As Laurel was deciding where to go next a Plushie Meerca introduced herself as Carrie. Carrie said she was a collector of all things. Carrie had won the lottery and spent her time collecting unique items. Carrie was headed to Maraqua and asked Laurel to join. Carrie handed Laurel a swim mask and the two headed to the bottom of the ocean.
Laurel decided she was sticking close to Carrie in this unfamiliar territory. Their first stop was the Collectable Sea Shells Shop and Carrie wavered back and forth on different items. She finally decided on and bought an enameled Peophin brooch of the deep. Carrie loved the gold, teal and purple colors and wore it proudly on her blouse. Carrie wasn't sure she wanted to go into the Maractite Marvels weapons shop, as she didn't battle, but Carrie saw and purchased an enchanted Maraquan necklace. Carrie thought it looked good around her neck and fit in well with the brooch. The two went into Kelp and decided to share something from each section. First, they ordered a sea surprise drink and then tried fresh oysters in a yummy butter sauce. For the main course, they had an ocean platter so as to try a little of everything. For dessert they had the best cake Laurel had ever eaten, at least she thought so, it was a sweet and spongy coral cake.
Carrie saw a Bubblebee in the Marquan Petpets shop and just had to have one, she named it Fiona. Sir Pompadour was telling some petpets what treasure to collect for him at Petpet Plunge. Carrie and Laurel would have joined in but they were told by Pompadour that they were not allowed to keep anything. At the Neohomes store, Carrie purchased a sea sofa which she was having shipped home later that week.
Kelby, a Maraquan Shoyru was catching JubJubs as they were falling. As Carrie and Laurel were watching, Kelby asked for help. Each of them grabbed a Jubble Bubble shooter and saved a number of JubJubs from falling. King Kelpbeard was swimming by and clapped and said thank you for their service. The two entered the Marquan Ruins and went fishing. Laurel caught a rotten omelette sandwich and Carrie caught an old shoe, both were thrown back in for someone else to catch. At the Coloring Page Ruins Laurel colored Isca finding a pearl. Laurel caught up to Carrie, as she didn't want to color, she was watching Garin and Captain Scarblade battle.
At the Bubbling Pit, there were many different Marquan pets, one introduced herself as Silver the Draik. Silver told them they would come across an empty kelp bed that had an impression so deep they could fall in. The impression had come from a mysterious statue. Fyora the Faerie Queen had turned the Darkest Faerie to stone, but she had escaped that imprisonment long ago. Laurel and Carrie were careful not to get pulled in to the whirlpool as they went back to the surface. Carrie said good luck to Laurel and went to find more goodies to collect somewhere else.
Laurel was getting hotter and hotter as she traveled 7,000 feet under Neopia's surface to Moltara. Laurel did not ever remember being this hot in her life, in fact, she felt she would rather be just the opposite. Laurel saw a red worm on the ground and went to touch it when Mary the Magma Moehog told her they were special worms that glowed when all 10 were collected. Mary was a beautiful fire dancer. After the normal explanation that she seemed to give everyone she met nowadays about her problem, Mary smiled and let her know she would help her as much as she could. Maybe something in Moltara would trigger a memory. Their first stop was the Town Hall where the story of the Atlas of the Ancients was told. Roxton A Colchester was an adventurer who helped discover Moltara and fix the core of Neopia. Tangor's Workshop was a just a quick stop as Laurel did not have anything to give Tangor to make.
Laurel met the famous Roxton as she parachuted with him down the tunnels. Laurel accidentally touched a finger to a cave wall and it throbbed with pain. Mary introduced Laurel to Jordie. Laurel and Jordie flew around trying to avoid the magma. Unfortunately, a piece of the lava touched her cheek, another burn. Mary had a doctors bag and took out some healing gauze pads to put on the two areas. Mary and Laurel went to Molten Morsels and had some fire rice, that was literally blazing! The next stop was Igneot's Cavern and Laurel was told to ask a question. Excitedly Laurel asked, "who am I?." The Magma Gnorbu just answered, "it has been foreseen." Not the answer Laurel was looking for. A Tonu blocked Laurel and told her she was not allowed to take a dip in the hot lava of the Magma Pool. Not that that would have happened anyway thought Laurel.
Mary and Laurel chose to color Clara Chatham pointing at a map in a book at the Gilded Pages. It was time to say goodbye to Mary. Mary handed Laurel a volcano pop-up book with a gift tag that simply stated for my new friend. Laurel had a sudden memory of gift tags. Laurel gave Mary a hug and went on her way.
Laurel noticed the clouds seemed to surround just Lutari Island. As Laurel walked around she heard doors groaning back and forth from the storm's winds. Nothing was on the shelves in the buildings. The wind blew through the broken windows in the shops. She looked in a few of the houses which mostly were void of anything. There were a few torn couches, broken chairs, worn out tables and branches lying on the wet floors. Obviously, I don't belong here, nobody does, this place is abandoned.
