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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 6th day of Eating, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 49 > Continuing Series > Lupina II and the Quiggle of Doom: Part Four

Lupina II and the Quiggle of Doom: Part Four

by thegreatlupelover

IT WAS A long time before Rosy's blue and white head emerged over the top of the cliff. Next, it was Emala's turn. The three already at the top ran in short circles to keep themselves warm. Finally, Emala reached the top, and the group continued upward. The snow was waist deep and hard to move in. It grew higher at a surprisingly rapid speed. When Lupina, at the head of the group, was up to her chest, she gave up. Dropping to her four paws, she began to dig through the snow. It was surprisingly light, and she made good progress. The others followed suit. Lily went last, because her short legs were not good at digging like Lupina's or Rosy's were.

     A while later, Lupina stopped to wait for the others. They were following close behind. "Lily," Lupina suggested, "Do you think you could fly above us and call out directions? We don't know which way to go."

     Lily thought a moment. "All right. But could you break through the top for me?"

     Rosy immediately straightened her long ears and spun them so fast it seemed to be light blue blur. When she finished, a hole had been drilled through the top of the tunnel.

     "Wow. That was cool," Lupina said. Rosy grinned.

     "I made that technique up myself. This is the first time anyone else has seen it. I call it Gelert Drill. I intend to use it in our fight." Silence followed her worlds. Our fight. They knew we would have to battle this "Sinistra" person. None of them, though, had even considered what technique they were going to use. Except Rosy.

     Lily broke the silence by beating her wings and ascending through Rosy's hole. "We've been veering off course," she called. "Turn left about forty degrees."

     Lupina paused, thinking. History and Writing were her best classes, but she hated math. Lily, on the contrary, was a math whiz. "Um, forty degrees... that would be...?"

     "This way." Emala pointed. Lupina glared at her.

     "How come you cats are so good at math?" Emala only laughed.

     "Well?" Lily called impatiently. "You going or not?"

     "We're going, we're going!" Rosy said, taking the lead and digging at an angle. She winked at Lupina. "Maybe it's just that you wolves are bad at math."

     Sighing, Lupina followed.

     The pace that Rosy set showed her boundless energy.

     "Don't you ever tire?" Emala panted.

     Rosy grinned impishly. "No. Do you?"

     "Me? Never!" Emala put on a burst of speed, overtaking Rosy.

     "Hey, guys," Lupina warned. "Not too fast. We don't want to start sweating."

     The others immediately adapted a slower pace. They had all heard horror stories of pets who had worked up a sweat in intense cold. Their bodies were like statues, frozen in a sheet of ice.

     Wordlessly, the friends dug on. Above, Lily shouted out directions. It seemed that they were ever shifting their path. As they climbed, the air got thinner. It was harder and harder to breathe. All four pets were beginning to feel weak, and the storm still raged outside. The three tunnelers heard something thump against the roof of their passageway. It bumped again. Lily burst through the roof, showering them in snow.

     "Whew!" she exclaimed. "It's good to be out of that. It's so windy out there that my wings were almost blown straight off. And the snow is so thick, you can hardly see!"

     Lupina looked down sheepishly. "Sorry I suggested it."

     "Oh, no, that's fine," Lily assured her. "If we can keep going straight north, we're fine."

     Emala frowned. "We don't have a compass, though."

