Piper stared angrily and intently at the shadowy kingdom before her, and clenched her fists until they turned white. Seeing the spiders crawling around everywhere, only reminded her what they did to her parents.
"Piper?" Captain Draco's concerned voice snapped the young prankster from thought, and she saw him out of the corner of her eye hovering next to her.
“Sorry, it’s just this place, it brings back memories.” Piper muttered, continuing to glare at the twisted castle.
She felt a firm hand on her shoulder, and looked over at Captain Draco. “You’re past?” he questioned.
Piper hesitated; should she really tell someone she only met days ago one of her darkest secrets? She then thought about all he had done for her, and the fact that he had been like her father these past couple of days.
“When I was little, my parents got killed by Arachnids. That’s how I ended up at the village.” Piper only glanced over her shoulder for a small moment, but she knew Flint was staring in shock at the sudden reveal of Piper’s past.
“Oh, I’m sorry, if I would have known that, I wouldn’t have-”
Piper raised her hand to quiet the Captain, and she said, “It’s fine. I haven’t talked about my parents in quite a long time.”
Draco removed his hand from the young Pixie’s shoulder, and looked back at the kingdom in front of them; after learning what the spiders had done to the poor lass, made him want to take down this kingdom even more.
“Alright you two, we’re going to get closer to the kingdom, land somewhere safe and come up with a plan. We have one more day to take back our fellow pixies once and for all.” he exclaimed, turning to the younger pixies.
Piper and Flint nodded in almost perfect sync, and the three of them zipped down closer to the tree below, and towards the Arachnid Kingdom’s borders.
Stormy Nightfall sat on her throne at the end of a giant chamber; the room was dark, dimly lit with torches that were lit with blue flames.
Her long nails tapped on the stone armrest, with a smile plastered on her pale-skinned face. She could sense the trio near her borders, but she hoped that they would make it through her Arachnid soldiers guarding the outside, so she would have the sweet pleasure of killing the pixies herself.
“Hurry, little pixies….” Stormy mumbled to herself before gazing upwards toward the ceiling; a cage was dangling from a flimsy chain, and inside there was one pixie inside that Stormy knew would be a weakness to Piper’s heart.
“...come meet your fate.”
Two spiders were guarding the main entrance, bored with their duty, and not paying attention to their surroundings.
“No one ever attacks us, so why do we even need to guard anything?” one spider hissed.
“Just because someone hasn't attacked us yet doesn’t mean we won’t eventually be raided.” the second spider replied.
As if on cue, a smoke bomb dropped from the sky and in between the two Arachnid soldiers. A split second later a white cloud rose up, blinding the soldiers, and causing them to panic.
As the Spiders tried to regain their senses, silhouettes quickly shot through the smoke, and started circling them, confusing them even more.
Once they were dazed and confused, Captain Draco flew into their sights, and knocked them both out in one go. Draco stared down at the unconscious spiders, and sported a satisfied smile. “That felt good for my fists.” he thought to himself.
He glanced over his shoulder, and saw Piper and Flint walk out of the fading white cloud. “Nice job. Flint, who knew you were such an agile and fast flyer.” he exclaimed.
“I guess I’ve always had the talent.” Flint chuckled. Piper gave him a playful punch to the shoulder, causing his face to heat up and turn red.
“No time to celebrate yet…” Draco interrupted the exchange, and looked back at the castle towering over the trio. “...We still have a whole castle to storm.”
Piper patted her pouch, which was filled with “surprises” for the Arachnids, and a smirk crossed her face. “This is for Mom, Dad, and all the other Pixies who lost their lives to these spiders.” she thought to herself, as she followed her companions inside the castle entrance.
The corridors of the castle were dim-lighted, but the trio could still see just fine. Piper found herself captivated by the torches’ blue flames, and how such a dark color could light up a good part of the hall.
Hissing sounded distantly down the corridor, and everyone tensed up as they saw the Arachnids’ silhouettes casted against the stone wall. Quickly, the trio hid behind some pillars, and became motionless as a platoon of Arachnid soldiers passed by.
Piper had to resist the urge to throw another smoke bomb at them, and beat them up; she knew there were too many of them this time, unlike the entrance where there were only two.
Once the platoon had moved, and Draco confirmed to the others that it was clear, they moved from their hiding spots and met back up in the middle.
“We can’t just keep hiding like that every time soldiers come by. It will take us forever.” Flint pointed out, looking around afraid spiders would show up at any second.
Captain Draco thought for a moment before taking a look at his surroundings; different paths and tunnels surrounded them, and with that in mind he came up with a plan.
“As part of our military training, us recruits had to study different designs of Arachnid nests; they’re all different with different rooms, halls, and paths, but there’s only one thing in common. Every single path passes the throne room at some point. We should each take a different path, for lower detection. What do you two think?” he explained to the two young pixies.
“Sounds like a plan.” Flint exclaimed.
“Meet you guys at the throne room?” Piper smirked.
Captain Draco smiled and nodded, but his face went serious again when he said, “Try to stay undetected, but if you are caught, use the gifts you demonstrated earlier to get through and lose those spiders.”
Flint and Piper nodded, and the young male pixie turned to the young prankster. “Stay safe.” he muttered.
“You too.” Piper replied.
The trio separated, soaring into three different tunnel paths.
Piper was breathing heavily as she continued to zip down the maze-like halls. She looked around, and saw no spiders in sight, so she parked herself onto the cobble-stone floor to take a breather.
Sweat was trickling from her forehead, and she had to wipe it off with the back of her head so it wouldn’t drip into her eyes and sting them.
Piper was about to start flying again, but then saw a door down another hall. It had the traditional markings of a throne room entrance, except with spider symbols checkering throughout the pattern.
Two other spiders were standing guard, and Piper quickly hid behind a wall so she wouldn’t be seen by them.
She thought for a moment about how she could go about this: she could easily take the two spider guards, but that might alert the queen inside the chamber, or Piper could wait for Flint and Captain Draco to show up, but that would mean the higher risk of getting caught by the guards.
Piper was taken out of thought by the distinct sound of Arachnids scurrying; she peaked around the wall’s corner, and surprisingly saw that the two guards were now gone. “What the…” she mumbled to herself, as she cautiously crept forward towards the door.
“This isn’t suspicious at all.” Piper thought to herself in a sarcastic manner, once she was only feet away from the door.
“Why do you insist on hiding, Piper? You should know that Arachnid rulers can sense their enemies.” Stormy’s voice startled Piper, and she jumped back, before the door burst open, and the young prankster felt herself being thrusted inside by some sort of invisible force.
Piper tumbled and rolled across the stone floor, and when she finally stopped, she was met with the booming noise of the door being slammed shut behind her.
Knowing exactly who she was before, Piper got to her feet and narrowed her eyes angrily at the Arachnid queen, who was smirking down from her throne.
Piper clenched her jaw, and reached into her pouch. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” Stormy warned.
“Why would that be?” Piper sassed back, keeping her hand in her pouch, ready to attack. Stormy stood up, and glanced upwards; Piper raised her eyebrow in confusion.
“P...Piper?” a familiar voice called from the cage dangling from the ceiling.
It only took a moment to realize who the voice belonged to, and Piper looked up.