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Petpet Name: Fluffy II
Pet Name: Zantiago
About Fluffy II:
Zantiago and I haven't been together very long. I remember when he brought me home for the first time. I was purring uncontrollably -- Zant was my first ever companion! He nuzzled my fur and then set me down in the yard.
"I have a present for you; I'll be right back!" the Krawk said, then spun on his heel and darted into the house.
The heat of the day was unrelenting. I spotted some shrubbery in the back of the lot and decided some shade would be nice while I waited for my new owner to return.
Amid the overgrowth I noticed a stone block. It was old and weathered, and yet too clean-cut to be natural. Vines clung in thick swathes to the face of the stone. I unsheathed my claws and dragged them down the face of the rock slowly, the vines succumbing to their rigidity and snapping apart.
The tendrils gave way to an engraving on the hard, cool surface. Five bold letters; Fluffy. Above the inscription was an etching of a Blooky. It was a gravestone. Questions began to pour into my mind; who was Fluffy? How long has Fluffy been deceased? Was Fluffy Zantiago's old Petpet, or was this tomb here before Zantiago moved in? Why was the crypt so unkempt... and how did Fluffy die?
I heard the door close to the house and sprang from the bushes, trying to look as inconspicuous as possible. Zant strode up to me with a small box in powder blue. He cupped the lid in his claws and pulled it back to reveal a brilliant black leather collar with a sterling silver buckle. On the ID tag was an engraving, which read... Fluffy II.
Fluffy II?!? I was... a replacement? The collar was the nicest gift -- the ONLY gift -- I had ever received in my young existence. I should have been ecstatic, and yet my heart sank. I wasn't about to disappoint my first owner, though, so I swallowed hard and stretched a smile across my face in gratitude.
Zant looped the collar around my neck and fastened the buckle. He smiled at me, but there was sorrow behind his eyes.
I wanted to inquire about the tombstone, but I felt it wasn't an appropriate time, so I waited until the next day.
Zantiago found me sitting in the yard the next morning. I had cut away most of the bushes that shrouded the tombstone. My paws were stained green with vegetation fluids.
His mouth was agape. Finally he spoke. "So... you found Fluffy." Zant walked slowly toward me and knelt down. His eyelids hung low, his voice somber. "Fluffy was my first Petpet..." His mouth opened, as though he was about to say more, but he paused and remained silent. He stroked my head, and after a moment stood up and walked back into the house.
A few weeks went by, and I noticed that Zantiago never took me anywhere with him. The farthest we would go was the end of the yard. I was starting to think he didn't... love me. Was I not living up to the infamous Fluffy I? Did Zantiago regret purchasing me? Did I upset him with the tombstone?
I made the conscious decision to follow Zant out the next day when he went on his daily quests. He had no idea that I was slinking in his shadow the entire day, all the while he was under the impression that I was safe at home.
We finally arrived at the Snowager's cave. An icy breeze whistled through the caverns and chilled me right to the bone. I shivered as I hid behind stalagmites, carefully watching my owner as he approached the sleeping beast. He was inches from snagging a Negg from the trove when I felt a tickle rise in my nose. "ACHOOOO!" I sneezed violently.
Zant's eyes spotted me behind my shield of ice, his eyes wide with fear.
"ROOOOAR!" The frozen serpent reared up in an thunderous rage, his booming voice shaking spears of ice from the cavern ceiling. The entire cave shook ferociously, ice shards raining from above. The Snowager drew in a massive breath, ready to strike. Zant darted to me, scooping me up with a gloved paw as he raced away from the beast. We turned a corner just as a blast of ice collided with the wall. Zantiago kept running, as fast as his Krawk legs could carry him, until we reached the cave entrance.
The only sound was Zant's ragged breathing and the pounding of our hearts in our chests. When he finally caught his breath, Zant set me down in the shallow snow. He removed his scarf and draped it around me. The gesture was loving, but his eyes were trembling with fear, rage, and sorrow.
"WHY DID YOU FOLLOW ME HERE?!? Do you have any idea what could have happened to you?!?" Tears sprung from his frantic eyes. So he really did care about me. "I can't lose another one... not again..." Zant must have seen the way I cocked my head to the side. "I think it's time I told you about... your predecessor."
We arrived home in the evening. Zant had set a blanket out by the grave in the backyard. We sat there, silent for a moment, until he finally spoke. "Fluffy was a Blooky, just like you." His hand slid gently across the smooth stone of the grave. "I loved him dearly. He went everywhere with me. He came with me to the Snowager's cave -- like we had done many times before. But... but... The Snowager... got him." Zant's head hung low. I placed a paw on his knee. He looked to me, a tiny smile playing on his mouth. "At first I was so upset -- I thought I would never get another Petpet again -- but when I saw you in that shop... the warm nostalgia of being a Petpet owner churned inside me. I realized I needed a companion, but I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't take my new Petpet on any dangerous adventures. I wouldn't risk it again. That's why I've been leaving you at home every day. I don't want anything to happen to you... I love you." Zant's smile grew wide and warm. I couldn't help but grin, too. I hopped up his thighs and pecked him on the nose with a kiss. Zant laughed and snuggled me; my worries melted away. He really did love me. "I'll tell you what..." Zant began. "You can come with me on adventures from now on, but you need to promise me that you'll stay out of the Snowager's chamber. Leave the dangerous stuff to me!" I meowed happily in agreement.
The next day we went and set flowers at the late Fluffy's resting place before setting out on our first (or second, I guess) adventure together.
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