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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 24th day of Hunting, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 136 > Continuing Series > Nikola's Jewel: Part Two

Nikola's Jewel: Part Two

by leb388

Bluey and Dragoon didn't notice that Spirit and Darkmoon were gone--not right away. They were busy scavenging for items.

     "Bluey, look what I found!" Dragoon exclaimed proudly, showing his dragon owner his loot. "A Bottled Water Faerie!"

     "Awesome," Bluey replied, examining the jarred faerie in Dragoon's Green Shoyru paw.

     "I think it's the best we're gonna find, though," Dragoon said, having long ago given up trying to convince Bluey to play games. "Think we should call it a day?"

     "Yeah," Bluey agreed. "Darkmoon! Spirit!" he called. "Time to go."

     There was no response.

     "Do you think they went home already?" Dragoon wondered.

     Bluey looked around. The sky was growing dark and a chilly wind was blowing, carrying the wafing scents of delicious food. The enormous crowd that was in the streets before had dwindled to about a regular day's shoppers.

     "Probably," he said. "Let's go check. But first, we should restock our shop and buy some food. I feel like having Neo tacos."

     Dragoon agreed. He stood up and started to walk, but tripped over something in the path he thought was clear and tumbled into a messy pile of junk. "Gah!" he exclaimed, clutching his throbbing tail. He rolled on his side and sat up.

     "Are you okay?" Bluey asked, concerned.

     Dragoon didn't respond. He was staring at a paw-sized blue gem sitting a few feet away. "Wow," he marveled, still holding his tail.

     "Are you sure you're--?" Bluey followed Dragoon's gaze to the crystal. "Oh. Ooh. It's some sort of jewel," he observed. He read the description. "We'd better be careful. We could sell it for a lot, but if it breaks we'd just as well have a pile of sludge." He pulled off his backpack and carefully slipped the gem inside, taking care not to touch it.

     Dragoon stood up uneasily. "I wish Darkmoon and Spirit were here now to see it."

     A beautiful Air Faerie stood in front of Darkmoon and Spirit. She had on a stunning blue gown that matched the countless blue gems she wore in necklaces and bracelets. In her right hand she held a long blue wand that complemented her sparkling wings. It was all topped off with a gorgeous crown framed with a blue gem, resting on top of her long blonde hair. Only the faerie's eyes betrayed her looks, showing her fierce and menacing side.

     "What've you done to us?" Spirit demanded.

     She smiled faintly. "You've done this to yourselves. The jewel you touched was enchanted. It was mine, long ago...but what do you care? Come this way."

     She started walking, and Darkmoon and Spirit uneasily followed.

     "This is the realm of my jewel. No, you're not inside it...just in an alternate world, different from Neopia. Like Tyrannia or Faerieland. The jewel is like a transporter. Anyone who comes here came by his or her own will. Their greed, not my magic, trapped them."

     "But why?" asked Darkmoon. "You could be a cool villain like Dr. Sloth, but you just hide out here, trapping people?"

     The faerie's eyes seemed to burn with hatred. "Foolish mortal...you speak of more than you understand."

     Spirit tried to appease the faerie, in vain. "This is a nice place you've got here. Really. But we've got to get back home. Our owner will be looking for us."

     The faerie smiled. "He can look forever, but he'll never find you."

     "Um...." Spirit stammered.

     "My name is Nikola," she informed. "I'm your queen. You can do whatever you like here, except never, ever, go into my palace." With that, she turned around and strutted off.

     "She thinks she's the Faerie Queen or something!" Spirit said, outraged. "She can't keep us here!

     "Apparently she is a faerie queen."

     "Well, whatever. How are we going to escape?"

     "We'll find a way. If we can get in, we can get out, right?"

     Darkmoon tried to look nonchalant, but his eyes started to water. "It's just...what will Bluey and Dragoon do when they find we're missing? I hope they don't worry about us."

     "Yeah, but... don't worry. We'll find a way to get out."

     Darkmoon kicked at a tree. Bits of bark broke off to reveal a crystal trunk. "I wish this were only a dream. Why did you have to pick up that dumb jewel anyway?"

     "You're the one who yelled at me to look at it!"

     "I didn't say to grab it!"

     "You're just blaming me!"

     "You're so rude!" Darkmoon wheeled around and stormed off.

