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Venturing Into Jhudora's Cloud

by shadowcristal


Also by precious_katuch14

A muddy brown paw stuck through the heavy, swirling clouds, testing its buoyancy. The cloud bounced and released a stream of green smoke, enveloping the already-green Xweetok. The curious Neopet's eyes glinted, and she sprang forward to land on the cloud.

     Finally, here at last! That rumored Jhudora's Cloud, with all its hidden traps and dangers for those who dared to enter. Magical shields to keep nosy faeries away, and scary, swirling smoke that scared the faint-hearted Neopets.

     The green Xweetok clenched her paw as she skipped upwards on the spiraling clouds. I'm not afraid, she told herself as the fur on her back stood on end. She could feel the immense power of Jhudora already, this being the height of the faerie's power.

     Sometimes the pet stopped, wondering if she was really sane. To journey to Jhudora's on Jhudora Day... But that bone-chilling sense of evil... Not to mention that she had never been there before... All that curiosity would bubble and boil over if she did not do anything. Therefore it was this.

     Stepping carefully on the last few turbulent clouds, the Xweetok grinned. She looked upwards to the malicious building that Jhudora lived in, and the throne which the Dark faerie sat upon. With a bit of stealth she just might get in, the Xweetok thought.

     The inquisitive pet soon found herself slowly slipping inside, past the group of other Neopians who were either looking for a quest or were on their way to completing one. She narrowly avoided getting her tail or her delicate paws stepped on. The Xweetok surveyed the nearest quester, a stately-looking Kyrii with steely gray eyes.

     "Jhudora, I bring you... a Doglefox. It took me my life's savings to pay for one, but do I get my prize yet?"

     Jhudora smiled at him, running her long green nails through her purple hair that had an emerald streak running through it. She was dressed in her usual - a long robe that screamed her favorite colors and a choker with a green-colored gem - even though it was her special day. The dark faerie raised one eyebrow skeptically at the Kyrii.

     "Well done. However, you don't get your reward yet till the next quest. I'll see you again tomorrow, so don't be late."

     As he walked away, the faerie continued her business, nodding at the items placed before her, sometimes handing out their respective prizes. Others she sent off with the usual warning that they stay under her time limit.

     However, Jhudora didn't seem to look herself lately. While she was often impatient and a tad grumpy, all that seemed to have taken on a new level.

     What was she so miffed about? The Xweetok only had to hear one word to know, but she was too curious to let anything pass.

     "That Sloth... "

     Wait a minute…Sloth? As in the evil Sloth that schemed to take over Neopia? The Xweetok grinned. That sounded more reasonable. But she couldn't just rest yet... That tingling sense of malice, more than she had ever felt...

     Noticing the Dark faerie's head turn towards her, the curious pet darted off to a dark corner. She was not prepared for the horrid stench that lingered there, and was on the verge of shouting 'Yuck!' before remembering that she was at Jhudora's.

     Jhudora stared at the corner suspiciously before turning her attention to the next duo of owner and pet begging for a quest. All these annoying people... if only there hadn't been that cursed avatar... Suddenly the Dark faerie wondered if it would be all right for her to put up a 'Gone to Lunch' sign like King Skarl so often did. After all, she had to get that thing done today.

     As the Dark faerie's eyes turned elsewhere, the Xweetok entered one of the many doors. The inquisitive pet had absolutely no idea where she was going, but her intuition told her that this was the right way.

     Walking down the ornate corridor, decorated with purple and green items, the pet stopped to frown disdainfully at an indigo-colored vase. It was pretty, but the fancy shapes and carvings weren't her style. The Xweetok curiously touched the vase with her paw, only to retreat when she felt blazing heat from the vase.

     But she hadn't been careful enough. The swift motion made the vase topple over, splashing the greenish liquid it had been contained with all across Jhudora's rug. The Xweetok winced, hoping that Dark faerie herself had not heard the sound. There was no guarantee, though. Taking a deep breath, the pet released the fear she had held back with every breath and took off at top speed.

     She made sure that her paws made no noises on the floors of Jhudora's domain as she turned a corner and skidded to a screeching halt before colliding with a bunch of poisonous green drapes.

     The Xweetok breathed a sigh of relief. Pricking her ears, she observed the nearest corridor at her right that tempted her... there were quite a few doors there. Who knew what lay beyond the wooden planks and fancy doorknobs?

