Petpet Adventures: Let It Snow - Part Three
Tvarla accepted that Askar didn't want to talk to her about whatever was on his mind, but that didn't stop her from being curious. Now that she thought about it, she hadn't really known Askar as long as Emari. She knew enough to say that Emari was the Queen of Curiosity and that Askar was the King of Cautious. But she never knew why he was always so reluctant to try knew things.
They had met after a huge avalanche had devastated the mountain. She and Emari had been friends for a few years, then they had found Askar buried in snow and had helped him out. But that didn't stop him from being a nuisance once he got to know you. She smiled.
She turned her thoughts away from Askar and to the more pressing matter at hand; finding the white pets that had stolen the negg. Though she was not exactly sure that these were the right pets, she knew that she had to start somewhere. And they were that somewhere on the Mountain.
They had finally escaped the hush of the half-collapsed caves, and were now standing in the few feeble rays of sun that made their way through the gentle flakes falling all around. By now the cracked ice was filling up with the soft snow, buried underneath and gradually being lost to sight.
"We'll never find their tracks if this snow keeps covering them up," Emari complained, and Tvarla had to agree with her.
Already their own paw tracks were being filled in. Pets had bigger paw sizes, but who knew how long the snow had been falling for?
"I remember them heading for the peak of Terror Mountain," Askar said. "We should start there. And if we can't find them, the peak of a mountain is a perfect vantage point,"
Tvarla nodded, noticing that he seemed more withdrawn. She began the slow, steady climb to the top of the mountain. After almost an hour's climbing, she saw deep grooves in the snow before her. The snow was attempting to fill it, but to no avail; they were just too deep.
"What's this?" she asked, pointing to them.
"Some sort of weird tracks?" Askar guessed.
"It looks like something large was trying to take off from the mountain," Emari observed, feeling the edges with one paw. "It happens when I take off as well. It could have been the Eyrie."
Tvarla groaned. "Now we'll never find them," she moaned.
Askar sighed. "There were at least four other Boris with the Eyrie," he pointed out patiently. "And they can't fly as far as I know. Which means they should be wandering somewhere close by."
Tvarla nodded, chagrined. "I guess you're right," she said. "Take your pick, which way?"
"Left," said Emari, and continued climbing. "You know what I don't get? How there can be this super powerful negg, and only a few pets know about it. I mean, wouldn't word spread?"
"If you knew the whereabouts of an extremely powerful object, would you tell someone else?" Tvarla said. "I wouldn't."
"But there were five pets," Emari objected.
"So? They could have been working together. As far as I know, no pet has ever tried to go against the wrath of the Snowager by themselves."
Tvarla paused and stared up at sky. The sort flakes had stopped drifting down, leaving air clear to see the formidable grey clouds above. She could smell a storm on the breeze. And she could also see a white dot moving in front of the bleak background of the clouds.
Emari saw it as well, and she pointed. "Look," she said. "Do you think that could be the Eyrie?"
Askar nodded. "I think I know where it is heading."
"Where?" Tvarla asked, spinning to face him. "How would you know?"
He looked at her. "Do you remember the story of the Bringer and the Bori Civilisation? Well, that's where the Bringer was defeated, over there. Well, at least it's an entrance to the caves inside the mountain. It's the perfect place; barely any pets ever go there. So they could hide there and no one would ever guess."
Tvarla nodded. "Maybe the negg can bring the Bringer back to life."
"The Bringer was shattered into a thousand separate pieces," Emari pointed out. "I don't think anything could fit him back together."
Tvarla just nodded impatiently. "Well, whatever they're doing, we should find them fast."
Askar sighed as he stared at her determined face. "Alright, but we have to be careful." He cast a glance up at the clouds.
"Don't worry, the storm shouldn't be coming yet. Otherwise whatever it is flying wouldn't be up there," said Emari.
Tvarla looked up at the sky again. She could feel the tension in the air, and knew that a storm was definitely on its way, but Emari had a point, and she was the only one of the three able to fly, so she just followed the Gwalla as she hiked after Askar. The fresh snow was slippery, but she managed to stay upright.
After a while she noticed the sky darkening further and stopped. "I think we should find shelter," she said.
