Of Advents and Calendars: Part Three
Also by sweetie_purple16
"RRROOOOOOARR!" The Snowager didn't sound happy, but what did they know.
Breanna and Marie quickly each grabbed a pet to sling over their shoulder gently.
"He NORMALLY won't come outside his cave," Breanna rasped, running towards the igloo at the top of the mountain, taking the route farthest as possible to the Snowager's path.
"Then I guess this isn't ‘normally’!" Marie yelled over the screams of terrified pets as the Snowager slithered out of his cave. Both owners shut their eyes. What now... what could they do...?
“Heya, Mr. Snoooowager! Looking for something?”
Breanna and Marie turned to see a Camouflage Acara waving a large brown bag above her head. The tops of a few neggs, some keychains, and a red plushie’s tail poked out of it.
“Sage!” Breanna gasped in shock. She could barely make out Sage turn to her and wink; she was a few hundred yards away.
The Snowager roared again and slithered towards Sage. Marie dug her fingernails into Breanna’s arm.
“What’s she... what’s she got?”
“His treasure!” Breanna responded.
“But... but how?”
“Heyyy!” came a shout from above, and when the two looked up, Kylie was hovering in the air, grinning widely.
Daniel and Koy had been laid down in the snow, and now the Kougra opened his eyes slowly, as though he was in great pain. “Kylie... Kylie, I...”
"What, Daniel?" Kylie flapped her tiny wings and flew over to her friend, hovering in the air next to him. "You what?" She was anxious, rubbing the back of her neck and then gripping a fist behind her back to relieve tension.
"I'm sorry," Daniel whispered. And then he fainted.
Kylie sucked in air and blew fire at the wall of the cave. It wasn't enough to melt, just to thin it a little. She repeated the motion until there was a narrow hole in the wall. She edged closer to it, keeping her eyes on the Snowager, who was more interested in trying to get his treasure back from Sage than anything else.
Kylie tested the hole for size: she would fit through with a little room to spare. Enough room that she could carry someone through. She ran lightly over the floor towards Koy and Daniel. She knew she could take only one of them at a time through the hole, outside and to a place where they would be safe.
Biting her lip, she slowly began to drag Daniel towards the hole. Looking back, she stared at Koy's motionless figure guiltily. She sighed. The sooner she got Daniel out, the sooner she could remove Koy from danger. Gently, she began to push Daniel into the hole after making it slightly bigger. It was a tight squeeze but Daniel was soon on the other side of the wall. Panting as she dashed back to Koy, she glanced over at Sage. Sage was panting, too, and slowing down now so she needed to hurry. Repeating what she did with Daniel, she pushed Koy out of the hole.
"SAGE!" she yelled. "GET OUT!!"
Sage looked towards Kylie and hastily dropped the treasure. Running like there was no tomorrow towards the hole, Sage stumbled clumsily and fell. Picking herself up, she quickly clambered out, feeling the chilly blast of the Snowager on her back.
The teenager's head shot up, and she jerked her head in a single nod.
She patted Marie firmly on the arm a couple of times. Both of them had been watching, dazed, almost forgetting where they were.
"Come on," she hissed to Marie. "We're getting out of here! Now!"
"What... how...?" Marie turned towards the entrance to see Fluffy motioning for them to come. "Fluffy!"
"Come on!" shouted Breanna, taking her arm, but just then the Snowager let out a huge roar. It dove straight for them, and Marie's blood ran cold.
Fluffy leapt at the Snowager, unable to stop the blast but managing to change the direction. The Snowager's head turned to look at Fluffy, who was now lying on the ground, not moving. Marie let out a yelp as she dashed to Fluffy. She quickly picked her up and ran with Breanna towards the entrance. Once outside, Marie took out a weak healing potion. After draining the contents into Fluffy's mouth, she waited for Fluffy to revive as Breanna searched for her Shoyru.
"Look!!" Breanna cried, tugging on Marie's sleeve. "Over there!"
Marie looked where Breanna was pointing and saw a group of four pets, one of which was starting a small fire along the wall. Kylie.
"Go," Marie urged Breanna as Fluffy's eyes flickered open slightly. "I'll catch up with you!"
Breanna nodded and ran at full speed towards her pet and his three companions.
Gently she ran her hand over first Koy’s and then Daniel’s body. Both were pretty cold.
“They’ll be okay.”
