After an hour of traveling, Guen and Flare arrived at
the “What’s Cooking?” studio, and, after surveying their surroundings, they
found the scene to be rather unremarkable. A huge crowd of Neopets had gathered
in front of a large gray building, fighting with some muscular Lenny security
guards who told them they couldn’t enter yet. The building itself was even more
boring, large gray bricks with very few windows. No guest celebrities, free
food, or even fireworks were in sight. The girls got in line behind the rowdy
crowd, barely able to control their excitement, but patiently waiting to enter.
“I just can’t wait, Guen!” exclaimed the island
Uni. “We’re actually going to see Aletra!”
“I know, I’m so excited!” replied Guen. “Ouch!”
“What’s wrong?” asked Flare.
“I’m starting to itch again!” responded Guen,
“Jhuidah said it would wear off.”
“I know, but I just didn’t think it would happen
A few minutes later, the Lenny security guards
opened the studio doors.
Both girls walked inside, quite surprised as
they scanned the area. It was completely different from the first impression
they had. Dozens of beautiful gold and green velvet chairs surrounded a huge
stage. The stage itself, illuminated by bright, purple lights, had every kitchen
appliance imaginable on it, and even some odd appliances Guen and Flare didn’t
recognize. Kitchen workers were busy chopping the ingredients Aletra herself
would use on the show that night, and many camera crews were scattered to the
sides of the stage, eagerly awaiting the star of the show.
Flare led Guen to the their seats, right in the
third row, just a bit to the left. The shadow Kougra, quite intrigued by the
lovely scene, forgot about the Neomites attacking her from beneath her fur.
The kitchen workers, after receiving a signal from a stern Usul relaxing in
a throne-like director chair, quickly disappeared behind the set. Multicolored
stage lights replaced the plain purple ones, swirling around the room and falling
upon the audience and stage, and the crowd began to cheer.
“Welcome to the anniversary special of “What’s
Cooking?”, announced an excited Tuskaninny behind one of the many cameras. “And
now, our fabulous host, Aletra!”
The crowd began jumping up and down, bumping
into one another and cheering deliriously as a beautiful, aqua Aisha walked
onto the set.
“Hello, everyone!” shouted the Aisha, her melodious
voice rising above the cheers. “I’m Aletra,” as Aletra continued, she ran a
manicured paw through her shining, golden curls, “and tonight I am so proud!
My show has been on television for one whole year!”
It didn’t seem possible, but the crowd began
cheering even louder. Guen, although quite thrilled to be so close to Aletra,
was having a terrible fit. Her skin was itching so badly again she had to rub
her glossy back against the arm of her chair. Flare pleaded for her shadowy
friend to stop, explaining to her it was embarrassing, but Guen paid her no
heed. These Neomites are driving me insane! she thought, diving to the floor
and rubbing her back against it.
“I have some unbelievably delicious dishes to
show you tonight!” Aletra continued after the cheering ceased. “They are elegant,
they are classy, and most of all, they are fun! And they will fit into any Neopian’s
budget. Tonight I will show you how to prepare a yummy fruity ham, with a lovely
pineapple and apricot glaze. Then, I’ll make some cheesy herb bread to go with
our fruity ham, and they will compliment each other perfectly. And for desert,
I’ll be preparing one of my favorite treats, nutty chocolate pie. But, before
I begin, I’ll need one volunteer from the audience. This lucky person will get
to be my assistant for tonight!”
“Guen! Guen!” yelled Flare. “Get your itchy behind
off the floor! Aletra is going to pick someone to help her now!”
“Owwww,” Guen groaned, struggling with her terrible
itching. “I don’t even care! The itching has never been this bad, Flare!”
Flare, determined to help Aletra cook, scooped
up her whimpering friend and raced to the front row, knocking audience members
out of her way. She started jumping around, with Guen clutched in her arms,
trying to get Aletra’s attention.
“Aletra!” she shouted. “Please pick us! Please!”
