Pianto had been off the ferry for about two hours and around
the village five times; it was that small. He asked everyone he could find if
they recognized the Gelert he was looking for. No such avail.
By afternoon, he decided to set off; one of
the villagers had told him that there was a village about a days walk from where
First, however, the Gelert knew he would have
to get lunch. He hadn't had lunch and his stomach was starting to make sounds
even he had never heard before.
As he walked into one of the local restaurants,
something caught Pianto's eye. It was a girl, a human girl.
But it wasn't the girl that had caught his eye,
but what she was wearing; a blue shirt with faded blue jeans. To Pianto, humans
had always had a strange sense of fashion. But this was most peculiar.
Why would anyone want to wear blue jeans
that are faded? he wondered. Don't you want the pants to look nice and
new? Pianto concluded that humans were impossible to fully understand and
just as you thought you had them all figured out, they went and did something
The fire Gelert walked into the restaurant (which
he had no idea what the name was because it was written in Tyrannian), and ordered
something (which he could have sworn was still alive).
By mid-afternoon, the Gelert was off once more,
the vast Tyrannian Plateau stretching out in front of him.
Night set on sooner than Pianto had hoped. He had hardly been walking for
Settling down, the Gelert unpacked some food,
a new lighter (he had bought it after his past adventure), and his sleeping
Staring up at the stars above him, Pianto realized
for the first time that he was lonely. He had no one to talk to except himself,
and he wasn't a very interesting Gelert
As annoying as Marana had been, he wished she
were here with him right now.
Pianto rolled over. It didn't matter anyway.
Soon, he would be done with this stupid blackmailing scheme and could go home
in peace. Still…
Pianto fell asleep with these thoughts in his
Pianto's eyes shot wide open. Someone was rummaging through his camp.
Rolling over silently, Pianto could see that
whoever it was, they were very small. The Gelert could take them.
Before the intruder knew what hit it, Pianto
was on top of him, pinning the creature to the ground. In the moonlight, Pianto
could see quite clearly that the intruder was a Pteri.
"Don't hurt me!" the Pteri begged.
Pianto kept him pinned. "What were you doing
in my camp?" the fire Gelert growled.
The Pteri shook with fear. "I… I just wanted
some food! Really, I wasn't going to take anything. Honest!"
Pianto studied the pet for a second. He seemed
harmless enough, just a regular Pteri. Finally, Pianto relented and allowed
the Pteri to get up.
"Thank you," the Pteri thanked. "Thank you oh
In the moonlight, Pianto could now make out
the pet even clearer. He was green and quite young, younger than Pianto. And
Pianto was no old guy either.
"So what are you doing here?" Pianto questioned.
"Are you lost or something?"
The Pteri shrugged, helping himself to the loaf
of bread he had dropped when Pianto tackled him.
"My names Tetra," the Pteri said. "And I guess
you could say I'm lost."
"Well, are you lost or aren't you?"
Tetra took a bite out of the bread. "See, I
was taking a test for my tribe, to show that I'm a warrior. They knocked me
out and left me out here in the middle of nowhere. If I can make my way back,
them I'll be a true warrior."
Pianto stared with shock. What kind of tribe
would do such a thing?
"You mean you don't have an owner?"
Tetra looked up with surprise. "Owner, what's
Pianto couldn't believe what he was hearing.
"You mean to tell me you don't have an owner and have no idea what one is?"
Tetra shook his head. "Nope, never heard of
that. What tribe are you from?"
Pianto was truly surprised to hear this coming
from the Pteri's beak. "I'm…I'm not from any tribe. I'm from Neopia."
The green Pteri just shrugged and went back
to his bread. "Never heard of that either. You must be a long way from home.
By the way, what are you doing out here? You're a long way from your 'Neopia.'"
Pianto explained the whole situation to Tetra,
how the Gelerts had captured him, about Aryll's disappearance, and how he was
sent to find her.
Tetra shook his head nonchalantly. "Hmmm… fascinating."
Pianto shook his head. "Whatever," he finally
relented. His brain hurt from all this thinking. And, now that he thought about
it, the Gelert hadn't had a good night's sleep in almost two days. He was dead
"You can stay the night," Pianto agreed. "Just
don't eat too much, be quiet, and be gone in the morning."
Tetra seemed overjoyed, as though no one had
ever been so nice to him before. "Wow! You mean it? Thanks a lot!"
Pianto didn't even have time to comprehend the
Pteri's gratitude. He was asleep before he knew it.
"I told you a thousand times, you can't follow me!" Ever since he had left
camp, the Pteri had been following Pianto and talking incessantly. He went on
and on about his village, his people, his family… on and on it went. It never
seemed to stop, like quicksand, the harder he tried to get rid of the Pteri
-- the more he would talk. They were somewhere about forty-five minutes away
from camp, when Pianto decided he had had enough.
"Look, I'm sure you live a very fascinating
life, and I'm sure someone who had time to listen would love your stories--"
(Ya right, he thought to himself) "but I really don't have time for you
or your stories. Now please, stop following me."
The Pteri stopped in place, but didn't seem
hurt at all.
"Thank you," Pianto said and continued on. But
after a moment, the fire Gelert turned and, as he had heard, the Pteri was still
"I told you to stop following me!" Pianto cried.
Tetra shrugged. "I'm not following you. We just happen to be going the same
way at the same speed."
Pianto was at the end of his wit. "If you don't
stop following me, I'll…"
The Gelert stopped as the Pteri was no longer
looking at Pianto but in the opposite direction.
"We have to get under cover," Tetra instructed.
But Pianto soon saw his answer. A giant wall
was moving towards them, a wall of dust and sand. A giant sandstorm was heading
straight for them!
Before Pianto could react, the Pteri grabbed
him and dragged him under a nearby rock. No sooner were they under cover than
the wall of sand and dust hit them. Thanks to Tetra though, the two were perfectly
safe under their makeshift bunker.
The storm lasted no more than thirty or forty
seconds. It was over as quickly as it had begun. Off in the horizon, Pianto
could see the wall of dust and sand moving away.
Pianto looked at Tetra. If it wasn't for
him, Pianto thought, I might have been carried away by that storm.
The way Pianto saw it, this Pteri could be quite
useful after all. Truth was, Pianto had no real idea where he was going or how
to navigate the topography. He would need a guide. And another one of those
storms could pop up at any minute; having someone with a six-sense, someone
who could sense the storm before it came was definitely a must. And after all,
Pianto was quite lonely…
"Okay," Pianto relented. "You can come along,
along as you don't eat too much and try not to talk too much."
It was like spring time on the Pteri's face.
"You mean it?! Oh thank you, thank you, thank you! You won't regret this, I
promise you! You won't be sorry!"
Yes, the Gelert thought, I probably
The two 'partners' set out westward, and even
though Pianto knew Tetra would be much of an inconvenience, he was still glad
to have him none the less. After all, it was sure to be a long road ahead.
To be continued...