There are ants in my Lucky Green Boots Circulation: 110,063,363 Issue: 180 | 4th day of Running, Y7
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Rod of Dark Nova


by shadowcristal

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"Don't touch it!" the Faerie Zafara said defensively, slapping her brother's hand, as he was about to take the item lying on the table.

     "Why not?" the Blue Shoyru asked. "I just wanted to feel it! Can't you see it, that power radiating from the Rod?"

     "It's mine," Leaflet the Zafara protested as she grabbed her Rod of Dark Nova. The pet hugged her precious item dearly and glared at her brother.

     "Can't I just try it for a second?" Sapphire asked. "I won't break it, I promise!"

     "It's mine," Leaflet repeated as she glared at her only sibling.

     "Oh well," the Shoyru said, "I suppose you know that its worth is about 14 million NP since we last checked." He trailed off, waiting for Leaflet's reaction.

     "What is your problem?" he asked, irritated when he noticed that the Zafara looked rather sad.

     "Nothing," Leaflet whispered as she clutched the Rod of Dark Nova tightly and looked outside.

     -

     "I'm sorry," Melody whispered as the two pets came home from Neoschool. "I guess this has to be Jhudora's revenge..."

     Leaflet and Sapphire stopped in their tracks as they entered the area, and stared at their NeoHome. Their beautiful, simple, elegant home was in ruins, with a suspicious green smoke swirling around it. Even the NeoGarden was demolished. The plants that their owner, Melody, had planted were now a pile of ash.

     "Jhudora's wrath?" Sapphire asked, raising an eyebrow. He felt an immense sadness over the fact that someone had torn down the NeoHome, flattened it and stomped on it a few times. But he didn't dare to show it on the outside. He was supposed to be the strong one, even though he felt like crying.

     "And I left all of my restocked items inside..." their owner said as she wrung her hands, looking at the terrible scene with eyes full of tears. "Oh, woe! What do we do now?" she cried out as she held out her bare arms and looked at the sky.

     Leaflet was silent. Slowly she took out her Rod and hugged it fiercely, taking a trip down the road of memories. Tears rolled down her face as she mourned all of her losses, including the recent one of this beautiful NeoHome.

     "I'm gonna beat up Jhudora," the Shoyru growled angrily.

     "Don't!" Melody said, "Or you might end up...." She swallowed and blew her nose in a handkerchief. "I guess we'll have to live around the Money Tree from today..."

     The Shoyru turned his head and saw the Rod. He suddenly got an idea.

     "Hey, Leaf!" he shouted. The Faerie Zafara turned around and looked at him. "Why don't we sell that Rod of yours?" Sapphire suggested. "That'll bring us a lot of money and we won't have go to the Soup Kitchen!"

     "It's mine," Leaflet said darkly as she shot daggers at her brother. How could he even dare to propose that idea? Wasn't he aware of the fact that the Rod to her alone? Didn't he know anything?

     "Hey! It's not a bad idea! That thing is pretty popular... I'm sure we'll get lots of NP if we auction it!" the Shoyru said.

     A river of tears glittered in the grass as the Zafara ran away with her Rod. The sobs grew weaker and weaker as Leaf ran away, away from this unbelievable brother who said that they should sell her treasure! She ran as fast as she could until she hit a tree and fell unconscious, still holding tightly onto the Rod of Dark Nova.

     -

     "Do you think it was a bad idea?" Sapphire asked Melody. It took several minutes, but finally he managed to say something. The shock of seeing Leaflet cry... The Shoyru could not recall another memory in which Leaf cried. Ever since she had arrived at their door with that lavender backpack and claimed that her owner had mysteriously disappeared, she had never cried until now. His sister hadn't cried when the pets teased her at school, she hadn't cried when she fell off the big tree in Haunted Woods, and she hadn't cried when he purposely punched her to make her cry.

     "No," Melody replied. "It is normal, but to her it is impossible."

     "Why?" the Shoyru asked.

     "I think that the Rod is a memento..." his owner said. "A last, precious item given to her by her owner."

     "What about that backpack?" Sapphire wondered out loud.

     "Don't you remember?" Melody retorted accusingly. "You accidentally ripped it apart..."

     "Oh yeah..." the Shoyru said. "I totally forgot." He drew a breath and glared at the green smoke with dislike. "I can understand why she wants to keep it... It's rare and everyone's allowed to be selfish."

