Neoplay: Two Faeries and a Wannabe Evil Overlord - Part Three
Also by fsufan266
Cera nodded, halfway understanding what she meant. "Sarah is pretty cool; she is kind of weird, but it's all good," she said, smiling. Sarah was usually playing soccer or out doing something all the time, but when she was home it was nice to have her around. "She's usually busy with school and soccer and stuff like that, but we have a pretty good time when we do hang out." She looked over at Ara, stating, "I met your owner at your house last time, I think... Lucy, you say her name was? I'm not quite sure... And you say all of your siblings have been painted? That's cool; mine too." She and Ara both knew she sounding like she was having a conversation with herself.
Arathyne laughed a sort of half-laugh. "You met her when her hair was red," she said, remembering it not too well herself. How long ago was it? Four months? Something like that, she knew. "It's not usually like that; that was just an experiment. And you didn't meet her under the best circumstances. Last year, she had a temper that could send you packing. We were very, very alike back then, but she's gone through the inner transformation I have not." I don't know if I ever will, she added silently; sadly. But I really, truly hope so. I hate being this way. But it is what it is and I can't change it... I don't think. I've been like this for as long as I can remember... "And about the painted thing... Mom practically broke her neck trying to collect all the money. She painted me first because she freaked when she saw the 'retired' label on the faerie paint brush."
Cera had no clue what Ara was saying and she knew it, but she still just nodded. "Yeah, that's cool, I guess," she mumbled, noticing that the forest was thinning some. "How long do you think we have now?" She hoped they would get there soon so she could take a break; she was still tired from dragging her suitcase all over the world and this whole adventure thing was just making her legs hurt worse.
The Xweetok blinked. "We should be out of here in less than a minute." Sure enough, in about twenty-two seconds, if you wanted to go all precise on somebody, they had exited the jungles completely, and Arathyne could see Geraptiku. Another minute got them there and Arathyne began searching for the tunnel while she told Cera she could rest if she wanted to, an offer the Bori gratefully accepted.
When the tunnel was found, Cera was in awe. "Wow, this thing goes on forever!" she exclaimed, looking into the darkness of the cave and sitting on a rock to rest her legs. She didn't go out into nature a lot, and when she did, it was usually just a walk around the park with Azura or a race to the store with Lue. "Where do you think it goes?"
"I don't know," said Ara, grinning, "but if you're worried about not seeing anything, I have this." She pulled a little brown pouch out of her sweatshirt pocket. A soft red glow emitted around its edges. She pulled the top flap of the pouch down, and there was a small, glowing crystal inside. It glowed an orange-red color. "Tahtrei can work with light and all that," she explained, "so I took it from her room a few weeks ago. She's got tons, so I'm sure she didn't mind."
Cera looked at the lighted stone with great interest. "What exactly is it?" she asked, holding out her hand, which Ara dropped the stone into. It looked as if it were hot or burning because of its color, but it was found to be both warm and cool to the touch at the same time, sending an icy-warm feeling through her body as it fell into her hand. She had never seen or felt anything like that before.
"Where did Tahtrei get it?" she asked, terribly curious.
"I'm not sure," was the answer, "but I think that she makes them herself, from stones off the ground. She makes them in her room or something. Whenever she's doing spells, she always keeps her room heavily protected from intrusion. She says it's for in case something went wrong and backfired, only her and the room would get whatever damage it did."
"Weird..." She turned the stone over in her hands, mesmerized by its beautiful glow. "Do you think it's dangerous?" Great, now she'd thought herself into worrying if she should even be touching it. She knew she thought too much. It was a really bad habit that, for some reason, she couldn't break too well. She was jerked out of her fears when Ara spoke again.
"Nah, it's harmless." She waved a hand as if to dismiss the idea. "The most damage it could possibly do is form a bump on your head, if, you know, I threw it at you. It's just like a normal stone, except for the fact that it, well, kind of glows."
