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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 27th day of Awakening, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 118 > Continuing Series > Dark Flame: Part Ten

Dark Flame: Part Ten

by child_dragon

Ties of Love

It was time for another child_dragon clan meeting. We arrived back at the house after the sun had set. No one cared though. I imagined the clan would stay up all night if need be. I sat curled up on a beanbag chair and waited for everyone to arrive. Sakuko and her pet Netsuko were first, then Infernus. My best friend Melody and her three pets: Padiglione the baby Kougra, Swift the Faerie Gelert, and FireDarkWolfX the green Gelert; were the last. Soon all of us were gathered together again, just like the last time we had gathered to fight the Shadows. Except Aldrai was missing.

     Sabreur outlined the problem. No one spoke. No one offered suggestions when he was done. Sakuko had her eyes closed and hugged Netsuko close. Melody looked stunned. Padiglione looked ill. Un-eairkagh had hidden himself behind his wings. And I stayed silent.

     "So," Sabreur said softly to break the tension.

     "What can we do?" Un-eairkagh said hollowly. "He's not what we knew. And I for one will not fight my own brother."

     "He's not listening to anyone…" Netsuko murmured. "The magic has consumed him."

     "Is there any way we can separate him from the magic?" Melody asked.

     "Not without hurting him," I replied dully. "Netsuko is right, light magic has consumed him. I don't think he realizes exactly what he's doing."

     "You mean… he's gone mad?" Infernus asked.

     "Kind of. The magic has altered his perception of things. He's paranoid… he thinks everyone is evil. Too much light magic… he doesn't know how to control it."

     "I had trouble adjusting to my powers," Terraile said softly. "It tried to change me too. It's just an unbalance between the elements. Kiddo didn't have that problem because she has all the elements. But everyone else has to struggle with it."

     Silence fell across the room again. We were interrupted by a soft pop of someone appearing in the midst of us. It was Heya, the Light Faerie.

     "Good. You're all here together," she said. "Fyora wants to see you. All of you. Now."

     Two Air Faeries appeared on either side of Heya.

     "We'll teleport you there. Stand up, everyone. Group together."

     No one moved.

     "What does Fyora want us for so desperately?" Sabreur asked tersely.

     "She'll tell you when she gets there. Now, com'n, we don't have all night."

     I reluctantly stood and walked closer to the three Faeries. The rest of the group eventually followed suit.

     The two air faeries chanted in unison and the room around us blurred and vanished to be replaced with the stone walls of Fyora's palace. We were in the anteroom of the castle. Before us were the great doors leading to the Faerie Queen's throne room.

     They swung open and we tromped in. Sabreur was giving everyone and anyone dirty glances. Fyora was waiting, standing on the dais before her throne.

     "About time," she snapped to me.

     "Hello Fyora," I replied dully.

     "What the heck has been happening?" she demanded. "First that explosion of light power down on Neopia and now there's some Darigan Zafara flying around with a very familiar aura. Where's Aldrai?"

     "Aldrai is the Darigan Zafara."

     Fyora was silent.

     "What did you do?"

     "What did I do?!"

     "He's YOUR pet!"

     "Whoa, hold up," Melody said hastily, "let me explain. Aldrai has been using a bit too much light magic."

     "That's an understatement," Fyora replied coldly.

     Melody ignored the comment.

     "And now it's corrupted him somehow. He's… turned evil and he doesn't even realize it. He thinks his actions are good because he's acting through the light magic."

     "So you let it consume him."

     "She didn't let him do anything!" Sabreur snapped. "She tried to warn him!"

     Fyora took a deep breath, held it, and then let it out.

     "Follow me."

     She led us down a series of corridors through the castle. As we walked, I noticed a disproportionate amount of dark faeries hovering around. They stayed in little clumps and talked in frightened whispers. Eventually Fyora stopped before a door and let us into a long room lined with beds. The hospital wing.

     All the beds save one were empty. A single Faerie was in the wing, apparently asleep. She was a Dark Faerie with long purple hair and a single streak of green in it. Jhudora.

