Treasure of the Caves: Part One
"...the biggest treasure of all time."
Tsuki, a shadow Shoyru with numerous golden rings around
his neck, tail and paws had been sitting behind the table in the Neohome's kitchen
for a while now, reading an old mouldy tome. The kitchen had been quiet that
day. All of Tsuki's siblings were sitting there, each minding their own business.
The petpets were somewhere in the garden and the pets' owner, Huntress, was
writing in the cabinet. The window was open, the sun was about to set and a
slow breeze whispered in the Blackberry bushes. So far Tsuki had been reading
silently, completely forgotten in his own little world. The legend had captured
him so much though that he spoke the last words out loud, quietly but the others
had good ears. Suddenly everyone looked up.
"You were saying, Tsuke?" Shadoron the shadow
Lupe asked. He had been listening to Gruundo in another corner and everyone
had thought that he wasn't paying attention to anything but Shad could easily
hear everything that had the word "treasure" in it.
"It's just an old legend I was reading," the
Shoyru replied, seeming confused for a second and then focusing on the book
again. "Nothing much, really… sorry I disturbed you guys."
But the guys had already forgotten everything
they had been doing. "Come on, read us that legend!" Ice the electric Ixi demanded,
blowing out a chewing gum bubble and sitting up. She had spent the last two
hours slouching on the floor and blowing gum bubbles, now she was bored and
one old legend would really have hit the spot. "Go ahead, we'd love to hear!"
"Yeah, don't keep all the cool legends to yourself!"
Saurani supported from the sink. He was a spotted Zafara, the newest family
member and a really good chef. He was usually the one who cooked for the family
and now he was washing the dishes. Saura spent most of his time cooking, washing
the dishes or sleeping. He just was like that.
"Tell us a cool story, Tsuke!" the youngest of
the family, Phila the green Aisha, shouted, prancing around her stepbrother.
"Please? Pretty please with chocolate coating?"
"I don't like chocolate," Tsuki replied with
a vague smile and then sighed. "But if you really want to… fine, I'll read you
the story." He flipped the pages, found the beginning of the legend and started
reading. He had a soft, quiet voice and the others completely forgot themselves,
curled up on the floor and enjoyed the warm evening of Mystery Island as they
listened to their stepbrother who said:
"Years ago Krawk Island was under the reign of
one single pirate captain, Darkstar Daggers. He didn't have a pirate crew; he
didn't need one. He was fully able to fight and defeat anyone who ever confronted
him, and he was also very good at managing his ship. Anyone who had ever seen
that pirate hoisting the sails, steering the ship and pulling the braces almost
at the same time even during the fiercest of storms swore that Daggers had the
magical powers of the Dark Faeries. Otherwise it would simply have been impossible.
Others claim that he was just the best sailor Neopia had ever seen and also
very strong. His ship called the Black Dagger was a small and fast clipper.
No ship was ever safe when her sails appeared on the distance and no ship ever
"Daggers ruled the waters of Krawk Island
for many decades. Some say that the shores of Mystery Island also weren't new
to him even though most Neopians didn't know anything about that island back
then. He had been to Maraqua, sometimes visited the kingdom of Meridell and
even Faerieland had held battles with him. Queen Fyora managed to defend her
land but the borders were still constantly guarded.
"People usually think that Krawk Island
is a small place with only a few buildings to see and some taverns to visit
but the locals know better. Krawk Island has a long history; it has witnessed
many things throughout the years and holds many secrets in its soil. One of
them is the treasure of Darkstar Daggers, the one he had gathered from all those
ships he had hijacked. Before his death he hid all his treasure somewhere on
Krawk Island and swore that nobody was ever meant to find it as long as Neopia
existed. Many have tried to find the money; most of Krawk Island has been dug
through during the years but still nobody has found it. So some people claim
that the treasure is only a legend and Daggers managed to spend it all before
his death. Others believe that his huge treasure is still hidden somewhere on
Krawk Island - the biggest treasure of all time."
Tsuki fell silent and glanced at his siblings
with a smile. Everyone was looking aside absently. They didn't even care much
about the treasure, but the story itself… One of the brothers, Cryolien, had
always wanted to become a pirate. Now he sat there on the floor, looking out
of the window and hearing the sounds of angry storms and shouts of the crew
in his ears.
"I wonder if it's still there," Shadoron suddenly
said. The others started and looked at him.
"Unless it's only a myth, I doubt anyone has
found it yet," AoiKatana the fire Uni replied. She was the fighter of the family
and had a calm, cold personality but at least she was able to think rationally.
The others glanced at each other and then at Tsuki.
"Is there… a map?" Saurani asked, forming the
question that had haunted everyone.
"No," the Shoyru replied, flipping the pages
again, "Daggers didn't want anyone to find the treasure so he didn't leave a
map. The book does mention something about the Smugglers' Cove, but I really
doubt that he hid the treasure in a place that's visited all the time."
"If he really had the powers of the Dark Faeries,"
Ice commented, getting up and throwing the bubble gum away, "then he wouldn't
have hid the treasure somewhere too obvious. It would probably take great powers
to locate that treasure; that's why nobody has found it yet. Not many Neopets
have such powers - the powers of a Faerie… or a mage."
The others instantly turned their heads to look
at Tsuki, who sighed. He spent most of his time reading old tomes and practicing
all sorts of ancient spells he found in them so he was a very good mage. He
knew all the basic Battledome spells but he was also fluent with curses that
should've disappeared off the face of Neopia ages ago.
