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The Legend of Paraiso: Part One


by jeanaet

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Long ago, in the southernmost part of Neopia, which is now a land of snowstorms and ice, there was paradise. The Neopets that lived there were happy and free. Snow even in winter was unheard of. Grassy meadows and fun-filled lakes were all around.

      Xweetoks, Lupes, Chias, Hissies - all species of Neopets dwelled in peace. Every year all would come from all around and trade their wares. There was much happiness and much dancing and games - and it is on one such day that we will begin our story. The story to end all stories - for the Land of Paraiso that is.

 

      The sun woke the white Wocky right as it overcame the horizon. He sat up, yawned, and jumped out of bed. Then he remembered. "It's Market Day!" he cheered, throwing the pet rock that lived under his bed into the air. Oddly enough, it squeaked. He hugged it tight and put it back beneath his bed.

      "Hey, Oreh!" The Wocky paused at the sound of his name. He knew that voice. He straightened visibly, brushed at his collar fur, and then whipped around and raced to the window.

      "Hey, Di, how's life?" Oreh said, casually leaning out the window in a what he hoped was a cool manner. A girl Wocky stood outside, clouds dotting her fur. She stared wryly at his pose. As usual, when he took in her fur color he remembered why she had been painted that way on her aging day - she was a dreamer.

      "Good," she said. "How about you?"

      "Oh, it's okay, I guess," he said airily, running a paw through the fur on his head. "How's the dreaming?"

      "Nothing interesting; we are all still having the same old Prophecies..." she said, rather boredly. "Can you send out Ani? She said she would pitch in for a caramel apple." Oreh shrugged and turned inside.

      "Anioreh! Diamanda is here," he called. There was no reply. Confused, he entered his little sister's room. "Ani?" He stared blankly at the ruffled blankets. Then he raced to her dresser and found her combs, plushies, and favorite sparkly eye shadow was missing. It didn't take him long to realize what had happened. He dashed out of the room.

      As he ran into the hallway he heard a Lenny flying overhead, crying the hour. He ran smoothly down the hall and sailed through the window and out of his home. Di watched him with surprise.

      "What's going on?" she asked.

      "She's running again," Oreh yelled over his shoulder, racing towards the large town that loomed before him.

     Oreh pushed his way through the crowd, slightly annoyed. The biggest day of the year, with all of the prettiest girl Wockies in town - although they never noticed him anyway with his odd habit of walking on his hind legs - and he was stuck tracking down his little runaway sister. For the eighty-ninth time, he might add. For almost an hour he shoved through the merrymakers. Finally, as he approached the edge of town, he saw a familiar tuft of almost blinding white fur that was unique to his own family.

      He gave one final shove and fell through the crowd, chasing his sister. It was not long before he caught her, because she had a sense of propriety when walking through crowds - she also had her many possessions weighing her down. He grabbed her neck fur and pulled her back. She screamed out in pain, as that is a rather sensitive place for Wockies. He spun her around to face him and they glared at each other fiercely.

      "I'm not going back," the young Wocky said.

      "Oh yes, you are! I'm stronger and faster and smarter than you," Oreh replied. His sister glared angrily at him, then her expression weakened and she glanced sadly at the dock which she had been approaching. Oreh softened. "He's not coming back, Ani," Oreh said quietly. She turned her fiery eyes on him. She is going to be painted with flames on her aging day, no matter how much she wants to be a dreamer like Di, he thought, as he usually did when she looked at him.

      "I'm not going back," Anioreh repeated weakly. Oreh felt his temper rise unexpectedly.

      "What are you going to do, Ani?" he said in an almost taunting tone. "Board one of those ships and go after him? You can't fend for yourself, you have no money, and you also have no idea where he is! You also know he probably won't come if you do find him. He is never coming back." Anioreh's eyes filled with tears.

      "You don't know that," she said miserably. "You don't know that he isn't coming back!" Her voice rose. Oreh was about to start yelling when a voice interrupted their argument. The familiar voice that Oreh had missed during the past months.

      Oreh whipped around to see his best friend, a shadow JubJub. They were the exact age, although for some reason at their aging day Oreh had been passed up and still remained the plain color white that he had been since his birth - instead of regular yellow like most Wockies. That was also the day that Ani and Oreh's father had left, with one last sad look at his son.

      "What do you want, Duck?" Oreh asked. The JubJub flinched as some JubJub girls giggled at his nickname.

      "Eh, your- um... the faerie- eh. The Top Faerie wants to talk to you," he finally managed. Oreh blinked. The Top Faerie? Wanted... him? "I'm - eh... supposed to take you," the JubJub said. The whole crowd behind the JubJub was ooing and ahing with interest. Oreh stood on his hind legs, grabbed Ani by the scruff, and started for his friend.

      "We're coming," he declared, dragging his sister. Duck nodded and started off.

      "So, um, how have you been?" the JubJub asked.

