“Are you ready, Celandra?” Fyora asked.
“Almost, Fyora. I just have to pack the balloons for the water balloon battle. I’ll be down in a few moments,” Celandra hollered back.
“Alright, take your time. After all, Illusen’s Day will be for the whole day anyway,” Fyora called back.
Fyora sighed to herself. It was Illusen’s Day alright and the festivities would be located in Illusen’s Glade. She climbed into her cloud racer and took a seat. She began to enter a pensive state, thinking to herself about the festivities that would soon begin.
“I sure hope nothing bad happens between Illusen and Jhudora. Jhudora Day was bad enough,” Fyora thought to herself.
“Fyora, I’m ready,” Celandra said, snapping Fyora out of her state of mind.
“Alright, let us go. The faerie council is waiting along with a few other faeries. We must all leave together in our Faerie Cloud Racer convoy for safety. We don’t want anybody to get lost,” Fyora said.
So Fyora and Celandra, her servant and best friend, drifted in the cloud racer to the back docks of Faerieland where the Royal racer runways were located. Most of the council and prominent faeries were already there awaiting Fyora's takeoff signal.
"Wait, isn't Jhudora coming?" Fyora asked worriedly.
"I haven't seen her at all this morning. Perhaps she's boycotting Illusen Day?" Siyana replied.
"Alright, let's go. Everyone, make sure you have your racers on cruising mode. We don't want to create cloud trails and block somebody's view," Fyora commanded.
All the faeries twisted a knob on their racers.
"I will lead. The rest of you will form three rows behind me. Insure we have two meters of clearance behind, in front, and around each other," Fyora ordered.
The faeries shifted into their positions.
"Ready? 3... 2... 1... liftoff," Fyora shouted.
The humming noise of the racers seemed to fill the sky and echo across the horizon. Within a few seconds, the faeries had left their own kingdom. Their kingdom would be carefully watched by King Altador, who had access to both kingdoms via a portal. Meanwhile, the faeries would be in flight for almost an hour, a journey much too long for a pair of wings. Suddenly Fyora saw a cloud of purple next to her.
"Wha... Jhudora! Shut the clouds off. I thought I instructed you to do so before we took flight," ordered Fyora.
"Hee hee. And you thought I wasn't coming. I thought I'd make my presence known," giggled Jhudora.
Fyora rolled her eyes.
"She's all yours, Celandra. I have some business to conduct," Fyora said, grabbing her scepter and climbing to the passenger seat. Celandra jumped quickly to the driver seat.
"Jhudora, I am warning you. No messing around for you today! If you and Illusen get in another fight, you both will receive punishment. Now you are starting to irritate me with your willful disobedience. Please turn those off," Fyora advised.
Jhudora turned the other way, refusing to listen to Fyora's command. Fyora waved her scepter, muttered some faerie tongue and smiled at Jhudora. Jhudora did not realize what had happened until her racer swerved right.
"How dare you! Are you trying crash me into something!?" Jhudora shouted.
"Oh no, Jhudora. I am not trying to hurt you. I'm just taking control of your racer since you obviously need my guidance with turning off those clouds," Fyora replied sweetly.
Jhudora tried to steer the racer farther from Fyora but it would not budge.
"Grrr! You... you..." Jhudora began.
"Are you going to resort to childish insults now?"
Jhudora grumbled but quieted herself. Fyora nodded to herself in satisfaction and returned control to Jhudora.
"Prepare for descent! We are approaching Meridell!" Fyora announced.
Each faerie frantically pressed buttons and pulled a few levers. The steady humming of the cloud racers came to a halt and was replaced by a loud buzzing noise as the faeries slowed down and began to prepare for landing. The newer racers were fitted with landing gear. The older racers had to be landed with more care. Celandra pressed the landing gear deployment button and tapped the brakes slightly.
"That's it, Celandra. Now see that field of grass? Land her there carefully," Fyora commanded.
The buzzing of the racer faded as they landed with a soft thud.
Wham! Jhudora's racer landed next to Fyora. She decided to crash land instead of making a proper landing.
"Jhudora... you could have hurt somebody. You could have hurt yourself. What were you thinking?"
"Meh, life's too boring for normality."
Fyora shrugged, and began to beckon the other faeries toward the direction of Illusen’s Glade. As soon as the faeries left the open field, Fyora waved her scepter and the racers faded away. The faeries were walking as it was difficult to land in Illusen’s Glade with all the thick trees. And of course, the last thing the faeries wanted to do was disturb King Skarl from his peaceful slumber. Celandra walked right beside Fyora, upright on two limbs, unlike most Gelerts. At the central intersection, the faeries met up with the Neopets and petpets that were also heading towards the glade. The Neopets took off their hats as Fyora passed by.
