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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 1st day of Running, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 128 > Continuing Series > The Curse of the Dark Nova: Part Five

The Curse of the Dark Nova: Part Five

by dancepixie100

Ritz stared at Evander bewildered. What he had just said stunned the Ixi so much that she almost fell over. As if her life wasn’t as confusing before, being that she is the princess of Meridell, now there was some sort of prophecy made about her. Her eyes furrowed into confusion as she waited for the white Draik to explain himself.

     “Ritz, if you tell me your true story, I promise to explain everything to you,” Evander said softly. This wasn’t going to be easy. He expected the worst from the Ixi. There was a long silence before Ritz spoke again. All that could be heard was the rain from the storm outside that continued to beat down on the earth. A strike of lightning sounded and the entire cave trembled.

     “I am Princess Ritzalina of Meridell,” she said cautiously, not believing what she was saying. “When I was born, I was cursed by the Dark Faerie, Phaedra. She gave me a dark nova, and when I took it, everything changed. I ran away from home after a terrible fight, and I am never going back.” Evander didn’t seem surprised at all. He almost half expected to hear this. He could see it in the Ixi’s eyes, hidden behind fear and disbelief.

     “Ahhh,” he breathed. “So you chose to live here is shame while your country falls to pieces? Princess, look outside, don’t you see what is happening?” Ritz peered out the edge of the cave to see outside. Already the storm had spread to the far corners of Meridell and there was no sign of stopping. Dark clouds swirled above the castle and suffocated the last bits of light so that the land was engulfed in total darkness. What once were beautiful fields of spring blossoms and lush trees, was now a wasteland of barren deadness. It was no longer the home the Ixi had known.

     Suddenly, Ritz’s eyes darkened with anger. “So what about you?” she spat towards Evander. “You’re the one who is living here in shame! If you think that you’re such a great knight, then why don’t you save Meridell?” She wanted to take off and leave, but there was nowhere to run. She was trapped inside the cave unless she wanted to brave the harsh weather outside. She stayed put and grunted at the Draik, kicking up bits of rocks and throwing them towards the walls so that it splintered on the floor. Flutter and Firenza, who had fast become friends, stopped playing and stared at the angry Ixi in shock.

     “You’re right Ritz,” Evander whispered. “I should stand up for myself and return to Riverence instead of hiding here in this cave. It’s been so many years… that well…I guess I’m just scared,” he finished sadly.

     “Evander, I-I’m s-s-sory,” Ritz stuttered. “I d-d-didn’t mean w-w-what I just said,” she cried.

     “It’s okay, Ritz. I think I just needed to hear that after all these years. But I have a plan. If I help you lift the curse of the dark nova, can help me return to Riverence?”

     “Absolutely,” she shouted with joy. “Let’s do this!”

     “Good. We’ll start tomorrow.”


For the first time since her life had changed, Ritz felt truly happy. She was safe and sound in the cave with her new friend, Evander. She lied on the stony floor awake while everyone else was sleeping. A chilly breeze flowed into the cave and the Ixi pulled her blankets tighter. The storm outside had stopped but left a cold stillness in the air. The crescent moon reflected off of the dark cave walls and looked so real that Ritz thought she could touch it. But it wasn’t the moon that she wanted. It was the dark nova. A sudden urge for the shiny black star overcame her that she felt forced to get up and take it out of her sac to hold. She could picture it in her mind, the sparkling edges, and the smooth twinkling surface. Ritz couldn’t control herself any longer; it was as if something was overpowering her. The Ixi reached her hand into the sac, rummaging around for the dark nova… but it wasn’t there. Then she remembered how she left it at the cottage, never to be seen again. The Ixi let out a little cry of displeasure. When the sun rises she would have to venture back to the cottage to get it.

     “Ritz, are you awake?” muttered the Draik. Ritz suddenly realized how much noise she was making.

     I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you,” she apologized.

