Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 195,039,356 Issue: 816 | 15th day of Awakening, Y20
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series
 

Change Needs Growth


by jehtredmonkey

--------

     A water mote reflected the sun beams as it was raised into the air. The water mote zipped to the ground and hit a Kookith. Splash! The water erupted from its form and soaked the fur of the Petpet. The elderly and blind Kookith turned around and looked up the side of the tall four story Meridell style building. Its thick concrete walls were bland except for the sprinkles of color found on the sparse tapestries hanging from a few windows.

      "It must be raining." The blind Kookith piped up. Another water mote hit him square in the face. Splash! Sounds of stifled laughter reached the elderly Petpet. "I can’t see you, but I can hear you Patrick!" A small Psimouse with a green shirt and a sparkling green top hat peaked over the edge of the building that the Kookith had just exited. The Psimouse was barely able to contain himself.

      "Sorry, Mr. Willy, it was an accident!" The Psimouse giggled.

      "You have gotten away with your shenanigans far too many times! I am coming after you!" The Kookith took a step forward in anger, pulling a string. As Mr. Willy marched forward, he slammed into the door that was closed by the little Psimouse’s complex string trap. Patrick let out a huge laugh. His plan had worked! Mr. Willy was yelling as loud as he could and to the help came Mordecai, a Dragoyle and the self-appointed problem solver and protector of the people. Mordecai flew onto the scene, took a glance at Mr. Willy and knew what happened. His gaze locked onto Patrick’s location.

      "Uh-oh." Patrick hopped up and ran to the other side of the building and picking up a small para-glider. He had invented this device based off of Roxton A. Colchester III’s parachute in his excursion on an uncharted island in eastern archipelago. He modified his parachute so that he could control it easier. Patrick took his invention and jumped off the building and glided over the city. The view was incredible, although Patrick was not one to notice. The Psimouse merely glossed over the scenery. The tall Meridell style buildings loomed overhead as Patrick made his descent to the ground below. The buildings were relatively similar in this portion of town, but on the outskirts, the buildings turned into cottages to suit the greenery. In the middle of town, the grass grew at the base of buildings, but not in the well-kept streets. Patrick could see the outskirts and the grass everywhere, spotted with flamboyant flowers that resembled a fruit smoothie.

      Patrick landed gracefully in an alleyway close to the building he had jumped from. Looking up he saw Mordecai in hot pursuit. Patrick hopped on a bicycle he had left for a quick getaway and he pedaled out of the alley and sped down the dirt pathway through the calm town. Patrick was not fond of the quiet. It was too much for him. He wanted to leave this place, but he knew he could not. His thoughts were interrupted when Mordecai jumped onto the road in front of Patrick. The Psimouse was taken by surprise as he tried steering way, but the bike wobbled under a sharp turn. As the bike was about to topple over, a Dragoyle caught the bike.

      "Where do you think you are going, Patrick?" Mordecai’s deep voice shook Patricks insides. Patrick despised Mordecai. There were defenders of Neopia. This was their job. No one asked Mordecai to become protector of anything.

      "I was just on my way home." The Psimouse tried playing the stupid card.

      "Patrick," Mordecai eased, "You and I are at the prime ages of our lives. You should be acting more mature than this since you are one of the founders of Unishire. You should be an example to those around you.

      "I didn’t pick the name for this place." Patrick murmured.

      "This is a safe haven for those who are scared or needing help. This is the purpose of Unishire. We cannot have you continuously disturbing this peace. Do you not remember that you too needed this refuge? You see that shield surrounding the town?" Mordecai gestured towards the sky where a faint blanket covered the town. Its colors echoed the sky in a distorted fashion, but still recognizable. "That shield represents the start of the outside world where these friendly Petpets could come into harm’s way. Inside that barrier, they should be safe, right?" Mordecai rambled on.

      Patrick had heard this every time the Dragoyle managed to catch-up to Patrick. The Psimouse pretended to be listening as he clutched one last water mote in his paw, intended for Mr. Willy. Splash! Mordecai stood baffled, unsure, and soaked as Patrick made his getaway. The Psimouse flew around a corner and down one last road until he arrived at his cottage. In comparison, his cottage was nicer and bigger than any cottage in Unishire. As Patrick dove into his home, he slammed and locked the door. He slid down to the ground, panting as he laughed some more. His tricks were getting more and more complicated, yet funnier.

