Fyora and Celandra: From Servanthood to Friendship - Part Four
Celandra, Fyora’s new maid, continued to sleep, even though the sun was peeking into the Faerieland castle. Fyora, fully recovered from a recent illness, was wide awake grooming herself. She carefully picked up a hairbrush and her bottle of “Fyora’s Magical Airspray”. With a single squirt and a gentle brush, Fyora’s hair became as straight as her own wand without a single split end. Fyora then looked at herself in the mirror. Feeling satisfied, she applied a thin layer of lavender lipstick and set her crown over her head. Nodding at the mirror, Fyora got up, grabbed the hairbrush and bottle of airspray, and headed into Celandra’s room. Fyora’s suite was divided into multiple rooms. Honestly, Fyora didn’t want such a big suite, let alone a large castle. Then again, Neopian architects claimed they received explicit instructions from TNT to build a huge castle on the cloud. There was no arguing against TNT’s word. Anyway, Celandra ended up receiving her own little room. When Fyora went to check on Celandra, she found her still sound asleep. Fyora went over to Celandra’s bed and knelt down.
“Wake up, Celandra, it’s a new day,” Fyora whispered, gently shaking Celandra a bit.
“Wha...? Oh, umm... good morning, Fyora... yikes... I must have overslept,” Celandra exclaimed.
Celandra jumped out of bed. She was about to leave the room when Fyora called her back.
“Just a minute. You can’t just waltz around the castle looking like that. Here, let me straighten your hair out and give you some proper royal attire,” Fyora stated in her most authoritative voice.
Fyora straightened Celandra’s hair out and handed Celandra a lacy pink apron.
“Oh yes, no paws on the floor please,” Fyora added, handing Celandra a pair of slippers. Celandra never actually dressed up for any occasion. The new clothing was most uncomfortable. Even so, Celandra did her best to hide the discomfort and smiled as she wanted to please Fyora.
“Thank you, Fyora,” Celandra said giving Fyora a small curtsey.
“Breakfast is ready!” Fyora exclaimed, handing Celandra a plate of Faerie Toast with Butter and scrambled eggs. The plate also had a few faerie bubbles. Fyora and Celandra sat across from each other at a round table, eating breakfast. Fyora watched as Celandra “luped” down her breakfast.
“Whoa, wait. Slow down. The last thing I want to experience is my maid choking on food. There’s not a rush,” Fyora laughed.
When Celandra and Fyora finished, Celandra offered to clean the dishes. Fyora insisted that it wasn’t necessary, but let Celandra do it after a bit of bickering. Fyora then sent her off to the Faerieland Shops in order to record the inventory and the profits of each shop.
“There’s no rush. Take your time, Celandra, and stay safe. If anything happens, or if you just need rest, come back here,” advised Fyora.
Celandra headed off, going shop to shop. Most of the shops were rather plain and ordinary. Celandra entered, asked the shopkeeper for the numbers and wrote them down. Things were pretty normal until she approached a green shop with a purple roof. Celandra knocked and opened the door. She was instantly greeted with a sword at her neck. Celandra stood frozen in fear.
“Um... uh... F-Fyora w-wants to know a-about y-your inventory and profits... she s-sent m-me out h-here t-to...” Celandra began.
“No one knows weapons better than I! All the weapons in my shop would greatly aid any skilled warrior,” interrupted Aethia.
“Ok, well, that’s great, but... do you mind, umm, removing the sword?” Celandra asked.
“Are you surrendering already?” asked Aethia.
“No, I’m.... Yes, yes, I’m surrendering. I’m unarmed. But Fyora sent me here to...” Celandra began.
Once again Aethia cut her off with her loud voice. “Unarmed! I’ll fix that,” Aethia exclaimed, offering Celandra a shield and a sword.
“For the last time, I simply need your profits and inventory numbers. Fyora sent me out here to ask for them,” Celandra said loudly.
“Oh... not a warrior type? Darn, I was hoping some of these would sell. I just opened up for about a year and a half, you see. Nobody sees us faeries as powerful. They all seem to think we are pretty little creatures that are defenseless. I do not appreciate such a stereotype, but unfortunately, it happens, and that is why nobody wants Faerieland weapons,” Aethia said sadly.
“Have you told Fyora about this?” Celandra asked.
“No, no, I’m afraid to tell her. All the other Faerieland shops are doing well and I’m the only subpar shop. I’m afraid that she’d remove my shop. It seems that my shop is a diseased branch on a tree and Fyora ought to prune it,” Aethia replied, scribbling down numbers on Celandra’s record sheet.
“Well, I hope that your shop will be alright,” Celandra said as she headed out the door. Aethia sat back on her chair with a sigh.
Celandra returned to Fyora with the numbers. Fyora put her glasses on and stared at them.
“Ah, I see the Faerieland economy is strong... except one thing... the Faerie Weapon Shop; why are we seeing a loss there? Aethia said her business would be profitable,” Fyora said.
Celandra remained silent, not wanting to tell Fyora about her conversation with Aethia. She feared that anything she said would make matters worse.
“She has three more months to bring her shop around or I’ll have to foreclose her shop. She owes me Neopoints. I loaned her a few million to start up that shop.” Fyora sighed.
“No, wait,” Celandra said.
Fyora gave Celandra a puzzled look. “Yes? Would you like to suggest something?” Fyora inquired.
“Never mind.” Celandra sighed.
“You have something to tell me, I just know it. Aethia said something to you, didn’t she? I need to know this kind of stuff,” Fyora said.
