Hitomi the Witch:Part Twelve
PART TWELVE: YOU REALLY ARE A MAGICAL GIRL, YOU KNOW?
Hitomi and Kirara engaged in an intense swordfight; each girl going back and worth, using their weapons to outwit and counterattack the other. [Please, let this be our final encounter,] Hitomi begged silently as she narrowly avoided Kirara’s sword. She knew what Kirara’s defeat would lead to: the protection of other girls who may—or may not—be aware of their magical abilities. And if protecting these aspiring witches meant defeating her former mentor once and for all, then Hitomi was more than willing to fight…though she hoped the fighting would end soon.
"You little twerp," Kirara grumbled, poofing up a long, black staff. She pointed the purple jewelled tip towards Hitomi and sent a flash of purple lightening towards her.
Instinctively, Hitomi poofed up a white staff and used its snow magic to counter Kirara’s lightening. "I hope…this will last...long," she grunted, gripping her staff with both hands.
"Geez, who would have thought snow could repel lighting so effectively," gasped Erika.
Kirara growled. "You are [so] going to pay for disobeying my commands, Hitomi!" She screamed loudly, sending a long ribbon of lighting towards Hitomi.
"Snowstorm swirl!" Hitomi shouted, watching as a thick stream of snow and gusts of wind zoomed towards the lightening. As the snow and lightening levelled against each over equally, Hitomi cried, "It’s not too late to give in, Kirara! You can begin a new life! You don’t have to be evil anymore!"
"BE QUIET!!!" Kirara shattered her staff and, as a large beam of lightening zoomed towards Hitomi, she collapsed to her knees.
Gulping, Hitomi poofed up a full-body shield and used it to absorb the lightening—it’s force strong enough to drag her all the way towards the edge of the square. Shaking, Hitomi poofed her shield away and ran towards Kirara, who was panting heavily. "Are you alright, Kirara?" she asked, taking a few steps towards the tired Usul.
Kirara hissed. "You’ll pay for this!" she snarled, poofing up a whip. Just as she ready to use her weapon, however, she collapsed back to the ground. "I’m…a bit…tired but…just give me a sec…"
"Go get her, Hitomi!" Erika cheered.
"Wait, I think something’s seriously wrong," Hitomi protested.
"So? We hate her, remember?" asked Erika.
Hitomi hesitated. She couldn’t help but feel that something wasn’t right with Kirara. [Maybe I can use my magic to help her,] Hitomi thought. Then she quickly shook her head, refusing to allow Kirara’s sudden decline to distract her from defending herself.
Despite feeling weaker, Kirara lit her whip on fire and swung it towards Hitomi. "Give it up already! Your Spell Charm will finally be mine!" she sneered as Hitomi dodged her attack. "And when I finally get my hand son your Spell Charm, I’ll break it to a million little pieces right in front of you!"
"She’ll never back down!" Kyuske appeared suddenly and pulled Hitomi out of the way of Kirara’s whip. "Are you okay?" he asked.
Hitomi nodded. "But I don’t think Kirara’s feeling okay," she insisted, watching Kirara collapse to the ground again. "Something must be wrong with her."
"I bet Kirara’s magic energy is depleting," Kyuske explained, "thus why her health is declining steadily. If she had gotten a hold of a Spell Charm, she would have absorbed all of its power and be much stronger."
"So now what?" asked Hitomi.
"Try stalling for now," Kyuske advised. "Sooner or later, she’ll have to stop fighting."
Kirara stood up and, panting heavily, cracked her whip towards Kyuske. "You will pay for your stupid interferences!" She whipped at him five times, but the Lupe was always too swift for her.
When Hitomi became the next target, she poofed up a bubble shield and used it to deflect the whip away from her. Try after try, Kirara was unsuccessful in harming her opponent—in part because of her heavy panting and slower reflexes. Resilient, she then poofed up a bow and sent a stream of arrows towards Hitomi. "Remember the first time I played with this?" she asked. "I had so much fun!"
Hitomi poofed up an orb and sent to the arrows, turning them to a flock of buzzing Petpetpets. She then poofed up a swarm of Mootixes and sent them towards Kirara. [They will keep her occupied for a while,] Hitomi mused.
Kirara swatted the Mootixes away and, after poofing them away from her, teleported to stand by Hitomi’s side. "You know," she grunted, grabbing Hitomi’s wrist, "if I have to go, then so will you!"
"What in Neopia are you talking about?" gasped Hitomi. "I’m not going anywhere!"
Before Kirara could speak, her face scrunched up with discomfort as her legs began to turn dark yellow. In seconds they were turned to stone, and the unsettling colour began moving slowly up her body. "This is…this is what I was trying to save myself from," Kirara sobbed, watching in horror as her body turned to stone.
"Oh my goodness," sighed Hitomi.
