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||You are on Week 384
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 Three Hundred Eighty Four Ends Friday, September 19
The air was warm and smelled deliciously of chocolate. Liljek could barely contain his excitement as he and his friend Jaym wove through the winding streets of Neopia Central toward the Chocolate Factory. The Moehog kept scampering ahead of his Mynci companion and then would have to wait impatiently for Jaym to catch up before the whole process started over again.
"Can you believe it, Jaym?" Liljek asked. "You and me -- at the Annual Chocolate Ball?! I'm going to eat so much chocolate! You know, I've heard that they have chocolate fountains that you can drink from and statues made out of chocolate and..."
The Mynci just laughed at his friend's enthusiasm. "Slow down, Liljek. We'll get there in plenty of time to see all the chocolate creations."
Liljek skipped ahead again, seeing visions of whole miniature worlds made out of chocolate in his head. "Hey, Jaym, do you think I'm dressed up enough for this?" The Moehog turned to face his friend and started walking backward. "I mean, I borrowed this tuxedo thing from my older brother -- do you think I look O--"
Before Liljek could finish his sentence, he found himself flat on his back and covered in something that was sticky and smelled, well, like chocolate.
"You idiot!" someone shouted at him, and the Moehog looked up to find a very cross Chia standing over him. "You've ruined it, you clumsy fool!"
"Ruined what?" Liljek asked, his voice a bit dazed. Jaym had caught up and offered the Moehog a paw to help him to his feet. "What's going on? Are my clothes all right?" He could tell from the look on Jaym's face that they weren't, but he glanced down at himself anyway. His borrowed suit was covered in chocolate and brightly coloured pieces of candy. At his feet were the smashed remains of what looked like a giant Negg made of chocolate, only it was hollow with a tiny replica of the Chocolate Factory constructed from candy inside.
"Who cares about your clothes, you silly Moehog? You've smashed my masterpiece!" The Chia covered his face with his hands. "Now I'll never become the chocolate master's apprentice!"
"Hey, it was an accident," Jaym said, trying to soothe the angry Chia.
The Chia would not be soothed, though. He looked at the two friends scornfully and said, "You've made a powerful enemy today! I promise you that..."
Author: Sweet Chocolaty Revenge!|
Date: Sep 15th
"...you will live to rue your heedlessness!"
"I already do," Liljek said. "My brother's going to kill me." He brushed sadly at the chocolate-smeared tuxedo, dislodging a few candy smokestacks.
The Chia's chest puffed up dangerously. "Don't underestimate me, you oaf!"
"How powerful an enemy can you be," Liljek scoffed, "if you're not even an apprentice yet?"
"You just wait," the Chia said darkly. He gathered up his half-demolished Chocolate Factory replica, wiped surreptitiously at his eyes, and walked away.
Jaym looked worriedly after him. The Chia's shoulders slumped dejectedly after several steps, perhaps as if he thought he was no longer under observation, but the Mynci still felt uneasy. And rather guilty.
"What a jerk," Liljek grumbled. "Now what am I going to wear?"
Jaym rounded on him. "You don't sound any too sweet yourself," he snapped. "He probably worked really hard on that."
Liljek scowled. "Hey, I thought you were on my side!"
"You're my friend," Jaym said, "and I honestly hope he can't really take some awful vengeance on you, but you could have at least apologised."
"He was already threatening me!"
"Yeah, well, he was wrong, that doesn't mean you can't be." Jaym looked over his friend and sighed. "You really are going to have to change, though."
Liljek wilted as much as the Chia had. "I don't have anything else."
"I can spot you a loan to rent one." Jaym started to pat Liljek's shoulder, then thought better of it given the stickiness. "You're paying to get your brother's tux cleaned, though."
The Chia, Arthe, did not go directly to the Chocolate Ball. He turned aside and made his way to a secluded park, set the brake carefully on the low wagon he had built to transport his masterpiece, and then sat down and buried his head in his hands.
He really had thought he'd finally done it this time. The Negg had been perfect. The replica factory had been excruciatingly detailed. And now... well, now about half of it was still recognisable, and what remained of the Negg was starting to melt in the outdoor heat.
He shooed away a few Petpetpets that were trying to nibble at it.
That uncoordinated Moehog's words still stung. He couldn't even make apprentice, not as a chocolatier. He'd made it to the journeyman level in magic while hardly trying -- much to his grandmother's exasperation -- but the chocolate master wouldn't look twice at him.
