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Andover's Quest: Part Four

by hermione_granger1899


Kit watched as Andover and Simon sat together and planned everything out. She still hadn't found any time alone with Andover to tell him what Shaylee had said. That poor brown Lupess had looked so sad when she'd heard he wasn't coming home anytime soon. She looked as though her heart had been broken … again.

      "Andover? Can I talk to you?" Kit asked. Simon looked over and glared at her as though she had interrupted the talk of a lifetime.

      The electric Lupe beside him however, smiled and came over. "It'll only take a second, Simon. Don't get all worked up," he said. "What do you need?" he asked Kit.

      The striped Lupess led him back to her tent. "I have a message for you from Shaylee," she said.

      "You talked to Shaylee? What did she say?" Andover asked eagerly. Kit smiled at his reaction and relayed the message. At the end, Andover no longer looked eager. He looked sad.

      "Don't be sad, Andover. She knows you have to do this. She understands," Kit lied. She knew that Shaylee didn't understand no matter what the Lupess had said. The poor thing had been devastated when she'd seen Kit instead of Andover coming toward her.

      Andover sighed. "She'll never understand why I came. You don't have to lie to me, Kit," he said, getting up. "I have to go finish planning things out with Simon."

      Kit watched as he walked out, tail and ears drooping sadly. Poor Andover, she thought. He really misses that Lupess.

      Andover sat down beside Simon again and glanced at the green Kougra, hoping he wouldn't say anything about his new attitude change.

      "What's wrong, sport?" Simon asked, concerned.

      Andover sighed. "Nothing. I'm just tired, I guess," he lied. He wasn't ready to tell anyone just how much he wanted to go home. Or how much he missed Shaylee.

      "Well, we're almost done here," Simon said, gesturing toward the charts and lists they'd made for strategizing the next attack on 'The Purest Ones'. Those Lupes had some serious issues…

      The two of them worked a while longer, putting each of the many neopets they'd acquired as allies into different groups and positions for the attack. After a couple more hours, Simon finally dismissed him and Andover trudged across camp to his own tent. He stopped at the entrance and looked around, wishing he was back home; wishing he could see his mother and his sister; wish Shaylee would stop worrying; wishing everything would be right again. But most of all, he wished Shaylee was here with him instead of all the way on the other side of the world.

      He jumped as a big white flash lit up half the camp and there was a thump by his feet. He blinked, still blinded by the light that had flashed so close in front of his eyes.

      "What was that?" he asked himself. He looked down to see the pouch he had worn faithfully around his neck the last week had fallen off. The strings looked like they had been cut or burned. He touched the pouch - it was hot. Gingerly, he picked up the strings and took the pouch back into his tent and shut the flaps. He was enveloped in semidarkness.

      "What happened?" he said aloud, opening the pouch. The remaining neopoints he had in there fell out along with the gem and a now slightly singed letter. He picked up the gem and immediately dropped it again, yelping. It was red-hot - literally in fact. The normally cool light blue gem had turned a fiery red and was burning hot.

      He didn't understand what had happened. He wondered if the letter had anything to do with the gem… But he couldn't read it. He wasn't allowed to read it unless he was on his deathbed. But what could it hurt? What horrible knowledge could really be in there? After all, he was the next Chosen One, wasn't he? Shouldn't he have superior knowledge concerning whatever the letter said? He reached for the letter but there was another white flash again, temporarily blinding him once more. He looked down at the gem to see the white quickly fading into red. So the gem was what had flashed. But why? He had to read that letter. He grabbed the letter and unfolded it. He had just read the first line which read To Whom It May Concern, when the gem flashed yet again.

      Now annoyed, Andover picked up the gem and neopoints, stuffed them back into the pouch and stuffed the pouch under a pile of blankets. He started reading the letter but this time there was an angry buzzing coming from the gem. Sighing, Andover folded up the letter and put it down. He opened the pouch again and picked out the gem. It was warm in his paw.

