Climb EVERY Mountain!
The wind whistled determinedly against the Kyrii, seemingly from all directions at once. The snow however lay over the ground, spread thickly like butter on bread unperturbed by the tempest whirling above. The Kyrii wrapped his scarf more thickly around his face, his breath frosted as he breathed heavily in the thin air. Behind him lay the fall of the mountain, a formidable slope with an even more formidable fall lest he put one step out of place. This was the easy bit; the vertical climbs he was more famously known for were a distant memory.
He struggled up the last few steps and reached the summit, placing his sturdy pole in the soft ground as the wind died, submitting to the Kyrii victorious win. The view was incredible. Here the curve of Neopia spread out like a blanket ahead, seas tumbling with white crests, the Lost Desert - one vast expense of shimming sand in the far distance. Closer was the Haunted woods, trees that appeared to creak even from this magnificent distance. Directly below, Happy Valley, where, if the Kyrii squinted through his binoculars, it was possible to make out the drifting plumes of smoke from warm fires. Between the woods and the valley below lay the Neopian plains, prosperous with a gentle drift of rain causing a perpetual rainbow and the most fertile of all crops.
It was beautiful.
The Kyrii struggled with the sack on his back, taking out a pencil and notebook. Flipping it open to the last page, he licked the tip of the pencil and methodically ticked another box. One more down in his quest to climb every mountain. With every summit the Kyrii conquered the view appeared to be more luminescent, more spectacular than the last. He was now the first neopet to triumph over every mount in the Terror Mountain range, notorious for its treachery and deceit to unwary hikers.
He reached round to his trusty backpack once more, removed a small pole and thrust it deep into the highest of the snow piles. Sticking his tongue out with the concentration he pulled from his pocket a card, and an extremely large pin. With the latter he attached the card to the pole. The Kyrii bent down, reading the card, and harrumphed with pleasure.
Kyrii Explorer, Adventurer and Mountaineer. Not a Thief.
"One name is enough. One world is not."
He sat down, not feeling the cold of the snow through his thick trousers. The sun shone with a fierce glare, seemingly determined to melt the very ice off the top of the encrusted mount, a battle that had been silently raging since Neopia's founding. Through the dense goggles the glinting, gleaming snow was dulled to a pale grey, tinted with blue. Peeling them off; he stared out into the magnificence of the moving map.
With a sigh, he looked at the final item on his list – there was only one final mountainous challenge he had yet to defeat.
"Ah, my old foe," said the Kyrii patting the mountain beside him. "You are but the first of my two great challenges. Now begins the real work; months of preparation may be required before I can prepare another expedition to this final mount. It shall require... let me see..." At this Tarak flicked open a second notebook and jotted down a few calculations. "Ah yes, at least three training sessions a day, no rest days for perhaps, seven weeks and four days."
He paused, considering, and scrabbled down a few more numbers.
"And twelve hours," Tarak declared with finality.
"And fifteen minutes," he post scripted with final finality.
He frowned at the calculations below him, and let out another sigh, the air crystalizing ahead of him. Up here, he felt like the only creature alive, excluding the mountain herself of course. Nothing stood between him, the sky and the space beyond. Here, a neopet could be, free from worry, thought and that perpetual niggling sensation that you had forgotten something.
Not without effort, Tarak raised himself upwards, standing precariously upon the precipice of the summit. He pulled a strong reel of rope out, and attached it firmly to a three-pronged grappling hook. Snapping his goggles back on, he swept away the snow covering a large boulder and wedged his hook deep in the rock. Wrapping the rope resolutely around his waist, clipping himself on, he stepped off the edge.
For a few, terrifying moments, he dangled in thin air, before the clip bore his weight. There was no cracking from the great boulder now out of sight, which Tarak always took as a good sign. Swinging his way to the side of the vertical mountain face, he held onto its' side. The snow, settled on the fine crags in the wall bit into his uncovered fingertips. With nimble care he lowered himself further down, leaping away from the wall as he dropped. The ground rose to meet him with every bound. Occasionally, when the mountaineer found himself short of rope, he would carefully tack himself to the steep cliff face, sharply tug the rope above him with a method known only to him in order to reposition the three-pronged hook.
It took thirteen repeats of this motion to fully descend this, the highest and most terrifying of Terror Mountains peaks. Landing on the solid ice felt like returning home after a long day. He carefully stowed all his climbing gear securely in his backpack, retrieving his hiking pole from its hook.
"Here begins the road to a place in the history books," he thought as he trudged back towards Happy Valley. "Only through perseverance and hard work can a person fully achieve all their goals."
Tarak had always been inspired by the tales of the great explorers. The most famous of all, Roxton A. Colchester III held a special place in his heart. Delving into the darkest parts of unknown Neopia Incognita has however never appealed to the Kyrii himself. He preferred to conquer the perceived unconquerable, raise himself above the everyday folk and see the world as none could ever, at least without visiting Kreludor itself.
The path wound steadily down towards the Happy Valley village, bypassing the Ice Caves and the lair of the Snowager en-route. The snow drifts slackened in height, giving way to icy paths from which the sun was brilliantly reflected, like a mirror. Entering the village he looked around, spotting the only house from which no smoke burst from the chimney. He headed toward it, opened the door and sighed. Exploring was all well and good, but having a home to return to was the most rewarding experience. He lit the fire, and fell into a dreamless sleep. The training could begin tomorrow.
Seven Weeks, Four Days, Twelve Hours and Fifteen Minutes Later...
"This is it!" said Tarak with glee to himself. "All the hours of work, preparing for this one moment."
He opened the door, and stepped over the threshold toward his final and greatest of challenges.
"Good morning, Tarak!" called the waitress from the counter, as Tarak walked across the restaurant floor.
"And the same to you, Stana," replied the Kyrii cheerfully. "Today's the day, the last and largest of the mountains I have left to conquer."
"You'd be the first person in Neopia to beat it," said Stana ruefully. "I wish you the best of luck."
Tarak sat down.
The mountain approached.
And was placed in front of him by two staggering waiters.
From table to ceiling, the mountain faced him with a menacing slither.
"One mountain of nachos," declared Stana the waitress.
"One mountain," replied the Kyrii, tucking a napkin into his collar and licking his lips, "And I will have conquered every mountain on Neopia."
Inspired by Kyrii Explorer (TCG) and Snow Covered Nachos