There are ants in my Lucky Green Boots Circulation: 197,091,448 Issue: 962 | 17th day of Relaxing, Y24
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Violynne and the Cursed Necklace


by auburn_sun

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”Take this, you blue fiend!” A voice resounded off the wall of the Battledome. A flash of brilliantly coloured light engulfed the room as the owner of the voice, Violynne, pulled the trigger on her rainbow gun. “Ultra Pretty Rainbow Strike!” she cried.

     “Argh!” The Pant Devil hollered as the attack landed. It sent him tumbling to the ground and his body left a shallow ditch where it dragged. The creature pulled himself up, his red eyes glowing with anger. “Today, Little Miss Violynne, you have bested me,” he growled. “But I promise to return.” A thunderous roar of applause echoed off the walls. The audience cheered Violynne's victory.

     With those words and a poof of devilish, grey smoke, the Pant Devil vanished back from whence he came. In his place, a necklace and a small handful of coins appeared. Violynne tilted her head, quirking her eyebrows curiously as she stepped closer to inspect her winnings. The coins were small and gold and engraved with the initials NP–Neopoints! Violynne smiled and pocketed the money. She reached for the necklace but hesitated for a moment.

     “Wear me,” a voice whispered.

     Violynne whipped her head around. Nervous sweat formed on her forehead. “Who said that?” she stuttered.

     “I did. Look below you.”

     “You’re… the necklace?”

     “Yes!” the voice hissed gleefully. “Wear me and I will bring you great fortune.”

     Violynne’s wing hovered over the necklace hesitantly. It was a string of smooth red and navy blue beads, and in the centre hung a smooth, brown shell. The shell, surprisingly, was not blank. It has a Mynci skull engraved into it.

     “I said wear me!” the voice ordered. Whomever it belonged to, they sounded angry.

     Dazed, Violynne nodded. She picked up the necklace and fastened it around her neck. The item glowed with an ominous aura.

     “You look beautiful, my dear Violynne,” the voice purred.

     Violynne felt her cheeks warm up and she brought a wing to her cheek. She was blushing. “Thank you… um… What's your name?”

     A small, mysterious chuckle resounded within Violynne’s head. Creepy, she shuddered. Still the unseen voice answered her. “Call me Phanty,” it said.

     Violynne nodded. A slight but fearful smile made its way across her beak. “It’s nice to meet you, Phanty.” Saying that, the Battledome bell rang, breaking her from her conversation with the voice. With a sigh, Violynne exited the arena before the next match started.

     It was evening when Violynne returned to her NeoHome. She held a wing to her beak to suppress a yawn. “What a day,” she complained.

     When Violynne reached to undo the latch, the necklace shimmered as if blessed by a dark faerie. “No!” Phanty hissed. The voice echoed within Violynne’s head. “Keep me on and I will grant you fortune.”

     Violynne groaned and her eyes slid half shut. “Okay,” she said with an obedient nod. No further words were exchanged between them. Violynne simply crawled into bed and got under the covers.

     Great fortune, huh? She thought. I wonder what that means. One more yawn, and then she was fast asleep.

     –The next day--

     The sun shone brightly and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Violynne smiled as she inhaled the salty air as sea wart gently lapped at the edges of the boat.

     “There it is, Phanty!” She excitedly pointed a wing out in the distance. Mystery Island was just ahead of them.

     “Why are we coming here?” Phanty asked. If the voice had eyes, it would probably be rolling them.

     “I go to the training school here,” explained Violynne cheerfully. She had a different smile then when she met Phanty. This smile showed self-confidence while the other was robotic, as if the voice forced it upon her.

     “Training?” This piqued Phanty’s interest.

     “Mhm! I learn how to fight here!”

     Another smooth chuckle resounded in Violynne’s head. “Alright, my dear, show me this school.”

     “Vio!” another voice called.

     Violynne froze before she could exit the boat. From within her mind, she heard Phanty growl. Violynne turned to see who spoke and saw an Eyrie with greenish-grey feathers who was dressed like a pirate. She beamed.