“I’m sorry,” replied the Aisha. “I only need
“YOU PICK US NOW!” screeched Flare. Every Neopian present froze, quite terrified,
and stared at the frightening Uni. Guen just moaned in embarrassment as Flare
tossed her onto the stage.
“Um, okay,” muttered Aletra, a bit shocked herself.
“I guess having two assistants will be fine. But”–Aletra glanced over at Guen–“is
your friend okay?”
Guen, after being carelessly tossed on the stage,
discovered an interesting kitchen appliance. It was longer than her dark tail,
and had large, dull spikes protruding top to bottom from it’s metal surface.
Guen wasn’t sure what purpose it served -- all she cared about was the fact
that it made a great backscratcher.
“She’s not feeling very well today,” mumbled
Flare, obviously embarrassed. “By the way, I’m Flare, and she’s Guen. Pleased
to meet you, Aletra!”
“Yeah, right,” muttered Aletra, wondering if
her show was going to be a complete disaster. “Okay, everyone,” she turned to
the audience, showing them her confident smile, “let’s get cooking!”
The audience started cheering again as if they
forget the crazy incident that had just happened.
“I’ve decided to make the desert, nutty chocolate
pie, first.” Aletra continued. “Deserts are definitely my favorite foods! Guen,
Flare? Would you two mind gathering the ingredients for me?”
* * *
“Look out!” shouted Acari, Queen of the Neomites, as a large metal spike came
crashing through Guen’s shadowy fur. The Neomites had been dodging such spikes
for five minutes now, but they weren’t the least bit disheartened. Everything
was perfect, the Kougra was near a dozen different heat-giving machines, and
at a cooking show no less!
“Quickly,” Acari continued, almost taking a spike
upside her hard, black head, “get the ingredients into position! Don’t forget
our plan! After I find the proper heating device, I’ll give the signal, and
you jump to it and deposit the ingredients!”
Acari, devious grin plastered on her round face,
watched the Neomite’s frenzied actions as they ran around Guen’s back, preparing
to jump. Everything was working to their favor, and she knew it wouldn’t be
“Soon we shall rule!”
* * *
“Let’s get started!” Aletra grinned. “Nutty chocolate pie is a desert sure
to rock your socks! First, preheat your oven. We can’t cook nutty chocolate
pie in an icy oven!”
Guen walked over to the stage’s lone oven. It
didn’t really matter that it was the only oven since it was gigantic. It was
so large Guen believed she could comfortably take a nap inside of it. After
turning it on, the shadow Kougra made her way back to Aletra and gave her ebony
back a few good rubs with her new backscratcher. The Neomites seemed to have
calmed down a bit, she thought happily.
“For convenience,” said Aletra, pulling a pie
crust from her refrigerator, “I recommend buying a pie crust, as opposed to
making your own. You can get delicious pie crusts from almost any grocery store,
and they come in a variety of styles and flavors. This particular one we are
using has chocolate chips embedded in it’s crust. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?”
“Now, for our filling,” continued the Aisha as
she set a small pot on the stove, “I am going to make a luscious buttery chocolate
liquid. Melt one stick of butter and two Neobury chocolate bars over low heat.
Flare”–Aletra handed Flare a large, wooden spoon–“stir this until it melts,
and then set it on the counter to cool. I recommend using Neobury chocolate,”
continued the Aisha as she turned back to the cameras, “it seems to have a richer
“Now,” Aletra continued, “I’ll begin smashing
up one sugar bunny... there we go. Don’t worry if there are some big chunks
left, they will dissolve. Place the ground Sugar Bunny in a large bowl and add
to it three large neggs. If you do a lot of cooking, I recommend buying a bag
of infinite neggs. It will be less expensive in the long run. I’m using mosaic
neggs for this recipe because of their exotic flavor. And just look how lovely
they are! Mix the neggs and the sugar bunny until frothy, and then stir in one
smashed maple syrup negg, a few drops of pure vanilla extract, a pinch of a
salt mote, and your cooled chocolate and butter mixture. Make sure to combine
the ingredients well.”
