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Midwinter War: Part Five


by shadowcristal

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Lord Faran coughed. "I've sent off a troop to create some diversion while you two can get into the castle," he told the two pets who were standing there with big backpacks.

     "Thank you, my lord," Philip snorted as he walked off, dragging Charmond after him. "We'll be sure to return with that faerie!" He waved sarcastically.

     "And now we're rid of those two pests, I mean, pets," the Grarrl guard said, watching them leaving.

     "Didn't your mother teach you any manners?" the Lord said disdainfully. "I don't want rude people at my court. Go to the etiquette teacher immediately!" The Royal Kougra pointed towards a door and gave the big Grarrl a shove.

     "As you wish, my Lord," Retart mumbled as he glared angrily at the Kougra. "He'll also pay, just like those two," the Grarrl thought as he walked away. But for now, it would be best to obey.

     -

     "Sending us off like that," Philip muttered as they walked side-by-side, "I'm so sure that he planned it!"

     "Does it matter now?" the Scorchio asked. His teeth were clattering and he felt very frozen. Winter wasn't kind to fire pets.

     "Not really," the Zafara said. "And I'll bet she knows we're coming."

     The Scorchio said nothing. It was as if someone was watching him, following his every move. The thought made Charmond shudder.

     "What's with ya, matey?" Philip asked, "Is it the cold?"

     "N-no," the Scorchio replied. "Let's just keep going..."

     They trudged through the glittery white snow, freezing worse than ever. Charmond wondered why that faerie had picked such a northern place to live in. Wouldn't she freeze too?

     "She's immune to everything," the Zafara muttered, as if he had read the Scorchio's mind.

     The two pets kept walking, though their spirit diminished with every step. They stopped once to rest and eat some sandwiches they had brought. Charmond had no idea what time it was, for the light was different here up in the north. He looked at the sky and noticed that snow was falling. That peaceful shower of snow somehow made him a little bit calmer and gave him energy.

     "Look! It's snowing!" Charmond shouted impulsively as he rolled around in the thick snow. When he was done rolling around, he stood up and looked around.

     "It's like a blanket put above everything, giving them sleep until the time of awakening..." Philip muttered as he sipped some tea.

     "Wow," the Scorchio said, looking at the Zafara.

     "The snowflakes that fall from this gray sky is its frost-covered tears," the Zafara continued.

     "I didn't know you were a poet," Charmond said as he stuffed the food they had left into his backpack.

     "I'm not," Philip told the Scorchio curtly as he started to pack his bag too. When they were done, the Zafara gave Charmond a cold look.

     "What is it?" Charmond asked, confused at his friend's odd behavior.

     "I think we'd better be serious about this, matey," Philip said darkly, "Because this mission has a lot of missin' pieces and it will be really hard."

     "Geez, that was just a break!" the Scorchio said.

     They walked the rest of the way to the fortress in silence. Only once did Charmond look back, and all that he saw was the footprints of their paws and feet. The Scorchio sighed as he looked at the sky. The snow seemed to be falling rapidly now, and it was piling up before them. He turned to look at his gloomy friend. Philip seemed to be in a place far beyond his reach.

     Staring at the Zafara's somber face, Charmond realized something. Perhaps this was all a trick that the faerie had played on him, manipulating his friend? Well, he couldn't really do anything now. The Scorchio was reminded of all the losses he had suffered already.

     "I wish I was at home. At least I'd be warm, not trudging through loose snow or walking with a zombie beside me," Charmond thought. Suddenly, he felt a little bit warmer before. The Scorchio looked down and saw the green pearl. The movements inside seemed to encourage him. "Thanks," Charmond whispered as he looked up.

     The fortress was looming ahead. It really looked as bad as some of the pets back there had described. The pile of gray stone emitted a cold that rushed at him and blasted through his body...

     The Scorchio looked at his friend. Philip seemed to have been awakened by that icy blast and looked less gloomy.

     "Hey, we're here!" the Zafara exclaimed. When he saw Charmond standing still, he asked, "What's wrong, matey?"

     "Nothing," Charmond replied. "Let's go in."

     "That ain't gonna be easy, but we'll do it!" Philip said cheerfully and they started walking towards the fortress. With every step, the Scorchio felt the cold growing stronger. It was so hard to move forward. That inside of the stone building probably wouldn't be warm, like home, but even colder than now...

-

     "Lady, there is a troop at the front, to the east," the Darigan Eyrie reported.

     "Thank you, dear," the dark faerie replied. "Please send our warriors there immediately."

     "But doesn't the Lady think that something is wrong here?" the Eyrie asked.

