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Awakening: Part One


by smurfafied1800

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A small Christmas Zafara, about the age of six, lay down in the grass of her homeland, Meridell. Next to her was her Uggatrip (yes, in the last story I got it mixed up with Stego), Spike. She had just met Spike recently, but ever since then they had been the best of friends. The petpet and his owner basked in the sunlight and sighed together. Hiterkuna picked herself up, dusted off her creamy white fur (she had gotten a Christmas paintbrush), and picked up her Uggatrip.

     "C'mon Spike," she said, smiling, "let's go back to the house." The Uggatrip nodded and Hiterkuna walked down the hill, not really being strong enough to fly with a passenger yet. The Uggatrip climbed onto her halo and held on, letting the psychic movement of the halo following its owner carry him. Finally, the two reached the top of the hill overlooking Meridell.

     Hiterkuna stroked the Uggatrip's chin, "Let's go to the market first. Kyradose and the others won't miss us." Spike nodded and they walked into the market. All of the customers there wore cloaks and tunics, just like Hiterkuna. To a normal Neopian, this would be a strange fashion, but every pet in Meridell wore these as the latest so-called fashion.

     Hiterkuna examined a Tchea Fruit while Spike munched on some un-bought leaves. She noticed her Uggatrip too late and the shop keeper grabbed her by the arm.

     "Ye didn't buy the leaves, kid," he growled in her ear. Hiterkuna was terrified and the stench of the keeper's breath was suffocating. She wrinkled her nose in disgust.

     "Them leaves aren't good enough te return," he whispered in her ear, so as not to attract attention. "Ye're gonna have te pay with yer petpet." Hiterkuna grabbed Spike protectively. The fat Skeith grinned evilly and took out a large knife.

     "Give it te me, kid," he warned, "I'll kill the Uggatrip if ye don't give it te me." Hiterkuna gasped in horror and tried to pull away, but the keeper held firm.

     "Or meybe," he thought out loud, "I'll take one 'o them pretty eyes instead." He tightened the grip on Hiterkuna's arm and raised the large knife, aiming for the young Zafara's eye. Hiterkuna screamed in terror and desperately tried to pull away, but to no avail. Her screaming had attracted attention, but no one had the weapons to fight the keeper, and they were paralyzed with fear.

     Hiterkuna's screaming was heard by a hero. Sir Jeran Borodere, who had been taking his afternoon walk through Meridell, heard the Zafara scream and he shoved to the front of the crowd. He realized what the Skeith's plan was and gasped. He drew out his sword and ran to the Skeith with eye-blurring speed.

     Hiterkuna had squeezed her eyes shut in preparation for having them torn out, but the blow didn't come. Instead, she felt the blow of something blocking the knife and she was thrown back. Once she landed on the ground, she felt a paw grab her shoulder and yank her back. Hiterkuna turned around to come face-to-face with Lisha Borodere, Jeran's sister. Lisha hauled Hiterkuna up and they watched Jeran fight the keeper. Hiterkuna would've cheered along with everyone else, but she noticed an absence in her arms...Spike.

     Hiterkuna gasped in horror and opened her wings. She searched wildly for her petpet from above and saw him on the ground, munching on more of the stolen leaves. The fight was getting too close to him...Spike could get hurt. Hiterkuna tried to fly down closer to her petpet, but the fight ranged too close. The Skeith's large knife just barely missed her wing, and she backed up. Hiterkuna thought wildly of a way to save Spike, and she thought of an idea.

     Hiterkuna backed up even further and snapped her wings to her body. She plummeted down to the ground as the knife whizzed overhead. She grabbed Spike and rolled over, just barely missing Jeran's sword. That didn't stop the intense pain in her wing, like a thunderbolt had clipped it. She gasped in extreme pain and looked back to see her wing. The keeper's blade was wedged deeply in. Everything was getting blurry...

     Hiterkuna slumped into unconsciousness. Jeran was enraged; how dare the Skeith attack an innocent child?! And now she was injured! Filled with rage and hate, Jeran's power grew. He parried the Skeith's blow and knocked him out with the hilt of his sword. The Skeith slumped to the ground and Jeran called over the guards.

     "Take him to the court. He's to be charged with attempted murder. Understand?" The guards nodded and hauled the Skeith away, while the Lupe knight ran over to the unconscious Zafara. Lisha was already there, rubbing her brow and trying to rouse her.

     "Her wing's hurt..." she said, a tear falling out of her eye, "Jeran, we need to bring her to the castle." Jeran nodded and he picked up the six-year-old Zafara easily. The Lupe and his sister ran to the castle as fast as they could.

     ~*~

     I looked out the window for perhaps the hundredth time. I was worried about Hiterkuna... she hadn't been home since noon, and dusk was falling. I finally put on my traveling cloak and left, telling Yubioke and Mesbeto that I'd be back in a while.

     "Wait!" Yubioke called as I was leaving. "While you're looking for her..." she began. I hoped it was something important. Yubioke blushed slightly and handed me a large case.

     "Could you take Mordred to the mechanic's for oiling?" she asked. I groaned. This was no time to talk about her chainsaw! "No, Yubioke," I said, "I'll do it tomorrow." Just when she was about to protest, I said, "I don't think Mordred likes me very much, anyways."

     I ran out and heard a voice behind me. "Dude! Hey dude, wait UP!" I groaned and turned around to see Mesbeto running towards me. "I'm like, coming too, dude!" he shouted, catching up to me. The yellow Acara wasn't wearing a tunic, he was adorned in a Jhudora T-shirt and baggy jeans. The only Meridellian thing about him was a bow slung across his back and a quiver full of arrows.

