The Adventures of Trina:The Two Islands: Part Five
"What?” Linny said with wide eyes. “Us? How could we possibly do that? We can’t steal it back from them! I mean—we’re children, for cryin’ out loud! You’re gonna send a bunch of children out to fight lethal pirates?”
“Clearly he is out of his mind,” Pat said.
“They’re way too strong!” Cassie added as she sprung from the sofa. “They can do back flips and are professional sword masters!”
“Besides, we have no clue where they are now!” the purple Shoyru added to the list complaints.
The Mynci cleared his throat, and then spoke loudly. “Stop whining, please. If anyone should do it, it should be you four. I know it! You braved living on a ship with a bunch of lowlife pirates for about a week, and I don’t know anyone your age capable of that. Most people would flee at the mention of the Dark Depths.”
Pat glared at Trina.
“If you all work together, I guarantee that you will be surprised at what you can achieve.”
“But I’m sure there are others much stronger and smarter than all four of us combined,” the green Chia said, “right?”
“Many of us lost all hope a while ago. None will be willing to take the stand. The pirates have controlled our citizens with fear for quite some time now. Some of them have found themselves no longer able to associate themselves with one side. These pirates take advantage of these individuals and convince them to serve their army, promising lies and false futures, or misery if they refuse. In recent times, many people have been joining them by choice. I am unsure what has drawn them to that decision.”
The Mynci broke into coughs. “The point is you can put an end to this wretched tyranny! You are unlike anyone else on these islands: you are all true Neopians. You have come from what is presumed to be a ‘faraway land’ where everything is peaceful and prosperous. Many citizens will see you as heroes that have come to fulfill their destiny to rescue them! You bring hope to our villages!”
“And they bring hope to what’s left our island,” said a feminine voice. Heads turned to see Queen Vioe entering the room, her fur glowing orange with the candlelight.
The Mynci stepped down from the sofa and bowed in respect. “That is true, Your Highness.”
“Master Iko, perhaps this is too much for them to take in by themselves,” the royal Lupe told the Mynci, who was combing his fingers through his beard.
Master Iko nodded in agreement. “You are right. They will need some assistance…”
“What do we have to do?” Linny asked the Mynci.
“As it stands, you will have to find Captain Mevolin and retrieve the book from him, whatever it takes,” he replied. His seriousness made Trina’s ears twitch.
“But doesn’t it make sense to learn about the enemy first?” Cassie bellowed. “We hardly know anything about him!”
“Listen well, young ones,” the queen began. “His full name is Mevolin Marcosa, but he only uses his first name —”
“Why?” asked Trina. Her ears twitched. All this time, and they had known so little; not even their captain’s name…
“Little is known about his family history,” Queen Vioe began, “but we have confirmed that ‘Marcosa’ was chosen by his father to hide his ancestry. It is an assumption, but we believe he loathes the existence of this name because he is proud of who he truly is. He is not the type to run from a fight and escape the public eye, yet that has not made things easier for us. His cunning abilities and dastardly deeds have marked him as our most wanted criminal. Not once have we been able to detain him.”
“Every attempt only led to disaster,” added Master Iko, frowning.
“I myself have encountered him in his youth, and even twenty years later I still remember it as if it was yesterday,” Queen Vioe said. “I was called to him by his neoschool teacher. Even at that age, he was completely unafraid to use dark magic. If only I knew he was the heir at the time…”
Cassie tilted her head in confusion as she turned to the queen. “Er…the heir of who?”
“Aruagamere,” she answered sadly.
“And then what happened next?” Trina asked, scooting forward until she hung at edge of her seat.
Queen Vioe pondered the floor. “From what I have heard, he was ostracized by the students and residents once his secret talent leaked. It was like this every day for him, except one day, he found a place to hang out alone. Far off from civilization was an underground cave. It was said to be filled with secret documents of locations of even more powerful secrets, but no one else had known that back then.
“He studied the documents every day until he knew them word from word. His grades rapidly increased to an outstanding level and he was made of fun of even more. After two years of constant visiting, he had every single one memorized, every last word and symbol. After that, his whereabouts were mysterious. I’ve heard rumors that it was then he had moved to Arugamere Island and started a pirate crew to go after things of importance, most notably the Ancient Book of Code.”
“Why are they seeking these things?” Linny asked.
“I’ve heard that they claim that Arugahi began to only care about his side of the island, and took away valuable resources from their ancestors’ island. They believe that Arugahi was selfish and had betrayed them, leading to Arugamere’s downfall. I know from fact that it is not the truth, but they have collected so much rage for so many years that their minds have been distorted. In short, they seek the book because they are a group who only wish to cast revenge on what’s left on Arugahi Island.”
