The Greatest Treasure of All
As the sun shone weakly above the Haunted Woods, Fortune the Yellow Kyrii stepped into her Neohome, closely followed by her brother Lucky the Red Lenny. Little did they know that chaos and adventure would soon ignite within the rickety, cardboard walls of their Haunted Wood housing...
“Impu!” Fortune screamed as she fell on to a squashy yellow arm chair in the living room. “Lucky stole some of Edna’s potions again!”
“It was only a bubbling egg to bake neggs!” the Lenny screamed in his defense as Impu, their owner, came rushing down the stairs into the room.
“Now what have I told you about stealing witch’s brew?” their dark-haired owner said sternly. “You’ve stolen an item a day ever since we moved here! I thought that maybe moving to the middle of some desolate woods would finally take care of your poaching problem, but I guess not! I must’ve received a million Neomails complaining about you already...”
When Impu started complaining about his Neopets, it was always best to just let him get on with it until he either ran out of breath or finished. Luckily for Lucky, their owner had a soar throat and the latter happened first.
Now that the Neohome was silent again, Fortune got her share of yelling. “Impu, we’re just so bored, though! Why’d we even have to move to the middle of nowhere; we were having a fine and dandy time in Faerieland! We could’ve at least brought my Cirrus petpet; why did you even give it to Lucky to carry; he has WINGS for Faerieland’s sakes! I didn’t realize that he had only packed a bundle of clouds instead of my Cirrus only after we got here...”
Fortune finished fast; her skills of complaining had not yet shaped up compared to Impu’s. She finished with, “There’s just nothing to do around here; of course Lucky’s going to start thieving, there’s nothing exciting going on!”
Impu, who had dozed off, woke up again as he realized that his Kyrii had finally finished. “You could try reading a book for fun, you know. The Book Club trophy would look smashing in the Cabinet...”
Their owner plucked a book at random from a dusty bookshelf against the wall and handed it to Fortune. “I’m leaving now; those graves aren’t going to dig themselves...”
He put on a jacket, grabbed a shovel and left. Fortune moaned at the thickness of the tome, but after a glance at its cover, her eyes snapped open and she immediately began to open it. ‘THE CONVENIENTLY PLACED BOOK OF CLICHED NEOPIAN TREASURES’ was written on the front cover in large, block-like font. Lucky, who had also seen the cover, rushed over and stamped his claws eagerly on the ground as his sister opened the book.
“Hidden throughout Neopia,” Fortune read aloud, “there lie treasures two and one. With just these rare artifacts in hand, one could not possibly hope to feel satisfied. The greatest treasure lies in their home, but can only be unearthed when all other treasures have been taken from their resting places throughout the land...”
Fortune turned to Lucky, her body brimming with excitement. “Do you know what this means? We could go out and find buried treasure, and after we sell it we can move back to Faerieland and totally forget about Impu! He can stay in this dump if he wants, but we, as Neopets, deserve better...”
Lucky seemed to agree with Fortune. “Let’s do it, sis! The nearest dock is just a few minutes away walking... we could bring some spare Neopoints, some food, the book... I still have the Jeran Backpack that Impu gave me for my birthday last year!”
“Then let’s go!” Fortune said, standing up and punching a fist into the air. “For not being bored! For Neopoints and riches! For clichéd stories! Yes! Yes! Yes!”
After assembling some food, Neopoints, and dreams the two Neopets soon found themselves trying to keep hairdo and feathers aligned as the roaring sea air whipped past their faces...
“How fast does this thing go again?” Lucky said, trying to keep both their supplies and his lunch inside.
“Almost as fast as one o’ them Uber Water Faeries, and that’s somethin’,” said the Grundo captain of the FLOTSAM SPEED VESSEL MODEL S7333 they were on. He was not doing any of the driving; the boat moved on its own accord. A thick cloud of faerie dust followed the small ocean-liner as they headed towards Krawk Island. “Got this beaut from a game of Armada way back when; still plows through them waters as good as anythin’...”
