Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 191,125,202 Issue: 597 | 31st day of Hunting, Y15
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The Mystery of Training on Mystery Island

by devilish_gymnast


With the recent war in Tyrannia, we have all no doubt been working on training up our pets. There are several options for this, but I decided I would save my dubloons for some fine dining at the Golden Dubloon, and settled on going to the training school on Mystery Island.

When we arrived, I turned to Schmivy, and asked what she wanted to train first. We settled on strength, and handed over a Tai-Kai codestone and a Lu codestone to get started. Ryshu shooed me away and told me to come back for her in three hours. It turns out owners aren't allowed to stay and watch their pets get trained. I didn't question it – Neopians have been trusting Ryshu to train their pets for over 10 years, and I haven't heard any complaints.

As I wandered off towards the Island Mystic to get some cryptic words of wisdom for the day, I started to wonder why we pay Ryshu with codestones. I can understand what Cap'n Threelegs does with all the dubloons, but what does an elderly Nimmo do with a giant pile of rocks? I decided to creep back over to the training school and spy on the training process. Peering through the palm fronds, I was astonished. Hundreds of pets were split into groups, presumably by skill level and what they were working on. In the closest group, I saw pets running up and down steps in a huge arena that I recognized as the Pango Palladium. In the middle of the arena, there were more pets racing each other through lanes designated by large tan stones. Were those... codestones? I saw a hungry looking Grarrl look my way from the arena, and decided to shrink back into the trees.

Moving a bit further away from the arena, I poked my head back through the trees. Here I found what had looked like a cloud before. Pets were sitting around a small pond, with steam coming off the rocks, which I again recognized as codestones. I felt like I was looking at a spa. Is this what we're paying for when we train up the HP for our pets? If so, can I get some training? After a long week of restocking my shop and feverishly playing games, I could use some relaxation in a nice spa. Funny, I thought that when we were increasing their HP, it was considered endurance. I guess being well rested is key to bettering your health and endurance. I still didn't see Schmivy, though, so I kept moving further along the perimeter.

Stumbling through the overgrowth and almost stepping on a Buzzer hive, I found myself at the base of Techo Mountain. Looking up, I saw elite Neopets training at the rim of the volcano. As one of them stumbled, rocks came sliding down the mountain at me. Snapping back to reality, I decided to turn back, wondering where Schmivy was working on her strength. An hour and a half had already passed, and I wasn't sure if I was going to learn the secret this time around.

Dejectedly, I trudged back to the training school, figuring I could wait in the lobby for Schmivy to finish. Having strayed from the normal path, I came up to the school from behind. Seeing an open door, I poked my head in. This must be the strength training room! All around, I saw pets working hard. There was an Aisha doing pushups, a group of Hissis doing crunches (I suppose they can't really hold anything), and there! On the far wall! There was Schmivy!

I watched as my precious Xweetok finished a set of bicep curls with a codestone in each hand. Stopping for some water, she then proceeded to bench press a bar with three codestones on either end. I wanted to stay longer, but just then a nearby Ruki working on squats noticed me watching and panted "Hey, you, you're not supposed to be in here." Finding myself caught for the second time this afternoon, I slipped out the back door, and made my way around to the front, to wait with other impatient owners.

I thanked my lucky Novas when a flock of pets poured out of the gymnasium where the pets were training. There went the woman who talked my ear off about how wonderful her Draik was. Gone was the boy who had been loudly blowing bubbles with his gum for the past twenty minutes. The only other person waiting in the lobby with me was a relatively new Neopian, who had never had to leave her pet alone before. I gave her an encouraging grin, as Schmivy emerged through the doorway, looking tired but happy. Ryshu followed her out, and informed me that she had worked incredibly hard and had actually gained a bonus point toward her strength.

Since Schmivy was clearly not ready to go right back in for another training session, we made our way back to the main land, heading to Neopia Central for some food. Over large islandberry smoothies, I pretended I hadn't been snooping, and asked her what she did for training. She provided me with a very vague answer before taking a large gulp of smoothie. I suppose Ryshu doesn't want to divulge his training techniques. After all, if we know how he does it, couldn't our pets just train at home?

In our Neohome that evening, I thought back to what I had seen. The movement, endurance, and strength training was no longer a mystery to me. In the future, I might have to do some more snooping to figure out how our pets are trained in defense and level. As for the codestones, I might have figured out what they're used for, but some questions remain. I've stumbled across them before in my travels, and I've received countless more as prizes in the battledome, but where do they actually come from? And what difference do the symbols actually make? Maybe one day more of these mysteries will be revealed. Until then, I will continue to just trust Ryshu with my pets.

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