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The Bravery of a Bori


by firecomet14

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"For the last time, I need an Orange Chocolate Lupe, a Black Cherry Taco, and an Ice Cream Covered Jacket Potato," Taelia said, starting to show her irritation. In her icy home atop Terror Mountain, she had just about had it with the cheeky questers giving her grief all morning, most of them not even entering her home with the intention to finish their quests.

     Dressed in her usual garb of a fine silk dress the color of ice and swirling snow covered with a thick robe of wool, the great Snow Faerie had about had enough. She was beginning to feel warm in her cabin, despite the below-freezing temperatures outside.

     The Snow Faerie looked outside at the beautiful weather of Terror Mountain, hoping for some escape from her bad day. The sun was shining down on the fresh layer of unmarred snow, creating a light so dazzling that it made her squint to look at it. Brushing her raven locks back behind her ear, she returned her attention to the protesting quester before her.

     The Red Tuskaninny, using a disrespectful tone, moaned, "Are you kidding me?! That has to be at least ten thousand Neopoints!"

     "Then you had better get to the games room quickly; you only have one hour and twenty two minutes left," the Snow Faerie snapped back.

     "But I -"

     "One hour and twenty one minutes," the faerie said firmly, ending the conversation. The Tuskaninny stormed out of the room, fuming about the faerie's demands.

     Taelia sighed as she headed to her spell cabinet. "Hiccups, hair tonic," she recited, running her finger along the rows of tonics and potions. "Ahh, here it is, headaches." She poured the violet potion into a small, icily patterned teacup. After downing about half of it, she was interrupted by a knock at the door to her igloo.

     The Snow Faerie exhaled noisily as she rose from her frozen chair. After straightening the hood on her parka, she reached for the icy knob. She hesitated slightly. What if she simply didn't answer and pretended she was out gathering herbs?

     Making a decision, she grasped the knob, hoping that it was one of the day's questers finally coming back with her spell ingredients. Her hopes were dashed when instead she saw a young looking blue Bori wearing a white and green scarf around her neck. The pet had her paw raised as if she had been about to knock again when the door opened, but she quickly lowered it.

     "Hi," the young Bori said with an eager tone as the chilly wind blew her deep sapphire hair out of place. "I'm-," she began, but was cut off by Taelia's brisk reply.

     "You're here for a quest, aren't you," she said, her voice calm and smooth, but still agitated at the same time.

     "Well... I'm... Um," she stuttered in reply, slightly taken aback by the noble Snow Faerie's behavior.

     "Just bring me a Non-Magical Orange Chia Pop and a Sour Blue Slushie," she said plainly, and without waiting for a reply, shut the door on the flustered Bori.

     "Oh, well... ok," was all the Bori had to mumble through the door before trudging off, slightly less cheerful than when she arrived at the frozen house atop Terror Mountain.

     After slumping down in a cozy armchair and finishing her headache potion, Taelia regretted how she had treated the poor Bori. "I do hope she comes back," she said to no one in particular, rising from her chair.

     She looked into her mirror at herself. The mirror had been a gift from Fyora herself, and was very beautiful. The border seemed almost alive as the azure and cerulean mists blended and drifted together like a light snowfall. "I wish I had been kinder to her," she told her reflection who, surprisingly, replied, "She probably didn't even want a quest."

     Walking over to her spell cabinet, the real Snow Faerie retorted, "Why else would she be here?"

     "You've never seen her here before," the mirror Taelia replied, glancing at her skeptically from her position directly in front of the opposite side of the mirror. "Maybe she just moved in and simply wanted to say 'Hi.'"

     "Like I said, I hope she comes back," she replied, ending the conversation.

     "Okay," the mirror-faerie replied, disappearing to the left, leaving Taelia staring at an uninhabited room identical to hers through the reflective glass.

     ***

     "Great, Mira, just great. You haven't even been living here for a week and you've managed to tick off the locals," the blue Bori grumbled under her breath, trudging off to the smoothie shop to get the Snow Faerie's reagents for her spell.

     Amira, or Mira as her friends called her, had just recently bought a Neohome on the top of Terror Mountain for its breathtaking view of Happy Valley.

     Mira was a timid but brave Bori, always the optimist, and she loved to play in the snow, as most Bori do. She had grown up in Faerieland, but had always been drawn to the snow-capped peaks of Terror Mountain. She had spent most of the morning trying to meet as many people as she could.

     "One Sour Blue Slushie please," she said to the Eyrie behind the counter. After putting her Neopoints on the counter, she started up the mountain again. Luckily she had had the Chia Pop in her Neohome, saving her the time and Neopoints it would take to get one.

