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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 9th day of Running, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 76 > Continuing Series > The Legend of the Lupe: Part Two

The Legend of the Lupe: Part Two

by bluescorchio104

Untitled Document

Polador ran upstairs and hastily gathered up some things, stuffing the items into a Green Backpack. Defensive weapons, maps, and books were tossed in hurriedly, and Polador jogged back down the steps.

     "Thalion, go to your house and gather what you need." he said. "I'll meet you at the docks at, uh-" Polador consulted the clock on the mantelpiece "ten o'clock."

     Thalion nodded his head enthusiastically and left, sprinting through the streets once again. He arrived at his house panting even more heavily than he had arrived at Polador's, and fumbled for his keys for a second, and then remembered he hadn't bothered to lock the door. He tugged at the handle, but the door refused to budge. That's strange, Thalion thought. I was sure that I didn't lock the door. He tugged at the handle again, but still, no response. Thalion, puzzled, lifted up the Scorchio Gnome that rested on the windowsill. Underneath was a small key. Thalion inserted the key into the lock, and entered his Neohome. He checked the door, and found his spare set of keys, which usually resided in the kitchen, in the lock. So that's how I was locked out, he thought. His eyes swept the room suspiciously, looking for intruders. He walked into his bedroom, and found his possessions thrown everywhere. Everything was wildly scattered everywhere. All the drawers in his chest of drawers were pulled out and thrown onto the floor. Even some of the furniture was overturned. Thalion picked his trousers off a chair and sighed. He checked through his stuff quickly, but found nothing missing. That was very strange. Why would a thief come in and trash the place, but not take anything? Thalion frowned to himself.

      He picked an old blue backpack off the bed, and staring stuffing items into it. Suddenly, Thalion heard a slight noise upstairs. Kind of like a scuffling noise. Like when you drag your feet across the floor. Thalion dropped the bag and listened carefully. There it was, that sound again! Thalion slowly grabbed hold of a Super Ice Sword. He crept out of his room and up the stairs silently, trying not to alert the intruder in the process. Thalion came to a corridor. The doors of the linen closet were thrown open, and he could just glimpse occasional movements from whatever was hidden behind the door. Thalion tiptoed closer and saw that the intruder was completely entangled in a deep blue bed sheet, and was struggling to disentangle himself. Thalion growled softly. That was his very favorite bed sheet. The intruder, hearing the growl, froze. Thalion crept closer, until he was directly behind the trespasser. He stepped forward, his snout directly next to the intruder's head. Thalion, summoning all the might in his body, barked as loudly as he could, resulting in a noise a Trumpet of Deafening would have been proud of. The sound traveled throughout the entire Neohome, and the intruder attempted to scamper away. Thalion quickly snagged the bed sheet, and the intruder fell over with a thump. He whipped the bed sheet off, to reveal a…starry Pteri? The Pteri, catching sight of Thalion's angry look and ugly snarl, and more importantly, his ferocious teeth, gave a squeak and took off, beating his wings as fast as the laws of physics would allow. Thalion, lightning fast, shot out a paw and grabbed the Pteri by the tail feathers. The Pteri abruptly fell to the ground, and struggled strongly. Thalion, surprised at the spirit of the little bird, whacked it on the head with the flat side of his Super Ice Sword. The Pteri stopped struggling and went limp. Thalion, putting his paw to the Pteri's neck, felt reassured when he felt a strong pulse. He didn't want the death of a Neopet on his conscience, even if it was the death of a trespassing vandal. Satisfied that the Pteri was out for the count, Thalion dragged him downstairs into the kitchen, and sat him up against a wall. The Pteri's head fell slumped forward, but Thalion didn't particularly care. A little discomfort or cramp when the Pteri woke up would be a good punishment for the housebreaker.

     Thalion walked back into his room and starting gathering things once more, preparing for his journey. The Pteri could be questioned later. Having taken all that he needed, Thalion went back into the kitchen to gather some food. He glanced to the side to see how his little visitor was going, but to his surprise, he was gone! Thalion looked around the room, and spotted an open window, shutters flapping in the breeze. He ground his teeth together in frustration, but knowing that he had more important things to do than chase a petty thief, started to stuff food into his backpack. Two Lupes meant two stomachs. And two stomachs could get very, very, hungry.

