The Legend of the Lupe: Part Three
Thalion rushed back up the path, sometimes ignoring the
winding path and jumping directly over obstacles. He burst out of the undergrowth
into the courtyard area where the bamboo tables were set up.
"Polador! Polador! Guess what!" he yelled. Breakfasting
Neopets openly stared at the noisy Lupe, but Thalion was too excited too care.
He rushed over to the table where Polador was finishing off his second Starberry.
"I found it! I found it!" he cried, doing a ridiculous little dance.
"Slow down!" said Polador said. His friend looked
ecstatic. Maybe he had contracted some kind of strange disease during his walk
in the garden, he thought.
Thalion stopped dancing, and flopped into the
seat across from Polador. "I found the place where Farolt is imprisoned!"
"What!" said Polador in disbelief. "You're kidding
"Nope" said Thalion, trying not to pant so much
from his sprint. "I found it! It's right far back in the garden!"
"You mean it's been under our noses all this
Polador looked stunned. But he quickly recovered
his composure, and ran back into the hotel.
"What are you doing?" said Thalion, trying to
keep up with him as Polador thundered down the hall. "We have to go rescue Farolt!"
Polador swung open the door of his room, and
grabbed his and Thalion's backpacks. "Well, we're going to need these, aren't
Thalion nodded his head. Thank Fyora he had
a friend who was prepared for everything! Polador threw the backpack to Thalion,
and they rushed off. Before long, they had arrived at the place Thalion had
discovered. Polador studied the surrounding critically. Three trees-check. Rock-check.
Beach-check. Now all they needed was an entrance to Farolt's prison.
"Have you found my place of imprisonment yet?"
boomed Farolt telepathically.
"Yes we have!" Thalion and Polador said in unison.
"Ah, good. Then what stops you from releasing
"Well," Thalion started apologetically, "we
found the place, but we don't know how to get into the underground room. We're
still above ground, you see."
There was no answer to Thalion's words. Polador
just assumed that it meant Farolt must have been thinking.
"Well, let's get on with it," said Polador cheerfully.
The pair started scouring the site, looking for any suspicious openings into
the ground. Thalion was bent over a suspect clump of vines when he felt the
ground beneath him buckling. As he looked down, he realized the crack between
his feet was widening. And fast. Almost purely as a reflex, he stepped to one
side. Just in time. The crack widened to become a hole, and the earth crumbled
in to chunks, falling into the newly-made fissure. Thalion looked at the crevasse
and sighed in relief. He had come pretty close to falling. Suddenly, without
warning, the ground beneath Thalion crumbled, and he fell into the abyss. As
he fell into pure darkness, he yelled "Noooo-". The yell was interrupted by
abrupt impact with the ground. Thalion shook his head to clear his mind. That
was odd. He didn't really feel that sore at all. And the hole looked so close.
Hey, wait a minute, he thought. The hole is close. He hadn't fallen far at all!
Two or three metres at the most. Meanwhile, on the surface, Polador was busy
inspecting the roots of a tree, when he heard a dull THUMP! He looked over his
shoulder, and realized Thalion was gone.
"Thalion?" he asked the empty clearing. "Where
"Down here!" came Thalion's voice. Polador frowned
to himself, and walked over to where he thought Thalion's voice had come from.
He nearly fell into the hole himself, tottering at the edge for a moment, but
when he had recovered his balance, and looked into the hole, he saw Thalion
himself, sprawled on a stone floor.
Thalion grinned sheepishly. "Well, I found the
In the surrounding jungle, two observant eyes watched them carefully. Two
eyes belonging to a certain starry Pteri.
Polador, using a tough rope he had brought along, lowered himself into the
hole carefully. Thalion was occupied checking the contents of his backpack,
seeing what had been damaged in the fall.
"Oh no!" he moaned.
"What?" Polador spun around, fearing the worst.
"Look at this!" Thalion held up a half-empty
bag of assorted Mini Lupe treats, a nasty jagged gash providing an opening through
the plastic. "Half of the treats fell out!"
Polador groaned. Thalion still looked dismayed.
"Why is it always the Meaty Mini-Lupe treats that fall out?" he complained.
Polador whacked Thalion gently on the back of
head. "Come on. We have more important things to do than worry about Lupe treats."
"Assorted Mini Lupe treats." Thalion corrected.
"Whatever." Polador started looking around the
room. Everything seemed to be made of stone, the thick wooden doors, bound with
steel straps, being the only exception. There were brackets set into the walls
for torches, and the stonework was impeccable. Polador studied the stones closer.
Amazing, he thought. The stones fit together perfectly. And there's no evidence
of any kind of adhesive like cement either. He turned back to the doors. There
were four, each identical. The same sturdy wooden planks, the same steel straps,
the same steel studs. Thalion walked over to Polador, and asked, "What are these?"
