The Tale of the Sapphire Blade
The pleasant sound of rain crashing against the little Neohome completely relaxed Atia. She loved the rain and everything about it. Moving to Meridell was the smartest decision she ever made; there wasn't exactly much rain back in the Lost Desert, considering it is, well, a desert.
The Island-painted Eyrie lowered her head to the dark red pillow on her sofa, prepared to take a nap, still listening to the raindrops hit her Neohome's roof and windows. But something happened that she didn't expect: a loud shout came from the other side of her front door.
"ATIA! Are you home?"
Sarin was her best friend. He wasn't the brightest Zafara she ever met, but he was funny (to her), honest, and selfless. And that's what she liked about him. Intelligence isn't the only important thing about a Neopet, she always said.
After a moment of silence - aside from the rain - Atia finally yelled in response, "I'm home, Sarin. The door's unlocked. Come in."
Not a full second passed after she finished her sentence before the front door opened and collided with the wall. Then in walked Sarin, the White Zafara. Her best friend.
Atia giggled at his appearance. His usually clean fur was dirty and wet. If she didn't know any better, the Eyrie might have asked him if he was playing in the mud, because he certainly looked like he had been doing just that.
"I know what you're thinking," he mumbled. "I'm a mess. See, I bought something last night, and I wanted to show it to you. But as I was walking down your street, it started pouring! I tripped at least six times trying to get here. Dirt paths are awful to walk on when it's raining!"
Atia tried to look sympathetic, but she could only laugh. That was so typical Sarin. Whether he did it intentionally or not, the Zafara always made her laugh when they were together.
"When you're done with your laughter," Sarin said, smiling, "mind grabbing me a towel so I can clean myself off? I don't want to look goofy to you when I show you what I bought."
Atia finally stopped, nodded, and hopped off the sofa. She hurried down the hallway and returned with a large green towel in her paws. Sarin took it from her, wiped the mud off of himself, then tossed it aside. If anyone else had done that, Atia probably would have yelled at them.
"So," she began as the two strode toward the sofa, "what did you bring?"
Sarin didn't answer until they were both seated. Then he retrieved a rather large book from his messenger bag, which he always wore for some reason Atia did not know.
"I was at the book store in Brightvale yesterday," he explained, "and I found this. It's called The Sapphire Blade. Cool, huh? I stayed up almost all night reading as much as I could." He pointed out the little red and gold bookmark close to the middle of the book.
"Anyway, I learned a lot of cool stuff about this sword. I can't remember all of it" - again, typical Sarin - "but I'll tell you what I do remember.
"A long time ago, about six hundred years, a sword was made for the king of Meridell. No one knows who made it, because the king never revealed the name to anybody. But everybody in Meridell saw it, because the king had it placed in a large wooden case, which was nailed to one of the walls in the Meridell castle.
"Neopets started calling it the Sapphire Blade because of its color. There was also a small blue stone built into the hilt, which made it even more beautiful to look at. It was a unique sword; nothing was ever made like it.
"When the king died, his son became the ruler of Meridell, and he destroyed the case and stole the sword. He disappeared after that. Some of the knights of Meridell tried to follow him, but he was never found.
"Some say they saw him run into the Meridell forest, but if that is indeed where he went, no one found any trace of him, or the sword.
"This book was written about sixty years ago, by a Scorchio - Kandrak, I think his name was - who is a descendant of one of the knights who went searching for that thief. I guess he knew a lot about the sword, probably more than all of the other knights combined."
Atia had been intently listening to the story, forgetting everything else around her. Even the rain was forgotten. This tale intrigued her. She wanted to know more.
"What else do you know, Sarin? Anything else?" She asked.
The Zafara chuckled and shook his head. "No, that's everything I know. But there's still a lot more. Here." He handed the heavy tome to her. "You can read it if you want. Just don't tear the pages or anything, okay? I paid a lot of Neopoints for this thing."
"I won't," she promised. "I'll take good care of it."
Sarin smiled, then stood up. "I should be going," he said. "It isn't raining so hard anymore. Maybe I can get home without falling."
Atia laughed at that statement. "I hope so."
Sarin waved to his friend, then headed to the door. He pulled it shut behind him as he left.
Atia inhaled deeply, then opened up to the page where the bookmark rested. She was going to finish the last half of the book, and she going to do it by tomorrow. She was dying to know the rest of the story.
Atia ambled down the hallway to her bedroom with the book in her paws, settled into her bed, and began to read.
"So the sword was seen once more after it was stolen?" Sarin asked as he took a handful of grapes out of the little bowl in his other hand. He always brought his own snacks with him; he never ate Atia's food.
"Yeah, by Kandrak himself. He was playing Shape Shifter when a cloaked figure hurried past, with a sword at his side. Kandrak recognized the blue jewel, but didn't do anything about it."
"I wonder why," Sarin murmured. "He should have."
Atia sighed, then shrugged. "Who knows. But I wonder where the sword is now. I mean, the last time it was seen was sixty-eight years ago. It could be anywhere in Neopia."
"If I found the Sapphire Blade," Sarin began, "I would ask King Skarl to display it in the castle so Neopets could again see it once again. What would you do?"
"I don't know," Atia admitted. "Maybe I'd keep it."
"I'm only joking. I'd probably do the same thing."
"It's too bad we probably won't ever see it again," Sarin said, clearly unhappy with this truth. "Such a beautiful treasure, lost forever..."
"Maybe not forever," Atia said, trying to sound hopeful. "Maybe someday - tomorrow, next year, a hundred years, six hundred years, who knows - someone will find it."
"I hope you're right. Even if it isn't found while I'm alive, I hope that sword ends up where it belongs."
The Eyrie smiled.
Tomorrow, next year, a hundred years, six hundred years, who knows - the Sapphire Blade will be found. This she was absolutely positive would happen, though she couldn't understand why. But it didn't matter.
Someday the Sapphire Blade would again be displayed in the Meridell castle for all to see.
Author's Note: This is my first Neopian Times story, which I may make a series about later on. Thanks for reading!