It was a dark and gloomy morning in the faraway world
of Neopia. Though it was autumn, it seemed to be the beginning of a particularly
uncomfortable day. Even in Faerieland, on a cloud high above Neopia Central,
it was cold and wet for a large rain-cloud was just passing by.
Shamathia, an Aisha who rather liked to stay at home
at the warm fireplace on such days, looked out of the window of her bedroom.
It was already quite late in the morning, but Sammy was still in bed;
she was on holiday and really wanted to enjoy the time as good as possible.
She was just thinking about some depressing facts, something she always
did when it was raining Aishas and Lupes, when suddenly the bell of the
main entrance rang. At first, Shamathia did not want to get up at all,
for the bed was like so nicely warm and comfortable, but when the bell
rang for the second time, she remembered that a good friend of hers, Antanie,
had wanted to visit her and so she got up.
She went down in the entrance hall, opened the door and
allowed an extremely wet and freezing little Kacheek to enter. "Where
were you?" Antanie asked, "Didn't you hear the bell? I thought
you Aishas had a very acute sense of hearing... you have these cute extra-ears."
"Sorry about this, I was upstairs and.... well,
the bed is just the perfect place for days like today. Come on, let's
go to the dinning hall and have some fresh boiled tea."
Ati hung her wet raincoat on one of the many hooks on
the wall and followed Shamathia into the large dinning hall, where a lively
fire was burning in a large fireplace; Shamathia was found of guests and
quite frequently large parties took place in her house, something of which
her neighbours were not too found. They had tea and biscuits together,
and after Ati had just finished her second cup, she reached into her pocket
and took out a kind of map which she put on the table.
"Look at this!" she said excited. "Isn't
Shamathia looked rather uninterested at the map. She
liked outdoor activities, but not treasure hunting. "Uhm, is that
a treasure map?" she asked.
"Oh no, it is far better," Antanie replied.
She had lowered her voice so that she was almost whispering. "It
shows the position of a secret castle hidden in the dark depths of the
The evergreen forest is one of Neopia's greatest forest.
It is so big, that the major big part of it is still undiscouvered, mysterious
wilderness. Many songs and tales are about the secrets, treasures but
also beasts and nameless creatures which are waiting in the heart of the
forest for some brave pets who are courageous or high-spirited enough
to go there.
"My sister pup gave it to me yesterday, she said
that she found it frozen in a block of ice in happy valley. That's Pup,
she finds the best stuff but doesn't know what to do with it than. What
do you think, would you go with me and find the secret castle?"
Shamathia liked going hiking in the forests for there
were always some interesting magical herbs growing there, but up to now
she had never been deeper in the forest than a 40 minutes walk or a 15
minutes run. She thought for a moment and than answered: "Yes, I
would guide you, how many are coming with us, and when is the whole thing
going to happen..?"
Ati seemed a bit surprised. "Excuse me, what do
you mean how many are coming with us? It is only you and me because we
have to keep the affair secret. If we find the castle, it is not of help
if someone gets lost in some dungeon or so..."
Sammy did not like this too much, but she knew Ati good
enough to know, that the idea had already settled in her mind and she
could only help her by coming with her.
"All right than, put the map more in the middle,
we have to find a good route to the castle, on which we don't have to
pass too much bother."
And so they did. After about half an hour they thought
to have found a route which would lead them to (at least not too many)
difficulties. They wanted to use one of the main paths until they reached
the grey river, which they wanted to drive down with Sammy's little raft.
At the end of the river they would be flown into a large lake where they
would land, and after some more hours of hiking they would finally come
to the secret castle - if it was there at all.
Shamathia did not really believe in the story, but she
liked rafting a lot and so she did not want to miss this great opportunity.
The raft she was owning was small, but it had a great advantage: For it
was magical, one could fold it so small, that it suited into an ordinary
bag which was in addition to this very light. Antanie said that she could
bring her tent with her, which could also be folded into a bag, but was
big enough for both of them. They decided to do the tour the next weekend,
of course only if the weather would become better.
To be continued...