The Ballad of the Tears
The waves crashed against the sandy shores of the island.
The surreal saltier-than-normal water swept across the face of an Island Acara
lying on the beach, who was just beginning to stir. Slowly opening her eyes, Miyoka
groaned and sat up. She looked across her surroundings rather doubtfully. The
sand on the beach was a strange teal-like colour, and the water was a murky green.
Odd trees grew towards the center of the island; their leaves seemed to droop
down like teardrops, as if all the trees were crying. Lying a few feet away from
the Acara was her best friend Liyon, a Skunk Acara who was also just beginning
'Where are we?' asked Miyoka, rubbing her eyes.
The sun was bright and shining, and there wasn't a single cloud in the crisp
'I don't know,' replied Liyon, now standing up
with her friend. 'I can't seem to remember anything at all!'
Miyoka was mystified; now that she tried to think
about what they had been doing, she couldn't either. There was something strange
in her pocket; pulling it out the Acara discovered a beautifully carved wooden
flute made from the finest elms and the most expensive type of crystal for the
finger holes. She didn't know why in the world she had it, but she pocketed
it once more.
'Well, I suppose we might as well look around
and explore,' said Miyoka, looking towards a gap between the strange trees.
'How else are we going to get off this island?'
And so, the Island and Skunk Acaras brushed the
sand off themselves and headed for a path made out of the strange coloured sand.
Looking through the trees towards the shore surrounding the rest of the island,
they assumed that the island was a perfect circle. Ahead, they could hear strange
splashing noises, so they ran down the path.
In the dead center of the island, there was a
small, shallow, perfectly circular pool about the size of the Turmaculus's stomach.
In the very center of the small body of water there was a statue of a beautiful
Maraquan Aisha, its hair flying out from her head as if she had received a static
bolt and then became the statue. Its eyes were hollow, and water was flowing
from them, as if it were crying. Around its realistically carved neck was a
beautiful pendant, as bright blue as the sky and as large as Miyoka's fist.
It was evidently a -
'Oh my goodness!' said Liyon, stepping into the
pool. The water level only reached her ankles, and before Miyoka could stop
her friend she had already reached the Stone Aisha and had placed a paw upon
the Thyora's Tear.
Suddenly, the sky darkened, and the wind rose
into a sudden shriek. The waters of the small pool had risen to form an impenetrable
but transparent column around it, so that no one could enter. Miyoka screamed,
but could only watch as the walls of water slowly surrounded Liyon. There was
a great flash of light, a loud splash of water, and Liyon was gone.
Miyoka sank to the sandy ground, astonished at
what had just happened. She crouched down like a Snowbunny Loaf and closed her
eyes, thinking, 'Please let this all go away, please let this all go away...'
She sat there for what felt like hours, but it
was truly only minutes. She didn't notice that the clouds had disappeared from
the sky, nor did she notice that the wind had settled back to a normal, gentle
breeze. However, she did notice as a wet something placed a hand on her back.
She looked up, blinking tears out of her eyes.
There was the Maraquan Aisha statue, but it didn't look like stone anymore;
on the contrary it looked as if it were a real Aisha - as if it was alive!
'Hello, stranger,' said the Aisha. Miyoka had
expected something like a hiss or even a growl, but she was proved wrong; her
voice was a strangely pure note, like music, that filled the air. 'I am Latiniyana.
What is your name?' She talked as if she had always been an Aisha, and they
had just met at NeoSchool.
'I'm - I'm Miyoka,' said Miyoka, rather cautiously.
She wanted to ask, 'What are you?' but she refrained from doing so and asked,
'Who are you, exactly?'
'My Aisha tribe has lived on this Island, Teardrop
Island, for centuries,' said Latiniyana. 'We were always peaceful and enjoyed
life to its fullest, never once going into more of the populated areas. However,
our existence was disturbed when a beautiful gemstone dropped from the sky,
and our hearts were filled with greed. It transformed us, until we are now only
just a shadow of our old selves. The Gemstone was unlike any other; it had amazing
healing and defensive powers, and it controlled us until we became spirits;
non-living, heartless guardians destined to keep the stone safe.'
Miyoka was stunned after hearing this. 'That's
- that's horrible!' she stammered. 'But why were you turned to stone?'
