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||You are on Week 601
Every week we will be starting a new Story Telling competition - with great prizes! The current prize is 2000 NP, plus a rare item!!! This is how it works...
We start a story and you have to write the next few paragraphs. We will select the best submissions every day and put it on the site, and then you have to write the next one, all the way until the story finishes. Got it? Well, submit your paragraphs below!
Story Six Hundred One Ends Friday, April 12
|Honest Pete frowned as he saw another group of Neopets walk past his area and go to Kari. They had found the plastic Negg that she had hidden somewhere in Neopia, but they didn't have the one he was looking for. He wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt, but he had seen far too many others simply ignore what he was looking for and stick to Kari's riddles and clues.
Granted, he knew that he wasn't running a legitimate business. If Kari found out that he was using the Neggs she loved so much to make his counterfeit Doughnutfruits, he'd likely not only be out of business, but he suspected he would encounter a wrath usually reserved by Jhudora for when someone failed one of her quests.
Still, he figured at least one or two of the Negg Festival participants would be willing to help him out. At this rate, however, it seemed like his business would flop before it even got off of the ground. It was a big operation. He couldn't do it all by himself.
"Blast it!" he said to himself. "If only Kari wasn't here, then they'd all have to come to me for their precious prizes! You'd think they would be crawling all over each other for the chance to punch a Negg!"
The Shoyru shook his head. If this kept going, he might as well pack it up and call it an early festival. It was a great idea in theory, but if he didn't have enough fake Doughnutfruits, then he wouldn't be able to cover the cost of counterfeiting them.
Well, no sense in stopping his entire operation just yet. Perhaps today someone would be able to help him out, or maybe he would get lucky and Kari would get called away. Then he could take control of the Festival of Neggs!
"Yeah, and maybe The Brute Squad will suddenly be fluent ancient Qasalan..." he grumpily muttered to himself as he punched a hole through another Negg.
"It looks like you could use some help."
Honest Pete jumped up and turned to see who had arrived.
"I'd love some help," he said, his voice dripping with confidence. "You want to go out and find some Neggs for me?"
"I didn't mean help with that," the figure said, stepping closer. "I meant getting control of the Festival of Neggs. If we work together, we can easily take control."
Honest Pete was taken aback by that. Did this Neopian know that he wanted the Negg Festival for himself?
"Who are you?" he said to the figure, "And how did you know that?"
"I know," the figure said, "because I tried this as well." Honest Pete could tell that his guest was an orange Yurble in makeshift wings. "And you can call me the Real Negg Faerie..."
Date: Apr 8th
...Honest Pete had done his research on previous Festival of Negg attendants, of course, before submitting his application to do business. He recalled the "winged" Yurble's tactic had been to sell Negg Enlargers to those who had found his hidden undersized Neggs.
Ultimately, the undertaking had not been successful.
"What did you have in mind?" Honest Pete asked carefully. He did not want to get suckered into helping the Real Negg Faerie and potentially lose profit.
"Something to prevent or distract Kari from doing her job. I thought last year was the perfect storm with that assistant of hers discovering the Clockwork Negg. I assumed she would go back to Terror Mountain to help, but instead she encouraged her visitors to help solve the puzzle," the Real Negg Faerie explained.
"Clever of her," the Shoyru muttered, staring over at the packed stall sullenly.
"Very clever. And that is the reason why she must... disappear," the Yurble said in a low voice.
Honest Pete did a double-take. "What do you mean? Aren't you just in this for the profits?" he asked.
The Yurble shrugged, his wings flopping pointlessly with the gesture. "Listen, kid, don't get me wrong. I am a businessman, but at least I'm honest about it."
"As am I," Honest Pete interjected.
"She, on the other hand... what does she stand to gain from all this? She grows Neggs and buys prizes to give to Neopians. She can't sell those Neggs in that shop of hers -- they're purely for decoration. There's something going on with her, and if we can figure out her true intentions, then we can put a stop to her monopolizing the Festival of Neggs once and for all..."
