Enter the Snowflake's lair... Circulation: 192,103,792 Issue: 630 | 31st day of Sleeping, Y16
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Friendship Means Never Giving Up: Part One


by noxlyx

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"Breezey, I know that you see the good in everyone... but this is a really, really bad idea..."

     Breeze inhaled deeply as he stood at the edge of the Faerieland Enchanted Forest. Everything looked dark in that forest. Dark and haunting. The deep purple trees seemed to twist and bend into unnatural shapes. The emerald moss glittered like winking eyes beneath the misty light that filtered through the dense forest leaves. The Faerie Xweetok's antennas twitched at the cold stagnant chill of a forest that is dense with forbidden magic.

     There was some truth in Allrianne's words. The Faerie Wocky had every right to be scared. Beneath his fur, Breeze could feel his skin prickle with the same fear that is tugging at his best friend's subconscious. They were standing at the edge of dangerous territory and once Breeze walked through that forest, there was no going back. Still, despite his fears, Breeze swallowed hard and mustered as much resolve he could.

     No. Ever since Breeze made this decision, he knew that there was no going back.

     "I have to do this, Allrianne. Everyone deserves-"

     "Everyone deserves to love and be loved," finished Allrianne, rolling her eyes in exasperation. "I know that Breeze. But what you're doing is absolute madness! I mean, your philosophy is great and all but that's only valid for NORMAL Neopians. Haven't you ever stopped and think that maybe not everyone is capable of loving and being loved?"

     Breeze gave Allrianne a sharp scowl but the Faerie Wocky didn't shrink away. She only glared at Breeze defiantly. That was something Breeze loved about Allrianne and why he saw the Faerie Wocky as one of his best friends. Feisty wasn't the right word to describe her. Outspoken, yes, Allrianne had a nasty habit of being more blunt than a Battle Hammer. However, Allrianne was too rational to be feisty. Her logical mind can assess any situation in an instant and come up with the most practical solution. That logical mind had gotten her and Breeze out of some tough spots in their lives but it wasn't going to deter breeze from his mission.

     Looking down at the envelope in his hand, Breeze inhaled deeply. It took him months to come up with this little scheme of his and weeks for him prepare for it. That meant weeks sneaking off to Meridell, spying on people he shouldn't be spying on, and buying things he had no business buying. All that time culminated into this little envelope he was holding.

     "There are two reasons why I'm not going to give up on this, Allrianne," said Breeze, his voice calm despite his nerves. "Reason number one: unlike you, I have faith and believe in that good will prevail. Everyone has some good in them and all it takes is a chance for that good to blossom. Reason number two..."

     Breeze held up the envelope for Allrianne to see.

     "I nearly glued my hands together making this! I have scars on my fingers from all the times I had to crawl in the mud at that stupid Pick-Your-Own farm to try and find the 12 leaf clover to make the envelope! My paws are cramped from hours upon hours of practice to getting the handwriting just right on that letter! And don't get me started on what I had to do to try and get the proper ink for it!"

     Rather than being phased, Allrianne rolled her eyes instead as if she was used to Breeze's theatrics. The Xweetok huffed as he folded his arms across his chest and looked out at the forest. It was still foreboding but after he spoke his intentions out loud, suddenly he felt much braver than before.

     "I know that everyone says that she's evil but... they were friends once..." said Breeze as he inhaled deeply. "And what better way to try and rekindle a long lost friendship than on Valentines day? It's a day where you're suppose to send messages of love and friendship... it's a day where you send thoughtful messages to people you care about..."

     Allrianne smiled tightly as she walked over to Breeze. She placed a paw on her best friend's shoulder and that was all the reassurance Breeze needed.

     "Alright, I'm going in..." Pulling himself from Allrianne, Breeze turned and smiled at his friend. He gave her a bit of a wave. "You go to Meridell with your letter and we'll meet up at the Faerieland bookstore at sunset, alright?"

