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Mistress of the Double-Cross


by eternally_forgotten

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A cold wind blew across the frozen ground of Terror Mountain. Up on a snow covered hill stood a green Acara, silhouette fading into the night sky. Her cold blue eyes did not reflect the light of the moon. Beautiful earrings of golden bands shined on her large ears, a diamond dangling from one of them. Her dark cloak was lifted by the wind, and was fluttering around her. An emerald brooch with beads of magenta dangling gleamed in the darkness of the starless night. She stood gazing down into the thieves' encampment below. Firelight flickered, wavering. In groups, the thieves talked quietly, anticipating. Swords and daggers flashed as the restless thieves worked off their excitement. The cold wind went pass quietly, almost as if it were afraid to make a sound. And Masila smiled, remembering. It was not a nice smile.

Masila could hear her mother's cold voice. Telling her, again and again, "Power is our whole world; is your whole world. Power is the reason we live; for power." She had repeated. The green Acara stared into her father's cold, dark eyes. Feelingless. They had taught her all she knew, were responsible for her position now, and for that, she was not sure if she was thankful. They had given her no love, no happiness; nothing that a child needed. She grew up hearing the same diction repeating over and over again, as it was now in her mind. "Power is everything." She had hated going home to their grim faces, always set on power, always expecting too much, always putting her down, saying how her brother was so much better. Masila seethed, nearly growling. Anger flashed from her eyes. And so they had paid, for Masila, Mistress of the Double-Cross, did as she wished.

***

"Sila!" an Island Cybunny called.

"Hey Cione!" replied Masila. Cione waved excitedly at Masila, and the Acara wondered what there was to be so happy about. But that was Cione, always happy and hyper for no reason at all. Masila wondered if that was the reason she had finally done it, just to silence that hyper, happy pet forever. Sometimes, she wondered if Cione was really that blind, if Cione knew that it was coming, but decided to befriend her anyways. But it was impossible. That Cybunny knew nothing of the dark side of the world beyond her own nose, the perfect picture of innocence. Cione was innocence and a child's sense of fun incarnated.

Cione asked, "Masila, do you want to come over to my house today?"

"Sure!" Masila answered.

The two Acaras laughed and played, skipping down the road to Cione's house. Cione was the pet of a rich girl, one of the richest people in Neopia and very sweet. She greeted them with a soft smile, leading them into the kitchen, where a snack was waiting for them. Masila loved Cione's home. The riches never ceased to amaze her. To her, the house seemed made out of gold, and all that was in it out of gold-rich jewels. It seemed that Neopoints were left carelessly around the whole structure, and glazed windows scattered colored light around the house, looking for the world like glistening jewels. Cione's petpet, a white Weewoo, called. Cione was an only pet, unlike Masila. Masila studied the room, but as always, found nothing to criticize. Just one piece of that furniture would make Masila's large family rich. Cione hung up her cloak, a soft, dark thing that Masila had coveted for so long, and led the Acara up to her room.

They fooled around for a while, laughing merrily over Usukis, though as always, Masila's was forced. Masila hated Usukis. She looked at Cione's white Weewoo. That would fetch a pretty price. Suddenly coming back to her senses, she realized that Cione was looking at her a bit funny, and realized that she was smirking, twisted and cruel. She did her best to cover up the blunder, sweetly suggesting that they go down to the river, all the while fingering the one thing that was prized in her life. Her dagger. Cione agreed, getting ready, and chattering on about millions of ways to catch a Bowla. Irritated, Masila wondered why Cione would care about such a cheap petpet when her owner could buy her so many other ones, ones much more expensive than a Bowla.

Once at the river, Cione sat on its bank, trying to catch a petpet, preferably a Bowla, but with no success. Masila sat down besides her. After a few minutes, Masila told the Cybunny that she thought she saw something move in the forest, probably an Angelpuss, and that she was going to go after it. Cione nodded, but did nothing else, completely absorbed in her work. Masila smiled. Cione had passed the test. It would be easy. She got to her feet. Her poisoned dagger whistled as it flew.

Masila ran back to Cione's house, after burying the evidence in an opening that she had found a few days before. Upon reaching that beautiful mansion, she started to bawl. A talented liar, she told Cione's owner a farfetched tale, tears streaming down her face, which the poor girl bought. They always did, no matter how implausible the story. Gloating as Cione's owner ran off to find her beloved pet, Masila laughed as she raided the house, leaving nothing behind. If she was right, Cione's owner would not come back to stay. Masila was very neat in her dark dealings; she had always taken everything.

The frozen wind tugged against Cione's cloak. The golden earrings in Masila's ears, those pretty bands that reflected the moon so brightly, had belonged to the Island Cybunny as well. Yet Masila's unseeing eyes were colder than ice. There was no room for regret. She was a being that was above feelings, though some would say below them. She had no love, no compassion; no hate. All that was in her was a void; nothing except the desire for power, though occasionally anger and hate surfaced. Still there were some that would call her dead, with only the dream of power to keep her alive. She would use anything; she would do anything, to get that power. Some had underestimated her passion for power, trusting her, trying, even, to reform her. They had paid with their lives. Not one was left on the face of Neopia. Masila had always done what she pleased, whenever she pleased.

"Yes," Masila thought. That twisted smile had no mirth. "My parents are the cause of all this. They taught me themselves. Trust no one, not even yourself. They forgot their own rule; was wary but not wary enough. They grew weaker, falling away from their own principle. They are responsible! They were the ones who raised me to be like this. They have gotten what they wished for, but do they like it?" Masila laughed bitterly. Her eyes showed no feeling. Her whisper drifted away on the wind, "They were forming their own death, the price for their actions, when they raised me; for I am the Mistress of the Double-cross"

And the frozen wind blew on, sweeping across the lonely ground of Terror Mountain.

The End

 
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