Nolan the Shoyru sat up in bed with a faint smile. "I'm feeling better," he told Aiden the Skeith.
"Good," answered Aiden. "I wish I could say the same for myself... My leg is still in a cast."
"I hope you feel better. Now that I'm refreshed, I'm going to help fight the wraiths."
Aiden choked on the healing concoction he had been drinking. "No, you're NOT! Those creatures harmed even Fyora. You'll be annihilated!"
"Just try and stop me. Your leg is broken."
Aiden sighed. "Don't say I didn't warn you..."
Nolan had been walking down a creepy path for a few minutes, with no wraiths in sight. On the ground, he noticed a clump of beautiful pink flowers. It turned out that he was holding Kaia's hair clip, which she had presumably dropped as she passed through the area previously. He pocketed it, intending to return it to her.
When he took another step forward, he was startled to lose his footing. He fell several feet and landed with a smack. Once he realized that he was sitting in a pitfall trap, he tried to think of ways to escape. Unfortunately, he had no view of his surroundings due to the darkness. Then he heard footsteps behind him and an evil cackle...
Date: May 7th
"The plan is going so well. I can't believe how foolish Fyora is!" a familiar voice cackled.
Nolan gulped nervously as he remained quiet to avoid alerting the mysterious person. There was no way he could fight off a potential hostile enemy when stuck in a hole. He backed into the shadows. Thankfully it was dark and the shadows hid him well.
"If I knew it was this easy to trick her, I would have come out of hiding much, much sooner!" the feminine voice laughed. "Now that she's incapacitated, I can move onto my next step..."
A trample of steps appeared. "Mistress!" a deeper voice spoke. "We have lost another wraith to the Neopians! They have found cures using the wraith parts. We are losing too many soldiers."
"Bah! It is no concern of me at this point. I have my revenge at my grasp." the feminine seethed. "Come with me, we have work to do."
The two figures passed the trap, giving Nolan a faint glimpse of who the mysterious figures are.
Nolan stopped himself from gasping at the sight. It was...
Date: May 7th
Masila, Mistress of the Double-Cross! Nolan recognized her from the wanted posters that littered the event boards around Neopia. She was last spotted fighting for the Thieves at the Obelisk, but had seemingly disappeared when the war ended. Nolan couldn't believe his eyes that the deeper voice he heard speaking to Masila moments earlier belonged to Kanrik who trailed behind her. Something about the dynamic didn't seem right to Nolan as he hid in the pitfall trap.
"I thought Kanrik was the leader of the Thieves Guild?" Nolan thought to himself. "Why would he be subordinated to Masila...? And what on Neopia is their plan?"
As their footsteps faded into the depths of the austere path, Nolan picked himself up from the ground and stretched his wings. He noticed Kaia's hair clip had fallen out of his grasp when he fell, so he grabbed the clip and with a single flap he flew up and out of the trap. Nolan landed carefully as to not draw any attention to himself, but in that instance he heard an irregular rhythm of crunching leaves. Preparing to be attacked, he turned to see Aiden the Skeith limping towards him, leg still in a cast, from the direction Masila and Kanrik came.
"You need to be back in bed recovering still!" Nolan scolded.
"Now you know I couldn't let you just go off on your own, not with all these wraiths running around!" Aiden retorted.
Nolan immediately remembered that they were in a Wraith-infested forest, and-- Masila and Kanrik! How could he forget! He asked Aiden in a hushed voice, "Hey! Did you see two Neopets walking in front of you just a few seconds ago?"
"Well, I saw the silhouettes of two Neopets, but I couldn't make them out. I was hiding behind a tree because I was scared they might be Wraiths, too. But I was more scared of a third silhouette, which from my hiding spot looked like...
Date: May 8th
Nolan gasped. What could the leader of The Sway be doing with Masila and Kanrik? "There's no way it could've been her! This is getting very strange..."
"What do you mean?" Aiden asked, leaning in closer. "What's going on?"
"I don't know if you're going to believe me when I tell you," Nolan began nervously, "but I think the two Neopets I was asking you about were Masila and Kanrik. I fell into a trap and overheard them talking. I think Kanrik might be serving Masila somehow? I'm not sure, this is really confusing."
Aiden's eyes widened in fear. "Masila, Kanrik, and The Duchess all working together? Has the world gone mad? What could they possibly be up to?"
Unfortunately, Aiden had spoken just a little too loud. There was the crunching sound of someone getting closer, and Nolan whipped around to see who it was. In the distance, the two friends could make out the silhouette of Kanrik, and he was getting closer...
Date: May 9th
"The Darkest Faerie?" Nolan's pupils widened to saucers in disbelief.
"Shh!" Aiden hushed, glancing upwards to check that the thieves were long gone. "If we're going to discuss this, we should probably find someplace safer. My leg's beyond repair so it'll be troublesome for me to pull you out, but there's this sturdy vine I saw nearby. Maybe I could tie it to that tree there and you could use it to hoist yourself out of this pit?"
Nolan nodded in agreement, and soon he was back on level ground. The two crawled into a dense thicket of bushes that seemed reasonably soundproof.
