|Gord slowly opened both his eyes to see everything with blurred vision. He quickly snapped them shut again. Waiting a few seconds, he once again opened his eyes. This time his vision was clearer although not perfect.
The Blue Yurble was lying on the ground with his belongings scattered in the dirt. His bag had disappeared to the Yurbles dismay.
Gord managed to stand, holding his head he knew he had been struck with something which sent him flying to the ground. But who would want to hurt me, he thought to himself.
It was in that very moment he remembered, the bag!
Inside the bag was a very rare and powerful Usuki doll that he had stolen from a Neopian legend, stolen with good intentions of course.
Maybe this legend come and stole it back?
Maybe someone else knew of its powers and wanted he doll for themselves?
Maybe Gord had already used the dolls powers which caused him to be injured and wake up on the ground.
As the Yurble tried to piece this mystery together a voice came from behind a tree.
"I saw what happened and it wasn’t pretty." The voice claimed.
Gord stood and staggered to the tree.
He looked behind to see...
Date: Aug 21st
A large Lupe appeared from around the tree, his fur matted down and a brown sack swung from his lanky shoulders.
"Balthazar!" Gord gasped.
"The one and only." Balthazar gave an exaggerated bow. "Like I was saying. I saw what happened and it wasn't pretty."
Gord let out a low gravelly scowl "Are you sure it wasn't you that took my Usuki doll?"
Balthazar rolled his eyes, "If you must check my bag then by all means." He dropped the bag to the ground with a thud and out rolled a few empty faerie bottles.
Gord dusted himself off while watching Balthazar closely. "If it wasn't you then who was it?"
"Well my young one it all depends if you can help me..."
"Help you?!" Gord exclaimed.
"With the legend of course! You help me and I'll help you retrieve the Usuki doll."
"I don't see how I can help you." Gord muttered.
Balthazar grinned, "It all has to do with the faeries, one just took your doll if I'm not mistaken..."
Date: Aug 22nd
Gord stared at the Lupe, disbelief written across his face.
"A faerie took it?" he said, raising his eyebrows. "Faeries aren't usually in the business of stealing."
"Well, this one sure was," - he gathered up the empty bottles and shoved them back in his bag - "and she seemed to be in a hurry, too."
Gord couldn't believe it. A faerie, stealing Usuki dolls? It sounded far-fetched at best. But Bathazar's eyes were unwavering, and something deep inside Gord was telling him that the Lupe may not be lying.
"So," Gord said, "what exactly is it that you, the great Balthazar, need my help with?"
Balthazar's grin turned into a smirk. He grabbed the Yurble by the shoulders.
"More about that later. First things first, we need to get to ..."
Date: Aug 22nd
"Altador. I know a guy who can help us find the faerie involved."
Balthazar motioned for Gord to follow, and they headed in the direction of Altador. From where they stood, it was not a long walk. Gord knew it should only take a few hours, at most.
"We'll be there in a few days." Balthazar said, with a wave.
"Days?!" Gord was immediately shocked. He knew to be wary of Balthazar, but what was even happening here? They weren't far from Altador. Why would it take a few days?
Before he could begin yelling again, Balthazar cut him off. "You think that faerie was the only one after you? You got a few guys on your tail, kid. Collectible like that gets some unsavory attention. I am only involved as far as the faerie is. Don't think I'll be fighting all your battles for you. We're taking a detour to be safe."
Gord's expression sank. What kind of trouble was he facing?
"Do you know who's after me? Are they still going to try to get me? I don't have the doll anymore." Gord's voice shook with fear and uncertainty.
"Heh. I'd say there's one we're going to have to be on the lookout for in our travels..."
Date: Aug 22nd
"...but luckily, you have that one on your side," he said and grinned.
The Yurble gulped. "That's good to hear," he remarked confidently, only to be given away by his trembling fur.
"But, just in case, I'll tell you who I know is after you," Balthazar continued, beginning to walk in the direction of Altador.
Gord followed him with his eyes before remembering to walk after him.
"Three-eyed Buzz. They call him that because he can sense if someone comes from behind him and neutralize his opponent before anyone saw it coming. I never fought him; but they do say that if you hear that devil's wings, you're done for," he said, and grinned maliciously at the Yurble. Seeing that Gord was terrified slightly more than intended, Balthazar changed the subject. "Where are you from, Yurble?"
"S-Shenkuu," he murmured.
"Where I met you," Balthazar said. "Well, we're about a third of the way from Shenkuu to Altador, so we'll be seeing way more trees." He motioned towards his surroundings.
Gord thought he heard Balthazar say "too many hiding places" under his breath when an arrow cut through the night and stuck to a tree in front of them. They both looked behind them in alarm, the Lupe with a hand on his sword.
"Well, well, well, who do we have here?" said a tall blue Ixi. "Never thought I'd see you, Balthazar," he added, and looked at the whimpering Yurble next to him. "I'll get straight to business, gentlemen," he said as he raised his sword at them. "Give me the doll."
Date: Aug 23rd
"We don't have it!" Gord said with as much confidence as he could muster up.
