The beach trip was cut short, needless to say. I drove home in a daze, a Light
Faerie sitting with Terraile, talking softly to her. The Shoyru was still stunned,
and seemed quite unsure of how to handle her role as Heir.
"Look at it this way," Netsuko said in an effort to put a positive spin on
things. "You won't be doing all the fighting, that's the Essence's job."
I paled slightly, I hadn't told them yet that I was the Essence. Sakuko looked
at me kinda funny, but didn't say anything. We reached my house and unloaded
the cars. No one spoke. We all gathered in the living room, finding spots either
on the couch or on the floor. The Faerie took a spot in the middle.
"My name is Heya," she said serenely, and proceeded to tell the others what
she had told me, leaving out that I was the Essence. For that, I was thankful.
I wasn't a hero, I wasn't a fighter. I was a normal teenage girl with aspirations
of college and a job. That was all. But it seemed fate had other plans. Heya
finished her explanation and turned to Terraile. "Do you think you can do this?"
The Shoyru looked around at everyone gathered here.
"I cannot on my own," she said softly, "but together, we will win."
"Good," Heya said, "Padiglione, could you bring in the dragon's crystal?"
The Kougra got up and left the room.
"What about Rycio?" Infernus asked.
"She's off pouting somewhere. Apparently the Faerie Queen herself is upset
at her, so I imagine Rycio isn't going to show her face for a long time."
Padiglione quickly returned with the crystal. It pulsed with light once, and
the bow answered it. I felt a strong tug in my chest, and tried to ignore it.
"There is one last thing you must know," Heya said. "BrightSong carried the
Essence of Neopia, but he was not the Essence. Neopia was made up of pets and
owners, BrightSong was only one. When the Faerie Queen blessed child_dragon,
she was changed. She is both owner and pet, and only she can be the true Essence
Every head turned to stare at me in astonishment.
"I know you have doubts," Heya said softly, "but you must put them behind
you. Now is the time to step up and fight for what you love. Claim your birthright."
The crystal sang, and all could hear it now. It hovered in the air, gleaming
with all the colors of the elements. I stood, unconsciously changing into my
half Eyrie form. The crystal called to me, demanded that I touch it. I stepped
forward and stretched out my hand, one finger gently resting on its tip. There
was a blinding light, and something engulfed me, something so powerful, so incredible.
It melded into my bones, my blood, the very core of what I am, my soul. Then,
it was gone, and I fell to the floor, filled with a power and knowledge not
of my own. I knew. The knowledge the dragon held, and the Faerie held was mine.
I was the core of Neopia, I was the embodiment of all it was. I slowly stood,
no longer afraid. I could sense things now, I could feel the individual presence
of everyone in the room and beyond. There, in the street, walked a kau. I couldn't
see him, but I felt him. And I could feel the elements. Burning in each person
was a strand or two of the elements. Un-eairkagh possessed fire and wind in
his blood, Aldrai earth and water. Terraile was darkness and air, and MoonFall
earth. Melody was water and life, while Sabreur fire, as was his Scorchio. Sakuko
was darkness, life, and fire, while Netsuko was air. And I, I was everything.
"child_dragon," Melody said in awe. "You've really, really changed."
"I know," I said softly. "I'm the Essence."
Un-eairkagh shook his head.
"No, that's not what she means, she means you're really a freak of nature
It took me a moment to grasp his meaning. I had my white wings, but that was
the only normal thing about me. My tail was that of a pteri, dark blue in color.
My hands were lightly covered in black fur, and clawed, like a kougra. My legs
from around mid shin and down were that of a uni, and green furred. I had fiery
red scorchio horns, and the light blue frills near my ears of a peophin.
"You truly are the Essence," Heya said in awe.
"What do you mean?" I demanded, "why am I like this?"
"You know why," she stated.
It was true. I did.
"Because I'm the embodiment of Neopia. Pet and owner. And all the elements.
My tail comes from air, my legs from earth, my wings from life, my horns from
fire, my claws from darkness, and the frills from water," I said in a daze.
"Are you stuck like that?" MoonFall asked nervously.
"Can't unbecome the Essence," I muttered.
"Do you know where the spear is?" Heya asked.
I shook my head.
"Can't feel it."
She sighed noisily, and rose into the air.
"We have some things for you in Faerieland. Just a couple need to come, preferably
those who can carry a lot. I'll meet you there."
And with that, she vanished.
"Are you okay?" Melody asked of me.
"Yeah, I guess so. I mean, I feel the Essence in me, it's what I am now, and
it's reassuring somehow. It's like knowing that whatever happens, every living
creature in Neopia will be behind you."
I walked to the window and looked out. It was growing dark, and a brilliant
sunset of red and gold stood on the horizon.
"Can I count on all of you to help?" I asked.
"You can," they replied.
I smiled thinly and turned.
"Okay, I'm going to Faerieland... of course, Infernus, are you up to it?"
He nodded; the Healing Springs Faerie had been really nice to him.
"Then, MoonFall, you come, ummm, how about Un-eairkagh and SwiftRiversRunning?"
Melody's blue Uni grinned broadly at being included.
"That should be enough, plus it's all our flyers," Melody said softly.
In the heart of a black grove, the whispers stopped. A cry of anguish arose.
A cloaked figure raised his head and stared at the stars far above.
"No matter," he whispered. "The fireflies are gone, once again we rule the
night. Our hold is strong, and this girl weak. Go, children, hunt again."
He stretched out his robed and emancipated arms, and the Shadows vanished
into the night. The figure laughed, the Neopians were once again prey within
Heya wasn't kidding about having stuff for us. For Infernus, Un-eairkagh,
and FireDarkWolfX, a sword. Even though Melody's green Gelert wasn't much of
a fighter, the Faeries insisted he'd need it. Lady MoonFall, Aldrai, and Netsuko
all had a dagger awaiting them, while Padiglione got two, one for each paw.
SwiftRiversRunning, Melody and Sakuko were both given bows, and Sabreur had
a rapier made especially for him. Not only were all the weapons crafted specifically
to fight Shadows, they were blessed by the Faerie Queen. "I don't know how effective
these will be," Heya said as she handed us the bundles of sharp steel, "but
they should do something."
I discovered on the way back that I could fly much better know, perhaps it
was part of the innate knowledge of the Essence within me. Either way, I was
enjoying the flight, even if a korbat followed us a little ways, not believing
Everyone was pleased with the gifts, except for a select few who were a bit
dismayed to find out they'd be fighting. Melody and Aldrai looked especially
uncomfortable with the idea. It's not that they were scared, they were just
unsure of how they'd be of help. None of them had any fighting experience.
Everyone had gone home, and I was alone with my pets. Finally, they too went
to bed. I stared at my reflection in the mirror for the longest time. My familiar
face stared back, the Irish ancestry evident in the structure and red streaked
brown hair. But that was all that hadn't changed. For good or bad, I was the
Essence of Neopia. And I had a task to fulfill.
To be continued...
Feel free to Neomail me, I encourage it. I like feedback. Sabreur is really
my brother, you can Neomail him also, though I ask you to go easy on that. He's
in college right now, and I'd rather not have him mad at me for getting a ton
of Battledome challenges, etc. Melody is also real, my best friend. She's in
college too, her NeoPets name is horngodess, but I wouldn't suggest bugging
her, she has a very demanding major and hardly any free time. Sakuko is also
real, she's a really nice person.