A Shadow in the Light: It has Begun - Part Two
The forest of Direwood was dark and daunting, the perfect
place for the dark clad thieves. Their cloaks were long with hoods large enough
to cover their entire face whether they were hiding scales or fur. A large gnarled
white tree served as their meeting place, its roots curved in such a way that
a large cave had formed under its large trunk. The leader of the silent band was
a large Halloween Kougra, his wings flexing as his ranks of hooded pets arrived
at the small clearing.
"You, the Saave, have been called here to meet
our current prisoner, a peasant from the nearby village. I have also gathered
you to tell you of good news," he said hollowly, his voice deep and grisly.
"Kax, bring out the blacksmith," he snarled over his shoulder to the cave.
A Darigan Kougra then padded out of the eerie
darkness, tugging on a chain. Her form shook with effort as she finally pulled
the large brown Ixi from his hiding. She furiously thrust the chain forward,
knocking Frauns to his knees. "Here he is, Chanook," she hissed, clearly exhausted.
Chanook smiled wickedly. "This is the bait for
luring the Summoner from his village. This is the pet that will bring the one
from safety and into our claws. And when that day comes, we shall see the darkness
live as it should have!" His voice rose above the treetops as the hooded pets
cheered manically, and Petpets flew from their perches, escaping the fearful
sight. "And then Neopia shall belong to us, and no other!"
Frauns snickered as the cheers subsided. "Summoner?
Wow, what a superstitious bunch you are," he said with a smirk.
Chanook turned and growled. "When the Summoner
comes, we shall see who is laughing."
Sovan finished eating Manov's abandoned potato
wedges and then stood to go and pay. When he reached the bar, he received angry
scowls and the 'What on Neopia did you do?' face by the pets sitting there.
He handed Dizzconnie the Neopoints and trudged out the door. He hopefully looked
around, searching for Manov, but the Zafara simply wasn't there. He sighed and
walked halfheartedly through the square and down a small road lined with tiny
village huts. When he came to his, he looked next door at Manov's. Not one candle
was lit. 'Manov, I'm sorry,' he thought sadly before stepping inside his own
He was suddenly struck at how quaint it really
looked. He had his bed settled by the back wall and the bathroom door next to
it, a small lazy chair near his bed and a bookshelf next to it, a dinner table
that could serve two people, and near the door was his small kitchen.
He looked in his icebox under the freestanding
sink and found a frozen Weewoo. He felt his mouth water as he lifted the small
season stuffed bird from the icebox and set it in a large pot. After he had
it over the tiny fire in his 'dining room' he sat in his lazy chair and picked
out a book. He grumbled as he saw which one it was. It was Manov's favorite,
but Sovan really couldn't see why. He opened it and was soon deep in the book's
About an hour later, Sovan placed the book onto
of the bookshelf, its pages down flat so he could keep his spot and checked
on his Weewoo. It was nice and brown, so he took the pot off the fire and set
it on a flat metal block on the table so that it wouldn't burn the table. "Now
to eat," he said hungrily. He trotted into the kitchen and fished around in
the cupboard for a plate. He found two metal plates and two sets of utensils
before returning to his table. He quickly cut the small bird in half and set
one on his plate and one on the other. He put away the pot and metal block and
then sat down before seeing his mistake. He grumbled and then peered out his
small window above his lazy chair. He was somewhat glad to see a candle lit.
The Lupe stood and scampered to the door.
Sovan walked outside and crossed over to Manov's
yard, nervousness seeping into his mind. He knocked on the heavy wooden door
and placed his ear on its cold face, listening for any sound of movement. He
thought he heard a muffled 'Come in', so he opened the door without hesitation.
He looked around. The layout was like his own house, but instead of a lazy chair,
Manov had all kinds of equipment for outdoor activities. He stepped inside and
closed the door behind him, curiosity suddenly growing. "Hello. Manov?" he called.
Nothing stirred except for a tiny Feepit on Manov's bed. "Chico, come here,
boy!" Sovan called. The Feepit didn't wake.
"What are you doing in my house?" came a stiff
voice from the window.
Sovan looked out the kitchen window and saw
Manov's tense face. "I was looking for you," Sovan said awkwardly. "Look, back
in the pub... I didn't mean to offend you, it's just that a teenager isn't up
to something that could be possibly dangerous."
