The Adventures of Trina: The Awakening: Part One
Author's Note: This story directly follows the events of The Adventures of Trina: The Two Islands.
It was almost completely dark, apart from moonlight leaking through gaps in the treetops. Traveling in the dark proved nerve-wracking—like usual—and Trina knew arguing would only irritate her friends. The mistake that she made could potentially destroy the entire island, or worse, and it was her responsibility to fix it, no matter the risks.
“Are we almost there?” the camouflaged Wocky whined for the sixth time.
“How would I know?” Tomaru bellowed as he limped, nearly half-yawning. “It’s too dark to see anything!”
Cassie stopped in place. “So…we could’ve been going in the wrong direction the whole time?”
“It’s possible, but I’ve been there once before—my feet should know the way!” Tomaru pointed out, smiling optimistically.
“Only once before,” Pat laughed. “How long ago was that?”
“Four years ago,” he answered, “or maybe five...”
“Then your feet better be super geniuses right now because I’m about to fall asleep,” Linny said while yawning through half of the sentence.
Silence overcame them. The group continued to wander in the forest until they finally saw something ahead of them that stood out.
“What’s that over there?” asked Trina. Lethargically, she lifted her arm and pointed at a light in front of them. It was no larger than a pebble from where they were standing.
“Someone must be over there,” mumbled Cassie, who at the same time began to walk at a faster pace. “We should ask them for help.”
A following series of groans meant everyone agreed. Though, the light could mean anything. It could belong to an ally, or an enemy. Trina imagined that it could be a pirate hunched over a desk, holding a lantern to read the faded inscriptions of the Ancient Book of Code. That thought gave her chills.
Pat picked up speed. “If there’s a place to stay over there, then I’m staying for the night.”
“Fine, we’ll go check it out,” said Trina uneasily. “If it’s a pirate, we’ll have to run. So get ready.”
When they reached the light, they were quite relieved to see that it illuminated a small shack behind it. Trina’s heart leaped that perhaps they wouldn’t have to sleep in the dirt after all, until she noticed every inch of the windows were boarded up, the door was sealed shut. It was clear that whoever lived there—or did, anyway—did not expect friendly visitors to happen upon their doorstep.
Tomaru repeatedly hammered his fists against the door, but there was no form of reply from the house. Not even a leaf falling from the tangle of braches just above the doorway.
“Hello, anyone in there?” he called. “We need your help!”
Pat shoved Tomaru aside and continued what the Scorchio had started, except more aggressively. “Hello? I know you’re in there! Yeah, you! Get over here! Did you not hear him? We need your help! Don’t make me break this door down!”
Trina grabbed Pat’s shoulder. “I don’t think we should—”
Before Trina could finish, the door moved. Success! Sometimes, Pat’s methods were capable of great things. The door creaked as it slowly was pushed outward and a fragile-like figure emerged. It was a pink Aisha, elderly and worry-filled. Her light brown hair shone in the light, revealing thick steaks of gray. She turned her head in many directions with one foot still inside the shack.
“Oh my…” she whispered. “Come on in.”
Once inside, the group rested onto a green sofa like the one Master Iko had, except his was in much better shape. Here, wads of stuffing were pouring out from the seams.
The Aisha quickly closed the door before meeting her visitors face-to-face. “I’m sorry I didn’t let you in sooner. I thought you were pirates.”
“That’s okay; we were quite worried that you were one, too,” Trina admitted as she was playing with one of her ears.
“So, the pirates have been over here before?” Cassie asked.
“Many times, I’m afraid, but they haven’t caused me as much trouble as before. Many years ago, they ransacked my library. It was horrible. Books were everywhere and completely ruined. Years after that, I moved to the edge of Wide Forest and began documenting research of many things, including things that I saw, places that I’ve been. I also collected rare pieces of work, many that were from the Ancient Times. After months of hard work, I had a library of information, and I’ve never felt prouder in my entire life.”
A tiny tear hung on her cheek. “A few days after it was complete, they came again. Instead of taking the books, somehow they took the whole library. I moved here to escape the risk of losing my books again. If they dare to set foot near my library, I’ll be ready.”
“You never told us your name,” Trina pointed out.
“Celina—Celina the librarian,” she said proudly and sat down on a battered wooden chair in the middle of the room.
