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As the Clouds Clear: Part Four


by puppy200010

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“Let us go!” screamed Nili. She wriggled and kicked against the grip the grey pets had her in. Jake was surprisingly calm. He hadn’t said a word since the cave. He hadn’t done anything either, with the exception of silently staring forward at the ground. Nili couldn’t understand why he refused to fight against the grey pets. Perhaps he had been on the island too long initially; the thought of the island as a permanent home had sunk in.

     Their village was starting to come into view. As they approached it, Nili could detect an increase in their speed. They were brought to the same place Nili had been brought before–their cafeteria. Once the entire group was inside, the strong grip that the “others” had on them was released, although the entrance and exits to the building were being guarded.

     The familiar Grey Shoyru got up on one of the cafeteria tables to talk. “Silence!” he yelled to quiet the chattering group. “We have a new matter on our hands to deal with tonight. These two pets, Nilika and Jacob, have returned to our island. We must decide how to deal with them.”

     Nili and Jake gasped. Each turned to look at the other, and they both sprinted towards the exits.

     “Relax! We’re not going to hurt you!” The Shoyru rolled his eyes. “What I meant was that we need to decide whether to initiate you into our society or not. You’ve both escaped from the island before, but you may wish to not even bother to plan an escape this time.”

     “Why on Neopia would I want to do that?” wondered Nili aloud.

     “I...don’t know,” reluctantly admitted the Shoyru.

     “We’ll decline your offer to become one of you, thanks.”

     The Shoyru shrugged. “Suit yourself.”

     “Are you planning to let us leave this building?”

     “What?” The Shoyru looked at her as if she was crazy. “And let that crazy Tuskaninny get at you? You’re safer in here.”

     “Pfft, since when do you care about my safety?”

     “What makes you think I didn’t care? That Tuskaninny is one shady character; we all stay in this little village simply because he refuses to enter it. Even if he did, if he was looking for a specific pet, he wouldn’t be able to find them because all our huts are identical.

     “You have no idea how dangerous of a character he is. Do you have any idea what he’s done?”

     “Only vaguely,” Nili mumbled. “Specifically, what has he done?”

     “Vile creature he is,” spat the Shoyru with disgust. “Once upon a time, he was a good leader. Then he became power hungry. When he couldn’t get the power he desired, he left the island. Some of us searched for him for days but still couldn’t find him. We figured he was gone for good. Oh, but he wasn’t! How could we all have been so stupid and naive to think that he wouldn’t want revenge after we all refused him power over the island!” said the Shoyru bitterly.

     “He didn’t come back immediately,” the Shoyru said, continuing the story. “But when he did, he wasn’t completely obvious about it. However, his presence was announced by one thing: rain. At first, we all thought it was simply some bad weather. It couldn’t last for too long, could it? Wrong.” The Shoyru jumped down from the table. “Soon, we all started to turn grey. By then we knew something was up. In order to gain power over the island, he had cast a spell. It would rain constantly, and we would all turn grey as a result of it. It was sneaky the way he took advantage of the weather like that to gain power.”

     “And?” said Nili, anticipating more story.

     “And? There’s nothing more to say! We’ve been trapped here ever since. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s year seven before we can manage to escape!”

     “Year seven?!” Suddenly, it hit Nili like a five-ton bag of asparagus. She was in the past! It was Mystery Island that she was on, but she wasn’t in the present. Nili made eye contact with the Shoyru. “I must protect the future of Mystery Island. Do you have any idea how he learned to cast that spell on the island?”

     “None,” he said. “But maybe our town sorceress knows...you can ask her. If you visit her though, beware... She’s been known to be a little eccentric.”

    ***

     Nili timidly knocked on the door of the sorceress’s hut.

     “Whadaya want?” snapped a creaky, bitter-sounding voice from inside.

     “We--we’d like to talk with the sorceress, please,” Nili responded shyly.

     “Who is this ‘we’?”

     “Me and--” She stopped and looked around. Jake was missing! She wondered if he had even followed her out of the cafeteria in the first place! The island wasn’t that big, though; he wouldn’t be that hard to find again. “Well, I guess it’s just me.”

     “The sorceress is busy. Go away.”

     “But I need her help!” Nili whined.

     “Oh, fine, come on in!” shouted the voice, obviously annoyed.

     Nili gently pushed open the hut’s door and walked inside. Shelves of ingredients covered the walls, and bowls (presumably for mixing) covered most surfaces. In the center of the room was a large, black bowl, which much resembled a witch’s caldron. On a chair in the corner of the room was the only neopet in the room besides Nili. She was an elderly Grey Gelert, dressed in a faded grey dress and shoes. Upon seeing Nili for the first time, the pet’s stern expression seemed to soften. Nili could swear she heard a, “She’s grey too...” mumbled under the breath of the Gelert.

     “Well, now that you’re here, what do you need help with?”

     “I need a spell to counteract the effects of the eternal rain spell cast on this island.”

     The Gelert sadly shook her head. “I’m sorry, but I don’t have the ingredients to perform that kind of spell...”

     “I’ll go find them!” shouted Nili impulsively.

     “That’d be great if you could, but I doubt you can. I need some ice from the very peak of Terror Mountain in order to perform any weather spells. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet discovered any way to get off this island in order to get it.”

     “I’ll do what I can!” Nili promised as she ran out of the hut into the ongoing rain. Her quest was easier said than done. Sure, she had gotten off the island once, but how could she leave again? Would it work the same as it had before? It was worth a try; what did she have to lose?

     She raced down the road to the hut she had arrived in before. The hut looked mostly the same as it had before, and the table was even still in front of the door. It took Nili several heaves against the door to get it to open. She quickly crawled into the fireplace, hopeful that it would take her home. Nothing happened. Minutes passed by, and Nili still sat there, waiting for anything at all to happen. She started to become worried. Would she ever be able to return home? What would happen to her owner? To her sister, Scri?

     Just as her mind wandered onto these questions, the room faded out, leaving her in blackness. Nili decided that her thought of home had to have something to do with her return home; they had caused her to leave the island twice so far.

     This time, as scenery came back into vision, Nili found herself in the cave, sprawled in a rather uncomfortable position. She moaned and pulled herself into an upright position, gently rubbing some of her sore muscles. Jake and his body were nowhere to be found. By looking out through the entrance of the cave, she could see that the rained had stopped. In fact, the day was sunny, and the ground was dry, just as if it had never rained in the first place.

     Nili’s mind was hazy. She knew that there was something important that she was supposed to do, but she was unable to remember what it was! Lazily she got up and stumbled out of the cave and into town. As she passed an ice cream stand, it came flooding back to her. Not wanting to miss the next ferry off the island, she sprinted to the dock.

     During her trip to Terror Mountain, she became impatient. She wasn’t getting there fast enough! By the end of the trip, the captain of the ferry was quite exasperated with her.

     After the ship deposited her on Terror Mountain, she looked for a path up the mountain. On one side of Happy Valley was a tall sign reading “Terror Mountain top”. Anxiously she started jogging up the trail, wanting to reach her destination sooner.

    ***

     Several hours later, Nili was still making her way up the mountainside. The trip had gone smoothly so far, but now the air was getting thinner, the snow was falling more rapidly, and the firmness of the trail was starting to decrease with each step Nili took. Suddenly, the bottom of the trail gave out, taking Nili along with it!

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» As the Clouds Clear: Part One
» As the Clouds Clear: Part Two
» As the Clouds Clear: Part Three



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