In our last episode, after a dramatic conversation
with his human, Lupo the blue Lupe left for the Haunted Woods to find Balthazar.
Ironically, Balthazar found him instead…
Lupo stood back in awe of his mighty size. Never had
he seen another Lupe before, and never had he seen one so large. Then a deep,
low voice came out, as Balthazar began to speak.
"Why have you come?" Balthazar asked, in a low
voice. But Lupo did not reply. He stood silent and still, even while the leviathan
Lupe approached him, until he was face to face with Lupo. "Tell me why you are
here… or else," Balthazar warned.
"I'm… here… because I… wanted to ask you something,"
Lupo answered, nervously. Balthazar looked at him suspiciously.
"So, you want to ask me a question rather than
Lupo looked at him confused. "What do you mean
by that?" he asked.
"C'mon, you pets always come here just to fight
me. What kind of game are you trying to pull?" Balthazar asked.
"No games," Lupo replied, "Just one question."
Balthazar seemed to pull himself back from an attack position as he sat down
in front of Lupo.
"So you want to ask me a question?" Lupo silently
nodded his head. "Ask away, then," Balthazar offered. Lupo thought of the words
he would use, and spoke.
"Do you remember your parents?" Lupo asked, to
which Balthazar immediately frowned upon.
"I have no parents!" Balthazar growled. "They
left me here to rot, and I cannot forgive them!"
Lupo winced, as Balthazar appeared ready to strike
him out of anger, but Balthazar made no such move.
"Its okay, Balthazar," Lupo said, trying to calm
him, "My parents abandoned me, too."
Balthazar took no comfort or empathy from these
words, and began to pace back and forth, agitated. "Whoop-de-do, kid. As well-fed
as you look, you have it made. You know nothing of what I've been through,"
"But, I just thought I'd ask for your advice.
I want to find my parents. I want to know why I was left in a back alley," Lupo
Balthazar gave him a sneer. "You want to know
why, pup? They obviously left you in the alley, because they cared enough for
you to give you a chance for survival, but not enough to keep you as they were
This is not what Lupo wanted to hear, and so
he decided it was time to move on. "I give you my thanks, Balthazar, for at
least giving me an answer," Lupo said, as he turned to leave the Haunted Woods.
But Balthazar, irritated by Lupo's curiosity,
lined Lupo up and lunged at him. "I'll teach you a lesson, you won't live to
remember!" Balthazar shouted, as he charged for the unsuspecting Lupe. Before
Lupo could react, Balthazar was already upon him, and took a heavy blow to his
left side. Lupo was knocked to the ground so hard, that he skidded across the
muddy surface for a short distance.
When Lupo looked up again as he laid there, he
saw Balthazar preparing to deliver the final blow that would put an end to Lupo's
existence. In the split seconds that began to tick away toward Lupo's imminent
doom, Lupo began to remember his human back at home.
He said I wouldn't come back out alive,
Lupo thought, remembering his human's warning. Guess this is it for me, then…
Lupo closed his eyes, and waited for the hammer to fall, that would bring him
away from this world forever.
Lupo's thoughts were suddenly interrupted by
sharp grunts, and groans, that seemed to be coming from Balthazar. Lupo clinched
his eyes shut, for he didn't know what Balthazar was up to. But then, a bright
flash came from the left of him, and Lupo was forced to open his eyes at this
Doing so, he pried his eyes open enough to see
Balthazar running back into the deepest part of the woods, tail between his
legs. While Lupo was overjoyed that he was not struck down by Balthazar, he
wondered what would make a mighty Lupe like Balthazar run away so quickly…
Lupo struggled to bring his head up from the
ground, but it seemed as though gravity was keeping him pinned there. His eyes
scanned the surroundings, hoping to find the mysterious rescuer, but his quick
search yielded nothing. Out of the corner of his eyes though, he saw a furry
shape, slowly making its way towards him. Lupo strained his eyes hard, but only
saw a blurry shape walking in the direction where he laid. His neck muscles
could no longer hold his head off the ground, and he rested his head once more
in the mud. As the mystery figure came closer than ever before, Lupo felt his
entire body go limp, and just as the figure began to come into focus, Lupo lost
When he came to, he looked around and realized
that he was somewhere else, from where he was before. He could not recognize
where he was. He tried to sit up, but felt a sharp pain in his left side. So
he collapsed back to the ground. Just then, he heard a voice he had never heard
"So you finally decided to wake up?" the female
voice said. Lupo felt so stiff, that he didn't wish to move enough to see the
source of the voice.
