Reign of Ice: Part Two
Brendon groaned. He had just been dragged into the middle of the one desert in Neopia that happens to be experiencing a blizzard as part of his sister’s daily rituals, and now he had to save the world? This was not his day.
Irena was already planning on how to solve the riddles. “Restore shrunk things… grow small things… make shrunk things bigger…! That’s it!” Irena exclaimed. “I remember reading about this potion from Mystery Island that has the power to make shrunk things bigger. It isn’t very expensive, but it can only be found on the island. The only problem is that we are stranded in the middle of a blizzard in the desert. Wow, never thought I would say that.”
The speckled Kiko thought for a moment. Then he reached into what appeared to be his pocket. “I have this compass bracelet I bought when we visited Moltara last summer. Does that help?”
“Where do you keep this?” his sister inquired. “Never mind, I don’t think I want to know. Anyway, I do know that the coast is due east of the desert. If we can get to the shore, we can head north along the coast and find a harbor.”
The duo headed towards the shore, their sights set on the Neopia Central harbor. When they reached the coastline, though, they found a pleasant surprise.
“Hey, look,” the Kiko pointed out. “Someone left this sailboat on the shore.”
“Actually,” Irena responded, “I get the feeling that this wasn’t left just lying about.”
“What do you mean?” Brendon did not get it.
“I mean,” the cloud Blumaroo began, “this storm must have brought the boat from up north. You see…”
Her brother zoned out. To him, Irena tended to sound far away and even echo a little bit when she got like this.
“And so, in short,” Irena concluded, “the storm created a current that brought the boat from the Neopia Central area all the way here. Brendon? Did you even listen to a word I said?” She dumped a large amount of cold ocean water on his head.
“I’m listening, I’m listening already.”
“Never mind,” Irena responded impatiently. “Let’s just get on the sailboat.”
The siblings pushed off, and on they went into the vicious unknown. The waves bashed against the small boat. The clouds blocked off any trace of sunlight. Irena and Brendon fought the wind as hard as they could; they needed to keep on course for Mystery Island, but the storm was trying to carry the boat due south.
“This is too much!” The speckled Kiko was feeling really overwhelmed. “I don’t even have any feet to keep on the ground. How do I fight this storm?”
“Okay, here’s my plan. I grab you to increase the force of friction, and you can use your freakishly out-of-proportion arm strength to man the tiller.”
Irena gave him an annoyed glance. “It’s the long stick that steers the ship.”
“Oh, why didn’t you just say so?”
Another annoyed glance followed. “We don’t have time for this.”
The twins did not know exactly when it happened, but they found themselves waking up on an island just off the coast of the main island.
“Ugh, my head’s throbbing.” Irena was coming around. “Brendon? Brendon, where are you? Where am I?”
The speckled Kiko was lying on the shore, in a daze.
“What happened? We were just on that sailboat…”
Just then, a door opened behind them.
“Ah, more guests come to get their fortune told. Come inside and sit down.”
The duo turned around to face none other than the famous Island Mystic. They followed him into his hut, which was small, but surprisingly comfy. It was also well decorated, if you are into tiki, bones, and shaman-type décor.
“I haven’t seen you two around here before. Where did you come from?”
Brendon was first to respond. “Well, we live on Roo Island, and where came here to try and stop this insane blizzard over most of northern Neopia.”
The Kyrii was confused, so Irena cleared things up. “We went to visit Coltzan’s Shrine earlier, but the Lost Desert was completely cloaked in a blizzard, worse than the one in Mystery Island all those years ago. The ghost of King Coltzan III gave us this key, but told us that it had been shrunken in an effort to prevent anyone who finds it from using it, and we came here to get the Tagobo Potion needed to restore the key to full size.”
“I think she’s done,” Brendon alerted the Island Mystic.
The Island Mystic got some bones out from underneath the table he was sitting at. “These bones are my favorite way to read fortunes. I only get them out when I sense something special about my guest.”
“Wait, you sense something special about US?!” The twins were both taken aback, but Irena was more so than Brendon.
“I wasn’t made one of the island’s five guardians for nothing. These bones are said to be able to divine the fate of those who shake them.”
“Soo… That means?” Brendon was lost.
“It means we shake bones, they say our future.” Irena gave him another one of her world-famous annoyed glances.
“Oh. Why didn’t Mr. Voodoo-Kyrii just say so?”
Naturally, the Kyrii was offended by the label the speckled Kiko had given him. “I will not have you talk about me like that.” If you looked closely, you would have promised you saw his eyes turn to fire.
The Kiko shrunk back.
Irena stepped up to the table. She took the bones, shook them really hard, and poured them out on the table. Moments later, the bones spread out to form a cryptic yet intricate and marvelous landscape.
“I see. This is very interesting.” The Island Mystic was looking very closely at the bone-picture. “This seems to be a depiction of a battle at the top of Terror Mountain. It looks like you and your rude brother are engaged in a brawl against a cloaked figure. I cannot identify your foe, but they seem to be a powerful spell caster. They are blasting you with shards of ice, but the Blumaroo is using a wand to send the wind at them full force. And the Kiko, he is using claws to slice the ice to defend the both of you from the blasts of ice. The battle looks rough. It is not evident whether there will be survivors.”
Brendon was awestruck. “Me next!”
The Blumaroo and the Kyrii ignored the Kiko.
