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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 17th day of Eating, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 31 > Continuing Series > The Warrior: Part Two

The Warrior: Part Two

by yellowyoshi749

About two hours later the sky had darkened. Jade began to scan for a place to rest. "Hmmm..." she murmured, "Hey! You guys look!"

Not far ahead was a hollow log and a sheltered area. They headed for it and reached it in a matter of minutes. Jade dug through her pack and pulled out some flint and tinder and created a small fire. She looked at the fire and realised something. "I just wasted flint when I could have just used magic!" she laughed.

Jade cooked herself some dinner, consisting of fish she had caught earlier that day, a strawberry pastry, and water. She gave the horses some oats, hay and an apple each. They had dug in with a will.

She yawned and looked at the sky. It was pitch black, except for the crescent moon and the stars. Kicking up dirt, she put out the fire and crept into the log. Soon after she fell asleep.

***

Not far away something was watching them. It sat in a tree and looked at them with interest. Gently it jumped from a nearby tree and searched through the camp. It was a wondrous site. As quickly as it had come it had left.

Five minutes later it reported back to it's chief.

"They be here on 'morrow, or at the cliff."

"You did good," replied the chief.

***

The next morning Jade had a small breakfast. She had an apple, a peach, and a piece of fish from the night before.

She was packing everything up when she looked in the saddlebag and saw the sword. Gently pulling it out, Jade studied it. Its hilt was made of black leather, and a jadestone was on the hilt. Was this for me? she thought. It has a jadestone... Instead of putting the sword away, she pulled the scabbard out and buckled it to her belt. Sheathing the sword, Jade got up and finished packing. She saddled up Lionheart, and took the reins of all three horses and they were back on the path.

"Work yer backs!"

Starwin finished painting the letters on the ship, the Seaqueen. All around him corsairs with whips cruelly beat those who did not do as they said. His mind traveled back to when they first captured him...

The corsairs had dragged him into the forest. They had tried to put chains on him, but using magic he was able to avoid them. He had five minutes of pure freedom before he became too weak to continue before the corsairs had caught up to them and recaptured him...

Starwin was brought back to his senses when the can of green paint hit the sandy shore below. He looked around. Nobody was looking. Quickly he buried the paint that had spilled and the paint can.

***

About midday Jade arrived at the cliff. She had noticed the change. She stopped and tied up the horses while she examined the cliff.

"Her tracks end here. There's no sign that she fell and..." Jade looked at the tracks of a Pteri, "These are Pteri tracks. Hmmm..."

Just as she was about to look at the surround area of forest she felt the poke of a spear on her back. She turned around to be confronted by a strange sight.

Before her was a gold Meerca. It had a fir tunic on and war markings across its face and hands.

"Come now. No get hurt," it had a female voice.

Three more Meercas jumped down from surrounding trees, they too, looked like the Meerca that had confronted Jade. They pulled out spears and began to lead Jade toward a hidden place in the forest.

An hour later they had arrived at the hidden shelter deep in the forest. Meerca were all around, and in the middle was a Shoyru. She was a star Shoyru, with bright green eyes.

"Arwen! It's me Jadestone!" Jade ran for her but many of the Meerca held her back. Arwen stepped forward.

"No know anybody named Jadestone. My name be Leela," Arwen, or Leela spoke with a voice that stated she had a high status in the tribe. She waved her hand at the Meerca, "You let go. She stay as long as she want."

"I will stay for no more than a week."

***

Over the course of the day Jade would try and get Leela to remember who she was when the Meerca weren't instructing her to do chores she would talk to Leela. Luckily, however, she had learned how to talk like the tribe so it made everything easier.

By her fourth day there Jade was getting annoyed.

"Big earthquake, home gone," Jade said. She made hand and arm movements.

"No remember," Leela said.

"Jade turned around and her anger in a not-to-friendly way. "Why can't you remember anything? Why? I've tried telling you what happened! If you don't remember my name you sure wont remember Starwin!"

"Did you just mention Starwin? Is that you Jade?"

"Of course it's me Jade! Who else would it be?" Jade answered angrily, and then she softened, "Did you just called me Jade?"

"Yes, I did"

"Arwen?"

"Yes?"

"You remember!" Jade ran and hugged Arwen, "What happened to you after we split up?"

***

Arwen's story unfolded. It was an hour later when she finished.

"And I guess I forgot what happened before, until you said Starwin. I learned the ways of this tribe."

"At least you know who you are now. We will leave tomorrow, it's been four days now," Jade said.

"Yes. The sooner we leave the better," Arwen replied.

"You said you had three horses Jade?"

"Yes, Lionheart, Jarn, and Lorn. Why?" Jade asked.

"Well, if we ride the horses it will cut travel time and that way we wont have to travel on foot."

"Yeah, that's why I rented them."

"Jade looked up at the sky, "It's becoming dark. If we want to be up and leave early it would be best to rest now." With that Jade lay down and drifted into sleep. Arwen did the same.

***

In the morning Jade was trying to ask the Meerca how to get back to the cliff. Not one of them understood her.

"Horses! You found me with horses! Where you found me!" Jade threw her hands in frustration.

"Let me try," Arwen said and turned the group of Meerca crowding around them, "take back to place where found."

