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Week 592
You are on Week 593
Week 594

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 Five Hundred Ninety Three Ends Friday, February 15

"Five plates of Pteri Spaghetti, just as the job listing requested, Mr. Seymour, sir."

The old faerie Yurble blinked a few times in surprise as five plates of spaghetti clattered in front of him, splattering tomato sauce across the new job listings he had been writing. Seymour breathed out an impatient sigh. These new interns, they'll never understand how to properly complete their jobs in a clean and timely manner. Grimacing, Seymour shook his head impatiently.

"Now, listen here," Seymour said as he gingerly pushed the plates aside, "How many times do I have to tell you that it is very unprofessional to stack any food items that you have collected on top of each other?"

"I don't know about the other interns, Mr. Seymour, but as I recall, you only had to tell me once, and I've followed those instructions ever since. Today you'll have to forgive me, however. I didn't want to come in late after my allotted time to find these items, and I ran into a bit of trouble while finding them."

Furrowing his brow at the sound of the voice, Seymour's grimace became a broad grin once he saw the sauce-covered face of a disgruntled blue Xweetok standing in front of his desk behind the stack of spaghetti plates.

"Vergil!" Seymour exclaimed as he slid off the stool he had been sitting on in order to properly greet the other. "I didn't realize it was you! Didn't think that you'd be back already... also, why in the world is there spaghetti sauce all over your face, my boy?"

A tight smile graced Vergil's lips as he gratefully took the handkerchief Seymour offered him. It had been a long day at the agency, and it wasn't fun running across Faerieland trying to complete his last job for the day with sauce all over his face.

"It's nothing, really," Vergil said before he sighed and rolled his eyes. "Actually, it is something. Long story short, my brother decided to have a late evening snack while I was out trying to find the last plate of spaghetti. I came back just in time to see him about to put a forkful into that gluttonous mouth of his. We got in a bit of a fight because of it, actually."

Seymour tutted sympathetically. "Dante's driving you up the wall again, isn't he? It's hard to believe that he's your twin with the way the both of you act. You're bright and hardworking -- coming in here every day to earn Neopoints while that red-furred rascal spends half his time out at the Wheel of Excitement pestering the light faerie there to give him a second go at it."

"Or at the Poogle Races," Vergil muttered under his breath as he scrubbed the last bit of sauce out of his fur. "He has all the luck in the world, though."

"Luck means nothing," Seymour said as he went back and carefully placed each of the spaghetti plates into a specially-sealed container to keep them from spilling. "Hard work means everything. It means trust and trustworthiness... and you, Vergil, are the most hardworking and trustworthy young Neopet I have ever met. In fact, I would not be surprised if you end up as an Archmaster one day, and I would be proud to see you through it."

A faint blush started to form on Vergil's face at Seymour's compliment. He slowly glanced up at the clock and saw that it was starting to get late. The sun was setting on Faerieland, and the only ones who were left in the agency were the faerie Neopets that helped run the agency (plus a few stragglers coming in to deliver their items). Even the faerie Neopets were starting to call it a night as rows upon rows of empty desks looked back at him. Although Vergil would often times stay late at the agency, he had never seen or felt the building be this quiet or empty.

"I should be going home now," Vergil said, looking back at Seymour. "I'll be in tomorrow to see if there’s any new listings I could do. If you're in a hurry, I could always take my wages tomorrow."

Seymour was sitting behind his desk again, rummaging through the drawers while muttering under his breath. Vergil watched carefully before taking a step backward. He was used to this. Seymour was always the last Neopet to leave the agency and the first to arrive. He was also usually a bit scatterbrained once the sun started to touch the horizon.

"I'll see you tomorrow, Mr. Seymour."

"Wait."

Vergil paused. He turned around and saw a sealed envelope in Seymour's hand.

"Speaking of hard work," Seymour said with a broad smile, "I have one last, very important job for you, Vergil, and I trust that you will be able to complete it in a timely manner..."

