The Haunted Woods Secret: Part Three
It was yet another unusual day in Happy Valley; another
heat wave had swept through the morning before it. Every Christmas or snowy white
coloured pet that lived there looked quite out of place as the weeks of blistering
heat had melted a lot of snow, leaving Happy Valley resembling the plains of Meridell.
Zeth the White Lupe now felt very awkward when he stepped out of his Neohome onto
the soft green grass. The grass felt a lot different than the cold powdery soft
snow he was used to. "This has gone too far," he said, shaking his head, observing
the very green surroundings.
Zeth trod along the rocky paths which lead to
Neopia Central. It wasn't very easy traveling down Terror Mountain now that
the snow had all melted. "I will pick up a few supplies, return this book to
the library, and then head over to the Haunted Woods," Zeth spoke to himself,
keeping a mental list of things to do. Something caught his eye as he arrived
at the bottom of the mountain. A little green light hovering above his tail
"What the?" He turned around and the little light whizzed past him, leaving
a stream of sparkling white behind her. "That was an Earth Faerie!" he blurted
before dashing after it.
It was very quick; just like Zeth couldn't be.
The white Lupe stumbled over his own feet, darting in, out and under the crowd,
but always keeping one eye on the Faerie. Before he knew it, he was in the Neopian
Bazaar. There were too many people in the streets and he almost knocked them
down trying to keep up with the young Faerie. "Um sorry ma'am, Pardon me sir.
Excuse me miss," he kept saying those lines as he rushed through the street
packed full of pedestrians. He was literally jumping over people to get past
them. When he found himself in front of the Library, the Faerie simply stopped,
hovered in the air and darted upwards into the sky.
Zeth fell to the ground, exhausted. "That Faerie
could've helped me pay for my trip to the Haunted Woods," he said, panting.
He rested his chin to the ground in defeat. "I should've been able to catch
that one, they're usually not that hard to catch. I must be getting old," he
said to himself. One of Zeth's hobbies was to catch and bottle Faeries to sell
in his shop. He had already blessed himself with many Faeries; the purpose of
cathing them now was mainly for profit. Many Neopians would shell out mega Neopoints
to buy one at this time. He got the idea after reading a book on Balthazar,
the Faerie hunter, and decided it would be a great hobby for him. He was a very
quick Lupe and usually caught the unsuspecting Faeries easily.
His hunt for the Faerie wasn't a complete letdown
anyway, it had led him to where he needed to go: the Neopian Library.
Zeth pulled himself off the ground and brushed
the dirt off his fur. He walked into the library. Noticing it was practically
empty; he sat down in a chair beside the main desk and waited patiently for
the librarian. The library was a very cozy place. There were many shelves of
books all lined up against the long blue walls, red cushions were scattered
along the ends of shelves and against empty walls, and there were a few wooden
tables set up in the center of the room.
When the librarian finally came out, Zeth strolled
up to the front desk and reached for an object inside the worn brown leather
bag he had around his shoulders. "Um, I would like to return this book," he
said as he placed the old book on the desk.
The Grarrl quickly punched a few things into
the computer. "Ah," He squinted, straining to read the tiny computer text, "Mr.
Zeth. You may still keep this book for 5 more days," he said as he adjusted
the glasses on his nose. "I don't need to keep it any longer, I've gotten the
information I needed," he said to the Grarrl. Zeth smiled, turned away from
the desk and walked out the door.
After he left the Library he headed straight
for the Food Shop. Just the thought of the food that was being sold in the Haunted
Woods made him feel sick to his stomach. He noticed the boarded up shop windows
as he walked past, but it wasn't unusual enough to make him want to skip lunch.
The Lupe squeezed himself inside the small shop, unprepared for what happened
"I WANT MY MONEY BACK!" an angry woman, who was
brandishing a burrito at poor Lee the Chia, yelled. "This product is BAD! I
want a REFUND!" shouted a little boy as his Pteri circled around him angrily.
It was grasping a bag of "Cheesy Neos" in its beak. Zeth pushed his way to the
front of the room and past the mob of angry customers so he could get a better
view of the situation.
"I am deeply sorry to anyone who has purchased
any rotten, poisonous or inedible foods. Please settle down and I will refund
your Neopoints," Lee tried to explain.
"This is ridiculous!" a snooty lady shouted and
proceeded toward the door, rudely bumping into Zeth and knocking over an Usul
along the way.
"I assure you! This will not happen again!" Lee
announced. "Just show me the spoilt item and the receipt and I will refund all
of your Neopoints." The mob of customers mumbled angrily as they all began to
search for their receipts. One by one all of the angry customers complained,
got their Neopoints refunded and left the store. When everyone was gone, Zeth
took his chance to step up to Lee the Chia.
"What's happening here?" he asked. Lee put his
paws on his forehead and sighed. "We just received the newest shipment of food
in yesterday and it appears that all of it has gone bad!" he whimpered. "I've
been dealing with an almost endless amount of angry customers. My sales are
dropping like flies! It seems I'm not the only one whose been having this problem.
Shops everywhere have been selling bad items to Neopians too!" Zeth knew where
this was going.
"So, this has been happening since yesterday?"
