Retribution: Part Three
Part Three: Healing
"Hey, Boss, what's 'the Battle with Meridell?'"
Wraith snorted at the voice of his young ward. "Why do you keep calling me 'boss'?" he grumbled.
Cam looked up at him with undaunted amber eyes. "What is it? I keep hearing people talking about it."
Wraith sighed, running a clawed paw over his eyes. "You're not going to let it go until I tell you?" When the Bori shook his head, the Eyrie lowered his hand, revealing the troubled red eyes it had formerly hidden. "The Battle with Meridell," he began slowly, reluctantly, "was a fight between Darigan Citadel and Meridell, which is below us."
There was a long pause before Wraith answered. "There was a general named Kass. He rose to power when Darigan... disappeared, and manipulated the citizens of Darigan Citadel into thinking Meridell was evil, and were planning an attack."
"Why?" The word seemed to be Cam's favorite.
Wraith's hands shook, and his eyes darkened. "Because he was a spineless fool," he hissed. "He tricked Skarl, and launched an attack with an army of skeletons, but Darigan returned and overthrew him. Supposedly he was taken by a group of ghosts known as The Three, but some are still unsure about it." His eyes flashed to those of the child beside him. "That answer your question?"
Wide amber eyes blinked once. "Do you think he felt sorry for what he did?"
Wraith shrugged, looking away into the crowded streets of the Citadel. "How should I know?" There was a long span of silence before the massive Eyrie sighed, his shoulders slumping. "If I had to guess, I'd say he probably was. Maybe if he hadn't been taken he would've gone looking for redemption."
"Redemption?" Cam repeated, trying the new word out with a faint frown on his face.
Wraith nodded slowly, blood red orbs still focused on some point in the distance. "It means 'forgiveness.'" He sighed, wings fluttering and the fur around his neck ruffling slightly as his hands slid into the pockets of his pants.. "Maybe he'll find it one day."
Came looked up at his caretaker, then followed his gaze. "Boss?" he asked, hazarding another question.
"Hmm?" the Eyrie queried distractedly.
"What are you looking at?"
Cam's eyes opened slowly, only to be assaulted by blinding light. What? Why is it so bright? he wondered, flinging an arm up to shield his sensitive eyes.
Then he felt something tug along his chest, along with pain, and everything rushed back to him. "Boss!" he hissed, trying to sit up and falling back almost immediately, a painful breath hissing out between his clenched teeth.
There was a gasp. "What are you doing? You shouldn't be sitting up yet!"
Cam stiffened at the voice. Boss isn't a girl! his mind protested. Come to think of it, why was he in a bed? Even if Wraith hadn't left him lying in Drackonack Ridge, it wasn't like the Eyrie had enough money for an inn.
The face of a yellow Zafara appeared above him, a white dress fluttering forward and concern flashing in her violet eyes. "You need to stay down and rest until those wounds of yours heal."
Cam stared back at her with a blank expression, then slowly lifted his head to look at the bandages that now stretched across his chest. "I'll be fine," he responded quietly, slowly sitting up. He winced as he felt another burst of pain, but the slower movements proved to dull it. "Why am I here?" he asked, turning intense amber eyes to the Zafara. "Was there a Darigan Eyrie with me when I... arrived?"
The Zafara blinked at him in surprise. "Well... yes, there was. Actually, he was the one who brought you here. He said he needed someone to take care of you, since he 'wouldn't be good for it.'"
Cam's ears flattened back against his head, his eyes screwing tightly shut. Boss... "Can you tell me where he went? Is he still here?"
"Um... no, he left after he dropped you off. Scared us quite a bit, actually."
Cam sighed, opening his eyes a fraction. Boss, why did you leave me behind? Apparently, the Darigan Eyrie cared for him too much. "Thanks for your care," he growled quietly, "but I have to go."
He started to get out of bed until he felt something hard hit his chest. Pain lanced along his torso and he gasped, falling back into the bed. "Hey! Why don't you listen to my sister and just stay put a while?"
