Chapter four - The Colour of Magic
Waterlily flung a vase at the wall.
"LET ME OUT NOW!!!!"
There was no response. She panted; selecting
another expensive yet fragile object from the gaudily outfitted gothic bedroom
Anuina had thrown her into. The door creaked open, and the Ixi took aim and
threw with another yell.
"I SAID, LET ME OUT OR THERE'LL BE TROUBLE!!!!"
The door swung wide to reveal Nightwing, his
usual inanimate self. The Shadowed Shoyru simply looked up and froze the glass
in place, a blank expression still dominating. The article floated back to its
original position while Nightwing shut and bolted the door.
"I suggest that you stop throwing breakables,"
he murmured dispassionately. "Otherwise you shall merely wreck your room. You
cannot get out, I cannot let you out, Deathstrike does not know how to let you
out and Anuina will never let you out."
Waterlily sank onto the bed. She was barely restraining
herself from going completely mad with anger.
"YOU killed my sister."
"I did not. She is alive, and if your family
has any strength in them, they will try to find you. Let us speak no more of
this, Anuina will listen."
The blue Ixi's eyes went wide as saucers. "You,
you're trying to help me! You DO care."
"I do not. I care about no one and nothing.
Never forget that."
"Yeah, right," Waterlily snorted, glaring at
the Shoyru. "Why did you kidnap me, anyway?"
"You have a powerful magical talent. Anuina
plans to conquer all of Neopia, and she needs pets such as yourself to help
her do it."
Waterlily made a face. "And she actually thinks
I'd help her? HA!"
Nightwing shrugged, a huge display of emotion
for the unfeeling Shoyru. Despite herself, Waterlily was curious about the pet.
Something about him was very intriguing.
"Hey, what are you and that Uni, what's-her-name,
doing here, anyway?"
He stared at the carpet for several minutes,
"Let me tell you a story, Waterlily. Once upon
a time, there were two pets. Their owner abandoned them, simply left them in
the house and walked away. He never came back. Eventually, the pets managed
to break out of their cottage, but they had no way of getting food or water.
"Eventually, they began to learn. They became
thieves. At first, they restricted their efforts to pick pocketing and other
small crimes, but soon the pair was snatching sizeable treasures from powerful
households. With their slowly growing talents, they came to the attention of
"She was the Uber Light Faerie, cast down from
Faerieland for challenging the rule of Queen Fyora. Although most of her power
had been warped, she was still strong. The pets were given the change to join
her and receive extraordinary power. What would you have done?"
Waterlily gaped as Nightwing turned, walking
to the door without a backwards glance. Just as the Shoyru was leaving, she
"But you don't have to help her! When my owner
comes, you can…"
"Oh no, Waterlily." Turning back, Nightwing
actually gave her a small, grim smile. "I like my position here. You, however,
must be freed. I cannot tolerate competition, and when your owner destroys Anuina,
I will be able to take over, with considerably more efficiency. Deathstrike
is loyal, but her first priority is myself. Are sisters not wonderful?"
Practically smirking, the Shadowed Shoyru left.
It took Waterlily a few minutes to recover the power of speech.
"Well, shut my mouth. You try and help someone
and they go all evil on you."
* * * * *
A few hours later, the door opened again, this time admitting a
Fire coloured Uni. Deathstrike gave her a small, half frightened smile, then
put a tray of food down on the table. Waterlily ignored her.
"This is for you." Her voice was surprisingly
gentle, although there was an edge to it, more tearful than strict. "You better
eat, or Anuina will…"
"I don't care what Anuina will do," snapped
Waterlily, burrowing under the bedclothes. "I want to go home. I want my owner
back. I want my two little sisters and my little brother. I want to curl up
on the couch with a cup of Snowberry Tea and a slice of Sour Melon Pie and listen
to Hina talking Chrissy out of making him clean his room and fall asleep and
get carried up to bed…" Taking a deep breath, she finished on a wail. "I WANT
TO GO HOME!!!!!!"
Deathstrike looked slightly upset, her attempt
at being simply dumb muscle slipping. She patted Waterlily's shoulder affectionately.
"It's not so bad. I was the same. You'll get
over it eventually, and I bet you'll like it here. Anuina isn't that bad, and
Nightwing is alright… he's a bit evil sometimes, and pretty blank most of the
time, but he is… he USED to be quite nice."
"Used to be." Waterlily stuck her head out.
"Used to be."
"Hey, he's my brother…"
"Forget about Nightwing." The Ixi dove back
under the covers. "He doesn't give two Neopoints what happens to you, he just
expects you to follow orders. The moment you start thinking for yourself he'll
"That's not true!" The Uni seemed distraught,
glancing around the room as if she expected her brother to step out from the
shadows at any moment. "He does care. He saved my life, even if… well, he got
us this nice place with Anuina, which isn't so bad, really…"
"Yeah, yeah. Easy to see he's masterminding
the whole thing, isn't it?" Waterlily sneered. Panicking, Deathstrike wheeled
around and clattered towards the door.
"I don't have to listen to this! You're wrong!"
Sliding onto the floor, Waterlily opened her
mouth to add a sharp retort, then thought better of it. As a parting comment,
she called out. "Hey, Uni! What's your name?"
"Fabi-, err, Deathstrike!" The door slammed
shut behind her, and Waterlily was left all along for the second time that day.
A lonely cry sounded outside the window, a soul-rending
howl from the throat of an eternally restless and helpless beast. Funny,
Waterlily thought, I know exactly how it feels.
To be continued...