The Secret of Geraptiku: Part Two
When I awoke, the first thing I noticed was that I was lying on a smooth, cool, flat rock. The second thing was I couldn't hear anything other than my breathing and heartbeat. I couldn't feel Luna clinging to me or anything, which could only mean she wasn't with me.
“Oh no...” I muttered sitting up. I couldn’t see anything, so I tried opening my eyes. Then I realized my eyes were open, but I was wearing a blindfold. I tried taking the blindfold off of course, but I couldn’t take it off. Either it was enchanted, or whoever tied it was a really good knot-tier. Or both.
“So, you’re awake now, little Neopet. What is your name?” The voice was incredibly nice, and I’m not sure why I wasn’t scared of the voice; after all, I just got unconscious and had no idea where I was, but it sounded so nice and like whoever was talking wouldn’t even dare dream of hurting me...
“I’m glad you’re awake now,” the voice continued. It was a female, I was sure of that. Her voice was so lovely and soft, and had that musical feel to it that sounded like she was about to sing, which I wouldn't have minded if she did. If the way she talked sounded like this, her singing must've been pleasantly ethereal...
“Can you tell me your name? I’ll take the blindfold off if you’ll tell me.”
I decided there wasn’t any harm in telling her my name. After all, she was offering to take off the blindfold, and someone evil couldn’t have such a beautiful voice... right...?
“I’m Akeelyla,” I muttered. “I’m a Xweetok.”
The voice chuckled softly, a sound like a breeze rusting leaves, the sound of an ocean wave crashing on wet sand, the sound of rain pattering on dry gravel, the feeling it would be like if the smell of freshly cut grass could be heard, the sound of bliss, the sound of happiness, the sound of peace...
“Of course you’re a Xweetok; someone so pretty couldn’t be anyone but a Xweetok,” she purred. The way she articulated every syllable was perfect, her tone, her dialect, her pitch, her speed, she didn't even stutter or hesitate once. It was the voice of a famous composer of songs that when you close your eyes, you felt like flying in cloudless blue, like drifting away from your own body, and going to another world of color, and with that warm bubbly feeling in your insides that made you smile...
“Thank you?” I murmured. I didn't want to talk loudly; my dull, ugly voice would shatter the sound of her otherworldly, airy one.
“If you’d like, I’ll take the blindfold off now.” She almost sounded like she was smiling, like talking to me was the most pleasurable thing in Neopia, like nothing was more enjoyable than speaking to me...
“Yes,” I pleaded. I wanted to be able to see again. “Please.”
The next thing I knew, a dim, lank, light was shining from somewhere, and a slender figure in a dark dress with wings was standing in front of me with a piece of dark cloth. I couldn’t tell what type of faerie she was, my mind was too muddled to focus on anything, but I hoped she was a light faerie; if not... well, as long as she wasn’t a dark faerie, that was okay...
“My, you were asleep for quite a while, weren’t you?”
“Yes,” I said automatically. Even if I tried, I couldn’t refuse to answer. It made me wonder if she was enchanting me. After all, I’d never in all my life or imagination heard such a sweet, spellbinding, hypnotic voice, and it almost felt like her voice was so mesmerizing, that was the only thing in Neopia I could concentrate on...
The faerie unfolded, then stretched her wings once. If she hadn't moved, I wouldn't have even noticed them. They were black and had claws on the end... and looked rather like a Korbat's. When I glanced up at her face, her pale face was half-smiling, like she was enjoying an inside joke, and she was one of those people who you could tell right away would looking dazzling if they smiled all the way. Her hair was black too, and shiny and so thick I felt I could get lost in the waist length of midnight...
But that was nothing compared to her eyes. Her eyes were dark purple, almost black, and sparking with... I’m not quite sure what her eyes were sparking with; part of me thought they were simply sparking because she was somehow elated to see me, but another part of me, the sagacious and sensible one in the back of my head, was sure they were sparking with malice and spite...
“What is your Petpet’s name? The little Sandan? I had one of my servants take special care of her,” she told me.
“Her name is Luna,” I answered.
