Voice of the Neopian Pound Circulation: 90,556,056 Issue: 163 | 22nd day of Collecting, Y6
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Of Lights from Within: Part Ten

by chocolateisamust


Also by blubblub317

One would think Maddi had learned to keep his mouth shut in dangerous situations; that he wouldn't speak his mind when there were many pets out searching for him in the immediate area. But then again, the one who thought that would be wrong.

     Maddi had spoken. And quite a few of the guards had heard.

     "He's over there!" one yelped.

     "Hurry up, we gotta get him!"

     "Yes, come on! We can't waste anymore time!"

     And then there were footsteps, quickly advancing. The Kougra took in a deep, nervous breath and started running faster. He glanced into all rooms that he passed, and his heart sunk lower into his chest every time the space was not the one he needed. A kitchen… a meeting room… many bedrooms.

     Maddi was growing tired, too, and his breaths were becoming short and ragged. The baby Kougra was growing desperate as ever, almost ready to surrender to the pursuing guards. But no, he wouldn't. He had come too far. Risked too much. Surrendering now would be branding him an incapable wimp. But then again, he didn't know if his legs would carry him much farther…

     He peeked over his shoulder and saw them. Six guards sprinting. Beyond frightened, Maddi desperately flung himself to his left side, into a small, clammy room. He quickly closed the thick wooden door behind himself and fumbled around with the lock. Click. Maddi sunk down to his knees in relief.

     The Kougra gently closed his eyes and simply savored the distinct feeling of safety. Safety for now, at least. Only about 10 seconds passed, however, before there was pounding on the door.

     "Hey, he's locked us out!" an angry voice cried.

     "Wait until Hubrid hears about this!" bellowed another.

     All Maddi could do was grin. They couldn't get in. He had time. Ever-so precious time.

     The Kougra reopened his eyes and surveyed his surroundings. The walls were uneven stone, visibly damp and possibly moldy. The floor was a smooth, shiny marble, cold and even slightly relaxing to Maddi's body. It was pretty mismatched, he had to admit. But he also couldn't truthfully say he cared.

     Maddi slowly staggered up to his paws and then studied the furniture in the room. There was an oversized, cushy armchair that looked tremendously comfortable, a small dark blue rug, and a little circular table with a metal box on top of it.

     "Metal box!" Maddi gasped. He enthusiastically went over to the table and peered at the cube, only to be disappointed. It wasn't the puzzle box he so desperately needed.

     It was merely plain, grey metal. Maddi slowly picked it up, wanting see what the exact use of this box was.


     That's when he heard it. Something that was moving inside the cube. Something that was being hidden. The Puzzle Box…

     "Oh, you tricky little Chia," Maddi whispered, his paws softly feeling the polished material.

     He narrowed his eyes, attempting to figure out how exactly he was going to get hold of the Puzzle Box. Suddenly, an idea clicked in his mind. With quite a bit of confidence bursting within him, Maddi held the box high in the air, and threw it against the stone wall. Instead of the wall smashing the box in pieces, however, it was the total opposite. Chunks of rough stone fell down onto the marble flooring with a deafening BOOM!

     "Oh, you've got to be kidding me!" Maddi yelped, fresh tears welling up in his eyes.

     The door at the end of room suddenly began rattling, the result of Hubrid and his minions attempting to force it open. "Think, think…" Maddi whispered in a panicky tone, beads of sweat trickling down his brow.

     Emotions instantly began swirling through Maddi's head. They were so powerful, yet so terrible as well. The Kougra felt as if a mass of pressure was being pushed on his shoulders, and that there was no way of escaping it. Like it was locked there for good. How could he do this? His family, the faeries, and everyone else were counting on him to bring back the box. But he didn't know if he could. The Kougra couldn't take it anymore….

     "NORA! ALLI!" he shrieked powerlessly. "HELP ME!!!"

     As expected, there was no reply at all. The only sound was the thud of the door that the guards were trying to thrust open.

     "HELP!" Maddi cried once more, tears now falling freely down his cheeks.

     Suddenly, his small body began trembling. At first, Maddi felt as if it were simply a twitch. But after a few minutes had passed, his body began shaking violently all around. He couldn't speak, and his eyes were widening in horror.


     The door flew open and slammed against the wall, causing quite a few more stones to fall to the floor. Tons of guards started pouring into the room.

     Maddi couldn't handle this. He was an absolutely defenseless Kougra and soon, he would be finished with. Thoughts of confusion and pain flooded Maddi's mind. His heart throbbed with ache, and of everything in the world, the thing he wanted the most was to be safe with Nora and Alli. To hear their voices again… to see their faces…

     Suddenly, to everyone's astonishment, the grandest beam of light that anyone had ever caught view of flew out of Maddi's chest, and sped towards the metal cube. Through Maddi's eyes, everything seemed to move in slow motion. The guard's jaws slowly but surely fell open as the ray hit the box and caused it to explode into smithereens. Pieces of the metal soared all across the room, many of them whacking Maddi's weak body. But the Kougra didn't care. Because at the moment, he knew he had done it. He had successfully found the cursed puzzle box. He was now determined as ever to snatch it and escape Hubrid Nox's castle.

