Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 127,331,912 Issue: 258 | 22nd day of Gathering, Y8
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The Legend of Paraiso: Part Two


by jeanaet

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Down in the southernmost part of Neopia, where ice and snowstorms prevail, a young teenage girl pushed forward against the wind. In her arms was curled a tiny baby Yurble, and behind her trooped a blue Xweetok and faerie Wocky. The Xweetok carried a very wet Ditsy and the Wocky a very irritated Niptor. A blue Drackonack hopped along between them.

      "Jeanie, where are we?" the Xweetok screamed over the wind.

      "I told you, Aile, there isn't a name for where we are," Jeanie called back. She paused and pulled her pack off of her back, holding Trohanex (the baby Yurble) with one arm. She pulled a thick fleece blanket out and wrapped Trohanex in it before setting him lightly on the ground. The blue Drackonack dashed around Jeanie and into the blankets with the baby. Nexy squealed with delight and stroked the petpet with excitement.

      Jeanie knelt down beside the Yurble and began to rummage through her pack. Finally, she pulled out a map.

      "Oh, so this place is mapped but it doesn't have a name?" the Xweetok said.

      "Don't get smart, Ailemea," Jeanie said sternly. She attempted to hold up the map but the blizzard wind snapped at it and nearly yanked it from her hands. She snarled unhappily. "Aile, make a bubble shield around us."

      "I thought I'm only allowed to use abilities in the Battledome," Ailemea said.

      "Aile," Jeanie said, her voice rising.

      "I'm going, I'm going..." the Xweetok said, stepping into the midst of their small group. She looked around, measuring up the ring. "Umm... Soqai, you stand next to Jeanie." The faerie Wocky stepped forward beside her friend's owner. "Okay, Nexy, melt some of the snow." The baby Yurble sat up. He wrinkled his little forehead in concentration for a moment then smiled.

      A few minutes passed and then unexpectedly the baby opened his paws. "Bloom!" he cried and a ring of fire that melted a lot of the snow appeared. Immediately, Ailemea threw open her paws as well. However, nothing happened. She glowered.

      "Bloom?" she said, opening her paws again. The melted snow formed into a sphere-like wall and encircled them. The wall blocked off the fierce wind and it was suddenly dead quiet in their little sphere.

      "Finally," Jeanie sighed, opening the map. She stared hard at it, walking across it a few times with her fingers. "Well this doesn't seem right."

      "What isn't right?" Aile asked, dashing to Jeanie's side. She took one look at the map and groaned.

      "What?" Jeanie asked. The Xweetok snatched the map out of her owner's hand and turned it upside down, then handed it back to the confused teenager.

      "No wonder we aren't finding our treasure," she groaned. "We are supposed to be in Terror Mountain - not the land so uninhabited it doesn't have a name!" Jeanie frowned and looked closer at the map.

      "Oh..." she said, understanding.

      "That's right, oh! Now... just call an Eyrie and get us out of here," Aile said miserably, sinking down into the snow beside Soqai who patted her comfortingly on the back.

      "Don't be silly," Jeanie said looking at the sky. "Eyries rarely fly down south and even if they do they wouldn't fly in such weather. We will just have to go closer to the sea and then make camp."

      "Whatever - the faster we get off this icicle continent the better," Ailemea said. Jeanie frowned. Aile sighed. "What now?" she asked.

      "Which way is the sea?" her owner asked. The Xweetok groaned. Soqai stared at the two of them.

      "Why don't you just ask Nexy?" the Wocky asked softly. Aile and Jeanie blinked in confusion. Soqai sighed patiently. "Yurbles have an excellent sense of direction. So do males. Why don't you just ask Nexy? He is our best chance!"

      "He's just a baby," Jeanie said incredulously.

      "Let's try it," Ailemea agreed and strolled over to the baby Yurble that had taken to rolling around and making baby sounds at Aros, his Drackonack. Aile knelt down beside the baby and set Haelee down beside Aros. The soaked Ditsy looked blearily at Aros before collapsing into sleep.

      "Nexy?" Aile said. The Yurble popped up.

      "Bloo?" he said curiously. Aile smiled.

      "That's right, where is the big blue?" she asked. Without hesitation, the Yurble pointed. "Excellent," Ailemea said, scooping up Haelee. "Now, I'll just make this bubble movable and then we can go." She handed the Ditsy to Soqai who watched Aile curiously. The Niptor (Jeanie) nuzzled the wet cardboard affectionately.

