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Armin: Finds Hope

by hottamale0774


Author's note: To fully understand this story you should read Armin: The Beginning in week 176.

Armin had a hard time falling asleep that night. The little hole was barely big enough for Armin by himself, and with Hannah he had to scrunch himself into a little ball to make room. Armin knew it had to be worse for Hannah who was taller.

      "Hannah, are you awake?" Armin whispered.

      There was no reply. When Armin listened closely he could hear light breathing, so he knew the Usul had fallen asleep. Armin quietly turned over and closed his eyes. After a few minutes of lying there not thinking, barely breathing, he felt sleep come over him like a blanket.

      This sleep was not an easy sleep, though. A dark and meaningful dream penetrated his consciousness. It was of the shadow of a hideous beast. The shadow moved closer to Armin and Armin felt an icy coldness like had never felt before. Armin ran, but tripped on a stone and fell sprawling to the ground. He scrambled behind a nearby rock and sat there with his knees pulled up to his chest, keeping his breathing as quiet as possible. This was to no avail. Armin heard the beast creaking on the ice, drawing ever nearer, until Armin knew he was right next to the rock, ready to jump onto its prey. Armin heard the sound of running, and braced himself for the worse. Just as the beast was about to come around the rock and make its kill, Armin woke up to his own screaming. Armin opened his eyes to see Hannah staring down at him on her knees, a worried look on her face.

      "Are you alright, Armin?" Hannah asked with concern.

      "I'm fine, just a bad dream," Armin mumbled, embarrassed at his screaming and whatever else he did that made Hannah wake up.

      "Oh, I had bad dreams too when I was younger. What happened in it?"

      Armin told Hannah about his dream. "I think there was a meaning in it, like maybe we'll meet an icy beast," Armin concluded.

      "That's very strange, I had a dream about a beast that made me feel cold too; you must be right about it meaning something."

      Hannah crawled out of the hole and started pacing, obviously in deep thought. Armin crawled out after her to see the sky turning a light pink.

      "I'll go get some berries for breakfast," he mumbled.

      Hannah waved and continued her pacing. Armin walked briskly to the bush with berries on it. He was thinking very hard about his dream and not paying attention to the bushes while he picked the berries; it was mindless work. He only barely noticed the rustling of the bushes as he was so off in his own world. Only when the hand was clamped on his mouth and the arm was squeezing his tiny body did he notice something.

      "What are you, and what would your business here be?" a voice hissed in his ear, and Armin felt the hand lifted from his mouth, though not the arm from his stomach.

      "I am a Bori named Armin and my business here would be none of your business," Armin stated boldly.

      The arm clamped tighter around his stomach. Armin now found it hard to breath.

      "Tell me why you are here or I will kill you. I will make sure no one sees your body again after," the voice hissed in his ear again.

      "You can't just dispose of me and think nothing will come of it! My friend Hannah will wonder what has happened to me!" Armin squeaked; the arm was clamping tighter and tighter on him.

      The arm's hold slackened. Now Armin could breathe normally, but he still had no hope of getting away.

      "Is this Hannah you speak of a Usul?"

      Armin nodded vigorously; he was so desperate he didn't think that this mysterious thing may be an enemy of Hannah's.

      "I have a deal for you. Take me to Hannah and I will spare your life. Do you accept?"

      Armin nodded so hard he nearly fell over.

      "Good, right answer. I'm going to let go of you now. If you so much as try to run away, you will be immediately dead. Now, let's go."

      Armin felt the weight of the arm off his chest and he started towards where Hannah was; now sitting in the snow. She looked up as she heard the crunching of feet on snow. Armin saw a look of shock on Hannah's face as she saw the mysterious figure behind Armin.

      "Kanrik," Hannah whispered, standing up and walking towards Armin and the now-identified Kanrik.

      "You two know each other?" Armin asked, scuttling out of the way of the two.

      "I do know Kanrik, but that doesn't mean I want to," Hannah said softly.