     Maddi pushed his paws off the marble ground, and leaped into the air, his sharp teeth flashing with danger. He landed on the box, and immediately scooped it into his arms. "I did it," he whispered. "I got the box."

     "You got the box, but where do think you're going, you little runt?!" a voice suddenly roared.

     Maddi peered up to see who had yelled at him, and a pang of fury immediately pierced through his heart. Standing there was Hubrid, who had an infuriated expression on his sweaty face.

     "Not you again!" Maddi whined sarcastically.

     "Not you again!" Hubrid mimicked in a babyish matter. "Oh just shush up, and give me the box!"

     Maddi scoffed. "What's next, huh? If I give you the box, you'll grant me with unexplainable powers? Then what? I'll get a supreme rank in your army?"

     Hubrid began blushing heavily. Maddi knew quite well that he had been planning on using fake bribes.

     "You have no powers, Hubrid!" Maddi screamed. "They're all in this box! Without the box, you're powerless! I have all your powers right here with me, Hubrid! And if you want it back, you're gonna' have to get me first."

     "You want to play games with me?" Hubrid hissed. "Fine! GUARDS, ATTACK!"

     There was a brief moment where Maddi was completely paralyzed from fear. His whole body froze, and he simply stared at the crowd of charging guards. But then, as quick as that moment came, it flew away like a wisp of smoke. Maddi jumped into full alertness, and he frantically looked around for an escape.

     Before he could find one, however, he felt paws clamping around his limbs. He couldn't get away. Trapped. He was trapped. He had come such a far way only to become trapped.

     Feelings of disgust and hate and helplessness and self-pity started stirring about inside Maddi's heart. Stronger. They were growing stronger. Increasing, increasing, increasing…

     The blast of light shot out. The capturing guards flew backwards into the crowd of other minions, disorientating the whole group. It was his chance. Maddi was quite aware of this. It could be his only one. And then he saw the window up high on the wall. He knew he'd be able to fit through it, but how would he get up there in the first place? How…

     A claw suddenly curled itself around his forearm, and Maddi's heart sunk. He let out a single breath of air, and clutched the puzzle box tighter than ever. Dare he glance at who had avoided the blast? Would his body and eyes let him? No, he couldn't bring himself to do it.

     "Maddi," a voice said gruffly, "look at me."

     The order was not obeyed.

     "Maddi," it repeated, "look at me."


     "Maddi," the speaker shook him gently, "look at me. I'm not here to hurt you."

     He could not refuse to comply any longer. Maddi turned his head sharply towards the voice, and he gasped.

     That oversized betraying black Pteri. Nagria. What was she doing? Hadn't she already hurt the child enough? Apparently not, Maddi thought bitterly.

     "Leave me alone," he growled through clenched teeth.

     She took in a deep breath, wondering what to say. "I thou -" No, she could think of something better. "Maybe -"

     "Maybe what?" Maddi hissed.

     Nagria didn't even bother to reply. Words would never express her feelings. Instead, she softly lifted Maddi into her claws, holding him a few feet above the ground for approximately 15 whole seconds. The cluster of guards and Hubrid were silent, all watching her in utter confusion.

     "What are you doing, Nagria?" Hubrid finally grunted.

     The Pteri stared at him with her dark eyes, soundless for a few moments, before finally replying, "What I should've done all along." And she placed Maddi onto the windowsill and smiled.

     The Kougra was beyond confused, but this didn't stop him from taking the opportunity to flee. The puzzle box still grasped in his paws, he gave an awkward grin to Nagria and then peeked outside. Luckily, he was on the first story, and the jump wouldn't be all too far. He would make it.

     Maddi looked one last time at the room of minions and their leader, and then jumped down to the bed of dead flowers below.

     "Nora and Alli," he whispered to nobody in particular once he had landed, "I did it."

     The Kougra felt so determined and joyful, he was ready to take on anything. But, of course, there was no need to; he had done everything that he was supposed to do.

     "Well," he began, grinning, "I'm off to Faerieland!"

     He could hear the cries and yells from Hubrid as he dashed away, which were coming from the grand castle. "I'M DONE!" the Chia cried, weeping hysterically. "I'M DOOMED!"

     And those comments, well those comments made Maddi even happier than before.


     For hours, Maddi ran through the twisted and gnarled trees of the Haunted Woods. Sometimes he'd grow tired, but his determination always won over how much his muscles ached and how much his lungs burned. Finally, he arrived to the Lost Desert, where he hailed an Eyrie cab.