Laurel entered Altador and saw a Mummy Kyrii with an overloaded explorer backpack. He went into Exquisite Ambrosia, it smelled so good that Laurel followed. Laurel ordered whole wheat sun pancakes with maple syrup and ate every last bite. When she went to pay she noticed the Kryii stuff a bunch of Vaeolus iced cookies in his backpack. Not sure what to do, Laurel followed the Kyrii as he went into the Legendary Petpets Shop. The shopkeeper was distracted by two Altachucks. The Kyrii grabbed a Vaeolus and ran out the door. The shopkeeper heard the Vaeolus making a ruckus but by the time he had gone to the door, the Kyrii was gone. There was nothing Laurel could do, so she moved on to the next shop, Magical Marvels. The Kyrii was there also. Laurel was too intimidated by the Kyrii to say anything. Laurel again saw the Kyrii steal something, three bottles of exploding powder. Laurel followed the Kyrii again to the Illustrious Armoury shop where he again stole two warriors round shields. Laurel looked out the door but the Kyrii was gone again.
Laurel noticed the sun shining off of an object by the Hall of Heroes. Laurel approached the item and it was an altador slushie snowglobe. Slushie, that sounded good and familiar in this hot sun. Laurel picked up the snowglobe. Laurel entered the Hall of Heroes and all was quiet except for a janitor sweeping the floor. Laurel noticed all 12 statues looked spotless, that janitor was great at his job. Laurel went upstairs and Jerdana and King Altador smiled at her and asked if she would like to hear about Altador's history. Of course, she did. Laurel thanked them both for the interesting history and went to the Altadorian Archives.
There were so many rooms here. The main room had thousands of books to read. In one of the smaller rooms, the Herbalism Club was having a meeting. The members were so distracted putting some sort of greenery into a pot to make a potion that they didn't notice Laurel. The next room said Alchemy Club, but the door was locked. In yet another small room, Laurel heard noises. A Quiggle was showing a Ruki different types of ores and gems. The Quiggle turned and looked in surprise at Laurel. The Quiggle asked Laurel where she had gotten the snowglobe. Laurel told her she had found it by the Hall of Heroes. The Quiggle explained that his snowglobe was stolen just earlier that morning, he had earned it playing the Altador Cup in 2015. Laurel told the Quiggle about the thief she had been following earlier that day. Laurel gave the snowglobe to the Quiggle, glad that at least one item would get returned to the proper owner. There were two more doors, one read Engineering Club. Laurel looked inside and there were all sorts of mechanical devices, including some flying in the air. Laurel moved on to the last door which was the Astronomy Club. A Wocky invited Laurel in to look through the telescope at the stars. I wonder if I belong somewhere out there, thought Laurel.
Laurel arrived at the Imperial City in Shenkuu feeling dizzy and ill after being tossed around on the ship for what seemed like hours. She was beginning to wonder if all of this traveling around was completely pointless. Just then she heard the lovely sound of music being played off in the distance. She decided she might as well get started exploring and headed across the rope bridge towards the music. When she reached the other side she saw a beautiful Woodland Kacheek playing her minstrel flute. When she saw Laurel she stopped playing and walked over to introduce herself. Her name was Tenshi and she was a local girl who worked for the Emperor of Shenkuu.
Laurel explained that she was exploring the lands of Neopia to try and figure out who she was and where she belonged. Tenshi said it was her day off and that she would be happy to show her around the beautiful land of Shenkuu! Tenshi suggested they stop by Remarkable Restoratives to see if the shopkeeper, Anshu the Ruki, might have something to help with her memory. He was a doctor after all and the shop was known to sell items that help with a variety of ailments. Sadly Anshu didn't have anything that would help with her memory but he did offer her some Steaming Green Tea which put her in a more cheery mood and she left there feeling much better.
Next Tenshi took Laurel to meet her friend Linae and they played a game of Kou-Jong. Laurel found the game to be very relaxing but not the least bit familiar. They continued on to the Exotic Foods shop and decided to get some lunch. Laurel new right away that she wanted the Aisha winter roll and a river wave breeze because they seemed familiar to her. They both enjoyed their lunch and then headed off towards the largest waterfall in Shenkuu. When they got there Tenshi introduced Laurel to her friend Cassile the White Lupe who was one of the greatest surfers in all the land. Cassile showed Laurel how to ride the waves on a riverboard and before long Laurel was having a great time dodging obstacles and doing tricks.
It was starting to get late though and Laurel knew she needed to get back before she missed the last merchant ship headed out that day. She thanked Cassile for a most enjoyable time before Tenshi and Laurel headed back towards Imperial City. Tenshi wanted to show Laurel one final place before she left Shenkuu so they began the climb up to the Lunar Temple. The views were spectacular along the way and Laurel suddenly felt this was very familiar climbing up a mountain. They reached the top of the mountain and entered the Lunar Temple where they met a wise old Gnorbu who asked if they would like to try tracking the movement of Kreludor. Laurel tried her best but was unable to correctly calculate the lunar chart. The wise old Gnorbu still gave her some soothing stones as a consolation prize though and she decided to keep them as a souvenir. Laurel thanked Tenshi for all her help as they headed back down the mountain. Tenshi hugged Laurel as they said their goodbyes and wished her the best of luck on the rest of her journey.
To be continued...