***

Meanwhile, in Polador's house, Polador was thinking the exact same thing, while he was trying to fit a final Organic Green Apple into his already bulging and nearly bursting backpack. He finally managed, and smiled to himself in satisfaction. He hitched the backpack onto his shoulders, and nearly fell over from the unexpected weight. He regained his balance, and staggered out the door. On the way out, he glanced at the Clock, and realized it was almost ten o'clock. He didn't bother to break into a run-the docks weren't all that far away. Instead, he settled for a jog. He arrived at the docks a few minutes early, and Thalion was already waiting for him. The docks were a fairly new addition to their neighborhood, but already local residents were enthusiastic. A number of small boats bobbed gently up and down in the water, in some cases with their owners carrying out maintenance or just relaxing. A ferry also resided at the docks, waiting to take passengers around Neopia. Polador stepped onto the wooden pier belonging to the ferry, and waved to get Thalion's attention. Thalion, already in the ferry queue, beckoned Polador. Polador jogged up, and took his place in line next to Thalion, although some Neopets grumbled about etiquette and how pets shouldn't push in line. Thalion just bared his teeth, and the protests quickly died down. A few minutes later, and the two Lupes were aboard the ferry. The cheerful Tuskaninny captain steered the ferry into the open sea, amid several mentions of seasickness from first-time sea travelers. As the boat powered through the water, leaving a trail of white foam in its wake, Thalion and Polador began to talk.

     "Farolt, why did you choose to be released now? Why not as soon as you were imprisoned?" Thalion asked, trying to make it look like he was talking to Polador as not to attract suspicion. After all, people get worried when they see somebody talking to thin air.

     "Ah, I would have certainly done so, but magical enchantments kept me from sending messages of help. It took me thousands of years, but finally, with pure willpower and perseverance, I managed to slowly wear away at the spells, and not long ago, I managed to break through completely. But there are limitations. I cannot remain free from the grasp of the spells for too long periods of time. "

     "Why did you choose Thalion to release you?" asked Polador, looking at nowhere in particular. He found it hard to talk to someone who wasn't actually there.

     "I chose Thalion, for he is pure of heart and soul. Also, he is a Lupe like myself. I find it easier to trust my own kind."

     At this, Thalion smiled with pride. The rest of the trip passed without incident, with the two Lupes engrossed in eager conversation.

     Nobody noticed the starry Pteri inconspicuously but carefully observing Thalion and Polador.

***

Eventually, the ferry captain sounded a horn, the noise reverberating through the entire boat. Polador recognized the noise as the signal for coming into port, and looked out the window. He saw the sandy beaches and lush palms that could only belong to one place- Mystery Island. The Lupes, having disembarked, found themselves on a sandy beach, lined with huts, and swarming with locals. Polador and Thalion began looking at a map, deciding which beach to search first. Throughout the day they tirelessly searched, but among the beautiful scenery, and the telepathic urgings of Farolt, they found nothing. By late afternoon they were exhausted, and their paws felt like lead. Slowly, they plodded up a path to a super-sized beachside wooden hut, next to which a large wooden sign was placed, declaring the hut "One of the best hotels in Mystery Island-And one of the cheapest!!!". Having no luggage apart from their backpacks, they checked into the hotel, deciding to share a room for the night.

     "Am I beat or what?" Thalion exclaimed, flopping down on a quaint bamboo bed. The rest of the room was composed of bamboo too, but not in a way that made the guests feel like they were far from civilization. On a bamboo shelf stood a small television, and a radio resided on the bedside table. The two beds were on either side of the bedside table, and looked comfortable. The walls were decorated with pleasant island artwork and assorted paintings, and shelves held island knick-knacks and ornaments. A Mystery Island Usul opened the door, cheerily greeted them, and generally did what hotel staff were supposed to do. She left with a perky "Hope you enjoy your stay!", and the Lupes were left in peace. Polador, once accommodated to the comfy bed, said a quick goodnight, and fell asleep. Thalion fell asleep almost as quickly, gentle snores emanating from his throat.

