The Amulet's Curse: Part Eight
"TAELIA! TAELIA!” Hannah called, clearly worried about the faerie.
“Hahaha! She can’t hear you. She’s out cold. And while she sleeps, I’m stealing all her power. Soon the Pharaoh will AWAKEN!” The mysterious neopet exclaimed.
This is bad, Reginald thought. He knew Taelia was a very powerful faerie. Definitely capable of bringing back the evil pharaoh.
“Let her go.” Hannah demanded. “Or I’ll make you,” she threatened.
“Are you threatening me? I’d be so scared, but you’re too late. He’s almost ready, and there’s nothing you can do to stop him!” The cloaked figure exclaimed.
Right on cue, shadows began steaming out of the amulet. On the floor in front of Taelia, they began forming into shape. Twisting and swirling, a figure began to emerge out of the shadows. All too quickly, the great pharaoh stood before the trio. With the process complete, the amulet detached itself from Taelia’s neck, falling to the floor the same time as the exhausted faerie collapsed. “Mmmm. Very good.” The Pharaoh spoke, His voice was deep, his words pronounced slowly and purposefully.
He began stretching out and examining his newly formed body. He was a desert coloured draik, enormously tall, and obviously strong. He wore traditional Lost Desert clothing, except black instead of white. His clothing had gold trimmings, displaying his excellence. On his head, he wore an enormous gold crown, fashioned with a large Ruby as the centrepiece.
“To whom do I thank for awakening me?” he asked, beginning to survey the room. “It was I, your greatness.” The cloaked figure said, stepping forward.
“And to these three?” the Pharaoh asked, gesturing to the trio, who stood in silence, still shocked at what they had just seen.
“Unbelievers and traitors,” the figure said, referring to Princess Amira with the last word. In response, a look of confusion and almost-knowing crossed Princess Amira’s face.
The Pharaoh again began to speak. “Then I will discard of them.” Immediately he began moving forward, drawing a long, curved scimitar from its sheath, hanging from his waist, preparing to attack the trio.
Reginald, swords still in hand, was ready for the attack. He immediately began countering the Pharaoh’s attack. His lessons from Aethia served him well, as the Pharaoh sent blow after blow directed his way, attempting to gain the upper hand. It was clear the pharaoh was well practised in the art of sword fighting. Luckily for Reginald, his swords still felt natural in his hands, and he was able to manage to counter the repeated assaults. It was at this point, Hannah began to join the fight, a large knife with gold embellishments her weapon of choice. The two together had the advantage against the pharaoh. However, he was too powerful for the two to go to completely gain the upper hand.
“Ha ha ha.” The Pharaoh’s deep Voice bellowed. “You are too weak to defeat me. Though your skill and bravery are admirable, they are not enough to save you now.” On the last word the pharaoh delivered an extra strong blow, its force sending Hannah to the ground.
Reginald was left fighting the Pharaoh one-on-one. However, exhaustion was beginning to affect him. It had been a long four days, and the Pharaoh was a tough adversary to fight. Blow after blow, Reginald managed to counter each attack, but he was becoming weaker, and soon the pharaoh was managing to push him back until he was forced to fight with his back against the wall.
“If you surrender, I will ensure your death is not a painful one.” The Pharaoh said, menacingly.
“Not if I can help it.” Said Hannah, recovering from her fall. She ran forward and slashed the pharaoh on the back of his leg.
“AAAARRGGH!” the Pharaoh cried out in pain, turning around to combat Hannah.
“The amulet, Reginald, the amulet.” Princess Amira called out. She had been resigned to standing and watching the fight, unable to help with not much battle experience.
Reginald looked over to where the amulet still lay on the floor, running forward to kneel in front of it. The amulet was beautiful, the deep red crystal sparkled, even without much light. The crystal was cleanly cut, and clear. You could see right through it, without any tarnishes. It’s sat perfectly in a gold casing shaped like scarab.
Beside him, Taelia gained semi-consciousness. “Reginald,” she whispered. “Your swords. Use them to pierce the amulet and destroy it.” She immediately became unconscious once again, exhausted from the effort to even whisper to Reginald.
Reginald pick up the swords and held them above him, side by side ready to puncture the crystal at the heart of the amulet. Sensing the danger, the amulet came to life before him.
“Reginald,” It crooned. “Do not do this. I will reward your loyalty with a life of greatness like you deserve. I would spare nothing for you, Reginald.” The amulet began projecting images of Reginald in the finest clothes, surrounded by millions of books, some being the rarest in all Neopia. The images were transfixing. “AHHH!” It was Princess Amira’s scream. It brought Reginald out from under the influence of the amulet. Reginald turned to see Hannah struggling to fight the powerful Pharaoh, and he was now making his way towards Princess Amira.
“No!” Reginald yelled. Turning back towards the amulet, he whispered to himself, “Some things are more important than neopoints and power.”
