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Blade of Fire, Blade of Ice: Part Three


by danama

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Talek could not believe that so many Kacheeks could live in the Abi. He knew that such a system would never work in Maraqua, for arguments were sure to break out regularly between the irritable water-dwellers. The Evanagunites' lack of temper and love of peace kept their society functioning smoothly, and he had never seen a more closely knit community before. It was almost impossible to pick out individual families, for they all seemed to know each other and what one needed another would readily give.

      The Evanagunites were a special people, he had discovered. They all had multiple things in common - they were all peaceful and wise, and for some odd reason they all seemed to lack perfect eyesight. But if that was the price for such wisdom and kindness, Talek knew he would gladly become one of the special white Kacheeks. They were different from any Neopians Talek had ever seen before, and he instantly warmed to them and their acceptance of his unusual circumstances.

      And now all two hundred of the white Kacheeks were sitting in front of him, staring at him with their pale red eyes. He had been an object of curiosity to them, and had felt their almost unnerving gaze upon him ever since he had left the healing dorm. He was somewhat nervous - he had not told his tale to any, not even Kelpbeard, but now he was to tell them all. He had already told them everything else. What species he was, what colour. Where he had come from, how he had arrived there. He had done so freely, without anxiety, for he had felt that the Evanagunites would not laugh or scorn him, and they had not. But this... this was different.

      "Go on," the young female Kacheek who had spoken to him earlier encouraged. Her name, Talek found, was Ystrana, and she was one of the more respected and wise Evanagunites. "Tell us. We will not hate you if you have committed wrongs or done anything worth despising. We of Evanagu love a good tale, that is all. And it seems you have one to give us."

      "Very well then," Talek replied, taking a deep breath. "It began with the rainbow Draik Elyx...

      "He was a great and powerful Draik. Not only could he wield a blade as well as, nay, better than the rest of them, but he also had the rare ability to control powerful magical forces. He was the first Swordmaster. He had a special kind of magic - one that could seal power within a blade to be unleashed at the user's will. He was adept with any weapon, but his favourite was the sword. He had a special affinity with them - he could forge them, shape them, create them, use them and give power to them. He soon acquired a title - the Swordmaster. And he was truly great, for he did not use his power for ill but instead to protect Neopia, to calm her rage, to preserve her peace.

      "But power corrupts all, even those that have all the right intentions. Oh, Elyx did not begin to use his power to satisfy his own desires, but his power did change him. As all mortals do, Elyx grew old. He feared that the day would come when he would die and Neopia would shatter the peace which he had worked so hard to obtain. So he attempted to perform a spell, a powerful one which none had performed or even heard of before. So desperate was he that it was one that he had invented himself. He had no idea if it would work, but he decided to try all the same.

      "He forged a sword, one that was made not just of metal but also of magic. His intention was to infuse himself into the sword so that its bearer would command the power that he himself did. But to do so requires an intense concentration of power, which he did not have, he had to produce it somehow. So he was going to try and split himself up into two drastically opposite elements, two Draiks in a manner of speaking. Such a split would release his spirit which would then be able to become one with the blade. But this kind of use of power... it was nothing but wrong, for when we are all created as simple eggs we are supposed to stay one. But Elyx wanted to rip himself into the most opposed elements in Neopia - fire and ice.

      "So he followed through with his plan. But there was something he had not counted on - that he would fight himself. As soon as he split into three parts he no longer could control his other two. His own mind flew into his spirit, but his fiery body and his icy body entered the blade of their own accord before he could do anything. The blade, before his eyes, changed so that the hilt remained the same, but one of the edges of the blade was a tongue of flame while the other was an icicle. To be kept safe this was locked up inside the Hidden Tower, for if unleashed the fire and ice Draiks could ruin Neopia.

      "But now it seems that they have escaped their prison of cold steel, and are destroying Neopia with their foolish war, for fire will always fight ice, and ice fire."

      "The spirit," murmured Ystrana quietly once the applause for Talek's tale had died down. "What happened to his spirit?"

      "It is believed to still be roaming Neopia today, helping those in need, giving power to the weak."

      "And the line of the Swordmasters was continued, I suppose," another Kacheek muttered.

      "It was. The Swordmaster has always been a Draik, and there has only ever been one in Neopia and any one time, excluding what remains of Elyx. They have always owned blades of magic, mine being Talithir. Its abilities," Talek went on, remembering a certain unexpected flight, "still amaze me at every turn. And the Swordmasters have always been of different lands - mine is Maraqua, but the one before me resided in the Desert, I am told."

      "And you alone have the power to reseal Elyx into his blade... "

      "Yes. Which is why I must hasten to Faerieland as soon as possible."

      "And we will aid you," spoke Ystrana confidently. The Kacheeks around her nodded, cheering their agreement. Talek smiled, glad to have such great allies. "We will give you all the supplies you need for your journey. And I personally will accompany you on your journey. I will see you safe to the Faerieland edge of Evanagu Island and then... then we shall see."

     *

      Talek trudged wearily through the desert. He knew that Evanagu Island was a small island - that was why it had remained undiscovered for so long. Yet how could an island with the proportions of Evanagu contain a desert like this?

      Ystrana had been right. In the middle of the desert there had been a great abyss, which Talek would have had great difficulty in crossing had it not been for Talithir. As it was the journey was difficult enough - Ystrana had had to hold onto the Draik as he moved across the great black crevasse, trying not to look down. It had sapped most of their strength and the travellers had had to rest for many days once they were across.

      "Now," Ystrana had told Talek with a weak smile, "we are in unknown country. Most of the Evanagunites have never crossed the Abyss before. I am still certain that nothing can harm you here, but it will be hard to find water and other vital resources on the other side of the Abyss. It should not be too far until we reach the Faerieland side of Evanagu though."

      Though Ystrana continued to assure him that Faerieland was not far, Talek could see no end to the far reaching desert that extended as far as he could see. Even the faint smudge that had been the Abyss was long gone. Talek's paws which were not used to constant trekking were aching more than he could imagine, and he dared not use the power of Talithir in case it should drain away when he needed it most.

      "Not far to go," Ystrana murmured again. She, like the Swordmaster, was feeling the toll of the journey. "Not far... " She walked on, trying her best to look and sound as if she was not just about to collapse from exhaustion.

      Talek nodded, trying to still look enthusiastic. Only the thought of the Brothers flying all over Neopia wreaking havoc kept him going. For the zillionth time he scanned the blue sky which looked devoid of all life. Just to make sure, he allowed his eyes to roll over the sky again... and caught sight of something that took his breath away.

      It was a soft pink cloud floating lightly in the sky. Talek smiled as he caught his first glimpse of Faerieland, a sight that filled his heart with hope.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Blade of Fire, Blade of Ice: Part One
» Blade of Fire, Blade of Ice: Part Two
» Blade of Fire, Blade of Ice: Part Four
» Blade of Fire, Blade of Ice: Part Five



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