Another Hero's Journal
It's me, your new owner... if you could call it that. My name is Reuben, and I'm a white Blumaroo who runs a weapon shop in Meridell. I'm a maker by trade, and I was also trained to become a warrior. And I got you as a gift from Andrea, my closest friend. In fact, both of you are red – although I'm positive I've never heard of a Kyrii bordered with a little yellow.
I don't know why I'm introducing myself to you as if you would listen, let alone answer, but I suppose it gives me something to write while waiting for the first customers of the day.
Oh, wait, here they come. I'm willing to bet that they're from Faerieland, just like yesterday's horde bedecked in their pink and violet livery.
* * *
Hey, journal, it's me again – as if anyone else would be writing in here.
The war has been going on for a while now; it all started when some enormous Draik called Terask decided that he deserved to be king of Faerieland and took over. I don't know how he did it, but he defeated Queen Fyora, and they say she's a prisoner in her own palace. Before that, the Haunted Woods was subjected to eternal sunshine, the Lost Desert had a serious case of Raging Sandstorm Syndrome, the Snowager went missing, and of course, the throne of Meridell was usurped (again).
It's like after each crisis has been resolved and everyone is happy, something else happens somewhere else. Only this time, the current crisis is good for my business, I have to admit. Some of my customers may even be working for Terask.
The war is also practically the only thing the Neopian Times ever talks about these days – and the reason why droves of reporters come to my shop without looking at the merchandise. They see me and then they're already at the counter, asking me stuff like, “How do you feel about your little brother being part of a rumored prophecy?”, “Do you think he'll be able to defeat a powerful sorcerer like Terask, who was able to beat the Queen?” and “Do you have a message for him?”
But besides a few who really dig deep like Salita, the striped Xweetok who stayed at our place for a few days, they tend to ask the same questions. I don't really mind... sometimes it's actually comforting to answer, because whenever I talk about my brother, it's like he's just right beside me. Through that, I know he's alive and doing well – well, I know that regardless, but it helps.
Nearly two years have passed ever since that yellow Blumaroo left home, and some people might think I should be used to him not being around for things like Mother's birthday, or mine, or even the opening of Blades 'n' Bows. And I shouldn't be surprised that nobody has heard from him or his friends since their stay in the Northern Watchtower. But just because I've accepted Rohane's destiny and his dreams doesn't mean I won't miss him. It sounds horribly cheesy and more like something from a lonely bard's depressing ballad... so I'm glad I'm the only one who can see this line.
Maybe I'll be writing in this journal a lot more often than I thought.
This shady-looking shadow Eyrie is walking up to me with one of the biggest swords in the shop. Now, I shouldn't really care because money is money and commissions are commissions, and I just make the weapons. Besides, I don't think the fact that I'm related to Rohane bothers him at all.
Of course, the way he's walking and how he covers his face with his cloak might say otherwise...
* * *
It's Saturday. I've closed the shop, and I'm sitting here on the couch just waiting for Mother to make lunch. They say I take after her in looks, among other things, but I don't think I'll ever match her culinary skills, or be as nice as she is. And other times, our similarities stop at us being white Blumaroos.
I don't know how I started with that, but never mind. Andrea did tell me once that when I had nothing to do, no matter how I felt, I could always let it all out by writing. She swears by it – she's been through a lot when she was little, and writing helped her get through.
I've taken her advice since then and always wrote letters to Rohane. I even went to see him in the Lost Desert once, but ever since then, we've lost touch. Ironic, since that was when I told him that I would pound him if he didn't write back.
Yet, I can't blame him. He's been traveling Neopia these days, and I can't hold it against him if he's too busy being a hero to send letters or if Faerieland messengers have more important things to do (but somehow, I have this feeling that if Rohane only asked, all those messengers would trip all over their own feet making sure his message is safely delivered here). At least the Neopian Times has been faithfully covering his story ever since he defeated some crazy Elephante wizard in White River City.
But that doesn't change the fact that I miss waking up to mail and seeing those envelopes with my name and our address written so neatly. Rohane still has nicer handwriting than I do.
Maybe I should just work on that new design I've had in mind for a dagger – a dagger you could fold into a small, easily hidden flat knife. Mother joked that I would soon become the number one stop for thieves and rogues all over the world... but I have this feeling that I already am.
I'm really proud of my daggers and even gave one to Rohane on his birthday. He may be partial to the sword, but you never know when a shorter blade might come in handy.
