The Secret of Geraptiku: Part Four
“We did it!” I yelled happily.
“Yeah!” Milk cheered. “Now we can get out of here!”
With high spirits, Milk and I left the cavern of the ice Cybunny. He touched another portion of the wall, and the ice melted into water, and walked through.
We were in an area that looked exactly like the faerie’s throne room where I had woken up. It was precisely the same as the one we were in a minute ago, actually the exact same one, the dark stone walls and floor, the dank gloom that came from everywhere and nowhere at the same time, and the intricate silver and black chair that looked just as sinister as its owner, but there was one single difference.
“Luna!” I exclaimed, running over to the middle of the room. I picked her up in my arms and hugged her warmly.
“Is that your Petpet?” asked Milk.
“Yes!” I squealed.
“Yes,” I said, smiling. ‘Cool’ didn’t even cover the warmth and happiness I felt when I saw Luna, safe and joyful, again. But then I frowned. “Where was Luna earlier?”
“Right here,” Milk said, curious at my suspicious tone of voice.
“No she wasn’t!” I exclaimed. “I heard her screaming!”
“Ah,” he said grinning, “How do you know that was Luna screaming and not just some clever illusion?”
I stared at him, open mouthed.
“Because I’ve known Luna for a long time and I know what she sounds like!”
“That was just a hallucination, Akee, to mess with your head so you couldn't think straight. Luna wasn’t in any trouble at all.” I found this hard to believe, but Luna looked perfectly okay. And it was definitely Luna; she had the familiar white patch of fur on the back of her ear, and her little Sandan face was in its eternal smile. She was also swishing her tail back and forth and bouncing up and down slightly; like Xaea, she could never quite sit still.
“Well, what about Xaea?”
“Yes. Do you know where she is and what happened to her?”
“I don’t know. The dark faerie doesn’t usually keep humans.”
I sighed. “Well, wherever she is, I hope she’s okay, even though it was her fault in the first place," I added, mostly to myself.
Milk frowned. “How was it your owner's fault in the first place?”
“Well,” I explained, “she was the one who wanted to visit the Lost City of Geraptiku. I kept saying 'no, Xaea,' but she didn’t listen to me.”
“Oh,” the yellow Gelert sighed. “At least you have an owner.”
I frowned. “What do you mean?”
“I don’t have an owner. I used to, though. But then I got put in the pound. That is a horrible place.” He shuddered. “You've probably heard about how terrible it is, everyone has. Dr. Death keeps everybody under tight surveillance, so it's almost impossible to leave, unless someone adopts you, of course.”
“But then how did you get out here?” I asked.
“I escaped. One day while I was leaning against the back wall of my cage, I realized there was an area made out of paper. I tore at it, and found a tunnel I could fit through. After I looked around to make sure no one saw me, I went in the tunnel. The moment I took a second step, the wall caved in behind me. So the only way out was forward.” I shuddered at the thought of being stuck in a possibly endless tunnel. “So I walked for what felt like years, but was probably only a few days. When I came out, I was in this castle, in the Lost City of Geraptiku. The dark faerie met me here. I didn’t notice at first she was a dark faerie, her voice was so...” he broke off, but I nodded. The dark faerie had done the same to me.
“Yeah, me too, it was so hard to tell if she was a good faerie or an evil one, because her voice was so nice.”
“Yeah. So she tricked me into becoming her servant, then she took my name.”
“What?” I asked, bewildered. “She took your name?”
“Yes. She asked me what my name was. I told her it, and then... it was almost like I forgot it. Whenever I try to remember it, I come up with nothing.”
“How horrible, to not remember your name.”
“Yeah,” Milk muttered. I guess he started spacing out for a minute. But then he snapped back to reality. “Okay, what we need to think about right now is getting you out of here.”
“How will I do that?” I asked doubtfully. “We can’t really just go up to the dark faerie and ask her to let me go.”
He smiled. “Not quite. The only way to truly leave is to confront the dark faerie with a true friend.”
“And then what?”
Milk frowned. “I’m not sure. No one has ever made it out before.”
“Gee, that’s helpful,” I said sarcastically. “If no one has ever before made it out, how do you know it’ll work?”
“A little something called eavesdropping. I've heard her tell a servant that that was the only way to get out. If there wasn't that one only way to get out, then other people would be able to get out."
He rolled his eyes. "If there wasn't one definite way to leave, there would be other ways to leave, because there always has to be a way to do something."
“Erm... I kinda get it. Okay, when you said the only way to leave altogether is to see the dark faerie with a true friend, do Petpets count?”
“No. It has to be a Neopet,” Milk sighed. His yellow paw brushed the stone sadly. Something clicked together in my head.
“Hey,” I said excitedly. “Do you think you can be considered my ‘true friend’? You’ve helped me a lot, the ice Cybunny and then finding Luna.”
