The Adventures of Trina: The Two Islands: Part Six
Trina trotted over to the massive pile of stuff, raising an eyebrow and dropping her jaw. Did all this stuff belong to Tomaru? And if it did, where in Neopia did he store all this stuff? A landfill?
“I take it that these are for our trip?” she asked.
“I hope I brought enough!” Tomaru said eagerly. “You’d better enjoy it! It took me a long time to bring all this stuff here, you know. Do you have any idea where I got all this stuff? Luckily, most of it was free!”
Yes, definitely a landfill.
“What do you want us to do with all this?” Pat stomped her feet. “How do you expect us to carry it all? Are you crazy or something?”
“You’ll need all of it, by Queen Vioe’s order,” the jelly Scorchio replied cheerfully. “And yes, some would call me insane. I call it having fun.”
Linny opened her mouth to argue, but someone else spoke from behind.
“That’s enough, Tomaru.” said Master Iko, standing next to the broken fountain. “Stop scaring the poor things. Here, allow me to clarify: Queen Vioe suggested that you select a few items from the collection, but you must choose wisely, as you will not have the time to return whatever you have chosen. Don’t worry, you will not go alone. Tomaru shall aid you on your quest.”
“Why…” Pat groaned.
She then tossed random objects from the pile over her shoulder, intentionally making sure they would land on the Scorchio.
After an hour of pulling stuff out of the Hill of Strange Things—which was what they decided to call it—they were all exhausted. They had separated the items in three piles: useless things, useful things, and most important items. Master Iko gave them advice on what things they should consider bringing and using in certain situations. So far, they had gone through at least two hundred items, and they had only place fifteen in their important pile, including some candles, bottles of water, rope, parchment and quills, cans of food, and some matches.
“What’s this?” Cassie pulled a strangely shaped object from the center of the pile. She brought it up to her face then squealed, grasping her nose. “It’s rotten cheese!”
“One of the most powerful weapons of all,” Master Iko chucked.
Cassie returned a smile before tossing the cheese over her shoulder.
“I wasn’t being sarcastic, either,” the Mynci continued once he caught Cassie’s attention. “Everything—and I truly mean everything—in this pile was added for a purpose. These objects were chosen by our island’s greatest adventures, both young and old. A rubber duck to someone is a way of communication for another.”
“I wonder what this does,” Linny mused as she dangled a sequin bracelet at her chin, allowing it to glitter specks of light on her green skin. Without warning, tiny blades poked out from the sequins, and it slipped from Linny’s grasp.
“Forgot to mention,” Master Iko laughed again, “things are not always as they seem. That goofball can tell you that from experience.”
“What, me?” the Scorchio shrugged. “Honestly, Master, that paint brush was a perfect replica! There was no way I could’ve known it was coated with NeoMites!”
Linny returned to fidgeting with the bracelet until Trina snatched it away. “Actually, I think I’d better wear this. Chias don’t really have wrists, if you know what I mean.”
As Trina was modeling her new accessory, a glint of light blue captured her attention. Carefully, she extended her arm and revealed a thin, crystal-like rod with rounded sides. Whatever it was, it was nothing short of beautiful. She couldn’t describe it, but there was some sort of energy radiating from it.
“What’s this, a wand or something?” she asked.
Master Iko faced Trina with wide eyes. “It is indeed! But it is not just any such wand—that one is very special. Queen Vioe has been keeping a hidden assortment of few of the wands from the Ancient Times, and has had them personally placed them into the pile just for you four.”
“Why?” asked Cassie. “What’s so special about ‘em?”
“It is customary that before one goes on a long journey, they must select items of their need through many. I remember my first long journey. I was sent to gather lemons by the edge of this island to conduct an experiment—I must say it’s bizarre how they grow in the darkness. I only set off with a jug of water, and I regretted dearly that I didn’t bring a cloak. Anyway, that’s not important right now. These wands are special because they carry unique properties and powers that no others have. Don’t see it as you finding the wand, because the wand finds you. Think of them like your personalities – powerful in their own ways…”
Master Iko adjusted the collar on his robe and gave his audience a hard look. “But also venerable. Never let yourselves get carried away. Remember, the key to success shall be your own friends, and with their support you can never waiver.”