      Once Patrick gathered his breath, he walked down his hallway, past his living room. Mordecai’s voice could be heard on the other side of the door, but Patrick payed no attention to him. He walked past pictures of when he first arrived at what would be Unishire, located on the outskirts of Uni Meadows. It is a secretive location to keep undesirable guests from harming certain Petpets. In Unishire live great heroes of old, but are now retired. There are also some ex-thieves on the run from those who want them to rejoin their guilds. Mordecai is one of the few that came to Unishire, not needing the assistance of its protection, but wanting to assist those who need it. No one complained, but no one asked him to help. Patrick glanced at a picture of him and the other founder of Unishire. Shane, an old Turtmid, who created Unishire and its magic that protects it from those with evil intentions. Patrick frowned. He was considered a founder, but really, Shane had created Unishire to protect him. Patrick sulked to the kitchen. The fancy decorations seemed inadequate. The bright lighting seemed dim. The usual rush of escaping Mordecai was gone.

      Patrick stared at his plate of food. Steak. Again. He munched down on his drool-inducing food, its warm flesh drowning his mouth with flavor, but it seemed bland. The Psimouse sighed.

      Moving a piece on a game board, Patrick rolled. He counted as the piece tapped in rhythm. "I win!" He looked around. No one. Patrick looked at the clock. "Tomorrow will be a sleep in day." The Psimouse made his way to his bedroom. He spent an hour brushing his sparkling green top hat and cleaning it to perfection. He set it on a stand beside his bed as he laid down admiring its extravagance. Then he frowned. Even his hat wasn’t as pretty as he remembered. He sat up and cleaned it some more. Nothing changed. He brought out a secret weapon: a hat cleaner spray. He gave the green hat a few squirts, but nothing changed. Patrick collapsed into himself as he let the hat drop to the floor along with the spray. He needed sleep. That is all. In the morning, the hat will be perfect- just as he knew it was.

      @@@

      A deep tone emanated from all around Patrick alerting him as he sat up from sleep. Beyond that initial wave of sound, silence ensued. Patrick listened as he climbed out of bed. An eerie silence greeted his normal footsteps. He ran to the bathroom and threw the door open. He looked into the mirror and saw the door slamming. The usual slam was replaced with nothing more than false expectations. As the confusion arose, a ringing began very quiet and grew steadily louder. Patrick realized as the ringing grew louder he could hear distant screaming. Sounds! Yet the ringing grew to a deafening level and pained Patrick as he fell to the floor.

      Patrick woke up and found himself normal again, despite his realistic dream. He was on the bathroom floor so he must have slept walked to the bathroom alongside his dream. He stood up and looked at himself in the mirror. His third eye closed. It had been this way since birth. The doctors said there were some complications and he shouldn’t have lived. It was traumatic, but he was glad to survive, but his eye is a constant reminder of what he endured as a small Psimouse. That was an eternity ago.

      As Patrick retraced his steps back to the bedroom, he peaked outside to see a crowd of people gathered together. He was tired and curious. As the debate started in his head, curiosity won out and Patrick made his way outside in his clothes. His Sparkling green top hat shimmered in the dawn’s early rays. As Patrick approached the crowd, he noticed they all seemed to be staring at something in the sky. Following the direction of their focus, Patrick realized why so many Petpets were up so early. In the sky, the magic coat that surrounded the haven was wavering and pulsing colors of dark blue and blood-red.

      "Is this the end of Unishire?" a Noil speculated.

      "Are we going to die?" a Flowper dramatized.

      "We are going to move, aren’t we?" a doglefox whimpered.

      "What’s going on?" Mr. Willy stumbled up to the crowd of petpets.

      "The shield is disappearing." The Noil clarified. The Kookith fell silent as he pondered what to do next. Disappearing? Patrick thought. These people needed the guidance of Shane. As Patrick was deciding what to do, a small Whoot fluttered onto the ground in between Mr. Willy and the rest of the crowd. In a confident voice, the Whoot declared that there was a meeting being held in the town square to inform the citizens what was happening. The Whoot led the way towards the center of the town as the crowd followed. Patrick knew he would need to be present just so he learn what was going on. If the shield that protects the haven disappears, then he would be vulnerable again. He would be on the run. This could not happen. Patrick could not be exposed to anymore of the outside world.