And his grandmother, he thought with an uneasy twist of guilt in his stomach, would be really mad if she knew he'd threatened the Moehog. But he'd been such an idiot! Walking around backward, flailing around, worrying about his clothes! Clothes were replaceable. Arthe could never fix his masterpiece in such a short time. Not without magic. And he wasn't allowed to use magic.
Of course... he'd done it the right way the first time. It wasn't his fault it was broken.
But they could probably tell.
But... at least he could show them what it had looked like before. Yes. He could do that. That would be all right, wouldn't it?
Liljek's stomach gurgled. He wasn't sure whether it was more from the delicious, mouthwatering smell coming from the building they were approaching, or from nerves about getting in, or from uneasiness about how he was going to pay back Jaym, or even get his brother's tux back. The cleaner had looked disgusted, but had taken the suit. They'd had a hard time finding a rental place that still had any tuxedos left -- he was surprised, as he'd always assumed most of the Neopians who went to the Chocolate Ball were upscale enough to own them instead of renting -- and the one he was wearing was actually cut for a Gnorbu instead of a Moehog. But then, his brother's had been a size too big, so it didn't really make that much difference.
"What if they don't let us in?" he hissed to Jaym.
"Don't you have your ticket?" Jaym whispered back.
"Shush. We can't do anything more about it until we find out."
Liljek managed to be quiet for all of two minutes before he said, "Jaym?"
Liljek started to point, then restrained himself and just jerked his head toward the competitors' line. "Isn't that that Chia?"
Jaym turned to look, then just as swiftly turned back. "Don't stare, Liljek. It might be."
The giant Negg the Chia was pushing, however, had been entirely intact...
Date: Sep 15th
The Chia had a determined glint to his eyes as he pushed the giant chocolate sculpture. There was something else in his eyes too, a gleam that was largely unfathomable.
Liljek didn't stop staring, though. There was something different about the Negg. It didn't really look outright different than the one he'd accidentally shattered earlier, but it couldn't have been the same one -- he had destroyed it, right?
Oh, and it glittered. It was a faint sheen, a subtle, mysterious sparkle that was barely visible in the half-darkness, but there was something profoundly wrong with it.
"Did he have another sculpture?" he whispered incredulously. "Why attack me about it, then? What a jerk."
"It's probably not the same Chia," Jaym muttered.
Just then, the Chia looked over, spotted Liljek, and gave him a baleful glare of so much loathing that the Moehog's doubt was washed away like sand on the Mystery Island beaches.
Arthe's heart was pounding.
Partially with excitement. Here he was, at the Chocolate Ball, among all the master chocolatiers. The pinnacle of chocolate. And he had a beautiful, beautiful masterpiece to his name this time.
And then with fear.
He'd cheated. He, Arthe, had cheated. His spell had been as carefully crafted, as undetectable as that of the most powerful faeries, but it was still there. If his Negg was scrutinised too closely, by the right eyes...
And the Moehog. That accursed, accursed Moehog was here. At the Chocolate Ball!
But that wasn't the worst bit. He could repress his anger at the Moehog, that clumsy, destructive pet, but the Moehog could be his very undoing. If he let slip to anyone that his beautiful Negg had been destroyed only minutes ago, then they'd know that he, Arthe, was cheating. He'd never, never be an apprentice then. He'd be a laughingstock, his name a taboo.
No, he had to keep that silly pet quiet. It was for his own good, really.
Nothing will happen if he doesn't try to tell, he assuaged his fluttering conscience. If not... well, he'll be paying for the way he crossed me earlier. He'll have thoroughly deserved this if he ruins me twice.
Making sure his face was hidden from prying eyes, he closed his eyes and muttered an incantation...
Date: Sep 16th
"Amazing," Jaym breathed, staring at an intricate spiral sculpture of chocolate. He tilted his head back and forth, left and right. "Amazing," he repeated. "Liljek, you have to see this. Chocolate as art -- wow. This is so deep, it's dizzying."
His friend didn't reply. Probably skulking around somewhere, trying to find one piece of chocolate meant to be eaten, and put off by all of the edibly unedible candy in the room. Nothing to worry about. Still, with that Moehog's luck, he'd probably end up ruining another wannabe apprentice's work anyway. Typical. Jaym sighed.