“Now, arrange the contents of one bag of nuts
along the bottom of your pie crust. Make sure to set a few of the nuts aside,
you’ll need them to garnish the pie once it has been baked. There, that should
do it. Now, pour the mixture carefully over the nuts. . . and we’re finished!
I’ll just place this in the oven for 45 minutes, and we will have one delicious
nutty chocolate pie!”
Aletra walked back to her refrigerator and retrieved
a pie. “We already have this nutty chocolate pie ready so you, watching at home,
can see the finished product. Doesn’t it look delicious?” Aletra set the pie
on the counter, drawing many “oohs”, “ahhs”, and “yums” from the audience. “Our
main course with be the fruity ham. I’ll just stick this other nutty chocolate
pie in the oven to cook while my two little helpers gather the ingredients for
As Aletra went to open the oven, she didn’t notice
thousands of tiny figures hopping toward her. The Neomites quickly deposited
their Jelly-Chia-Summoning ingredients into the pie, then scampered off to hide
inside of a large container.
* * *
“Yuck!” screeched Acari, after landing head first into the sandy substance
inside the container. “What is this horrible stuff?”
“Close your eyes!” shouted one Neomite who was
obviously in incredible pain. “The stuff burns your eyes!”
All the Neomites obeyed the frightening command,
and after a few moments, they found the odd sand wasn’t very harmful. It did
indeed burn their eyes, and it also clung to every spot of their tiny bodies,
but other than that it couldn’t hurt them. After realizing that, they decided
to stay in their convenient hiding spot and wait for the Jelly Chia. The Neomites
had never encountered such an strange substance before, and had no way of knowing
it was actually salt.
Acari relaxed on the comfortable salt, letting
her mind drift. She thought about the Jelly Chia, and entertained the thought
of ruling Neopia. She thought of the wonderful life she could give her Neomites
once her plans were complete. Memories of her father, King Razire, and his idea
of conquering the Faeries eventually flooded her mind. . .
“Acari!” King Razire shouted, more sharply than
he had ever spoken to his daughter. “Hurry! It’s time to march, and I need you
to get the troops into formation!”
“If the idiots can’t even get into a simple formation,”
Acari replied, “then we have bigger problems than you think!”
“Acari! What is this talk?!” her father demanded.
“You are in charge of them, and you need to take responsibility!”
“I have all the responsibilities!” Acari retorted
as she walked up to her father. “I should be the one in charge of everything!
You only sit in your throne all day, not doing anything, and you take all the
“My daughter, what has happened to you? You have
changed so much over these last weeks...” King Razire’s voice trailed off. After
a few uncomfortable moments he gazed at Acari, his eyes full of tears. “What
has happened to you?” he asked again.
Acari felt as if she would burst. She was so
angry at the old man in front of her. It’s not fair, she thought. Once the Faeries
have been defeated, he will get all the glory! I should get to be queen of Neopia!
“Get out of my way, you old fool!” Acari screeched,
shoving her crying father aside. “I’ll lead your stupid troops, since you are
obviously incapable of doing it!”
Truthfully, King Razire was very capable of
leading the troops. Although he was old, he was by far one of the strongest
and wisest Neomites to ever live. The King had one weak spot in his iron heart
though, his daughter.
“The only reason I wanted you to lead them is
because I thought it would make you happy,” King Razire muttered to himself
as he wiped his moist eyes.
The Neomites began their march. Ten Shoyrus,
kept as prisoners by the Neomites, took off into flight, their destination Faerieland.
The Shoyrus had no idea why they were going to Faerieland, they only knew it
was impossible to fight against the terrible biting they would receive for disobeying.
