Voice of the Neopian Pound Circulation: 186,839,813 Issue: 511 | 9th day of Gathering, Y13
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I'm NOT Losing The Bet!: Part Two


by chimp_chicken_fish

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Hanso and Brynn placed the Apple Sugared Gelert Gummies in their mouths. The taste was amazing! It was so tempting to bite, chew and swallow them whole... then devour the entire bag of gummies after that. But doing that would lose them the bet and neither of them wanted to do that!

     “I gonna win,” Brynn teased, unable to speak properly because her mouth was full.

     “No, you’re noht,” Hanso retorted, sticking his tongue out at her.

     “I ha’ a higher endu’ance dan you,” she taunted, flexing the bicep in her arm to prove a point that she was stronger than him.

     The Ixi folded his arms huffily. “How ith THAT?” he demanded.

     She whacked him on the arm.

     “Ow!”

     “Coz I ha’ to pu’ up with you.”

     This childish banter went on for another seven minutes and not without passersby looking at the unlikely pair oddly.

     Eventually Fyora’s favourite guard and thief combo calmed down and studied the list of supplies they would need for their Lost Desert trip:

  • Water
  •  Food
  •  Lamp
  •  Lamp Oil
  •  Weapons
  •  Book (Brynn knows which book to get – Fyora)

    Fyora obviously didn’t think they needed much for the long journey.

     “Leht’s spwit up,” Hanso suggested, getting a nod from Brynn.

     “The bet’s still on,” Brynn reminded him firmly.

     “Yeah, yeah...”

     They both split the shopping list between them to make the task easier. Brynn would get the water, food and weaponry whilst Hanso got the lamp and oil before they would both go in search of the book.

     It then occurred to them that bartering with shopkeepers would become an extremely difficult task.

     As Brynn tried to bargain for some fruit at a stall, she only stopped talking when the shopkeeper gave her an odd look.

     She quickly realised her mistake and slapped her hands to her mouth. The gummy was making her sound weird!

     The vendor, a Yellow Lupe, looked at her quizzically. “Are you alright, Captain? It sounds like you have a case of Floppy Tongue.”

     Brynn flushed red in embarrassment and ran off to find Hanso again.

     The citizens of Brightvale were not fazed by the guard racing through the streets, because they were used to the Brightvalian guards hurrying off to apprehend criminals or saving petpets from trees. Most citizens recognised Brynn and thought that she was racing to some important event. If they knew the truth for her hurry today, then they would laugh at her.

     She found Hanso by a flower stall, showing off to a Faerie Xweetok who was under the Ixi’s charm.

     “HANTHO!” Brynn yelled, dragging him away from his current distraction. “We ha’ a pwobwem.” She then glanced back at the Xweetok and back at her partner in crime fighting and scowled. “Were you procrastinatin’ again?!”

     The Blue Ixi whistled nonchalantly. “Procrastinatin’? Me? No...” He straightened his jacket and said, “Wha’ are you doin’?”

     “How can we bahter with sweets in our mouths?”

     Hanso rubbed his chin in thought and reasoned with her. “You COULD jus’ swallow the sweet.”

     Brynn fumed and whacked him on the arm. “No. I’m NOT losing.”

     Hanso smirked. His favourite guard would never back down and that was fine. He liked the challenge. He produced a notepad and pen out of his pocket and handed them to her. He got his own stationery out of his pocket and wrote on a blank sheet of paper. Once he had done, he showed her what he had written:

     WRITE ON THESE NOTEPADS. SAVES TALKING WITH A SWEET IN YOUR MOUTH.

     Brynn smiled and hugged him tightly. She wrote on her pad:

     YOU GENIUS! THE BET’S STILL ON.

     There was an obvious difference between their handwriting. Hanso’s was scruffy and had unconnected lettering. Brynn’s penmanship was much more sophisticated with swirls and joint letters.

     Armed with pen and paper, Hanso and Brynn were finally able to get all the items on their list. They just had to fake muteness.

     They reunited by the Brightvale kingdom gates and turned to one another.

     They stuck out their tongues to prove that they still had the gummies in their mouths.

     “Tho what now?” everyone’s favourite Ixi asked curiously.

     Brynn glanced around for a minute, absorbing the rich pastures of the Brightvalian countryside. Her mind was ticking off a mental list of things she had to do.

     “I feel like I’ve forgotten s’mthing,” she mused, staring at the clouds.

     Hanso was bored and started drawing pictures of Sandans in his notebook. Brynn caught him in the act and glared.

     “HANTHO! Pay attenhon.”

     Hanso stared at her before bursting into laughter. “You thound hilawious.”

     She shoved him gently on the shoulder. “Shu’ up.”

     The Ixi sighed in frustration. “Stop hittin’ me!”