He pointed to a small square metal plate on a door. Polador squinted his eyes.
That was strange, he thought. He quickly walked to the other three doors, and
realized they all had metal plates too. He looked closer, and noticed each had
a small symbol carved into it. Each symbol was distinctly different than the
rest. Thalion waited expectantly. "Farolt's gotta be behind one of these doors,
Polador nodded slowly. "Which door should we
Thalion scrutinized the doors. "Eeni meeni miny
mo!" He pointed to the door in front of him, its metal plate engraved with a
sign that looked like lines shooting out from a circle.
"I think that symbol is supposed to represent
a sun." Polador said slowly. "But how can there be sun underground?"
"Who cares?" snorted Thalion. He yanked open
the door, the hinges creaking from years of disuse. Thalion poked his head inside.
"Nope. Not in here." He tried to close the door, but it wouldn't budge. He turned
around, and said to Polador, "Why don't you try closing the door! It's stuck.
Darn cheap hinges." Polador, meanwhile, was staring over Thalion's shoulder.
"What's wrong?" asked Thalion, his brow creased
in concern. "Oh no. This is like in the movies, isn't it? This is the part where
I turn around, see something horrible, and then scream like a little girl, right?"
Slowly, Thalion turned around. His gaze was
greeted by a…baby fireball. Polador stepped forward. "It's just a baby fireball.
How cute! Now run off and play, little guy." he said. The baby fireball, in
response, narrowed its eyes. It then squeezed them shut, and just floated there.
"What's it doing?" whispered Thalion.
"I don't know!" hissed Polador. They looked
back at the baby fireball. "Does it look, well, different to you, Thalion?"
Thalion squinted at the baby fireball. "Yeah…
it seems… bigger somehow."
They both watched the baby fireball, riveted
to the sight, for the baby fireball was growing larger and larger. As it grew
bigger and bigger, its rate of growth sped up, until the point where it was
as big as Thalion and Polador combined.
"Uh, Polador?" Thalion whispered. "I think the
baby fireball just grew up."
The adult-sized baby fireball let out an unearthly
howl. It charged straight at the Lupes, and both managed only barely to duck
out of the way. "Yikes!" shouted Thalion patting his tail to make sure it wasn't
"Fight it!" yelled Polador. "You're the only
one with weapons, remember! I'm the pacifist!" Polador, a note of urgency about
him, started digging through his backpack. He took out a scarlet gem, and tossed
it to Thalion. "Use this!" he yelled. The flaming petpet did not look too happy.
It shot a huge tongue of flame directly at Thalion, the poor Lupe helpless to
resist. The fire engulfed him, eager flames licking at his body. But when the
heat receded, Thalion was unhurt. Not a scorch mark on him. Thalion was dumbfounded.
"It's a fire gem! It absorbs fire attacks!"
Polador said, trying to remain calm. Thalion, emboldened by this knowledge,
strode straight up the Fireball, which was hovering a metre off the ground.
He poked his tongue out. "Nya nya nya nya nya!" The baby fireball looked furious,
and engulfed Thalion in flame once again. Thalion emerged unscathed once again.
" Ha ha! I'm invincible!" he crowed. And that was when the fire gem disintegrated
into tiny shards in his paw. Thalion looked at the shattered gem in horror.
The baby fireball looked pleased with itself. Polador looked shocked that his
2 Np bargain price Fire Gem had broken. Maybe I better not use shoddy weapons
in life-threatening situations, he thought. But that sales Kacheek was so nice.
He even gave me a free Frisbee. Polador shook his head in despair. Next time
I'd better send Thalion shopping, he reflected. Somehow he always manages to
get the lowest price. But I wonder why he always dons his most threatening Battledome
gear when he shops? Polador's train of thought was abruptly derailed when he
was forced to dodge a stream of flame. "Do something!" he yelled at Thalion.
Thalion desperately dug through his backpack, and threw the first thing his
paws grasped. Which happened to be a fire muffin. The projectile sailed through
the air, smacked into the baby fireball, and bounced right off.
Polador groaned in despair. And then he groaned
again, louder and longer, namely because the baby fireball had just eaten the
muffin. The petpet burped loudly, and licked its lips. It then expanded even
larger, its top flames getting dangerously close to touching the ceiling. Thalion
fumbled around in his backpack again, and this time looked at what he grabbed.