“Hey, what about me?” Tomaru said. “Do I get a wand? I’m pretty good at using one!”
“Definitely not; it’ll just end up like the feast incident two years ago,” the elderly Mynci replied.
“But it was an accident! I didn’t mean to explode the—”
“That’s more than enough!” Master Iko interrupted, and then continued. “You four must use these wands in order to reach, and challenge, the pirates. I myself haven’t come across one of the high-ranking ones in many years, but I know what they are capable of. Don’t think for a second that physical ability is their only strength. Now, the wands’ spells are determined solely by the strength and will of your heart. If you have any doubt in yourself whatsoever, you cannot summon any powerful spells. From here on, your safety depends on your ability to work as a team and your own willpower. The Ancient Book of Code can help them achieve many unpleasant things, so it is important that you believe you can achieve! Hey, that rhymes!”
Trina gripped the wand in her paws tighter. She wished that there would be time for her to study much more about the island. She wished that one day she will receive an award given by Neopia’s top archeologist for the amazing discoveries she would make. But right now, she wished she could prove she wasn’t weak, and be known as a strong, capable Wocky able to achieve her dream to make a difference—because someday she will.
Without warning, a stream of vibrant, blue light soared from the wand and collided with a large rock yards away. Abruptly, the rock burst into hundreds of pieces, scattering around the roots that peeked above the ground. Everyone gasped, except Tomaru, who shrieked.
“Whopping Weewoos!” Tomaru exclaimed. “You…you blew my first try out of the water!”
“Unfortunately, the wand’s power is not unlimited,” warned Master Iko. “The more power used in one time, the more power is drained that will not be restored. Please keep this in mind.”
”How does it work?” Trina asked, staring at the wand in her palms. “I know there’s magic where I live—in expensive potions, pulling snowbunnies out of hats—but nothing like this. I’ve never seen such a thing.”
“How much do you know about science, dear Trina?” Master Iko asked her.
Trina groaned. Science was her mortal enemy.
“Particles make up the world around us. It is the building blocks of mass; it’s in the air that we breathe, the entire galaxy and beyond. But contrary to what most scientists believe, there’s another type of particle. Magic particles. Mystical particles that have been around since the Ancient Times, invisible to all eyes in their natural form.”
Master Iko extended his arms outward and closed his eyes, as if he was feeling something in the air around him.
“A magician can learn to channel these particles and train them to respond to emotion. To be completely in control, you train the way you perceive the world around you. This is the magic you’re seeing.”
Another hour passed until they finished sorting the pile completely and had their wands chosen. Cassie’s wand was bright yellow with a miniscule, gem cutout of the sun mounted on top; Linny’s was very similar except that hers featured the shape of a stone atop and was a ruby red color; Pat’s wand was green with a lightning bolt shape on top.
“Make sure you keep those black cloaks in your backpacks,” Master Iko urged. “They may be of use in the future.”
“We will,” Linny replied.
“Now, before you set off on your long—” said Master Iko, pausing mid-sentence. His face stiffened and his eyes squinted.
“What’s wrong—” Cassie began, only to be harshly interrupted by a hoarse whisper from Master Iko.
Quickly, Trina grabbed the new items she collected and stuffed them into her backpack, along with the scratched plastic sword she still had.
A few bushes rustled wildly around them, causing Master Iko to pull out a long, wooden staff that was surprisingly hidden in his cloak. In seconds, three burly figures in black sprung out from the bushes, blocking all escape routes.
“Hand over your valuables,” a pirate Quiggle demanded as he pulled out a long, sharp sword from a sack hanging from his shoulder, “especially those wands!”
“You honestly think we will?” Pat spat at the Quiggle.
A Pirate Zafara stepped forward with a battle hammer in one of his paws. “You will, or else…”
“Give them to us now!” a Pirate Uni, sporting a pair of dusty roller skates demanded, holding up a wooden bow.
Master Iko winked. “Yes, give it to them now, young ones. Practicing your fighting on pirates is very bad. You may get hurt, or you may actually learn something…”
“Yes…” Trina replied. She stepped toward the Quiggle pirate cautiously, legs trembling as she held her wand in front of her. The pirate then reached for it and the battle had begun.