      Tagging along at a distance, Patrick kept his distance to remain unnoticed. Most of the town knew him and they did not like him. Patrick followed the crowd to the center of Unishire where a structure broke the uniformity of the surrounding Meridell style buildings. Its bleached walls and columns stood proud as if it were saying "try and knock me down." The group entered in through the main wooden door and as the group filtered into the town hall, Patrick slipped in quiet and strolled over to a window at the side of the town hall in order to hide his presence. The town hall had several benches facing a central podium so that the mayor could talk to the people. The murmuring in the crowd continued until an elderly Turtmid slowly marched up to the podium. He wore his age on his back, yet despite his visual indications of being slow and old, his voice was booming and calming. If no one could see his fragile body, Patrick was certain that Petpets would think he was half of his actual age just because of all the spunk and enthusiasm that Shane used in his speech.

      "Friends, I know you are troubled by the events that have preceded this urgent meeting, but rest assured this is not the end. What you have seen and felt is the initial loss of magic. It seems that an evil organization has found the source of my magic and is using that for evil purposes. As you know, I share my powers with the magic of the rainbow through a tangible connection. Unfortunately, this connection has been severed. Our shield that protects our home will remain until the rainbow collapses. This cannot happen until all its power is drained. The evil group has started draining and that is why my connection was broken. All that needs to happen is a valiant effort to stop this group and return the magic to the rainbow and all will end well. Fear not, for I have sent out one who I know will be able to remedy the situation soon. I just ask that we remain calm, fret not, and continue to be united as we work together to support our hero. That is all. Thank you for your valuable time. Dismissed."

      That was the genius of Shane. Blunt, straight to the point, and honest to inform the citizens he was aware of everything going on and already knew how to fix it. Patrick knew Shane would settle the inhabitants. As he scoured the field of Petpets, he noticed tensions had dissipated. Another thing that caught his attention was the absence of Mordecai. He was not one to skip a town meeting. He was an upstanding citizen and everyone knew it. Maybe that was the hero sent out to fix the problem. Patrick smiled. No Mordecai means no one to stop him.

      The Psimouse waltzed home as he devised a new prank that would top one he called ‘Operation Rift’ that landed four Petpets in the hospital. He still managed to escape punishment. This new one would be his best plan yet. He thought through the materials needed as he practically skipped home full of jovial mischief.

      @@@

      Patrick gulped down a glass of milk as he set it down and scooted off his chair. He made his way towards the front door as the knock echoed throughout the empty home for the second time. As Patrick swong the door open, he recognized the face of the Petpet standing at his threshold.

      "Good morning, Shane." Patrick said, stunned that the Turtmid was at his door.

      "Good to see you again, Patrick." The Turtmid mused. Patrick gestured for the Turtmid to enter his home and led the way to his living room.

      "Thanks for the emergency town meeting. It really helped me not worry."

      "It also helped everyone else." Shane pointed out. Patrick nodded realizing he was not the only one affected. "Tell me, why do you come to the town hall meetings only to awkwardly stand in the corner?" Patrick eyed the Turtmid. For an old Petpet, he was smarter and more observant than he would let Petpets know.

      "I don’t want to be seen in case anyone gets upset by seeing me. It’s happened before."

      "And it will keep happening if you don’t stop these pranks." Shane accused in a clam notion. Caught.

      "It wasn’t even that bad." Patrick argued.

      "Mr. Willy felt humiliated."

      "Nuances."

      "He asked me if he could leave Unishire because of your ‘pranks.’ This isn’t the first time your pranks have driven our refugees to desire departure." Shane remained calm. Patrick took a deep breath. He knew that people were not fond of him, but what other type of fun was there?

      "I’m sorry for my pranks." Patrick said.

      "Your apologies have never retained any significance!" Shane bellowed, standing up. He wanted change and Patrick knew it. Shane sat back down and collected himself. For a Turtmid, he could jump to his feet in lightning speed. "I presume you have started plans on a new prank since you have noticed that Mordecai is absent." Patrick marveled at Shane’s wisdom.

      "I hadn’t noticed." Patrick bluffed.

      "I grow weary of your falsifications. I have known you for most of your life. I know that although you pretend to be annoyed by Mordecai, you actually enjoy his heroic persona. You are disappointed when you can easily escape. I can also see that you think there is nothing to entertain yourself. You feel out of place being surrounded by heroes of the past and elderly Petpets, so you try to create for yourself a way to separate yourself from everyone else. You want to be special and unique, so you isolate yourself to the point where you think that the only way you make friends is by acing out and putting others in harm’s way so that you can get some form of joy out of it.

