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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 1st day of Running, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 135 > New Series > Nikola's Jewel: Part One

Nikola's Jewel: Part One

by leb388

Author’s Note: Special thanks to bludragn3 for allowing me to tackle this project and for giving me advice throughout the process of writing and revising it. If I haven’t inspired him, at least I’ve amused him.

~*~*~

Silly me, being alone for so long, I’ve forgotten what it is to love.
Do you seek riches? Come into my lair; it’s no big endeavor.
But be warned, fool: once you touch the sparkling gem,
You will be trapped in my grasp forever....

~*~*~

Bludragn3, a stubborn slate-blue dragon (owner), was not the type of Neopian to be involved in anything minor. He was brave, daring, and always seeking a way to make a name for himself. Folks told him he already had a name--it was Bluey--but he just wouldn’t be convinced.

     So naturally, he strutted around the busy Neopia Central marketplace one spring afternoon like he owned the place. With him was his green Shoyru, Dragoon, who was one of his three legendary Neopets and his trusted best friend. They had a purpose for being there, as usual.

     “I’m so bored,” Bluey moaned. “Are you sure we’re out of NP?”

     “Only 143 NP left,” reported Dragoon. “We should probably play some games.”

     “Yes, we should.” Bluey kept walking, humming to himself. He adjusted the strap of a backpack he was carrying. It didn’t have anything in it, but Bluey thought it would be useful to transport food in, once they had some.

     “Um... now?”

     “Oh,” said Bluey. “It’s just that... I’m hungry.”

     “Well, if we play some games, we’ll have NP to buy some food.”

     Bluey saw that this was reasonable, but had a better idea. “Well, why don’t we go to Tyrannia and get some free omelette?”

     “That’d take just as long.”

     “Oh. Fine, let’s go play some games then.”

     The pair walked on through the marketplace, ambling down the paved Main Street. They dodging Neopians that were frantically running to and from the shops.

     All of Neopia Central was mobbed and everyone hurried to snatch items for reselling. The streets were alive with shouts, the rustling of Neopians running by, and the clink-clink of Neopoint coins being counted and exchanged. All because it was Half-Price Day, the monthly ritual for shoppers to go out and buy more junk because it doesn’t cost as much as usual.

     The sky was a pale blue with a few pretty white clouds in the sky, tossing and turning gently in the wind. A cool breeze lightly brushed against the frantic city down below. The air was fresh and calm even if the Neopians weren’t. The first bits of spring grass and leaves had already grown. Some flowers grew in neat patches in front of shops, and aerial petpets tweeted happily.

     “Now, we take a left to get to the games room,” Dragoon directed.

     “No,” Bluey said indignantly, pointing to the far-off hill Meridell rested on, “it’s that way.”

     “Bluey, it’s a left.”

     “It’s a right!” Bluey scoffed.

     Dragoon sighed in exasperation. “Well, I guess we can play some Meridell games if you want.”

     They started to head out of Neopia Central. Through the crowd Bluey barely spotted two familiar Neopets scavenging through the Money Tree’s massive pile of junk items. They were his pets.

     “Hey, Darkmoon! Spirit!” Bluey called. He hadn’t seen them since that morning, but it wasn’t unusual for the family to roam randomly around Neopia from time to time.

     “Oh, hi guys,” said Darkmoon, a green Gelert. “We were just looking for items. We actually have time to blink before grabbing them today, since everyone’s so busy buying stuff.”

     “Neat,” Dragoon remarked. “We were just on our way to play some games. I didn’t think of coming here for items. Did you find anything good?”

     “Not really. Just some rotten food and Tombola items,” Spirit, a blue Zafara, explained.

     Bluey scoffed. “Donating rotten food... what kind of moral example is that?”

     “Half of this stuff says ‘Donated by bludragn3,’ ” Spirit remarked.

     “Hey!”

     “Don’t listen to Bluey -- grab all the food you can. He’s broke,” Dragoon whispered to his brothers.

     “I heard that!”

     “Aw, cheer up. We’ve got some items at home we can sell for NP, too,” said Spirit. “We stashed ’em away in the safety deposit box.”

     “Yeah, and there’s always free omelette for food,” Darkmoon pointed out.

     Bluey eyed Dragoon with an “I told you so” glare.

     “We should really go play some games--” urged Dragoon.

     “Hey, look! This item was donated by the Snowager!”

     “Cool! What a great guy. It’s good that we have him as a friend, not an enemy.”

     “Yeah. Remember that time we bumped into him in his cave? Classic.”

     “But we should really be playing some--”

     As his family conversed and Dragoon protested their lack of gaming, Darkmoon moseyed away to search for more items. He sifted through the junk, randomly grabbing useful items, until a faint glimmer caught his eye.

     “Hey, guys, look!” he called excitedly.

     Spirit trotted over from around the Money Tree. “What is it, buddy?”

     “It’s... something. Something valuable.”

     Darkmoon dug through the pile until he found what he was searching for: a light blue gem that looked like it would fit snugly in his paw. A little note on it said: “Nikola’s Jewel. Donated by chet_flash. Description: This is very valuable, but be careful when picking it up....”

     “Wow, great find! This is probably an unbuyable Battledome weapon,” Spirit said, awed. “We’d better hurry up and claim it before someone else does.”

     “Wait; I’m not so--”

     “What? It’s just an item.”

     “But there’s something weird about it. I’ve never seen it before.” Darkmoon stared at it.

     “Oh, you worry too much.” Spirit picked it up.

     “Wait!” Darkmoon pleaded. “Put it down! I don’t think that’s an ordinary item! It’s magical or something.”

     “Well, I’m not going to--” But his sentence was cut off. Suddenly, Spirit sensed that the world around him was still and silent.

     He didn’t see Darkmoon lunge toward him and knock the jewel out of his hands. But Darkmoon did indeed, and by accident touched the cursed jewel. He would have the same fate as his Zafara brother.

     Their noisy, bright world melted into something cold and eerie. They were surrounded by a flash of soft light... it was light blue... like the jewel.... Darkmoon tried to scream but nothing came out, and a feeling of shock washed over the pair as they went down, down, down....

     When Spirit opened his eyes, a crystalline world surrounded him. The place was gigantic, like Neopia. He gazed upward and focused his eyes to the light blue dome, shiny and glittering, above him. The ground was the same -- an endless plane of azure gemstone.

     He moaned and sat up, looking around for a clue of where he was, and noticed Darkmoon lying next to him. He realized they had both been knocked unconscious.

     “Are you okay?” Spirit asked worriedly, shaking Darkmoon.

     “Whuh? I don’t wanna go to Neoschool. Five more minutes--”

     “Buddy, wake up! We’re trapped inside something!”

     “Huh? Oh. I told you not to touch the jewel.” Darkmoon yawned, glancing around. “Now look at what you did.”

     “B-but--but--” Spirit stuttered uneasily, “where are we?”

     “Ah, two more greedy souls,” a feminine voice behind them said sweetly. “I was wondering how long it would take for someone else to come. Welcome to my lair. Enjoy your stay... it’s not like you have the option of leaving.”

To be continued....

Previous Episodes

Nikola's Jewel: Part Two

Nikola's Jewel: Part Three

Nikola's Jewel: Part Four

Nikola's Jewel: Part Five

Nikola's Jewel: Part Six

Nikola's Jewel: Part Seven

Nikola's Jewel: Part Eight

Nikola's Jewel: Part Nine

Nikola's Jewel: Part Ten

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Grey Despair, Golden Hope: Part Five
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