Author: noxlyx
Date: Feb 11th
..."Of course," Vergil said. "What's the job?"

Seymour handed the envelope to the Xweetok, who gave it a bit of a curious look. "This is a very important letter that I must get to an associate of mine. It is a must that he gets it before the sun rises."

"Of course," Vergil repeated, nodding a bit, "You can consider it as good as done. If you don't mind my asking, why does it have to be there before the sun rises?"

"Well," the faerie Yurble said, "he's... nocturnal, to put it politely."

"Fair enough," Vergil said. "Where exactly can I find this associate of yours?"

"Hold on a moment, and I'll make you a map," Seymour said, grabbing a sheet of paper and a pen and making a few quick scribbles. "This will probably be one of your more difficult jobs," the Yurble said as he continued drawing the map. "You'll have to cut through the Haunted Woods, but I know that it's not the first time you've had to do that."

Vergil nodded. His work for Seymour had taken him through the Haunted Woods several times. He could still remember the night he was chased by Werelupes after needing to get an order of Bat Cookies from Spooky Foods.

"Here we go!" Seymour said, handing him the crude map. "You'd best be on your way... and remember, you must get this to him before sunrise."

"You can count on me!" Vergil said.

"Oh, there's one more thing!" Seymour said, just as the Xweetok was about to head out the door. "Take your brother with you. I want that lazy good-for-nothing to learn some responsibility, and I can think of no better way than for him to accompany you on this job."

"Not a problem at all, Mr. Seymour," Vergil said before heading out.

The blue Xweetok found his brother just outside of the city. He had a large stick in his hands, and was poking at a blue Grundo plushie that was stuck in a tree.

"Dante!" Vergil shouted, startling the other Xweetok into dropping his stick just before he poked the plushie a second time. "Let's go! We have a job to do!"

The other Xweetok sighed. "Oh come on, bro! The work day is over! Let's go home..." he complained.

"No buts!" Vergil snapped. "It's a direct order from Mr. Seymour."

Dante groaned loudly. "Ugghh... fine," he complained again. "What do we have to do for that old geezer this time?"

"We just need to give this letter to his associate," Vergil said. "That's it."

"And who exactly is this associate of his?" Dante asked.

"Umm..." Vergil said, checking the map the Yurble had drawn. There was a clear path through the Haunted Woods scribbled there before it came out on the other end, passed around Neopia Central, and went to Roo Island. There, he saw a small X on the map and a pair of crudely drawn fangs.

"It's," Vergil stuttered a bit once the realization hit, "Count Von Roo..."

Author: dr_tomoe
Date: Feb 11th
..."Well, that's just great, isn't it?" Dante replied coyly. "Have fun with that; I'm going to try my luck at Bilge Di--"

Vergil shook his head. "Uh, no way I'm going to see that dastardly Blumaroo by myself! You're coming with me, and that's that." The stern look on the Xweetok's face was unmatched by the glint of seriousness in his eye. Dante opened his mouth to protest, but finally exhaled in defeat.

"Fine, but when we're done with this, I'm going to hit up Dice-A-Roo... I bet I could win the jackpot." The smug look on the face of Vergil's brother almost disgusted him, but with a sigh and an eyeroll he nodded.

"Fine, fine. You oughta try honest work sometime, though." Vergil looked his brother over a new times, a concerned look across his face.

"Why in the world would Mr. Seymour be associating with Count Von Roo ANYWAY?" Dante suddenly snarked back, remembering the task presented to the both of them.

"I haven't a single clue, but we'd better hurry if we want to get to Roo Island by sunrise; we've got a bit of a time limit, you know." Vergil exhaled once more as he took a good look at his surroundings before setting off in the opposite direction.

"Uhh, bro... wrong way." Dante facepalmed a little too hard, causing him to stumble backward.