Reginald pierced the amulet with his swords. The Pharaoh was halted from his attack, screaming in pain. Shadows began pouring out of the amulet, heading towards the Pharaoh, encircling him from head to toe, spinning around him in circles. All at once, the shadows began heading back into the crystal, taking the Pharaoh with them. With the final shadow in, the crystal broke into pieces. It was destroyed.
Reginald headed to the other two, gathering them in his arms, hugging them out of relief.
“You did it, Reg.” said Hannah, returning Reginald’s hug with a pat on his back. Reginald smiled back at Hannah. He turned towards Princess Amira.
“Are you okay?” he asked, concerned.
“I’m fine.” She replied. “You got him just in time.”
The reunion was interrupted by sounds of crying coming from another corner of the room. The cloaked figure was sitting in the corner, clearly upset at being defeated.
Princess Amira walked over to the figure, Reginald and Hannah following behind her. Kneeling down, she pulled back the hood.
“Princess Sankara.” Princess Amira said, disappointment in her voice. “I had a feeling it was you.”
Still crying, Princess Sankara replied. “You can’t judge me, Amira. You can’t.”
“But why did you do it?” This time it was Reginald who asked.
“I come from a little-known area of the Lost Desert, the Kingdom of Khamtef. Ever since my family’s kingdom fell to the evil invaders, all I have wanted is to restore my family name, and the great dynasty we once had. I have waited patiently for years in my refuge in Sahkmet.
“Your father,” she spat at Princess Amira, “never allowed me to reclaim my rightful throne. Your family have never aided me in this cause. I brought back the Pharaoh so together we could rule, not just the Lost Desert, but all of Neopia, and bring back the honour my family name deserves. But of course, you have ruined it, and my family name is disgraced.” Princess Sankara began crying once again following her explanation.
Princess Amira began to speak. “I sympathise with you, I really do Sankara, but this was not what should have been done. You must come back to the Lost Desert with me. Though I’ll be ensuring the guards keep a closer eye on you from now on.”
Princess Sankara nodded at Princess Amira’s words, she had no other choice but to accept what the fellow princess said.
“Well, I think it’s time to go home.” Smiled Hannah. “Reg, would you mind helping me with Taelia? It’s not right to leave her here.”
With Hannah and Reginald carrying Taelia, and Princess Amira with her arm around Princess Sankara, helping her control her sobs, the five of them walked out of Taelia’s hut.
“Look,” said Reginald looking up, “it’s snowing.” Hannah and Princess Amira turned their faces to the sky to see the small snowflakes falling around them.
“Everything is right, again.” Said Amira, smiling.
And it was.---
“I get why Princess Sankara did it, but I don’t understand the rest. Isca said Terror Mountain was melting, which explains all the weird weather that was happening, but why?” Hannah questioned.
The trio were in the Haunted Woods, talking to the Brain Tree about all that had happened.
“The mountain was melting because all of Neopia’s temperatures were rising. The biggest side effect of that is the Great Mountain melting. The Pharaoh’s curse was going to turn all of Neopia into desert, one big kingdom for him to rule for eternity.” The Brain Tree explained.
“It was necessary you three defeat him. Even though Neopia itself is an old and magical planet, the curse was too powerful.” He finished.
“Alright, but why use Taelia to bring back the Pharaoh, she’s not exactly a fan of the desert.” Hannah almost laughed at her own question.
“Taelia is a very powerful faerie, her magic is often underestimated because she does not use her power for grander purposes, choosing instead to help individual neopets with their problems. Taelia was an easy target alone on the Mountain, opposed to Faerieland where it would be harder to take a faerie captive.” Said the Brain Tree.
“Thank you for that explanation Brain Tree. But I must ask, why me? Why were my swords the only thing able to destroy the amulet and break the curse?” Asked Reginald.
“Reginald, you and your swords have been destined for one another for all eternity,” the Brain Tree began, “The sword of flame and the sword of ice are perfect opposites. The sword of flame is bright, alive, and hot. The sword of ice is clear, still and cold. Together they are equals.
“The curse of the Pharaoh, of the Shkanum-da, would have forced Neopia to become one hot planet, ruled by evil. There would be no balance in Neopia. The swords were destined to destroy the amulet, because they represented the opposite – equilibrium, of each other, and of Neopia. That was why it was your destiny to travel this great journey, and defeat this great evil.” Reginald blushed at the Brain Tree’s words.
“And you did it wonderfully.” Finished Princess Amira, smiling at Reginald. He blushed a deeper red.
“Well, what’s next?” said Hannah, turning to Reginald and Princess Amira. “Had enough adventure, or craving more?”
“Is that a joke? I could not stand returning to the mediocrity of the palace, now. No, if more adventure awaits, I want to explore!” Exclaimed Princess Amira.
Princess Amira and Hannah turned to face Reginald, awaiting his response. “Well I heard there was actually a new book-” He began to say sheepishly.
“No you don’t, Reg. Come on!” Said Hannah, grabbing him by the collar, starting another of this trio’s many, many adventures.