     "Maybe she'll be in a better mood once I bring her these spell ingredients," she reasoned with herself, trying to take the optimistic route.

     ***

     For what seemed the millionth time that morning, Taelia rushed to the door, hoping to see the Bori's eager face, but only handing out more quests.

     Finally she decided that the Bori wasn't coming back. She had looked very disappointed when she closed the door on her. Although Taelia wished that she had not treated the poor Bori the way she had, she decided it was too late to change anything about it and decided to go out and gather herbs on the mountainside.

     Grabbing her herb bag on her way out, she headed out the door, hanging a sign on the front that read in bold blue letters, "Out gathering herbs. Be back soon."

     She pondered on the clouds moving in from the west, wondering if they would bring much snow. Often snow clouds would pass right over the mountain and head straight for Happy Valley.

     After a short walk though a well-used path that cut though a grove of tall pine trees, she finally reached her favorite spot for herb gathering. There were many of the herbs that she always used in many of her potions.

     She kneeled down and began picking the small leaves and berries that sprouted from the snow. Suddenly she felt a rumbling in the earth.

     Straightening up, the Snow Faerie looked around, wondering what could be the cause of such a shaking. She looked up to the clouds once again. Yes, she thought, There will definitely be snow today.

     ***

     "She'll probably be back soon," Mira reassured herself as she headed for the Cliffhanger game after reading the sign on the Snow Faerie's door. A light snow was falling around her as the sky filled with light fluffy clouds. Mira loved the fresh feeling of soft snow beneath her feet, and savored the thought of a fresh coat covering the ground.

     As she waited in line for her game, she overheard the two Kyrii in line behind her in a conversation about some recent avalanches on Terror Mountain.

     "My friend's sister said she saw a snow beast roaming around in a valley between two peaks of the mountain," the white Kyrii said to his red companion. "That might be what's causing all these avalanches."

     "But there's tourists swarming over the mountain," the other Kyrii mused. "A snow beast would have nowhere to hide. At least, not in any of the larger valleys."

     "Yeah, but it could be squeezed into one of the smaller valleys like the one past the woods behind the Snow Faerie's cottage. Almost no one goes there because that's her property."

     Suddenly Mira was at the front of the line, the Tuskaninny with his hand extended for the Neopoint fee, and she heard no more of the two Kyrii's conversation.

     After an enjoyable game of Cliffhanger, Mira decided to check if the Snow Faerie was back yet. The once joyful fluffy clouds now began darkening, turning into an angry looking snowstorm. Mira padded along happily, oblivious of the danger she was headed for.

     ***

     Finally straightening up with a full basket, Taelia once again looked at the sky. A light blanket of snow was covering the ground, and she stopped for a moment to watch the snowflakes fall.

     No matter how often it snowed on Terror Mountain, she always stopped and watched in respect of how comparable the snowflakes were to people. Each one a little different in their own way, yet all falling together in one beautiful marvel, every one necessary for a greater plan. Each fell differently, some straight down, some swirling in mini tornadoes, none knowing where the wind would take them, but all reaching their final destination somehow.

     Suddenly another strange rumbling caught her attention. It was much like the one before it, but this one shook the earth so forcefully that the Snow Faerie nearly lost her balance. She grabbed a tree for support, and looked up the mountain peak that loomed over her, almost blocking out the evening light.

     From her angle, it seemed that the clouds were coming cascading down from the heavens, but the wise Snow Faerie knew that this was none other than an avalanche.

     As the huge wall of snow neared her, Taelia attempted to find a place she would be safe. She spotted a large boulder she could probably hide behind a little ways down the slope in front of her. As fast as she could, she ran for the large rock, but was quickly overtaken by the massive cascade of snow and uprooted trees.

     Attempting to swim with the snow as she had been told, Taelia was quickly swept away by the current. As the heavy snow pushed her under the surface, she tried one last attempt and tried to move the snow with magic, but to no avail. There was simply too much snow to control.

     As she was being swept down the mountain, even farther from any type of civilization, an uprooted tree came out of nowhere, bashing her in the head. The last thing she could hear before falling unconscious was the pounding of her own heart in her ears.

     ***

     Mira was beginning to be worried. After seeing that the Snow Faerie had still not returned, she had decided to see if she was okay and followed the path through the woods behind her cottage. After hearing the two Kyrii's conversation, she was beginning to think that they were right.

     By now the snow was falling in thick swirling patterns, and the clouds were thick enough to darken the whole woods around her. It would be getting late soon, and she would have to return her quest items before the next day.

     Suddenly it went almost pitch black. Thinking the sun had finally set, Mira looked to the horizon only to see a huge mountain peak rising up in front of her, like a looming beast hidden in shadows. Mira swallowed hard and continued walking, determined to finish her quest.