     "Fine, go!" screamed Spirit. He started to walk away on his Blue Zafara paws, then broke into a run.

     He didn't even stop when he was out of breath. The dome seemed to go on without end. He passed many Neopets who were trapped, like him. They looked tired, tattered and defeated, so Spirit pushed on to find a place where he could be alone.

     Finally, he collapsed. He lay with his eyes closed for a long time, panting. He didn't know how long he was there, or even if he was awake for the whole time, but he groggily opened his eyes to see a Red Grarrl pushing a cart while yelling, "Getcha bottled water!"

     Spirit's throat was tight and thirsty. He stood up, sensing how wobbly his legs were.

     "How... much?" he whispered.

     "Ah, a newcomer? The water's free. Everything's free. Except us." The Grarrl handed Spirit a bottle of water. "Drink up, my friend."

     Spirit eagerly gulped down the water. "Thank you," he said, his voice shaking.

     The Grarrl shook his head. "It's always worse the second time you wake up. When you know it's real." He paused for a moment. "My name's Dantus. My sister was a Blue Zafara, like you."

     "Oh," Spirit said, taking the bottle and drinking. It was cool and refreshing. "Where is she?"

     Dantus sighed. "Long story, kid. Our owner abandoned us--put us in the Pound. I was rescued; she wasn't. I never heard from her again."

     "I'm--I'm sorry," Spirit whispered, realizing how lucky he was to have a loving family waiting for him. Or did he?

     "Oh, don't be. Things happen. I miss her, but I know someday I'll see her again."

     "How do you know?" Spirit suddenly asked. He blushed. "I'm sorry, I just--how can you be sure?"

     "That, my friend, I don't know. You don't know everything; you just have to do what you can and hope for the best."

     "Ah. I wish I had your optimism. My name's Spirit, by the way."

     "Well, hi, Spirit," said Dantus. "You're in the west side of the jewel. Not far off is the palace of Nikola herself."

     "Really? Wow," said Spirit. "I don't know where anything is. Can you help me get out?"

     Dantus laughed. "Didn't I tell you? You're trapped."

     Bluey knew something was up when his pets weren't home and didn't even return by dinner. Food was food, and Spirit and Darkmoon never missed a meal. Especially since Bluey had bought Neo Tacos and Neocola, a Bludragn family favorite. He waited impatiently by the front door, wondering where they could have gone.

     Dragoon had been captivated by how the jewel was "cool-looking." It wasn't just a jewel, but sort of a music box, really. He found that if he swiped his paw over the top, not really touching it, it played a short, poetic song:

Silly me, being alone for so long, I've forgotten what it is to love.
Do you seek riches? Come into my lair; it's no big endeavor.
But be warned, fool: once you touch the sparkling gem,
You will be trapped in my grasp forever....

     It didn't occur to Dragoon that this could be true, but the song had a spiffy tune.

     "Dragoon! Dinner!"

     Dragoon rushed to the kitchen, his Green Shoyru feet skidding on the smooth floor. He frowned when he saw he and Bluey were the only ones there. "Spirit and Darkmoon haven't come back?"

     "Nope," said Bluey, arranging a Neo Taco on his plate. "Hm. I think this needs more cheese."

     "I wonder where they could be. It's not like them to be gone so long."

     "I know," Bluey stated, spreading some cheese on his taco.

     Dragoon started to feel really uneasy when he remembered the tune. "You know, we last saw them by the Money Tree. And I found that cool jewel there."

     "And?"

     "Oh, nothing." Dragoon sat down and started to eat the taco.

     "I got a Neomail from the Snowager," Bluey said conversationally. "We haven't talked to him in awhile, have we?"

     "No," Dragoon admitted.

     "Well, he says he's doing pretty well. Kinda mad over some stuff being stolen. The usual."

     "Ah."

     Bluey's kitchen was large and cozy. He had a shiny, new fridge and sink. The table was oak and round, large enough for five Neopians. The floor was expensive marble, and the walls were painted a grassy green. A spiffy fireplace lay in one corner (Bluey had plopped it there one Celebrating evening and never saw any point in moving it). The lighting came from a bright, polished chandelier hanging from the ceiling and a small window that gave a good view of the backyard.

     "Have you done a search on it yet?"

     "Whuh?" said Bluey, looking up.

