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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 18th day of Hiding, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 97 > New Series > Dragon Thieves: Assassin Integrity -- Part One

Dragon Thieves: Assassin Integrity -- Part One

by child_dragon

"I would just like to mention that I now loathe, despise, and generally detest water," I grumbled, hanging my cloak over the top of the shower rod to dry.

     "Me too," Taffin agreed, hanging his own sopping cloak up next to mine, "I mean, honestly, I think my fur got put out."

     The dragon-winged fire Kyrii pushed past me to examine his dripping fur in the mirror. The fire color was indeed a bit duller than usual, and there was a lot blacker.

     "This is ridiculous. I'm no longer a chick-magnet!" he wailed, trying to style his bangs into some other form than soggy.

     "Better watch what you say Taffin," I replied, heading for my room, "or a certain fire Zafara may get mad."

     "What? How'd you know about that?" he quickly exclaimed, following me down the hall.

I ignored him and went into my room, shuffling through the books laying on my desk.

     "I said, 'how'd you know about that?' Stop pretending to be deaf Nianso, I know those starry Zafara ears of yours work quite well!"

     I turned and gave him a cheeky grin.

     "I read your mail."

     "Kiko snot!" he swore, storming out of my room and downstairs to the living room.

     I heard him angrily flop onto the couch and turn on the TV. Ever since our last mission as the Dragon Thieves, Taffin had been extremely moody. He'd go from exuberant fits of joy to stony silence in just seconds. I worried about him.

     "What was that all about?" my owner, MiracleStar questioned as she walked in.

     "Taffin is in a bad mood," I replied.

     "Mmm hmm."

     "You're dripping," I commented and the girl sighed.

     "I know. I'll go get something dry on…"

     I found my brush and absently preened my damp fur so it'd dry properly. It was pouring rain outside again this day. It'd been raining all week, but of course that didn't stop MiracleStar. Nope, rain and all, we had headed out in this mess on an unknown mission. Turns out it was a quest for that dragon in the Terror Mountain range; the one that gave us our dragon wings and abilities. Although I greatly appreciated the ability to fly, I still didn't think too fondly of the dragon for sending us out in this weather. I had related such feelings to MiracleStar who had only muttered something about not having a choice. That girl was way too secretive about everything.

     I trotted over to my room and settled down on my bed, gazing out the window into the storm. Thunder rolled overhead as sheets of rain beat themselves against the glass pane. It was too depressing to watch, so I pulled the curtains shut and went downstairs. I found Taffin on the couch moodily channel surfing. Our sister Skyil SecretJewel, a desert Aisha, lay nearby, her chin resting in her paws. Jaix stalked in from his room, his black fur ruffled.

     "You look like a fuzzle," Taffin commented in a monotone.

     "Shove it," the dragon-winged fire Acara growled, swiping the remote.

     Amazingly, the Kyrii didn't let out a word of protest. I leaned on the back of the couch and gazed dully at the TV screen. Jaix quickly turned to the weather and growled in frustration. A huge green and orange mass was displayed across nearly all of Neopia it seemed. The center was smack-dab on Neopia Central.

     "Seems we'll be having rain for a bit longer," Jaix said with a sigh, tossing the remote back to Taffin.

     "I wanna go somewhere sunny," I muttered, "somewhere warm."

     "Good luck finding such a place."

     I sighed and my gaze fell on Skyil. Her sandy-colored dragon wing twitched slightly as she watched Taffin channel-surf. The gold rings that pierced it glittered, as did her golden ears. Desert Aisha Skyil. I couldn't help but laugh.

     MiracleStar hadn't taken much convincing to let us all go to the Lost Desert for a bit. She locked up the house and we were off. We opted to take a bus down there, as MiracleStar didn't really feel like driving on what passed for roads in the desert. The trip only took an hour or so and soon the rain was left behind in favor of bright sun and golden sand. The change of scenery certainly seemed to do Taffin good, as he chattered non-stop about everything the entire trip. The other pets on the bus were extremely grateful when we finally arrived in Sakhmet.

     "So where to first?" I questioned.

     "Market place," MiracleStar replied immediately.

     "Battle magic shop," said Jaix.

     "Coltzan's Shrine," protested Skyil.

     "Huh? What we deciding on?" said a slightly distracted Taffin.

     "Oh yesh," I muttered, "this should be interesting. Maybe we should stay for several days?"

     "We can!" Taffin exclaimed, "There's gotta be hotels. MircleStar?"

     She merely looked at him firmly and plucked at her shirt.

     "You forget I'm human. I only have one set of clothes."

     "Oh. Well, we could go to the marketplace first!"

