Janet and Jane: The Case of the Rough Waters: Part Seven
The next thing that I remembered clearly was landing in the water with a huge splash.
The current of the water took me from there. It was much faster and stronger than I thought. I tried to swim up to the surface for air, but the fast water denied me from doing so. It wasn't that I couldn't hold my breath for very long – don't get me wrong, I could (though I was running out of that) – it was just that I wanted to get back on the surface before I was very far.
Someone grabbed the collar of my shirt and yanked me out of the glowing water. I gasped for air once I hit air. I got a good look at who pulled me out. It just so happened to be the very same Wocky who got me in this situation.
“A thank you might be in order,” Kell said bitterly. He pulled me out of the water and onto the ground.
“After you got us in this?” I snarled. “Kell, I have no clue where we are!”
“Neither do I. I'm a victim in this, too.” He pulled something out from his jacket. A jar? He filled the jar with the water. “Now unless you want to be left behind, follow me.”
I groaned as he began to walk. Unless I wanted to be alone in the dark (which I certainly did not), I had to walk with him. Out of all the Neopets on Neopia, it had to be him. I scurried to catch up with him. It would have been completely dark if it wasn't for the glowing water Kell happened to collect in that jar.
“Are you alright?” Kell asked.
Oh, so now he was concerned about me? “No, I am not alright,” I said bluntly. “My side hurts from you tackling me there and my back stings from hitting the water! Not to mention that we have no clue where we are and our friends have no clue either! What would make you think I was okay?”
Kell stepped away from me. “I was just asking. Sheesh.”
“You're suddenly considerate when we were fighting not even ten minutes ago. Why the sudden change?”
He groaned. “Janet, trust me. I'm not happy either, but we clearly have to get along now. It's just us. Unless we want to go off on our own, which I'm positive you don't, we need to stick together. That would be pretty hard if we were fighting, now wouldn't it?”
I crossed my arms. “You make a good point.” I looked up at the crag that we fell off of. “We're not climbing back up there.” I cupped my hands around my mouth. “Jane! Jane, are you there?” After the echo I caused, there was silence.
“She and the others must have left to find a safer way down.” Kell looked at me, then walked again. “You know, what you were saying up there wasn't necessary.”
While I did want to find out why he was afraid over Batterflies, I admit that I could have said something differently (and not laugh in his face – that certainly didn't help the situation). Still, he could have just told me about why he was afraid of them. It shouldn't be that hard to explain, right?
“I admit, what I did wasn't the smartest thing,” I informed. “Why didn't you tell me you were afraid of Batterflies?”
“I knew that you would laugh like that,” Kell quickly answered. The yellow Wocky turned away from me. “It's a stupid thing to be afraid of, I know.”
Great, he was pulling the guilt trip (and it was working). I was actually feeling sorry for Kell (huh, that was new). Ugh, I always hated the feeling of guilt.
I stomped my foot and groaned, “Alright, fine, I'm sorry.”
“I never thought I'd hear you say that,” Kell replied. He looked back at me and actually smiled.
“Don't get used to it.”
I was pretty sure Kell said something, but I didn't pay attention to listen to what he had to say. Instead, I looked around the cave. The rocks and the sides of the cave were changing color from dark brown to dark blue with cyan designs – around the same color as the glowing water that Kell had in that jar. What was the mineral called again? Maractite, that was the mineral I was thinking about. It was Maractite.
As we continued through the veins of the cave, I noticed the cyan patterns were glowing. I was naturally a bit confused as to why that is. In my experience, nothing good came from things that glowed.
“How deep is this cave? I never knew Maractite could be found on Krawk Island,” I said to myself.
“I never knew Maractite glowed like this,” Kell added. I almost forgot he was walking with me.
I took the jar of the glowing water and examined it. It was harder to tell its own glow from the glow of the Maractite. “Whatever's in the Maractite must be in the water.”
“At least it's easier for us to see.”
Kell was right. While the glowing of the Maractite wasn't as good as a light from a lantern, we could see easier than with a simple jar of glowing water. It made me wonder why the Maractite was glowing. I saw a glowing rock on the ground and decided to pick it up. I might as well perform a few tests on it when I get back to Neopia Central.