     “Hi, Gayle!”

     Gayle Talon was the ship’s captain, in charge of ferrying folks all around Neopia. “That’s quite the necklace ya got thar!” She stepped closer to Violynne and reached to examine the shell pendant. The shell burned a pale pink aura and Gayle yanked her claw back. “YOWCH! Tricky thing burned me.”

     Phanty laughed at the Eyrie’s reaction.

     Violynne frowned. “Sorry, Gayle. I guess Phanty is shy.” Her shoulders slumped.

     Gayle raised an eyebrow. “Who be this Phanty?”

     “My friend. She lives in my necklace,” Vio explained, cradling the pendant in her feathers.

     “Vio… ye should probably get rid of that thing,” Gayle chastised. “It could be dangerous.”

     “Don’t listen to this fool, dear Violynne.” Phanty spoke up. “I’m the only friend you need.”

      Violynne’s wings balled into tight fists. “I’m late for endurance training, Gayle.” She turned towards the dock and stormed off to the Mystery Island training school.

     “Yarr?!” Gayle cried out. “Vio, wait!” The eyrie took to the sky and flew after her friend.

     The Mystery Island training school sat at the base of Techo Mountain. Inside the school, many young Neopets sat cross-legged in a circle. At the centre sat an old green Techo wearing a brown gi. All eyes turned to Violynne as she entered the main room.

     “Forgive me for being late, Master Techo.” Violynne said with a bow.

     Master Techo stroked his beard thoughtfully. “Young Violynne, where did you get that necklace?”

     “Do you like it? I won it from the Pant Devil in the Battledome,” Violynne explained.

     “Hmmm…” Master Techo merely nodded as he held his arms crossed over his chest. “It is familiar, that’s all. Please enter the circle, young Violynne.”

     A dark giggle resounded in Violynne’s head. “Let’s show everyone how to really fight!” Phanty cheered.

     “Yes.” Violynne agreed. Her eyes went half-lidded and hazy. She took her place in the centre of the arena.

     A Kougra, the same age and height as Violynne, joined her. “What, does that necklace give you magical powers or something? Hahaha!” he mocked.

     Violynne’s brow furrowed. “Phanty will grant me great fortune,” she said through gritted teeth.

     “Attention!” Master Techo interjected, stepping in between the two. “Remember the rules: no insults in the area, and one must show respect to one’s opponent.”

     “Yes, Master, we’re sorry,” the two Neopets said in unison. But from within, Violynne could hear Phanty sigh.

     Master Techo nodded in satisfaction. “Good, now begin!” He cleared the area and sat back down.

     “Ha ha, good luck,” the Kougra mouthed.

     Violynne’s eyes narrowed. They glowed with a dim, blue haze. “Same to you.”

     The two bowed to each other and Violynne flapped her wings. The Kougra tilted his head curiously, but held his fists out and bent his knees - a fighting stance. “Do your worst.”

     Phanty let out a snarl as the shell pendant glowed with a deep blue aura and Violynne’s eyes darkened. Suddenly, she charged and grabbed her opponent’s wrists. With surprising strength, she lifted him in the air and began to spin so fast that any and all witnesses would only see a blur.

     “Stop! Put me down!” the Kougra begged.

     So Violynne did. She abruptly stopped spinning and threw her opponent with all the strength she could manage. The Kougra hit the wall so hard that the impact cracked the drywall, leaving a Kougra-shaped hole.

     “Ha ha ha!” Phanty’s laugh echoed inside Vio’s mind. “Nice work, my girl,”

     You’re the only friend I need, Phanty, Violynne thought in response.

     At that moment, Gayle burst through the door. Her breath heaved and her shoulders rose and fell rapidly. “Vio! What’s going on?” That’s when she noticed the Kougra flat on his face.

     Gayle frowned and knelt down beside the Kougra. “Oh my goodness, are you alright?”

