Book of Wisdom: Part Six
Hannah shaded her eyes from the sudden light exposure. She sighed, exhausted from her encounter with the beast.
“Piece of cake, huh?” asked Awohi smugly.
“Shut up,” she muttered. Awohi looked slightly nervous. Then she noticed something.
“Awohi...” she said softly. “Where’s Belle?”
“I don’t know! She just flew off!” There was a flash of yellow below them. Three extraordinarily large stegos glided below them. Without warning, Hannah suddenly jumped off of the small cliff that they stood on. She landed on one of the stegos and grabbed one green spike in each hand. The stego growled in surprise. She pulled the spikes, using them to steer. She saw a hovering shape in the distance. As she flew closer, she saw that it was Belle.
Belle appeared to have noticed her, because she flew even faster now. Hannah swerved as she halted, and turned around in midair. She heard a muffled cry of surprise behind her. Armin was on a stego, steering it through the air. Since Belle had her own set of wings, it was much easier for her to maneuver through the air than Armin or Hannah, because they had to steer large petpets to fly for them. Armin and Hannah collided as Belle quickly moved out of the way.
“Belle, what are you doing!?!” Hannah cried. It was too late. Belle had flown off beyond view. Hannah sighed and flew back to Awohi, with Armin following close behind. They landed, and dismounted. The annoyed stegos flew away, grumbling.
“Where’s the book?” Hannah demanded.
Awohi hesitated. “I think we should—” His words were cut off when Hannah punched him in the stomach. He doubled over in shock, and she grabbed the book from his hands.
“Hannah, what in Neopia has gotten into you?” Armin said, astounded. She ignored him. She was hot, tired, hungry, and very frustrated. She opened the book and jammed the key into the second lock. A satisfactory click came from it when she turned it. She sighed and lay on the stone. The sun was nearing the horizon, but it wouldn’t be dark for an hour or two.
“Maybe we should go to sleep now,” Armin said. “That way we’ll have more energy in the morning.” They laid out their bedrolls and lay down. Hannah started a small fire, striking her flint with incredible force. After a small dinner, the fire was put out, and they slept... all except for Hannah. She lay awake, staring at the sky. Sleep did not come easily at a time like this. Bored, she pulled out the book. The first page only said uggtep.
On the second page there was the message, “The puzzle of the creation of Neopia is only of three pieces. Secrets guarded by three great beasts, serving their sole purpose. Some secrets should never be learned, but some wait for discovery.” On the third page, was a picture of the stone wall behind the ice of the Ice Caves. On the fourth page, was a picture of where they had left; An ice crystal weapon shaped like an ax that they had used to break out of the igloo was there, surrounded by ice floor. Suddenly, a small orange hand drifted into the picture. It grasped the handle of the ax, and then lifted it out of view.
Hannah was surprised that she could see into the igloo, and everything that was going on in that small area. She wondered if she could hear through it too. Finally, the fifth page showed an area of grass. It was close-up on the ground, so Hannah couldn’t tell where it was. Curious, she turned the page. There was a drawing of a cloaked figure. Maroon wings sprouted from its back, and eyes the same color glowed under the hood. Hannah could tell that this was not a portal, because it didn’t look as photographic as the others. She read the page.
Turi was born a faerie. Her mother was a fire faerie, and her aunt a dark faerie. Her mother worried that she would grow up to be terribly evil under her aunt’s influence, so she ran away with Turi, to a place where no one would find them. Turi grew up in the lair of the beast, and one day, her mother mysteriously disappeared. Turi was only three at the time, so she could do nothing but grow up in the darkness, with the beast. When she finally stepped out, she was a fire faerie much like her mother, with the evil in her from her aunt. She
“Hannah!” Hannah stopped reading, and closed the book. She stared into the night, and saw Belle hovering twenty feet above her. Belle smiled, and flew off.
“Wait! Belle! Where are you going!?!” No answer came, as she had already left. Annoyed, Hannah put her head down and went to sleep.
When morning came, Hannah found Armin already awake, cooking a stew over the fire. She sat up, and sat in front of the fire. She was surprised how cold the Plateau was, at night, and in early morning. The sun had not risen yet, so it was near impossible to tell what time it was. She felt well-rested, though, so she knew it must not be too early.
“G’morning,” Armin mumbled, still stirring the stew.
“What’s for breakfast?” Hannah asked, as she felt her stomach rumbling. Armin picked up the wooden spoon he was stirring with and sipped.
“I just tossed in some vegetables. Nothin’ much.” He took out a small stone bowl, and filled it with soup. He handed it to Hannah. She sipped it, then jumped, and almost dropped her bowl.
“Hot,” said Armin.
“Hot,” she agreed. By the time it had cooled, Awohi was up. Hannah slurped out of her bowl.
Armin handed Awohi a bowl. “Here’s breakfast.”