"AND IT’S YOUR ENTIRE FAULT, HITOMI HOSHIZORA!!" Kirara’s voice was so loud and angry that Hitomi was certain everybody in Shenkuu could hear her. Gulping back tears, Kirara tightened her grip on Hitomi. "I was able to evade this horrible fate because of all the good, naïve witches I met around this wretched planet. But NOW," she shrieked, glowered at Hitomi, "now EVERYTHING is ruined because of one stupid little Acara who just had to have a backbone! So if I have to turn into a stone statue, then you will too!" She laughed maniacally, "We’ll be best friends forever!"
Hitomi used all her strength to release Kirara’s grasp, but her grip was too hard. As Kirara’s arm turned to stone, Hitomi gulped at the tingling sensation she felt on her fingertips. "Let me go! Please!" she pled, trying to break free.
Kirara laughed louder as tears streamed down her eyes. "I can’t! It would be unforgivable on my part to allow my rival to keep living her life while I remain in this accursed space! You have to join me, Hitomi. You must!"
"NEVER!" Hitomi poofed up an orb and dropped it, causing a minor explosion. Immediately she was freed, and she hurried away from Kirara at the moment her face was freezing into place.
Kirara turned to Hitomi and cried, "HITOMI! HOW DARE YOU ELAVE ME! I THOUGHT WE WERE FRIEN—" before her face was frozen in a permanent scowl.
Erika approached Kirara and flicked her forehead. "Wow. Is she really a statue now?" she asked.
"I’m afraid so," sighed Kyuske. He turned to Hitomi. "Dark Witches rely heavily on the magic energy of other witches for survival. If they can’t get enough, then their bodies would turn to stone."
"I do feel sorry for her," said Hitomi glumly. "She was crying after all."
"A last ditch effort to manipulate you," Erika insisted. "Besides, who cares is she’s sad? She was the one that tried to get your Spell Charm! Doesn’t that mean anything anymore?"
Hitomi nodded. "You’re right, Erika. With Kirara out of the way, there can be more witches in Neopia who can keep their Spell Charms." [Still, I do feel sorry for what Kirara had to go through,] she added silently, gazing at Kirara. [Poor thing.]
On Christmas Day, Hitomi knocked on Kysuke’s door. "Merry Christmas!" she said cheerily.
"What are you doing here?" asked Kyuske.
Hitomi handed him a small package. "This is for you," she said. "I made it to, you know, thank you for everything you’ve done for me."
Kyuske nodded and led Hitomi to the sofas. "You didn’t need to get me anything," he insisted as they took their seats.
"I know. But I wanted to express my gratitude to you," Hitomi insisted. She blushed. "If it weren’t for you, I don’t know if I would have escaped Kirara that time I had my coronation…"
"Agreed. It was lucky I was passing by that exact moment," Kyuske remarked. He unwrapped his present and held it up. The white handkerchief was embroidered with a pale blue border, and on the front ‘Kyukse’ was sewn on with a dark blue thread. "Did you make this for [me]?"
"Yep," Hitomi said proudly. "I didn’t know whether I should have embroidered a design or something, so I decoded on monogramming your name instead. Do you like it?"
Kyuske folded the handkerchief into a triangle and tucked it into his shirt pocket. "It’s perfect," he said, smiling slightly. "I’ll keep it with me everyday."
"Th-thank you." Hitomi coughed nervously. "So, uh…Kyukse…how about you, uh, tell me more about yourself?"
"There’s honestly not much to say," Kyukse insisted. "I was orphaned when I was a baby and was raised in an orphanage. A few years back, I was informed that I was a wizard and that my powers would kick in sometime n the future." He shrugged. "Still nothing, I’m afraid. Oh well."
"How are you paying for this apartment?" asked Hitomi. "That is, if you don’t mind me asking."
"I help the landlord with fixing up the place," Kyuske explained. "He allows me to stay here for a fraction of the cost. And it’s a pretty nice place to live…for now, at least."
"For now? You don’t mean…" Hitomi’s voice trailed off. She sucked in her breath. "Does this mean that…?"
Kyuske nodded. "By the end of the school year," he said solemnly. "I don’t know where I’ll go, however. Maybe I’ll stay in Shenkuu, or perhaps I’ll go check out another land." He gave Hitomi a grin. "I’m proud of how far you’ve grown, Hitomi. Your fight with Kirara wasn’t an easy one; but you were able to stand your ground, and for that I have nothing but respect for you."
Hitomi’s face burned from the praise. "Thank…thank you, Kyuske," she gasped. "And I hope you get your powers sometime soon." She beamed. "I know you’ll be an excellent wizard!"
"I can only wish to be as strong and courageous as you," said Kyuske wistfully. "You really are a magical girl, you know?"
"Yes, I know," said Hitomi, giggling. "But I think everyone has their own magic." She shrugged casually and added, "They just need to go out and find it!"