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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 25th day of Collecting, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 119 > Short Stories > Codestone Hunters: See the Zei

Codestone Hunters: See the Zei

by lost_desert_fan

Editor's Note: It is recommended that you read Codestone Hunters: Beginnings before this story so that you can become familiar with the characters.

A Desert Lupe appeared. Beside her was a sage Green Gelert, and between them was a girl. This Lupe and Gelert were familiar, as was the girl.

     Then a Lu Codestone appeared in the Lupe's paw. The Lupe smiled, reaching out to give him the Codestone. He reached out for it with a wing, as a Zei Codestone appeared before him. He tried to reach for that as well, but somehow he could not…

     The Green Pteri woke up. He yawned, then ruffled his feathers to greet the morning.

     A Desert Lupe, the same as in his dream, walked up, smiling brightly. "Hey Likte," the Lupe hugged the small Pteri.

     The Pteri, or Likte, squawked happily, as a greeting to his older sister Sendriye.

     "You've grown a lot in a month," Sen smiled, adding, "…and pretty soon you'll be talking!"

     Likte nodded, squawking contentedly. Sen picked him up, taking him downstairs for breakfast.

     Omelettes sizzled as a green Gelert flipped them over, sprinkling pepper on top of one, sausage on another, and leaving one plain.

     "Hey, Evyynn," Sen smiled, watching the Gelert give her and their brother an omelette each.

     "Anything new with Likte?" Ev looked at the Pteri, who started to gobble up his sausage omelette.

     "He'll probably start talking in a few days," Sen ruffled the feathers on his head. "Maybe then I can ask him," she then muttered to herself.

     Likte looked at Sen, egg and sausage covering his face and feathers. Sen grinned, grabbing a paper towel and wiping off the Pteri's face. "Next time, Likte, chew your food and try not to make a mess," Sen smiled, ruffling the feathers on his head again. "It makes it a lot easier for Ev," Sen chuckled to herself, before slicing her omelette and chewing on each bite.

     Ev looked over. "Where's Grath?" she asked, cracking another egg to make a new omelette. "I haven't seen her yet today."

     A tired looking girl, hair going here and there, a toothbrush in mouth, and a bathrobe wrapped around her, walked through the doorway, half asleep.

     "Ah, Grath. Nice of you to join us," Sen stifled a snicker. Grath yawned, dripping toothpaste onto the floor.

     "Grath!" Ev shouted. "How many times do I have to remind you? Brush up in the bathroom, not the kitchen! Now go upstairs and change and then I'll give you your breakfast."

     "Brunch, actually," Sen corrected, slicing another bite of omelette. Ev glared at her, watching Grath leave and walk up the stairs.

     Ev poured BBQ sauce on the omelette, watching it steam on the plate she set out for Grath.

     Grath wandered back downstairs, dressed untidily and hair still flying everywhere.

     "It's a start," Ev sighed, grabbing a fork and knife for her owner.

     Very suddenly, the window above the sink opened, sending a gust of wind into the kitchen and breakfast nook. A single piece of parchment made its way onto the kitchen floor slowly.

     Sen quickly shut the open window. "That was weird. Also very random, if I do say so."

     "Yeah," Ev said, picking up the parchment. "I think this is another clue for finding the next Codestone."

     "Stating the obvious," Sen grinned, looking over Ev's shoulder. Ev glared, reading out,

     It has been a month
     Time for the next
     Here's another clue
     With some interesting text.
     To the frigid mountain you shall go
     Stepping through mounds of snow
     Finding the Zei won't be so easy
     This clue was very cheesy.

     "Cheesy indeed," Sen giggled, rolling up the parchment. "Frigid mountain probably means that its on Terror Mountain."

     "Better grab the scarves…" Grath yawned, finishing off her omelette.

~~~

"Agh… Why did those ninja-ey people have to throw the Zei Codestone over here?" Ev moaned.

     "They're not 'ninja-ey people'," Sen rolled her eyes, wrapping the scarf around Likte a bit closer to him. "They're 'thieves'."

     "Thieves, ninja-ey people, whatever," Ev snapped back. "They're still evil dudes who stole the sacred Codestones, scattered them around Neopia, and now they're making us search for them in freezing weather."

     "Don't go looking at the bad side," Sen commented. "Anyway, it's about time to go into the Snowager's Den."

     "I'm not going in there again!" Ev shouted.

     "Fine, fine, I'll go this time," Sen rolled her eyes, grabbing Likte and sliding down the slope leading to the Ice Caves.

     "I'm so going to get a cold after this," Grath muttered, following her three pets.

     "It would make sense that the Zei Codestone would be in there," Sen peered through the immense hole in the cave wall, leading to another cave. "I mean, the Snowager has a lot of stuff. Why don't we go ask him if he's seen a Zei Codestone anywhere?"

     "Are you crazy?" Grath asked, teeth chattering as she spoke. "You can't just go up to the Snowager and ask him something! He'll blast you for sure!"

     "That's a chance I'll have to take," Sen said quickly. "Plus, you brought along some healing potions, right?"

     "Umm… no?" Grath chuckled weakly.

     "I should make you go in there then," Sen glared. "But I packed some just in case."

     "Maybe we should just all go in…" Ev sighed, shaking her head. Sen nodded, sneaking into the dwelling of the Snowager. Ev followed suit, and after a long moment, Ev dragged Grath with her.

     "It seems colder in here," Sen whispered to Ev, who nodded, shivering from head to footpaw.

     "I never noticed that he kept this place so orderly," Grath muttered, covering her mouth with a glove-covered hand to block the sound of her teeth chattering. "Look! A pile of Codestones. Maybe the Zei is in there…"

     "Do you still have the parchment?" Ev looked at Sen, who nodded quietly. "I think it'll glow or something when we find the Zei."

