After four days the boat finally docked in Neopia Central. Seamus was so relieved, he had been both sea-sick and home-sick every day since he left home. But that didn't matter now... he had finally arrived and was so excited to find the Rainbow pool. As he made his way off of the boat he repeated out loud the directions he had memorised.
"Straight forward, turn left at the end of the street, walk straight past the market place and cross through the Neopian Bazaar. At the Auction House turn left... no, right. Then head for the money tree. Once at the money tree continue on the path and there the pool will be." He had memorised these directions by studying a map every night before bed.
But... it was busier than he expected. A lot busier. There were Neopians doing their shopping everywhere he looked. As he got to market place he could no longer see the path he was meant to be following, he was just surrounded by people. The constant nattering of the shoppers just seemed to be getting louder and louder. There were no street signs anywhere and by this point he couldn't even remember which way he came from. He was so disorientated. Altador was nothing like this, the streets were peaceful. Even on Sundays which was market day, the crowds were never this busy. He had never been to a place like this before. He was beginning to panic, no-one seemed to notice him, they were all engaged in their own conversations or too busy to notice. Seamus did the only thing he could, he walked to the nearest building and crouched down under the window, hoping to compose himself attempting to re-start his journey. As he was trying to figure out what to do in his head he heard a familiar voice.
"Are you alright mate?"
Seamus looked up in disbelief. It was one of the boarding officer's from the ship he travelled on. "I'm... I'm just a bit lost," Seamus replied.
The crew-mate checked his watch before replying. "Where are you heading?"
"I was trying to find my way to the Rainbow pool, but I got a little lost. And then, well I did know which way to go, but then there were just so many people and I lost the path and then I couldn't figure out which way I had come from and then I just had to sit down to try and figure it out." Seamus answered, his words getting progressively faster with a slight panic in his voice.
"Well, I'm in a bit of a rush to get to the Auction house, there is something there I am desperate to buy. But I can take you that far, the Rainbow Pool is really only just around the corner from there."
Seamus was elated! "Yes please, after the Auction house I just have to turn right, then head for the money tree. Then I'll continue on the path and there the pool will be!"
"Uhh, sure." The crew-mate replied, "let's just make haste."
"I'm going to have to leave you here mate, you seem to know where you're going from here though. I might see you around!" The crew-mate hastily exclaimed as he hurried into the Auction house.
Seamus was so excited. The crowds had dispersed a little and he could actually see the path. He kept repeating the directions in his head. He turned right at the Auction house and followed the path until the Money tree came into sight. He was so close, he knew all he had to do was continue following the path and he would be there. He would actually be at the Rainbow Pool. He could not contain his excitement, he began to think back to when he was a young boy, when stories about the magic the Rainbow Pool holds would be read to him as a bedtime story. Suddenly he felt like a child on Christmas again, he was about to achieve one of his life-long dreams. That was until he saw what lay ahead...
He thought the crowds at the market place were bad, but this... This was just unbelievable. He had never seen so many Neopians in one place. He could see a sign up ahead which he presumed was a sign-post for the entrance to the Rainbow Pool. But in-between that sign and himself there must have been at least 10,000 other Neopian.
"I'm never going to get to the entrance," he sighed to himself. He was on a tight schedule, he had a hot air balloon to catch that evening to take him to Faerieland and if he missed that it would throw his whole trip off of schedule.
He took another look at the crowd. There were Neopians who had bags packed full of paintbrushes queuing to just use the fountain. Some people that he could make out towards the front of the queue looked as though they had been there for days and they were still waiting. Seamus knew he had no chance. Not contempt with this fact, but understanding there was no way around it, Seamus turned around and headed back towards the Money Tree.
"There are still six more wonders I have planned to see," he thought to himself. He tried to convince himself that missing one wouldn't really matter, but inside he was sad. He knew this was probably a once in a lifetime trip for him and if he didn't see it now he would probably never get the chance to return. He was playing about with idea's in his head about what he was going to tell his family and friends, would he tell them that he never actually got the opportunity to see the Rainbow Pool, or would he lie and tell them he had visited it. After all, he had read so much about it in text-books and imagined the scenario of visiting the pool so many times that he could probably come up with a pretty convincing lie. But he knew he couldn't fool himself, no matter what he told his family and friends he knew he would always know the truth.
He found his way back to the money tree and stared up and its thick trunk and long branches.
"If only there was a way for me to get into the Rainbow Pool," he thought to himself. Just as he was doing so a piece of branch from the money tree fell and hit him on the head.
"OUCH!" He proclaimed, but that's when it hit him (quite literally)! He came up with his plan to get into the Rainbow Pool.
"It's so crazy, it just might work," he thought with hope.
To be continued…