Flame of Ice: The Story of a Warrior - Part Three
Part Three: Sage
“Hey, wake up,” a voice told Sam. Sam reluctantly opened his eyes to see the Krawk that had taken him away from Krawk Island the previous day. “We’re here,” he said.
“Where?” Sam asked sleepily.
The Krawk made an annoyed sound. “Meridell, of course!” he said. “I told you that’s where I was taking you last night!”
“Oh, right,” Sam replied, embarrassed. “Thanks for the ride. I’ll just go now.” Sam picked up his pack and slung it over his back. He jumped out of the boat and looked around. A few neopets walked down the streets of this town. Two Gallions tumbled over one another in a play battle. Strange creatures the likes of which Sam had never seen before walked the streets as well. Sometimes a neopet walked with them, sometimes not. They looked like Faeries, except without wings.
Sam looked away from them and took in the scenery. There were a few trees, and some shoots of grass sprung up here and there. There were many different buildings. It amazed Sam that there could be such a difference between his village’s and the outside world’s way of life. “First thing’s first,” Sam told himself, and walked in the direction of one of the odd, Faerie like creatures.
“Excuse me,” he said once he got within hearing distance of one. “I’m looking for a blacksmith. Do you know where I can find one?”
The neopet that was walking beside him, a Ghost Xweetok, answered him. “Just look for the sword sign,” she replied. “It’ll be right by the building.”
“Thank you,” Sam said, watching the Faerie-like creature closely.
The Xweetok looked at him in a confused way and asked, “What are you doing? You act like you’ve never seen a human before.”
“Oh, uh, nothing,” Sam replied and walked away. Human, he thought to himself. I’ll have to keep them in mind.
It didn’t take long for Sam to find the blacksmith’s once he knew what to look for. He stalled a moment before going in. He wasn’t quite sure what to expect, he only knew it was going to be a lot different than what he was used to in his little town on the island. Sam took a deep breath and entered the blacksmith’s.
Sam caught his breath once he entered the shop. Weapons were in displays and on the main desk. A blacksmith’s hammer lay on the main desk. A pot of burning coals stood by the hot stove. A few books stood on some pedestals, and one full suit of armor stood by the door for decoration.
“Can I help you with something?” the shopkeeper asked.
Sam jerked his head quickly in the direction of the shopkeeper. “Yes, please,” he said quietly. “I’d like to buy a sword, sir.”
“A sword, huh?” he said. The Scorchio closed his eyes and shook his head. “Afraid I can’t help you. I don’t have any swords for sale right now. You see, King Skarl ordered three dozen new swords, and while I’ve been making them, I haven’t had time to make any more for my shop.”
Resisting the urge to ask who King Skarl was, Sam asked, “Is there anything I can do to help?”
The shopkeeper looked up excitedly. “Well, you could manage the shop for me. It would help me get the order done faster if I didn’t have to manage the shop as well. Actually, it won’t take any time at all. Once I’m finished, I’ll make you a sword.”
Sam’s heart leapt with joy. He would get his sword after all, and be able to start out on his quest with a trustworthy weapon.
After a long day of shopkeeping, Sam was exhausted. He had helped many people out with what they had wanted, and had had a few arguments with customers, before the shopkeeper had finally finished his work.
“And, as promised,” the Scorchio said, producing a sword from behind his back. It was a long metal sword with a hefty silver hilt.
“It’s… it’s amazing,” Sam said as he gently grabbed the hilt. He held the sword in his hand a moment before saying, “I doubt I can afford it, though.”
“Of course you can!” the shopkeeper exclaimed. When Sam looked puzzled, the shopkeeper explained, “I’m giving it to you free. After all, you helped me out a lot today, and I think you deserve a reward.”
“Thank you!” Sam said happily. Smiling, Sam put his new sword in his empty sheath and walked out.
Sam walked out of the town of Meridell and onto a country road. It was quiet and peaceful… until Sam heard a shout. Without thinking, Sam drew his sword and rushed off in the direction of the shout.
It didn’t take him long to realize that the shout had come from a Fire Shoyru. She had a sword in one hand, while her other was closed tightly around something else. A dark blue bandana, identical to the one he wore, was tied around her neck. Behind her was a quivering Maraquan Draik. She was warding of something that was attacking the two from underwater. Long tentacles reached out for her, and yellow eyes glowed beneath the surface. Sam recognized both of these things. It’s the creature that attacked me before! Sam had a slight idea of why the creature was attacking the Shoyru and the Draik, but he didn’t have time to think about that now. Quickly, he sprang towards the battle, sword up. When he drew down his sword, it landed on one of the creature’s tentacles. The creature screamed in pain and anger before retreating its tentacles back underwater and disappearing. Before it left, Sam caught a glimpse of a scar on one of its tentacles. It is the same one, Sam thought as it disappeared.
