Enter the Snowflake's lair... Circulation: 111,439,808 Issue: 182 | 17th day of Running, Y7
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Ye Olde Escapade - Part Two

by pandabearb


Also by springsteen0991

"Yeah, let's go, Cunchicka," Ketchup told her as they got up from the table. "We'll see you later, guys!"

     "Bye! Be back at three exactly, okay?" Tidus reminded them sternly. Cunchicka waved him off as she and Ketchup started down the long road to Meri Acres Farm.

     The two Lupes raised themselves from their seats. "Well, I think the Symol Hole is this way," Ramrod noted, pointing east.

     Tidus grinned at Daisy, who at that moment had an uneasy expression in her face. "Come on, Daisy!" Tidus laughed. "You're going to go digging for treasure!" The Polarchuck smiled and hopped onto the shadow Lupe's back, and the three of them set off happily towards the mysterious hole.

     After passing the Kiss the Mortog area rather quickly, Tidus, Ramrod, and Daisy arrived at the small Symol Hole. Ramrod advanced slowly and peered into the darkness of the ground. Daisy waddled over and took a peek for herself. "Hey Daisy," Tidus called to the Polarchuck. She looked at him curiously. "Wanna jump down the hole?" The Polarchuck nodded and a moment later she jumped in with her eyes closed.

     "Hehe," Ramrod chuckled. "I hope she can see in the dark..."

     Meanwhile, Cunchicka and Ketchup were walking on the dirt road and talking quietly. All of the sudden Ketchup yelled, "Duck!" The Kacheek and the Kyrii both dove for the ground as a runaway arrow from Ultimate Bullseye whizzed over their heads. "Phew," Cunchicka said with a sigh as they got up and took a wide cut around Turmaculus.

     They both smiled at each other as they entered the gate into peaceful, simple Meri Acres Farm. Pets were scattered across the farm counting potatoes and zapping slorgs. Cunchicka and Ketchup slowed to a leisurely pace and headed over to Pick Your Own.

     A Gelert at the farm gate watched the Kyrii and Kacheek approach with dull eyes. When they were standing in front of them he said, "Hello, please come in and get all my old boots--I mean, get all the berries you can for only four hundred neopoints!"

     Ketchup handed the Gelert the only neopoints she had left and he swung the the wooden, creaky gate open for them. The two walked in, looking around for the places with the best berries to pick.

     After stumbling upon a nice area, Cunchicka and Ketchup began scanning through the many aisles of berries. Cunchicka suddenly pointed to a row of berries and squealed excitedly, "Look! They have blockberries here!"

     Ketchup stared at her in disbelief and replied, "You have the weirdest tastes that I've ever seen. How about those voidberries over there instead?"

     Reluctantly, Cunchicka agreed and they walked over to the berries. Setting the basket down in between them, Cunchicka planted her feet and pulled on one of the berries with all of her might, trying to get it free. Next to her, Ketchup took hold of one of the berries and barely pulled on it. Much to her surprise the whole bush was in her hand, uprooted. Cunchicka stared at her friend in disbelief and said, "Maybe a little less force, Ketchup."

     During that time, Ramrod was busy looking up at the big, beautiful Meridell sky. He saw many intricate and complicated airplanes flying above him. He also saw a giant brownish purple Citadel floating amidst the airplanes. He then decided that maybe it wasn't such a beautiful sky after all. "Is Daisy still down there?" He asked Tidus a few moments later, no longer day dreaming.

     "Ramrod, she hasn't come up yet! I think she's stuck!"

     The Halloween Lupe gaped at him. "Well, uh, try calling her back up!"

     "Daisy?" Tidus called down the hole. He and Ramrod exchanged nervous glances. They waited, but they heard no noises that sounded similar to Daisy's usual fatal shrieks.

     An old red Ixi happened to see the poor friends panicking in front of the Symol Hole at that moment. "What's going on here?" He asked in a wise but simultaneously goofy voice.

     "My petpet is stuck somewhere underground!" Tidus blurted out, which in most cases was not something he was prone to do.

     "Well," the Ixi grinned, "it's a good thing I have this!" He pulled a shovel out from behind his back, and in return saw a pair of grateful but mildly freaked out Lupes.

     Over at the farm, Cunchicka and Ketchup were bent over the berries, loading them into the already full basket one by one. Out of nowhere, an object fell from the sky and bonked Cunchicka on the head. "Oww!" She screeched as she turned around looking for whatever had hit her.

     "What was that?" Ketchup asked her while looking up at the sky. Spotting something on the ground, she picked it up and examined it. The thing was the color of a purple and black bruise and it shook in her hand. "Do you know what this is, Cunchicka?" Looking up again, she saw a big shadow looming in the sky. A realization hit her. "I think this came from the Darigan Citadel. It looks like...it's a Darigan Paint Brush!" Ketchup said in awe.

     Cunchicka looked at the object in horror and yelled, "Ahh! It's evil! Get rid of it!"

