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||You are on Week 732
Every week we will be starting a new Story Telling competition - with great prizes! The current prize is 2000 NP, plus a rare item!!! This is how it works...
We start a story and you have to write the next few paragraphs. We will select the best submissions every day and put it on the site, and then you have to write the next one, all the way until the story finishes. Got it? Well, submit your paragraphs below!
Story Seven Hundred Thirty Two Ends Friday, June 17
|Both Maraqua and Krawk Island had done 7 goals each, and there was only enough time in the clock for one more round. It was going to be a very decisive round, there wasn't time for jokes.
"Hey, hear me!" Garven Hale shouted at his teammates. "We can do this, aye? We just need to focus. They are only fish, and we are pirates!"
On the other side of the field, Elon Hughlis also was trying to cheer his teammates up.
"Come on, guys, we can beat them! We'll play just like we practiced, and everything is gonna work out, you will see."
"Timebreak is over! All the players in the field!" The Scorchio judged said, and both teams were back in the arena. The crow was silent, everyone was tense. It was tied, no one knew who would win.
The countdown began and everyone apprehensively waited for the Yooyu to appear - which one would it be? But, as the platform finally rose to the top, it was empty. The crow gasped and the players looked confused.
From the entrance to the field, a little guy appeared and ran towards the referee waving his hands above his head.
"What happened, Tony?" The Scorchio asked. "Why no Yooyu came?"
"Sir, you're not gonna like this," The Shoyru started to say. "But all the Yooyus have been stolen!"
Date: Jun 13th
Predictably, the teams immediately began blaming each other.
"Argh!" Garven Hale grunted. "Your lot must've stolen the Yooyus!"
"As if," replied Oten Runeu. "Who on this field is a PIRATE!?"
The teams angrily grumbled at each other, but two players took the news more calmly.
Barit Jowes, the Techo defender of the Maraquan team, shook his head. "But how would either team have had time to steal the balls?"
"Aren't the Yooyus kept under heavy guard?" Nitri Cassale, the Moehog defender of Krawk Island, asked.
And suddenly, everyone heard a scream. It was a scream with which they were all familiar. Everyone turned and stared in surprise to see blue Techo fan running towards them. (No one was ever quite sure which team he was for.) It seemed he had something important to say...or, at least, to scream (his usual volume)...
Date: Jun 13th
"I SAW," the blue Techo shouted as he neared the crowd on the field. "I SAW THE YOOYUS LEAVE."
The referee shook his head, seemingly annoyed by the Techo's volume. "You saw who took them? Or are you saying they left by themselves?"
The Techo shook his head. "NO, SIR, I SAW WHO TOOK THEM. I AM ALWAYS WATCHING THE GAMES WITH GREAT ATTENTION," he shouted. "IT WAS A SMALL FIGURE, ABOUT MY HEIGHT, CLOAKED IN BLACK AND WALKING WITH A LARGE BAG. I WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU SOONER, SIR, BUT I THOUGHT IT WAS ONE OF YOUR GUYS. I DID NOT REALIZE THEY WERE STEALING THE YOOYUS UNTIL THE GAME DIDN'T RESTART."
Garven Hale grasped the Techo by the shoulder. "Aye, good, now where did they leave?"
The Techo fan looked at Garven with wide eyes. He seemed to just realize where he was: on the field with the actual Altador Cup teams. His eyes glanced to Elon Hughlis. "WOW, YOU GUYS ARE GREAT PLAYERS."
The Scorchio referee rolled his eyes. "Focus, where did they go?"
"OH, SORRY, SIR. YES, THEY LEFT OUT THE EAST GATE. THE ONE THAT HAS A PATH THAT LEADS OUT TO THE LOST DESERT."
The referee was confused. "The Lost Desert? Why would anyone take the Yooyus there?"
"I think I know," Nitri Cassale said, her eyes wide. Everyone looked over to the Krawk Island defender. "Don't ye all remember? The Lost Desert is where..."
Date: Jun 14th
Nitri Cassale paused to look around, meeting the eyes of those who stared back. They were anxious, scared. "It be where the tomb of the Bringer of Night resides."
The crowd gasped and began to rumble with hushed murmurs.