Latiniyana turned her head sadly. 'I tried to
overcome the stone's evil grip on all of us, so late at night I took the stone
and attempted to destroy it. However, the elders found me, and by using dark
new powers acquired from the gem they turned me to stone and placed me in an
enchanted pool, and hung the stone around my neck. When ever anyone, out of
the greed of their heart, attempted to take the stone from my neck they would
be taken by the guardians, and...'
She broke off, real tears now streaming from
her eyes. The Acara could only presume that whatever would happen to Liyon,
it would not be good. 'Listen, my friend Liyon -'
'I know about your Acara friend,' the Aisha said,
cutting off Miyoka. 'There is but only one way to get her back, but it is difficult...'
'I'll do it!' replied Miyoka, with a fierce look
in her eye. 'She's my best friend! I don't know how in the world we got on to
this island, but if I have to spend the rest of my life here then I might as
well have someone else with me!'
Latiniyana smiled. 'Well, come with me!'
And with that, she turned around and dived right
into the pool. Miyoka hesitated for a second: the pool was so shallow, she'd
hit her head on the bottom. Nevertheless, she trusted the Aisha, and dived in
To her great amazement, the pool wasn't actually
that shallow. Opening her eyes, she could see that it was about the size of
the entire island and about that deep. A great mountain loomed in the almost
completely clear water, its summit, where Latiniyana was as a statue, was completely
flat as if it had been chopped off. The shadow of the Aisha was near the base
of the mountain, where there was a small opening. Diving down, she cut through
the water like a knife through hot butter, her new swimming skills surprising
It only took seconds to reach the bottom, where
there was a litter of strange shells that all looked like teardrops. Now that
she looked up, the opening into the mountain was actually larger than she had
'The inside of the mountain is hollow,' said
Latiniyana, gesturing towards the cave. 'It is also completely dry and is a
prime factor to what we must do in order to rescue your friend Liyon.'
Gesturing towards Miyoka, she swam into the mountain.
The Acara followed close behind.
Inside, there was an unnatural glow that lit
up the walls; they appeared to be made of coral, changing in colour from pink
to orange to yellow and to all sorts of different colours as they swam. When
they reached what looked like the Heart of the Mountain, Latiniyana got on to
a floating, round, gigantic piece of stone extremely gracefully for someone
with no legs. Miyoka followed suit, looking around. They were in what appeared
to be an interior of a sponge; little holes lined the walls, some the size of
potholes on the road and others the size of a mouth. Water gushed out of them,
crashing down upon the little ring of water that surrounded the small stone
island they were standing on. Another large hole on the opposite of the entrance
led off into darkness, just like one right above them.
'This is the Rainbow Chamber of Infinity Mountain,'
she said, her voice echoing off the walls. 'There are other chambers, but this
is the largest and most mandatory one. As you can hear, sound echoes through
little holes in the walls and goes outside, fading into the water...'
Latiniyana hesitated for a moment, but went on.
'There is an ancient song that has been passed down in our tribe for centuries.
When the stone came it drove it right out of everyone's minds, for this song,
entitled the Ballad of the Tears, is a song about joy and happiness, but when
greed and envy filled all the hearts of the Aishas it was forgotten...'
And the Maraquan Aisha, looking a little sad,
opened her mouth and began to sing. It was an unearthly sound that filled all
the room, and what she sang was in a strange, ancient language that was like
water, but it was evidently describing sadness, though it was yet happy at the
When Latiniyana closed her mouth, it was like
the fading of a chime; something appeared to be missing.
'I seem... to have forgotten it...' Latiniyana
said sadly, bowing her head. 'In order to get your friend back, we must fill
the hearts of my fellow Aishas with love, joy, happiness, and kindness once
more, and the song is the only thing powerful enough to break the spell.'
'Well, how can you remember it?' asked the Acara
sympathetically. She didn't want to push Latiniyana; she was the only hope for
'Only powerful magic can restore the song's contents
to its original form...' began Latiniyana. 'The power of music!'
'Music... music...' The word echoed inside Miyoka's
head. Then, she suddenly remembered.
'My flute!' She hastily pulled out the instrument
from her pocket, now realizing what a stick of wood with holes could do. 'What
if I played my flute to the rhythm of the song?'
Latiniyana's eyes seem to ignite like a fire;
she didn't know whether it was from intense happiness at something good or evil,
because her face was basically unreadable. 'I think that just may restore the
Ballad to its original form! Quick, play this...'
She opened her mouth wide and let out four magnificent
notes. Miyoka blew into her flute, putting her fingers over the holes and changing
the sound each time, so that they matched what Latiniyana sang. When they reached
the part where the song had been cut off earlier, the Aisha just kept going,
as if she had remembered the words.