No other words were exchanged as the waters became rowdier and rowdier and the Neopets queasier and queasier. Finally, they arrived at their first stop.
Fortune and Lucky tumbled off the boat and on to the beach near the Dubloon-o’-Matic. The captain followed them. “I’m off to town for me lunch; be back in a couple o’ hours, ya hear?”
Both Neopets nodded and then left the shore behind as they started walking towards the Fungus Cave. The Kyrii and the Lenny climbed up to the top of the hill and cautiously peered inside the dark cave.
“What do you reckon’s inside?” Fortune asked rhetorically.
“Oh, fungus, a giant Krawk-like creature, a stream, and the first treasure,” said Lucky, skimming over the first page. “It says that we’re supposed to find a ruby among the emeralds.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
Lucky took a deep breath. “It means... we’ll have to go inside and find out!”
Cautiously, the two siblings stepped into the cave. A steady breathing and drip-drip greeted their ears. Fungus lined the walls and a small stream flowed in the center of the cave.
“Cheery place to live, eh?” Fortune said jokingly, but Lucky did not laugh. Warily, he put a wing against the wall and studied the formation.
“It looks as if whoever carrying the book that touches the wall will unearth the treasure... but how?”
As if in response, all of the fungus began glowing a phosphorescent emerald-green, and layer by layer they all began to fall, so that it looked as if the walls themselves were caving in.
“Run!” screamed Fortune, taking Lucky by the wing.
“But what about the ruby treasure –”
“Oh sure, you can stick around to take the treasure; I’ll be sure to grasp it from your cold, dead limbs when you get washed out later!”
“Now wait just a minute –”
Their argument was cut short by a massive swarm of fungus erupting from deep within the cave. As the two Neopets were swept off their feet, Fortune noticed a single, glowing, ruby-red poppy growing on the top of the ceiling. She reached up and plucked it off, the tidal wave of fungus giving her strength. As the fungus swept her and her brother away, she grasped the poppy tightly.
In what seemed like a few seconds, they were back at the Dubloon-o’-Matic beach again, a large burping sound hitting their ears and the ocean wind sweeping across their faces.
“Where ya been?” the captain demanded, looking over the hull of the boat. A great deal of fungus from the cave had splattered inside the vessel. “Ya’all’re half minutes late! My schedule’s gone, all gone... say, little missy, what’s that in your hand?”
Fortune quickly stuffed the ruby poppy into her pocket. “Oh, um, nothing... let’s get going, shall we?”
After another stomach-upsetting boat ride across the Neopian Seas, we met our Neopet siblings as they clambered off the boat and on to the icy shores of Terror Mountain, in search of the second treasure...
“The ice treasure,” Lucky read as they waited for a ski-lift cart that was to take them to the top of the mountain, “is said to be located at the peak of Terror Mountain. From its home, one can observe the final resting place of the earth treasure, but only when the snow ceases.”
The Lenny looked up from the book as they climbed on to a lift-cart that had slid into the landing area. “I would wonder about what that means, but remembering the last time I did such a thing...”
He shuddered as he plucked out a stray piece of fungus from under his wing. “That fourth treasure better be worth it for all of this. You know, we never told Impu where we’re going? He’s going to be so mad at us once he finds that bone, assuming we survive.”
“Positive, aren’t you?” Fortune said sarcastically, getting out of the lift at the top of the mountain. The snow was extremely deep; the two Neopets quickly trudged over to a ski rental shop and rented two pairs of skis.
“Yes, I can walk again!” Lucky exclaimed happily as he began sliding along the snow.
Fortune looked up. “Come on, I think the peak is just beyond the Toy Repair Shop,” she said, pointing.
As the heavy snow fell rapidly, the two Neopets trudged over it, and in a few minutes time they arrived at the summit of Terror Mountain.
Lucky leaned forward as much as he dared. “I can’t see anything but snow, snow-covered trees, falling snow, yellow snow, muddy snow...”