Awohi wordlessly took the bowl, and began eating. When they had finished, the sun sat atop the horizon, slowly ascending. They sat back, and relaxed a little bit.
“So, are we going to go to Altador today?” asked Armin.
Awohi frowned. “What about the book? We only need one more key!” He didn’t want to go to Altador until he had the history of Neopia.
“We’re not going anywhere,” said Hannah. “Not without Belle.”
Armin sighed. “Well, she obviously doesn’t want to travel with us if she ran away. Anyway, how can we catch her? I think we should go to Altador. Remember, Finneus is expecting you there today. If we leave now, we’ll only be a few days late.”
Hannah took a deep breath. There was a long period of silence. Everyone stared at each other across the fire, wondering what to do next. Finally, Hannah said, “I think we should get the last key.”
“What!?!” Armin exclaimed, surprised.
“Well, we do only have one more to go.” She had decided that Altador would only delay their quest. Awohi smiled. Hannah stood, and opened the book to the page with the grass.
“Wait,” said Armin. “Think about this before you do it.”
Hannah hesitated, and Awohi looked anxious.
“Just wait a while,” he continued. “Until after lunch, maybe.” Hannah put down the book, relaxing a little bit. Awohi was obviously impatient to get the final key. Hannah was worried that he would do the same thing that he did in the igloo when the Ice Caves collapsed. The day passed rather quickly. Hannah spun the Wheel of Monotony, but became increasingly frustrated when it didn’t stop after twenty minutes, and left. Lunch was eaten in a hurry, and Hannah tore at her food, excited to get on the move again. When they were all finished, Awohi stood up.
“Okay. We finished lunch,” he said impatiently. “It’s time to use the book now.” Hannah grumbled to herself, and picked up the book. She opened it, and flipped through the pages. She found the one with the picture of the grass.
“Everyone, hold on.” Armin gathered their small pile of belongings, and put his hand on Hannah’s shoulder. Awohi made no move to assist him with the supplies, and wrapped his tail around Hannah’s waist. When the connection was secured, Hannah jabbed her finger into the picture. She felt grass beneath her finger. The trio started losing their color, and they were being sucked into the picture quickly. Hannah saw her vision fade into pitch black.
The first thing that Hannah realized was that the ground beneath her feet was grass. The second thing she noticed was that she was at the top of a hill. She stepped forward, and tripped. She tumbled down the hill, and stopped with a thud. She opened her eyes, suddenly realizing that they had been closed. Hannah spotted a circular yellow object flying towards her.
“Oof!” she said as she was hit with a rolling piece of cheese.
“Hey!” said an annoyed voice. “You made me lose!” She looked up and saw a blue Blumaroo at the top of the Cheese Roller hill, shouting at her. “Do you know how much that cheese cost me!?!”
Hannah groaned, and put her head back down. She heard footsteps, and then, “Hannah! Are you alright?” The voice sounded like Armin. If Awohi was there, he said nothing. She lifted her head once again, and saw Armin with his hand outstretched. She grasped it, and pulled herself off of the ground. Armin stumbled under her weight, but managed to stay balanced by the time Hannah was on her feet. Hannah looked around, and saw Meridell. The huge castle stood about forty or so feet from her. To her right was Turmaculus.
“Oh, great,” muttered Awohi, annoyed. “That guy wouldn’t wake up if we ripped out his—” He was cut off by a sharp glare from Hannah. Even though Awohi had been making an exaggerated, vulgar comment, Hannah knew that he was discouragingly close to being right. Turmaculus was not going to wake up if you hit him over the head with a mallet. There was no easy solution to this problem.
“Even if we managed to kill him, we’d never be able to move him!” Armin stood up.
“We don’t know for a fact that a door is under him,” he said quietly.
“What other great beast is there in Meridell!?!” Awohi said, throwing up his hands. “King Skarl!?!”
“Then maybe,” Armin said, unfazed, “it’s hidden nearby, not underneath him.”
“But then Turmaculus wouldn’t be guarding it!!!” Before anyone could say anything else, Turmaculus stirred. He seemed disturbed by Awohi’s yelling. It stood up, then walked in a small circle. It yawned, and lay on the grass again. Where he had been, however, was a wooden trapdoor.
“See!” Awohi hissed.
“Congratulations,” Hannah said to Awohi somewhat sarcastically. “Your loud mouth woke up Turmaculus!”
“What, and that’s not a good thing!?!”
“It is, but it goes to show how loud and annoying you are,” she said, remaining calm. Awohi roared ferociously, and bounded towards her. He leapt and tackled her, fangs bared. Hannah responded with a powerful kick to his stomach. His breath whooshed out of him, leaving him gasping for breath.
“Enough!” Armin called. “We can’t afford to fight right now! Let’s just get the last key!” Hannah considered this, and backed away. Armin tentatively reached out and pulled on the handle of the door. What he saw inside made him gape in surprise.
To be continued...