      The gem obviously didn't want him to read that letter. But why? What did it really say? But if all the gem wanted was for him not to read the letter, why had it tried to blind him when he'd been thinking of home? He looked at it curiously, rolling it back and forth in his paws. He wondered if it did that often. Maybe only when he was thinking or doing certain things. Like if he was being … selfish? He wanted to see if this worked or not.

      I sure wish I had a million neopoints so I could be the richest Lupe in all Neopia, he thought. He knew this was a lie, but the gem obviously didn't, considering it gave of an extremely bright white flash and nearly burned his paws off. He dropped the gem and watched it fade to red, then orange, to yellow, and eventually back into a light blue. So it did that when he was thinking selfishly. Well that was new. It hadn't done that before when he'd been thinking like that. Maybe it took a while to get used to him?

      But I need to read that letter! What if it contains something that could save everyone in Neopia from those Lupes? What if I never got to tell anyone what it said before I died and someone else died because of me? What if Shaylee died because of me? These thoughts forced their way into his mind, scaring him out of his wits. But the gem didn't flash. He didn't really know why, but the thought of Shaylee dying because of him, because he might never have the chance to tell anyone what that letter contained, those thoughts made him reach over and unfold the letter once again. And this time, the gem became warm in a pleasant way and when he glanced at it, it was a friendly purple color.

     To Whom It May Concern: Wherever you are right now, I sincerely hope you are not in danger of any sort. The purpose of this letter is solely to warn you about the powers of the gem that is undoubtedly in your possession if you are reading this. This gem has the power that is so extraordinary that some may be unable to contain it. It may seem like something you would get countless neopoints for if you sold it, but it is much more than an expensive piece of jewelry. This gem has knowledge. Yes, that sounds awfully funny when you think about an inanimate object having knowledge of anything, but it is true. This gem has the power to heal the sick; make the dimwitted wise; mend broken bones; keep one from dying when in grave peril; protect one from evil; keep one from going mad; enforce decent, selfless thoughts in one's mind; and most powerful of all: the power to ki-

      Andover was cut off by his tent flaps being thrown open and a very angry-looking green Lupess storming in, followed by a two small Lupe pups - one orange and one red. He stood up, confused. "Can I help you?" he asked.

      The Lupes marched right up to him and made herself as big as she could. Andover, wondering what on earth he had done now, backed off. "What did I do?" he asked.

      "What did you do? What did you DO?" she screeched. Andover cringed as she stepped on the pouch containing the gem. "I'll tell you what you DID!" she yelled, only to stop and start screaming in pain from the heat coming from her foot. Andover tried not to smirk as he snatched the pouch away and tied it around his neck again. He grabbed the letter and stuffed that in the pouch too.

      The green Lupess, having regained her composure, stomped her foot against the ground. "You shouldn't be here! Go back to where you belong, you filthy plains Lupe," she said, disgusted. "My daughter and my nephew have enough bad influences without the likes of you hanging around. Why don't you just go back to where you came from and stay there, oh Electric One!" she snarled, baring her teeth angrily. "I mean it. Get out of here!"

      Andover, deeply offended by now, stood his ground, baring his own teeth in anger. He knew better than to fight with his elders - even if they didn't belong to his pack - but this one Lupess was really making him mad now. "Look, lady," he growled. "I don't wanna fight you - especially in front of your pups, but I will. I belong here, helping Simon fight off those crazy Lupes on the other side of the forest and if you don't like that, then you and your precious daughter and nephew can go back to your comfy neohome and stay there, house pets," he snarled viciously. The Lupess backed off a bit, not expecting him to fight back.

      "Well I have never been so offended in my life! A young Lupe like yourself mouthing off to your elder! Well…" the Lupess said huffily, not seeming to be able to come up with words to express her feelings.

      "Then don't insult me or my pack. Especially not my pack! House pets don't belong in battle - especially if they have kids. You're the one who should leave lady. Go back to your neohome with your precious pups and stay away from here. They could get hurt. And again never insult my pack, you understand?" he snarled, shoving his face right into hers. She glared at him.

