Duende and the Third eye of Mt. Techo

Duende

Species : Aisha
Colour : Red
Gender : Male
Age : 1286 days
Level : 10

The day had been long and hard , Duende stretched pointing his antenna down and his thick tail towards the sky in a long Aisha stretch. He could hear his muscles pulling and flexing then finally relaxing as he rolled himself into Levitating Kiko ball, breathing slowly and calmly.

He had always been interested in the martial arts and now he felt perfectly content balanced on one paw eyes closed listening to the sound of the wind whispering through the trees. For many years he had trained with his countless master all of which ultimately failed him, but now after much training and fasting , he would achieve his ultimate goal.

Some where in the jungle a gong began to toll, its deep resonance sending birds and lesser animals scrambling for cover. Duende slowly stood and stared through the dense forest up towards the distant mountain shrouded in smoky haze. He couldn't see it through the trees , but he knew that there in the distance it stood watching him with unblinking eyes. Challenging him to unlock its secrets. Silently dropping to all fours Duende took off towards his destiny.

Mount Techo was a formidable giant , towering above the treetops of Mystery Island, its smoky glare obscuring the sky.

'When you reach the mount do not falter' The voice of his first whispered in his mind. 'You must challenge the mountain. Know its curves and contours, each rock, each grain of sand, each blade of grass on every precipice.'

Rising into Striking Buzz position Duende threw himself into the air spreading his arms and drawing his legs up in a graceful ascent. Rocks scattered and slid under his feet as he landed rolling into a Lazy skeith crouch and pushing off again. This time he aimed for a higher ridge beneath the pointed chin of the Techo carved into the mountain. Arms flailing blunt claws digging savagely sending dirt rock and debris scattering in his wake Duende forced himself higher and higher.

This time he called upon the strength of the Grarrl speed and agility of the Merca to claw his way higher onto the rocky ledge of the Techo's lower lip. Here he stopped and lay panting, sides heaving with exertion, nostrils burning with dust. Steadying himself he closed his eyes and focused on his ragged breathing. His legs burned, his arms ached, his tale was sore, and his antenna stressed, but he knew he had to continue on if ever he were to reach his goal.

Breathing finally calmed Duende once again stretched arching his spine stretching his sore muscles to their utmost then slowly relaxing them. As he shifted his weigh loose rocks fell, clattering down to the forest below. It was a long way down, but as he gazed up towards the sky he realized that he was barely a third of the way up the giant rocky face.

Scaling the mountain became strenuous work from this point on, the sheer incline offered no handholds and Duende knew that it would be the ultimate test of strength and endurance. Inch by inch he pulled himself up, digging his blunt claws into tiny crevices in the rock face. He knew that he was an easy target for any enemy lurking nearby, his bright red flanks glistening in the midday sun, inviting all manner of attack. Steadying himself , Duende clenched his teeth and carried on hauling himself up one small notch at a time. His muscles burned with the strain, sweat beaded on his face and slid down his back dripping off his tail.

This is much how the journey began many years ago in the halls of Neo Fu Training School. Pain and torture foreshadowing triumph

"A red Aisha Fu Master? " Pon Scum , a blue Nimmo jeered closing in on Duende. "You wont make it past level one!"

"Go back to the main land, Outsider!" One of Pon Scums friends laughed tossing a rotten apple at the young Aisha.

"You're never gonna become a Neo Master!" Another blue Nimmo taunted waggling his long fingers at Duende. Their level three class had just completed the first obstacle course and braked for lunch. As with the day before Duende found himself surrounded by fierce bully's, Not only was he the only Aisha in the school, but the only non Nimmo to last through the first week of level three training .

"Red is the color of Failure, Aisha ! Go back to Neopia!"

It was true but the truth hut more than the cruelty behind those words. All the other students were either blue, green ,yellow or purple. The colors of peace , honor ,courage , spirituality. Red was the color of anger, and anger was 'a poison that rots the mind.' One of the first lessons taught at the Neo Fu training school. Never be ruled by anger.

Duende bit back his tears and stood firm face burning with hatred and shame."You just wait and see! I will become the greatest Neo Fu Master the world will ever see!" Duende declared his slanted eyes glowing with passion and fury.

The training was hard and rigid ,at every course he found himself the only 'outsider' persevering , the only one succeeding where all others failed. He didn't have the inherent spiritual qualities of his Nimmo brethren, the wild fury of the Cougra, nor the speed and agility of the Merca, but soon his own innate powers began to show . He could imitate the abilities of any other creature he came in contact with.

With enough force he could soar as high as any Eerie . Maneuver through the air smoothly as any Buzz. Fight with the strength and ferocity of Skeith and Grarrl. Be as loving and loyal as any Gelert. And yet here he clung on the verge of destiny, and no one would ever know.

He had reached the top lip of the stone face and lay panting on the narrow ledge. He would accomplish that which only one before him ever had. His slanted eyes glowed with conviction as he stared up at the cold stone glare of My. Techo.

"I will best you yet!" He promised and started on again.

The forest fell away below him, dark and green. Far across the canopy silver gray streaks of smoke issued from the hearth fires of a small Mystery Island village. To the north west far beyond sight over miles and miles of forests and flatlands came the sound of drums. The Island Mystic stood knee deep in the surf with foamy waves breaking around his thighs. In one hand he held a bone rattle, in the other a long wooden staff with locks of multicolored hair blowing in the wind. He shook the rattle vigorously and rhythmically thumping the butt of the staff in the soft beach sand. His raspy voice raised in song traveled along with the pulses across the meager distance to Mystery Island where it broke like waves onto the beach and filled the air with the unmistakable beat of triumph. Another gong sounded, this time the forest creatures stirred restlessly, in their dens or nests, the could sense the coming of change.

The Mystic smiled serenely This Aisha had more courage than any creature he ever met. Soon the world will bend to his will, but deep in his heart the Mystic knew that something greater lurked within the bold young Aisha.

"There are many trails in the forest ,Duende, it is your choice which path you walk." The Mystic mumbled returning to his hut and closing the thatched door behind him.