Askar opened his mouth to agree, but then he spotted something behind her and pointed. Tvarla whirled around and found herself only metres away from a small Bori, lying on the ground. She remembered that the smallest figure of them all had come out of the Ice Caves, and this one certainly fitted her memory. It was only three times the size of Askar.
She stood still, watching. She could tell the Bori was breathing, but barely. Glancing at Askar, she saw her own confusion mirrored in his face. Then she turned to Emari, or rather where Emari had been seconds before. The Gwalla was already making a beeline towards the unmoving figure.
Tvarla dashed forward to stop her, but then she stopped, catching sight of something she hadn't noticed before.
A puddle of red stained the ice in front of the Bori, and its forepaws were badly wounded. It must have been lying for some time, because the wounds had stopped bleeding. The cold seemed to have helped as well.
Emari was staring, frozen mid-step, almost like an ice statue. Then she took a step backwards. Askar had come towards the Bori as well, and now his face was clouded over with anger, and his paws were tightly clenched. He was the first to move, coming closer to the pet.
He touched the Bori's forehead, then he found a paw and began taking a pulse.
"It's still alive," he said at last, and Emari came closer, hesitantly.
Tvarla was gazing around the landscape, half to take her eyes away from the red stained white fur, and half to see the culprit of such an attack. She saw nothing moving at all, and at first that seemed quite strange to her, but then she realised what it was; the calm before the storm.
Then the storm struck.
A huge gust of wind swept over the icy landscapes towards them, throwing up loose snow in their eyes. The Bori was hit by such force that it rolled over onto its back, and a shining transparent object fell out of its arms. None of them had noticed it before, but now it was unmistakable. All three petpets stood still, which was difficult considering the storm around them. Finally Tvarla opened her mouth.
"The negg," she gasped.
She staggered towards it, her hoof reaching out, but a swooping noise alerted her to the arrival of the Eyrie.
"Tvarla, duck!" Emari's cry gave her just enough warning to flatten her body to the ground.
She felt soft feathers brush her along her spine and something heavy pushing against her antlers, knocking her head forwards so her face was buried in the snow. After a few seconds the giant pet had flown over her and come to a rest on the ground opposite the Bori, snatching up the negg in one sharp claw. He stared at the three petpets suspiciously, his eyes narrowing to slits.
Tvarla jumped backwards, away from the pet staring at her, poised to run. The Eyrie advanced, and he seemed to be calculating things in his mind.
"Do you think he knows that the Snowager sent us?" she heard Emari whisper to Askar.
The Eyrie's eyes flickered over to them faster than Tvarla could see. He hadn't noticed them until they spoke, as Askar's coat was perfect camouflage, and Emari had been standing out if his field of vision. He opened his beak in a snarl, then several things happened at once.
The Bori's eyes snapped open, and they scanned the scene quickly, coming to a final stop on the other pet. It struggled forwards and clung tightly onto his legs, knocking him off balance.
At the same time a wave of snow came thundering down. But this was not the soft, dainty flakes that you could brush off without so much as a glance. These were, huge, jagged ice blacks, pelting down at full speed. They pushed hard into the Eyrie's back, propelling him forward. The negg came out of his grasp, and Tvarla darted forwards to grab it, a difficult task with the snow rapping sharply on her spine and antlers. She heard Emari behind her.
"Askar, use the negg the Snowager gave you," she shouted over the roaring wind.
Tvarla looked behind her, and saw Askar fumbling with the negg. He stared at it, his brow furrowed as he realised he had no idea what it was supposed to do, but the next moment a bubble free of the blizzard swelled outwards to cover her and Emari. It had the same glassy sheen as the Snowager's body, and she could see the distorted shape of the pets inside. The Bori had let go of the Eyrie, and now shielded its eyes with a bloodied forepaw as it stared. The circle had not spread as far as them, but they could obviously see it.
Tvarla was still racing towards the negg, out of the bubble of calm, and the storm descended on her at full force, burying her in snow. She saw the negg just in front of her and reached for it, but the Eyrie's claw descended and swiped it up. Then the Eyrie was gone, lost in the swirling snow.
She turned and looked desperately for Askar and Emari, but she could no longer see them. She staggered in the direction she had last seen the bubble, but was picked up by the wind and thrown in the opposite direction. She was tossed around several times until she managed to get a grip on the ground. Then she realised that she was bracing herself up against the Bori.
To be continued...