They passed by Skarl’s white marble palace. The bold decorations of blue, red, and gold shone brightly in the sun, almost too brightly. The faeries squinted at the palace before heading further north into Meri Acres Farm.
“Jhudora, what are you doing?” Fyora inquired, watching Jhudora gather piles of dung from the side of the path.
“Um... nothing,” Jhudora murmured.
“That dung is valuable to the farmers. Please leave it alone,” Fyora commanded.
“I never get to have any fun,” Jhudora whined.
“Well, everyone knows getting the honor of walking next to the queen is fun. Therefore, that’s the opportunity I will be so kind to invite you to. Come along now,” Fyora replied firmly.
Jhudora spat on the ground and grumbled but reluctantly walked next to Fyora. Celandra distanced herself from Jhudora, fearing that Jhudora would try to turn her into something. For the rest of the way, Fyora kept an eye on Jhudora, preventing any outstanding situations from happening.
“This is it; Illusen is waiting patiently for us. Come on, everyone,” Fyora said, waving the faeries into the glade.
“Why hello, my faerie sisters! It’s pleasant to see all of you again,” Illusen greeted them.
Illusen’s Glade was blooming with flowers and the grass was bright green. On every single stump, there were Illusen snacks of every kind. Green and brown balloons hung from the trees. Neopets had already gathered and were rolling around playing Gormball.
“Hello, Illusen,” Jhudora cackled.
“OH... well... hi, Jhudora. What a pleasant surprise?” Illusen remarked.
“Surprise? You weren’t expecting me? How rude of you,” Jhudora replied, pretending to be hurt.
“I’m sorry, Jhudora. It’s just that... just,” Illusen began.
“Forget about it; I’m surprised myself. Surprised that I am actually here,” Jhudora sneered and walked away in a huff.
Illusen shook her head and slid away to where Celandra was. She whistled to herself as she filled the balloons with water from the stream.
“Water balloons? Nah, let me fill them with something better,” Illusen said, smiling. She took out a bottle of honey potion and began pouring it into the balloons.
“Um... isn’t that a Battledome weapon?” Celandra asked apprehensively.
“Yes, but really it doesn’t hurt anyone. It just sort of creates a sticky situation. I have plenty of bottles of water and healing potions to wash off the stickiness after the balloon battle.”
“Alright, if you say so...”
Jhudora began walking amongst the Neopets.
“Hello, my dear. Have you done any of Illusen’s quests lately?” she asked a shy blue Lupe.
“Y-y-yes. Oh please don’t turn me into anything strange,” begged the Lupe.
“Oh, don’t be afraid, dear. I didn’t mean to frighten you. Anyway, are you still doing them?” Jhudora asked, gently petting the Lupe.
“No, she tried to make me get some expensive item and I had to refuse; I couldn’t afford it,” the Lupe replied.
“Oh, I’m sorry about that. You know, my quests aren’t that expensive and my rewards are better than anything Illusen could give you. May I ask what your name is?” Jhudora said.
“Alex. Hey, may I do a quest for you?” Alex asked.
“Sure... but this time I won’t ask for an item. You just find other people that got ripped off by Illusen just like you did and bring them back to me in a group. We’ll do something fun together.”
“Alright, Jhudora. I’ll do it.”
“Alright, be back in fifteen minutes.”
Jhudora cackled to herself.
“Such gullible fools,” she muttered.
“Neopets, petpets, and faeries alike, we are going to begin the Balloon Battle!” Illusen announced.
Everyone cheered and began to grab themselves a bucket of balloons. They then looked for hiding places.
“Here, take a bucket, my queen,” Illusen offered.
“Oh no, I’m much too old for these games,” Fyora protested.
“Nonsense, don’t deride yourself like that. Have some fun.”
“Yeah, Fyora, you can help me hide,” Celandra suggested.
“Oh alright, why not?”
Fyora grabbed a bucket and beckoned Celandra to follow.
“Quick, up that tree!” Fyora whispered into Celandra’s ear.
“Jhudora, I’ve assembled a group!” shouted Alex excitedly.
“You’re almost late. I could have done it myself... I mean... *clears throat*... thank you dear for your assistance. Here’s your reward,” Jhudora stammered.
Jhudora handed the little Lupe a Caustic Potion.
“If you’re ever in trouble, just throw that,” Jhudora explained with a smirk.
“Now hello, everyone, I’m glad you all could come. Yes, the balloon battle will be starting which means all of you have an opportunity to take revenge in the time and Neopoints you wasted on Illusen’s epic failure of quests.”
The Neopets looked at each other, and then nodded in agreement.
