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Legend Seekers: Destiny Discovered - Part Two


by yatomiyuka

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It was the third night of the big adventure. Though travelling in the jungle certainly had downsides, the upsides far outweighed them - or so Pemero thought. For every meal, they ate fruit and drank water from puddles in giant leaves; and every night they slept in the lower branches, where they were dry and safe.

     "The forest is beautiful," said Jen, gazing up at the sea of green leaves and twisting branches. "For the first time, I'm glad to be here."

     "So... does this mean you're going to stop whining on about my recklessness?" Pemero asked, grinning down at Jen from his high branch.

     "Oh, okay, I'll try," laughed the Wocky. "I suppose I have been a bit... uh, bitter towards you. Still, it wouldn't have hurt to let me know!" she groused.

     "Sorry about that. I still don't regret it, though," grinned the cub, before leaping to the ground, crunching a dead leaf underfoot. "Anyway. Don't you think we should have set off by now?"

     "You're right. I suppose we'd better leave now. Maybe today will be the day we find our fortune!"

     "Or solve the mystery of Mystery Island!"

     Grinning from ear to ear, the two young pets set off half-running, half-dancing over twisting roots and fallen fruit.

     ***

     They travelled all day, stopping only for a quick snack or to drink from a puddle. The day was relaxing, but largely uneventful - until an hour before sunset.

     "I heard something about a temple around here," Jen muttered. "Maybe we should look for that?"

     "If it's been discovered, it'll be full of tourists," Pemero sighed. "No good for adventuri--... hey, what's that?"

     He was pointing at an ancient mouldy log. Curious, Jen went to investigate it.

     "There's nothing here, Pemero!"

     "No! Look under the log. I think I can see something!"

     It turned out to be a sheet of white lined paper, covered in mud, dust and grime. Jen retrieved it carefully, and handed it to Pemero.

     "It's just a blank sheet," he sighed, obviously disappointed.

     "What? I'm sure I saw writing on it..." Jen trailed off, as if thinking hard about something.

     "Well, it's not there now."

     Without another word, they continued walking, although some of the spring had left their step. By that time, the sun was almost gone.

      The two young adventurers became gradually more tired as the light faded from the sky to the west, plunging them into near-darkness. Pemero pulled the two magical torches from his trusty rucksack, and activated them with a quick wave of his paw. Jen took one carefully, and they held it in front of them as they walked.

     Soon, they came to a tree with low-hanging branches. There they stopped, and extinguished the lights. Both of them were thoroughly exhausted - they had travelled a long way for a single day.

     "We should sleep here tonight," sighed Jen. "I can't go any further and it's getting really late."

     "Me too," Pemero yawned. "Good-night, Jen."

     The Wocky had fallen asleep already, leaving Pemero in silence. It wasn't long before he too drifted off into a world of dreams, full of light and adventure, a long way from any form of reality.

     ***

     Pemero woke first. A soft rustle drifted up from the ground. He shook the dew from his fur, then dropped down as silently as possible. He examined every leaf and stone carefully, but saw nothing.

      Whatever had made the noise, it was gone. The cub relaxed slightly.

     No, wait! What was that? A flash of light caught his eye, and he turned his head sharply. Something had been there, all right. Curiosity roused, he stalked off, taking care not to wake Jen.

     The sun was out properly now, but mist still hung in the air like low-flying clouds, and it felt like ice. The source of the flash was in plain view now, not three feet away, and moving ever more slowly.

     It turned around, and for a moment Pemero was sure it had glared at him. Undeterred, he called out, but it was already moving again - though more slowly still. Could it be?

     Pemero fell into stride beside the mysterious creature. A closer look proved his suspicions - it was a Light Faerie. She had beautiful wings, covered in swirling patterns that looked like sunlight liquefied. She also looked as if she had sustained injury, and could barely move as a result.

     "Are you okay?" asked Pemero, but the anonymous faerie didn't reply - she had collapsed.

     Against the dark brown, maroon and faded green of the forest floor, the glowing creature stuck out like a white weewoo in a field of mutant meepits. A moment or two passed. Pemero decided to call for Jen - being an expert on Faeries, she might be able to help.

     The faerie lifted her head and smirked as the Kougra turned his back. Young pets were, often, ridiculously naive in the workings of magic. She waited until he was at the edge of the clearing, then called out to him.

     "Young Kougra! I... I need your help..."

     Pemero turned around, puzzled but relieved to see the faerie awake.

      "My friend knows about faeries. I can go get her if you want - I don't really know if I can help..." he trailed off.

     "You will be able to help me. Just do as I say, and quickly... I am fading..." she said softly.

     "Okay. I'll do my best. So, what do I have to do?" he asked, tail twirling worriedly.

     "Take this crystal jar, and fill it with water. Not just any water," she added, "but water from the topmost leaf of the highest tree in this clearing. Once you've done that, tie the leaf to the lid of the jar using that bracelet, and bring it back to me."

     Pemero just nodded. It seemed like the right thing to do, and it wasn't exactly dangerous apart from the climbing. The sky was speckled with white clouds now, and midday was approaching quickly.

     The cub scooped the jar up in one paw, and made for a towering banan tree three to four meters away. He reached it in two bounds, leaving pawprints on the dank, wet floor. The bark was almost as slippery, but it wasn't a problem - his claws stopped him from skidding.

     From the ground, the mist was invisible - but as the Kougra scrambled up the tree-trunk, it seemed to get thicker and thicker, until he felt like he was swimming in a cloud of milk. The top branch was just out of reach. It would just take a little stretching...

     Got it! Carefully, he bent the branch holding the leaf, and drained the liquid into the jar. It was filled just past the halfway point, and reflected light like Pemero's own fur, as if the water held some magical quality.

     Now for the leaf. The cub flexed a single claw, and broke the vine easily. The huge leaf floated down into Pemero's outstretched, silver paw. So far, so good. Lifting the bracelet from his left wrist, he secured the leaf to the lid of the jar as the faerie had instructed.

     There - it was done. Now he could help the faerie and get out of there. Holding the jar securely under one arm, the cub slid down the trunk headfirst, controlling his descent with his back claws.

     It was a smooth landing - his fur was caked with mud, but that didn't matter. What mattered was that the faerie was nowhere to be seen.

     Setting the jar down carefully where the faerie would be able to find it, he set off to find Jen, his feet pounding in time with his heart.

     ***

     When he arrived back at the clearing, Jen was gone. It was mid-afternoon by then, and the sun would be setting in an hour or two. Surely, she wouldn't have left so soon before nightfall?

     Maybe she'd gone to look for him - but the only pawprints in the mud were his own. There was no sign of the Wocky anywhere - no scraps of fur, no dark shapes higher up in the branches. Breathing hard, he climbed into the branches and squinted up at the canopy. He saw a bright light, but the next moment it was gone.

     A white shape lay forgotten in the mud just below Jen's branch. With a shudder, Pemero realised it was the paper they had found earlier. From the looks of it, Jen had written on it - black ink smudged the paper, obscuring the messy handwriting so that the cub had to pick it up to read it. As he touched it, however, the words and the ink disappeared, leaving the sheet pure white.

     "Jen? Are you there?" he called, peering upwards again, but his only reply was his own voice echoing back. With a sigh, he flopped down onto the lowest branch and fell into a deep slumber. Searching would have to wait.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Legend Seekers: Destiny Discovered - Part One
» Legend Seekers: Destiny Discovered - Part Three
» Legend Seekers: Destiny Discovered - Part Four
» Legend Seekers: Destiny Discovered - Part Five



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