Some ask where the Shadow Usul comes from.
Some ask if there are others like it.
And some know the answer.
It is a day like any other in the Battledome
on Mystery Island. Spread across the many arenas in the complex, Neopets battle
for training and prestige. Lightning flashes, fire flares, snowballs hurl, and
a wide array of abilities are executed with precision. Most battles are privately
going on between two opponent, while others have spectators to observe technique
and power. Some have acquired powers greater than most can imagine.
One of the current fights is between a Kougra
and a Draik. The Kougra is a vile creature with jagged fangs and claws, looking
as if they have been unkept for a long time. His fur is very much in need of
being brushed, as it has split-ends throughout its entire body. His fur is a
fairly dark shade of grey, with his stripes being even darker.
The Draik on the other side of the arena is
a well-kept creature as far as people of middle-class are concerned. The scales
covering his blue form are well organized in themselves. His wings are whole,
showing no where and tear around the bottom of the skin flaps. His claws are
kept sharpened and his teeth shine white. His muscle build is moderate for a
dragon, which gives him great strength non-the-less.
The two stand opposite of each other, having
already exchanged some hits. The Draik summons an aura of light around him while
removing a Wand of the Air Faerie, preparing to use it.
The Kougra growls at the Draik as his eyes darken
until completely black. An aura of darkness surrounds his form and he takes
in a deep breath. A stream of dark energy flows from the chest of the Draik
to the mouth of the Kougra. As the Draik is weakened by the drain life ability,
he throws forward the wand, shooting out a heavy gust of wind. The Kougra’s
spell is interrupted as he flies back, catching himself on the ground with his
Knowing he must endure, the Kougra focuses on
using shadow health to regain his strength. Focusing his power on it, the air
around him begins to ripple and fluctuate. The aura becomes so dark that no
one can see through it. A tortured growl is heard from the Kougra, followed
by a high-pitched, ghostly wail. The aura collapses back into the Kougra, showing
his now unconscious form.
The Draik slowly walks towards the Kougra, being
cautious in case this is some sort of tactic. After walking halfway to the Kougra,
he jumps back at a shadow shooting across the ground from the Kougra’s shadow.
In a blink it came and went, vanishing into the shadow cast upon the ground
by the walls of the arena. A chill ran down the spine of the Draik upon seeing
the image, as he does not know what to think of it.
The Draik stares into the wall, focusing entirely
on the shadow spread over the entire length of it. Taking a step closer, he
pauses. Perhaps it is his eyes playing tricks on him, but he can swear that
he sees it grow slightly darker.
Not seeming to even remember the Kougra, he
walks up to the wall. Resting a hand against the surface, he raises his aura
around his hand. The wall illuminates around the aura with the exception of
a few inches above his hand. The shadow lingers for but a moment before jumping
back, a slight squeak barely being audible.
He turns around to see a Chia and a Techo lifting
the Kougra to carry it away. The Draik’s mind is racing between the events.
All he does is stand silently as they take him out of the arena, and two other
Neopets, a Kyrii and a Gelert, enter to prepare for a battle. It would seem
he is the only one who saw the shadow, or even the manner by which the Kougra
had fallen. He knows this matter must be looked into rather than be shrugged
Running across the arena, the other two do not
give any attention to him, but rather stretch for the fight they are about to
get into. As he leaves the arena, he feels compelled to warn others of the suspicious
occurrence, yet he also feels it would be best to go straight to the masters
of the training school about this. One way or another, everyone will be warned
if the situation is deemed serious enough, but if it is not serious, then causing
a panic amongst those in the Battledome needlessly will cause unwanted problems.
With the training school next to the island’s
Battledome, it takes only a couple minutes for the Draik to travel to the main
door of the school. Looking up at the large, red doors at the front surround
by stone walls with red tiles making up the roof, he can only think of what
might be occurring at the Battledome. This may be a mere paranoid dilution,
but it is best to remain on the safe side considering many of the lands have
found themselves falling upon rough times in the past.