"It feels funny, too," Cera put in, giving back the stone and standing up. "But I guess you're right." She sighed in relief, finally calming herself down about it. They began to move into the cave, the walls lit up by the glow of the stone Ara kept in her hand. Eventually they hit a fork in the tunnel. "Okay, so now which way?"
Ara thought about it for a moment, then decided. "Let's go left. I went to the right last time, and I ended up at a dead end." She pulled a piece of white chalk out of her pocket and made an arrow on the tunnel wall pointing to the way they'd come. The arrow glowed lightly like the rock, but produced no illumination. "Trei loves making these glow things and I love taking them," she explained. "Not that there's any light on the chalk, though."
Cera was amazed, once again, by her fancy magic gizmos.
"That is so neat! I wish I had a power like that." Or any power at all, she put in wordlessly.
"Yeah," Ara said with a small sigh, "so do I." They continued wandering down the left path. "All of my sisters have magic. Roni can work nature and the earth and stuff, Vi can do funky water tricks, and Trei's got a knack for fire and light. But me? I've got nothin', not even a drop." She looked over at the Bori. "You or your sibs got any powers?" she inquired.
"Well, Dre does," she answered. "She can make dreams form in my head and it scares the living daylights out of me when she does that. Rasi also has a power, but he does something with 'coldness', he calls it. No one else has power; however, I am the only one in my family that can fly!" She beamed upon saying that, obviously very proud of her unique trait.
Ara smiled, thinking about how much she herself loved the feel of the wind under her wings, even if they did flap so fast you couldn't see them. Several hundred beats a second, she'd heard somewhere. "Roni and Vi are Shoyrus so they come with wings, Trei's a ghost so I guess you can sort of fly like that, and now I've got wings, so yeah. Mom wants to fly so badly. It's pretty funny if you've seen it."
Cera laughed. "Sarah would much rather keep her feet firmly planted on the ground." She ruffled her wings, then stopped. There was a faint light ahead that pierced through the darkness. She noticed this. "Is it just me or...?" she started, still trying to make it out.
The fifteen-year-old frowned. "Is that a light up ahead?" she asked Cera.
Then she heard the voices.
"Come on, hurry inside, you slow fool!" the first voice, a male, snapped quietly yet harshly in a squeaky voice. "Do you want everybody to know where we are? Close the stupid door!"
"Did you hear that?" she whispered. It had been so clear and so loud in her ears, as if the speakers were right in front of her.
Cera shook her head. "No, what was it?" she asked, wondering what was going on. She hoped this cave wasn't the home to some weird creature that wanted to make them its dinner. She started to get worried about what lay ahead, but her curiosity was what motivated her to keep on moving forward.
"Somebody's trying to get someone else inside somewhere before somebody else finds them," Ara answered her, uncaring as to how weird that just sounded. "C'mon, let's go check it out."
It took a little longer to get there than she expected. Had her hearing improved or had she just not heard anything at all? But then she heard voices again and quickly, quietly told Cera to stay quiet as she put the stone back in its pouch and covered it, causing all light to leak back into the pouch and hide away.
"What is it?" she asked softly, still not able to hear anything. Why was Ara able to hear things and not her? Maybe Xweetoks had really good hearing...?
The same questions and ideas ran through Ara's mind as she inched forward. "I don't know," she whispered back. Suddenly they came across a dead end. Arathyne pressed her ear to the wall, determined. Voices drew up from beyond it. Frowning, she felt around and found nothing. But then a strip of light opened, and so she grabbed Cera and pulled her next to her, squeezing her towards the wall so she couldn't be seen and trying to do so herself as the wall opened like a door, coming toward them. But it stopped just before it could crush them. A pink Mynci and a pink Wocky left from wherever was inside and wandered down the hall from which Ara and Cera had come. Right before the door closed, she grabbed it and peered inside. Nobody was around. "I'm going in," she whispered to Cera. "You coming?"
Cera hesitated, then finally nodded and followed Ara into the mysterious room, oblivious to the danger that lay within its chambers.
To be continued...