Avalon and the Emerald Noil Gem: Part Four
Avalon awoke with a start. Night had fallen, and the moon
glimmered on the smooth water. Captain Storm was leaning against the opposite
side. For a moment, Avalon thought the pirate Lupe was asleep too, but then he
realized that Storm was looking through a brightly polished wood seeing lens.
His tail swished in obvious worry.
"What is it?" Avalon whispered, crossing to look
at the horizon.
"We're nearly to the Island," Storm whispered,
"But something be wrong. I can see it."
"So…what do you think's going on?"
"Them accursed Gelerts, no doubt," the Lupe growled.
"An' tha' devil of a Kougra Quaz is always warnin' me abou'" He added under
his breath, "like I don' know how bad he is."
"The Shadow Gelerts and Scarback're coming?"
Avalon asked, his eyes widening. The Gem gave a dull throb of heat. A warning.
"O' course, wha' Gelerts and Kougra do ya' think
I'd be talking abou'? Them red eyed monsters always attacking every inch o'
the Island, looking fer the Gem, on orders."
"From that shadow Kougra?" Avalon asked.
"Arr, I shouldn't be tellin' ya all this. Quaz
made it clear that I was ter fetch ya an' bring ya back, but ta leave the explainin'
Avalon was starting to feel an odd sense of discomfort
mixed with foreboding whenever Quaz was mentioned. Avalon wondered why the old
Guardian didn't want him to know anything. Maybe he was afraid Avalon would
chicken out, if he knew everything.
Avalon was pulled away from these thoughts by
a growl from Captain Storm, and a surge of heat from the Gem. Storm put a claw
to his lips, motioning for silence. He passed Avalon the telescope, and muttered,
"Look on the horizon ahead. Tha' be the ship o' the enemy."
The starry Kougra put the heavy telescope to
his right eye. Looking at the horizon, he saw a ship. It was dark, polished
wood, with large, black sails. This ship was obviously bigger than the Storm
"Tha's the Dark Ghost, the ship o' the enemy.
They say the Gelerts can swim a couple o' miles, an' they can aim those cannons
well," Storm explained, taking the telescope back.
"Can you tell where they're going?" Avalon asked.
"Either they're goin' to help the Gelerts on
the Island, or they've come on orders ter intercept us, stop us from reachin'
Quaz on the Island. WELL, YOU CAN' STOP CAP'N STORM THA' EASY!" Storm stood
up as he said this, and the boat jerked sharply. Avalon dug his claws into the
Another sharp burn came from the Noil Gem. Avalon
got one word: duck.
He crouched, and something large and black pelted
over his head, blowing a hole in the sail above.
"CANNONS!" Storm shouted, drawing his sword.
"WE BE UNDER ATTACK!"
"What're we gonna do?" Avalon cried, looking
around the ship for a weapon.
"There's nothin' we can do!" Storm growled,
dodging a cannon ball and dropping his sword into the water. "Unless we swim
Avalon shouted, "Well, what're you waiting for?"
and leapt into the water. Avalon wasn't prepared for the cold or the deepness
of the water. He fought to keep his head above the surface. A loud SPLASH beside
him told Avalon that Storm had also leapt.
Just in time, too. With a thunderous KA-BRREAKK
the Storm Cloud blew apart. Avalon and the Lupe captain ducked beneath the water
to avoid the falling debris. When Avalon surfaced, he saw a long piece of wood
with the letters o, u, and d on it. Hoping the side of the boat was strong enough,
Avalon placed his front paws on the wood and kicked off.
A cannon ball hit the water next to him. Avalon
turned, and saw a small ship with two of the black Gelerts in it. There was
a portable cannon with them, and Avalon ducked below the water as another pelted
his way. Beneath the waves, Avalon saw something that gave him an idea.
Sticking his nose above the surface, Avalon
took a deep breath and dove. This time, he swam toward the cannon boat. He flipped
over, underneath the boat. With a grin, he sliced a large circle out of the
boat's bottom. Avalon used the boat to kick away from, and when he surfaced,
the boat was upside down, two black figures swimming away.
Avalon dug his claws into the ship's side and
pulled himself on top of it. Looking around, Avalon saw Storm swimming toward
him, his own front paws on a piece of the ruined Storm Cloud.