     He sat up and rubbed his arm. “Violynne! She did it! We were sparring when she grabbed and threw me!”

     Gayle’s eyes widened in horror. Steeling her nerves, she turned to Violynne. “Is this kid telling the truth, Vio?”

     “Yeah, I threw him. So what?” Violynne bluntly stated. Her beak twitched and a smirk appeared. “After all, didn’t you say ‘do my worst’?” She laughed along with Phanty.

     Gayle froze. “Why ye be acting so strange today?”

     Master Techo regarded Violynne’s necklace. His eyes narrowed at the shell pendant, making note of the navy blue glow. “That pendant, I knew it looked familiar! Young Violynne, take that necklace off this instant!”

     “No! Phanty is my friend!” Violynne barked. “You can’t have her!”

     Violynne's entire body began to glow and she charged out of the training school, right past Gayle. She was gone in a flash.

     “Vio…” Gayle’s shoulders slumped and the corner of her beak drooped. She turned to Master Techo. “What is wrong with her?”

     Master Techo stood, shaking his head with worry. “That necklace is cursed. There is an evil spirit inside that controls young minds.” His shoulders slumped. “In my youth, I fell victim to it, too.”

     “Then we gotta save Vio!” Gayle exclaimed.

     “There is one way to save her,” Master Techo agreed. “We must destroy the necklace in the flame of Techo Mountain.”

     Master Techo led Gayle down into the basement of the training school. Every wall in the room was lined with towering bookshelves that spanned all the way from ceiling to floor. Gayle scanned the shelves with her eyes as she let out an impressed whistle. “Woo-wee! A mighty fine collection ye got here, Master Techo!”

     Master Techo allowed himself a small chuckle. “I’ve lived a long life, young Gayle,” he said as he approached the shelf directly across from the stairs. He pulled out a large, green book and brought it over to a desk made of bamboo. A cloud of dust rose up around the book as it landed.

     Gayle wrapped her arm around her mouth and coughed into her elbow. When she recovered, she gazed down at the book. The cover was made of wood, painted green with two crossed leaves carved into it. The title was engraved in gold lettering: Horrors of Mystery Island.

     Gayle’s mouth hung open as she turned to Master Techo. “Will this help us save Vio?”

     “Indeed,” Master Techo replied. He opened the book, and this time, he coughed. “Young Violynne has stumbled upon the Phantom’s Shell. It’s an ancient necklace that possesses its wearer and promises them great fortune,” he read from the page.

     Gayle gasped, pointing to more information. “It grants them super strength and speed, but then–” Her expression fell. “It drains their life force.”

     Master Techo nodded. “Precisely; we have to find Violynne before she exhausts herself.”

     “But she fled so fast!” Gayle exclaimed. “She could be anywhere by now.”

     –Meanwhile–

     A lush, green forest dense with palm trees surrounded the training school. It was here where Violynne had stopped running. She bent over, holding her wings to her knees. She panted heavily with exhaustion. “Ugh… I need water,” she said.

     She craned her neck, gazing up at the cloudless blue sky. The blazing Mystery Island sun would probably gaze back if it had that ability. Violynne wiped the sweat from her forehead.

     “Heh…” Phanty let out a purring giggle. “Poor dear, are you tired?” Her concern was mocking.

     “Woo…” Violynne sighed. “Yeah, I’m tired.” Looking around, she examined the leaves on the trees. She walked closer to one.

     The leaf was huge and resembled a cup, deep with veins that were perhaps two inches tall. It was filled with accumulated rainwater. Violynne licked her beak before carefully cradling the leaf in one wing while plucking it from the branch with the other. She lifted it to her beak and quaffed the water. Then, she used the leaf as a napkin and let out a satisfied “ahh!”

     “Are you quite done?” Phanty asked, her smooth voice laced with irritation.

     Violynne nodded. “Where to now, Phanty?”

     “There.” Phanty’s voice echoed and Violynne craned her neck. A massive mountain loomed in the distance. It had a hole from which smoke spewed.