The Neomites began to cheer as huge, colorful towers on top of large clouds
came into view. The Shoyrus landed right outside the Faerie kingdom. What a
sight it was! Dozens of purple towers with gold and silver spun caps loomed
over the Neomites. Gold flags with symbolic red Faerie wings sewn to them hung
from all the tower’s windows, shining fiercely in the morning sun. The entire
courtyard was made of fluffy, purple clouds, trimmed neatly and wide to appear
as impenetrable walls. A brief sting pierced Acari’s heart, and for a moment
she was disgusted at what she was about to do. It was fleeting though, for only
a second later she began thinking of what gains victory would bring her.
“Let us go!” she announced, starting toward the
“No, Acari,” said King Razire, unable to even
look his daughter in the eye. “We will not go in there!”
“Have you lost you mind, father?” Acari screeched.
“We have planned so long for this! Why can’t we go in?”
“I just meant we have to use the side entrance,”
her father replied. “That’s the way we shall enter,” he said, pointed to a large
mound of nothing.
“But there isn’t anything there!” Acari yelled,
thinking her father insane.
“Trust me,” he replied sadly.
King Razire led the Neomites past the kingdom
for a few moments. Then, all of the sudden, he began walking on air!
“Father!” Acari exclaimed, astonished. “How are
you doing that?”
“This is an invisible building, known throughout
Neopia as the Hidden Tower,” he replied. “Don’t be afraid, you shall scale it
just as you would any other building.”
Acari and the army of Neomites followed King
Razire, and indeed, climbing the wall was as easy as he said it would be. By
the time they reached the invisible tower’s window, the sun had already began
to set, and, being so high up, Faerieland was very dark.
“That is the Faerie Queen,” her father explained
once all the Neomites were inside the Hidden Tower. “She guards this tower and
sells the exquisite items she keeps here to Neopians.”
Acari stared at her father in disbelief. Where
has he gotten this information from , she wondered. She was angry at how much
more her father knew than her. She, before now, knew nothing of the invisible
tower or that the Faerie Queen would be inside, instead of in her throne room.
“We shall defeat her first,” whispered King Razire.
“If we overthrow the Faerie Queen, all Neopians will bow before us with little
Acari stared at the Faerie Queen. Although her
shimmering dress made her appear as a giant Purpple, she was by far the most
beautiful creature the Princess had ever seen. She sat at a small stone table,
gazing into what appeared to be a glass apple. The interior of the strange apple
glistened, and purple smoke began swirling inside of it, taking specks of glitter
along with it. Green smoke appeared also appeared inside of the crystal fruit,
swirling opposite of the purple smoke. Suddenly, a dazzling flash erupted from
the apple, and it’s center showed a picture of a dark, bloated creature, with
a golden crown atop it’s ugly head.
“Father, it’s you!” shouted Acari, horrified.
Behind the image of her father, many more Neomites appeared, then Acari herself
materialized. Acari wondered if the strange apple was a mirror of some sort.
She became even more worried when an invisible door opened inside the hidden
tower and a red-eyed Faerie, wearing a skirt of stars, walked into the room.
“Hello, Fyora,” said the Space Faerie, her deep
voice echoing throughout the Hidden Tower.
“Hello, Space Faerie,” replied Fyora. The Faerie
Queen let out a small chuckle when she realized she didn’t know the Space Faerie’s
actual name. In fact, she didn’t even know if the Space Faerie had a name. “Ready
for some fun?”
The Space Faerie nodded and Fyora continued,
“Hello, King Razire!” she shouted, much to the surprise of the Neomites. “Don’t
look so surprised,” she continued, noticing the confused look on the image of
his face inside the glass apple, “I’ve known you were coming since you landed
outside my kingdom.”
“This item here,” said Fyora, motioning toward
the apple, “is called an Everlasting Crystal Apple. It lets me see into the
future, and since you taking over Neopia was in the future, I found out you
A loud, taunting laugh burst from Fyora’s purple
lips. “You know what’s funny?” she asked. “I rarely use this everlasting crystal
apple, but today I did. You see, everything in my tower is outrageously priced
so it’s not often people purchase my items. Well, that, and the fact that some
of my items aren’t even worth ten Neopoints. Such as the ubikiberry bag. Why
would someone pay a ton of Neopoints for an item that produces infinite ubikiberry
elixirs, when they could just buy an ubikiberry elixir for 5 Neopoints? But
I’m rambling, aren’t I?”
