Flare paced back and forth in Guen’s marble living room,
her hooves clacking loudly against the shiny floor. Guen had went to her room
to get ready over an hour ago, and Flare hadn’t heard a peep since then.
“What could she possible be doing in there?”
the Uni muttered to herself as she made her way toward the Guen’s room.
Flare pressed an ear to Guen’s thick jelly door
and heard the shadow Kougra crying. She burst into Guen’s room and found her
friend frantically scratching her ebony back.
“Flare,” Guen sobbed. “I can’t take this itching
anymore. You have to help me. We have to do something... anything. I can’t stand
it!” Guen fell at the Uni’s hooves as she sobbed.
“What about Jhuidah?” blurted Flare, recalling
an article she read once in “You’re Just Gonna Flip When You Hear This!”. “I
read that about that magical cooking pot Jhuidah has... maybe she could make
something to help you?” Flare the plan was a longshot, but she couldn’t stand
to see her friend in such pain.
Guen’s amber eyes brightened at the notion. Jhuidah
was a very mysterious Faerie. Although Guen didn’t know too much about her,
she figured Jhuidah could do something. After all, faeries were often wise in
the art of healing.
The two friends left Guen’s NeoHome and started
toward the other end of Mystery Island. As they approached Jhuidah, they noticed
her large green cooking pot first, red fumes rising from it’s contents. Dozens
of Neopians stood in line in front of the cauldron, eagerly waiting to combine
the items they had brought. Jhuidah, giant bamboo spoon in hand, greeted the
two girls as they neared the line.
“Hello, my dears,” Jhuidah cooed. “Have you brought
something for the great Pango Pango?”
Guen, unable to stand the itching, snatched Jhuidah’s
spoon and ran it down her sleek back. An unappreciative looked crossed Jhuidah’s
bronze face and she shook her head in disbelief, her auburn locks flying wildly
above her shoulders.
“Jhuidah, please, you have to help us,” said
Flare, glancing over at the embarrassing Kougra as she spoke. “My friends has
“Did you try using a Neomites Inject--” the many
bandages Guen wore answered Jhuidah’s question before she even finished it.
“Can you help me, Jhuidah?” Guen pleaded, still
rubbing the bamboo spoon against her back.
“I’ll certainly try,” responded the Faerie. “If
you give me back my spoon.”
Guen sheepishly handed her new backscratcher
to Jhuidah, and the Faerie led them to her tiny hut. One small torch was the
only light source inside, it’s flickering flames casting wild shadows in every
corner. A greenish haze seemed to rise from the bamboo floor and upon closer
inspection, Flare noticed dozens of native bugs crawling around, making homes
in the comfortable bamboo. A particularly large thousand-legged worm crawled
across the Uni’s hoof. She shuddered, finding the entire scene to be quite frightening.
Jhuidah picked the bug from Flare’s hoof, lightly squeezed it’s plump orange
and red body, and then set it outside. The Faerie walked to a chest in the back
of the hut and began shuffling through it. She pulled out many parchments, some
which seemed to easily be a thousand years old, and spread them on a skull larger
than Guen, painted green and flattened to make a suitable table. Flare peeked
over Jhuidah’s tanned shoulder and noticed the aged parchments were written
in a strange language. Jhuidah obviously had no problem reading it because a
few minutes later she turned to the friends, a wide smile her tattooed face.
“Okay, girls,” she announced. “I think I have
found a solution. It may not get rid of the Neomites, but it will definitely
keep you from itching for a few hours. And it will help your tattered skin heal
almost instantly. Go to the cooking pot and wait for me.”
* * *
Acari paced between Guen’s shoulders nervously. She had sent one of her messengers
to find Sir Pant Devil and tell him they needed to talk. Not that she particularly
enjoyed talking to him.
“Why must I inform him of every detail!” she
shrieked to herself. Acari glanced around, quite embarrassed, hoping none of
the Neomites had witnessed her outburst. Luckily, none of them were anywhere
near her. Taking comfort in the fact that she could throw her royal fit in privacy,
she slumped down on Guen’s back and began shaking her many fists in the air.