"Aheheh... riiight," Vergil said, then started on the other path leading away from the blue plushie stuck in the tree. One could have sworn that they saw a tear leak from his beady little eye.

After only about fifteen minutes of walking, Dante let out a yelp of surprise as he watched Vergil plummet straight into a large hole that was disguised by a thatched grass mat...

Author: sleepingwinter
Date: Feb 12th
..."Vergil!" the Xweetok yelped, jumping forward to look down the hole. He sighed in relief when he found that his brother was only a few short feet down. "A little clumsy there, eh, bro?" he asked with a laugh.

"Ha, ha," Vergil said humorlessly. "Can you help me out of here already?"

Dante began to reach down, but then stopped with a thoughtful look on his face. Vergil could have sworn that he saw a strange glint in his eye. "You know what?" Dante said, backing away from the hole. "No. I think I'll go play Bilge Dice like I was planning to, now that you can't force me into doing that little job with you."

"What?!?" Vergil shouted angrily. "You know we need to do what Mr. Seymour says, as our boss. Besides, you can't just leave me down here," he said with a grimace. "I think I twisted an ankle."

"Oh well," Dante said, shrugging. "I'm sure someone will come for you in the morning." With that, the Xweetok turned and walked out of sight, leaving his brother in the hole.

I can't believe this! Vergil thought, thoroughly frustrated. I thought for sure he'd at least help me out, as my brother... He frowned as he thought, moving his left leg side to side, trying to see if it really was twisted.

The Xweetok gasped suddenly when something small and heavy fell into the hole with him, landing on his ankle. "Oh, yeah, that's not good," he grunted before glancing up to see what had fallen. He found that it was just a rock, so he turned his head to look farther up and found someone silhouetted there...

Author: peronalodis
Date: Feb 12th
...A voice called down into the hole. "Well, Stoney, what did you find this time?"

Before a confused Vergil could answer, he felt a rustling at his feet. The rock was moving around! It appeared to examine all of the edges of the small pit, and somehow clutching an item to itself, chirped brightly and hopped back out of the hole.

"Well done, my little friend," came the voice from above. "A Selket Plushie, eh? Maybe not that valuable, but you never know when such an item will come in handy…"

As the voice drifted away from the opening above, Vergil shook off his confusion and managed to shout out, "Hey! Is there someone up there? I need some help!"

The silhouette reappeared and a voice called down, "Is anyone down there?"

"Yes, yes," Vergil panted. "I think I've hurt my ankle and I can't climb out."

"Oh ho," came the voice. "Precisely why I always have a rope. Be prepared, I always say."

No sooner were the words spoken than a rope came unfurling down into the hole, landing at Vergil's side. He began to climb and, aided by some pulling from the stranger above, was soon safely back aboveground.

"Well, what have we fished out this time, eh?"

As the stranger regarded Vergil with some curiosity, the Xweetok was also taking his measure. His rescuer was a dashing Gelert dressed in Forest Ranger clothing, complete with a feathered cap and a quiver of arrows on his back. His even, white teeth glinted as he smiled, and a merry twinkle enlivened his eyes as he reached up and pet the Blue Rock that was perched upon his shoulder.

Vergil slapped his palm against his forehead and exclaimed, "The Rock is alive; it's a Petpet Rock!"

The Gelert grinned and said, "Ho ho, that's right. Stoney here didn't mean to disturb you down there. By the way," the Gelert paused dramatically, "I am Sawyer the Arch Master."

Vergil gasped. "I-I've heard of you. I mean, just... everyone has heard of you, Sawyer. You're truly an inspiration to all of us at the Agency. What are you doing here?" The Xweetok gestured toward the hole.

"If you can keep a secret," Sawyer said, leaning his head forward conspiratorially, "this here is a back entrance to the Symol Hole. I regularly send Stoney here down to see what he can find. I like to keep my Safety Deposit Box stuffed to overflowing with items, because you never know what the Agency will be looking for. Be prepared and whatnot, eh?" He ended with a wink that made Vergil giddy with pride -- he couldn't believe that the legendary Sawyer was taking him into his confidence. Sawyer continued, "And what are you doing here?"

