The Mystery of the Missing Cooking Pot: Part Two
My jaw dropped again. From the look on Mandy's face, this
was the first she had heard about this too.
"Are you out of your mind? I thought we were
going to get your Halloween Lupe pal to manage the villain contest," said Mandy
in a flabbergasted voice.
"We decided that he wasn't reliable enough for
the job," said Prancer. "He gets distracted by the smell of carrots. And anyway,
we didn't want to miss out on any excitement. We'll stay in the background in
case you need help."
I groaned. I knew where this was going, and
I was too tired to put up a fight.
"All right. I guess Luna, Triss, Aquari, and
Autumn can come, but it's up to Mandy whether or not Charmed, Prancer, and Vision
Mandy shrugged. "I guess so. I wish they wouldn't,
but Adam knows I need that reward if I'm ever going to paint Charmed that Faerie
color she's been clamoring about."
All the pets shrieked with joy at this proclamation.
"Like, I have to go put some makeup on!" said
"I'll get all my Battledome stuff!" said Luna,
baring her teeth and swiping the air fiercely with her claws.
"I'll get a list of guidelines for us to follow,"
said Aquari, looking as though she relished the thought (sadly, she probably
"I'll go get my running shoes!" said Autumn.
(I couldn't imagine why she would need running shoes, but, oh well, at least
she was happy…)
Mandy closed her eyes and massaged her temples.
"We should probably go start setting up the campsite, Mocha. Let's drop the
pets off at your house to get whatever they want, since it's bigger and you
have a lot of camping gear in your safety deposit box."
I sighed. "That's fine by me, just as long as
the house is still standing once we get back."
Mandy grimaced. "That I can't guarantee, but
I'll pay for any damage done by my pets and promote you in the guild. Let's
* * * * *
At 10:55 NST, Mandy, I, and all seven pets stood
proudly beside a campfire consisting of several piled-up Dazzling Shields of
Light covered in orange tablecloth; a makeshift awning made of a small number
of spare blankets and a bunch of sticks; the Icy Desk that had been frosting
up the attic for months acting as a registration desk; and a spotlight made
of a few stuck-together Fire Tipped Spears. Since neither Mandy nor I was very
tall, I had opted to stand on her shoulders, with a rather tattered Cloak of
Night covering us both, to create a more spooky appearance. We were somewhat
wobbly, but at least we were now more than nine feet tall. Triss and Charmed
were surprisingly skilled with makeup, and I looked nothing like myself. True
to her word, Luna had brought all of her Battledome equipment, and she and Vision
were ooh-ing and ahh-ing over various scrolls. Autumn and Prancer had hollowed
out a dugout from a nearby sand dune, in which the pets were going to stay in
once the excitement started, and Aquari was reading us a list of rules to follow,
which nobody was paying attention to. Mandy suddenly tensed below me.
"All of you, get into the dugout now!" she hissed.
"I hear someone coming!"
The pets tore into the dugout, and everything
was silent for about fifteen seconds. Then, we all heard a whooshing noise,
and Hubrid Nox appeared in a cloud of fog that smelled like old socks simmered
in peanut butter. I wrinkled my nose, coughed, cleared my throat, and said in
my deepest voice, "Welcome, villain. Place your entry sheet on the registration
table and go stand under the awning to wait until everyone gets here."
Hubrid gave an evil cackle to rival Luna's,
and stalked off to the awning. I shuddered, and I could feel Mandy doing the
same. A faint fluttering noise was coming from behind us, and I whirled around,
almost toppling off of Mandy's shoulders. Vira was floating daintily into the
"Hello, darling. I'm not late, am I? Just so
you know, Count Von Roo won't be along till midnight. He has to take away silly
pets' levels." She gave a dreadful little trill of laughter, and I trembled
"No, you're not late. Please place your entry
sheet on the desk and go wait under the awning with Hubrid," I said in a trembling
voice. I was beginning to have serious doubts about this. I forced myself to
take a long, deep breath to calm my jittering nerves. It was going to be a long
* * * * *
It was 12:00 NST, and everyone had arrived.
Mandy and I teetered over to the Icy Desk, and I started laboriously bending
down to pick up all the application sheets. Miniature explosions were coming
from the awning, most of them from Vira and a hooded woman with purple hair
whose voice sounded suspiciously like that of Jhudora. I cleared my throat and
called, "Everybody's here now, so please step into the spotlight, and we'll
start judging evil deeds." A faint cheer came up from the villains, and they
However, a cloaked figure suddenly darted into
the spotlight, and asked, in an odd, sibilant whisper, "Am I too late to be
I didn't dare refuse. There was no telling who
(or what) was under that cloak. It seemed to be bulging with odd, misshapen
"All right, please give me your application
and take your place in the line. I'm going to shuffle the papers, and call you
out in the order they appear."