“Just who does he think he is?!” shouted Acari.
“Sir Pant Devil... HA! Sir Wussy Brat is more like it!”
Acari recalled the first day she had met the
Pant Devil, many months before she had become Queen. Her father, King Razire,
had ruled over a huge colony of Neomites. He and his many Neomites had lived
in a small cave on Krawk Island. They all led an easy life, feasting upon the
magical moss that was abundant in the cozy cave. But it wasn’t enough for King
Razire, Acari recalled, for he wanted to explore the world...
“Dear Princess Acari,” King Razire said calmly,
despite his mounting anger, “Don’t you understand? There is a vast world that
awaits us all. We should harvest the benefits that lay before us! Think of the
power we will gain!”
Her father wanted to inhabit powerful Neopians,
living in a small cave didn’t bring him enough glory. The King wanted to expand
his rule to all of Neopia. He assumed he and his many Neomites could make even
the Faeries itch so badly they would have to succumb to his evil intentions.
With the Faeries under his power, they could destroy all who opposed King Razire.
Acari found the whole idea to be absolutely horrible, she couldn’t believe her
father could be so cruel.
“With the Faeries under my control,” he continued,
“we can build an entire city! We can offer shelter to every Neomite in Neopia,
and with their help we could rule the world. Every Neopian would be at our finger
tips, and you, my dear daughter, would never have to want for anything!” Acari’s
determined father had spoke with such fervor, he actually had frightened her.
The Neomite King was very old, and lately he seemed ancient. Today though, when
he spoke of his plans to control Neopia, a youthful light was cast in his dull,
gray eyes. Realizing there was no point in trying to argue with her stubborn
father, Acari let the disagreement go. Acari hated giving in so easily because
she didn’t to be part of such a despicable plan.
“Oh, Acari,” she overheard her father say to
himself as she left his chambers. “I just want you to be happy.”
“You should listen to your father,” a small blue
figure said to Acari after she had returned to her mossy room.
“Who are you?” the Princess asked, ready to attack
the stupid thing for disturbing her.
“I am Sir Pant Devil,” the monster replied. “Your
father has hired me as a scout to find information on the Faeries that might
be useful.” The Pant Devil cleared his throat and bowed before Acari. “I am
at your command, Princess.”
“That’s nice,” replied Acari, sarcastically.
“Now get out of my room.”
After their first meeting, Acari and the Pant
Devil talked several times. Each time the Pant Devil filled her head with notions
of power. He, afraid she might talk King Razire into calling off his plans,
tried to convince Acari her father’s idea was excellent. He filled her head
with ideas of becoming Queen and ruling over millions of Neopians. The Pant
Devil’s speeches may have seemed to have little effect on the strong headed
girl, but, in reality, she devoured every word.
The weeks that took place after Acari and King
Razire’s argument were a turning point in the Princess’ life. Her father appointed
her as his right-hand--“sweet little girl” so she was right in middle of the
battle plans. She helped the King form an army of the strongest Neomites, one
million in total. She was in charge of keeping the soldier’s spirits high with
many long pep talks, overseeing their combat training, and she even got to help
draw the layout of the kingdom her father wanted to build once he ruled Neopia.
This was quite an accomplishment for such a young Neomite, for Acari was only
in her teenage Neomite years.
A few days before the attack though, Acari wasn’t
such a “sweet little girl” anymore. The last couple of weeks had changed her
attitude toward the invasion. She finally believed her father had been right
in his decision to attack the Faeries, and selfish greed now clouded her once
innocent mind. All she could think about was how wonderful her life would be
if the attack was a success. She imagined all of Neopia bowing before her, terrified
of what punishment they would receive it they angered their Princess. They would
come from all over the world, bringing her beautiful gifts and complimenting
her on her beauty.
Acari also imagined becoming Queen. Her father
was old, much too old, and he, in Acari’s own opinion, didn’t know how to run
a kingdom properly. She sneered at the thought of him ruling Neopia for it was
she who was the brains behind the scenes, Acari believed, not him. Acari thought
her father certainly would be lost without her. After all, she had formed most
of the army, made the soldiers mentally and physically stronger. Acari figured
that without her, King Razire wouldn’t even have an army to command. She decided
it was time for her father’s pathetic rule to end. She would make a great Queen,
everyone would love her. What choice would they have? They could never overthrow
the kingdom that she would create.