Vergil explained about the letter and his brother and falling in the hole. "I need to, somehow, get to Krawk Island and get my brother away from the Bilge Dice game, and then get to Von Roo's castle before sunrise."

"You say your brother is also a blue Xweetok? Looks something like yourself, does he?" Sawyer asked, rubbing at his chin thoughtfully. "I could have sworn I just passed someone who looks something like you arguing with the Quiggle at the Coconut Shy."

"Dante!" Vergil exclaimed. "You don't think he was throwing me off his trail with that Bilge Dice business, do you?"

"You'd know better than I would, but it does seem likely," Sawyer replied. "How about I accompany you on this little quest? I'm sure that, together, we can find this brother of yours."

Vergil smiled broadly and said, "I would be honoured, Sawyer."

As the Xweetok hobbled ahead toward the Deserted Carnival, Sawyer tilted his head in the direction of the Blue Rock and whispered, "One way or the other, Stoney, we'll get that letter before it ever reaches Von Roo..."

Author: mamasimios
Date: Feb 13th
...The two approached the Deserted Fairground.

"Ho, curses," Sawyer muttered as he realized that the Coconut Shy was, save the proprietor, deserted. "Your brother is gone!"

"Hey there," the Quiggle manning the stand greeted as he noted two potential "victims." "Why don't you come play some Coconut Shy?" He smiled alluringly.

"We haven't time for your game," the Xweetok retorted.

"Now, now," Sawyer halted, "you could try your luck at the game." The Gelert leaned up beside Vergil and whispered, "Maybe he'd tell you some info on your brother, if you paid him and asked."

"That's not a bad idea," the Xweetok agreed.

The two approached the Coconut Shy.

"Now, then," the Gelert started as he quickly scanned the young lad beside him, "give me that package you're holding."

"Why?" Vergil asked suspiciously as he glanced at the letter addressed to the infamous Roo Island resident.

"To help you steady your shot, silly," Sawyer answered with a smile. "I'll give it back."

Vergil smiled and nodded. "Okay." Giving him the package, the Xweetok advanced toward the Coconut Shy.

He paid the Quiggle 100 NP and took a shot.

"That barely even moved," the Quiggle said at the supposedly lame toss.

Another 100 NP. Still no luck with knocking a coconut down...

"Excuse me," Vergil piped up after his sixth "miss," "have you seen another Xweetok, identical to me today, and where he may have gone?"

The Quiggle thought about it. "Nope," he replied. "You're the first blue Xweetok I've seen here in... about two weeks."

Vergil immediately became anxious. Glancing around the environment quickly, he noted that Sawyer was nowhere to be found...

Author: rielcz
Date: Feb 14th
..."What? Whe--" Vergil looked around in a sudden panic at the prospect of Sawyer and the letter having vanished.

He spun around to face the Quiggle, who leaned against the booth chuckling mischievously to himself. "You are entirely too trusting, young Xweetok."

"Where did he go?" Vergil asked, lowered his voice and trying to be threatening.

The Quiggle laughed. "He went North, or maybe South. He could have gone the way the sun rises, or he could have just vanished into thin air..."

Vergil wanted to wipe the crooked smirk off the Quiggle's face, but he didn't have time to play games. He had to go find Dante... and fast.

He ran straight for where he thought Dante would be, and wasn't surprised at all when he came upon the scene of Dante being kicked out of a Bilge Dice game.

"That's okay, I was done playing anyway," Dante shouted to the closed door of the game room. He then picked himself up off the floor and began to dust himself off.

"Dante! Thank goodness I found you." Vergil ran up to Dante, who looked very shocked to see him.

"How did you get out of your hole?"