     Bracing herself, the unwelcome visitor stalked the nearest room, making sure she didn't let her guard down. Jhudora could probably hold off the quests and suddenly get a sudden urge to stroll around inside, and eventually catch a certain pet picking her way through her lair.

     With a slightly trepid paw, the green Xweetok clutched the handle of one door. Much to her surprise, it didn't scald her palm. However, a strange mist emanated from the cracks in the doorway that smelled both fragrant and pungent at the same time.

     The door swung open before her, revealing a dark, cramped room with shelves and shelves of books. Only one table sat at the corner of the small space, and a candle sat upon that table, burning with a strange amethyst flame and bearing down on a piece of paper.

     It was too much. She HAD to know what was in that paper!

     She leapt onto a chair and arranged herself on it comfortably. The sheet revealed itself to be an entire array of diagrams, figures and words.

     "How to take over the world on your special day... " the Xweetok murmured, reading aloud before she realized that she was doing it. Quite quickly she fell silent and eyed through the rest, a ten-step program of taking over the world. Fancy Jhudora doing that! Spying Dr. Sloth's name in the corner, the pet realized what the Dark faerie had been muttering about.

     Meanwhile, Jhudora was squirming uncomfortably on her vaporous throne as a stench reached her nose. Someone had disturbed it! Probably one of those pesky, quest-seeking pets... Grumbling, the faerie got off her chair and brushed aside a few pets and owners. Entering the corner, she could totally feel the presence... A curious Xweetok...

     The Dark faerie could feel the anger throb in her veins as she turned around to glare at the large crowd that was waiting for her to resume her proper position. There were a few Xweetoks, but none of them had guilty look a mischievous pet would be caught with...

     Then... Jhudora could sense it. The culprit was still in her house. To order those... no, they would just mess it up. No, she had to do it by herself. On top of the project, too! How was she going to get everything done in time!

     "That's it for today!" the Dark faerie cried out. "I have a headache. Please leave!"

     The crowd was shocked and surprised, but when Jhudora made no motion of returning back to her chair, the pets and owners slowly left the place. Finally, she had shooed out the last pet, a stubborn Ixi that had been too fascinated to leave until Jhudora kicked her out with the threat of growing Tuskaninny tusks on her.

     Slamming her door, Jhudora magically called upon her powers to seal the house. Then she sauntered along the hallway, making sure that no strange details would escape her wary eyes. The Dark faerie sighed with some relief when she saw that the most precious items that she had managed to whisk away from Fyora were still in their correct places...

     Suddenly the faerie stopped, feeling something warm under her feet. Looking down in horror, Jhudora simply stared at the potion she had so carefully kept hidden among her other ornate things that she was going to use tonight. Picking the shards of the ugly vase up, the Dark faerie clenched her teeth. That pesky little Xweetok was going to pay!

     * * *

     Somewhere in the faerie's library, the cause of Jhudora's wrath was still browsing the schematics laid out before her. Apparently, according to a few angry notes scribbled behind the paper, Jhudora had wanted to outdo Dr. Sloth in his own game after all his incessant bragging...

     It was quite a strange reason to suddenly unleash a scheme this big. But as the green Xweetok adjusted herself on the chair, her elbow accidentally knocked over the candle, sending it toppling onto the plans. Within seconds, it turned into a miniature purple inferno. Thankfully the table was made out of stone; otherwise the flames would spread too quickly.

     Well, at least she made a distraction. The smoke was so irritating that nobody would miss it, much less Jhudora, and that would put her off the pet's trail.

     Dashing out the library and shutting the door behind her, the next thing the Xweetok heard was the sound of furious footsteps.

     Her instinct told her enough. The dark faerie's quarry sprinted off to the next room, which was concealed by a pair of double doors carved with strange symbols. She ran so fast that she wasn't able to stop in time, and ended up crashing into them.

     Thankfully they just swung open.

     Staggering into the room, the pet was blinded by the radiance of the golden item in front of her. After a few seconds she had recovered enough to realize that it was a real model of the picture she had just seen while leafing through Jhudora's stuff.