"Liljek!" he called, turning away from the sculpture. "Lil -- oh, you were right there. Why didn't you answer me?"
Liljek made a sort of weak grunting noise, too absorbed in licking the thick coating of chocolate all over his hooves.
Jaym groaned, eying the Moehog's borrowed suit. "You didn't run into another sculpture, did you?" he muttered, cringing at the heavy splattering of chocolate spots all over the jacket.
Liljek shook his head, moving noisily onto his other hoof. There was an awful lot of chocolate on him -- thick streams of it dripping from his nose, fingers, tail. He looked drenched.
"What did happen then?"
The Moehog shrugged. "Just happened," he said stickily, eager to get back to his precious chocolate. "Was walking, then bam! Chocolate all over me. Good stuff."
Jaym frowned. No, this was not right. Moehogs didn't suddenly, randomly, inexplicably become covered in chocolate. Something was wrong here, a flat note that should have been sharp. Maybe it was that Chia... maybe he'd really made good on his threat, after all. Turning Liljek to chocolate must have been the Chia's idea of punishment. Not very punishing, as far as pain and humiliation and the typical aspects of punishment were concerned, but still. Jaym wasn't complaining; at least it kept Liljek quiet.
The Mynci blinked, feeling the dull clunk of something half-clicking in his mind. He turned, scanning the room. And then he stopped.
Hiding behind a marvellously crafted giant chocolate Negg, a Chia was staring at him.
Jaym stared back.
Arthe knew he was in deep trouble now. The Mynci -- the vaguely sensible one -- knew what he was up to. Or if he didn't know yet, then it was only a matter of time. He had to be silenced as well.
The Chia felt a hollow, swooping guilt in his stomach as he began murmuring another spell. A feeling that only got worse when the chocolate master himself came up to him with a furious look plastered over his face, bellowing, "Young man, are you using magic?"
Arthe swallowed, the magic words dying in his throat. Caught. He'd been caught...
Date: Sep 16th
"No! I mean I'm not usin-" Arthe stuttered to a halt and hung his head in shame. "Yes, sir, I was."
"Well, then, please escort yourself out of my factory." The chocolate master was smouldering now. Arthe thought the yellow Kiko's giant head would explode if breath was withheld any longer.
"Yes, sir." Arthe knew everything was over. His dreams, being an apprentice, everything. Unless...
The Chia turned around, then started muttering quietly under his breath. It went against all his morals, but he had already crossed the line. What was the harm in going just a little bit deeper?
"An mre unet mory wyin--" But he faltered. Memory erase spells were the toughest because they involved a long-lost language that Arthe didn't know. He'd have to go with something simpler.
"Magic of old, charms of new, hypnotism your power. Though this spell was created crude, control this Kiko for at least one hour."
Arthe turned and focused on the chocolate master with all of his mind. The yellow figure blinked, and the rage disappeared from his eyes. It was replaced by a blissful gaze, unfocused and serene.
Arthe walked to the now obedient Kiko, feeling only slightly guilty of his actions. He was cheating already, this just clinched it. He couldn't turn back.
He reached the stationary figure and gazed at his Negg of magic origins once more. Turning to the hypnotised Neopet, he spoke in a low, forceful tone.
"Continue on as were your plans before, only change two things. First, you will forget you ever saw me use magic. Second, I will be announced your new apprentice at the end of the Chocolate Ball."
Arthe clapped his hands, and the chocolate master came to his senses.
"Hello, young Chia," he said pleasantly. "I don't know what it is about your Negg, but it looks like a winner." The chocolate master winked, then went off, leaving a diabolical Chia smiling to his Negg...
Date: Sep 17th
Jaym's jaw dropped.
He'd seen it all. Cowering behind his repaired Negg, the Chia had started to mutter something at him -- the Mynci had seen where the Chia's eyes were looking.
The chocolate master had confronted him, and for a second, things had started to go right.
Then they'd spiralled even further out of control.
The Chia had muttered another spell at the furious Kiko, and the old Neopet's anger had faded into a rather vapid blankness, which faded to pleasantry. And somehow, over the buzz of excited crowds, Jaym had heard the Chia's demands...
"Liljek," he hissed. "Did you just see that?"
"See what?" the Moehog demanded thickly through a mouthful of warm chocolate.
"That Chia, the one from earlier. He's on to us. And he just brainwashed the chocolate master, from the looks of it."
