Cerena's Song: Part Five
I must say, travelling back to Roseate was much more comforting in a group. The trip across the bubbling pit was not nearly as scary, considering I didn’t see or hear the beast at all. The trip was fairly simple and straightforward; however I wasn’t prepared for what I saw next.
I was in the back of the pack, carefully watching for any Neopet from my town. I was looking off into the sea when I collided with the soldier in front of me, nearly knocking me down. “Hey, why did we stop?” I asked. But I didn’t need an answer. The answer was clearly in front of me.
Or should I say, wasn’t in front of me. Ahead, where Roseate should have lain was a barren, empty stretch of land. The soldiers all stared in wonder as I pushed through to the front of the pack and kneeled beside the soil. I picked up a handful and threw it back down. “Where is it? Where is Roseate?” I realized I was screaming at the soldiers for no reason. It obviously wasn’t their fault.
The group ventured out onto the empty land but I couldn’t get myself to move. The city was the last thing I had and it was all gone. Everything I once knew was lost and I had no idea where it went or why this happened. Why was I the only one left?
I saw a group of soldiers standing together on the side of the cliffs and they were beckoning to the other soldiers to come over as well. I still stood in my place. No matter how much I wanted to see what was going on, my legs were simply frozen. They all talked for a while until one of them noticed me standing over on the pathway. He came over to me and looked me in the eyes. I could see that it was bad news.
“The supports holding up your town were destroyed. As far as we can tell, the buildup of pressure over the years caused an instant landslide.” I could feel the tears flooding toward my eyes, and the soldier paused looking at me sadly before he continued. “But that’s not the worst part. They seem to have been destroyed purposely.”
I collapsed to the ground in tears and grasped at the dirt below me. The whole thing was unbelievable. Within a month my entire life had crashed down before me. The soldier who gave me the news tried to comfort me but eventually gave me some space and rejoined the others beside the cliffs. As I sat there, I looked up through my blurry eyes and saw something in the distance. I wiped the tears away and saw a blue figure standing on the pathway toward Maraqua far ahead. He was as still as a statue, looking right at me.
I slowly got enough strength to get to my feet and walked in the direction of the far off figure. As I got closer and closer, I was able to make out some of his features. He was a Lupe, but not a Lupe I had ever seen before. All the Lupes I knew were brown and this one stood upright instead of swimming. His clothes were nice, but slightly ripped. He wore a light green collared shirt and beige shorts. Around his neck was a seaweed necklace that floated gently in the water, while still remaining around his collar. However, the most peculiar thing about him was the fact that his eyes illuminated with a purple color. There was definitely something unusual about him.
I was only about twenty feet away at this point. The Lupe reached his hand out toward me and then made a beckoning motion with his finger. He turned away and began to walk off the path toward the rock cliffs in the distance. I wondered who this mysterious Lupe was but somehow felt safe with him, so I continued to follow him toward his destination. Below me I noticed that the soil seemed a bit unusual. I knelt down and dusted some of it away, finding a pathway. At that moment it hit me, this was the pathway I found that day we went searching for Cerena. The Lupe was leading me to the cave.
I ran ahead to catch up with him, but he had already made it inside of the small opening between the high cliffs. I saw the purple light of his eyes disappearing into the darkness of the cave. I hastily followed him but he seemed to get further and further away. Pretty soon I was alone in the darkness and could only feel around the cold stone walls to venture further.
The darkness continued for what I can only assume was close to a half hour. Finally, I saw the familiar purple glow again. Turning a corner, I saw the glow of a pair of eyes off in the distance. I knew that I had seen these eyes before, but I only assumed they belonged to the young Lupe. Suddenly a voice came from the dark silhouette.
“Turn back, Jeanine. You shouldn’t be here.” I knew this voice; it was Jewell! “Turn back, Jeanine. You shouldn’t be here,” she repeated.
I stumbled my way through the dark toward her. “Jewell, you don’t know how worried I have been. The most terrible thing has happened to Roseate!”
