|"Ninety-eight, ninety-nine, a hundred! Ready or not hear
I come!" cried Leiliani, a young red Aisha. She and her brother Zag the Zafara
and her sisters Cecilia the Draik and Angel the Ixi were playing hide-and-seek
in Neopia Central while their mom, Ruth, ran errands.
Leiliani saw the little blue tail sticking out
from behind the auction house and crouched down, ready to pounce.
"AHHHH!!!" screamed Leiliani.
"Got ya!" It was Zag. Mom had painted him with
a Christmas paint brush not too long ago and he still enjoyed scaring his wingless
"Zag! You just wait until mommy can get me wings!
You'll regret the day you got yours!" Leiliani pouted.
"Oh, Leili! You are such a baby! Mom'll paint
you baby before she gives you wings."
"Nu-uh!" said Leili.
"Uh-uh!" teased Zag.
"Will NOT!" screamed Leili.
"What is going on here?"
"Nothing." Zag landed and turned toward Ruth.
"He says you're going to paint me baby!" complained
the red Aisha.
"Is that what this is about?" said Ruth.
"Yes," Leili said, tears in her eyes.
"Don't you worry. I won't paint you anything
you don't want to be painted, okay?" soothed Ruth, hugging her little Aisha.
"Okay," and she stuck out her tongue at Zag.
"Are we ready to go home?" Ruth asked.
Angel came out from her hiding spot. "We haven't
found Cecilia yet, mom."
Ruth smiled down at her little ixi. Angel always
had a tone in her voice that meant no nonsense. "Okay, you three go find her.
Tell her it's time to go home."
The three Neopets scattered and Ruth called
"We'll go by the Rainbow Pool on the way home." Ruth sat down by the Rainbow
Pool and watched the Neopets and their owners play in the water, splashing colors
everywhere. Cecilia had been morphed from a Usul into a Draik and Zag had gotten
his Christmas wings, but the Neopoints in the bank had been drained by the requests
of her young pets. Ruth rummaged through her bags. A codestone from the Tombola,
a scratch card off the money tree, two carrot and pea omelettes, and one plain
omelette. Cecilia wouldn't be happy with that one. She hated plain omelettes.
"Get her! Get her!" yelled Leili.
"That's not fair, Cecilia! We can't fly!" called
Angel's dignified voice.
"Tag! Game over, Cecilia!" yelled Zag.
Ruth looked up. The Draik and Zafara were out
of breathe after an extensive game of air tag.
"We found her mommy! We found her!" said Leili
"She was hiding on top of the magic shop," explained
"Why are we at the Rainbow Pool, mommy?" asked
"I thought Leili and Angel would like to show
me what they want to be painted since you and Zag have gotten what you wanted.
It's their turn."
Cecilia turned a concerned eye onto Ruth. The
Draik, though young, knew how hard it had become to save money and feed them
all since she bought the morphing potion for her. She knew all to well that
Ruth couldn't afford to grant her sisters wishes anytime soon.
Ruth nodded. "Angel, Leili. You can tell me
what you want but I can't promise you anything. We don't have a lot right now
but I'll do my best to make you happy. Do you understand?"
Leili nodded. "Yes. I understand," said Angel.
The two Neopets ran toward the pool and started to point out all the different
colors that they wanted and finally settled on a Faerie paint brush for Leiliani
and an electric blue paint brush for Angel. Ruth jotted down the names of the
brushes and put the piece of paper into her pocket. "Time to go home," she said.
Ruth had fallen asleep ages ago but Cecilia and Zag were wide awake.
"Mom's gonna spend everything we have to get
those brushes… you know that, don't you," said Zag.
"Yes, but she did that for us, too. It's only
fair. I just wish we could help," crooned Cecilia.
"We could play more games. It would help," encouraged
"It would help but it would take forever. It
would be more likely that the wishing well would grant our wishes before we
got enough Neopoints," whispered Cecilia.
"True." It was depressing to think that their
two sisters would have to wait quite a long time for their paint brushes.
"There is another way," said the Draik. "Have
you ever heard of the Cloud of Gems?"
"Ya. It's in the book mom read to us a couple
of nights ago. It is a mysterious cloud that travels Neopia, never seen in the
same spot twice, that it is said to have limitless treasures on it. The only
catch is that it is guarded by a Faerie with no name and no past," recited Zag.