"So he can use magic?" Liljek swallowed. "Yeah, since I broke that Negg and saw it repaired, I kind of figured he was up to something. But what...?" He shivered suddenly, despite the warmth of the room.
"He put some sort of spell on the chocolate master. We need to take it off. I think grandeur is starting to get to this guy's head. Do you have any ideas?"
The Moehog didn't answer.
"Liljek, please! This is urgent. We need to break this spell!"
Still no response.
"Liljek, stop eating and pay attention!"
Aggravated, Jaym whirled around, mouth open, and his blood ran cold.
There was a lot more chocolate on Liljek now. It seemed to cover him entirely. Only it wasn't dripping any more, and the Moehog had stopped trying to eat it.
He was only a chocolate statue...
Date: Sep 17th
Jaym watched, mostly in fear, as the Chia grinned that malicious smile. Twice, the Mynci had seen it, and each time he shivered at the sight.
Liljek stood still, paying attention forever. "It's all my fault," the Mynci whispered hoarsely and fell to his knees. He didn't know magic, and he couldn't fix his friend.
Even though he was always having to help his friend, Jaym didn't think he could save the chocolate master without the immature Moehog at his side. No matter how corny it sounded, Jaym knew it was hopeless.
Arthe watched, excited at his accomplishment. His vengeance had been reaped! The troublesome Moehog was frozen in chocolate, and no amount of crying could save the Mynci from an imminent and similar fate.
Arthe started to push his Negg toward the stage at the front of the factory. The wood that made the platform was chocolate-coloured and blended into the walls around it. It would be the stage where Arthe's dreams would finally be achieved.
Once he reached the foot of the stage, he started speaking the chocolate spell again. The Moehog's accomplice, the peace-loving Mynci, would pay as well. He turned back toward the duo, and his eyes opened in anger.
Other Neopets started to gather around, staring at the spectacle. A Mynci sat there, crying next to his precisely carved Moehog masterpiece. They blocked Arthe's view of his target, cutting off his spell's aim.
What could be happening in that circle? The Chia feared the worst, and made his way toward the ever-growing crowd. The boisterous Neopets made it seem like they were trying to cheer the Mynci up, but Arthe went closer anyway.
Arthe finally got close enough to hear their words. He caught a view of the Mynci and gasped. That was when he realised what was actually happening. The crowd was applauding the Mynci.
Jaym stood in the middle of the fray, gazing up at the cheering Neopets. They gazed in pleasure and amazement at the chocolate Moehog, and Jaym grinned, sadness and hope mixed together. The vengeful Chia had finally made a mistake...
Date: Sep 18th
Now Jaym's chances were better. Could he really fix Liljek's mistake? He stood for a moment, just smiling. Thinking. When suddenly the chocolate master's voice boomed throughout the ballroom.
"It has been brought to my attention that a young Mynci has brought an outstanding piece of chocolate work. If that is true, would you please escort your chocolate to the stage so it can be judged?"
Jaym hesitated. He had been called out, but was it the Chia's doing? The Chia had put a spell on the chocolate master only moments ago. Jaym's mind raced as he slowly dragged Liljek to the stage.
What can I do? he thought. I obviously didn't sculpt this statue of Lilejk -- this IS Liljek, and it's the Chia's doing, I just know it! But what will he do to me if I unmask him?
Jaym reached the stage, still without a plan of action. As he and an assistant chocolatier hoisted Liljek onto the judging platform, he met the Chia's eyes. Jaym's blood ran cold.
Would the Chia really harm him in front of all those Neopians?
Jaym got his answer as the glaring (though increasingly desperate-looking) Chia closed his eyes and started mouthing words...
Date: Sep 18th
Jaym stood awkwardly, almost unaware of his own actions, as he watched the Chia. Somewhere, sometime on the stage, the assistant chocolatier was saying, "What a marvellously detailed piece of work!" and the chocolate master was calling upon the judges to come onstage.
There was applause, and Neopians were moving... the stage was filling, voices were firing questions at him: "How long did it take you to make? Where did you get your inspiration?" His mouth moved helplessly, forming sounds, "Oh, a few months... for my friend, you know..." and all he could do was stand trapped upon the stage, glancing frequently at the strange, terrible Chia.
Then Arthe's spell came through... to Jaym's mind.
