It was midnight.
Dragoon felt uneasy being out, defenseless, at
that hour. They’d been attacked by the Pant Devil once, and they might not be
so lucky the next time.
He and Bluey wandered the empty streets of Neopia
in the dark. Streetlights cast an eerie glow, and moving shadows lingered around
“We’re here,” Bluey finally whispered.
Dragoon saw the tent. Normally it was bright
and colorful, but this night it was dark as everything else.
“Shop Wizard?” called Bluey.
“Shop Wizard!” Dragoon yelled nervously.
“Hold on, hold on,” came a voice from inside
the tent. In a moment, a tiny orange Jubjub wearing a cape and wizard’s hat
appeared. “Yes? What brings you here at this hour?”
“We need to search an item.”
“Okay, okay. Name, please?”
“ ‘Nikola’s Jewel.’ ”
“Any search preferences?” the wizard asked, taking
out his wand.
“All right, then.” The wizard tapped his wand
and a piece of paper appeared, hovering in front of him. “Well...that’s interesting,”
“What?” pressed Bluey.
“The search came up with nothing. That item’s
not in any shop in Neopia.”
Bluey and Dragoon exchanged discouraged glances.
“In fact, I don’t recall ever seeing a record
of one. Are you sure you got the name right?”
“Yes,” Bluey said, disappointed. “Uh--thanks
for trying. Come on, Dragoon.”
“Wait--you just want to know a little information
about the item?” the wizard asked.
“You could always
try the Snowager. He’s seen almost every item. But unless he knows why you’re
coming, you could get blasted with ice.”
“Of course!” Dragoon said. “Why didn’t I think
of it? We know the Snowager!”
“What?” Darkmoon asked, sitting up. “But I thought
there wasn’t a way out.”
“I know. But I’ve been talking with someone,
and we have a sort of plan in the works.”
Darkmoon shook his head. “How do you know that
anything will work?”
“I don’t know. We just have to try.”
“I’m not so--”
“C’mon,” Spirit said, trotting off. “This way.
Dantus is waiting for us.”
“Who’s Dantus?” Darkmoon stood up and followed
The two were soon in a sort of central city of
the jewel. There were shops and more small parks, and the roads were paved.
It looked like a normal city, and the blue-whiteness of it all, sparkling now
in the dark of the night, reminded Darkmoon of Faerieland.
This place seemed to have its own weather, too,
and the crystal dome was turning grey with rain clouds over a yellowish full
moon--not something that made him feel better. But he noticed that light was
starting to appear in the sky--sunrise, and a new day, was coming.
“You’ll see. He’s someone I just met, someone
who knows a little bit about this place. A Red Grarrl.”
“Okay,” Darkmoon replied. “What was your plan
Spirit said nothing as he passed a group of rough,
saddened Neopets, then continued. “Nikola told us we couldn’t go in her palace,
“Oh, borovan,” Darkmoon muttered, remembering.
“We can’t just break in there! Even if it has anything we’ll never get inside!”
He expected the worst. Then he remembered nothing could be worse than being
trapped in some strange world ruled by a maniacal faerie--but if there was he
didn’t want to be the one to unleash it.
“What else can we do? She’s probably hiding something
in there that’ll get this out. I mean, think about it. If she makes this huge
hideout that there’s no exit from, she’d be trapped too, right?”
“So, logically,” Spirit concluded, “she’d have
something that would allow herself to escape.”
Darkmoon gaped at him. “So we’re going to break
into her palace for something that might help us?”
“Exactly,” came a voice.
“Dantus!” Spirit said. “You came.”
“Of course,” said the Grarrl, stepping before
them. “So, this is Darkmoon?”
“Um, hi,” Darkmoon said uneasily.
“Hello, young one. I’ve been talking to your
“So I’ve heard,” Darkmoon said. “How are we going
to do all this? It’s insane.”
“Well, if you’d rather stay, go right ahead,”
Spirit scoffed, walking away.
Dantus followed him.
“Spirit! Wait!” Darkmoon called, running up ahead.
“Look, I’m just kinda freaked right now. Can’t you give me some time?”
“We’ve got all the time in the world,” Spirit
said. “So why don’t we just get it over with?”
“I just need to think about this, okay? We haven’t
been here too long. What if this is all a joke?”
Spirit said lightly, “Darkmoon--”
“No! This can’t be real! It isn’t! It’s just
some faerie illusion!”
“This is real, like it or not!” Dantus barked.
“If you don’t want to find a way out then you’re welcome to stay!”
“I don’t need you yelling at me!” Darkmoon
“Guys, stop it!”
“Do you want to yield to Nikola’s power?” Dantus
“What do you know about her? I don’t even know
who she is! I don’t want to know anything about this place!”
“You should, because you’re trapped here!”
“Stop it! Stop this!”
Darkmoon and Dantus paused to look at Spirit.
“C’Mon. Why don’t we just think this over with
some food?” Spirit suggested. “I saw a good restaurant on the way over. And
“That’s a good idea,” Dantus said, strikingly
more even-tempered than second before.
Darkmoon couldn’t shake off the idea that there
was something strange about Dantus. So why did Spirit trust him?
They walked for awhile and then found the restaurant.
After they had ordered some food, they discussed the plan.
It was simple. They slip into the palace, search
Nikola’s chambers for a spell to escape, and go.
“This can’t work,” Darkmoon muttered.
“It’s worth a try.”
“I’ll do it if it’s the last thing I ever do,”
Darkmoon wondered if it would indeed be the last
thing they did. Storming into a well-guarded palace? It would be impossible.
“How do you know all this?” Darkmoon queried
Dantus. “About the palace and all.”
“Oh, I’ve been here awhile and know a good deal
about everything in this place. Trust me.”
Darkmoon would rather not.
But they ate and waited for the right moment
To be continued....