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The Jackals of Sakhmet II- Finding Lee: Part Seven


by arrielle5

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Cave One (Task One)-

Which tunnel was which? Which tunnels were tricks? Which tunnels held aids that would lead them down the right way? Niger had not expected anything like this. You see, reader, even though it was unfortunate that Kasha had been in the caves before, it was quite smart of Scarab to only take her and show her the way. No one else in Neopia, not even Lycos, knew how to get on in the caves. Real brainwork was required to get by.

      "Is this some kind of joke?" Niger snarled, releasing Cole for the first time. "What are we to do? How's anyone supposed to reach those tunnels?"

      Dear reader, excuse me for putting our tale on pause for a moment, but have you ever watched a movie where the kids and teens were much more educated and much brighter than the grown-ups? This is like one of those movies, for you see, Lee was already on the right track when she began to push the rocks on top of the buttons in the ground.

      "You guys get those," she told Cole and Omar, who obeyed immediately. Niger watched as they did so, clearly not impressed, for nothing happened. He thought they were wasting his time; so instead, he searched the walls, hoping to find a hidden tunnel or passage of some sort. Half an hour, dear reader… It took half an hour for the trio to push all the rocks onto all the buttons. That's how many there were. At first, nothing seemed to happen, and soon, they realized that the ground they stood on was rising to the topmost level of tunnels.

      "How did you do that?" Niger snapped as the ground came to a sudden halt. "How did you make us move?"

      The children smirked, remaining silent. So that was part one of their tasks…but now came part two. Which tunnel was the correct one? There were three tunnels…but which was the right one?

      "Maybe we should go down this one," Omar pointed to the second one.

      "Oh no, you don't…" said Niger, taking Cole's arm once more. (Why did he insist on hurting Cole?) "You and the Ixi will go down those two separate tunnels; Cole and I are going down this one…"

      He pointed to each tunnel as he said so. Lee and Omar remained silent, giving Cole worried looks.

      "I'll be fine," he mouthed to them. With that said and done, the four set off down the separate tunnels; Lee down the third one, Omar down the second one, and Cole and Niger down the first one. Each tunnel led to three separate rooms, dear reader, yet only one of them was the right one. Wondering who had the right room? I bet you are…

      As Lee began to walk further down, she began having second thoughts. She had the most peculiar feeling that someone was watching her… One step, two steps, three steps… With Lee's every step she heard an echo…an echo of each step. Was someone following her? One step, two steps, three steps… Every time a footstep echoed…but it wasn't a natural echo. Someone was following her. Holding her breath, Lee spun around to see what stood behind her, but found nothing but air.

      "For the love of… Hello?" she called. By now she had traveled quite a distance down the tunnel, so no one would be able to hear here from the tunnel's entrance. Shaking her head in confusion, Lee turned back and continued walking. This time the footsteps were louder. Lee ignored it for as long as she could, but no longer could when she felt a sharp claw touch her shoulder…

     * * *

Tunnel Two-

      "It had to be a giant cave, didn't it?" Omar muttered angrily to himself. "Scarab just had to make a maze out of it, didn't he?"

      The tunnel seemed to just stretch on and on, never ending… In fact, Omar had been walking for so long; he could hear his own stomach rumbling…it was his stomach, wasn't it? Omar stopped in his tracks, his ears listened attentively: it wasn't his stomach he was hearing… Something rather large was rolling his way from the way he had come, yet he could not see what it was…

      "What the heck…" was all Omar had time to say before a gigantic boulder, larger than nobody's business, was rolling his way. Omar didn't need telling twice to pick up the pace. Where did the boulder come from?! Had Scarab completely lost his mind? But perhaps this wasn't the right tunnel…perhaps…

     * * *

Tunnel One-

      "Why do you keep looking back? You're not going anywhere, you're staying with me," Niger snapped at Cole for the third time. Cole couldn't help it. He had a feeling that his friends were in trouble. But would you argue with a dagger, especially a poisoned tipped one? Tunnel number one, actually, was the shortest of all three, but for a reason. Niger and Cole found out that reason within the next five minutes…

      "There is a giant lake in this cave?" Cole said in disbelief as they entered the adjoining cave. A lake, at least ten feet in length, sat before them. No bridge was present, and the water was obviously too deep to wade in. The only way across was to swim.