     Lupina sighed dejectedly and glanced down. Around her neck, on its blue ribbon, her Lupe Moon Charm sparkled. "I know!" Lupina declared. "I could summon a compass with my Charm." Without waiting for a reply, she closed her eyes and reached into her charm to grasp a tendril of its magic. Taking the magic, she shaped it into a line and allowed her third body to slip onto it. This body was her magical body, the one that she could use in her spells to travel over Neopia. She sped along the line, skimming down the mountain to Happy Valley, where she threaded her way to her own home. Entering, she hurtled underneath the grand, swooping staircase and into the library. She made her way through the maze of bookshelves to the grand desk that Rosy's father did his work at. He was a mapmaker. On his table lay many sheets of paper, charts, pens, and - in one corner - a compass. In her true-life form, Lupina gritted her teeth. This was the hard part. Because her magical body was merely a spirit, with the particles only loosely composed, it was difficult to lift solid objects. She sent a quick wave of power through her paws to solidify them for a moment and grasped the compass. It seemed immensely heavy, but she held on. She grasped her magical line and spun it back into her charm, dragging herself and the compass along with it. When she opened her eyes, she was clutching the compass tightly in her paws. She held it level and watched the needle. It swung around to point straight ahead and slightly left. Lupina began to tunnel in that direction. The others followed close behind as she forged through the freezing cold. She had to keep reminding herself that she was getting ever closer to the summit of Terror Mountain - and the Ugran Cavern.

     Emala's teeth chattering broke through her thoughts. "It's cold," the shadowed Kougra complained. Lupina turned, sighing.

     "You want me to keep you warm with a spell?" Lupina caught a glimpse of Rosy giving Emala a thumbs-up, and glared frostily at her. "This was a plot to get warm, wasn't it?" she accused.

     "Oh, great expedition leader," Rosy began. Lupina snorted. Rosy ignored her and went on. "Perhaps in your might you feel not the bitter cold that harasses us." She lowered her voice to a whisper. "And you know what my mom is like when any of us catch a chill." It was true. Rosy I had studied with Dr. Gelert in health care, and ever since she had wanted to try her methods as a healer on the next generation of heroines. Yes, nettle and leek soup did make them feel better, but it burned and stung on the way down.

     "All right," Lupina agreed, "but I don't think 'harass' is exactly the right word."

     "Too bad," Rosy said, tossing her ears back. "That's what I said, like it or not."

     Lupina chuckled and closed her eyes to call yet again on the magic of her Lupe Charm. Taking a ball of it as if it were clay, she willed it to become pure heat. Almost immediately, she felt warmth in her paws. Her magical self began to spin it into fine thread. Unlike solid objects, magic was easy to hold in this form, just as solid objects were easy to hold in her solid form.

     It wasn't long before the entire ball of heat had been spun into yards of fine thread. Next, the magical Lupina took the thread and flitted in and out, back and forth, weaving warm netting. Soon, she had yards of invisible cloth made entirely of heat. Using her claws, she tore the cloth into four cloak-shapes. Lastly, she made the cloth so it would be attracted to her friends' skin and stick there.

     Taking the first rectangle of heat-cloth, Lupina approached Rosy. Her friend had a bit of frost topping her nose. Lupina draped the cloth over her and heard her gasp in surprise. Ignoring it, she tailored the cloth so that it was streamlined with the Gelert's body. Then, using extra cloth she had cut off, she encircled Rosy's ears, tail, and legs.

     She proceeded around her friends, and finished by cloaking herself. Then she returned to her solid form. Her body was stiff from sitting in the same place, but a quick wisp of magic helped relax her muscles. "That was cool, Lupina!" Emala exclaimed. "I feel like I'm wrapped up in heat!"

     "Not exactly 'cool,' maybe more 'warm,'" Lupina observed. "And, in a way, you are wrapped in heat. Each of us is wearing a suit that I designed specially to fit our bodies, but will not interfere in any way with movement or senses. I'll bet Lily can hear just as well as always."

     Lily rotated her sensitive Aisha ears on their stalks. "You're right. I can. And what I hear is that the storm is raging even more wildly outside, and we had better get going."

     Emala laughed. "I'll go along with that, Lil'."

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Lupina II and the Quiggle of Doom: Part One

Lupina II and the Quiggle of Doom: Part Two

Lupina II and the Quiggle of Doom: Part Three

Lupina II and the Quiggle of Doom: Part Five

Lupina II and the Quiggle of Doom: Part Six

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