"Quiet!" bellowed Garven Hale, whipping around to face the crowd. He then turned to Nitri Cassale. "The blaggard is dead, is he not? Avast! You must be addled if ye think the man can return! The man was froze and shattered in the far reaches of the Mountain!"
A few nodded as mutters of confirmation rippled through the crowd. Nitri Cassale waited for the group to quiet themselves. She then spoke.
"Let me finish me blasted story. I have heard tales going around that the Bringer of Night is to be reborn. They need the Yooyus as a final piece."
She leans down, close to the ground, and begins to draw. her finger carves a bowl, filled with oblong circles, meant to represent the Bringer of Night's shattered pieces. Then, she draws brain from the Brain tree, a piece of a cloud from Faerieland, a fossil from Tyrannia, a Diamond from Terror Mountain, and finally the Yooyus.
"You see," she explains, "They need the ingredients to..."
Date: Jun 15th
...Before Nitri Cassale could finish her thoughts, Garven Hale interrupted her with, "How do ye think anyone could bring the Bringer of the Night with this?"
"If ye would let me finish-" Nitri Cassale began to explain.
"Nitri, yer insane. Maybe ye took too many Yooyus to the head." The pirate Bori walked off. "Team, let's discuss some plays while Nirti tells her tall tales."
Nitri Cassale stared at her drawings as her team left. Maraqua's team left, too. The crowd followed suit, as there was no longer a game to watch. The Moehog got upset and swiped away the dirt drawings with her hoof in one move. She knew Garven Hale didn't mean what he said, but it was clear that he didn't believe a word to the story she was telling.
"Are you okay?" Barit Jowes said as he knelt next to Nitri Cassale.
Nitri Cassale thought he left with his team, so she was a bit surprised. Still, she said, "I was tryin' to explain how each ingredient is important. They come from all over Neopia, like a piece, and once they are together, each piece mesh together to form the Bringer of the Night."
The Techo drew his own versions of the ingredients in the dirt. "I think I get it. Why don't you try to explain that to Garven?"
"Ha, ye don't know Garven like I do." Nitri Cassale let out a guffaw. "Garven is stubborn. Ye can't talk to him while he's mad." She sighed. "It's a shame, too. He won't believe me."
"Why don't you prove it to him?"
"How, Barit? Bring the Yooyus back?" Nitri laughed again. "Do ye know how hard it will be to do that if me story is the case? I cannot do that alone."
Barit thought very hard before he said his next sentence. He looked at Nitri Cassale and said, "Maybe I can help you..."
Date: Jun 16th
“If they won’t listen to one,” he continued, “perhaps they’ll listen to two.”
Nitri laughed bitterly. “Be my guest, Jowes.” Her voice softened, maybe realizing how antagonistic that had sounded. “I appreciate it, lad – really. But ye’re not going to get them to take this seriously.”
“Perhaps not,” he allowed, “but there are different angles to work with, here.”
“Everyone!” The Techo’s voice carried high over the nearly empty stadium. Teams Maraqua and Krawk Island had moved to different ends of the fields to discuss strategy and grumble about conspiracies amongst themselves, but they were still close enough to hear him – and with enough urgency (and repetition), they eventually reconvened, muttering unhappily all the way.
“Thank you,” he said, once the other eight players had assembled. “Listen. Nitri’s concerns here have merit.”
Expectedly, Garven Hale immediately rolled his eyes. “Great, we’re on this again.”
“Think what you will, but regardless of why, the Yooyus are gone – and we cannot conclude this match without the Yooyus. We cannot conclude the Cup without the Yooyus. Unless we find them, we will remain at a stalemate.”
The Bori tapped his claws together, unable to dismiss this entirely. “Yeah? And what do ye want us to do about these mad tales?”
“We must strike out to search for the Yooyus – and furthermore, we must work together. If we do,” Jowes proposed, voice level, “we can cover more ground – and I strongly doubt whoever stole these Yooyus expected to contend with two teams of the most trained athletes in Neopia.”
“Krawk Island, working with team Maraqua?” Garven guffawed. “We fry fish, lad, not play with them. Methinks you’ve been out in the sun too long.”
Tonie Plessix snorted and crossed his fins over his broad chest. “Need I remind you who it was that destroyed our entire civilization? Because it wasn’t ninjas.”
“Hear, hear!” Elon thumped his sling across the ground. “We’re done here today, team. It’s obvious these pirates can’t win fairly. Let’s go.”
