The Conundrum of Relations: Part Two
Everything was moving too fast for him to comprehend, and he meant this quite literally. Con could barely keep his eyes open at the speed he was going and didn't even have time to struggle or complain. There was a sudden stop and he gripped tightly onto whoever was holding him to keep from flying forward. He opened one eye nervously, then the other, and finally looked at who was holding him.
His brother, Lit. The dark colored Lenny dressed in light blue did not seem happy with him in the slightest. The younger Neopet let his older brother out of his arms, a fact that Con found disappointing (his younger brother was stronger than him!), and then tapped his foot expectantly.
Con stared, slightly aghast. "Lit! What the...? Did you just kidnap me?"
Lit scowled in response. "No, I did not just kidnap you! If anything I RESCUED you." He gave the older Lenny an incredulous look. "Con, do you know who that was you were- were- were being FRIENDLY with?"
"...My friend?" the red Lenny offered.
"NO! That was ELIV THADE. He's evil!" Lit placed his hands on either of Con's shoulders and shook him lightly to get the point across. "You're smart, Con. Surely you realize that!"
Once the shaking was through, Con pulled away from the darker colored Lenny. "Actually, he's very nice and I was having a good time before you kidnapped me. I don't know why you are making such assumptions about him."
"Assumptions?!" Lit seemed very passionate about his opinion. "He's a ghost, Con! He traps people in his castle out of revenge! And you're being FRIENDS with him!"
Con could only sigh at his younger brother's antics. "Lit, you are really overreacting. He has told me that he lets out every one of the Neopets that go into his home. He says that he doesn't want the annoyance but has to scare them while they are in his home so that they know not to come back."
"He's EVIL!" Lit argued again. "He's probably lying to you!"
"I sincerely doubt that."
Lit sighed and rubbed his eyes in annoyance. "Con. Look. I was happy and everything when you first said that you made a friend, but now seeing whom that friend is lets me know that you are a horrible judge of people. Just like how you don't know when to stop acting so smart. It isn't a good decision to remain friends with him, now please come home with me." He reached out to take hold of his brother once more.
"What?" Con frowned and hit away Lit's hand. "No! I'm not the one with atrocious judgment here! And- And what do you mean by 'acting smart'? That thought is ludicrous, Lit! I AM intelligent and I will not stifle that just because YOU do not appreciate it!"
"Wh-What do you mean?" Lit frowned in concern. "I appreciate your intelligence!"
"Not in a way that is beneficial for its development," Con argued. "Mr. Thade grants me that attribute. Which is more than I can say for you."
"Oh." At that statement, Lit started to scowl. "Thade. Am I to assume you are conforming to this opinion based on what lies Thade has told you?"
"Mr. Thade, Lit. Apply the respectful honorifics, please. And he has NOT lied to me, as far as I can tell."
"Oh," Lit repeated. "As far as you can tell. Meaning that you probably do not realize how much he is lying to you." He grasped his older brother's arm again and looked up, pleadingly at the red Lenny. "Con, please! Let me take you home, we can talk about this there. I don't want you to get hurt!"
"No!" The older Lenny shook off his younger brother. "I refuse! I know what I'm doing, Lit! I do not need you taking me away from my ONLY friend just because of your own paranoia! Now, please excuse me. I must go locate Mr. Thade once more."
"You- You know what?" Lit stepped backwards, away from Con. "Fine! Go ahead! I was just trying to save you from a monster, but if you want to foolishly return to it, then go ahead! But when you get hurt then it won't be my fault! You're a buffoon, Con!"
"Good BYE, Lit." Con turned and began to walk away.
"You'll regret this!" Lit called out after him.
And perhaps he would, Con mused with a glare aimed at nothing in particular. But he would not tolerate an affront on his currently only friendship ever. Even if it was coming from his only brother. Just because Eliv Thade was known as an evil ghost... That supposedly trapped people in his castle... And just because Mr. Thade liked to keep up that appearance...
Oh dear, perhaps Lit's opinions weren't entirely unwarranted... Con frowned and considered turning back to find his brother again. But pride made him continue to walk forward. Not to mention, Lit was the type to be extremely impatient. Con wouldn't be surprised if Lit had already ran back home without him.
Which meant that if Lit HAD run back home and DIDN'T pass him, then Con was going the wrong way.
Con stopped right there and looked around the area to reassess the situation. He was lost in the Haunted Woods and didn't know which way to go to get back to home or the main area of the Woods, or even back to Thade's manor. This was bad, but it was able to be much worse. He had to be thankful that it was still daylight.
...But judging by the position of the sun as he could barely see through the trees as well as taking into account the length and direction of the shadows, daylight would only last for so much longer. Con began to run forward, hoping to find his way to any sort of safety before it was too late.
His clumsiness hindered him immensely. The young Neopet tripped over roots and rocks, slowly his progress. His clothes got caught on stray branches and were required to be loosened before he could continue onward. Not to mention, the longer he was in the woods the more fearful he became. The increasing amount of shadows frightened him and often made him veer away from any particular direction to avoid the more imposing sights. Every noise, even ones from the tamer petpets of the forest, made him nervous. He should have stayed with Lit. He could have calmly explained things to him. He could have taken Lit to meet Thade so that he would know that Thade was not as evil as his name implied.
All too soon, it was too dark for him to see. Con couldn't tell if his lack of sight was from the tree branches being too dense above him or from overcast. He knew for sure when it started to rain. He was beginning to get soaked, he was travelling blindly, he was scared, cold, and alone.
He might have passed the exit by now for all he knew. For all he knew, he could be wandering straight into the jaws of a rabid Werelupe or into the web of the Spider Grundo. There were so many regrets dominating his mind, so many worries and other stray thoughts. He was supposed to be the smart one of their family and here he was, lost in one of his most stupid mistakes ever!
He tripped over yet another root and started to sob as soon as he hit the ground. Con pushed himself up to his hands and knees but could not find the will to stand back up. He shivered, probably from both the cold and from fright. He didn't know what to do. He didn't know where to go.
He needed to calm down. Con sat on his legs and took a few deep breaths. He thought of his conundrums and thought of how to use his experience today in one. He rapidly counted the rate at which the rain water fell, hoping to use that in a possible math problem. He estimated the candela intensity of the light in front of him...
The Lenny stood up, hopeful for a moment that he found possible salvation. Of course, he had to remember that this was the Haunted Woods. There was a chance that this source of light would also be the source of his doom. Should he risk it? Perhaps he should venture a tad closer, just to see what was casting that light.
Con walked slowly and purposefully, finally making it to the edge of a small clearing. On the other side was a large mansion, lit by candles on the inside of its windows. He didn't recognize to whom the mansion belonged. That was a dangerous thing to not know, considering it meant he did not know if the owner was friend or foe.
In the end, he walked up to the mansion door. He knocked. He would have to hope that the owner of the mansion, alive or not, was benevolent and would provide him shelter.
The door slowly opened, beckoning him in.
Without another look back, Con ventured into the unknown, doing all he could to hope for the best.
To be continued...