"Brenda? Marcus?" I called frantically through the forest.
"Brenda? Marc? Come back!"
Somewhere behind me, I heard a pirate growl,
"The poor lass is out of her mind."
"You'd be out of your mind too if you were a
human who lost her Neopets," Arielle said.
I only vaguely heard the conversation. I was
too worried about my NeoPets. They had been missing for five days. I was beginning
to wonder if they had made it off the ship.
I broke down into despair. "It's no use, Ari.
They're gone. I lost them forever."
"You can't give up now!" Arielle cried. "Not
while we're so close."
"Tell the truth, Ari. We're no closer to finding
them now then we were five days ago."
"We're no farther away from finding them either."
"They're gone. I know it. " I wept unashamedly.
"So young. So innocent. They did nothing to deserve what they got. I can still
hear their little voices." I closed my eyes.
"J-J-Jessica? A-Arielle? This can't be happening."
"Don't worry little Brenda. There aren't any
monsters in your closet and I checked your bed for Spyders an hour ago."
"Jessie. You might want to try opening your
What I saw seemed so unreal.
"Brenda! You're here! You're really here!" I
raced towards my Usul, my sweetest, most childlike NeoPet. I hugged her, touching
her fur, face, paws, just to make sure she was all there. Then there was a giddy
sense of joy and relief that comes with knowing that your loved one is safe.
Just when I thought my elation was ending, I
A green Chomby was blocking out the light of
the rising sun. Marcus. My Marcus.
"Marc!" I called. "Marcus!"
"Jessica!" He landed and we hugged. Tears poured
out of my eyes like drops from a waterfall. Finally, I had done so much crying,
Marcus joked about building an ark.
"Where's the Captain?" Kara Lee asked Brenda.
"I didn't see him," my Usul confessed. "I think
he went under."
"I wonder where he is," Kara Lee cried.
For a moment, I felt sorry for the Kyrii. The
Lupe she had served under for years was gone.
But my beloved Neopets were here and they were
Isn't that all a parent can ask for?
Water… water everywhere. Flashing lightning, the boom of thunder. And wet,
so wet. Wind sweeps the waves up and buries me in the sea. I go down… down…
Someone grabs the scruff of my neck and fishes
me out of the ocean. I turn to thank my rescuer, but the words die in my mouth.
I was rescued by my arch-nemesis, Captain Goldtooth.
"NightLupe me old shipmate," Goldtooth said
to me. "Ye're lookin' a bit soggy."
"Why did ye do it, Goldtooth?" I felt my voice
tremble with rage as I stared down at the pirate Krawk with the gold fang. "There
were children aboard that ship. Children could drown tonight."
"Ye didn't seem to care about poor liddle Carolea.
Let me introduce ye to her owner, Penelope. Distraught liddle girl, a wreck
over her lost pet."
"What did you do to Carolea?" Penelope shrieked.
"Where is she?"
"I know not who ye speak of, lass, but if yer
Carolea was aboard me ship, ye may have drowned her," I growled, showing all
of my shiny teeth. These teeth tend to scare humans.
Penelope didn't seem affected. "You have lifeboats,
Captain. I saw them."
"What if we didn't have enough lifeboats? Our
first priority would be to rescue our fellow pirates, not prisoners."
"So she is your prisoner?"
"I said, 'if'."
"I've had enough 'ifs' and I want the truth."
Then, something strange happened. I closed my
eyes and I saw a white Peophin, only a teenager. She was a wild Peophin by the
looks of her horns. She was a charming beauty, but also a fearsome fighter.
And she told me to say this:
"Sea and Air is a pirate's domain,
Yet another comes to meet again,
That Land and Sea may then unite
To end the bitter fight.
"Then, lo! Beneath the seabirds' call,
Comes the one to make wickedness fall.
Lily's tale again unfolds,
Her secrets to behold.
"Out of Fire comes the maid,
To wield the flower's battle blade.
Hence the Fire and Sea be one
Beneath the burning sun."
My rhyme. The rhyme in the Tales. Lily had brought
it to me in my hour of need. The thought of being cheered up by a legend made
me want to laugh, but I didn't. It would be wrong to do so. Lily was trying
to send me a message.
But what? What could she be trying to tell me?
A word appeared in the back of my mind. Carolea.
Then, letters started to change.
Is Kara Lee the 'maid?' I thought.
No. Said a voice from beyond the seas.
Then who is the 'maid?'
One you know well. The one of Fire.
That left me stumped. At first I thought the
voice was referring to Marcus because his species is from Tyrannia, a place
of volcanoes. But the word "maid" is short for "maiden." A maiden is a young
girl. So it couldn't be Marcus. Brenda was too shy to 'wield a battle blade.'
Jessica was human, and I think the poem was referring to a Neopet.
But that just leaves one person.
Book Three- Out of Fire
"First mate Scaly, come into me office," I barked.
My name is Captain Goldtooth, the meanest Krawk
pirate ever to sail the seas. First mate Scaly, my crew and I have raided many
"Cap'n, I'm fair nervous around that Lupe. He
was talkin' about some sort of prophecy. Like magic or somethin'." Scaly the
pirate Krawk whined.
"The only magic on this ship is the way you'll
magically end up in the water if you ever hesitate to carry out my orders again,
"Now listen to me plans. Usin' Whipsail and
Scorch, I managed to divide the enemy forces. I hired those two, ye know. Just
for the purpose of creating a ruckus."
"Brilliant scheme, Cap'n."
"Aye, boy. Now hearken. The crew of the Peophin
Lily is probably buildin' a new boat now, as we speak. Meaning they'll have
a lot of work to do. And they have no time to worry about stuff like defense,
is that so?"
"So the plan is this, boy. We find out where
they're building their boat. We sneak up on the area, surround them like so."
I used my knife to carve a picture of a half-built boat in the wood of my desk.
Then, I circled the boat. "We attack them from all sides, no questions asked."
"And do ye want to know why we're attackin'
"No, Cap'n. I'm just the Krawk who follows orders."
"Well me intellectually challenged friend, there
was a treasure on that boat. The treasure was the first thing me shipmate NightLupe
saved when it sank. The treasure is the thing he left that Kyrii in charge of
"Riches, Scaly. Gold and silver jewelry that
shines as brightly as the sun. Diamonds and gemstones that glitter like stars.
Even if we split the loot evenly amongst every member of me crew, we'd all be
the richest pets in Neopia. Tell me you don't want that, boy."
"Er… I don't want it Cap'n?"
"I didn't mean literally tell me!" I yelled,
frustrated at my young associate. "But it doesn't matter, boy. Ye won't be getting
any of the treasure. I'm the Cap'n aboard this ship. I do lots of hard, boring
work. I deserve the entire thing. And I'll lead me crew to victory! Do as I
command, and ye'll be rewarded. Not with me treasure, but with something else."
"Sounds good to me, Cap'n."
"And promise me ye won't tell a soul about our
conversation, will ye? I'd hate to spoil a surprise for me crew."
"Surprise? I love surprises! I won't tell anyone.
Ye can count on me, Cap'n." Scaly retreated into the harsh sunlight on the deck,
nearly tripping on his way out.
My crew was ready. My first mate was a little
scatterbrained, but no ship is perfect.
I predicted to myself that by this time next
week, I'd be a billionaire.
To be continued...