      "I know you too well. You think that because you are enjoying yourself, someone will want to join in your fun and you will get a friend to replace the one you lost before you came to me in distress. Nowadays, you find no more fun in your pranks and grow tired of yourself, but you think you have to live up to the reputation you have created. I am here to tell you that you have an opportunity to change."

      Patrick paused for a long time before answering because he knew if he opened his mouth, he would open up his heart. Shane knew Patrick far too well. He was able to put exactly Patrick’s situation into words where he was confused on if he was hungry or not. Patrick focused on his breathing. Opportunity to change? Patrick looked up at Shane. "Opportunity to change?" Shane smiled.

      Right now, Mordecai is finding information on how to get to the end of the rainbow. Yet, we need him here to make sure he is able to protect us in case the shield disappears. Patrick, I want you to save Unishire."

      The Psimouse looked up at Shane. "Me?" He was taken aback. "Mordecai wouldn’t want that. I know he would want to save the town."

      "Actually, I told Mordecai, and he thought it was a great idea. He believes in you, even if you don’t believe in yourself."

      "That means I would be responsible for all these people. You don’t trust me to stop my pranks. Why would you trust me with something so huge?"

      "Well you owe me for all those years ago when I protected you from your pursuer. Aside from that simple fact, I know you are feeling out of place here. So this would be your chance to show that you belong here. Everyone needs to grow and the only way we grow to be strong is through challenges. My father was my hero though he didn’t go on a world adventure to save the world. He faced challenges with helping my family survive. Through those challenges, he became the biggest hero. You don’t have to become a worldwide hero, but to those who count, they will see you as one for going through hardships. You have been sheltered here for too long and you know it. You pull pranks because you are antsy for change. Here is that very change you seek."

      Patrick took everything Shane to heart. A hero. Not a big one, but still just as important. He realized that Shane was wise because of the trials he faced. Secretly, Patrick wished to be half as wise as Shane. This would be his chance. Change.

      "I need to sleep on it." Shane frowned.

      "When a problem arises, we are left with two choices. We can either do nothing, or do something. I hope you realize this." Shane sat up and left his drink on the table. Without a word, the Turtmid walked slow, but determined to the door. Patrick watched as Shane vanished behind his door. The Psimouse was not someone who would sit around. He was the latter option of Shane’s last words. Yet, would the town trust him to go into the world and restore their haven? He feared meeting his pursuer yet again. It had been several years since he escaped him to find refuge in Unishire. Would he still pursue him after all this time?

      Patrick walked to his room pondering the heavy and long conversation with Shane. He was wise, but he talked as if each word he spoke would earn him ten Neopoints. Patrick reviewed the conversation in his head. Shane had deciphered Patrick’s actions into the psychological motives. He had then presented him an opportunity to escape the trap he had laid for himself. Save Unishire. Would he do something and become that hero because of the trials to come on the possible adventure? Or would it be beneficial to do nothing and take the easy life? Easy lives were comfortable, but they were far from satisfying.

      The Psimouse entered his room and sat on his bed. He never went anywhere without his hat. Would he go into the world and risk it becoming damaged? He took it off his head. "Opportunity to change…" Patrick muttered to himself. He ran his fingers around the circumference of the exquisite green hat. He looked around him. His lifestyle was extravagant. Possessions surrounded him, of colors and expense. He felt as though he was near to happiness, but he felt distant. An expanse separated him and everyone he knew. Like a beckoning song, sleep called the Psimouse to slumber.

      @@@

      Patrick entered the town hall meeting room. He eyed Mordecai and Shane sitting down at the long table. Taking a seat across from Mordecai, Patrick had made his decision. After a few days, Mordecai had information for the quest and Patrick was ready. He was going because he wanted to prove everyone wrong. As Mordecai finished his thoughts, Patrick looked around the furnished room. A large desk fashioned out of oak stood proud along a short wall at the far end of the elongated room. Before it sat a few cushioned chairs and a sprawling rug to complete the cozy feeling. The walls held paintings of each citizen from the time they were considered a hero. Behind the desk sat the largest painting. One portraying Shane and himself smiling as they created a magic shield. The start of Unishire. Patrick smiled. Soon his painting would be hung in here as well.

      "Well." Mordecai beamed, "Are you ready for your adventure?" The Psimouse snapped back to reality and nodded.

      "It sounds as though this evil organization is more ruthless than I thought." Shane started. Mordecai will inform you of what he has told me." Shane gestured towards the Dragoyle, indicating for him to speak. Mordecai cleared his throat as he began.