"Sorry about your ship," Avalon said as soon
as Storm had reached the boat. Extending a paw, Avalon helped Storm onto the
top of the boat.
"Arr, easy come easy go. I'll get a new one,
no problem." But Avalon heard the lack of the Lupe's usual zeal and excitement,
and his lack of pirate language.
They were silent a moment. "So," Avalon said
at last. "I assume we're going to have to swim to Mystery Island?"
Storm studied the tipped boat. "Maybe, but not
until af'er we try an' fix this boat." The Lupe fished his soaking wet captain's
hat out of the water, slapped it on his head, and reached out to grab another
plank of wood.
"Carve this into a circle the same size as the
hole ya clawed in," Storm instructed, heaving the plank onto the top of the
ship and passing it to Avalon. It took three circles, but finally Avalon cut
one that was just right.
"Now," Storm growled, "Get off that there boat
an' help me flip this ship o'er. Then ya' best be quick an' get tha' plug in."
They flipped the boat over, and Avalon quickly
climbed in and jammed the circle of wood into the hole. Avalon watched Storm
dive under the water a few times before reappearing with a pair of oars in his
"I assume ya' never rowed a boat afore?" the
pirate asked, climbing into the ship. Avalon, feeling guilty, looked down and
shook his head.
"Alrigh' then," Storm replied, almost cheerfully.
Avalon looked up. "This'll be yer firs' time." The pirate showed Avalon how
to work an oar, and soon they were paddling towards the Island once more. For
a while, they didn't speak.
"I wonder," Avalon said at last, "How'd those
Gelerts get here if the rest of them were on the ship?"
"Theys been tailin' ya, I 'spect. With tha'
Gem, they're bound ta be."
The Gem again. Avalon looked down at it. It
hadn't burned or lit up since they'd beaten the Gelerts. "So how long's it going
to take to get to Mystery Island?" he asked.
"What're you talkin' abou'? We're there now!"
The boat suddenly scraped the ocean bottom. Avalon turned around and saw Mystery
Island, lit up by torches all around.
Avalon gave Storm a puzzled look. "How'd we
get here so fast?"
"Arr, it be me braveness, me cunning, and strong
paddlin!" Avalon continued to look unbelieving, and Storm added, "Well...alright,
so we were pretty close ter the Island when we was attacked…."
Avalon rolled his eyes, but grinned as he stepped
onto the beach. He turned, and saw that Storm was staring to the east, looking
afraid. Avalon's grin slid off of his face, as he recognized the looming black
ship in the distance.
"Yeh've gotta go to Heartfelt on your own, lad."
Storm whispered. His excitement was gone again, but he made up for it in determination.
"Them Gelerts'll be af'er you an' me like Tonus on an omelette. If they
think you're on this boat, I can lure 'em away…"
"They're not heading this way!" Avalon gasped.
"Aye, they are. Go! Go! I'll lead 'em away…it's
more important tha' you get ter Heartfelt withou' these brutes on yer tail!!"
Avalon frowned. He didn't want Storm to be killed,
all because of him and the Gem. Storm had helped him, free of charge. And what
had Avalon given him in return? The destruction of his ship, and now large chance
he could die trying to keep the Gelerts away from Mystery Island.
"Arr, ye best be goin'! I'll be all righ'!"
The captain turned and rowed away. Avalon watched him until he was out of sight.
He hoped Storm would make it back safely.
Something rustled nearby. Avalon jumped, his
fur on end. He remembered suddenly that the Gelerts would probably be on the
Island already. Hadn't Storm said that there were Gelert troops and spies waiting
on Mystery Island? Feeling paranoid, Avalon took a few steps forward. He froze,
as he realized another problem.
With a groan, Avalon remembered that Storm hadn't
given him directions to Heartfelt. Chances were that there was no path leading
to it, which made sense with Gelerts and shadowy Kougras prowling around for
it. Avalon wondered if there was someone in the forest who could help him. Somebody
Quaz had sent to guide him through the forest? Avalon looked around, as if expecting
to see a Neopet grinning from the shadows of a tree. Nothing.
Avalon gritted his teeth, and decided that waiting
on the beach wasn't going to get him anywhere. He tried to stay confident as
he stepped onto the nearest path, leaving a faint trail of paw prints on the
To be continued...