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Lonely Shadows


by siennacat13

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The graveyard was silent around him as he drifted over the tombstones and rocky terrain. The Haunted Woods were quiet tonight, but he didn't let his guard down. Hubrid Nox would leap onto him if he did for even an instant, and he had Vowed that he would not let Hubrid Nox win.

     That Vow was the only thing keeping him going.

     Magax perked up as he heard voices. They weren't the wordless moans of ghosts or the screeching howls of Werelupes. They sounded like regular Neopians who had come to the graveyard on a dare. Cursing silently, he drifted over in the direction of the voices and found a cat-girl and her four pets. He appeared before them, and all but the cat-girl and the Draik cried out.

     "What are you doing here?" he demanded. "This place is dangerous. You need to leave."

     "I'm not leaving until we get what we lost in here," the cat-girl replied, stepping in front of her pets. Magax growled, and she growled back. He jerked back as her slit pupils narrowed to mere black lines. He immediately sensed a greater predator within that light frame, and wondered just who this strange person was.

     "Mom?" the purple Acara said suddenly, and the cat-girl was back to normal. She turned around, her expression gentle. "Maybe we can come back tomorrow to look for it. This is Magax. He's supposed to protect us, and we're distracting him from his job."

     Magax decided he liked the little Acara.

     "Or maybe he found it already," the Draik said, and the cat-girl faced him once more. Now Magax was confused. What were they looking for?

     The cat-girl sighed. "While we were doing a Quest for the Esophagor earlier, my Shoyru, Sylvaninaa, dropped her red heart pendant. Normally, if it was just a Plushie or a toy, I'd just buy a new one for her, but this pendant is very special to her. She received it as a gift from her previous owner when she was put up for adoption. Have you seen it?"

     "No, I can't say I have," Magax replied. "Why don't you wait outside while I make a sweep of the graveyard for it? If I find it, I'll bring it right out."

     "Thank you!" The Shoyru, Sylvaninaa, leapt up and engulfed the Wocky in a bone-crushing hug. He pulled himself out of her embrace and shooed them outside the graveyard gate. They waited within sight, but also outside the graveyard limits. Magax made his usual sweeps over the graveyard, this time paying attention to the ground. Finally, he saw a glimmer of red, and drifted down to it. A broken necklace lay nestled against a tombstone, its ruby heart glimmering in the moonlight.

     "How did you get over here?" he muttered to himself, scooping it up. He examined the chain. It looked like it had been torn apart. He doubted that the cat-girl's story of Sylvaninaa dropping it had been true. But he had found it, and the sooner he returned it, the sooner the Neopians would leave.

     Suddenly he was slammed into the ground. He cried out in surprise and pain as the rocks pressed into his chest and arms. He dropped the necklace and rolled, summoning his Darklight Axe to hand as he moved. The thing that had knocked him down leapt away from his attack, and Magax leapt to his feet. Hubrid Nox hovered before him, his beady eyes furious.

     "You!" Magax growled, and snapped forward. Hubrid Nox dodged his attack and threw him aside. Magax slammed into a statue, destroying it and dumping him unceremoniously to the ground. He coughed weakly and struggled to get back up. A heavy weight pressed him back down.

     "You've foiled my plans enough, Magax," Hubrid Nox said. "This time, nothing will stop me from killing you."

     Magax struggled to say something when a voice broke through.

     "BLYZZARR! FIREBALL!" the cat-girl screeched. Instantly, Hubrid Nox was struck off of Magax by an intense blast of fire. Magax struggled to his feet, and found the Purple Acara offering him a potion. He stared at her.

     "It's a Healing Potion," she explained. He took it and drank it. Immediately he felt much better.

     "Thanks," he said. "Now you have to get out of here!"

     "You pitiful fools!" Hubrid Nox alighted upon a tombstone, his eyes blazing crimson in his fury. "You think you can defeat me? Hubrid Nox? I think -"

     Interrupting him, the cat-girl said almost lazily, "Flash."

     A blinding light rocketed through the graveyard, and Hubrid Nox squealed in surprise as he was blinded. Magax covered his eyes, but found that the light did not bother him as it used to.

     "Arrgh!" Hubrid Nox roared, blasting blindly around him. The cat-girl and her pets avoided the blasts easily as they condensed around Magax.

     "Are you okay?" the cat-girl asked. Her pupils were mere lines once more, and plastered on her face was a fiendish grin that would have made Count Von Roo shudder. Magax swallowed and nodded. "Good. Would you like to finish the Chia Clown off or can Blyzzarr have a little practice?"

