Lupe Pack Detectives - Case of the Missing Statue: Part Two
We arrived back at our Neohome at approximately a quarter past eleven, glad that the easy part of our case, which was the investigation, was now over. The hard part now was to find the statue and locate the Shadow Kougras. Of course, when Opren told the rest of the team about who we were dealing with, like me, they were not that happy when they found out that they were dealing with the most notorious thieves in Neopia Central. They were also some of the most elusive thieves; even the Defenders of Neopia had trouble catching them.
Before we went to bed, I noticed the look on Aura’s face. She looked a little bit troubled, as if something was bothering her, so I went over to her and asked her if there was something wrong.
“I’m not sure, Blizzard, but I just feel that something is not right. You know that feeling, right, big sister?”
“I do, Aura. Come to think of it, it feels like we’re not dealing with the Shadow Kougras, but someone else mimicking the thieves. It’s just that I can’t quite put my paw on who they are. Anyways, get a good night’s rest. Maybe that would help us determine if our instincts are right. I do believe that they have not failed us so far.” She nodded and went upstairs.
When I woke up at eight-thirty in the morning the next day, I realized that my instincts were right. After I groomed myself and came downstairs, I headed to the dining room. The rest of the team were already there, having their breakfast. Opren looked up when he saw me enter the room.
“Normally, you would be the first one up, so this is a rare surprise to see you up after we have woken up,” he told me.
“I know, Opren. On the other hand, I have a question to ask you because you’re our criminal profiler, if you don’t mind answering it now.”
“Fire away, Blizzard.”
“Okay, what do we know about the method of operation for the Shadow Kougras?”
He was slightly surprised at my question. “Let’s see. If my memory serves me well, I do recall that the Kougras tend to smash the windows of someone’s Neohome with a weapon of some sort before they enter it. I also recall that they take items lying around a room and that they raid four rooms before they are done for the night. Oh, I think I know what you’re hinting at.”
“Yeah, my instincts told me that we were dealing with an imitator. While I was in the living room, I did not see any glass fragments on the floor, which is usually a good indicator of a smashed window if it had been smashed. Not only that, but we were told by Carissa that the statue was in her safe when it was stolen. Unless the story tells us otherwise, I do believe that safes with a combination code are usually hard to crack open.”
“That means that either Carissa lied to us or one of her friends is the thief. By Jhudora, it looks like we’re back at square one,” Solar_Flare replied.
“Guys, can I suggest something? I think we’re concentrating way too hard on this case, so why don’t we head to the Neopian Marketplace to help us clear up our minds?” Aura suggested. We agreed to her suggestion. After all, she was right and it was only eight-thirty five in the morning.
When my big sister told us that we were not dealing with the Shadow Kougras, she ended up starting a fierce conversation with our brothers. That was what had been troubling me, and it did made sense. I could sense the stress building up in my siblings, which was why I suggested the trip to the Marketplace. After all, they needed something to clear up their minds
We reached the Marketplace and decided to split up. As Blizzard and I were strolling down the plaza part of the Marketplace, I could feel the tension and stress slowly disappear. It definitely felt good to be outside in the crisp autumn air and with the sun warming up our bodies.
We were about to head to the Plushie Shop when we were stopped by a hulking figure. He had the appearance of a Moehog, meaning that he had the Mohawk hair and the warthog tusks, plus he wore a cape and was wearing a red, black and yellow suit. Both of us knew that we were looking at Judge Hog, the most famous Defender of Neopia.
The reason why Judge Hog stopped us was because he wanted to talk to us. Just when he was about to leave, I inquired about the Shadow Kougras. He replied to me that they had been caught thanks to a sophisticated burglar trap and were spending their time in prison. My sister grinned at me as we were continuing on our way to the Plushie shop. I gave her a playful whack on the head.
When we were finished with our shopping, we went back to the Marketplace and met up with our brothers at the bank. I felt that we were relaxed enough to continue on with the case.
We returned to Carissa’s Neohome at approximately five-o-clock in the afternoon. I went up to Carissa and gave her an update on the situation while Opren and Solar_Flare searched the inside of the home again just in case we might have missed some evidence during our initial search. Aura was outside, testing out the windows. After I told her that one of her friends was probably the one responsible for breaking into the safe and stealing the statue, she went upstairs and came back with an address book. I knew that it contained the addresses of her friends. She also gave me the hotel and room number that Kit and Kat were staying in.
Aura called out that she found something, so all of us went over to the living room, wondering what she had found. We soon found out.
“So, what did you find?” Solar_Flare asked. She went down and out of our sights before coming back up with a couple of empty potion bottles and placed them on the floor.
“I found these bottles near this window. Judging by the looks of them, I would say that they are probably morphing potions.” I looked at them for a few seconds before I realized that they were morphing potions, specifically Shadow Kougra morphing potions.
“Ah, Aura, they are morphing potions. In fact, I believe they’re Shadow Kougra morphing potions.” Something dawned on my little sister.
“Holy Fyora, Blizzard, do you know what this means?”
“I do. It means that we’re dealing with someone who was not originally a Shadow Kougra unless he or she was painted. There should be some prints on the bottle, so we might be able to figure out the true identity of our ‘morphing thieves’. Can you tell us about the window?”
“Well, when I tried to open some of the windows, I found that the majority of them were slightly difficult to open. This window is the only one that was easy to open, which probably means that it was oiled. If you think about it, Carissa’s friends should know the layout of her mansion fairly well, therefore, they must have known about the windows as well. An experienced thief would have not known that the windows were hard to open until they have tried opening one. In a sense, the windows would have deterred any thieves from entering the mansion,” she explained as she hopped over the window.
“For now, pretend that I am the thieves. After I opened the window and entered the mansion, I would have proceeded slowly, because it was night and the house is dark, and quietly, because I know the location of any squeaking floors so that I don’t wake up Carissa or her brother. Of course, the floor is hardwood, so there is bound to be some noise while the thieves were walking. Someone time me as I am walking to the safe.”
I looked at the grandfather clock until she called out that she was at the safe. “Okay, Aura, that took less than five minutes,” I called out.
“Right, I now need the combination code to the safe.”
Carissa whispered it into my ear. Afterwards, I bellowed it out to my sister. A few minutes later, she came back into the living room.
“With the information that we have, in total, it took approximately eleven to twelve minutes for our thieves to steal the statue.”
After my sister was finished recreating the scene, I focused my attention towards Solar_Flare. None of the prints that he found were identifiable because they were smudged, but because the cork had been popped out, all of us knew the potions had to touch the lips of our ‘morphing thieves’ in order for the potion to work, so there should be some saliva on the bottle. One of the bottles was going to be sent to the Virtupets Space Station for analysis. Until we had the results, we had to wait.
To be continued...