"The Meerca chief nodded and signaled two of his best warriors. The two Meercas picked up two of the four packs of food while Jade and Arwen picked up the remaining two. They began to walk to the north with two Meerca warriors walking in front of them and another Meerca covering their tracks behind.

***

Eventually they made it to the cliff. Arwen dusted off her fur tunic and looked around. The Meerca had left without saying goodbye. Maybe it was too painful for them... she thought.

Jade walked to the tree where she had tied Jarn, Lorn, and Lionheart to, only to find that one of the ropes had snapped."

"Oh dear," she said.

"What?" asked Arwen.

"Jarn escaped..."

"So that means that we only have two horses left."

"Correct."

They thought for a while when Arwen spoke to break the silence, "Couldn't we both ride on one of them?"

"No because if there's two packs on each, and they're all heavy, with the two of us on one or one of us on each it will be too heavy."

"Well then what are we going to do?"

"We'll put the two heaviest packs on one of them, then one on the other one. I can carry the pack that is heavier than the rest and walk," Jade said with a no-nonsense-voice.

Arwen just nodded.

***

The next day they were on the road again, Jade walking and Arwen riding. As the days wore on Jade's feet began to cramp and get sore. At first it started out that Jade would have to stop and rest once, then it evolved to twice and so on. Eventually she would have to stop every fifteen minutes. It wasn't until half way through a large forest that she collapsed against a tree.

"Oh my feet!" she complained.

"Let me see," Arwen replied.

Arwen studied Jade's feet. Pulling out a bandage she happened to have been carrying, she ripped it in half and wrapped it around Jade's feet. As soon as she was finished, Jade dropped the pack off her shoulders. She tried to spread her wings but groaned. Arwen looked at those too.

"We're going to be here for a while. Your wings are stiff and your feet are in bad shape from walking."

Jade nodded. This will slow things down, she thought.

***

Bang. Bang. Bang.

The sound of hammers pounding on wood could be heard. Starwin sat at the prow of the ship, Seaqueen. For the last three weeks him and the galley slaves had been building a ship for the Captain, known as Thrice. He was mean looking, having a shaggy beard. He had a red tunic on.

"If ye don't work harder ye'll get no supper harhar!" the Lupe captain called.

"Easy for him to say! He's not doing anything," Spoke Shorn, a female Kau, "He just sits there ordering us around!"

Shorn was new, she was an electric Kau and didn't enjoy being bossed around.

"Not so loud Shorn," Star hissed urgently.

"What are you talking about back there?" called Rarn, a Grarrl, second-in-command.

"Nothing!" Shorn yelled angrily.

That did it. Rarn dragged the angry Kau off. "Oh, Shorn," Star muttered to himself. He watched Rarn talk to Thrice for a few seconds before he continued to hammer.

***

Over the past three days Jade had just sat in the camp, feeling totally useless. But as her feet began to heal she would wander aimlessly around, until one day when she discovered a small clearing.

"Whoa!" she exclaimed.

The clearing wasn't very large, but bigger than where they had set up camp. Running along the east side was a small stream. Its current appeared to be fairly strong. Trees were surrounding the clearing on all sides. There were even a few fruit trees.

Silently Jade ran back to their camp to get a few things.

***

The next day Jade sat in the stream. It licked hungrily at her. Her sword lay nearby, polished.

After a few minutes more, Jade got out of the stream and shook herself dry. She didn't bother to hang her soaked tunic, instead she began practising her sword handling.

***

Exactly a week later Arwen and Jade were on the road. Arwen had managed to persuade Jade into riding Lionheart. They weren't far from where they had camped when the strangest Shoyru hopped in front of them.

"Who are you?" Jade asked uneasily, putting her hand on the hilt of her sword.

"My name is Sharn kid. Leave here, tis dangerous territory," the young Shoyru said. He was tall and lean, with a gold tunic on. His fur was red. Her turned on his heal and ran of into the brush.

Jade turned to Arwen, "What was that about?"

Arwen shrugged, "Beats me."

Jade signaled for Lionheart to start moving again, and Arwen did the same with Lorn. They were moving again within five minutes.

***

They passed all sorts of wildlife and trees. As they headed on, not stopping for anything, they noticed tracks on the path. There were claw prints, and every-once-in-a-while they see fallen branches in the disturbed forest.

The four followed the trail. They emerged from the forest. It was like a hill, sloping downwards. It had seemed like ages. On the shoreline a ship was beached and NeoPets were working hard to finish it. It was a long stretch of sandy beach below, with a towering cliff to the east. The ocean was towards the west, or in the direction of Mystery Island and Krawk Island.

Jade halted Lionheart and squinted. Arwen pulled up beside her and peered at the ship too. She shook her head, it was to far away to see.

"What do you suppose is down there?" Jade asked, not taking her eyes away.

"By the look of it, that's a corsair ship being built," Arwen answered.

Jade continued to squint. She saw a Shoyru with fur the colour of the sun. She squinted harder.

***

Captain Thrice saw Jade and whispered to Flapear, his comrade, "Yew see that Shoyru up there?"

"Yes."

"Well I thinks it be up ter something. Is the ship finished yet?"

"Yes Cap'n. All that's left is to load up the supplies."

"Right. Get them to do that now so that we can sail off before it comes down here."

"Right, I'll go do that," the Pteri said and ran off.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

The Warrior: Part One

The Warrior: Part Three

The Warrior: Part Four

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