     "What happened?" Un-eairkagh breathed, staring at her.

     "I saw fighting from the tower at Jhudora's cloud. I gathered what Faeries I could and flew out there. Jhudora was gravely hurt and a Darigan Zafara was nearby, lit up with light magic like a torch. He seemed like he was going to fight all of us but then he saw me. He bowed and flew away. We didn't pursue. Jhudora fell unconscious before we could find out what happened and she's been like this since. We can't wake her."

     I walked closer to the unconscious Faerie I never really liked Jhudora but that didn't warrant attacking her.

     "Of course. He's going after Dark faeries first. The element opposite him. And Rycio… he's been scared of dark faeries for a long time now," Netsuko said.

     "So now you see. Child_dragon. You are the Essence of Neopia, it is your duty to protect Neopia."

     "I know my duty," I replied softly.

     "Then live up to it. Stop Aldrai before he hurts anyone else."

     "Nobody messes with family. I can't harm my own pet."

     "You have no choice!"

     "Didn't you hear her?!" Sabreur snapped, "Nobody messes with family! Not us, not you, no one!"

     "Aldrai has gone too far," Fyora said coldly. "He has to be stopped."

     "Not in the way you propose."

     "There is no other way!"

     "There is always another way! Violence begets violence! Do you remember that? That was how Kiddo stopped WeatherWolf without killing anyone."

     "This isn't WeatherWolf! This is a light mage that's allowed himself to be consumed by his power! You either destroy him, strip him of his power, or let Neopia suffer the consequences."

     "We will not hurt our own family!"

     "He ceased to be family when child_dragon failed to live up to her duties as his owner!"

     "What did you say?" Sabreur asked, deadly quiet.

     "I said 'child_dragon failed as an owner'."

     I leaned against the wall, trying to hide my tears. I felt like someone had just plunged a knife in my heart.

     "She is responsible for Aldrai. Her duty was to help him adjust to how much magic he can channel and guide him to being careful with his powers. She failed," Fyora continued, seemingly unaware of how much her words hurt, "When someone takes on a pet they also take on the burden of keeping it safe and raising it properly. Apparently child_dragon cannot handle that and now we all must suffer the price of her negligence."

     "My sister is NOT negligent."

     "Then why is Aldrai flying around Neopia with Darigan wings instead of angel ones?"

     "Stop it," I gasped, "just stop it! You've proved your point Fyora. I couldn't care for Aldrai and now I've got to fix the problem I caused. Well, if I can't take care of a pet then how do you expect me to stop this now? Find someone else. I can't do it."

     "You have no choice."

     "Just shut up," I replied and walked away.

     I couldn't stop the tears. My shoulders shook with barely controlled rage. Too much… too much.

     "Grow up," Fyora called after me, "I thought you were the Essence of Neopia, not some little child."

     "I just lost my pet!" I cried, whirling on her. "He's lost to me and now you tell me I have to kill him! I won't! I will not be the person to do it."

     "No one else can!"

     "Then Neopia can die!"

     I turned and ran from the room, ran from the palace. No one stopped me. I reached the castle grounds and launched myself into the air. From there I flew. I didn't know where, just flew. But no matter how fast and far I flew the pain would not be left behind.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Dark Flame: Part One

Dark Flame: Part Two

Dark Flame: Part Three

Dark Flame: Part Four

Dark Flame: Part Five

Dark Flame: Part Six

Dark Flame: Part Seven

Dark Flame: Part Eight

Dark Flame: Part Nine

Dark Flame: Part Eleven

Dark Flame: Part Twelve

Dark Flame: Part Thirteen

Dark Flame: Part Fourteen

Dark Flame: Part Fifiteen

Dark Flame: Part Sixteen

Dark Flame: Part Seventeen

Dark Flame: Part Eighteen

Dark Flame: Part Nineteen

Dark Flame: Part Twenty

Dark Flame: Part Twenty One

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