As Told by child_dragon: Part Nineteen - Song of Darkness
"Two left BrightSong," I said.
He nodded in satisfaction, and I turned to look around me again. Out of the
corner of my eye, I saw BrightSong open a gate, one of pure black. And I saw
something else too, him sneering at me. In what? Anger? I turned to face him,
and only saw the solemn, slightly sad expression he'd had since the beginning.
You're imagining things, I chided myself mentally.
"Darkness," he said, "the force of death and decay. Not necessarily evil,
but the element that drifts closest to the more undesirable emotions."
"What will I fight there?" I asked. Every shard's Guardian had reflected its
element, but what would darkness be?
He shook his head. "I do not know. I truly don't."
I sighed and walked through, glancing at BrightSong out of the corner of my
eye. His eyes glinted, but I couldn't catch the emotion. I shook my head. I
was imagining things.
It was totally dark, except for a small patch I stood on, in which a pale light
seemed to brighten the gloom somewhat. I caught the glimpse of movement. "Terraile!"
I said in relief, my heart returning to normal. She had scared me for a moment.
"Yes, it's me," she said, flying up to perch on my shoulder. "I won't be with
you for long, the nature of the Guardian here is very different from ones you've
faced before. I'm not sure exactly how, but I've got some important things to
tell you first." I nodded.
"One, never forget what Neopia is made up of. Two, never give up, no matter
how tempted you are. Three, remember us. Remember your family and your friends.
Four, the Shadows don't want to necessarily obliterate you. If you can be taken
over and used for their purposes, they will do it. They can't by force, so be
on your guard. And lastly, you could destroy every Shadow in existence but not
stop them. You've got to destroy the source, or we will still lose. That's all
I can tell you. Don't ask me to elaborate, because I don't know anything else
to elaborate on."
"All right," I said softly. "Terraile, I'm sorry you were dragged into this."
She shrugged. "It's no big deal. My part as Heir is done, and I get a nifty
bow out of the deal. You're task is much harder. Be careful, all right?"
And she closed her eyes and dimmed from sight, finally vanishing. The light
around me vanished also. Icy fear clutched my heart. I couldn't see a thing.
There was just nothingness around me. I turned in panic, thinking I heard a
noise. My heart was beating painfully, and my breath came quickly. I took a
deep breath and forced myself to be calm. I listened, but heard nothing. Panic
started to rise, and I forced it down. I thought frantically. What was darkness
made of? Fear, for one. I gingerly sat down in the darkness. I would be calm,
I told myself. If darkness was fear, then I wouldn't be afraid. Then I really
did hear noises. Whispers, things moving in the darkness. I wouldn't be afraid.
I closed my eyes and clenched my fists. For what seemed an eternity, I sat there,
a bead of sweat dripping down my face as I forced myself to be calm. The whispering
ceased, and I opened my eyes again. It was slightly lighter, I could actually
see myself now.
"Kiddo," a voice said, and I turned.
Terraile stood there, looking at me solemnly.
"I thought you said you wouldn't be here…" I said, confused.
"I am," she replied.
I started to walk towards her, then stopped.
"I'm sorry," I said. "But darkness is and element of confusion and deception
also. If it really is you, than you understand why I can't trust you, right?"
I turned my back to her and didn't move.
"Kiddo!" she cried, grief straining her voice. "Kiddo, I need you! Please?"
I closed my eyes, trying to ignore the despair in her voice. It was the hardest
thing I'd ever done in my life. Eventually she grew quiet, and I looked around
again. She was gone. A soft laugh echoed around me.
"All right!" I shouted, "That's enough! Show yourself!"
I held my spear up, searching for something, anything. "Show yourself!!" I
The darkness seemed to shift, to gather in one spot. A darkness deeper than
anything surrounding it, a blob of malicious intent, with a single black eye.
"About time," I muttered, and ran towards it. I stopped just short. It hadn't
moved an inch. I shrugged and stabbed the spear shard into its insubstantial
form. It merely faded from view. "Too weird," I muttered, and turned.
It had reappeared behind me. Again I heard its soft laughter.
"Oh, so this is not funny now," I growled, leaping into the air. I dove for
it, swiping with my spear, once, twice, and attacking its single gleaming eye.
Once again, it merely faded from view. I heard its laughter and turned, seeing
it reappear again.
"Okay, why can't I kill you?" I demanded.
"And why would I tell you?" it replied.
I gasped and stared in amazement.
"Didn't expect a reply?" it said in amusement.
I merely shook my head.
"I'm a little bit different than the other Guardians," it said lazily. "As
you've probably guessed."
"So how am I supposed to get the shard if you're invincible?" I demanded.
Its single eye rolled around to look at me.
"If I told you, it wouldn't be much of a challenge, now would it?" it replied.
"No, I guess not. But it is possible, right?"
"Then fighting isn't how to get it," I mused. "What is darkness? Not necessarily
evil, but some of the more undesirable emotions. Fear, hatred, envy, greed,
bitterness, spite, selfishness, deception, and a bunch of others, but I think
I've exhausted my vocabulary."
The thing laughed.
"Then let me supply some more. Being judgmental, cruelty, maliciousness, pride,
and a bunch others. It takes a long time to list them all. Humanities done a
good job thinking them all up."
"Hold on a minute!" I said a thought dawning. Jenina had given her life to
save me. Why? Because I cared and refused to fight for a cause I knew was wrong.
I had always tried to be a good person, to love others. I looked at the dark
cloud, a though in my mind.
"Well, it's worth a try," I said, and walked towards it.
"What is?" it demanded.
"I think I've figured it out," I said, mere feet from the Guardian. I reached
out and touched it with one hand. It hissed and tried to pull away. I laughed.
"You can't bear my touch then!" I said, "You are darkness incarnate, and I
try to be the opposite of what you are."
It shrieked in fury and tried to flee, but I leaped towards it, falling into
the centre of the cloud. An icy cold surrounded me, then a bright light streamed
out, and the cloud melted away. I stood, looking around me in astonishment.
Black mist now swirled within the spear, now a little taller than I was.
"I didn't think that'd actually work," I marveled.
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.