Dreaming of Adventure: Part Two
When Ramona realized that Jace and Ellie were gone, she had immediately gotten Stevie and Stacie and set out after the missing babies. Being Terror Mountain, snow was almost constantly falling and there were no tracks to follow. The brown Kacheek had no leads and could only walk along the snowy paths, feeling hopeless. Every few steps she would call out but got no response. After an hour of fruitless searching, Stacie was heavy in her arms, sleeping and Stevie was trudging along beside her.
“Excuse me but are you alright?”
Ramona was stopped in her tracks looking at a Yurble and jelly Shoyru standing before her. It was the Yurble that had addressed her but they both looked concerned. Seeing them, Ramona could not hold back her pent-up emotions any longer. She told them the entire story. When she finished, the two strangers did not hesitate.
“There is no one that knows Terror Mountain than I do. I will search for Jace and Ellie. I will bring them back here when I find them,” the Yurble said, nodding to the inn that they happened to be standing in front of before racing away.
“For now, we should get these two inside. I am sure a meal and hot drink will do wonders for you all,” the jelly Shoyru said, taking Stacie in her arms.
The four Neopets entered a nearby inn. They all got servings of Beef and Veggie Soup and thick slices of bread to dunk in their soup. Stacie sat across from the adult Shoyru and next to Ramona while Stevie sat across from her and next to the adult Shoyru. Stacie fixed her large pink gaze on the jelly Shoyru and would not look away. Many Neopets would have found this direct eye contact uncomfortable but the adult Shoyru barely noticed, keeping an eye on Stevie since the baby Elephante was a messy eater.
“This helped a lot. Thank you so much,” Ramona said.
“You are welcome. We would do the same for anyone. Do not worry about Jace and Ellie. My brother will find them. My name is Sweet, by the way,” the jelly Shoyru said.
Stevie paused, spoon in his mouth as he eyed Sweet thoughtfully. “Do you taste like grape jelly? You smell like it. I like grape jelly even though it is not my favorite. I love peanut butter best.”
“Stevie!” Ramona gasped, mortified at her charge’s question.
Sweet smiled at the baby Elephante, clearly not offended. “It is alright, really, Ramona. It is a question a lot of adults, especially Skeiths, love to ask. The answer is no, I do not taste like grape jelly, Stevie.”
The baby Elephante seemed a little disappointed by this answer. “Oh, so that must mean other food painted Neopets do not taste like chocolate or custard or strawberries. Ramona, can we have dessert now?”
Ramona chuckled. “Yes, Stevie. We can have dessert now.”
They were served a plate of cookies. Ramona had a cup of Banana Cream Coffee while Sweet had green tea and the babies had cups of hot chocolate. Comfortably warm and full, Stacie had once more fallen asleep. Ramona was thankful that Stevie and Stacie were safe but she still could not keep her mind off the missing babies. Sweet, ever sensitive to the needs of others, noticed the brown Kacheeks’ frame of mind.
Sweet gave Ramona a reassuring smile. “Jace and Ellie be fine. My brother is on their trail as we speak,”
~ ~ ~
Sweet’s brother moved swiftly, unperturbed by the cold. His thick fur was perfectly suited to Terror Mountain. Like Ramona, he had no clue of where to start in his search for Jace and Ellie. Though, he knew he had to start somewhere. So, determined to ease the deeply troubled Kacheek, he stopped everyone he saw, asking if they had seen the missing babies. Almost everyone shook their heads no but the Yurble did not let this discourage him. His persistence finally paid off.
“Excuse me, sir but have you seen a baby Acara or baby Korbat today?” Sweet’s brother looked up at yet another Neopet.
At mention of the missing babies, the snow Draik curled his lip in disgust. “Yes, unfortunately, I have seen a baby Acara and a baby Korbat today.”
“Really? Where did you see them?”
“They were getting in the way of my work while I was sculpting in the snow. They almost ruined it after I had been working on it all morning!”
“Where would this be?”
“In Snowy Fields, of course. Where else can anyone find the best snow for sculpting?”
“I know exactly where that is! Thank you so much for your help, sir!”
Delighted at this news, the Yurble left the rather bewildered snow Draik behind him.
With his first tip spurring him on, the Yurble dashed through the snow, coming to Snowy Fields. It was the most popular place for any Neopet that wanted to build snowmen. About a dozen dotted the snow in various stages of completion. Once more, he had to go from Neopet to Neopet and once more see more heads shake no. He flicked his cinnamon roll ears and continued on. He would have left when a voice called out to him.
“Hey, did you say you were looking for a baby Acara and a baby Korbat?” A disco Blumaroo waved towards the Yurble.
“Their names were Jace and Ellie,” an electric Cybunny added.
“They were really fun and helped us build that snowman over there.”
The Blumaroo pointed to a snowman with a wobbly smile, one arm and a crooked hat. It certainly looked like children had a hand in building it.
“They did not say where they were going but they headed that way,” the Cybunny offered, using one long ear to point past the snowman.
“Thank you for the information,” the Yurble said, with a dip of his head.
Sweet’s brother truly was thankful because it meant that he was one step closer to finding Jace and Ellie. Since so much time had passed, he felt that he would not find the missing babies around the next bend. Though, there was one thing he did know.
“I will find them.”
~ ~ ~
“This is so stupid!” Ellie shrieked for the umpteenth time as she once more fell on her backside on the ice.
Jace fell to the ice too but he collapsed with laughter.
The two babies had come across a frozen pond with Neopets gliding gracefully, across the smooth surface. Jace had been the one to suggest they try it out. He had taken to his skates like he had been born with them. Ellie, however, was not having such an easy time. She was completely fed up and had had enough.
Glaring daggers at her friend, the baby Korbat lifted off of the ice with a few flaps of her wings and flopped clumsily onto the nearby bank. As she yanked off her skates, her friend came to sit beside her.
“OK, you do not like ice skating even though it is a lot of fun. What do you want to do?” Jace asked, looking at Ellie as he removed his own skates.
Ellie frowned as she thought for a moment before she smiled. “I want to make snow angels!”
The two friends walked over to a clear patch of snow. With gusto the baby Korbat flopped back and spread out her wings. The baby Acara did the same. They jumped back up to see the shapes they had made.
“My snow angel is better than yours,” Ellie pointed out smugly.
“So? Yours should not count because you have wings and I do not,” Jace shot back.
Though argument was good natured, however and laughing, they returned their borrowed skates. Cold after making snow angles, the pair of babies got cups of hot chocolate from a nearby vendor.
Groups of Neopets were scattered around, talking and drinking their cups of hot chocolate or coffee. Jace and Ellie would have continued on but they overheard something that immediately caught their attention.
“Do you believe Jelly World exists?” a green Gelert asked.
A pastel Gnorbu snorted. “No!”
“Well I do!”
“Oh yeah and you probably believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny too!”
“Lofty says that he has been there and I believe in him.”
“He has traveled Neopia. He would know.”
“Lofty does not exaggerate. I suppose jelly has to come from somewhere.”
Jace and Ellie had listened to the adults’ conversation with wide eyes.
“That is the second time someone mentioned Lofty,” Jace said.
“Yeah, and he has been to Jelly World, like Cairo,” Ellie added.
The babies tossed their empty cups into a nearby trash bin. Then, Jace grabbed Ellie’s arm and whooped with excitement.
“Look, Ellie! This sign says the Ice Caves are this way!” Jace said, pointing to an arrow shaped sign.
“That is where the Snowager lives!” Ellie exclaimed, eyes wide.
“Yeah, let’s go!”
To be continued…