      "The evil organization is full of Darigans. Is it Doctor Sloth? We are not sure. They are more powerful than most Darigans though because they have been seen using powerful magic. Patrick, we are confident you will be able to defend yourself with your magical background. There is no more information on the organization other than they are stealing magic and no one can stop them. They all become confused when they get too close and forget where the end of the rainbow is. I did hear there is one creature that was born at the end of the rainbow. This might be the only way to get back to the end of the rainbow as it remains a secret to most."

      "Born at the end of a rainbow? How pleasant! This will be a cute little friend!" Patrick mused.

      "It lives in the Haunted Woods." Mordecai added.

      "You have got to be kidding! Why couldn’t you call it a he or a she? That makes it less terrifying than calling it an ‘it!’" Patrick speculated the terrors that live in the Haunted Woods. "Is there time to reconsider?"

      "You are funny, but fear not. Your sparkling green hat will be the scariest thing in those woods." Mordecai joshed.

      "Not as scary as you!" Patrick tried snapping back.

      "Yikes." Mordecai gulped. "Not good."

      "Enough you two." Shane intervened. "Patrick, are you ready to leave?"

      "One question. How will I find this guide that will lead me to the end of the rainbow?"

      "Look for the signs." Mordecai answered.

      "The what?"

      @@@

      The Psimouse stood at the edge of the shield. No one knew he would be leaving to save their town. He knew they would start to worry. He walked up to the barrier and looked behind him. Mordecai stood proud. Shane glowed in wisdom. Suddenly Patrick realized the reality of leaving and setting off on a dangerous adventure. He was scared for the first time.

      "I believe in you!" Mordecai shouted. Patrick looked over at his farewell entourage. He did not have quantity, but he sure did have quality. Taking a deep breath, Patrick stepped outside of the barrier. The distorted wall of the outside world consumed him as Shane watched him disappear.

      "Grow up fast, Patrick. You will remember the truth of who you are soon enough."

      @@@

      Patrick took a deep breath as he was greeted by an unfamiliar breeze. The outside world was not much different, but the smell was crisp and fresh. The sun felt warmer, but the atmosphere was eerier. Inside Unishire, there was a feeling of assured protection that followed each citizen. Outside, the feeling of comfort slipped away.

      Turning back, the entire city of Unishire had vanished. The obvious distorted wall that was visible from the inside was completely invisible from the outside. The space of the entire Haven was no bigger than Patrick’s wing span. The Psimouse turned back around and faced his journey ahead.

      The bustling life frightened Patrick. Neopia had changed since he had helped to create Unishire. Petpets wandered everywhere, clueless to the challenges he would have to face. They seemed to be going through life as if nothing was going on. Patrick noticed all the Petpets and a few Neopets roaming around as he circumnavigated the more populated ares, not wanting to come into contact with anyone. The last thing he needed was Petpets asking him questions or Petpets offering help. He didn’t need help and he was able to do it all by himself. He just needed the information from the creature at the end of the rainbow to guide him and he would be on his way to save Unishire. He noticed the big cities of Neopia and how they have grown and changed since he last saw them when he was wandering around Neopia ages ago. The cities had changed from a focus of domination, exploration and fortification to a life focused on entrepreneurship, entertainment, and empowerment. The desire to observe more increased in him, but he could not go and see them. He needed to hurry and save Unishire and the magic that it was relying on. Who knew how many sources relied on this magic and he would be saving them all. Maybe these cities are relying on magic themselves, but they don’t realize the danger yet because there has been only a slow drain of energy. He continued towards the Haunted Woods.

      Holding onto a small portion of his money supply, he had enough Neopoints to survive him months. Although he knew he had to travel light, he couldn’t help the thought of living a nice life during his travels. He had a large backpack that was enchanted to feel as though he wasn’t carrying anything. He only brought a sleeping bag, the last of his food so it wouldn’t spoil by the time he got home, and his supply of Neopoints. He also sneaked his cleaning supplies in the bag so he could keep his hat in tip top shape. He was excited about his sleeping bag because it was made of a rare fabric formed of Kyrii hair and enchanted fur that helped one fall to sleep within moments of lying down. He would sleep like a Baby Blu!