     "Fine," I muttered, "but hurry up." He shrugged and followed me toward the market. When we got there, much more gossip was heard than usual.

     "Did you hear? I heard the butcher tried to rip her eyes out!"

     "Well, I heard that they got in that fight, just because he Uggatrip ate some leaves!" At the word "Uggatrip", I walked over to the lady.

     "Um, ma'am?" I asked. "Would you be so kind as to explain what happened this evening?"

     The Kyrii maiden nodded and said, "A food stand keeper got mad at a young Zafara for stealing some of his leaves. He tried to rip the poor child's eyes out, but the champion, Sir Jeran Borodere saved her! Can you believe that?" I would've replied that I didn't, because I could never accuse Hiterkuna of thievery, but I pressed further. "What color was the Zafara?" Mesbeto's eyes widened in sudden panic.

     "Christmas," the Kyrii said, oblivious to our concern. Mesbeto and I exchanged panicked glances before running toward the castle. The Kyrii shouted after us, "They won't let you in!" But we didn't hear. I wish we could've, because we had an unpleasant run-in with one of the guards.

     "No admission," he said, poking his spear at me. "The royal court is on trial."

     "Where's the Zafara that came in earlier?!" I demanded, not in the mood to start the conversation nicely. The Draik looked at me with annoyance and said, "She's in Kayla's lab, healing up." At the word "healing" I became panicked.

     "Healing? What, is she hurt?" The Draik just answered to get me away, "She was stabbed in the wing by a mad butcher, alright? Get moving kid, I've got a job to do." Before I could protest, Mesbeto grabbed me and hauled me away.

     "Dude," he whispered in my ear, "I've got a plan. Funny, huh?" I nearly broke out laughing, but we had more important things to worry about. Mesbeto hauled me over to the other side of the castle. Taking out the bow and and arrow, he tied a rope to it. He pulled back the bow and fired, making the windowsill across the mote. I gaped; I had never expected him to be so good at it! Mesbeto smiled at my gaping look. "Dude," he said, "There's a lot more then what meets the eye."

     Mesbeto tied the rope to a nearby tree and he began climbing. When I opened my wings to fly, he held up a finger. "Don't do that, my brother," he warned. "The guards keep special sentries that patrol the skies. You take one flap and you're so filled with arrows you look like a pin cushion." I actually took his warning seriously and climbed up after him reluctantly.

     ~*~

     Hiterkuna woke up to feel an intense pain in her wing. The Zafara sat up and rubbed the sore spot, wincing at the pain. Hiterkuna suddenly took a look at her surroundings. She knew where she was. No pet was stupid enough to say that this wasn't the Meridell castle. The young Zafara stood up and looked around. She was in some kind of lab...

     A paw landed on her shoulder and Hiterkuna whirled around. Standing behind her was a blue Zafara with a starry hat and cape. This was none other than the legendary Kayla, Meridell's alchemist.

     "W-what am I doing here?" she asked.

     Kayla said, "You were hurt, and Jeran just happened to be there. You were lucky to get out with both of your eyes." Hiterkuna was scared...

     "I n-need to go home now," she muttered.

     Kayla pushed her back into the bed and ordered, "You're not to leave until King Skarl says so."

     Hiterkuna wrinkled her nose, "Since when was Skarl the judge of health?" Kayla laughed.

     "Just between you and me," she whispered, "Skarl isn't the best healer. The Skeith can't even sew a cut together!" Getting her disgusted look, Kayla changed the subject.

     "Skarl wants to see you because of your incident," she said, "he thinks you aren't taken care of enough." The thought of the fight made Hiterkuna remember Spike.

     "Where's Spike?!" she asked desperately. "Is he okay?" Kayla smiled and held up the Uggatrip. "He was in quite a fit when you didn't wake up," she grinned. Hiterkuna smiled and the two giggled together until Kayla stood up.

     "C'mon," she said, "King Skarl won't like your stalling." The two Zafara's climbed up the stone steps and into the throne room.

     "Your Majesty," Kayla said, bowing. Hiterkuna followed suit, and Skarl beamed. The King waved his hand and the the two stood up, than he began his speech.

     "A while ago," he began, "I had a daughter, adopted from the pound. She was quite proper, for one not of royal blood. Unfortunately, she was quite adventurous. She is currently discovering new lands, and I am quite lonely.

     "Now, about your incident at the market. The members of the court are concerned that you aren't...well, protected enough." When Hiterkuna opened her mouth to protest, Skarl held up a paw for silence.

     "That is why," he began slowly, "We have decided to keep you here, Hiterkuna. You will become my heir, and the next queen of Meridell."

     ~*~

     I had never felt so...helpless before. The climb up the rope had taken longer than I thought, and I didn't like the idea of not being able to fly. Every time the rope shook, I opened my wings in case if I fell, but the idea of being filled up like a pin cushion kept me climbing.

     Finally, after what seemed like hours, Mesbeto reached the windowsill. He did an acrobatic flip and landed elegantly on the sill, stunning me.

     "Dude," he explained, "to impress the chicks, you need to be skilled." That settled that for a while, and I scrambled up to the sill. I climbed on and held fast, pulling myself up. Mesbeto gasped behind me and I whirled around.

     "Bad idea, dude," he said under his breath. Guards surrounded us, and when we made for the window, we were beaten senseless.

To be continued...

 
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