The Greatest Treasure: Part Two
Also by bluerang1
Looking frantically about the tent, Kat could see Croy and Cheikz staring back at her. Kitthie was nowhere to be seen.
“Kitthie!” the three pets called out in unison.
Kat, Croy and Cheikz raced out of the tent to look for the missing Kitthie, filled with a sense of panic brought about by her scream. They caught sight of her on the other side of the clearing.
“What is it?” Kat asked panting hard from running.
Kitthie was kneeling in front of the smaller tent in which the pets had stored their food. With a note of devastation in her voice, she replied, “All our food! It’s gone!”
“No!” Cheikz cried.
“Well, who or what could have done this? I thought we covered all our stuff up properly,” said Croy, who was looking puzzled.
“We did. Maybe a certain sleepwalker felt like having a midnight snack,” Kitthie suggested, as she gave Cheikz an accusing look.
“Hey! Don’t look at me. I’m not a sleepwalk-eater,” Cheikz defended. “Look, tiny footprints!” Cheikz pointed at a trail leading away from the empty food stock.
“Oh right!” Kat exclaimed, smacking herself in the forehead. “There are wild petpets all around here. We’ll have to be more careful next time,” Kat said, shaking her head.
“But we’re hungry now,” Kitthie and Cheikz moaned.
“Well, the town at Kiko Lake is pretty close to here. We’ll just have to go into town to get more food,” stated Croy.
Cheikz, Kat, and Kitthie all nodded emphatically.
Without delay, the pets started down the trail to the road for that lead into the town of Kiko Lake. The town was made up of a small number of dome-shaped buildings, situated near the end of the lake. There, they saw Kikos aplenty.
“It’s like I’m in a sea of Candy Peas!” Cheikz exclaimed. “Hey, ow!”
Croy had nudged him. “Don’t be rude and keep it low,” she ordered, her voice barely above a whisper.
They visited the Kiko Lake Treat Shop, where they carefully surveyed all of the available local delicacies. There was a wide variety of different Kiko-orientated foods for them to choose from. When they had collectively chosen what to get, they headed for the till, which was fronted by a purple Kiko, to pay for their purchases.
“He looked like a giant grape gumball,” Cheikz whispered to Kat, suppressing a giggle.
Afterward they finished their grocery shopping, the gang decided to explore the rest of the town. There wasn’t really much to see; Kiko Lake isn’t a very big town. They did, however, visit the famous furniture store in town. They tried some of the fine and firm furniture in store. They were really impressed by the Kikos’ carpentry skills.
“This isn’t how I planned things, guys, sorry,” Kat said as they were exiting the furniture store.
“What do you mean?” Croy asked.
“Well, we were only meant to be in the woods this weekend. You know, roughing it,” explained Kat.
“It’s alright,” said Croy, putting her paw on Kat's shoulder. “We’ve never been to Kiko Lake before, so this was fun too. You know, I was thinking, to complete out visit, we should go on the famous glass bottom boat tour,” suggested Croy.
“That’d be great!” Kat replied, and off the four friends went.
The next ride was about to depart so the kids had to run to catch it. They jumped aboard, paid their fares, and then began analysing their fellow tour-mates. There were only two other pets onboard with them, not including the tour guide and the coxswain. One was an old yellow Bruce, somewhere in her sixties; she seemed quite inquisitive as she was looking about everywhere. The other was a shadow Uni sitting opposite the Bruce, slightly older than them, maybe around sixteen. He seemed like he didn’t want to be there, with his arm folded and face stern. Perhaps he had to come with the Bruce who was his grandmother. Well, all that wasn’t really relevant, and the tour was about to begin, so the pets shifted their attention away from the other passengers and prepared themselves for the boat ride.
The boat set off, and the tour guide began talking about what they could see to their left, what they could see to their right, and what they could see below via the glass bottom of the boat. Kat wasn’t really paying attention because she was extremely mesmerised by what she could see through the glass bottom. It was amazing, seeing all the lake life underneath. Something caught caught her attention for a split second; it was a glint, a golden glint. Then the sun passed behind a cloud, and the glint was gone as quickly as Kat had initially acknowledged it.
“The lake looks amazing from here,” Kat said, as she continued starring in awe. “I can’t wait to go diving!”
“Me neither, it’s gonna be so cool,” Cheikz said.
“I’m not sure you can – whoa!” Kat was sent sliding towards the left side of the boat.
“The boat! What’s going on?” Kitthie asked, gripping on to the side of the boat.
“Oh, it’s not my time!” exclaimed the old yellow Bruce.
“Don’t panic, people; this isn’t rare, it happens. Just hold on tight,” the tour guide instructed, and the passengers did so accordingly.
A strong gust of wind had hit the boat causing it to rock from side to side while pushing it quickly out into the deeper, darker part of the lake. All passengers held on tight, scared that they may fall off. A moment later, the gust had subdued, and the boat regained balance.
“Sorry about that,” the tour guide and coxswain said.
