A Lost Bruce in the Lost Desert
It was a scorching hot day in the Lost Desert, a sacred land filled with ancient cities and heaps of sand. The sun blazed mercilessly in the clear sky, casting harmful rays of burning light onto the ground. It would be a nightmare to be in the sand on that day. Unfortunately, a blue Bruce had gotten himself stuck in the middle of the Lost Desert exactly when the sun was at its prime.
The Bruce's name was Zeus. A native of Happy Valley, he had planned a relaxing vacation in the beautiful town of Sakhmet. He had been staying there for only a week when he joined a tour group that was journeying to Qasala. The group was led by Roger Turban, the famous tour guide. Zeus had been munching on a Desert Krawk Cake when he overheard an Elephante and an Aisha chatter about the tour.
"I absolutely cannot wait for the tour to begin! Roger said Qasala is lovely!" the Aisha said excitedly.
"Indeed Qasala will be an interesting place," the Elephante agreed. "We'll also trek through the Lost Desert in a caravan driven by Roger. He said that we'll also visit King Coltzan's Shrine and play Tug-O-War."
Now it wasn't that Zeus had gotten bored of Sakhmet because he had blissfully enjoyed waking up to the bustle of the city, playing rounds of Scarab 21, merrily stopping by the Food Stall for samples, and drifting off to sleep at night, but he was curious of Qasala. So he packed his bags once again and joined the tour.
On a warm day, the group boarded a regal caravan at the gates of Sakhmet with their belongings. Everyone exchanged greetings and chatted while Roger Turban got the caravan moving. The Kougra was obviously an experienced driver as well as a charming guide. Roger pointed out every sight the Lost Desert had to offer. He was narrating a humorous story to the group when Zeus laughed so hard, he lost his balance at the end of the caravan and tumbled out onto the hot sand.
The poor Bruce dashed behind the caravan, yelling at the group to stop. But everyone was laughing and talking so nobody noticed a thing. As the caravan disappeared into the distance, Zeus collapsed sadly on the sand. All his possessions were on the caravan and he was lost in the middle of a desert with nothing. He stood up and shielding his eyes from the sun, he squinted to the horizon. He could see a faint pillar standing up to the west, beside a cerulean river.
"I bet that's Coltzan's Shrine. If I reach there before nightfall, I'll be able to drink some water and at least rest beside the sacred monolith. Who knows? Roger Turban also said the shrine helps Neopets," Zeus remarked to himself.
Although this wasn't exactly the type of adventure he was expecting, he was determined to reach the shrine. So the Bruce set out across the Lost Desert, jolly despite his perilous situation. He continued trudging through the sand for hours until he plopped beside a palm tree to rest. By now Zeus could clearly see the mammoth shrine, elegantly etched with hieroglyphics.
The Bruce massaged his flippers wearily and licked his beak. Oh, how badly Zeus wanted a sip of a Blue Bomberry Slushie from Happy Valley! He wiped off the sweat between his eyes and slumped underneath the shade of the tree. It was nearly twilight and the desert was beginning to cool down. He knew it was crucial to reach Coltzan's Shrine before it got too chilly. The locals at Sakhmet told him that outside of the city, the Lost Desert's temperature dipped lower than Terror Mountain's.
Zeus got up again and continued his exhausting journey to the shrine, stopping occasionally to rest. Hours passed and the Bruce was just enjoying the cool night air when he noticed how close the shrine was. He jumped for joy and raced to the monolith excitedly. The royal shrine on the banks of the river was a gorgeous scene. Zeus sprinted to the river and slurped up gallons of the delicious water. He gently shook the palm trees by the shrine for the Sand Grapes that grew from them.
After filling up his rotund belly, the Bruce slowly made his way to the shrine. He held his breath as he bowed respectfully before it. Zeus wasn't expecting any help as it was probably King Coltzan's spirit who had safely guided him to the shrine. He was surprised however when a blue image of the majestic king appeared before him.
"Thank you, young Neopet, for approaching my shrine. What brings you here at this time of night?" King Coltzan inquired with concern.
"I was accompanying a tour group to the city of Qasala. We began from Sakhmet and were riding in a caravan when I accidentally fell out," Zeus explained sheepishly. "Before I could climb back on, they were gone. I managed to glimpse your sacred shrine from the middle of the desert and walked to it, hoping I could seek water and food."
King Coltzan's spirit was utterly shocked. "You padded across the burning sand in the middle of the day without any means of energy and reached my shrine before nightfall? How extraordinary indeed!" he murmured incredulously.
"It wasn't that difficult, Your Highness. I bet a mighty king such as yourself could surpass it easily," Zeus piped up humbly.
King Coltzan beamed. "As a token of my appreciation for visiting my shrine, I shall help you reach the fine city of Qasala."
Zeus grinned at the spirit, nodding thankfully as a translucent Spardel appeared in front of him. This Spardel had to be Sparky, King Coltzan's faithful pet. Sparky was twice the size of a regular Spardel and was happily wagging his tail.
"Ride Sparky to Qasala; you will make it safely there. Please visit my shrine again, young Neopet," King Coltzan declared wisely, smiling as he vanished.
"Thank you! Thank you very much, King Coltzan!" Zeus cried gratefully, bowing again before gently hopping on Sparky's smooth back. He gave one last look to the shrine and wrapped his paws around Sparky's neck. Sparky broke into a brisk run, galloping authoritatively across the Lost Desert at a tremendous speed.
The two reached the bright city of Qasala before midnight. Zeus jumped onto the sand from Sparky's back. Zeus thanked the helpful Spardel, petting Sparky's soft head. Sparky licked Zeus's face twice and disappeared into the Lost Desert, back to Coltzan's Shrine.
The next morning, Zeus was all the talk of Qasala. Roger Turban himself dined with the Bruce, listening in interest as Zeus narrated his tale. The entire tour group as well was fascinated with the Bruce's miraculous journey. Zeus spent many peaceful days in Qasala, shopping for scrolls and chomping on dishes at Qasalan Delights.
Before returning to his home in Happy Valley, Zeus visited Coltzan's Shrine again. He decorated the shrine nicely with expensive flowers and wreaths as well as treats for Sparky. Zeus would never forget how kind King Coltzan had been and he would never forget his Lost Desert adventure.
"Thanks again, King Coltzan," Zeus whispered, dusting off the shrine bashfully. He wheeled around and proceeded to climb aboard the caravan back to Sakhmet. This time he was sitting in the middle!
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