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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 12th day of Eating, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 118 > Continuing Series > Deathwoven: Part Four

Deathwoven: Part Four

by catlady87

Time slowed to a crawl, and it was apparent to Whisp that everyone had ceased screaming and froze in their collective steps. The king had arrived. Whisp couldn't breath, couldn't think for shock and grief. What had happened? Wasn't she fine yesterday? She had given her the gold earring… the gold earring… she had been fine…

     Someone had killed her.

     The king strode forward, his face broken and drenched with the agony of sorrow. "What is wrong with her?" he quietly asked the first healer he had come across. He gasped and choked slightly at being addressed by no other than the king.

     "We're not sure… your majesty… she appears in perfect condition, besides the fact that she is dead." At this, the king's solemn face cracked for only a second before it recovered.

     "Who had the last contact with her before she died?" roared the king suddenly, his enraged voice accenting the silence that had passed over the corridor. For some unknown reason, Erytasne was not present - the mage who had so alarmed Whisp.

     "I was," voiced Whisp softly, her voice calm yet quiet, unyielding to the fury that threatened to overcome her. Someone had murdered her sister, murdered her from right under Whisp's nose. If only Whisp had been more aware, if only she had guarded her, if only she had not fallen asleep…

     "Excuse me, your highness," came another voice, soft in his nervousness. Its owner belonged to a different palace mage, one Whisp was not familiar with. "We have uncovered some startling facts about Whisp, your daughter's bodyguard. It seems as if she is Deathwoven… and we have already explained to you that your daughter was Lifewoven. Whisp could have easily killed her - hence her title."

     What?! Whisp gasped, her shock echoing across the void of her mind. I couldn't have! I saw her to bed… she was fine before… I couldn't have… they're wrong.

     "I don't think so, sir…" Whisp ventured, but her voice was lost in another uproar. People again screamed and bolted at each direction, but this time it was different -- they were running from Whisp, as if she would do nothing but kill them now.

     "Seize her!" roared the king, apoplectic in his rage. There was nothing more that Whisp could do, nothing she could do for her case. All she knew was that she was being blamed for something she had never done, and that there was a murderer loose in the castle.

     Raishre was dead; there was nothing left to lose here.

     Dodging the clumsy palace guards nimbly, she ran full out to the window she had always escaped through with Raishre. That Whisp ran only seemed to accentuate her guilt, and the guards and mages ran faster. However, the spells and magic the mages sent spinning at her were based for creatures of life -- could never be meant for creatures of pure dark. They had no effect on the ebony and crimson Krawkess that had just jumped through the window, shattered the glass and making it fly, spinning away in directions that made the sunlight glint off the shards. Whisp fell through the air, hot atmosphere whipping by her completely calm face. She had nothing left to lose; it didn't matter anymore if she failed to escape.

     She landed catlike on the roof of the tavern that she had become so familiar with. The screams of the palace guards had faded into nothingness - she had just gotten a tremendous head start. They might catch her in the future, but for the moment -- it seemed unlikely. They were trying to catch Whisp in her element.

     Leaping down to meld gracefully into the mindless knot of the milling crowd of people, guards ran by, shouting to each other. "Catch her! Let's split up!" rang through the air. The many creatures who were simply on an errand, scurrying about under the broiling sun like ants, did not care -- why did it have anything to do with them? Why would one person's death, even if she was a princess, matter to them in the slightest?

     The gold hoop brushed against Whisp's head as she dipped her chin, willing herself not to cave into the sorrow that threatened to overwhelm her. It felt as if half of her mind had been torn ruthlessly away -- Raishre, her best friend, was no more.

* * *

Years passed like this, and Whisp slowly became more and more withdrawn, healing her never-ending scar with cold isolation. She was kind to no one, grew distant and icy even to Renah. Renah understood this of course, even if he did not like it. She took mercenary mission upon mission, building up on both gold and hatred, vowing revenge upon the person who had ripped the one most dear to Whisp away. She became harsh and driven -- nothing mattered more to her than finding and committing vengeance on Raishre's murderer. She lived for it.

     Only once was there a break in Whisp's never-ending routine. Trotting slowly through the marketplace, Whisp had only the intention of buying a few food items -- which had grown scarce, of late. She directed her grey raptor's gaze at those who had possibly dared glance her way, for she wished no verbal contact at all. The sun once again was high in the sky, the golden orb threatening to burn all those below it in a fiery oblivion. The sand, which had grown hot under the glare of the sun, burnt Whisp's tough and callused feet. The worn golden hoop swung at her left ear like always -- Whisp had grown familiar with the earring.

     Then, suddenly, something happened that Whisp would never have wished or anticipated happening. She saw her mother, flanked of course by throngs of mindless servants, the mild Aishas following the proud striped Krawk like Puppyblews would accompany an owner. Whisp tightened already tense muscles, preparing for her arrogant, disapproving mother to finally notice her.

     Most unfortunately, she did. Both Krawks stared at one another with intense dislike, even hatred written upon now expressive faces. Frathra was as beautiful as ever, as she constantly preened and admired her stunning good looks. Whisp had broken away early at age to become a mercenary after her mother's constant complaining about her "unattractive" disposition.