“Queen Acari!” shouted a Neomite, running toward
Acari, his voice snapping her from her disturbing memories. “My dear Queen,”
the messenger continued bowing so low his head almost touched the tips of his
legs, “I have returned with Sir Pant Devil.” He motioned toward a giant tree.
Acari, images of her past still haunting her,
didn’t acknowledge the messenger as she hopped from Guen’s back and started
toward the branch that concealed the Pant Devil.
“I better get this over with quickly,” Acari
muttered to herself as she neared the blue thief. “If Guen decides to leave
before I get back, she end up taking my entire army of Neomites along with her.”
Acari hopped onto the large tree, leaping from
limb to limb, making her way up to the Pant Devil. “Hello,” she said sarcastically,
bending into a graceful bow. “How are you today? Anyone beat you up yet?”
“Shut up!” snapped the Pant Devil, suspiciously
eyeing the Queen. “What took you so long? I’ve been waiting here forever!”
Acari bit back a laugh as she considered the
Pant Devil’s ridiculous comment. He always was one to exaggerate everything,
she thought as she watched his foot tap impatiently. “My dear, ignorant friend,”
she teased. “If you haven’t noticed, I am considerably smaller than you are.
Why, it takes me five minutes just to walk from one end of the Kougra’s body
to the oth–”
“Shut up!” the Pant Devil shouted again, growing
tired of Acari’s insults. “Let’s just get down to business, okay? What do you
have to report?”
Acari cringed at the blue villain’s words. He
treats me as if I am a common servant! she fumed. “Tonight,” she started, using
every bit of strength to stay calm, “the Kougra is going to a cooking show.
I am certain there will be many opportunities to heat the ingredients in that
place, so, before the day is over, I will gain full control of the Jelly Chia.”
“I think I should come with you,” the Pant Devil
Acari stared at him in disbelief, becoming even
more furious. “That isn’t necessary,” she replied, barely able to control her
anger. “Do you not think I am competent?”
“That’s not it,” answered the Pant Devil, hoping
her could soothe the Neomite’s fury before she did something drastic. “I just
want to be there. I want to see all the Neopian’s faces when the Jelly Chia
arrives,” he lied.
“And what if they spot you?” asked Acari, hoping
to talk the Pant Devil out of his silly idea. “Could you imagine what would
happen if you were discovered before the Jelly Chia arrived? What would become
of our plans then?”
“I guess you're right,” the Pant Devil replied.
“Okay, so I won’t go then.”
What is he up to? wondered Acari. Since
when does he give in to me so easily?
“I better go,” she muttered. “The Kougra may
be leaving soon. I will send a messenger for you once I have inhabited the Jelly
Acari began her descent from the tree. Before
she reached the bottom, she threw another suspicious glance toward the Pant
Devil, hoping that he wasn’t plotting against her.
“Not that it would matter anyway,” the Queen
laughed to herself once she was out of earshot. “Not when you see what I’m plotting
“Oh, Acari,” the Pant Devil muttered as he watched
the Queen depart. “You silly, silly fool. Oh, I’ll be at that show tonight.
Only I won’t be there to observe, I’ll be there to take the Jelly Chia as my
* * *
Guen relaxed under a huge palm tree next to the cooking pot, Flare at her side,
as they waited for Jhuidah to return. The Kougra was quite content for not a
single Neomite bit her, thanks to Flare. Flare had struck up a conversation
with a mutant Blumaroo. The Blumaroo’s owner was an incredibly sweet woman with
a set of nails that could cut steal, and she found Guen’s Neomite predicament
to be very terrible. She leaned over the Kougra and vowed to scratch her back
until Jhuidah returned.
“Jhuidah has been gone for a really long time,”
the Uni said to Guen, glancing toward the Faerie’s hut. “I wonder what’s keeping
Guen didn’t even hear Flare, she was too busy
enjoying the blissful scratching. A few moments later, Jhuidah came into view,
dragging a large gray sack behind her.