“Ah, such a nice name, Akeelyla, you named her well.” It startled me a little to hear her say my name. I told her it? When had that happened? And I told her my Sandan’s name too? I didn’t remember saying that either...
“Good. And what is your owner’s name, Akeelyla?” The faerie's smile was entrancing, and sweeter than the smell of a rose, a chocolate cake, vanilla cookies, strawberries with whipped cream, the feeling of good-smelling shampoo being massaged into my fur...
“Xaea,” I muttered. I felt myself go in a daze. A different part of my mind was wondering what was happening, but another part of me reminded myself nothing was wrong, she was a good faerie, even if she was evil...
My eyes were half closed, my paws in front of me were blurred, and I could feel me drifting away while at the same time still feeling cool stone beneath me.
Then all turned black again.
Screams echoed all around. I snapped open my eyes and looked around for the first time. I was in something like a giant circular room made of stone, so tall that I couldn’t see the ceiling and it made me wonder if it didn’t just open up to the skies. At the end of the room was an ornate silver and black throne with lavish, intricate, carvings of swirls. I heard the scream again. It almost sounded like Luna...
I jumped up. It was Luna! Almost certainly! What was happening to her?
“LUNA!” I screamed. “WHERE ARE YOU?!” Her shrieking stopped. I could hear a weak bark coming from my left. Then I heard an abrupt and harsh shushing.
Now that the dark faerie was gone, I could think clearly again. It was almost like her voice was shrouding my thoughts... in fact, I think that was exactly what had happened. She must’ve needed me to tell her my Sandan’s name so she could...
So she could what? Torture her? Why? The faerie wasn’t Jhudora, I was sure of that. She didn’t have a purple and green dress; she had on a black one. And her wings were also midnight black, so it must’ve been a dark faerie... obviously. Xaea had told me about them, and there was this one story that-
Where was she too? What had the faerie done to her? I needed to find them!
I walked along to my left where I had heard Luna scream. There was just a wall there, I couldn’t see a door. I continued walking along until I could touch the wall. I reached out one paw and felt it. I tensed myself for some amazing magic to suddenly burst out and overwhelm me with its many colors and rays sparkling everywhere on every surface.
It felt like a rock. I frowned. Then where was Luna?
“Hello?” I jumped and spun around, squinting my eyes in the dark to try and see who had spoken. I couldn't see anyone, which just made me wonder if I hadn't just imagined the voice.
“What?” I asked nervously, trying to sound brave.
“Who are you?” asked the voice. I could tell it wasn’t the faerie; that was for sure. It was male for one thing, and sounded younger, but also broken, as if his dreams were shattered, and he was left hopeless.
“I’m.... I'm..." I stuttered. My name? What was that again? I knew it, it was on the tip of my tongue, I was about to say it, but my mind was blank. With a little jolt of fear, I realized I'd forgotten my name. No, I knew it, it was.... "Akeelyla, I'm Akeelyla," I whispered it to myself again. "Akeelyla, Akeelyla, Akeelyla...."
“That's good..." he seemed to mumble.
“What's good? That I know my name? Who are you then?” I challenged, looking around in the dark for somewhere someone might've hid. All the corners where the wall met the floor were in shadows.
A yellow Gelert walked up out of the shadows, I couldn't even see where he came from. His yellow fur was matted, and needed a groom, but it wasn't filthy, just like he needed a fur-cut, and it was maybe a little musty and dark for yellow, like he hadn't seen sunlight in years. His wide black eyes stared at me solemnly, as if I was sentenced to something horrible.
“If you want to save your owner and Petpet, you’ll have to listen to me.”
“Okay, I’m listening.”
He turned around and walked to the side of the room opposite the silver and black throne. He glanced over his shoulder at my hesitation.
“Well, are you coming?” he questioned.
“What? Oh! Um, yes, of course!” I exclaimed. “But, I’m not trying to offend you or anything, but why should I trust you?” I know, I know, I sound like a jerk, but I had to be sure.
“Why should you trust me?” he echoed, and I saw a faraway look in his eyes. He almost seemed to agree with me for a second, but then he shook his head and returned to the present. "Why shouldn't you?"
