Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 93,823,843 Issue: 183 | 26th day of Running, Y7
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Shades of Darkness: Shadow is Arising - Part Eleven


by jesse12_3

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Pudding and I were out behind the tree house practicing swordplay (our weapons had been given back after the council meeting.)

     "You call that a thrust?" teased Pudding as she blocked my attack with one quick motion of her arm.

     "Well, I didn't get your training," I jabbed at her shoulder, but she sidestepped it and my blade sliced air.

     Pudding swung her blade at my chest in a horizontal arc. I jumped back and saw the orange form approaching.

     It was a Zafara wearing a blue tunic with a sword at his belt. He wore brown leather boots with silver cowboy spurs attached to the heels. His eyes were a deep shade of blue. The tip of his left ear was missing and a scar stretched along his right cheek.

     "That's some nice skill there," he said. "I've been watching from a distance."

     "Thanks," I said. "Who are you?"

     "Tal Morgan. I've been sent here by Raphel to teach a person called Mackenzie magic."

     "I'm Mackenzie," I said, sheathing my sword. "And this is Pudding." I pointed to the blue form next to me.

     "Nice to meet you," He walked up to me and held out a furry hand. I shook it.

     "You aren't doing anything at the moment, are you?" asked Tal.

     "No, why?"

     "Follow me. I need to show you something."

     "Okay," I shrugged. "Pudding if any of the guys ask where I am, tell them I'm taking a walk." Pudding nodded and walked off to the tree house.

     I followed Tal through a bunch of Azlan backstreets, having no clue where he might be taking me. The sun was setting now and small fires were being lit outside homes.

     Tal stopped at the end of a small dirt road. A small wooden sign was hammered into the ground in the middle of the road. Written in bright red letters was 'Lake of Legends-DO NOT ENTER WITHOUT PERMISSION!' Tal, however, ignored the sign and we kept walking.

     We marched through some thick trees until we came to the shore of the lake. A long stone pathway ran directly in front of us out into the middle of the lake. At the end of the path was a large stone table.

     Tal and I walked across the pathway and out into the center of the lake. We approached the table. On it lay a sword, broken in two.

     "This," said Tal, running his hand over the sword's hilt, "Is the Sword of Neopia. It was once the greatest weapon in the universe. It could take down even the most deadly villains. But sadly, that time has long since passed."

     "What happened to it?" I asked.

     "If I were to tell the whole tale to you, we'd still be here by the time summer comes again. I'll just summarize it the best that I can."

     "A long time ago, Neopia was a very different place then it was now. Neopets lived in roaming tribes of there own species, and war often broke out among them. The faeries lived away from the Neopets in their city in the clouds. Life was like this for hundreds of years. But, one day, a human somehow got into Neopia. Nobody knew how he got here, he didn't say. This human was called Ivan.

     After entering Neopia, Ivan, of course, had no clue where he was. He wandered for days, trying to find some sort of civilization. He eventually collapsed, and would have died if not for a passing earth faerie. Earth faeries, at the time, did not live in the clouds, but on Neopia itself because they, unlike all other faeries, got along with Neopets and respected them.

     The faerie, not knowing who or what Ivan was, took him to the Faerie Queen in Faerieland. He was nursed back to health and questioned about where he came from. He said he was a human, but nothing more. The faeries accepted him, and Ivan spent the next few years of his life living in the castle. He was trained in the arts of magic and swordplay, and soon he became one of the most powerful beings in Neopia.

     But that time did not last long. Soon a war broke out between Neopets and the Faeries. Ivan acted for both sides. He established peace between them. He then founded the town of Neopia Central. Neopets no longer had to live like wild savages. Homes were built and a currency was established. Shops then came into existence so not everybody had to constantly hunt for food. For Ivan's efforts, he was forged a sword with the right combination of science and magic. That sword was the Sword of Neopia.

     Ivan had befriended and Eyrie during the war. The two became best friends and often went on adventures together. During a trip in Terror Mountain range, they were ambushed by a group of rebel Dark Faeries. Ivan survived because of his power, but the Eyrie was destroyed. He died in Ivan's arms.

     Ivan, maddened by grief and the betrayal of the faeries, began to hate the faerie race all together. He hid the Sword of Neopia where nobody could find it and forged a new one, this one containing only the darkest magic available. He raged war against Neopia. Nobody could destroy him, his power was too strong. He became the ruler of Neopia.

     Many years later the Sword of Neopia was found by a young Eyrie named Eli. Eli was a master swordsman, nobody could beat him. He challenged the power of Ivan in a long and seemingly endless battle. In the end, Eli struck Ivan down. But because of the magic released by Ivan, Eli was killed and the sword was shattered. It became lost once more.

     Then, almost a hundred years ago, a Zafara in this very village found it and brought it back. But Neopia was not in a threatened position at the moment, so no efforts to restore the Sword were made. It was placed here, for we knew some day that it would be needed again."

     "And now it's time has come," whispered Tal.

     "So how exactly are we going to re-forge it?" I asked.

     "First, you need the right magic. It will be forged with all eight types. I'll explain those later. In order to learn the higher powers of magic, we will have to journey to Spectrum Mountain, where your training will be complete. Then we can come back here and re-forge it."

     "Just a thought," I said. "If you can do magic to a high frequency, why aren't you a Guardian?"

     "Firstly," he said. "You have something called Innate Magic. It means you were born with a gift for magic. I however, was taught magic by myself and instructors when I was young. I use non-Innate Magic because I was not born with it. If you and a non-Innate magic user were locked in a duel, and you both had the same amount of strength, you would win; Innate magic is always stronger then non-Innate. This is why you were selected to be Guardian. You're the only person on the planet who has the gift of Innate magic in the past five hundred years."

     "Well, how did you know that?" I asked him. "I've never even so much as turned a grass blade a different color."

     "All magic users can sense whether a person has magic or not after they have unlocked their power. You can't do it yet, as you haven't used magic. But I can, the faeries can, and anyone else on the planet that uses magic can. When two magic users are within a few yards of each other, they can pick each other's magic currents up. It can also be done from a much greater distance, but it won't be as clear. I'm picking yours up right now. How do you tell if there Innate or not? Innate magic currents are always stronger and more 'violent' then non-Innate ones. That is why I can pick yours up even though you have never used magic in your life."

     I nodded. "So when are we leaving to go to this Spectrum mountain place?"

     "In a few days. We'll need to prepare for thi-"

     His words were cut short by a loud, high-pitched screech. A great gust of wind blew across the tree. The sky darkened to complete blackness, just as it had done that day in Neopia Central with Bananagirl. But this time, it did not go away.

     Tal swore. "We need to move. Go to your tree and grab what you need. Meet me by the entrance to Azlan. Don't take more then needed."

     "What's happening?"

     "The Shades have broken the Barrier! They can use magic now, and will surely be attacking Azlan and looking for you, once they figure out who you are! We need to get a good head start on our journey! We leave tonight."

     We ran down the stone path back to shore. Tal went left, while I went right as we passed the sign. The guest tree was not visible from here. Screams of villagers could be heard in the distance. I ran through several dark alleys and final reached the main road. I could see the guest house. I ran to its base and climbed the stairs. I opened the door. No light could be seen inside. Nobody was home. I was just about to move my foot when I saw a dark shadow move across the room.

To be continued...

 
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