Where there's a Weewoo, there's a way Circulation: 193,383,333 Issue: 687 | 26th day of Relaxing, Y17
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The Beginning of the Shadow: Part Two


by sha2196

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     The Shadow Bandit stood silently on the roof. She looked through the window, at the Shadow Shoyru. She hadn’t tried to control any of her actions. But she would still be here. For her .

     Time for another heist. The Lady of Darkness would appear once again. The Shadow Bandit took one last look through the window and vanished into the darkness.

    

~

     “Stop!” Orig shouted as he flew after the Shadow Bandit. She created a wall of darkness and solidified it. With no time to swerve or stop, he crashed straight into the wall. The wall, having fulfilled its purpose, faded away.

     “Thanks for the gem.” Shadow Bandit smiled cheekily, waved and dived into the shadows.

     “Stop!” Zee chased after her, teleporting and running, trying to block the Shadow Bandit. Shadow Bandit raised a paw. Zee skidded to a stop, too shocked to move. The shadows were streaming towards her. They buffeted her, giving her no room to teleport and escape.

     “Buh-bye.” Shadow Bandit smirked and waved a paw. Then, she ran away, only to be blocked by The Masked Intruder.

     “Oh come on. Don’t you guys ever give up? I’m definitely not in a good mood today.” She sighed. Shadow Bandit dodged the Masked Intruder’s punches easily and used the shadows to catch one of his punch, then knocked him off his feet with a low sweep.

     “Hope there aren’t any more of you. I’m getting tired of this game.” Shadow Bandit pursed her lips and muttered. She looked up at the moon as if in silent prayer, then finally escaped.

     Zee grumbled at the retreating shadow. Unlike the other day, the Shadow Bandit had completely thrashed her. It was always the same with the Shadow Bandit. Either the Shadow Bandit would steal and disappear, or she would knock the Defenders out and escape.

     But in a way, Zee was thankful that the Shadow Bandit only stole. If the Shadow Bandit decided to go on a rampage one day, Zee wasn’t sure that all the Defenders combined could take her down, especially with her power. With an ability to completely control and become the darkness, the Shadow Bandit might be as powerful as a Dark Faerie, perhaps matching up to Jhudora’s power. She would be a terror. And Zee was also grateful for the fact that Shadow Bandit seemed to be a solo worker. If Shadow Bandit worked with another villain, like Lady Frostbite, then the Defenders, and perhaps Neopia, was essentially doomed. Zee hoped that that would never happen.

     “What happened to you?” Kamia took one look at Zee and worriedly asked.

     “Nothing much. Got beaten up pretty badly in the Battledome.” Zee replied casually. Getting beaten up in the Battledome was her excuse for when she was hurt pretty badly when fighting crime.

     “But…” Kamia frowned and trailed off.

     “I’m fine. I’ll be fine after I go to the Healing Springs or something.” Zee assured.

     “If you say so.” Kamia muttered, still frowning.

     “I do say so. I’ll be fine. No need to worry.” Zee patted her friend on the shoulder.

     “You know I can’t help but worry when you say that. Say, who’s the one that beat you up? I just bought a new Battledome weapon. I’ll take revenge for you.” Kamia winked at Zee as she said that last sentence.

     “What weapon is it?” Zee couldn’t help but ask curiously.

     “Dr. Sloths Personal Bath Buddy.” Kamia proudly stated.

     “You bought that with the money you saved for three years straight, right?”

     “Yep. So? Who was it?”

     “Really, I’m fine. I don’t need my best friend to help me take on a challenge. I’m fine.” Zee assured once again.

     ‘Besides, I bet even with all the stats she accumulated, Kamia can’t take on the Shadow Bandit.’ Zee thought.

     “Really? I bet I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that even with my stats, I can’t take on your challenging opponent. Besides, what am I here for if I can’t help you go through a challenge? That’s what friends are for.” Kamia, as usual, hit the nail on its head.

     “You’re always here for me. It’s just that this is something that I have to go through myself. And before you say anything else, I promise that I’ll call for your help as soon as I need it.” Zee thumped her paw against her chest as she spoke.

