Reign of Ice: Part Four
It was a long, cold trek to the harbor, but when they finally made it they found two more Coconuts standing guard by the boats.
“You know, Brendon, I hear there are pirates in the area.” Irena was just loud enough for the two natives to hear her, and they immediately scrambled.
“Aw,” Brendon complained. “I was hoping this would be a little more fun. Hey, sis, who are those pirates you were talking about?”
“We are. And by the way, what did I tell you about calling me ‘sis’?”
“Right, sorry. So what I’m hearing is, you want us to jack a ship of that size, and sail to the entrance to Moltara? Remember what happened last time we tried to sail a boat in this weather?”
“Well, last time it got us where we needed, didn’t it?”
“No. You had to use me to pull you on a wakeboard you made from the wreckage.”
They heard frantic noises.
“Come on, Brendon.” Irena hurried her brother onto the ship. “We’ll be safe once we shove off. There’s no way they’d come after us in this weather. At least, I hope so.”
“What do you mean, you hope?”
“Well, I AM a little new at this pirating act.”
“Oh, is that all?” Brendon was still sarcastic as ever.
“AND,” Irena resumed, “I am worried that the crew is on board.”
“Oh. Yeah, that would be bad.”
They lucked out, again. Unfortunately, this also means that there was no one to take them to Moltara. They would be paddling the boat on their own.
This part would be a bit long and uneventful, so I’ll take let you skip to the part where they reach Moltara.
“Well,” Brendon was ready to make a comment as soon as they docked, “that ride was a bit long and uneventful.”
“Okay, we’re here. We probably better not go back to Mystery Island any time soon.”
“Remind me, Irena, why did we come to Moltara in the first place?"
“We need to get something that will keep us warm when we get to Terror Mountain. Actually, now I that I think about it, we might need it to keep us warm before we get there.”
“Okay.” Brendon let his sister finish, for once. “And what is it you are planning to get that will keep us warm?”
“Well, I was thinking a new color might do nicely.”
“Hardy-har-har. And people say I’m difficult.”
“In all seriousness, I heard the lamp store has something that uses magma as its light source. I’m sure something like that will keep us warm for a few days.”
Brendon was getting impatient. “Well, let’s get moving. You DO know where we’re going, don’t you?”
The Cloud Blumaroo made her best effort to give her brother a “look”. “Of course I know where we’re going. I’ve read nearly every map in Neopia by now.”
“Well, that explains why there’s none left for me to read.”
“Ha-ha-ha.” Irena continued, “The problem is, I can’t see anything.” In truth, both of their eyes were still adjusting to the dim caverns, lit only by the soft glow of the magma.
While they were discussing this, a blue worm crawled onto Brendon’s arm.
“Hey, that tickles.” Brendon turned to look at his arm. “AHH! Get it off me!”
“Brendon,” Irena said calmly. “It’s just a little worm. And actually, it’s kind of cute.”
“Ugh, you girls and your ‘cute’.”
“Brendon, look at it. I think it’s glowing just a little.”
“Yeah, that’s quite adorable.”
“No, I mean, he may be able to help us see.”
“Well, if you find him so useful, you take him.” Brendon faked a sneeze. “I think I’m allergic to him.”
“I’d give your performance about a ‘two’. But I’ll take him anyway. He’s still cute.”
Irena took the worm from her extremely childish brother. “Brendon, I still don’t know how that worm crawled on you seeing how you float… you’re on the ground again, weren’t you?”
Brendon got up. “It takes a lot of energy to stay floating like this all day, you know.”
Irena rolled her eyes.
The two young Neopets proceeded on their quest. The dim light from the blue worm was just enough to help them see the ground in front of Irena’s feet. They made their way to Lampwyck's Lights Fantastic, where Lampwyck was busy helping some customers.
When Lampwyck was finish helping customers, he turned to Brendon and Irena.
“Mr. Lampwyck,” Irena decided to again explain the situation, “We came here looking for one of your Magma Lamps. You see…”
Brendon was by now tired of hearing his sister explain how they have to “save the world” every time they needed something, so he pushed her out of the way and interrupted, “We came from outside Moltara and it’s really cold lately.”
“Brendon…” Irena growled.
“Wait a minute,” Lampwyck studied Brendon. “Haven’t I seen you here before?”