     "Hubrid Nox is my responsibility," Magax said, summoning his Darklight Axe. The Draik looked disappointed. "But if he tries to escape, I could use your help." The Draik then nodded and joined him. Magax sped towards the recovering Chia, his Darklight Axe blazing emerald flames. Blyzzarr matched his speed effortlessly, white light glowing around her claws. Together the two struck Hubrid Nox down. Panicked now, Hubrid Nox scrambled for purchase to stand up. Blyzzarr coiled her tail around his foot and yanked it from under him. He hissed, but Magax intercepted any spell the Chia tried to cast.

     Blyzzarr stepped back, her silver eyes locked on Hubrid Nox. Magax raised his Darklight Axe.

     Suddenly, vines wrapped around his arms and Blyzzarr. The Draik hissed angrily and spat flames at her bonds. Magax cursed and struggled to free himself. As he watched helplessly, Hubrid Nox sank into the earth.

     "Another time, Magax, when we are more alone," he said, and then was gone. The cat-girl and her three pets were then there, and they pulled away the vines entangling the two fighters.

     "You two were awesome!" the Electric Acara said, beaming. Blyzzarr snorted.

     "He got away," she said.

     "But he won't be back for a while," Magax answered. "You injured him with that Light magic."

     "Flash just blinds the enemy," the cat-girl said, confused. "How could it hurt him?"

     "Hubrid Nox is aligned with Dark magic, so Light magic of any kind would harm him," Magax explained. "It was minor, but he'll need some time to recover. Next time, I'll be ready."

     "I hope our presence here wasn't the reason why he chose tonight to attack," the Purple Acara said. Magax shook his head.

     "No, he would have preferred getting as close to me as he could before he attacked," he said. "Last time, he tricked me into believing he was an innocent needing my help. This time, he waited until my back was turned."

     "Well, we're glad we could help," the cat-girl said. She held out her hand. "My name is Siennacat13, or Sienna for short."

     "Magax," Magax shook her hand.

     "I'm Siberia1313, but call me Si," the Purple Acara said.

     "LeBelleRouge, but everyone calls me Belle," the Electric Acara added.

     "Blyzzarr," the Draik said, refusing to elaborate.

     "And I'm Sylvaninaa, but I like Sylvy better," the Shoyru piped from Sienna's shoulder. She clutched her necklace in one hand. "Thank you for looking for my necklace. I found it, though!"

     "You're welcome," Magax said. "I'm afraid I have to get back to work."

     "Can we visit every now and then?" Belle asked.

     "Uh, sure," Magax replied. "Just not at night anymore. You can usually find me near the Brain Tree if you want to speak with me."

     "Okie doke!" Sylvy laughed. Sienna rolled her eyes, but smiled.

     "Knowing them, they'll want to visit you every day," she said. "So I should probably wrestle them off to bed. Good night, Magax."

     "Wait," he said. She sent her pets ahead of her, leaving the two of them alone. "You're more than you appear. I've met cat-girls before, but none of them were as feral as you."

     "I'm glad you noticed," she grinned, exposing sharp fangs. "I'm not human, or even human-like in the least. My true form is that of a dragon, or a cousin to the Snowager. It seems that my draconic personality shows through no matter how I try to hide it."

     "But are you evil?" he asked.

     "I used to be." She closed her eyes, as if remembering. "I never liked those days. But then I met Si, and she helped me change." She opened her eyes again. "Kind of like you. You used to be evil, but you changed for the better. I'm just sorry that you have no one to share that good with."

     Magax stared at her in confusion. No one to share his good with? What was she talking about?

     "If you ever need someone to talk to, Magax, my pets and I live in Altador, but we visit the Haunted Woods every day," she said. "Don't be alone all the time. Hubrid Nox preys on the lonely more than he does the weak. I should know. He used to have a hold over me as well."

     "You had better go," Magax said.

     Sienna nodded. She walked to the gate, and then called back. "I'll send Blyzzarr to you to help keep you in shape everyday. That way, Hubrid Nox won't catch you unawares again."

     And then she was gone.

     Magax drifted back over where he had found the necklace, and blinked as he saw that it was still there. He picked it up and examined it more closely. The jewel wasn't actually shaped like a heart, but more like an oval. As he peered into its depths, he could see the initials S. L.

     "S. L.," he whispered to himself. Then he tucked the necklace into his belt and resumed his rounds.

The End

 
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