Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 196,598,846 Issue: 929 | 26th day of Awakening, Y23
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When the End......


by daveandbaltoro

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“Today is a day all Neopians long to see! The secret of the Unmelted Lake of the Terror Mountain is finally about to be solved!!” The Chia reporter was wearing a thick cotton-padded jacket and reporting excitedly. The background was a clear ice lake surrounded by large machines.

     In the open kitchen not far from the Neovision, the zombie Bori Dave, who lowered his head while making hamburger for lunch, suddenly stopped his movements and raised his head to stare at the screen.

     “Scientists will cut out ice from the Unmelted Lake. They will test the composition of the ice on the spot. We hope that the secret of this frozen lake will be solved!”

     Dave did not pay attention to the Neovision anymore. He lowered his head again and continued his work, muttered. “Don't……disturb……him……”

     He put the hamburger in the frying pan. The sizzling sound and appetizing smell of hamburger filled the room instantly.

     “While waiting for the cutting, let me introduce the Unmelted Lake! The Unmelted Lake is an ice lake located in the remote part of Terror Mountain. According to the Keeper of Time, Unmelted Lake is a sacred place that should not be entered casually. However, some Bori awoken from the freezing period said that the Unmelted Lake was not frozen before the freezing period. As for why the lake was frozen after the freezing period passed, we have to wait for scientists to unlock it.”

     Dave sandwiched the well-cooked burger in the bread with cheese and lettuce, and sat on the sofa to enjoy it.

     “Interestingly, this chilly lake is surrounded by rare white daffodils! It is probably the only place where you can see such a large number of white daffodils in Neopia now.”

     The Neopets behind Chia reporter suddenly roared.

     “Is the ice cube cut out? Let me ask them!" The reporter hurriedly visited the Ixi workers wearing hard hats.

     “……What a ……boring……show……” He picked up the remote control and went to turn the Neovision off. But the remote control in his hand fell on the carpet after he heard what the Ixi worker had said.

     “After cutting out the ice cube, we found something inside the ice cube!”

     “BREAKING BIG NEWS!!! There is a Neopet trapped in the middle of the Unmelted Lake!! What caused him to be frozen together with the Unmelted Lake?! Really intriguing!”

     “……What……?" Dave stared at the screen with his dull eyes.

     “Look! Look!” The reporter pointed happily at the ice cube lifted by the crane, and the camera focused on the ice cube.

     “A young white Bori is in the ice cube! And there are a lot of white daffodils scattering around him!”

     Dave knelt weakly in front of the Neovision.

     “……It’s……you……” He stretched out his claw and touched the white Bori softly on the screen.

     Even though the scene was changed to the melting lake, he still did not remove his hand.

      “Hello everyone! I am your reporter Willie! Do you still remember the little Bori rescued from the White Daffodil Lake, known as the Unmelted Lake previously, a month ago? After careful analysis by scientists, it was confirmed that this little Bori is the key that causes the White Daffodil Lake freezing!”

     Every media broadcasted reports about the mysterious Bori. The Neovision on the train to Terror Mountain was no exception.

     Dave, wearing a black cap and a long black coat, moved his ears while turning his head to watch the Neovision.

     “Since it is impossible to dissolve the ice that covered Bori, his identity cannot be found. Therefore, the scientists named him Daffodil, to commemorate the White Daffodil Lake where he was discovered! Daffodil will be transferred to Terror Mountain Museum today and will be displayed! All Neopians can come to the museum to see the true face of Daffodil!”

     The Terror Mountain Museum was exactly Dave's destination. Due to its geographical location, only a few Neopians would visit this museum. But it was famous for hosting this legendary little Bori now. It was lively and full of Neopians today.

     “Wow, it's so well preserved!”

     “Mom, he is smiling!”

     “What a warm smile!”

     “Poor boy……Why did he go into such cold water……”

     Dave did not walk into the Neopians surrounding Daffodil. He just looked at him from a distance.

     Since it was the first day of the exhibition, the crowd did not start to disperse until the museum was about to close.

     “……I will……visit you……again……tomorrow……” After the last visitor had left, Dave approached Daffodil, took off his hat and talked to him.

     Then the guard came to remind him to leave.

      One month after the exhibition, most Neopians had lost their interest in Daffodil. The Terror Mountain Museum had once again returned to its original deserted state.

     Only the zombie Bori dressed in black, would come here every day when the museum was open. He just stood in front of Daffodil and stared at him.

     Hardins, the Lupe guard of the museum, kept his guard on him because of his spooky clothes and a long stitched scar on his right face at first. He worried that zombie Bori was looking for an opportunity to steal this important exhibit. But with the passage of time, his guard gradually decreased. And his curiosity about zombie Bori became more and more intense.

     "Excuse Sir, the museum is about to close.” Just like every single night of the past month, Hardins came to Dave and reminded him.

     “……See you tomorrow……” After saying goodbye and putting on his hat again, Dave turned and was about to leave.