The friends introduced themselves, and then began to ask questions again, listening intently.
“What did the pirates want with your library?” Trina asked with a slight prediction that it had something to do with the Ancient Book of Code.
“I’m not really sure on this, but I think I had recorded something that they needed, something bad. I don’t know exactly what they’re seeking, but I do know that it worries this island.”
“I know w—” Tomaru began, but Trina quickly kicked his right foot before he could say anything more.
“Can we stay here for the night, if it’s not too much trouble?” Tomaru quickly asked the Aisha, wincing.
Celina brushed dust off her white apron as she stood up lavishly. “Of course! It’s no burden! I can tell that you five would like some dinner, too.”
“Yay food,” cheered Cassie, who then sprung from the sofa with joy.
“Then I better get started,” said Celina as she strolled into the kitchen.
In the kitchen, a dining table took up half the space, blocking three of the wooden cupboards that were close to the floor. The sink, stove, and an old object that looked like it could be fridge was against the other wall. More long cupboards were anchored above them and by their feet. Celina had made bowls of her specialty dish, lemon mashed potatoes, which were gobbled down in minutes.
“I have an empty room in the back,” said Celina as she was scrubbing a dish spotted with stubborn chunks of potato and lemon skin. “There’s a closet with sleeping bags inside, and there should be enough for all of you,”
“Thank you,” the Wocky said politely before wandering off.
Once they trembled inside the room, they found five dusty sleeping bags waiting for them. The room was a tight fit, but it beat sleeping outside. A nightstand with a lit lantern brightened a corner of the room just enough to see.
“Goodnight all,” Trina yawned, then pulled the covers of her sleeping bag over her head. * * * * *
Trina screamed and sprung from her sleeping bag, extremely terrified and disoriented from a nightmare. A nightmare full of failure, and woe…
The library. Stacked to the brim with ancient texts still living, preserved from the elements, organized and loved, a beautiful beacon for their people…for Celina…all lost, gone. Stolen. Just as her father’s was…
Her quest to find the librarian felt like trembling through a maze. Right before she was about to lose all hope, a band of light shone from under a door. The Aisha was sitting at a desk, engrossed in a tower of books and loose pages. She turned to see Trina at the doorway.
“Hello,” she greeted as she placed her diminutive reading spectacles aside. “Couldn’t sleep?”
“Bad dream, that’s all. Is there anything I can help you with?”
“Actually, there is,” said Celina before she gathered a stack of papers from beside her. “Can you alphabetize these? The titles are in the top left corner."
Trina nodded and did as told. Most sheets were completely swathed in black print with text too small to read, or written in another language, but she was able to understand bits and pieces. One had said something about farming, another about weapons, and another had ‘The League of Librarians’ scribbled across a piece of parchment in cursive handwriting. Apart from the sounds of paper being moved around, the room was silent. It remained that way until a question arose in Trina’s mind.
“Any chance you have any books on potions?”
“I do—well, I did anyway,” she replied as she joined in on sorting papers. “I had a few of them in my old library, but it disappeared.”
“Oh,” said Trina in disappointment. “Do you happen to know anything the Ancient Book of Code?”
“I do, actually. That’s becoming quite a popular subject lately, and not for good reasons. That book is supposedly the one that will revive Arugamere’s magic. Believe it or not, it used to be in my old library, but unfortunately I failed to protect it…”
“In your old library?” Trina repeated. Old flashbacks of the fiery hut came to mind. “That’s not good…I think I’ve been there.”
Celina stopped stacking papers and glared at Trina with hopeful, confused eyes. “What? When did you—”
“It was many days ago…” began Trina. After a long pause, she prepared to explain her entire journey all over again. * * * * *
Trina took a quick peek through the small window. The nearly-half moon now shone high in the sky.
“So the pirates have the Ancient Book of Code right now and my library was in the Other World?”
“Yes, but we’re going to get the book back,” Trina said, sounding only half confident. It was easier said than done.
“But there’s something about the book that’s very important…” Celina remembered.
“What is it?” Trina asked as she got to her feet.
“The book is written in an ancient language, one that was spoken many years ago—about three-hundred, I’m sure. Shortly after the two leaders of the islands disappeared, the new king made it forbidden to speak, write, teach, or learn the language. He wanted his people to start over and not to think about the dark past, and he considered the language part of it. There is only one book left that I know of that teaches and translates the language, and it is right over there…”
Celina pointed at a shelf below another small window across from her. Her other hand was clasping her mouth. “Arugamerhian Language.”