"Silver!" the female Zafara protested.
"What? He wasn't going to stay your way!"
Gritting his teeth, Cam lifted his head to observe his assailant, the one the yellow Zafara called 'Silver.' His eyes fell onto a green Zafara with a blue vest and long silver hair tied into a ponytail. The Zafara offered a smirk. "Hey, sorry about that, but you need to stay here."
Cam hid his anger behind a blank face. "I can't," he said slowly, trying again to push himself up.
This only awarded him another kick to the chest. "Well, you have to. So there."
"Silver," the other Zafara hissed, a tone of warning in her voice.
"Relax, sis," Silver sighed, grinning at her. "I'm not going to hurt him too much."
"I was under a different impression," Cam growled, eyes narrowed at the ceiling.
"See?" the female Zafara implored.
Silver sighed. "Ok, fine; I'll stop kicking him."
Cam took the opportunity to try and get up again, but was promptly hit across the chest. "Well, as long as he stays in bed."
Wraith walked slowly through the plains of Meridell, eyes locked on the form of a castle in the distance. He sighed. He'd left Cam with a family of Zafara's on Drackonack Ridge; he hoped the boy would be Ok. He certainly knew he'd be upset with him. But it doesn't matter, he reminded himself silently. He laughed slightly. After all, I didn't want him to get dragged into this in the first place. In fact, he hadn't wanted to get dragged into this, but he'd been desperate. He shook his head. All this just so that I can put a teenage Bori in a good house? Man, I've grown soft.
A part of him wondered if he could act differently; to not do what he planned to. He exhaled heavily. I could, he thought, but this needs to be done. That didn't mean he wanted it to happen soon, however, and so continued on foot towards Meridell castle.
"So, Cam, where you from?"
The Bori's eyes shifted towards Silver, who was sitting in a chair not far off and was supposed to keep him 'amused.' "Shouldn't that have been obvious from the Eyrie that was with me?"
Silver shrugged a shoulder, eyes rolling away. "Hey, Darigan Eyries can come from anywhere. You seen the neopets these 'humans' let live in their houses?"
"I never paid much attention to humans."
"Ok..." There was a long stretch of silence before Silver sighed. "Darigan Citadel. I'm guessing that's what you were going for, right?"
"Yes," Cam agreed, closing his eyes slowly and wishing the Zafara would go away.
"What's your life like there? And why are you here?" Cam clamped his mouth shut, which only elicited a sigh of frustration from his overseer. "Listen, if I'm supposed to entertain you, you need to help me out."
"Maybe you should try leaving," Cam suggested, eyes opening a fraction.
Silver's green eyes narrowed at the Bori. "I'm just trying to be nice, you know," he informed him.
"That doesn't mean I want company."
Silver sighed, throwing his hands up in the air before getting up and beginning to walk away. Cam, feeling slightly guilty for his callous dismissal, called after him, "I'm a scavenger."
The Zafara stopped at the door, turning to look back at him with a questioning expression. "Scavenger?" he repeated, the word said with uncertainty.
The blue Bori nodded against the pillow. "Scavengers are neopets who live off the streets, taking whatever's left from what others had, whether they be neopets, humans, faeries, or even petpets." He paused as he repeated the words of his mentor, then added in an almost acidic voice, "I hope that enlightened you."
"Um... yeah." He noticed Silver didn't leave. "Listen, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to touch on such a sensitive subject."
Cam exhaled slowly. "It's fine," he replied quietly, "but I'd prefer to be alone now." Silver seemed to respect his words this time, turning around and leaving the room, shutting the door with a slow creak and a click.
The Bori blinked up at the ceiling, left with nothing to do but think, and wonder. Boss... why did you leave me here? The Zafaras were nice, he admitted to himself; he'd never been so well taken care of before, not even by Wraith. But he was unused to the treatment; it made him feel uncomfortable. It just made it all the more apparent that this was a world he didn't belong in.
To be continued...