     “Alright then. Take care. I have an errand to run, so I can’t go with you to Faerieland, sorry. Try not to get into any accidents on the way.” Kamia waved a paw at Zee and walked off.

     Zee finally let out the breath that she was holding. Sure, she was grateful to have a friend like Kamia, but she still had to keep her identity a secret from Kamia, and for every day that passed, she felt that Kamia got closer and closer to uncovering her secret.

    

~

     Kamia looked back and gazed sadly at Zee. Zee would never find out. Zee would never find out about her secret. The secret that she had kept from everyone else. There were days that she regretted it, but she couldn’t do a thing about it. She hated hurting her best friend. What made things worse was that Zee had no idea that she already knew her secret. If Zee ever found out, she might just lose her best friend. Kamia looked away and walked on.

    

~

     Zee started to head towards the Healing Springs, then changed her mind and walked back to her house. Better to take a rest first. What she saw when she got home was a healing potion. With a note.

     “Dear Zee, you are one of the few people who I feel have the potential to defeat me someday. Continue training. I want a challenge when you have surpassed Judge Hog. (Not that that old Moehog could come close to catching me anyway.) Anyway, to cut to the point, here’s a healing potion so that you won’t have to bother to go anywhere to heal or to buy one. Good luck, next time when I feel more serious about battling, I won’t hold back. You might teleport through space, but you can’t teleport through time. Enjoy your days now. You can’t get them back. Ever. P.S: I think your friend has quite a nice Battle Duck. Too bad she’s out of my set range. From S.B.” Zee read out. She read the letter again. Then, she broke out in an exasperated smile.

     “I have no idea how you know about Kamia, but you’re still a thief. And I will catch you. Don’t worry, your advice didn’t fall on deaf ears.” Zee whispered. Then, she looked at the healing potion. She took out the cork. And she drank its contents.

     Zee had been told by the more senior Defenders that a few of a Defenders had been given such messages by the Shadow Bandit. They were Torchio, Blackwing and if she wasn’t wrong, the Bruce Avenger. Torchio often spoke of Shadow Bandit ‘fondly’. Zee smiled as she recalled one particular conversation.

     Torchio: That darn Shadow Bandit. She wiped the floor with me, then sent me a letter and a healing potion? I swear that I’ll catch her before she can retire. Darn right! I will beat her and throw her into prison.

     Zee: Uh, ok?

     Blackwing: She sent one to me too. I think it’s because your fire cancels out some of the shadows?

     Zee: Maybe.

     Torchio: Just you wait, Shadow Bandit. We’ll see how the Lady of Darkness does without her darkness.

     Lightning Lenny: She did a heist in the noon before.

     Torchio: Really?

     Blackwing: Yeah.

     Zee: What happened?

     Lightning Lenny: Used her shadows to wipe us out.

     Zee: Even with the strong sunlight?

     Lightning Lenny: Yes. She used our shadows to bind us.

     Zee: Sounds terrible.

     Lightning Lenny: It is. Have you tried tripping at a speed of a hundred kilometres per hour? I heal faster than normal pets, but that put me out of commission for a week.

     Zee: Ouch.

     Torchio: And then she had the nerve to give him splints.

     Lightning Lenny: But in all fairness, I did appreciate them.

     Torchio: Right, but what does she mean by where there’s light, there’s darkness. I’ll be the shadow that your fire creates. Remember, fire is a terrible master, but a great servant. Who does she think she is? Like I don’t know that!

     That conversation ended with Zee and Lightning Lenny laughing nervously, while Blackwing took the note from Torchio to prevent it from getting burnt. Something about important piece of evidence and all that.

     Then, Zee suddenly realised something. She read the note again.

     “Don’t tell me…” Zee hurriedly looked around.

     “She knows my true identity? How else does she know about Kamia’s new weapon? She knows who I am.” Zee muttered and let the note drift onto the ground and looked around fervently.

     There was no one else around. Zee sighed.

     “She’s a formidable opponent alright. But that makes her a greater challenge. The harder the challenge, the happier I’ll feel when I finally defeat her.” Zee announced, half hoping that Shadow Bandit would hear her. And hear her she did. Shadow Bandit smirked and dived into the shadows once again.

     To be continued…

 
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