How A Pirate Blumaroo Found Her Greatest Treasure
Prixie the Pirate Blumaroo finished counting her Neopoints and greedily snapped her coin purse shut, glancing around to make sure no one had seen the wealth she carried on her person. She had spent the entire day trading goods at the Mystery Island Trading Post, and she had earned over 100,000 Neopoints in profits. But she was wary of flaunting her good fortune, preferring instead to tuck her Neopoints away in the hidden pouch at her waist. It never hurt to be too cautious.
She stealthily opened the coin purse one last time, to take in the magnificent sight of all that gleaming golden currency, before snapping it shut again.
Prixie was sitting at a rickety wooden table, displaying her wares to their fullest extent. There were swords here in great supply, gleaming blades of steel that flashed and sparkled in the dimming mid-afternoon sunlight. There were books dusty with age and crinkling with newness, waiting to be held and pored over by clever scholars who had the patience to study such texts. There were shimmering Morphing Potions, expensive Medical Cures, and rare shiny toys that were glorious to behold. Altogether, it had taken her a lifetime of scrimping and saving to collect these exceptional items, and now she was selling them for over double what she had paid. Ah, the joys of Neopian inflation!
She had even sold the gold earring she had gotten after being painted with a Pirate Paint Brush for a profit. Yes, she was quite ambitious, this Blumaroo of ours.
She began jingling the Neopoints in her purse, reassuring herself of their weight. Her eyes glittered with avarice and desire. Soon she would be rich. It would only take a week to sell off the rest of her items, and then she would have over two million Neopoints to her name. Two million Neopoints! The thought made her eyes glaze over, and her hand dropped senseless from her hefty purse.
"Are you trading?" asked a Spotted Kau, wandering by the table. He carried an enormous satchel.
"Yes, I am!" Prixie said, as she snapped to attention. She noted with secret delight that the Spotted Kau was double painted. He wore Royal Paint Brush clothes and accessories on his Spotted skin, which undoubtedly meant that he was wealthy and had plenty of Neopoints to be throwing around the Trading Post.
Prixie straightened up and swept a proud arm over her wares. "Finest goods on Mystery Isle, and at the lowest prices you'll ever see for items of this caliber!"
The Spotted Kau hovered over the goods for a moment.
"Okay, I'll take them," he said. Prixie waited for the Kau to point out his selection.
"What, all of it?" Prixie gasped as the Kau continued to stand there, waiting for the Blumaroo to speak.
"Yes, I'd like to take everything you have for sale," said the Spotted Kau, smiling. "I offer you a Zamillion petpet in trade. He's quite a friendly fellow, and he's worth four and a half million Neopoints. No doubt you'll accept my offer, for it's double what your goods are currently worth."
"Y-yes!" stammered the astonished Prixie. "I accept!" Four and a half million Neopoints! She was rich! Rich! Rich beyond her wildest dreams!
"Wonderful!" said the Spotted Kau. He opened his satchel and lifted the Zamillion petpet in both hands, as it squirmed and clicked and whirred to get away from him. "Here you go, and I hope you have a great day!"
And so the Spotted Kau walked off, leaving the Zamillion on the rickety table of one very amazed Pirate Blumaroo.
The next day, Prixie tucked the Zamillion into her knapsack and took a ferry over to the Mystery Island Trading Post. She opened the knapsack. She picked up the Zamillion. She placed the Zamillion carefully on the center of her rickety wooden table, and sat down to wait for potential buyers.
"Be quiet, you, and don't make a peep," warned Prixie to the Zamillion as they waited. "I know you're fond of making beeps and clicks and other mechanical noises, but no one's going to want to buy you if they think you're a nuisance."
The friendly Zamillion whirred in agreement and wagged his tail. His face was blue and furry, and his paws were a shiny, metallic purple. His steel-grey horns and wings glistened like burnished silver, and he waved them around proudly. Colored lights blinked from his sides. He was quite an unusual petpet, and he loved being the center of attention. He clicked and gazed adoringly into the Blumaroo's eyes.
The day came and went. Prixie sat dejected next to the table, watching the Zamillion zoom around and around the table trying to catch her attention. "Why won't this darn thing sell?" she wondered as the sun started to set. She was beginning to feel frustrated by the lack of interest people showed in the Zamillion. She rubbed his shiny metal sides with the edge of her sleeve to bring out his best glow. She combed the blue fur around his face and twisted his tail into an attractive curl. The Zamillion clicked in affection.
But it was all for nothing, because the Trading Post was closing at the end of the day and not a single person had expressed interest in buying the Zamillion. "It's okay," Prixie said, struggling to contain her rising panic. "So it's a little hard to sell, but a challenge never hurt anybody. I'll just have to wait a few more days for it to sell. My asking price is really high, after all, and it's not every day that someone has four and a half million Neopoints to drop on a petpet." She took a deep breath, picked the Zamillion up, and placed him carefully in her knapsack, where he tucked his head under his arm to go to sleep.