Irena knew that was her cue. “Well, I’m sure you get a lot of customers from outside Moltara. I’m sure you’re thinking of another floating Speckled Negg.”
“What did you just call me?”
Lampwyck resumed, “No, it was definitely him. It was last summer. He came into my store and must have found my jar of worms. Well, at the time, it was more of a Brightly Glowing Lantern. I heard a crash, and rushed to the front of the store. The Kiko was covered in worms, and the lantern was in pieces. I reclaimed most of the worms, but by the time I got the rest of them, the blue worm had escaped.”
Irena said, “Come to think of it, I collected some worms to go hunting for Red Moltite last summer. I gave them to you to look after at night, but they escaped. Several times. Why is that any different?”
Lampwyck glared at her. “That was the promotional display. I didn’t have any time to look for the worm myself; I had those worms for the display since the store opened, and I’m always finding myself too busy to leave.” He turned to Brendon. “And didn’t I have you banned for life?”
Irena spoke to Brendon, “So that’s why you didn’t come in with me when I came here looking for a souvenir the last day of vacation.”
Brendon made his best innocent look.
Before the twins could break into argument, the blue worm crawled up onto Irena’s head. The glow caught Lampwyck’s eye.
“Hey, that’s the worm I lost last year. You said you want a Magma Lamp, didn’t you? I’ll give it to you in exchange for the worm.”
Brendon perked up. “That’s actually a pretty good deal.”
“And…” Lampwyck continued.
“There’s always an ‘and’, isn’t there?” Brendon perked down.
Lampwyck turned to Irena again. “You need to make sure the Kiko never sets foot in here again… Wait, that came out wrong.”
“It’s okay,” Irena responded, “I got the message.”
Brendon chuckled. “For once, I’m not the one to put his foot in his mouth.” Irena just growled.
Brendon was about to start leaning on a display shelf, but Irena grabbed him and pulled him away.
With their new Magma Lamp, it was easy for them to see well enough to leave Moltara.
When they got outside, the sky was black. There was no way they could tell it was the middle of the day. They found their way back to the boat, but they found they could not get it moving.
“Ugh,” Brendon complained. “When did water get so thick?”
Irena held the lamp outside. “I don’t think the problem is the water being thick. Look!”
Brendon rushed over to the window. Outside, they saw a sheet of ice, solid as a rock. The boat they jacked was big, but it was not built to plow through sheets of ice.
“Well that’s just great,” Brendon griped. “Now how are we going to get to Terror Mountain?”
“Brendon, you have got to be the laziest Kiko ever. This ice is solid enough to walk on. Besides, we still have to find a map that will tell us where to go when we get to the mountain.”
“So, where do we get a map like that?”
Irena sighed. “Shenkuu is known for its airships. No doubt they need good maps to figure out where they’re going. And that is exactly what we need.”
Brendon chuckled. “And when we’re done with that, we can pirate one of those airships, right?”
Irena groaned, “I’m hoping not. I don’t think I can fly one of those, and I’m still feeling bad about stealing that boat from the Mystery Island harbor.”
It was Brendon’s turn to roll his eyes. “My sister. The only Neopet in the world who could steal a boat and then feel bad about it.”
“Just get out your compass. If memory serves, which it usually does, Shenkuu is east-north-east from here.”
The twins continued on their quest. They eventually made it to the foot of the mountains.
“Why is it,” Brendon asked, “that whenever we have long distances to walk, there’s no conversation and nothing exciting happens?”
“I don’t know about you,” Irena answered, “but I find it easier to travel without having to listen to you the whole way. And as far as nothing exciting happening, do you want to get caught in quicksand again?”
“Okay. First, HEY, and second, good point.”
Irena changed the topic. “So, how do we get up there?”
“I saw this in a game once. We need a grappling hook to shoot at the rocks. As the recoil launches us up, we launch the hook at another ledge. Simple.”
Irena gave her brother a “look”.
“What? We live on Roo Island. You expect me not to go to the Games Room from time to time?”
Irena decided to let this one slip by. “I just remembered something. Most people don’t know this, but there are stairs behind the mountains.”
“Great. Just one question: which side is ‘behind’?”
Irena drew a blank. “I’m not sure. I think we’re just supposed to walk around it until we see the stairs. They can’t be easy to miss.”
To be continued...