And she looked up, and there was Sage, standing tall and confidently looking into her eyes. “Don’t worry.”
Breanna nodded quickly, then turned. “Marie!” she shouted, hearing her voice echo off the walls of the cavern.
Marie slipped again, struggling to support Fluffy's weight. Softly muttering to herself about feeding Fluffy too much, she heard her name being echoed off the walls. Picking up the pace, she made her way to Breanna and inspected Daniel and Koy.
"I have a blanket here..." Marie began sifting through the contents of her backpack, displaying items from a Ryshu Bobblehead to Healing Potions.
Picking up a potion, Breanna began to silently heal Koy. Sage hesitated as she picked up one, too, unsure whether Marie would allow it. She sought approval but Marie and Breanna were both occupied with their own pets. Shyly, she began to pour the potion down Daniel's throat, wiping away snow on his face.
"Oh..." Koy whispered, struggling to get up. "Oh... what... happened?"
"I'll tell you later." Breanna gently put one hand behind her pet's head for a moment before helping him up. Then she glanced towards Daniel. He was quite dazed but beginning to wake up.
"What...?" he murmured. "So... dizzy..."
Sage looked into his eyes. "Are you okay?" she asked.
"I... I think... so."
"Let's go back to the Advent Calendar," Sage encouraged. "You can rest..."
"The Advent Calendar!" Daniel's head jerked up, but then sank down again. "Is anyone running it? I saw... I saw a mob..."
"The mob is gone. It's almost eleven, Daniel, nobody's coming for at least another hour."
Gently moving the weak pets, the group slowly made its way to the Advent Calendar. Sage, Kylie and Daniel stood by the door as they waved goodbye to their new friends and their owners.
"Oh boy," Fluffy muttered. "We're in trouble now..."
"Guys, I know you just wanted to help out..." Marie began.
"But we were so worried!" Breanna exclaimed. "You guys need to tell us what's going on and stay away from unnecessary trouble!"
"But what if the trouble wasn't unnecessary?" Koy asked, gazing intensely back at her. "What if you couldn't avoid it?"
Breanna stopped the group and stooped down, holding onto Koy's shoulders. "Now," she said, "tell us what happened. Exactly."
"I told you, back in the igloo -"
"What you didn't tell us," Breanna replied, "was why you didn't send a neomail or anything at all to say you'd take longer than you expected. You had Marie and me worried sick."
Koy forced a smile. "Okay, so helping the pets at the Advent Calendar when they didn't have any neopoints, rescuing a pet from the Snowager, and keeping Daniel from quitting...that ain't enough for you?"
Breanna smiled and stood up. "Come on," she murmured, patting the young Shoyru on the back, "let's get you home before you freeze."
Fluffy looked up and grinned. "Hey Mom... if I promise never to do that again, can I sleep over with Koy?”
"Alright," Marie sighed. "Off you go with Koy. I expect you to not cause any trouble at Breanna's house!"
"Psssst!" Koy whispered to Fluffy after Breanna had left the room that night.
"Uh huh?" Fluffy replied, turning over on the bed.
"I think we could help them out..." Koy began as he stood up and started to draw on a sheet of paper.
Fluffy's eyes grew wide, then locked with Koy's before they both nodded their heads.
"You know," Koy said, laughing a little, "the shoes rock, too." He danced around a bit and Kylie collapsed in giggles.
It was mid-December now and everyone was in a better mood. Sage danced in, holding a Meepit Carols.
"La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la..." she sang before pretending to bite Fluffy's face. Everyone laughed again as the book vanished in a puff of green smoke.
"Your shift, Sage!" Daniel announced cheerily, bouncing into the room. Then he grinned at Koy and Fluffy, and said in a softer tone, "I really can't thank you enough. Who'd thought that lowering the frequency of Fountain Faerie Quests would be enough to get us... these?" And he gestured towards the boxes piled up. "There's so many, maybe we'll have enough to give away next year too!"
"No problem." The Silver pets smiled and Fluffy nodded. Daniel headed into the back room, where he pulled out the memory box that Sage and Kylie had found almost two weeks ago. He took the December-only calendar and a pen out, and a few tears of joy trickled down his cheeks as he wrote:
17th day of Celebrating, Y9:
Gave away Tacky Lighted Holiday Shoes and Christmas Paint Brushes.
That was all that needed to be said.