Janet and Jane: The Case of the Rough Waters: Part Six
The inside of the cave was even worse than I thought it would be. Much much worse.
There were all of these loose rocks we had to walk over that I almost sprained my ankle on. It was extremely humid, almost to the point where it was hard to breathe. It didn't help that it was very hot. Why was it so hot? I got that Krawk Island did get hot at times, but how would it stay in a cave? Oh, and don't get me started on that rancid, musty smell.
At least I wasn't alone. There was Jane and Corbin and Natia and James and... Kell. It was bad enough that I had to be in this cave. It was bad enough that there was a very high chance that something that could eat me was in here as well. I would much rather be with others than be alone.
“Janet, stop staring at the ground. You'll run into something,” Jane commented.
I didn't even realize I was looking at the ground. According to Jane, I did that a lot when I was deep in thought. To be honest, I didn't really notice myself looking at the ground when I thought.
“Neopoint for your thought?” Jane asked.
“What makes you think I was thinking about something?” I asked back. I crossed my arms.
“You always look at the ground when you think.”
This was when Natia said, “Yeah you do.”
I let out a chuff of air in slight frustration. “You wanna know? I was just thinking about the cave. It's hot, it's humid, I almost sprained my ankle on these dumb rocks.” I kicked one of the rocks. It went far. “What on Neopia would I be thinking about?”
“Oh, I don't know, the pirates? The monster that we're after? Your job would be a good thing to focus on,” Kell answered. He knew it was a rhetorical question.
Remember the deal you made, Janet. I sighed, “Don't worry. I'm thinking about that, too.” I took the map out of James' hands and looked at it. “It makes no sense to me. Why would Layton choose to have this cave as property with this thing in it? Isn't that, I don't know, dangerous?”
“Maybe he doesn't know about it?” James suggested.
Kell scoffed at the idea. “Ha, if he doesn't know of a monster that's probably bigger than he is living in this cave that's his supposed property, than he's as ignorant as he is aggressive,” the yellow Wocky said. “Janet, Jane, you surely remember when we first met in Neovia with that overgrown Puppyblew, correct?”
“Try making us forget,” Jane replied sharply. “It would explain all the damage that was done, but I still don't get how–” She stopped herself. Even in the green glow of Supra and the low light of the lantern, I saw her moment of realization. “You mean to say–”
“–that Layton not only knows about it, but also why he precisely chose this place? There's a chance of that being the case,” he finished. He looked at me. “What do you think?”
I turned away and began walking again, saying, “While I strongly hope that isn't the case, due to this being a frustrating case already, I don't see any other possible explanations to this.” as I walked ahead of everyone.
While I was walking, I saw James scribbling away in that notebook of his in the dim light. The Bori said, “Does this happen a lot to you guys?”
“Facing something five times bigger than us or running into each other? Either way, it happens more than it should.” I began to mutter about Layton. “Oh Layton, you have a lot of questions coming your way. When I get my hands on you...”
I never really finished that sentence. I just picked up a rock around the size of my hand and chucked it far ahead of me. It landed out of my sight, making a quiet clack sound that echoed through the walls of the cave. Alright, that helped calm me down a little. I began to throw more rocks ahead of the six of us. Maybe this could give me something to do while we explored this place.
“Janet, I wouldn't throw rocks like that,” Corbin advised.
I picked up another and threw it. “Why not?” I asked.
“In the case that there is a monster in this cave, you throwing the rocks might attract it.”
I rolled my eyes, threw another rock, and then stopped. I waited for the clack that usually sounded when it hit the ground. That clack never came. However, a splash was made. A splash? What was the splash from.
Out of curiosity, I threw another (while Corbin tried to persuade me not to). It made another splash. With the splashing, there must be water in this cave. I quickly went ahead of everyone (which caused Jane and James to go after me). As I got farther ahead, I heard the sound of running water. So there was a river in this cave?
Turned out there was running water in this cave. The running water was at the bottom of a crag that I happened to be on the top of. I got on my knees and looked down to see it. It had a slight blue glow. The glow was a bit concerning, but I didn't think it was going to affect me from up here.
“This cave is bigger than I thought,” I said to myself.
“It is?” Jane asked as she flew up to my side. “Oh, I see what you mean.”
“You know, there might be something of use to us down there.” I looked at Jane and gave her a “you know what I want you to do” look.
Jane knew exactly what I meant. She quickly protested. “No, there is no way I'm going down there!”
“I'm the only one out of all of us who can fly. I'm not going down there alone.”
I let out a sigh. That was a good reason to why she wouldn't go down there, but there was still a chance of anything that could be evidence down there. “Bring Spiral and Alize. You know, your and James' Petpets. They can fly.”
“Fine, but I'll need Supra, too. I don't want to take Corbin's lantern.” Again, another good reason. I nodded at the request. She flew back. “James, I need to borrow Spiral.”
