A Yurble stole my cinnamon roll! Circulation: 114,248,913 Issue: 228 | 17th day of Awakening, Y8
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Hubrid's Attempted Hero Heist: Part Twelve

by ikkin_with_attitude


Also by schefflera

Jeran looked around, sounding only mildly puzzled by Kass's disappearance halfway up the staircase. "Well, he couldn't really have gone anywhere but up the stairs...."

     Kass had in fact slipped quietly away, thinking this might be safer than the conversation with Skarl and Illusen, to find Lisha's door standing open near the top of the staircase. This turned out to be a mistake. Just as Jeran's words floated up to him, the occupants of the room saw him -- and Lisha turned out not to be alone.

     Lisha herself sat up in bed, but fell back dizzily; two young warriors, however, shouted angrily and leaped at him. There was a brief scuffle and a sharp pain in his arm before Jeran charged in and barked, "Hold!"

     Everyone stilled, and Kass saw that his attackers were familiar; everyone had known of them during the first war, and he had last seen them on the Citadel. Come to think of it, they'd jumped on him then too.

     "But it's--!" the Quiggle protested.

     "Kass. Yes, Morris, I know. He's... changed, and was my ally on the journey." Jeran looked around. "No one's hurt, I hope?" he asked dryly.

     The boys shook their heads; Lisha propped herself up less abruptly this time, though she looked very pale.

     "My apologies for the confusion," Kass muttered. "You didn't mention her personal guards."

     Jeran snorted, moving across to check Lisha. "I didn't think you'd be showing up without me. And I assumed you could take care of yourself."

     "Mostly." Kass inspected his arm and glanced at the Blumaroo, looking away quickly in an effort not to glare. It wouldn't have been that unreasonable.... "The little vampire bit me."

     "He isn't really a vampire, don't worry," Jeran said.

     "Yes, I am!" Boris argued.

     "You enjoy jumping around in broad daylight and eating garlic bread at King Skarl's feasts," Jeran sighed, then turned to Kass, who seemed quite confused. "So you don't have to worry about turning into a vampire, Kass."

     "Aww, you didn't have to tell him that..."

     "Might it be better if we healed Lisha now?" Illusen asked as she and Skarl walked into the room rather more sedately than Jeran had.

     "Yes, I would agree," the Lupe knight said. "Would you come out now, Rennah?"

     "Does she have to be here?" an annoyed-sounding voice called from inside Kass's mane.

     "I would prefer to stay here," Illusen stated.

     "Earth Faeries... they never trust anyone," Rennah grumbled. But the Dark Faerie flew out from her hiding spot, and assumed her full size anyway.

     "A Dark Faerie?" Illusen hissed. "What could she do?"

     "Exactly what you can't, and what they need," the other Faerie said. "I can heal Lisha."

     Illusen's eyes narrowed. "A Dark Faerie's healing generally comes at a high price."

     Rennah's wings twitched. "It's been paid," she said shortly, then amended after a few seconds, "Well, my part in it has."

     "And just what do you mean by that?" Illusen didn't move, and her voice had become calm again, but everyone else in the room was suddenly and strongly reminded that they were all surrounded by stone.

     "I owe a sorceress a favor," Rennah said, "and she sent me here to bless Lisha up to seven times. When she has the ability Drain Life, she will be able to use it on her brother--"

     "What?" Lisha cried out. "NO!"

     "It's all right, Lisha," Jeran said calmly. "I know exactly what this means for me. But I would give anything to keep you safe, and would gladly allow you to use that ability on me. It wouldn't work otherwise."

     "But... I don't want to hurt you... Not for this... not for anything!"

     "I understand. But you have to do this. I couldn't stand myself if I didn't do everything possible to help you."

     "But what if it doesn't work? What if it's a trick?" Lisha asked.

     "Isn't that why she's here?" Rennah pointed to Illusen. "What would I have to gain from tricking you? But anyway, if you don't want the healing I offer, just say so. I'd rather not stay where I'm not wanted."

     "There's a sorceress in the Haunted Woods," Jeran explained quietly, before Lisha could say anything else, "who suggested this and sent Rennah along. She said that using Drain Life on a willing target is more effective in some ways than using it in battle, that it will cure diseases. And she gave us other advice that proved true." He lifted one of Lisha's drooping ears. "I can take it, you know. I've done it before, and kept fighting. It's not going to do me any serious harm -- nothing that a common healing potion won't cure. And I don't think having or using the ability will do you harm, either. Your wand already does dark damage as well as light, doesn't it?"

     Lisha nodded reluctantly. "But I don't want to hurt you," she repeated.

