The Case of the Lying Letter: Part Five
Also by tambourine_chimp
With growing anxiety, Cali zipped down Mystery
Island, searching every inch of it for TigerWing… and Wiseguy. This is terrible,
Cali thought, now TWO of my family members are missing.
"TigerWing, if you're there, please answer me!"
Cali called, hoping to hear just the tiniest squawk from the purple Pteri. She
was near the Trading Post, when she spotted a large group of blue Kougras.
Discreetly, she lowered her eyes to their paws
as she walked by, and saw that none of there left claws were missing. She pulled
herself through the Trading Post's line to meet Kojak, who was leaning casually
against a palm tree.
I saw Cali sauntering over to me. I could tell
she was disappointed. "Any luck?"
"None whatsoever," she said gravely, and I could
feel my face heating up. Okay, so it might have been a little bit of my fault
that TigerWing was gone. Poor Wocky, I thought, missing both of her
"I swear I've checked every claw on every Kougra
on this darn island. None of them have one missing."
"Well… maybe another one grows back after one
falls back," suggested Cali.
"One does grow back," I said, "but not in a
twenty-four hour period."
Since it was getting close to lunchtime, I stopped
at the Tropical Foods shop and purchased a Cocoa Juppie. It would have tasted
better if I had a better heads-up on this case.
So after the small lunch, I walked down the
beach on the west side of the island, while Cali searched the east. There was
basically no one walking along the beach, so I had it all to myself. The waves
lapped against the sandbar and the palm trees swayed in the breeze from the
After I passed the Island Market, my attention
was drawn to a little hut: The Island Mystic's Hut. There was a bridge connected
to it since it was an island of its own. My curiosity got the better of me,
so I cautiously made my way across the bridge. The wooden door was slightly
ajar, and I pushed it open.
Inside sat the Island Mystic, a Kyrii with a
thick yellow mane and strange markings on his face. I sat down across from him.
"You have come for your fortune?"
"Yeah, sure," I said, wondering why I was wasting
my time here. These so-called "fortunes" were supposed to be a load of Kau dung.
The Island Mystic's eyes became clouded and he said,
"You will make an amazing discovery in Techo
"Okay, thanks," I muttered, rising up.
"Come back tomorrow."
Rolling my eyes, I started across the bridge,
and it wasn't until I was on the ground again when something occurred to me.
Techo Mountain. 'You will make an amazing discovery
in Techo Mountain.' Amazing discovery? I felt a growing excitement swell in
my chest… Wiseguy could be in Techo Mountain! No, Wiseguy was in Techo
Mountain. That had to be it; everywhere else was searched.
All dignity forgotten, I sprinted down the island
screaming for Cali. I found her out the Training School, watching the Neopets
Every second counted now, I tugged on Cali's
paw and said, "Come on, I know where Wiseguy is!"
She didn't have time to react, because I was
dragging her over to Techo Mountain. I stopped at the base, staring up into
the carved Techo's face.
"We have to get up there."
"Wiseguy is in there."
"Wiseguy is in Techo Mountain? But… but…"
her eyes grew unsure, "how do you know for a fact?"
I quickly explained the Island Mystic's prediction.
"You believed what he told you?" Cali asked,
"but his fortunes aren't accurate…"
"Well this one is," I said, with a glint in
my eye, "come on, we have to get up to the top."
The easiest way to get to the peak was through
an evening Tour Guide. A red Techo took a group, along with Cali and I, up the
winding path of the mountain. I wasn't really listening to what he was saying,
as I was figuring out how we could drift from the group once we were at the
top. We passed rows of lanterns that were hanging from the walls, illuminating
the way to the top. As we made it to the peak the tour guide let us all rest
a minute and enjoy the view.
Unfortunately, our group had lounged around
for twenty minutes. I started to feel impatient and I found myself yelling,
"Okay, I think that's enough resting everyone,
let's move down to the bottom now, I'm sure we've had enough view for one day!"
And to my surprise, all of the Neopets, and the tour guide climbed to their
feet and started down the mountain. I pulled Cali around to the other side of
the peak, so we could be inconspicuous.