     "I said, have you looked up the jewel in the Shop Wizard yet?" Dragoon queried.

     "Oh. No, not yet."

     "Maybe it's a Battledome weapon. Its description says not to touch it, and it plays this song that says something like, 'Once you touch this, you'll be trapped.' A good fighting technique, no?"

     "What, you think that it's magical or something?" Bluey prodded.

     "Yeah," said Dragoon. "Maybe it's a new Hidden Tower weapon, something so rare we haven't heard of it yet."

     Bluey pondered for a moment. "It's probably just a freeze weapon."

     "Yeah... but there was something weird about it."

     "Oh?"

     "Yeah." Dragoon glanced out the window. "I don't know why, but I keep thinking that Spirit and Darkmoon touched it. Y'know."

     "And that they're stuck inside it?"

     "Yep."

     Bluey and Dragoon glanced at each other seriously, then howled with a laugh.

     Then they looked at each other seriously again and ran to Bluey's hardcover copy of the Neopedia to search for the item. They found the book in the living room.

     "What's the name of it?" Bluey queried, sitting on his couch.

     " 'Nikola's Jewel,' " Dragoon replied, thinking of the glossy blue item in his bedroom.

     Bluey looked up all the N entries, then J, but found nothing in the Neopedia. "Of course! The Shop Wizard!" he exclaimed, grabbing his jacket. "Come on!"

     "Now?" Dragoon glanced out the window. It was night, a black, cruel night where the Pant Devil or Shadow Usul could be lurking around every dim corner.

     "Of course! The Wizard will know if there's one in any shop in Neopia."

     "Well...okay...just let me get it." Dragoon ran back to his room and reappeared in a moment with the jewel tucked away in the pocket of his coat.

     "C'mon," said Bluey, opening the door.

     They stepped outside. It was dark and chilly.

     "What was that?" Bluey asked.

     "What?"

     "I heard something! Shh!"

     Dragoon stared at him, his mouth wide open.

     Bluey turned around and jumped as a pair of red eyes appeared in the shrubs in front of their Neohome. A small blue ghoul came out and flew menacingly toward them. The Pant Devil.

     "Hand over an item," he said to the terrified Bluey and Dragoon. He looked at Dragoon. "That jewel in your pocket will do."

     "N-n-no," stammered Dragoon.

     Panty blinked. "What?"

     "I said, no. We'll give you something else. You don't want the jewel," he replied.

     "Yeah," Bluey added quietly, "I've got something you'd much rather like." He dug into his backpack and handed Panty a Neo taco.

     "Erm--okay," Panty said. He reluctantly accepted it, then turned and hovered away, muttering, "This is worse than that time JamezBfod picked my pocket. To think--"

     Dragoon looked at Bluey. Bluey looked at Dragoon.

     They ran at full speed for the Shop Wizard in Neopia Central.

     "Darkmoon?"

     "Go away," muttered the Green Gelert.

     "C'mon," said Spirit, his Blue Zafara body poised happily. "You can't still be mad. It's too late at night to be mad."

     Darkmoon looked up, glancing at the dizzying crystal dome. It was dark--night. He was sitting in a quiet park in the village, thinking about his owner and Dragoon. "Where do you think they are now?"

     "HM?"

     "Bluey and Dragoon--what do you think they're doing?"

     "Oh, probably fighting with the Pant Devil or something silly like that. Why?"

     "I miss them," Darkmoon murmured. "I never thought I would, but I'm kind of...scared."

     "Okay. Are you still mad?"

     Darkmoon was quiet for a moment. He had long ago figured that if he was going to get out, it would have to be with Spirit. "No. And I'm sorry."

     "Oh, don't be. I'm afraid too. I think that's why we fought. We were afraid. But I've been thinking."

     He rolled over and stared at Spirit. "What?"

     "I've been thinking of a way we can get out of here."

To be continued....

Previous Episodes

Nikola's Jewel: Part One

Nikola's Jewel: Part Three

Nikola's Jewel: Part Four

Nikola's Jewel: Part Five

Nikola's Jewel: Part Six

Nikola's Jewel: Part Seven

Nikola's Jewel: Part Eight

Nikola's Jewel: Part Nine

Nikola's Jewel: Part Ten

Week 136 Related Links

Grey Despair, Golden Hope: Part Six
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