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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 24th day of Storing, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 136 > Short Stories > The Foretelling Journey

The Foretelling Journey

by goldeneaglestar7

A frosty day in the evergreen city of Meridell was usually not too surprising to the normally cheerful residents that lived there. Under normal circumstances, the weather wouldn't have mattered if it was the coldest day in Neopian history, or at least, it wouldn't have mattered too much. But the situation was far from normal. Meridell was under siege.

     To Everlight the Blumaroo, the frosty weather meant mounds excitement and adventure -- even if his home was under attack constantly. He had both begun to hate the war ever since it had wreaked a seemingly constant interruption of chaos in his own world. Neoschool had been shut down for a while now, and the Neopet thoroughly enjoyed it. Now Everlight had chosen to defend his homeland, no matter what the cost.

     "Mom!"

     "Yes, dear?" replied an elderly Blumaroo. She glanced down with bright eyes to her oldest child.

     Everlight stood waiting in the doorway, his deep blue fur ruffling freely in the breeze. In his clenched paws rested a gleaming Sword of Domar, his prized possession. Ever since the eager pet had heard of the repeated attacks on Meridell, he had been practicing with his father's saber. Many a times the young Blumaroo could be seen hacking away at trees with his trusty blade.

     "They've taken some of the peasants, Mom," explained the Blumaroo in a hurried tone. "They say they've fallen under some sort of spell." The worry in his wide eyes was unmistakable. "They're attacking the North Woods right now," he continued. Seeing his mother's confused look, he explained, "Where Illusen's Glade is located."

     His mother nodded, but halted Everlight when he began to leave.

     "You cannot harm Meridellians!" she protested. "They're just under a spell -- it will wear off soon!" she pleaded to her son with misty eyes. "Please!"

     "They're not our people anymore," said Everlight coldly. "I fight for Meridell." With that, he turned and shut the door and he was gone.

~*~

He reached the beautiful scenery of Illusen's tree house ten minutes later. There the courageous Blumaroo witnessed a gruesome sight -- a small horde of giant Spyders being taken apart by a single Lupe, armed with an sword, backed up by Illusen, the enchanting Earth Faerie. Spyder legs and corpses littered the ground everywhere as far as Everlight could see. The Blumaroo gazed at the attackers. The Spyders' huge glowing eyes inspired hate to blossom in Everlight's heart. He hated them -- the way they walked, their toothy smirk.

     The Lupe fought with unmatched strength, like a true warrior would. But even with Illusen's magic aiding him, the Spyders seemed to be overwhelming them. With a tremendous battle cry, Everlight leapt through the small clearing and swung his mighty blade to meet one of the overgrown petpets.

     But before Everlight's blade could touch a Spyder's leg, they disappeared into the chilly air. The sword arced through the air gracefully, but pierced nothing but tuffs of snow. Everlight stumbled from the missed blow, but quickly righted himself.

     "Wha-?!" Everlight cried, bewildered. Glancing around him, he found that the Lupe's attackers had vanished as well. The Lupe surveyed the battlefield with him, looking around in astonishment. Beside them, Illusen staggered, then collapsed with a small groan. The Lupe warrior rushed to her side instantaneously.

     "Lady Illusen!" he cried. "Lady Illusen!" The Earth Faerie awoke, just barely. "I'm fine…" she whispered, propping herself up on her elbows. She gazed up at the Lupe. "Did the spell work?" she inquired in a weak voice.

     The Lupe nodded, and then said, "I'll go get a healing potion from your house. Rest here." He will quickly sprinted off to Illusen's home, his heavy battle armor clanking sporadically. He disappeared behind the door of the tree house, leaving the stunned Blumaroo to the Earth Faerie.

     Everlight spoke up. "What ha-- where did the Spyders go?" he demanded. "And where are the Zombie peasants?" He sheathed his sword, and sat next the fallen Faerie. Illusen looked up at him.

     "I used the rest of my magic to send them back to the Darigan Citadel. They would have overcome the Glade, otherwise, you see. About the peasants… they retreated before we I could lift a hand. But they'll all be back, and with reinforcements as well." She paused to take a breath. "You must get me to King Skarl's palace," she ordered. "Before they return-- or who knows what may happen." With that, she collapsed on the ground once more.

