Tales From Number Five: Legend of the Three
The Darigan Citadel is well known for many things, or rather it is badly known for a number of things. One would be the prison, which many call the place where they can play Cellblock.
However, the prison is not just a place for a board game, it hides many other things. One would be Number Five, the old Lupe who has been in the prison for as long as anyone can remember.
Most know him as the crazy Lupe who rants about a place called Jelly World, but he has seen many things in his long existence. And not all of them are related to jelly. Sometimes, once in a blue moon, he might share this experience with the others, who generally regard them with as much gravity as the talk of Jelly World.
But perhaps they forget, after all, even Dr. Sloth is capable of kindness sometimes, so why aren't his stories capable of being realistic?
Haskol was on guard that day. Haskol didn't really mind being a guard, after all, the only negative point was the boredom. But that was pretty much about it. They got paid for more than the guards at Meridell, just because the prison was supposed to be important, though they really didn't have to do anything.
So, he was going through an old copy of the Neopian Times, so old that it mentioned things about Xandra's plot to take over and what not, and featured many pages of photographs of Hanso and other people involved.
There was, however, an article that had been crammed into the back, as if it wasn't important enough to read. Haskol read about it and understood that it was about some mythical Neopets named the Three.
"So, it is assumed the Three exist..." Haskol read the article aloud in such a monotonous tone that it sounded no different from reading a list of names. "Boring, they don't seem to know anything; why bother writing an article then?" Haskol said.
"I know something of them," a voice behind him said, and Haskol turned around to see that it was Number Five who spoke.
Haskol just stared at him for a minute, and the Lupe had to repeat the statement three times before he believed that Number Five was speaking.
"You know something about them?" Haskol asked finally.
"Yes, they were... my friends long ago," Number Five said. "There is a story about them, should you like to hear."
Now, Haskol had heard one of Number Five's stories once, but that was with Master Vex. And he hadn't believed a single word of it.
"Why should I?" he asked, to hide his confusion momentarily.
"You should because there is not much else to do around here," Number Five replied.
Haskol thought that that made sense. And that was what spooked him the most, that Number Five was beginning to talk things that made sense. Several parts of his mind urged him to back away from the cage slowly, but curiosity, as it does, defeated all other doubts, and Haskol agreed.
Number Five cleared his throat and began. Before he started, Haskol noticed there was something akin to sadness in his eyes; he seemed to be holding back tears. This surprised Haskol, and he was quiet while the Lupe spoke.
Like I had said, the Three and I were friends. This was so long ago that I no longer remember all of their names. I will use the names they now go by.
We were outcasts, so to speak. Orphaned. No one cared nor looked after us. A Lupe, a Gelert, a Skeith and a Faerie who didn't know magic. Sure, she had the natural magic that exists in all faeries, but not the training that others had.
Everyone has dreams, from the richest kings to the poorest peasants. They are something that you can never take away, they're beautiful things, dreams. And they were all we had.
Ambition, the faerie, always dreamed of one day mastering all of her powers and becoming a full-fledged faerie. Greed, the Skeith, dreamed of one day escaping our poverty, becoming a large businessman. Revenge, the Gelert, hoped to become a general of the army.
I, on the other hand, was the most laid-back of all of them. I only really cared about one thing: jelly, which at that time was made in the Chocolate Factory. However, they stopped manufacturing it, putting me in a sour mood, though the others always managed to cheer me up.
Now, don't think too harshly of the others. They didn't want to become what they are now. All of us thought that one day, when we'd all become rich and famous we would help out the needy and the poor.
Little did we know that those sweet, innocent dreams would give such a disastrous outcome.
One fine day, when we were all just lazing around on the ground in Neopia Central, back in the old days, while I was entertaining the others with a story I had made up. I stopped abruptly, I had seen something on the ground.
"Why did you stop with the story?" Ambition asked.
"I found something! It's a totem!" I exclaimed. The others gathered around me. Back in those days, you needed totems to go to certain places. It was an Elephante Totem, to take us to Mystery Island.
"Let's go to Geraptiku!" Greed suggested. We all nodded. Now, I suppose you're familiar with the message in the Deserted Tomb that comes up when you've found the treasure, of how you're rich and all, when you could probably get more from playing games for half an hour.
However, in those days, few knew of Geraptiku's existence, and many of the treasures that have now been removed from the ruins were still there.
So, we all thought that it would be a great way to become rich, and we'd all get famous for finding treasure. It would be the opportunity of a lifetime!
Now, a totem comes with the provision of free travel to Mystery Island, as well as food and accommodation along the way.