“Yes, dear Fyora, you are,” replied the Space
“Anyway,” said Fyora, “the point is, I’m broke.
That’s right, I admit it. The reason I pulled out my Everlasting Crystal Apple
was to see which Poogles to bet on tomorrow at the Poogle Races. And that, King
Razire, is how I discovered what you were planning to do. Which, I might add,
aggravates me a little bit. I just don’t have the time to destroy villains and
their hordes of followers anymore. But, out of the kindness out my big Faerie
heart, I decided to make an exception in your case. Therefore, I will be personally
destroying you today.” (Not that there where many Neomites left for Fyora to
destroy. Over half of the Neomites were on their backs, fast asleep, a common
result from listening to Fyora ramble.)
“Charge!” commanded King Razire, desperate that
his plan was lost.
“Time for some fun!” shouted the Space Faerie.
The Space Faerie retrieved a Dung Catapult from
one of the Hidden Tower shelves and launched a huge lump of Dung at the Neomites,
taking out half of the army.
“Whoo hoo!” laughed Fyora, feeling a bit mischievous.
“This is going to be way too easy! Let’s liven it up a bit!”
Fyora grabbed a bunch of items from her shelves
She then laid down on her table, pulled out her Air Faerie Fan, and began impersonating
a woman she had seen on TV once.
“Oh, Space Faerie,” she cooed, fanning herself.
“It’s soooo hawt in ‘ere, dahling, open a window for me.”
The Space Faerie laughed at Fyora’s impression,
and then decided to play along. She grabbed an Eraser of the Dark Faerie and
rubbed off her nose. “Oh, Fyora,” she said, her voice coming through as a nasally
wheeze as a result of her missing nose. “I seem to have misplaced my nose! Can
you help me find it?”
Fyora grabbed her Dark Faerie doll and her bag
of battle dung and began to make the Doll speak. “Hello,” she made the Doll
say, “My name is Jhudora! I’m stupid and ugly and I like to take dung baths!”
Fyora then stuck the Jhudora Doll down into the dung.
The two Faeries decided play time was over, and
finished destroying the Neomite army. Only 500 Neomites escaped, Acari included.
The remaining Neomites fled from Faerieland back to Krawk Island, thoroughly
Acari sighed as she relived the painful memory.
This time will be different, she thought, pulling herself up from the odd, sandy
substance. I will not make the same mistakes my father did. The Neomite Queen
glanced around at her army of Neomites, remembering how hard life had been after
their defeat. They had come so far since that day they returned to Krawk Island.
“And we shall go even further!” shouted Acari,
drawing many confused looks from her subjects. Acari just smiled. She was too
excited to worry about the opinions of the other Neomites. Not only was she
going to be Queen of Neopia, she was also going to take down the Pant Devil.
Originally, Acari and the Pant Devil decided
to take over Neopia together, or so the blue thief thought. He declared himself
and Acari partners, and together they came up with the idea of using a powerful
monster, under their control, to do it. The Pant Devil actually came up with
the idea of using the Jelly Chia, but he couldn’t do it without Acari. He needed
her and all the Neomites, but, much to Acari’s delight, she didn’t need him.
Acari, although she wasn’t sure why, felt a strong
hatred for the Pant Devil. She had felt this was every since the first day she
met him. Acari found it odd she despised the Pant Devil so much. After all,
he wasn’t really that bad.
“Well, bad or not bad,” Acari muttered to herself,
“he is still going down. Once I have the Jelly Chia under my power, we are going
to pay Sir Wussy Brat a little visit. He will be the first to witness the Jelly
Chia’s strength, but not the way he expected.”
Aletra didn’t know the Pant Devil was right outside
the studio, his flat, blue face pressed against a window.
To be continued...