     As she walked, the path started to seem strange. It was getting very steep, and, unlike the rest of the trail, the snow was loose and soft, rather than hard packed from being tramped on. She bent down to inspect the snow and saw that there was also broken sticks and rocks scattered about, and farther along were trees sticking out of the snow roots first.

     Suddenly Mira realized what had happened. It had to have been an avalanche. Images of the Snow Beast shot through her head. She had seen pictures and heard all the horror stories. Right on the spot she almost turned and ran for her life, but then she realized the Snow Faerie must have been caught in the avalanche!

     Mira was now faced with a difficult decision. Should she try to find the Snow Faerie on her own, or go back for help? If she stayed, she might not be able to find her, and she might get caught by the Snow Beast. But if she left, it might be too late by the time she got back with help.

     Her decision time was cut short when she suddenly felt a vibration in the snow, unlike the ones that the Snow Faerie had experienced, but more like a soft trembling that only a Bori's super sensitivity to snow and ice could pick up. The pattern of the tremors felt like long, slow footsteps, which could only mean one thing.

     The Snow Beast.

     Panicking, Mira dashed for the nearest cover she saw, a large pile of ripped up trees. She dove under the interweaving branches and sat there, shivering with fear, as the tremors grew stronger.

     Slowly the vibrations died away, leaving Mira shivering in fear at the very thought of coming face to face with the dreaded Snow Beast.

     She knew now that she could not leave for help. She only hoped that the giant monster had not found the Snow Faerie yet. Poking her head out of the many entangled branches, Mira saw that she was alone. But where to start searching, she thought to herself.

     All she could hear was the pounding of her own heart in her ears. For a moment, she closed her eyes and took a deep, calming breath.

     As she did, she felt something, a small, nearly impossible to notice beating that, under normal circumstances, would have gone utterly unnoticed. It seemed like a beat similar to that of her own heart, but colder, more in tune with the icy world around it. It seemed to pulse from all the snow and ice, going straight through the young Bori's paws and reverberating through her entire body.

     As if possessed, Mira began to dig, right on the spot she stood. Her claws tore through the snow, shoving it out of the way, making a tunnel that grew deeper by the minute. She dug with strength she didn't know she had, and kept digging, oblivious to the now pitch blackness that surrounded her.

     Finally, breaking through the last layer of snow, Mira fell into a small air pocket that the Snow Faerie had probably created in her last attempt to save herself from the avalanche. Though it was pitch black on the surface, the white snow seemed to brighten the cavern a tiny bit.

     As her eyes adjusted to the dim light of the tiny cavern, Mira saw the Snow Faerie, lying on the snow against the wall of the small area. Quickly running over to her, Mira cold tell she was still alive, although she was unconscious. Worried she would not be able to carry her back, she put her paw on shoulder of the sleeping Snow Faerie, who suddenly woke with a jolt.

     Startled, Mira jumped back. She watched as Taelia slowly got to her feet and looked around in confusion. Something seemed different about her than the first time Mira had seen her, either because she had been injured in the avalanche, or maybe she was simply less angry now. Her eyes seemed slightly glazed over, and it took her a moment to notice Mira staring up at her from the floor of the small cavern.

     Suddenly her eyes brightened, and she practically collapsed, crouching on the floor and gingerly feel the back of her head.

     After a moment of silence, Mira timidly uttered, "Are you okay?"

     The Snow Faerie looked up at her, still clutching the back of her head, and said in a voice barely above a whisper, "I don't know. I was gathering herbs and..." She sighed deeply. "I don't know. I can't remember."

     "Where are we?" she said looking at the snow walls around her. She winced as she lifted her hand off the back of her head.

     "We're... on Terror Mountain. I'm not exactly sure where, but I think there was an... an avalanche," Mira replied.

     "We have to get back to my cottage," Taelia said, rising to her feet. "There is a major snowstorm coming soon, I'm pretty sure." She looked critically at Mira for a moment, and then added, "I'm sorry about how I treated you earlier. I was just fed up with some of the morning's questers, and vented my anger on the next person I saw. May I ask for your name?"

     "Oh," Mira stuttered, slightly taken aback by her unexpected apology. "I'm Amira, but you can just call me Mira."

     "Alright then, Mira. Lets get out of here before this cavern caves in on us," she stated, already climbing up the tunnel Mira had dug only moments earlier. Mira quickly scurried up after her, overjoyed that nothing had gone wrong.

     After emerging from the surface, they realized exactly how late it was. Mira could barely see her paw in front of her it was so dark. Suddenly Taelia pulled from her pocket a small orb that emitted a pale sapphire glow. It wasn't much light to see by, but it was better than nothing.