“We must not be at the top yet,” Fortune stated, stopping her brother from listing everything he saw (he had given up on the ground and began reciting what was in the sky). “There; there are more terrorizing mountains on this mountain of terror. Maybe the peak is at the top of them!”
Grudgingly, the Neopets trudged up the mountain on their skis. When they got to the top, they looked and could see nothing else but snow. Going through five mountains they repeated this process until, finally, the snow began to stop falling when they had gone higher than the clouds.
“Look!” Fortune exclaimed, pointing to some odd triangles in the distance. “That must be the final resting place of the earth treasure – Shenkuu!”
“That’s great...” Lucky said unenthusiastically. “Hey look, it’s an Ice Slushie!”
“Hmm?” Fortune murmured. “Are you coming down with something? How could there be a slushie HERE, of all places –”
She stopped talking as her brother bent down and scooped up what was indeed an Ice Slushie. Lucky was about to drink it when Fortune noticed that instead of the usual red N on the cup, there was instead an I and T, and the cup appeared to be carved out of diamond.
“Hold up!” the Kyrii said, and knocked the slushie out of the wings of the Lenny.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Lucky yelled. “I was about to drink that!”
“You were about to drink the ice treasure!” Fortune said, scooping the slushie out of the snow. “Come on, let’s get back to the boat...”
She turned to leave, but unluckily Lucky did not follow. “Lucky?” she said, turning around to face her brother. “What’s – what’s wrong?”
His eyes had turned red and his beak was open, drool dripping out of it. “Give – me – the slushie – NOW!”
And with the last now, the Lenny jumped on to the Kyrii, and both of them fell off the mountain. Luckily, the snow was soft and the skis had fallen off, so that the only chances for possible harm, once they had become a gigantic snowball, were rolling off a cliff or spontaneously exploding.
After a few uneasy minutes of rolling, they finally came to a stop and splattered inside the boat. The captain was not very pleased.
“What the – what do y’all think yer doin’?’ he demanded as he began shoving snow and the last spots of fungus out from the boat. “Y’all had better hurry up; my shift ends soon...”
“To Shenkuu!” said Fortune through a mouthful of snow. Spitting it out, she checked to see if the slushie was still intact. It was, so she stuffed it away in her bag and nearly fell into the ocean when she attempted to rush over to see if Lucky was alright.
As our heroes headed toward their last destination, Fortune was able to find out that the ice treasure had a curse surrounding it: whoever touched it in a great thirst, on the first Monday of the Month of Gathering, would fall into a deep trance and be desperate to drink its poisonous contents. The curse was broken after the drinker left the mountain, but the ice treasure was still dangerous; dangerous, yet beautiful. Soon after Fortune drew these conclusions as a result of her book-readings, they passed Altador on the way to Shenkuu and the earth treasure. Finally, they pulled up at its shores and were able to scale the mountain with conveniently placed climbing gear and faerie wings. The adventure continued at the Kou-Jong game center...
“Alright, Lucky, the book says that the earth treasure is just a piece from the Kou-Jong game...” Fortune said, skimming through the book.
“Oh, that’ll be easy,” Lucky responded, sarcastically. “Have you seen the amount of Kou-Jong pieces?”
Fortune did not look up from the book as she walked. “Well, there can’t be that many –”
The Kyrii was silenced due to the fact of her walking into a towering mountain of Kou-Jong pieces. A young Kougra stepped out from a nearby house and greeted the Neopets with a bow. Lucky explained their situation as Fortune hurried to save the tower of pieces from falling over.
“Ah. If you can find the right piece, I’d be happy to let you keep it,” said the Kougra with a smile. She bowed to them once again and retreated to back to her quarters.
“Great,” said Lucky. “This just isn’t lucky for us at all. There has to be, like, a gazillion pieces here. How are we going to find out which one is the earth treasure?”