"Right. And if you answer her question you may
have anything that you like from her treasures," Cecilia finished. "Did you
know that no one has ever been able to answer her question?" Cecilia hinted
Zag sighed. "It's just a story, Cecilia."
"No, it's not. I've seen the cloud and I found
something today that will help us find it. See?" She pulled a piece of paper
that had been glued together. "I found it on top of the magic shop. It was tied
with this ribbon. It's made of diamonds and gold!"
Zag studied the paper. "It's a map. But what's
that moving dot?"
"I think that's the Cloud of Gems, Zag," Cecilia
said, louder than she meant to. Angel tossed in her sleep next to her.
"We can get there, Zag. We both can fly. I bet
we can answer the Faerie's question."
Zag though about it. "Alright. When do you want
"Now, of course!" Cecilia reached under her
bed and pulled out a backpack already filled with food and supplies. "There's
one under your bed too," she said. Zag pulled out his bag. "I packed them after
dinner while everyone had dessert," Cecilia said before Zag could ask.
Within fifteen minutes they were flying away
form their house toward the little pink dot on the map, right above Krawk Island.
It took longer to get to Krawk Island than they had remembered and it was
dawn before they arrived.
"My wings are tired," complained Zag, "and my
halo is all dirty!"
"I'm exhausted too," confirmed Cecilia. "Let's
"On Krawk Island?" Zag said in dismay. "But
what about pirates?"
"Don't worry we won't be here long enough to
They landed. "There's a cave," said Cecilia,
pointing into the distance. "Let's stay there and rest before we move on."
Zag nodded and trudged into the cave, "Cecilia!
Watch ou….!" Too late, the pirates of Smuggler's Cove had got them both.
"What do we do now?" whispered Zag.
"I don't know," Cecilia replied.
"Quiet there, you snooping ruffians!" growled
a Pirate Bruce.
"We weren't snooping," said Zag indignantly.
"Hush, Zag!" Cecilia whispered.
The pirate cam up to Zag and eyed him closely,
"So what were you doing coming into Smuggler's Cove uninvited and without a
doubloon to spare?"
Cecilia spoke up. "We needed a place to rest.
We have been flying all night in search of the legendary Cloud of Gems."
The pirates all laughed. "No one has seen the
Cloud of Gems in years, little ones," said a kind looking Pirate Blumaroo. "It
has been lost since before the Faerie Wars."
"Don't fill the kiddies heads with hogwash,"
cried a pirate Aisha. "The Faerie Wars never happened. It's just part of the
legend of the Cloud of Gems."
"Quiet!" barked the pirate Bruce. "Now, my young
Draik, why be you searching for the Cloud of Gems?"
"Untie us first. Then I'll tell you," Cecilia
"Alright." And he cut the ropes. "Thank you.
We want to ask the Faerie what her question is so that we can help paint our
sisters the colors they want," Cecilia explained.
A roar of laughter broke out among the pirates.
"An honorable task, young ones," chuckled the pirate Bruce. "Let me tell you
a story. But in exchange for the story we want you to bring us something of
value from your quest if it is successful. Agreed?"
"Agreed," Cecilia and Zag said together.
"Once the faeries had two clouds, one housed
the kingdom you can visit everyday and the other was a treasury of valuable
items that even the Faerie queen Fyora didn't dare hide in the hidden tower.
The Faerie who guarded this second cloud was Fyora's sister. Fyora's sister
is said to have been the most beautiful Faerie ever to had existed but she had
one flaw. Her greed. Now what we call the Faerie's War was never a war at all
but a great hunt for the treasure's that began to disappear from Fyora's hidden
tower and from the second cloud treasury. It didn't take long for the faeries
to discover Fyora's sister stealing. Afraid of what the faeries would do to
her Fyora's sister disappeared during the night, taking the Cloud of Gems and
all it's treasures with her."
"Wow," Zag said. "Great story."
"Yes," Cecilia remarked, "but what was Fyora's
sister's name and why has no one ever found her after all these years?"
"No one knows," replied the pirate Bruce. "But
they say that the Snowager hides the secret to the why. But her name is a mystery."
"Thank you, sir," Cecilia said. "We should go.
I hope to see you again."
"Aye, little lady, aye."
To be continued...