Legacy of the Lost: Part Two
The two pets took in huge gulps of air and submerged themselves in the water. Auri opened her eyes and glanced down at herself to see her normal, yellow body. Then she felt a warm trickle as her mother pressed the Golden paintbrush to the top of the Uni’s head. Auri watched as the yellow color slowly became warmer, richer, and brighter from the tips of her ears downwards. She glanced over at Oyof, who was standing close by, and saw that his new color was slowly spreading down his body. Auri caught his eye and they both grinned with happiness.
Suddenly, Auri saw Oyof’s expression turn to horror as he looked at her. Auri frowned and looked down at herself, wondering what was the matter. What she saw nearly made her heart stop beating. Her lower body, instead of turning beautiful and golden like her upper body already had, was turning a bright white with unsightly brown marks! She looked over at Oyof and saw that his lower part was shaggy and – was it grayish purple? –Unlike his rough, dark purple and black upper part. Auri and Oyof watched each other as the strange colors slowly spread upwards until their entire bodies were covered in the unwanted stuff.
All of a sudden, the two pets were pulled upwards out of the water and onto dry land. “All right, let’s take a look at how you guys look- OH MY GOODNESS!” Athmica shrieked. “What happened? Those were Darigan and Golden paintbrushes, not whatever colors THOSE are!” All three stared at each other with one thought: What in the world had happened?
Thirty seconds later, the door to the Shop Wizard banged open and the distraught family poured in. Pandemonium erupted.
“Look at my pets!”
“This isn’t gold!”
“Ugg ugga- UG!?”
“You said they were Golden and Darigan paintbrushes! I demand a refund!”
The shop wizard blinked and shook his head. “Don’t you know? Here, read the news- it changed just a couple of minutes ago.”
Athmica took the paper from the Shop Wizard with shaking hands. Auri and Oyof peered over her shoulders in order to read it. There, in blaring headlines, they read:
VERY LITTLE DEMAND FOR GOLDEN AND DARIGAN PAINTBRUSHES!
CONSEQUENTLY, ISLAND AND TYRANNIAN WILL TAKE THEIR PLACES!
WHICH COLOR WILL YOUR PET RECEIVE?
The trio looked at each other, aghast. “But why Tyrannian?” Athmica protested. “Now Oyof can’t even speak in our language! And, look at those wicked tusks!”
Auri snorted. “Oyof likes those tusks, I’ll bet you a million neopoints. That’s why he wanted to get painted Darigan in the first place- so that he would look tough!
“But look at me!” she cried. “I look wild! My mane’s all tangled, and I look dirty! And, look, I have leaves and things stuck in my mane!” she raged indignantly.
Athmica glanced at her, and then asked the Shop Wizard to find her a comb. After quickly buying one for a cheap price, she tossed it to Auri. The Uni quickly began to fuss with her now naturally wayward hair, with no success.
“We have to find the Neopets Team Headquarters and persuade them to give us a refund,” Athmica told Oyof firmly, raising her voice over Auri’s grumbles of frustration.
Athmica and her pets went to their Neohome in order to get provisions for their journey, which they stored in backpacks. Next they stopped off at the bank so that they could withdraw a few neopoints for their trip.
They started their search for the Neopets Team in Neopia Central. They were very familiar with all of the buildings, since they had lived there all their lives, but they decided that it was best to double check anyway. They also made sure to drop a few coins in the wishing well, hoping for a successful search.
That afternoon the trio hiked into the Haunted Woods. For this part of the journey Auri felt that she would have much rather searched for the TNT Headquarters somewhere not quite so scary.
“Hurry up, you two,” said Athmica tersely after they had been searching for several hours. “We still have to check out the Deserted Fairground, and I don’t want to be around here any longer than possible.”
Oyof nodded obediently and Auri shivered nervously, but both hurried to catch up to their mother. Just then, a dark figure stepped into Oyof’s path, making him stumble and fall.
“Ugg ug!” Oyof protested indignantly.
“My apologies,” said a deep guttural voice. “I didn’t see you there.” The figure picked Oyof up, holding him full two feet off the ground and dusting him off. Oyof whimpered as he made out the frightening face of a Werelupe. Athmica saw it too, and gasped.