      Armin glanced at Kanrik to see a green Gelert with a cloak on and the hood up. There was a scar on his left eye. He was staring down at Hannah as she stared up at him. Armin stared transfixed at the two until Hannah kicked him in the stomach, hard. Kanrik doubled over in pain.

      "You betrayer!" she shouted at the hunched figure.

      "Hannah, let me explain!" Kanrik gasped.

      "There is nothing to explain; you betrayed me once, I will never trust you again!" she bellowed.

      Hannah pulled her arm back, her fist clenched. She started to punch a punch towards Kanrik's head that, when delivered by someone with her fury, might be the last thing the receiver ever saw and felt. Armin surprised himself by diving into Hannah and knocking her to the ground, right before the punch made contact.

      "Hannah, before you hurt or possibly kill Kanrik, will you please let him explain his story and please explain to me what you have against him?" Armin asked as calmly as he could muster, holding out a paw to Hannah to help her up.

      Hannah took the paw and, glaring at Kanrik, picked up two nearby sticks and rubbed them together. Once a fire was made she sat down on the ground next to it. Hannah then beckoned for Armin to sit next to her. Kanrik sat down across from the two without invitation. Hannah still glared at him.

      "Why did you call him a betrayer Hannah?" Armin asked, trying to keep calmness between the two.

      "When I was in the Lost Desert, like I told you someone pushed me off a cliff he was the one." Hannah spat the word he out, like it pained her to say it.

      "You were the one who pushed her off the cliff?" Armin asked, suddenly not feeling that great about Kanrik either.

      Kanrik groaned. "I thought you were going to let me explain. Since nobody will give me a chance, I will just give myself permission to explain."

      "Just explain," Hannah snapped.

      "I was sent to dispose of you by the Thieves' guild. The punishment for not doing their will was death. When I went back an evil Acara named Masila who I thought loved me asked me to dispose of the guild's leader, Galem, by using a magical being called the Bringer. I was too wrapped up in my own dreams of being leader to notice the flaws of that plan. I let the bringer loose, but he turned bad and started fighting the thieves, bringing ice skeletons with him. Luckily, the sun killed the ice skeletons but Galem gained control of the Bringer. Masila put all the blame on me, her plan from the start I learned, and she poisoned me and it knocked me out. When I woke up I was near here. I started walking to no where and just happened to stumble on Armin. Hannah, the thieves are in a cave near here. The Bringer showed them a tremendous jewel, that when used in the wrong hands can bring destruction to the whole of Neopia. I found that someone with the mark of Ta-Kutep can destroy the jewel with just a single touch. Will you and Armin come with me to destroy this jewel?"

      Hannah stared into space for a few minutes before answering slowly. "I do not fully trust you, Kanrik, but I will come with you. At the first sign of danger I am leaving you, though. I cannot say what Armin will do."

      "I'll come; I do not have anywhere else to go anyways," Armin said quickly.

      "We should leave immediately, then," Kanrik said, standing up and starting to walk.

      Armin and Hannah followed him promptly. Armin glanced from Hannah to Kanrik as they walked. He could see on both of their faces they didn't trust each other; he was good at reading people's expressions. He could tell Hannah was worried that Kanrik was leading them into a trap and Kanrik was worried Hannah would misread a falling piece of ice or one of the thieves' guild members as Kanrik trying to hurt her. He could tell they both had little hope in saving Neopia before the thieves got the jewel.

      I just need some hope, anything to show me things will turn out okay, Armin thought.

      Armin tripped on a rock. He fell to the ground and started scrambling up when he thought he saw a pair of eyes from a little opening in the middle of the snow.

      "Are you ok, Armin?" Hannah asked, reaching her hand out.

      Armin nodded and took her hand, but didn't move his eyes from the opening. Suddenly, a tiny white Bori popped out of the hole followed by a little bit bigger blue one.

      "Armie?" the white Bori whispered tentatively.

      "Chen! Mariah!" Armin shouted, picking up Mariah and hugging Chen.

      Armin knew his hope was found.

The End

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