     Brynn folded her arms huffily as she tried to remember what she had forgotten. She then snapped her fingers as she recalled what Fyora had told her. But before she could tell Hanso she was abruptly tickled crazily by the pesky thief, causing her to double over in fits of laughter.

     Sabotage! He was trying to get her to either swallow or spit out the sweet! That fiend.

     Brynn had to recover herself to gain enough time to seize Hanso’s wrist to twist his arm into an armlock. “Shu’ up an’ listen to me. We ‘ave to go back to town. Fyora wants me to cowwect a book fwom some guy called David.”

     Hanso cast one of his trademark smiles at his caring guard. “Can you let me outta the armlock now, pwetty pwease, pwincess?”

     Fyora’s Captain of the Guard narrowed her eyes at him before releasing her grip. She grinned.

     Hanso rubbed his arm, glared at Brynn and asked, “Who’s David?”

     Brynn walked ahead of him, back into the main town centre, but refrained from answering him.

     “Brwynn! Who’s David?”

     “He’s my father’s old colleague,” she explained shortly.

     Hanso knew not to press the issue. She was a little bit annoyed, but he could not tell whether she was just irritated at him or some past memory about that David fellow. After a minute, Hanso concluded that she was just snarky at him.

     HOW DO YOU KNOW DAVID? Hanso wrote on his notepad.

     HE KNEW MY FATHER IN THE FRUIT-PICKING BUSINESS, she replied on her own notepad.

     “Fwuit-picking?!” Hanso burst into hysterics.

     “Shu’ up! It’s a vewy important job,” she argued.

     “Yeah. Sure it is...”

     “Oh? And thievery is more important?” she retorted.

     “Only if you don’t get caught,” he said sagely.

     The duo was starting to talk a bit more coherently because the gummy sweets in their mouths were starting to dissolve. To win the bet they had to keep the gummies in their mouths for as long as possible. Neither of them were giving up.

     They soon arrived at the Fruits of Brightvale shop, which was being run by Brynn’s father’s friend during the weekends. The Acara who normally worked at the store only opened shop on weekdays.

     The little bell above the door dinged as the Kougra and Ixi entered.

     An old Grey Kougra glanced up from the shop counter and smiled, which was unusual for the Grey Neopian. “Brynneth!”

     The smell of all kinds of fruit wafted about in the room, making Hanso’s mouth water... and not just at the sweet that begged to be swallowed.

     “And who is that boy with you, my dear?”

     “Hi, David. This is Hanso. We’re both in Queen Fyora’s employment.”

     David hobbled over, assisted by his wooden walking stick, and hugged his friend’s daughter. He then shook hands with Hanso. “Working for Fyora? What an honour!”

     “Yes, it is,” Hanso said with his trademark grin.

     “David, sorry to interrupt your business, but I need a book of yours,” Brynn said, snatching a Jipple Pear out of Hanso’s hand to place it back on the shelves.

     “A book?” David asked in amusement. “This is the wrong shop, my dear.”

     Brynn laughed. “I know, but it’s one of your personal ones. Something about a Red Gem.”

     “Oh! THAT book?”

     “Fyora’s orders, otherwise I wouldn’t have asked.”

     “No, no trouble. I’ll go and get it now.”

     “Thank you.”

     The Grey Kougra wandered into the back of the store and could be heard dragging a step ladder out of storage to reach up to a shelf somewhere out of his visitors’ sight.

     Hanso turned to Brynn. “Still got the sweet?”

     “Yep, wight ‘ere.” She confirmed this by sticking her tongue out, showing him the evidence. She quickly retracted her tongue and smiled. “Afraid of losing?”

     “NO.” But he pouted. Usually that meant he was too stubborn to admit that he was afraid of losing.

     Brynn slapped his hand away from a Florange. “Hands off!” she hissed.

     He quickly put his hands behind his back and faked innocence.

     David returned from the back of the shop with a novel in his hand. “Here you go, Brynneth. I hope this is of use.”

     “Thanks, David,” she said gratefully, putting the book in her belt pouch.

     “What does Fyora want with that book?” he asked curiously.

     “I don’t know, David, but I’m sure we’ll find out. C’mon, Hanso, let’s go!”

     “Bye, sir!” the Ixi exclaimed as the Captain dragged him out of the store.

     “All right, we have the book. We’ve better set off to the Lost Des—”

     Suddenly there were screams in the distance, triggering the duo’s fight or flight instincts.

     “Did you hear--?” Brynn began apprehensively, withdrawing her sword from her scabbard.

     “Yeah!” Hanso exclaimed, twitching his ear to listen better. “I think it came from the direction of the Brightvale Glaziers shop!”

     “We’d better check it out!” Brynn said urgently, racing ahead of him.

To be continued...

 
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