Baery's Quest: Part Three
He was born from the smallest of Draik eggs, into a family of Draiks. He was always the runt and the smallest of his older brothers, but he also knew he was destined to be greatest of all of them. That was what he liked to dream anyway. While sitting at his desk in Neoschool, he would really be off in some foreign land battling evil and defending justice. It was not until he decided to set off on a quest however, that he began his destiny.
He landed with a slight bump on the moist dirt of the Darigan Citadel. His wings ached from exertion and he sat down to catch his breath. The wind on the Citadel smelled of waste and it twitched at his two small hairs annoyingly. The huge Citadel itself loomed up in front of him and he looked around.
He seemed to be right on the outskirts of the huge town. He could see many pets scuttling around, staring tentatively around as if in fear of something. Baery frowned and approached a Darigan Ixi.
“Excuse me, do you know anything about-” he said.
“Please, don’t talk to me!” the Ixi said fearfully before hurrying away. Baery’s frown deepened and he glanced around for anyone else. If he caught anyone’s eye, they immediately walked in the opposite direction.
“Hey! You there!” a harsh voice addressed him and the small Draik whirled.
“Yes?” he said. Always be polite, even if they aren’t, Clover’s voice coached in his mind.
“What’s your business here?” the Darigan Hissi demanded.
“Well, sir, I’m on a quest for Draco’s Egg, and I just thought I’d ask around and...” The words faded as the Hissi’s eyes narrowed. “Do you think you could help?” Baery asked hopefully.
“Come with me,” the Hissi said forcefully, pushing Baery ahead of him with a wing. The Draik silently walked, not wanting the wrath of this cruel creature to fall on him. The crowd cleared for them and they were soon at the Citadel itself. The Hissi nodded at the guards and guided Baery through the hallways to a room where an angry Darigan sat.
“My Lord Darigan,” the Hissi said.
“What do you want?” Darigan snapped, his eyes glaring daggers at his lap. “That fat King sent another emissary about our little peace agreement and you know how much I enjoy talking to them.” He looked up suddenly and saw Baery. “What is that?”
“I apologize, sir, but I thought since the emissary came you might like a laugh,” the Darigan Hissi said.
“Yes, sir. This... Draik is on a quest for... go ahead and tell him.” A wing jabbed into Baery’s back and sent him stumbling forward. He blinked and looked back and forth between Lord Darigan and the Hissi.
“Well, sir, I’m... I’m... I’m on a quest for Draco’s egg!” Baery declared. Lord Darigan stared at him for a moment before bursting into laughter. Loud laughter. Baery blushed and ducked his head.
“Don’t waste your time, son,” he said. “That’s just a silly faerie tale that those Meridell dwellers made up to give them something to do. Draco’s egg isn’t real.”
“Well, sir, if it is a faerie tale – wouldn’t it be true? I mean, you do believe in faeries... don’t you? I just left Jhudora and Illusen an hour or so ago!” Darigan’s laughter faded and he became solemn.
“I don’t have time for you, put him in the dungeon!” he yelled. The Hissi hurriedly began to push the small Draik from the room. The two were quickly gone and once again Darigan was left to himself in the large throne-like room. He stared at where Baery had been a few minutes before thoughtfully. He then stood up and went to a window to gaze down at Meridell.
“Jhudora and Illusen, eh? Together?” he smiled suddenly. “What are you faeries up to?” he wondered aloud. “Interesting. Very interesting.”
Clover stuck her head into the Draiks’ room, told the four lumps to wake up, and then retreated to go and make a nice big breakfast. Her beloved Baery-Boo hadn’t looked too happy yesterday, and she wanted to start this day happily. She had dressed in Denim Coveralls over ‘I LOVE THE NT’ t-shirt. She’d pulled her hair up into a Blue Bandana, with the usual clover behind an ear, and sprinkled her face with some nice eyeshadow.
Clover whistled a happy tune as she made Red Eggs on Toast, Eggs Benedict, Jellied Eggs, and Pickled Keno Eggs. Her feet danced slightly as she made French Toast, Toast With Jam, Toast on Toast, and even Snow Toast. Cheerfully, she set five places of Hot Cakes at the table with a Maple Syrup Negg beside each and a mug of fresh hot borovan beside that.