Huh? Was that... I swear, I saw a yellow glow coming from a turn in the cave. It was glimmering almost. Along with the glow, there were shimmering spots. Okay, that was strange. There was something over there. I just knew it.
I decided to check it out. I ran to the source of this light.
“Janet, where are you going?” Kell asked in a whiny tone. He quickly caught up to me and ran alongside me.
“Don't you see that light?” I asked.
“It's not that I don't. It's just that I don't want to run in into something that could be dangerous. Did it ever occur to you that the light could be coming from the monster?”
I scoffed. “Have you ever run into a monster that glowed like that?”
“Yes, I actually have.”
I didn't bother to come up with a witty response like I usually would. Instead, I remained silent and hurried up to the source of the light. I didn't think about if it was dangerous or not (though in hindsight, that might have been something I needed to think about).
Luckily, it wasn't dangerous at all.
I stopped at the opening of the end of the vein in the cave. I was in total awe of what was found in there. There were tons and tons of Dubloons, jewels, and other golden things in mounds. Right at my feet was a lantern. I picked it up. There was a flame glowing brightly in the glass case.
“Whoa,” I said in awe. I picked up the lantern and walked around the mounds of Dubloons. “These just didn't get here.”
Footsteps echoed the vein end. A few coins were moved around. “Either all of this is some sort of unfound treasure or these are the things that you said were stolen,” Kell commented.
“My money's on the second option.” I walked up to the Wocky. “Though this seems quite a lot for something that's been going on for a couple weeks. How long was this going on?”
Kell crossed his arms. “I don't know. If Layton is doing this, then...” Suddenly, he stopped. “Janet, where'd you get the lantern?”
I looked at the lantern. “It was on the ground.”
“Think about it. Why would there be a lantern – a lit one, I might add – be here, deep in a cave?”
I didn't think about that. Now that Kell brought it up, it was kind of strange that a perfectly good lantern that was lit was here. It meant that someone was recently here.
“Maybe Corbin was here and he dropped the lantern?” I suggested.
“No, the lantern would have broke if it was dropped. Besides, this isn't his,” Kell informed. “I don't think it was dropped, either. If anything, it was left here on purpose.”
“On purpose? Who would leave this here on purpose?” I looked into the flame of the lantern while I thought about this. “I don't think our friends would do that and the only other Neopet I would imagine being down here is–” I stopped myself in shock. “Layton.”
I handed Kell the lantern and reached into my jacket. I still had my compact with me. Good, this was good. I opened the compact and put the white facepaint on my head and tail (good thing I dried from the fall earlier).
“What are you doing?” Kell asked.
I looked at him once I was done and said, “In case Layton is here, I need to be in disguise. He still thinks I'm this Kacheek whose name is Olivia who happens to be his quartermaster. If he finds out it's me, I'll be in the same position you were in.”
Suddenly, a voice echoed through the end of the vein. “Olivia? Is that ye?” Oh no. Layton!
“He's here,” I whispered.
“What do I do?” Kell said at the same volume I spoke in.
“You go hide. I'll try to get rid of him.”
He did as I told, giving me the lantern before he ran to hide. I saw him rush behind one of the mounds of dubloons. Literally five seconds after he hid, a blue Krawk began to walk into the light of the lantern. I smiled like nothing was wrong.
“Captain Layton, I didn't expect to see ye here,” I said in the most insincere voice I have ever done.
“Neither did I. Olivia, this place is dangerous. Ye need to leave,” Layton replied.
“No!” I didn't mean for that to come out that way. “I mean I don't want to leave. I wanted to see this property ye were talking about. Ye never told me about it.”
“Ah, I see.” Layton stood right in front of he. He looked down on me. “I was meaning to tell ye. Yer my quartermaster – of course I would tell ye about it. Now why are ye here? I thought ye and yer mateys were looking for the escaped prisoners.”
It was a good thing I was good at thinking on my feet. “We are. The others said they were wandering around here. I thought we should check in case they came here.” I looked around at the mounds of dubloons. Before Layton could say anything else, I asked, “Do all of these belong to ye?”
Layton gave a slow nod. “Aye, these belong to me. I worked very hard to gain all of this treasure. It took months to gather all of this.” Months? How long was he doing this for? Also I just noticed that Layton said treasure strangely. “Olivia, who were ye talking to?”