     In the middle of the night, Polador was awakened by a strange noise. He sleepily opened one eye, and perked an ear. There was that sound again! A kind of dull thunk. He sat up, now fully alert. Taking care not to wake his snoring friend, Polador slipped out of bed, his sheets rustling gently as he swung his legs to the side and onto the floor. He stood up in the pitch darkness, ears straining to hear. THUNK! THUNK! THUNK! The soft rhythmic sound repeated itself again and again. Polador activated his Sun Ray ability. He detested battle, but had no problem with peaceful magical abilities. Not to mention handy ones. He concentrated, narrowing the light beam to a thin ray. He padded up to the wall, and put his ear against it. THUNK! Polador could feel the entire wall vibrating. The noise seemed to be coming from behind a painting of 2 Gallon Hatz. He frowned. There must be something wrong in the room next to ours, he thought. He opened the door, and walked out into the corridor, shutting the door behind him. Polador gently twisted the doorknob of the room from where he thought the sound was coming from. If it was nothing, and he was just imagining things, he didn't want to wake the resident of the room up by knocking on his door, he reasoned. Why not just pop in and out quickly, and the resident would never even know he had been there. Polador opened the door a crack, cringing at the soft creak it made, and peered inside. A very strange sight greeted him. A starry Pteri, using a Lost Desert Dagger as a chisel, and a Striped Hammer as a, well, hammer, was chipping away at the wall. Every time he thudded the dagger into the wall, there was a dull THUNK! just like the THUNK! Polador had heard. Having embedded the dagger in the wall, the Pteri would twist it, and pull it out, fragments of the bamboo wall coming out with it. The Pteri was grumbling to himself, as the job was obviously physically tiring. Polador, curious and a little annoyed, opened the door fully and stepped in. The Pteri, engrossed in his work, didn't notice Polador as he walked a little closer.

     "Um, excuse me, sir," Polador asked politely. "What are you doing?"

     The Pteri turned away from his work, and upon seeing a strange, intimidating, possibly angry fire Lupe, let out an involuntary squawk. He tried to block the hole he had made, grinning as innocently as his beak would allow.

     "I said, what are you doing?" Polador asked, now slightly annoyed. He wasn't angered easily, but there was something wrong with a Pteri making a hole in a wall in the middle of the night.

     The Pteri, not knowing that the fire Lupe confronting him was a harmless pacifist, stuttered fearfully, "Uh, I'm just, uh, doing my job."

     "And that is?"

     "Um, uh, I'm a, well, building inspector."

     "So how does being a building inspector allow you to hack a hole in a wall and make a racket?"

     "Well, you see, I'm, uh, checking for termites."

     "Oh. What are they? Some kind of Petpet?"

     "Um, no. They're bugs that eat away at wood. I was just, uh, checking for termites. You know, to, uh, make sure that the building doesn't have termites. If it did, I'd have to, um, shut it down. Can never be too safe, you know." The Pteri laughed nervously.

     Polador nodded his head. Now it all made sense. "Did you find any termites?"

     "Termites? What termites?"

     "The ones you were checking for."

     "Oh, those. Well, no, actually. So you can be assured that this building is sturdy and completely safe. Well, I guess that means I've finished doing my job here." The Pteri laughed nervously again.

     "Okay then. Nice to see that you're keeping the wooden buildings of Neopia safe, buddy."

     "Uh, no problem. It's my job, after all."

     Polador grinned and walked out, and back to his nice comfy bed, assured that nothing was wrong. He fell asleep peacefully, and was deep in the land of sleep, when the THUNK! THUNK! THUNK! resumed.

     The next morning, Polador and Thalion woke up refreshed and perky. They stretched and yawned, and tuned into the radio. For a few minutes, they just listened to the radio and lazed about, before they made their plans for the day, deciding to search ten more beaches before the day was out. Both Lupes, understanding the need for a full stomach for a good day's searching, agreed to eat their breakfast in the hotel's garden. As they left, no one noticed that the left eye of the lead singer of 2Gallon Hatz seemed to move, the pupil following their path as they moved across the room.

***

In the next room, the starry Pteri chuckled to himself, as he peered out his newly made spying hole.

     The two Lupes sat facing each other at a small bamboo table. Scattered palm trees, which melted into dense plant life further away, surrounded the courtyard area, on which were other tables, some empty, others occupied by breakfasting Neopets. The tables, that is, not the palm trees. Unless you count the pair of Mynci eating organic bananas who were nestled in the leaves at the very top on the tallest palm tree. Thalion, looking at the breakfast menu, ordered the grilled cheese, while Polador opted for a tigersquash. The rest of the day passed like the last, with the two Lupes searching carefully and diligently. And yet again, they found nothing. This same routine continued for three long, arduous weeks. Each day, they searched as best as they could, but they never found anything even remotely close to the description of Farolt's location. Every day Farolt periodically checked their progress, giving helpful advice and encouragement. Thalion was becoming increasingly demoralized at their failure in their search. He seemed in a permanent state of exhaustion, the hotel bills were mounting up, he always had the strange feeling of being watched, and worst of all, the beach sand always seemed to get stuck in his tail fur. Equally bad was the feeling that the search would never end. He was a bit afraid to ask Polador how long it would take to search all of the beaches, mainly because he dreaded the answer. Polador, the eternal optimist, tried not to feel depressed, but it was hard to stay hopeful when their countless searches had amounted to practically nothing. It was on the twenty-second day of the search, when they were having breakfast as always in the hotel garden, when Thalion finally summoned the courage to ask, "Polador, how long do you think it will take to cover all the beaches on Mystery Island?"