"Well, I just come to Mystery Island, my reckless owner makes Luna and me visit the Lost City of Geraptiku, some flash of purple light appears and I'm suddenly here, wherever here is-"
“Your point?" he interrupted, like he was impatient.
"I have no idea who you are!" I finally shouted. I calmed down my voice. "You might be leading me to another trap!"
“Why would I go into the trouble of leading you to another trap? What would be the point of just not doing it right here?"
“There might be a different room you want to torture me in."
"Now, what would be the point of that? We're in here, and can you just please follow me?"
I frowned for a moment. "Okay," I finally sighed. "But if you're just leading me to a trap, I swear, I'm going to- to-"
"What? Haunt me as a ghost Neopet?" He smirked. It was a nice smirk, though, good-natured, friendly, pleasant.
I allowed myself to smile, but then something occurred to me. “You never really did tell me what your name was.”
“I’m not telling you,” he said somberly, as if he wanted nothing more to tell me, or maybe to know himself? “Just call me anything you want to,” he added dully.
“Like what?” I wondered. I made something up off the top of my head. “Hey, can I just call you Milk?”
He rolled his eyes, and a momentary break happened in the sad expression. “Sure. Fine. Perfect.”
“Well, what’s your REAL name?”
He didn’t say anything. He just started walking again.
“Well, fine,” I told him sarcastically “just don't tell me your name. Just don't tell me anything else either, you know, I don't mind. After all, who really needs information when a dark faerie is out to get you-"
“Hey!” the recently named Milk yelled. He spun around and scowled at me, the first dirty look he'd given me. Milk didn't seem like the kind of person who got mad all that much.
“What?” I asked cautiously. “Did I say something wrong?”
“Don’t say that,” he whispered. “She could be listening. She probably is. She is always listening to us. We aren’t safe here. You have to leave. Come on!”
“No,” I whined. “What about my owner and Petpet?”
“Save yourself. You haven’t been here that long. The things she does to people who resist her is too horrible to think about. I’ve been here too long, there’s no hope for me, but your okay; you can still save yourself. Now LEAVE.”
“Make me,” I said, returning his scowl. "How could she hear us? I don't even know where she is. And also I still don't even know who you are, and you can't just tell me what to do while I know nothing, absolutely NOTHING about you or the dark faerie, or whatever 'here' is."
The yellow Gelert snarled at me fiercely. Then he looked up and his expression changed dramatically. It turned to fear, but only for a moment, so fast I wasn't entirely sure it happened. It then turned carefully blank.
The dark faerie was quickly gliding down from the ceiling. I didn't notice before, but her hair was tousled, disheveled even, but artfully done. It added a sort of flair, and made her look more vindictive. It was a lot of different lengths too, which probably was the reason it looked so cleverly messy. I barely glanced at her indigo eyes when I tore my gaze away and stared down at my paws. Holy Kau, she was furious...
When her bare feet brushed the stone, she looked at Milk. He bowed low to the ground, his nose touching the stone.
“Mistress,” he muttered.
“Yes, what has happened?” she asked.
Without a single glance at me he told her I had woken up.
“Alright, you may go now,” she told Milk. He bowed again, then dashed off behind me, his ribbon ears and tail flowing behind him. “And you.” She glared at me. Her voice was different now. It still kind of had the compelling air that forced me to answer her questions; it was still exotic, but no longer lovely and dreamy, it didn't make me think she was a good faerie, it just screamed 'Dark faerie! Don't trust her!' to me. It must have been her normal voice.
“What?” I asked. I quivered under her glare.
“Why did you wake up?”
I frowned. “Um, I got less tired? I don’t know.”
“The spell only breaks when a true friend accompanies you and you get all three of the hidden-" She broke off, alarmed she had said so much.
“Yes, you can continue telling me how to get out of here, I don’t really mind,” I said hopefully.
The faerie narrowed her eyes. “Stupid Xweetok,” she said to herself.
“Sorry, what was that?”
“Nothing,” the faerie assured me. “Now, just go back to sleep.”
A heavy tiredness came over me, everything got all blurry again, my eyes slowly closed, and my body collapsed. And for the third time that day, everything, everywhere, turned black...
To be continued...