The Iced Curse: Part Ten
"That took us an extremely long time to get home," Flames said as all five of us (only three of us flying, thanks to Pacina getting her wings back) swooped down onto one of the sandy beaches of Mystery Island. We were lucky that we didn't have to take the path down, because that path is treacherous.
"Are you kidding?" I asked as I jumped off of Aluendi's back. The Cybunny wasn't shivering nearly as much now that we were back on Mystery Island, and since I had been gone for a little while, the snowstorm had momentarily stopped. "That flight only took us an hour at most; it would've taken days if we walked," I finished.
"That's true," Flames said. She walked up to the doorway and looked at the wood that was piled in it. The planks and trinkets had patches of melting snow still sticking to them.
"Let me try..." Flames began. All of us jumped as Flames smashed her foot through the wood, splintering it and breaking some of the trinkets and knocking them out of the doorway. She turned around to us. "That should about do it. Now I just need to send a Neomail the carpenter and have him get us a new door, because I don't think I can stand having a door of wooden planks anymore."
Harpier glared at her, and Flames put her hands behind her back, smiling sheepishly. "We might need that wood again, in case Lodo's curse starts up the snowstorm again, right? I'll Neomail the carpenter right away."
"I'm going to walk around the neighborhood and see if anyone knows anything about a magical key," Harpier said, like she had suggested before. "I'll be back in a little bit, hopefully with some more information on this." She walked off, seemingly towards a house across the street.
"Let's go inside," Flames said. "Aluendi, you can grab some blankets for all of us, I'll go send that Neomail as fast as I can and Pacina and Lodo, why don't you heat up some omelettes and then we can all pile in my writing room and we can scour the bookshelves for more information on that key and how to break Lodo's curse." Flames ran into her writing room to send the Neomail, a small Carmariller following her in.
"Is that your Carmariller, Pacina?" I asked as we all walked inside, minus Harpier.
"Yeah, that is my Carmariller," Pacina said. "Her name is Sunshine, remember? She always brings our Neomails where they need to go because the Weewoos are too busy bringing Flames's writing to the NT editors and bringing her back rejection letters." She giggled.
"Why do I always have to heat up the omelettes?" Aluendi complained as we walked towards the small kitchen.
"Don't worry about it," I said. "It's worth it, isn't it? We could all use a bit of food after that adventure."
"I'm back!" Harpier shouted as she burst through the door to the writing room where we were all sitting, eating omelette. Mine was, of course, freezing in my throat, but Flames, Aluendi and Pacina were no longer staring at me oddly because of it, for which I was grateful.
"Did you find anything out?" Flames asked, looking up from her omelette.
"Old Ms. Clarince said she remembered reading something like a legend about a key before, but she can't remember if it was the right key. No-one else knew anything about it," Harpier said a bit disappointedly. "Did you guys save any omelette for me?"
Flames handed her a particularly well-browned piece, which made her perk up a little.
"Everyone follow me," Flames said as she stood up and placed her plate on the chair. "Let's go to the library."
"What library?" Aluendi asked as we all stood up off of our chairs and put our plates down.
"The one upstairs," Flames said as she pulled a small rope and a ladder swung down from an opening in the ceiling. She began to climb up the ladder, followed by Aluendi, Harpier, Pacina, and then me. We all arrived in a huge room with a low ceiling, and every available space was crammed with thousands of books.
"We have a second floor? I thought you said this was a one floor house," Aluendi said angrily. "This floor could free up some space downstairs."
"It's more of an attic with a ceiling that's much too low and if you want to sleep with the dusty books and the Spyders that sometimes crawl around here, then be my guest," Flames said as she walked across the room.
She pulled a few books out of the shelves. "Some of these might be useful to us, and others might just be junk," Flames explained, looking over the books. "If the titles include either 'ice', 'curse' or 'key', then look through the book because it may be work it."
We began pulling books off of the shelves like deranged Myncies, tearing up the library and littering all the open spaces on the floor with half-open books.
We kept searching for what felt like hours, but were probably only half an hour.
"I found something!" Pacina cried out suddenly. We all ran over to her, peering over her shoulders to see what she had discovered.
"It's from this book called The Iced Curse," Pacina explained. "It really seemed like something worth checking out, so I did."
"Well, what does it say?" I asked excitedly. Harpier and Aluendi looked just as anxious as I did, while Flames was quietly mumbling 'The Iced Curse' to herself.
