“No, not again! This is such a lie!” the shout reverberated
through the house. Mistylenna dropped the book that she was reading and ran
to the living room.
She had expected… well, she wasn’t sure
what but not this. Larina131, her Faerie Gelert who was commonly known as ‘Ina,
was shredding the latest copy of the Neopian Times. A white Kougra was lounging
on another couch, carefully watching his sister release her fury on the newspaper.
Puzzled, Mistylenna turned to the white
Kougra. “Li, can you tell me what is going on?” she asked him.
“Well, I was just resting when ‘Ina there,”
he said, pointing to the Faerie Gelert, “started screaming about bias and jealousy
and started shredding the Neopian Times. I wasn’t about to stop her when she’s
in that mood.”
Muttering about being very helpful, Mistylenna
edged closer to the angry Gelert. “ ‘Ina sweetie, what is wrong?” she asked.
It took several moments for the angry
Gelert to calm down. “These stories are full of lies,” shrieked Larina. “They’re
always the same. The rich pets are always bullies and stuck up. But we’re not.
They’re just jealous of rich people.”
Mistylenna sighed. “Calm down, honey,”
she suggested. “It’s true that some rich people are stuck up. They think that
Neopoints are everything and don’t help anyone but himself or herself. But there
are others that help out a lot. It’s just that there aren’t many helpful people
who are also rich.”
‘Ina thought about that. She looked at
the expensive furniture in the room. “So because we donate, we’re helpful, right?”
Mistylenna smiled and hugged her. “That’s
right. We can’t just make everyone rich but we can help them,” she said.
Right then, Saralina, a spotted Uni, ran
down the stairs. “Are you coming mom?” she asked. “I want to go to Mystery Island.
You promised that I can go on a tour because I’m too young to go to Neoschool
like ‘Ina is. I wish I could go too!”
‘Ina grinned at her younger sister triumphantly.
She would start her first day of school tomorrow because she was the oldest
in the family. Technically, Li was the oldest but he was adopted from the pound
and he wasn’t interested in learning. He was most interested in battling and
didn’t want to bother with anything else. ‘Ina loved to read any books that
she could get her hands on.
“Alright, we’re going,” laughed Mistylenna.
“We’re probably not going to be back for awhile. Li, make sure ‘Ina goes to
bed early -- and don’t bother Talia. The lab ray changed her gender and she’s
already upset with being a different species. Just leave her alone. Make your
own dinner if I’m not back by then. There should be lots of stuff in the refrigerator.
Have fun and don’t let anyone in unless you know them.”
The rest of the instructions were lost
as the door closed behind them. ‘Ina spared a glance in the direction of Talia.
Her youngest sister had volunteered to go to the lab ray regularly. Unlike all
the others, she had not been painted because she couldn’t decide on which color
she wanted. So, Mistylenna had bought all the piece of the map and Talia, who
had been an Aisha, had been transformed into a Strawberry Jetsam and had been
stuck like that for several weeks now. Needless to say, she had not been pleased.
Li stretched and jumped off the couch.
“I’ll be in my room if you need me,” he announced. “You should get your stuff
together for school. Just in case, you oversleep.”
‘Ina agreed. She went into her room and
got her school supplies together. Her mother had bought the supplies in the
Faerie theme as soon as they were released. She flopped onto her bed and closed
her eyes. She was still angry about the story in the Neopian Times. It was always
the rich pets that were the bad guys in the short stories. Living in a mansion
in Faerieland and being rich as well, ‘Ina took those stories personally. She
could still remember when they were new and Mistylenna had to spend all of her
time playing games to support them. It was hard work that they had gotten this
far. She grew angry every time when she saw when poor people begged because
they did not want to work hard. Whenever she passed the Money Tree, she would
donate her spare Neopoints. But she was always sad when she saw someone snatch
it up who was not poor.
Her sigh turned into a yawn. She was tired.