     "Cloud!" exclaimed Frathra in sickeningly sweet vocals, calling upon Whisp's birth name. Whisp had, of course, changed her name after she broke away from her mother's tyrannical rule from "Cloud", which Whisp had deemed as hideous as Frathra's ugly heart.

     "The name is Whisp," responded Whisp, as cold as her mother had been sweet.

     "Whisp, then. Why don't you come over by my place for a cup of tea? After all, it is almost a palace, greater than your place certainly must be." A high-pitched giggle erupted from her then, a laugh devoid of kindness that made Whisp shudder.

     "Certainly, Frathra," responded Whisp, eyes narrowing. If her mother decided to betray her, Darkenbringer would take care of Whisp.

     Following behind the gaggle of her mother's servants, they quickly arrived at a large house -- one Whisp would certainly become lost in if it had been her own. 'Stupid Frathra, she would want the biggest house to impress the lords. Sickening woman,' Whisp grumbled bitterly to herself.

     They seated themselves on couches that looked mint new, the bright pink frippery contrasting greatly with Whisp's dark, bitter thoughts. Neither knew that the opposite Krawk they were facing was just as unhappy, missing just as much as the other was.

     Ignoring the bright, mindless giggling of the multicolored Aisha servants at the door, Frathra said finally, "So, Clou… Whisp, how have you been? I have heard nothing of you!"

     'Thank the Goddess Sakhmet,' Whisp mumbled darkly. "I have been busy, mother," saying the last word as if it was a horrible insult. "Mercenary missions, you understand?"

     Her mother's face broke into another false smile, turning towards her servants. "Can you leave us, please?" she requested kindly.

     When they were gone, the room was bare with silence and lack of kindness. The smile dropped from Frathra's smooth face, leaving an expression devoid of love or humanity. The ugliness of Frathra's soul was now clearly visible, almost tangible.

     "You're still doing that? I thought you had gotten over it. Its much too good for a Krawk of your stature." The voice was poisoned with darkness.

     "Yes, I'm still doing it," Whisp snapped back. "I am no longer that Krawk, no longer want handfuls of jewelry. I am not so mindless as that."

     "How dare you suggest… I am your mother, Cloud, and you will not talk to me that way! You will stop that degrading hobby of yours at once."

     "It is my life, mother," Whisp spit the last word at her as if it were a swearword. "It is no longer a hobby. I am not you."

     "You are not happy," she screamed, rising from her chair in a whirlwind of fury. "I see you day by day, walking by as if the world meant nothing to you anymore. I know how the palace guards look for you each day, and you avoid them as if death would avoid finally being put in a resting place. Ever since you left, ever since Princess Raishre died, you have been slipping from this world."

     "Don't you ever say her name!" howled Whisp, seizing an expensive glass ornament from the table nearby and shattering it at the wall opposite Frathra. "You think you are any better, Frathra? Prancing around with naught but money, being followed by mindless servants who would leave you the instant you stopped filling their pockets with gold! You are no more human than your own black, love lost heart."

     "At least I have money to live," she whispered, voice broken because Whisp had instantly seized what was wrong with her life.

     Whisp snorted, an ugly sound. "Live? You only have enough money to live? You have not seen children starving and dying on the streets, parents selling themselves to get money for medicine for their own infants. You have not seen how much pain and suffering there is, which could be solved by the curse some call money. You have not seen…" whispered Whisp finally, leaning closer, angry grey eyes aglow with hate and pain. "Or you choose not to, so you can remain fat and happy, prancing about with naught but your stupid, cursed gold."

     They were spent, each alive with anger, but they could not place words to form their rage for the life of them.

     "You are not my mother," whispered Whisp furiously, striding away from her livid mother, leaving the house -- never to come back. However, Frathra stood there long after, gazing at the door that Whisp had slammed shut. Whisp had said Frathra was no longer her mother?

     Then Whisp was no longer her daughter. She had no more obligations to her.

     She went to the palace guards.

* * *

Whisp strode directly to the tavern she had not been in for so long with the intent of ranting her remaining rage to Renah. She had long neglected Renah; she saw that now. He had not deserved the injustice she did him.

     As always before, she seated herself gingerly upon the worn leather stool, immediately anticipating his rejection. However, it was not the case -- the shy cloud Krawk broke into a wide, crooked grin upon seeing her familiar, sheepish form.

     "Whisp!" he cried, and they embraced, it had been so long since they had seen each other.

     "How I have missed you," he murmured after they had separated. "I was wondering when you would come to see me again. I have tried many times to find you, to no avail."

     All the anger at her mother evaporated, Whisp knew that it was all right now that she had a friend to talk to. Even the revenge seemed a petty thing - what did another life matter? Would killing the one who had killed Raishre really make a difference? Balance the score? Is that would Raishre would want her to do?

     All these thoughts shattered as if she were leaping through the palace window again however, as she felt cold metal attach themselves to Whisp's wrist. "Mercenary Whisp the Deathwoven? You are under arrest, on grounds of murdering Princess Raishre," came a cold, uncaring voice from behind her.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Deathwoven: Part One

Deathwoven: Part Two

Deathwoven: Part Three

Deathwoven: Part Five

Deathwoven: Part Six

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