Vergil was getting frustrated. "It doesn't matter right now."

"I also thought you had twisted your ankle." Vergil had forgotten for a moment that he'd hurt his ankle. With the reminder the pain came back.

"Listen to me! We don't have much time. The letter is gone, and we need to get it back. This Gelert named Sawyer took it, and we need--"

Dante's paw flew up and landed over his brother's mouth. Vergil would have probably done something about it if it had not been for the fact that Dante had a very serious look on his face.

"Did you say a Gelert named Sawyer?"

Vergil nodded quickly, with Dante's paw still covering his mouth.

"Did he also have a Petpet rock name Stoney?"

Vergil nodded slowly this time. His brother knew something; he just wasn't sure what.

"We have to move fast," Dante declared, and was suddenly on the move, dragging Vergil behind him.

"Wait, Dante. What's going on?"

Dante stopped for a moment and glanced over his shoulder at his brother.

"Something very, very bad..."

Author: ame_romance
Date: Feb 14th
...It was well past midnight when the brothers arrived back at the edge of the Haunted Woods.

"Dante, we're going in circles. I don't know if I made it clear that Seymour wants that letter delivered to Count Von Roo before sunrise, but time is wasting away."

"Then it's a good thing we're here," Dante said with a smirk.

Vergil looked around him, at the trees looming threateningly overhead, at the thick underbrush teeming with unseen menace, and back to his brother's face. "I give up," the Xweetok said with exasperation. "Where are we? We don't have time for any more of your games."

Dante grinned broadly and put his arm around his brother's shoulder, impelling him to move forward. Vergil could not believe it when he found himself falling into yet another hidden hole and he grunted as the breath left his lungs when Dante landed smack on top of him. "Thanks for breaking my fall there, Verg," Dante said merrily as he stood and began to brush himself off.

Vergil scrambled to his feet, wincing as his entire body now felt bruised and battered. "I said we don't have time..."

"Which is why we're taking a shortcut," Dante interrupted. "Sometimes to catch a thief, you must think like a thief. You say that Sawyer has been using the Symol warrens to look for treasure? Well, welcome to the warrens."

As Vergil's eyes adjusted to the dim light, he noted that he wasn't standing in a hole exactly. Tunnels radiated out from where he stood, twisting off into the darkness.

"Who's to say that Sawyer is even down here?" Vergil complained. "Let's say that he is. How would we even begin to find him? This is madness, Dante. A fool's errand."

"Well, according to Deadeye and Grimtooth, there is mischief afoot, and this is where it's centered."

"Deadeye and... what are you talking about?"

"Look, brother," Dante explained patiently, "I like your boss Seymour and everything, but when he starts giving out mysterious midnight quests, just when the buzz on the street is that something huge is about to hit Neopia, well, I take that as my cue to do some investigating. So, I went to ask some old friends for some information over a few rounds of Bilge Dice. After winning all their dubloons, Deadeye bet -- and lost -- this." Dante pulled out a worn scroll and flicked it open. It looked like a treasure map, and at a glance, Vergil could see that it must be a map of the Symol warrens.

"According to my pirate pals, there will be a meeting of some sort tonight... here." Dante pointed at an area that had been circled in red.

Vergil held the map up to his nose to read the fine writing in the low light. "But this says that they'll be meeting at the abandoned headquarters of..."

"...The Thieves Guild," Dante finished, a manic light gleaming in his eyes.

"No wonder it's never been found," Vergil marvelled. "It's underground! Let's go!"

***

The brothers rounded the final corner and approached as near to the flickering light of the campfire as they could while still remaining hidden in the shadows. A familiar voice carried across to them.

"Ho ho, said I, then I think I will be relieving you of this."

Vergil could just make out Sawyer as he flourished an envelope in the air above his head. He wanted to burst in on the group right away and retrieve his stolen property, but Dante held him back, his eyes pleading for patience. Another voice, low and gravelly, responded from the other side of the cavernous subterranean room.