Date: Apr 8th
...Honest Pete could barely believe his ears. While he certainly wouldn't mind if Kari was no longer an obstacle to his profits, he didn't want to do anything that would actually hurt her. He liked Neopoints and would do just about anything to obtain riches, but he did have his limits. "What do you have in mind?" he asked.
The Real Negg Faerie smiled as his eyes danced with a mischievous light. "Well, you may not know this, but Kari does leave her booth -- deep in the dead of night, when everyone is sound asleep. While she has assistants that hide her plastic Neggs, she likes to hide the main Negg herself so that she can make sure to hide it in a special place. That is the one time she is alone. That is when she is at her most vulnerable."
"Yeah," Honest Pete agreed, "so, what are you going to do?"
The Yurble produced a large sack that Honest Pete was surprised he hadn't noticed up to that point. Digging inside, he produced a brilliantly-coloured Negg that Honest Pete was sure was a fake. "This little beauty," the Real Negg Faerie explained, "is a specially-designed Clockwork Negg. It looks completely real, but it actually contains a gas that will put anyone who breathes it into a deep sleep. All you have to do is to arm it and wait for someone to pick it up." He leaned closer as his smile grew. "I know where Kari is going to be hiding her Negg. I've been watching her carefully, and I managed to find a list she had written of future hiding spots. Before she goes to hide it, this little beauty needs to be waiting on her in that very spot. She'll never be able to resist a Negg."
"Sounds like you could do that yourself," the Shoyru said. "So what do you need me for?"
"Oh, you'll have a very important job," began the Real Negg Faerie...
Date: Apr 9th
..."While it is true that I could stalk Kari on my own -- and I fully intend on doing so -- there's the little problem of her zealous assistant, Zaira."
"So... you want me to keep Zaira from interfering?" Pete asked, trying to sound intelligible.
The Yurble nodded his head. "That's exactly what I want you to do," he replied with a slight chuckle. "If Kari doesn't return, then Zaira will instantly get suspicious. If Zaira goes missing, then Kari will get suspicious. If they disappear at the same time, however..." Smiling, he then retrieved a satchel from among the sack's seemingly never-ending goodies. He handed it to Pete.
"Thanks," the Shoyru uttered as he wearily accepted the gift.
"This here contains... frankly, everything you should need," the Real Negg Faerie continued. "As I said, I've thought of practically everything." He smiled out of self-satisfaction.
"You just need a scapegoat."
"No," the Yurble retorted with a frown. "I need someone to ensure that things go by smoothly during this part of the plan while I 'take care' of Kari. Is that so hard?"
Pete opened the leather pouch and leafed through its contents. Contained inside were a bunch of maps and some loose journal entries. He raised his eyebrow questioningly at his mysterious companion.
"It's a brilliant scheme," the Yurble said, attempting to sound charismatic. "Last year, Zaira deciphered clues and pieced together information to locate some epic-ultimate Negg. What's to say she won't do that again?"
"It's just some wild chase, though, right?" Pete inquired.
"Of course!" the Yurble agreed. "So, what do you say?"
Pete hesitated. "Kari won't be... injured, right?" He smiled sheepishly.
The Real Negg Faerie shrugged. "Sure... I guess."
With that, he went on his merry way.
Pete stood outside of the Neggery. He peered inside through a window -- Zaira was not there.
Attempting stealth and silence, he creaked open the door and entered. With utmost precision and secrecy, he sat the satchel in a place both obvious and obscuring -- it had to seem naturally placed, after all.
As he made his way to the door, however, the figure of a faerie appeared in his peripheral vision...
Date: Apr 9th
...and it wasn't the Negg Faerie's assistant.
It wasn't the Negg Faerie, either, since he was certain that neither of them had what appeared like Korbat wings.
He pressed himself up against the wall and stared as the unknown dark faerie stepped into the room.
