Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 194,763,780 Issue: 792 | 4th day of Hiding, Y19
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The Year 2123: Part Two


by ikomoki

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      Motlay gazed about the cave; this was his fifth time going down the shaft he had found the morning after he had arrived. It almost seemed ceremonious today, there were five different caverns, and today he was going to go to the one furthest on the right. Two of the caverns had been a labyrinth of tunnels that Motlay had almost gotten lost in, but that familiar spirit guided him back, the other two were dead ends that only led down a ways and just ended. Letting out a sigh Motlay turned towards the right. "Dear Fyora protect me like you always have."

     The cavern started off like the others, tall enough for Motlay to stand up, wide enough that he could hold his arms to the side with an inch to spare on each side. The only hindrance he encountered was his wings, they stood much too tall and when they drooped he would get a slick oil stuck on them that would take a day to dry and then it would have to be tugged off (He had learned this after the first day).

     Yesterday was the worst, Motlay had slipped in the tunnel cavern that led to a dead end, when he reached the end it dropped off slightly and he landed on his bottom, hard. He was covered in the oil and had scraped it off earlier today, but not without casualties, Motlay lost about fifteen feathers earlier, not enough to hinder flight, but enough to hurt dearly.

     Motlay marveled at the tunnels, they seemed to give off a pinkish lavender color. It was fascinating that in a cave, light could still be found. Motlay halted in his path and stared dead ahead. The tunnel ended. With a sigh he started to walk towards the end like he had with the others, his right foot took one step and didn't meet the ground like he had expected, his foot fell atop of air. Motlay flailed his arms, looking vaguely like a windmill. With a swoop of his wings he blew himself back onto the solid ground.

     Phew." Relief was really just the tip of the iceberg for how Motlay felt right now. He peered down into the hole; which would have caused at least some serious injury. There were some wooden planks jutting out of the side, it sort of made a ladder, Motlay couldn't tell how far down they actually went. There didn't seem to be much space, but Motlay concluded that if was big enough in circumference that he would be able to crawl down into it. "But, to go head first or feet first into the pit of eternity?" He chuckled to himself. "Feet first would do best." Motlay laughed even harder, "Look at me, talking to myself like a loony!"

     

*****

     Motlay's feet touched solid ground for the first time in half an hour. Descending all of those steps had caused him to break out into a mild sweat. Now he wandering why he didn't just stop and go back up, I suppose curiosity outweighs physical pain. The strangest thing was he had sworn that the steps descended into darkness, but the same pink lavender light followed him, making him even more curious.

     He gazed about the cavern. It was quite spacious; the floor didn't appear to be covered in the oil. Motlay crouched down and put his index finger to the floor, rubbing his index finger and thumb together, he detected nothing. With a sigh of relief he allowed his wings to relax and settle on the ground. Feeling the feathers relax on the ground, and his muscles no longer straining to keep them up, he let out a sigh of relief.

     Motlay's eyes drifted towards a faint white glow that was being emitted rom behind a rock formation. The closer he walked to the formation, the more bright the light appeared. When he was standing right in front of it, he discovered it led to another cavern, slowly and cautiously he made his way through to the other side of the tunnel.

     As his eyes adjusted to the bright light in this cavern, Motlay slowly surveyed the open space. It sure is bright in here… Looking upwards he discovered why, there was a small opening at the top and the sun was actually right above the hole. This combined with the pool of clear water directly beneath it, caused the entire area to seem as bright as day.

     Motlay's ears twitched with the sound of water rippling, ducking behind a stray rock formation he cautiously peered through a crack. But, his ears pricked up to the sound of melodious singing.

     Where doth my lover bide?

     In low my spirit goes.

     When doth my lover draw nigh?

     In time he will be by.

     Motlay found he was enchanted by the voice. It almost sounds as though there are two voices in one.

     He stood at full height and revealed himself to the voice in the pond. "Come forth, allow me to inspect you at length."

     Two figures came up to the edge of the pond and stared at him with glazed eyes.

     My, aren't you a bold creature to come here all by your lonesome," the first enraptured.

     Much more charming than any we have ever seen," the second colluded.

     Forgive the interruption, who might you be?"

     Meridena, the wise." The first answered.

     And Trypa, the beautiful." The second quipped.

     And we are sisters separated at birth, but found together in misery." The two chimed.

     Motlay bowed, his brain not registering the last part of their statement, "It is an honor to meet an esteemed pair with such voices as yours."