"Well done, Sawyer. That's what makes you an Arch Master. Imagine if Faerieland knew who you've really been working for all this time?" The voice laughed and many other voices joined in. "Let's see what urgent message Von Roo won't be receiving this evening, shall we?"

The second figure joined Sawyer on the far side of the fire and Vergil gasped as the light illuminated his features. Turning to Dante, he mouthed the name Kanrik. Dante tugged on his sleeve, motioning to retreat into the tunnels, but before he could move, a chirping noise came from the ground by his feet. Looking down, Vergil saw Stoney, hopping and alerting the others to their presence. Feeling his face draining of blood, Vergil slowly looked up and saw Kanrik and Sawyer staring at them; two Gelerts facing off against two Xweetoks as unseen others could be heard rising to their feet, drawing weapons, and advancing toward where the brothers stood frozen in the shadows...

Author: mamasimios
Date: Feb 15th
..."Hold your fire, men," Sawyer announced as he approached the foreign pair. "I need to talk to the two of them privately." He emphasized the last word.

"Are you sure?" Kanrik inquired tentatively with a suspicious look on his face.

"They're weak, ho; they won't give me any trouble." The Gelert advanced toward him as the other Thieves Guild members stayed in place.

Sawyer eventually reached the twins, and ushered them deeper into the cavern system.

When the three were out of sight from the massive guild, Sawyer took the boys aside. "Look, you two," the Gelert started, "I like you both, the hardworking Vergil especially."

Dante pouted.

"So," Sawyer continued, "I'm going to let the two of you go -- the rest of the guild won't question my decision. After all, I'm Kanrik's right hand Neopet." He winked at the pair.

"So," Vergil inquired sheepishly, "er... can I have the package back?"

"Under no circumstances," the Gelert finished.

"So this is it, then?" Dante asked. "We've ultimately lost?"

"Lost what?" Sawyer retorted. "I'm letting you two go -- that would be a win in my book. Eh, Stoney?" The little Petpet bounced merrily beside him. "That said," the Gelert continued, "I want you to know a little something about Mr. Seymour, Vergil."

"What?" the Xweetok inquired with a raised eyebrow.

"Ho, I'm sure you've figured out that sending Von Roo messages late at night is a tad... questionable."

Both brothers nodded, indicating that they had.

"Do you know why I've not been seen much around the Employment Agency lately?"

"Why?" Vergil asked.

"Funnily enough, I'm still a legend there. I'm the archetype of the 'good employee.' I was once in your position: Seymour's best worker and ally. All the young Neopets there -- including you, I'm guessing -- idolized me. I originally started working to raise some extra funds for the guild, and managed my way up to pretty darn close near the top. Well, Seymour then started giving me his... 'personal business' to take care of. I soon realized his ethics were less than ideal, and started to intercept the letters."

Vergil stared at him in disbelief.

"His associates soon wondered why their messages never came through, and he caught on quickly enough. I've not been at the Agency since out of hiding, but he can't reveal that info -- ho, it would tarnish the minds of his many workers, as well as raise suspicion of himself. To declare me totally gone would have to include disclosing why."

"Why couldn't he just lie about it?" Dante piped in.

"Yeah, that his star employee quit out of the blue, with no other info? No one would believe him. He's a ruthless Yurble, Vergil," Sawyer sighed, "and a member of a team that is an enemy to the guild. Especially now that this whole obelisk scheme has come up, I wouldn't be surprised if the Agency closed tomorrow and he suddenly disappeared, along with the rest of his crooked crew."

Vergil frowned. "But--"

"I told you -- confront him, or you'll end up his 'messenger.' This close to who-knows-what kind of war will follow, that could put you in a terribly dangerous situation. I've got to go now; we're going to be opening and reading that letter. Ho ho, if I see you there when it's done, my respect for you will have plummeted. Be there, and question where you'll be tomorrow."