So, we stepped up to the ferry where there were two guards, two Shoyrus dressed in exotic Mystery Island Clothes.
"Totem please," one of them asked. I showed them it, and was about to go on board when he asked, "What about your totems?" I saw that he was speaking to the other three.
"What? We need totems for all of us?" I asked. None of us had known that.
"Well then, I suppose you should go," Ambition said to me. "You did find it." The others nodded in agreement, though I could see the sadness on their faces.
So, I guess the guards felt a bit sorry for us, so one of them added, "But since you're children, I suppose all of you could go on one totem." We all cheered and hugged and thanked the guards and got on board.
We had all been raised on moldy apples and whatever we could find lying around, so we went crazy at the food that we saw there. Almost all of us got stomachaches from eating too much, and within two days we arrived at the Island.
We then realized that we had no neopoints, but then all of us tried the Tombola spin, and we had managed to scratch out 500 neopoints. That was still a lot in those days, and to us was a fortune, not to mention the other prizes we had gotten with them.
So, we happily continued on our way to the ruins. It was dark there, but we were so happy at what we would do after getting treasure that we didn't mind. We immediately sped onwards towards the tomb.
Nowadays the tomb is lit up, but it was actually very unexplored in those days. There were cobwebs everywhere, not to mention the traps.
However, we thought that fortune was smiling greatly upon us, for we encountered no traps and no monsters on the way. Finally, after only an hour of searching, we found the treasure room.
It was filled to the brim not with gold, but with artifacts. Things of power, codestones littered the floor. I saw swords, shields, and other things worth several fortunes on their own.
We danced, happy that we were so lucky. We thought it was almost too good to be true.
In a way, it was.
There were many objects of power, and needless to say, some were cursed.
After a few minutes, our excitement died down and we decided to explore the room, which I must say was huge.
It was me who found it, the two lenses. The two lenses that would someday threaten Faerieland.
"You mean-" Haskol began, interrupting the story.
"Yes. The same ones that Xandra used," Number Five said.
They were both stuck to each other, though I found I could slide one over the other.
Ambition flew over, wondering what it was. She had enough power to tell that it was important, perhaps the most powerful in the tomb. The other two came as well.
"It doesn't look so special," Revenge said, as we held up the mirror up at various angles. It was when Ambition touched it, a small flare of magic escaped from her; she couldn't really help it.
As you know, that artifact amplifies things. Including that small bit of magic. It turned into a powerful blast that maybe not even Fyora could cast, and it hit all of us. I tried to stop it, I hit it with a staff I found nearby but it did nothing save give it a small crack.
Of course, Ambition hadn't wanted to do anything with the magic. She had given it no direction. So, it merely amplified us. Our thoughts over a thousandfold.
At that time, Greed had been thinking of his fortune and money, Ambition of becoming powerful; Revenge was thinking about how he would show all of the people who had ever talked about them rudely. I just thought about jelly mostly.
And those thoughts changed all of us, the innocent dreams became the only things that we could ever think of.
The other three were so driven by their negative feelings, Greed, Ambition and Revenge, that they thought of nothing else. They were granted magic power from the lens when it had hit them. They were now, sadly, evil.
Save for me. They knew that; they turned on me.
That was when the random event happened. We had gotten a few, the best one was when we found a hundred neopoints on the floor. This one was unexpected:
'Fyora has summoned you to Faerieland!'
And so we were in front of her, holding the magical artifact. The Three instantly fled from the sight; they feared Fyora's magic. As for me, I told my story to Queen Fyora. She hid the artifact where she thought that no one would find it, but as we know, it would not be so.
As for me, later on, I planted a seed in Neopia Central when I returned. It grew up fast. It was magical; I had made it so. I called it the Money Tree. With the Three out there, including Greed, I decided the Money Tree would become charity, giving things to people. And there it stands to this day.
As for the Three, I could never find my friends again. And I regret saying this, but I didn't want to. The artifact drove me, as well, to think of only one thing. And that was jelly. And guess what, I had found it! My thoughts had created it, the magical blast that time had made it, Jelly World! An entire world made of Jelly!
At this point, Haskol jumped back a few paces. All the sadness that had been on his face was gone, and now Number Five's cackle would shame Edna's. Haskol walked away; he knew he shouldn't have expected more.
He continued reading the newspaper. As he saw the photo of the artifact that Xandra used, he noticed something. A small crack on one of them, as if someone had hit it with a staff.
At that moment, it seemed as if there was a voice from the shadows.