     The Lupe's commanding voice rang out through the still air like a bell. "Okay, I've got the potion," he pronounced triumphantly. He handed a small glass jug of purple liquid to Illusen. She brought the glass to her lips and drank the liquid gratefully. The empty jug disappeared with a wave of her hand.

     "Thank you," she said. "But this potion will not restore my magic to full health. As I was saying to the young Blumaroo, you must take me to Skarl's castle. I'm still too weak to stand or transport us there, you see," she explained further.

     The Lupe acknowledged her with a small bow. "Whatever you wish, milady." He turned to Everlight, his eyes bright and ready.

     "You," he beckoned to the sitting Blumaroo, who were still entranced by the faerie's message. "Help me transport Lady Illusen to the castle. And stay quiet during the duration of the journey." He couldn't help but smile in the dire situation. "You never know when you could be attacked."

     "And why should I follow your orders?" questioned Everlight with a slight trace of annoyance in his voice. His eyebrows arched to compliment his challenge.

     The Lupe stared grimly at the Blumaroo.

     "Because if you don't, Meridell will fall. Do you see this snow falling?" he asked, his voice wavering in the cold. The Neopet nodded vigorously, afraid to displease the Lupe warrior.

     "It will soon agitate into a blizzard," he stated coldly. "Yes, a blizzard," he repeated, seeing the pets' uncertain looks. "A blizzard like Meridell has never seen before…" he trailed off. But he regained his train of thought quickly. "Let's go, before the blizzard gets worse."

     "A blizzard? In Meridell? That's unheard of!" Everlight waved his hands crazily so as to convey the message that it was preposterous for a blizzard to occur in Meridell.

     "That might be so," replied the Lupe coolly. "But do you really want to take that chance?" A stern stare from the Lupe settled it.

     "Good point."

~*~

Reaching the castle took all the energy the Lupe had. He crumbled on the floor in a heap a second after he had set Illusen down on the marble floor.

     "Uh…" groaned the Lupe. "Illusen -- lay off the Faerie Cakes." Illusen chuckled from her position on the floor.

     "No, seriously."

     A rush of warm air greeted the group. Almost immediately after they entered the castle, two blue Gelerts heaved the fallen Lupe onto a gurney, along with Illusen, and they were off.

     "Be careful!" cried Everlight, leaning against the wall to support himself. His voice echoed eerily through the large corridor.

     A new voice rang out.

     "Who are you?" A Gelert-shaped shadow appeared from the curtain of darkness. Everlight strained his eyes to see. The dim light provided no features of the pet at all. A few torches strung carelessly around the perimeter of the corridor provided the only light in the castle.

     The Gelert, or what appeared to be one, continued his interrogation. "What were you doing with Captain Jeran?" one questioned. "And what tragedy has befallen Lady Illusen?"

     "Captain Jeran?!!" cried Everlight. He turned scarlet red. "That was the famous Captain Jeran…" he mumbled. "Why didn't I recognize him?"

     The Gelert that had asked them the questions tapped his foot impatiently. "Lady Illusen and Captain Jeran?" he demanded, more forcefully.

     The astonished pet quickly explained their story to the anxious Gelert. As the details of their story reached the ears of the Gelert, his eyes widened.

     "Come, quickly," he murmured. He followed the Gelert to a strange room, and beckoned them in. "Quickly, quickly," he strained.

     Inside the room sat fat King Skarl, his royal robes lying lazily in a clump on the floor. He sat at a small wooden table, and facing opposite to the King sat a Mynci, holding a clipboard and pen. Royal advisor, noted Everlight.

     The two entered the room quietly, and listened to the ongoing conversation.

     "And so," the Mynci declared, "we must establish another meeting with Fyora to discuss the terms of an alliance."

     Everlight interrupted, flying into rage. "What are you talking about!?" he yelled uncontrollably. "Another meeting will only waste time! Meridell is crumbling beneath your very noses!" cried the Blumaroo miserably. "Homes are being burned by ruthless Darigan guards, and farmers die every day trying hard to defend their home. And you know why they die? It's because you refuse to take action, King Skarl." Everlight stopped to glare with piercing eyes at the King. " And it's because you refuse to accept the fact that Meridell is in a war. You will not send soldiers. It is time to take action- the diplomatic meetings Queen Fyora are accomplishing nothing, nothing at all. And all the while Meridell is being taken apart piece by piece."

