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Pet Name: Renille
A shrill cry of protest escaped Celtabi as the Christmas Zafara lowered him a little bit further over the snowy precipice west of the Haunted Woods.
"You wouldn't!" Celtabi's yellow eyes grew larger by the moment, feet frantically kicking at the cliff side for purchase while his tail whipped around for balance. Although the Darigan Blumaroo was more than capable of flying at a low altitude, a sudden drop from this height would be considerably more difficult to recover from, if not impossible before he made fast friends with the ground far below.
"Wouldn't I?" Renille dared him to question her conviction as he stammered out an incoherent string of panicked sounds. It would seem as though he presently had nothing worth mentioning on the matter of whether or not she was bluffing, and so she continued.
"Let me tell you a thing about faith," the Christmas Zafara seethed, her knuckles cracking as they tightened on the collar of the Darigan Blumaroo she was holding dangerously far over the ledge. "It would be in your best interests to recognize that when I say I'll drop you straight into the Haunted Woods, I'll do exactly that if you continue to be so insufferable. I promise."
She spoke with such confidence there was little room for doubt. Although Celtabi had a great amount of hesitation, he certainly wasn't brave enough to voice his concerns. He offered a shaky nod to the Zafara after deciding that thrashing about on the ridge might not be such a great idea.
"For all the misery you've caused me over the years, the very least you could do is pay your proper respects and make amends for the damage you've caused. In fact, that's precisely what you'll do." The underlying animosity in her tone was one that the Blumaroo found incredibly unsettling.
"And if I don't?" Celtabi licked his lips, trying to look anywhere except down.
"A clever Neopet in your exceptionally compromised position doesn't have much choice, does he?" Renille said with a thin smile that didn't meet her eyes. Celtabi shuddered.
"You can drop the snarky attitude, or I'll drop you. If it's a terribly difficult decision, I'll go ahead and make the choice for you." She released one hand from his coat with a shove, prompting an immediate shriek from the Blumaroo.
"H-Hey, don't do that!" Both of his hands flew to grasp at the Zafara for support, clinging to her arm desperately.
"Don't what?" Renille sneered while Celtabi looked on with abject horror.
"For Fyora's sake, Reni! Put me down!"
"Put you down... where exactly? Down there?" She gave him another shove, her fingers starting to slip from his coat.
"With you!" Celtabi wailed in terror. "I'll go with you, I'll do it, just don't toss me! Please!" His voice was frantic as he clutched at her arm more fiercely than ever.
"That's not something you should say lightly," the Zafara warned him with a calculating stare. "And you're not an honest creature, Cel. If you give me even the slightest reason to doubt your word-"
"I won't! I won't," the Blumaroo repeated with great urgency. His head was light and he wasn't entirely certain how long he could keep holding on for. "Your fears, your doubts, there won't be any need for either of them!" Celtabi considered mentioning that there was no reason for Renille to be holding him over a cliff side either, but thought better of it. "I'll help you! I'll be useful, I promise!"
For a stretching moment the Blumaroo feared the very worst as Renille took her time deciding what to do with him. He tried to meet her eyes, uneasy about what he saw there. Gone was the soothing tone in her voice. The trust and kindness she readily shared with friends and strangers alike was nowhere to be found. It seemed as though her bountiful fountain of compassion had dried up completely, replaced by a seething well of contempt. Renille looked almost exactly the same as he remembered even after all these years, but on the inside? He had to wonder who gave Jhudora's heart to the Zafara.
"Remember that pledge and the consequences you'll suffer for breaking it," Renille advised before hauling Celtabi back onto the ledge, releasing him at last. The Blumaroo's trembling knees promptly gave way and he collapsed into the snow beside the Zafara. He shakily adjusted his tie and collar when he was able to return to his feet.
"I will," he assured her, uncertain of how he could be expected to forget.
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