I mixed them up as thoroughly as I could, then
drew the first one with a flourish.
"And our first contestant is…Vira!"
Vira fluttered delicately into the spotlight
and said, "My villainous deed is that I developed a type of daisy that has cursed
mirrors for the center. Anyone who sniffs or even looks at it will be cursed
"That's…nice," I said weakly, as the villains
oohed. "Next we have…Count Von Roo!"
Von Roo bounced into the spotlight and said,
"I took away twenty pet levels tonight!"
"Uh, isn't that what you usually do?" I asked.
"Yes, but it's evil, right?" he said peevishly.
"I'm sorry, sir, but it has to be something
unusual. You're disqualified." He groaned and slunk off into the night.
"Our next contestant is…'B'?"
"That would be me," rasped the sinister whisper.
He slunk into the spotlight, pulled off his hood, and grasped the ends of his
cloak. I gasped as I recognized him: An orange-colored Blumaroo, often found
in Shenkuu with his Magical Cooking Vessel. Now what was his name again?
"I stole the magical cooking pot from Jhuidah's
house, and used it to morph Meepits and Feepits to make…Meefits!!" He revealed
thick-furred pink creatures with wide, staring eyes. I shuddered with revulsion.
All the villains oohed again, and I heard urgent whispers from the dugout.
"Mom! It's Bonju! He stole the Cooking Pot!
Can we get him now?"
"Like, oh em gee! He really is, like, evil!
That's why he, like, threw Hoban overboard!"
"Shh, he's saying something! This was in the
list of rules, be quiet when the villain is saying something!"
Bonju was, indeed, saying something.
"Their fur is exactly like that of the Feepits.
Their fur can control climate changes and store oxygen, so they can invade every
place, including Terror Mountain and Kreludor. They are as evil as Meepits,
and can extort Juppie Juice just as well if not better. They are unstoppable!
I will be even more powerful than Adam himself."
I furrowed my brow. "But…you already have a
Magical Cooking Vessel. What would you need a Cooking Pot for?"
Bonju waggled his eyebrows. "Well, you see,
I can't really control the Vessel, so I decided to use something else and see
if it would respond. And it did! I'm a genius!"
While he was laughing crazily and the villains
were cheering, I waved frantically to the dugout. "Get him! NOW!" To the villains,
I said, "Please go stand under the awning again. We're, uh, having a slight
technical difficulty. Sorry for the delay." There was a general moan, and they
all trooped off again.
Luna and Vision dashed out, complete with Lupe
battle howls that would have made a Werelupe pack jealous and several magical
scrolls. Triss, Autumn, Prancer, and Charmed both started shrieking support
in a shrill and very irritating fashion, and Aquari started reading a list of
rules of combat. However, it turned out that we didn't need any of those things,
as Mandy whipped around to see what was happening, and I, never the best balancer,
fell right on top of Bonju's head. Luna, looking rather disappointed, tossed
a smoke bomb in the direction of the villain pack, and we made our escape, dragging
a senseless Bonju and his Meefits behind us.
* * * * *
"Well, that's very nice of you, but it's not
the Cooking Pot!" said Fyora. My mouth fell open. We had locked Bonju into my
safety deposit box along with all of my defense items for the night and taken
the Meefits to a rather bewildered Judge Hog, then rushed home to get a little
sleep before going to meet Fyora.
"B-b-but, he made the Meefits. How could he
have made them if he didn't have the cooking pot?" stuttered Mandy.
Fyora giggled. "It's rather a funny story. You
see, while Bonju was out visiting Roo Island, I ordered Jhuidah to confiscate
his Cooking Vessel. She stashed it in her house, right beside her own cooking
pot. However, when she got the fake distress call, it would appear that Bonju
stole his own Cooking Vessel back, and thought it was Jhuidah's. He accidentally
kicked Jhuidah's pot into a pile of Tchea fruit. I know he said he couldn't
control it, but he was wrong. He didn't know that if he believed in himself,
he could make it work. As a prize for your efforts, you can have one of the
I goggled at her. "A Tchea fruit?"
Fyora beamed. "Yes, they're all the rage with
you young people, aren't they? Well, be off with you." She handed me a fruit
and shooed us out of the Hidden Tower. I sighed, and turned to head home, when
a hand tapped my shoulder. Mandy grinned at me.
"We said we'd split the winnings fifty-fifty,
didn't we? So can I have my half Tchea fruit now?"
I groaned, nodded, broke the Tchea fruit in
half, and headed home feeling depressed. Then I realized, it was the excitement
of adventure that really counted. I'd gotten in some quality bonding time with
my pets, the sun was shining, the Weewoos were singing, and I was now half a
Tchea fruit richer.