Cerena's Song: Part Three
The waves crashed against the shores of Altador’s shipyard as a brave and noble Lupe looked out into the clear, blue skies. He turned toward his sweetheart and bid her goodbye as he took a step onto his own ship. He had finally saved up enough neopoints to buy his own, and was off to sail the world. He promised Amelia, his beloved, that he would be back for her in a few months. The anchor was lifted and the ropes were untied as the young Lupe took hold of the steering wheel and departed from the docks.
“Goodbye, Wesley! I will be waiting here for you the day you return.” Amelia waved and held back the tears as he disappeared into the horizon. “Don’t keep me waiting!”
Wesley smiled and waved back at her until the lovely yellow Aisha was out of sight completely. The air had become filled with the salty smell and taste that he had longed for all his life. From a young age he had dreamed of this day while lying on the shores of Altador, counting the Altalaphus that flew overhead and wishing he could fly away with them. Now he could finally follow them and see just where it was that they were trying to get to.
Wesley had his route planned far ahead of time. He was to sail north near the mountains above Altador, then west just above the grouping of islands that it was said held no life, and finally taking a rest stop in Tyrannia. From there, the Lupe would sail south passing directly over Maraqua and onto his next destination of Mystery Island. Next, Wesley had planned to make a long course set for the Lost Desert, skipping over Krawk Island because he was not quite sure if the stories of pirates were true. Finally, the long trip home would bring him to Meridell, Brightvale, Roo Island, Neopia Central, across the Coast of Terror Mountain, and back down south toward Altador. He knew the trip would be long and dangerous, but that only added to the excitement he was feeling.
The sail up north from Altador was calming and quiet. For quite some time, all he could see was the ocean all around him, but eventually the mountains that sat above Altador came into view. Wesley longed to climb the mountains to see if anything were up in the peaks of these tall landmarks, but saved it for another time as to not tire out early on in the long journey. Besides, he needed to make sure that he had enough food and fuel to last him the rest of the trip toward Tyrannia.
The islands to the west began to come into sight. Wesley took a break and sat back, taking time to try his hand at fishing and enjoy the scenery. After coming up short, he continued on, sails fluttering as the wind picked up. He began to feel extremely warm and dipped his hand into the water to find it, too, was warm. How was this possible when he was so close to Terror Mountain? Off closer to the land, the water seemed to be boiling, and although his adventurer side told him to go exploring, he had his course set. Maybe he would come back another time to investigate this strange unexplored land.
The water had begun to cool down and the jungles of Tyrannia appeared in the distance. Wesley let out a sigh of relief to see a place he could walk around in for a day. He anchored his boat on the shore and jumped onto the sand, stretching and taking in his surroundings. The Neopians here looked so much different than that of his homeland, they seemed almost hostile. However, when he greeted them they were anything but. They offered him omelette and gave him a free spin on the Wheel of Mediocrity. All of the Tyrannians were extremely interested in hearing all about Altador since Neopians from that land rarely ever communicated with the outside world. Much of Neopia had no clue Altador even existed.
Wesley stayed the night in the village after being offered an open hut. The bed was made of straw and it was difficult to get to sleep, but once he had, he was out cold. It was a good thing too, as Tyrannia got to very low temperatures at night, despite the fact that it was so close to a volcano. In the morning, Wesley took a look at some of the cave paintings and then thanked the Tyrannians for their hospitality, setting sail once again.
Much like before, all Wesley could see for miles was open water. He was beginning to discover just how lonely it was being out here all by himself and wished Amelia could be here to experience this journey with him. However, she was much too afraid of the open water and dared not to set foot on a boat. Perhaps he could get her to join him the next time he saw her after telling her all about his tales of Neopia’s lands.
Up ahead of him, the sky was beginning to grow into a solemn, gray void. The waves had become coarser as they crashed up against the hull of the boat. Wesley grabbed hold of the steering wheel and maneuvered his way through the rough spots; however, he couldn’t avoid all of them. At one point, Wesley looked up to see a rogue wave headed toward him, and it took all his might to try to avoid it. The efforts were useless as it crashed against the boat, almost knocking it completely over. Some of the Lupe’s possessions were washed away and the bottom level of the ship was almost completely flooded. Once the storm calmed down a bit, Wesley began to scoop the water out with a bucket to keep the boat from sinking.
The storm cleared and the sky opened up, showing the sunlight. A rainbow stretched out across the horizon and Wesley sat back, staring in amazement. It was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen. Back in Altador, the only rainbow he ever saw was from his friend’s fur after taking a long trip to Neopia Central to visit the Rainbow Pool. Never before had he imagined that he could have witnessed any of this for himself.
By now the young adventurer figured he must have been almost directly over Maraqua. Peering down into the water, he thought he could make out the outlines of the buildings, but it was too unclear to be sure. He headed down into the bottom level of his boat, still a bit soaking wet, and looked around for his map. Once he finally found it, he was devastated to find that the water that washed in had smeared the ink, leaving the map practically unreadable. The course was barely visible, and until he reached Mystery Island he would have to guess as to where he was going.
Wesley wasn’t the best guesser. For a few hours he sailed around in circles, just hoping that he would find some kind of land. From up above he could see an area of clouds that almost looked like buildings. Perhaps this was the legendary Faerieland he had heard so much about? Fyora was said to have visited Altador many times before, but he was never quite so fortunate to meet her himself. If only he could find one way to visit it, he could maybe even bring a faerie petpet back to his Amelia. Maybe one day.
As Wesley stared off into the empty ocean, he had started to give up hope. Feeling completely lost, he sat back in his chair, letting the boat steer itself any which way it pleased. He figured that maybe the boat could take itself to dry land, since clearly he wasn’t quite the navigator he thought he was. The wind had begun to pick up again and the tufts of his hair swayed in the breeze. His paws grasped around his fishing pole and he decided to take another try at catching something. Before long, he was pulling up a Blandfish. He held it up and admired it as the sun reflected off its scales and then tossed it back into the ocean. Fishing just wasn’t his thing; he was always looking for a thrill and thought it was just too boring.
Eventually, the small outline of Mystery Island began to appear in the far off distance. Wesley jumped up with wide, green eyes and squinted at it, trying to make out the shore. He had found it! Mystery Island was only a few hours away. He let the sails loose and ran back to the steering wheel, setting course for the distant land. It was only a matter of time now before he could sink his teeth into a Funnydew Melon.
Suddenly, Wesley’s ears perked up. His eyes went wide and vacant. His face turned pale and his blue fur stood up. Wesley walked to the edge of his boat, and without even looking down into the dark blue water, stood on the edge of the railing and dived in. Down he swam, further and further as his boat continued on without a captain.
To be continued...