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The Neopian Times Week 146 > Continuing Series > Lost and Found: Part Five

Lost and Found: Part Five

by the_wanderer128

Balthazar and Lupo continued to fight… But when it seemed that Balthazar was close to emerging triumphant, an unknown voice interrupted the fight…

     "C'mon… Show yourself, you coward!" Balthazar roared, at this unwanted visitor.

     No reply came from the darkness except for a silent breeze that crept by the three Lupes, as they stood there, nervously.

     Suddenly, a bright flash appeared in front of them, blinding both Lupo, and Balthazar. Lupo groaned, as his eyes struggled to restore his sight from the sudden light. When the light faded, Lupo looked over at Balthazar. He was on the ground, yet again, but still conscious. Through his labored gasps, Lupo could hear Balthazar's angry voice, speaking to whatever did this to him.

     "You… Why won't you leave me alone…?"

     "Because you are not giving me any reason to do so, Balthazar." Lupo looked up, and saw a heavenly creature, that he recognized as the Faerie Queen, Fyora!

     "Illusen informed me of the situation, after you two had left… I had to intervene." She spoke softly, her words carrying a soothing inflection into Lupo's ears.

     "Balthazar… Leave at once. Else you shall meet the retribution you are owed for all the faeries you have taken captive," Fyora warned.

     Balthazar did not have to be told twice. He left the area at once, leaving the Fyora, Lupo, and Fortuna alone in the clearing. Lupo was thankful that he at least had the Fyora on his side, and promptly thanked her for doing so.

     "Thank you, for saving me. I am in your debt," Lupo said, as he kneeled respectfully in front of the Fyora.

     "You need not thank me… Balthazar has gotten away with so much. It was my duty to help free your sister."

     "It was you that helped me the first time wasn't it?" Lupo questioned. But even the intuitive Fyora seemed puzzled by this.

     "I only saved you this time… The savior, who rescued you before, was someone else. Even I could not tell you who it was." Fyora looked over at Fortuna, who had lost consciousness.

     "She needs your help, Lupo. My intervention ends here…" she said, as she began to fade away into another plane of reality.

     "Wait! Can't you at least transport us to a hospital, or something?" Lupo called after her. But the Fyora shook her head.

     "No. I only became involved, because of Balthazar dragging your sister into his condemnable occupation," she said, her voice beginning to reverberate throughout the woods. "Your journey is far from over, Lupo. You will find what you are looking for, very soon…" And with those words, the Faerie Queen faded out of sight.

     Lupo, slightly angered at the Fyora's lack of help, decided to waste no more time standing there. He grabbed a nearby forked tree branch, and dragged it over to where Fortuna lay. Lupo knew she was holding on, but he was unsure of how long she could do so.

     "Hang in there," Lupo urged her, "I'll get you to some help."

     He then rolled her onto the branch, which he had padded with a layer of moss from one of the nearby trees. Then, using some vines, he formed a loop on one end, and tied the other end to the end of the branch with his paws. Lupo walked through the looped end of the vine, and allowed it to tighten around his waist. Thus, would Lupo be able to drag his sister, comfortably, on the long road back to Neopia Central.

     Lupo at first struggled with the weight he was now forced to carry. But after gaining momentum, he was able to break into a steady jog, with his sister in tow. After exiting the Haunted Woods, at last, Lupo could then run even faster. Although it was a burden with all the extra weight, Lupo maintained focus the entire way. Never did his eyes turn towards his surroundings. He kept them forward on the path he was to run, knowing that his sister's life was depending on him. As they crossed the open plains, a steady rain began to fall. Lupo, already drenched, gave a slight shiver at the air that had begun to cool all around him. There was no place to seek shelter on the plains, so Lupo decided to continue running, until they had reached Neopia Central.

     Hours passed, and there was still no sight of Neopia Central. This began to discourage Lupo, and thoughts of wanting to rest his overworked legs, was the only thing he could think about. But hearing his sister's groans behind him, reminded Lupo of his duty. Despite the searing pain in all four paws, as well as his back, Lupo pressed on.

     Another hour passed, and there was still no sight of civilization of any kind.

     Exhausted, Lupo's body could take no more, and he gave in to his body's demand for rest. The rain was falling even harder now, pounding on his head, and making him feel even colder. Lupo suddenly began to sneeze, violently. His head began to throb, and his breathing became more labored. But Lupo was still determined to help his sister, so he began to will himself to continue.

