Undead Rising: Part Five
"So do you think that Edward could be the Sun Warrior?” Zeena poked gently at Edward’s amulet, causing the Lenny to flinch a little and pull away.
Fyora closed the book, handing it to Bernard. “Whether or not that is true remains to be seen. You must take the amulet to Altador to speak with Jerdana. She is wise in the ways of spells and amulets, especially those that pertain to the city’s history itself. If this amulet is indeed one of the Sun Warrior, Jerdana might have an idea on how to awaken his true power.”
“Altador?” Bernard repeated in shock. “B-But that’s over the mountains! My mom will get suspicious if I go too far from the Haunted Woods…”
“Why’s that?” Zeena asked, her ears pointed towards him curiously.
“My mum and dad and sister and I all come to the Haunted Woods once a year for two weeks from Roo Island to see our extended family. The reason why I found Edward here was because I heard about some creepy graveyard in the middle of nowhere.” Bernard scratched his head. “If I go too far from the woods they’ll be suspicious about what I’m doing… then we might never find out Edward’s past!”
“Maybe I can help then!”
The four of them turned at the sound of an enthusiastic, high-pitched voice. It was a younger blue Lupe, giggling and folding her arms behind her back.
Bernard’s jaw dropped. “Molly?! How did you-“
“After hearing you try so hard to convince momma to leave the house, I thought you might be up to something. So I snuck out and followed you here!”
Bernard let out a loud, exasperated sigh, then knelt down and placed his hands on his sister’s shoulders. “Molly, you know this is dangerous, don’t you? I don’t want you getting hurt.”
“Don’t worry, big brother! I don’t plan on following you to Altador. I’ll just keep mom and dad occupied so they don’t know what you’re doing!” She winked at him. “Just make sure you finish up with all this stuff next week. That’s when we leave the Haunted Woods until next year!”
Bernard rolled his eyes and gave her a smirk. “I’ll try.”* * * * *
“It’s a good thing that Queen Fyora had us take a Uni escort to Altador.” Zeena remarked, making herself more comfortable on the seat of the flying carriage. “It would have been much faster than walking!”
“Said the one with the wings.” Bernard teased.
“Hey, faeries don’t always fly wherever they go!” Zeena nudged him. “So anyway, Queen Fyora told us to find Jerdana, right? What’s her deal anyway?” the faerie Wocky poked the book in Bernard’s hand. “Maybe that book Fyora lent us has something to do with it?”
Bernard nodded, opening the worn book and turning its’ pages. There was much information on the history of Altador, some that he was too busy to look through… not to mention the lengthy paragraphs on every page that he didn’t feel like reading in the first place. Finally, he came to a page bearing Jerdana’s name. The Lupe began to read the page. “The Sorceress Jerdana. One of the members of King Altador’s Council, and one of the twelve protectors of Altador. She helped Queen Fyora imprison The Darkest Faerie in stone by using an orb of her own making. She was also responsible for hiding Altador from Neopia for 1,000 years… in order to protect the city.”
Zeena’s eyes widened with curiosity. “Jerdana is that powerful?”
“Apparently…” Bernard scratched his head. “The rest of this story talks about Jerdana’s efforts to help someone named Sir Tormund and Lady Roberta.”
“Sounds familiar…” Zeena tapped a paw to her chin. “Anything else about Jerdana herself?”
“Not much…” Bernard replied sadly. “I guess we’ll just have to ask her when we get there.”
Edward said nothing, choosing to remain silent as he wracked his brain for any remnants of his memory. Was he truly this Sun Warrior as they claimed, or was he just some ghost Lenny with a cursed amulet of no significance?
Before he had any time to focus on these thoughts, the vibrant city was coming into view. The two Uni pulling the carriage began to slow their descent, making their way towards the docks of Altador. “We will be arriving shortly!” One of the Uni warned. “Prepare for landing!”
Bernard and Zeena grasped the edges of their seats, bracing themselves for the bumpy landing into the city.
The Uni escorting the children flailed about as projectiles from below began striking both they and the cart. Many of said projectiles consisted of gross food, rotten apples, and even a few bones. What in the world was happening down there?
