The Path: Part Two
Rose woke up early and prepared breakfast for herself and Amelie. She was looking out the window all the time, to see if there was any sign of the dragon. When Amelie woke up, they both ate and discussed how they would recover the stone.
"I think we should observe first," said Amelie, "try to find some weakness before approaching."
"Yeah, you're absolutely right! We'll do it in the evening," Rose agreed.
Amelie rested a little longer till the afternoon, and her head was a lot less painful then.
They left home in search of a clue that would lead them to the monster. After walking for about twenty minutes they heard a movement in the trees. They approached, and saw the red dragon, which seemed to be resting. They watched him behind a tree, carefully trying not to make any noise.
"Did you bring the binoculars?" Amelie whispered, and Rose handed them to her.
Amelie watched the dragon in silence, with the impression that she had seen him before. Suddenly, memories came to her head. "It's Terask!!" she said, amazed, and then put a hand over her mouth when she realized that she had spoken too loudly. She looked again, and was sure that the dragon was the same as seen in one of the Derek's stamps.
Terask was majestic, had four arms and huge wings. His claws were sharp and he had spikes all over his tail. His eyes were red and intensely terrifying. The two Zafaras spent some more time observing, but the dragon seemed drowsy and ready to sleep, then, he closed his eyes.
"Now is our chance. I'll try to get the stone!" Rose whispered.
"Ermm, I don't know if it's a good idea..." said Amelie, but Rose was already walking towards him.
The little Zafara stayed watching, with the feeling that it would be a bad idea. When Rose was very close to Terask, she stepped on a dry twig that made a noise and woke him up. She found herself face to face with his red, scary eyes. Rose ran in despair toward Amelie.
The dragon made no sign that he would go after them, nevertheless, they were running as fast as they could. They ran so fast that neither of them were seeing where they were stepping. Rose fell and twisted her ankle. Amelie stopped and helped her to walk back to the cabin.
At home, they began arguing about the monster.
"Yes, I'm sure that's him. I've looked at that stamp a thousand of times! Terask is his name," said Amelie.
"Well, did you see somewhere a way to... hmm... defeat him?" asked Rose, as she ran a hand through her swollen ankle.
"No, but there is a legend. I heard that Terask had kidnapped Queen Fyora and kept her as a hostage long time ago. It's the only thing I know. Maybe we should seek help from the Queen, she must have some information."
"It's a good idea, too bad I won't be able to walk with my ankle like this."
"I'll go, I can go by myself. I'll find her and ask for help, we'll recover your stone!"
Amelie knew that looking for the Queen would be their best choice, as they could never defeat a dragon of that size alone. She was still terrified about his spikes and claws, and felt that Terask could become a real danger to all of Neopia.
The next day, Amelie went to Faerieland. That beautiful land got rebuilt over the ground after its fall, and was located just across Brightvale.
Amelie knew she could find Queen Fyora in the Hidden Tower selling powerful battledome weapons. She got in the store, and started looking at some swords pretending to be interested.
"Hello, can I help you?"
She looked back and saw the majestic figure of the mightier of the faeries, Fyora. She was even more beautiful in person.
"Ermm..." Amelie choked, "I would like to ask some information... Erm, give you some information, and ask for some information," she said, nervously.
"I'm all ears," Fyora replied in a sweet voice.
Amelie restored her composure and said, "A dragon appeared in a deserted region of Meridell... It's a red, enormous dragon, known as Terask."
"Terask? You got to be kidding..."
"Yes, it was him! And I think he may be planning an attack, because, you know... I've heard he had invaded Faerieland before."
Fyora sighed. "Girl, this story is a legend. There is not and there was never a dragon that attacked Faerieland. Terask is part of a game. Don't worry, you must have seen something else and mixed things."
"But... It was..."
Before Amelie could finish an argument that could convince Fyora that Terask was real, one of the faeries that worked for the Queen entered the shop.
"Queen, the collapse near the mountains was contained; there was nothing in that place," said the faerie.
"Thanks, Yadira," Fyora said. "Could you lead this little girl to the exit?"
The faerie walked the Zafara toward the exit, and noticed that the girl seemed frustrated. "I wonder, why this sad face?" Yadira asked.
"The Queen didn't believe me when I said about the dragon that invaded Meridell."
"Dragon?" asked the faerie, with widened eyes.
"Yes, a big red terrifying monster. She claims it to be a legend, but I saw him with my own eyes..."
"Can you tell me where exactly did you see him?"
"Well, he was close to the forest, near to the river down the hills. It's a pretty unoccupied area of Meridell."
"Hmm, interesting! Well, take care, girl," said the faerie, and left the Zafara in the tower door.
After the failed meeting with the Queen, Amelie stood in front of the doors not knowing what to do or where to go then. She decided to take a tour around the city as she had never been there before, and got absurdly delighted with the beauty of Faerieland.
She was in the book store when a familiar voice called, "Amelie?" She turned and saw Ronnie, the adventurer White Kacheek that occasionally sold her stamps, and goes traveling around Neopia in search of rare items to negotiate.
"Wow, you! What a coincidence," said Amelie with a look of surprise.
"Oh Amelie, it's so nice to see you, I was worried about you. Derek told me that you had traveled to Faerieland, so I decided to change my route and stopped by to see if we met. So, it's true, you came all this way to take a vacation?" asked the excited Kacheek.
"Eh... kind of," Amelie said awkwardly, not being able to explain in a few words the disappointment she had gone through.
"You're looking for books? I am here waiting for some rare books to stock, but it seems that it will not happen anytime soon."
"I'm looking for some adventure books to distract me, I love reading!"
"You like?" Ronnie asked rhetorically. "That's fantastic! I'm writing my own book, maybe someday you gonna read it."
"I'll love to!" Amelie affirmed.
The two left the store empty-handed, but they were animated to have met. Ronnie always cared about Amelie, but until then she had never noticed. The Zafara always had a false and negative image about resellers, and never had the time to make new friends while living for her friend Derek. She and Ronnie were now talking and laughing a lot. Amelie was happy not to be alone.
During the night, a black hooded faerie was getting into Meridell, it was Yadira. Despite the faerie worked for Fyora, nor the Queen nor anyone else knew about her going to that land searching for Terask.
She went through an old cabin without giving much importance to it. Inside there was Rose, with her feet up covered of medicinal herbs. The faerie continued to walk among the trees, till she sensed that Terask was close. She turned, and saw in the middle of darkness, the bright and red eyes of Terask.
She quickly pulled out a medallion from her pocket and held it high doing a hypnotizing movement, while reciting a few words. The dragon got mad and started roaring and spitting fire upwards. The fire struck Yadira's arm, that overthrew the medallion and stopped reciting. Terask took flight and disappeared into the clouds.
In the castle, Fyora was preparing to go sleeping. For a moment she remembered about the Red Zafara who told her about a dragon, but she soon forgot about it. She had many other issues to occupy her mind.
She fell asleep. Fyora did not used to have nightmares, but that night she was having one. In her dreams she was imprisoned in a dungeon while Faerieland was on flames - Flames of a dragon.
She woke up with a racing heart, and the first thing she saw when opened her eyes was the big red eyes of Terask, that was watching her through the window. He observed Fyora with anger. For a second Fyora felt a deja vu and saw flashes in her head, like she's already been confronted with that scene before. That caused fear and affliction in her heart.
He watched her briefly and then flew away.
To be continued...