The Gelert instructed us to drop him off in one of the cities
"It was an honor working with you," he said,
bowing formally, "even if you did foil my initial attempt."
"Yeah, whatever," I replied, rubbing the back
of my neck.
"Well, farewell then. Dragon Thieves."
He trotted off, snickering to himself as if
our name was some sort of hidden joke. I watched him go with no sense of sorrow.
"What a loon!" Taffin exclaimed after he left.
"Yeah, you two would get along perfectly," I
retorted, "Now let's get out of here. The cities going to be in an uproar here
We stayed on the ground, as I was sure the palace
would have fliers up and searching for us. It was pretty easy to blend in with
the crowd, especially after I stole some desert robes to hide our wings. It
wasn't long until we reached the east gate. A very familiar trio was waiting
Jaix sat nearby, looking infinitely weary and
a bit worse for the wear. Zarrel stood nearby with her arms crossed, watching
us approach. And MiracleStar was cleaning her stiletto, the one she never used.
Despite the heat, I suddenly felt very cold.
"Everything went according to plan," Zarrel
announced as we approached.
MiracleStar didn't even look up, just replaced
her stiletto inside her sleeve and walked a short distance away.
"The bus back to Neopia Central arrives in just
minutes," she said, "Skyil and Jaix will take it home. You two take Zarrel back
By the look on her face I could tell it was
best to remain quiet. The bus pulled up then and Jaix and Skyil climbed aboard.
MiracleStar turned and said something to Zarrel. I couldn't hear what it was
over the noise of the bus though. She then climbed on and the bus doors shut.
Then it was away, off the desert paths to Neopia Central.
"Alright. Take me home," Zarrel ordered us.
"Just a second," I said, "What did you two do?"
"Got Jaix out. What more do you need to know?"
"Everything. How does MiracleStar know you?
Why does everyone know more about her than we do?"
She was silent for a long time.
"I'm afraid that's something Kristen will have
to tell you herself. I don't think she's quite reconciled just yet. Maybe when
she finally does she'll tell you."
"But… but why adopt us!" I cried, "If she insists
on keeping so many secrets, why have a family!?"
Zarrel looked at me sharply. Her eyes were unnerving
and I couldn't meet her gaze.
"You're her reason to keep going," she said
fiercely, "All her hope and future is in you. She doesn't live for herself anymore;
she lives for you four. Take that away and you destroy her."
"What has happened to her…?" I murmured.
"It is one of Neopia's many stories of sorrow,"
the Zafara assassin replied, "And one that you shall not hear today. Not from
me. Now, take me home."
Zarrel did not look back after we dropped her
off in Meridell. Taffin and I then returned home, full of questions. MiracleStar
was nowhere to be found.
"She left shortly after getting home," Skyil
said, "Jaix is asleep upstairs, by the way."
"Alright. I'll go see him," Taffin said.
I followed. Jaix was awake by the time we got
upstairs, blinking sleepily.
"Heard you come in," he said.
"Ah. You okay?" I asked.
"Been better. I'll live though… but you two
should have seen MiracleStar!"
"What do you mean?" Taffin asked.
"She was amazing. I've never seen anyone fight
so well. The guards never saw her until she was on top of them. Her and Zarrel…
it was incredible. I've never seen anything like it."
"Where on Neopia did she learn it all?" I wondered
"I honestly don't know."
I sighed and went to my room and then climbed
up on the roof. Too many questions, no answers. Who was this Kristen? I barely
knew my owner it seemed. What was so important that she keep hidden from us?
Zarrel's words returned to haunt me. "You take that away and you destroy her."
No matter who or what she was in the past, it wouldn't change how I felt about
MiracleStar. She was my owner and I cared for her deeply. She had no reason
to be afraid. But I knew she didn't see that. I'd just have to be patient and
let MiracleStar come to amends with her past on her own terms.