     The two girls giggled fervently. "We have told thee, why not reciprocate the favor, man of valor?" They said in unison.

     So charming, and lovely, they must know I was in the Military. Motlay felt himself blush. "M-Motlay, the brave." Only fitting I respond in the same manner.

     The two stomped the surface of the water with their paws. "Surely you must be able to help us? Every time the Sun leaves the hole above our cave, a hideous wretched beast emerges from its depths and attempts to steal us. We would leave out the bottom of the cavern, but it lurks beneath there. We can't leave the water though, for we would surely die. But, if there were a way for the sun to last longer we wouldn't have to hide in our cavern so much, and would be free to sing."

     Motlay gazed at the pair, their entire shape had changed, and they looked like beautiful Peophin's from the books he had read as a child. Their eyes held a sparkle and their faceplates shone from the waters reflection. "I would be honored to help you."

     Motlay, no, you cannot stay.

     Leave me be, I must help! I must protect the innocent!

     I will stay here until the sun disappears and will fight the beast myself!" Motlay pulled out his Constellation Sword, "By the night he will come, and by the sword of night he will perish."

     Thank you, Motlay. You will earn a most heavenly reward," the two sisters chimed.

     

*****

     In a few hours the sun had disappeared and the brightness of the cave grew dimmer. But that purple haze remained, Motlay had spent his afternoon listening to the beautiful Peophin's sing folk tales of olden times, of wretched beasts stealing women's loves, and tormenting small towns.

     The sun is leaving the sky, and soon the moon will shine," cooed the girls.

     Motlay looked at the ladies with his eyes sparkling, "I'm here to serve."

     Motlay, get out. You can't stay. Snap out of it!

     Motlay pretended to not notice the voice. "Well, soon the monster will be here…" The two girls looked at each other and whispered, "It is a good thing our charms have survived through the plague." With that the two began to let their glimmer fade and turn back into the creatures they truly were. "Motlay, the Man of Bravery, how easily you have fallen under the charms of two sorceress's in this post apocalyptic world. One so full of valor and who has survived this long should have been more keen on treachery." The two sisters slurred angrily. The luster had fallen from their eyes, their faceplates cracked and dulled, and their shiny coats turned unkempt and matted. An evil cackle escaped their lips and a slight whinny was heard reverberating through the walls.

     The two sisters lunged at Motlay. Motlay stared at the girls coming towards him and merely stood confused. "Where is the monster?"

     MOTLAY!! A force suddenly pushed Motlay out of the way of the sisters, and their faces attacked only the hard floor of the cavern.

     Motlay's head hit the floor and his vision became blurred as he tried to look at the force that had saved him from his near disaster. All he could see was a purple haze that vanished and reappeared at the blink of an eye. Slowly Motlay's vision began to focus. Shaking his head, he grasped his sword and entered the fray. The purple haze was punching and kicking the sisters. Motlay raised his sword and swung, purposefully missing the sisters, ducking their cracked hooves he thrust his sword and met his target.

     The purple haze had met its mark as well, and the two sisters slunk into the water. Their glazed eyes unable to focus on the figures standing above the glass surface staring back at them. Both sisters let out a shrill cry that was silenced by the water. Unable to escape the deepening cushion around them, they closed their eyes and floated to the bottom.

     

*****

     Motlay turned to Melodic Xehael, a Wraith Krawk from the underbelly of Faerieland. An old insurgent who was taken after Faerieland's Ruin, who was converted to being the supreme and most feared protectors of the Faerie's. Battle Faerie's rounded up all Wraith Neopets far and wide who were trained specifically in speed to match the Wraith's. Melodic was born and raised in the training grounds of Faerieland, most of the Wraith's alive today were. Though, Melodic had taken it with half a grain of salt and viewed it as an honor to have been trained in the devious art of Wraith Battle.

     So, you've been speaking to me in my dreams, and living along side me in secrecy."

     The Krawk smiled a wispy smile, "I suppose I have been. I do believe a thank you would be in order though, I can't tell you how many times I've had to save your unlucky butt."

     Motlay grinned, "Well, thanks. I do admit though, I was beginning to think I was going crazy." He paused, "You never wanted me to know you existed did you?"

     It was Melodic's turn to grin, "No. I don't suppose I did. Fame and Glory aren't exactly my selling pieces. There's a purpose in all of this my fellow soldier, but for now, let's get out from under ground, and get something to eat."

     I don't suppose you have a cheeseburger with you, do you?"

     The End.

 
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