Manov disappeared from the window and then opened
the front door. "Get out, Sovan," he said, his tone his quite stiff. Sovan was
about to protest, but Manov wouldn't hear it. "Get out of my house, Sovan!"
he shouted, fists clenched.
The Lupe dropped his jaw. He had come to apologize,
and now he was being told to leave. "Fine," he said, straightening his back.
"But I still expect you to know that your place in respect is not above mine,
kid." He said it harshly and to the point before leaving.
Manov slammed the door behind his friend and
breathed out in relief. "Thank Jeran he's gone!"
That night, the white tree's clearing was empty
yet again, and it was silent.
"Chanook, I spotted the Summoner today," Kax
said from the cave's mouth. Her wings twitched slightly as she watched Chanook
toil over pieces of faded parchment. "I think the plan won't be needing the
bait, most likely he will be passing through the forest anyway."
The Halloween Kougra glanced at Kax. "Sister,
if we don't need bait for one thing, we can always use it later. Don't correct
Kax rolled her eyes. "I didn't correct you,"
she mumbled lowly. "He seems strong, how will you know we would be able to control
him," she questioned.
A smile played at Chanook's lips. "I have my
Sovan angrily put the other half of the Weewoo
in the icebox and plopped down on his lazy chair, forgetting about his own dinner.
He picked up his book, but he couldn't concentrate on the words so he threw
the book onto his bed. From under the bed, a small Mallard waddled out and cocked
its head at Sovan. "Come here, Pepito," Sovan crooned to his Petpet. It ran
to him and leaped into the chair beside him. "We don't need Manov, do we?" he
asked the Mallard. He sighed, knowing it couldn't answer him.
After a few minutes of playing with his Petpet,
Sovan stood and stretched. "Come on Pepito, time to get some shut eye." He set
Pepito on the ground, changed into a white sleeping shirt, and climbed into
bed, feeling awkward. Never had he ended a day on a bad note with Manov, how
could he just let that happen? He thought of going back and giving Manov the
Weewoo as a sorry gift, but then his stubborn pride would keep him from getting
up. He soon fell asleep, but yet his slumber was fitful.
After several hours of restless sleep, a muffled
shout awoke him. He shot up, untangling his tassel from the sheets. He quickly
replaced the sleeping garment with his yellowish medieval style shirt and bolted
from his hut-like Neohome before glancing to Manov's home. He could see flames
licking the inside of his friend's home. "No," he breathed before running to
the front door. He turned the doorknob to the Zafara's hut, but the door wouldn't
budge. "Jeran help me!" he cried ravenously, slamming into the door. "Manov!
Manov, are you in there?!"
What he didn't know was that several cloaked
pets were climbing out the bathroom window with an unconscious Manov. Then they
swiftly sprinted into the valleys and toward the massive base of Dire's Hill.
Sovan finally rammed the door open, and he looked
frantically around. He found Chico scampering away from the flames, and he scooped
the Petpet in his arms as he peeked in the bathroom. Manov wasn't there. He
whimpered slightly and then lunged out the door, landing hard on the ground.
Several other Ovalon residents helped him up and started bringing water to the
house. Sovan watched in disbelief for about thirty minutes, until the fire was
completely out. The generous Ovalon citizens then groggily trudged back home
without a word to Sovan.
"He- he wasn't there," he said flatly. The Lupe's
eyes then narrowed dangerously.
The Lupe turned his head slightly to see Dizzconnie
running toward him.
"Are you alright, Sovan?" Dizzconnie took the
Feepit in his paws and put it on her shoulder. Seeing that Sovan wasn't going
to answer, she shook his shoulders. "Sovan! Are you alright? Is Manov?"
"I don't know! I'm fine but-" he cut himself
off. "He probably went to Coursett," he growled. "That little snake wants to
get a taste of glory." He shook his head in fury. "I told him that he couldn't
Dizzconnie lifted an eyebrow. "And why is it
that he wouldn't be able to go and you would? I don't think he would have gone
without you, anyway, so cool down. He's probably somewhere in the square, you'll
"No, I know Manov. He's not here," Sovan said,
letting some of his anger seep away. "I have to go find him. Are you coming?"
The Gelert recoiled. "Me? I, uhh... Yeah, I'll
come," she said slowly.
Sovan nodded. "Ok, go home and get some food
and another change of clothes, I'll meet you back here."
To be continued...