“Turn back, Jeanine. You shouldn’t be here,” Jewell repeated again. She had a somewhat robotic tone to her. I had never heard her sound like this before. I was standing right in front of her now. “Before it’s too late,” she said, closing her eyes. I couldn’t see her anymore so I reached out into the dark to find her. She was gone; all I felt was the hard stone wall again. I felt around but found I was at a dead end. Jewell had vanished.
Walking through the darkness had begun to take its toll on me. I started to reach a panic state. I hadn’t seen or heard from either Jewell or the young Lupe in quite some time, and I had no idea where I was. There was no light to lead the way and I seemed to only find dead ends. I began to believe that this whole thing was a trap. The Lupe had brought me in here to wander these caves until I couldn’t continue any longer. I just wish I understood anything that was happening, any one detail as to this mystery that started hardly a month ago. If only one part of this made any sense, maybe it would be more bearable.
I sat down against the cave walls and stared off into the dark. My head gradually lowered into my arms and I fell asleep. For the second night in a row, I awoke to the strange purple glow that radiated from my necklace. In anger I took the amethyst necklace off and chucked it into the cave. All of a sudden a loud piercing noise filled my ears. It was unlike anything I had ever heard before. I tried to block out the noise but no matter what I tried, it couldn’t be stopped. My fur stood up and my eyes went wide.
I involuntarily rose from where I was standing and found that some force had taken control of me. I began walking toward something, I tried to stop but my overwhelming need to get there was in command of my body. It was the strangest feeling I had ever experienced. A part of me was afraid but I somehow knew that everything was going to be okay. Now that I could hear the deafening sound more clearly, I realized that somebody or something was singing. My need to find the source of the voice was what was taking over. It was the most beautiful song I had ever heard.
As I walked through the caves, I somehow knew the path I was following. There was no need for me to feel around anymore. I followed it as if I had travelled it a thousand times before. Up ahead of me was a purple light, stronger than any one I had seen previously. The light was almost blinding, and once I stepped into the large room filled with this magnificent light, I fell unconscious.
My ears were ringing and I found myself lying outside. It was still day time. The singing I had heard before I lost consciousness had stopped and I looked down to find the amethyst necklace once again around my neck. Sitting up, I found Cerena standing there in front of me. She was staring down at me almost angrily.
“Don’t take the necklace off ever again, Jeanine,” Cerena said; her words sent chills down my spine. I was in too much a state of shock to respond to her. “One day you will understand all of this. But for now, just do as I say. Go to Maraqua and start a new life there. Never mention anything you have seen here today. It will only put you and anyone else you involve in danger.”
All I could do was nod. I didn’t understand any of what was going on, but I knew I had to listen to her. Something deep down was telling me to. Cerena seemed so much more mature than when I saw her at my birthday party. She looked different as well. It was as though she aged a few years. “Now go,” she said. And with that, she went back into the cave. I got up and walked toward the main pathway once more. Behind me, there was a loud crashing noise and I turned to find that the entrance had caved in. That was the last day I ever saw a soul from Roseate. I went back to the soldiers as if nothing happened and never again took off the amethyst necklace.
I am now seventeen years old. After that day I went back to Maraqua and King Kelpbeard was kind enough to find me a small house for me to make my home in. I live my life as if I never knew the town of Roseate or any of the Neopets who resided there with me. But I haven’t forgotten. I will never forget. One day soon enough I will return to my hometown and find out the truth behind the events I witnessed four years ago. If you were looking for a happy ending in all this, well, I suppose I still am too.
In the land of Altador, a beautiful young yellow Aisha bartered with a rather shady looking Kacheek down at the docks. "I want that one," she said, pointing at a large ship. "It's the only one I would be caught dead in."
"Whatever ya want, lady, as long as ya got th' Neopoints." The Kacheek held out his dirty hand and collected the hefty bag of Neopoints. "Pleasure doin' business with ya," he slurred, peeking into the bag.
The Aisha held up a map of Neopia and sighed. "Where could you be?" She mumbled the question to herself and stepped onto the swaying boat. From within her bag she pulled out a picture of a blue Lupe and stared at it. "I will find you if it's the last thing I do." With that, she reeled up the anchor and set sail.