Lee nodded. Zeth knew that he wouldn't be able
to buy any food to take with him, for it would only go rotten. He left the food
shop wishing he had stocked up on munchies earlier and started his journey to
the Haunted Woods.
"Oww! Watch where you're going!" a small striped
Kacheek moaned as Zeth, who really wasn't watching where he was going, stepped
on her tail.
"Oh. I'm sorry!" he quickly apologized and hurried
off. The Kacheek didn't leave. She followed him to the Haunted Woods, giving
him a strange look. Zeth didn't want anyone to follow him. He didn't want anyone
to get into the same trouble he was about to get into.
"Stop following me," he growled and glanced back
at the Kacheek. He was just about to tell her to stalk someone else when something
caught his eye. He spotted a beautiful amulet around that Kacheek's neck. An
amulet that looked all too familiar. "It can't be. Where did you get this?"
He leapt over to her side and grabbed the amulet.
"Uhh, it's nothing!" she replied and snatched
it back. Zeth wasn't about to let one of the most powerful artifacts in Neopia
fall into the hands of an ignorant Kacheek.
"Where did you get it?" he insisted.
"I um I'd better go." She turned to walk away
but Zeth leapt in front of her.
"At least tell me your name," he said quickly,
attempting to get her to stay.
"Daton," she replied.
Zeth took a step back. "DATON?" He couldn't believe
"Do I know you?" She asked with a confused look
across her face. She stared at the stranger Lupe as if she had never seen one
before. Then as if a memory mallet had just hit her on the head, she remembered.
"ZETH! Long time no see!" Daton bounced happily up and down and gave him a big
hug. Zeth seemed to be more worried than happy.
"Daton, Where did you find the amulet?" Zeth
had a very serious gleam in his eye and Daton's joyfulness ended there. She
explained how she found the amulet. Zeth's uncertain look of worry didn't seem
to fade. "That monster is back and it's been causing all of the trouble in Neopia,"
he explained. "The amulet is the only thing that can stop it and we must get
to the Haunted Woods to destroy that monster once and for all!" Daton didn't
like the idea of facing the creature again, but she knew it was the only way
to stop it from snowing in the Lost Desert. As soon as they were done exchanging
information, they headed for the Haunted Woods hoping it wouldn't be their last
When both pets finally made it to the edge of
the deep woods, things were already beginning to get strange. A large wall of
electricity seemed to separate the two areas. It sot up way into the air and
looked completely impossible to cross. "Oh great! We can experience what it's
like to be a hot dog," Daton mumbled as she examined the field of light.
"I can't sense any electric pulses, Daton."
Zeth sniffed at the ground and even though she couldn't understand how anyone
could 'feel' the light, she believed him.
"Well, maybe it's just an optical illusion?"
Daton said as she studied the glowing wall again.
"No," Zeth said slowly, finally realizing what
it was. "I know what this is. It's the light of darkness. It binds the dark
from the light." Zeth lifted his head and closed his eyes for a few seconds.
Daton scratched her head in confusion. He noticed her look of confusion "It
was in that "Faerie Dreams" book. It tells a story of a greedy Faerie who uses
her powers of darkness to manipulate the world."
Daton looked very interested. "Continue," she
Zeth sighed. "This Dark Faerie used her evil
magic to create this amulet," he pointed at the Amulet of Dreams. "A great battle
took place in a beautiful forest; the Haunted Woods. An army of good Faeries
formed together and fought the Dark Faerie's dreams."
"They fought her dreams?" Daton asked.
"Yes. The Amulet of Dreams can make dreams become
reality. She imagined evil creatures and they came to life and fought for her.
In the end, the good Faeries won, but the evil Dark Faerie cast a curse on the
forest turning it ugly and dreary. The spell was released just before the others
were able to seal her inside the Amulet. The Amulet had a charm put on it by
other Dark Faeries. It was planted and grew into a beautiful tree which gave
the forest life again and made it as beautiful as it once was. 500 years later,
the tree died and the Haunted Woods remained Haunted to this day. That's where
we found the amulet. Unfortunately, when we cut down the tree to snatch the
Amulet, we kind of freed the evil Faerie." Zeth rubbed the back of his head
Daton sat on the ground. She was stunned by the
story. "I remember now. I remember reading the story in the book," she said.
"If only we had read the end of the story. If we only knew that taking the Amulet
was the wrong thing to do…"
Zeth nodded and got to his feet. "We can't let
it destroy Neopia! We have to find a way to get rid of the evil Faerie! Though
I am a bit worried as to how and why the Amulet found its way to us." He sighed
and eyed the beautiful pendant.
Zeth finally walked up to the wall of light and
eyed it closely. "No matter, we still need to figure out how to get into the
Haunted Woods," he said. The white Lupe dug into his brown leather bag and pulled
out a Rainbow Frost Cannon. "I have an idea!" He aimed and fired. The wall froze
in the small area it was hit; cracking slightly. Zeth backed up and slammed
into it with his head. The force broke a small hole through the icy wall. "Hurry!"
he shouted. "It will repair itself soon!" Daton took a running jump and managed
to squeeze herself through the rapidly shrinking hole just before it closed
on her tail. She landed on her back on the other side and moaned.
"Somehow," she said, "I have a feeling this won't
be our toughest obstacle."
To be continued…