Sleepily, she gathered her supplies and shoved them into her backpack before
falling asleep on her bed.
(In the morning)
“Have fun at school. If I’m not able to pick up, then Li will pick you up,”
Mistylenna said as Larina finished her breakfast.
“I will mom,” said Larina who was used
to her mother worrying about all of them. “I have everything including my lunch
and I could walk to school in my sleep. And if I see a stranger, I can fly away.
It’s not as if I’m defenseless. Li and I train sometimes together.”
She finished her breakfast, hugged her
siblings and her mother goodbye, and ran out of the door with her backpack.
Larina breathed a sigh of relief once she was out of sight of the house. Her
home looked so grand and big, and just screamed Neopoints. She had secretly
promised to herself that she would not tell anyone that she was rich. She wanted
to prove to some people that being rich did not always make someone stuck up
or a bully.
Larina spotted a green Cybunny and a red
Usul walking together. Both of them were carrying backpack so she assumed that
they were also going to school. She took a deep breath to calm her stomach and
walked up to them.
“Hello, my name is Larina but everyone
calls me Ina. Are you going to Neoschool, as well?” she asked with a friendly
smile on her face.
Both of them looked at her strangely before
introducing themselves. The Cybunny was called Briar and the Usul introduced
herself as Kim. They were neighbors ever since they could remember.
Soon, the strange glance vanished and
when they arrived at school, Larina had gained two new friends. Sadly, they
were not in any of her classes. Promising them that she would sit with them
at lunch, Larina made her way to her first class.
“Hey,” someone called out. Larina turned.
A Faerie Uni and a Shadow Gelert had followed her.
“You look, like, really cool,” said the
Uni. “My name is Lavender, and this is my friend Shadow.”
“Hello, my name is Larina but please call
me Ina,” said Ina cheerfully. “So…”
your owner rich?” Lavender asked. “Because if yes, you can hang out with us.
These poor pets don’t understand about important topics,” she gestured to the
other students in the hall. “But I guess we don’t have to ask you since your
owner bought you a Faerie Paintbrush and your supplies are Faerie.”
Larina gave them an angry glare. “If you
think that Neopoints are important, then you couldn’t pay me enough to ‘hang
out’ with you. I don’t care if anyone has Neopoints or not if they have a nice
She stalked off to find her classroom,
leaving Lavender and Shadow standing with their mouths hanging open.
Once she had found the classroom, Larina
seated herself and reached into her backpack for her favorite book and began
to read it. A few minutes later, she felt eye upon her and looked up. A red
Grarrl was watching her. Larina smiled at him but the Grarrl didn’t smile back.
Larina noted that he didn’t have a notebook.
Knowing that her mother had always packed her a spare—“what if you misplace
it, lose it, need it, have to sell it, want to write in it, or something else,
you should have a spare at hand”—she stood up and walked to the Grarrl and handed
it to him.
The Grarrl looked up. “I don’t want your
pity,” he sneered up at her.
Larina shrugged. “Whether you want to
accept it or not, it’s yours. You need it more than I do, anyway. My name is
Larina, but call me Ina if you want to.”
She went back to her desk with a small
smile as she noticed that the Grarrl had picked up the notebook and had started
to write in it. Larina felt better and started to read. But as soon as she had
started to read, she felt a tap on her shoulder.
She turned again, a little smile on her
face. An Island Kougra had approached her. She sighed inwardly, for she expected
another Lavender and she didn’t want to be disappointed again.
He smiled at her. “I heard what you said
to Lavender and Shadow and what you did to the Grarrl,” he said with a big smile.
“I know that you’re the sister of Li. I met him in the Battledome so I know
that you’re quite rich. He said that you hate being stereotyped. Well, I want
to stop as much stereotyping as I can.”
Larina’s smile grew wider. “I think that’s
the best idea that I’ve heard in a long time,” she admitted. “I don’t want others
thinking I’m stuck up just because they think that I have a lot of Neopoints.”