Blade of Fire, Blade of Ice: Part Six
She was no longer holding her Eyrie shape, or even her Kacheek
form for that matter. She no longer needed to pretend. Her once pale red eyes
had changed to empty voids filled with shadows, and her white coat was more transparent
than anything else. She seemed more like a smoky apparition than anything else,
but Talek thought he could see the faint outline of a Draik.
"It is I," the creature replied. "I, the long-lost
spirit of Elyx. Or so it would seem," she added with a mysterious smile.
"It explains many things, does it not? How I
can shapeshift. Why I seemed to know everything. Why I wanted to come with you
so badly." She sighed. "I had to test you, you see, Swordmaster. I wanted to
make sure that you were worthy. That you were able. For an unworthy one would
surely have failed the task and then danger would be rampant on Neopia once
more. I could not let that happen. The title of Swordmaster is not lightly bestowed,
I knew, but I had to be sure - after this one chance there may not have been
"Elyx was not female," Talek protested once
he had found his voice again. Secretly he was flattered that Ystrana had thought
so highly of him.
"True, but his spirit was - the spirit of any
Neopian has always been of the other gender, for the spirit is all the body
is not. Yes, I say he, for when Elyx split himself into three parts, although
the greatest part of himself passed into myself, none of us have entirely embodied
the great Swordmaster. Now, the Brothers. You have called them once, I know,
because 'twas that very call which alerted me and brought me here. They have
resisted it, for they wish not to be confined within the Blade again. But methinks
if you called them here again they would have to come, willing or no, for 'tis
hard to resist the call of a Swordmaster, harder still when that Swordmaster
has the power of a Blade backing him. And your call would be irresistible if
I added my voice to it, for though we live in different bodies now, my Brothers
and I, we are the same, and there exists a tie which binds us together."
Talek nodded. He still had many things he wished
to ask of this extraordinary spirit but he knew that there was not a moment
to waste. Once he had the Brothers sealed safely inside the Blade, then there
would be all the time in the world to ask Ystrana questions. Once more the Swordmaster
gripped the hilt of the Blade with both paws and advanced into the state which
he had been in before. Only this time he was accompanied by Ystrana, and her
presence made him more confident, more sure of himself.
Again he saw the Brothers as if from far, far
away. They were travelling, Talek realised with a stab of horror, over Evanagu.
With desperation he called them, feeling Ystrana strengthen him. This time he
felt the Brothers fight him with all their strength. Talithir lent Talek its
power, adding its voice to the call. Slowly, gradually, he saw the two Brothers
reluctantly move towards the pink cloudy land of Faerieland.
"Don't stop now," Ystrana muttered, noting the
strain on Talek. "We have them, but if we let go now they will go free." Her
voice gave Talek more strength as he held on.
"They are here," Ystrana whispered, but Talek
did not need the warning. Irritated screeching and a harsh roar had already
jerked him out of his trance. Holding Talithir in one paw and the Blade in the
other he whirled to face the Brothers.
They were a terrifying sight. They were not
of any extraordinary size, but Talek still took a step back as he noted the
flames which seemed to roll of one's skin and the beautiful iciness of the other.
Their battle with each other momentarily forgotten, the two Brothers faced Talek
together, snarling in rage at the one who would try to imprison them once more.
Talek glared back coolly. Ystrana nudged him,
reminding him what he was here for. Holding the hilt of the Blade he called
the Brothers to him.
But they fought. Seeking to distract him, the
fire Draik spat flames, the ice Draik doing its best to encase him in solid
ice. Ystrana tried to help to protect Talek who was trying to focus on the task
at hand. The ghostly spirit created shields from thin air, reflected the missiles
that were aimed at the Swordmaster. Fire flared in the air, evaporating quickly
as soon as it hit Ystrana's ghostly shield. Spears of ice hurled themselves
through the air, shattering on impact. Ystrana winced with every hit - the Brothers
were powerful, and she knew that if this went on she would not be able to stand
it for long. She knew that Talek had to pull the Brothers in, and quickly.