"Who are you?" Lupo asked, weakly. "Did you save
me back there?"
"Yes. My name is Fortuna," the voice answered.
Hearing this name, Lupo pushed his body through the pain, and sat up to face
the mystery voice. When he looked up, he saw a beautiful Faerie Lupe sitting
before him. Lupo was awestruck by her beauty. Never before, had he seen such
a beautiful creature as her. He tried to speak, but the words could not escape
his mouth, and so he could only stutter.
"Y-you're a-amazing. H-how…"
Fortuna only smiled and laughed at his timid
behavior. "What's wrong?" she smiled, "Kadaotie got your tongue?"
"Thank you!" Lupo said, grinning sheepishly.
"For what?" Fortuna asked, puzzled. Lupo looked
at her with surprise.
"You mean you didn't save me back there?"
Fortuna appeared offended when he said this.
"I did save you. I just happened to be walking along, when I saw you laying
in the mud," she explained. "I grabbed you by the tail and flew you here. You
were in pretty rough shape. You might have died, if you'd been there a little
Lupo bowed his head in an apologetic fashion.
"I'm sorry. It's just when, after Balthazar knocked me to the ground, everything
got hazy and-"
"Balthazar did this to you?!" Fortuna asked,
Lupo nodded his head, while examining his body.
He saw bandages made of leaves and blades of grass over his cuts and bruises,
and a large bandage that barely covered a large open wound in his left side.
"He really hurt me bad." Lupo grimaced. When
he looked up at Fortuna again, he could still see a little surprise in her eyes.
"Is something wrong?" he asked her.
Fortuna shook her head a little, as if trying
to break out of a trance. "No, I'm just glad you're alright," she said, as she
walked towards a thicket of trees and bushes.
Did you treat these wounds?" Lupo asked.
"No. It was me," another new voice said. Lupo
turned around, and saw a human standing behind him. No… it wasn't a human. This
one was different.
"What are you?" Lupo asked this new stranger.
Fortuna shook her head. "Don't you know? This
is Illusen. She is an Earth Faerie. She is also the warden of this forest,"
Lupo stared at Illusen dumbfounded. "Oh. My apologies,
Milady," he said, embarrassed. Lupo had read about faeries in many books. When
he heard the name "Illusen," he knew that she was one of the most prominent
Earth Faeries of Neopia.
Illusen giggled a little. "That's okay… Lupo,
is it?" Illusen queried.
"Yes, that's my name," Lupo calmly answered,
knowing that Illusen was a fairly powerful faerie, so her intuition did not
"Lupo, huh? Fairly simple name," Fortuna said,
and continued to walk away towards the forest edge.
"Where are you going?" Lupo called after her.
"I've got something I must take care of…" she
said, with a pause, "Don't worry! I'll be back soon!" she shouted, as she took
Lupo watched as she flew over the horizon. Soon,
she was out of sight.
Lupo sighed for a second. He had just met this
new Lupe, and already she was leaving him there. His thoughts were interrupted
by a sharp pricking sensation in his left side.
"Ow!" Lupo cried.
Illusen had zapped him after chanting something,
and when Lupo looked at the wound in his left side again, he'd found it completely
healed. When the sting of the spell wore off, Lupo found that he could move
more easily once again.
