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Blue Amber


by myfallenrevival4

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Prequel to 'The Ballad of the Tears' by evanescent_pudding, found in Issue 207.

Svolbard the golden Aisha hurried up the steps of Edna's Tower in the Haunted Woods. She knew that time was ticking: if she didn't get to Edna's room in the next twenty seconds, her quest was over...

      Gasping and spluttering, the Aisha made a mental note to herself to exercise as she increased her grip on the items Edna had asked for: a bar of Kougra Shining Soap, a plate of the Stuff, and a now-melting Raspberry Brucicle. Svolbard did not know how the witch would manage to make the 'Spell of Usul Engorgement' with the ingredients she had asked for, but if Svolbard might get a chance of getting the pesky avatar, it was worth her while.

      When Svolbard was only about a dozen steps away from the door that led to the tower room, she tripped over a stair. All of the items tumbled out of her arms and rolled back down the stairs as a clock on the wall told her that she only had five seconds left to do her quest.

      Panting, she stamped her feet on the ground and rushed down the stairway to retrieve the items. At least she cold re-sell them to get some of the Neopoints back...

      As she reached the first of the items (the plate of the Stuff), a hidden door opened on the wall as the clock chimed 11:43:57 PM NST: her quest was now over. However, her employer came out of the doorway and looked down at her soapy, slippery, raspberry-blue staircase, her eyes widened with some sort of mad delight.

      "You're just in time!" she proclaimed. Edna the Witch pulled a wand out of the long folds of her black robes and cast a spell that pulled all of the items towards her. They jumped into a mixing bowl and with another spell from the Zafara, they had become a blue, jello-like substance which was releasing bubbles into the air that hummed before popping.

      "But - but I don't understand... " said Svolbard, severely confused. "I'm five seconds late! And what are you doing not in your tower room, anyway?"

      Edna looked around, shushed the Aisha, and then pulled her into the room. It was a long hallway which lead to what looked like one of the towers visible from the outside. The witched pulled Svolbard to the strange room and pushed her into a chair that was directly connected to the wall. The ceiling was apparently made of some sort of stained glass which moonlight could easily shine through, tinting the room with a green shade. On the walls there were glass cases with almost every single item she had ever received from a quest inside them. In the center of the room there sat a large cauldron on a pedestal. It appeared to be the same colour as the concoction sitting in the mixing bowl Edna was now carrying, though it was hard to tell with the green tint that came from the ceiling.

      "Finally, after years of spellwork... I can finally make the potion!"

      Edna now seemed to be slightly mad, and cackled as she poured the contents of the bowl into the cauldron. Steam began to rise from it in spirals, and there was a loud explosion. As Svolbard coughed, rooted to the mysterious chair on the wall, the Zafara witch walked up to the cauldron and waved her wand above it.

      "In the last witching hour of the Aisha Comet's passing of Neopia,

      I, Edna the Witch, command Amber!"

      After she recited the spell, she dropped three golden stones into the cauldron. It bubbled and steamed now more violently than before, and there was a blinding flash of golden-blue light before everything became still once more.

      The cauldron was now completely devoid of the mysterious blue liquid. Edna reached towards the bottom of it and drew out three brilliantly-blue, glowing stones. They resembled the stones that she had thrown into the potion after she had cast her spell.

      "Svolbard, I thank you. I have spent the last decade ordering pets to get me blue, slippery, and jelly-like items for this spell." She extended her arm and there, the Aisha saw one of the blue stones. "Take this. It is Blue Amber, and if you bring it to the top of Terror Mountain and cast a wish with all your heart, it will come true."

      Svolbard was then pushed out of the tower a few seconds later clutching the gemstone and 135 NP.

     ***

      Giving the boat driver 135 NP, she stepped off of the dingy craft and on to Happy Valley Dock. As it was midnight, nobody was still left out on the streets. A light snow fell from the dark, moon-less sky but Svolbard was not cold; she had experienced much more intense temperatures than this.

      Edna had said that she was to take the Blue Amber to the very peak of the mountain, and that was what she had to do. She walked to the ski lift, but it had closed because of the late hour. It looked like she was going to have to venture through the Ice Caves.

      It took another half-hour to reach the entrance of the Ice Caves. It was perched on a ridge that overlooked the town. Looking disdainfully at the red Korbat that was eternally in flight above the Snow Wars building, she fantasized about how nice it would be to have wings so that she could just simply fly to the top of the mountain. Without a backwards glance, Svolbard turned and walked into the Ice Caves.

      There was a lot more activity inside the Caves than there was in the Valley. Restockers flooded out of the Ice Crystal Shop eagerly glancing at the shelves every five seconds while various pets and owners dashed from the Snowager's Cave, screaming past some people scratching away at scratchcards with their fingers and toes crossed. Carefully avoiding notice, she avoided a Snowball that accidentally flew from the top of the Ice Arena and came out at the very top of Terror Mountain.