With that, Sawyer pointed the way out of the Symol hole system.

The two ran down the path and escaped. They immediately headed toward Faerieland.

***

Dante and Vergil reached the Employment Agency. It was all dark... save a single room near the top floor.

Mr. Seymour's room.

Vergil ran up beside the door and buzzed in his username and password. It opened, and the brothers stepped inside.

An alarm alerted Seymour of the breach, so therefore he was unsurprised when the pair barged into his office.

"Ah, Vergil," he started alluringly, "I trust you delivered the package."

"And I no longer trust you," Vergil accused. "How could Count Von Roo be an associate of yours?"

"He ordered some Valentine's Day cards," Seymour shot back with a nervous laugh.

"I've talked to Sawyer," Vergil asserted. "I know all about your games with the Thieves Guild and your relations with the more... nefarious citizens of Neopia."

Seymour smiled and started clapping.

Dante shot Vergil a confused look.

"Well done, my favorite student," the Yurble commented. "This entire Agency was originally a front to mask the malevolent operations caused by my team. It was a very simple business plan -- we provide funding to countless individuals for helping us get the items we'll need to last throughout... in short, war. Those plates of Pteri Spaghetti you brought earlier will become rations."

Vergil gaped. "So, I was just a pawn in some giant scheme?"

Seymour laughed. "Oh, there were many pawns -- you're just my favorite." He turned and stared out his window. "Now, the time we've waited for is here. The obelisk has been discovered, and... well, I'm probably going to retire to help my team take on the Thieves Guild. So," he said with a smile as the Yurble turned and faced Vergil, "how badly do you want it?"

"What?" Vergil practically gagged.

"How badly," the Yurble reiterated, "do you want to be the head of the Agency?"

"Why, that's always been a dream of mine, sir, but..." The Xweetok paused. "Well, isn't this company absolutely corrupt?"

Seymour smiled. "It is not the company that is corrupt -- it is I," he concluded dramatically.

"Fine," the Xweetok uttered, "I'll... I'll do it."

"Are you sure?" Dante piped in.

Vergil nodded.

Seymour smiled mischievously.

Vergil and Dante's world then went black.

***

Vergil awoke, his head throbbing. He was wearing a suit and tie and sitting in Mr. Seymour's desk. The name-plate now read, "Mr. Vergil."

He looked around and saw Dante sleeping lazily on the floor.

Vergil smiled, and then he frowned. "Er..."

The doors to his room were then opened. "It's nice to see your promotion, sir," a Zafara, whom Vergil recognized as one of the previous interns, said. "I'd like to take the job for finding three Cups of Water." She smiled.

"Sure," Vergil replied hesitantly. He'd observed Seymour enough times to know how the business operated... finding the file, he gave it to her. "Come back in 34 minutes with the items, please." He eased, supposing that he could get used to this...

***

Several hours earlier, at the Thieves Guild headquarters, Sawyer opened the package.

Inside were a set of Valentine's Day cards. He read each over carefully -- nothing seemed at all out of the ordinary.

Everyone there was stunned.

"Ho, I believe," Sawyer admitted, "that we've been duped."

Kanrik then stepped up. "Never mind about that," he declared. "We might as well get to work on reaching that obelisk before they do. Start Plan XVIII," he said, and then smiled.

Shrugging, Sawyer smiled as well.

***

Mr. Seymour sat in Von Roo's cavern alongside the Count and several other members.

"I received your package," the Blumaroo declared. "You were right to send a decoy to delay the Thieves Guild."

The Yurble smiled. "The Employment Agency has been left in the care of a trusting employee, just in case we ever want it back."

Some of the others snickered.

"Oh, we shouldn't need it again," Von Roo stated. "We have all the supplies we need to conquer that obelisk and fend off the thieves."

The members in the room chuckled....

The End

Author: rielcz
Date: Feb 15th



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