Wasting little time he promptly thanked Illusen
for her help. "It's not a problem," Illusen said. "You should be very grateful
towards Fortuna. Until now, I've never seen her do something so… helpful."
Lupo looked off in the same direction where Fortuna
could last be seen. "Does she live with you?" Lupo asked, still looking out
and away from Illusen.
"No… she lives far away from here," Illusen replied.
"She brought you here, since she knew I was more knowledgeable of medical needs.
She usually comes for a visit every once and a while… " she trailed off.
Lupo immediately became suspicious of Illusen's
knowledge of Fortuna. "You know more about her than you are telling me, aren't
you?" Lupo said, his eyes studying Illusen's, carefully.
Illusen sighed, and sat down on a nearby rock,
as if she indeed knew more than she had previously mentioned.
"I know a great deal about you and her…" Illusen
said. "I am a faerie, and I know what every pet of Neopia has been through,
just by staring into their eyes."
She gazed into Lupo's eyes. "I know what you
seek, young Lupo. I know how much you sacrificed to be here, right now."
Lupo cautiously walked closer to Illusen, now
very curious about what she had to say. "Tell me… Do you remember anything about
your past; before, you remember living in the alley?" Illusen questioned him.
Lupo slowly shook his head. "I remember nothing.
I couldn't even begin to describe to you what my mother and father looked like."
Illusen gazed deeper into Lupo's mind. She was
looking for something specific within his lost memories, to which Lupo had no
idea what her search would find. With a gasp, Illusen suddenly broke her gaze
with Lupo and turned away, briefly. "You mentioned only a mother and father…
No one else?" she asked, as she focused on him once more.
Again, Lupo shook his head. "No. I don't know
anything about them. Why? What's wrong?" Illusen seemed reluctant to answer.
Maybe because she could not find the words to tell him what she saw. Eventually
though, she came around.
"There is another…" she whispered to him. Lupo's
jaw slacked slightly, when he heard this. "You mean I have a brother, or sister?"
he asked. Illusen nodded her head. "She has been wandering around, lost for
almost as long as you, young Lupo" she said. "A sister?! I have a sister?!"
Lupo thought, with excitement growing in his mind. It meant that perhaps his
sister could still be around, alive and well.
"I already knew…" Illusen quietly whispered.
"When I first saw you, I knew that you were kindred with her." Bells and whistles
went off in Lupo's mind. It did not take him long to realize whom she spoke
of. "Fortuna?! Is Fortuna my sister?!" Lupo haughtily whispered.
Illusen slowly nodded her head. "She has been
searching for her past, just like you, Lupo." Lupo's heart beat ever faster,
as he began to wonder what to say to Fortuna, when she returned. After so many
month's, maybe even years, Lupo would finally be able to meet with someone of
Illusen stood up and began to walk back to her
glade. "Wait! Shouldn't you be here when she returns?" Lupo called out to her.
Illusen turned to address him. "She may not be
back for a while. She comes and goes as she pleases. Meanwhile, you should rest…
You will need it," she said, almost with prophetic tense in her words.
Lupo was a little disappointed, since he really
could not wait to tell Fortuna of their familial bond. Even through all of his
reluctance, he decided to pay heed to Illusen's advice, and get some sleep.
Lupo walked in a circle, and laid his body upon the soft grass. As he stared
into the sky, which had settled into night, Lupo thoughts began to overlap,
as he drifted off to sleep.
Meanwhile, Fortuna who had been in flight during
the intervening time came to a landing in a clearing of the Haunted Woods. She
folded her wings and looked around, sniffing the air at the same time. She did
not see or hear the figure of a familiar Lupe sneak up behind her…
"Came a little late tonight, didn't we?" Balthazar
"I was… delayed," Fortuna explained. "I had an
Balthazar laughed, showing all of his sharp canines
as he did so. "Is that right? No matter. At least you are here. Are you ready
to attend to your responsibilities, my pet?"
Fortuna reluctantly nodded. "Yes, Father…"
To be continued…