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Petpet Name: Radoznalost
Pet Name: Willowbruk
There was just something so mysterious about Mystery Island.
It was hard to say what Willowbruk enjoyed most about it. The natives were a tonne of fun to be around. The food was pleasant, the fruit particularly tasty. The island itself was beautiful, with its pristine white beaches and the clear blue ocean water surrounding it. But if Willow, the adventurous Acara explorer, had to choose what he liked the most about Mystery Island, it would definitely be the air of mystery that surrounded the Lost City of Geraptiku.
As the blue Acara tiptoed into the city, the joyful, carefree aura of the island faded away to be replaced by the menacing silence of Geraptiku. There were no birds squawking merrily in the trees, no islanders laughing as they played beach volleyball or relaxed on the sand. No, Geraptiku was eerily quiet. Willow could hear nothing beyond his nervous breathing and the soft pad-pad-pad of his paws in the dirt.
By far the scariest thing about Geraptiku was its silence. The ruins were just that -- ruins. Deserted. Abandoned. Empty. Willow didn't know where the dwellers of the city (Geraptikuans? Geraptiki?) had gone, or why they had left. Or what had driven them away...
As Willow moved further into the ruins of the city, the silence grew. It pressed down on his ears. It crept into his throat. It terrified the poor Acara. Suddenly Willow wished that something, anything, would make a sound. He wished a wind would rustle the leaves of the trees, or an abandoned straw hut would collapse in on itself, or those pesky Petpets that clustered in a corner of the ruins and nipped at his fur if he got too close would --
Willow stared at the little yellow something that had appeared from nowhere to stand on its hind legs and look up at him. He recognised it as a Morkou, an elusive Geraptiku Petpet that a Kougran archaeologist had told him about. "Hello, little one," Willow whispered. His voice sounded very loud in the silence of the ruins.
"Chrrrp." The little Morkou blinked once, then trotted in a circle around Willow, sniffing him. Willow backed off a little to stare at the Morkou nose-to-nose. "Curious fellow, aren't you?" He grinned. "Looks like we have something in common."
The Morkou blinked again at Willow, then dropped onto all fours and scurried away.
"Hey -- hey, come back!" Willow yelled, then flinched at how far his shout had carried. He ran after the little feathered Petpet and finally caught up with him at...
The entrance to the Deserted Tomb.
Willow stared at the Morkou and the Morkou stared right back, his purple eyes gleaming in a way that seemed to say, "Well? Are you an explorer, or aren't you?" Willow smiled slightly, and looked to the stone door to the Tomb. It was slightly ajar, beckoning him in. He was an explorer, and he couldn't resist the chance of finding treasure or eternal glory when it stared him in the eye and dared him forward.
"After you, little buddy," Willow said.
The Morkou chirped and slipped through the door. Willowbruk took a deep, nervous breath, and followed.
It was dark, but not completely so. There was no source of light that Willow could see, but it was just bright enough for him to see the little yellow Morkou trotting ahead of him, leading the way. As Willow had no idea where he was going, he followed the Petpet down a steep stone corridor, around several sharp corners and into a large empty room.
The Morkou stopped and stood up on its hind legs, sniffing at the air. Whatever it could smell made the little Petpet start to shiver, but it fell back onto all fours and continued bravely onward. Willow followed, oblivious to the Morkou's fear. The room looked empty, not menacing. Maybe the Tomb wasn't as dangerous as everybody th--
The Morkou squealed and hurried backward, away from the trap that had sprung closed only inches from its feet. Willow gulped, eyeing the spiked steel of the trap. If it had closed around the little Morkou...
"Do you want to go back?" Willow whispered, touching the Petpet gently with a paw. It looked up at him, then away, and trotted to the end of the room, giving the steel trap a wide berth.
"I guess that's a 'no’'," commented the Acara as he followed.
Three winding corridors later, the two adventurers came across a second seemingly empty room. Willow knew better now, though, than to think that there was nothing to be worried about. The Morkou trotted over to a corner and picked up a stone in its front claws, then tossed the stone into the centre of the room.
A giant wall of flame sprung up from the floor and burned all the way to the ceiling. The Morkou squealed, Willow gasped, and they both backed away from the fire -- but it stopped almost as quickly as it had started, vanishing into thin air. The Petpet crept over to where the flame had come from and prodded the stone floor. When nothing happened, he gestured for Willow to follow and the two of them moved into the corridor beyond.
Two hours and five traps later, Willow and the Morkou stopped before a giant stone door that was slightly ajar. "We went in a circle!" Willow sighed, recognising the door as the entrance to the Tomb. "All that effort, and we're back to where we started..."
"Chrrp." It was hard to say, but it almost sounded as though the Morkou was telling Willow off. The little Petpet crept over to the door and rose up on its hind legs. It sniffed the stone and poked its head through the opening, then slipped through.
Willow followed, expecting to emerge into the silence of the ruined city. What he saw was not what he expected.
It was another stone room, but much, much larger than the ones that had housed traps. It also wasn't empty. In the centre of the room stood a small stone plinth, about Willow's own height. And resting on top of the plinth was a gold chest.
The treasure of the Lost City of Geraptiku.
"I found it," Willow breathed in shock.
The little Morkou squeaked indignantly.
"Oh -- sorry. You found it. I just tagged along." Willow chuckled as he lifted the chest carefully off its plinth and set it on the ground. "Nice work, little guy! I could sure use a friend like you along on my explorations. Say, if we make it out of here alive, wanna come with me to Krawk Island? Sure, there are pirates and scary folk there, but there's also a chance at buried treasure..."
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