“That’s means they’re coming here?”
“Eventually they’d have to come,” she admitted in a sorrowful, soft voice. “Even though pirates never follow rules, there’s a tremendously low chance that any of them know the entire language system. It would take many, many years to understand and memorize it by being taught. Even with education in a few languages, I couldn’t translate a single word. The book is the only way to help them translate the Ancient Book of Code.”
“I’m sorry you’re involved in all this,” Trina apologized, but she knew it wasn’t enough—nothing she could say could ever be enough. This situation was too dire to fix with words.
Celina dragged a chair over to one of the small windows. “It’s not your fault, so don’t worry. You should go back to sleep now, I’ll keep watch in case something happens.”
“Thank you,” the Wocky said. Trina tried to smile, but it failed to take shape. Worry had filled her like a bucket under a rushing waterfall, full, overflowing.
“You have a long journey ahead of you, so you need as much rest as possible,” Celina said as she watched the Wocky yawn. She couldn’t have been more correct. * * * * *
For breakfast was a generous helping of mashed fruit and pancakes. During their meal, Tomaru began to lecture them about their training.
“So first,” he stopped to stuff a forkful of a syrup-drenched pancake in his mouth, “you will have to listen hard to learn how to stand when holding the wand. We’ll undergo an important exercise to learn how, so don’t worry.”
“Shouldn’t we learn how to not doubt ourselves instead?” said Trina, complaining once she gulped down a glass of orange juice. “We don’t have time to waste—”
“Master Iko told me you’ll have to learn that on your own, so please stop trying to mess with my lesson plans!” Tomaru yelled, slamming his fist on the table. “It took me quite a while to think them up, you know. I know what I’m doing.” At the same time, Tomaru turned over his glass of juice and was completely oblivious of his mistake.
Laughter broke out at the table. Tomaru was confused.
“Anyway,” he went on, “meet me outside when you’re all done.”
The Scorchio stepped down from his chair and slipped on a puddle of juice under his feet. “When did this puddle get here?” he asked, baffled.
* * * * *
Grey tinted clouds shrouded the morning sun as the four friends went outside, directly in front of the shack. The shack wasn’t very noticeable now that they could see it. Most of it was blocked by dry, overgrown weeds and the back half of it was wedged inside of a mound of dirt, giving it the guise of a hillside. Tomaru was standing in the center of the clearing, eagerly waiting to begin. The friends formed in a straight line in front of him, wands in their palms.
“Let’s begin,” he said as he gestured his pupils to come forward.
Once everyone stood a step closer to him, Tomaru continued. “Now, all of you stand in a stance like this one,” he said while holding a stick in front of his face with his feet stiff and unmovable. “You should hold your wand tightly, but not too tight, and you need to keep as calm as possible.”
Everyone did exactly as they were told. Keenly, they waited for Tomaru to speak again. Whatever he had planned, Trina believed she could pull it off, since she had no other options.
“Trina and Pat stand over here! Face each other!” he shouted, pointing at an empty space next to him. Instantly, Pat and Trina trotted over, confused. “Have wands ready and stand in your stances.”
“What will we have to do?” Pat asked, raising an eyebrow.
“You will duel each other with your wands. Start when I count to three. One…two—”
“Wait, isn’t that dangerous?” Trina interrupted. ‘Master Iko said to train the world around us. He didn’t say anything about fighting.”
“Dangerous? C’mon! Any magician knows you gotta learn to defend yourself! Now, one…two…” He grinned quite wickedly—though it was obvious he was faking it—and then paused to create a dramatic flair. “…Three.”
Pat was the first to move. Quickly, she swung her wand across her body, launching a round-like light straight at Trina, who gasped. Would Pat really hurt her? With barely time to react, she threw herself out of the way and created a shield the size of a dinner plate just out of thought. Its blue veil quickly evaporated once it defended the blast.
The camouflage Wocky dashed in circles, avoiding more of Pat’s magic. Unstintingly, Trina kept her wand active after each time she sent out light. Pat’s face lit with a cold smile. After three minutes, Trina decided it was time to strike. She thrusted her wand outward, and it shook slightly, emitting a blast of blue light that instantly collided with Pat’s magic that was heading for her.
