The Lupe of Terror Mountain
Jeran of Meridell, Balthazar of the Haunted Woods, King Coltzan III of the Lost Desert, Captain Scarblade of Maraqua, King Altador of Altador, Buck Cutlass of Krawk Island, the Ghost Lupe of Mystery Island, "Squeaky" Tressif of Brightvale, you name it. Everywhere you look, there’s a resident Lupe.
This was what made Gemroan sigh in disappointment. She was nothing more than a blue Poogle. At least, that what she thought of herself; nothing more. According to the things she had researched, the only famous Poogles were Alstaf, the MSP, Moogi and “Trapper” Remis. She didn’t want to be a Poogle. She didn’t want to be treated like a normal person. She wanted to be a Lupe. She wanted to be famous, to be respected. She wanted to be the resident Lupe of Terror Mountain.
But there was one problem. There was not a Magic Shop in Terror Mountain. She could go to Mika and Carassa, but she wouldn’t bet on it that there would be a Lupe Morphing Potion by the time she was there. She could also buy a bag from Tarla, but it was a risky choice. There was also the choice of doing a quest for Taelia, but that wasn’t a sure reward either. And most of all, she would never pay such an expensive price just for a trip to Neopia Central.
She was busy reading yet another book about Lupes. She lay down on her icy bed, her tail wagging and her legs waving. She was reading Lupe Mysteries, while Alethea, her petpet Polarchuck, was munching on some food from the Slushie Shop. Gemroan was about to reach her favorite part when it happened.
She heard a shriek of terror, then a few seconds later, a knock on the icy door of her Neohome.
Gemroan hurriedly got up and left the book on the bed, and then opened the door, which revealed one of her friends, Ferante, a Christmas Shoyru. He was panting, his face completely covered in fear.
“What? What happened?”
“It’s... it’s...” Ferante struggled.
“It’s Sylcer. She, Hanillus and I were supposed to visit you here, but on our way, poor Sylcer slipped on the ice and almost fell to the Snowbeast’s lair! Please, you have to help her.”
“I don’t understand, why almost?”
“She’s hanging in there. Holding on a bulging stalactite. If she lets go, she’ll be food for the Snowbeast!”
“Okay, I’ll go Neomail the Defenders of Neopia.”
“There’s no time for them! Let’s go,” he urged, and then pulled Gemroan out of her Neohome. Alethea followed closely behind, trying her best not to let her plump stomach slow her.
The crowd was already filling up as the two went on their way. Neopets circled the space around the cave, but were 10 meters away. Only Hanillus, a blue Pteri, and his Angelpuss Halo were nearer the cave.
“Hanillus, where’s Sylcer?!” Gemroan exclaimed at the Pteri, panicking as he tried his best to extend his wings to reach the endangered Acara.
“She’s over here!” he said, almost crying.
Gemroan looked down. Sylcer was barely holding onto the stalactite. Meters more, and she saw the Snowbeast, excited to see the Acara fall and be its lunch. Without a second wasted, she held Hanillus’ claws and pushed him gently, to reach Sylcer.
Then, it happened.
Sylcer couldn’t hold on much longer. Her hand slipped, and she fell.
“NO!” Hanillus screamed, as the crowd gasped.
Gemroan didn’t know what had gotten into her, when she pulled Hanillus back and plunged into the cave herself.
In front of Gemroan, the panicking Acara. Behind the panicking Acara, the vicious Snowbeast. What had she done?! Now she, too, was part of a meal. But then, she realized, she didn’t care. Sylcer needed to be saved.
Sylcer hit the icy floor with a thud. Gemroan also hit a few seconds after. Gemroan had good reaction time. Before the Snowbeast could even swipe the Acara, she held on to her and ran to a tiny spot she found. It was large for the two of them, but very small for the beast, that only its hand was able to go through.
There was light on the other end of the mini cave. Gemroan knew at once that it was an exit to somewhere in Terror Mountain. She didn’t knew where, but she didn’t quite care, as long as she and Sylcer could escape.
“Sylcer, let’s go!” she insisted, pulling her left arm as she ran. Sylcer was still crying in fear, but not as intense as before. “Thank you so much, Gemroan,” she said. “I owe you my life.”
“Less talk, more run.”
As the light grew larger, Gemroan’s desire to escape also grew, as her legs became faster. However, Sylcer had gotten tired. “Please, let’s rest first, Gemroan. I can’t feel my legs anymore.”
“Okay, fine,” she said and sat the cave beside her. But it only happened for a few seconds, for another nightmare came upon the two of them.
Gemroan heard slithering. A large slithering Hissi was quite the sound of it. And to her devastation, when she turned to where they were from, she saw an enormous icy snake rushing towards them.
What else did she do? Shriek, of course.
She immediately stood up and pulled Sylcer up, then dragged her towards the exit. “Let’s go!”
“I didn’t know the Snowager’s lair and the Snowbeast’s lair were connected!” Sylcer exclaimed as they rushed to the exit.
“Do you think anyone had the courage to find out?!”
At last, they emerged to a new place. In front of them were piles and piles of junk, neggs, plushies, keyrings, Battledome items, and much more. They were in the Snowager’s lair.
“Oh no,” Gemroan softly said. There was no time to lose. Again she pulled Sylcer and rushed outside of the lair, before the beast could catch up to them.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
They stopped in front of the Scratchcard Kiosk. The Poogle sat and leaned against the wall of the building, with Sylcer beside her. It seemed like they panted in unison.
“Thanks... again... Gemroan...”
Gemroan looked at Happy Valley from afar. She saw a glum Ferante and a crying Hanillus. She thought they wouldn’t notice them, but soon Hanillus looked at the Ice Caves, and shouted “Look! It’s them!” Not a second passed and her friends, along with the crowd, ran to the Kiosk.
The four friends hugged. “We thought we lost you...”
Gemroan was hugging Ferante, when she saw a familiar figure flying to them.
It was Judge Hog.
“Gemroan, for risking your life to save a friend, we, the Defenders of Neopia, want you, to be an honorary member.”
“What? Really?” she exclaimed. “Oh my gosh, thank you, Judge Hog, sir!”
Ferante, Sylcer and Hanillus hugged her again. Even their petpets hugged her, Alethea, Halo and the others. From the crowd she saw almost every citizen in Terror Mountain looking at her proudly. There was Taelia, Tarla, Mika and Carassa, and so much more.
The crowd cheered. Gemroan smiled. Before, she thought that Lupes were always the heroes. Now, she was a heroine, and a Poogle at that. On that day, she abandoned the dream of being a Lupe, and thought:
You will succeed whatever species you are.