     "Ahh, erm… uh… alright!" the human thief finally exclaimed, "What the heck! I haven't been on shopping spree in a while. Desert clothing, here I come."

     I soon discovered that shopping with MiracleStar is a nightmare. It's not that she took a long time to make up her mind, it's that she made up her mind too frequently. "How about this?" Taffin suggested with a gleam in his eye.

     MiracleStar glanced over at the traditional desert dress the Kyrii held. She started choking and nearly dropped the shirt she was looking at.

     "Good grief Taffin! How on earth would I fit in that thing? Much less have the guts to appear in public?"

     "Well, just thought I'd make a suggestion."

     She gave him an odd glance and resumed shopping.

     MiracleStar finally called it a day when we threatened mutiny if we had to hold anything else.

     "Oh very well," she sighed, and started concentrating on finding a hotel.

     The hotel we found was settled in a small nook of the city, about ten blocks away from the Sahkmet Palace. It wasn't that large, but it looked homey. It was built in the pinkish brown stone of all desert buildings, with a flat roof and large windows. I waited outside with Taffin as she checked in and got us a room. I walked over to the edge of the building and leaned against the warm brick, gazing out dully into the street. I felt a slight tug at my belt, ever so slight, but I was a thief. I was trained for things like this. I spun around and grasped the paw that had started to rifle through my Neopoints bag and drew my dagger, holding it up to the thief's throat in one fluid movement. The tawny colored Kyrii froze, tilting his head back with a hiss of surprise.

     "Gotcha," I growled, not releasing my prisoner.

     "That you did," the Kyrii replied, "I was unaware I was purloining from a fellow in the business."

     "Yep," I replied grimly, "You certainly are. I'm a Dragon Thief, the best around."

     I released him and sheathed my dagger. The Kyrii was an unusual color, more of a golden brown than anything else, with a vivid vest and matching hat, with patched up baggy desert pants. A single golden earring glinted in his ear.

     "I like it," I said, brushing my hand past his ear to explain what I meant.

     "Oh, that? Thanks. Ya know… you'd look pretty good with earrings, I bet."

     "I would?"

     "Yeah! You're a zaffy, you've got those cute ears that'd be perfect for it."

     "Well… MiracleStar has earrings…"

     "MiracleStar?"

     "My owner."

     "Oh."

     He seemed disappointed.

     "Don't you have an owner?"

     "Me? Heck no," he laughed, "I'm Stan! Best thief in the Lost Desert."

     "I'm Nianso DreamWish."

     "A fitting name for such a beautiful Zafara," he replied with a suave smile.

     "And I'm Taffin StarJumper," my brother interrupted coldly.

     Stan's face dropped into an expressionless mask. One glance at Taffin revealed much the same attitude. He held his glaive loosely in one hand and my heart sunk.

     "Hey, uh, Taffin, this is Stan," I said, trying to relieve the tension.

     "That's nice. Now you run along now and leave my sister alone."

     "Hey!" I exclaimed, but the two Kyriis ignored me.

     "I believe your sister can make her own choices as to who to associate with."

     "You stay away from her."

     "Are you telling me what to do?"

     "Yes."

     "And…."

     Stan trailed off as Taffin dropped his glaive low to the ground, the sun reflecting off it's curved blade.

     "And?" Taffin prompted.

     "You think you're better just because you have a fancy weapon?" Stan hissed.

     "Yes."

     "Stop this!" I growled, but they were totally oblivious to my presence.

     "So. You think you're a better thief than I?"

     "I do."

     "Care to prove it?"

     "Certainly."

     "Alright," Stan replied with a smug grin, "Bring me something from the Sahkmetian Palace."

     "That's quite a task."

     "But doable," Stan replied with a sneer, "If I may present your lovely sister with proof that I have done it…?"

     Taffin reluctantly moved aside and Stan gracefully took my paw, turning it palm up to drop something in it. They were two hoop earrings, wrought in gold in the shape of a snake with ruby chips for eyes.

     "For you," he said with a soft smile, then turned to face my brother, "So you see, I have been in there before. Bring me similar proof and I will not hinder you ever again." He bowed to me and then stalked arrogantly off down the street.

     "Taffin StarJumper!" I screeched as soon as he was out of sight, "How DARE you!"

     "Wha?"

     "You don't have to protect me! You stupid inconsiderate Floud-headed… man!" I hissed.

     I then turned and stalked off into the hotel to find MiracleStar. She'd know how to get my ears pierced.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Dragon Thieves: Assassin Integrity -- Part Two

Dragon Thieves: Assassin Integrity -- Part Three

Dragon Thieves: Assassin Integrity -- Part Four

Dragon Thieves: Assassin Integrity -- Part Five

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