In a few moments they will finish judging the aesthetics and start to taste the chocolate. Your friend will be eaten if I do not remove the spell. If you want me to remove the spell, you will have to obey me. Tell everyone that it was you who cheated. Say that you're sorry, that your masterpiece is not worthy of attention, and drag it out. Then I'll revive your friend.
No, I can't do that, the thought blazed in Jaym's mind as he made fierce eye contact with the Chia. Liljek may be clumsy or rude sometimes, but he does not deserve this. And neither do you -- even if I don't tell on you, you will be found out. Dark secrets like this can never last.
The Chia's gaze turned icy, his mutters swift. Do as I say, or your friend is doomed. It is as simple as that.
"An excellent choice for a finalist," one of the judges was saying. "Which other pieces have caught your attention? We will need to select three finalists and showcase their various virtues before we open the tasting session."
Jaym looked once more at the Chia, thinking, I have cards to play too, you know. Then he turned with a smile to the chocolate master and began, "I believe you've overlooked one of the more finely crafted pieces out there. I am referring to that Chia's giant chocolate Negg..."
All eyes turned to Arthe...
Date: Sep 19th
...and he froze, his mouth gaping open.
"Ah yes!" the chocolate master said, clasping his hands together. "I saw this wondrous statue earlier! A masterpiece! Simply wonderful! Come, my good Chia, bring it up here!" He gestured toward Arthe, beckoning him with his hand.
Arthe felt like he was falling, and all the eyes scouring his skin felt like miniature burns. "Err... why don't we just judge it from here?"
"So far away? But then the no one else will be able to see such a magical piece, and then you can't be my apprentice!" The Kiko grinned, still under the spell from earlier.
"Yes," Jaym concurred with a smirk, the Mynci crossing his arms over his chest. "It does seem rather magical. And so detailed! I think it deserves a closer look so we can truly marvel at it all!" He turned toward the audience. "I think everyone here will agree that it certainly deserves to be reviewed!"
When the audience started clapping, Arthe knew he was caught, but he refused to give up -- not after he had worked so hard to get what he wanted. The apprenticeship belonged to him, and a stupid Mynci wasn't about to stand in his way. Carefully, he rolled his magicked Negg up to the stage so that he stood alongside the Mynci and his "statue."
Jaym had a grin on his face, knowing that he had won; Arthe had run out of time to recite another spell, and the judges would discover that he had cheated in mere moments. What Arthe needed was a distraction and a way to crush the competition at the same time, and with time running out, he did the only thing his frantic mind could think of.
In a single movement, he jumped in front of Jaym and shoved the chocolate statue of Lilejk off the stage.
There was a gasp from the horrified audience and an anguished cry from Jaym as he reached for his falling friend, but Arthe didn’t pay attention to it. He was too busy trying to remember the ancient memory-clearing spell, the words coming to him more easily now that adrenaline raced through his system. But before a single syllable could escape his lips, he felt a strong hand cup over his mouth.
The chocolate master.
The yellow Kiko glared at him angrily. "No more spells, Arthe."
IMPOSSIBLE! Arthe's mind screamed, glancing at the back of the chocolate hall toward the clock. His earlier spell still should have held true for at least a few more minutes! And with no other magicians around, what had snapped the chocolate master out of his control?!
It was as he was frantically trying to think of a plausible explanation that his eyes fell upon Lilejk, and his heart almost stopped. Instead of being a bunch of splintered pieces of chocolate at the foot of the stage, the magicked Neopet, still in his chocolaty state, was completely whole, a feat that never would have happened with a real chocolate statue.
And it was a feat that had snapped the chocolate master out of his trance.
"After you return the Moehog back to his normal state, you're going straight to the Defenders," the master said, his voice holding notes of both anger and disappointment at the same time. "A Neopet like you could never be my apprentice."
Arthe wanted to fight back, but with a sigh of defeat, he felt in his heart that the master was right. Chocolate and magic simply weren't meant to be mixed.
Once Lilejk had been restored, and after grabbing a bunch of free samples, the two friends left the convention, their stomachs laden with treats, and completely exhausted from the excitement of the day.
"Well, this was an interesting day," Jaym remarked, patting his stomach, glad that the whole ordeal was over, but he stopped dead when he glanced over at his friend. "Liljek, what do you think you're doing?"
Liljek stopped licking his arm and grinned sheepishly at his friend. "Sorry. But being made of chocolate actually wasn't half bad."
Date: Sep 19th
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