He opened his mouth, amazed. “I can’t believe I’ve never thought of that before! That would definitely work! You’re a genius!”
“Thank you?” I frowned. How had he never before thought of himself as being a true friend? Did the faerie somehow make him forget that, same with his name?
“And also, what was the point of going in there?” I asked.
“To get Luna.”
“So did we leave and go to a different, almost identical room? Or did we just go back, and Luna was here this time?” I asked him.
“This is the same room. Luna was here the whole time, she was just invisible, tied up and couldn’t make any noise,” Milk explained.
While Milk and I were talking, Luna had scrambled out of my arms and near the edge of the wall, where I saw a familiar pattern...
“LUNA!” I screamed as she put forth her little Sandan paw to touch it, “DON’T TOUCH IT!” Luna barked and turned around. I sighed in relief.
“That’s probably not the same thing as the ice Cybunny,” Milk told me. “It’s made out of rock for one thing, so if Luna touched it, nothing would probably happen.”
“Even so,” I explained, “I’d rather not risk it.”
“It’s okay if you touch it, Luna!” Milk called to her, totally ignoring me. “Nothing bad will happen!” Luna barked cheerfully, and reached out with her blue paw to stroke the stone fur.
Despite my fear, I actually felt a moment of exasperation. I mean really, isn’t facing one huge monster over eight times your height made out of an inanimate object enough? Did we really just have to face another one?
The rock monster stood upright. It was the same size as the ice monster, but this one had slightly more intelligent looking green eyes, and wasn’t as clean and solid looking as the other one. It looked pretty... well... dirty. He looked like a brown Cybunny covered completely in dirt and mud.
Luna shrieked and dashed to me, and clung to the long fur on my back. I gave Milk a long look.
“‘Nothing bad will happen’, huh?” I quoted.
Milk rolled his eyes, and pouted a little. “It made perfect sense logically.”
“Great. So should we try to confuse it again?” I suggested.
“Yeah, it looks like the same kind of monster, similar to a massive Cybunny.”
“Okay,” I said to him, trying to grin. “I’ll go over there on the other side, and we’ll start shouting at it again.
As I ran to the other side, the monsters glowing green eyes followed me.
“Hey, you!” Milk shouted. The monster's eyes flicked to Milk for a second, and then returned to me. It lumbered toward me.
“HEY, YOU!!” Milk screamed louder this time, but the Cybunny didn’t make any motion that he’d heard Milk. It continued on towards me. Luna sank her small claws into my back painfully.
“It’s not working!” I whined pointlessly. The monster was now a few yards from me, and nothing could prevent it from coming closer. Luna whimpered.
The rock monster was now right over me. Taking a risk, I darted between its legs, and stopped when I was right behind it.
Slowly, very slowly, very VERY slowly, it turned around. I smiled slightly.
“It’s not very agile,” Milk called out to me. “So what do we do? Out turn it?”
“I guess so,” I said. “And see how long it takes to tire out.”
“What if we tire out first?”
“Well, we just have to hope we don’t.”
When the monster FINALLY finished its turn, Milk darted underneath it. The rock monster took no notice of him, however, and was still glaring at me similarly to the ice Cybunny. Both wanted to eat me.
Suddenly, Luna clinging to my back gave me a brilliant, yet slightly stupid inspiration...
I ran behind the monster, and clambered up its legs and onto his back. The dirt and mud covering its back was made of was hard to hold on to, but the filthy fur was easy to hold onto, although it was gross. Since the brown Cybunny couldn’t twist its neck, its whole body spun around and almost threw me off. Milk was still standing below, looking like he was trying to find something to do.
The brown Cybunny's roar made me almost wet myself! I thought the ice Cybunny's roar was loud, hearing it far away, but I was so close to its mouth that the roar filled my sensitive Xweetok ears, and I couldn’t think of anything else! I almost fell off, but common sense told me to stay on. Poor Luna was holding onto me, holding onto the Cybunny spinning around. I was amazed she hadn’t fallen off yet, either from the Cybunny twirling, my constant movement of finding a better hold, and her shaking.
The brown Cybunny kept spinning; I wondered how long it would take it to tire out.
No sooner was I thinking that then the Cybunny trembled, then collapsed from exhaustion. I almost didn’t jump off in time, I shuddered to think what would’ve happened if I didn’t. Milk was still on the side of the wall, watching, when I leaped off. As the Cybunny lay down in a heap; I noticed something glitter on it. The dirty brown Cybunny was fading away, and shrank, and soon there was nothing of it left.
I almost wouldn’t have noticed it if it didn’t glitter. I frowned, and leaned forward. Milk gasped beside me. I looked at him, about to ask if it was what I thought it was, when he answered my unspoken question.
“It’s a treasure chest!”
To be continued...