The Plain of Dreams

   Once upon a time, in a small grassy plain, far, far away, a prince lived in a castle, with his two generals, the lenny and the xweetok. The plain he ruled over was a happy place. No one knew what fighting nor sadness was and everyone lived peacefully.

   One day, an evil queen invaded the peaceful plain and made one-fourth of it her home. She planned to attack the castle where the prince lived and take over the whole plain. However, a beautiful faerie found out about the evil queen's plan and raced towards the castle. Fortunately, she made it in time to warn the prince about the evil queen's plan. The prince immediately began preparing for the attack and thanks to the faerie's warning, he and his two generals were able to fend off the evil queen's attack.

   Once the queen found out about the faerie and her warning, the queen became furious. She cast a spell and trapped the faerie inside a large flower bud which appeared in the middle of the plain. The faerie warned the prince, and asked that he not fall into the queen's trap by coming to save her.

   However, it was already too late, for the prince had already fallen in love with the beautiful faerie. He rushed forward into battle and fought bravely against the evil queen. The queen laughed, as the prince began to grow weaker and weaker, thanks to her trap. He was no match for the evil queen.

   Until a miracle happened, and the flower bud, which held the faerie, bloomed. The faerie, using the last of her power, returned the prince to his former strength and together, they defeated the evil queen.

   The Plain of Dreams was once again a beautiful, peaceful place, now ruled together, by the prince and the faerie.

However... most fairy tales have been altered, and the truth distorted. Happy endings have been created when in reality, things are not so well.

During the War...

   "General Crait!" a kougra soldier called out as he ran up to Crait who stood in front of the palace gates. The kougra kneeled in front of the xweetok general before giving his report.

   "The queen's troops have pulled back. The injured are being treated as we speak. Prince Migliore has asked for you to go survey the plain, to make sure the townspeople are okay," the kougra said.

   "Tch! That silly Lio! Leaving me out of everything!" Crait complained.

   "Far from it sir! Prince Migliore trusts you deeply, that's why he asked for you to guard the palace!" the kougra argued.

   "Who cares about that?! I want to fight ," Crait declared. His eyes shone with a sudden thirst for blood that made the kougra soldier step back in fear.

   Crait sighed. "Well, better check out the town before he complains," Crait said, before walking towards the dirt road leading to the town...

   "It's Crait!!" a uni cried out as the popular general walked through town. He waved at the girls as they swooned and fainted. He never understood what drew girls to him, but he liked the popularity, though he never took advantage of it.

   "Crait!" a voice from behind shouted, right before the person jumped on top of him.

   Nearly losing his balance, Crait turned his head back to see who is was.

   "Aryii! Hey! Long time no see," he said to the usul on his back.

   The usul smiled widely. "What are you doing here?" she asked.

   "Checking for any damage that might have been caused by the latest battle," Crait replied.

   "The battle was closer to the city than the town, so I don't think anything's been damaged," Aryii explained.

   "What?! So Lio sent me here for no reason?!" Crait said, annoyed.

   Aryii laughed. "But hey, now you have some free time right? Let's go do something together!" she suggested.

   "Nah, I think I'll go back to the castle and see what the next battle plan's going to be," Crait said. His tone held a subtle amount of excitement.

   Aryii frowned. "But Crait, war is a terrible thing," she said.

   "Yeah," Crait agreed half-heartedly, "But I get to fight. So that's one good point."

   Crait turned around and began heading back to the castle, leaving a sad Aryii behind.

   "What a dense xwee!" her friend scoffed, "Come on, Aryii, he's not worth it. That fool won't love anything more than fighting."

   Aryii shook her head. "I'll keep trying..."

   Back at the castle... Crait went immediately to the meeting room, where Muir, the lenny general and Prince Migliore were preparing for the next fight and threw open the doors.

   "Crait!" Muir said, surprised, "You returned quickly."

   "Lio! Why'd you send me to the town? The battle wasn't even there!" Crait complained.

   "I thought the townspeople would feel safer if you were around. This war is worrying them," Migliore replied factually.

   Crait, not being smart enough to argue, shrugged it off. "Whatever, but hey, let me fight in the next battle okay?" he asked with a smile.

   "We'll see Crait," Migliore replied vaguely. "You're popular, so I'd prefer you reassure the townspeople that everything's okay."

   "Wouldn't you be better at doing that, prince? Crait argued.

   Lio smiled and shook his head. "I think they're more open with you," he complimented.

   Crait rolled his eyes. "Come on, Lio, I don't want to be some poser general!" he argued.

   Lio sighed. "Alright, alright, I'll put you in a battle soon," the prince finally agreed.

   "Yes!" Crait cheered. Muir smiled at his childishness.