     “Please wait!” Hardins could not restrain his curiosity and stopped Dave.

     “……” Dave stopped and looked back at the Lupe.

     “Ummm……May I ask you a question?”

     “……What……?”

     “Why do you come to see Daffodil every day? Is there any reason?”

     “……” Dave looked at Hardins in silence.

     “If you do not want to answer, I will not force you. But I really want to know.”

     “……He……is not called……Daffodil……” Dave said slowly.

     “Huh?” Hardins tilted his head. “Wait……Do you know his identity?”

     “……Are you……going to……get off work……?”

     “Uh……Yes but what does it matter?”

     “……Interested in……listening to his……story……?”

     “Of course!”

     “……Then……let's……go to find a……shop……and sit down……” Dave turned around.

     “Okay, please wait a moment!” Hardins immediately went to hand over duties to his colleague. He was ready to listen to the story……A story that only Dave knew.

     They came to a coffee shop that was still open and sat down.

     “What is the story?” After the Bruce waiter put down two cups of coffee, Hardins asked immediately.

     “Long time ago……” Dave looked at the snow falling outside the window in the cold night and began to speak……

     Before the freezing period came, the Bori civilisation lived a peaceful life all over the Terror Mountain.

     Such a peaceful life was a bit boring to young Bori. A group of young Bori, full of adventurous spirit, wanted to go on an adventure. Dave was one of them. Although he was dragged in by the little boss Simba.

     Adult Bori often warned them not to enter the Sacred Land of Bori. It was rumoured that there was a Monster in Sacred Land which was more terrible than the Snowager.

     However, the more it was forbidden, the more children wanted to visit it. They decided to go to the Sacred Land to take a quick glance of the Monster.

     The youth avoided the adult Bori and came to a large cluster of cedar trees towering into the clouds. It was the entrance of the Sacred Land. When the children saw the gloomy woods, they all began to retreat but no one wanted to show it.

     “It's not worth going back without seeing anything!” Simba yelled. “Why don't we send Little Zombie in! Little Zombie is a monster too. He should be a good friend with the Monster!”

     “Yes, yes! Just send Little Zombie in!” Everyone was relieved and did not forget to agree with Simba's proposal.

     “……I don't want to go in……” Little Dave protested.

     “Going in and becoming a hero. Or running away to be a coward. It’s up to you, Little Zombie!” Simba smirked.

     “……I am not a coward.”

     “Then go in!” They pushed Dave to the entrance.

     “……Just going in and I will become a hero?” Dave asked.

     “Of course! Go in and find the Monster!”

     So Dave bit his head and went into the cedar forest. The tall cedar trees blocked the sun, reminiscent of the Haunted Woods, quiet and terrifying. Dave was scared. He hoped to cross the woods as soon as possible.

     As he ran, some white flowers with a refreshing aroma began to appear around him.

     “……Daffodil? What a rare flower……” After seeing these blooming white daffodils, he felt a bit relieved for no reason.

     Even if there was a monster in front, it may be a kind-hearted monster.

     His steps slowed down, changing from trotting to walking. The suffocating silence became calming peace because of the little flowers right now.

     At the end of the cedar forest, there was a lake surrounded by countless white daffodils. Dave approached the lake and saw the ‘monster’……A white Bori that almost blended with the white daffodils.The Bori seemed to feel Dave's presence. He turned his head to cast his eyes around. The white Bori, who had a pair of brilliant purple eyes, showed a puzzled expression at first. Then he smiled at Dave gently.

     “……You are the Monster……?”

     I look more like a monster! Dave thought.

     White Bori thought for a while. Then he smiled and nodded.

     “……Impossible……” Dave walked to the white Bori side and stared at him. “……You are just a normal white Bori.”

     White Bori just smiled silently without answering.

     “……Why don't you speak? Do you……hate me too?”

     White Bori shook his head quickly to deny. Then he pointed to his throat.

     “……You can't speak?”

     Bori nodded.

     “I see……Do you know how to write?”

     Yes. White Bori wrote on the ground with a branch.

     “Great! What's your name?”

     My name is Baltoro. What is your name?

     “……Dave. My name is Dave.” He had not chatted with other Bori for a long time. Everyone did not chat with him because of his color. “Why do you stay here alone?”

     I do not know. I am here when I was born.

     “Do you want to leave together? I believe that everybody will welcome you.”

     Baltoro hesitated and shook his head.

     There must be a reason for me to stay here. I cannot leave until I figure it out.

     “……Don't you feel lonely?”

     Baltoro nodded. Then he immediately shook his head.

     I was once lonely. But I am not alone anymore.

     Because of you, Dave.

     “Me?” He was puzzled.

     You are the first Bori to come across the cedar forest.

     “May I……make friends with you? Because I am lonely too.” Although he was afraid of being rejected, Dave asked.

     Baltoro nodded. He stretched out his hand and beamed.

     Dave reached out his hand tremblingly. Baltoro’s hand was so warm in his own hand.

     To be continued…

 
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