      "Why did the TF ask you to find us?" Oreh blurted curiously as he followed. "Oh sorry - we're good. Anyways... why?"

      "I... umm... work for her," Duck replied uneasily. He had felt awkward with his friend since he had been doused in shadow paint and Oreh had not.

      "Really?" Oreh asked with wonder. "Do you think maybe... do you think she has finally decided to color my fur?"

      "I don't know, Oreh," Duck said. "I really have no idea." They finally reached the largest building in all of Paraiso. Actually, it was pretty much the only building. Duck looked cautiously around then knocked on the door. It opened and the JubJub led them inside.

      He led them up the stairs and into a large open room. It was empty save for one lone figure. Duck stopped and stood next to Ani.

      "She only wants you," he said to Oreh.

      "Right - hold onto Ani." Ani glowered at her brother when he said this. Duck stomped his large feet.

      "Umm, hello? No arms?"

     Oreh shrugged, and walked slowly to the figure in the center of the room, reverting back to all fours. He glanced back once to see Ani curl up on the floor and close her eyes. Duck disappeared completely into the shadows.

      He reached the figure and gasped. The faerie's long streaming hair was a pure purple as well as her eyes. Her wings were clear, with a tint of the same purple, but were silver membraned. A shining violet robe hung loosely on her person. She was the spitting image (if older) of the Princess Fyora, who lived in the famed Faerieland. But she also looked ill. Oreh was silent with awe.

      "You know why I have called you?" the faerie asked, her voice deep and weary. Oreh took a breath.

      "I figured, my Lady, that you had decided to give me color," replied the white Wocky.

      "Color?" The faerie looked confused. "You do not know why you are here?"

      "I guess not, my Lady," Oreh replied, extremely confused. The faerie sighed, and dropped the propriety.

      "Duklar, didn't you tell him why I wanted him?" she said, massaging her pale forehead. Duck stepped out of the shadows.

      "I'm afraid I didn't quite understand myself, my Lady," he said slowly. She sighed.

      "Oh well. Oreh, do you know these words?

     A land covered in ice,

     No more a paradise.

     A savior without shame,

     Hero his name.

     Hero's failure,

     Future's chance.

     Sound familiar?" she asked.

     "Of course," Oreh replied. "Those are the words of the Prophecy of Paraiso. Bad poetry if you ask me..." He mumbled the last part to himself.

      "What was that last part?" the faerie asked, her expression stern.

      "Nothing! Go on," the male Wocky said lightly.

      "Do you remember the prophecy of Hero?" the faerie asked. Oreh strained his memory.

      "I remember!" Ani volunteered from across the room, leaping to her feet. The Top Faerie smiled. Oreh glowered.

     "Go ahead."

     "What once was his whole,

     Becomes his half.

     No color upon his brow,

     Yet imprinted from his birth.

     The fire of his heart

     Matcheth only that his blood.

     This is how thou shalt know thine hero

     So on so forth yada yada yada."

      "Excellent, thank you." The Faerie turned again to Oreh. "Now do you understand why you are here?"

      "That just sounded like a load of gibberish to me," Oreh said with a little shrug. The Faerie groaned and rubbed her forehead again.

      "Okay, Oreh, now what do all the prophecies hint at for the species of Hero?"

      "Wocky."

      "Right. Now, tell me about your family. How many exactly?"

      "There was four, then my mom passed and my dad left. Now it is two."

      "Two is half of four right?" she asked.

      "I guess," Oreh replied, not caring.

      "And, you aren't colored, correct?"

      "Yes!" Oreh said, liking the conversation now.

      "But what about your being white?"

      "Aw, family mark, we are always born white," he said with a shrug, seeping into dislike again.

      "So... you have had it since you were born?"

      "Yep..."

      "Now. One last question," the Top Faerie looked him closely in the eye. "Would you say you are hot tempered?"

      "Yes!" Ani chirped.

      "Shut up!" Oreh snapped hotly. Ani gestured at him with a see-what-I-have-to-deal-with look at the Faerie. She gave the young Wocky a small smile and continued.

      "Right, but do you think that you have a hotter temper than Ani when she gets started?"

      "Where is this headed?" Oreh asked, scratching his ears.

      "Don't you get it, Oreh? You are Hero." The confusion stopped. Time itself seemed to stop. Oreh blinked.

      "Want to run that by me again?" he asked incredulously.

      "You are Hero, Oreh."

      "I can't be."

      "Why not?" the Faerie said simply. Oreh strained for an answer.

      "Well... because my name isn't Hero!" he said. The Faerie smiled. With a wave of her elegant hand, a slate and chalk appeared. She took both and wrote down 'O-R-E-H'. She handed it to the male Wocky.

      "Write it backwards." Oreh stared at her for a moment then began to scratch down the letters. He blinked at what he had written.

      H-E-R-O.

To be continued...

Sorry it has taken so long... I have sort of been taking a break. Hope you enjoy! Feel free to neomail me your comments!

 
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