What was a dark faerie doing here? He felt a curl of terror worm its way around his heart. Not much was known of dark faeries, but while Fyora claimed that they were good, most Neopets were hesitant to accept that. They were surly and secretive at best, and they didn't have too many upstanding figures in society. Delina was friendly, he'd heard, but Jhudora was far more notorious. Then, of course, there was The Darkest Faerie.
His blood ran cold when the faerie spoke. "Come out, come out, wherever you are..." she crooned, and he shivered. How had she known he'd been here? Only the Real Negg Faerie knew... oh.
The faerie's next words threw him off, though. "I don't have time for games, Yurble," she snapped. "You'd better have the package."
The Shoyru gulped, and the sound was horrifyingly audible. He could only stare as the faerie's eyes swiveled and locked onto him, pressed up against the wall as if he could melt into it if he tried hard enough.
The dark faerie did not look happy.
His heart hammered in his chest as he waited for the faerie to blast him into a Mortog, a pile of ash, or a Mortog-shaped pile of ash.
Instead, the faerie just sighed. "Typical. He sends me his scapegoat..."
Date: Apr 10th
"He sent... I came... for... to see... Zaira..." Honest Pete's voice shook as he spoke.
"Tch. You're almost as bad as the last one. You'd think he'd at least have the decency to send me someone with half a brain..." The dark faerie sounded annoyed. "I'm not going to turn you to stew -- not yet, at least. Just tell me where the half-witted Yurble is and we can happily be on our way."
Honest Pete was taken aback by her insults. "I'm no scapegoat! I'm here for important business."
"Your thoughtless exclamations are only proving me correct," the faerie said with a laugh. "I'd watch my tongue if I were you."
"I'll have you know... I'm here to take control of the Festival of Neggs!"
"Ha! Pathetic! Just wait until the Real Negg Faerie cons you out of it, too. Do continue, you're quite--"
Rage and frustration consumed Honest Pete's mind and he sprang from his hiding place...
Date: Apr 10th
"Listen, you!" he snarled, not even considering the fact that he revealed himself to a faerie that could turn him into a Petpetpet at any moment.
The faerie turned around and raised an eyebrow, not appearing threatened in the least.
"I may have been lurking in the shadows every year until this year, but I'm no newbie when it comes to Neggs. That Yurble with the cheap wings said I was in for profit, but I knew the whole time something was up." Here he had an idea.
"I even knew you were coming. That's why I acted all scared." The Shoyru kept a straight face with ease; he wasn't known as Honest Pete for nothing.
"So, you knew I was coming to collect?" the faerie said with a sneer, voice dripping with distrust.
"Th-that's right! Also, the Real Negg Faerie's cheated you too, hasn't he?" Honest Pete walked with confidence, circling the faerie. "But I know where he's going, and I can tell you everything, so long as you can help me out with the festival. In fact, I'll even give you a little freebie."
Honest Pete stood up straighter and walked over to the satchel on the chair. "Come to think of it, I bet that all you need is right here. He was saving it for another faerie, but I think you should have it instead."
The dark faerie's face twisted into a scowl. "What is this, some sort of trick? I'm no fool." She yanked the satchel off the chair, turned it upside down, and emptied its contents, only to find...
Date: Apr 11th
The faerie snapped it up, her claw-like nails digging into the paper.
"Dear Vaermila," she read aloud. "Sorry, but I don't have your payment yet. Take the Shoyru as a stress ball."
Honest Pete watched as the faerie -- apparently Vaermila -- grew redder and redder. Then, like a teakettle filled with steam, she lifted her neck and screamed wordlessly.
"That little twit!" she raged. "I'm going to turn him into a throw-rug!"
"Does that mean you're not going to turn me into a throw-rug?" Pete dared ask.
"Don't think you're out of the woods just yet," Vaermila snapped, turning to glare at him, "and stop pretending to be smart. It doesn't work."
Honest Pete wilted.
"Listen, Shoyru," the faerie grit out. "Tell me everything you know and you'll still be a Neopet by the end of the day. I really do not care about you, besides the crushing irritation I have at finding a dim-witted Shoyru instead of that blasted Yurble... so talk fast."
