The Lotus Blooms Twice
I want to thank my dear friend Kuro-chan for allowing me to use Reiatsu and Noko (: Enjoy!
In the far away lands of Shenkuu, there's a small beautiful shrine hidden in a forest known as "Auzma." Many neopets from all over Neopia travel miles just to visit this delicate shrine. It is said that this particular shrine brings forth happiness and good health to all that wishes for it. Many wonder about how the shrine came to be, and how it got its name, 'Reiatsu.' In order to figure it out, you must head back into the past, during a time period when an unknown illness struck Neopia, causing an outbreak of a deadly disease.
Soft delicate pink petals flowed gently through the wind. As they danced about, being carried in all directions, they gave the atmosphere a sense of harmony and beauty; it was as if they sky had rained down pink petals instead of rain. A beautiful sight indeed.
She sat on a brown bench under a cherry blossom tree, her soft chocolate brown hair tied up in a neat bun with one braid keeping it in place, along with a pair of expensive green chopsticks that resembled a pink lotus. She wore a Xweetok lotus kimono that was made out of the finest silks located around Shenkuu. Pink lotus flowers were embroidered into the kimono, giving it a very pleasing look. The green sash matched perfectly with her eyes, giving her the appearance of a beautiful Empress.
As she sat on the bench, she opened the lid to her bento box. Instead were rice, some steamed dumplings, and a nice helping of miso. Using the chopsticks inside the bento box, she took a dumpling, and begin eating it, loving the taste of cabbage and carrots that filled the inside.
What a peaceful day this was.
"That's the tenth one this week. Something serious is going on." The Xweetok turned her head towards the right and spotted two Kougras dressed in white coats walking down a path that was leading to the main city of Shenkuu. "The hospital in Neopia Central doesn't have a cure of this illness, nor can they identify what's causing this outbreak," said a White Kougra. He looked down at a chart, a frown on his face.
"The symptoms sounds a little strange as well," said the second one, an Orange Kougra who held a small notebook in his paws. "Flaky fur and skin, watery and sore eyes, sneezing, coughing, shaking, and yellow lumps all over the body? Something is definitely wrong."
The young Green Xweetok watched them until they were no longer in her sights. She grew worried and curious at the same time. She had not heard of such an outbreak, but it did sound serious and very strange. And what was more worrisome was that it was an illness with no cure.
During lunch time, she went to the neohome that she shared with her sister. As she sat in her chair, all she did was stare down at her food. She couldn't help but think of the conversation the two Kougras had. If there was no cure to the illness, what would happen to the neopets who had already caught it? How did it begin? What was the cause of it? Who was the first to catch it and how did it spread? All these thoughts raced through her mind, but no matter how much she questioned, there was no way she could answer the questions.
"Reiatsu? What's wrong?" Reiatsu blinked as she came out of her daze, looking up at her older sister, a Yellow Kacheek who wore a blue kimono with white chopsticks keeping her blond hair in place. Deep chocolate eyes stared into green ones.
"Noko, have you heard about this deadly outbreak?" asked Reiatsu; she used her eating chopsticks to move food around her plate in a somewhat thoughtful matter.
Noko, the Yellow Kacheek, grabbed the bowl of rice on the table and poured some into her own bowl. "Yes, I have. It was on the Neovision a few hours ago. I hope they find a cure for it soon; otherwise, everyone in Neopia will come down with it." She took a sip from her small tea cup. "I know it must be bugging you; it's bugging everyone. The only thing we can do to keep ourselves safe is to stay away from Mystery Island. They say that's where the illness came from." Noko continued to explain, and in doing so, answered one of Reiatsu's questions.
"So it came from Mystery Island? What else do you know?" she eagerly asked. Noko took a bite of her rice ball before telling her younger sister all that she had heard from the Neovision.
Reiatsu found out that the first victim was a Blue Gelert who was in Mystery Island, he ate a type of fruit, and three days later found out he had a deadly illness. That was all Reiatsu needed to hear; if she could find the fruit and create a type of cure, then she would be completing her goal of helping out a lot of people in need.
"Reiatsu, where are you going?" Worried, Noko stood up, watching as her sister ran up the stairs gracefully before coming back down with a small black backpack that she placed over her shoulders. Slipping on her small green sandals, Reiatsu smiled at the Kacheek.
"Noko, this is my big chance to finally help. I've always wanted to become a doctor; maybe this will prove my skills and maybe even get me a job working at the hospital." Noko's worried face was still present. No matter what the Xweetok said, it could not wipe away the fear she was feeling.
"I'll be fine, don't worry!"