While James and Jane talked about borrowing Spiral, I decided to talk to Natia. She was quiet for a while. That was never a good thing. Whenever she was quiet, she was thinking. Whenever she was thinking for this amount of time, something bad followed. And now was not the time for something bad to happen.
“Janet, I've been meaning to ask you,” Natia began. “What happens if we run into the monster?”
Okay, that was a reasonable question to ask. A good one, too. I wasn't entirely sure how to answer that. I ended up saying, “We let Kell and Corbin take the lead. They do this stuff on a regular basis. We don't.”
“Okay, but what if they're not around? What if we get separated or something? Or what if they can't?”
Questions quickly asked in succession often bothered me. This was no exception. It didn't help that I didn't have answers for those questions, either. “Let's just hope that they can do something about it.” I gave a long sigh. “I'll be honest with you. I have no plan. If something bad happens, I don't know–”
My thoughts were interrupted by a sudden yelp. Natia and I looked up from the ground. I saw Kell quickly running behind Corbin. I didn't know what that was about. Whatever that was about, I wondered what that was about.
No matter, I still laughed at the sight.
“Kell, why so jumpy?” I asked in a teasing tone. “What was that about?”
He seemed to think about the answer. “I... just heard something,” was his answer. I could tell that he was lying.
“I didn't hear anything,” Jane informed.
“I'm pretty sure that if you heard a noise, Jane would hear it, too,” I argued. “She has the best hearing out of all of us.”
Kell crossed his arms. “Maybe she just didn't notice it. Or–” He was interrupted by Spiral letting out a sudden screech. He gained a scared expression on his face.
I finally knew why he was scared. And I couldn't help but laugh at that. Still, I did my best to smother it while I said, “Kell, you're not afraid of Batterflies, are you?”
He groaned, “Yes, I am afraid of Batterflies.”
That was when I laughed loudly. I just couldn't help it. Kell, someone who faced things bigger than him on a regular basis, was afraid of a harmless Petpet! Oh, this was just too funny.
“You have to be kidding me,” I said. I walked up to the Wocky. “You're a monster hunter! Out of all the things you can be afraid of, you're afraid of a Petpet that's no bigger than eighteen inches!”
“Yes, I get it,” Kell bitterly replied. “Now could you stop talking about it?”
“Janet, there are more important things to do than tease Kell,” Jane informed. She grabbed Spiral to keep him controlled.
Corbin decided now would be a nice time to chime in. “I agree with Jane. I wouldn’t talk about it.”
I ignored those requests. “How? How on Neopia are you afraid of Batterflies? Seriously? They're just Batterflies!”
And of course, Kell refused. “I said I don't want to talk about it.”
The Wocky shoved me back. I was in shock after that. Everyone was. It was almost like time stood still after that one push. During this moment where time stood still, I was thinking on how I could react.
Believe it or not, this wasn't the first time Kell shoved me. It's a long story, but let me just say that things between us escalated quickly. Remember that fight I mentioned earlier? Yeah, a simple shove started it. The only difference between then and now was that others were around. How would they react?
However they would react, I was about to find out.
“Don't shove me,” I ordered. I pushed Kell back, harder than he did to me.
Again, he shoved me back, also harder than I did to him. This time, I fell on my tail. He growled, “Don't get started with me.”
I got up and dusted myself off. As I was walking towards him, I asked, “Remember our little deal, Kell? Remember that?”
Jane quickly got in between us. She said, “Janet, Kell, out of all the times and places for you two to argue, now is literally the worst!” The Korbat looked back at me. “Janet, what's this about a deal?”
I scoffed at Kell, turned away, and said, “I should have seen this coming, even with the deal. Why wouldn't it?”
Suddenly, a hand clamped around my wrist and pulled me back a little. A voice growled, “It's not that I don't remember the deal, Janet. It's just that I'm calling it off.”
Calling it off? I never thought I would be so happy to have a deal fall through.
I quickly swatted my arm out of his grip. Kell grabbed onto me again and pushed me back. My natural reaction would be to push him back. It wasn't long until it was a full out brawl between us.
“Janet! Kell!” Jane cried. “Oh Fyora, please stop it!”
“Break it up! Break it up, you two!” Corbin shouted.
The two of them managed to separate Kell and I. Even then, we put up a fight. It took Corbin and Jane a good two minutes to fully separate us.
“I knew they didn't get along, but this is new,” Natia said nonchalantly, like this happened on a daily basis.
“How can you be calm about this?” James retorted in a voice I would expect him to have – a panicked voice from a panicked Bori.
I shook Jane off of me. Instead of charging back at Kell, I decided to be civil and turn away. While I wanted to fight, to get my anger out, to finish what we started, I had a job to do. It could wait until I was done with this entire thing.
Apparently Kell had a different opinion.
While my back was turned, someone (which I just know was Kell) tackled which sent not just me but the both of us flying. I never really felt the ground under me after that. I was a bit confused and pretty concerned to why that was so.
When I looked, I was terrified to learn that Kell literally pushed me off the edge.
To be continued...