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Hunter's Hunt for Buried Treasure

by youkos_lil_fox


"Goodnight!!" Hunter yelled as his mother closed the door, plunging the young camouflage Wocky in complete darkness. As he snuggled deeper into the comfortable blankets of his small bed, he remembered his trip with his parents to the Lost Desert earlier that morning. He distinctly remembered the tour guide, a petite desert Aisha, explaining that somehow Dubloons turned up in the sand surrounding Coltzan's Shrine.

      "Nobody knows how they got here, or why they're here in the first place; all we know is they are definitely here," she had explained when Hunter questioned if the rumors in his neoschool about treasure in the sand was true. "We figure that Coltzan helps point them out to those he decides to help in that way." Unfortunately, Hunter failed to find any of the shiny coins during their time at the Shrine site. 'I'll make sure I come back someday and find one of those coins… I love buried treasure!' the Wocky mentally noted.

      Which was certainly true. Hunter loved everything and anything dealing with treasure. Some nights his father would sit on the end of his bed and read him stories about pirates burying treasure and young neopets around his age finding them years later. Naturally Hunter's dreams were often full of such stories, in which he was dressed as a dashingly handsome young pirate, Captain Hunter of the Pawkeet Cracker. His crew was completely loyal, and had their fair share of fights with rival crews. Of course his crew always befriended and protected the villages they came across; looting and raiding never appealed to his conscience's strong sense of right. On this particular night, however, his dreams would be far from the tropical voyages on his ship off the coast of Krawk Island…

      "Are you ready to go yet??? Are you even out of BED yet?" Hunter rolled over and covered his ears with his pillow. A vibrant and very-awake baby Acara bounded in and dived onto her brother's bed. "Come on! Mommy said we can go see the book store and get some books!" At this Hunter practically flew out of bed. He NEVER missed a chance to get his paws on a new book. He simply loved to read; it was pretty much all he ever did. And he read about anything and everything. His favorites, hands down, were the treasure conquests of his favorite pirate heroes.

      After eating his breakfast faster than normal, Hunter buried himself into his half-done novel, Gelert on Treasure Island. He couldn't get over how easily Scar survived the ship wreck and seemed right at home on the tiny island of sand. He was fascinated by the way the Gelert caught, found, and cooked his own food, and made his own shelter from the cold nights and rainy days. Hunter often wondered if he would think of all the things Scar did in the same situation. He also, despite his strong feeling of curiosity, hoped he wouldn't have to find out if he could. His most recent train of thought was derailed when his mother's voice called to him from the kitchen, "Ready to go, Hunter?" To which the Wocky was but a camouflage blur out of the living room and through the front door before his mother had to say another word to him.

      The whole way to the book store Hunter tried to figure out which kind of book he would want to read next. He had but a few pages of Scar's adventures on Treasure Island to go, and would be ready to start his new book the very next day, at the least. Not even the twenty minute walk from his small suburban neohome was enough time for Hunter to decide what genre to read from next. As soon as he was past the entrance to the shop, the Wocky became another blur of camouflage, running up and down the large shelves packed full of all types of literature. The Nimmo behind the counter laughed as Hunter's little sister and mother simply shook their heads. They had all become used to this behavior of his, so it came as no surprise anymore. His mother was afraid the shopkeeper would be bothered by the exuberance displayed by her son, but to her great relief he was simply amused. "Reminds me of when I was younger." the Nimmo reminisced one day. "Nobody who comes here should be bothered by it; we're all very happy that at least some of the young ones enjoy a hobby most of us can still appreciate." Hunter loved listening to some of the stories the shopkeeper shared with him, too. Usually, however, his visits weren't long enough for the tales to go to the end. "I hope we'll get further next time, then maybe you can find out what happens to so-and-so," the Nimmo would smile and say. Today was different, for Hunter had found something that he knew he had to read, he had found his new book.

      But unlike his normal choices, this one was not obviously brand new, and the literature club he belonged to had never reviewed it, at least not while he had received their newsletters. It appeared to be extremely old, nearly ancient. The binding was hanging off the cover in various places, and strange symbols were barely visible from the years of wear and tear the book must have gone through. Picking it up, Hunter noted the heaviness of it for such a compact piece of history. From the instant he laid eyes on it, he knew this was what he would be bringing home. It had somewhat silently beckoned him to pick it up, to flip through the pages, to learn the secrets it held… His mother and the shopkeeper were too busy chattering about the stock market's recent crash to take any interest in Hunter's hidden treasure. In fact, not a single soul seemed interested in the battered book. Except for Hunter, that is.