"Well, um." Pete really did not want to become a throw rug, and the Yurble had betrayed him anyway. What did he have to hide at this point? "I was trying to set up a stall at the Negg Festival this year, but it wasn't really working. The Real Negg Faerie approached me and cut me a deal; that I'd help him and he'd help me take over the festival. He then sent me off here to distract Zaira. That's all I know, I swear."
"Typical, Earnest." The faerie leaned back and sighed. "Just typical."
"What, did you think his name was 'The Real Negg Faerie'? You're even dumber than he is. Seriously." She then kicked the empty sack. "How could you have not noticed that there was practically nothing in there?" Vaermila spat.
Pete had been wondering the same thing himself. He hefted up the sack, frowning. "It's weighted," he said. "He really thinks of everything, doesn't he?"
"Or you think of nothing," the faerie griped.
The Shoyru frowned, ignoring the insult. "Wait, though. If this whole thing was a setup, does that mean he didn't really intend to do anything with Kari and Zaira?"
"You don't get it, do you?" Vaermila said, folding her arms. "Earnest doesn't care about the festival. Not really. He just wants a quick way to make NP. See, he stole something from me." She scowled. "Something important. Something no faerie really wants to lose. By the time I tracked the little thief down, however... well, he didn't have it anymore. I let him walk away on the terms that he'd repay me. I was an idiot. It's been two years now, and whenever I come after him, he vanishes, leaving more empty promises behind. From what I can tell, he's always chasing after the next get-rich-quick scheme. They keep getting more and more audacious... and increasingly stupider. So, it's pretty obvious what he's trying to do here, really. He wants the Negg Faerie and all of her helpers out of the way so he can run off with all of the Neggs..."
Date: Apr 11th
"But, if he does that, then there goes any chance of profits for me!" Honest Pete despaired.
"Well said, Captain Obvious."
"Hear me out! You want to get your things back, and I want some compensation for wasting my time being Earnest's scapegoat rather than tending to my stand. So all we have to do is figure out where he is, and then we corner him." Honest Pete struggled to keep from shuddering at this horrific plan. The last thing he wanted to do was work with a dark faerie, but what choice did he have?
Vaermila hummed, considering this while twirling the crumpled note in her claw-like hands. "What if I told you I know where he is right now?"
Pete's eyes widened. "But how?" He stared at the floor, mentally berating himself for being so gullible for even a second. There was no way she could possibly know.
"Oh, but I do."
That got Pete's attention.
Vaermila cackled. "I hold a grudge against Earnest, and despise you. Don't you think that kind of dark magic can work in my favor?"
"Oh." Honest Pete had nothing more to say, and he tried to keep his mind blank. To occupy the readable space, he asked, "So, where do you think he is now?"
Vaermila's smile faded faster than a flower being painted grey. "I know he's not too far from us. He's headed to the peak of Terror Mountain."
"That's where he's setting up the fake Clockwork Negg! Come on!" Honest Pete and Vaermila rushed outside into the cold darkness, lit only by the glimmers of ice in the frigid cave.
The pair emerged from the cave into the strong winds at the top of Terror Mountain. Honest Pete shivered; he wasn't used to the weather, and the winds made it worse.
"Stop being a baby and look up there." Vaermila pointed to a smaller peak formation, where an orange Yurble, carrying a rucksack, was clinging to a ledge and steadily climbing upward.
Without warning, Vaermila clutched Pete and zoomed to the Yurble's location, hovering for a few seconds before landing next to Earnest.
"I've got you right where I want you! Did you honestly think you could escape the likes of me?" Vaermila gripped the poor Shoyru tighter, leaving a slight trace of claw marks on his belly.
"You... can... let me go now!" Pete gasped.
She dropped him onto the snow.
Earnest laughed heartily. "I told you I wasn't ready yet! You're going to have to... take a nap, for now." He reached into his rucksack and pulled out an obviously fake Clockwork Negg.
Earnest didn't hesitate to throw it right at Vaermila, who shielded herself with her wings to stop the impact.