Trina launched a few blasts at the Quiggle, but he did a back flip to avoid the blow. He began to slice his sword through the air as he headed for Trina. Her plastic sword managed to block the sword’s mighty blows; her wand looked much too fragile to counter a sword. She summoned a few weaker spells from her wand to keep the pirate at a safe distance. As Trina predicted, he immediately dodged them, but fortunately he could not advance.
“Hey,” Trina said, holding up her sword with all her might. “Know where Captain Mevolin is?”
“How should I know?” the Quiggle grunted.
Ignoring the pain building up in the joints of her hand, she focused on an idea that just came to mind. “How about if I win, you take me to him?”
“It’s not like I keep track of ‘is whereabouts, Wocky,” he spat, still locked in battle with the plastic sword.
“Well, if you won’t take me willingly, how about you take me as a prisoner?”
“That ain’t how it works around here! And why’re you so interested in ‘im anyway? He’ll tear ya to shreds!”
Cassie would so want to destroy her if she saw her doing this, she predicted. “Haven’t you heard? There’s a hefty bounty on my safe return to the Dark Depths. I need to find him and defeat him before it gets out of hand, that’s all.”
“Hmm, in that case…”
Yes! It was working! She’d find him in no time!
The Quiggle then reached into his sleeve and drew a flask, similar to the healing potion bottles they sold at Kauvara’s Magic Shop back in Neopia Central, which housed a murky yellow liquid. A strong lemon odor was escaping the top of the bottle.
“How ‘bout never, ya liar!” he yelled with a devious grin, and moved his arm backward, ready to toss the bottle forward. “Who in their right mind would want to hunt down such a pathetic wimp?”
Suddenly, a flash of red appeared, shielding Trina. At the same time she caught a glimpse of another flask, this one bearing blue goo, hurled at the opposing flask. When the two flasks met, they instantly exploded, and shards of glass rained on the soil. The gooey remains of neither potion were present.
“Let this be your first lesson,” Tomaru said. “Take it from a master such as myself, any time you see that color of potion, it’s best to run away.”
“Thanks for that,” Trina said. Luckily, she was able to break away from the Quiggle when he was distracted.
“Get out of here!” they heard Master Iko shout from behind them. “Run into the forest with Tomaru! He will tell you where to go! Hurry!”
Cassie and Trina gave a quick nod. Linny emerged from hiding behind a tree and stood next to Tomaru. Pat replied then came into the scene.
“C’mon, Trina!” Linny screamed as her opponent, the Zafara, turned to face her.
“What about Master Iko?” Trina asked fearfully, ducking from another swing of the Quiggle’s fierce sword.
“I’ll be fine, so go now!” Master Iko snapped back at them and created a shield with light from his staff, allowing them to escape.
The friends darted off into the forest without looking back. Only the Zafara pursued them. The pirate pitched rocks at them with his battle hammer. Tomaru safely pushed his companions away from the rocks’ path as they flew past them.
Tomaru stopped in his tracks. Everyone turned to his direction. “Guess it’s time for this now…”
The jelly Scorchio reached into his shoulder bag and brought out a small flask of purple syrup. He yanked the cork off of the bottle’s mouth and hurled the bottle at the pirate.
“Now,” Tomaru said, smirking. “Confuse!”
A stream of purple sprayed the Zafara in an instant. Baffled, the pirate wiped some the syrup off of him and dropped his weapon. Seconds later, the pirate began to move erratically in place, waving his arms into the air and running in circles while in place.
Cassie gasped and approached the Scorchio, appearing completely baffled at the sight of the dancing pirate. “What in the world did you just do?”
“Well, he was supposed to get confused and run in the opposite direction, but it seems I brought the wrong potion,” Tomaru chortled. “I guess we should get going before this stuff wears off.”
As the friends made their way deeper into the forest, they hysterically dashed around many trees and large rocks placed randomly about the area, Trina decided it was time to test her cleverness once more.
“Let’s each go separate ways,” the Wocky suggested hastily, clearly uptight. “There’s no way that pirate could find all of us!”
“Good idea,” Cassie remarked as she broke away from the group.