With several bumps and shrieks, the group made it to the ground with a loud crash, sending a cloud of dust into the air and blinding the confused pets. Bernard hacked and coughed, waving away the dust and blinking a few times to try and process what had just happened. It wasn’t long before the problem presented itself.
A hoard of skeletal neopets was heading their way, waving rusted weapons and old bones in their hands to look intimidating. Bernard quickly stood up, trying to help out the Uni that had fallen with them. “Go, go! Warn Fyora about what’s happening!” Bernard barked at them, the Uni scrambling to get themselves and the carriage back in the air.
Just as one of the skeletons was about to strike the yellow Lupe down, a flash of brilliant light shot towards it, reducing it to nothing but dust. The rest of the skeletons began flailing their weapons wildly, charging at the group of friends before meeting the same result as the first skeleton.
Bernard found himself collapsing on the ground after that, nearly fainting in the process. What a wild and crazy journey this had turned out to be… and yet they still knew so little. The Lupe sat up. “Edward, was that your magic that saved us that time?”
The Lenny shook his head. “Not I.” He looked just as shocked as Zeena and Bernard.
“That would be the work of my magic, young ones.”
Bernard peeked his head around Edward, finding that the source of the voice was a blue Aisha wearing a very colorful dress. Her hand was glowing a bright yellow, and then quickly returned to normal when she rested her arm at her side. “Now then… I take it you are here to see me?”
Zeena shook herself off, stunned from the crash. “Who are you?” She asked wearily.
The Aisha helped the Wocky get back to her feet, then fixed the ruffles that had formed in her dress. “Jerdana is my name. Queen Fyora informed me of your arrival.”
“Jerdana?” Bernard repeated. “But how did you know- How did she tell you before we got here?”
The Aisha chuckled. “Some things are best kept secret, my young Lupe. I have my ways.” She gestured towards an enormous building in the central square of Altador. “Now come, we must find a safe place to speak without interruption. This way.”* * * * *
“What?! You’ve actually heard of the Sun Warrior?!” Bernard practically jumped out of his chair. King Altador had brought the four neopets into his council chambers to keep them all safe from the attacks of the undead. The Lupe now stood by the window, keeping an eye out for any more unwelcome guests.
“Yes. It was a very long time ago, longer than even the Darkest Faerie’s betrayal. The Sun Warrior was a valiant hero that helped protect many villages and cities across Neopia, not just Altador. The power that he carried lay in his amulet, one that would only give its’ wearer magical powers if they had a good heart.” She sighed. “Whatever became of the Sun Warrior beyond his death was unknown, but if what Fyora told me is true… then we should have the valiant hero here in this very room.”
Jerdana stood up, walking towards Edward and carefully turning the amulet in her hands. “It looks like the very same amulet… but somehow different…” She stepped back, picking up a book on one of the tables and flipping through it, looking back and forth from Edward’s amulet to the book’s worn pages. She turned it around so that the rest of the group could see. “The Amulet of the Sun Warrior looked something like this.”
Bernard squinted at the page. The amulet depicted on the page was beautiful and colorful, shaped like a sun with golden vines around it. Looking at Edward’s amulet, it looked quite different… Edward’s amulet was a duller yellow color, entangled by silver thorny brambles. “Do you think that there’s something wrong with it?” He remarked.
“My guess…” Jerdana closed the book and put it back on one of the tables. “…Is that the amulet has been cursed by a dark magic. Your friend here has been able to save you from the monsters you encountered before, but he has only used a fraction of the power that he’s capable of. If we could somehow find the source of this dark magic and dispel it for good… There might be a chance that we can end these attacks of the undead for good.”
King Altador let out a heavy sigh, turning towards the group. “They’re getting worse by the day. If you are to find the wielder of such magic, you are going to need some help.” He gave Jerdana a knowing look. “I assume you know what I am referring to, Jerdana?”
She nodded. “I will help these children in their search. For now, inform the other members of the council of the state of affairs… and make sure the public is safe from harm.”
“I will do my best.”
To Be Continued...