Defender of Neopia - A Krawk in Lupe Clothing: Part Four
Back in Neovia Detective Prigpants and his trusty Assistant, Swolthy, were stirring up more trouble...
"For the last time, get out of my shop!" Alibaster Chesterdrawers shouted.
He was a very eccentric red Techo that ran Chesterdrawer's Antique Shop. He had recently been visited and subsequently harassed about the missing silver items by the two sleuths. He had lost his patience after Swolthy knocked over and shattered an antique mirror.
Prigpants and Swolthy were scurried out of the antiques shop by Alibaster.
"I didn't see no silver in there," Swolthy said. He brushed the dust from his jacket off on the stoop of the store.
"Mr. Chesterdrawers deals mostly in antiques, Swolthy. Therefore he mustn't be the culprit," Prigpants deduced.
"Did y'see all them boxes they was haulin' into the back of the town hall?" A squeaky voice rang out. It came just down the street from where they stood.
There were two green Pteris gossiping on the street corner.
"Oh yah, I reckon it be some kind of contraband, y'know like them secret shipments," the other green Pteri replied to the first.
Prigpants and Swolthy wandered up to the two Pteris to listen in to their conversation.
"Pardon me, Miss and Miss," Prigpants said softly. He bowed and tipped his top hat slightly. "My colleague and I could not help but overhear that there have been some suspicious boxes have been spotted around town hall, is that correct?"
The Pteris eyed them oddly and scoffed.
"Well if ye need ta know, there been boxes filled to the top with silver items going into the town hall, and they don't come back out," the first green Pteri clucked.
"Many thanks, milady," Prigpants cheerfully replied. He smiled and adjusted his collar. He turned to speak to Swolthy. "I say it is high time we investigate Town Hall!"
Swolthy however, had already wandered over to the back of town hall and was inspecting some suspicious looking boxes while Prigpants had been talking. Prigpants quickly rushed over to him.
"Would ya look at that, Prigpants?" Swolthy exclaimed with astonishment. He pointed to empty wooden boxes. "They're all empty."
"That is where you are mistaken," Prigpants declared. He ran a feather across the bottom of one of the crates. He rubbed his feathers together and small silver filings fluttered from them. "These crates contain clues."
"That is amazing, Prigpants! How did you know?" Swolthy exclaimed. He recoiled with surprise.
"It is elementary, my dear Swolthy. It's the simple art of observation. What else do you observe?" Prigpants inquired. He gave a coy look towards his partner.
Swolthy pondered for a moment looking at the ground.
"By goodness, is that a trail of silver dust?" he asked. He pointed to the ground where a faint sparkling trail could be seen leading up to and beyond the rear door of the Town Hall.
"Correct." Prigpants noted and smirked. "What can we deduce from this trail?"
Swolthy scrunched his face as he thought.
"The culprits who pinched the silver must be inside!" he deduced and wagged his finger in the air.
"Also correct, Swolthy," Prigpants agreed.
Kyshriek had just arrived at Neovia and noticed that there was a commotion coming from behind the Town Hall. She decided to investigate.
"So wot should we do now?" Swolthy asked. He scratched his chin.
Kyshriek walked around the back of the building to find the two curiously dressed detectives talking over the open crate.
"You two," she shouted. "Stop where you are!"
Prigpants and Swolthy froze in place and threw their arms up in the air.
"We didn't do anythin', we swear!" they both shouted.
"Were you the ones who kidnapped Balthazar and brought him here?" she snapped.
Prigpants and Swolthy gave each other a strange look and shook their heads.
"We don't know nothin' 'bout no Balthazar Miss," Swolthy choked out.
"Why are you two standing next to an open crate then?" She stepped towards them.
"This crate," Prigpants mumbled and began to tremble. "We found it open right here."
"It was him, all him!" Swolthy shouted. He pointed at Prigpants. "He made me do it, and I swears I had no involvement. Please don't hurt me!"
Kyshriek shook her head and sighed.
"Clearly, you weren't the ones to subdue Balthazar." She lowered her fists.
Prigpants slapped Swolthy with his wing.
"Alright, then if you're not the thugs who kidnapped Balthazar, who are you and why do you have this crate?" she asked.
"I am Detective Prigpants and this is my assistant, Swolthy. We are investigating the disappearance of the town's silver and may I ask whom you are?" Prigpants retorted. He straightened his collar.
"I am Kyshriek, Defender of Neopia," she replied.
"Ah!" Prigpants exclaimed with a wide smile. "You must be the hero that Judge Hog was talking about. You really are quite late."
"I had a few snags to say the least," she remarked. She glanced down at her singed paw.