      The sun said its good night’s before it ducked into its bed. Patrick unrolled his green sleeping bag which could keep him warm in severe cold weather in addition to its other special properties. The Psimouse relieved his stress by reaching into his bag to find his cleaning supplies. He was a quick traveler and would arrive at the Haunted Woods tomorrow. He wiped down his hat and gave it a few squirts of his special spray. Patrick thought about the cities he was passing. Neopia Central, Brightvale, Roo Island, Kiko Lake, soon Faerieland and the Lost Desert as he would enter the Haunted woods from the south in order to find the creature of the rainbow. Mordecai had said that it was rumored that the creature lived in the southern parts of the Haunted woods, but fearing that he could lose time by cutting through, he decided to travel around the woods.

      The cities and places of Neopia have grown since he last had seen them. Had he changed? Well he felt that he was happier than when he first left and saw the world of Neopia for the first time. Did that count as change though? Was he really happy? The residents of Unishire did not really care for him, but he was not exactly interested in the old and retired Petpets of yesterday. They all thought him to be a nuisance and not belonging to the Haven because of his actions and his deformity of his third eye. He saw it as a symbol of victory over something that he shouldn’t have survived, but others see it as a mark of difference and thus they think he doesn’t belong. He was going to prove them wrong by showing him that he deserved to be living in a city of former heroes by becoming a hero himself.

      Smiling as the hat sparkled in the moonlight, the Psimouse was prepared for sleep as he placed the hat in the cover of the backpack and laid his head down. The enchanted sleeping bag lived up to its expectations as he felt comfortable, but that comfort dissolved into a relaxing deep sleep.

      @@@

      "Who are you?!" Patrick awoke to a Doglefox sentry sitting on top of an Uni, probably from Brightvale judging by the armor and coloring and emblem etched in her shield. Patrick rubbed his eyes as he sat up from his sleeping bag. It was mostly a restful night until this unwelcomed awakening. "You have one last chance before I throw you in the dungeons of Brightvale: who are you?"

      "My name is Gonzalez and I like to speed." Patrick voiced as he started packing up his gear.

      "Halt! I will not tolerate that kind of attitude and dismissal of my presence! I will detain you if need be. Don’t let it come to that, Psimouse."

      Patrick laughed a little bit. "Listen. I don’t want to bother you and you clearly don’t want to go through the paperwork of dealing with me. Let’s call it a day and go our separate ways." Without hesitation, the Doglefox was off the Uni and in a split second, Patrick had his gear kicked out from his hands, his knees buckled under the attack and a sword unsheathed near to his neck, his arms pinned in a single firm grasp of the Doglefox.

      "There’s no paperwork in killing a rogue bandit who tried attacking me."

      "Clever. You are tougher than I would suspect." Patrick admitted.

      "I don’t need your compliments or approval. Give me one good reason why I don’t haul you off to the dungeons or end your life here?"

      Patrick realized the seriousness behind her voice and stopped playing tough guy. "I am Patrick. I am off to find the creature of the rainbow in the Haunted Woods so it can give me advice on where I can find the end of the rainbow so I can restore magic and save my hometown. I might be saving more too because I don’t know what else relies on the magic of the rainbow." The Doglefox released her grip and sheathed her sword. Patrick felt relieved and rubbed his wrists, sore from her firm grip.

      "There has been a loss of magic in the world. There are rumors of an organization trying to steal magic from the realm, but for some reason none of the world leaders are making an effort to stop them. I want to help, but under my loyalty oath, I can’t do anything but watch the kingdom being torn apart." The Doglefox admitted. "Are you from Unishire?" Patrick nodded. "Then I believe you, although I am giving you more trust then my instincts are telling me, I will escort you to the Haunted Woods. I can’t sit back, but I can’t help either. So I will do my small share and help you to the Haunted Woods." The Doglefox mounted the Uni and helped Patrick on. Patrick explained the importance of entering from the south side of the forest. The Doglefox spoke in a murmur to the Uni and they were off.

      @@@

      "What’s your name?" Patrick asked as he slid off the back of the Uni.

      "My name is irrelevant. I bid thee good fortunes in your quest. I believe you will help us all. Farewell." With that, the Doglefox and Uni rode off. That was the fiercest warrior from Brightvale Patrick had seen. Times had really changed- for the better. Patrick turned to face the woods as he slowly crept into the dense foliage.