“I’ve seen enough!” Tomaru declared, watching Pat and Trina breathe heavily. “That was good Pat. Trina, you need to work on focusing on your magic and getting rid of your self-doubt."
Trina’s cheeks burned with embarrassment. How was Pat so good? No can argue that she was a star player at Neoschool basketball, and a force to be reckoned with at Volleyball, but the way she fought on a whim just didn’t make any sense.
* * * * *
Three hours had passed by the time they finally finished their first training session. Worn out to their limits, they went inside for lunch. In the center of the quaint little dining table was a dish that Celina called ‘Lemon Cream Soup.’
“Don’t eat it too fast,” Celina chuckled as she watched her guests gobble down their food. “The lemons of Arugamere can give you nightmares if you do that.”
“These are made with lemons from Arugamere?” the green Chia asked with her mouth full, accidentally dropping her spoon.
“Not exactly,” Celina said, at the same time pulling clean rags out from a drawer and placing them beside the sink. “They were originally from there, but that was decades ago. Some trees from the island started growing in these forests.”
“Excuse me for a sec,” Pat said with ballooning cheeks as she dashed out of the room. She returned seconds later to her seat, looking relieved.
“Is it just me that thinks that stuff is vile?” Trina saw her whisper into Cassie’s ear. Luckily, Celina was too busy flipping through a cookbook to notice. “It was nothing like Linny’s awesome cooking!”
Cassie paused suddenly, letting some of her soup drip from her spoon and onto her lap. She twitched, and then returned to eating.
“So Linny, how you do think we’ll find the pirates?” Cassie whispered to the Chia in the seat next to her.
Pat threw her fist on the table. “We have no idea where they are!”
“You know, it just so happens that in the documents and maps I once had, they said their headquarters was near the coast on Arugamere Island,” Celina remembered.
“Do you know where exactly?” Trina asked briskly, dropping her spoon.
“…Bleaklist Cove, as they like to call it,” Celina answered. “Not sure on the origin of the name. There’s a castle there. If you plan on heading that way, you should leave within in a few hours—once you’re rested, of course. There isn’t a minute to spare in a mission like this; you do understand that, right?”
Pat, Linny, Tomaru, Trina, and Cassie all nodded and gobbled up the last of their lunch.
“So, all we have to do is get to the island and get to their headquarters to get the book back?” Cassie said.
“It won’t be that easy. Most likely the castle is heavily guarded by pirates and armies—”
“ARMIES…?” Linny’s eyes widened.
Trina winced; one pirate was trouble, but many would be a catastrophe—too catastrophic for any of them to picture the outcome…
Noticing Linny’s changing face, Celina began to mumble desolately. “You didn’t know that there are armies of pirates on Arugamere? You all still have a lot to learn in so little time, I hope you manage.”
The pink Aisha looked down at the pets with grief. When no one responded, she added, “I know you will if you try.”
“We’ve only been here a few days, and I’d love to learn more about this place, but I’m so tired…” admitted Trina. Her face tilted forward. The demands of sleep were now pressing on her eyelids more than ever.
“You should sleep now,” the Aisha insisted, then speedily snatched up the messy wooden bowls from the table and placed them into the sink. “I’ll clean up the table, no worries.”
Without speaking, the group made their way to the empty room. Once there, they all found comfort in their sleeping bags. Pat and Linny were the first to sleep, then Cassie.
“Trina,” Tomaru began as he pulled the blanket of his sleeping bag to his neck and turned to face the Wocky. He looked at her with curiosity. “Can I ask you something?”
“Have you ever wanted to do something amazing? Something beyond your wildest dreams?”
“More time then I’d like to admit.”
“Oh, good. I thought it was just me. I mean, I won’t lie. I enjoy living here and all, especially mastering in potions, but I can’t help but want to do more with my life than that. Though I not sure what yet. Am I making sense?”
“What is the Other World like—you know, Neopia?”
“Neopia’s fine,” she replied slowly, laughing dryly. “If you like exotic islands, scary places, crowded neoschools, stress, high prices, and frozen climates.”
