I opened my eyes, and almost yelled. Leaning over me,
with tears in her eyes, was Lae. Just behind her was Jero and Drushii, both
looking equally sombre.
"Lae?" I whispered.
"Sari?" Lae replied, the colour draining from
her face. I sat up, a confused look on my face. "Is… is that you?"
"Who else would it be?" I asked, and then it
all came rushing back. I remembered falling, an unusual sensation spreading
across my chest and then the rush of blackness as I hit the ground. Waking up,
meeting the Faerie, finding out I was the…
"You," I yelled, standing up and starting to
run towards Mr. Brown. "YOU!"
"I can explain," Mr. Brown said hurriedly, stumbling
backwards. It amazed me that a grown man would try and run away from a short
15-year-old, unarmed and slightly confused.
"Start explaining then," I growled.
Mr. Brown looked flustered, but ploughed on.
"The jewel offers unmentionable power -- the
kind that you can only imagine. I once swore that I would obtain it, through
any means necessary. I hoped that it wouldn't involve innocent lives… but that
Faerie changed it."
"You what?" Jero snarled before I could
speak. "Don't you dare talk about the Faerie in that tone. She was trying
to hide it from people like you. You're the people that make Neopia… horrible!"
Okay, since when did Jero become so… evil?
I thought. Since someone tried to kill him, I answered.
"You must understand," Mr Brown said earnestly.
"I did it for the good of Neopia."
I don't quite know what happened, it was as
though white-hot anger spread through my body. It spread from the very tips
of my fingers to the ends of my toes. I couldn't believe he said that. The heat
seemed to focus in my hands, and without thinking properly, I brought my hands
up so they were level with my shoulders.
"Don't ever corrupt Neopia," I said quietly,
my voice shaking. "You were doing it purely for your own selfish needs."
And then without warning, flames shot from my
fingertips. They flew from me and darted at Mr Brown. With a horror struck look,
he ducked and the flames merely hit the wall instead. The flames licked the
top of his thinning hair, and much of it was burnt off, leaving a pink scalp
in its place. The effect was somewhat amusing.
"Oops," I mumbled. I guess that's what she meant
by being the jewel…
I thought to keep my anger under control, not
trusting myself to contain a second outburst. As if to destroy the record, I
shoved my hands into my pockets, shaking slightly. The anger I felt was slowly
fading, as though it had been drained by the outburst. Rather than try and work
out how I had suddenly tried to combust, I turned to a now trembling (and somewhat
scorched) Mr. Brown.
"Go away," I whispered. "Leave Neopia, I don't
care. But touch my family or I again, and I'll assure you, the flames won't
"You… you have my assurance on that," Mr. Brown
said, his eyes never leaving my hands.
There was a muffled squeak. Turning around,
I saw Lady Likisha in a corner, shaking. I shook my head, pity flooding my senses.
Then was a strange sound, like a dam flooding and another squeak, this time
outraged. I heard Lae snigger and Drushii choke back a laugh.
Lady Likisha was glaring at me, water dripping
steadily to the floor. Her hair, once finally kept, was the constancy of rat's
tails, hanging in clumps. Her face was flushed with anger.
"Beam me up Scotty?" I murmured; hoping the
Faerie was listening. Suddenly, the blast on wind signifying the Faerie had
indeed heard me and was transporting us somewhere.
I gave a cheery wave to (a rather soaked) Lady
Likisha and Mr Brown before the world went blurry.
Surprisingly enough, I didn't fall over as we arrived at our house. More correctly,
we arrived outside in the garden. The sky was still dark; the moon was shining
through the clouds, casting a miserable light across the garden.
It just about summed up my feelings really.
I looked at the three pets in front of me.
Lae looked pale even in the moonlight, which
was a surprise. No matter what, Lae always seemed to come out with a smile.
The first time she fought (and lost spectacularly) I could remember her grin
and the ever pessimistic, "Yeah well, it's only 'cos you won't fork out for
better weapons," remark. But now, that vibrant smile seemed lost, replaced by
a look of someone who was lost.
Drushii, on the other hand, looked angry. Her
purple eyes were almost dancing with fire and her whole stance told me she wouldn't
sleep for a while. I suspected Drushii would take her anger out on an inanimate
Jero seemed to a mixture of both. I could see
the anger receding from his features, only to be replaced by a look of pure
shock. Out of all the pets, it was Jero I was most worried about. Jero was always
the innocent one, untouched by evil in anyway, full of an excitement and childish
humour. And now he had lost that part of him.
I was angry, very angry. But at the same time,
weary. I was sick of all the problems, sick of fighting. Looking at the three
pets, all handling the last day's events in their own way, I realised it would
take time for the events to fade.
But tonight wasn't the time.
"Come on," I said softly. "Let's go in."
To be continued…
Author's Note: Neomails will be stuck on a pedestal and worshipped by Chia
gods for a while before being replied to.