“Where are we?”
“We touched the jewel,” Dragoon stated, standing
up. “I guess we’re in the jewel’s world.”
“Are we still in Neopia? Like, Meridell is its
own world, but it’s still in Neopia,” Bluey reasoned, walking around dizzily.
“I really don’t know.”
Bluey looked around. “Well, whoever designed
this place has a good sense of colors.”
The entire world was blue, a shimmering teal
blue that matched the jewel held in Bluey’s dragon claw. It was huge, too, stretching
as far as the pair could see, covered with a dome of crystal. The ground was
a matching style, leading Bluey to wonder how one ever knew if he or she was
up or down.
“So now we just find Spirit and Darkmoon,” Bluey
said to himself. “Where do we start looking?”
Dragoon sat up and stretched his Green Shoyru
wings. “Where the Snowager told us to.”
So they set off in search of the nearest food
store, following a sparkling cerulean blue road. The people around them glanced
at them and then turned their eyes. The inhabitants’ clothes were dirty and
tattered, and they had a defeated look about them.
“You’d think Neopians would be happier around
food,” Bluey observed.
“You heard what the Snowager said; they’re prisoners.”
“But still. A prison with food still has food.”
Dragoon shrugged and they walked into a fast-food
restaurant. Bluey strutted up to the counter, trying not to look suspicious.
Unfortunately, the shopkeeper, a bored-looking
Yellow Chia wearing an apron, immediately noticed Dragoon’s confidence. “Can
I help you, newcomer?”
“Um, yes. I’d like some....” He looked around.
“Well, actually, can you tell me if you saw a Green Gelert and a Blue Zafara
around? I’m just curious.”
“No, sir. Can’t say I have.” The Chia sighed
with boredom and went back to stocking asparagus.
Bluey and Dragoon exchanged worried looks.
“Then... how much is a Neo taco?” Dragoon asked
“Free,” said the Chia, annoyed.
“Free?” Bluey repeated, stupefied.
“Yes, free! What do you think I said? Do you
have drain bramage or something? Borovan! Everything’s free here!”
“Hey, borovan sounds pretty nice,” Dragoon said.
“How much is that?”
He blinked. “Really?”
“Really!” said the shopkeeper, storming away.
“I’m sure Darkmoon and Spirit will understand
if we just stop to eat,” Bluey said casually.
The shop needed a new shipment of every item
later that afternoon.
Meanwhile, Bluey and Dragoon contentedly scarfed
up lots of food and tried to converse with other diners.
“I heard two Neopets broke into Queen Nikola’s
palace this morning,” said one diner, a Green Kougra. She was talking with some
others who appeared to ignore her.
“Nikola? Nikola, the person who owns the jewel?”
“Yeah, she’s a water Faerie. Our queen.”
Dragoon glanced at Bluey, chewing thoughtfully.
“She rules this world?”
“And created it, yeah.”
“Maybe we can ask her if she’s seen Darkmoon
and Spirit,” Bluey said to Dragoon.
“Darkmoon and Spirit?” the Kougra asked, looking
perplexed. “That could be them, I dunno. I just heard that two Neopets were
thrown in jail by Nikola for breaking into her palace.”
“On the western side of the realm,” she explained.
“Sort of in a low plain. Two Neopets--”
“Wait a minute!” said Dragoon, suddenly understanding,
“Did you say those pets might’ve been named Darkmoon and Spirit?”
“Ugh,” Darkmoon muttered, looking around a dark,
gloomy cell. He sat in a dungeon and blinked to focus his eyes.
The dungeon was considerably clean--no wonder,
Nikola was a neat freak--but still very damp and foreboding. The walls were
made of generic grey dungeon stones, the kind all villains seem to buy cheaply
somewhere. An old wooden door, locked and with a cut window with bars, added
to Darkmoon’s cold, trapped mood. A few barred windows near the top of the cell
let in sunlight. Darkmoon surmised that he was underground.
“Darkmoon?” came a whisper.
“Spirit!” Darkmoon exclaimed, glomping him.
“Hey, whoa, whoa, no need to attack me with a
hug,” said his Zafara brother. “Where are we?”
“Nikola’s dungeon, I guess,” Darkmoon replied.
“Ohh,” Spirit moaned. “I was hoping it was all
a bad dream.”
But it wasn’t. It was very real, and so was the
prodigious, shadowy figure in a corner.
“Dantus?” Spirit asked nervously.
The Red Grarrl stood up and pounded over to Spirit
and Darkmoon. “Let me explain, it’s not my--”
“Oh. Well, then.” Dantus sat down.
“What happened?” Darkmoon queried curiously.
“Nikola couldn’t find the new captives, so she
slipped back to her palace,” Dantus explained ruefully. “She found me at the
door and interrogated me. She was sort of vexed, and as you can see she isn’t
all that patient, so she tossed me in here.”
“And then she came up for us?”
“Yes, I suppose she was expecting others. I didn’t
know what had happened to you guys.”
“She caught us in her room and put a spell or
something on us,” Darkmoon recounted.
“Ah, the bo’ringeng lishclas spell. Makes
the victim unconscious.”
“It worked,” Spirit said grimly.
Darkmoon perked his ears. He thought he heard
something: a tap-tap-tap sound. “Spirit?”
Dantus heard it next. It sounded like a Neopian
or two jogging through the dungeon. “Someone’s coming.”
Spirit and Darkmoon froze.
“Nikola?” Darkmoon whispered.
The trio was silent for a moment.
“How large is this dungeon, exactly?” Spirit
“From what Nikola’s told me, not very large,”
said Dantus. “It only has a handful of cells. This whole world is a prison,
so I guess Nikola figured it’d be pointless to spend a lot of time building
“So if someone’s coming--”
“There’s a good chance it’s for us?” Spirit finished,
Suddenly a figure appeared behind the door’s
small window. Darkmoon breathed heavily and couldn’t see the Neopian. Was it
But the Neopian suddenly disappeared, seemingly
walking away. The trio let out a sigh of relief.
A moment later the door clicked open and they
gaped at whom they saw.
To be continued....