Garven Hale snorted contemptuously. “Likewise, fishies.”
Both captains turned away – and flinched when a shrill whistle cut through the air. Both teams cautiously turned to see the Scorchio referee running down the field, flames in his eyes.
“Are you Altador Cup players or are you a bunch of squabbling Kadoaties?” he spat. “Whatever you might think, the Yooyus are still gone – and you’re the most qualified Neopets here to find them.
“Aye, and what are we supposed to do about it?” Zayle Sufhaux muttered. “All we’ve got to go on are hogwash and old wives’ tales.”
“We know the thief left for the Lost Desert.” The frustrated referee stamped his foot. “Go. And given the circumstances, I think it’s more than fair to say - whichever team finds the Yooyus first will win the match.”
“Ye – ye can’t do that!” Garven burst out. “There’s no way that be in accordance with regulations!”
“This whole situation is against regulations,” the referee countered. “And if you won’t take charge for the good of the Cup, then I will. My decree stands. Find them and bring them back.”
But where Krawk Island’s captain floundered, Elon Hughlis saw opportunity. “You heard it right here, team,” he announced, slapping a tentacled arm against his sling. “Krawk Island’s afraid to get their hands dirty. You guys up for a little sand fishing?”
“Wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Runeu rumbled.
“We’re not losing any competition – be they scorin’ with Yooyus or findin’ them.” The massive Bori growled deeply. “Mark me words – we’re going to win this. Pirates! To me!”
Nitri and Barit looked at each other, bemused. This wasn’t how either of them had expected this to go – but it seemed where rationale and threat of danger failed, competition had spurred the players to action. The referee had seen a third option, and the third time had been the charm.
“I guess we’re on different sides, now.” Barit Jowes chuckled awkwardly. “Again.”
“Aye. But…” The Moehog held out a hoof. “Thank ye for yer help, all the same.”
They shook on it.
“We’ll find the Yooyus,” Barit promised. “And if there’s something darker at play here… we’ll stop that, too.”
“Come on, Jowes!” Hughlis called. “We’ve got a match to win!”
The two nodded, and returned to their respective teams.
And with that, the search began…
Date: Jun 16th
Both teams headed immediately for the east gate that led to the stretch of road which would bring them to the Lost Desert. The two captains ushered their teams out as quickly as they could, for this was timed, in a sense. Sure, it wasn't a 3-minute countdown, but the circumstances were pretty similar and that motivated the players.
Since the road was a wide one, the two teams dashed out and spread themselves as far away as they could from the other team. Nitri and Barit glanced at each other. The Moehog smiled sadly and shrugged, as if to apologize for the separation. A thumbs up was the reply from the Techo and this made her feel better. At least he was taking this seriously. It pumped her up even more.
Their journey wasn't a quiet one though. Elon and Garven were throwing snide comments at each other during the whole trip.
"Ha! Can you keep up with us?" the captain of Team Krawk shouted.
"You guys don't even stand a chance against us," Team Maraqua's captain snorted. "Keep it in your minds that we won the Cup last year."
"Think again, ye fishes," Garven guffawed, "the current standings are in our favor. Methinks *you* don't stand a chance against *us*, right, pirates?" Except for Nitri, the team players cheered for themselves and jeered at their opponents.
The athletes of Team Maraqua (except for Barit) shot them dark looks. "We'll see about that," was all Elon uttered in reply.
The determination in both teams grew stronger as they raced against each other to the Lost Desert. Team Maraqua eventually trailed behind them, but they weren't very far behind.
It was late afternoon when they arrived at the outskirts of the Lost Desert. The wind was blowing rather strongly and the players had to shield their eyes from the sand. To add to that, the sun beat down on them, increasing the aridity of that area.
"Guys, we're heading right," Elon Hughlis announced.
"Then we be going left," Garven Hale informed his team as soon as he heard the opposing team's decision. He then lowered his voice into a loud whisper, "we will split up and find the Yooyus. As much as I don't believe in the myth, this is still a competition. We won' lose to the likes of 'em!"
Feldon "Dinksy" Collibridge, Zayle Sufhaux and Coco Metrone nodded their heads in agreement. Nitri could only bring herself to nod slightly. She believed this matter to be of utmost importance, not merely just a 'match' but to get her teammates involved was beyond anything she had hoped for, even if it were for different reasons.
