The Secret of Geraptiku: Part Six
“The magma Cybunny must have been put here by the dark faerie to make sure we don’t find a way to breathe air and leave,” the electric Peophin continued.
“So where is it?” Milk asked. Luna had finally stopped spinning around in the water. She was staring solemnly around at all of the many dazzling Peophins, as if knowing what next we faced was.
“Do any of you have any food?” I asked hopefully. Despite myself, and everything else far more important that was going on, I felt hungry.
The white Peophin glared at me as if saying, not the time!
A faerie Peophin looked at me in sympathy, and I couldn’t see anything mocking about his glance. “We should feed them; it doesn’t do any good for them to be hungry.” Wow, that was the first time any of the Peophins hadn’t said a cruel sentence to me!
The white Peophin growled. “It’s not like we care!”
“Well, we should! If we weren’t so vain and selfish, none of us would probably even be here in the first place!” The faerie Peophin’s eyes glanced down. “Including me,” he whispered. “Only an egocentric fool would’ve done the same thing I did.” The faerie Peophin glanced up at Milk and me. “She promised me enough neopoints for several Neopians to live in luxurious wealth for a long time. When I asked why not give it to someone who needed it, she said I was special, that only I deserved them. If only I'd refused, I wouldn't even be here now, I would be swimming in the deep ocean, or flying high in the skies.” He sighed wistfully. “Here, just wait, I’ll get you some food.” The faerie Peophin’s tail whisked around as he floated behind everyone. Eighteen seconds later, (yes, I was counting) he came back holding a plain omelette.
“It might not be the most appetizing thing in the world,” he sighed. “But it’s all we have. The dark faerie's evil servant always gives us just enough food not to starve.”
The omelette tasted wonderful! Or maybe I was just so hungry; a pile of dung would’ve been just as nice.
Milk slobbered over it like I did, and Luna, well, who could tell if she even was hungry? She simply ate it.
The white Peophin was watching us impatiently. “Are you done yet?” she was asking every few seconds. When Milk, Luna, and I finished eating, she gripped my arm and yanked me to the door we had come in. She shoved Milk, Luna, and me outside, and slammed the door shut, but somehow, no water came out.
Lights came on, just enough for us to be able to see without squinting. My jaw dropped open. The darkness we had come through was a cavern. A very familiar cavern, it looked just like the ice room, only made of swirling patterns of black stone, like lava cooled to rock.
When I glanced over at Milk, he was gazing around fascinated. I felt like slapping him! Here we were, facing a very large risk of not leaving this room, and Milk was looking around, as if hoping to have enough time for sight-seeing?!
The roar of a huge Cybunny, even though this was the third time I’d heard it today, still made me almost wet myself and jump a few feet in the air! It had been so quiet and calm, I should’ve been savoring those few seconds I had of not being scared out of my mind.
The magma Cybunny was standing in front of me as if it’d had been there the entire time and tired of not being noticed, had just roared to make us scream and jump out of surprise.
“Let’s try to confuse it,” I whispered to Milk. He nodded, his eyes locked on the magma Cybunny. I had just enough time to notice to flat grey eyes on the magma Cybunny's face, different than the orange it was supposed to be, and it looked like old ash, and the beautiful ever shifting iridescent patterns of fire all over its fur and mane that reminded me uneasily of the volcano. How could something so beautiful be on someone so evil? I crept around the black cavern behind the magma Cybunny, but it didn’t even turn to look at me. It had eyes only for Milk. Milk was shaking with fear.
I was on the other side of the black cavern, directly behind the magma Cybunny.
“Hey!” I shrieked, my voice going high-pitched, like it usually did when I was scared and apprehensive. My voice echoed oddly in the black cavern, like there were three or four Akeelylas shouting. But then the echoes died out, and it was completely silent. Milk was still trembling; his eyes were locked on the magma Cybunny. His black eyes were frightened, that I understood, but why was he so scared? I wasn’t even that scared right now, and it was all I could do not to scream while facing the ice Cybunny, but he was so much calmer than me that time.