     "You've got one strike," the faerie said icily, staring into the Eyrie's eyes. "Do you challenge me?"

     "N-no, my lady. I was merely s-suggesting something," he stuttered.

     "Don't get involved," she said coldly, "Or you'll sorely regret it. Just the fact that you know too much puts us at risk..."

     "Then..." the Eyrie started, but was interrupted.

     "Of course I'll have to keep you. I don't have many reliable servants around here," she said, slapping him. The nails sunk in his fur as the Eyrie screamed.

     "F-forgive me, lady!"

     "Curiosity is a crime," the dark faerie said. She glared at him for a second, then said, "You may leave."

     As the Eyrie left, his spirit broken, the dark faerie cackled. She ran her fingers through her hair and muttered thoughtfully, "I've been preparing for it so long... Now he'll come." She turned around and clapped her hands. A Yellow Kougra appeared.

     "Be ready to fight," the faerie said as waved her staff, muttering ancient words of power long forgotten. "He shall arrive soon."

     "Yes, my Lady," the Kougra replied monotonously.

     "Let's just watch for now, shall we?" the faerie said as she pointed to a crystal ball, lying on the table.

-

     "Wow... It's big," the Scorchio commented when they reached the fortress. It was breathtakingly large, and the chills blasted worse now than ever.

     "Yeah. Let's go," Philip said, determined. They walked closer, and noticed that there were no guards around the main door.

     "Isn't that a little bit too easy?" Charmond asked suspiciously. He had the feeling that something was amiss here, but since they could actually get in...

     "Aww, don't ye do any complainin' or we'll really have some guards," the Zafara said jokingly as they tried to open the big door. It didn't move.

     "Again!" Philip exclaimed as the tried to push open the door.

     "An' again!" Three times the two little pets tried to open the door, but they failed.

     "Suppose we should pull?" Charmond wondered.

     "Let's try!" the Zafara said energetically and they pulled. The door opened instantly and both pets flew back into the soft snow.

     "How stupid we've been, matey," Philip laughed. The Scorchio was angry at first, but when he heard his friend's merry laugh he joined in. When they had finished laughing, they went inside.

     "We'll have to be more careful here," Charmond whispered.

     "Let's get goin'," the Zafara whispered back and they snuck around.

     "I'll bet she is in a tower," the Scorchio thought out loud after they had looked around with no success. The dark hall was eerily empty and the air of loneliness was overwhelming.

     "Well, why don't we check it out?" Philip said and dragged him off to the stairs.

     "Don't you think we should be more cautious?" Charmond asked as they finished climbing the stairs. "Around and around... All those floors made you dizzy!"

     "That's one of the downsides," the Zafara grinned as they entered the top floor.

     It was colder. The two pets shuddered, sensing that the faerie was near. They looked at the long corridor that ended with one single door. All of the other openings were windows.

     "What an odd design," Philip commented, trying to break the silence. A creepy presence enveloped the whole fortress.

     "Don't you think this is too easy?" the Scorchio asked suspiciously. The Zafara nodded, but they both agreed that it was too late to stop now...

     With a swift movement, the windows opened and let the cold winds in. The icy blast hit the pets right in their faces as a something creaked. When Charmond looked up again, that wooden door at the end of the black marble path was open. They slowly inched towards the tower room. Once the two pets had gotten inside, the door slammed shut. The Scorchio turned around...

     It was her.

     The beautiful Dark Faerie that stood by the window was truly breathtaking. A couple of curved, unruly bangs fell around her red eyes, all in a shade of the lightest rich blue. She was holding a staff of the same color and her dress was cut short just above the knees.

     "She looks like an old witch," the Zafara said, trying to brighten the gloomy atmosphere that hung in the air.

     Charmond suppressed a giggle, but the situation was too serious to be made fun of. The mesmerizing lips moved.

     "Welcome to my home," she said sinisterly, "Congratulations, you found it!" The Scorchio could feel her eye him as she paused.

     "As for you, Charmond, I have a guest who can't wait to meet you," the faerie said, revealing her perfect white teeth. Philip growled, but she gestured to him to be quiet.

     "W-who are you?" the confused Scorchio asked, not knowing anything better.

     "I," the faerie declared with a ringing voice, "am the Darkest Faerie." She smiled and shook her staff before she continued, "And this is my servant." A poof of smoke, and a pet appeared.

     As the smoke slowly faded away, Charmond gasped at the sight. It was Felix!

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Midwinter War: Part One
» Midwinter War: Part Two
» Midwinter War: Part Three
» Midwinter War: Part Four
» Midwinter War: Part Six



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