     "Do you have any clue which way to go?" Taelia asked the young Bori, breaking the silence. Mira looked around them but saw nothing, save for the thousands of flakes of heavy snow that fell around her.

     "Don't you know," the Bori asked, a touch of concern bordering her usually calm voice.

     "I can't tell. I must have been hit pretty hard in the head during that avalanche. I've lost my sense of direction." This greatly worried Mira, who after her scare with what she assumed was the Snow Beast, had forgotten what direction she had come from.

     Wandering around until they found the woods seemed their only option at this point, which, in such dark conditions, seemed impossible.

     "Are you sure you're okay?" Mira inquired to the Snow Faerie. After walking for about twenty minutes, she seemed to be losing focus, and continued to grip her head where she had been injured.

     "I'm fine... what was your name again?" The wound must have been more severe than it seemed, as Taelia was slowly slipping away from Mira.

     "Maybe we should stop for a minute," Mira suggested. Even as she said it, she felt a familiar feeling in her paws. It was a bunch of long, slow vibrations, spaced widely apart like large, slow footsteps. But now it was growing stronger by the second, the vibrations becoming harsher and stronger until she was sure they would see the massive creature any moment.

     Turning around, Mira saw that Taelia had collapsed in the snow. They had to move, and fast, but as she thought it, she realized they had no chance of outrunning the dreaded Snow Beast, especially with the condition the Snow Faerie was in.

     As she turned back to the direction the vibration was coming from, she was nearly knocked off her feet by the most violent tremor she had ever felt. She quickly snatched the small orb that the Snow Faerie had dropped and shoved it into the snow, extinguishing their light, but hoping to keep from drawing attention to them.

     Then, as quickly as it had come, the vibrations had stopped, and Mira was left in utter silent blackness. Abruptly, from the clouds, there came a silver light. Miraculously, the clouds had parted just far enough to let the luminescent glow of the moon brighten the whole environment.

     And there before Mira, like a great monster, was the Snow Beast.

     Her first instinct was to scream, but her throat would not work. She tried to run, but she was frozen to the spot, staring in pure horror at the looming beast in front of her, turned silver by the illuminating light of the moon.

     Mira crouched there, not even daring to breath as the Snow Beast surveyed his surroundings, his fangs dripping with icy looking saliva. Awed by his grand size, Mira nearly fainted on the spot, but breathed an inner sigh of relief as he walked past her.

     She turned her head a fraction of an inch to watch him go, but was horrified to see he was heading for the Snow Faerie, who was kneeling in the snow just yards away, her breathing labored. The massive creature was just yards from the injured faerie when Mira realized what she had to do. However much she hated the plan that had just come to her, she had to give the Snow Faerie some chance to escape.

     Turning around and taking a deep, shivering breath, Mira reached into her pocket and produced a Sour Blue Smoothie, the very reagent she had been bringing to the Snow Faerie earlier that day. Pulling her arm back to aim, she let the drink fly, straight at the Snow Beast.

     As the icy drink made contact with his neck and exploded, covering his body with the sticky mixture, he froze in mid step. Then he jerkily turned back to Mira and roared a deep, gruff roar that shook the young Bori to the core.

     As the agitated monster scanned the ground for his attacker, Mira yelled in a shaky yet confident seeming voice, "Over here you stupid, overgrown Snicklebeast," then ran like a Bori on fire. She could hear the hulking beast storming after her, easily pushing out of the way logs and rocks that the small Bori had to dodge or jump over.

     Taking one last look at the Snow Faerie, who was surrounded still by the glowing moonlight, Mira saw that she was watching her go and clumsily trying to get to her feet. Then suddenly the side of the mountain peak cut her off from view, and Mira looked ahead and kept running, not looking back for fear that the hulking Snow Beast would be right behind her.

     As she ran, her back legs passing her front legs in an attempt to go faster, Mira saw up ahead a long gorge that apparently used to be a frozen river before the ice froze and shattered away, leaving a long gash in the earth. She knew the Snow monster, no matter how strong, would not be able to jump or climb out if he fell in, so she did possibly the craziest thing she could have done.

      Just before plummeting over the edge, Mira stopped short, surprising the smoothie covered Snow Beast and causing him to stumble and fall into the empty river. Though it was too dark to see him, Mira heard one last roar from the giant monster before she dashed back to the Snow Faerie.

     Taelia was right where she had been when Mira left her, standing rooted to the spot until she saw the young Bori return.

     "That was very noble of you," she stated as they began to walk back, her head injury virtually gone except for a large welt on her head.

     Mira only smiled in response as they made the short walk back, with the light of a full moon to guide them.

The End

 
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