The dark faerie scoffed. "Did you really think that was going to do any da--"
Pete held his breath, as did Earnest, while the noxious gas seeped through the frosty air.
Vaermila crumpled to the ground.
Earnest took a breath and smiled triumphantly. "Now there's only you and Kari to deal with." He shook his head. "If only you knew how silly you looked when you so willingly agreed to take out Zaira and become dark faerie fodder. That doesn't matter now, as I've given Zaira her own taste of sleeping gas." Pete's face fell. Earnest was serious. "She'll wake up, but not until tomorrow. Faeries have to sleep at night too, you know."
"Had you even a fraction of a brain, you'd REALLY try and stop me instead of just standing there, shaking in the col--"
The winds changed direction and the sleeping gas headed straight for Earnest. He fell, face first.
Pete picked up the Clockwork Negg. What was going to happen now? If Kari discovered all three of them there, there would be trouble.
Pete was about to flee, but turned around at the sound of shuffling snow. It was Vaermila, ruffling her wings to shake the snow off herself. "That good-for-nothing Snorkle... didn't even know about dark faeries creating counter-spells to gases."
Vaermila snatched the Negg out of Pete's hands. She shook it. "AHA! What I seek is in here!" she muttered, and the Negg glowed purple for a second. Nothing happened.
Frustrated, she thrust the Negg down onto the snow, screaming foul things at the unconscious Yurble.
Pete picked up the Negg and rattled it. This was a fake Clockwork Negg, so there was no puzzle on it that would open it. Instead, what they’d need would be...
"A Negg Puncher."
"What?" Vaermila stopped shouting. "If you've got something to say, spit it out!"
"You need a Negg Puncher to open this Negg, and I happen to have one." Honest Pete glowed with satisfaction as his well-rehearsed sales pitch came to him naturally. "Can't open this fake Negg? No worries. Just buy a Negg Puncher from me and we'll see what’s inside!"
"Just give it to me!" Vaermila reached for the Negg Puncher he pulled out, but Pete drew back. "Hey! I helped you get this back! The least you could do is pay me."
Vaermila hissed as she threw some Neopoints into his hands and seized the Negg Puncher.
"What you want to do is hold the Negg, like so, then squeeze these levers together aaand...?
CRACK! The Negg broke, revealing a grimoire describing the wonders of Neopoints and how to be prosperous.
"The Grimoire of Affluence?" Pete was stunned.
"I bought it fair and square from the Hidden Tower, and have been reading up on how to make Neopoints faster. Now to blow this Brucicle stand!" The faerie spread her wings and leaped into the air, and Pete watched her go until she blended in with the night sky.
Pete strode over to Earnest and patted his furry head. "Maybe next year, partner." He noticed the rucksack was half open and took the liberty to open it all the way.
Inside the rucksack were... Neggs! All sorts of colourful Neggs that would fetch a tidy profit!
Pete smiled smugly. This would surely be more than enough compensation for his time. He slung the rucksack on his shoulder, and skipped down the mountain with an extra bounce and a flutter of wings with every step.
Kari flew to the top of her hiding place, giggling. Nobody would find her special Negg here!
Her grin vanished as she saw an orange Yurble stirring, as though he had taken a nap right at the peak of that mountain.
"You again? How did you know I was coming here?"
Earnest groaned. It was going to be a long night...
Date: Apr 12th
..."I could tell you," the Yurble started, "but we'd be here after sunrise." He smiled nervously.
Kari slapped her hand to her forehead. "Give me the short story," she demanded, annoyance thick in her voice. "There's a reason I didn't permit you back into the festival this year -- don't make me ban you from the Neggery, too."
Earnest gave a slight chuckle.
"You've been in the Neggery?" Kari reasoned, her voice thick with annoyance. "Let me guess -- you've gotten rid of Zaira and stolen my Neggs and Negg Festival Plans while I had my back turned."
"You're despicable," Kari spat as she held out her hand to re-collect her precious Neggs.