Joshie and Jakie had raced to the table and now sat buttering their French Toast. When Clover turned her back for a moment, they rubbed their Hot Cakes into each others’ faces or smoothly tossed them into the garbage bin. Landon yawned and slipped into a chair, closely followed by Clover. The four started eating and then slowly stopped as their gazes turned to the fifth empty chair.
“Where’s Baery?” Clover asked worriedly.
“He didn’t get out of bed.” Landon shrugged. His royal cap was lopsided on his head. He stuck a bite of Hot Cakes into his mouth and grimaced. The Twins snorted.
“Maybe he isn’t feeling well. I’ll take him his breakfast,” Clover said with concern, loading Baery’s plate with Hot Cakes and toast and eggs and carrying his borovan in the opposite hand. The three other Draiks shrugged and followed her. It was always a great show if she dropped food. Especially her cooking, which had a knack for bursting into gross goo on impact.
The four entered the bedroom and Clover approached the unmoving lump in Baery’s bed. She handed the mug of borovan to Landon and went to Baery’s bed.
“Baery-boo, are you okay?” she asked quietly. No response. “Sweetie?” she placed a hand on the lump and shook it gently. Odd. With a horrible realization, she ripped off the blankets and found fifty plushies staring with blank eyes at her. The twins stared in astonishment and Landon stepped forward in surprise.
“Baery!” Clover wailed, and the plate that had been in her hand a moment before shattered on the floor.
“Let him out in a couple of hours,” the Hissi informed the Darigan Skeith that was guarding the cell, as Baery was tossed roughly inside. “Just to teach him a lesson.” The Skeith grunted and the Hissi disappeared down the hallways. Baery watched him go in despair.
“What’re you in for?” a voice asked beside him. He jumped and fell backward, looking in surprise up at the Poogle that stepped from the shadows. The Poogle had wide eyes and smiled down at him. It was a Skunk Poogle. “I’m Mi-”
“Don’t talk to him, Mimi. You can’t trust anyone you meet in a jail cell,” a voice grunted from the corner of the dungeon. Baery whirled again and saw a Blue Xweetok sitting, running her paws through a Baby Yurble’s fur. A Ditsy, Spyder, and a Blue Drackonack sat each on both shoulders and her head. The Skunk Poogle glanced sideways at her looking slightly annoyed, but then she squatted down beside Baery.
“Ignore her,” she muttered. “Ailemea’s just mad because she doesn’t like imprisonment.” Baery stared wide-eyed at them, clutching the picture frame desperately in his paws. “Don’t be scared!” the Poogle said soothingly.
“Wh-who are you?” the small Draik stammered. The Blue Xweetok suddenly leaped forward, causing all of the petpets to unsettle and all but the Ditsy to fall.
“Ailemea the Blue Xweetok, I’m sure you’ve heard of me,” she said with a large smile. The Ditsy fluttered her eyelashes in greeting.
“Sorry,” Baery said fearfully. “But no.” The smile faded from Aile’s face and the Skunk Poogle laughed.
“Haven’t you read the Neopian Times?” Ailemea demanded incredulously. Baery shrugged.
“Clover uses it as scratch paper to teach Joshie math,” Baery quieted at the thought of his family and clenched tighter onto his picture.
“You don’t even read it?” Aile gasped.
“The comics sometimes.” Baery shrugged. The Blue Xweetok sighed and sank back into her corner. The Baby Yurble crawled back into her lap and the other two petpets returned to their perches on her shoulders.
“What is the world coming to?” she said softly. “I go out to buy one lousy quill and I get locked up in a dungeon with the worst company. No offense to you of course, Nexy. But this is all of your fault, Mimi.” The Baby Yurble smiled and the blue Xweetok glared at her Skunk sister.
“Again, ignore her,” the Poogle said, drawing attention back to herself. “I’m Mhyme – or Mimi. That’s Trohanex – the Baby Yurble, and the petpets are Haelee the Soggy Ditsy (“MIMI!”), Suki the Adorable Spyder (*snort*), and Aros the Evil Blue Drackonack(*nods in agreement*). SO – what are you in for?” Baery tried to relax and settled comfortably on the ground.
“I’m on a quest,” he announced uncertainly, with slight pride. Ailemea groaned from the corner.
To be continued...