What was the magma Cybunny doing? It was just staring at Milk like trying to tell him something. I couldn’t see the magma Cybunny's expression because I was directly behind it. Even if I could, I wouldn’t know exactly what it meant. Knowing what giant distorted magma Cybunnies are thinking by looking at their face isn’t on my list of things I'm good at.
Slowly, Milk’s black eyes lightened. They were dark grey now. I frowned. What was happening...?
It took a few seconds for the answer to click in my head.
“Milk!” I screeched. “Snap out of it! Look away! Shoot...” I muttered. What was I supposed to do now?
Milk’s eyes lightened even further. They were now flat grey.
Just like the magma Cybunny.
And he had stopped shaking.
Milk had a blank, dazed expression on his face. His grey eyes shifted to each side, then locked on me. Milk darted around the cavern to me. Down by my feet, Luna started hissing. Milk was right in front of me now. The magma Cybunny monster turned around and was facing us, and I could see it was smiling smugly that his work was so much simpler now.
“Hey, Milk,” I said. “Please tell me you’re not being hypnotized by that giant Cy-" I broke off. He shoved me. “Hey!” I whined. I jumped right back up. He still had that blank face. I slapped him. “Snap out of it! Come on, Milk! A little help here!” I shouted to the Peophins, wherever they were. “My friend here is hypnotized! It’s much easier and fairer to have him back to normal! Oh, come on!” I sighed. “Milk, come back to reality...” The giant magma Cybunny was just watching me. I narrowed my eyes at it. “Do you really feel the need to hypnotize my friend here?” The magma Cybunny blinked. “Yeah, I'm talking to you, just make him go back to normal right now. You really don’t need to do that.” The magma Cybunny glanced down at the inky floor. Milk seemed to be looking past me. I shook his shoulders. “Milk! Or whatever your real name really is. Just... uh... come back?” I frowned. I couldn’t really think of anything else to say that was more demanding. I slapped him again, to see if it would work.
Nothing happened. I moaned. “Come on, Milk, it’s me Akeelyla, remember me? We’re trying to get out of here... You’re a yellow Gelert, I call you Milk, and this is my Petpet, Luna.” I picked up my Sandan, and held her in his face. Luna licked Milk’s face all over. He recoiled.
“EW!” he whined. He scrubbed his snout with his paws. “That’s just gross, Luna! Getting Sandan spit all over my-"
“Milk!” I exclaimed. “You’re back!” I hugged Luna tightly. “Thank you Luna!”
“I’m back?” Milk asked confused. “What...?” He rubbed his snout again and made a face. He didn’t look dazed and blank anymore, he looked disgusted, and his eyes were as black as the cavern around us. “And you’re saying thank you to Luna? Why? She got Sandan spit up my nose and now it stinks like-"
“But you’re back!”
Milk frowned and looked around. “I could’ve sworn I was over there a second ago...”
“Well, I guess- I mean, not really guess, because it was kind of obvious, well, not just kind of obvious, because-“
“Just spit it out, will you?” Milk interrupted good-naturedly.
“Okay,” I continued. “You got hypnotized, and pushed me-”
“Really?” he asked. “I’m sorry about that.”
“And so I slapped you-"
"But it didn’t work so Luna licked you all over your face! And that woke you up.”
A growl echoed around us. Luna whined. The magma Cybunny looked mad. Well, his grey eyes were narrowed and the growl was coming from him; that seemed mad to me.
“Okay,” I whispered. “I don’t think we can confuse it, and I can’t exactly cling to its back like the rock monster. So what do we do?” Milk frowned. He glanced at Luna sitting on the ground in front of me.
“Well,” he mused slowly, “since Luna licking me woke me up, what if-”
“WHAT?!” I shrieked. “AND GET HER BURNED?!” I took a few deep breaths to get my voice not to get overly loud. “No.”
“Not like that,” Milk said hurriedly. “Just get her to spit a distance at the magma Cybunny instead of just licking him.”
“Luna can’t spit that far,” I protested.
Milk gave me a look. “Are you sure about that?”
“Actually, I’m surprised the Cybunny hasn’t tried to eat us or anything yet.” I glanced over at it. It was still standing there patiently, as if it was waiting for us to climb into its mouth.
