Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 90,556,056 Issue: 163 | 22nd day of Collecting, Y6
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Firejewel: Part Two


by sara_mossflower

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Going For Help

I opened my eyes. The burning was gone. Shadow filled the room. "Dayne?" I groaned. I had heard her crying…was she alright?

     "Huh?" came a whimpered reply from somewhere above me. Frey didn't whimper, and she didn't say things like "huh", either. I craned my neck and could see that I was sprawled on the floor of Dayne's room. The carpet smelled like perfume and the newly sold, clothy scent of a mall.

     The chair I'd tied Frey to was next to me, and Dayne's tan-furred foot was dangling next to my face. Her voice had come from the chair. "Are you okay?" I mumbled, too exhausted to sit up.

     "She…was me," whispered my roommate. "I saw myself hurting you, but it was like I was looking through a window. I couldn't stop her. I'm sorry, Sisslio."

     I'd never heard Dayne speak with such seriousness before, so I knew that she meant it. "It's okay," I told her, "'S not your fault, really."

     "But she'll come back, I'm sure of it!"

     I sighed. "We need help," I said, thinking aloud. In a matter of seconds, I had an answer to our predicament. "Aly!"

     Dayne sighed as well, only she sounded exasperated. "And Terzin! Jeez, every time we mention them it's always 'Aly'! It's getting kinda irritating constantly hearing about your secret crush all the time!"

     "My what?" I exclaimed. Even after being possessed and giving me a near-death experience, Dayne could still poke fun at me. "She's my friend, okay? That's it! 'Secret crush'…where do you come up with this stuff?"

     "Hah! Denial!" she said smugly. "Well, I guess you're right. Even though she is awfully pretty, with those blue and purple eyes of hers…"

     Alysoun SkyGaze did have nice eyes. That was probably what I liked best about her outward appearance. They were exactly like the sky, shimmering from clear azure to the indigo of storm clouds. "Yeah," I sighed. I couldn't really help myself.

     "Hah!" Dayne cried again. "YOU AGREE! Wow, it is so fun messing with your head!"

     "Okay, can we please change the subject?" I asked. "We should probably leave for the Roads now."

     The WindRoads were where the four winds merged. I didn't quite understand them yet. They were located at a crossroads of tunnels underground, beneath a large, gnarled tree on the outskirts of Neopia Central. I travelled them quite often. They stretched between the world of Neopia and…elsewhere. Aly and Terzin lived in another world, not in ordinary Neopia. This was something I didn't really understand, either.

     "But what if she comes back?" asked Dayne. "Frey."

     "Oh, yeah." I knew Frey wasn't going to give up - that was one thing she never did, not if her life depended on it. In our last battle, she had scarred me with a white pelt like her own, so I'd never forget our intertwining fates. "Well, I could leave you here, all tied up, and I could bring Aly here. And Terzin!" I added in a rush, should she choose to go on about fictional romance again.

     "You learn quickly," she told me, and through the darkness of evening, I could almost see her smirking at me.

     *

     About an hour later, I was ready to leave. I'd had to hang around for a few minutes since Dayne was complaining of starving to death while I was gone, so she'd made me feed her cookies and potato chips by hand until she was full. I finally said good-bye to her and made my way out the door of our apartment and into the forest fringing Neopia Central.

     I had the Windscythe at my belt, secure in the scabbard Aly had given me the previous year, as well as what I thought of as my WindRoads outfit. In Aly's world, it seemed to be a medieval sort of lifestyle, so I wore more appropriate garments in order to blend in with the crowd when I went there. I was clad in a loose tan shirt with open-ended sleeves, and this was surmounted by a roan-coloured tabard.

     I crept stealthily through the trees, moonlight dappled by the foliage. I didn't want to attract the attention of the few Neopians that were still awake. I made my way to the old tree and crept through the opening at its base. I wandered through the dark tunnels, through which I was able to navigate quite easily since I'd been through them so many times. Then I felt the wind. Without hesitation I stepped forward, and the breezes ensnared me, carrying me along my chosen path.

     Whenever I travelled the WindRoads, I got this feeling as if I was bigger than my physical body. Although I'd become used to it, it remained nothing short of exhilarating. The world flew by in millions of colours, and I was surrounded by the storm of existence.

