The Dragon Flower: Part Eight
Amina walked around the enormous mansion looking at all the paintings, the vases, and tapestries and looking into the numerous rooms. She studied the paintings carefully because she thought that maybe the paintings could give a clue to the true meaning of the mansion.
After a good half an hour of wandering and studying, she finally came to the library. The door was cracked a little and she heard whispering.
“The cookies worked perfectly.”
What!? Amina questioned and peered in the small crack in the door. She saw Mr. Coco and Delia.
“Good,” Mr. Coco said and smiled.
“The green one looked famished and she ate most of them, but the blue one was suspicious of me.”
“Oh, don’t worry about her; she is like that with new faces. Just be nice and she won’t notice a thing.” Mr. Coco paused and lowered his voice a little more. “Has Crystal said anything?”
“No, she still refuses to say anything about Syringa.”
Who? Amina thought.
“She needs to tell us soon, so we can activate the girl’s power at will,” Mr. Coco stated with some frustration.
“Oh no!” Amina gasped.
“What was that!? Who is there?” Mr. Coco asked in the direction of the door.
Amina ran from the door and stopped just around the corner. She peered back to see the chocolate Pteri looking around.
I have to get to Lopina and tell her what’s happening, Amina thought and ran for the stairs.
When Amina reached the stairs, Mr. Coco appeared on the other side of the staircase.
“What are you doing, Amina? Why are you out of your room?” Mr. Coco asked with suspicion.
“I was taking a walk because Lopina is taking a nap, and I wanted to take a look around the mansion,” Amina responded.
“Might I suggest that you go back to your room before you get yourself into trouble?”
“Ah... yes, Uncle.” Amina nodded and started towards her room. When Mr. Coco was out of sight, Amina ran the rest of the way.
Amina rushed into their room and went over to Lopina. Amina grabbed her sister’s hand and a blue-green glow surrounded both of them.
“Lopina, wake up! Wake up! WAKE UP!” Amina yelled and began shaking the green Xweetok.
“Ack! I’m awake already,” Lopina grumbled as she rolled over. “What was that for anyway? We made a promise not to use our power inside, only outside!”
“I know and I’m sorry! But the cookies you ate had poison in them! And I heard Mr. Coco talking about our power!”
“Amina, don’t be so silly! The cookies tasted fine and there is no way Uncle Coco would know about our power! Stop daydreaming!”
“I am not! I heard what they said! And I...”
“AMINA!” Mr. Coco called from the door. “I will NOT tolerate yelling in MY house! Do I make myself clear?”
“Yes,” Amina said solemnly.
“And why did you wake up your sister?”
Amina remained silent and did not answer.
“Very will then, it is your choice to remain silent; however, it is time for dinner,” Mr. Coco said and gestured towards the door.
“I am not hungry. I will stay here,” Amina stated and walked over to the window seat and sat down.
“Amina, are you all right?” Lopina asked and walked over to her sister. Tears flowed down Amina’s face and Lopina said, “I’m going to stay here too.”
Mr. Coco raised an eyebrow and replied, “Fine, then I bid you two good night.”
“Good night,” Lopina replied.
After Mr. Coco left, Lopina looked at Amina and said, “I’m sorry for yelling at you, Amina. Will you tell me what happened?”
“Why? You won’t believe me,” Amina retorted back.
“I’m sorry for not believing you,” Lopina sighed. She placed her paw on Amina’s arm and said, “If I don’t believe you, then no one will. I’m your sister, right? I will listen and believe what you say.”
“...Okay,” Amina finally said.
“Good morning girls! The sun is shining and you two need to eat some breakfast before you go out and play,” Delia said as she threw open the curtains. “Come on, get up!”
“Breakfast!” Lopina jumped out of bed, ran over to the table and dug right in.
“Lopina, please show some restraint,” Amina grumbled as she crawled out of bed. “I do not think that the food is going to walk away before you eat it.”
“Ha ha ha,” Lopina said sarcastically. “I don’t know about you, but I am starving!”
“Thank you, Delia, for the breakfast,” said Amina.