     "I'll be fine."

     "I never heard of using dark-sphere battle abilities on a willing target," Illusen said slowly, frowning at Rennah, "but it is true that the damage should not be so very great. And you're really in no condition to travel unnecessarily, Lisha."

     Lisha nodded reluctantly, unable to argue that point. "I suppose... if Jeran really wants me to... and if he'll be all right... I could accept your gifts," she told Rennah.

     "Of course I want you to," Jeran said. "How could I not want you to make yourself healthy again?"

     "Are you ready?" the Dark Faerie asked Lisha. The Aisha nodded. "This might feel a bit strange, but don't worry. You'll be healthy again in no time." Rennah moved directly in front of Lisha, and held one hand out towards the Aisha. A dim purple aura surrounded her hand, which grew in both size and intensity until it surrounded Lisha entirely. The Aisha shivered.

     "I feel... cold... and a little tired..." she said. "As if it suddenly became night time."

     "That isn't unusual. The night is where my powers come from," Rennah explained. "I'm almost finished, though." From the way the Faerie looked, she meant to reassure herself as much as Lisha -- she seemed out of breath and drained of energy, and her wings drooped. Using so much of her power at once appeared to have taken a lot out of her. "I'm done now," Rennah said, letting her hand drop and the purple aura fade. "But I'll have to go."

     "Won't you show me how to use Drain Life first?" Lisha asked.

     "You already know how, you'll find. Just will it to happen, and it will," Rennah said, stepping towards the window.

     "But where will you go?" Jeran asked.

     "To Faerieland, if I can, so I can regain my power. Giving someone seven abilities at once is never easy, but with my wings just having been restored, it's even more draining. I'll be able to find someone to take me, at least as far as Neopia Central. Good luck to you all."

     "You're just going to let her leave?" Illusen asked, as Rennah shrank and took off out of the window.

     "From what I understood, her part in this is done," Jeran said. "All that is left now is for Lisha to use Life Drain on me."

     "If this works," Illusen muttered, "I'll give the Dark Faerie a lift to Neopia Central myself. After I look after you two. I haven't been able to remove the disease itself, but I can help you recover your strength faster. Just go have a nap as soon as you can."

     "All right then." Jeran approached Lisha, meeting her eyes, and knelt by the bed to take both her hands in his.

     Lisha looked, if anything, more ill, but she set her teeth and adopted an expression of intense concentration. "I think I can tell how to do it -- but it -- really doesn't feel right," she said faintly, sweat beading on her forehead, "outside of a fight. It's like... trying to scream when I'm not upset or excited or... or anything."

     "Would it help if I drew my sword?" Jeran offered.

     The young Aisha let out a breath that might have been a laugh, but her grip only tightened. "I could never believe you were -- really -- attacking," she panted. She shut her eyes tightly, then opened them again, looking up at Jeran. They were red-rimmed and bloodshot, and there were dark circles under them.

     Just as Kass was beginning to consider whether he should try advancing on her -- after all, Lisha would probably have very little trouble at least half believing he was attacking her -- and, if so, whether he was actually willing to do it, he heard King Skarl catch his breath. Something had happened.

     Violet-red light pulsed between the siblings, not along their joined hands but at their hearts, and a bolt of black shot from Jeran to Lisha. Lisha let out a little cry and fell back; Jeran leaned on the edge of the bed, looking suddenly exhausted, and watched her anxiously.

     Lisha's color came back; the fever-brightness faded from her eyes, and her ears no longer drooped limply. She swallowed hard. "I -- I think it worked," she said wonderingly. "Jeran, are you okay?"

     Jeran braced himself on the mattress and pushed himself to his feet as everyone in the room gave a soft collective sigh, as if they'd all been holding their breaths. It was done; Hubrid Nox had been foiled, Lisha healed, and everybody could go home again. He gave his sister a tired grin. "Absolutely."

The End

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Other Episodes

» Hubrid's Attempted Hero Heist: Part One
» Hubrid's Attempted Hero Heist: Part Two
» Hubrid's Attempted Hero Heist: Part Three
» Hubrid's Attempted Hero Heist: Part Four
» Hubrid's Attempted Hero Heist: Part Five
» Hubrid's Attempted Hero Heist: Part Six
» Hubrid's Attempted Hero Heist: Part Seven
» Hubrid's Attempted Hero Heist: Part Eight
» Hubrid's Attempted Hero Heist: Part Nine
» Hubrid's Attempted Hero Heist: Part Ten
» Hubrid's Attempted Hero Heist: Part Eleven

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