“Thanks for saving us, but I could’ve taken care of it,” a voice said from behind him. Sam turned around to see the Fire Shoyru staring back at him. “By the way, my name’s Sage,” she said, extending the hand that had once held her sword, which was now sheathed.
Sam reached out his paw and shook her hand. “Nice to meat you, Sage,” he said. “My name’s Samari, but you can call me Sam.”
Sage smiled, but pulled her hand away. “Well, I think I’ll leave now,” she said, turning.
“Wait,” Sam said, stopping her in her tracks. “May I see what’s in your other hand?”
Sam pulled out his coin and showed it to Sage. Sage looked at it in wide-eyed amazement before asking, “Where did you get that?”
“I found it floating in the ocean wrapped in this bandana.”
Slowly, Sage opened her hand to reveal another coin, identical to his. “This Draik gave this one to me when I saved him from some Ice neopets,” Sage said quietly.
Sam stared absently at the coin. “The Tear that Burns, the Fire that Melts, the storm that shatters the call, but the flame of ice shall win the brawl,” Sam said, recalling the poem that he had read the night before.
“What?” Sage asked in confusion. “What are you talking about?”
“Oh, it’s nothing.”
“It is too something!”
“It’s a poem written on the back of the coins,” the Draik put in. Both Sam and Sage turned and looked at the Draik in amazement.
“You… you knew about that?” Sam asked in surprise.
“Yes, I did,” the Draik said slowly, “and I know much more than that.” The Draik saw that he had gotten their attention. He turned around and started to walk away, but turned his head back to look at the other two. “Follow me,” he told them, then turned his head back forward and continued to walk down the rode. Curious, Sam and Sage ran to catch up with him.
The Draik took them to a large pond, where he sat down, and gave a long, strange cry. That cry seems familiar, Sam thought to himself. But… I don’t think I’ve heard it anywhere before.
As the Draik’s cry faded, the water rippled a bit, then the whole pond turned a milky white. “Follow,” the Draik said as he got up. He walked swiftly out into the water, while Sam and Sage followed, both not quite sure of what would happen next. When the Draik reached the middle of the shallow pond, he stopped. He let another cry come forth from his throat, this one deeper and more threatening.
When the Sam and Sage reached him, he said, “Set your coins on the water in front of me.” They both gingerly set the coins in the water. When they were put in, a small circle of clear water formed around them. The rest of the pond remained white.
The Draik opened his mouth and blew out an odd ray. It seemed like the rays of the moon had twined themselves together to become this large beam that appeared only now, in the daylight. The beam hit the circle of clear water, sending shafts of light all around the pond. Though the beam still shot from his mouth, he cried in a deep, musical voice. The beam that shot from his both grew bigger, until it enveloped them. The Draik shut his mouth. Though the beam was no longer shooting, what had been shot still enveloped them in the pond.
“What’s going on?” asked Sage, looking around.
The Draik turned to her and gave her a wry smile. “Long ago,” he began, “there was an ancient and evil threat that wandered the waters of Neopia.” Magically, a picture appeared on the wall of what had once been the beam. The picture showed water with many tentacles flying out of it. “Everyone knew the danger of this creature, but no one was willing to fight it. No one, except, a young Gelert.” The Draik cocked an eye at Sam, who tried to ignore it. On the wall appeared a new picture, this one of a Gelert standing high. “The Gelert lead the monster to Krawk Island, which was only inhabited by the Krawks at the time. There, the Gelert fought the creature in an epic battle, but it was no use. His sword was only a normal sword, not strong enough to defeat this powerful creature.” Another picture appeared, this one of the Gelert fighting the creature. However, any fool could see the Gelert was in pain. “Then, something amazing happened,” the Draik continued. “The Gelert refused to give up, and kept on fighting, even without a sword. All of a sudden, a ball of fire and a ball of ice appeared in both of his hands. They surged together, to form an odd sword. It was long and was shaped like a flame, but was icy blue, with a strong bronze hilt.” The picture now narrated the Gelert holding to odd orbs in his paws. “Using this weapon, the Gelert was able to defeat the monster, but there was a price. He had found a new energy in battle, and could no longer stay a land dweller with this new power. So, he became one with the sea.” Even when the Draik finished, Sam didn’t notice. He just stared at the picture of a Maraquan Gelert swimming among the waves by the shores of Krawk Island.
To be continued...