"We have been instructed to give you all we have found during our investigation." Prigpants rustled in his jacket pocket and handed her a bunch of papers with investigative notes scribbled on them. "To bring you up to speed: silver items all over Neovia have been disappearing and we don't know who the culprit is. What we have deduced is that whoever took the silver must be in the Town Hall."
"What would somebody want with all of that silver?" Kyshriek thought aloud. She paused for a moment, glancing upwards and seeing that it was a full Kreludan moon. "Oh no, it's a full moon!"
She rushed through the back door of the Town Hall and up the long winding staircase. She came to the top of the staircase and found a locked door that led to the clock tower and heard maniacal laughter on the other side of the door.
"Open up!" she shouted as she pounded on the heavy iron door.
There came no response from inside the room. She decided that she would have to take drastic measures. She began to strike the door, leaving massive welts in the iron. On the third strike, the door collapsed inward with a deafening thud.
The dust stung her eyes and she coughed. When her vision returned she saw Balthazar standing with his head down staring at the floor. In the far corner of the room, next to the face of the clock, stood a silhouetted figured wearing a sinister grin.
"Ah, you made it just in time for the festivities," the shrouded figure growled.
"What have you done to Balthazar?" Kyshriek coughed out.
"I've simply made him more obedient," the figure stepped into the light that was leaking in through the transparent face of the clock, revealing his identity.
"Krawley!" she shouted.
Mr. Krawley was a nasty purple Krawk who was originally behind the plight of Neovia many years ago. He disappeared promptly after his first plan seemed to go up in smoke but it seems as though he simply wanted the Town Hall vacant for his true sinister plot.
"Behold my finest creation," Krawley exclaimed. He raised his scaly claws towards Balthazar as the moon light trickled onto the captive blue Lupe. "Bastion Balthazar!"
As the light from the moon rolled onto where Balthazar was standing, he began to growl violently. He shifted and began to grow. His claws extended and became sharper, his face twisted into a crazed snarl and his muscles grew wildly. He let out a ferocious roar that shattered all the windows in the clock tower.
Krawley had discovered that he could control Balthazar by constructing a metallic collar made from pure silver. He had also forced Balthazar to drink the potion he had tested out on Neovia several years ago that transformed the residents into mindless monsters. He accounted for the massive growth and needed a large amount of silver to construct a collar that would properly fit.
Krawley yanked a nearby rope and a massive silver collar dropped over Balthazar's neck. The massive beast struggled for a moment until Krawley snapped his claws, bringing the hulking beast to attention.
Kyshriek stumbled backwards and bumped into a table, which knocked an ornate looking book onto the floor.
Krawley jolted forward and had a panicked look on his face.
"Watch where you are stepping, you oaf!" he shouted in anger.
"This book looks very important," she looked at the fallen book and back up at Krawley.
"Stay away from that book!" Krawley snapped. "Get her, Balthazar!"
Balthazar sneered and lurched towards her. Kyshriek grabbed the book and ran towards him. He grabbed at her but she was able to avoid his claws by sliding between his legs. She ran into the opposite corner of the room and Balthazar gave chase.
"Stop or I will destroy this book!" she shouted. She held the book between her paws and was ready to tear it in half.
Krawley cringed and motioned for Balthazar to stop.
"That's good. This book is important to you, isn't it?" She smiled.
"You cannot comprehend the power that you hold in your hands, foolish Kyrii. Now return the book to me," Krawley growled at her.
She thought for a moment about what the odd Elephante told her in the forest.
"I don't think so, Krawley. I'm taking this book back to where it rightfully belongs," she said. She began to back up towards one of the shattered windows.
Krawley began to panic.
"No!" he snarled angrily. "Get her, before she escapes!"
Balthazar began to charge towards her. Kyshriek swallowed hard and jumped out of the broken window as she clutched the book tightly. She landed on the ground hard and rolled several feet.
Moments later Balthazar came crashing through the wall of the clock tower, which scattered the townsfolk and rained debris down over Neovia square. He began to trudge slowly towards her with a fierce look in his eyes.
"I came as fast as I could," a familiar voice rang out. It was Lightning Lenny.
He motioned for her to get on to his back.
"Let's get out of here!" he shouted.
Kyshriek, still gripping the book tightly, hopped onto Lightning's back and he took off like a flash with Balthazar fast in tow.
"We need to get this book back to the Elephante!" Kyshriek told Lightning. "I'll point you in the direction of his camp."
Lightning Lenny ran at blinding speed, forcing Kyshriek to hold fast.
"I had an audience with Fyora to ask for aid when a dishevelled looking young Fire Faerie came rushing in with important news," Lightning explained. "She told us the story about how Balthazar was captured and brought to Neovia and so I set out as fast as I could. Looks like I made it just in time."
"You could say that," Kyshriek chuckled.
