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The Son of Sahkmet: Part Six


by twirlsncurls5

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The red Acara prison guard stood before the so called Pazori, fidgeting nervously.

      "I'm glad you reported to me, officer…what did you say your name was again?"

      "Leek," he said quickly, "and I knew you stressed how important it was that we tell you anything out of the ordinary that took place around the city."

      Pazori walked across the chamber that she now called her own and grabbed a handful of fresh grapes from a jewel incrusted bowl. "That's a good officer," she said sweetly, offering some to him, "now tell me exactly what you saw in the dungeon."

      "Well," said Leek, hesitantly plucking a single grape from the bowl, "I had just come in for my shift when I heard a Horus call and saw the petpet flying towards me. It then led me to cell number seven."

     Pazori gagged on a grape. "What cell did you say?"

      "Seven, ma'am; is something wrong?"

      "Never mind, continue."

      He nodded and took in a deep breath. "Well there was a young desert Lupe locked inside. It crossed my mind that it was odd for him to be there, since he was neither a guard nor prisoner. But then I saw this crazy Techo, one that's been there for some time, wielding a Cobrall dagger, Fyora knows how she came across it. She was shouting her lungs out, ready to slash him to pieces. This seemed strange as well, since the Lupe was a decently sized fellow and could've easily overpowered the old Techo with one paw. But he was just laying there, mouth agape, so I rushed in and knocked the crazy Techo out. The young Lupe seemed very shaken, and when I asked him what he was doing in the cell, he simply ran."

      "That Techo you speak of," said Pazori, realizing that it was Masika, the very pet that helped to free her, "is she alright?"

      "Um…I'm really not sure, your majesty," he stammered, "but with all due respect, what does that have to do with anything?"

      "Nothing," she said, shaking the thought. "What were the two yelling about?"

      "That was truly the oddest part of all," said Leek, "in fact I'm almost embarrassed to say, as it was so ridiculous."

      Pazori grinned. "If you learn anything from the Lost Desert, learn this: nothing is so ridiculous that it should not be believed."

      Leek nodded. "Well as I said, she was yelling at him in blazing fury, and what she screamed I'll never forget. She said 'It was Coltzan who imprisoned me and I'll see to it that no child of his shall ever take the throne again'."

      Pazori's eyes seemed to burst with excitement but somehow she managed to contain herself.

      "So you're saying she told the Lupe that he was Coltzan's son?"

      "Yes ma'am."

      "Oh what a laugh," she chuckled, pretending the information wasn't essential to everything she was trying to do, "you're dismissed, officer Leek, and I thank you for reporting these things to me, however trivial they were."

      "But your majesty, there's more!"

      "Oh?"

      "This was just as unusual as the rest, maybe even more so. The Techo said something about how the Lupe couldn't stop Princess Sankara, that's right, Princess Sankara, from taking the throne. At first I thought it was complete madness but then I remembered that the palace was still investigating her disappearance from that very prison cell. I don't suppose anything has turned up?"

      Pazori shook her head no, secretly cursing Masika for screaming out such an important secret, even though she had led her to Coltzan's secret heir. "That information is privileged, I'm afraid," she said. "I'm sure you know the investigation is being kept very hush-hush."

      Leek nodded.

      "I'd be very grateful if you too, kept what you saw a secret," she said quietly, placing several coins in the Acara's paw. His face lit up happily.

      "Certainly ma'am," he said, bowing his head quickly and walking towards the door. He turned back suddenly with a concerned look on his face.

      "Suppose that Lupe really was the son of Coltzan III?" he asked.

      "Don't worry," said Pazori, grinning as she led him out of the room, "the palace will most certainly look into it."

          ------------------------------------

     Palpus shook his head confusedly, his round face looking even older in the candlelight of the secret underground chamber. "In all my years of military strategy, never have I heard of such a tactic in all my life."

     Wessle agreed. "Putting Coltzan's murderer on the throne? That's madness. It can't be true."

     "I swear to you," said Kontar, rubbing his temples in frustration, "Masika said that Sankara was going to take the throne. It sounded like she was on her side too."

     "That's hardly surprising," said Barca, "especially after what this dynasty has done to that Techo. But as for Sankara, it saddens me to say that the rumors of her escape must have been true. It appears we made the dreadful mistake of underestimating her. I can only assume she used her cunning to change her form and make powerful friends."

     Palpus rested his head in his large hands. "We've made so many mistakes," he said sadly, "Sankara is a worthy enemy who has every force she could possibly have on her side. Why didn't we announce Kontar's identity sooner? It is hopeless now!"