As they played, the walls of the cavern began
to glow with a strange phosphorescent light. The colours shimmered and reflected
off the ring of water, and water began to gush harder than ever from the little
When they reached the
last note, instead of the noise fading away like ripples from a stone thrown
into a pond as Miyoka had expected, it was as if the music had become sound,
air, and water all at the same time; it was an indescribable feeling.
The two Neopets were at peace for a moment when
an unearthly sound suddenly filled the entire Chamber. Strange, non-transparent,
colourless shadows swept from every single opening in the room except for the
top. When Miyoka squinted to get a better look, she realized that they were
all Aishas: their eyes were bloodshot as if they had often cried, and a look
of greed was permanently etched upon their faces. Water gushed from their strangely
solid bodies, though they could still float through walls.
'These must be those - those spirit guardians
of ultimate evil and greed you were talking about!' said Miyoka, her voice shivering
'You are correct,' said Latiniyana. 'Now that
we have driven them from the Deep, we must ascend into the Light Chamber. They
cannot harm us there.'
She pointed upwards, where a curious light had
begun shining down on both of them. Without warning, the light shimmered and
changed to fast moving golden water (not THAT type of golden!!!) that gushed
upwards, along the hole.
'Well, come along,' said the Aisha, beckoning
towards Miyoka. 'The current is fast enough to pull us up into the next Chamber.'
She stepped into the water, and with a flash
of golden light she was gone. Cautiously remembering about the seemingly-shallow
pool, Miyoka half-heartedly followed.
It was like filling your lungs with water and
then getting stuffed in a tube that steadily grew narrower and then wider. When
Miyoka thought she would pass out from lack of air, she was on land again. Spluttering,
she took a quick glance at her surroundings.
The walls, floor, and ceiling were a solid sheet
of shimmering gold that strangely did not blind her eyes, even though a small
ray of sunlight came in from a small hole in the ceiling. The room was cone-shaped
except for the flat tip, and Miyoka guessed that they were at the top of the
mountain. The strange pillar of water they had come through, which now seemed
like a geyser, suddenly shot up through the hole of sunlight, explaining how
the water had come through the Aisha's eyes when she had been a statue. A healthy
amount of light still streamed through the opening.
'Only those that are not yet a guardian can enter
the Light Chamber, for there is too much light here,' explained Latiniyana.
'We should be safe here... along with your friend.'
Miyoka twisted around as if there were wheels
on her feet, and she ran to a shadowy, wispy figure sitting in the corner before
just as fast too.
'Liyon! LIYON!!!' she screamed, shaking the lifeless
body of the Skunk Acara. 'Liyon, wake up, WAKE UP!' Her face was a deathly pale,
and her breathing seemed to be fading.
'She won't wake; she is in an enchanted sleep
because of her great deed of greed,' said Latiniyana. 'It is lucky that she
only touched the Stone; if she tried to take it off from my neck she would instantly
become a spirit guardian.'
'Well, won't that song thing help her?' shouted
Miyoka in desperation.
'We can try... but I'm not sure if it will work,'
said Latiniyana, and she instantly began singing, quickly joined by Miyoka.
When the Ballad of the Tears was finished, Liyon looked slightly better; her
breathing became normal and colour returned to her cheeks, but she still hadn't
'We must get her out of Infinity Mountain, and
quickly,' said the Maraquan Aisha, a note of urgency in her voice. 'The only
way we can get out by not meeting the spirits is through the light in that hole...'
Her voice seemed to fade away and waver for a
small moment, but it returned back to normal. 'However, we have to stop the
flow of water being controlled by the spirits...'
Miyoka looked at Liyon and then at the hole,
and an idea struck her. With a big heave, she lifted up the Acara and threw
her directly at the water.
'What in the name of Fyora do you think you're
doing?' shouted Latiniyana, but she calmed almost instantly; instead of floating
down back towards the Rainbow Chamber, she had merely blocked the water. Some
strange, angry noises issued from underneath their feet.
'It worked!' exclaimed Miyoka. She ran towards
her friend, but before she could the sunlight that was protruding from the hole
and bathing her friend turned into a shade of lemonade-pink. Astonished, she
watched as a glowing, transparent pink ring appeared, levitating oddly above
'But no... could it be?' The Aisha was obviously
amazed at the strange circle. 'The Platform of the Sun?'
She leapt on to the platform, inspecting it.