     "I don't think she treasures it for its rarity, though," Melody said wisely. "I think that she treasures it because it was given to her by her previous owner. If it had been a simple Earth Faerie Eraser, I think she still would've treasured it as much as she does with the Rod now."

     "Don't you feel bad?" Sapphire asked, changing the subject. "You're her current owner..."

     "The past is important, in order for us to have a future," Melody said. "If we don't have our pasts, our memories, then we wouldn't be what we are today. Also, I think it would be quite cruel to force her to forget. Wouldn't you be sad if I mysteriously disappeared and left only an item? Would you like the item to be sold in an auction that you did not agree to?"

     "I guess... not..." the Shoyru trailed off as he realized the damage that he had caused. He also remembered the pets they had seen sitting around the Money Tree. Sometimes, he'd give a NP or two to them. Now they would perhaps be one of those...

     "Let us embrace Leaflet when she returns. She should not feel guilty about selling her item, seeing as it is hers and not ours."

     "Okay," Sapphire said, but two fingers were crossed behind his back.

     -

     "Welcome back!" Melody exclaimed and hugged the little pet. They all hugged in silence, until Leaflet decided to break it.

     "You know what?" she asked, wiping her tears away. "This is just like when I came to you. I was lost and confused and feeling awful..."

     "It has been a long day. Let's go to sleep now," Melody patted the little pet. Then she proceeded to rolling up bedrolls. Sapphire had asked his friend if they could stay at his house, and the Lupe's owner had agreed.

     Soon Melody was asleep, but the two siblings just couldn't let their minds rest. Leaf was still quite upset about the things that had happened today, and Sapphire was biding, waiting for his time to come. He couldn't wait much longer.

     "Leaf?" he asked, mentally apologizing to Melody.

     "Yeah?" she replied, hugging her Rod as if it was a plush toy.

     "Auction your item. That way we'll get NP and we won't be poor..." he whispered. Sapphire felt a little twinge of guilt, and that feeling grew stronger when he heard some small sobs coming from Leaflet's bedroll.

     "I'm sorry," the Shoyru whispered. "At least I tried," he told himself as he wondered how they were going to get their food. He imagined himself eating rotten omelettes and shook his head. No... He had to convince her.

     -

     "Let's go for a walk!" Sapphire said, dragging Leaf off first thing in the morning. They walked around in Neopia Central in the bright sunlight. It was a wonderful day, but the two pets certainly didn't feel so wonderful.

     "You want me to auction the Rod, right?" Leaflet asked suddenly.

     "Oh... Yeah." The Shoyru took his sister's paw. "But if you don't...."

     "I don't know," the Zafara stuttered. "I... I..."

     But it was too late. They were already in front of the Auction House. Sapphire dragged Leaf inside and they immediately got a room.

     "I love it so much..." Leaflet whispered. "But I understand..." She nodded as she hiccupped. "But still... Anastasia gave it to me!"

     The Shoyru froze. It was the first time that he had heard Leaf mention her previous owner. She sniffled and told him a little bit about Anastasia, and how she had gotten the Rod...

     "And she gave me this on that fateful day. When I returned from Neoschool, she was gone. Just like that." The Zafara was interrupted by a loud cry.

     "I bid 15 million!" a boy shouted.

     "15 million? No other bidders? Going once..." the auctioneer said.

     "Twice..." Leaf gulped as tears rolled down her cheek. She knew that it would happen. There wasn't any way to freeze time, shout 'STOP!', run over and grab her precious Rod. It felt as if her heart was going to burst any moment now...

     "SOLD!" the Scorchio shouted as the boy skipped in joy. No. Now it belonged to that boy, not to her.

     The Zafara sniffled and sobbed as she watched the boy take her... no, his Rod of Dark Nova and walk out of the building. Her tiny body trembled terribly and the fragile wings shivered. It was gone. Gone and never to be recovered, like Anastasia. Leaflet felt as if her last memories of Anastasia were gone with that Rod.

     "Here you go," the Scorchio said, handing a huge bag of NP to Sapphire. The Shoyru immediately opened the bag and counted the coins inside. It was 15 million all right. Now they wouldn't have to live in poverty. He grabbed Leaf's hand and together, they left the house.