     Wessle nodded. "We could still arrange for a ship to take us away from here, there's enough time."

     The Lupe stood up defiantly. "Don't you dare say that," he hissed, "you dragged me into this, you kept my life, my whole existence a secret just so I could be of use for this very situation!" He slammed his paws on the table, the dark bags under his eyes from sleepless nights making him look just like his father. "Don't you dare say that you are giving up on the Kingdom that you forfeited my identity to protect!"

     The three politicians stared up at Kontar, unable to take their eyes off the seemingly transformed Lupe.

     "What do you suggest?" asked Barca softly.

     "I will reclaim the throne during Sankara's inauguration, just as you suggested."

     "Then the years must have clouded Barca's head to advise such a plan," said Palpus cynically as if she wasn't even there. "She obviously hasn't thought this through. Revealing Kontar at the ceremony would lead to chaos. The crowds would riot and protest, each neopet fighting over who they think should wear the crown. It's exactly what Coltzan was trying to prevent."

     "And I'm sure my father," said Kontar, almost choking on the word that sounded so funny in his mouth, "would have wanted to prevent someone from unjustly assuming the throne as well."

     "Point taken."

     "We must use force," said Barca, "there are many who still remain loyal to Coltzan's name. They would defend his son at the drop of a hat." She looked over at Palpus with a pleading smile. "We would need your military advice."

     Palpus groaned. "It's insane," he said, "Abasi will probably have his own militia hidden in the crowds there as well. This could turn into a full fledged battle."

     "Oh please," said Kontar grinning cheekily, "we all know you yearn for battle more than anything else in Neopia."

     "I do miss the glory of war," he murmured, reminiscing of the days when he was a young and eager general of a great army.

     "Then are you in?" Kontar asked.

     "Yes," replied Palpus softly as he fingered one of his old medals.

     "Barca?"

     She smiled at him tenderly. "You know I have been from the start."

     Kontar looked over at Advisor Wessle, who still sat nervously in his seat. "Well?" he asked.

      "Oh, fine!" Wessle grunted, "it's not as if my opinion matters anyways."

      Kontar smiled at the group. "Rally all the forces we can get tonight," he said, "and have them be ready to fight tomorrow morning."

      "And what of you?" asked Wessle. "We have to find someplace safe to keep you in, it's not safe for you to be about on the night before a revolution"

      Barca stood up and started to walk out. "I've already arranged for a room to be guarded by several of my most trusted servants."

      Kontar nodded as they all left the secret chamber, loathing the idea that someone would have to baby-sit him. His feeling didn't change much over the course of two hours as he lay on an exotic tiger bed and stroked Artu's feathers out of boredom. The same thought passed through his mind over and over: Vyssa. She was his sister, though he barely knew her, and he was letting her sit alone, locked away in the tower of her own palace. He felt drawn to her, as if he had to see her. Did she know he was her brother? Did she really know of him at all? He wondered if she knew how hopeless things were for her, or how hopeless they were for the Lost Desert. Hopeless crossed through his mind many times as well, despite his effort to remain positive. He knew there was a good chance he would not live to see the sunset of tomorrow.

      A tapping sounded on his door. He rose up to answer it, but remembered what Barca had told him. "Don't open the door under any circumstances unless the password is spoken."

      Kontar swallowed hard and sat back down on the bed. A girl's voice spoke in shrill urgency. "Hurry sir, Vyssa is in great danger; she needs you to come to her immediately!" The pretty face of his sister flashed into his head and he bolted for the door. His hand was on the golden knob before his mind got the better of him. "Speak the password," he said shakily.

      "Horus," said the voice, "the password is Horus."

      That was all Kontar needed to hear, and he pulled open the ornately painted door with scenes of grinning Erisim and Khnums looking towards the sun. The sound of his heart pounding in his ears masked Artu's wild cawing.

      He saw Barca's servants, a yellow Mynci and a white Ruki tied and gagged on the floor before his eyes met with the Pazori's, his father's murderer with a changed appearance and a different name.

      He opened his mouth to scream but two Desert Grarrls came up behind him and tied a white cloth around his mouth.

      Kontar struggled and writhed in their grip like a helpless Pfish in a net.

      He felt the blow of a club to the back of his head that sent him reeling forward onto the hard limestone of the hallway. It had been much worse than the hit he'd taken in the palace dungeon.

     They threw a dark sack over Kontar's body and his world went black.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» The Son of Sahkmet: Part One
» The Son of Sahkmet: Part Two
» The Son of Sahkmet: Part Three
» The Son of Sahkmet: Part Four
» The Son of Sahkmet: Part Five
» The Son of Sahkmet: Part Seven



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