Things were still the same for the three pets. They
were still lost on the Tyrannian Plateau. They were still always bone-tired
and always, always hungry. The plain was still hot and the wind, which did nothing
to cool the group off, still blew terribly at times.
But things were starting to look up. While they
were still just as lost as they had been upon leaving Onzent Island five days
ago, but the sun seemed to shine a little brighter. And Aryll had begun to accept
Tetra's uncontrollable chatting.
And they didn't seem to be as lost. They didn't
know exactly where they were, nor did they know exactly where the shrine was.
But Pianto had reasoned out that they had to be within a day or two's walking
distance from the shrine. He just didn't know which direction it was in. So
they were left to be walking around looking for something they couldn't find.
Pianto and Tetra had relinquished to the fact
that Aryll was the Gelert the poem had talked about, the one who was supposed
to fulfill the prophecy. It seemed only right. She possessed the very traits
one would expect a hero to have. She was brave, cunning, and a very good leader.
Pianto had come to find that his Gelert partner
was beautiful, very beautiful. Not only beautiful on the outside, but on the
inside, too. She had a quick mind. A lot, Pianto realized, like his own.
He would often spend hours just staring at her,
wondering how anything could be so lovely. It might have been the fact that
they really had nothing else to do out on the vast plains, but it was mainly
because of her beauty. Tetra, however, seemed mostly unaffected by it. Pianto
decided it was because he was so young. Or maybe that he was a Pteri and didn't
really notice, or maybe a bit of both.
The sun had barley broken the horizon when Pianto
awoke. Aryll was already up, sitting on her haunches, watching the sunrise.
The fire Gelert joined her.
"What are you doing up?" she asked, turning
to Pianto. As she did, Pianto could see the sun reflecting in her soft brown
He shrugged. "I can't sleep, I guess." This
wasn't entirely true. He had purposely gotten up early just so he could sit
with Aryll and watch the sunrise.
She nodded understandingly. "Yeah, me neither."
She turned back to face the sunrise, though kept talking to Pianto. "What do
you think it'll be like, I mean, being the Gelert that completes the prophecy?"
It was Pianto's turn to shrug. "I guess it'll
be like," he paused to think. "Like when you're in a room and everyone is looking
at you, expecting you to do something amazing, like a stunt or something; since
you will be the savior of the world or something."
Aryll nodded, smiling softly (she had the most
gorgeous smile, the kind that made you want to smile also, though there was
nothing to smile about). "I guess I'll kind of like that. I mean, I really have
to, don't I?"
Pianto shook his head. She really didn't. Behind
them, the two Gelerts turned to see Tetra rising with the sun. A new day had
On and on the trio pushed with no idea of where they were going. Finally,
off in the horizon, they saw a large wall. It was just sitting there, slap-dab
in the middle of nowhere.
"Is that the shrine?" Tetra asked, shielding
his eyes from the hot sun.
"I don't know," came Aryll's reply. "Why don't
you fly over there and find out?"
Tetra just gave her a mean glare and continued
forward. A little while on, they came to the edge of the wall. It was made of
a stone which Pianto didn't recognize and had a door (it was really just an
opening) on one side. Inside was a large courtyard surrounded by three more
walls, enclosing the courtyard in a square.
The courtyard seemed ordinary enough. It had
green grass growing in it (something very strange for the area they were in)
and, in the center, a square of solid stone. Grass and flowers grew up around
it and the path that led from the entrance to it (their entrance was the only
one). There was no roof.
Tetra scratched his head. "What is this place
for? I mean, who builds four walls in the middle of nowhere?"
As much as Pianto wanted silence form the Pteri,
he had a point. This was certainly strange.
Tetra started walking towards the center square.
"Tetra, be careful," Aryll called after him. "It could be a trap or something."
He stepped into the center and turned to face
the two Gelerts. "Nothing. Absolutely nothing." Out of the blue, their Pteri
counterpart collapsed to a heap on the floor.
"Tetra!" Aryll called out, rushing to his side,
Pianto right behind. They stepped into the center and knelt down to aid their
Pianto suddenly felt dizzy. The world began
to spin around him. He fell to the floor, unconscious, Aryll fainting beside
Tetra opened his eyelids. The last thing he remembered was passing out in
the courtyard. Now he was sitting in a chair made of some kind of wood. All
around him stood the Eyries, waiting for the next order from their god.
"Huh, What the…?" his voice trailed off. This
really made no sense. Wasn't he just in the courtyard, with Aryll and Pianto?
One of the Eyries brought forth a platter of
fruits and vegetables. "Oh, thank you," the Pteri responded to the servant,
picking a few grapes off the plate and popping them into his mouth.
"I have no idea how I got here or what's going
on," he said to himself, letting the delicious grapes slide down his throat.
"But I'm not going to argue with it!"
He let out a loud laugh and reached for another
grape. It was like a dream…
Pianto opened his eyes to a similar situation, except he was in his house,
sleeping on the couch like he used to. Mason walked in from the kitchen.
"Good afternoon, sleepyhead," his owner greeted
happily. "How are you?"
Pianto blinked once, twice, three times. This
made no sense. How had he just been in the courtyard and now was in his living
Aryll strolled in lightly. She padded over and
jumped up onto the couch next to Pianto.
"How are you this afternoon, sleepy?" she asked
in her angelic voice, gazing at him with her soft brown eyes.
"I… um… I'm fine," he managed to choke out.
She nodded, smiling softly. "What… what is going
on here, Aryll? Where am I?"
She kept on smiling. "None of this is real,"
she answered. "None of it."
"But… where am I?"
"This is all a dream," the green Gelert answered.
"It's just a figment of your imagination."
Pianto thought for a moment. "It's being caused
by that courtyard place, right?"
Aryll nodded. "It was built many years ago by
the pets of the ancient kingdom, the one of which the poem speaks of," she explained.
"It was a dark time, so the pets built a place where they could get away, a
place that would make their most desired dreams come true. So they could keep
Pianto now understood. "And this is my most
Aryll nodded for the thrice time. "That is correct."
She looked up at the roof. "I'm sorry, Pianto.
But it's time to." The female Gelert leaped off the sofa and began to walk away.
"Wait," Pianto called after her. "But…I don't
want to go."
Aryll turned and smiled at him. "Don't worry,
Pianto. Dreams often become reality."
There was a flash of light and everything disappeared.
The room, the couch, Mason, Aryll, they all disappeared. And Pianto was back
to reality, lying on his side in the middle of the courtyard.
Next to him, Tetra and Aryll, or the real one
it would seem, came to at the same time and got up.
"Umm…did anyone else go through that?" she asked.
Pianto and Tetra both raised their paws (or
in Tetra's case, wings).
Outside the courtyard, the three described their dreams.
"I was back with the Eyries, and I was their
god! They did whatever I ordered them to do and as my first order of business,
I banished all school and any kind of work whatsoever. Except for serving me,
Aryll rolled her eyes and started on her experience.
"I was the Gelert warrior in the poem and I fought all the monsters in Neopia."
She turned to Pianto. "What about you, Pianto.
What was your dream?"
Pianto just looked at her and smiled. "I guess
it didn't work on me," he lied. "I didn't have any dreams at all."
Tetra and Aryll both stared at him, puzzled.
"None at all?" Tetra asked. "Hmm… that's weird. Very weird."
Pianto just smiled to himself. "I don't want
to tell them my dream," he thought to himself with a smile. "Not just yet. After
all, if I do, my dream might not become reality."
To be continued...