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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 5th day of Running, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 140 > Continuing Series > To be a Master: Search For A Red Aisha -- Part Three

To be a Master: Search For A Red Aisha -- Part Three

by shelleylow

The day passed quickly for Kokyu. The white-belts, awed at the sight of another Master, and a Second-Degree one at that, had been rather shy and hesitant of approaching at first, but eventually, after they had gotten to know Kokyu-Master, they grew to like his charisma and gentleness, and were soon on good terms.

     Kokyu liked the look of the white-belts. All of them so bright and full of vitality and vigour, and they obviously loved Neo-Kido, as he could tell from their shining eyes and the joyful excitement in their voices when they talked of all they had learnt to him, and how the next day they would become colour-belts. This batch definitely showed some promise. Marko, the sole senior student, also showed a great deal of talent.

     Needless to say, Shiho got along with all of them famously, particularly with Teken, a yellow Aisha kit about her own age. Ki-ai, too, seemed to settle happily with the other Petpets and that Jubjub, Mandrake, that Aihami had told him about. She had said that Mandrake had an affinity for Petpets. It was curious.

     They had conducted lifeforce training in the afternoon by a nearby waterfall, and the endless crash of the water as it hurtled from the rocky cliff above to the plunge pool below where it flowed away and became the river, was almost like being back at the seashore with the waves foaming and crashing on the beach as he, Toreb, and Shiho sat and let energy from their lifeforces flow freely and joyously through their bodies…

     Strangely enough, he noticed, he didn’t feel a sharp pang of loss thinking of those times as he had before, but instead a gentle ache, and the feeling that even though those good times were past, brighter days lay ahead. Probably Toreb had found his Neo-Kidoka friends again, wherever he was.

     Startled, he realized what he was thinking. Had the pain of losing his Master to the inevitable really passed so quickly? He stole a glance at Aihami with his lifeforce-sharpened vision. The Aisha glowed with an inner light of warm, pale red. She was strong. He had never met a Neo-Kidoka with that force of healing wounds of the soul. And she was only a First-Degree.

     He looked at his own lifeforce, a clear marine blue. Could he do anything like that? He would have to discuss this with Aihami. Later, when they could talk properly, Master to Master.

     Later on, after a delicious dinner of fruits and berries gathered from the jungle, and the white-belts had gone to bed in their rooms, with Marko presiding over them like a watchful guardian, Aihami sat in the training hall. Outside, the sky was an inky blue, spangled with large bright stars like so many guiding lights. Not for the first time, she wondered whether the lifeforce of her Master was somewhere up there among them, illumined by their pale light.

     “Stargazing?”

     Startled, she turned. Kokyu stood framed in the doorway of the room that led to the white-belts’ dormitory.

     She smiled. “I thought you would have gone to bed.”

     “I was seeing to Shiho. She’s fallen asleep, and I couldn’t, so I came out. She’s settled in fine here. I’m sure she’ll be very happy...”

     Aihami looked at him. “She’ll be...? Then you’ll stay?”

     Kokyu smiled gently. “Of course I will. You look as if you’re short of Masters here anyway, and we never really got a chance to have a proper talk, did we?”

     “Why don’t we, now.” She settled on the floor, kneeling, in a Neo-Kidoka position. Its cushioning mats were now folded and piled up neatly in a corner. She patted the floor in front of her. “Sit. You start then. Where did you come from, and what did Shiho mean when she started shouting?”

     Kokyu plopped down in the designated spot and told her everything. About how Toreb-Master had first found him as a kit, wandering alone along the coast, hungry, tired, crusted with sand and salt, and with no memory of where he had come from. How the kindly Acara had taken him in to where he lived a hermit’s life in a sea cave under the cliffs, fed him and provided for him, and trained him to become a Neo-Kidoka. How eventually, through his Master’s guidance and leadership, he had become a Master. How one day while strolling on the shore he had found Shiho, and taken him in to be trained. And of course, how Toreb had told him of a Neo-Kido training hall in the jungle, to the east, and told him to go there with Shiho, because he was fast nearing the end of his life’s journey.

     When he had finished Aihami looked at him, her dark eyes compassionate. “As I said,” she whispered, “I know what it is to lose the one who trained you... who moulded you... without whom you would not know what you know or be who you are.”

     She proceeded to tell him of her own Master, Naro the Kougra, who had heard of how she wanted to be the best fighter in the Battledome, and who had taken her to this training hall and trained her in Neo-Kido. Through his teachings, and the art itself, she had lost her love of battling and became a striver for peace, and harmony. Naro, who had departed several days after her First-Degree Master’s test, and whose last wish had been for her to discover the hidden powers of the lifeforce, and to spread their art throughout Neopia. This wish had led her to strengthen her lifeforce more and more, and finally, one day, without trying, she had been able to see lifeforce energy.