      "Okay..." the Xweetok said. She closed her eyes and concentrated. Then, she opened her paws and cried, "Bloom!" Nothing happened. She sighed and rubbed her forehead. "Nexy?"

      The baby grinned toothlessly at her. He threw out his arms and cried, "ZHOOM!"

     Aile shrugged.

      "Whatever, you're the boss..." She closed her eyes again and threw open her arms, as if she were about to embrace Jeanie. "ZHOOM!" Right as she said this, what seemed like strings seemed to thread themselves around her arms and legs. Curiously, she stepped forward. The bubble moved forward. "Excellent," she said, smiling.

 

     The small group trudged along for what seemed like hours, joking and teasing each other along the way. After a while the blizzard stopped, but they frowned as the sky continued to get darker. Finally Soqai cried out.

      "Look! Water!" The bubble broke immediately as Ailemea dashed towards the water. Jeanie and Soqai yelled after her but she did not stop until she reached the edge. She sighed happily, dipped a paw into the water, and pulled it to her mouth.

      "YUCK!" she spat it out violently and backed away from the icy edge. That must have been her downfall, for immediately the chunk of ice underneath her broke away from the rest of the land and dropped her into the water. Of course, she screamed, but she got only a lungful of water. She floundered frantically in the water and was positive she was doomed. Right as she was about to give up, a strong... something pushed her up from behind and shot her out of the water and back onto the land.

      She coughed and hacked the water out of her lungs, Jeanie shrieking and crying over her. Soqai looked over her, worried.

      "Are you okay?" the Wocky asked. Ailemea nodded, coughing still. A thump beside them made her look up. A blue Flotsam scrutinized her. Then, she nodded and expertly slapped Ailemea on the back. The rest of the water flew out of her lungs and she stopped coughing.

      "Thank you, Oreh," she croaked. "I was sure I was a goner when I fell in."

      "Oh, that wasn't me; the Giant Squid was passing by when you tried to get a drink," the Flotsam mused.

      "What are you doing here?" Jeanie asked, clinging to the struggling Xweetok.

      "Oh, I finished with the lab and the shop so I thought I would come to find you guys," Oreh said.

      "What happened at the lab?" Jeanie questioned.

      "Gender change," Oreh said, wincing. "I'll never get used to it." Jeanie chuckled and wrapped a blanket around Ailemea.

      "Well, I think we all need to eat some dinner and then get a nice rest," their owner said.

      "I'm not arguing," Aile said, shivering in her blanket. "I don't want to think about how that salt is going to ruin my fur." The group laughed and Jeanie passed around an omelette to each.

      After eating, they all curled up in blankets and fell asleep.

      Ailemea woke earlier than the others the next morning. She pulled her mirror out of her own bag and looked at herself. Her shriek woke everyone, but only Trohanex stayed awake after they had all seen what was wrong. The baby crawled over to her and picked up a large random bottle lying on the ground. Aile watched as he melted some snow and poured it into the bottle.

      Yawning, Nexy handed the bottle to Aile and then pulled her shampoo from her bag. He handed that to her as well, and then crawled back to Jeanie and curled up once more. Aile smiled after him and then carried her precious items away from their circle. She had gone no more than a few yards when the ground dropped beneath her and she fell into darkness with a ear-piercing scream that woke everyone up once more.

      Everyone leaped to their feet (or fins) and ran to where the Xweetok had disappeared. A large circular hole showed where she had fallen.

      "Aile? Are you okay?" Jeanie called, her tone full of worry. Nexy echoed her in his own baby words, his tone just as worried.

      "Ailemea?" Soqai called softly. Oreh looked determinedly down into the hole. Finally they heard a rustle.

      "Ailemea!" Jeanie cried. "Are you okay?!"

      "I'm fine," came the short reply. "Just bruised - not to mention Trohanex's bottle shattered and the ground is horribly muddy." The group looked up and smiled at each other. She was fine all right. "Can you send me a light or something please?" Jeanie glanced at Nexy who flexed his fingers at her.

      "Nexy is sending you down some eternal flame, sweetheart," Jeanie called.

      "Joy," the Xweetok's voice replied.

      "Koomie koomie!" Trohanex cried, flexing and wriggling his fingers. A ball of flame appeared and the Yurble threw it into the hole. It went farther... and farther... and farther... until all they could see was a mere speck.

      "Okay, how is she not dead again?" Oreh asked quietly. The others shrugged. They watched the speck of flame go around a small circle of darkness. Finally Ailemea spoke once again.

      "Uh, guys, you might want to see this."

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» The Legend of Paraiso: Part One
» The Legend of Paraiso: Part Three



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