      "Don't you be telling me what to do," she snapped, baring her teeth again. "No kid is going to mouth off to me!"

      "Who do you think you are - Fyora?" Andover snapped back. He growled deep in his throat to show he meant business and the Lupess took another step back.

      "I am going home, but not because you told me to! I'm going so my children aren't exposed to the likes of filthy plains Lupes like you and so they can't learn the vile talk you speak. You dirty, filthy creature. I can't believe you even call yourself a Lupe!" And without ado, she turned and herded her pups out of the tent. But Andover wasn't about to let that one slide. He lunged at the Lupess, knowing perfectly well he shouldn't, but the anger that overtook him just made him. He was about a foot away from her - still in the air - when a huge shock ran through is body and knocked him to the ground. He landed in a heap and groaned.

      The Lupess looked back and stopped. "Oh you poor thing!" she exclaimed, her mothering instinct canceling out her vicious attitude. "Oh, what happened to you?" she cooed comfortingly.

      "I'm … fine…" Andover insisted heavily, trying to stand. He collapsed again onto the ground. That gem sure had a lot of power to make a Lupe weak…

      "You are not fine! I'm going to go fetch someone. Marie, James, stay here," the Lupess said. The two pups came over and sat beside Andover's head.

      Andover tried to sit. His front legs were wobbly and he could just barely lift himself back onto his haunches. His head was pounding and he knew his legs would collapse under him any minute now - which they did. His legs gave out again and he slid right back into lying down on the cold ground.

      "Andover what happened?" Kit asked, hurrying over with the green Lupess. "Mandy said you were hurt!" The striped Lupess looked down in concern at her friend.

      "I'm fine," Andover insisted, his electric fur crackling. He pushed himself painfully into a sitting position again. "See?" He smiled at her, but it came out like a grimace, and she could see how hard it was for him to sit like that.

      "I'll help you back into your tent," Kit offered. "Thanks, Mandy. You can go now." Mandy nodded and took her pups back toward the other side of camp where her own tent was.

      Kit helped Andover back into his tent and made a bed out of his blankets for him. "Lay down, Andover. You don't have to act like you aren't about ready to collapse from pain."

      Andover sighed and plopped down into his nest of blankets. He curled into a slightly comfortably position and looked up at her. "Thanks," he said. She laid down and brought her face to his eye-level.

      "That's what friends are for," she said. She smiled at him.

      "You're a good friend," he yawned, feeling his eyelids start to close. Kit smiled and scooted closer so she was lying next to him.

      "You are too," she murmured in his ear as he fell asleep. "You are too." Kit watched as he fell asleep. She wondered what secrets he was hiding from her - from everybody it seemed. He still hadn't told her what had hurt him. He didn't have any scratches or anything. It seemed as though suddenly all the energy had gone out of him and he couldn't stand anymore.

      "I wish you'd tell me what was wrong," she whispered. She noticed the pouch around his neck. He had his paw protectively covering it. She wondered what was in it. She reached toward him and gently moved his paw away from his pouch. He fidgeted in his sleep, but Kit slowly took a hold on the strings around his neck and lifted them over his head. He sighed in his sleep and turned his head toward her, making her freeze, paw still in midair. Andover continued sleeping however, so she took the pouch and looked inside.

      She gasped softly in surprise. It couldn't be! It was. It was the Knowledge Gem! The same gem that… No! Andover wouldn't do something like that! He wouldn't! Would he? Kit knew she had to take the gem to Simon right away. After all, he would know what to do with it. But I have to trust my friend too, don't? After all, the gem belongs to him now - that was probably why he'd been knocked down in the first place. This gem contains power - power even Andover shouldn't have. But - Kit's thoughts were cut off by a growl from Andover.

      "Give … that … back," he snarled angrily, struggling to rise. "Give it back now!" The gem in Kit's paws gave off a flash of angry heat, causing her to drop it.

      "Andover! I wasn't trying to steal it, honest! I just never thought I'd actually -" Kit started to apologize but he cut her off.

