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Blessing: Part Two


by numbertwelve

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It was nearly dusk when Allara opened her eyes again. The Miamouse sat beside her, fur covered in mud, but no worse for wear.

     Seeing the Acara was awake again, the little Petpet rushed to her side, purring gently and delicately running a tiny paw over Allara's face.

     "What... what happened?" Allara asked, knowing that there was no explanation forthcoming but needing to ask the question nonetheless.

     She looked around the clearing. The sounds of birds had returned and Kreludor was slowly rising up above the trees.

     "Beautiful..." she mused, watching for several long minutes as the Neopian moon made its climb to join the stars in the awe inspiring night sky. The stars themselves hung in the heavens like thousand of tiny candles, occasionally breaking free of their orbits and shooting across in the night, leaving trials of fire and glowing debris in their wake. The night was a truly peaceful time in Neopia. But there would be no peace for Allara. That much was for certain.

     Climbing to her feet, she turned her attention back to the tiny form of the Miamouse dancing at the edge of the clearing. The little Petpet was trying to tell her something, but Allara had no idea what it could be. Without a second's thought, Allara ran across the clearing to her new found friend and peered into the underbrush.

     There, lying not ten feet from the edge of the clearing, was a slumping form of a Faerie. Not the abomination Allara had banished earlier, but the beautiful, perfect form of an Air Faerie of the Faerie Kingdom.

     Allara gasped at the site of the injured Faerie and though she was sure that the creature had heard her, it made no move to escape. When she was close enough to see the Faerie in full detail, she noted many injuries riddling the Faerie's delicate form. The Miamouse rushed to the Faerie's side, nuzzling up against her in an attempt to breathe some life into the battered Lady of the Air.

     "Your owner," Allara said to herself. "What happened to her?"

     To her surprise, the Faerie looked up at her, beautiful blue eyes like pools of pure, placid water met with those of the young Acara. "The creature you have temporarily defeated... attacked... me."

     It was obvious that even speaking was painful for the Faerie, but Allara needed more information, a feeling she could not identify was burning within her.

     "Courage," the Faerie gasped, "it is a gift that you have been blessed with young Acara. You have triumphed where so many have fallen short. Even I could not stop the beast. So I shall tell you of it, before my essence returns to forever reside with the stars."

     Allara nodded, intent on hearing all the Air Faerie had to say. She felt the warmth of tears forming in her eyes again, but fought them back. This was no time to show weakness.

     Yet again the Faerie responded as if it had been reading her thoughts. "Tears are not weakness, Allara. Being afraid to show what you truly feel, that is weakness. Let that be a lesson to you. Always be who you are. Do not deceive, for deceit is a path to wickedness."

     Allara nodded again, doing her best to remember each and every word the wise Faerie bestowed upon her.

     "The creature you just encountered was once a Faerie just like I am. She was held in the highest regard by Fyora herself and aided the people of the Faerie Kingdom against countless attacks led by Dark Faeries and other, even more malignant opponents. However, her desire to be appreciated for her work went beyond the normal bounds. She began to demand things for his work. She wanted to be worshipped."

     Allara's eyes widened. She had referred to herself as a fallen faerie in their short encounter. She quickly quieted her own thoughts and continued to listen to the Faerie's tale.

     "Fyora pleaded with her for many months to stop her tainted ways. For she knew that the taint would spread and that one day, the mighty Bayoragan would know nothing but the greed that burned in her hungry heart."

     "So Fyora was forced to banish her from Faerieland..." Allara said, finishing the Air Faerie's thought.

     "Indeed," she replied, a thin smile crossing her beautiful countenance. "You must go to Faerieland and tell Fyora that Bayoragan has bested me. She will need to prepare to face the Fallen Faerie."

     Allara's mind was whirling. She was only a child and not nearly brave enough for such an undertaking. Why was this happening to her? What was she going to do?

     "Do not doubt, child," the Air Faerie whispered. "Your stumbling upon this Miamouse was not purely a coincidence, for there is more to this little Petpet than one might first assume. That is why Bayoragan stalked you and used her influences to lead you astray in these woods. Take this charm, it will allow you to speak with Mi Toria. That is her name. She will be your guide..."

     The Air Faerie held out a strangely glowing locket, motioning for Allara to take it. The Acara reached out, gently taking the artifact from the Air Faerie's hands. As soon as she did, she found she could understand Mi Toria.

     "Goodbye...Yailwin," the Miamouse was saying between sobs.

     "This is not goodbye," the Air Faerie, Yailwin, replied soothingly. "I shall join the stars in the night sky, look to them and you will know that I am with you."

     A gentle smile pushed back Mi Toria's tears as she looked up to regard the countless stars dotting the night sky.

     With that, Yailwin slowly faded until she was nothing but a thousand tiny points of light, dancing around where the Faerie had been. They suddenly came together, tightly, spinning around one another, and then burst outward, rushing up towards the heavens.

     Allara fell back, landing heavily on the ground. The weight of all that had just been told to her seemed to drag her down.

