Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 155,374,162 Issue: 219 | 9th day of Celebrating, Y7
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The Battle of the Lucky Coin: Supplemental Text - Part Two


by kublakhan27

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Then the most encouraging part of the exchange to this point occurred: the Ruki let loose with a hearty laugh. Then he spoke for the first time. "Now who said anything about harm?" he asked. "You are my saviours, and my gratitude for that transcends words. Now let me make something clear to you before we speak any further. I, in actuality, am no spirit. Certainly, the laws of nature suggest that there should be little else left of me to greet you here and now except for some disembodied aspect of the supernatural, but I assure you all that I'm as every bit in the flesh as you are now. The irony of this is that it took a kind of otherworldly event to keep me at the very age I was when I stumbled onto this unfortunate predicament. I must apologize to you for that little scare a moment ago, but after an unspeakable amount of time in hibernation-like sleep, wouldn't you also feel the need to let out with a good yawn upon awakening?"

      "A yawn?" Dr. Boolin squealed, springing up instantly from the ground he would not lay on before he fainted. The Ruki laughed again. "Yes, a yawn," he said.

      Bren took in this episode with a smile of relief and amusement. "My friend," he said to the Ruki, "you indeed talk of strange events. I reckon you must have quite a tale to tell, and should you be willing, my friends and I would be most thrilled to hear it. We are, after all, Ghoul Catchers by trade. Mind you, there's been nothing ghoulish about you whatsoever since you have awoken, except for the yawn."

      Everyone laughed at this comment. "I don't blame you folks one smidgen for your sense of awe at what you've learned from me thus far. Why, I've yet to comprehend the whole experience myself. After all, it's very hard to comprehend anything when you're asleep! So I will gladly tell my story to you now as best as I can, for it will prove to be a learning experience for me as well, as I attempt to piece it all together in my own mind.

      "I suppose the most sensible way to begin is by saying I am not a native of these woods. I came here by way of a nearby desert, which is where I'd always lived. I spent a great deal of time there scouring the land for grackle bugs (a treasured delicacy among my species) and drinking water wherever it happened to be found. My leisure time was spent exploring all the ancient shrines and monuments our storied land had to offer. I don't know if you folks have ever been there. As far as I recall, there were no outside visitors to speak of, but I digress from my story.

      "I came about these woods on a day of restlessness when there were no grackle bugs or water to be found within my everyday vicinity. Feeling I had nothing to lose, I let myself be taken by a sense of wanderlust into the forest I had found after travelling for some time. It was an entirely new landscape for me, and my senses came to life at its discovery. Before I knew it, I was walking through the forest.

      "My journey went well enough at first. This is actually a pretty place under the light of day, but the sun was sinking steadily as I ventured further into it, and by the time nightfall had come, the air became unspeakably cold and the tweets and songs of the daylight birds gave way to cackling crows and the like. Occasionally, I'd catch a pair of eyes gazing out at me from some dark pocket. I was growing scared, no doubt about that, but I felt the need to press on, as my enthusiasm for the journey hadn't yet waned.

      "Nonetheless I felt relieved to finally come across a building in the midst of all these forest surroundings. It was a brick tower, somewhat ominous in appearance but still more welcoming than all those eyes looking out at me along the way. I knocked on the door, and was greeted by an old lady with a look of both surprise and concern. "My child," she said before I had the chance to introduce myself, "whatever are you doing in these woods at such a late hour?" I gave a quick description of my travels up to that point, and was instructed to wait at the door for a moment. When she came back, I was presented with some berries, which I must say were most welcome after being on the move for so long, and was told to stay off the paths until sunrise. No doubt it was the best advice I could have gotten in light of all the followed afterward, but two things prevented me from doing that: one was an unwillingness to come in contact with one of these forest's hidden creatures, and the other was that youthful wanderlust I told you folks about before. Energized by the berries I received from the old lady whose name she said was Edna, I soldiered on.

      "The next thing I was amazed to come across was the tattered remains of what was definitely an old fairground. The rusty remnants of old rides and games were strewn about the field in a plethora of colors. Underneath the cold light of the moon it was, in its own weird way, the prettiest sight I'd seen in the woods so far. However, any sense of beauty I was beginning to derive from this place vanished with the voice I then heard: a gruff, dictatorial voice that seemed to be directing some kind of military drill. From a dark nearby path he then emerged and came into view. He was a cloaked figure, wearing a hood and clearly a person of authority, as evidenced by the procession that followed him. They were a grim group, let me tell you, toiling along with large spears and battle-hungry looks. I was asking myself what I had gotten myself into when the cloaked figure raised a hand, signalling the group to stop. I froze, hoping with all my might that my presence was not detected. But luck was not in the cards for me on this night.

      "'I smell a spy!' bellowed the hooded figure. 'That scent does not originate from these woods. Dispatch the Chia Clowns!'

      "Now I reckon I was not as alarmed to be discovered as I was by the fact that clowns were coming to find me. Sure I was on the site of an old fairground, but if you three were there with me, you would surely agree that clowns did not fit into the intensity of this scene whatsoever. Perhaps I spent a little too much time contemplating this predicament, for I saw two tiny, garishly colored figures coming directly my way before it even occurred to me that I should try to make a run for it. Then again, if that hooded fellow could smell me while I was still some distance away, then I likely had little chance of outrunning that regiment of his.

      "As the clowns made their way toward me, I heard a low whirring sound, and suddenly it dawned on me that these clowns were robots, which I guess made a little more sense. In no time, they had seized me and practically wheeled me back to their leader, for each clown had taken one of my arms and lifted me a few inches off the ground. And the speed in which their little feet travelled was far beyond the speed that could be accomplished by any Ruki I've ever known.

      "'Now what have we here?' asked the hooded figure as I stood trembling before him. 'I knew I recognized the desert scent. But what in the name of Neopia brings a Ruki like you to these parts? This is quite a way from home for you timid desert folk!'

      "I was too overcome with fear to answer. Indeed this mysterious fellow knew more about me desert home than anyone outside of it should know, given our secrecy.

      "'Well, no matter,' he continued. 'As you happen to have stumbled upon a top secret operation, I now have to punish you. But, as I'm now on the verge of a great conquest, I'm in a particularly good mood tonight, and so you shall be given a slight glimmer of hope. I'm sure you are mightily tired after your long journey here from the desert, so I will grant you the opportunity to have a little nap. Then again, you'll need the help of a very intelligent Neopian to wake you, so it may turn out to be a very long nap!'

      "At this point, I struggled to break free of the clowns' painful grip, but I may as well have been trying to bust through a brick wall. The last thing I remember in my waking state was the hooded figure hoisting his large glowing staff over my head and bellowing out words in a language I didn't understand. Then my eyes grew heavy, all went silent, and all I saw was black."

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» The Battle of the Lucky Coin: Supplemental Text - Part One
» The Battle of the Lucky Coin: Supplemental Text - Part Three



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