struck again.
"I think that there's someone more powerful involved," Miri explained. "The Chia has only been practicing the Dark Arts for a short while; he must have had help from someone much more skilled than him."
Godry nodded then said, "He cried out for someone. Daniels, I think."
"That's, right," mused the Shoyru, "Lord Daniels, I believe it was. Have you ever heard of him?"
"The name sounds familiar," Godry replied. "No doubt he's another super-villain. But the castle library should have some information on him."
The Gelert guided the Shoyru through the halls to the library. The room was vast, yet it looked like it hadn't been used in decades. Dusts had piled on all objects and both the books and furniture looked like they made collapse if touched.
"Most Meridell kings prefer swords to books," explained Godry, "but there must have been one king at one time who thought this was a good idea. And it's been kept surprisingly up to date. If there's a book you're looking for, it's bound to be here. But finding it is another matter."
"Well then, we'd better get started," Miri declared.
It took some time of searching through the dust covered shelves, but eventually the two heroes had collected a small pile of books that featured Lord Daniels. They set them down on a table and began to read.
After much research, Miri said, "He seems like quite the interesting character. From what I read, he was originally just a simple Dark Magician with a few tricks that made him feared, but not unbeatable. Then all of a sudden he rose to extreme power and became a Dark Lord. No one knows how he got so strong so fast, but by then he was definitely one of Neopia's most feared villains. And then just as suddenly as he had risen to power, he disappeared."
Godry nodded and added, "I've found a bit of interesting info as well. In his peak of power he created some of the world's most powerful artifacts: The Heart of the Inferno, the Mirror of the Abyss, the Egg of protection, and various others. But here's the interesting thing; he also created the Eye of Purity, a device that traps all creatures of darkness."
"Hm, that seems thoughtless of him," Miri said. "He may have given us the weapon we can use to stop him."
"I'm afraid that's not the case." Godry sighed. "As Mr. Chumpchange was clear to announce on his various publicity projects, he destroyed the Eye of Purity along with the hero of Altador."
Miri's face was grim as she said, "Whatever the case, Daniels is not going to be an easy adversary. We need to stop—"
"I think what we need right now is to go to sleep," Godry suggested. "We still haven't gotten over that last battle, and there'll be another one coming soon. We need all the rest we can get. We'll go back to this tomorrow."
Miri could only nod in agreement.
The sky in Shenkuu seemed to linger in dawn and dusk. Eventually it would return to its natural blue, yet it stayed a deep red for much longer than normal.
"You've done very well," congratulated Lord Daniels. "Altador is completely in your control now. Where do you plan to target next?"
"To be honest, I never thought that I'd get this far," Jimmi admitted, "but I suppose that Kiko Lake will be an easy target."
Silence filled the room. Jimmi knew that Daniels expected him to keep focusing his dark energy, yet he was finding it hard to concentrate. At last he said what was on his mind.
"I didn't really conquer Altador," he declared. "If it hadn't been for you, those heroes would have beaten me."
"Those heroes did not belong in Altador," Daniels said. "If they hadn't interfered Altador would have fallen to your power within minutes."
"But when they attacked I couldn't cast any spells," Jimmi confessed. "What happens when the next hero I fight gets the advantage over me?"
"You were able to destroy the Gelert's sword when you needed to," Daniels pointed. "If you keep allowing the darkness to grow within you, you won't need to wait so long."
"Is that why you abandoned me in battle?" Jimmi asked. "So you could see if I was strong enough to use magic?"
"It worked," Lord Daniels replied. "I can't fight all your battles for you, and soon I won't need to."
"But if my spell hadn't worked," Jimmi started, "then... well, that Gelert looked pretty angry... I think he might have."
"Jimmi, when you're a villain, there is always the risk that a hero will defeat you," Lord Daniels explained. "And when you work with other villains, there's always the chance that they'll let you be defeated if it serves their purposes. That's what makes us villains."
To be continued...