The Mystic closed the meeting. “I wish you luck on your journey. Before you go, may I request something?”
Irena responded before her brother had a chance to shoot off his big mouth. “Sure. We were heading to the large island to get a Tagobo Potion. We can grab something for you and be back before we leave. What do you need?”
He gave her a blank stare. “I was just going to ask your names.”
Brendon blurted out before his sister could begin her ramblings. “Awkward…”
Irena gave him a scowl. “My name is Irena and my irksome brother goes by Brendon. It was incredible meeting you, but we need to get going.”
Brendon laughed. “Maybe we’ll see you at the fireworks ceremony.”
As they left, the Island Mystic closed the door and murmured to himself, “Those two are in way over their heads. I’ll be astonished if they make it to the foot of Terror Mountain without getting themselves devoured by a horrible beast.”
As the twins departed, Irena yelled at Brendon, “For someone who has no feet, you sure put your foot in your mouth A LOT.”
They approached the spot where they awoke, intending to take their sailboat to Mystery Island. They were shocked to see the boat in shambles.
“Now what do we do?” asked Irena.
“I don’t know about you,” smirked Brendon, “but I’m a Kiko. I float in the air. This is nothing for me.”
“Well, the main island isn’t too far away.” A sly grin spread across the Blumaroo’s face.
“Oh no… Why don’t I like where this is going?” The Speckled Kiko floated backwards in the air.
“Ever heard of Tubular Kiko Racing?” Irena walked closer to the Kiko. “We’re going to try Kiko Wakeboarding.”
She gathered a plank of wood from the wreckage of the sailboat, and wrapped two strips of the mast around the board. The Cloud Blumaroo brought the makeshift wakeboard to the coast of the small island, then, after chasing her brother around the Island Mystic’s hut, grabbed him and strapped her feet into her wakeboard.
As they started moving through the water, Brendon muttered, “That’s the last time I ever put Peanut Butter Spiders in HER box of cereal.”
The twins were approaching land, and now faced a new problem.
“We’re almost there,” Brendon informed Irena. “How do we stop this?”
“I… was hoping to have figured that out by now…”
Brendon started to squirm. “Just let go of me. Maybe you can be a surfing Blumaroo.”
His sister was, again, annoyed. “If we weren’t about to crash into Mystery Island, I’d be giving you a ‘look’ right now.”
Brendon slipped loose of Irena’s grasp, leaving his sister surfing on the wooden plank.
Tourists and islanders gathered on the beach to watch. A surfing Cloud Blumaroo wasn't something you see every day. As the twins drew near shore, Irena tried to straighten her board to land smoothly but hit a rock on the shore. She tumbled in the sand until she looked like a sand Blumaroo.
“Brendon, when I get my hands on you…!”
The Speckled Kiko floated onto the island just then, when his sister yelled his name. Instinctively, he started floating just a little bit higher so he could look for his sister without putting himself in danger. When he came across her, they came to a conclusion on how to go about on their expedition, though not before a cartoonish scene where Irena tried to pluck Brendon out of the air. Whenever Irena jumped at Brendon, he floated just out of her reach. Panting, the Blumaroo collapsed on the ground, her twin brother resting beside her.
Still panting, Irena began, “Okay, we need to figure this out. We still have this tiny key, and we need to get a hold of a Tagobo Potion to make it useable. First, though, we need to navigate through this jungle.”
Brendon caught his breath.
Irena continued, “It looks like Geraptiku is just northeast of here.”
“And how do you know that?” the Speckled Kiko questioned.
“By looking behind you.”
Irena continued, “We need to go south to get to the Tropical Foods shop. I don’t know why, but that’s where they sell the Tagobo Potions. Let’s see… as I said, it looks like the jungle is the fastest way south.”
Brendon was growing impatient.”Can we just get moving, please?”
Irena gave him another annoyed glance. The twins headed out on their trek. As they wandered into the foliage, it was as though they entered another world. The trees blocked much of the sunlight, and the moisture in the air created a sparkling haze around them. The plants were strange and wonderful, with flowers of all colors, from red and yellow to purple and orange. Vines wrapped around the trees, ensnaring them with stripes of green. The trees themselves were remarkably varied. There were short and tall specimens, with leaves broad and narrow. The fruits were as colorful as a candy factory on Roo Island. The rainforest even smelled and sounded otherworldly. You could smell the damp earth mixed with the fragrance of plant life all around, and the calls of many birds rang through the air.
The duo ventured deeper into the jungle, though the journey was surprisingly uneventful. Around halfway through their journey, Brendon predictably decided to take a rest.
The Speckled Kiko was as lazy as ever. His sister was as annoyed as ever.
“How is it you get so tired when you never have to walk anywhere?”
He was already on the ground by the time Irena finished her question. “Oh, like you don’t get tired on long journeys. Wow, the ground is really soft here! It feels like I’m sinking into a marshmallow pillow.” Being a Kiko, he naturally slept with his whole body on the pillow.
The Blumaroo watched as her brother lay on the ground, sinking. “Can you get up for a moment?”
“Why, do you want to feel it for yourself?” As Brendon tried to float from the ground, he realized he was making no progress whatsoever. This caused him to start to squirm and struggle, which only worsened his predicament.
Irena sighed. “Of course. A Kiko stuck in quicksand. Honestly, you can’t write this stuff.”
To be continued…