Netsuko knew all of Aldrai's haunts. She knew the ones
even child_dragon didn't know for he had brought her there on many occasions.
She went alone, for she didn't think it appropriate for Sakuko to come along.
"I'll wait at the house for you then," the human
girl had said calmly.
Netsuko found Aldrai in the third place she
looked. The river that was near child_dragon's house also passed near hers.
About halfway between the two houses was a tree that had split low to the ground.
It was very easy to climb and Aldrai would many times meet Netsuko there, high
up in the branches.
She found a steady grip with her paws and started
to climb. He looked down from his perch and watched her progress. Up and up,
first that branch, then a leap to the next, her Zafara claws digging into the
bark as needed, her tail providing balance. She was almost to his branch. She
looked up and he reached down a paw. She took it and Aldrai helped her up the
last part of the climb. They sat on the same large branch now, Aldrai with his
back against the tree trunk, her perched a little further out.
"I haven't seen much of you lately," she said
"I'm sorry. It's just…"
"You're using your magic quite a bit," she continued.
"I know. But I need to."
"No you don't. You don't need to do anything.
You just need to be Aldrai."
He looked at her, pain in his eyes.
"But I am Aldrai. This magic is part of me."
"You were Aldrai before you started using the
"No… yes… I don't know. I was born with this
power… but why didn't it show up until after it was too late to do any good…?"
"I don't know. I don't think anyone knows. It
doesn't matter really."
"Yes it does!" he cried in anguish, "If I had
my magic then I would have been able to help child_dragon. I would have been
able to stand up against Rycio! I would have been able to save my mother!"
He buried his face in his paws and cried. Netsuko
hesitated, then placed a paw on his shoulder in comfort.
"I just want to be able to do some good," he
moaned softly, "I just… want to be able to help. Change this world for the better."
"We all do," the rainbow Zafara replied softly,
"but not all of us can. We have to be content with what we can do."
"And I can use my magic to help others."
"But are you helping? What about Terraile?"
His face suddenly fell into an emotionless mask.
"What about her?"
"Well… I think you may have hurt her feelings
pretty badly. That's not helping anyone."
"She… she doesn't understand."
"I don't think any of us do. We're worried about
"Worried? Why on Neopia are you worried?"
"Because… you're using your magic…"
"Oh, that's it," he interrupted, "I'm using
my magic too much. Nitpicking again on Aldrai. I see how it is. Look, I know
my limits better than you do and I'm fine!"
"No, Aldrai, that's not what I meant!" she cried
desperately, "I don't think you realize just what…"
She trailed off for it was obvious Aldrai was
no longer listening. In fact, he turned away and slid off the tree branch, his
white wings suddenly appearing and floating him to the ground. Netsuko watched
him leave open-mouthed. He'd never turned his back on her like this. Never.
As the spotted Zafara stalked away the one left behind hugged herself and cried.
While Netsuko searched for Aldrai I headed over to Sabreur's house. I needed
my big brother. There were times when I could handle everything myself, completely
in control, the responsible adult. Then there were times when I just needed
his support; like when we were in grade school and we were both tardy. Today
was one of those times.
The door to his house was locked. But he was
home, his buggy was in the driveway. I hesitated then unlocked the door using
my magic and went inside. I could hear sounds coming from the back of his house,
from his lab. I covertly walked to it and stopped just outside the door. Blast-proof
glass allowed me to see in. Both my brother and his Scorchio were huddled around
a table, fiddling with some piece of machinery. I knocked at the door and both
of them jumped.
"When you'd show up?" my brother demanded.
"Just now. The door was locked but I just let
He removed his lab coat and headed over to the
I found a seat at the kitchen table and accepted
the can he handed me.
"So what's up?" he asked.
And I told him. I explained everything, from
Aldrai's constant use of magic to his strange fight with Terraile.
"So I think he's using his light magic too much,"
"And how would that affect things?"
"Well, for starters, each element is associated
with certain personality traits.
While light is overall good there can be dangers
with using it too much."
"BrightSong… the Shadows… told me that anything
taken to an extreme could be dangerous. Even light. Think of a solar flare,
or worse, supernova. That's what happens when there is too much light."
"So you think Aldrai is going to wind up hurting
"I'm afraid so. That or someone else."
"How could he hurt someone else if he's channeling
"He could loose control. But I doubt that'll
happen… I think he's mostly a danger to himself right now. I just… don't know
what to do…"
My brother sighed.
"I'm not the best at these kind of things,"
he said awkwardly, "but here's what I'll suggest: Tell him to tone it down some.
Tell him what you just told me. If that fails, pull rank."
"I don't like pulling rank on my pets."
"I know. But for his own good, right?"
"I guess so."
I stood up and placed the empty Neocola can
by the sink.
"Your buggy should be done here pretty soon,"
Sabreur informed me as I walked to the door.
"Alright. Thanks. How much did you change?"
He looked at the ceiling and tried to appear
"Errr, not much. Just… repaired and… added on
a bit. Not much, really."
"Sure," I replied with a roll of my eyes.
I then tried to leave. His door was locked.
I scowled and unlocked it.
"Why must you do that?" I said in irritation.
"It's not like anyone in their right mind would break in your house, especially
when you're at home."
"Oh. Well, you never know when an insurance
salesman might drop by."
"Right bro. Whatever."
And I headed for home.
To be continued...