There was an odd design on it: there was a glimmering sun that filled the entire
Platform, and from its eyes gushed crudely drawn tears which flew in all sorts
of different directions. Miyoka, curious, asked Latiniyana, 'What is this?'
'This is the Platform of the Sun, created by
light and happiness,' said Latiniyana, tears now forming in her eyes. 'We must
perform the Ballad of the Tears upon it, and with great haste. Quickly!'
They performed the song yet again, and the three
Neopets began to glow; the Acaras pink but the Aisha grey. They were slowly
rising, and Miyoka looked Latiniyana: she was turning back to stone! She tried
to get to her, but she couldn't move, and with a loud PANG she found herself
with Liyon standing beside her, stirring, on the edge of the pool in the center
of the Island. Once again, there was a statue of a Maraquan Aisha, with a beautiful
blue pendant around its neck.
'Miyoka!' came a voice from behind, and the Acara
twisted around at the sound of her name. There was Liyon, sitting up, rubbing
her head and brushing back her hair with her paw. 'Miyoka... what happened?
All I remember was a Thyora's Tear around - Miyoka, what's wrong? What are you
Miyoka had splashed into the pool. The water
only reached her ankles as she ran up to the Latiniyana frozen in time.
'Latiniyana!' she shrieked, shaking the statue.
It did not move, but started to gush water from its hollow eyes once more. She
quickly got out her flute and shouted to Liyon, 'Sing along to this!'
Controlled by the power of music, Liyon sang
the Ballad of the Tears while Miyoka played it. When they finished, Miyoka ignored
Liyon's questions and looked at Latiniyana. Nothing had changed, except that
the gemstone was glowing a magnificent blue.
'Oh, this is all your fault!' said Miyoka to
the stone. 'None of this could've ever happened if you had never come here!'
And wiping away her tears so that they fell into
the pool, she reached out and ripped the stone from Latiniyana's stone neck.
The gushing sound of rising water and strong
winds erupted around Miyoka, and she fell to her knees, but when she looked
up she saw that no water column had appeared, and that Latiniyana had come alive
'Miyoka! You must run as fast as you can! The
sea! You must go to the ocean!'
And with that, the Acara grabbed the other Acara's
hand and darted through the forest path, back the way they came. They reached
the shoreline, where the strange coloured sand and water were, and when she
got to the ocean she threw the stone, with all her might, right into the ocean.
It landed a good deal away from the beach, and with a loud SPLASH and a strange
gurgling noise, the water began to froth and bubble. The stone did not float
back to the surface, and sank, with a strange clunking sound, all the way to
Instantly, the odd, screeching noise that they
hard heard from the Rainbow Chamber emitted from the forest, and large shapes
emerged from the trees. They were not the spirit guardians from Infinity Mountain,
but more like zombies; they were solid and petrified a person so that they stood
motionless at the sound of their screeches, so that they could move in...
'The Ballad of the Tears!' came a voice from
the ocean, and Miyoka emerged from the waters; apparently she had ran another
direction into the sea and had swam all the way to the other side of the round
island to find Miyoka. 'Quickly!'
And with that, all three of them began playing
the song; Liyon and Latiniyana sang as hard as they could as the flute played
with an unnatural force. When they finished, the last note was fuller than ever,
and the frightening zombies had stopped advancing towards the threesome. To
the contrary, they had stopped doing anything at all, except float into the
air and glow with a shimmering, golden light.
At that moment, Miyoka felt an unnatural fatigue
overtake her, and she fainted on to the beach and knew no more...
'Miyoka! MIYOKA!!! You're missing band practice!'
The Island Acara awoke, rubbing her eyes. 'Ugh,
what happened? I seem to remember... something about tears...'
'What are you talking about?' asked Liyon. They
were right on the shores of Mystery Island. The calm, blue waves splashed against
the sand, which was a glorious, sparkling yellow. 'You fell asleep on the beach,
'Well... I think that's what happened, yeah,'
said Miyoka. 'Is it time for band already?'
'We're already late, thank goodness I remembered
I left my ruler on the beach during maths class... come on, we'll go together!'
'Okay then... but boy do I have a song for the
conductor!' Miyoka said, and laughing she played the Ballad of the Tears on
her flute while Liyon sang along to a song by the 2 Gallon Hatz.
Neither of them noticed a sparkling, magnificent
blue gemstone lying, half-hidden, in the sand under where Miyoka had been lying
on the beach.