There are ants in my Lucky Green Boots Circulation: 97,025,825 Issue: 191 | 21st day of Hunting, Y7
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A Shadow in the Light: Knowledge and Remembrance - Part One


by rabbitofkittyhawk

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"Dizzie, where are you!" the fire Lupe shouted, cupping his paws around his maw to amplify his desperate shouts. "Dizzie!" He lowered his paws slowly, gaze saddening as he overlooked his forest surroundings. Why had he been so ignorant? The thought of her being alone in the forest didn't really catch his attention though; it was the fact that she had been right. "Dizz, I'm sorry," he whispered, starting forward at a painfully slow walk. His matted ebonite peltage was covered in tawny brown dust, his once bright crimson and burnt amber flames were dulled with the miserable night in the forest, his usually glittering eyes were affected as well for they were dimmed with worry and regret.

      After several more moments of walking, several angry voices caught his auds' attention and he ducked into the verdant foliage in fear. His tattered form shuddered from the morning chill, and he swiftly intertwined his thinly clothed arms to lock in his little heat.

      "-a strange one 'e is. I don't think Chanook should be a trustin' 'im, do you?"

      "If Chanook trusts him, than I trust him. That's final."

      "Yeah, but- wait... look over there!"

      Sovan looked at his plume, horrified to see his fire patterned tail protruding from his hiding place. He dared a glance up to see a monstrous Shadow Krawk, and, frightened, he stood and tore from the undergrowth, the words knitted into the Krawk's cloak searing in his mind. 'Daene Magus'.

      "Get 'im would ya!" the other voice cried, causing the Krawk to hasten after him. The reptile's scaly claw extended from his massive body and the Neopet quickly caught hold of Sovan's tassle, jerking him to a stop.

      The Fire Lupe frantically struggled, fighting to be freed, but to no avail. He soon collapsed in a heap, exhausted from his unsuccessful attempts. If only he had stayed in Ovalon. If only he hadn't made Manov run away from the village to follow some foolish quest. If only he hadn't left Dizzconnie alone in this good for nothing forest. If only he hadn't inherited such a horrid temper... and since when could Krawks be painted Shadow anyway? "What is it you want?" he muttered at last, slowly pushing away from the ground.

      "Daiile," the Krawk mumbled lowly. "Doesn't this one look familiar to you? It seems like I've seem him before though I can't quite place it..."

      The other pet revealed himself to be a Grey Wocky, his face almost rosy with anger. "Of coarse 'e looks familiar, 'e's the one who 'ad been with the black brat, you old fool! I would give a few thousand Neopoints sayin' that we'll get a reward for takin' IM on over to Kax and Chanook, Daene." The Wocky, who the Krawk had called Daiile, smirked heavily and bent down to be eyelevel with the Lupe. "And I just 'appen to 'ave a perfect pair of binds just for you, chum!" He took hold of Sovan's paws and slipped them into an old, worn pair of leather cuffs and pulled him to his feet. "You picked a fine day to be a strollin' in our neck of the woods."

      Sovan fought to pull his wrists free of the tight leather straps, but the ancient bindings succeeded in their job. Daene let loose a sharp snarl and gave the canine a malevolent push to get him walking at a swift pace. Several minutes passed and the trio remained silent, glances frequently shooting at one another. "Where are we going?" the Fire Lupe asked at last.

      "Silence! We are near the meeting place of the Saave, and you must show respect!" Daene shouted, seizing his prisoner's shoulder and giving it a warning squeeze. "I'm sure Chanook will want your head in the rage he's in anyway, so I would suggest you be on your best behavior."

      And there it was, trees became more spaced out and alabaster branches crept into the canopy of the forest's eerie darkness. A clearing came and Sovan was quite surprised to not be met with a flow of light, with the morning rays that should have been flooding the opening. It was all strangely odd, and a chill was sent down his spine. A cave split the large white tree's middle beginning from a large gap in the roots, and a feline like shape sat in the center of its mighty outline. "Who is that?" he asked softly, almost mesmerized by the figure's swiftly flicking tassle.

      His captors chuckled, and Daene pushed him to his knees. "You will find out soon."

      "So, now what have you brought me? Another infant gone mad?" The voice gave a short, disgusted laugh and stood to pad forward several paces to reveal the hideous face of a fatale Darigan Kougra. "I am not in the mood for anymore childish games, Daene." The Krawk shrunk back as the feline flexed her large ebonite talons. "Well get up, let me look at you," she spat quickly, suddenly glaring to Sovan.

