All was back to normal. Chuck, Jeran and Lisha returned
to their NeoHome, where Hillary reprimanded them harshly for their actions. "Foolish
children, rushing into danger like that." She said, tears coursing down her face.
"Hillary, I've made a decision," Jeran replied.
"I looked for everything here and found nothing. This cannot be my home. I must
return to Meridell, for not only am I needed there, I am loved there too." "We
love you here, Jeran," Hillary said. "But if that's what will make you happy,
"I want to go with Sir Jeran and Lady Lisha!"
Chuck said excitedly.
"Soft-footed Lady Lisha?" Lisha asked, remembering
how he had looked up to Jeran and ignored her when they first met.
Chuck smiled. A smile that truly radiated the
transformation that had taken place. "No, Brave Lady Lisha."
Hillary sighed. "And I'm left without a Neopet.
"Not at all." Lisha took her owners hand. "Come
with us. Meridell will be great, you'll see."
Hillary was speechless. So instead of speaking,
she hugged all of her NeoPets. They were united as a family.
Then, the strangest thing happened. Dancing
colored lights swam in and out of Jeran's vision. He rubbed at his eyes, but
couldn't see. Pictures moved around, visions of Lisha toddling around in a diaper.
Playing on the swings with Hillary in kindergarten. Spilling juice on his teacher's
new dress in second grade. Running away from home in fourth grade, only to return
the next day asking for sweeties. The chandelier sun-charm around Jeran's neck
shone with it's own light, like a golden star. Tears rushed down Jeran's face
as he realized that his memory had returned. His family had been the key he
was seeking. And they had been there all along.
* * *
A few days later, the entire family had moved to Meridell. "Home at last,
eh sis?" Jeran asked with a grin.
"You called me 'sis'," Lisha remarked.
"Well, you are my sister. What am I supposed
to call you? A frog-faced Morthog?"
"Doesn't sound like a bad nickname," Morris
laughed. He, Kaelyn the Zafara and Boris the Blumaroo had moved back to Meridell
too, and were now living next door to Lisha and Jeran. Jeran laughed and heard
another voice laughing with him. But it wasn't Lisha or Morris. It sounded familiar
though. It was the voice of a Lupess.
A white Lupess suddenly materialized behind
a tree. "Did I not say that we would meet again, my Lupe-knight?" she asked
"Kasha Moonfang. By the flaming faeries am I
glad to see you!" The two hugged, then Jeran told Kasha all about his adventures.
"You have discovered a lot within yourself and
your family, is that not true, warrior? You relearned the meaning of courage,
which you have known for a long time now. Yet you learned another lesson. A
lesson of love. Love for yourself, your sister, your brother and your owner.
Life isn't all steel and granite. There is room for warmth and kindness."
"Tell me about it," Jeran grumbled, recalling
the moment when he had hit Chuck.
"Perhaps there is still room in your heart to
love one more."
Jeran gazed straight into Kasha's deep violet
eyes, eyes that were filled with compassion and wisdom. "Perhaps there is."
"Hey Jeran!" Chuck called. "King What's-His-Face
"King Skrarl!" Jeran jumped in shock. "Do I
look okay? What's my fur doing?"
"The cha-cha," Morris said sarcastically. "Now
His Highness wants to see you." The Quiggle gave the Lupe a little push.
"Ah, Prince Jeran Borodere," King Skrarl sighed.
"Welcome home to Meridell."
"Glad to be here, Father," Jeran said, kneeling.
"I go sincerely apologize for myself and my
county if we seemed a bit… unappreciative of all the things you and your sister
have done for us. So I wish to reward you in some way or another. Is there anything
I can do?"
Jeran thought for a minute. He had the king
in the pad of his paw, asking to do a favor for him. He could do anything with
this favor, yet only one thing seemed proper. "I wish for nothing, Your Majesty,
but this. Lisha is as good a warrior as I am, and she deserves more respect
than she gets. I am at least treated civilly because of my princely status.
Yet she doesn't have this and is scorned because she is a lady. She saved my
life, battling a full-grown Skeith despite numerous injuries and much fatigue.
Also, she gave herself up to kidnappers for Meridell and for me also. Therefore,
I ask you to show her honor in some way. Give her something that would prove
her worth. I ask this not because she saved my life but because of her skill
and ferocity in battle."
An awkward silence reigned.
"I suppose if that is what you request. I shall
give her a title. Sir Lisha, approach."
Lisha obeyed, her heart racing. She kneeled
before the King, joy coursing through her veins.
"For your valor in saving the Meridellian Prince
and your loyalty for the cause of Meridell, being taken captive, I give you
the title 'Lisha the Lioness'. From now onward, enemies of Meridell shall fear
that name. And citizens of Meridell shall honor it."
Tears were freely flowing down the Aisha's face
as she was presented with a blue shield with a gold lioness painted on the front.
"It's what I always dreamed."
"But surely there must be something you want,
Jeran," King Skrarl said, puzzled.
Jeran fingered the sun-charm around his neck.
"I have all I need here," he said. "My family at my back, my memory restored,
my sword in my scabbard, my best friend Lisha at my side, and a beautiful Lupess
waiting for my return."
"The way shall be rocky, Lupe-knight," said
Kasha. "And you shall have many more adventures before you hang up your sword."
A mischievous gleam came into Jeran's eye, not
unlike the gleams that his little brother was prone to getting. In that eye,
a thousand hopes, dreams, memories and adventures were reflected. They glittered
there like the sunlight off of the ocean's waves. He summed this gleam up in
three words. "I can't wait."