And so several weeks passed without much conflict. Crait went about his usual business, hanging around the castle, guarding the gates as his duty called for, and sometimes slacking off by heading into town. Because Prince Migliore was one of his most trusted friends, and he thought Lio would call for him when the next battle occurred, he didn't suspect anything was wrong.

   "Are you still waiting?" Aryii asked, as Crait sat on top of the walls surrounding the castle.

   "Yup," he replied, looking down at the small usul, "Lio said I could be in the next battle."

   "I wish you wouldn't go," Aryii replied sadly.

   "I'll be okay," Crait reassured her weakly.

   Aryii frowned. "That's not what I meant..." she whispered to herself.

   Crait noticed her worried and sad expression, causing him to worry in return. "Chill Aryii, I'll be back soon," he said, jumping off the wall and landing perfectly on the ground.

   "Anything I can do to help?" she asked.

   "No, no, it's fine. You should stay in the town where it's safe," Crait said.

Unknown to Crait, Aryii would visit the gates everyday to see if he was there. Quite often, of course, Crait would be wandering around somewhere else, never finding out that a friend had come to check up on him...

One day, when he actually was doing his job, guarding the gates, Muir, the lenny general came to talk to him.

   "Hey Muir, what's up?" Crait greeted his fellow general.

The polite lenny smiled at him as he came out of the castle's front gates.

   "Hey Crait, Migliore is calling for you..." Muir said a bit quietly.

   "Finally!" Crait cried out, rushing inside towards the prince's room.

   "Time to go?!" he asked impatiently as soon as he opened the door.

Lio smiled as he rolled his eyes. "Yeah Crait, looks like the next battle is going to be near the forest..." he said.

   "Leave it to me Lio! I know that place like the back of my hand!" Crait exclaimed.

That battle, one that was supposed to be fun and exciting, turned out to be devastating and life-changing...

   "Remember," Prince Migliore started, instructing the soldiers before the battle started, "Do not kill anyone. Take prisoners if absolutely necessary, or let them go if they are harmless."

   "Don't worry Lio!" Crait said confidentally, "I'll make sure we win since this is my first battle in a long time!"

   "Crait! That's not the point," Migliore said.

   "Let's go!" Crait shouted, dashing into the forest.

Prince Migliore did a facepalm. "Why did I hire him?" he sighed, "Well troops, let's go. Try your best to stay away from Crait, okay?"

   "Why sir?" a curious soldier asked. This ogrin had only recently joined the army and had never been in a battle alongside Crait before. One of the veteran soldiers put a hand on the new one's shoulder.

   "Try to remember... no matter how General Crait looks... he's on our side," he said.

As soon as the other army came into sight, Crait smiled deviously. It wasn't an expression he controlled, it was part of the state he went into when fighting.
Almost as if he had lost his mind, Crait flew into battle, slashing at the soldiers in this section of the army. He easily disarmed them, leaving them defenseless as he went a bit too far, damaging their bodies to the point where they could not stand.
Of course, Crait did follow the rule Migliore had set: no killing. But fatally injuring was fine wasn't it? The battle continued on for an hour and soon Crait was beginning to get bored. The smarter soldiers had fled and only a few remained, trembling with fear, not realizing their numbers were dwindling.

   "It's alright to go all out once in awhile isn't it?" Crait wondered to himself, slowly lifting his sword while sadistically smiling down at a whimpering gelert.

   "Crait!" a voice suddenly called out.

Instantly recognizing the owner of the voice, Crait quickly turned around, not wanting to believe who it was.

   "Aryii?! What are you doing here?!" he cried out.

   "The army is retreating! You can st-"

A dagger had flown by Crait without him noticing, straight into Aryii's shoulder. She fell over in pain, clutching at her injury.
Crait immediately turned to face the quivering gelert who had dared to attempt the attack. The gelert, who had intended to injure Crait and not Aryii, now shook even more than before, frightened beyond any feeling he had felt before.

   "You!" Crait shouted with disgust, grabbing his sword and nearly plunging it into the gelert's torso, until he remembered Migliore's words: Do not kill.

The sword was shoved deep into the earth next to the gelert's body and Crait whispered menacingly, "Leave or you shall soon wish for death!"

The gelert scrambled to his feet and ran away, back to the bases of the queen's army.
Already, medically-trained neopets had gathered around Aryii, treating her wound and escorting her back to the medical tents. Crait could do nothing but watch.
Eventually snapping out of the shock, he went back to base and searched relentlessly for Prince Migliore.

   "Lio! Lio! Where are you?!" he called out angrily.

   "P-Prince Migliore is in the furthest tent, General Crait..." a soldier stammered, after seeing Crait's angry expression.

