|This is a kind of sequel to The Mercenary Lawyer. The adventures of my Aisha
are continued in this story.
I passed the living room, catching a glimpse of Chiva,
my Chokato Chia sister, glued to the terminal screen. No doubt she was playing
NeoQuest. Kashee, my yellow Kacheek sister, was listening to music and playing
a game with my owner Skye. I walked through the kitchen on my way to the garden
and grabbed a Holiday Slushie to slurp on. The garden was pretty on this fall
afternoon, especially the Fall Fur Bushes, which were in their prime. I listened
to the Bluebells awhile before pacing around the garden. I had to admit it.
I was bored. I mean, I had my books and all. I made up stories and traveled
Neopia, but something in me was still waiting for some real action. I sighed,
and having killed off some energy, I went back inside the house and headed to
my dimly lit room.
My room held the few things that were important
to me. One was the terminal. I logged on and listened to the familiar hum as
it booted up. Once online, I haunted the chat room. It was funny to see other
users chat about their life- their problems, jokes, and gossip. After about
a half hour, I was bored again and logged off.
I signaled Skye that I was going out and she
nodded. Everyone was used to my random comings and goings. For some weird reason,
I headed to Faerieland. It was crowded, as always. Faerieland was not one of
usual places to go. It suited the happy-go-lucky Kashee much better. For lack
of something better to do, I spun the Wheel of Excitement and somehow managed
to get a thousand Neopoints in exchange for the 100 I had paid. The Light Faerie
gave me a nod before moving on to the next customer.
I was wandering around Faerieland, wondering
what to do next, when I felt it. Someone with a lot of power was pulling me
toward Jhudora's Cloud.
The pull was strong; it had to be a Faerie behind
this. Probably Jhudora herself or one of her minions, though I had no clue why.
If it was Jhudora, she was going easy on me. The power could easily force me
to go to the Cloud, and that would do a lot of damage to me. Jhudora was being
I had no choice but to follow the pull, but
I made a message clear to Jhudora- I was going because I wanted to, and she'd
better have a good reason for it. To say this to a powerful Dark Faerie would
be suicide for anyone else, but I didn't restrict my attitude for anybody.
Sure enough, when I got to the Cloud, Jhudora
was outside waiting for me. The place was completely deserted.
I ignored her.
"What's going on?"
"I have a mission for you," she stated, sitting
down herself. That was unusual. For her to sitting and me to be standing meant
that she was purposefully putting herself at a disadvantage to harm me. Jhudora
wasn't one to do that.
"Tell me more," I said, sitting down as well.
"There have been several break-ins at the Hidden
Tower. Many artifacts have been stolen. All the Faeries are worried, and some
have started blaming me. I know my bad reputation, but it's not me and I want
to clear my name. To do that, I need to find the thief and the artifacts."
"Why do you need me?"
"I can't do it myself. I could shut down my
quests for awhile and help out, but I'd attract too much attention. I'm not
forcing you to take the mission."
I studied Jhudora. She looked pale and stressed.
I searched for dishonesty, but found none. Many persecuted Jhudora for her power
as a Dark Faerie, but I didn't think she was all bad.
"I'll take the case. You understand that I have
Jhudora nodded. "I'm a Faerie. Neopoints aren't
I worked out the details of the fee business
and got my down payment of 200 Neopoints before bidding goodbye to Jhudora.
The crimes had taken place at the Hidden Tower, and that's where I started.
Fyora was there, but she looked like Jhudora-
pale and under pressure.
I cut right to the chase. "Your Majesty, I've
been hired by a powerful client to investigate the robberies. May I search the
Fyora blinked, no doubt surprised. After a moment,
she responded, "Yes, you may. I will have an Air Faerie escort you."
The escort was probably to make sure I didn't
steal anything. I didn't mind the precaution and waited patiently until a Faerie
appeared and nodded to me. I mostly ignored the Faerie and examined the Hidden
Tower. There were no customers, for which I was grateful. The items seemed to
be in order. Next I studied the walls and the single window. The window showed
a breathtaking view of Faerieland but not much else. It was too high up to reach
unless someone could fly or they had magic. The walls were made of strong stone.
I tapped every wall but couldn't find any hollow places. The window was the
only way anyone could've gotten in.
"Excuse me. Is there always a Faerie here?"
I asked my escort. She blinked.
"Yes there is- oh wait. At midnight the Faeries
leave to attend a daily ritual. They're gone only a half hour, and they leave
behind magical traps," she answered.
I nodded. "Thank you. I'll be leaving now."
I headed home, thinking hard. Someone with magic
or wings had gone through the window and been able to not trigger the traps.
I nodded absently to Skye and went back to my
room. I flopped onto my bed and stared at the ceiling, wondering what I had
gotten myself into.
It was evening when I padded down the stairs,
and I still hadn't thought of anything. Instead, I had fallen asleep. I was
still chiding myself, but I did feel more refreshed and alert. Skye was making
dinner in the kitchen with Kashee acting as taste tester. Chiva was presumably
still glued to her NeoQuest adventure. I got out the drinks for everybody and
set the table, shooing Kashee off whenever she got too bothersome. Of course,
she bounced right back into the room five minutes later, but it was still a
peaceful five minutes. Chiva wandered in when delicious smells began filtering
throughout the house, and set out the dishes Skye had prepared. We all sat down
to dinner, which was always a family affair. In the morning, Kashee and Chiva
were usually asleep when Skye and I got up and breakfasted, and in the afternoon
not everyone was present for lunch.
This dinner was no exception to the tradition.
I listened and ate as Chiva described her fights with NeoQuest monsters, and
her victories. Our petpets wandered in and, seeing that we were eating dinner,
promptly jumped onto our laps and begged for food. I gave Malley, my blue Mallard,
some of my Cheops plant and fresh baguette. Kashee fed her red Anubis, Anuday,
practically half her plateful of food, and Chiva did the same to Rezzub, her
pet Christmas Buzzer (rezzub is buzzer backwards). Skye watched amusedly and
even gave the petpets a small dish of her leftovers. After dinner, Chiva left
to play NeoQuest yet again and Kashee bounced off to her room, saying something
about teaching Anuday a new trick. I gathered the plates and helped Skye wash
and dry them. Skye noticed my pensive attitude.
I told her everything. Skye was someone you
could trust, and she usually could help. This time, though, she shrugged.
"I'm sorry Ayna, but it's a puzzle to me. However-"
she paused slightly. "I have a feeling you might get a helpful clue sometime
I blinked, nodded, and went back to my room.
Skye's "feelings" were notorious for coming true, but I had no idea when, where,
or how I would receive the clue. I fell asleep still pondering what to do.
To be continued…