“Thanks for the info, but where could we find him?” asked Trina unevenly, looking down at her feet anxiously, itching to hear what the Queen has to say. “What if he already read the book?”
“He is probably on Arugamere Island by now. There is zero chance he has read the book without translating its symbols. The symbols could only be deciphered if they found a special scroll from the Ancient Times, brought here from the islands’ first exploration. I believe that some of the scrolls may still exist, but there may be other sources instead of scrolls that will help them. In either case, it’s far too time consuming to search every library, every home. Not to mention that a majority of the books back then were destroyed. We have tried searching before, but it was fruitless.”
Trina and her friends were completely speechless. They were seated on the sofa across from Queen Vioe, her perfectly applied eye shadow accentuating her beautiful facial features. The brick fireplace crackled as its orange flames danced on the firewood. Trina fixed her eyes on the fire. It appeared so fierce, so ruthless. Yet it was graceful and fearful all in one moment. Its elegance trapped her into a partial sleep trance as she watched it moved shiftily in motion, back and forth, up and down…
Suddenly, a crashing sound had awoken her. Before anyone could react, a piercing scream caused everyone to jump up from their seat. Cassie was the first to respond.
* * * * *
A purple Shoyru lounged in the sun, listening to the ocean waves gliding across the sand and the clanging of meddling with pails and shovels of all sizes and colors. Kateils danced in the empty sky, randomly cawing at the crowded beach below. At the water’s edge, a pair of young Acaras was screaming as they splashed water at each other’s faces. All the Shoyru wanted was some peace and quiet on her field trip, but of course, nothing ever went her way. The beach was never a fun place—just a wasteland made to waste her time. The squashy sand annoyed her fingers as she patted and smoothed out mounds of dirt, surrounded by a ring of muddy water.
As the Shoyru reached for the pail, she noticed a shadow looming over her.
“Hey,” a Green Wocky said. “That’s a really cool sandcastle!”
“I don’t think so,” the Shoyru said as she was sweeping sand into a bucket.
“What do you mean ‘I don’t think so’? It’s awesome and whole lot better than mine, too.”
“Can you leave?” the Shoyru asked quietly, but apparently too quietly for the Wocky to hear. Instead of leaving, the Wocky continued blabbering. Pat avoided the Wocky’s eyes as she crawled next to the castle’s moat and stuck her head into the castle’s front opening.
“Wow! It’s so detailed! How long did it take you do that?”
“A while, now please—”
“It almost looks like a real castle! What a real piece of art!”
“Uh…thanks? Just don’t touch it!”
The Shoyru was relieved to watch the Wocky start to get to her feet, but it wasn’t until it was too late that she realized the Wocky was standing on soaking sand. In horror, the Shoyru watched as the Wocky toppled backwards onto her “real piece of art” and erased it from existence.
“Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry!”
“Just get out of here!”
“No!” the Wocky cried. “Let me help you! I can rebuild it!”
“No!” the Shoyru shouted, but again the Wocky ignored her and was already meddling with the tools. She wanted to stop her, but resisted; the Wocky’s determined face meant it would be useless.
Together, she and the Wocky spent the next few hours carrying buckets of water, stacking molds of sand, and carving painstaking designs from twigs to create a new castle. The Shoyru mentored the Wocky with the basics, and she understood well. When it was almost done, it looked like a replica of something out of a faerie tale.
“Now, just twist this bucket like this and it shall come right off without harming the shape,” the Shoyru finished. “See? Just make sure you didn’t use too much water.”
“Wow, it looks even better than the first one,” said the Wocky, who was now covered head-to-toe in sand. “You sure know a lot.”
“You learn fast, that’s all.”
“And you’re a good teacher.”
“Uh, okay. I guess we’re done here. You should go.”
“What? We’re not even close to done! This castle has a long way to go! What if they were attacked? There are no walls to protect them! And what about a courtyard, picnic area, and garden?”
The Shoyru laughed. “Oh, I guess we can add those too.”
“Great,” the Wocky nodded. “By the way, you can call me Trina.”
Suddenly, the Wocky gave a violent kick to the sandcastle. Chucks of sand shot in the Shoyru’s direction.
“Why do you waste your time with this nonsense?” she said fiercely. “You should spend your time worrying about your fate. This fate…”
* * * * *
“Pat, wake up! What happened?”
There was no response.
“Patricia!” Queen Vioe gasped.
