Caylis's Necklace: Part One
"Where in Neopia is Schala?!"
Mima the Blue Acara kicked her Blue Lupe Plushie at Marisa, her Angelpuss. She, her sister, and their guardian were all going on a vacation to Meridell. They would go by boat—would, if Schala ever appeared.
The head of a Green Cybunny poked itself through the doorway to the parlor. Schala could see that her sister was not happy, but why? She was usually full of sass and flair, not to mention pride for the land she hailed from. Her room was plastered with the flag of Altador—it may as well have been her wallpaper.
Upon sight of Schala, the Acara tossed her brown hair in quite a pompous way.
"Where have you been?! Don't you know that Sae is waiting outside for us? Our ship leaves Altador in an hour!"
Schala sighed. She picked the fishbowl that contained her Catamara, MagusOfSaeryn, and walked toward the door.
"Oh, how I hear the song of the sea," the sisters' guardian, Saeryena, sang. Her golden-brown hair danced in the wind, almost as if in rhythm with her Cybunny's blue hair. Schala danced on the deck of the Sakura, while her sister sat on the far rail, absorbed in another Altador book.
It was said that the ship had once belonged to Siyana the Light Faerie and, as the legend had it, a close friend of hers. But something must've happened, because as far as Schala knew, the First to Rise had abandoned the boat and the touring company had taken it. The clever Cybunny could not help but wonder about such a thing, but that was beside the point. They were going to Meridell!
She continued to dance along the newly swabbed sapphire-colored floors of the golden boat's deck, unaware that she was little too close to the rails. Only Mima noticed in looking up once from her book to listen to Sae's song. She felt the boat begin to turn, and leapt onto the deck just in time to see her sister slip on the slick floor.
"Schala!" Mima screamed.
Schala slammed into the rail with great force. At the very moment, a great wave broke, as if by fate, and at the very moment it impacted the ship, she was flipped over the rail and into the raging sea.
"Schala! Schalaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Schaaaaaaaalaaaaa..."
Frantically and desperately trying to keep afloat, Schala watched as the Sakura sailed far away, and heard Mima's screams fade to a whisper...
A Maraquan tail parted the overgrown seaweed as flowing, purple hair danced in the calm world under the ocean, a world very unlike its surface, where more and more gigantic waves broke.
Her smooth gray hand caught the light from above the raging waters. Eyes followed what seemed to be complete nothingness from there to here, where the rocks were forever strangled by the water vines. Then—oh, a most astounding sight! The form of a Neopet, flailing its arms in vain. She had the idea it could swim, but it seemed so panicked that it didn't know what to do. Not to mention the fact that wave after wave was headed in its direction.
She wasted no time. The silky purple tail had never whipped back and forth so fast. When she caught up with the sinking form of the now unconscious Neopet, she saw it was a young, blue-haired Cybunny...
Caylis swiftly whisked her seaweed necklace her sister had given her from her throat and forced it onto the neck of Schala.
"Unnh... are we there yet...?"
Schala's eyes came slightly unhinged. The first thing that caught her attention was the fact that it was dark. Soon, after fully opening her eyes, she realized she wasn't on the ship.
In fact, it looked as though she was underwater.
Indeed, she could feel water flowing all around her, and yet breathing it in felt like a breath of fresh air. Strange...
An unmistakable sign was the seaweed. Nothing like that grew around any caves on land. And—oh my, could it be?
She could plainly see the figure of a Maraquan Aisha, with such a familiar purple color to her hair and tail.
"Caylis?" she half whispered.
Caylis turned. The Cybunny was awake.
"What's going on?" Schala asked quietly.
The voice that answered back was a bit like Fyora's might be; calm and wise, and yet it was also airy and mysterious. And foreboding, in a way that one might have been too desperate.
Schala got up and gasped. She was floating! It was as though she was on Kreludor. If Caylis was here, added to this, it could only mean she was indeed underwater. And breathing... somehow.
"You fell... from your ship, and I caught you."
Schala floated to the ground and faced one of her idols.
"Thank you..." she said, still not believing what she was seeing.
"I trust you know who I am," the Aisha said matter-of-factly.
"Caylis. I just can't believe I'm seeing you."
"And who might you be?"
"I'm called Schala."
The image was still so vivid in Isca's mind. The face of her sister flowed through her thoughts as they turned to those gray arms wrapping around a sinking Neopet, possessing of waves of blue hair. And the necklace. That necklace so much like her own; it gave one the power to breathe underwater. And Caylis had slipped it over the neck of that unlucky Neopet.
Isca decided that she had to tell King Kelpbeard right away.
"Why, Isca?!" the King boomed. "Why did you interrupt me with a pointless 'prediction' you had? Your sister made her choice. She is not coming back to our city!"