The Werelupe gave a rasping chuckle. “No need to worry,” he explained. “My name’s Nathaniel, and I happen to be a civilized Werelupe. I’m not wild; I have an owner who lives here in the Haunted Woods. I was just on my way to buy some milk at the store.”
Oyof nodded in a relieved sort of way; his sixth sense told him that the Werelupe was telling the truth. Athmica and Auri, however, weren’t convinced. “How do we know that you’re telling the truth?” the human asked skeptically.
Nathaniel chuckled again and pointed at the sky. “It’s a full moon tonight. If I were a wild Werelupe, I’d be attacking right now.”
The trio gasped. They hadn’t realized that it had become so late. They bid their goodbyes to Nathaniel and hurried to the Deserted Fairground.
A short time later, after being cheated of their money at the Coconut Shy, Athmica, Auri, and Oyof were looking for another place to search.
Suddenly Athmica gasped and pointed. “Look at that huge, evil-looking clown head!” she exclaimed. “That looks like the perfect place for the Neopets Team to hide, because everybody must be so scared of the clown that they don’t dare to come near.”
“Uug?” questioned Oyof, his brow furrowed.
“Well, of course they have to hide, silly,” stated Athmica. “I bet if they didn’t hide, they’d be mobbed by crazy fan girls or furious users all day long. Like me,” she added thoughtfully.
Oyof raised his eyebrows but said nothing, just exchanged exasperated glances with Auri. Suddenly, a Werelupe appeared directly in front of them.
“Ug, Nathaniel!” greeted Oyof happily. But the Werelupe didn’t say anything, just advanced on them slowly.
“Um, Oyof?” said Athmica uncertainly. “I don’t think that’s Nathaniel.”
But Oyof had already noticed the raised hackles, bared fangs and glowing red eyes. In the next instant, the wild Werelupe gave a bloodcurdling howl and started to give chase. Athmica screamed and Oyof yelped and both ran away as fast as they could. Auri stood rooted to the spot in fright for a moment, and then took off like a shot.
They kept running in terror for several hours, and at last managed to evade the Werelupe by wading through a river. They decided that they didn’t want to continue searching in the Haunted Woods. Instead, they would follow the river that they had waded through until it took them somewhere interesting. Finally, dawn approached and they saw by the light of the day that the river had brought them into the Lost Desert.
Auri poked her head out from under the cover of the trees and snapped, “Thank goodness we’re finally out of that dreadful place. I hope you two have gotten your fill of danger for the rest of this trip! So, where are we now- nowhere with Werelupes, I hope?” Then with a small “Oh!” she finally noticed where they were and bit her lip. “We’re going to die!”
Oyof grinned at Athmica in amusement and she grinned back. “Hon, we’ve been through lots of danger already, and we haven’t died yet. I don’t think that we have to worry about a piffling little desert! Well, at least not very much,” she said doubtfully, eying the blistering sun. “Though if she keeps on stressing out like this, she might collapse from overexertion,” Athmica whispered playfully to Oyof.
“Hey! I heard that!” Auri replied indignantly. Oyof and Athmica smirked again and trudged on their way. After a time, the family saw something in the distance, like a large needle sticking up into the sky.
Eventually, the trio reached Coltzan’s Shrine. Oyof placed his paw on the shrine, and then watched calmly as his paw glowed blue. “Oooh... pretty,” Athmica whispered. Oyof stared at her, and then nodded to Auri. “Auri, ugug!’ he ordered.
“Well, all right, but I’ll probably get some disgusting burnt food,” Auri answered. She hurried across the hot sand and placed her hoof on the shrine. “Auri feels stronger!” said a booming voice coming from nowhere. “No kidding,” mumbled Auri, staring at her new muscles and backing away from the shrine.
The family started off again, Athmica spinning around and singing to herself. Oyof became so dizzy from watching her that he finally pushed her into the river, which they had been walking near the entire time.
Athmica came up to the surface gasping and dripping. “Well, I hardly think that was necessary- look, there’s Sakhmet!” Oyof didn’t have time to correct her about her first statement before he, too, saw the city. With a joyous bark he raced towards the city over the sand dunes, ignoring Auri’s protests that he was running too quickly.
To be continued...