     “No it’s quite alright. Well, we better all rise, as it is only a few hours before dawn. We’ll need a head start for today.” Ritz was surprised by how much time had passed. She hardly got any sleep with the dark nova on her mind all night. Flutter and Firenza stirred from their dreams and yawned. The Faellie flopped into the air and landed with a hop on the floor again while the Dragoyle stretched and blinked its eyes. Everyone was tired until the warm aroma of pancakes filled their senses. Evander lit a fire and started cooking. It reminded Ritz of the warm breakfast Kallisto made on her birthday. She didn’t think she could possibly eat it… with all those memories. Ritz sighed as her eyes welled up in tears. Evander didn’t seem to notice.

     “You look tired. Did you sleep well?”

     “No not really. Actually the dark nova was on my mind all last night.”

     “Well now, lets see it. I promise to be careful with it.”

     “You see that’s the problem. I don’t have it. I left it at the cottage the night Kallisto died.” Evander gasped and started to choke on the pancakes.

     “Ritz this can be bad, very bad. We’ll need to go and get it,” the Draik said solemnly. With that he cleared the fire and started packing.

     “You get enough to eat?” he asked.

     “Yeah, plenty,” she lied.

     By the time the sun rose, everyone was ready to go. Evander looked back at the cave and sighed. Everything was packed away and it looked like no one had ever been living inside the cave for all those years. He was ready to move on.

     Outside the weather had cleared a bit. The sky was still dark and gloomy but the rain had stopped. The ground was drenched with water and some of the blades of grass froze to form strings of crystals. As Ritz, Evander, and the two petpets hiked down the side of the mountain, the sting of cold wind filled their ears. They climbed over the large boulders at the foot of the mountain and gazed ahead. Meridell was just over the horizon. They could make it there by the afternoon.

     As the day progressed, the air didn’t get any warmer. It was still spring, yet it felt like the middle of winter. The clouds spat out flutters of snow and rain every so often and it was hard to tell what the weather was going to be like. But at last they had reached the entrance to Meridell. The kingdom was very strange, no one was out and about and everything was deserted. There was no bustling activity in the town where bread shop owners and petpet sellers were usually busy selling items. Ritz, Evander, Flutter, and Firenza were the only ones there. The Ixi shivered from the strange feeling.

     In no time at all they had reached the cottage. There was an eerie feeling about the place, something was not quite right. Not that Ritz had expected anything to be normal after the tragic event. They stepped inside to find a cold house just like the world outside. Everything had been ripped and torn to shreds. Books, furniture and other belongings had been damaged or misplaced. The couch was turned over and the wall punched in. Someone had obviously been looking for something…

     “It’s gone,” screeched Ritz. “The dark nova! Someone took it!” She frantically ran around the room looking between every corner. The black star was nowhere to be found. Just then a wild cry erupted from the two petpets.

     “And just be glad that we don’t take you next,” said a voice. That was definitely not Evander. Ritz whirled around and pulled out her sword in a flash second. A Darigan Techo stood by the door, his bony claws reaching for his dagger.

     “Take one step and your friend here dies,” he said with a sneer. He pointed his dagger towards the Draik’s neck. Evander tried to struggle but he was un- armed. Ritz couldn’t lose another one of her friends…not this time.

     “Don’t you touch him!” cried Ritz. She flung herself towards the Techo and aimed her sword for his side. But unexpectedly a Darigan Lupe was behind her and threw a net over her head. She was trapped in a net sac and it was difficult to breathe.

     “Got her,” the Lupe said. He tied the net up and threw it over his back. Ritz didn’t try to escape, if she did it could mean the death of her friend… or herself.

To be continued…
Previous Episodes

The Curse of the Dark Nova: Part One

The Curse of the Dark Nova: Part Two

The Curse of the Dark Nova: Part Three

The Curse of the Dark Nova: Part Four

The Curse of the Dark Nova: Part Six

The Curse of the Dark Nova: Part Seven

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