Talek had scrambled to retrieve the Blade from
its position on the floor. Calling on Talithir to help him, Talek held the hilt
of the Blade, trying to call the Brothers to it.
At once he was the Blade, looking out at the
battle that raged in the Tower. Fighting out of desperation, the Brothers were
slowly but surely pushing Ystrana back. Still she stayed valiantly in between
them and Talek, who tried to pull the Brothers towards him. They fought but
could not resist as the Blade's power drew them in.
"Talek, no!" The Swordmaster heard Ystrana scream.
"If the Brothers enter the Blade while you are still in it you will be trapped,
just like them!"
Talek heard but did not heed her words. This
job needed to be done and if his life was to be sacrificed in the doing of it,
so be it. At least he would rest easily knowing that Neopia was safe from the
threat of Elyx.
The Brothers drew closer and closer to the Blade.
Talek watched them, trying to forget the fact that their entering it would mean
his entrapment. Still he pulled at them, and they came.
Ystrana watched on, shocked and feeling helpless.
She did not try to touch Talek in any way, for she knew that lack of concentration
on his part would prove fatal. The spirit knew that there was one thing that
she would do. The Brothers would still be contained, and Talek would be able
to live his life. All it required was a small sacrifice on her part.
Without hesitation she rammed herself into the
Blade, pushing Talek out. Talek stopped calling the Brothers and staggered back.
In that instant they attempted to pull free, but Ystrana was ready for them.
She viciously pulled them in, ignoring their shrieks of pain and rage. Mercilessly
she tugged at them, knowing that her strength was failing her. With one last
vicious jerk it was done.
"Talek!" cried the blade. The dazed Swordmaster
ran to it, picking it up. "I have caused you much sorrow, I know. But it is
over. You are free to return to Maraqua. Do not worry about Kelpbeard - he has
forgotten all about your disagreement. I have made it so. Do not hate him for
attempting to restrain him - he cares for his people, there is no more to it.
Now I must go. You will remember all that has happened, but 'twould most likely
be to your advantage not to tell anyone, for 'tis not a tale that will be readily
believed. I must go now for I cannot fight the pull of the Blade any longer.
Farewell... " Ystrana's voice faded until it was gone. Talek could still hear
her parting words ringing in his ears.
"Why?" the Swordmaster was crying. "Why did
it have to be her? I was ready, I was ready... "
The Draik sobbed as he picked up the Blade and
placed it on the table. Neopia had been saved from the curse of Elyx... but
it had been at a price.
The fight is over, the battle won,
Blade of fire, blade of ice,
Elyx' curse hath been undone.
Blade of fire, blade of ice.
Yet even though the end is here,
Blade of fire, blade of ice,
In the end the price was dear.
Blade of fire, blade of ice.
Talek left Faerieland three days later, returning
to his home. Deliberately he took the long was around, avoiding Evanagu Island
for he could not bear to see them, the Evanagunites that reminded him so much
of Ystrana. Fitting, that the spirit of Elyx had chosen the most peaceful, tranquil
land on Neopia to hide on.
Kelpbeard welcomed Talek back into Maraqua.
Talithir had transformed Talek back into his old Maraquan self after he had
left the clouds, and so the people of Maraqua noticed nothing strange about
their Swordmaster, on the outside. Sometimes, though, they could see Talek staring
off into the watery depths, as if he was thinking of a certain courageous Draik
Author's Note: The Fire and Ice Blade has always held a special place in
my heart. When I was a newbie on Neopia it was my favourite item. I wanted nothing
more than to buy one and proudly display it for all to see. It was only afterward
that I was told that the great Blade which I had admired for so long was in
fact a waste of money. Better weapons were far cheaper. But still I admired
it. To me, its looks were more than its worth.
The usual now, thanks for reading this, comments/constructive criticism
appreciated. I hope you enjoyed this. Et cetera (yay, I know what it means now,
thanks to my Latin classes! :D).
Talek and Kelpbeard were obviously from the plot of Maraqua. I thought the
Swordmaster was too cool to not write a story about. Ystrana is based on two
very special friends of mine. Everyone else is fictional.
I hope you enjoyed reading this! :)