      "I've come too far to give up now…" Lupo thought, trying to coax his body to go a little further. But it was to no avail.

     Lupo continued to sneeze, not realizing that he had come down with Neomonia, a serious disease. Lupo laid himself down into one of the many sickening puddles of mud that now dotted the plains. The rain continued to beat onto Lupo, as he lay in the puddle wondering of his sister's condition. He began to assume that if he was sick, his sister would be too. In her already weakened state, the sickness would be too difficult for her to resist, and... Lupo did not want to think about the rest. He only wanted to get up, and get Fortuna to a doctor. But he could not, no matter how hard he tried, his body had completely locked up, refusing to move.

     "I failed you…" Lupo whimpered, aloud, "Please, forgive me Fortuna… my sister."

     As Lupo began to close his eyes in defeat, he noticed something making its way towards him. Lupo did not care what it was; he knew he was already done for, and it made little difference to him, what would become of him.

     Lupo then heard a voice echo in his mind. "Why do you admit defeat, when you have pushed yourself this far?" the voice questioned.

     "I can't go on… I never accomplished what I had set out to do," Lupo answered.

     "Who are you?" Lupo asked the mysterious stranger.

     "Someone who loved you, cared for you, and still care for you, despite your limited impression on us." The voice said.

     "Us?" Lupo wondered.

     Lupo opened his eyes, and gasped in fear, when he saw two ghostly Lupes, standing over him. Lupo tried to get on his feet, but his body still refused to move. "Get away!" Lupo cried, shielding his face with his paw. But the spectral beings did not listen to him. They only stood there, watching the pathetic heap that Lupo had been reduced to.

     "Why are you afraid of us?" the other ghost Lupe asked speaking for the first time. This second Lupe had a female voice, and it made Lupo realize who he was talking to.

     "Mom? Dad?"

     Both Lupes nodded their heads. "Yes, son. We are your long, lost parents," the first Lupe said.

     Lupo felt mixed feelings of joy and sorrow. He had found his parents at last, but knowing that they were ghosts also made him realize that his parents were…

     "What happened to you guys?" Lupo asked.

     Both Lupes paused at this, and whispered comments in each other's ears. Finally, Lupo's father spoke up. "That day that your sister went missing, we had taken you to Neopia Central, for some medicine." Lupo remembered how Balthazar had mentioned that he wasn't in the den with his sister, the day he kidnapped her.

     "You had come down with the Sneezles, and we had to get you help. Knowing we'd left your sister back in the den, we left you at the hospital, while we ran back home to check on her. When we discovered she was missing, and realized by the paw-prints who it was that took her, we went after her." Lupo's father backed away, as his mother stepped forward, and continued their story.

     "We faced Balthazar, and tried to win back your sister, but failed. We did not want to risk sacrificing ourselves, so that you and your sister would grow up without your parents. So we tried to escape the Haunted Woods, but became lost."

     Both of the ghostly Lupes bowed their heads in shame. "Because of our own self-resentment, in our failure to save your sister, we eventually succumbed to our grief, and became what you see today," Lupo's mother sighed.

     "But why could I only remember the alleys of Neopia Central when I was young? How did I get there to begin with?" Lupo asked, feeling satisfied that he was about to get the answer to a question he had asked for so long.

     "We had forgotten all about you…" Lupo's father explained. "When the doctors released you from the hospital, we had arranged that we would be along to pick you up. But we couldn't come… So you wandered in the back-alleys, never to be brought to the pound."

     "So you didn't abandon me, carelessly?" Lupo asked. Both, his mother and father shook their heads.

     "No, son. But that does not excuse us from failing to protect you and your sister," Lupo's father sighed.

     "We are sorry that you had to live that horrible life, son." Lupo's parents turned towards his comatose sister.

     "And we're sorry that you lived a captive life, for too long, daughter."

     A white light began to envelope Lupo's vision. He could see his parents begin to fade. "Mom! Dad! Please! Don't go!" he pleaded.

     "We have to, son." His mother said. "We must return to a place you cannot follow."

     "But at least now, we no longer have to regret our past mistakes… Goodbye my children…" his father said, with his voice fading into the air.

     Everything fell dark and silent. After what seemed like eternity, Lupo woke up and heard the rain again. A dream…It was all a dream, Lupo thought, as he continued to sneeze a few times. He did not want to open his eyes at the thought of still being in the middle of the open plains.

     Then, he heard another voice. But this one had a familiar tone to it. Lupo turned his ears to allow himself to hear what the voice was saying. From what he could hear, the voice sounded like it was conversing with another.