      Her first thought was to take it to Taelia the Snow Faerie: being a mystical, flying, intelligent creature, she might actually know something about the mysterious stone sitting in Svolbard's inventory. However, as she gazed at the Igloo from the ground, a good deal of tape saying CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS was wrapped around the building. The Aisha could see why: it had completely collapsed and seemed to be on fire, though she could not tell exactly what was happening.

     The Aisha realized that she only had one other alternative for mysterious items such as the Amber, and that was a shop specializing in selling mysterious items: the Shop of Mysteries. Svolbard set off for it in the now-heavy snow, putting on a scarf and hugging herself for warmth.

      Upon arrival at the shop, the Aisha was about to knock on the heavy wooden door before it was opened on the inside by a rather angry-looking Kiko that was dressed like he was painted Christmas.

      "I never get anything good from that Fyora-forsaken shop..." he muttered, zipping up his coat. A stream of curses flew from his direction as he floated away, making for the Snowy Foods Shop for a refresher.

      Now feeling rather anxious, Svolbard stepped over the threshold and into the shop. There was not a lot of room inside. The walls were lined with small blue pouches with yellow question marks on them and a price tag hanging from the rope that was keeping them closed. The shopkeeper, a Red Ixi dressed for Happy Valley and not for the peak of Terror Mountain, was standing behind a counter sipping Hot Chocolate.

      "Welcome to the Shop of Mysteries," she said, putting the scalding cup of cocoa down. "I am Tarla. How may I help you today?"

      Svolbard stepped up to the counter and bent down, indicating the Ixi to do the same. "I was on an Edna Quest, and instead of giving me gross-out Spooky Foods, she..." The Aisha paused, hesitant. "She... she gave me this!"

      And she took out the Blue Amber from her pack and placed it on the counter.

      Tarla the Ixi shop-owner was quickly intrigued. She opened a drawer behind the counter and took out a large magnifying glass, one that was similar to what neo-archeologists used in Tyrannia. Carefully examining the strange stone, she performed a series of tests on it such as striking it with a hammer and scratching it on paper before returning it to Svolbard with a sigh.

      "I've always been a collector of rare objects," Tarla said, putting away her equipment. "That is one of the most interesting items I've seen in years. It seems to have the power to grant wishes, but only on the peak of this mountain. It also seems to have... evil qualities that go along with it."

      Svolbard was slightly surprised. "Evil properties?"

      "Yes... it seems as if the only spell that can create this thing has been performed incorrectly. Did you say it came from Edna? She, in her haste to finish it before the last witching hour began, probably forgot a minor detail, as she usually does. Nevertheless, this can grant your one heart's desire, and I suggest you use it before the hour's end so that your wish will be granted as fruitful as possible. I suggest you try going behind old Donny the Repairman's shop, for the highest peak of Terror Mountain on the other side of Neopia resides there. Hurry! You have no time to waste!"

      Svolbard was quickly pushed out of the shop. Running as fast she could in the knee-deep snow, she managed to reach the peak with less than a minute to spare.

      The Aisha spent several moments thinking about what she wanted most. Neopoints? An owner? A cute Petpet?

      Finally she settled on it: a family. A nice, Neopian family.

      Holding it to her heart, she wished inside her mind. She wished that she could have a loving, middle-classed owner and two other siblings: a brother and a sister. She wished that she had a cute, adorable petpet that wasn't simply given to her to age for avatars. She wished... she wished for love.

      As the clock struck one o' clock, there was a blinding flash of blue, and there she was, being lead out of a cage in the pound by a pink Uni. Svolbard tore off her scarf in the intense heat of the building, and soon met a kind, smiling-faced owner with flowing locks of blonde hair and a beautiful smile.

      The Uni smiled at the Aisha. "Svolbard, this is ginger23456, or Ginger, and she will be your new owner!"

      "Hello Svolbard," said Ginger with a smile. "Meet your new siblings."

      A female Acara and a blue Bruce stepped out from behind the girl. "This is Miyoka," she said, indicating towards the Acara, "and the Bruce is Pompey."

      "H-Hello..." stammered Svolbard. She didn't know what it was like to have a family, but the walls of lonesomeness falling away from her heart indicated that she must have been feeling the feeling that all families were supposed to feel.

      "And meet your new Petpet!" Ginger added, pulling out a Carmariller, a Faerie butterfly-like Petpet, from behind her back. "You can name it anything you want!"

      "Thank you - thank you so much!" said Svolbard, rushing up to hug Ginger and her two new siblings. Finally, for the first time in her life, she felt safe. She felt like she was home.

      However, on the peak of Terror Mountain, a piece of blue amber, shining radiantly, was swept up by the sudden gale that had spontaneously picked up at the top of the mountain. It flew into the air and was carried for miles, and eventually landed in a clump of woods on a strange, tear-shaped island off the coast of Krawk Island...

The End

 
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