Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 113,211,275 Issue: 226 | 3rd day of Awakening, Y8
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series

Treasure of the Caves: Part Two

by ssjelitegirl


"Makes sense," Shad the Lupe nodded grimly, looking up at the Black Pawkeet's dark masts. "Who else than the recent Usul Thinks-he's-such-a-cool-guy Superhero would hoist the sails right after sunset?"

     "That's why we'll have to ask him if we want to leave the island tonight," Ice replied. Shad's ears moved back and forth, then he snorted, shrugged, almost fell down on his nose as shrugging isn't easy when you're sanding on four legs and eventually said: "Tsuki, you're supposed to be the diplomatic one here."

     The others chuckled. Tsuki may have had a quiet and friendly personality but his diplomatic skills meant that he tested some of his newer spells on everyone who wouldn't see things his way. The Shoyru floated up and landed aboard silently as always. It was filled with pirates who were busy preparing the ship for sailing off but nobody noticed him. Nobody was ever able to notice Tsuki unless he wanted to be seen, especially at night.

     Garin the Usul, the captain of the Black Pawkeet, the hero who had fought Captain Scarblade not so long time ago and had thus become one of Neopia's most famous inhabitants, was standing on the deck, shouting commands to his crew. He wanted to sail off as soon as possible. Why would they have to wait till sunrise? Nobody was tired or sleepy and most adventures take place at night, right? The young Usul looked at his ship with pride. Nobody had a ship like his, one thing certain!

     "You're Garin, I presume?" a shadow asked right next to him. The Usul gasped, turned around and stared into two dark blue eyes.

     "Who are you?" he demanded, pulling out his sword. The Shadow Shoyru emerged from the darkness and glanced at the sword shortly before looking up at Garin again.

     "Don't bother with that thing," he suggested. "My name's Tsuki. I'm a mage. I'm fully able to turn this sword into a Cobrall so you might as well put it away. My family and I need some help."

     "And why would I help you?" Garin asked with his eyes narrowing.

     "Good question," Tsuki agreed. "Well, right now I'm just asking you nicely. Please?" His voice was cold and quite ominous. Garin was a smart Usul. He wouldn't have gotten that far if he would've been yet another foolish adventurer.

     "I should probably feel very excited right now," Shad commented as the Black Pawkeet left the harbor and headed towards west. "I'm on the world-famous Black Pawkeet. Yay. I guess I should run down to the great pirate captain and ask for his autograph, huh?"

     "Drop the sarcasm already," Saura suggested, curling up under the main mast. "The night won't be easy. I can smell a storm. The great pirate captain took quite a mission here. If I were you, I'd try to get some sleep while I still can."

     "You don't need to be me to…" Saura had fallen asleep already. "Get some sleep," Shad finished grimly. "That Zafara is able to take a nap anywhere!"

     "He gets up early as well," Kat replied, leaning against the railing. "And he's right, a storm is coming. I wonder if the captain knows about it."

     "Knows about what?" Garin had showed up on the deck with quite a nervous look on his face. Tsuki had spent the last half hour floating right behind him - that was his idea of having fun - and the Usul was now very unsure about everything that was going on behind his back.

     "A storm is coming," the Uni said, looking towards the horizon. Her nostrils twitched. "Not a strong one but it's nighttime and you can never be too careful here. How long does it usually take to reach Krawk Island?"

     "Not more than a day," Garin replied, "but if what you say is true then it may take up to three or four days. You should go downstairs; you'll get in my crew's way when a storm breaks out."

     And the storm came. The pirates gave their best to take the Black Pawkeet through it and Tsuki fluttered along as well, tying a knot here and tightening a sail there. The rest of the family sat in the galley. Saura was still asleep, paying no attention to the fact that the ship was swinging around and he bumped against all sorts of boxes and barrels as he slid up and down the floor. His petpet Ace was sitting on top of a water barrel and hissing furiously. Ace was annoyed very easily and he was able to burn everything in sight when annoyed so the others had taken a few steps to prevent the fiery end of the Black Pawkeet.

     "I sure hope that the ship won't sink," Shad remarked, balancing on the floor. "That'd cause a serious flaw in our plan."