     "So will he make it?" the familiar voice asked, with a concerned tone.

     "Yes… He got the help he needed in the nick of time," another voice answered.

     Lupo then heard a sigh of relief from the familiar voice. Lupo decided to open his eyes, to see what was going on. His eyes fluttered open, as he looked around, and saw… his old Neohome! Lupo looked around, and realized he was sitting in a padded bed in front of the fire place. He looked outside, and saw the rain pattering on the window. Lupo then saw his human standing there, with his arms folded, talking to a blue Tuskaninny, in a white lab coat.

     "Hey, I think he's coming around," the human said, running up to Lupo. "

     "Welcome back, Lupo," he said, with relief in his voice. The Tuskaninny joined the human beside him, and checked over Lupo with his stethoscope.

     "His signs are back to normal. Looks like he'll make a full recovery," the Tuskaninny said.

     "Thanks for the house-call, doctor," the human said.

     "Anytime," the Tuskaninny doctor replied. "It is my job after all." After placing all of his instruments in his bag and sealing it closed, the Tuskaninny said his goodbyes, and headed out the front door.

     After closing the door behind him, the human turned, and shot a smile at Lupo.

     "So much for never returning here, Lupo…" he said, with a grin.

     Lupo stared at the ground, shamefully. "I know. I know… I'm sorry," he said, quietly.

     But the human did not care. His beloved Lupe had returned home, at last. "It's okay, Lupo. I'm just glad that you knew to return home, when you got sick."

     Suddenly, something dawned on Lupo: "Fortuna!" he exclaimed, as he bolted straight up. "I forgot all about Fortuna!" he shouted.

     "What about me?"

      Lupo turned around to see Fortuna sitting there, smiling. "Fortuna! You're alive!" he cried, as he ran over to hug his sister.

     "Of course I'm okay! I only had a few bumps and bruises." She said.

     The human gave a slight chuckle, as he walked up to the two Lupes. "I see you couldn't resist bringing a family member home," he said. "Mission accomplished, eh?"

     Something clicked in Lupo's mind. "I didn't come home…" he said, with a confused tone. "Last I remember; I was in the middle of the open plains, getting rained upon."

     The human appeared puzzled. "Are you sure? I heard a knock on the door, and when I opened it, I found you and Fortuna lying there."

     "Hey, look! The sun is coming out," Fortuna called from the other room.

     Both Lupo and the human joined Fortuna, and looked out the window that faced west, and saw a magnificent sunset taking place.

     "It's beautiful…!" Fortuna exclaimed, with awe.

     Lupo had to agree. For the first time ever in his life, he could enjoy a simple moment of peace with his human, and now, his sister.

     "Well… I guess I'm cooking for three, from now on. Who wants dinner?" the human asked, as he headed for the kitchen.

     "I do!" Fortuna happily shouted, as she followed after her new owner.

     But Lupo did not follow. He sat at the window, looking at the red-orange sun slowly sink below the trees that formed a forest from a distance of the backyard.

     To Lupo's amazement, he looked out, and saw two ghostly Lupe's standing at the forest edge, looking back at him, and smiling. Lupo realized what they had done, and smiled back. He then watched, as they slowly turned, walking back to the forest, and faded from sight.

     "Hey Lupo! You coming?" his human called.

     "Yeah! Better hurry before I eat it all!" Fortuna giggled.

     "Coming!" Lupo responded. But he continued to stare at the forest, and remember what his parents had done for him.

     "Goodbye, Mom and Dad… And thank you…" Lupo whispered, quietly, as he turned to join his human, and sister, whom until he had set out on that journey, he never knew he had.

     Epilogue: Lupo and Fortuna became the best of friends with each other. Lupo now felt inner-peace that he had never before been able to experience. Fortuna, who was no longer a captive of Balthazar, became more friendly and outgoing to all others .Both Lupo and Fortuna now run a non-profit organization to help orphaned Neopets, and give them a chance to change their outlook on life for the better.

The End


Author’s note: Lupo is based off of my Lupe, Lupo1284. Fortuna is based off of a character of my imagination. Any similarities of name, species, color, and ownership is unintentional and purely coincidental. If you have read this story, beginning to end, I thank you for doing so. A special thanks to Maggie for helping me with this story.

Previous Episodes

Lost and Found: Part One

Lost and Found: Part Two

Lost and Found: Part Three

Lost and Found: Part Four


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