Stolen Spotlight: Part Two
The Pant Devil paced the Thieves Guild meeting room. “Thank you all for coming,” he said solemnly. “I appreciate you taking time out of your stealing to meet me here.”
The thieves all nodded, wondering what was happening.
“If you are curious about who is on my council of thieves, hold your Whinnys; I still need to figure those out. However, there is a much larger problem at hand.”
The thieves fell silent, wondering what could be more important than the council of thieves.
The Pant Devil held up the Neopian Times. “Do you all read this?”
Most of the pets nodded.
“Did you see the article in here?”
Again, most of the thieves nodded.
“I am absolutely appalled at this. What kind of loon would try to steal my thunder?”
“What if it’s one of us?” a Grarrl asked, staring at his fellow thieves suspiciously.
“No one would ever do that, because if they did, I would kick them out of the Thieves Guild for treason and they’d be back to pickpocketing on the streets.” The Pant Devil gave everyone in the room a cold, hard stare. “Are we clear?”
Night raised her paw. “I have an idea!” she said brightly. “Let’s go to the Battledome and attack everyone who has a Rainbow Gun or Lightning Gun!”
“That might take a while,” the Pant Devil grumbled. “But I’ll keep that in mind, Night.” Night sat up, looking pleased with herself.
“So, if you guys have any ideas, you know how to contact me,” the Pant Devil said, trying to smile. The result was somewhat scary. “Now, go steal some loot and keep an eye out for this new guy. Meeting dismissed.”
As the thieves all left, a message appeared on the table. The Pant Devil picked it up. “Darling35644 has challenged me in the Battledome? Great. Just great. Well, I might as well practice my winning skills for when I find this new wannabe.”
“Hey, some crazy pet challenged me and I need to win so I can get my good name back,” the Pant Devil said. “Where can I find Darling something-or-other?” The Kacheek that he had asked gasped.
“You’re fighting Darling?” he asked. “Darling is an amazing fighter!”
“Uh, okay,” the Pant Devil said. He had no idea why the Kacheek thought he should care. “Can I just fight this kid and get it over with?” The Kacheek pointed behind him.
The Pant Devil turned to see a Scorchio waving at him. He could tell that he’d been painted with a Royal Paint Brush because he wore a fancy, fur-trimmed blue robe and a crown. Just perfect, he thought. I’m fighting a spoiled rich pet. Then again, maybe I can steal from him.
“Come on, prince, let’s do this thing,” the Pant Devil said, heading out to the arena.
“I’m a king,” Darling said smugly. “You can go first. I’m feeling generous today.”
“Oh, thank you, Your Highness,” the Pant Devil said sarcastically. He knew what he would do. This pet most likely had a rich owner, so he most likely had expensive Battledome items. This would be a fun fight. He reached down, ready to pick up his Pant Devil Claw. But... where was his claw? He dug through his weapons anxiously. His claw wasn’t there. With a sigh, he picked up his Attack Fork and attacked the Scorchio, along with a jumping attack.
“Not bad, Devil,” Darling said, adjusting his robe. “By the way... were you looking for this?” He held up the Pant Devil Claw. “I have to say, Devil, this is a really nice weapon. Makes for some good attacks.” And before the Pant Devil could say anything in response, the claw extended and snatched his Rod of Supernova. He watched, horrified, as Darling used the Rod to create two Supernovas, healing himself as well.
“That’s mine,” the Pant Devil said calmly. “I think you might want to give it back. I don’t know how you stumbled upon it, but if you like wearing those fancy pants, I think you should hand over the claw nice and easy.” With a grunt, he fired his Level 2 Bubble Beam at Darling, intent on ruining his robe.
“Oh, you’d like that, wouldn’t you?” Darling laughed, defending against the attack. “In fact, why don’t I hand you your fame back as well? The Times can print a retraction saying that the mysterious Battledome thief decided thievery wasn’t for him.”
“Okay, I have no idea what that wannabe has to do with—” The Pant Devil’s jaw dropped. “No. No way.”