     So that's what Jhudora had been saving up all those things for! A whirr turned the Xweetok's attention to the items around that grand, magnificent stand. Scratch that. The old hag wasn't just ravenous for world domination but simply greedy too. How could anyone own this much stuff?

     Having forgotten about the obvious danger that was racing through the hall at top speed, the pet was brought back to reality. If Jhudora got her now... In this state, she'd surely be...

     Suddenly the Xweetok felt something settling over her. She looked around the room in wonder. It had this peaceful feeling... None of the vibe of evil that Jhudora's house had been shrouded in. This room was a magical sanctuary...

     It had to be that golden pyramid! Jumping onto the stand, the pet had to wrinkle her nose at the putrid stench rising from the half-frozen liquid inside. She was about to test it with her paw when a second thought hit her and she yanked it back. If this thing was powerful enough to knock down Jhudora's household spells, what could it do to her?

     As footsteps echoed through the halls, the pet perceived the fact that she had been distracted too long. Distraught, she looked around for an escape but found none, lest the door she had entered through. Unfortunately, that exit was blocked by a fuming Dark faerie, ready to zap the poor little pet into something terribly mutant.

     "I knew something had been creeping around my privacy!" she snarled, purple fire dangerously blossoming from her wand. The target jumped out of the way in time, and the magic left only a few scratches on the faerie's grand scheme.

     The pet's paws skidded across the floor as she leapt again to avoid yet another blast from Jhudora, who looked so livid that her gaze alone could have fried the Xweetok.

     She gathered her skirts and began to chase the intruder instead of throwing more bits of her magic from one spot. They ran around the room, leaving ashen trails in their wake. For a moment, the dark faerie could have sworn that she saw a familiar gleam in her opponent's eye.

     Banishing that thought, Jhudora rounded a corner and found the Xweetok again.

     "You'll pay dearly for this!"

     The dark faerie lunged forward, but she felt something collide with her hip, accompanied by an unpleasant rumbling sound.

     Jhudora turned to see what had suddenly come crashing down, and her shrill scream was enough of a message. The green Xweetok ducked to avoid getting hit by any stray debris, but she still couldn't resist giggling as she ducked behind the curtains.

     Kneeling down to pick up the pieces of her magical invention, Jhudora shook her head. "My masterpiece... my creation... " She glanced at the crouching pet. "You... you... "

     "Me?" Suddenly, a blaze of white light pierced her eyes. The Xweetok was no more, as an earth faerie with brown, green-streaked hair and an emerald-colored outfit stepped out from the outburst.

     "Illusen?" Jhudora was even madder than ever. "Only a bratty idiot like you would... "

     The earth faerie crossed her arms. "You think I'm a bratty idiot? Well, let's see about that!" Before her rival could unleash another blast from her wand, Illusen twirled and vanished behind a screen of copper magic.

     "And just so you know, those world domination plans are totally old, clichéd and now useless," Jhudora heard her rival taunt. The echoes of the words rang in the Dark faerie's ears.

     Fuming, she flicked her wand and out came a chaotic black fog of the anger and malice Jhudora felt. Speeding, rushing through the whole house, the Dark faerie found that Illusen was nowhere in there. Grasping her hair with those ugly, malicious green nails of hers, Jhudora tore a large chunk out before she realized that it was too painful to express her anger in that way.

     That bratty Illusen, showing up here, accidentally stumbling and ruining her plan... If only those questers hadn't shown up 3 AM in the morning to get their stupid quests, she would've been done and put away that highly private document which Illusen had spotted. If only...

     Sighing with disappointment, Jhudora watched as the sun quite rapidly sunk beyond the horizon, the last few golden rays disappearing from view. With the angry feelings boiling over, the Dark faerie went throughout a few corridors as a whirlwind, leaving shards and shatters of broken vases behind her.

     How... how... This perfect chance had been ruined, and on her most powerful day... She should've been more alert and drunk that thermos of coffee...

     Looking at her rather ruined home, Jhudora glared angrily one last time at the vase Illusen had tipped before the black fog of her anger was dispelled. Picking up the pieces of the ugly item, the Dark faerie figured that there was always next year... And next year she'd definitely get that state-of-the-art security Maelstra was always bragging about.

     But before that, there was the luxury known as revenge... Turning the broken pieces into thin air, Jhudora sat down and conjured up a notebook. Now, how to avenge this...

The End

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