     "To Faerieland," he groaned to the driver. "To Fyora's castle in Faerieland."

     And then they were off.


     When Maddi first stepped onto the smooth, soft cloud that supported Faerieland, a bubble of happiness formed in his stomach, and it wasn't popping at all. "I'm here," he whispered to nobody in particular, a smile twisting itself onto his face. "I'm finally here."

     He quickly thanked the Eyrie free trip (The driver had pitied the child, who looked tired, hungry and unable to afford the fee that normally would've been applied to such a ride), and then began making his way towards Jhudora's cloud. Masses of pets gazed at the dirty, smelly, out-of-place Kougra curiously as he strode down the street, but he didn't care. His mind was simply set on destroying the box. Once and for all.

     Minutes whizzed by exceedingly fast for Maddi, and it seemed as if it had only taken two seconds to get to Jhudora's cloud. When he arrived there, he was incredibly surprised to see the dark faerie actually carrying a warm smile on her features.

     "You did it!" she exclaimed gleefully. "I can't believe you did it!" Then realizing that she was acting too nice - and that it could somehow ruin her reputation - a glare formed. "Uh, good job," she grunted. "Let's just destroy this already and get it over with. I do have clients who've traveled from lands all around to get quests, you know. And I don't want to keep them waiting."

     "Okay, then let's destroy it already, as you said," Maddi replied.

     "All right. So where's the box?" Jhudora questioned.

     Maddi held out Hubrid's Puzzle Box for her to see, and Jhudora's expression visibly stiffened. Perhaps being in the presence of an item that had caused her so much strain was too much for her to handle.

     "Here it is," the Kougra whispered.

     Jhudora nodded and beckoned Maddi closer. He obeyed. Once he was near enough, she took the cube from his grip and placed it on her lap. She simply stared at it for a while, her eyes flickering with fear. The area was entirely silent.

     "What do we do now?" Maddi finally asked.

     The faerie didn't answer, but instead pushed the Kougra aside and stood up. She then set the box a few feet from her purple throne.

     "Stand there," she ordered, pointing a finger at a place a few feet over from the puzzle box.

     Maddi quickly did as he was told. Jhudora glided over so she was a few feet over from the puzzle box as well, on the other side.

     "Think about things you desire most. Things you want, but can't have. Family? Friends? A petpet? Whatever it is, think about it. Think about it hard."

     He knew what would happen when he obeyed. The light would come. The light would blast the box to pieces.

     "Okay," he answered.

     And he thought about Nora, and Alli, and all things else that he had left behind when Hubrid gave him the puzzle box that day at the Money Tree.

     The ray didn't arrive, however. It didn't flare out of his chest. He racked up all the emotions he could, but nothing happened. Seconds turned into minutes, and minutes turned into more minutes. Ten minutes passed before he realized something seemed wrong. Seriously wrong. Had he lost his ability?

     "Jhudora…" he whispered, shutting his eyes softly, "why won't the blast come?"

     "I don't… I don't know," she replied. And Jhudora shut her eyes too.

     The faerie was confused. She didn't admit it - she never has, even to this day - but she knew something wasn't right. The box should've been terminated already. She was sure that she had been filled with deep enough feelings, feelings that should've sent her blast off. And Maddi probably was the same way. But nevertheless, it still didn't come.

     Jhudora reopened her eyes and stared at the box. Infuriated. She was infuriated. The emotion came all of a sudden and it captured her in its wake. And although she didn't know it, Maddi was feeling the exact same way at the exact same moment. Infuriated. He was also infuriated.

     The beams of light came simultaneously. Abruptly and swiftly, they soared out of the faerie and the Kougra and hit the box. It exploded in a split second, the metal soaring into the air. And when the smoke cleared up around half a minute later, the space was empty. The box was gone. Finally.

     Maddi smiled the largest smile in his life, his mind racing faster than the speed of light. Not with bitter thoughts, either, but instead with ones of cheerfulness and delight. "Nora and Alli!" he called out to the open air. "I'm coming home!"

     And although it might've been slightly rude, Maddi didn't take the time to say good-bye to Jhudora. Instead, the Kougra took off running. Running home. At last.

The End

Blub: We're done, YAY!!! Thankies so much for reading the series, and I REALLY, REALLY, hope up enjoyed it! Like my good pal Rider says, Asta La Vernax baby! Oh, and Neomail is EXTREMELY appreciated! :D

Chocolate's Note: Wow, it's done? I guess so, if you're reading this note! I'd like to thank you for reading mine and Blubbington's story, and I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading it. I know I had fun writing it! You can Neomail me if you'd like - I'm always opened to Neomails^_^ Anyway, once again, thanks for reading!

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Other Episodes

» Of Lights from Within: Part Five
» Of Lights from Within: Part Six
» Of Lights from Within: Part Seven
» Of Lights from Within: Part Eight
» Of Lights from Within: Part Nine

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