Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 192,519,493 Issue: 651 | 27th day of Relaxing, Y16
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One Route to Altador: Part One

by _torchic__


The dawning sun spread its golden light upon Neopia Central, as Beekadoodles hopped along the grass, drinking the morning dew. Somewhere nearby a Peadackle crowed in its delight to the sky. Abernathe sighed and snuggled deeper into her pearly white pillow.

      "Wake up! Wake up! Everybody everywhere!" Sugarchick and Climene screeched as they skipped hand-in-hand into Abernathe's room.

      "Guess what, Ab! Guess what!" Climene yelled as she and Sugarchick jumped on the poor Ixi's bed.

      "What? Go away..." Abernathe mumbled sleepily as she brushed a strand of her russet hair off her face.

      "We aren't going to tell you anything unless you get up and eat your breakfast!" Sugarchick announced.

      "Fine," Abernathe answered as she climbed out of bed and headed towards the door.

      Climene and Sugarchick raced past her and tumbled down the stairs, squealing with laughter. Abernathe trailed behind them, sourly wishing her sisters were never painted baby. Sugarchick and Climene were much more mature when they were left as a plain Bruce and Eyrie!

      When Abernathe entered the kitchen, she was surprised to find the whole rest of the family happily eating breakfast.

      "Morning, sleepyhead! You are the last person to wake up!" Region4, Abernathe's brother said cheerily between a spoonful of purple negg.

      "Good morning, Region! It was so peaceful until the Twin Terrors dropped by my room," Abernathe replied.

      Climene looked up from her Florg Os cereal. "We only wanted Ab to get up to hear the important news!" she said innocently.

      "What news?" Éclair, the owner of the pets asked suspiciously. "You might as well share it with the rest of your family."

      "Okay, fine!" Climene said. "The news is that-"

      "The Altador Cup signups have begun!" Sugarchick blurted.

      "WHAT?" Abernathe jumped from her seat. "Why-"

      "Do you know when the games begin? Region4 interrupted.

      "Of course, silly!" Climene answered. "Practice ends in eight days."

      "Good!" Éclair exclaimed, clearly relieved. "We have plenty of time to travel to Altador."

      "What?!" Everyone cried.

      "You mean... We are actually going to Altador to watch the games?" Abernathe asked breathlessly.

      "Oh," Eclair said, disappointed. "I thought you would want to play Yooyuball instead of watch it, Ab."

      Abernathe's jaw dropped. "This is too much..." she said.

      Climene rolled her eyes. "Ugh, enough with the drama! When are we leaving?"

      Éclair laughed. "If you four can clean the house and get packed today, then I'll head over to the marketplace and shop for snacks and other goods. All clear?"

      "Aye aye, captain!" everyone shouted.

      The rest of the day was just a blur. Everyone had forgotten about breakfast in all the excitement, and Éclair immediately set out to buy supplies, leaving her pets to clean and pack.

      "I'm never going to scratch this floor again!" Abernathe declared, while polishing the wooden kitchen floor.

      When Climene came by to serve Abernathe cold lemonade, she gasped at her sister's work.

      "Whoa! I never knew a kitchen floor could look this shiny before! You deserve nice, icy cold lemonade to quench your thirst!" she said while handing Abernathe a glass of lemonade.

      Abernathe gratefully accepted the glass, and greedily drank the cold lemonade. "Nothing like cold lemonade after working hard!" she said. "How has your room been going, Climene?

      Climene scowled. "My side is clean, but Sugarchick insists on finishing the hallways first! Huh!"

      Abernathe smiled. "If you are done with your job, why don't you start packing?"

      Climene's face brightened at the idea. "Good idea!" she said, and then hurried of to serve the rest of the lemonade.

      I might as well start packing too, Abernathe thought, and headed up the stairs.

      As soon as Abernathe entered her room, she began to search for all her Altador Cup gear and extra clothes. She was just beginning to look for a bag to pack her things in when she heard the front door open downstairs, and Éclair stepping into the house.

      "Come downstairs, everyone!" Éclair shouted. "I have some news!"

      "I'm coming!" Abernathe shouted, and ran down the stairs.

      Once everyone was seated around Éclair, she began to share her news.

      "First off," Éclair began, "since I see you all have cleaned the house, we will leave early tomorrow morning."

      "Hurray!" everyone cheered.

      "Now," Éclair continued, "I will show you our course." Éclair took out a beautiful map of Neopia, clearly brand new, and began to point out the route they would take. "First, we will leave Neopia Central and travel south, until we reach Faerieland. From there, we will travel southeast to the Lost Desert; continue to travel southeast, until we come to the sea. There we will sail across the sea in a ship, which I have bought tickets for, to get to Altador."