      As soon as he was back in the safety of his bedroom, Hunter was flopped down on his large bed, paging through his newest acquisition, fascinated by everything he saw in it. 'For once,' he thought, 'I'll have something that'll take me a while to read.' Which was very rare for him. His thirst for knowledge was something very few others understood, and everyone nearly couldn't believe the speed at which he finished a good book. Getting into this mysterious artifact's pages, Hunter soon realized it was dealing with lost and ancient treasures of the Lost Desert.

      "...And there are Dubloons that are frequently found in the sand near Coltzan's Shrine. It is a mystery how they got there, but many hypotheses exist on their presence. Once such hypothesis, agreed on by many historians as the most credible, talks about the crew of an outlaw pirate group traveling through the area. It is thought that Coltzan's spirit appeared to the gang, and convinced them that their ways of making a living were wrong. The royal Lupe encouraged the pirates to bury the treasure they were carrying, a hoard of Dubloons, in the sand. It was to be symbolic of them concealing their past. Coltzan then told them they were clean souls, and implored them to lead fulfilling lives that helped others instead of harming them. Through countless sandstorms and the such, the treasure was spread far and wide in the desert, but the epicenter of the findings has always been the Shrine."

      "Wow…." gasped Hunter. Then, a thought hit him. What if he went to the Desert, armed with this new information, and searched for some of the hoard? "I bet I could find something!" the little camouflage Wocky exclaimed. Hunter, it had to be said, was very self-confident, and his beloved book only fueled his desire to at least test out the hypothesis. So when his mother happened to enter his room and ask if he'd mind returning to the Lost Desert that afternoon, he could barely contain his excitement. Even though his mother had told him they wouldn't be leaving for another hour or so, Hunter was anxious to leave a mere ten minutes after he found out they were going.

      Decked out in his favorite explorer's outfit, Hunter was a peculiar site in the hot temperature of the dry climate. He also got many tourists asking him if he was an archaeologist doing research on the Shrine, since the Wocky was crawling around in the sand, a small spade in hand, digging repeated little holes, finding nothing but remains of maps and such junk. With a sigh he explained numerous times what he was doing, all the while never stopping his search. This behavior went on for another half an hour, until suddenly he heard a small "Clink!"

      "YES!!!!" Hunter threw the tiny shovel to the side and furiously dug through the sand with his paws. Suddenly, he saw a sight that thrilled him. The book was right! He had found treasure! There, perfectly tucked into the sand, was a small Dubloon. The warm summer's sun glinted off the shiny metal, and Hunter could barely stare at it for a few seconds. He slowly reached down to seize his prize, when all of a sudden….

      "Hunter! Are you ready to go yet??? Are you even out of BED yet?" he covered his ears with his pillow to block out the voice of his baby sister, who leaped onto his bed, insisting that he get up that instant. Hunter desperately tried to get the petite Acara to leave him alone, but it was to no avail. The wonderful dream he had been having was lost for good, and it was pointless to try and finish it. "Mommy said we can go see the book store and get some books!" his sister squeaked.

      Half an hour later, Hunter was browsing shelves and shelves full of every type of book imaginable in the Book Shop. A large yawn escaped his mouth when there, tucked between brand new copies of Inside the Mind of a Lupe, he saw it. The binding was tattered and torn, and it was covered in odd ancient symbols. He instantly recognized it, it was identical to the volume that was in his dream. Hunter quickly grabbed it and flipped through it. His jaw practically dropped to the floor when he found the exact same passage that he had read in his own dream. He looked from side to side. No, life definitely seemed normal. The Wocky even pinched himself to make sure he wasn't asleep. "Ouch!" he yelped, rubbing his arm. Nope. He was most certainly awake. In fact, far eerier than just finding the book, the rest of the day progressed strangely similar to his dream…

      But that was all years ago. And now, Hunter, our little camouflage hero, is an expert on Lost Desert history. He went to a prestigious neoschool, and even paid for it all by himself. Everywhere he goes, he's never seen without a rather scruffy looking book tucked firmly under his arm. A book he adamantly declares is the reason for his success. For, you see, Hunter became a dealer and trader. And he specialized in selling one thing - Dubloons.

The End

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