Days passed. Prixie traveled every day to the Mystery Island Trading Post, setting up her table the same way, placing the Zamillion in the exact center of the rickety wooden structure, rubbing him with her sleeve to make his gleaming exterior shine. And every day, people passed by the table, uninterested, looking for other wares to suit their needs.
At the end of six weeks, Prixie had had enough.
"You cost me everything!" Prixie screamed, pointing an accusing, dagger-like finger at the scared Zamillion, who fizzled and beeped in fear. "You annoying brat! You cost me everything I owned, and now I'm stuck with you for all eternity! I should never have made that trade. I hate you! I hate you!"
The friendly Zamillion whirred and hummed in apology, wagging his tail in supplication, blinking his adoring eyes at the Blumaroo. He did an obliging back flip and spun in a contrite circle. He jumped and squatted, and wiggled and whimpered, looking for love.
But it was too late now. Prixie was tremendously angry, and no amount of repentance from the Zamillion could drag her out of her foul mood.
One day, Prixie awoke to silence. The whirring and clicking noises usually uttered by the Zamillion, hungry for his morning breakfast, were gone. She cocked her head in wonder. There was no incessant beeping, no brightly colored lights dotting the ceiling. There was no whirring or humming as the Zamillion spun round in his endless and self-amusing circles on the bedroom floor. The Zamillion was gone.
At first she was relieved. "Good riddance!" she thought as she sourly remembered the six weeks of bitterness and frustration she had experienced while trying to sell off the Zamillion. "I probably never would have sold him anyway. I'm sick of looking at him! Four and a half million Neopoints, yeah right! He's worthless!" She turned over and went back to sleep.
But later that day, she began to wonder. "Where could he be?" she asked herself as she cleaned her house. "I left the door unlocked last night--he could be anywhere by now. How far could a Zamillion travel at night, alone, without any friends?" She felt a pinch of guilt, snorted at herself, and went back to cleaning the house.
But the guilty, nagging feeling refused to leave her alone. "His favorite blanket," she said as she picked up a fuzzy blue quilt from the floor. "I won't be needing this anymore!" she said as she threw it into the trash. Then, she picked up the blanket and dusted it off. "No sense in throwing away a perfectly good blanket," she said gruffly. She folded it and placed it in a dresser drawer.
Later, while she was preparing lunch, she opened the refrigerator to see what she had to eat. "His favorite snack," she said as she plucked a can of Disco Petpet Food from the shelf. "Thank goodness I won't have to feed him anymore!" She threw the can back into the refrigerator and slammed the door shut. Then, she opened the door and took the can. She put it on the kitchen counter. "Who knows, he might be coming back," she said roughly. She cleared her throat.
Nearer evening, as dusk approached, she went over to her armchair by the fire and sat down to read the latest issue of the Neopian Times. Her arm reached over to pet a furry blue head, usually waiting on a footstool by the armchair. Her hand met empty air.
"That's right," said the Blumaroo, brusquely. "He's gone." And she unfolded her newspaper, thumped it a few times to straighten it, and proceeded to read, trying hard not to cry.
The next day, Prixie went back to the Mystery Island Trading Post. She had nothing to trade but the clothes off her back, but she needed to earn Neopoints somehow. Taking a deep breath, she sat down at her customary wooden table and displayed her Pirate wares: a few shirts, a handful of bandannas. People came to haggle for the goods, offering items and Neopoints in exchange, but walked away empty-handed. The Blumaroo was simply asking for too much money.
Prixie was in despair. "I'm being too greedy," she realized with a start. "I'm driving people away with my high prices, and I drove the Zamillion away with my greed. If only I could take back my words! I'd take back everything I ever said to him!" She closed her eyes in pain and sorrow. Would she ever have the chance to say, 'I'm sorry'?
Suddenly, she heard the whir and click of a mechanical sigh. Her eyes snapped open. Where was it coming from? It was coming from under the table! Could it be... could it be...? She reached down under the table and lifted the Zamillion in the air.
"I've found you!" she screamed in joy and relief. "Where have you been? I've been worried sick about you!"
The Zamillion hummed and smiled with hesitant fondness. He kissed her on the cheek.
Prixie kept the Zamillion that day, and for all the days after. She kept her clothes, too, finally learning that there were some things more important than Neopoints, and that giving up everything she ever loved was not only pointless, but draining to her soul. Prixie learned that the greatest joy in life was to love and nurture another living being, and she became a better person for it, in the end.
Two days later, she bought a gold Pirate earring from a nearby street hawker and proudly wore it in her ear. "We make quite an attractive duo, don't we, Zamillion?" she asked the furry blue creature tucked cozily away in her knapsack. "And to think, people think you're only worth four and a half million measly Neopoints! "
The Zamillion clicked and whirred in merry agreement.