"Why would we need some old treasure?" he asked,
hopelessly trying to convince his siblings.
"Not the treasure," Shad claimed, "an adventure.
It's been a while since we last went travelling somewhere like that, you know."
Phila the little Aisha ran around the kitchen
frantically. "We're going adventuring! Woohoo! This is gonna be so much fun!"
"You're most definitely not going, Phila." Nobody
had noticed when their owner had entered the room but there she was now, looking
at the pets with a frown on her face. Phila stared at her with widening eyes.
"Why not? Please let me go with them, I won't
be any trouble, promise!"
"You'll get lost behind the first palm tree,"
Ice remarked as her owner nodded in agreement.
"You're too young, Phila. You're staying behind,
got it? If you guys," she looked at the rest, "feel like going to mess with
some death traps and magical treasures again, go ahead. Just be back in a week
or so. And Cryo…"
Cryolien sighed and nodded. "I know. The Lab
Ray. Fine, I won't go along. But you guys better bring me some treasure too,
you hear me?"
"Okay then," Ice said, standing up, "let's get
The others stared at her. "Right now? It's getting
dark already! Shouldn't we wait until morning?"
"You'll have forgotten all about the idea in
the morning," Shad the Lupe remarked, getting up too, "and then it'll be impossible
to talk you into this again. Saura, get some food and Ace."
Saura nodded, picked his petpet Wuzzle up and
went to the fridge. "Shad's right. If we're not going right now, we're not going
"Krawk Island only accepts dubloons," Huntress
reminded them. "And don't even think about stealing food from the Golden Dubloon
like the last time!"
"Yeah, yeah," Ice muttered absently and trotted
out of the door. "Come on already!" The other four pets plus Saura's petpet
followed her and in a few minutes they had disappeared into the soft shadows
that were getting darker and darker around the Neohome. Cryo, Phila and their
owner remained sitting in the kitchen.
"This is unbelievable," Huntress commented. "One
moment they're all sitting here, minding their own business, and the next moment
they're off over the hills to seek some long-lost treasure. How did I ever get
stuck with that crazy gang?"
Phila was pouting in the corner. Cryo yawned
widely and sat down on the floor.
"Look at the bright side - if they find that
treasure, you'll finally get a chance to furnish the rest of the Neohome," he
remarked with a grin. The kitchen was the only room in the Neohome that was
completely done because Huntress never had the time and energy for the rest.
"I should actually demolish the rest," she replied
with a vague frown, "seeing that you guys prefer running around outside one
way or another. Does anyone feel like helping me wash the dishes?"
The five Neopets were trotting down the path
at that moment. The moon was shining over Mystery Island and most of its inhabitants
were getting ready to go to sleep but not that gang, not a chance!
"I can't believe this…" AoiKatana muttered, galloping
slowly behind everyone else. "And I was planning to go training tomorrow morning…!"
"Now you can train tonight," Shad comforted her,
slowing down a bit so that he ended up by Kat's side. "Running is really good
for your muscles and you can try to kick me while you're at it, what do you
think?" He poked Kat's leg with his head. "Come on, I can dodge you easily,
just try me, huh, huh?"
The Uni glanced at her little brother who whizzed
back and forth in front of her nose like a black shadow, then she sighed and
leaped into the air, flying out of Shad's reach.
"Where are you airheads actually planning to
go?" she shouted, ignoring Shad who was now hopping up and down in front of
her nose and yelling: "Hey, over here!"
"Krawk Island, where else?" Ice shouted back.
She was in front because her short Ixi legs made her the slowest but she was
also very tough and able to run for a long time. Tsuki had already disappeared.
He usually flew around at night, making sure that nothing more dangerous than
a Meepit lurked around nearby.
"Then we need a ship," Saura commented. His petpet
was asleep on his shoulder. Nobody could understand how it could hold on, as
it had no paws, but there it was, balancing without any trouble at all.
"Oh really?" Kat floated down and dodged the
Lupe's black figure that had tried to take her by surprise. "And I suppose you
have one waiting for us right on the shore, huh?"
"We might as well just sneak on a pirate ship;
they're bound to end up on Krawk Island," Tsuki's calm, soft voice said from
the shadows. The other four Neopets gasped and blinked. Sometimes it was practically
impossible to notice that Shoyru until he let them know of his presence. Kat
nodded slowly and lowered her head, stuck her horn under Shad's stomach and
tossed her brother over a hedge.
"There's an idea. Let's just hope they won't
keelhaul us. Oh, was that you, Shad?" asked then with a wide grin as the Lupe
lurked back to the others with a sheepish look on his face.
"No ship travels in the middle of the night,"
Saura claimed when they reached the shore and the harbour. It was full of ships:
Mystery Island was visited very often. "Which pirate captain would be foolish
enough to set sails after the sun has gone down?"
"I think I've heard of such captain," Ice replied,
slowing down a little and panting. "Perhaps he'll allow us to join his crew
for a short while."
"Which ship do you mean?" Kat asked, slowing
down too. The ships were now towering in front of them, a massive jungle of
masts, yards, sails and ropes. The harbour was quiet, most sailors were either
asleep or somewhere on the island. But one ship was noisy, filled with Neopets
and obviously none of them was planning to go to sleep. Some of the crew had
climbed up on the yards to hoist the sails. Ice stopped and pointed at that
ship with her hoof.
"That one," she said, trying to catch her breath.
The others blinked and stared at the ship. "The
To be continued...