The passengers all let out a sigh of relief and wanted an explanation as to why the gust was supposedly “normal”. They also wondered where the wind had brought them. On both sides of the lake were dark and scary looking woodland trees. This wasn’t the area Kat, Croy, Kitthie and Cheikz had set up camp. This was a different area of the woods entirely.
“Why, that push wasn’t good for my heart, and neither is this unsettling surrounding. Would you care to tell us where we are?” the Bruce asked the tour guide.
“Yeah dude, where are we? And what’s that gust all about?” the Uni asked, starting to look irritated.
The tour guide grinned and turned to the coxswain who smiled back and nodded. The tour guide them began speaking. “Well, people, the gust of wind is a natural, yet unexplained, phenomenon of the weather of Kiko Lake. It has been the cause of countless misadventures at this end of the lake. It is rumoured that there has been a number of shipwrecks caused by the wind pushing unprepared vessels into the the jagged rocks lurking barely beneath the lake's surface out this way. You can maybe see some of them, if you look hard enough, but the lake is so dark here, it's hard to see much of anything.
“There is one shipwreck, in particular, that is famous in this area,” the tour guide continued, instantly grabbing the attention of the four friends. “Long ago, when the lake was bigger, not fully a lake yet, but still part of the sea, a ship full of wealthy Neopets came this way, intending to settle along the shore of Kiko Lake. The ship was travelling at night, but the captain knew well how to navigate the route between the rocks that they could pass through safely. It was a very narrow passage. The ship passed through successfully, and the passengers rejoiced. However, they weren’t expecting the huge gust of wind that was about to hit them.” The tour guide paused there when the moody Uni interjected with a question.
“Huge wind? The wind that hit us wasn’t that huge. Yeah, it shook up the boat, but it wouldn’t do much if it hit a ship,” the Uni said, looking skeptical.
“That night was different,” the tour guide replied. “There was a huge thunderstorm, worse than any I'd ever seen. In their merriment of making it through the channel and being within a few dozen metres of their destination, the pets on board the ship were all taken by surprise by the sudden force of the wind that sent the ship sailing backward at a breakneck speed. The captain was unable to steer the ship, and it crashed into the rocks.”
“Aww, those poor people!” Kitthie said sympathetically.
The tour guide smiled at her gently, “It is said that everyone on board survived and accomplished their goal of relocating to the land around the lake. They lost all their possessions in the shipwreck, though. It is all now sunken treasure deep down in the lake.”
Kat looked intently into the water, hoping to see something significant, maybe a glimpse of the sunken ship. But the cover of the clouds made the lake too dark to see into.
“Well, that concludes my story,” the tour guide said with a clap of his paws. “The boat will be heading back into friendly waters now.”
The clap woke Kat, Croy, Kitthie and Cheikz out of their trance. The story had completely engulfed them. The boat returned to shore with the kids discussing the story and their views on it. Everything else they saw or heard during the tour was now insignificant.
“So that’s how the Kikos came to Kiko Lake,” Cheikz said as the kids got off the boat and began heading to their campsite.
“I doubt it,” Croy replied. She then explained that, “It’s probably how other pets came to live here and become locals as well.”
“Right,” said Cheikz.
“It was scary,” Kitthie said. “Imagine being in a shipwreck at night.” She shivered.
As they continued walking back to camp, Kat remembered what she saw during the tour, just as the the gust had hit them. It was a glint of gold. Could it be part of the sunken treasure? Kat wanted to find out.
“We’re going to get that treasure,” Kat said to her friends with a cheery smile on her face.
“What do you mean? The one from the story, down there, in the lake?” Kitthie asked.
“It’s not a story, it’s an historical account. And yes, that treasure,” Kat replied. She was now walking in long, happy and care-free strides.
“I think historians would probably have already found it by now, so there wouldn’t be much point looking,” Kitthie said.
“Yes, but I saw the treasure! Well, not really. Just as we were blown away, I saw a glint of gold in the lake, through the glass boat bottom. That has to be some of the treasure.”
“That could have been anything,” Kitthie said with a little laugh. “Besides, it’s way too deep down.”
“I still want to try getting it anyway,” Cheikz spoke up.
“Well I don’t want to waste my time looking for something that might not even be there. I’d even rather go hiking!” Kitthie replied.
“That's just because you’re scared of the water,” Cheikz jeered.
“I am not!” Kitthie defended.
“Stop bickering, you two!” Croy ordered, going between her younger sister and brother to keep them apart. “Now, Kat was kind enough to invite us along this weekend, and if she has something cool for us to do today while we’re here, we do it. Think about it. If there is treasure down there, think how much it’ll be worth! Lots and lots of Neopoints. We’d be rich! We could buy whatever we want. Live wherever we want. Wear whate-” Croy was cut off, frozen with her hands in the air, as she was using grand hand gestures during her speech.
“Yes, we get it,” Kat laughed. “So, it’s settled,” she said twirling around in excitement. “Tomorrow, we go treasure hunting!”
To be continued...