“Oh, Aethia said that her shop wasn’t doing so well because Neopians tend to stereotype that faeries are weak and their weapons are probably no good either,” Celandra replied.
“Is that all? You do swear that you are telling me exactly what she said and not making up stories just so she’d get to keep her shop?” Fyora said.
Celandra looked directly into Fyora’s soft lilac eyes. “Yes, Fyora. I have not told any lies; I am passing on what she said. She told me not to tell you this for fear that you’d immediately close her shop down,” Celandra answered.
“Alright then, seeing that the rest of the economy is doing well, I will be willing to help Aethia out. We’ll get some faeries as Battledome regulars and show Neopia how strong we really are,” Fyora said with a rather sly expression on her face.
“It has been my pleasure to serve you, Fyora,” Celandra said.
“Thank you for telling me things that I did not know. I’m going to rely on you to bring the latest gossip among the faeries too; I would like to know everything. Will you do that for me?” Fyora asked.
“I sure will,” Celandra replied.
Friendship; it was what kept Celandra’s loyalty. Fyora did not treat Celandra like a servant or a maid; she treated her as if she was one of her own Neopets. Celandra did clean parts of the castle and run a few errands, but Fyora did not force Celandra to do anything. It seemed as if the two would end up being wonderful friends forever. Perhaps the pink apron and the slippers weren’t so uncomfortable. It had been almost half a year since Fyora and Celandra met and things were wonderful. However at same time, the other faeries began to grow nervous.
“Why does the little Gelert get more attention than us? We help Fyora rule Faerieland; she only helps Fyora run a few small errands. And why does she keep sending her down here? I say she’s snooping on us,” Jhudora whispered to her little group of dark faeries.
Illusen happened to overhear. “Oh, come on, Jhudora, do you really deserve any positive attention at all?” Illusen teased.
Jhudora replied, “Oh, but Illusen, dear, you haven’t gotten any attention either, don’t you realize this? And what do you have to say to Celandra always lurking around when we’re here?”
Illusen thought for a moment. For once she agreed with Jhudora. Jhudora meanwhile whispered a plan to the other faeries. Celandra tried hard to listen but only picked up a few words. Perhaps they were the most crucial words.
“How... get... rid... her....” was all she heard from Jhudora.
Celandra suddenly realized what the faeries were gossiping about. They were trying to get rid of her... they were jealous of the attention Fyora gave. She needed to get Fyora to tone down the attention and favoritism. She wanted Fyora to start treating her like a maid and not like her pet. How was this possible, though? Fyora liked Celandra too much. Perhaps she should tell Fyora about the conversation.
“What if I tell Fyora? No, Fyora would end up punishing those faeries, making them even more inclined to be hostile. How about I try to distance myself from Fyora? Maybe request a room that isn’t in her suite. Perhaps I should misbehave a bit. Fyora’ll punish me and the faeries will realize I’m not treated any differently from the way they are treated. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do!” Celandra thought to herself. Celandra walked by Illusen, Jhudora, and the other faeries, who immediately changed the subject and began talking about quests instead. They took no notice of Celandra.
The light faeries at the far end of the cafeteria were more altruistic toward Celandra, though.
“She looks so lonely; why don’t we invite her to sit here?” Siyana said.
“Hey! Celandra! We saved a seat for you!” the light faeries shouted.
“Aren’t you... don’t you live in Altador?” Celandra asked as she sat down.
“Yes, but I travel between the lands. I have duties in both the Faerieland and the Altadorian council,” Siyana replied.
The light faeries almost made Celandra forget about the jealousy of the other faeries. However, she soon remembered as she headed upstairs to her room. Fyora was busy with political affairs and was out of her room. Celandra began to think of her plan again, trying to hammer out all flaws.
“I can’t break something; Fyora would just say it was an accident and not punish me. No, I have to fail to do one of her errands. Perhaps I’ll break a law. Fyora’ll have to be fair and punish me for it. Since I’m considered royalty, it’ll be a similar punishment to what the other important faeries get. It won’t be so bad and I’ll show Jhudora and Illusen that I’m no different; it’s perfect,” Celandra thought to herself.
Celandra crawled into her bed, for it was bedtime. Fyora, meanwhile, was still at a council meeting. When she got back, Celandra was already sound asleep. Fyora yawned, went back to her own bed, and also fell asleep quickly.
“We could certainly just fly her away from Faerieland, you know... sort of kidnap her? That’d get rid of her,” Jhudora said.
“No, no, Jhudora. Violent acts won’t do. We should probably find a way to make her feel less welcome. After all, it is a bit strange that we’re all faeries and she’s one of the few neopets that are in the castle. Even then most of the neopets that come by here are only here for a visit,” Illusen replied.
“I want to get rid of her quickly,” snapped Jhudora. “Is anybody else with me?!”
The other dark faeries in Jhudora’s room remained silent.
“You fools!” shouted Jhudora.
“Now, now, dear sister, do you want to get rid of her without getting punished or do you want Fyora to chastise you again? Put it this way; I won’t help you if you are going to commit a violent or illegal act,” Illusen asked.
“Who said I needed your help?” Jhudora sneered.
“Oh, really, do you have to hate me every minute of the day, even when I agreed with you on something?” Illusen asked.
“Get out!” Jhudora yelled.
“Farewell, sister,” Illusen replied.
Illusen decided that Celandra deserved the attention she received. She was new to Faerieland and probably needed to feel comfortable. Fyora was just trying to help her. Not wanting to deal with Jhudora’s antics, Illusen stepped into her cloud racer and flew herself back to her peaceful glade in Meridell.
To be continued...