CHARDIYE HUDDLED IN a crumpled heap, waiting for the Lupes to finish him off.
He was so weak and injured by now that he wished that they would be quicker,
just to put a miserable end to his miserable life. But the blow never came.
Chardiye opened one golden eye, and nearly jumped
out of his skin. He was floating in mid-air, and the only thing he could see
beneath him was vast, endless blackness, dotted with stars. He tried to yell,
but his voice was lost in the nothing that surrounded him. He looked up, trying
to see where he was, and gasped.
Above him was a tall, arched, Gothic-like ceiling,
evidently of a hall that the shell-shocked Eyrie could not see the end of. He
must have been standing on some sort of invisible floor, because the hall appeared
as if it had no floor at all. Chardiye stood up.
"H-hello?" he called shakily.
A breath of wind floated from the depths of the
hall, and Chardiye just caught the euphoric answer, "Come closer, my child."
Chardiye moved deeper into the shadows of the
long hall, not daring to speak. Was he dreaming?
"I understand that you have found yourself in
a bit of trouble in the past, my dear," lilted the voice, "But you still found
a way to believe in me. I am grateful. Long has it been since I have had anyone
so faithful to my story to come up and have a talk with me..."
"Alurula," Chardiye whispered.
"Yes," the voice answered in mellow joy, "I have
seen the corruption of the Neopian society, and I was afraid that I might be
"I never forgot you!" Chardiye cried into the
empty hall, "I always remembered! I always hoped that I would meet you someday!"
It was a while before the voice of Alurula spoke
again. When it did, it sounded warm and comforting.
"You, then Chardiye, have chosen the one question
you wish to ask me?"
"Yes. I wanted to ask you..." Chardiye swallowed
hard, "Where can I find the Amulet of Eternal Spirit?"
Alurula was silent again. Then--
"The Amulet lies in the hearts of all who live
on Neopia. Since it was taken from its plinth, by greed and evil, it cannot
be found by searching any land. Only when those who stole it are ready to return
it, the corruption of the world which you live in will not lift. It can only
be sought by looking deep."
Chardiye was contemplating this unexpected answer
when Alurula continued, "But the Amulet itself lies in my possession. The physical
thing was created when the Faeries came together and formed Neopia. It is the
resemblance of the true Amulet. Inside of the sacred artifact a flame burns,
a flame that will go out if the hearts of too many Neopians turn cold. When
the flame burns out, only when the Neopians' hearts turn right again will it
reignite. Just a short time ago, I witnessed the flame that burns within it
"Can the flame be rekindled, Alurula?" cried
"I am sorry," said the melodious voice sadly,
"I can only answer one question..."
Chardiye looked down at his feet sadly.
"Oh, young one," said Alurula's whimsical voice,
"Don't dismay. It has been so long since I have had any visitors at all. I do
wish I could answer all of your questions, but some things you are too young
to understand. But whenever a faithful pet comes to me with his woes, I always
provide him with a tiny piece of myself to guide them."
Chardiye looked up, stunned. A warmth unlike
any kind the Eyrie had felt before seemed to surround him. He imagined it must
feel just like a mother's embrace.
"Could I just stay here with you, Alurula?" Chardiye
blurted out, tears welling up in his golden eyes again, "Must I leave here?"
"Chardiye," the voice said, a stern note mixed
in with the loving tone, "Do not forget what you have come here for. Lonely
am I only when none in the world of Neopia are faithful to me. Without the care
from any Neopian, I would cease to exist. For that I am thankful to you. But
if you stay here with me, you would become just like me, and I do not want that
for you, Chardiye. Although you might not see me, I will always be right beside
Both of them were silent for a time, and then
Chardiye voiced something that he had been wondering ever since he had read
the legend of Alurula.
"What do you look like, Alurula?"
"My true form is too great for your mortal eyes
to see," she said finally, "But it is not wrong for you to wonder. Why not?
I will show you a more subtle form of myself than the real thing. Watch very
Chardiye stared hard into the darkness before
him. It happened very suddenly. There was a flash of white light and Chardiye
could see, for a brief instant, the shape of a girl with long, golden hair and
bright green eyes. She was dressed in a flowing white gown. The girl had a very
serious look on her pale face, but as their eyes met, Chardiye felt as if his
life had been completed.
"Goodbye, Chardiye," the girl that was Alurula
said softly to him. She put her hand to her lips and blew the green Eyrie a
kiss, and the magnificent hall, the girl and the stars below disappeared once
Chardiye opened his eyes. He was sitting in the middle of the field outside
of Neopia Central, just where he had been when the Lupes had attacked him and
he had cried out to Alurula. He couldn't see the Lupes anywhere, though.
He sat there, stunned, with a feeling of unreality
closing in on him. The face of the beautiful girl would be imprinted on his
mind forever, and her words echoed in his head as if she had shouted them just
moments before. He looked down at the ground, saddened by the fact that he would
never see Alurula again. He gasped.
Around his neck was something he had never seen
before. A small, round charm encrusted with jewels hung from a thin gold chain.
Chardiye held it to his face, taking in every aspect of the treasure. On the
front of the emblem was a single word:
To be continued...