     "Yeah," Ice muttered sarcastically, hidden between two sacks of flour that softened her impacts with any loose objects, "swimming all the way to Mystery Island through a storm at midnight while dragging a sleeping Zafara and his grumpy petpet along sure sounds like fun, eh?"

     A glass fell down from the cupboard and broke. The Black Pawkeet moaned and screeched when a stronger breeze shook it. The floor suddenly turned almost vertical and then fell down again. Saura bumped against a potato sack and woke up.

     "Is it morning yet?" he asked with a yawn. The others stared at him. The Zafara scratched his head, sniffed the air, muttered "Hrmph, not even midnight" and curled up again. Five seconds later he was asleep. Ice trotted past her, dragging the flour sacks along and quickly placed the Wuzzle on another barrel because the previous one had broken and Ace was now steaming like a very irritated mini-volcano.

     "This guy is unbelievable…" Shad mumbled, bumping against a wooden box. "Ow!"

     "He's just very strict about his bedtime," Kat grinned. "I think the storm is ceasing. But the wind is still very strong."

     "The quicker we get to Krawk Island," Tsuki said, entering the galley. He was soaking wet but didn't seem tired. "With this rate we should be there in the morning but the journey won't be easy. Garin picked a bad time for traveling." The Shoyru sat down on a potato sack "Nighttime is dangerous, even on dry land. Certain hours are meant for creatures like us and certain hours… aren't," he finished the sentence without finding better words.

     "For us?" Saura suddenly asked. The others yelped and leaped away from him, they hadn't even noticed that the Zafara had woken up. "Aren't you always awake at night?"

     "Yeah, well, I'm awake whenever I want to be," Tsuki agreed, absently rolling a golden ring around his paw, "but tonight I apparently need to be awake till the sun sets again. Something is coming, or someone for that matter." The ring flashed again. "Big… and powerful."

     "A sea monster?" Shad asked excitedly. The Shoyru nodded. "Cool! This adventure is going to be fun after all!" He trotted to the door and looked outside. The storm had passed and the full moon was already peering out behind the clouds. The pirates were sitting under the masts and on the rails, all soaking wet and exhausted. They really didn't look like they had a chance against some huge sea monster.

     "I still don't understand why that airheaded Usul… ahh, there he is." Kat stepped outside and faced Garin who had come out of his cabin, just as tired as the rest of the crew. "Why exactly did you set sails now, at night?"

     "Because the men wanted to," Garin replied, scowling at the Fire Uni towering above him. "And because I wanted to. Why should I explain my motives to you anyway?"

     "Erm, because she has heavy hooves, a sharp horn, an attitude and is stronger than you?" Shad prompted. The Usul glared at him and then at the sky.

     "It makes no difference now," he said. "The storm is over and the wind is good. We'll see the shores of Krawk Island in the morning."

     "Or the stomach of this," Ice remarked, pointing at something sharp, ominous and huge sliding towards them though the dark water. "You seemed to like sticking swords under people's noses; now's your chance to have some fun."

     Garin dashed against the railing and almost fell over it while trying to stare deep into the ocean. "What in Neopia? Jacques!"

     Jacques the Kyrii, the Black Pawkeet's first mate showed up instantly and frowned when he saw the dark shadow sliding towards the ship. "That's nice… first the storm and now this. What is it?"

     "A really late Kelp visitor?" Shad guessed. "Perhaps it's lost and wants to ask the way?"

     "You're kidding, right?" Ice asked with a frown. The shadow slid closer and closer… obviously the creature was huge and had a long slim body. Tsuki leaned against the rail next to Jacques, frowning as well and looking at the figure.

     "I think I know who that is," he said, "but that's impossible… he's not a sea creature!"

     "Nice, go ahead and tell him that," Kat suggested.

     The Black Pawkeet was quietly swaying on the waves, silvery moonlight shining on its masts and dark sails but the mood on her deck was far from peaceful. The dark slender shadow dashed through the water with incredible speed and apparently it had taken the course right on the ship. The crew had gathered by the railing and was now nervously gazing at the shadow. They had tried to take the ship away from the creature's course but it had instantly turned too and whizzed closer every second.