“Mr. Coco will be here in about twenty minutes to check up on you two. Please be dressed and ready to go outside then.” With that, Delia bowed and walked out of the room.
“Hey Amina, since we are going to go outside, do you want to go exploring?” Lopina asked.
The girls finished their breakfast and quickly got dressed. Within a few minutes, Mr. Coco knocked and came into the room.
“Good morning,” Mr. Coco said as he walked over to the girls.
“Good morning, Uncle,” the girls said together.
“I hope that you slept well and you are in better moods this fine morning.”
“Yes, Uncle,” Lopina answered.
“Good. Well, I have numerous duties that I must do today, and sadly will not be able to be with you at all. You two may go anywhere you like; however, please stay out of trouble and out of the way of the staff. If I hear anything about you two, there will be consequences later. Understand?”
The girls nodded and said, “We understand.”
“Excellent. Please enjoy your day and I will see you two at dinner,” Mr. Coco said and slowly walked out of the room.
“Well, shall we go and explore the forest?” Amina asked with a grin.
The forest air was a little crisp with a hint of dew. There was a slight breeze that rustled the leaves and made the shadows under the trees dance.
“Uh, Lopina,” Amina said hesitantly. “It is spring, but I don’t see any flowers.”
“You’re right, it is odd... and it’s really quiet. I don’t hear any petpets playing at all!”
“I wonder what is going on. Shall we investigate this mystery then?”
“Of course!” Lopina said, grinning. “First we need to find the source.”
“Lopina! Our tails are glowing!”
“Well, you know what that means!” Lopina smiled and said, “The source of the problem is around here somewhere!”
“Let’s split up and look!”
As they searched, their tails began to glow brighter and brighter as they reached the source of the problem.
“Lopina, come here quickly! I think I found it!” Amina called.
Lopina rushed over and noticed that Amina’s tail was glowing the brightest, and as she approached her tail brightened with each step. “Great, Amina! But where is it?”
Amina pushed back the bushes to reveal a cave. The entrance to the cave was very large, as if someone had blasted it open wider. There were stairs leading down into the cave and there was a small glimmer of light reaching upward from the base.
“Shall we go and see what we can find?” Amina asked.
“Why do you always ask questions when the answer is obvious?”
“Well, why do you answer my questions with questions?”
“Well, if you would...”
“Please help me! Somebody, please help me!”
The girls froze and did not move for a couple of minutes. The voice sounded like it was crying from being in pain.
“Amina, should we go help it?” Lopina asked, who was obviously scared.
“I think we should,” Amina answered, though she was scared as well. “It sounded like it was in pain. We will go together, okay?”
The two Xweetoks walked slowly down the stairs, holding tightly to one another. As they descended, the light in the distance grew brighter and brighter. When they reached the last step, they stopped and looked around to see if anyone was there.
The bottom of the cave was like a dungeon with no natural light, only the light from candles. The walls of the cave were rough, but someone had carved out cells that contained various high-tech devices. The very back of the cave had bars across it and the light did not reach past the bars.
“I think the voice came from behind the bars,” Amina whispered. “You stay here and I will go look.”
“What? No way. I’m going with you!” Lopina whispered back.
“No. If it’s a trap, then you will still be able to go get help.”
“Who’s there?” a sad voice asked. “Please, I’m not going to hurt you. I’ve been trapped in this cell for the last three years. Please, help me.”
The girls slowly walked towards the back of the cave. Amina grabbed a candle along the way, and as the light reached past the bars, the girls saw a white Chomby lying on the floor. The Chomby was chained around every foot and the neck, and had numerous cuts, scars, burns and bruises from who knows what.
“Amina, she’s hurt,” Lopina said, horrified. “We have to get her out of there. Where is the lock?”
“Lopina, calm down,” Amina stated. “It won’t help the situation if you are running around frantically!”
“Calm down! We will help her,” Amina said and turned towards the Chomby, “Please, tell us your name? We want to help you.”
“My name is Crystal and I believe that we have already met, a long time ago.” The white Chomby smiled.
To be continued...