     Polador took a huge bite out of his breakfast, namely a Starberry, spraying juice everywhere. "I'd say, at the rate we're going, say, around… twenty years."

     "WHAT!?" Are you absolutely sure?"

     "Yep."

     Thalion slumped even further down in his seat. They were never going to find Farolt! Well, at least not until he had a gray beard fifty feet long. He sighed dismally. Polador looked concerned for his friend. This was the way he was afraid Thalion would react. Thalion got up slowly, and started walking.

     "Where do you think you're going? You're not giving up, are you?"

     Thalion kept walking, and said, "I'm going for a walk. I just need to clear my head."

     Polador could only watch as Thalion started walking around the garden following one of the many paths, soon lost from sight as he disappeared behind the tropical bushes that lined the garden's ornamental paths. Thalion kept walking, lost deep in thought. He couldn't just give up, not after so much effort. But Farolt needed him. On the other hand, twenty years of his life gone! All wasted, just looking for some stupid Lupe who had gotten himself captured in battle. A small voice in Thalion's head berated him. How could you say such a thing?, it cried, That Lupe has been stuck in some dingy prison for thousands of years, and all you can think about is twenty years of your life wasted. Thalion hung his head in shame. All he knew was that he needed to make a decision. But it was difficult. Thalion looked up, and noticed he was still walking along the winding path. Hmm, I didn't think that the garden went this far, he thought. He realized, slowly, that the beautiful exotic bushes and lush palms that had decorated the garden were gradually being outnumbered by more jungle-like surroundings. I guess the gardener never bothered with this part of the garden, he reflected. In any case, not many Neopets would come down this way. After all, he had been at the hotel and eaten breakfast in the garden for more than three weeks, and he had never traveled down that path before today.

     Thalion came into a small clearing. Well, not so much a clearing, but a space where the trees seemed to avoid. Well, except for two huge ones, which in any case weren't in the middle of the space. Kind of spaced slightly away from the outer ring of trees. The ground was covered with low-lying shrubs, and there were various lumps here and there that were covered by the overgrowth. Thalion, out of curiosity, stepped into the middle of the area and walked around. Almost instantly, he stubbed his toe against something hard. He gritted his teeth, and fought the urge to say something rude. Grumbling, he uncovered the reason for the painful toe. Brushing off a few vines and ferns, he uncovered a medium-sized boulder, which had previously looked like a mere bush. The boulder, fairly smooth but with the occasional rough patch, had a plaque attached. Thalion bent down, and looked at the plaque. It read:

     In honor of the heroic and noble Tiki Taka Toko, the brave Coco Chieftain.

     Thalion snorted, and sat down on the rock. He needed to clear his thoughts. Should he stay and search, or should he just give up? Anyway, what were the chances of finding three trees, on a beach, surrounding some stupid rock? Thalion, very slowly, stood up. That one crystal thought sliced through his mind, and if he was right, had just made his decision for him. Thalion, with a feverish eagerness, leapt forward, and started uncovering the bumps hidden under the plant growth. It took him a few minutes, but finally, there it was. A tree stump, obviously cut down a long time ago. Thalion jumped for joy, and did a little dance. He had found the place he had been searching for the last three weeks! Three trees surrounding a rock! Okay, so one of them had been cut down, but it could have still stood during Farolt's days. And sure, they weren't exactly saplings, but expecting trees to grow after thousands of years is perfectly reasonable. And the rock, described as rough and craggy by Farolt, had probably been smoothened for the plaque. He had found the place!!!

To be continued…

Previous Episodes

The Legend of the Lupe: Part One

The Legend of the Lupe: Part Three

The Legend of the Lupe: Part Four

The Legend of the Lupe: Part Five

The Legend of the Lupe: Part Six

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