     "But, why? I thought that these paint brushes were worth a lot of neopoints," Ketchup said thoughtfully as she turned it over in her hands.

     Cunchicka rolled her eyes and responded, "Stuff that's worth that much doesn't just fall out of the sky, Ketchup."

     Ketchup nodded in hesitant agreement, "Yeah, you're right, I guess. So, what should we do with something as useless as this?"

     Cunchicka thought for a moment before she was struck with an idea. Carefully taking the paint brush between the tips of two fingers, she held it out in front of her and ran over to a nearby pond in the berry field. With a noise of effort she tossed it as far as she could into the pond and watched as it landed two feet away from her in the water. Dusting her hands off, Cunchicka smiled and walked over to Ketchup. "Problem solved."

     While all of that was going on, Tidus and Ramrod were busy staring blankly at the Ixi. "So, um," Tidus replied uneasily, "you're suggesting we dig up the Symol Hole?"

     "Well, sure!" The Ixi told them delightfully. "I remember when I was a young boy, I always dug holes with this here shovel..."

     "That's nice," Ramrod interrupted. "Can we have the shovel now?"

     "Oh, I suppose so," The Ixi answered, handing him the shovel. Tidus took it from him and started digging; Ramrod knew already that both his best friend and his sister were stronger than him, even though he was nearly twice their size. Tidus dug into the side of the hole, trying to make it wider. Ramrod scanned the ground for any sign of the Polarchuck.

     Suddenly, they heard an unmistakable noise coming from deep down the hole. "Daisy?!" Tidus called down loudly.

     "Shovel deeper!" Ramrod urged.

     A white blob of fur rolled out of a small underground tunnel Tidus had stumbled upon while digging. "Daisy!" He shouted in relief. He gently picked her up with the shovel just as Cunchicka and Ketchup came rushing over to the hole carrying a basket of berries.

     "Ramrod! Tidus! We're here at three exactly just like you said!" Cunchicka shouted before looking at Daisy sitting on a shovel. "What are you doing to Daisy? I mean, I know you don't like her, but don't you think burying your petpet is a little extreme?"

     Tidus quickly dropped the shovel and a giggling Daisy rolled off of it. "We weren't burying her," Ramrod explained anxiously. "She was stuck in the Symol Hole and we were trying to get her out; it's a long story."

     "It's my shovel," the old Ixi that the Lupes had forgotten about declared. "Don't worry, kids, they were NOT burying this Polarchuck," he announced loudly, pointing to Daisy.

     "Oh, okay," Cunchicka replied absently while nodding her head. "Um, who is that?" She asked Tidus quietly.

     "Someone that lent us a shovel," he answered in an odd tone. He then turned to the Ixi and gave him back his shovel. "Here you go. And thanks!"

     The Ixi smiled. "No problem, youth, it always feels great to-"

     "That's nice," Ramrod said, cutting him off again. "Bye!" And finally the strange old pet left.

     "So, how was the Pick Your Own farm?" Tidus asked the girls, hoping to drop the whole Symol Hole subject.

     "It was awesome!" Cunchicka replied, grinning. "Except that I hurt my head."

     "How?" Ramrod demanded curiously.

     "Something fell from the sky and hit her," Ketchup said casually.

     Tidus and Ramrod looked at each other, visibly confused. "Something fell from the sky and hit you on the head?" Tidus asked while crinkling his forehead. "What?"

     Cunchicka shrugged nonchalantly and said, "Oh, it was just this silly old item. Ketchup and I took care of it, though, so don't worry."

     The two Lupes nodded before Ramrod looked around and announced, "Well, ready to go? Do you guys have your berries? Where'd Daisy go?"

     Ketchup and Cunchicka looked around in confusion before they spotted the basket shaking. "Baskets aren't supposed to shake, are they?" Ketchup asked doubtfully as she approached the basket cautiously. Tidus, Ramrod, and Cunchicka came up behind her and peered in. Laughter erupted when they saw a guilty-looking Daisy sitting in an empty basket with black berry juice smeared around her mouth.

     "Oh well, we weren't going to eat them anyway," Cunchicka reasoned as she ushered Daisy out of the basket and picked it up.

     As they set off back to their homes, the four of them took one last look at the wonderful land of Meridell. They watched happily as Mortogs exploded and Turmaculus gobbled up unfortunate Petpets. The wind ruffled the group's fur as they ambled through the gate. Cunchicka sighed blissfully and commented, "Don't you just love Meridell?"

     The three other pets looked at her weirdly. "I guess," Ramrod told her.

     "Sort of," Ketchup and Tidus agreed. They all stood there for a moment and laughed, as Daisy let out yet another ear shattering shriek.

The End

Authors' Note: This was our first ever collaboration for the Neopian Times, we hope you liked it! Feel free to send either one of us (springsteen0991/pandabearb) feedback on the series. Thank you so much for reading it!

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