Neopedia : Niten Hiroru
The dying light of the sunset spread across Neopia, casting a long shadow before the sharp-eyed Kiko. Under his black hood are many scars - reminders of battles from the past. He wanders ever onward, his eyes always vigilant, his gaze never faltering.
As he comes to a cross in the road, he pauses for only a moment. Then, he picks up a branch, and tosses it into the air. The branch points South. His path, he decides, is South.
After an hour or so, he comes to a city covered in dust and debris. The sign on the outskirts reads, "Kokajuko." He says nothing, but continues his journey.
The people of the village look like the last thing they had to eat was their hope. He will find little comfort here, let alone information.
He stops at a small tavern, the roof blackened and burned. He pushes aside the wrecked door and steps inside, where the tavern keeper gives him a sideways look.
"Nothing here but old bread and warm water," he says to the Kiko.
"That'll do," the Kiko says, and lands on a stool. The tavern keeper hands him a metal plate with half a loaf of hard bread and a cup full of warm water. The Kiko eats in silence.
"This town - there's nothing left since the bandits came in here and wiped everything out."
The Kiko said nothing, just ate his bread and sipped his water. The tavern keeper kept talking.
"This town has seen its share of troubles, but this is bad. I've never seen it this bad."
Just then, a door opens and three Grundos move into the room. The tavern keeper shuts his mouth and goes back to wiping down glasses.
"You look new," one of them says.
"And pretty tough," another says.
"Not that tough," the third says.
The Kiko doesn't say anything, just keeps on chewing his bread, his back to the three Grundos.
"I don't think he's all that tough," says the first.
"Not as tough as us," says the second.
The third opens his mouth, but he's on the floor, unconscious, before he says a single word.
The Kiko spins like a whirlwind, little claws flying. The second Grundo fell just as quickly, and the third stepped back, raising his hands.
The Kiko floated silently over the unconscious bodies, watching the still-standing Grundo with those vigilant eyes.
"You aren't so tough," the Grundo says, rubbing its knuckles together.
The Kiko reaches behind his back, and retrieves a huge sword, almost four feet long. It's razor-sharp blade gleaming in the red light, spilling in from the sunset.
"Um..." the Grundo says. "Maybe I should just leave..."
The tavern keeper leans over the bar. "Yeah! Maybe you should! And take your friends with you!"
The Grundo gathers up his friends, taking them with him as he goes. He stops right at the door, looking back. "Farvor will hear about this!" Then, he's gone.
The Kiko opens his hand, and the katana disappears, like a shadow melting between his fingers.
"A magic sword, huh?" the tavern keeper asks, reaching under the bar. The Kiko says nothing.
The tavern keeper puts another plate on the table: this one with meat, and cheese, and vegetables. Not many, but a few. "This was my dinner," the tavern keeper says. "But the way you scared away those Grundos... you deserve it."
The Kiko shakes his head, pushes the food back to the tavern keeper, but he says nothing.
The tavern keeper nods and begins eating the food. "Grundos rule this town," he says. "A gang of them. Farvor is their boss. They burn down houses, steal food, and make all kinds of trouble. Someone needs to do something..."
The tavern keeper looks up. The Kiko looks back.
"Maybe someone already has," the tavern keeper says. He turns to get the water pitcher, and for just a moment, the Kiko... smiles. It's gone when the tavern keeper turns back.
The tavern keeper fills the Kiko's cup back up. "What did you say your name is, stranger?"
The Kiko sips more water, and says nothing.