Without warning, the Shoyru limped up from the dusty floor and gasped for air. Her face had a shocked expression.
“What happened?” Trina repeated herself, panicking along with her friends.
“They…” Pat mumbled softly, but her words were made clear in her friends’ ears. “Cannot be…stopped…it’s…a meaningless…battle…”
“What are you going on about?” screamed Linny the moment she witnessed Pat’s teary face. “What happened to you?”
“A dream…” said the young purple Shoyru, “…so real…”
Then, in clear view of everyone’s eyes, again, she collapsed.
* * * * *
The next morning was not what Trina expected. She had slept in an empty stone room by herself, since Cassie insisted that she get more sleep instead of watching over Pat.
Queen Vioe had given them stunning, fancy dresses as a welcoming gift. On the shoulders contained a ruffled rim of dark yellow threads and a small golden tassel that danced with her every move. The dress itself was made of the finest fabric she had ever seen. It was a dark magenta, which felt baggy at the arms, but overall very fitting. Her friends were said to have been given the same clothing, but each had a slightly different style and a color of their choosing. She didn’t deserve it, though; she was no hero, not in the slightest. She dreadfully wanted to return it, but she knew the Queen would refuse.
Trina was on her way to visit Pat in the healing center of the castle. Two guards led her up a cobblestone staircase to the third floor. Once in the healing center, the first thing she noticed was a large window that displayed the view of the land below them. At first glance, the landscape looked like a painting in which the painter could only afford to use a few colors, whichever ones they had laying around. The sky was a messy mixture between a pale blue and white, and the plains in the foreground were partially slime green. They were in the shadow of uninviting black mountains and hills.
Trina turned to see Pat, who was sitting on a chair.
“Are you feeling better, Pat?” Trina asked, waving to the Purple Shoyru.
Pat, who was facing a wall, turned her head at the sound of Trina’s greeting voice. “Of course I am! Do I look any better to you?”
Trina was taken aback by her friend’s harsh remark. She had walked far to visit her friend, and instead of thanking her, she yelled. She considered spitting back a rude comeback, but she decided it wasn’t worth the energy.
“Queen Vioe sent me a message earlier that said we all need to meet someone named Tomaru at the Broken Fountain in about two hours,” said the small Wocky, smiling.
“I’ll be there,” Pat replied calmly.
Later, the four friends met at a place known as Broken Fountain, named since it was the first thing anyone could notice. It was a large stone fountain with many bowl-shaped layers stacked atop of each other; all detail and carvings were eroded away. The color was nearly a dark brown because of the old tree roots and crinkled black vines that encircled its base. A long scar-like crack ran down the side of the base as well.
“Where is that person called Tomaru?” Linny worried as she looked to see an unfamiliar face in the distance. “We can’t afford to be late!”
“I think I hear something,” Pat said while she rushed behind a tree.
Behind a tree trunk was a Scorchio with a shiny coat of red, lying on his side and snoring like a congested snorkle. In his arms was a small, blue shoulder bag. But they could hardly pay attention to the sleeping Scorchio. Aside it was the largest pile of stuff they had seen in the entire city, or rather their entire lives, made up of backpacks, boxed food, candles, cloaks, exotic hats, books, empty flasks, sleeping bags, and so many other items that would take hours for them to list it all.
“Umm, are you Tomaru?” Cassie asked, poking his shoulder.
“Ugh…umm…yeah…” he mumbled while he seemed to be still in his slumber.
“And you’re supposed to meet us here, right?” Trina asked him, scratching her head.
Suddenly, the Scorchio sprung to his feet and opened his eyes, which made Trina wonder if he was actually asleep in the first place.
“Finally, you’re here!” he cheered. “I’ve waited for hours! Six, to be exact.”
“But we only got the message to come here about two hours ago!” Linny pointed out.
“I know, but being early is always better than being late,” he wisely commented, “according to Master Iko.”
“Uh,” Cassie began awkwardly, her green eyes scanning him head-to-toe, “what are you, exactly?”
“Jelly,” the Scorchio replied proudly. “Why, never seen one of me before?”
They shook their heads.
“That’s great, then,” he continued. “That saves me a lot of time. You know, I won’t have to lecture you on the misconceptions that I’m edible, incredibly flexible, and that my skin is bouncy and can take a blow to the face without pain.”
Pat grinned. “Can I try anyway?”
“Only if you want a very unpleasant surprise in your next meal,” he teased. “See, it’s not easy being jelly. Oh, and one last thing—no jokes please, I’ve heard ‘em all.”
To be continued…