"It says that a Draik made entirely of ice was cursed at a young age to be forever shrouded in ice and snow until he was to lessen his curse by giving the other half to someone else," Pacina read. "There was only one thing that could lessen the curse otherwise, a key that could hold the curse contained so it would not affect nature and the Neopets around the cursed one. The Draik scoured the globe looking for the key, and over the years grew into a horrible beast that looked nothing like a Draik. They say that he found the key, but it was already too late for him as he was consumed by the curse and that he would have to make another suffer by giving half of his curse to them. But it says that he disappeared, and some thought that he passed away due to becoming insane. It was never known if he gave someone the half of his curse."
"What else does it say about him?" I asked, staring hard at the book, clutching the key tightly in my hand.
"The only two known facts that are written down here are that the Draik's name was Logan and he was an orphan," Pacina said.
We all sat back, the three Neopets and their owner staring at me.
I stuffed my hand in my pocket and felt something crumple around. I took it out and held it up. "I completely forgot about this, but there was a note attached to the key when Logan threw it at me. It completely slipped my mind that I had it."
"Well, what are you waiting for?"Harpier said. "Read it!"
I cleared my throat and read.
I hope that you find out what this key is for. Slip it on and see what effect it has on you. Just know that the key can't stop you from slipping into insanity. Just look for the book and you'll know.
"Seems he wasn't lying when he said his name was Logan," Harpier said, ignoring the note.
"Put it on!" Flames said excitedly.
I stared at the key, wondering if it would hurt when I put it on. It did say it would contain my curse though, so it would be much better for all of us if I had it.
The ribbon was cold in my hand as I took it and placed it around my neck. It didn't feel like it did much, except for a sharp pinch and knocking the breath out of me a little bit.
Everyone was staring at me, mouths agape.
"What?" I asked, not entirely sure what had happened.
"Lodo, you look so much different!" Aluendi said. "You hair is still blue, but it isn't all frosty. Your eyes seem a bit clearer and more like ice, and you just glowed blue for a few seconds!"
"How do you feel?" Flames asked.
I pondered this. Did I really feel any different? I couldn't tell. There hadn't been much change that I could feel when I put the necklace on.
"Just a bit colder than usual, but I would expect that, since this key is containing my entire curse," I said.
"You're so brave," Flames said. "Now come on. Let's go back downstairs. I just need to finish something in my writing room real quick, and then we can all sit down and relax for once. I think I might be able to go out and get some firewood so we could start a fire in case we need it."
We all abandoned the books we had been holding on the floor. Before I left, I grabbed The Iced Curse from the ground where Pacina had thrown it. This held valuable information, and I'm sure that Flames wouldn't miss it. It looked like she barely came up here.
After climbing down the ladder and Flames folding it back up into the attic, we all ran out of the room and sat ourselves down on the couch while Flames finished whatever it was she needed to finish in her writing room.
"So Lodo, do you have anywhere to go after this?" Aluendi asked, sitting down next to me. Pacina sat on my other side and Harpier sat on the arm of the couch.
I shuffled my feet embarrassedly. "I don't really think that I do. I guess that I could always take a boat and then some sort of transportation to this underground place I read about. I think it was called Moltara. With all the lava, I probably wouldn't get cold down there."
"Moltara is a horrid place," Harpier said. "You get all covered in soot; you could burn yourself and there's worms crawling around everywhere. It's just terrible."
"Then I'm not sure where I would go," I said.
"I have an idea," Flames said from behind us as she exited her writing room, making us all jump. "You could go nowhere at all."
"What do you mean?"
Flames walked around to the front of the couch and kneeled in front of me. She looked extremely serious. "Lodowaty, do you want to stay here and join our family?"
I stared at her, thoroughly shocked. But a warm feeling began bubbling up inside of me, a feeling I really wasn't used to. The closest word I could use to describe it was happiness.
I jumped up and hugged Flames. "Yes!" I shouted as Harpier, Aluendi and Pacina all came up and made it a group hug. What else could I have said? I couldn't have turned them down, not when they all looked so hopeful.
We all sat down again and I was gasping from being hugged so tight. I don't think anyone had ever given me a hug before, it made me feel happy.
Harpier, Pacina and Aluendi ran into the kitchen because they were determined to make a cake to celebrate. Flames got a Neomail from the carpenter saying he would be over right away to give us a new door.
I stood up and walked over to the window, which was no longer frosted with ice. It was a welcome change, having everything not completely covered with ice and snow.
Looking out the window, I could swear that for a second, I saw the setting sun glinting off of an icy shape as it was flying across the sky.
Author's note: It's finally finished! *Hugs submission* It took so long, I think that it's been seven months at least. And even though it took so long, I'm happy with it. Thank you for reading The Iced Curse and I hope you enjoyed. :)