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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 23rd day of Swimming, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 68 > Continuing Series > The Zafara Assassin 3: Upon the Wings of Fate - Part Five

The Zafara Assassin 3: Upon the Wings of Fate - Part Five

by meratocat

I let the wind lift me higher into the sky, flapping occasionally, but mostly gliding. The sun was slowly lifting up into the sky, lighting up the world like a candle aflame. The light spread shadows across the trees, and across the small hills, which littered the forests in which we lived. It was then that I saw it.

     Down below me, on top of a hill I saw a strange shadow stretching across the rolling hills and trees, so I glided down to investigate.

     As I got closer, I saw that it was a cross made of weathered out wood, and below it was a rock engraved with letters, but even though my eyes were keen, I could not read it while up flying, so I lowered myself slowly to the ground.

     Overtaken with curiosity I slowly approached the landmark, and then let out a small squawk, for upon the stone were written the words:

               Here lies Tarnox the Airax. Good partner,
               but an even better friend. May you rest in peace

     And then under that was etched the symbol of Zarrel. "Alas," I said to myself, "I have found Tarnox's grave."

     Even though I had never known the bird myself, for he died before I was hatched, I knew all about him from the tales of Zarrel Charmain. Tarnox was an Airax whom Zarrel had found when she was still just a young Zafara trapped in the burning remains of a building. Upon saving the helpless bird, Tarnox became her friend, for all of his life. From what was told to me, Tarnox dies valiantly, while trying to save his partner from the clutches of the evil Teralk. Lupe warlord, who tried to conquer Laxcorna, but was stopped by Zarrel Charmain, Corinth the warrior, Princess Laiondite and Bakel the Pteri, who rode in upon the backs of Herupah and Decorah, the black Uni twins. Soon after, Zarrel Charmain found my egg buried within a pile of leaves, and then she hatched me. Training me in the arts of being an assassin.

     I looked up into the sky at the sun, which had risen quite a lot. I lashed my tail, angry with myself for becoming lost in my thoughts instead of flying off to find the flower of Trinifucus. I spread my wings wide, and then jumped into the air, but I fell quickly to the ground at hearing "Dorono!!! Wait for me!"

     I picked myself off of the ground, looking to the side from whence the voice came, and there was the purple form of Zana Taru running up. She tripped as she ran, and fell flat onto her face, and I could not help but to stifle a laugh. "It's not funny!" She said picking herself up, and then wiping the dirt from her too large clothes. As she walked up, I brushed a pile of dirt off of her, which had collected upon her nose.

     "Now Zana, why are you here? Aren't you supposed to be with Kirin and your mother?"

     Zana Taru looked down to the ground. "I don't want to get sick." Then she looked back up, and a fierce fire was burning in her eyes. "Besides, I'm going to help you find the flower, and nothing you can say will make me go back home."

     I smiled, looking down at her so young and determined. "It will be a tough journey. Who knows what we shall find in the wilderness."

     "I don't care as long as I am not left behind." And there I knew there was no ridding of her.

     "Okay," I said rolling my eyes, and putting out a green paw to assist her on to my back. "Hop on, but no complaining, for if you travel with me it will be a dangerous bumpy ride!"

     So with a smile, Zana Taru jumped onto my back, hardly even using my paw as guidance, and then grabbed hold of my green mane. "Let's go!"

     Soon we were off, and soaring through the clouds. Headed for the Northern boundaries of the ocean and the swamps. It was going to be a long flight, but I was ready to take any pains of travel in order to save Zarrel Charmain.

     I spread my wings, ready to soar using the thermals that rose from the ground. I could always flap wildly and make more speed, but then I would tire myself out within hours, and the time that I gained would be useless when I would take a break. Besides, you never know when speed would be crucial, so it was best to save my energy.

     "Everything looks really different from up in the sky," Zana Taru said slightly leaning over my back to get a good look at the ground.

     "Yes," I said, though as being an Eyrie, I had always seen things from the sky, and the view didn't go to me as much as it did young Zana. Even so, I had to admit things did look different. We had already traveled till almost sundown, and could see the first signs of trees from the dark swamplands of Tisitan. Deep rooted and twisted were these trees. There bark ranged from dark ebony shades to a grey, which looked almost as if the tree was a living dead. There was even some greenish bark as the trees became infested with thick layers of moss and grime. Here and there you would see the twisted trees, and with each beat of my wings, more and more were approaching, for we were now on the outskirts of Tisitan.

     As it darkened, and the thermals thinned out of existence, I had to work harder to stay aloft. I was ready to travel throughout the night if need be, but Zana Taru wasn't that hardy. Twice she almost fell from my back due to tiredness, and twice I had to reach up my paw to steady her. It was the third time this happened that I decided to call in a night.

     As I landed upon the ground, Zana half hopped, half tumbled from my back, and lay on the ground prostrate. "Tired," was all she said, and that was almost as if she were half in and out of a dream.

     "I told you that it would be tough," I said sternly. "Because of this delay, I loose voluble time in helping your mother!"

     Zana opened her green eyes, and looked me in the face. She stuck out her tongue. "You're tired too. I can tell." Then she smiled, "I bet that you would have rested with or without me."

     I let out a chuckle at her. Even though she was so young, she had intelligence, which matched her mothers, maybe surpassed it. One day she would make some villain. "No matter. What's done is done. You can get some sleep while the night lasts. I'll stay up, for I am not tired at all." Suddenly, a large yawn escaped my beak.

     "You're a big fib Dorono!" Zana Taru laughed, before she too yawned.

     "You're right!" I said back, for now I felt weariness settle over me like a large blanket, and my wings each felt as if a large weight had been tied to their tips. "You're right. Let's now get some sleep." And I lay down curling my paws against my side.

     "Goodnight Dorono!" Zana Taru said, closing her eyes.

     "Goodnight," I said softly, letting the deep realms of sleep claim me. "Goodnight..." and thus our journey began.

The End... for now...

Previous Episodes

The Zafara Assassin 3: Upon the Wings of Fate - Part One

The Zafara Assassin 3: Upon the Wings of Fate - Part Two

The Zafara Assassin 3: Upon the Wings of Fate - Part Three

The Zafara Assassin 3: Upon the Wings of Fate - Part Four

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