      "We get to see the faeries!" Sugarchick and Climene shouted with delight.

      "I actually get to sail across the sea!" Abernathe said dreamily.

      "I might get to try burnt neggs!" Region4 chuckled.

      "Okay, I know we are all excited, but I need you all to pack the snacks and make sandwiches, if you are finished packing your things, while I make lunch and dinner," Éclair ordered.

      By the time everything was finished, everyone had already eaten lunch and dinner, and Abernathe was tired and worn out from all the excitement.

      "I'm going to bed, see you the morning." She yawned.

      Abernathe slowly walked up the stairs and into her room, trying to absorb all that had happened.

      "I'm really going to Altador," she mumbled, as she lazily crept onto her bed, and immediately fell asleep.


      Abernathe woke with a start. She looked around her room, trying to remember what had happened the other day. She caught sight of her packed bags, and shot out of her bed.

      "I'm going to Altador," she thought aloud.

      Abernathe ran out of her room and into the hallway, whooping and shouting.

      "Wake up! Wake up! We are going to Altador!"

      She sped down the hall, into Sugarchick and Climene's room, and jumped on Sugarchick's bed.

      "Wake up, sleepyhead!" she shouted happily. "Don't you want to go to Altador?"

      Sugarchick bolted out of her bed and jumped onto Climene.

      "Wake up! We can't let Ab hog the glory of waking up all of Neopia Central!" Sugarchick cried.

      Climene moodily opened one eye. "Ab already succeeded at that," she grumbled.

      "Sorry!" Abernathe laughed.

      "I don't know about you," Climene said, "but I feel like pouncing on a certain sleeping Cybunny that goes by the name of Region4."

      Climene jumped out of bed and sneaked down the hall towards Region4's room, with Abernathe and Sugarchick trailing behind her.

      When the three siblings walked into Region4's bedroom, they froze at the sound of Éclair's stern voice behind them.

      "There will be no more shouting from you three, unless you wish to leave for our trip to Altador next week," she ordered.

      "But... Altador Cup will have already started by then..." Climene said pitifully.

      "I know that, you silly little Eyrie!" Éclair said cheerily. "Come downstairs and eat your breakfast with Region."

      Once everyone was finished with breakfast, Éclair shipped the heavy bags they would not need until they came to Altador ahead of them to the Lost Desert, and they began to set out to the main shops of Neopia Central.

      "First stop is the bank!" Éclair announced.

      When they got to the bank, Abernathe, Sugarchick, Climene and Region4 sat on a wooden bench inside the building, impatiently waiting for Éclair.

      "Good morning, Madam. It is great to see you. What can I do for you on this fine morning?" the green Skeith at the front desk asked Éclair.

      "I would like to withdraw fifty thousand neopoints, sir," Éclair answered.

      Abernathe raised her eyebrows. On only very, very special occasions would her owner withdraw so much money!

      When Éclair came back, she smiled at Abernathe's surprised expression.

      "I suppose we would like to bring some goods home from the trip," Éclair explained.

      When they finally left the bank, they started to head southward. As the passed by the Rainbow Pool, Climene glanced at the glistening waters of the pool.

      "Good by, Rainbow Pool," Abernathe heard Climene whisper.

      Abernathe smiled when remembering Climene's affection for the Rainbow Pool. It was there Climene wished she would like to grow wings when she was a yellow Wocky, and it was there where, as an Eyrie, her final wish to become a baby again came true.

      Abernathe's daydreaming was rudely interrupted by Climene's shouting.

      "Hey look, Sugarchick! It is Kauvara's Magic Shop!" Climene giggled. "Remember how I drank a Green Eyrie Morphing Potion there?"

      "Heeheehee!" Sugarchick giggled back. "Remember how you smacked right into Kauvara's sign?"

      "Humph!" Climene rolled her eyes.

      As the group continued to walk through the grass, Neopia Central slowly disappeared from their sight. Gradually the grass became a darker green, and the snowy mountains came into view as the group passed by Kiko Lake, which could be seen in the distance.

      "Aren't we going to stop by Kiko Lake?" Region4 asked.

      "No, we must get to the Lost Desert before noon tomorrow," Éclair answered. "Our ship to Altador leaves at noon."

      Kiko Lake was more visible, and to Abernathe's dismay, the Haunted Woods was visible, too. Abernathe shivered at the thought of passing through that awful place. She hated to imagine poor Sugarchick or Climene getting lost in the woods, or possibly captured...

      "Hey look!" Sugarchick shouted excitedly. "What is that over there?"

      "Over where?" Abernathe asked, confused.

      Region4 started to jump up and down. "Hey, looky! I see it! Straight ahead! It is a purple tower!"

      Excitement boiled through Abernathe.


To be continued...

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