   Without a single word of thanks to the soldier, Crait stormed away, aggressively entering Lio's tent.

   "Lio!" he shouted, "Why did you let Aryii come here?!"

   Lio looked up from the papers he had been going on and frowned sadly.

   "Crait, calm down," he said quietly, "It's a long story..."

   "I don't care! This is no place for townspeople and you know it!" Crait continued, "What kind of prince are you?! You can't protect anything! Not even Ramyu! Even though she was just a simple faerie who warned you about the queen-"

   "Shut up!" Lio suddenly shouted back, startling Crait.

   Instantly realizing he had lost his temper, Lio calmed himself down and rubbed his forehead.

   "... I'm sorry for mentioning it..." Crait apologized.

   "No... It's my fault. I shouldn't have let Aryii come here..." Lio said.

   "Then why did you?" Crait asked, his anger starting to build up again, though he tried to quiet it down.

   "She's been begging me for a favor for months Crait... and when I told her I couldn't keep it forever, she demanded that I at least let her join the medical team for the army," Lio explained.

   "...What was that favor Lio?" Crait asked cautiously... sensing something was wrong...

   Lio flinched.

   "Tell me," Crait demanded.

   "... She asked me... to never let you go out into battle again," Lio revealed.

   Crait's eyes slowly widened... then he suddenly stomped out of Lio's tent, just as angry as he was going into it... only now for a different reason...

   "Wait Crait! Don't be mad at her!" Lio shouted behind him.

   Crait could not hear his cries though. The reason he had been put on boring gate duty... the reason he hadn't been allowed to go out into battle... was because of her!
   Right as he was about the leave the campsite and go back into the forest, a small voice called out behind him.

   "Crait!" Aryii's voice said, between pants.

   "You're injured Aryii!" a fellow usul on the medical team said.

   "Crait! I-I'm sorry!" Aryii cried out, tears beginning to well up in her eyes, "I-I just didn't want you to get hurt..."

   Crait turned around swiftly; his eyes filled with anger. "No one asked for your help!" he shouted furiously.

   "But..." Aryii began... "I wanted to spend more time y-"

   "Stay out of my way Aryii," Crait warned... unable to listen to his friend's words... and unable to stop himself, "Or you'll be the next one I strike down!"

   Crait glared at her coldly as she began to cry. He could feel no sympathy for the poor girl though, only anger at her attempts to separate him from battle.

   "I hate people like you."

   Aryii, despite her injuries suddenly ran up and slapped Crait. He flinched, though she was too weak to actually inflict any pain on him.

   "You... you monster!" she shouted, running off into the forest.

   "Aryii!" the other usul called, running after her. The usul stopped for a moment though and glared at Crait, who was shocked.

   "How could you say that to her?! When she loved you so much?!"

   The usul ran off into the forest after shouting to a few other medical neopets, telling them what had happened...

   A few days passed after that... Aryii was never found. Her friends in the town blamed Crait for what had happened. Crait became silent and quiet, spending most of his time lying on top of the brick wall around the castle, thinking to himself. He only left the castle when it was time for battle... the brief intervals of time when he could free himself from his worries.
   The balance of the Plain had been disrupted... and people who knew about Aryii worried about her... and wondered if Crait was alright. Lio and Muir tried to counsel him, and reassure him that it wasn't his fault. Crait only shook his head at their efforts.
   One surprising day though, Crait entered Lio's room, with a serious look on his face. The prince looked at his friend wonderously.

   "Lio, I'm going to leave when the war is over," Crait declared.

   "Leave? Where are you going to go?" Lio asked.

   "I don't know, but I can't stay here. I need to move on," Crait said quietly.

   Lio looked down sadly. "I understand... You're always welcome back here Crait when you return."

   "If I return," Crait corrected, smiling sadly, "Thank you Lio."

   And true to his word, Crait packed up his things and left the Plain of Dreams once the war against the queen ended. He climbed up the cliffs surrounding the Plain of Dreams, and headed through the forest, the only way out of the Plain...

   "Leave!" a voice hissed at him from the shadows of the forest's trees.

   "I am," Crait replied, "... I'm not going to come back here."

   "... You deserve it for hurting me," the voice said.

   "Maybe I do," Crait said, "But this is how I am... Addicted to fighting."

   "...Why couldn't you just apologize..." the voice asked sadly.

   "There's no point... I'm leaving," Crait reasoned, "Goodbye... Maybe one day, you'll forgive me."

   "... I hate you ..." the voice said before disappearing, as Crait continued walking away from the Plain of Dreams...

Art


Crait's off-neo human form.


Crait's off-neo chibi~


Quad-Chibi? ._. picture of Crait.




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