Earnest gulped. "But... but I--"
"You don't have them anymore," the faerie finished for him. "That's just great." Any enjoyment she'd received from hiding this Negg had since been replaced by resentment.
The Yurble thought about his situation. Who was with him on the otherwise hidden and obscured peak? Why, it was Pete and Vaermila. His mind raced. The dark faerie had received what she wanted -- the basic book of "Get Rich Quick" schemes, which he had cleverly hidden and subsequently lied about losing to, he supposed unsuccessfully, kick Vaermila off the trail -- but had Pete gotten what he had hoped for?
Why, the Shoyru hoped for riches, for fame. Earnest had given him the satchel supposedly for Zaira, though in reality meant for Vaermila, the dark faerie who had driven Kari's assistant out earlier in hopes of meeting with the one who owed such a large sum for the book.
Earnest believed he had pieced everything together. "Kari," he started alluringly, "I believe I know who pocketed the Neggs. Why, it's the only logical answer -- a Neopian who knew where I was, who was angry enough at me and poor enough otherwise to do so -- all fingers point to 'Honest' Pete." He smiled.
Kari sighed. "Why was Pete with you, and what did he have to be angry about?"
"I could tell you," the Yurble reiterated, "but we'd be here after sunrise." He smiled much more confidently, in almost a mocking manner.
Bottling her rage, the Negg Faerie replied politely, "Alright. Let's find the little Shoyru."
Pete walked on through the Ice Caves. It was still dark out, but morning would quickly be approaching. He had to find somewhere to stash the Neggs... or find someone he could pawn them off on.
As he walked by the Neggery, the lights inside suddenly snapped on and the door opened.
Zaira appeared at the door, wearing pajamas and looking very tired. "Kari?" she asked groggily, "Is that you?"
"Er, no," the Shoyru started as a different proposal came to mind. "But... I have some important news to tell Kari!"
"Can it wait 'til--"
"I've discovered a huge sack of Neggs that I believe must have been stolen from here!"
"Oh," she said with a yawn. "I guess... come on in."
Kari and Earnest, the faerie holding the Yurble's arm as to ensure he wouldn't get away, arrived at the Neggery just as a thin line of light appeared on the horizon.
"Kari!" Zaira exclaimed as she opened the door to reveal her employer. "I've got some news for you!"
"Have you seen Honest Pete?" Kari asked.
Zaira looked a bit stunned. "Why, he's right here," she replied, pointing to him as the two entered the Neggery. "And, what's the Real Negg Faerie doing here?"
"You," Kari interrogated as she came up to Pete, "did you take the Neggs the Yurble stole from this place?"
"Kind of," he started with a charismatic smile as he picked up the sack and opened it. "I took them, but only to return them here."
The Negg Faerie looked genuinely shocked. "What?"
"What can I say?" Pete continued. "I'm an honest guy." He winked at her.
Kari frowned, and then she smiled. "Er..." she reached into the bag and pulled out three of the biggest and shiniest Neggs. "Take these, for your... efforts. See you at the festival later today."
Grinning, the Shoyru contentedly left the abode.
The Negg Faerie then turned toward her supposedly "real" counterpart. "Now, as for you..."
That day was relatively uneventful for Pete, a return to the monotony and crushed dreams of the previous several weeks. He sighed as lunch passed and not one of the hundreds who had visited Kari stopped by.
The time after lunch, however, saw a slight influx of customers. They hadn't brought Neggs... rather, locked cases or boxes, but the Negg Puncher could easily plow through each object. He hadn't objected as every Neopian paid. Apparently, they had been recommended to his "open anything and retrieve your treasures inside" business by Vaermila.
Pete smiled. Perhaps he had found a greater use for these things than in making counterfeit doughnutfruit.
At the end of the day, Vaermila herself made an appearance. Out of gratefulness, she brought him what he had hoped for most... a decorative Negg.
Grinning, he happily punched a hole through it.
There was no way he was going to pack up early.
Date: Apr 12th
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