They had put some distance between them and Balthazar however, with the Lupe's tracking skills and sense of smell it would not be long before he found them. They had to find the camp soon.
"Do you think this pink Elephante has something to do with all of this?" Lightning asked as Kyshriek continued to point directions.
"He told me that a very important book was stolen from him and it seemed that this book was pretty significant to Krawley too. I'm not sure but I think they could be related," she replied.
"There –!" She pointed to a small camp set up just off the walking path.
Lightning slowed down as they arrived into the camp.
The Elephante sat on the log and he was still wearing the same smile.
"Welcome back, young one," the Elephante greeted them calmly.
"Is this your book?" Kyshriek puffed. She handed him the ornately decorated tome.
The Elephante's face lit up as he set his eyes on the book.
"Yes, this is it!" he chimed happily. He hastily tucked the book into the fabric bag and tied the string.
"We need to get you out of here right now," Lightning shouted. He kept looking back towards Neovia.
"That won't be necessary." The Elephante did not seem panicked.
Kyshriek looked at Lightning with a perplexed look.
"What do you mean?" she asked the odd Elephante.
"This book holds great magic," he replied. He patted the bag gently. "It also contains great evil. Sometimes that evil can get out and wreak havoc."
"Are you saying that all of these events were due to some dusty old book?" Kyshriek shouted in disbelief.
"Yes," the Elephante replied simply. "Krawley lives in this book. When Balthazar stole this book from me, he inadvertently released him. By returning the book to the bag I can seal him and all his foul magic within the pages."
"But," Kyshriek interjected, "how was he responsible for the attack on Defender Headquarters? You told me that Balthazar had just passed through your camp,"
"I apologize if I was not completely forthright with you," the Elephante said. He smiled as he began to pack his camp up into his cart. "I staged the attack on your headquarters to set these chains of events in place."
"What?" Kyshriek shouted angrily and leapt towards him.
Lightning grabbed her and restrained her.
"It was the only way," the Elephant explained. "The Defenders of Neopia were our only chance to intervene before Krawley could release his creation on Neopia and we would not have a chance."
"You could have killed us or innocent Neopets!" she screamed.
"I took great care to ensure nobody would be harmed," he insisted. "For now, Krawley is safely sealed away in the pages of this book. He cannot harm anyone whilst he is in his silky prison."
Kyshriek wrestled free from Lightning and scoffed.
"You are a monster. Get out of here before I make you sorry that you ever set up camp here," she sneered. She turned away in disgust.
The Elephante just smiled and resumed packing.
Lightning and Kyshriek started to walk away from the camp. Kyshriek was still feeling uneasy about what had just transpired. She wanted more answers from the Elephante but when she turned around to walk back, the space he had been occupying was completely empty. She froze in place and could not believe her eyes. Lightning took a double take as well.
The two of them carried on back to Defenders Headquarters, which had been relocated while it was being reconstructed.
"...that is what happened," Kyshriek said. She finished her debrief with Judge Hog.
"That would explain why we got a strange report of Balthazar wandering around the Haunted Woods disoriented," Judge Hog commented. "Well, nobody was seriously hurt and it seems as though we have gotten everything else under control. Good work Defenders!"
As the Defenders began clearing out of the room, Aisheena walked up to Kyshriek.
"I heard you handled yourself very well on your first official mission," she said, placing a hand on Kyshriek's shoulder.
"Thank you, Aisheena. I just wish that there wasn't such a big mess to clean up," Kyshriek replied.
"Nobody was seriously injured and that is the most important thing," Aisheena said with a smile. "Cheer up. How about I take you to Neovia for some apple bobbing?"
"Yuck!" Kyshriek exclaimed and shook her head. "I HATE apples!"
They both started to laugh.
"Well in that case, there is a lot to do for the clean-up and repair," Aisheena said. She motioned towards the Neopian Plaza.
"Let's do it. I could use a vacation," Kyshriek quipped.
* * *
Meanwhile back in Neovia...
"Another mystery solved!" Prigpants declared. "We figured out what happened to all the silver items, we were able to sell the weird looking hoop we found in the woods and we were able to purchase all new wares to replace the ones that were stolen."
"What should we do about the massive hole in the clock tower?" Swolthy asked. He pointed upwards to the gaping hole in the wall.
"Let's make it a solarium," Prigpants replied and smiled.
"Brilliant!" Swolthy exclaimed. He grinned as they cheerfully walked back to their shop.
The two green Pteris walked past them and down the street gossiping away when one of them stubbed her foot on a purplish bag on the ground.
"Oy, what's this then?" she asked herself. She picked it up and examined the bag. "It's pure rubbish. Off to the trash with ye!" she said, tossing the bag into the nearby well and walked away.