“Everyone,” she announced the long line of Neopets
in front of her cooking pot, “I need you to back away from the cooking pot for
a few minutes.
The Neopians quickly obeyed, eyeing Jhuidah’s
bag as they stepped back.
“Girls, come over here,” commanded the Faerie.
Guen thanked the kind human before grabbing Flare
by the hoof and racing to Jhuidah.
“Okay,” Jhuidah started, “I believe I have found
the best way to help you. I’m going to create a magical salve in my cooking
pot. It will be very thick and very noticeable, but I’m sure that’s a small
price to pay, am I right?”
Guen nodded her dark head and eagerly eyed the
sack behind Jhuidah.
“This salve will allow your skin to heal,” the
Faerie continued, “much faster than it normally would. That should also bring
some relief. But keep in mind, the salve will eventually wear off. You will
begin itching again in only a few hours. After that, I suggest you keep using
your Neomite Injections. If it’s too much to bear, I’ll give you a list of the
ingredients need for the salve, but they are very expensive. You can have this
batch for free.”
Guen smiled at Jhuidah. The generosity of the
Faeries never failed to amaze her.
Jhuidah opened her bag, revealing many different
items. She choose four large jars, each filled with a sparkling green gel, and
dumped the contents into her cooking pot.
“Magic Goop,” Flare muttered, almost not believing
the Faerie’s gift. “Those things cost a fortune!”
The liquid in the cooking pot became much firmer
after the Magic Goop had been added. It took on a greenish hue and began to
sparkle as Jhuidah stirred it. Then the Faerie retrieved a jar of Medicinal
Mud Bath, three tubes of Itchy Scratchy Cream, and a container of Cactopus Cream
and added them to the cauldron. She also sliced open a single Blair Nut and
tossed it into the pot. Jhuidah muttered an odd chant while she stirred the
mixture, which smelled strangely like peanuts.
“And one last ingredient,” Jhuidah laughed as
she set her bamboo spoon on the sandy ground. She walked toward Guen, threw
the Kougra over her tanned shoulder, and then tossed her headfirst into the
“That should do it!”
Guen’s head appeared above the medicinal brew
a moment later, couching and spitting bits of the glittery green substance from
her lips. An incredibly thick layer of the medication clung to every bit of
her shadowy fur, although you couldn’t tell that she was a shadow Kougra anymore.
Now she looked more like a mutant, not that it bothered her. The only thing
that mattered was that her itching had stopped.
“Oh, Jhuidah!” she exclaimed, pulling herself
from the cauldron and wrapping her arms around the Faerie. “Thank you so much!
The itching is gone.”
“You’re welcome,” replied Jhuidah, trying to
wipe away a thin layer of goo Guen unintentionally left behind when the Kougra
“Guen, we need to go,” said Flare. “The show
starts in an hour.”
The three said their goodbyes, and, after many
appreciative words, the two friends left Jhuidah and started toward Neopia Central.
* * *
“Swim! Swim!” Acari shouted to the Neomites. She wasn’t sure what was going
on. All the Neomites had been minding their own business, and suddenly some
jerk decided to flood their home. And what’s worse, Acari thought as she made
her way above the tinted water, the stuff is so thick, I can barely move.
The thickness of the medication turned out to
blessing. After all the Neomites had pulled themselves above the flood, they
found they could stick on top of it without sinking. Once all the Neomites where
safely above the liquid, a huge fight erupted. Many of the Neomites threatened
to leave, saying they had had all they could take from the stupid Kougra.
“Please, please, everyone,” said Acari, trying
to calm the enraged Neomites. “I know living on this Kougra hasn’t been easy,
but do you really want to go back to that cave?”
“The cave was better than this!” shouted one
Neomite after she had mustered the courage to defy her Queen.
“Please, dear, you must calm down,” cooed Acari.
“Just think how close we are to getting the Jelly Chia.”
Acari spent the next hour convincing her Neomites
to stay with the Kougra, assuring them it would all be worth it once she ruled
To be continued...