      "Save it. I don't care," he growled. He picked up the gem and snatched the pouch out of her paws. "Just don't do it again." Andover lay down again, exhausted just by moving that little bit. This gem certainly did have power. Whoever had written that letter sure knew what they were talking about.

      Andover went back to sleep, but not before lying down on top of the pouch and making sure no one could take it. It wasn't so much that he liked the thought of having such power, but more the fact that it had belonged to his father. The father he knew was dead now. He'd left one day on a quest for Gammot - and never returned. The fact that Gammot had even had the gem to give him in the first place was a miracle because it had been lost with his father. Some Lupe had shown up when Andover was still young - a little younger than Lex was now - and given it to him and then just disappeared.

     * * *

      Kit sighed. Why was Andover so overprotective of that gem? It's not like it actually belonged to him. No, it only had one true owner. But he was long gone. Not dead for sure. No, he just disappeared one night. Kit knew a little water couldn't kill off Moran any more than a blizzard could kill the Snowager. But she still wondered how that gem had come into Andover's possession.

      "Simon? Can I come in?" she called softly into the Kougra's tent.

      "Sure, come on." Kit went into the tent which was lit only by a small gas lamp. "What's wrong?" he asked, seeing the look on the striped Lupess's face.

      "It's about Andover. You know that pouch he wears around his neck? Inside it is the Knowledge Gem that Moran used to carry."

      The green Kougra snorted. "Yeah, right, and snorkels fly."

      "Simon, I'm serious! Those strange white flashes? Those were probably from the gem! And he was hurt - knocked down or something and he doesn't even have the energy to stand. I don't know what's going on, but Simon, how could he have gotten a hold of that gem? What if he plans to sell it?" Kit asked anxiously.

      Simon looked at her hard. The anxious look that had come across her face made him wonder if she was serious. After all, no one had heard about the gem for years - not since Gammot had received it anyway. And it would explain that Lupe's strange behavior. But if it was the Knowledge Gem, then where had Andover gotten it? Gammot had promised not to give it away until just the right Lupe came along. But as far as Simon had heard, everything in the plains was going fine at the moment. So that only left the possibilities that either Gammot had died and Andover had just found it by chance after Gammot's pack had left, or that Andover had stolen it… Simon highly doubted the former of the two, but he had thought Andover was a pretty okay Lupe. Why would he steal a gem that he had no idea how to work or use?

      "Okay, I'll talk to him. But I want you to keep clear of that kid until then, you understand me?" Simon said to Kit. The Lupess's eyes narrowed.

      "You can't tell me what to do. You aren't my father." She bared her teeth slightly, angry that he was trying once again to control her every move.

      "I can tell you what to do because your mother left me in charge of you. And whether you like it or not, I care about you. Until I'm sure about Andover, I don't want you around him. He could be dangerous."

      "Dangerous!" Kit scoffed. "He's anything but! Andover's sweet and kind and decent and…" she trailed off, seeing Simon's expression.

      "My thoughts are your heart is speaking out more than your brain, there, Kit. Stay away from Andover until I'm sure about him. Don't make me remind you that this has happened before," he said, eyeing her.

      "You just did," she muttered. "I'm going to bed. Good-night, Simon," she growled, stalking angrily out of the tent. She walked back to her own tent and went inside. How dare he tell me what to do? He's not my father and he never will be no matter how much he cared for me or my mother. She snarled angrily and collapsed on her make-shift bed of blankets and towels. How would he know if Andover was safe or not? He doesn't know anything about Andover! And where did Andover find that gem? Who gave it to him? If someone gave it to him that is… No. Andover wouldn't steal. Andover was not the type to steal! Kit shook her head as though by shaking it she would empty her head of her thoughts. After a while she finally laid down and drifted off into a dreamless sleep.

To be continued...

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Other Episodes

» Andover's Quest: Part One
» Andover's Quest: Part Two
» Andover's Quest: Part Three
» Andover's Quest

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