He cracked the largest smile he had in a long time, and hurled the object at
the baby fireball. It flew through the petpet's outer flames with ease, and
SPLAT! The water muffin exploded into millions of droplets upon impact with
the baby fireball's core. Huge clouds of steam billowed out from the Petpet,
filling the entire room. When the vapor cleared, Polador could just make out
a small, flaming object. It was the baby fireball, reduced to normal size once
again. Polador, using a pair of flaming oven gloves, (once again, taken from
the handy backpack), grabbed hold of the petpet, and threw it back into the
room from where it had come. Straining, Polador slowly pushed the door closed,
trapping the baby fireball inside. He collapsed onto the floor, and mopped his
brow. Thalion did likewise, and took a long drink of water from the bottle of
water taken from his backpack.
"Hey!" Thalion said. "What the…?" he stood up
in a hurry, and looked at what had caused his seat to be so uncomfortable. He
picked up a small candle off the floor, and examined it closely. "That's strange.
I thought it would be squashed. After all I am pretty heavy."
"You can say that again." Polador chuckled.
He took the candle from Thalion and stowed it in his backpack. "We might need
this later. Want not, waste not."
Thalion, by that point wasn't really listening.
He ran a paw over the engraving of the next door. It looked quite strange, with
many dots and short lines scattered all over the metal plate. Slowly, he pulled
the door open. But there was nothing. Thalion pricked up his ears. Was he hearing
things? A dull, monotone drone gradually built up louder and louder, eventually
becoming a full-throated roar. Thalion looked into the shadows behind the door,
and definitely did not like what he saw. He struggled to shut the door, but
like the other door, it refused to close. Thalion gave up, and ran to the far
side of the room. Polador looked up just in time to see a huge swarm of Buzzers
fly out of the opened door. The noise by this time was almost deafening, the
dull drone boring into Polador's head. He clapped his paws over his ears, and
backed away until he was pressed against the wall next to Thalion.
"Nice Buzzer Wuzzers. Nice Buzzy Wuzzy. Cute
little Buzzy Wuzzys," said Polador soothingly. The Buzzers, however, just arranged
themselves into a formation that resembles a giant skewer. The Buzzer skewer
hurtled forwards, hundreds upon hundreds of tiny wings flapping, hundreds upon
hundreds of not-so-tiny stingers aimed forwards. At the last minute, Thalion
and Polador hurled themselves out of the way. The Buzzers, instead of smashing
into the wall as expected, skillfully turned to the side, a hair's breadth away
from collision. They aimed themselves at the unfortunate Lupes once again, but
not in a clever formation, but in a disorganized, angry swarm. Thalion quickly
pulled a Honey Potion from his backpack, and threw it at the Buzzers. However,
it missed miserably, with the Buzzers merely swerving around it. Half a second
later, in a stroke of genius, Polador grabbed a forest slingshot and shot a
pebble at the swarm. Yet again, the projectile missed the buzzers, but that
didn't mean it didn't serve its purpose. The pebble struck the airborne honey
potion, triggering an explosive reaction. Globs of magical honey flew everywhere,
the majority of it landing on the Buzzers. The honey sizzled, as its acidic
properties served its purpose. The Buzzers, their wings stuck together with
the drops of the sticky potion, fell to the ground, wriggling helplessly. But
even as they did so, a kind of savage zeal fell upon them as they detected the
honey. Even as the honey burned through their flesh, they viciously attacked
each other, gnawing at each other's flesh for a tiny taste of honey. It was
a horrible, cannibalistic frenzy, and Thalion and Polador were riveted to the
sight, unable to look away from the horrifying scene. Regardless of size or
color, the Buzzers tore at each other, snapping at legs, wings, anything with
the slightest morsel of honey upon it. With a final sizzle, the eating frenzy
was brought to an end, by the Honey Potion they had all been so eager to taste.
The two Lupes were speechless. They numbly sat upon the floor, the ground scarred
where drops of potion had eaten through the stones. Finally, they both came
to a realization that they had better things to do, than ponder the barbarism
of petpet instinct. Because they knew, if they thought about it too much, they
might just find that they were no better, whether they be Neopet, petpet, or
Polador stumbled towards the third door, tripping
on the holes burned into the rock. He stared at the door's metal plate, engraved
with what looked like random swirls. He feared what they might be forced to
face. They had almost been incinerated alive, and then almost stung to death,
and finally witnessed a sight too horrific for anypet to contemplate. What did
they have to confront now? Polador stood motionless, absorbed in thought. Behind
him, Thalion was bent over staring at the ground. Or to be more accurate, a
small chunk of stone lying on the ground. Thalion picked it up to study it further.
The stone was circular, fat in the middle, and tapering on either side, with
strange bulges at regular intervals. Thalion realized it looked exactly like
a miniature Buzzhive. He shoved it into his backpack. He could look at it later,
but now he had work to do. But still, I wonder where it came from, he wondered.
To be continued…