“Yup,” Darling said smugly. “I’m the thief who’s been stealing all of your thunder.”
The Pant Devil continued to stare.
“Are you surprised that someone with a beautiful Royal coat like this is stealing? How do you think I got to be Royal?”
The Pant Devil shook his head.
“Yup. I took it right out of the Trading Post. Yeah, I’m sure that the owner misses it a little, but they were asking for far too high a price. Isn’t that what life is all about? If you get too greedy, you end up with nothing.” Darling held up two guns. A Rainbow Gun and a Lightning Gun. “Have you learned your lesson?” That was the last thing the Pant Devil heard before everything went black.
“That is so embarrassing.”
The Pant Devil opened his eyes halfway.
“I swear, you are just a pink mark on the bad name of the Gallery of Evil.”
The Pant Devil opened his eyes all the way to see Doctor Sloth pacing around him.
“Oh, hurrah, he finally woke up. Do you have any idea what this does to our evil status?”
“It’s not like you guys have never lost,” the Pant Devil said grouchily. “Why am I the embarrassment all of a sudden?” Memories of the battle began rushing into his head. “Frank! There was this horrible Royal Scorchio brat, and he stole my weapons!”
“I know,” Sloth replied, looking like he was itching to turn something into sludge. The Pant Devil held a pillow in front of his face.
“Wait,” the Pant Devil said slowly. “You know? How? Did you see that?”
“No, and from what I’ve read, I’m glad,” Sloth said curtly.
“Read?” the Pant Devil asked groggily.
“It was in here, you ignoramus,” Sloth snapped, tossing an issue of the Neopian Times at him. “Do you have any other questions, or may I get back to my life? Those blasted Neopians keep sneaking into my home and replacing all of my robes and sludge guns with tutus and flower guns. And do you see this?” Sloth pointed his head at the Pant Devil.
“It looks nice,” the Pant Devil said brightly.
“Exactly!” Sloth moaned. “My Firestorm Bottle was replaced with Shampoo! Those Neopians all say it was because of some article they read. Apparently it had ten ways to keep me from torturing them. What kind of person would write such an article?” He stormed off, muttering about soap and shampoo.
The Pant Devil stared at the Neopian Times with disbelief. “’An Exclusive Chat with Neopia’s Most Fearsome Thief’? Unless they talked to me and I forgot about it, this is a load of garbage.”
Last week, I wrote about the anonymous thief who has been shocking Neopians by taking their weapons while they are unaware. Now, not only has the thief been identified, but he was also kind enough to give me an interview!
“What an attention hog,” the Pant Devil grumbled.
Me: Hello, Darling35644.
Darling35644: You may call me Darling.
Me: Thank you, Darling.
The Pant Devil tried not to gag at the overly sweet exchange.
Me: Last week, I wrote about how terrified everyone in Neopia was of you. What did you think about that?
Darling: I don’t think it’s anything to be terrified of. I only take things from people who have been too greedy.
Me: And that’s a fine motive indeed! Why do you think that everyone has been so afraid, then?
Darling: I believe that they’re afraid because greed is the only thing that they know. Once their valuables have been taken, they won’t know what to do.
Me: Who would have thought that the most fearsome villain in Neopia would have the soul of a philosopher?
The Pant Devil shuddered. “Who is this crazy writer and how do they manage to get so many articles published?”
Me: Now, Darling, I understand that you recently decimated the Pant Devil in the Battledome?
Darling: Yes, I did.
Me: Congratulations! How did you do this?
Darling: I simply beat him at his own game.
Me: Ingenious! Now, Darling, I understand that you have been nominated to replace the Pant Devil as the main thief in the Gallery of Evil?
Darling: Yes, I have. It would be nice, but I have my eye on a much larger prize.
Me: Oh, and what would that be?
Darling: The leader of the Thieves Guild.
Me: Oh! Have you been nominated?
Darling: Yes, I have.
To be continued....