Guardian: Part Two
Part Two: The Bands
~13 years later~
Thirteen years had passed since that fateful night when Sam had been turned into a glass figure and Sage and Rionex had been forced to leave their home. During these thirteen years, Rionex had grown a lot, but something was always nagging at the back of her mind. It was as if there was some secret that she was being kept from, but she couldn’t figure out what.
Sage looked out the window of their house, keeping a close eye on Rionex. A few younger neopets were playing together by the lake. A human and his Meerca were playing a game of tag. Two Doglefoxes chased each other in endless circles. While Rionex, her daughter, just sat alone on the grass, looking into the sky. Sage sighed. She knew that there were probably many questions on Rionex’s mind. She just wished she’d let them go.
Quietly, Sage opened the door and walked out to Rionex. “Hi,” she said quietly as she approached Rionex.
Rionex jumped and turned back to look at her mother. Her long orange hair was braided, and she wore a white no sleeved shirt and gray boots. “Hi, Mom,” she replied, and then turned back around.
Sage came over to her and asked, “Why don’t you go play with your friends?”
“I don’t have any,” she replied bleakly. “Everyone at school thinks I’m crazy.”
“Why would they think that?”
“Well, I always have this odd feeling in the back of my head. No one knows what happened to my father, and I’m not allowed near any large body of water, with no reason to why I’m not.”
Sage sucked in a sigh. She knew both what happened to Rionex’s father and why she wasn’t allowed near large bodies of water, but she couldn’t tell Rionex any of that. As for the feeling in the back of her head, Sage had a pretty good idea what was causing that. “Rionex, maybe you should let some things go,” Sage told her. “Then, maybe others wouldn’t think that you’re crazy.”
Rionex turned around and glared at Sage. “Mom, they’d still think I’m crazy!” she cried angrily. “Why don’t you want me to go near large bodies of water? Why won’t you tell me even who my dad is? Why won’t you explain anything to me?”
Sage caught her breath. She knew Rionex had a right to know, but she hadn’t the heart to tell her. She couldn’t tell her what happened to her father, Samari, or about the Creature, who could quickly travel from one large body of water to another. If she told her, then Rionex might decide to go out after the Creature herself. If she did that, the Creature would surely get her. “It’s for your own good,” Sage told her quietly. With that, she went into the house.
Rionex continued to stare into space, as so many thoughts whirled around in her head. How is it for my own good? she wondered. Why does Mom keep these secrets from me?
After a while, Rionex decided to go inside. Quietly, she walked towards her room. However, as she neared it, she noticed for the first time that the feeling in the back of her mind was growing stronger. By the time she reached the staircase before her room, the feeling was buzzing loudly. She looked up the stairs into the darkness above. Those stairs lead up to the attic, she thought to herself. Mom told me I wasn’t allowed in the attic. Then, another thought came into her mind. Why doesn’t Mom want me in the attic? What is she hiding up there? With a quick look behind her, Rionex bolted up the staircase.
Once in the attic, the feeling had changed to a throbbing in her head. Carefully, she looked in all the boxes. Nothing was in them except dust and maybe an old book, toy, or weapon. “Why would Mom put boxes up here, but not put anything in them?” Then she saw the chest. It was in the corner of the room, hidden in the shadows. Rionex smiled, and quickly walked over to it. When she reached it, the throbbing grew intense. When, she touched the chest, the throbbing grew to an almost unbearable point. Cringing, Rionex flung open the chest. Inside were two golden bands, each glowing brightly. Rionex carefully picked up the bands. With both relief and surprise, she noticed that the throbbing had stopped.
Rionex took the bands down stairs. She went into the kitchen, where Sage was preparing dinner. “Mom?” she asked. When Sage turned around, she asked, “What are these?”
Sage gasped in surprise. “You aren’t allowed in the attic!” she cried. Then she added, “They’re nothing important.”
“Nothing important?” Rionex asked, amazed. “If they’re not important, then how come they were in a chest? How come when I touched them, the throbbing stopped and the feeling in my mind disappeared? How come I’m not allowed in the attic?”
“That’s none of your concern.”
“Why, Mom?” Rionex cried angrily. “Why won’t you tell me anything? All I want to know is the truth, and you won’t even tell me that! Why? I’m your daughter, and you keep me from things that I should know! Why? I have the right to know why I’m not allowed to go near large bodies of water, who my father is, and what these are!”
“Rionex, you’re fifteen years old!” Sage told her. “Start acting like it!”
Rionex scowled at Sage, then bolted to her room. When she got there, she slammed the door shut. Quickly, she grabbed her bag and started packing. “If she won’t tell me anything,” Rionex told herself, “then I’ll find out for myself.” She put a bottle of water, some candy, and a blanket. She then slipped the gold bands on her arms.
Suddenly, there was a knock at her door. “Rionex,” Sage called from behind the door. Rionex looked up quickly before flinging her bag across her shoulders. Quietly, she opened her window. “Rionex,” Sage’s voice came again. “I understand that you’re feeling upset, and maybe I should tell you... about your past. Rionex, are you listening to me?”
