The Adventure of Rhun and Noni: Part Two
The P.I. (Private Investigator) Rhun and the babaa Noni rode the ferry to Meridell. It had something to do with Noni’s apparent terrible phobia of heights. “But it’ll take hours if we don’t fly!” Rhun snapped.
“Look, grumble scarab, we either do it my way – or we do it the other way.” Noni growled. Rhun scowled.
“What’s the other way?”
“You don’t want to know.”
“I SAID you don’t want to KNOW.”
“Yes, I do.”
“No, you don’t.”
“Yes, I-” Before they knew it they had entered into a contest of do’s and don’ts like two Gelert pups wanting to ride the Merry Go Round. (Yeah, I don’t really get the comparison either.) Suddenly Noni stopped and stared at home with a considering look.
“Of course you do,” she said.
“NO, I DON’T!” Rhun shouted.
Noni shrugged. “Well, if you insist.”
Rhun stood there blankly for a moment, wondering briefly how such a tiny ball of fluff had outwitted him with one of the oldest tricks in the book. He felt like he’d just bent over to tie his shoes only to find two perfect bows, and then suddenly been head-butted in the behind and sent reeling. Glowering, he muttered something dark about Babaas then went to get tickets for the ferry to Meridell.
Rhun pocketed his paws as they entered Meridell, taking a deep breath of air.
Noni glanced at him and smiled. “Well, isn’t that nice.”
He froze and glared at her.
“What do you mean?”
“You seem more at ease here. You from Meridell?”
“Don’t ask stupid questions, kid.” Rhun ignored her, speed walking ahead.
“WHAT?! Hey, I was just trying to be nice and-“ she screamed after him. Then stopped abruptly. Rhun whirled to see her running off.
“NONI! Where are you going!?” The Babaa ignored him, so he could only race after her with a growl rumbling in his throat as she ran through Meridell.
He finally caught up with her at a small pen filled with Mortogs. A green Grundo waved cheerfully at them and wandered over. “You want to guess?” he asked. Rhun was about to decline when Noni leaped into the pen.
“Eddie! Bernard! Martha!” she shrieked, running to a pack of mortogs. They croaked pleasantly at her. “Right, right. No kisses. Ooo. But you’re so cute! Can I kiss your friends?” Croak. Rhun and the Grundo watched in dismay as Noni kissed all of the Mortogs she couldn’t name. Only Rhun and the Grundo, however, saw as the Mortogs morphed into Princes and Princesses.
When she was finished, she returned, beaming. “Such nice Mortogs. Usually they won’t let me touch ‘em.” The Grundo’s jaw was tight as he forced a very large bag of neopoints into Rhun’s reluctant arms.
“Get,” the Grundo said. “Lost.” Noni looked at him in surprise, but Rhun was already dragging her away. As they were wandering away, Noni looked up at the tired Lupe.
“So, almighty one, where to?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, the note said to go to Meridell – where did it say Abe would be?”
“How should I know? It was only two sentences?” Rhun growled. Noni sighed.
“So here we are in Meridell... with no idea of where to go. Wow, that’s smart.”
“Hey, look here, you little bag of wool-“
“LOOK!” Something had apparently caught Noni’s very easily diverted attention, because a second later she was dashing away towards a humongous creature sleeping near a tree. Rhun was getting used to this, so he quickly caught up with her. Grabbing her wooly scruff, he dragged her away and she wriggled irritably in his paws. A safe distance away, he dropped her on the ground and fixed her with a glare.
“Do you know the meaning of STUPID SENSELESS BABAA?”
Noni squinted at him. “I think I can catch the gist of it.”
“That is the TURMACULUS. He EATS petpets.”
“Oh, Turmy? We go way back. I was just gonna ask if’d he seen Abe lately,” Noni said with a small shrug. Rhun put his paws over his eyes, asking whatever being controlled everything to grant him patience with this insane ball of wool. This was a mistake. When he removed the cover over his eyes, Noni was a small speck running towards the aforementioned tree.
Muttering dark curses that I refuse to translate from Neopian, Rhun chased after her.
She was contemplating a large hole at the base of the tree when he approached. “Noni, don’t you dare!” but his yell was too late as she leaped into the hole. Rhun collapsed beside the hole. “NONI! Are you okay?! Are you hurt? Answer me!” There was no answer, and Rhun felt a small shiver of cold. “Noni?”
“Ah, Rhun, so sweet that you care,” a dry voice responded. Rhun almost groaned with relief, but he refused to give the appearance of worry.