Fortune sped-read a small paragraph about the treasures before replying, “Well, the three treasures, when brought together in the same vicinity, are supposed to react with each other. If I take the slushie and you take the poppy, by pressing them against the tiles we should eventually find the tile that we need.”
“Okay then...” Lucky responded, taking the jeweled flower. He wasn’t used to having Fortune saying smart things. “Let’s do this.”
They searched for many a minute, but found nothing. Finally, at their 3,173rd tile...
“It worked!” Lucky exclaimed, as all of the objects glowed white when he pressed them all against each other. He jumped up in joy, and as he did, knocked over the remaining tiles in the stack of Kou-Jong pieces.
“Oh, snap!” Fortune exclaimed, as they were overtaken by a large tidal wave of game tiles. She grabbed a hold of the earth treasure as they plummeted off the cliff and in the general direction of the boat.
“How come we’re always tumbling to get back to the boat?” Lucky exclaimed.
Fortune put away the treasure as she responded, “I don’t know, but it’s getting clichéd and repetitive... at least this is the last treasure, eh?”
“You’re forgetting the big one!” Lucky reminded her. “When it says it’s back at home, do you think that means the Haunted Woods?”
“I think it does. We should go there next!” The last phrase was shouted to the captain as he started muttering to himself about all the fungus, snow, and tiles that now littered the floor of his boat.
The Neopets quickly rushed home. The captain was happy to see them leave; muttering about wrongdoers, he collected five thousand Neopoints from Impu’s bank account to pay for all of the damage done to his boat. However, as soon as he pulled out of Neopia Central on his next trip, he was arrested as the "Krawk-Fungus-Terror-Snow-Shenkuu-Tile Thief" and his boat was taken away. Meanwhile, Fortune and Lucky trudged warily back to their Neohome, and as the sun was sinking over the mountains, they entered their living quarters, relieved to be home...
“Impu!” Fortune screamed as she fell on to a squashy yellow arm chair in the living room. “We found three amazing treasures throughout Neopia!”
“It was only the stepping stones to a really big one, though!” the Lenny screamed as Impu, their owner, came rushing down the stairs into the room.
“You did what?” the dark-haired owner exclaimed. “Did you actually read the book I gave you?”
“Yeah, we did!” said Fortune, happily returning ‘THE CONVENIENTLY PLACED BOOK OF CLICHED NEOPIAN TREASURES’ to the shelf in the living room. “Do you know where the big treasure is?”
At this, Impu began snorting, and soon it turned into a full-housed laugh. “The big treasure? You silly ducks, it doesn’t actually mean a material treasure! Think about it – you were bored, you just went sightseeing to three places in Neopia, you’ve found some useless junk to add to your rooms, you’ve left me worried sick, and you’ve probably paid that captain five thousand neopoints for all the damage you’ve done to his boat! See, everyone wins, since everyone had a fun, non-boring day!”
A ringing silence followed his words. Finally, Fortune spoke up.
“What kind of a treasure is that?” she demanded, throwing the poppy, slushie, and tile on to the carpet.
“Well, you did lose about two thousand calories,” Impu said happily. “Now we can go out to dinner... who’s up for Edna’s?”
Being easily satisfied, Impu’s pets followed him out the door and in the direction of Edna’s Tower, recounting the day’s adventures. However, the three treasures thrown on to the carpet in their little living room were glowing once more. The poppy was sucked into the slushie, and it transformed into a Fire and Ice Slushie. The tile was then crumbled by the now venomous slushie, and its blessings went into the ice treasure. Cackling to itself, the usually-inanimate drink jumped out of the door and into the general direction of its Terror Mountain home...
And so the story ends. Unfortunately, Fortune and Lucky were not able to go back to Faerieland, but being able to sue Edna for attempting to poison their food managed to cultivate enough funds for their family to move to the Lost Desert, where new adventures and stories began for Fortune, Lucky and Impu. Luckily, those are other stories, and do not belong in this one... or do they?... No, they don’t.
Erm... the End.