     "I'm sorry," he said when they got outside, "but I think this was the best thing to do..."

     Leaflet didn't answer. She just watched the boy walk away, with her beloved Rod.

     "It's mine..." she whispered weakly before she collapsed.

     The Shoyru went cold instantly. He had thought that she would be okay, but this? He gently picked up his sister and carried her home. On the way, he remembered that it was Zafara Day today.

     "I have to get her something... Something to make up for this blunder," he told himself. A part of him regretted the actions that he had taken. If he hadn't sold it, then she'd still be all right... But they'd be poor...

     Sapphire shuddered. "I'm just selfish," he thought as he left Leaf in Melody's care.

     -

     "What is it, Saph?" his Lupe friend asked when he found the Shoyru in front of his door.

     "I just wanted to say thanks for yesterday," the Shoyru said. "Oh, and can you let me borrow your Pant Devil costume today? It's a surprise for my sister."

     "The sister with the item that you wanted to auction?" Nim asked.

     "You heard it?" Sapphire was shocked.

     "Ah! Here's the costume that you wanted," Nim the Lupe dumped a huge pile of cloth in the Shoyru's arms.

     "Thanks! Gotta go now. I'll see you later!" Sapphire called out, waving to Nim. The first thing that he did was to look around, and he found the perfect place to change. A minute later, a blue little weird thing strolled down the street.

     Suddenly the Shoyru stopped. The reason was in front of him, about ten meters away. It was the boy, that boy who had bought Leaf's Rod and he was holding it in his hand. Sapphire threw a look behind him, and saw that a few pets were coming his way. He didn't have any choice; he would simply have to pass the guy.

     After five meters, Sapphire was tired of walking around with all that cloth. He realized that he could fly, and the short blue Pant Devil look-a-like suddenly floated.

     "Aaaaah! Spare me!" he heard somebody shout. It was the boy, running at top speed. The Shoyru grinned evilly. This was certainly uncalled for. He had only hoped to scare Leaf, to make her cheer up... But the boy?

     He stopped, as the boy disappeared out of sight. Sapphire crash-landed, because the heavy costume was dragging him down. He threw the piece of cloth away in annoyance. Then he remembered that Nim had lent it to him, and picked it up. As he resumed his walk, Sapphire tripped on something.

     "Ouch! What is this?" he cried out, feeling a bump on his sensitive tail. The Shoyru jumped up, and saw something glowing softly. It was a hard, metal-like item that emitted red light. Sapphire grinned as he realized what it was. He picked up the item and walked home, not bothering to put on the costume.

     -

     "Sapphire?" Leaf asked as the door slammed. She got up and almost bumped into her brother in the hallway.

     "I've been thinking over this," the Zafara begun. "I guess I was a bit selfish, holding onto that Rod. You sold it for me, and it's okay. The NP can make three people happy, and that Rod could only give me joy. I guess.... it's all right. After all, I still have the memories. I just didn't want to forget..." She looked at the Shoyru. "I think you want to say something. Go ahead."

     "I'm sorry," Sapphire said. He took a deep breath, and shouted, "Happy Zafara Day!"

     Leaflet was surprised. "Zafara Day? I had forgotten..." she mumbled as she noticed the Pant Devil costume. "What's that, Sapphire?"

     "Oh... Nothing special," he said as he held out an item to her. "Courtesy of your great brother, Sapphire the Shoyru."

     The Faerie Zafara gasped as she saw the item. It was her Rod! Leaflet took the Rod of Dark Nova and hugged it. Yes! It was hers! The magic was familiar and it had those little scratches from the time she fell on the stairs and feared that it would break.

     "Sapphire!" the Zafara shouted, hugging her brother. Her joyous expression was replaced by a questioning confusion. "You didn't...?"

     "No," the Shoyru said. "Just a chancy meet. Anyway, you now officially have your stupid Rod back. Satisfied?"

     "Yeah!" Leaflet said. "But you know... I thought a lot and decided on one thing. I'll tell you and Melody about what happened before I came here. Anastasia always said that sharing was the greatest gift I could give. So here you are. Go ahead and touch it, like you always wanted to."

     "Really?" Sapphire asked, his eyes glowing of curiosity.

     The Zafara nodded, and slowly reached out the Rod to him.

The End

 
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