“Are you okay, you stupid bag of fluff? If you’ll recall, the PPL wants you back safe and whole,” Rhun muttered into the hole.
“Ya know, I really prefer when you call me Noni. Those ‘bag of fluff and wool’ comments really hurt my self esteem.”
“Yeah, yeah – are you ALRIGHT?”
“Well, get your fat head out of the sunlight and let me see!” Noni yelled back. Grunting something about a golden rule, Rhun leaned back out of her light. He heard her chirp something like “Much better” and then heard “RHUN! I FOUND ANOTHER NOTE!” Rhun blinked in surprise as the small Babaa practically flew back out of the hole into his face.
A minute later her wool was full of twigs and leaves where he’d thrown her into the canopy of the tree, and he was reading the note.
“What does it say?” Noni asked, wide-eyed with something that seemed like too much interest. Rhun frowned at her for a moment before replying.
“Looks like we’re going to Tyrannia.”
Not very much later...
The giant pterodactyl was gaining on them, its large leathery wings beating the air. Rhun had taken to all fours and they were zooming across the Tyrannian landscape. Noni’s eyes were filled with terror as she kept pace two steps ahead of Rhun at all times.
“Go into the CAVE, you said!” she shrieked. “It’s the kind of place they’ll HIDE, you said! Maybe we can sneak UP ON THEM!”
“Well, it sure wasn’t my wise idea to POKE THE MYSTERIOUS FLOATING ORB WHICH HAPPENED TO BE ITS EYE!” Rhun roared back, leaping over ditches and holes in a frenzy.
Somehow, Noni had enough energy to roll her eyes as females will do. “Oh please, you know you wanted to do it too! It’s natural instinct to poke anything so perfectly round!” And somehow Rhun managed to have enough breath to scoff at her.
It was apparent that the large pterodactyl-like thing was about to scoop them up when they suddenly came to a huge fence, separating Terror Mountain from Tyrannia. Rhun nearly ran into it, he was running so fast, but Noni merely stopped right in front of it, not out of breath or anything.
“Well, that’s weird,” she mused, staring through the slits of the fence. “It’s covered in snow over there while over here we’re in a drought.” Rhun wasn’t listening, looking up at the sky at the circling pterodactyl.
“Hurry, Noni, over the fence!”
“What? Are you crazy? I think not.”
“Ah come on – Babaas jump over fences all the time.”
“Chyah. In your dreams.”
Rhun growled in frustration. The pterodactyl dived. The Lupe grabbed the Babaa around the middle and then threw himself over the fence. Noni screamed. The pterodactyl screeched, catching itself at the top of the fence, gazing murderously down at them as they plunged downward... down... down... down.
“Well, that was a stupid idea,” Rhun muttered as he brushed the snow off his jacket. Noni rolled out of the snowdrift, shuddering in the cold. She glowered at him.
“I’d just like to note that this one was yours,” she said, stomping her hooves and shivering. She looked around, looked at Rhun, and looked him up and down. “Gimme your coat.”
“You’re going to deny the poor defenseless Babaa you just DRAGGED over a fence, something as simple as an old and musty coat?”
“Yep,” Rhun said simply, arching an eyebrow at her like she was crazy.
“Rhun...” Noni’s voice was filled with warning.
Rhun shivered against the biting wind, hugging himself as Noni skipped cheerfully through the snow, dragging the overlarge coat that had been tied around her. Rhun glowered at her wooly back, canines chattering.
“Isn’t this GREAT?!” Noni shrieked, rolling in the snow.
“Stop that,” Rhun snapped, trying to still his teeth. “You’ll soak my jacket.” Noni beamed, rolled once more, and then skipped ahead.
“I wonder where we are!” she yelled, disappearing ahead as her voice echoed back to him. He hurried after her.
“Terror Mountain, obviously.”
“Nah. Too much ice,” she said pleasantly as he caught up and walked beside her. A slight rumble made him pause.
“Uh. Noni.” Another rumble. Noni stopped and looked around.
“I KNOW WHERE WE ARE!” she shrieked gleefully.
“SHHH, Noni, we’re in the-”
“JERRY!” Noni screamed, skipping away. Rhun hurried after.
“Noni, wait, it’s the-”
The Babaa disappeared around a mound of ice, and Rhun stopped short as a large head made of ice rose up and the mound slowly unwound to reveal a huge pile of neggs and scratchcards. Rhun ran, trying to see Noni.
There she was, standing at the base of the Snowager, staring up in shocked surprise at the head. Rhun gaped as the head slowly lowered towards the Babaa, its mouth opening. Rhun started running.
To be continued...