Heritage or Dreams
"I don’t want to talk to them.”
“Well you sort of have to, they’ll find out eventually.”
“Maybe they won’t recognize me!”
“It’s not like you can change your name!”, Jordan said with a bit of a chuckle as she scratched the coarse fur behind the Lupe’s ears. He was surprisingly cool considering he was essentially a giant flaming ball of fuzz.
“Would you come with me?”, he pleaded, his normally sharp magma eyes oozing with puppy-lupe sadness.
“No. Quick, you know this is something you need to do on your own.”
Having failed to guilt her into coming, Quick stood with a sigh and shook his fur, flinging small droplets of lava onto the grass.
“Hey tell you what, I’ll go RS for a bit and then we can meet by the SHIFS Shop when you’re done. If I haven’t lost all my neopoints on junk we can have a treat if you’d like.”, she said hoping to cheer him up a bit.
“Hm, yeah maybe. We’ll see. I’ll let you know how it goes”. With that, he set off at a slow trot towards Neopia Central.
QuickSilver54 was the 54th in a very long line of QuickSilvers. Known for their silver blue fur and agility, they were revered for their Battledome prowess. At least that’s what Quick wished. In reality, the only thing fast about them was their minds.
The QuickSilver clan took great pride in their learnedness (Quick’s mom always found a way to bring up that time that he impressed King Hagan), but while Quick did enjoy to read, he couldn’t help but be fascinated with the legendary Lupes he saw in his history books. King Coltzan, King Altador, even the Ghost Lupe with his gripping story of loss and revenge. He longed to prove himself in the Battledome and be the one stories were written about, not just the one who read them.
His owner, Jordan, was supportive of his dreams from the very beginning, no matter how wild they might have been. She spent millions on dubloons and codestones to fund his training and made sure to keep him on schedule, a great feat considering she had two other Battledome pets to care for. She even stayed up all night to help him sneak into the magma pool when he decided his soft blue fur wasn’t intimidating enough for the Battledome. The first QuickSilver in 54 generations to change their color.
And that’s one of the things he now had to find a way to tell his parents. Not only had he abandoned the symbol of his heritage, he was choosing a direction in life that he was sure they wouldn’t approve of.
As he approached the low hills near Neopia Central that his clan lived in, Quick slowed to a walk, nervously sneaking between ridges. He padded softly into his family’s den, looking at the bookshelves that lined the walls. His parents didn’t seem to be inside, so he went around to the clearing out back. He found them there basking in the sun, half asleep.
Quick made a small sound somewhere between a sneeze and a bark, which was apparently enough to catch his father’s attention. Coming out of his nap he looked over and leaped up in surprise at the sight of the strange Magma Lupe that was in his territory.
His mother looked up and cocked her head to the side in confusion when she saw him.
“54?”, she asked sleepily, a hint of disbelief in her voice.
“...hi”, he said meekly.
Quick couldn’t really tell if realizing who he was made his father more or less angry. Ears folded back he snarled “What have you done? Why do you look like that?”.
“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about…”
“Did Jordan make you change your color? I thought she understood,”
“It was my decision, she had nothing to do with it!”, Quick snapped, cutting off his father.
Surprised at Quick’s tone, his father let out a huff and sat down on his haunches. Quick took a deep breath and tried to gather his thoughts.
“Mom, Dad, I don’t think that following your scholar’s work is the life for me. Well, not that alone at least. I want to compete in the Battledome. I do love learning but I want to make a name for the QuickSilvers, and not just in the references of articles! That’s why I changed my color...no-one will take me seriously if I stay a basic.” Quick tried to explain.
“There are many great warriors in the Battledome, 54. How will you be able to get any attention? You are already part of a respected field, why abandon that?” asked his father.
“I’m not abandoning it, and I know it won’t be easy. There are many incredible scholars but that’s never stopped us! The Wise Gnorbu of Shenkuu, Finneus, King Hagan. Just because great people exist in a field doesn’t mean we can’t be recognized for our accomplishments!”, Quick said as he wagged his tail anxiously.
“Of course not.” his mother softly chimed in. “The only thing I am worried about is your future, 54. If you think that this will make you happy, and that you will be able to make a life doing it, we have no right to tell you not to try it.” She looked pointedly at Quick’s father as she spoke.
“I suppose your life is your own, but I don’t want you to stop learning.” his father grumbled.
“Every path in life has its own lessons”, said Quick’s mother. “Can you imagine all the things he will learn from experience that we could never truly understand from research alone? Maybe it’s about time that a QuickSilver started getting first hand experience, instead of waiting to read about another’s life”.
Quick’s father’s demeanor seemed to soften a little at his partner’s words. “Alright alright, I see your point. As long as he doesn’t fall too far behind on his studies! I don’t want anyone to think we’re letting our pup become stupid.” he said with a hint of sarcasm and a feigned snarl.
“53!”, Quick’s mother growled as she nipped him on the flank.
That quickly set off a play fight as Quick’s father tried to wrestle her to the ground. Quick jumped in and quite easily pinned his father to the ground (he was already quite strong from his training), but was caught off guard when his mother grabbed the fur at the nape of his neck, giving his father an opening to push him off. Twisting out from between them, Quick bolted away from the clearing. Family brawls never ended well, best to get out as soon as possible.
“Oh I see, the great Battledome warrior runs from a simple scholar!”, shouted his dad jokingly.
“Make sure you come visit for Brightvale Day!” his mother also called out as he traveled down the hill.
Quick let out a little bark of acknowledgement as he turned his head to look back with a grin. His tongue lolled out of his mouth oozing drops of magma as he panted. Hoping that Jordan had been a bit more successful with RSing than usual, he headed off to find his friend and hopefully a promised treat.