"You must be mistaken. Is everything okay?" Nolan checked Aiden's vitals, much to the chagrin of his companion. "Has the medicine you've been taking caused hallucinations?"
Aiden swatted away the Shoyru's wandering claws. "I swear it. On Fyora's life."
"But nobody's seen the slightest trace of her since Faerieland's fall. Could those two have reawakened her statue somehow?"
"I don't see why not. With all the strange disturbances and the rise of the wraiths, it would have been easy for someone like Masila to have snuck away with the statue, unnoticed."
"I don't understand his involvement. Masila betrayed him years ago...something doesn't add up. But I'm certain he'd be on our side. Maybe if we can find a way to get him alone, he can help us out."
Nolan nodded. "It's getting dark. Let's rest here for tonight. Tomorrow, let's see if we can find their base of operations."
Nolan and Aiden settled in, sharing a blanket Nolan had stuffed into his backpack. Just as Aiden began to drift off, he heard rustling in the bushes nearby...
Date: May 10th
Aiden jumped up suddenly, startling Nolan. "What is it?" Nolan asked. Aiden shook his head and pointed towards the bushes that had been rustling only moments ago. Nolan squinted in the dark, trying to see what Nolan had seen.
"I don't see anything," Nolan shrugged, "What was it?" He tried to act brave but was thoroughly shaken from everything that had happened recently.
"I didn't see what it was, but I'm certain that bush was shaking," whispered Aiden, he too was feeling shaken.
Nolan stood up slowly, lifting the blanket with him. "I don't think we should stay here, if there is something in the bushes, then it's not safe".
"Do you think we should be wandering around in the dark?" Asked Aiden, looking around nervously. "I'd be very slow moving around at this time of night," he said as he pointed to his cast.
Nolan nodded, "Yes, you're right. I think we should take turns on watch tonight. If something does try to sneak up on us while we're asleep, the one who's awake can alert the other... but I hope it doesn't come to that!"
They both watched the bush for a while, to make sure that nothing was going to jump out at them. When it remained still, they came to the conclusion that it was just the wind and set up their watch. Nolan made the decision that Aiden would sleep first, he needed more rest while his leg healed and Nolan was no longer tired after all the drama.
Part way through the night, they swapped the watch - Aiden going on guard while Nolan slept. Besides the normal sounds that you would expect at night, time passed uneventfully.
Morning arrived and Nolan sat up, he stretched and said "Good morning, Aiden!" But there was no response. Nolan stood up and looked around, Aiden was no where to be seen...
Date: May 11th
Nolan looked around the campgrounds frantically-- There had to be some trace of his friend. He searched for anything, any sign that Aiden was simply out and about, but... Nothing. Nothing turned up.
"Great," he mumbled to himself, "and just what he needed when he's still healing. I should have kept watch the whole night..." However, he did notice one thing in particular:
A trail in the dirt. A streamlined, uninterrupted trail... Like the kind Aiden left behind from his cast. That had to be it-- Aiden simply wandered off after getting bored, right? Skeiths and their attention spans! Nolan took a deep breath and followed the path, venturing into the woods with optimism that he could only hope to be true.
His eyes seemed fixated on the uninterrupted trail, how it just kept going and going... He barely even paid attention to his surroundings. If he did, he would surely hear the chirping of the insects within the forest turn to the hissing of more sinister creatures, how the lush trees turned to something more gnarled and twisted...
But he kept on, regardless. Aiden's whereabouts and safety was more important than whatever was going on around him.
Date: May 14th
A harsh breeze rushed over Nolan and he shivered, at the cold and the thought of what may have happened to Aiden.
The trees seemed to be watching him with devilish eyes, and whatever was alive was hostile. The distinct line seemed unending.
Aiden had walked a long ways from camp in his sleep, his body ankle deep in water. (I'm not caught up on this story yet so if i get things wrong, im very sorry) He looked around, his gaze shifting upward, seeing he was inside a moist cave drenched in water.
The ceiling dripped and played a melodic tune on the surface of the water. He listened and listened for minutes until shouting interrupted him.
"Aiden! Aiden!!!" Nolans voice carried into the cave. "Nolan! Is that you?!"
Seriously how will this story end...?
Date: May 15th
Each step he took brought him to a familiar question: Left or right? Nolan whined as he pressed on, tired and worried about his friend.
Despite all odds, Nolan continued to pick the correct path and pressed deeper into the woods.. Right, then left. Right again, then, right once more. He picked right a few more times until his instincts told him to go left. Twice more, and he found himself face to face with a Uni. It looked injured and afraid of the world.
Nolan squinted his eyes and got a better look at the poor thing. It winced in pain and pulled back, afraid of the world. Nolan reached a helping hand out, offering it to the little Uni. It reached forward it's muzzle and he pressed up against it.
"What happened to you?" Nolan asked, not expecting to have found an injured neopet.
"Mas... Mas..." The Uni started, but cleared her throat, uncertain. "Masila and Kan..." She said, quietly. She turned towards a dark cave, her eyes looking back to Nolan. "Save Aiden."
Date: May 16th