* * *
It's been a while, journal. No, actually, it's only been a week. I got so caught up with that dagger I was planning, although I have yet to figure out how to make it fold. For now, I'm just sticking to the commissions I've been getting lately, as well as all these interviews. In fact, there was this one royal Zafara who wouldn't stop talking my ears off... she was so excited that I thought she would explode at any moment like a Tiki Bomb.
They've got a new lead on Rohane's location – he's on the road to Faerie City, getting ever closer to Faerie Palace. Apparently Terask prefers letting his evil minions do the fighting for him, which, in my opinion, is a big mistake. I know he's some legendary twisted sorcerer and all, but he's still a sitting Mallard in his stolen fortress. Some king he is, leaving his subjects to do all the dirty work! Okay, so actually, sometimes I think King Skarl does the same... but not to that extent. Ummm... I think?
Anyway, I can't believe they're so close to the Palace already! Fine, Rohane, you can tell me stories later on when we see each other again – just go and save Faerieland so we can all celebrate and you can become... what, the greatest, most famous swordsman Neopia has ever seen? Look out, Jeran!
I don't know why, but I firmly believe that Lupe is going to come find me and make me pay for that. Assuming he gets his hands on my journal and reads it.
* * *
They're in Faerie Palace now, according to the latest issue of the Neopian Times. I'm not crossing my fingers; I KNOW Terask's days are numbered. It's only a matter of time.
If I'm not careful, I could end up gushing like that Zafara. I don't think anyone at work minds, though. Or anyone at Trestin, period.
Okay, Rohane, that deranged Draik is probably just around the corner... show him what you've got! And in the meantime, I'll show my customers what I've got today. The folding dagger ended up a little smaller than I thought, but hey, it might work to its advantage.
Back to work – looks like both sides are in need of arms. My sales have been steadily climbing... at this rate, I might actually be able to expand the place. If Rohane has stories to tell, so do I. Which means I should always remember to write in my journal. Not that I'm forgetful or anything... just in case. I have the utmost faith in my memory – for one thing, I can remember how painful it was to fall out of that apple tree in the neighbors' garden when I was only six.
* * *
It's been a few days since our heroes were last seen storming the castle – or rather, palace.
And... even though I shouldn't be surprised, I'm pleasantly surprised. They made it, and over breakfast, it was the only thing Mother and I could talk about. Faerieland is free at last, Queen Fyora can rule it again, and there are no more weird monsters running around the place. And of course, they get to lock Terask up. I hope they find a cell big enough to fit him.
On second thought... it would serve him right to be cooped up in the tiniest dungeon in all of Neopia.
I wish I could've gone to the recognition ceremony. I heard that many of Neopia's famous celebrities were in the courtyard that day, and the banquet after it was so huge that I bet King Skarl turned green with envy. And it took a while since they also honored the soldiers of the Resistance and all of Fyora's allies... and wrapped everything up with the four adventurers led by a prophetic warrior. The best part? Everyone was all dressed up, which meant formal suits and gowns and all that fancy stuff. Well, it's probably better than parading about in worn armor and robes. Rohane isn't a fan of dressing up fancy. I bet he didn't have any choice in the matter.
The prophecy has been fulfilled, and once again, everything is right with the world.
Yet... why do I feel that this isn't over?
* * *
I think I know. Mother and I had one of those heart-to-heart talks... and she knew that I knew something was still missing. It's like you can see this puzzle already completed in your mind, but in reality there's one more piece left, and you're looking for that piece.
Or rather, waiting for that piece to return to you.
Because... you know it's already time for it to return.
* * *
A week has passed ever since the Neopian Times published the great liberation of Faerieland. Everyone's still celebrating and talking about it. I know I should be happy, and I am, but not like them.
That piece I was talking about -
A knock on the door made Reuben close the journal with a snap. He set it and his quill onto the coffee table and stretched out on the couch. As the white Blumaroo stood up and headed for the front door, he saw something move outside the window from the corner of his eye – something that made his heart somersault into his throat and beat fervently. The corners of his mouth were automatically moving up into a smile, a great big smile; he couldn't remember the last time he had smiled so widely. His fingers shook slightly as he grabbed the handle and pushed down, opening the door wide and letting the sunshine in.
When he saw who it was standing on their doorstep, Reuben said nothing at first. Instead, he threw his arms around the arrival in a tight embrace. Never mind that tears were probably welling up in his eyes despite the huge grin on his face and a laugh itching to make itself heard, or that anyone passing by would see them in such an emotional display. Yet, he – no, they somehow knew that the villagers would understand.
Finally, he found the two words he had always wanted to say to the yellow Blumaroo who had reciprocated the grin and the embrace. Words that seemed to wait on his tongue for ages... waiting for the precise moment when they would be released.