The Mystery Behind Neoschool: Part Four
A note before I continue with my story: For the sake of keeping Neoschool a mystery (as you shall later on see), any reference to an exact address is omitted. I've already revealed too much I'm afraid about our sleuthing.
We continued to stare at the address in all of its glory. "Wonderfully done, Blusia! I'm very proud of you!" I congratulated her on fulfilling her task.
"Now, you know what we have to do?" she asked me, her eyes filled with curiosity untamed.
"Yes, we have to get rid of your working clothes," I remarked, only to hear her whine about how this would only delay our mystery further.
"Too bad. You know it has to be done and besides, it's getting late. We have to tell the others what we are up to." We proceeded forth to our Neohome and found my other three neopets resting lazily as always. Feeding ourselves omelettes, Blusia and I decided to let the matter go for the day as it was nearing 6 o'clock NST and there would be no way to make it to Neoschool and back before night fell. "By leaving early morning tomorrow, we'll have more time to snoop around the place than we would have today," I said, persuading the Strawberry Poogle to follow logic, not emotions.
Before retiring for the night, we heard a loud banging on the door, one that sounded threatening. Everyone in the household woke up and waited until it stopped, which was not for a few seconds. BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! Two of my neopets hid behind their beds' covers, frightened at our mystery guest. We sat around the kitchen, us other three, watching the door in apprehension after the bangs had ceased. After careful consideration, I opened the door, thinking maybe it were some common thieves testing to see if anyone was residing at the moment, but upon finding a piece of paper on the floor, I began to think otherwise. Bolting the door as shut behind me as it was before that night, I went into the kitchen again, placing the paper on the dining table.
"What is it?" Fruzia, my Plushie Zafara, gasped, unaware of my adventure with Blusia earlier in the daylight. However, Blusia and I knew exactly what it was and who it was from. It was written in sticky black ink. "I know what you're up to. You have been warned." The threatening note was haunting and for a second, I was rethinking about tomorrow's plan.
"What exactly are you up to?" Fruzia exclaimed, definitely lost amidst all this chilling excitement of the night.
"Do you believe me now? Neoschool does exist." I turned around to the Plushie Zafara and related all of what occurred today.
He replied frankly, "Well, you're not going to go anywhere tomorrow, are you? Only a fool would do that."
"Then I am a fool, because I will get to the bottom of this whether that Techo likes it or not." I scolded him for his lack of support.
"Fine, whatever. I'm staying inside our safe Neohome tomorrow."
"I wouldn't drag you into it anyway. Or Blusia either," I told the Poogle who narrowed her eyes, apparently angry at making the decision for her.
"You would have never gotten this far if I didn't help you out. You will take me with you," she argued ardently with me.
Finding what she said was indeed true and not having the heart to deprive her of an adventure, I reluctantly agreed, and with nothing more to be said, we all went to sleep...
The next morning, clouds over Neopia Central were looking darker by the minute. "You sure you two can't delay your trip one more day? They say it's going to be nice and warm tomorrow." Fruzia was worried about us when we were venturing outside, equipped with nothing more than an umbrella.
"We can't afford to lose another day. Not with that note we found," I said, while Blusia replied that weather forecasts weren't very accurate anyway.
"Fine, but do take care of yourselves." Fruzia waved us goodbye from the front porch, wishing us good luck in our quest.
"Neoschool's address matches one of the existing addresses in Neopia Central, but I doubt it's near to other Neohomes," Blusia concluded, staring at the digits provided on the piece of paper she found before.
"Lucky for us, it's just morning." I smiled, confident that with something as solid as an address, we'd be able to locate our building.
We looked like explorers, her holding the piece of paper like it was a map, and me... Well, I had an umbrella which was swinging as I strolled beside my neopet. We passed all of the Neohomes on the street where Neoschool was supposedly built on. In front of us, there were trees. We'd hit a densely compacted Neopian forest.
"Nothing like a forest to stand between us and our desired building." I laughed cheerfully as we took leave of Neopian civilization and entered unprecedented woods.
Fruzia, breaking his word to stay indoors all day, ventured to the Back to School Shop shortly after Blusia and their owner left, curious to see the Techo that had caused all this commotion. To his dismay, the school supplies store was closed for the day. "Hmm.. That's strange," he said, and suddenly, a worrisome thought occurred to him. Staring off into the distance, where grey clouds were spreading over the horizon, he knew it was too late to tell them...
"These here woods are very maze-like," I stated to Blusia, standing in place, perceiving what was all around me, tree after tree after tree.
"We should have continued to walk in a straight path," the Poogle sighed, referring to when we first entered the forest.
"It's a little too late for that. We've been walking around for... close to two hours," I looked at my watch, growing tiresome as the minutes dragged on.
Footsteps. Footsteps running across the dirt ground. Very fast. My eyes dart around like crazy, trying to locate the mystery intruder whilst whispering, "Did you hear that, Blusia?"
She countered in a hush-like voice, "Yes, it's kind of hard to miss." If it were any other day, we wouldn't have minded. Neopia and all of its forests like this one are technically free to all sorts of wanderers and travelers. But it was coming in our direction. It was if it were coming... coming after us. My blood turned frigid cold; I don't know if Blusia's did, but the look of terror in her eyes was enough to tell me she was afraid too. We didn't need any communication to tell ourselves to run for it.
Paranoia. It seized us with such a strong force. My Poogle dashed in front of me, I struggled to keep after her. The footsteps. The footsteps were growing louder and faster by the second.
Blusia was screaming, her pitchy shrill echoed in the forest. Faster, faster. I paced myself to catch up to her. We were running, it seemed like forever. My feet felt like heavy stones, Tyrannian quality, dragging across the heavy laden dirt. Suddenly, a house appeared to my right and I let out a yell. "BLUSIA, look, a house!!" Of course, a house isn't going to save us from this unknown rogue, but it will buy us some time, not to mention rest, I thought to myself, following behind Blusia, who took my suggestion and entered the building.
Hurrying to enter myself, I only briefly chanced to observe the house's general appearance. "It can't be!" I gasped, rushing inside to tell Blusia in case she managed to overlook the details of the structure. "THIS IS NEOSCHOOL!!" I shouted at her, my voice filled with amazement and awe. The room I entered was actually a very long wooden hallway with plenty of doors to the left and right. Blusia was frozen in place, gazing around, apparently out of breath as well.
It was just as we had imagined, a comfortable and inviting abode of knowledge that would have done King Hagan justice. A fireplace was located at the very of the hall. Curious as always, we approached it slowly, trying to take in the magnificent aura of the place.
Blusia, speechless, pointed towards a picture frame that was located on the marble mantle. Dust enveloped all of it. Shaking, I took the frame into my hands and gently blew to dislocate the dust. It flew in all directions; my Poogle sneezed. Still, not a word was pronounced as we gazed upon the picture, its quality compromised by age and neglect. It was heavily faded away, but we could discern some figures standing in front of the Neoschool. Squinting my eyes, I could catch that they were smiling, happy from ear to ear.
Before either one of us could proceed to say something about the place, someone coughed behind us, deliberately. Startled, we turned around and a blue Techo was huffing and puffing out of anger across the hall, his eyes steadily fixed on us. "You didn't think you could get away with this, did you?" He approached us slowly, knowing we had nowhere to hide now...
To be continued...