~~~

"Hey! Look! Snowballs!" Grath grinned, picking up a few Sticky Snowballs and putting them into a cooler.

     "Why do you have a cooler?" Ev hissed, blinking curiously as her owner placed a few pink snowballs into a cooler.

     "I was hoping that I could get some snow so I could make some snow slushies," Grath blushed, going back to picking up snowballs.

     "Whatever," Ev muttered, going over to the pile of Codestones to search with Sen and Likte.

     "I really should have sectioned off places in the cooler," Grath muttered, picking up a snowball. Another glove was already on it. Grath pulled, looking up.

     Another girl was standing in front of her, a hand on the Sticky Snowball. A Yellow Gelert and a Blue Eyrie were behind her, looking curiously at Grath.

     "You know, LDF, you don't need another Sticky Snowball," the Gelert hissed. "You already have more than 30!"

     "I like collecting things, though," the girl that was addressed as LDF grinned. The Eyrie rolled her eyes, sighing.

     "You can always buy more. It's not that hard…" the Eyrie shook her head, sighing again.

     "Excuse me, but… who are you?" Grath blinked, shutting the lid of the cooler in her arms.

     "I'm LDF." The girl smiled, then pointed at the Gelert. "That's Alieica, or Alie… And that's Tymide, or Ty."

     "I've heard of you!" Grath's face lit up. "You were featured in the Pet Spotlight a few weeks ago!" Grath looked at Ty, who blushed, nodding slowly.

     "THIS IS SO COOL!" Grath shouted, forgetting that she was in the Snowager's Cave. LDF, Alie, and Ty immediately put hands and paws on Grath's mouth, trying to wrestle a struggling Grath to silence.

     Sen, Ev, and Likte turned around. "Now you've done it!" Ev shouted at Grath.

     A huge ice worm made his way slowly to the group of pets and owners. It roared, sending a large icy blast at the seven.

     "Alie! I think you brought your weapons, right?" LDF shouted, her Gelert nodding. "Then go and distract him while we get out of here!"

     LDF, Grath, and their pets (with the exception of Alie) ran out of the cave, screaming and shouting with fright. The brave Gelert threw out an Illusens Earth Potion, sending a large amount of green potion at the Snowager.

     Alie knew it wouldn't last long, but it was only temporary. Alie noticed a glowing Codestone near her, along with a glowing piece of parchment. She picked both up, stuffing them into her pack, and ran for her life, dodging many icy blasts from the Snowager. She threw the remaining amount of the potion to stall, fleeing the cave.

     The Snowager's eyes drooped slightly as he turned around, making his way back to his resting spot.

     Alie panted, skidding to a halt in front of her owner, sister, and new found friends.

     "You really have to stop making me do this," Alie panted, gasping for breath. "Oh yes, and you guys dropped this," Alie handed over the piece of parchment and the Codestone she had found before almost getting frozen from the Snowager.

     "Thanks," Sen blinked, taking the Codestone and parchment from the Gelert. Sen peered at the sign of the Codestone, almost dropping it.

     "What's the matter, Sen?" Ev looked at the Desert Lupe next to her.

     "It's the Zei Codestone," Sen gasped. Likte ruffled his feathers, smiling into everyone's faces.

     "You never told us who you were," LDF looked over at Grath and her pets.

     "Oh… umm… I'm Grath; full name is Grath Longfletch. These are my pets, Sendriye, the Lupe, the Gelert is Evyynn, and this little fella here is Likte."

     "Why did you have this piece of parchment and this Codestone that glowed?" Ty blinked, scratching her chin.

     "Uhh…" Sen looked to Ev, who looked to Grath, who looked back to Sen. "If we ever meet you again, we'll tell you…"

     "Well… uh… See you later! Havetogobye!" Grath grabbed Likte and ran off, Sen and Ev following.

     "Well that was weird," LDF scratched her chin, looking at her pets.

~~~

"That was close," Ev sighed, sitting on the couch of their Neohome. "If we ever meet them again, then we will tell them. Just not right now. Or anytime soon."

     "Yeah…" Sen took off her head-dress, wiping sweat off her brow and then putting it back on.

     "Hey… Look! Another scroll!" Grath grinned, grabbing a scroll that suddenly appeared on the coffee table.

     "What does it say?" Ev asked, watching Sen pick it up.

     Sen cleared her throat, saying,

     You've found new friends
     That will help in the end.
     Now the next Codestone
     Shall be harder then others
     You'll meet your foes
     The Codestone of Tai-Kai
     Will be yours once
     You find where it is.
     In two weeks another scroll
     Will appear for you
     Showing you the way.

     "Whoever writes these can't rhyme properly," Grath announced, folding up the scroll and putting it in her bag.

     "Well at least it tells us what the next Codestone is," Ev smiled. "The next one is a Tai-Kai."

     "Tai-Kai… is next…" a voice said. Everyone stared at Likte, who smiled and ruffled his feathers. "Tai… Kai…" he smiled again.

     "Well that was weird," Sen blinked, still staring at Likte, who ruffled his feathers and snuggled up to her. "I'll take Likte up to my room and put him in bed… Today was unusual, and he must be tired."

     "Good idea." Ev nodded, taking Grath's bag. "I'll go put this and the Zei Codestone with the Lu."

     "Okay…" Grath muttered, watching her pets leave. "I wonder if that really was Likte…"

The End

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