When Tomaru and Linny left, Trina was alone in the dark forest. There was no sign of the pirate anywhere, or anyone else. Running, she grew dehydrated as the pads of her feet repeatedly beat the soil unwillingly. For the first time in a while, she wished she was at her neohome. Finally worn out, she stopped to catch her breath.
She threw herself onto the forest’s soft ground and looked up at the underside of the canopies of the towering trees. The trees had almost completely blocked out the summer sunlight of midday, and for that she was very thankful. She let the stillness of the forest drift her to an inevitable sleep, until a faint rush of footsteps caught her attention.
Immediately, Trina alertly sat up with her wand wrapped in her tender fingers. When the footsteps got louder, she lowered her wand, since there was no need for it. Pat staggered from a small clearing of trees.
“It’s safe,” she managed to mumble through a deep string of panting. “We need to…keep moving now.”
“Okay, but first we need to find Cassie, Linny, and Tomaru,” Trina declared. She stumbled to her feet and pulled her backpack higher over her sweaty shoulders.
Pat began to walk into another direction of the forest. “Then let’s go!”
They walked wordlessly for a few minutes until a blur of vibrant red was seen in the distance behind trees. It rushed just feet past them, close enough to see what it was.
“Tomaru!” Trina exclaimed, galloping towards the Scorchio.
“There you are! I looked all over for you! I met with Cassie on the way here and she told me to find Linny. Have you seen her anywhere?”
“No, I haven’t.”
“Then that must mean—” Pat cried, letting her remaining words hang in silence.
“We better go find her before that pirate finds her first, if he hasn’t already!” Trina yelled and then dashed off deeper into the darker part of the forest.
After calling her name out so many times, all of their throats began to dry even more. They stopped to drink some water from their backpacks and continued their seemingly fruitless search, until they heard a voice.
“Trina!” a young Usul ran toward the three, smiling.
“Cassie!” Pat grinned. “Have you seen Linny?”
“Not since we decided to split. I’m sure we’ll find her.”
“Where could she have gone?” Tomaru groaned, dragging his feet forward.
“Let’s keep looking,” Pat proposed.
“There’s no way they could have gotten too far from here.”
After even more exploring, they began lose hope, until something lying in the dirt caught their attention.
“Linny!” screamed Trina.
Tomaru was the first to approach the Chia. She appeared unconscious.
“Linny? Are you okay?”
“I…” she murmured as she struggled to lift her head a few inches above the ground. The Chia’s pallid-green fur was ruffled and spotted with dust and shards of dry leaves.
“Are you okay?” Trina repeated.
“I lost…I lost…”
The four friends gathered closer to hear every word, suspense drifting among them.
“I lost the wand.”
“What happened to it?” Tomaru asked, breathing quickly. “I’ve known about those wands as long as I could remember, and if anything had happened to one of them, Master Iko would hate me…”
“Pirate,” she muttered, frowning. “We can’t worry about that now; we have to get the book back!” Trina said.
Cassie and Pat exchanged glances of annoyance.
“We know, but we ought to solve what’s in front of us now in order to get to that point safely,” Cassie said as she helped pull Linny to her feet.
Linny looked at her friends sadly. Each of their eyes was filled with concern, making her feel even worse. “Thanks for your help, but I’m so sorry I let him take it. There was nothing I could do…I just froze…”
“We understand, Lin, but now is not the time for this,” Cassie said. “We need to find the captain ASAP! So, where do we go next, Tomaru?”
“Well, there’s a ruined building I know of that we could start our training and stay in for the night.”
Linny looked at the Scorchio, dumbfounded.
“Training for what?”
Tomaru got ready to trek of into the forest again, ignoring his urge to sleep. “Wand training and advanced skills that you’ll need, but we’ll talk about that later. It’s quite a long way from here, so we better start moving if you want to make it by nightfall.”
Brimming with determination, Trina rushed after Tomaru and her friends, delving deeper into the forest of enemies and new mysteries. She had come so far already. Weeks ago she had been living life alone in a cozy neohome. The thought of exploring a new land nothing more than some crazy dream. Now she was out in the open, ready to change things, and herself. Whatever lay beyond the leafy bushes in front of her, she would never let the world down.
This was only the beginning.