      "C'mon," Niger ordered, placing his dagger in his cloak. "We need to get across to there."

      He pointed to the tunnel opposite them, the only one… Cole stared into the murky, lake water; it didn't look very promising.

      "Come, now!" Niger yelled. Hesitantly, Cole climbed into the water after Niger. Normally, he wouldn't listen to a grown-up like him. It wasn't Niger he was afraid of; it was the concept of losing his life to him that frightened him beyond anything else… The water was not as cold as it let on, but it still was cold, and very deep. The two began to swim across the lake, and everything seemed so quiet, so peaceful, and so calm. In fact, after a while, it sounded as if the lake itself was singing a lullaby.

      Its voice was so beautiful, Cole longed to stay there forever to listen and never leave. The lake's effects even took its toll on Niger who had actually stopped swimming just to listen. The song made Cole and Niger drowsy, unfocused, and slower than usual… What were they doing in the first place? They had forgotten everything; their worries, their troubles, their friends; everything. Nothing mattered. The lullaby grew louder with every passing minute…

      Cole felt something move beneath his feet, but paid no notice…at least not at first. He came back to his senses and glance into the water. Nothing was supposed to be moving beneath his feet; the water had to be at least thirty feet deep! Whatever had moved before had moved once more, only this time it felt much sharper and rough. Cole looked over at Niger: he was still in a trance, listening to the music… Music… Where was it coming from?

      "Niger, we need to go," Cole said quietly to the Cybunny, but Niger wasn't listening. He only heard the music, and nothing more. His eyes were closed and he wore a small smile of relaxation… The music became louder.

      "Niger, we got to move," Cole said more loudly, swimming over to him. "Now would be a good time…"

      The music got louder still. Suddenly, a large, scaly, human hand came up from the water, grabbing Cole by the arm. He let out a scream of surprise as another hand grabbed him, and another. He was soon staring at the dull, grey, inhuman faces of three water faeries. The Drenched… But that was not possible! The Drenched lived in Maraqua, not a cave on Krawk Island! Whoever these faeries were, they dragged Cole underwater, smirking at him.

      The music was still playing from above, for Cole could hear it so faintly. The faeries snickered as Cole tried to break free. They were too strong for him. Was this the end? Was this where Cole's journey came to a stop? No, reader… Nay, I say. Do you know why? Niger had come to Cole's aid. He had swum down to the faeries, his poisoned tipped dagger in one hand and Omar's stolen, Cobrall dagger in the other… The moment the faeries saw each dagger, they released Cole immediately and swam away. They knew when they'd had enough.

      Cole and Niger returned to the surface for some air. Cole noticed the music had stopped… That was what broke Niger's trance…

      "Come on; we still need to get across," said Niger coldly, starting for the other end of the lake once more. Cole floated there for a moment, staring at him in disbelief. He had just saved his life, and all he could say was come on? Letting out an annoyed sigh, Cole started swimming. Niger was something else… Moments later, the two of them gladly climbed onto the small bank on the other side of the lake. Cole was more than glad to be out of the water.

      "This had better lead to the Rubite," Niger growled, squeezing out the sleeves of his cloak. "C'mon… Up front where I can see you…"

      Without a moment's hesitation, the two were walking once more as if nothing had happened in the lake. The second cave was lighter, for there were lit torches hanging on its walls. Niger grabbed one of them before proceeding. Meanwhile, Cole was thinking to himself: were Lee and Omar okay? What of Keera, Scarab, Lycos, and Wain? What was Kasha doing now? So many questions, dear reader, and if there's one thing…need I say it?

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» The Jackals of Sakhmet II- Finding Lee: Part One
» The Jackals of Sakhmet II - Finding Lee: Part Two
» The Jackals of Sakhmet II- Finding Lee: Part Three
» The Jackals of Sakhmet II- Finding Lee: Part Four
» The Jackals of Sakhmet II- Finding Lee: Part Five
» The Jackals of Sakhmet II- Finding Lee: Part Six
» The Jackals of Sakhmet II- Finding Lee: Part Eight
» The Jackals of Sakhmet II- Finding Lee: Part Nine
» The Jackals of Sakhmet II- Finding Lee



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