Blade of Fire, Blade of Ice: Part Two
Talek anxiously glanced behind him. The Grarrls had begun
to pursue him so, putting on a burst of speed, he swam towards the surface. Unfortunately
for him, endurance was not his strong point. He was swift when he needed to be,
but he could not keep up this pace forever. With great relief he burst through
the surface, feeling a cold rush of air surround him. It had been a long time
since he had breathed in air rather than water, and he struggled to make his body
adapt to the air. No sooner had he gasped in a breath of air that he remembered
his circumstances and glanced hastily behind him. Sure enough he could see the
dark shapes of the Grarrls following closely behind.
With his last reserves of strength the Draik
hauled himself out of the water, desperately trying to leave the waters. He
cursed the Maraquan Draik's lack of wings and he struggled to avoid the Grarrls.
Then something lifted him up into the air, throwing him up violently. He looked
down and saw to his surprise that his blade was emitting a soft blue aura of
light that surrounded him and kept him afloat in the air, just as one of the
Grarrl's jaws snapped at him, pulling out a fragment of one of his fragile fins.
Pain hit Talek as he felt a few drops of blood spatter on the surface of the
water. He faltered slightly, but somehow managed to stay above the water. Despairingly
he looked around. There was not a sign of land about. Why, oh why did Maraqua
have to be in the middle of nowhere? Knowing that to fall would be to abandon
his quest, he struggled on through the air, trying to get used to having no
water around him.
His quest. All throughout the chase he had forgotten
completely why he had defied his King's orders. He had to get to Faerieland.
Although geographically he was not very strong, he knew that Maraqua was roughly
northeast of Faerieland. Between the two major areas there was an unnamed ex-peninsula
that had, over time, been weathered down until it had become completely detached
from the mainland. Talek knew that this island was not far from Maraqua. The
problem was, living underwater, he had not been taught of the positions of stars
and how they could show him which direction to take.
He glanced down, and with relief saw two dark
shapes swimming away. He supposed that the Grarrls had given up, and was glad
of it. Now that one peril had vanished, perhaps he could concentrate on the
task at hand.
Looking back at the sky for some indication of
where he was and which direction was which, he saw a grey and red satellite
hanging, motionless in the sky. Inwardly he felt a bit of hope rising. Of course,
the Space Station! The Station was hovering above the sea in between Tyrannia
and Maraqua, and Tyrannia was north of Maraqua, so it followed that the Space
Station was exactly above the north of Maraqua.
Now that he had his bearings, Talek realised
that he would have to choose whether to reach the island by water or by air.
His first thought was to swim, for he was not used to moving in this strange,
fey fashion, but in the next instant he changed his mind. Of course, he would
have to practise the magic - in Faerieland that would be his only mode of transport.
The Swordmaster had never been one for backing down from a challenge. Trying
to let the still-glowing sword take over, the Draik somewhat shakily went off
on his journey. It did not take long for him to tire and fall.
The inhabitants of Evanagu Island had never
seen anything like it. Never before in the history of the Island had a creature
come from outside onto the island. And certainly not a creature as strange as
this. The island dwellers had never seen, or even heard of for that matter of
this type of Neopets, if Neopet it was. It had too many fins, its coat was strangely
white with flecks of orange and purple and without a trace of fur. Though as
a people the red eyed white Kacheeks of Evanagu Island could not see very well,
they all could see that this creature was not one of them. Having been secluded
within their own quite little island, naturally the news of the strange creature
soon spread all over the tiny island.
The Evanugunites were not an unfriendly race,
but they were cautious. Though they did not fear enemies, for they had none,
they knew caution. They were wise, almost too much so if such a thing was possible.
Every one of them seemed to have an aura of calming peace about them, comforting
and soothing all who came near.
And it was these white Kacheeks that discovered
Talek washed up on their shores, half dead from exhaustion and fighting to survive.
In the urgency of the situation the Evanuganites rushed to his aid. Within an
hour of the discovery the Swordmaster was sleeping peacefully in one of their
Evanagu Island was unique. It did not possess
infinite houses, each housing a single family. Instead there was a great castle,
which they called the Abi. In the Abi lived all of the Evanagunites, all dwelling
within the numerous dormitories. There was a Dining Hall which was big enough
to fit all of the Kacheeks. Adjacent to it was a kitchen where the food was
prepared. Near the back of the Hall were the stairs leading up to the living
quarters and medical rooms otherwise known as the healing dorms, and on the
other side was the Gate. Outside there were a few gardens and lawns, a small
lake and a miniature forest. Then there was a small magical Wall. The Wall held
many purposes: although the island's inhabitants were all peaceful, there were
still a few dangers. The Wall prevented little ones from leaving the Abi and
getting lost. It held sickness and dangerous maladies at bay, as well as curses
and any manifestation of ill will. The Abi was truly one of the safest places
And it was in this environment that Talek awakened.
"Is this - the Island?" the Draik gasped out
as soon as he was able to. "Lies - between - Maraqua and - Faerieland?"
"Yes," answered his healer, a kindly old white
Kacheek, passing him a glass of water. "This is the Island of which you speak
of. Welcome to Evanagu Island."
"I appreciate the hospitality you have shown
me," Talek said formally once he felt recovered. "Yet I am afraid I must leave
soon for Faerieland. It is a matter of utmost importance."
"Would you not show your host what troubles
you?" Another Kacheek, this one looking young but strong of body and mind appeared
at the doorway. "We are curious to know if this danger which you imply hangs
over Faerieland will affect us."
"I would expect no less of you," Talek replied,
bowing to the Kacheek who looked as if she was the leader of this Island. "I
must move on as quickly as possible, however - time is my enemy."
"The Island, though not as big as other major
worlds, is rather large. You will need help to travel through it, for though
there will be no other beings that wish you ill, there will be natural dangers
which you will not be able to move through speedily and safely unless you know
the terrain. I would help you, but only if you tell me of your quest."
Talek considered. His quest indeed would be
easier if he had one of the natives to help him, especially if the land was
as the Kacheek described.
"Very well. I will tell you, and your people,
but I would leave as soon as possible."
"You must rest," the healer replied, pushing
him gently back down as he struggled to rise. "You must regain your strength,
for if you set out on your journey now you will not be able to journey beyond
a few steps. Stay here awhile, and if the story you have is long, all the better.
We of Evanagu have always loved a good story."
Talek bowed his head, knowing that the healer
spoke the truth. There was no point in setting out if he was not strong enough.
"How long must I stay until I will be sufficiently recovered to resume my journey?"
The healer smiled and held up both her paws.
"Allow the sun to set twice more. Then I believe you will be able to go. In
the meanwhile you will be quite busy. All the Kacheeks in the Abi wish to see
this new discovery. Where he came from, where is going. Like everyone else,
we are all curiosity and ears."
Talek nodded. He would stay on this Island for
two days. And then he would set out to combat a force the likes of which Neopia
had never seen before.
To be continued...