"But the illness-"
"I'm prepared," Reiatsu told her sister; she showed Noko a mask-like suit that would keep her safe from catching the virus. Noko, however, still didn't seem convinced enough to let her baby sister go, but she knew this was something the Xweetok had been wishing to do for years, and she couldn't dare see herself stand in the way of someone's dream. After a hug, and Reiatsu promising to neomail her sister every chance she got, she exited out the front door.
"Hmm, it seems to be the same case," one of the nurses at the local Neopia Central Hospital stated as she looked the sickly neopet over. She had a few bald spots from scratching too harshly at her flaky skin, her eyes were reddened and swollen, and yellow lumps covered her arms, feet, and tail; it was the same unknown illness. "Did she come into contact with anyone on her way here?" asked the nurse, who was a Green Ixi.
"No, she didn't," answered the concerned owner. "Will she be okay?" The owner looked at her suffering Faerie Acara, itching and scratching and whimpering from all the yellow lumps that was probably also causing her some pain.
The Ixi examined the Acara closely before nodding her head. "She should be, once we find out how to rid them of this disease. She will have to stay here, I'm afraid." The owner nodded in understanding, giving her neopet a pet to the head.
"Guess I'll see you later then, Luna." Luna's blue eyes quickly filled with tears, a mixture of sadness that her owner was leaving her, and from the pain she was feeling from her achy body. "Don't worry, I'll come visit you. Just think of this as a vacation away from Yuma and Zackie."
"But, Stacey, I don't want to be left here alone!" Stacey gave her pet another rub to the head before smiling at her. Giving her a hug, and telling her she would return, she turned around and left out the room.
Three days flew by as she stayed in Mystery Island, gathering all the information she needed through close observation. She noticed that every time a neopet got sick, they would be shipped over to Neopia Central to stay at the Hospital; that on its own could spread the illness. She saw no reason for them to travel to Neopia Central. They knew it was unknown and had no cure; there was no reason to be going over to Neopia Central to get checked out when there was nothing the doctors could do.
Secondly, she noticed you could only get the virus if you were around someone who was in the stage where their skin and fur became flaky; thus, when they itched, it traveled to a new host. Strangely enough, it wasn't passed through coughing and sneezing like most of the common known sicknesses. Still as she went around, she advised everyone to cover their mouths, and keep their distance away from friends and family if they noticed any flakiness of the skin and fur.
Thirdly, she found the source of the outbreak. It wasn't because of the fruit, but where the fruit was grown at, which was in the Lost City of Geraptiku. She found out that the fruits grew on bushes that seemed unhealthy and somehow, a type of tree branch bark that was green and pure in color would always grow inside of the fruit, and when eaten, the small piece of deadly bark would be swallowed and that is what caused the illness to occur.
When she gathered up all these juicy facts and more, she then took a boat ride to Neopia Central where she had a long discussion with the doctors and nurses at the Neopia Central Hospital. Needless to say, they were stunned that a simple Xweetok such as herself had such great facts and notes that they simply couldn't discover.
"Could there be a cure?" asked one of the doctors, an Island Gelert. She glanced at Reiatsu, hope reflecting in her eyes. To them, Reiatsu was a miracle from the Faeries, sent to help them in their time of need.
"Of course there can be; every sickness has a cure to it," Reiatsu reassured them. This brought much relief. As Reiatsu began analyzing for the cure, the doctors told everyone to follow the Xweetok's advice. No one was to eat the fruit in the Lost City of Geraptiku, and those sick were to stay in their homes without any contact with other neopets that lived with them; this reduced the number of sick neopets.
After four more days, Reiatsu was able to put things together and develop a type of root that was strangely yellow with a few small lumps on it and green leaves. It took hard work to develop it, and Reiatsu was positive that it would get rid of the illness that was slowly taking over Neopia. After she told the doctors about it, they were desperate to give it a chance, anything to help the sick neopets who were begging for some kind of relief from the pain.
The results were amazing. Within seconds, the root did the trick, and the illness had all but vanished, leaving no trace that it ever existed. For her hard effort and work, and believing in herself, Reiatsu became a hero, and the root, which she named "Cobrall Root", was sold neowide, helping those who were sick, and it was stocked in the store in Shenkuu just in case a curious pet decided to eat the fruit.
For her kind act, a shrine was built in her honor, and many would travel just to visit it, saying small thank yous to the one who saved the small town of Mystery Island.
They say a lotus is a water lily, a type of a flower that only grows in Shenkuu. Reiatsu was their water lily. A lotus so sweet and delicate and wasn't known to the rest of Neopia until her her heroic act. Now she returns to her home in Shenkuu, with smiles as she awaits to be called again.
For the lotus always blooms twice.