     Mi Toria rushed quickly to her side, putting a comforting paw on the Acara's shoulder. "We will be ok," the Miamouse said. There was no doubt in the tiny creature's voice and so Allara felt a momentary reprieve from her burden.

     "But what must I do?" she inquired at long last.

     "We," Mi Toria replied, a sly smile crossing her delicate face, "we must make our way back to your mother and inform her of what you must do. Then we must go to Faerieland before Bayoragan gains any more of her power."

     "But...we're lost!" Allara protested.

     "Not so," replied Mi Toria. "Now that Bayoragan's influence has worn off, I know where we are and can easily guide you back to your mother."

     Allara looked at the little creature skeptically. "Are you sure you're just a little Miamouse?"

     Mi Toria chuckled at the question but did not answer Allara directly. Instead, she looked around the clearing for a few minutes, then pointed off into the gloom. "Your house is that way," she chirped.

     "That's all fine and dandy," Allara mumbled once Mi Toria was out of earshot, "just don't go turning into anything unnatural."

     Suppressing her fear she chased after Mi Toria and into the darkness of Meri Acre Woods. Despite her apprehension she soon discovered that even in the gloom she was passing by many things that she recognized from her daily trips to the market. With each step she found that she was trusting the little Miamouse more and more. And though they spoke not a word, Allara decided she really liked the little Petpet and would beg her mom to let her keep it should the current Fallen Faerie issues be put to rest.

     Together, Allara and Mi Toria broke from the woods and made their way across the farmlands and back towards the Acara's home. It would be a site for sore eyes indeed after a long and exhausting day, though Allara knew it would only be a short visit.

     The young Acara took off at a run as she came into view of her house. Her mother was out in the yard and when she saw Allara approaching, tears streamed freely down her cheeks.

     Mi Toria did her best to keep up with the charging Acara, but could not match her pace and decided to conserve her energy, walking the rest of the distance to Allara's mother.

     "Allara, dear!" her mother cried out between gasps. "I didn't know what to think! I didn't know what could have happened to you! I was so worried! You're usually home by midday!"

     She threw her weary arms around her daughter and held her close. Allara looked into her mother's hollow, tear soaked eyes and wept freely, releasing all the emotions that had welled up inside her during the day.

     The long day had weighed heavily upon the old Acara's soul as well and that fact was made quite clear by her dishevelled appearance. Her matted fur clung to her body, her eyes were sunken and rimmed with red, and it was a miracle that she had any tears left to cry at all.

     When the embrace at last ended, Allara reached into her pack, pulling from it all of the items her mother had sent her to purchase.

     "Tomi gave me another big discount, mom," Allara smiled, brushing away her tears as she did. "But he didn't seem to be his usual happy self.."

     "Don't worry about that now, dear, come inside! Get some food!"

     It was then that Allara saw Mi Toria, standing off to the side, and remembered what it was she had to do.

     "Mom, I can't stay," Allara stated slowly, measuring her mother's reaction to each word as she said it. She could see a mix of sadness and anger in her mother's eyes but she knew what needed to be done. "Mom, I have to go to Faerieland. An evil Faerie attacked me today and left this Miamouse without an owner," she continued, pointing towards Mi Toria, who smiled warmly.

     "You were attacked? By an evil Faerie?" her mother inquired skeptically, anger edging her tone. "Enough of your silly games, Allara. I was worried sick about you! Don't go making things worse with any fanciful tales." She paused for a long while, staring solemnly at her daughter. "I think I will be going in to the market tomorrow myself."

     Allara's mind rushed over the possibilities. She didn't even understand her own powers and had no way of knowing how long it would be before Bayoragan came after her again. Or worse, went after Queen Fyora!

     Her gaze finally fell upon Mi Toria whom she had only met that morning. Perhaps the tiny creature could convince her mother of what had to be done. How could her mom not believe a talking Petpet?

     "Mom, I got you something," Allara whispered, handing the Air Faerie's locket to her mother who looked at it for a brief moment before accepting the gift from her daughter. As soon as Allara let go of the magical item, Mi Toria began to talk.

     Allara's mother stood there for quite some time, staring incredulously at the talking Petpet. But as the little Miamouse spoke, the look of anger that had burned in her eyes slowly softened and finally a small smile played at the corners of her mouth.

     "I don't know where you found this little lady," Allara's mother said at long last, "but she tells me you saved her life? That you have a gift. That you need to go to see Fyora, Queen of the Faeries." She stopped for a long time, looking back and forth between her young, innocent looking daughter, and the tiny chattering creature she was trusting with that daughter's very life. "I don't know why, Allara, but I trust Mi Toria. Please come back to me safely!"

     Tears began to flow freely down her mother's cheeks once more and Allara herself felt the all too familiar warmth of tears forming in the corners of her own eyes. They embraced one last time and then both turned to look at Mi Toria.

     "You take care of my daughter," Allara's mother whispered to the Miamouse as she handed the Air Faerie's locket back to her daughter.

     "Your daughter shall take care of us both," Mi Toria replied. But all Allara's mother heard was the familiar chirping noise that all Miamice made.

     And for that Allara was thankful.

To be continued...

 
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