     Kokyu looked at her wonderingly. “Wow... I could only see lifeforce energy just before my Second-degree test.”

     “It just happened by chance. It was there that I found out how to use lifeforce energy to calm things and to heal wounds, not wounds of the body but wounds of the soul, which no healing potion can touch, I’m sure you know of those. I just knew what to do. I also discovered, with time, my students are starting to display their own power. I believe everyone has a particular thing they use their lifeforces for that they are best at. Aragon once pushed himself past his physical limits with lifeforce energy. Mandrake can talk to Petpets...”

     “Oh, so that explains the way he has with them... Can one really use lifeforce energy for something like that? I never realized...”

     “Neither did I, until I had students of my own. You can observe them, and learn to teach their different personalities, and watch them as they develop not just their lifeforces and reflexes, but how the art soothes their souls, makes them understand why peace and harmony are so precious. Neo-Kido, I think, has something to offer for all.”

     She got up and padded across to the training hall’s main door; looked up into the night.

     “Sometimes I wonder whether Naro-Master is up there-well, his lifeforce, anyway, his essence. Up in the sky, among the stars...”

     Kokyu joined her. “Maybe my Toreb-Master is with him. Maybe all their old friends are there, who trained with them in the past. You never know.”

     Aihami turned to smile at him. “It’s something I’ve always dreamed was true. Come on, it’s late. We’d best get to sleep. Remember, tomorrow’s a big day for the white-belts.”

     Kokyu turned to enter the male pets’ dormitory, but paused with his paw on the doorframe. He looked back at her.

     “Aihami... one other thing worries me. Those pets we met in the jungle, the ones in the red uniforms... where did they come from? Who were they?

     Aihami shrugged, her face suddenly serious. “I don’t know... I’ve never seen them before. Did they say something at any time to give you any sort of clue?”

     “They said something about an Aisha... about a Champion wanting them to bring back an Aisha...”

     “A red Aisha,” Aihami murmured. “Shiho’s red... they were going after Shiho, not you. Then they came at me...”

     Kokyu scratched his head tiredly. “Well, I suppose the other questions will have to be left unanswered, at least for now.” He grinned at her. “As you said, we ought to get to sleep, or tomorrow we’ll be so sleepy that we’ll be making all of them black-belts tomorrow.”

     Aihami laughed at that. “You’re right, Master. Goodnight.”

***

“You did what…”

     The green Krawk trembled, his bright scarlet uniform, loose as it was, soaked with sweat both from the battle earlier in the day and the thought of facing their Champion. Now he stood before the very Neopet himself in the dark hall, built of deep red stone and lit by only a few candles. At the other end of the long hall, the figure of the Champion was swathed in shadows. Only his orange eyes could be seen, glinting dangerously as they reflected the dim candlelight.

     His nine companions fidgeted nervously around him. One of them, a large Kougra, was wincing slightly as his uniform chafed his bruises, which had become more and more tender on their trek back to the Champion’s quarters.

     The Krawk gathered courage and spoke up again. “We found the Aisha, Champion-Taruuk. But…she…she got away. They fought us off…defeated even Weorr!”

     “Fought you off?” The Champion’s eyes glinted dangerously. “And how many were there?”

     The Krawk swallowed hard. “T-two. Aishas, that is, including the red one. And a young one too…that makes three...”

     “Defeated by two Aishas and a young one. Our best Neo-Rakarr…”

     The Champion eased his up strongly built frame and paced over to his nine Champions-in-Training as they shrunk to the floor in fear. Close up, the magnificent Eyrie towered over them, an apparition of strength and muscle power, looking immensely impressive with his shadow coloured coat and feathers contrasting sharply with his red uniform.

     Glaring down at them now, his fierce eyes glittering with malice, the ten pets seemed to sink even lower into the ground. The Eyrie turned his gaze away from them suddenly as a new figure hobbled into view.

          It was an elderly Techo, his scales dulled and grey with age. His eyes gleamed with rage that had, over the long years it had been hoarded within, turned to hatred and loathing. He glanced balefully up at the Supreme Champion.

     “Did they get the Aisha?”

     “Found the Aisha,” stated the Champion impassively, without changing expression. “Didn’t catch her.”

     The Techo snarled as he turned on the Champions. “Fools! Incapable imbeciles! You let her get away! If you do not bring me the Aisha-”

     “I will see to it they do, Head Champion- Horak,” the Champion said quietly.

     Still growling and muttering to himself, the Techo left the hall, vanishing into the shadows of one of the dark passageways lining it.

     Champion-Taruuk once again cast his glinting eyes on his Champions. “Catch the Aisha unawares. Make sure you bring her back the next time, or our Head Champion will never be placated…”

The End

Previous Episodes

To be a Master: Search For A Red Aisha

To be a Master: Search For A Red Aisha -- Part Two

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