“Lucky,” Tomaru murmured. “I wish I could go there, just once at least. I’ve been one of Master Iko’s apprentices for so many years that I’ve never left the island, and I don’t know anyone else that has, until you came, of course. It’s a rule to keep our island secret, but I want to visit the other places more than anything…”
“That’s how I felt before coming here,” Trina admitted sadly. “I wanted to visit this new land so badly, but in the end I caused it to be in more danger than it was in. How could I enjoy this place after what I did? All I feel is regret, and I don’t know what to do anymore. Cassie, Linny and Pat look up to me to help them and I don’t know what to tell them. I’m just so confused. I wish we all weren’t in this situation, and instead we were enjoying the summer.”
“Don’t we all?” he softly murmured, right before he slid off into his dreamland of a Neopian summer.
Apart from Linny’s snoring, the room became as still and soundless as the dreaded night.
* * * * *
In the middle of the night, someone was knocking at the door, waking Pat from her beauty sleep. With caution, Celina pulled the door open. Immediately, she tried to slam it shut, but a large, grey-colored figure, blocked it with ease.
“We’ve come for the book about the language of Aruagmerhi,” a deep voice demanded.
“We know you have it so don’t try to lie,” another voice, higher than the last one, said menacingly.
Before Celina could show any signs of fear, the door burst open completely, revealing the Zafara pirate that had followed them into the woods, accompanied by Astin, the Krawk from the Dark Depths. Their eyes shone wickedly from the light from Celina’s candle.
“It’s best you leave,” the Aisha said firmly. “I will never hand it over to thugs like you.”
“Then we’ll just have to go and take it from you then, won’t we?” Astin grinned as he watched the Zafara rush into the house, amused.
Celina turned to dash after the pirate, at the same time she caught a glimpse of Pat. She stopped to give her a fierce gesture with her hands, informing Pat that they had to escape. Almost instantly, Pat darted back to the room, still unseen by the intruders.
“Wake up!” Pat spoke harshly, yet quietly enough so that her voice would not leave the vicinity.
At last, someone had awoken.
* * * * *
Pat shook Trina’s sleeping bag, desperately hoping for her to awaken. “Get up! We have to go! Pirates are here!”
“What? Here, now?”
“Yes, hurry and get your stuff!” Pat whispered huskily and then moved on to help Cassie wake Tomaru.
Once they were all awake and had their backpacks, they made their way out through a small door that was in the back room. Unfortunately, a gust of wind slammed the door shut once they were outside. Standing like a group of statues, a rush of footsteps could be heard.
When the footsteps ceased, the Zafara pirate they encountered earlier strutted over to them, sneering. A long, thin tear that ran down his cloak was visible after every step.
“Looks like we’ve found you—give up! There ain’t any more places left to run.”
Trina tried not to show it, but she was terrified. The pirate was right; they couldn’t go anywhere else without being caught first. She knew that she was in no condition to fight.
“In case you haven’t noticed already, you don’t belong here. You never will. This is our land, so I guess we’ll have to make sure you don’t forget that,” the pirate said as he lifted his hammer above his head. “Ever…”
In one hand, Celina was holding what seemed to be a small tattered book over a burning candle, and a lemon in the other. In less than an instant, the pirate rushed over with his eyes on the book.
Trina gasped in horror. She shouldn’t have to do this…
“Run now!” yelled Celina, attempting to keep the book away from the Zafara by moving her arm rapidly. “Don’t look back! There’s no time to waste! I’ll be fine!”
Together, the friends turned their backs to the Aisha and the warmth of sleep and headed even deeper in the dark forest. They didn’t want to leave her alone, but there was nothing else they could do. Most likely there was more than two pirates lurking around, and using their wands may create unwanted attention. So they ran, twisting and turning throughout the maze of trees barely visible in the black of night.
Trina was first to come to a stop. “I think…we’re…far enough away…”
“Let’s…rest…” breathed Cassie, whose feet were trembling.
The young Wocky found some comfort on a large, flat boulder against a tree trunk. Its cold surface caused her to shiver at first, but she got used to it. Slowly, she debated with herself to either stay awake or fall into a twisted sleep, haunted by nightmares. Her eyes opened slightly, then closed, then opened again until she decided that she could not deny the sleep any longer. Her eyes closed, but only remained that way until a familiar voice broke the silence.
“I’ve been looking all over for you, Trin.”
To be continued…