"A Likely story," said the Ixi. "Now, give me the doll,I do not like to repeat myself."
"We really don't have it," said Balthazar in a frustrated tone of voice.
"Lies!" Said the Ixi with a smirk, "Now this is the last time I am going to say it, give me the doll."
"WE DONT HAVE IT!" Yelled Balthazar.
"I tired to play nice, but now you have angered me." Replied the Ixi, "Now you must pay."
The Ixi snapped his fingers and out of the trees came...
Date: Aug 24th
...Three Eyed Buzz, his large wings seemed to buzz noisily as he flew above the Ixi. He seemed to come to almost a standstill in midair above him.
Gord took cover behind Balthazar. He was not familiar with the Buzz but from what the Lupe had told him earlier, it was enough to send shivers down his spine.
Balthazar gulped. His demeanor had instantly changed when Three Eyed Buzz appeared. He managed to let out a pathetic whimper, "We really dont have the doll."
The Ixi let out a low growl, "If you do not hand over the doll, I will challenge you to a duel alongside Three Eyed Buzz!"
"We hid the doll close by!" Gord managed to squeak despite his fear.
"Then you will lead us to it!"
Gord began to walk into the woods a few feet away with Balthazar trailing behind. Suddenly he felt the Lupe throw him on his back. "Hold on!"
They began to flee with what sounded like the Buzz right on their tail...
Date: Aug 24th
"Halt, you scoundrels!"
The bellowing voice of the Ixi chased the two fugitives, amidst the cracking of twigs and branches.
"What have you done?!" Gord yelped, as the surrounding flora scratched his face. "I could have fooled them!"
"We are way over our heads, foolish Yurble." Balthazar was gasping for air as he and Gord dashed forward. "And you are not making it any easier to outrun them. Cursed Psellia..."
"Psellia? I thought she was a myth. And what does someone like her have to do with this?"
"Myths have a tendency to become reality all too soon. Psellia was supposed to be my catch - and you ruined it!"
Balthazar halted, grunting, looking around to see whether the Three Eyed Buzz was still on their tail.
"W-w-what are you saying?!" Gord let out silently.
"Psellia made a deal with the Three Eyed Buzz to bring her the doll, but he failed. I have no idea what their arrangement was, but Psellia herself descended to take it back. It was her who knocked you out..."
The Yurble went pale, only to hear the fluttering sound of wings just behind them...
Date: Aug 25th
...The Three Eyed Buzz burst through the undergrowth. Gord could see his head spinning rapidly, this way and that. Balthazar was standing still and Gord did his best to remain still as well. Eventually the Buzz turned and sped off in another direction. The infernal wing beats went from nearby, to faint, to gone.
"How did he not see us?" Balthazar asked. It was rare to catch the fearsome Lupe by surprise, but apparently standing right in front of a creature who was known for his amazing senses had done the trick.
"Maybe he can't see things that are standing still? I've heard of some creatures like that -"
"He can see just fine," a voice cut through the trees. And with a small pop a beautiful Air Faerie stood before them. "I manipulated the air currents so that you appeared invisible before him and your scent came from another direction."
Balthazar gave the faerie a malicious grin and Gord could swear the Lupe was salivating. Psellia merely waved her hand and a sharp whoosh of air knocked the Lupe hunter flat on his back.
"Now, Gord is it? Would you mind telling me why you stole that Usuki doll?" she asked, fixing the Yurble with a stare.
Finally. After all this, Gord could finally explain his side of the story. "Well, you see..."
How will the story end?
Date: Aug 25th
"You of anyone would know of the doll's potential..." Gord began. "Its potential to create infinite amounts of Neopoints."
"Yes, and this power can easily be abused," Psellia replied with an accusatory tone.
Gord gulped. "Yes, I realize that, but I didn't know what else to do," he pleaded. "In a small town, I run a business, a place for young Neopians to come and paint, read, write -- spark their creativity, express themselves, you know? But the funding...it just wasn't coming in...and the children, they love the place so much, I couldn't bear to close it. So I had to find a way to pay the bills, and..." Gord's voice faltered, "...stealing the Usuki doll seemed like a solution." He looked at his feet. "But I realize what I did was wrong, and I'm sorry. I hope you can see that my intentions were good. I'll find another way to fund my business."
Gord looked up from the ground to find Psellia's brow knit with worry, her expression empathetic. After a few moments, she said, "I see..." As if out of thin air, she brought the legendary Usuki doll before her. "I value your efforts, Gord, and I would like to help you. I do hope that you will not attempt such a deed again, though."
Gord stood a little taller. "No! Never!"
Smiling, Psellia caressed the doll and a bulging sack of Neopoints appeared at Gord's feet. "Save your business, Gord, and continue to influence creativity in the young. It's very important that you do."
Overcome with emotion, Gord could do nothing but nod and smile.
And with that, Psellia disappeared.
Euphoric beyond all belief, Gord took the sack before him. Just before leaving, he checked up on Balthazar - who seemed to have fallen into a deep sleep - and quietly thanked him, before fleeing into the distance to his home, excited to reopen his business.
Date: Sep 4th