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