"...But first," Number Five hastily added on, "I... er, have to make a stop at the bathroom first."
"Alright," Hayden sighed, the riches on his mind shortening his patience.
Number Five slipped out quietly, carrying with him a page torn from Extinct Neopian Languages. He hadn't realized it until the young Cybunny had brought it up, but the ancient Jelly World dialect did resemble Tyrannian backward -- had Jelly World really co-existed alongside Tyrannia? He supposed it was around at the time of ancient Altador, which itself existed about 1,000 years ago...
He had to uncover the complete story behind Jelly World.
I mean, I was the one who spent years studying the mythical location. I was the individual who got locked in jail for what Neopians though were incoherent ramblings, Number Five thought. Though the Cybunny's catch -- and his general party -- may have helped me out somewhat, access to the world should belong solely to me.
He had to get the other members of the group out of the way, and he knew just how to -- perfectly legally -- do it.
Running down into the public reading room, he grabbed a Language Textbook and -- after brushing up on his Tyrannian -- jotted some backward symbols down on an old parchment, a piece he had swiped from the cluttered floor of Finneus's chamber that was sitting unobtrusively beside a shredded Meepit plushie...
...Artemis, Hayden, Finneus, and Number Five arrived at the door of the local weapons shop. Their friend in the starry hat had stayed behind to watch over the Archives in the Lenny's absence.
"Well, here we are," Finneus announced. "This building..." he began, then paused for dramatic effect. "This building exists as the speculative nexus between Neopia and the mythical land of Jelly."
"Yep," Number Five said. He then pursued a maniacal giggle. "This is what I've waited my entire life for!"
Visions of treasure flashed before the Cybunny's eyes. "This is what I've waited my entire life for!"
"Now," Artemis announced, "where can we put this key..."
The quartet glanced all around.
"Well, you could try inserting the key into the symbol above the door somehow," Number Five suggested. "After all, they do share the same emblem."
"Good thinking, Lupe," Artemis commended. "But... how do we get up there?"
"Er..." Finneus blurted, thinking out loud. "Climb on my shoulders," he instructed Number Five.
By now, the awkwardness of a crazed Lupe attempting to balance atop what appeared to be the archivist had attracted some glaring, and general bewilderment.
The Elephante who ran Illustrious Armoury -- observing the situation through the store window -- became especially disconcerted and went outside to see what exactly was going on.
"What's going on?" he inquired.
His eyes then widened when he saw Number Five.
"Hello, blacksmith," Artemis greeted. "We're attempting to locate Jelly World."
The Elephante smiled nervously. "Right," he agreed. "And, to do so, Number Five will have to... stand on Finneus's... shoulders?" He tried sorting something through his head.
"Yes," Hayden agreed.
"Well," the blacksmith placated, "would you like any help? I've a ladder in the back of my shop."
"Excellent!" Number Five exclaimed.
"Yes," the Elephante agreed. "I'll go get it for you two."
He went inside his store and retrieved his long ladder, which he carried out to the "Deranged Jelliers," as he called them.
"Just make sure you... find me when everything is done." The blacksmith smiled at the four before returning into his office and drafting a quick letter. Finding his Faerie Yooyu, he sent the message flying off toward the Hall of Heroes...
Meanwhile, the ladder had been steadied against the side of Illustrious Armoury, and Number Five endeavored to climb up it.
He peered around the symbol and... in the dead center, he spotted a keyhole.
"I've found a keyhole!" he shouted to the party below.
They cheered him on.
He inserted the key... it fit. He turned it... and the symbol fell down toward the ground, smashing into several pieces and creating a massive cloud of dust.
As the three below turned away and started coughing, Number Five quickly scaled down the ladder and, taking the old parchment found in the rubble, replaced it with the one that he had devised on his supposed bathroom break.
The three finished their coughing fit shortly after the dust subsided -- Number Five had long since performed his dastardly deed.
"I climbed down the ladder," the Lupe said before they asked questions.
"Yes," Hayden agreed. "Why aren't you coughing?"
Number Five almost laughed. "Are you kidding? The conditions are much worse in the Citadel."
The other three had to agree.
Hayden then saw the parchment there, buried within the rubble, and retrieved it. "It's in Jelly-speak!" he exclaimed, hoping that what he had called the language would catch on -- then, he could be famous for two things.
He read it aloud. "You have come this far... but your journey ends here. There is no Jelly World -- this was all just a massive ruse. Congrats, however... you would make an excellent sleuth and / or treasure hunter."
All but Number Five, who was giggling unnoticeably to himself, stared at the letter in disbelief.
"I guess that's it," Finneus uttered dejectedly. "There's no Jelly World."
"But," Number Five spoke, feigning misery, "it has to exist!"
"It doesn't," Hayden responded, his dreams seemingly less crushed than those of Number Five's.
"Well, what do we do now?" Artemis inquired.
That's when a carriage, pulled by two large Alabrisses, showed up. King Altador arrived at the scene. He walked up beside Number Five and handcuffed him.
"Number Five," he said, "I've been communicating with Meridell and the Darigan Citadel for a short while now; they were angry, as we were allegedly harboring a fugitive... you." He looked cross. "I was recently tipped off that you were here, in front of Illustrious Armoury, in some vain attempt to find Jelly World."
He gazed at the other three.
"Also," Altador continued, "I see you kidnapped my archivist and a few students from the Imperial Seminary to aid in your efforts. Is this true?"
Number Five glared at the three, and then at Altador. If he denied the fact, Darigan would just punish him more for not "telling the truth" about the matter. "It's true," he sighed.
"Very well," Altador replied gravely. He then took notice of the damage around him. "Tell the blacksmith that I'll reimburse him for the fallen emblem."
Altador ushered the deplorable Lupe into his carriage, and it rode off.
There was an awkward feeling in the air.
"Er... what do we do now?" Artemis reiterated.
"Let's go back to the Archives," Hayden suggested. "I'll go help you study..."
Number Five sat in a temporary holding cell in the Hall of Heroes, awaiting members of the Darigan or Meridellian armies to come and take him back to the Citadel.
He retrieved the parchment that he had swapped with his own after the symbol had fallen down and smashed. It was a map... a map supposedly leading to Jelly World.
All he had to do now was find some way out. It would most certainly be more difficult -- after this long escape of his, the guarding of his Darigan cell would surely be increased.
He had the map, though, and that was all he needed... he started laughing again, a crazed chuckle heard throughout the hall...
"Why, though?" Artemis asked. "Don't you want to keep searching for treasure?"
Her Cybunny friend laughed. "I think I'm done with treasure hunting for now. I've had more adventure and excitement in a day than I've ever had, and..." he looked sadly toward the ground, "...I don't want to end up like Number Five, so obsessed about fame and things that, apparently, don't exist." He then smiled.
Finneus quickly stopped in to return the ladder to the blacksmith, also telling him about the symbol and Altador's supposed funding of a new one. He soon returned back outside.
The three then walked back toward the Archives, thoughts of any sort of "Jelly World" already drifting from their conscious minds...