I made my way around the mountain, slowing winding
down until at last I found a large crevice in the side when Cali and I could
possibly get in.
"I think I've found an entrance," I began, "though
I'm not sure how far down it is…"
"You mean it's a vertical drop?" Cali echoed
"Well yeah," I said, "The lava pit is in the
center of the mountain, and so the sides must be where the secret passages are
that the old Techos built in 100 B.N."
Cali raised an eyebrow and I mumbled, "I read
it in a brochure… now, hand me that lantern will you?" I motioned to a lantern
hanging from the mountain wall, and Cali plucked it off and passed it to me.
I slid through the crevice in the wall and waved the lantern around. The drop
was only a couple of yards.
"Excellent!" I stated.
"If we jump down there, how will we know that
there's a way out without going back up?"
"The kidnapper was able to get out," I said,
more to myself than her, "so there has to be another way in. This way is just
I was ready to jumped when Cali said quietly,
"You don't think that TigerWing got kidnapped
to, do you?"
"TigerWing?" I echoed. "I don't know. It's a
good theory, yes. But if she did get herself kidnapped we're going to find her,
probably the same place where Wiseguy is."
"Here goes nothing!" I called, but it probably
sounded like, "'ere guss nuffink!" since I had the lantern's handle in my mouth.
I landed with a soft thud on a cold and damp
floor. Cali was up above me, her purple eyes glowing. She squeezed them shut
and there was a blur of fire-colored fur shooting down from the peak. She landed
beside me and brushed herself off.
"Wow," Cali breathed as she looked around. The
walls were moist and the air was cool. I raised my lantern up to the walls only
to see that fungus was growing on them, from the moisture.
Cali was waving her arms frantically. I padded
over to her, with the lantern handle between my teeth again. She had found a
narrow passageway leading to a dark room. There was a flight of stone stairs
in front of us and Cali was all ready zipping down them.
"Careful," I muttered, "We don't know where it
The lantern's flame danced on the walls as I
walked down the last steps.
Cali seemed to be frozen up ahead of me. I caught
up to her to see what she was looking at. In front of us was an enormous room,
so big that you could fit ten Neohomes in it. The ceiling was sloped up at the
top, meaning that we had gone under the peak, and this was the center.
But the amazing thing was a stone statue of a
Techo in the center of the room. He was in a sitting position, with his arms
folded together on his lap. The statue had been risen up on a stone platform,
so it seemed that he was taller. I stood next to it, and my head just reached
the base of the platform.
The walls held rows of torches, so an eerie orange
light was cast onto the Techo's body, making him seem real.
"Are we… below the lava pit?" Cali wondered aloud.
"I don't know, but we should keep searching,"
I muttered, and Cali looked like she didn't want to leave this room… I couldn't
blame her, though. The room was so amazing. But Wiseguy and the kidnapper were
more important. As we started into the hallway, my keen sense of smell picked
up something. Not the stale smell of the mountain air, or the smell of the torches
on the walls, no, it was a Neopet's scent.
We rounded the corner and I saw a small figure
curled up with his or her head down. The thing that struck me odd was a faint
"Wiseguy?" Cali asked eagerly.
The Neopet stood up and I saw that it was a Wocky:
a glowing Wocky.
"Cali?" the Wocky called.
Cali ran over and embraced him. It was
Wiseguy, after all. Then a figure swooped down and hugged Cali and Wiseguy too.
"You found us, you found us!" I recognized a Pteri's chirp. I couldn't help
but smile. TigerWing was safe too, along with Wiseguy.
"Wiseguy," Cali said, dragging him over to where
I was standing. "This is Kojak_hommes. Kojak's a detective and he helped us
I was about to greet Wiseguy when a third figure
stepped out of the shadows. It was the blue Kougra. And as I lowered my lantern
to the ground, I saw that he had a claw missing from his left front paw.
"Watch out!" I yelled, and the trio spun around.
The blue Kougra was coming towards us, with a smirk on his face. He picked up
one of the torches off of the wall.
He waved the torch around, so close to us that
I could feel immense heat. "Don't anyone move," he hissed.
To be continued...