      The Lupe shakily stood as Kax leapt toward him, her four pillars silently kissing the ground with delicate elegance. "I am no infant, and neither am I mad," he shot to the Kougra, locking his gaze onto her own.

      The Kougra let a smirk crease her ugly maw, and her pools narrowed in a mocking scowl. "Really? Then you'd best keep it that way, for many a pet goes mad in the presence of the Saave," she purred, beginning to circle him. "But if you don't, you wouldn't be the first, so don't think you're special. Speaking of special, we had a new addition added just yesterday and she might be lonely. Would you like to join her? I'm sure she would like the company."

      Sovan raised a Lupish eyebrow and shook his head. "No, I wish to be released."

      "Oh, but I insist," she pressed, stopping in front of him before turning her dial towards the Krawk. "Daene, bring the Gelert," she ordered.

      Before Daene could react, Daiile stepped forward with a few swift steps. "Kax, I must add that this Neopet was spotted with-"

      "Silence, Daiile! There is nothing you have to say that I would care to listen to. Go curl up somewhere and cry your little grey heart out until I need you," the Kougra snarled bitterly, pools flashing with disgust.

      Daiile gave a short bow and said stiffly, "Aye, m'lady." He straightened and quietly padded from the clearing.

      Suddenly, as if remembering his orders, Daene walked toward the tree's cave, swiftly melting into the shadows. The time that it took him to go where ever he was going seemed to stretch on... a minute... five minutes... Several muffled voices finally sounded inside until soon he returned, a Faerie Gelert behind him in bindings.

      Sovan perked his auds and the slightest of smiles lit upon his maw as he saw Dizzconnie, and he leapt forward, veering around Kax and pushing past Daene. "Dizzie, you're alright!" he sighed, embracing his friend in a hug. Dizzconnie's violet wings drooped and held several tears, but overall she was unharmed and looked like she had when he had last seen her. "Thank the faeries you're alright."

      The Gelert sniffed softly as the chain on her shackles slackened and Sovan moved back slightly. "I'm alright... but not him," she sobbed sorrowfully. "I could have stopped him, but I didn't. Sovan, I couldn't stop him in time!" She collapsed to her knees and wept bitterly, uncaring of the Neopets around her.

      "What? Dizzie, what are you talking about?"

      She didn't answer.

      "Well isn't this awkward... she knows you? So that must mean you know him, and if you know him then you may be of some use," Kax muttered, almost to herself. "Yes, why had I thought this would be complicated?" The Kougra chuckled softly and wheeled around to look at the two canines. "Kid, get out here!"

      Sovan flinched at Kax's shrill command, glancing in several directions. So much confusion... "What's going on here, Dizz?"

      Dizzconnie shuddered and struggled to her feet once more, wiping the crystal beads from her cheeks. "He's like them now. He's not like he was, he's someone different now. He's evil."

      Now on the brink of frustration, Sovan shouted, waving his arms above his head, "He who!?"

      No one answered him. No one needed to. As the Lupe finished speaking, a small form appeared at the cave entrance, its head hanging low. "I am he," the figure whispered, it voice youthful and shy. The shadowy form moved forward, and as it did so, Daene dropped Dizzconnie's chain and moved away from the tree. "And Manov am I," the voice hissed, the tone lowering greatly, losing its innocence and sense of youth. The Shadow Zafara kept his gaze to the ground, but his small paw fingered a gold chain around his neck.

      Sovan instantly forgot his worry and a snarl formed on his mug. "Manov! What were you thinking, running away like that!? Seriously, I thought you would be more responsible than to do something as stupid as to leave the village in such a dangerous time as this. You want to help Frauns? Then do it by showing that you actually have a brain under that tuft of fur of yours!" he growled, angrily marching in front of the young Zafara.

      "Me? Help the blacksmith? Why should I care about him? He is their prisoner, so a prisoner of mine he is," the shadowed pet responded, continuing to avoid anyone's gaze.

      "Stop talking like that, you sound idiotic," Sovan snapped, his voice veering toward the tone of a teacher scolding a child.

      "I can speak no other way, for it is the way I speak," Manov retorted, raising his voice slightly and looking up. "Just like you can never change your temper."

      Sovan recoiled instantly, seeing only the dahlia glow of the Zafara's pools, the ebonite slivers of pupils making him turn away. "Manov," he breathed, heart falling as if it had been pushed off the top of Techo Mountain. "My friend... what have they done to you?"

To be continued...

Note: I hope the first section of the series was enjoyable! More time was put into the parts in this section, so it should be easier to read since it's not as infested with misspellings.

 
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