Still thwarting Sloth's mind control... Circulation: 186,904,183 Issue: 332 | 29th day of Awakening, Y10
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Lupe Pack Detectives - Case of the Missing Statue: Part One


by lupe_hunter_7

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It was approximately quarter to midnight Neopian Standard Time in Neopia Central when Carissa the Royal Usul was woken up by a noise coming from somewhere in her home. She thought she heard some footsteps, but she quickly dismissed it and went back to sleep. Little did she know that there was someone in her Neohome, attempting to break into her safe.

      Around eight-o-clock in the morning, she woke up and went downstairs to the kitchen, oblivious of the fact that her safe was broken into and that a prized object was gone from her safe. After she greeted her brother, Jujube, the Purple JubJub, he asked her a question as she was getting her breakfast ready.

      “Carissa, did you hear anything unusual last night?” he asked her.

      “Well, I was woken up by some footsteps, but I assumed that it was you heading to the washroom, so I went back to sleep.”

      “What are you talking about? I went to the washroom before I went to bed.”

      “If that is the case, then we must have had someone, possibly a thief, in our home. I’ll go and check on the rooms to see if everything is in their right position.” She left the kitchen and began checking on the rooms.

      Her brother was waiting for her in the kitchen when she returned from her search. He saw the look on her face and knew that something was wrong. However, he still asked her if everything was all right.

      “No, Jujube, it’s not. I’m afraid that we have been robbed. I don’t know who we can rely on to solve this case.”

      “I do. May I suggest that we call in the Lupe Pack Detectives? I have heard from some of my friends that they are one of the best detective agencies in Neopia Central.” She nodded her head and went back to her room to write the team a letter.

     *****

      I was working in the kitchen, cooking up omelettes for my family, who were also my teammates with the Lupe Pack Detective Agency, when I saw something fly closer to our Neohome. Normally, I would dismiss it, but when I saw the Faerie Pteri coming closer and closer to our home, I realized that we had mail, so I opened the nearest window and waited for her to arrive. A few seconds later, she flew through the window and landed on the floor, looking a little bit tired. I did not blame her because she was sent here at approximately eight-thirty in the morning, meaning that she had been disturbed from her sleep by someone.

      “Mail for the Lupe Pack Detectives,” she wearily announced, confirming what I had suspected. Then she collapsed onto the floor. I went around the kitchen and got her a Cocoa Juppie and a Bubblegum Slushie. I also allowed her to rest. After a few minutes, she was fully recovered from her ordeal.

      “For a Blue Lupe, you’re too kind. I guess that is the main reason why you guys are one of the best detective agencies in Neopia Central. Anyways, thank you for allowing me to stay in your home. I’ll make sure that my friends know about you if they need a case to solve,” she told me as she flew off.

      Just after she left, my siblings came down, one by one. The first one down was the second in command and one of my younger brothers, Solar_Flare, the Fire Lupe. The next one was my younger sister, Aura, the Starry Lupe, followed closely by Opren, the Striped Lupe. They saw me holding the letter in my paws.

      “So, Blizzard, do we have a case to solve?” Solar_Flare asked.

      “I believe we do, Solar_Flare. I’ll open it after we had our breakfast because as they say, it is one of the most important meals of the day.” They took a seat and praised me on my cooking.

      After we finished our breakfast, we cleared the table so that we had enough room for the letter. I opened the envelope using one of my claws, took the letter out, unfolded it and placed it on the table.

     “Dear Lupe Pack Detectives,

     I am writing to you because I had a valuable item stolen from my Neohome late last night. More details will be given to you as soon as you arrive. I appreciate your help on this case and will pay you a generous amount of Neopoints for solving it.

     Sincerely,

     Carissa the Royal Usul”

      “So, where is the location of Carissa’s Neohome?” Opren asked after we were finished reading the letter. I looked at the envelope for the answer.

      “It’s located at 47701 Wishing Well Drive, which is just a couple of blocks from our home. All right, Lupe Pack Detectives, move out,” I told the team. They scampered off in various directions, trying to locate their field packs and uniform, which consisted of a trench-coat and a fedora. We left our Neohome after we found them.