      The trees themselves whispered thoughts of turning back and returning home. Patrick whipped around to face a noise only to be greeted by a tiny Draphly. "Greetings, Draphly!" The little Petpetpet seemed to smile, but made no sound. Patrick smiled. "Let’s go on an adventure!" The creature seemed to nod and follow Patrick as he marched forward on a small trail. Patrick shared his mission with the little bug and it fluttered around Patrick as if to approve of Patrick. "You seem to flutter a lot…" Patrick deduced. The Draphly swirled above his head in excitement. "I’m going to call you Cosmo!" The Draphly stopped in its tracks seeming to express a face palm. "What’s wrong, Cosmo?" The Petpetpet inched forward, a visible change in its peppiness had occurred. "Well don’t lose all of your spunk! We are about to go meet the creature from the end of the rainbow!" At the mention of the creature, the little Draphly flew off the path. "Well that is rude. I was hoping little Cosmo could show me the way there." Patrick turned to continue down the trail. The Haunted woods were full of dead trees, many of them without life. A few brown and gray bushes hugged the base of trees as if they were clinging to them in fear. For a forest of surrounding dead trees, sunlight struggles to break the dense path of the looming limbs. Patrick continued on the shadowed trail when he heard an abnormal noise. Panicking, he tried hiding in the foliage lining the path.

      "You are loud and clumsy." Sneered a voice.

      "That flashy get-up also helped us." Mocked another voice. Patrick peaked through the bushes to see two figures standing in the middle of the path. Stepping back onto the path, Patrick called to the strangers.

      "Who are you?"

      "No one to you!" Called one of the strangers. Patrick looked at them closely observing that both were hidden under cloaks.

      "Of course cowards would hide under bath robes." Patrick prodded.

      "These are official agent cloaks!" The other stranger raged. They took off their hoods to reveal a Wain and a Flerper. "Now you are gonna get it!" The Wain spewed.

      "Get what?" Patrick laughed, "A bathrobe?"

      "That’s it! We know your plan since you told that silly Draphly everything. We are getting to that creature first! Right now, you are in our way." The Wain created a snow mote and the Flerper held a dirt mote. They flung the motes at Patrick faster than anyone could react. The Psimouse shifted right and dodged one, and he stepped over the second mote. The Petpets growled as they summoned another mote and again flung it at the Psimouse. Patrick jumped over one and spun dodging the other as they whizzed past him. They exchanged fearful glances.

      Long ago interest was lost in the Battledome. In order to revitalize it, a tournament was held in the arena and the winner would be named champion of the Battledome. This invigorated the people as everyone wanted the famous title of champion of the entire Battledome along with promised wealth. After a long and exciting process, Zevorin the Eyrie came out on top. None could challenge his amazing speed and his wits were unparalleled. In answer to this, many Neopians turned their attention to the Battledome and different strategies they could use to challenge and take the title for themselves. It was a lab on Krawk island that started researching motes, some of the rarest items.

      They were first thought to be the leftovers of failed faerie magic, but upon more investigation, theses scientists confirmed that they are not just failed magic, but they can be extracted from the surrounding environment. The only limitation was that in order to obtain certain motes using their collection device, one had to venture to distant parts of Neopia through treacherous terrain. This new discovery led to a revolution in the Battledome. Krawk fighters used the information and tools of the scientists for a price and soon they had a larger amount of motes they could use in their fights. Before in the Battledome, motes were a rarity that most did not want to expend in fighting. The information was soon leaked for neopoints to Brightvale, the center of mote research and they used this to mass produce devices allowing one to obtain motes. The cycle of greed for money led a magic entity to be the most sought after item as Neopia saw motes as the key to toppling Zevorin. One promising challenger, a Lupe, had arisen from Brightvale and climbed the ranks. The world of Neopia watched in anticipation as the Lupe was the first to challenge Zevorin in over a year. Using his surplus of motes, Zevorin was caught off guard, but soon his wits abounded and the Lupe stood no chance.

      The mysticism of the motes had vanished and the once strictly magical property of the elemental motes became material. Infuriated, wizards came together desiring to show how motes were magical beyond understanding of the current research. To counter this, wizards did their own investigation of the mysterious motes. Soon, they found that motes were indeed in all things and that there was no need to harvest them as the Brightvale knights did, but anyone specially trained could harness them into controllable projectiles. Soon, these mysterious wizards entered the arena and were able to conjure motes out of thin air. They dominated the Battledome and none were able to compete, even those with an envious supply of motes found themselves inferior to the new style of fighting invented by the wizards. This style of fighting is now referred to as Burvju Deju.

