Revisited: Part Seven
“Obviously, Tenrik would never agree to do such a ludicrous thing as fork over his sybaritic mansion. He threw Sliven out of his mansion the first time, but Sliven kept returning, regardless of this huge fence Tenrik had built. As you might have expected, this highly annoyed and angered Sliven. It seemed that Sliven was completely determined to win over this house, no matter how long it would take to get it. At first, the visits were straight forward requests and demands for the house. Later on, however...
“You see, Sliven was a pet of fairly high stature, as you might have expected, had you seen his house. He knew some people who had a lot of power, and he befriended them, intent the entire time of getting his hands on this property. These higher-ups enabled him to do things that I’m sure are not legal according to the law... in any world on this planet. He slipped completely under the radar of the Defenders of Neopia, and the end result was him gaining possession of this house, without punishment of any kind. Tenrik was basically booted out of his own house, and he and his family fled to Terror Mountain to build a new home. In the meantime, while their new house was built, they stayed with friends and relatives.
“Sliven spent the next several weeks celebrating his win of the house battle by having party after party in the grand ballroom. Shortly after, he took a Kougra as his bride. Never had any kids, though...” he said, trailing off.
Jenny frowned. “Never had any kids? Then shouldn’t the Blumaroo and the Kougra be fairly old by now? They still look pretty young.”
The ghost shrugged. “I’m sorry, I can’t tell you any more. I’ve told all of this story that I know. Stopped paying attention after my son was forced out, you know?”
As the ghost finished his sentence, the Kyrii returned with perfect timing. “We’re trapped,” he said solemnly, clearly not wanting to disclose this unfortunate information.
“What do you mean, we’re trapped?! It’s a fence, we should be able to climb it!” scoffed the Gelert, trying to hide his fear.
“No.” Jenny shook her head. “I came here once when I was young, and–”
“Why’d you come here?”
“I... I...” Jenny blushed. “I came here to spy on the Blumaroo and the Kougra. Anyhow, I remember that I had to use a nearby tree to climb up the fence. The fence is really too high to climb otherwise, especially if you’re planning to go over it and not just peer through the bars.”
“So now what do we do?”
“Check the front yard?”
“Um,” inserted the ghost, “I have a sinking feeling that they’re already locked. Just a bit of... advice.”
The other ghost promptly appeared again, still complaining. “Don’t you think you should get back to your nap before you give any more ‘advice’? Remember that time you gave that other pet some ‘advice,’ and...”
“Ok, ok!” he protested, sinking back into the ground. He popped back up for a second however, and said, “If you need any help, just call for me. The name’s Quilun.”
“Now what?” asked Jenny.
“Well...” The Gelert paused. “I guess we might as well go back inside. There’s no use staying out here if we can’t escape, especially since it’s still raining. Besides, getting hit by lightning seems like it’d be just the thing to make my night tonight.”
They both hesitated, but Jenny and the Kyrii reluctantly agreed. The group slipped back inside, making sure to grab the torch, which had somehow managed to stay lit. Randomly, they chose a new hallway and snuck down it. The Kyrii quickly advanced toward one of the doorways in the hallway, almost seeming as if there was a magnetic force attracting him to it. Jenny and the Gelert followed, not quite sure what he was up to. Once they reached the doorway, they went through it.
The small room was a study that was surprisingly cozy. A fire crackled in a fireplace in the corner, and the brown carpet was very soft. Tall, wooden bookshelves ran around the room, and each was full of books, magazines, and other sorts of periodicals. The Kyrii wandered over to one and plucked a book off the shelf. “Hmm,” he said, not looking up from his book, “this is interesting.”
“What’s it say?” asked Jenny.
“Well, it–” He never got to finish his sentence. A hidden section in the floor had swung around with a part of wall, displaying a whole new, clear, untouched section of the bookcase. The Kyrii, however, had disappeared, presumably still holding his book.
Luckily for the Kyrii, he was still carrying the torch, so he could see where he was going. He had been taken to a secret back hallway, which was quite narrow and had walls and floors of stone. As any pet would do in his predicament, he walked down the hallway, anxious to see where it led. Nearly immediately, the hallway sloped downward as if it was going underground. Beyond that point, the hallway became quite curvy and winding.
He walked for a solid five minutes, constantly wondering when he would reach the end. Finally, he could spot a light at the end of the tunnel. Sprinting toward it, he found himself in a dungeon of some sort. In the corner of the room was a small cell surrounded by rusty iron bars, which he thought was empty at first glance. As he came closer, however, he noticed a rather thin pet sleeping there, curled up in the corner. The Kyrii wasn’t quite sure who it was, but the green Lupe did seem to look familiar...
Meanwhile, while the Kyrii was examining the dungeon, Jenny and the Gelert were banging their fists against the bookcase in effort to open the hidden passage again. But alas, no matter how hard they pounded or yelled, it seemed that their efforts were futile. The bookcase simply refused to swing back around again.
Sadly, the Gelert turned away from the shelf, defeated. “Come on,” he said, grabbing Jenny’s wrist. “We should get out of this room before they find us here.”
“But what about the Kyrii?”
“We have to keep moving,” he urged. “If we find him along the way, we find him. If we don’t...” He trailed off. “If we don’t, I’m sure he can take care of himself.” Jenny gulped, but they tiptoed out of the room silently.
“Whatever we do, we need to avoid the library,” he whispered as they snuck down the hallway.
“The library? Why?” Jenny thought that the library seemed like a great place to hide, especially since there would be many bookshelves behind which to hide.
“Don’t you remember what the Kougra said during the tour? She said that she’d be showing us the library later. It almost seems like they’d be waiting there for us, don’t you think?”
Jenny shrugged but agreed, and she said so as they continued to creep down the long corridor. Finally, they reached the foyer again.
“This is useless,” sighed Jenny. “We’ll just keep running around in circles like petpets in a maze until they catch us!”
“But we have to try... somehow there must be a way to escape! Hey - what’s that?” The Gelert pointed out one of the small windows looking out into the front yard, and there seemed to be some sort of light. The pair crept closer, being careful not to be seen.
Once they reached the window, they crouched down, so that only the tops of their heads could be seen, and peered out the window. The light that they had seen came from a small lantern, which seemed to be suspended in mid-air. “How is that possible?”
“I don’t know” was the response that almost left Jenny’s mouth, but she quickly remembered the encounter with the invisible pet earlier in the day. “He’s invisible,” she whispered. “I think he wants to help us.”
“Are you sure?” the Gelert asked, clearly skeptical. She nodded, and he hesitantly put one paw on the doorknob, bracing himself to go outside again. Luckily for them, the front door had not been locked, so it opened easily. The Gelert allowed Jenny to go first, and they slipped out into the night. Although they were trying to be quiet, Jenny could still hear the sound of their footsteps on the stone path. Suddenly, she realized that the sound of her footsteps was all she could hear, and she whipped around. The Gelert was nowhere to be found. The light, unfortunately, had also disappeared. Suddenly, a new set of footsteps could be heard from behind her.
“Hello?” she called without turning around. “Are you the Gelert?” she asked hopefully.
A voice cackled. “Guess again!” A pair of strong arms quickly seized her, carrying her back in the direction of the house. No matter how hard she tried to fight to get free, she couldn’t wiggle out of the strong grasp. As the pet dragged her up the front stoop of the house, Jenny caught a glimpse of the face in the window. It was none other than...
To be continued...