      It was probably around a quarter past nine when we arrived at the address mentioned in the letter. We saw an Usul, dressed in a pink dress with spotted fur trim around the edges, standing near the front doors. I instantly knew that it was Carissa, but I had to confirm that it was indeed the Royal Usul.

      “Are you Carissa the Royal Usul?” I asked.

      She nodded her head.

      “Well then, allow me to introduce you to my team. I’m Blizzard, head of the Lupe Pack Detectives. The Striped Lupe is our criminal profiler, Opren; the Starry Lupe is our weapons expert and crime scene recreator, Aura; and the Fire Lupe is our paw-print analyst and the second in command for the team, Solar_Flare,” I told her as I pointed out my siblings. She shook their hands.

      “Thank you for coming on such a short notice.”

      “Don’t worry; we’re used to this on-the-fly lifestyle. Tell me, Carissa, what was stolen from your Neohome?” Opren asked, his trusty notepad and pen out.

      “A gold Ixi statue is missing from my safe. It was supposed to be a birthday present for a friend just down the road. Other than that, nothing else is missing because I did an examination of the rooms before you guys came here.”

      “I see. Is there anyone who knows about the statue?” he continued.

      “My brother, Jujube, knows about it, as does a few of our friends.”

      “And are your friends are similar to you and your brother in terms of wealth?”

      “They are, Detective Opren. Why do you ask?”

      “Well, until we find solid evidence that proves that they were not at the crime scene, I’m afraid that we will have to place them as suspects. The same thing goes for your brother. Don’t take what I said to you as an insult because eventually, your friends and brother will be innocent if we find the right evidence.”

      After my brother was finished questioning Carissa, we decided to split up because not only would we be more efficient, we would be covering a lot more ground than if we remained in a group. I had a feeling that we were in for a long day.

      Approximately ten minutes later, Solar_Flare came back from his examination of the living room and told me that he had found paw-prints on the windows and surrounding areas, but was unable to identify it. I took out ‘A Guide to Paw-prints’ from my backpack and handed it to him. Just after he went back to the living room, Aura came up to me and gave me a clump of black fur that she had found in the hallway. Even as I was holding the clump, I was able to identify the Neopet by the scent, but I needed confirmation.

      I plucked out a piece of my fur out from my shoulder and compared it with the sample that Aura gave me. My sharp eyes confirmed that our thief was not a Lupe. I did the same thing with Carissa. Again, my eyes told me that an Usul was not responsible for the robbery. I even got the same results when I compared it with her brother’s fur.

      Of course, the real confirmation was from Solar_Flare. He told me that the paw-prints on the windows came from a Kougra, confirming what I had thought I had smelled from the hair. I focused my attention towards Carissa.

      “Do you have any Kougra friends?”

      She nodded.

      “I’m sorry that I have to break the news to you, but it looks like you can’t trust them anymore because with the evidence that we have so far, they’re starting to become the prime suspects.”

      She was stunned. “You have got to be kidding me. I’ve known Kit and Kat for many years now and I know they would never rob me, even if they knew about the statue. Besides, they’re on vacation right now, so it’s not like them to return early. I can give you their hotel room numbers if that’s what you want, Detective.”

      “I don’t think that’s necessary, Carissa. Tell me, what is the colour of your Kougra friends?” Opren called out from upstairs as he was coming down. She replied that they were Island Kougras. He looked at me.

      “Blizzard, what is the colour of the hairs that Aura found?” I told him that they were black.

      “We can now eliminate them because they are the wrong colour. I know that there is no such thing as a Black Paintbrush, but there is a Shadow Paintbrush. And from what I have heard from Solar_Flare, I think I know who we’re dealing with.” His answer suddenly made sense to me as I had a general idea of what he was talking about.

      “Opren, you’re not telling me that we’re dealing with Neopia Central’s version of the Meerca brothers, the Shadow Kougras, right?”

      “I think we are,” he replied.

      I groaned. “By Jhudora, why does it have to be those guys?”

To be continued...

Thanks to my Lupes, 4_Opren and Ocean_sea_7 for the inspiration for the LPD. Neomail is always welcome.

 
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