The Shadows: Part Three
And it started to rain. I was alone, flying through the rain with my new wings.
My wings got tired quickly, not being used to me using them and all. I pressed on, though, using strong winds as much as I could so that I could just glide instead of using the muscles that were already sore.
I dipped my wings and dove down to the world below as I spotted where I wanted to go. I had been thinking while flying and I decided the only way to find out about what was going on was to ask Fyora. Too bad she was going to be busy so I would just have to settle for the second best person, the Kyrii Mystic at Mystery Island.
My paws touched the warm sand and I folded my wings onto my back gracefully. It still felt really awkward to be an Eyrie, now that I had a larger body and I needed to move more limbs in order to walk across the beach but I was getting used to it. I flexed one paw and extended my claws, attempting to getting used to this new form. Now if I could only get used to this new life...
I shook my head and walked, as least awkwardly as was possible, across the beach towards the small hut that housed the Kyrii Mystic. The key was still clenched in one paw.
I walked through the doorway cautiously, looking around for anybody else in the hut. Only one pet sat in the middle of the room, eyes closed and legs crossed. That person was the Kyrii Mystic.
I walked into the room and sat down in front of him, flicking my tail in anticipation. I wasn’t sure if I should disturb him or just wait until he woke up. I continued to sit, waiting for him to move at all.
“You will fight off several huge Mutants,” the Kyrii murmured, not moving anything except for his lips.
“Uh, what does that mean?” I asked, scowling in confusion. “I need to ask you a specific question.”
“I can only give one a day,” the Kyrii murmured, again not moving. Little locks of blonde fur fell in front of his eyes but he made no move to remove them from his face. He just sat there, looking very much dead.
“But I-” I started, squirming in my seat. I was silenced as his eyes snapped open, swirling green colors instead of the regular brown. He reached out a paw to me and touched my paw, the one with the key in it.
“The shadows are calling from the darkness. They are growing restless. Protect it,” the Mystic whispered harshly, clenching my paw so hard that his knuckles were turning white.
“How? What are the shadows? Why do they want me?” I asked, lowering my voice to a whisper as if talking about them too loud would draw their attention to me once more.
The Mystic shook his head, staring off blankly behind me somewhere. “The shadows are calling your name. They want you to help them. Protect it.”
“Protect what? Why do they want this stupid key?” My voice got steadily louder as I became frustrated. I was getting terribly frustrated at all of this confusing stuff that was going on in my life. For once, I just wanted someone to sit down and explain to me why my life was so messed up.
“Ask Sophie; she must know.” The Kyrii let go of my paw and slowly sat back, muttering, “She must know. Yes, she must. Know. Know of it. She must.”
I got up and left, anxious to find Sophie and hopefully some answers. Behind me I could hear him continually muttering, “She must. Know. She must know it. Know. Know. She must.”
My wings were now completely sore. I felt like I may not be able to move them again, ever. I needed to work them better in the future, whatever future that may be for me.
As I reached the Haunted Woods I dipped and dove to the ground again. I folded my wings up against my sleek back, happy to give them a well-deserved rest. Instead, I’d be walking to Sophie’s Hut. I secretly hoped that it wasn’t too far.
I sort of recalled where it had been, visiting it a couple times while my owner did the Tale of Woe plot. My heart felt like it was being squished as I thought of my owner and everything in my past life. I could almost see us playing as we walked happily through the creepy paths in the Haunted Woods. The paths were twice as creepy alone and while thinking about shadows that could cut you.
I walked down the abandoned paths in a jumpy state, looking around me frequently for any hint of Sophie or her Shack. No matter how anti-social she was, she could help me and that was all I wanted. I just wanted answers, reasons.
A light in the forest caught my attention and I headed towards it. Soon I spotted the Ixi Swamp Witch in the distance, collecting some sort of flowers that grew on the swamp ground.
The green Ixi wasn’t my favorite person in the world. In fact, she made me feel all squeamish inside as if I had done something terribly wrong when I hadn’t. She always looked mad and intolerable of everyone, which didn’t help my thoughts on her. Still, if she had the answers to the long list of questions I had, then it might be worth it to ask her. I took a deep breath and decided.
“Sophie!” I called out, making my way over the foliage and across the forest or swamp or whatever it was. I was clumsy and it was hard but I was quickly getting used to my new abilities as an Eyrie. Soon, I was standing next to the annoyed Sophie, sending me a death glare as she set down her lantern and picked up her basket of flowers.
“Who are you and what do you want?” the green Ixi grumbled, placing her hands on her waist and glaring at me underneath her large and ratty hat.
“My name is Cabe and I need to ask you something,” I explained, trying not to look her directly in the eyes. I shifted my weight from side to side as if that would decrease how awkward I felt at that moment. It didn’t, but no surprise there.
“What about? Make it quick because I have a potion stewing at home,” Sophie grumbled.
I lifted my paw and exposed the key that was still inside of it. My paw felt cramped and sweaty from holding the key so long, but I was afraid to let it go. “This. I don’t know what it is, but the Island Mystic said you would know and he told me to protect it. I don’t know why. Ever since I’ve seen it, weird things have been happening to me.”
Sophie raised one eyebrow and tried to portray a doubtful expression. “Like what?” she asked slowly, hesitation sounding in her voice plainly.
“My owner is gone and so is my Neohome. Apparently neither of them has ever existed where I thought they did. My best friend doesn’t remember me at all. And I keep seeing these creepy and cold shadows with red eyes, they changed me into an Eyrie. I used to be a Scorchio,” I explained to her as I looked down at the key. This small object did all of that, just an innocent and rusty key.
Sophie was silent for a moment, just staring at the key with a sort of hate and respect. “This may take longer then I hoped. Follow me,” Sophie said quietly. She turned and walked into the swamp, carrying a lantern in front of her for light in the smog that was settling over the swamp. I hurried after her, looking around me quickly. I couldn’t miss the red eyes gleaming in the darkness, biding their time.
Sophie’s shack was old and run down but it matched the rest of her. Her dress, her hat, her gloves, and her shack all seemed to be rundown and full of holes. It had started raining pretty heavily now and the warm, fire lit hut looked very welcoming.
We walked inside and I couldn’t help but smile. Her house was full of boiling pots, ingredients, jars that were open and spilling their contents around them, and buckets under holes in the ceiling where water was dripping in.
Sophie pointed at a chair in the corner that had books piled up on top of it. “There. Sit. Move the books somewhere else just be careful. I’ll be with you in a second.”
I moved towards the chair obediently. I had to move carefully, trying to keep my cumbersome body from knocking over anything too important. Soon I was over to the other side of the room and clearing off the rickety chair that Sophie had ordered me to sit on.
Sophie sat down on a chair across from me with two scrolls and two books underneath her arms. The basket of flowers and the lamp were now near a boiling pot of water that had a green smoke emitting from it suspiciously.
The chairs, luckily enough, were seated next to the fireplace and far from any hole. This alone made me feel more comfortable and I felt myself suddenly get tired. I had been running too much to think about sleep. Nothing else had been important. Now sleep sounded wonderful. Unfortunately, I would have to wait for Sophie to answer some of my questions.
Sophie set down the books and scrolls on the floor next to her before grabbing the thickest and oldest looking book. She opened it up and thumbed through the pages. “In order to understand what that key is, I’m going to have to read you an old story. This happened before humans inhabited Neopia. We relied on magic and Faeries then to protect us.”
Sophie stopped flipping pages and pointed at the start of one of the pages. “Here it is,” she murmured and started to read from the ancient pages.
To be continued...