Von Roo bounced through the dimly lit halls of his castle, a white envelope in hand. The sound of his tail made a slight echo as he continued down the corridor, wondering why on Neopia the envelope had been delivered to him. The door to his cozy study came up on the left, and he went in, noticing that the fire needed to be stoked, but he said and did nothing. He could tell one of his servants later.
A maroon velvet couch sat a couple of yards away from said fire, and he sat down on it. He stared at the envelope. The envelope, that same envelope. The envelope that seemed to be made of a paper whiter and brighter than any he had ever seen before.
The Count gazed at the name on the front. Von Roo the Blumaroo. His initial thought was that someone was trying to be cute with him. Everyone knew that a terrifying vampire should never be called by a rhyming name. Von Roo made a mental note to burn it once he was done with it. There was no return address in the top left corner.
With a sigh, he lifted the edge of the envelope up to a single fang and pulled, slicing the paper container open. The Count had always been fond of opening his letters that way; it didn't require him to find a letter-opener.
Dear Von Rooie! it started. The Count cringed at the sight of such a nickname.
It's been so long since I've seen you, my cousin. I've heard of all your recent nighttime doings, of course, but I have not the slightest clue how things really are for you. It's a beautiful, sunny Saturday down here, and although I could be out doing any number of amusing activities, I decided to take the time to write to you and invite you down to my lovely kingdom. I'm sure you'd feel right at home; Blumaroos are the primary species here. So, once you receive this letter, please come to visit. Any time you come is fine, and I even included a map for you.
Your cousin, King Roo
P.S. I understand that, since you made the choice to become a vampire, you've been a bit sensitive to sunlight. We'll make arrangements.
P. P. S. Come here, or I'll spread all those terrible stories about embarrassing things you did during your childhood.
The Count could not believe what he had just read. What could his cousin want with him? He scowled as he recalled the threat that had been made toward him; now he'd have to comply with his silly cousin's wish and go to visit him.
Not once in his lifetime had he ever gone to visit King Roo on Roo Island, and he never wanted to do such a thing. It actually was a personal goal of his to avoid the place completely. Numerous pictures of the island he had seen, all of them picturing Blumaroos doing various activities in the sun with a smile too big and shiny to possibly be real.
As the Count thought about this, a sudden thought struck his mind. If the smiles truly weren't real, then what actually went on there? Sinister activities, evil plots? Maybe this won't be so bad after all... he thought. This thought now in mind, he glanced briefly out his window, then at the clock. He made the assumption that it would stay dark long enough to get himself to Roo Island. Besides, his cousin clearly was up to no good, and what was worse than not sending a notice to say he was coming? It was a very evil plot indeed.
Grabbing his typical black, high-collared overcoat, he exited his castle. Stealthily he snuck through the streets, hiding from the night-dwelling population of Neopia. Soon, he became engrossed in his thoughts - thoughts about his cousin, the food on Roo Island, and about how good he was at this sneaking thing, when...
...a gigantic rainbow came out of nowhere and smacked him on the nose. "Oww!" he complained loudly, looking around to see if any other neopets had seen how the rainbow had so violently assaulted him. Angry at the inanimate object, he completely ignored the signs proclaiming that the rainbow was used as a permanent form of transportation over to Roo Island. Clearly, it had just materialized moments earlier.
His ascent on the rainbow didn't start out badly. At first, his surroundings were still sufficiently dark to prevent his extremely sensitive skin from being burnt. As he climbed, however, the sky started to get lighter, and lighter, until Von Roo barely could even see. The light was just too strong for his eyes, his skin, his soul...
He cried out, both in shock and pain. It had been years since his eyes had been tested against the pure light of the sun. Now, past the apex of the rainbow, he started to slide back down. Not for a moment did he uncurl his body from the tight ball into which he had wound himself. The Count had to protect himself.
"Well, hello, my cousin!" came a disgustingly happy voice from the bottom of the rainbow. It was, of course, King Roo.
Von Roo's family history was not one about which he liked to talk about. He had been raised as the sole child of fairly normal parents, but his mother had always insisted that he spend time with his extended family. "Why not?" she used to ask, nearly weekly. "Why don't you want to spend time with your aunts, uncles, and cousins?"
Cousin would have been a more appropriate term. Never did Von Roo visit his other cousins, not once. Instead, he was forced to actually socialize with the future king, the one that would eventually make his life... miserable.
King Roo, had, of course, been born into royalty. When he was only a teenager, his parents had passed him the throne, and ever since, Von Roo had lived in his shadow. When King Roo finally had gained complete and utter control of the island, he made a pathetic attempt to compensate. As Von Roo now reached the bottom of the rainbow, he glanced at it in disgust. King Roo had gone so far as to build a mechanical likeness of Von Roo on the island.
The Count had invented Deadly Dice; that part was true. He, however, played it in his own castle, never on Roo Island. To make matters worse, King Roo, not long after the invention of Deadly Dice, had invented Dice-a-Roo!
All of this passed through the Count's mind as he offered a fake greeting back to his cousin. There was something behind that blue Blumaroo's smile; he knew it.
"What's wrong?" asked the king, his smile never faltering for a moment.
"Oh, nothing, dear cousin," replied Von Roo through clenched lips. "I just want to know why you invited me down here." And what you're plotting, he added silently.
"It's nothing big, truly," responded Roo, attempting to guide Von Roo in a new direction. "I just wanted you to be the first to ride my new and improved carousel! Now with more fun and sunshine!" He laughed happily, but Von Roo could have sworn the laughter was maniacal.
King Roo gave him a small shove toward the ride, but the vampire resisted. "No!" he shouted.
"Well, why not?! It is, after all, Merry Go Round Day today!"
"Every day is a holiday," muttered the Count.
"Ride," suggested the king, now becoming more impatient.
"Never!" shouted the Count, spreading his wings and attempting to fly. Unfortunately for him, the sunlight had done its job, weakening his wings to the point of faltering. Desperately looking for the nearest shelter, he saw the fake Deadly Dice coffin and dove inside. The Count fell asleep, losing all sense of time.
When he next awoke, he was inside the same coffin. Then there came a tapping on his coffin door, much louder than he had previously realized. His first instinct was to run, but after trying all his possible escapes, he found himself trapped. King Roo had tricked him!
Two small heads then poked into the coffin. Von Roo suddenly gave in, realizing the impossibility of the situation. He pulled some dice from the pocket of his overcoat.
Raising an eyebrow sinisterly, he asked, "Shall we play?"
...or is it?