The Lupe led Scarlet and Snowberry down a dirt path
that curved through an area very much like the Endless Plains, except that large
rectangular blocks of grass were flattened in places.
"Those are invisible NeoHomes and shops," the
Lupe pointed out.
They continued walking for about a quarter of
a mile. The whole time, Scarlet and Snowberry huddled close to each other because
they heard voices all around them, but couldn't see where they were coming from.
Finally, Snowberry got up the courage to ask the Lupe about it. "Mr Lupe?" she
said, "Do you hear anything… unusual?"
"No," the Lupe said without flinching. "Why
do you ask?"
"Because, um… well… Scarlet and I… hear… voices."
"Of course you do. Haven't you…" The Lupe covered
his mouth and whipped around to face the two terrified Neopets. "Oops, I'm sorry.
I forgot to tell you: Not only are the buildings and structures invisible in
this world, but so are the residents."
"The Neopets are too?" Scarlet said, looking
even more terrified. "How can that be? Are they…"?
"No, no, no. Don't be silly," the Lupe said,
laughing. "They've all been painted with an invisible paintbrush."
"Invisible paintbrush?" Scarlet and Snowberry
said, as invisible paintbrushes had not existed before this time.
"Yes," the Lupe said, beaming. "I created it
myself. It makes Neopets completely invisible."
"Really?" Scarlet said, now calm. "I know some
Neopets that would love to get their hands on something like that."
"I had planned to make some available to the
general Neopian public. I have a whole box of them in one of the buildings ready
and waiting. Would you like a free sample?"
"I'll get that to you as soon as the tour is
over. Right now…" The Lupe pointed to a rather large indention in the ground
to the right. "This is our first stop - the No-see-ums Bakery."
"Great, I'm starving!" said Snowberry, hopping
up and down.
Scarlet, always an opportunist, thought to himself,
"And since no one's ever been here before, I could stash some of these goods
in my backpack, bring them back to Neopia Central, and sell them for loads of
money! Then I could go to the Hidden Tower and get that Crystal Boomerang I've
always wanted… and about ten other items. This will be great!" he said as he
rubbed his hands together.
The three of them felt their way through the
doorway leading into the invisible shop. Inside, the voice of the invisible
Techo shopkeeper said, "Welcome to the No-see-ums Bakery! Home of tasty treats
and edible eats."
"Work on that motto," Scarlet whispered to the
"We're sold out of everything right now," the
Techo continued, "but we should be restocking in about a minute."
"Oh, that's why there's no food in here," Scarlet
A few moments later, there was a shuffling noise
that lasted for about fifteen seconds. "There," the invisible Techo said after
it died down. "Now, what would you like to purchase today?"
Scarlet and Snowberry looked quite confused,
for everything appeared exactly as it did before. The Lupe noticed and whispered
to them, "What's wrong?"
"There's still nothing in here," Snowberry said.
"Of course there is," the Lupe said. "Don't
you see the signs the shopkeeper has posted? It's just that the food here is
"Oh," Scarlet said, "Why didn't I think of that?"
He sighed and imagined a Crystal Boomerang flying away on angel wings. (After
all, would you buy an item from the marketplace you couldn't see?)
Snowberry, who wasn't going to let the food's
invisibility interfere with her lunch, turned to Scarlet and asked, "Can I get
something to eat? Please? Please?"
"Okay, okay," Scarlet responded, and gave her
some Neopoints. Snowberry perused over the price signs, then focused on one
in particular. "This sounds yummy," she said. "Shopkeeper, can I have this 'Tyrannian
muffin' for 50 NP?"
"I accept your offer," the Techo said. "Enjoy!"
Snowberry extended her paw so that the Techo
could take the Neopoints, then excitedly took the invisible treat and skipped
back to the others. As she took a bite, Scarlet asked the shopkeeper, "So, um,
what exactly is a Tyrannian muffin?"
As soon as he said that, Snowberry gagged and
spit out what was in her mouth. "Ew!! This is fungus!!" she screamed.
"Yuck! I wouldn't have eaten one of these if I had seen what it was!"
"Oh my goodness!" the Lupe said, his fur standing
on end. "I'm so sorry young one. I'd definitely better do something about this,
or else I'll could be handed the first lawsuit in the history of Neopia!"
"Who said I wouldn't do it?" said Snowberry
with bared teeth.
"Snowberry!" Scarlet said, giving her a mean
"Okay, okay. Sorry Mr Lupe, I didn't mean it."
Then she turned to the shopkeeper and said, "I'll take the invisible organic
red apple over there. I know what that is."
The Lupe watched in fear as the Chomby ate the
invisible apple, but there were no complaints this time. After she was done,
the Lupe said, "Okay, let's move on. There are some other things I'd like to
try out on you two." Scarlet and Snowberry waved goodbye to the shopkeeper and
followed the Lupe out of the bakery. "And hopefully these will go better," the
Lupe mumbled to himself.
Scarlet and Snowberry were shown many more aspects
of the No-see-ums throughout the day, too many to describe in great detail in
this one book. One was the No-see-ums Plushie Emporium, which particularly interested
Scarlet since he is an avid plushie collector. However, he was disappointed
since all the plushies looked exactly the same - invisible. Then Scarlet and
Snowberry were taken to the invisible furniture shop, where Snowberry accidentally
smashed a coffee table and knocked down an invisible grandfather clock with
her tail. "Sorry, I didn't see it!" she said. The Lupe shook his head and wrote
"Make furniture store Chomby-proof" in his notebook.
Meanwhile, the Floud that Snowberry had been chasing earlier found his way
in the bakery. The Techo shopkeeper had her back turned, so the Floud was able
to make his way over to the invisible Carroty Cake….
To be continued...