     Finally, my feet were reunited with the earth.

     I was on the cliff overlooking Aly's (and Terzin's) village. I raced down this and onto the plain of this new world. I found Aly's house and pounded on the door. "Aly!" I called, "You awake? It's Sisslio!"

     The door was suddenly opened and I almost fell onto the floor. There was the striped Zafara, wearing an oversized tunic, which I guessed she slept in. "What the heck do you want?" she demanded.

     "Frey's back," I managed, still breathing raggedly since I had run all the way here. "She's possessing Dayne and she's out to kill me - again."

     Aly's eyes widened considerably. "Oh, gosh," she said, "You better come in."

     We sat down at her kitchen table and she offered me some dry biscuits, which I accepted gratefully. Despite feeding Dayne that last-minute junk food, I hadn't had anything to eat before being knocked unconscious earlier. I described what had happened this morning - how I had fought Frey in the hallway and tied her up. I also told her about the dream I'd had previous to discovering Frey's possession of Dayne. "And she told me that she had other ways of killing me," I said, "And she mentioned her Firejewel, whatever that is. I figured the necklace Dayne -"

     "Frey's Firejewel?"

     "Yeah," I said, stopping dead at the anxious look in her eyes. "Why? What does it do?"

     "Woa, this is bad," she muttered, "But maybe I should explain it back at your place and bring Terzin, so all of us are filled in. Oh!"

     "What?" I asked.

     "Your neck…"

     What about my neck? I gingerly touched my own throat and winced, realizing that Frey's attempt to strangle me had left tender bruises. I guess they showed through my white fur. "Oh, yeah," I said, once I realized their source, "Dayne - I mean, Frey did that. I'll be fine."

     "Well, at least let me put something on it," Aly told me. "If we're going to be dealing with the Firejewel, you should be in top condition."

     She didn't even wait for me to answer and strode over to a cabinet of herbs in the back hallway. I wasn't going to protest. Aly had amazing healing skills. Once, with only a thin root, she'd made a bad burn all but disappear from my paw.

     She ground something up with a mortar and pestle, and then applied the paste around my neck, slightly massaging it until it was absorbed into my skin. I sighed after she finished. "Thanks," I said, "That feels tons better!" The lack of pain drove away some stress too, just what I needed after surviving a struggle with Frey.

     "Good," said Aly, then stood up. "Let's go get Terzin and head for your place."

     We made our way down the dusty paths though the village until we reached a small cottage similar to Aly's house. We knocked on the wooden door, and to my surprise, a cloud Lupe answered it. The last time I'd seen Terzin, he'd been yellow.

     "Wow," I said, "Finally got painted?"

     "Oh, yeah!" he replied, "Right, you haven't seen the clouds on me yet. I think after last year - y'know, how Dayne did you Cloud with the potion - it just caught on to me. Zafaras can be painted cloud now, though."

     "Don't remind me," I said, "Dayne tells me that every day. Once, she tried to make me cloud with a brush, but nothing will colour over this white of Frey's."

     "Right. Anyway, why are you two here?"

     Aly explained everything in a single statement. "Her Firejewel's got Dayne."

     "What?!" he exclaimed. "How? I thought that the League -"

     "Me too," Aly interjected. "Someone must have convinced them to side with her again, or maybe they know the Windstorm came. Or maybe one of them turned traitor."

     I wasn't following any of this. "What in the world are you guys talking about?" I demanded. "You never explain anything first, do you?"

     "Bad habit," Aly said smoothly. "We'll give you all the details when we get a look at Dayne."

     "Fine," I muttered.

     "Then let's go," suggested Terzin. "If it is indeed the Firejewel, Dayne's life could possibly be sacrificed."

     "What?" I gasped, "Why?"

     "Because," Aly replied, "Frey could be using her as a substitute Windstorm. She might be trying to kill Dayne in order to return."

     I felt my heart leap into my throat. "No…"

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Firejewel: Part One
» Firejewel: Part Three
» Firejewel: Part Four
» Firejewel: Part Five
» Firejewel: Part Six
» Firejewel: Part Seven
» Firejewel: Part Eight



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