The Draik opens the doors to the school, the
sound of wood grinding against stone loud and clear as the door moves. Once
they are open just enough to allow him to walk in, he does so. Once inside,
he glances around the building’s interior. Bamboo sticks decorate the walls
with intricate designs etched into them. The front room is fairly small, being
able to hold only a handful of people. The empty doorway directly in front of
him carries no design of its own; only showing a hallway with many more doorways
on the sides.
After a brief moment of standing in the front
room, the Draik is graced with the presence of Ryshu. Ryshu, a red Nimmo, stands
in the doorway dressed in the black kimono. His eyes show a certain love for
battle, even when he is at peace. Seeing the Draik standing at the entrance,
Ryshu says in a calm, yet rugged voice, "Greetings, Yorvick. Is your battle
done already? How did you fare?"
Yorvick gives a tired sigh before answering,
"The battle ended with me the winner, but I’m not the reason for it; at least
I don’t think so."
Ryshu looks at him questioningly, "What do you
mean? Did something happen?"
Yorvick sighs again, "I don’t know what happened.
It was odd, it’s like his powers lashed out at him." He shakes his head to clear
before continuing, "Where is the Techo Master? I would feel best speaking with
him about this."
Ryshu nods and steps back, out of the doorway,
"He is in the meditation temple. Try not to speak too loudly when getting his
Yorvick bows before walking down the hallway.
As he passes the many doorways, he doesn’t even look at the spars going on in
the matted rooms. Keeping focused on the door at the end of the hall, thoughts
of what he will say to the Master race through his head.
Not much time passes before he finds himself
standing in front of a pair of wooden, arched doors. He takes in a deep breath
and holds is for a second, clearing his mind. Releasing the breath, a feeling
of calm replaces the disturbed thoughts about possibilities.
Slowly and carefully opening the doors, he slips
himself in and pushes the doors closed. The room is circular with a diameter
of about twenty feet, and the walls curve into a tall dome reaching thirty feet
high. The stone walls hold rings of bamboo around the room, each one being three
feet apart. At the center of the room is a small, flickering light from a white
candle, which is very simple in design.
Directly across the way from the doors is the
Techo Master. Dressed in a brown kimono of a fairly light tint, the green Techo
sits in a lotus position, facing the candle. The years can be seen on the Techo,
as his white beard covers his neck, and is grown along his face, making a thin
line of hair around his head. Three red spots rest between his eyes; another
sign of his age.
Yorvick speaks in a very soft and cautious voice,
The Master slowly opens one eye to peer at Yorvick
with. After seeing that it is him, Master opens the other eye and gives a nod
in greeting to him. Following Yorvick’s bow, Master says, "What brings you to
my presence, young one?"
"Master," Yorvick replies, "I seek your council.
I sense something is amiss in the Battledome. I saw something that I could not
possibly have seen."
Master raises a brow in hearing this. Yorvick
is not one to lie, nor have delusions. He just looks at Yorvick, awaiting his
He responds by asking, "I saw a shadow jump
from my opponent. He fell to the ground unconscious, then a darkness went from
his body to the wall. I went to the wall to see what it was, and the shadow
itself seemed to flinch from light. I have never seen anything like it."
"Nor have I ever heard of it," says Master.
"There is someone who might know, however. Cray, a Grarrl who trains in this
school, has studied much about supernatural dark powers and entities. Seek his
council and come back to me with what he has to say."
Yorvick bows respectfully before walking back
into the hallway, closing the door to the meditation temple as he leaves. All
there is to do now is seek out Cray. He looks from door to door in the hallway,
trying to see if there are any Grarrls amongst the people training. The first
room has a couple Kacheeks and a Uni practicing their form and coordination.
The second room contains six Jubjubs having sparring matches. The third room
holds a Chia, an Aisha, and a Grarrl.
While standing in the doorway, Yorvick says
to the small group, sounding somewhat cautious, "Cray?"
The Grarrl turns his head to look at Yorvick.
His black eyes appear as if empty, like staring into two abysses. His skin is
rough, even for a reptile. His claws and teeth, however, appear to be well-kept
and clean. His entire image is shadowed over unnaturally, as an aura of dark
energy emanates from him, though not feeling very strong. The shadows are only
strong enough to serve their purpose; making his red skin seem more maroon.
He simply replies to Yorvick by saying, "Yes?"
To be continued...