     "Right, see you at the bookstore," said Allrianne. She paused for a moment before walking over and giving Breeze a tight hug. "If I think that I'm going to kiss you if you turn into a Mortog, think again... stay safe, okay, Breeze?"

     Smiling, Breeze returned the hug before he pulled back and faced the forest again. This was it, he's going in. Breeze didn't know what compelled him to think about doing something this crazy. All he knew was that something didn't sit right with him throughout the entire Month of Celebrating. While he was drinking Borovan with Allrianne and the rest of his friends at the Faerieland Bookstore, he kept looking up at the dark forest that loomed above the Faerie City. Every time he looked up, Breeze felt a pang of sadness blossom at the bottom his heart. Sadness and loneliness. No one should have to go through one of the most joyous season of the year alone... but she did.

     Wings fluttering, Breeze kept a tight grip on his envelope as he hurried as fast as he could through the forest.

     He was not going to let anyone suffer through another holiday meant for love and happiness by themselves again.

     Everyone deserved to love and be loved. Everyone deserved to have a friend and be a friend.

     Everyone including the evil Dark Faerie Jhudora.

     - - -

     "--and the Kadoatie mews in delight, with the sun shining oh so bright~"

     His fear was making his singing go a tad sharp but Breeze could hardly care if he was a key or two off. Singing had always helped soothed his nerves and the more merry the tune the less nervous he would be. At least, that was Breeze's plan until he came to a stop at a foreboding looking castle.

     "Because it knows we'll never part and that no matter what..."

     Foreboding, no. Desolate, yes. Desolate and unnerving.

     Growing up in Faerieland, Breeze was used to seeing shining towers, polished marble and castles that stood upright. The castle before him was none of the above. Nothing shone and nothing was polished. The stones were cold. freezing to the touch. Breeze squinted his eyes and tilted his head to the side ever so slightly. Towers were leaning and the more Breeze looked at the castle, the more he realized that the depressing atmosphere wasn't just the forest. The castle itself seemed to be sag like wilted flower in a broken pot.

     "It has found a home in my heart."

     Breeze suppressed a shudder before he turned to look at the castle door itself. He inhaled deeply and walked toward the drawbridge. Every step he took felt amplified somehow or maybe it was the sound of his heartbeat pounding in his ear. When he glanced downwards, Breeze saw that the drawbridge stood over an empty moat. Rather than water, there were jagged rocks waiting for those foolish enough to jump and clumsy enough to fall.

     "I don't know how anyone manages this trip every day..." whispered Breeze. He had always been fascinated by the Neopets that choose to venture up to Jhudora's Bluff to complete one of her quests.

     The large stone door at the end of the courtyard that greeted him was a lot plainer than what Breeze expected. In fact, everything seemed a bit... plain... The courtyard that Breeze stood in was empty. Not a single statue in sight. Not a banner waved in the sky. Most evil masterminds that Breeze have known and encountered in his life were prideful and arrogant. They displayed their flags, bought every single little trinket that had their name or face on it, decorated their headquarters with lavish and rare items. Even good masterminds were known for some measure of interior decorating.

     "I guess, she's just modest?" said Breeze as he stood in front of the door. He looked down at the envelope in his hand, reminding himself why he was standing in this castle courtyard right now. It was now, or never. Steeling his trembling fist, Breeze then knocked on the stone door twice.

     At first nothing happened and just as Breeze was about to reach up and knock on the door again, a loud trembling shook the entire castle. Caught unaware, Breeze toppled onto the floor but his gaze never left the sight in front of him. The stone door shifted, moving with a groan that could rival the Snowager itself. Eventually the door stopped moving and behind it was a dark and inky blackness - a blackness so deep even the light from outside didn't seem to be able to penetrate it.

     Then a voice came. A smooth silken voice came from the darkness as emerald mists emerged from the darkness.

     "Welcome to my home..."

To be continued...

 
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