"Alright then," Garven pointed his finger towards the direction of the pyramids, "disperse!"
The five of them charged ahead into the land before diverging. Nitri noticed that Team Maraqua had thought up of the same plan as them - they separated as well.
The pirate Moehog ventured, trying to look for clues that would help her in her search rather than just blindly walking around. It wasn't very long when she bumped into Barit.
"Hey," the Techo said, "how are things going?"
"I'm looking for clues," Nitri responded. "How about you?"
"Hmm, I had the same idea too." Barit paused for a moment before he suggested something that surprised Nitri. "How about we work as a pair?"
Date: Jun 16th
...Nitri smiled slowly before her smile became a grin. "I wouldn't be havin' it any other way, me boy." The two shook hands again.
"If there is any illicit activity going around the Lost Desert," Barit started, "there'd probably be rumors about it in Qasala."
"Good thinkin' lad," the Moehog replied. "Let's get scoutin'."
The pair ventured up toward the city. All eyes from passers by were on the Altador Cup athletes -- they certainly were out of place.
Near an alley, Barit thought he heard a noise. "Hey," said the Techo, "I think there's something there."
"Oh? What be it?"
Barit moved slowly, cautiously, throughout the alley, and Nitri followed quickly behind him. "I don't know," said the Maraquan. "But I could have sworn it sounded like voi--"
A bag went tightly over his head and his world went black.
"Yo, buddoh," came a distant voice, before a really bright light.
Barit's eyes opened to see the smiling face of his captain towering over him, the bag once over the Techo's head in one of Elon's muscular tentacles. "Good thing those girls over there notified me of your presence." He pointed to a pair of giggling young Desert Lupes standing at the mouth of the alley. Elon waved to them. "Goodbye ladies," he said with a casual grin before the two meandered off, still giggling.
The Techo attempted to regain any sense of bearings. "You come to the desert searching for Yooyuballs, and all you do is mingle with the citizens?" He frowned at his captain.
"Hey, they wanted my AUTOGRAPH!" Elon pleaded before crossing his arms over himself. "And you could have said thank you."
"Sorry," Barit replied. "Where's Nitri?"
Elon frowned and his eyes became slits. "That backstabbing pirate scum TRAITOR!? You were WITH her?"
The Techo's jaw clenched. "What do you mean?"
"She probably put that bag over your head, boy. She turned in the Yooyuballs a couple hours ago." Elon just shook his head.
"Pirates, they never play by the rules." The Acara extended a tentacle and Barit took it.
"Tell me everything that happened," Barit started, coldly.
"So," Elon replied as the two started walking back towards Altador, "we all figured you'd gone off with her to do whatever it is young Neopets do in Qasala or in dark alleys or what have you -- search for the Yooyus, whatever -- when word gets out that Nitri returned them all! Every single one!"
Barit's jaw dropped.
"So naturally I come looking for you. Still, I think we owe those beautiful fans of ours a solid, eh?" He grinned at his defender.
The Techo just stared at the Acara.
The captain took the note and changed the subject. "I, personally, think she was in cahoots with Tony and our Scorchio Referee," Elon continued, raising a fisted tentacle in the air. "I mean, think about it... The one guy comes out yelling they've been all taken, then Nitri tells her wild goose chase story leading us to the desert, and the Scorchio is the one to tell us 'first one to finds them wins'," he said, mocking the referee's voice. "And then Nitri turns them in. I wouldn't be surprised if all three bet money on the game--Hey, where are you going?"
Barit had really rushed ahead of his captain. He walked in long, quick, heated strides. What Elon said couldn't be true... shouldn't be true. Barit and the Moehog were friends! Friends. Friends? The Techo turned to face the Acara. "I need to have a word with Nitri, as soon as possible..."
Date: Jun 17th
…As he came to the crossroads that divided the towering pyramids from the path back to non-ancient civilisation, Barit paused.
Why would Nitri have placed a bag over his head? The Moehog was much shorter than him, slouched over at all times. Even as they had wandered, the clopping of her hooves had kept him concerned that they would be found by someone sinister. It seemed odd that she had been able to be so stealthy. He shook his head slowly, puzzled, and turned back, dodging stalls of fragrant desert fruit and ambling, wide-eyed locals. It wasn’t until he spotted, down an alleyway, the two Lupes that his captain had so admired that he scrambled to a halt.