"But, Your Majesty," the Aisha protested, "I never said anything of wanting to bring her here! I only thought it strange and inquired as to what it meant—"
"Which is nothing!" the King interrupted her. "Don't mention this again! You shouldn't concern yourself with her."
Isca sighed. What was the use of having prophetic power when it was thought to be completely futile? Her poor sister...
She would often wonder what Caylis was doing every day, and sometimes she had tried to go see her, but the guards claimed it was unsafe to travel beyond the city of Maraqua. If that were the case, Isca thought angrily, then why was Caylis allowed to leave? What was there that was so dreadful that she couldn't even visit her sister?
She had to find out what this meant. If she dreamed it, it must have significance. Her blue tail whipped the strands of kelp and seaweed as she kept her eyes on the exit of the Maraquan city.
"Where are you going?"
Isca turned. A Maraquan Gelert had spoken to her.
Wait a minute. Why was he asking?
"Forgive me, Lady Isca," the Gelert said, bowing. "My name's Aiden. I think you should know that I saw your sister carry away a drowning land dweller."
"Th-thank you," she stammered, swimming in an ever faster motion toward the gates.
Only one thought echoed in Isca's head. Her dream of the Cybunny plus Aiden's account of what happened equaled –
She had to find Caylis. Now. The last time she'd had a dream of a land dweller was because that Neopet was going to save her beloved underwater world. And if this were the same sort of thing, it meant Maraqua was in danger again! Finding out where her sister was keeping the Cybunny was her number one priority.
At last, she reached the gates of the city. She had two choices now: either turn back and forget about everything, or venture off into the unknown. She'd been there before, but the times she had it had been a little creepy, not to mention the time the Chasm Beast had appeared and almost eaten everyone. She wasn't even sure where Caylis was now. She'd followed her sister's sobs before, but she couldn't hear any cries now...
No. She had to find out what this dream meant. Mustering up her courage, she shot like a torpedo through the city gate and into the depths of the deep, dark sea.
"Caylis?" she called.
She swam to another part of the vast ocean.
"Caylis?" she called again.
Still no answers.
But wait – what was this? She could hear feminine voices...
The sound was coming from a cavern positioned nearer to the ocean's surface. As Isca titled her head upward, she noticed a white, fuzzy figure in a purple dress deep in conversation with her sister.
Upon taking a closer look, she realized that this Neopet was the dream Cybunny.
She had to talk to her, and find out what she could. She cut furiously through the helpless ocean as she made her way to the girl.
"Excuse me, miss?"
Schala let out a quiet gasp. Isca's voice had taken her completely by surprise. She had just been asking Caylis if they could look for her family. Nevertheless, the Cybunny stopped what she was saying to listen.
"I'm Isca," she said. "Well, I suppose I should explain why I'm here – "
"Isca? Is that you?"
Caylis floated over to her sister. She then embraced her.
"What are you doing here?" asked Caylis.
Isca took a deep breath. She didn't know, exactly, how this would go over.
"I had a dream last night – "
Caylis looked as though she were about to plant her face firmly in her hand.
"Oh, don't give me that look," retorted Isca lightly. "Yes, it was a prophetic one, and it happened to be about this lovely Cybunny you rescued." She put one arm around Schala. "What's your name, honey?"
"Caylis, I saw you save her. What happened?"
The look on Caylis's face changed to one of knowing the need to explain something that might not go over well as her sister let go of Schala.
"I saw her teeter and fall from her ship. She was trying to swim back to the surface but the poor thing was only flailing out of fear, and the waves were very strong. I acted quickly and slipped the magic necklace you made for me over her.
"I had a dream too, Isca. I foresaw the Drenched – "
" – invading Maraqua, or rather, returning to it..."
Much deeper in the sea, a dirty-looking Water Faerie pounded the walls of the cavern she lived in. Two others, who looked a lot like her, sighed. Or rather, one of them sighed while the other one gave a low snarl at the the one who had hit the wall.
The sighing Faerie swam up to her sister.
"Alira!" she scolded. "That kind of thing is not going to get you what you want! There are better things to hit... why not go steal someone's Petpet and bang it around instead?"
"But, Reisna..." Alira replied as she gazed upward into her older sister's face, "I just... I don't like it! We got banished for no reason! It's King Kelpbeard who should be languishing here, not us!"
"I know," Reisna sighed. "We're just going to have to do something smarter than just sit around..."
"Well, actually, we weren't exactly truthful, were we?" mused Lirita, the youngest sister. "I mean, those potions and things did give a little more than what was supposed to be given..."
"Oh, hush," Reisna snapped. "So what if some random Neopet was turned into a Petpetpet because they wanted to fly? Who cares about that one Flotsam who wanted to be rich, and so he turned to solid gold? They got what they wanted, didn't they? We were truthful enough. There was no reason for King Kelpbeard to banish us. This time, let's not rely on pirates or anything. They always fail.
"This time, sisters, we're taking over the city ourselves."
To be continued...