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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 13th day of Eating, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 138 > Continuing Series > Nikola's Jewel: Part Four

Nikola's Jewel: Part Four

by leb388

“You’d think that in early spring, Terror Mountain would at least be a little warm,” Bluey complained.

     It was morning, a bright dawn to a new day. They sought the Snowager, an old friend of theirs they had once met by chance and befriended by luck.

     “C’mon,” Dragoon urged, his Green Shoyru body shrugging off snow. “Just a little farther. It’s for Spirit and Darkmoon.”

     “Right, right.”

     Finally they approached a massive cave carved out of the mountain. The inside was dark and foreboding, but Bluey and Dragoon pressed inwards.

     “Hello?” Dragoon called.

     “Shh! You’ll wake him up!”

     “Isn’t that what we want?” Dragoon asked.

     “Oh, right,” Bluey admitted. “Hello! Mr. Snowager!”

     “RAWR!” came a mighty bellow. The Snowager’s gigantic head raised, and he took a breath and pelted Bluey and Dragoon with icicles.

     “Duck!” Dragoon shouted, diving into the snow.

     Bluey obliged. “He doesn’t seem to be in a good mood, does he?” he said, his voice partially muffled by the snow.


     Bluey lifted his head but was attacked with another round of icicles. “MR. SNOWAGER! IT’S US!”

     “RAWR--Bluey?” the Snowager said, blinking in surprise. “ that you? And Dragoon?” he asked, as Dragoon stood up.

     “Yeah,” said Bluey, “it’s us.”

     “Oh, geez, guys, I’m so sorry. I thought you were someone trying to steal my items. JamezBfod was just in here taking something, and some Neopian named Chet Flash swiped some items yesterday. But what brings you guys here?”

     “We need to ask you something. Did you see Spirit and Darkmoon last night? Or any time recently?”

     “Eh? The blue Zafara and Green Gelert? No, can’t say I have.”

     Dragoon looked down sadly. “Then--have you ever heard of an item called Nikola’s Jewel?”

     “Oh, yes. Evil thing, that.”

     “What does it do?” Bluey asked, suddenly gripped with horror. “We think Spirit and Darkmoon touched it.”

     “Geez, guys, I don’t know how to break this to you. They’re...they’re....”

     “No,” whispered Dragoon.

     “Trapped. The jewel is a mystical device--thought it was legend myself until I saw its effect. It was pretty neat to have, as it kept Neopians from stealing my items for a time.”

     “You had it?” Bluey gasped.

     “Yes, until it was stolen yesterday.”

     They knew it when they saw it. The palace was colossal--and made entirely of translucent azure crystal. It looked more like a castle than a palace, with its many cylindrical towers and fortress-like surrounding.

     “How do we get in?” Spirit wondered.

     “Easy,” said Dantus. “There’s no security system past the gate.”

     “Then what’s the gate’s security system?”

     “You’ll see,” said Dantus, smiling.

     They walked closer to the crystal fence. The top had crystal barbed wire and the gate was sealed with a lock that it seemed only magic could open.

     Hanging right over the gate was a sign: “Out to lunch. Come back later.”

     “Well, I guess we’d better go,” said Darkmoon, turning around.

     “Yeah,” agreed Spirit, following him.

     “Come on, guys,” Dantus said, grabbing both of them. “It’s bewitched to make you think you have to leave.”

     “Oh,” said Spirit, looking at the sign. “Well, that’s pretty neat.”

     “I was just joking, guys,” Darkmoon defended, “really. Dantus, how come it didn’t affect--I mean, why didn’t you play along?”

     “Someone told me about it.” He pushed the gate open, and the lock clicked open.

     Darkmoon and Spirit followed him uneasily. The small courtyard before the main entrance of the palace had realistic grass and Rowzes planted in neat flower beds. A cobbled walkway of silver and blue stones led them to the towering main entrance to the palace. They looked up at the stormy morning. A showering of rain drizzled on them, making them a tiny bit anxious to enter the mysterious palace.

     Spirit pushed a shimmering door open and they found themselves standing in a dark, spacious hallway. No one was there.

     “Where to?” Darkmoon whispered.

     “Nikola’s bedroom,” Dantus whispered back. “She keeps her belongings there.”

     Spirit’s eyes widened, but he said nothing.

     “Um, how do we know if she’s there or not?” Darkmoon asked nervously.

     “Oh, you’ll know,” Dantus replied.

     Darkmoon wondered again whether or not they were right in trusting Dantus.

     “Her room should be upstairs, with a sign on the door,” Dantus informed. “When you get to it, you absolutely must go in. No matter what.”

     “You’re not coming with us?” asked Spirit.

     “No, I’m guarding the door.”

     “We should stick together if we’re going to do this.” Darkmoon rounded a corner and found a winding crystal staircase, and the others followed him.

     “I’m sorry,” said Dantus, “I can’t. Nikola shouldn’t be here, she’s supposed to welcome some new prisoners. We’ll have at least an hour...but I want to be sure.”

     Darkmoon stared at Dantus hard, his eyes blazing. “How do you know all that?”

     Dantus sighed. “I thought you’d want to know. I’m Nikola’s highest-ranking official.”

     Spirit gripped the staircase and looked toward the exit. He and Darkmoon could still make it. “Then you’re just leading us into a trap!”


     “Then why are you helping us if you’re on her side?”

     “Because,” said Dantus, “I want to get out, just like you. Nikola appoints us to make sure everything’s going all right, and that the people have food and water--”

     “I don’t believe you!” Darkmoon bellowed. His voice echoed off the walls.

     “When I accepted the position,” Dantus said bitterly, “I was hoping Nikola would free me. She didn’t. So ever since, I’ve been a double agent, collecting information to one day lead everyone to freedom.”

     “You could still be lying to us.”

     “Yes, I could,” said Dantus. He glanced behind himself as the door they used to enter sealed itself with crystal, blocking their escape. “But you have no choice now, do you?”

     Spirit bounded up the steps, trying to get away from the maniacal Grarrl, trying to find an exit, anything. He had trusted Dantus, and now felt betrayed.

     Darkmoon followed him breathlessly.

     When they reached the top, they caught their breath and listened. They couldn’t hear anyone following them. After a moment, they pressed on.

To be continued....

Previous Episodes

Nikola's Jewel: Part One

Nikola's Jewel: Part Two

Nikola's Jewel: Part Three

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

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