      The wizards rose to the top, but one wizard in particular, a Gelert as the rumor went, was surpassing his comrades. He was able to create rare motes, but most importantly, the Gelert was able to create an Ultranova, the top tier nova star! Most collectors had to go to remote lands in order to harvest motes through technology, but these wizards were able to create motes out of nothing, even when the element they needed was not nearby. They had been able to sense a small amount of an element and extract it until it became a mote. Many electrical and lava motes were created which devastated the competition, but the typical sources for these motes were a distance away! For these wizards to create motes out of thin air was extraordinary and the audience loved it. The Battledome increased in patronage and the Battledome grew to all new high in attendance and views of the Battledome increased. Soon, the whole world of Neopia turned to watch the battle of a lifetime. The unnamed masterful Gelert was now competing against the Champion of the Battledome: Zevorin. The battle was legendary, but the expected winner was Zevorin for obvious reasons. It was all over. Zevorin studied the new battle style of motes and so he knew what to expect. Zevorin was about to strike down his opponent and secure victory when the Gelert looked up from the ground and smiled, a cruel sinister grin. With a flash, he had conjured a dark nova. No one knew they existed, let alone could anyone summon one! Zevorin was taken by surprise and taken advantage of. The Gelert struck Zevorin with a quick blow and finished the match with the dark nova. Soon, as quickly as he came, the Gelert disappeared and so did all of the mysterious wizards. It was Patirck’s master, a Psimouse, who once admitted to having been one of these mysterious masters. He was not the Gelert though.

      Nowadays, it was uncommon to find a Neopian adept in the art of Burvju Deju, but there are rumors of the mysterious wizards teaching students to carry on the tradition. Patrick felt honored to have been taught, but he saw the evil and corruption in Burvju Deju. Just as with any form of power, if used for the wrong reasons, it can become a terrible vice. This was now demonstrated by the Wain and Flerper that stood before Patrick. They had been taught and were using the art Burvju Deju maliciously. Patrick grew worried as he looked at the attackers with new respect.

      "There are more of us! Fire away!" The Wain called. Patrick cartwheeled over a few motes and danced around each one they threw. The Flerper grew tired. He summoned an electrical mote, one not so easily dodged. He chucked it with lightning speed. Acting fast, the Psimouse summersaulted over the Wain’s snow mote and caught the electrical mote in air. As Patrick finished his summersault he let the motion of catching it and throwing it become one fluid motion as he let it hurl into the sky. The electrical explosion stunned the Flerper. Wide-eyed, they turned to run. Patrick leaped high into the air and mustered his power he had learned from his childhood. He focused his energy into his hand, focusing on the elements around him. He opened his eyes to see a jelly mote in his hand. Perfect. He hurled the mote at the strangers. It caught the wain by the feet as the Flerper scuttled off. The wain burst into laughter as Patrick walked up to him.

      "What’s so funny?" Patrick said.

      "I feared for my life there… But you only created a jelly mote!" The wain laughed hysterically. Patrick concentrated and formed a Zen mote. The happy mood ran off as the wain gathered the significance of summoning a zen mote.

      "Now you know my power. Speak!" Patrick placed the zen mote into the Wain. The wain was overcome with agony then joy. Finally he laid on the ground still as a rock. "Who are you?" The Wain smiled.

      "I am Agent Wain. I am working for Commander Meepit. We are trying to locate the end of the rainbow again to power up agent Splyke. We lost the location after first finding it thanks to the arrogance of Agent Skree. Apparently it moves it it feels threatened which is beyond me. If Agent Splyke is fully powered up, all of Neopia will be in danger. This way we can make way for the new world. The world of Meepit!" The wain cackled staring straight into the sky. Patrick dissolved the jelly and told the wain one last thing.

      "When you see your leader, tell him ‘boo.’" Patrick laughed, "But make sure you do it in a scary way so that he actually is concerned." The Wain stared into space as it stood up and walked off in the same direction as the Flerper. Patrick laughed as he complimented himself in his battling style. His hat will become a symbol of how great he is! The Psimouse loved that idea. Who knew that his training in Burvju Deju would pay and that he would be so much more adept than his opponents who knew the rare battle style. As Patrick came back to reality he listened carefully to hear something behind him. It was rhythmic. Was that the sound of clapping?

      Patrick whirled around and his jaw dropped. "At last. Welcome back to the world of Neopia, Patrick." The Psimouse blinked twice. In front of him was a red Psimouse!

      "Nice to see you too, Nash." Patrick grumbled, bitterly.

      The End.

 
Search the Neopian Times




Week 816 Related Links


Other Stories


---------

Unexpected Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day!
Valentine's Day doesn't always have to be about gifts!

by k3l26



Submit your stories, articles, and comics using the new submission form.