“I don’t really think it matters what it eats,” Milk said in a matter-of-fact tone. “Everything probably would just get burned up in its stomach gradually.” I shuddered at that thought.
“Gee, thanks for telling me that, Milk; that sent a lovely picture through my mind.”
“Anyway,” Milk said quickly, “can you get Luna to spit as far as she can at it?” Before I could say anything to her, Luna jumped up on my head, took a long breath, and spat as hard as she could. The magma Cybunny recoiled like Milk when Luna’s spit struck him on the face. It rubbed at the spot with its massive Cybunny paw.
“Hey,” I said suddenly to Milk when an idea hit me. “Do you think that maybe it hates our spit just as much as Luna's? Maybe we should try spitting.” He raised his eyebrows slightly, and I could tell by his expression he was thinking that's not something you hear every day!
“Sure, let's try,” he shrugged. Luna kept spitting from my head. I could only hope she wouldn’t drool on me. That would be gross; I would have to use the rest of my Herbal Shampoo to rub out her saliva...
Fortunately, Milk was thinking about more important matters. He started spitting too. I took a deep breath, and began to empty my mouth of saliva.
Pretty soon, the magma Cybunny was backing away, so, the three of us had to move forward. The magma Cybunny moaned and shielded its face with its arms, but we just kept spitting. I couldn't see anything happening to it, but it must've hurt somehow. The magma Cybunny sunk to the floor, nauseated, and shrunk. The once massive, impressive magma Cybunny was now just our size; it turned from a magma Cybunny to a ghost Cybunny, and I swore I saw it smile at us as warmly as its fur once was, before it rose upwards and rained down ashes where it was once standing. I saw one last thanking smile before it turned so transparent, I could only see a vague outline, and floated up to the cooled lava decorated ceiling, and glided through it as naturally as striding through a door.
I wiped my mouth and stared at the pile of ash that was once part of a giant trapped magma Cybunny. Luna leaped off my head and bounced toward it. She sniffed the ash and barked at us, as if to confirm the magma Cybunny was really gone. I turned to Milk.
“So now what? Do you think the Peophins are going to give us the keys now?” But Milk wasn’t listening to me; he was staring horrified at the pile of ash and Luna, who was leaning closer beside it.
“LUNA!” he screeched, but Luna didn’t even twitch. She was as still as a statue, simply gazing at the remnants of the fire monster.
A hollow sort of clapping noise vibrated around the cavern, and a female voice chuckled. I gasped, I've heard that laugh before!
"Well, well, well... excellent job."
The dark faerie!
She glided right through the wall, just like the magma Cybunny through the ceiling! The dark faerie was clapping, but in the silence, it sounded mocking, and especially seeing the expression on her face, I could tell she wasn't here to congratulate us. She was standing behind the little pile of ashes that was part of a forced magma Cybunny that was trying to burn us earlier. “So little Neopets, I see you have ruined my minion here.” She stopped clapping and turned to face Milk with a scowl on her face. “I see you have decided to switch sides, despite my minion trying to convince you.” She then turned to face me. She smirked when she saw the frightened worried expression on me. “And you,” she whispered. “You’ve forced him to change sides, change his idea of thought. And for that you must pay.”
“What?” I asked, not quite following the conversation. “He wanted to, he always had, and he was just trying to convince you he was your servant.” The dark faerie turned her cold violet eyes at Milk. She almost seemed to smile distantly at him, as if she was remembering something that had happened a while ago. He twisted his head away from her sneer and my questioning glance.
“Either way,” she said, “you must pay. The only reason you beat me and freed my minion was because of your Petpet.” The dark faerie gestured to the still motionless Luna. “So...” There was an even greater impious smile on her face.
“NO!” I screamed, catching on. “You can’t take Luna!” The dark faerie just smirked wider. Her hand reached out and seized Luna around her furry Sandan tail. Luna shrieked, and that was the last thing I heard before the dark faerie disappeared behind a silent blaze of violet fog. I ran at the pile of ashes through the violet fog, but no one was there. My knees turned weak.
“LUNA!” Milk hollered.
“Luna,” I whispered, falling to the floor in misery. “She’s... gone.”
To be continued...