     King Skarl sighed. "You're right," he mumbled quietly. "We do need to do something." With that, the King rose from his position on the chair and donned his royal garments. "But all I can do is send out small groups of soldiers. We can't really do anything without the reinforcements from Fyora. And she won't send the reinforcements if we don't say the word. Right now Darigan guards surround us. We cannot send messengers through the blockade. They are too big and easily spotted."

     "I'll do it," said Everlight without hesitating. "I'm small and fast. The guards won't see me."

     The King shook his head. "I cannot allow children to sacrifice themselves on account of my mistakes," said the King. "I will not allow it."

     "But even you said it was time for action," he reasoned. Don't you see?" the Blumaroo asked. "It's about the cause, the cause of freedom. It's about freedom and the emancipation of Meridell from the scum that pollutes its farms. If we don't go now, Meridell will be lost forever, and the cause will be defeated."

     The King's tired eyes closed. "Have a bike be ready for the Blumaroo," he said weakly.

     "No," said Everlight sternly. "They'll spot me if I use a bike. I'll go on foot."

~*~

"Good luck, child," said King Skarl as he finished his message. He wrapped it in a small envelope, and handed it to Everlight. "I wish you good luck."

     "Let's go! To Faerieland!"

     The pet rushed off in a blur of snow. King Skarl watched him, until he disappeared behind a clump of trees. "The fate of Meridell rests in your hands."

~*~

The Blumaroo trudged on through the wilderness, never once stopping to rest. The message he possessed was too important, too significant, to be withheld for a minute longer. The fate of Meridell rested in his hands.

     Captain Jeran was right about one thing -- the weather did worsen. And as it worsened, the pet's morale and hope dwindled with it. It became significantly harder to push through the thick wads of snow enveloping the ground. Thick wisps of snow choked the air so it was hard to breath. By then, snow puffs the size of Flouds were dribbling down from the bleak sky, and the tall trees of Meridell were blanketed with a never-ending avalanche of flurries.

     "I…will…make…it…or…die…trying," swallowed Everlight.

     And despite the frigid cold, the torrential snow, and the icy winds, he did make it. He made it all the way up the steps to Faerieland, slipping through the blockade unnoticed and escaping the clutches of the blizzard.

     Everlight's face was red and pale at the same time, his eyes pale and his movements drunken. His blue fur was clotted with snow blots, and by the time he reached the doors to the Faerieland palace, he looked like they had been painted snowy.

     The Blumaroo collapsed in a pile of snow at the front door. Blinking the snow out of his eyes, he managed to knock two times on the majestic palace doors.

     A Water Faerie's head poked out the doors. "Who's there?" her voice was melodic and gentle. She noticed the fallen pet and called for aid immediately.

     "What happened to you?" she asked softly, brushing some snow from the pet's eyes.

     Gathering the remaining strength he retained, Everlight looked the Faerie in the eye, and extended his arm with the letter. Scraping the letter from his icy paws, the Faerie took it in her arm and read it out loud.

"To arms! To arms! Faerieland allies-To arms!"
-Skarl

     The Faerie looked back down at Everlight, who had begun to slip into unconsciousness.

     "Thank you," she whispered gently. A small tear descended from her face and dripped onto the Blumaroo's face. The tear seemed to refresh him, for he was able to fight against the cold for a while longer.

     The tips of Everlight's frozen lips managed to lift ever so slightly. He nodded to the Faerie as he drifted off.

     "For Meridell…" he whispered. "And for freedom."

     He could only hope that his part in the war would make a difference. And he could only hope that the difference he made be heard throughout Meridell when it was vindicated from the evil that occupied it now.

     Content with his thoughts, Everlight drifted off to unconsciousness.

     For Meridell…

The End

A/N- My first story, or rather my first story submitted to the Neopian Times. Inspired by the fascinating, but brutal war on Meridell. Send me your thoughts via Neomail. Hope you like it!

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