     "By its shape I'd say that it's a humongous Hissi," Shad remarked, peering curiously over the rail.

     "It is," Tsuki nodded. "And he's very strong, I don't think my spells could harm him… but we'll find that out soon enough because here he is."

     The shadow reached the ship and suddenly dashed out of the water right by its board. The clouds had faded away a little and so the crew could clearly see the creature's massive fangs, red gleaming eyes and a long purple body covered with sharp spikes. It didn't attack but the single look into its mean eyes could make one's blood freeze. The creature, obviously really a gigantic, grotesque Hissi looked down at the Black Pawkeet and his eyes narrowed. Everything was very quiet.

     "Oh look," Ice finally remarked, seeing that nobody else felt like saying anything. "Kastraliss."

     "Men," Garin hissed, pulling out his sword, "we'll defend our ship even if we all go down, you hear me?" The crew glanced at him and on the next second the whole ship was a roaring, yelling, fierce mass of anger, ready to fight anything and anyone on Neopia and even beyond. Only Tsuki stood quietly, looking up at Kastraliss and his family hadn't said a word either. Saura wasn't there; he was still curled up in the galley, innocently asleep like a baby Buzz.

     "Ahem," Kastraliss cleared his throat, "excuse me?"

     The ship was suddenly very quiet again.

     "Yus?" Ice asked politely, seeing again that nobody else wanted to say anything.

     "I seem to have gotten a bit lost," the huge Hissi said sheepishly. "Which way to the Haunted Woods?"

     "Told you," Shad muttered.

     "You need to get past Krawk Island and Faerieland," Kat said. "We're going in the same direction, so you'll just have to turn over there," she nodded towards west, "and carry on until you reach the shore. I think you need to keep a little more to the north though, when you carry right on, you'll reach the Lost Desert."

     Kastraliss nodded. "Thank you very much. This is the first ship that has helped me… everyone else threw torches at me and yelled." He turned his head and looked towards west. "Can't imagine why. So this way, I guess?"

     "A shame, really," Ice supported as Kat nodded. The rest of the ship was still very quiet but suddenly Shad who still couldn't get rid of a haunting thought asked: "Were you visiting Kelp?"

     "Yes," Kastraliss replied, turning his head again. "They have great desserts, believe me."

     "Yeah, I know," Shad agreed with a wide grin as Tsuki frowned at an impulsive thought.

     "You're not a sea creature, Kastraliss. How can you breathe underwat… Huntress has never taken us to Kelp!" he glared at Shad. The Lupe blinked and tried to hide behind Kat's wings. Kastraliss helped him out, opening his huge mouth and showing them a green bottle inside.

     "Hey, that's the liquid the Drenched gave me to let me breathe underwater!" Jacques shouted in surprise. Kastraliss nodded.

     "We, the Defenders of Neopia villains stick together… not many people know that we even hold annual meetings. "How To Finally Get Rid Of The Annoying Moehog Who Wears Underwear On The Outside". It's not easy, you know… usually he sends out random Neopians who think that they can defeat me with a jar of Fire Snow instead of coming to face us himself." He sighed. "Fighting isn't fun when you don't have a worthy opponent."

     "Too true," Kat the everlasting Battledomer agreed.

     "Hey, maybe you could lend us a hand?" Tsuki asked. "You're a fast swimmer, you could take us to Krawk Island in no time. The ocean is dangerous at night." He looked at Garin. "What do you think?"

     The Usul who had lowered the sword a while ago blinked at the thought of a gigantic Hissi dragging his ship into the harbour of Krawk Island. But the idea wasn't bad at all and Kastraliss seemed friendly enough. Besides, the wind was ceasing and after all, how often does one get such an adventure?

To be continued...

Search the Neopian Times

Other Episodes

» Treasure of the Caves: Part One
» Treasure of the Caves

Week 226 Related Links

Other Stories


A is for Angelpuss
Make sure the color you want to be painted is released, or else...

by alligator_mazoku

Submit your stories, articles, and comics using the new submission form.