     “The volcano?” Violynne asked.

     “Ah, not just any volcano, my dear,” Phanty chastised like a mother would do to her child. “That is Techo Mountain. The largest volcano in Neopia.”

     Violynne had heard of Techo Mountain, so named because it bore a massive Techo head at the front, but she had never seen it up close. He heart pounded and she began to sweat once again. “Master Techo said that Techo Mountain was dangerous!” she exclaimed.

     “Are we not friends?” Phanty cried, her tone sullen. “Do you not trust me?”

     “I…” Violynne paused. “No.” She twiddled her wings nervously. “I mean, yes, we’re friends… but Master Techo–” Her beak clamped shut and glowed with that navy blue aura.

     “Hush!” Phanty commanded.

     Violynne covered her ears as the voice ricocheted inside her mind. She squeezed her eyes shut. Then, said eyes snapped open, sporting a navy blue haze.

     Phanty let out an eerie yet seductive chuckle. “Now, are we ready to go up the mountain?”

     “Ready,” Violynne replied robotically. She began to march up a path, starting in the forest clearing and leading up to Techo Mountain.

     The path started as a hill, gradually sloping upwards, but as she got closer to the summit, the ground became craggy. Jagged rock shot upwards from the ground and the road cracked at every twist and turn. Violynne stumbled as she slipped on a pebble. She flailed her wings and nearly fell back. However, she glowed and her back suddenly straightened. She kicked the pebbled and it echoed as it tumbled off the side of the mountain.

     Violynne gulped as she gazed over the edge. There was nothing but clouds, as she was too high up to see the treetops.

     “Keep walking!” Phanty commanded.

     Violynne did so and finally reached the summit. Heat radiated from a giant pit of lava. The circumference of the pit created a narrow path, only a few inches of space.

     High in the sky, Master Techo rode Gayle as they searched for Violynne. The old Techo held a hand to his brow, shielding his eyes from the light as he scanned the ground below. He spotted a glowing blue dot amongst the much larger red glow of the lava pit.

     “There she is!” he cried, pointing to this location.

      “Hold on tight!” Gayle warned. She flapped her wings before diving and landing gracefully on the other side of the pit. “Vio!”

     Violynne looked up. “Gayle?”

     “Young Vio! You must destroy that necklace!” Master Techo shouted. “Throw it into the lava!”

     Violynne shook her head. “Phanty is my friend!”

     “I be your friend!” Gayle cried. “That thing is controlling you! Please listen to me!”

     Violynne’s expression fell and the blue haze dissipated from her eyes. She undid the latch and held the necklace over the lava.

     “Don’t do this, dear Violynne!” Phanty stuttered. “W-We’re friends, correct?”

     “Right!” Violynne snarled. She took out her trusty rainbow gun.

     Gayle’s eyes widened. “V-Vio! What ye be thinking?”

     Violynne didn’t respond; she pulled the trigger. A rainbow shot sent Gayle flying back. Gayle let out a screech as a rock struck her head.

     In a moment of clarity, Violynne’s eyes widened and she dropped her weapon. “Gayle!” She rushed to the Eyrie's aid. “I’m sorry! Are you alright?”

     Gayle smiled weakly at Violynne. “Yeah…” she said. Luckily, there was only a small bump on her head.

     Violynne reached up and undid the necklace clasp. “W-What are you doing, Violynne?” Phanty stuttered. “Aren’t we friends?”

     “Gayle is my real friend,” Violynne replied. “Goodbye, Phanty.” With that, she held the necklace over the lava and dropped it.

     “Nooo!” Phanty’s voice faded into nothingness as the necklace sank into the lava. It cracked and burned to ash.

     Violynne wrapped her wings around Gayle, pulling her into a hug. She cried into her friend’s chest. “I’m sorry.”

     Gayle smiled and patted Violynne’s back. “There, there. I got ye,” she said. “Let’s go home.”

     With that, all was well.

     

 
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