I didn't have a quick response for that question. I did the next best thing – lie. “I wasn't talking to anybody.”
“I heard ye talking to somebody.”
I shook my head. Hopefully if I kept saying this, he'd stop saying otherwise. “I don't know what ye mean. I'm alone, as ye can see.”
“Where are yer mateys?”
Ugh, Layton and the questions! At least I could tell the truth for that question. “I got separated from them.” I tapped my foot. “Layton, ye said something about it being dangerous in here?”
It looked like Layton was deep in thought and me speaking snapped me out of it. “Aye, I did. Ye promise to keep this a secret? I don't want the other pirates to find out.” I nodded my head. Before he could get a word out, it sounded like a bunch of dubloons falling over. Layton and I looked over where that came from. That was where Kell was. “Now what on Neopia was that?” Layton asked as he walked over to investigate.
“Captain Layton, why are ye checking? I'm sure that it was just something settling,” I argued. I quickly walked with him. “Ye don't need to check.”
“No, I'd rather check. Ye never know what can be down here,” Layton informed. Another set of footsteps echoed through the area – faster and more frantic. The Krawk pulled his scimitar from his sheath on his belt. “Who's there?” he boomed. “I suggest ye spare yerself the trouble of running.”
“Captain Layton, I didn't hear anything!” I whined.
“I know what I heard.” I didn't know if Layton saw it, but I saw the edge of a yellow tail scurry behind another mound of coins. “Avast! I know yer there!”
I tried to argue more, but Layton rushed ahead of me. He saw Kell, who was frozen. Once I caught up to them, Layton was raising his sword as if to attack.
“Ah, so Olivia was right to explore the cave,” Layton said threateningly.
Kell quickly replied with, “I didn't do anything and I never will!”
All Layton did was slowly shake his head and ready his sword. I knew what was going to happen. I quickly grabbed the hilt of my own scimitar and took it out of its sheath. Just as Layton charged to attack, I intercepted Layton's sword with my own.
Just as he was in a state of disbelief, I sent the sword flying out of his hands.
“Olivia, why did ye do that?” Layton asked. He stepped towards his sword, which so happened to be by my feet.
I placed my foot on the sword and raised my own. “If you dare take a step closer, I'll make you wish you were at the mercy of the authorities,” I growled.
Layton instantly took a step back (a wise choice if you ask me). “What's the meaning of this? What did I do?”
“Oh, you don't want me to answer that question.” I gave a smug grin. “Let's just say that I'm done being your quartermaster and you're in a world of trouble.”
The Krawk gained a rather wise and smart look on his face. He suddenly reached his arm towards me and rubbed my forehead. Alright, strange. I looked at him for an explanation. He just looked at his hand that was now covered with my white facepaint.
“I thought I recognized that attitude of yers, Janet,” Layton said. His eyes focused on me. “Ye have some guts, coming back here after what ye did.”
I didn't dare flinch at the sight. “Oh trust me, I didn't want to come back, but I have a job to do.” I glared a bit. “And I'm looking at the culprit.”
Instead of lunging at me or even growling at me, Layton actually stepped back. Either I was scaring him or he had a plan. “Yer going to pay for this, lass.” Those were his last words before he ran off.
I put my scimitar back in its sheath and picked up the one Layton happened to leave. I shined the blade with my sleeve. Once I could see my reflection, I examined myself. A long, white smear covered my forehead. I rubbed my jacket sleeve over my forehead to remove the excess facepaint.
While I was doing this, Kell decided to stand next to me (not that I was bothered by that). The Wocky looked into the reflection of the sword. “I didn't think he'd just leave,” he said.
“Neither did I. Pirates are noble, they'll fight for anything,” I informed. “I'm not surprised, though. He was unarmed, two on one, not to mention that I was ready to take him down.”
“I at least expected him to take the lantern back.”
I handed the sword to Kell and took the lantern. “You said he might have left it on purpose. If he did, I would imagine that he had some other source of light. Just be glad he didn't. We're going to need it.” I walked to the winding vein. I looked back and signaled Kell to join me. “We have a long way to go.”
To be continued…