The two paused, and he recognised the look that flashed over their expressions. Panic. Slowly, he advanced.
“If you found me… Why would you leave me with a bag on my head and go find Elon? Wouldn’t you, oh, I don’t know… Remove the bag?”
Both Lupes looked uncomfortable, shifting their weight from paw to paw. Barit didn’t want to think about what this meant. Didn’t want to consider what it suggested. Inhaling softly, he studied them.
“Where is Nitri?”
One of the Lupes offered what Barit was sure she considered to be a beguiling pout.
“Oh, it doesn’t matter. Without a player, Krawk Island can’t compete, can they?”
Barit felt the world spinning around him, placing a hand upon the cool stone wall at his side in order to remain both standing, and calm.
“It wasn’t Nitri at all. It never was. She was a target.”
The Lupes each completed what was, Barit thought, an impressive, synchronised eye roll.
“Of course, silly.” One giggled. It was supposed to be charming, but Barit found it irritating. “There are so many Yooyus, how does someone steal all of them, hmmm? You’ve tried using the Darigan ones, they’re barely controlled by elite players, you think a thief could manage them?”
Barit looked a little like he might be ill. Slowly, he pieced it together. Krawk Island. One less player. Elon might have orchestrated that, but he had to have had help. Someone to hide the petpets… Someone to lead them off to the Desert… Someone who admired him enough to do whatever he wanted. Images of a screaming, hysterical Techo wandered into his mind. They hadn’t even questioned why the Techo, ever-present at games, had been able to see someone in the Yooyu pit, instead of fixating on the players, as he always seemed to.
Barit gathered himself up, offering his best intense stare.
“Where is she?”
The Lupes said nothing, but one faltered, shifting a guilt-laden gaze toward a nearby dark alley. Barit shoved past them, none too gently, and bolted in. There, gagged and bound in the murky darkness…
Nitri was probably actually saying ‘Help me!’ or ‘What is going on?’ or ‘Did you see the price of that fruit?” but it was hard to tell, though the repressive gag. Barit dropped to his knees, quickly working to free her.
“Lad!” The Moehog hoisted herself to her feet, dusting off her ample form. “I didn’t even see them! Someone reached past me, with a bag, aiming for you, but at the same moment…”
Barit nodded grimly.
“Yeah. I bet you got a bag on the head too. Only really able to be done if you have multiple limbs, I guess.”
Nitri’s eyes widened, Elon’s shifting tentacles no doubt coming to mind.
“Aye… Did the Yooyus ever get stolen?”
Barit shook his head, miserable.
“I don’t think so. I think they’re probably still within the stadium, just concealed. Elon and the Techo fan were working together, it seems.”
Nitri shook her head, sighing and clapping a hoof on his shoulder. Barit contemplated that the only real truth of the whole, miserable affair had been her. That they HAD been friends. No. Not had. Were. That had to be better than being so driven by competitive hate that you would orchestrate this entire mess.
The next few hours passed in a flurry, frenzied activity. A rapid return to Altador, where Elon was already credited with finding the Yooyus, and the Referee planning to finish the game. This shocked nobody, it was hardly within the ancient rules to award the win to someone who won a treasure hunt, no matter how motivating it would be. Barit had considered how to confront Elon, but he had his team mates to consider.
Was it fair to shame Maraqua? To potentially end his own career, and theirs?
Nitri had remained hidden until the whistle blew, then charged onto the field to wild cheers from the crowd. Elon looked a little like he might clobber Barit over the head, as understanding rapidly spread across his face. The roaring crowd screamed their approval.
Well, except one Techo, who looked rather pale and mortified.
But as the last seconds ticked down, Barit snagged the ball from Elon. The Acara’s gaze was steely and cold, as if daring his teammate to defy him. To expose him.
Barit grabbed the Yooyu. This was it. The crowning moment to break the tie. Elon’s plotting could still end in a fair win. They could put everything behind them and end the match as champions…
Beyond Elon’s steely smirk, he saw Nitri. Solid, happy Nitri, who gave him a lopsided smile. His friend.
And he hurled the Yooyu into the crowd.
Date: Jun 17th
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