Rionex hesitated, but then jumped out the window. She spread her wings and flew high into the air.
Just after, Sage pushed open the door. She gasped in surprise as she realized Rionex was gone.
The Creature sulked around the ice cave that had once held him prisoner. By the pool of water at the far edge sat three stone statues; one of a Maraquan Draik, two of Maraquan Gelerts, one of which had a bandana around his neck and a flame shaped sword belted at his side. However, freezing the two Guardians of the Coins and one of the Guardians of the Bands did not content the Creature. One of the Guardians was still out there, and so were both of the bands. Not only that, Sage’s daughter had had time to grow, and he knew that if she figured out all that was going on, he’d probably lose.
Shaking his head, he roared mightily and called, “Darkstar, Doomflame, come!” From behind two pillars of ice came two neopets. The first, a blue Lupe, snarled angrily. She had two sharp fangs sprouting from her lower lip, an ice blue tail, ice blue paws, rugged fur, and eyes that glowed an eerie shade of green. This neopet had once been known as Nicole, who had gotten a little too adventurous for her own good.
The second neopet was a blue Draik. He had sharp fangs sprouting from both his upper and lower lips. His wings were much larger than most Draiks’ and had barbs at the end of them that would paralyze an enemy for a short time on contact. His tail had jagged spikes running down its length, while his claws were massive and could crush diamond. His eyes glowed the same shade of yellow as the Creature’s. He roared, showing all of his deadly teeth.
The Creature smiled malevolently. This Draik had been an outcast of society. He had run away, searching for something to change him, so that he would be liked. When he had run into the Creature, he had told him of his problems. The Creature said he could make it all better. What the Draik hadn’t known was that he would be the Creature's willing servant.
The Creature turned the other way, the two magical coins glimmer in his hands. “Show me Rionex,” he said, forcing all of his willpower and energy into the command. The coins glowed, and then formed a sphere of darkness. In it he saw Rionex, flying quickly. He also noticed that she was wearing both of the bands.
The Creature gasped and let go of the spell, feeling weak. After a while, he smiled evilly. “This will work out just fine,” he said quietly. He turned back to the Lupe and the Draik. “Darkstar,” he told the Lupe, “you have the ability to breath under water. Search the oceans, lakes, and seas of Neopia.” Then, he turned to the Draik. “Doomflame, you can fly, so you must search the skies, and char the land with your flame.” The Draik gave a long, blood-curdling cry. “Now, go forth, and seek the Shoyru Rionex!”
Both Darkstar and Doomflame gave eerie cries. Then, Darkstar turned and plunged into the pool of water in the back of the cave. At the same time, Doomflame jumped into flight and flew through the opening at the top of the cave.
The Creature snarled. He would make sure that he got the bands, no matter what.
Rionex’s wings ached, but she refused to stop flying. She had flown this far, and she wasn’t going to give up now. She wavered in the air, but managed to maintain a steady pace through the air.
Suddenly, searing heat hit Rionex square between the wings. Startled and in pain, Rionex plummeted to the ground below. However, she never hit. Something had grabbed her and was towing her away. She struggled to break free, wriggling within her captor's grasp.
This continued until Rionex and her captor reached the deep waters of the ocean. Once there, the hold on Rionex was lifted. Startled, she plummeted. As she neared the water, the head of a ferocious looking blue Lupe exploded from the water. That was all Rionex needed to come to her senses. She spread her wings and inclined sharply, escaping the Lupe’s jaws by a narrow breadth. The Lupe snarled and swam swiftly and powerfully below.
A searing pain ran along Rionex’s back. Rionex flipped over to face her attacker. At that moment, a large body came slamming down upon her, and pinned her arms and wings against her. “Let me go!” she cried in vain. She struggled, but could not break free.
Then, for the first time, she met her captor’s eyes. It was at the moment she saw who he was. He was a blue Draik with massive wings and deadly jaws. But his eyes were the part that troubled her. They were an eerie, unnatural shade of yellow. She stared into those unnerving eyes and asked, “Why are you attacking me?” At that moment, the two gold bands she wore on her wrists glowed brightly, like stars in the night. Images appeared in her mind; a strange blue Lupe like the one below, a massive mutant Jetsam, a Maraquan Gelert being turned to stone, her mother flying swiftly away with tears in her eyes. Through it all protruded one single word, a male voice in her mind that said, Help. “Help?” Rionex asked the Draik. “Help who?” For a moment, the eerie yellow color to the Draik’s eyes disappeared, and was replaced with gentle brown eyes. Then, the bands let out a blinding light. The Draik roared in surprise and anger, and dropped Rionex. The Lupe howled in delight, and prepared for Rionex to come into the water.
Rionex’s strength had been drained, so she no longer had the strength to fly. She plummeted unconscious towards the water. However, she never fell in. The Draik had dived down and grabbed her before she got to close too the ocean and the Lupe. The Draik, Doomflame, flew high into the sky and carried her to a distant island. He carried her to the place of her birth, Krawk Island.
To be continued...