“Here, just follow me, everyone.”
“Hehe, we got somebody!” Fyora giggled.
The next balloon narrowly missed Fyora’s left wing.
“That was close!”
“Yuck... I have honey all over me now,” Celandra whispered.
“We’re discovered; let’s move out to a new spot,” Fyora advised.
Jhudora and her new followers snuck around to Illusen’s house to the back door.
“Let’s bust this door wide open!”
“Hmm... now guys go ahead and take what you were seeking,” cackled Jhudora.
Several Neopets began greedily grabbing bottles of honey potion. Meanwhile, Alex no longer felt happy. He snuck off from the group and tried to find Illusen.
“Illusen! Oh, Illusen!” Alex shouted.
SPLAT! A honey potion balloon hit Alex at his tail.
Illusen stepped out from behind the bush.
“Oh sorry, dear, were you looking for me?” Illusen asked.
“Yes... umm... I have something to tell you,” Alex said.
“Oh, let’s get out from the crossfire then so we don’t get hit while we’re talking.”
“Yes... umm... uh... so... thanks for the nice party.”
“Oh, you are quite welcome. After all, I like to share the joy and celebration with others, even though Illusen Day is supposed to be just about me. I think that’s just selfish, though.”
“Well... umm... I...”
“Is something bothering you? It's okay, you don’t have to tell me what it is. If it makes you feel any better, though, you can tell me. I promise I’ll keep it confidential if you don’t want me to tell anybody.”
“No... I mean yes... I mean.”
“Are you feeling okay? Here, drink this.”
Illusen offered Alex an Illusen’s Potion.
“No... I’m fine... I sort of... umm... there’re Neopets raiding your house!”
“Pardon me? What was that?”
“Neopets are stealing stuff out of your house!”
“Nonsense, I kept it lock – oh my goodness!”
Illusen dropped her things and flew towards her house.
Fyora and Celandra watched Illusen fly.
“WOW, that’s quite fast,” Celandra commented in awe.
Meanwhile, Fyora stopped smiling.
“I think I need to go check up on something; you keep on playing.”
“JHUDORA! I should have known!” Illusen yelled.
“Too late. They’ve taken everything, hehehe.”
Jhudora was right. The Neopets had already gone and scattered amongst the party. It would take forever to find out the ones that took something. However, Illusen just about had it with her deceitful sister.
“Arg!” Illusen grabbed her staff and charged toward Jhudora.
“Oh, is this a challenge?” Jhudora took her wand out and charged toward Illusen.
ZAP! Both faeries flew backward. Then they repeated the process, charging back toward each other. There was no exchange of words for both sides had nothing to say to each other. Finally, Illusen grabbed out her slingshot and picked up a rock. BAM! Jhudora flew backward and landed in the grass. Illusen grabbed her staff and walked closer to Jhudora. Jhudora suddenly jumped back up. She grabbed Illusen and aimed her wand at her neck.
“Give up?” Jhudora asked.
“Never!” Illusen shouted back.
“Suit yourself,” Jhudora replied.
Jhudora began chanting some sort of dark spell. Illusen began to grow fearful.
“NO! STOP!” Illusen begged.
Jhudora ignored her, continuing her chant. She finished her incantation and her wand began to glow a dark purple. “This is it, my friend. You shall suffer the rest of your life as a meepit!” Suddenly, the wand stopped glowing and nothing happened.
“Huh? What happened?” Jhudora asked herself, scratching her head.
“Your beloved queen wanted to join the fight, that’s what happened,” Fyora said from behind the bushes.
“Yes, it’s me. I should have known. I should have kept you by my side. I shouldn’t have even offered to let you come!”
“Yeah, and I didn’t even invite you, Jhudora,” Illusen retorted.
“Illusen, let me handle this. Do not utter another word or I will silence your tongue for you,” Fyora ordered.
“Yes, your highness,” Illusen replied, sensing that Fyora was in her serious mood.
“Jhudora, what did you do?” Fyora asked, gently but firmly.
“I am not going to tell you,” Jhudora sneered snobbishly.
“Jhudora, answer my question please,” Fyora commanded.
“Jhudora! By the order of the Queen of Faerieland and the Western Skies, I command you to answer my question or face the consequences of treason. By withholding information, I can only assume that you are hiding something that could endanger the Kingdom of Faerieland,” Fyora announced.
“Alright! I’ll tell you. I fooled this little gullible Lupe into assembling a mob to raid Illusen’s house!” Jhudora spat out hastily, fearing Fyora’s glare.
“Thank you. Find this Lupe for me,” Fyora commanded.
“But it wasn’t his fault; Jhudora tricked him!” Illusen pleaded.
“I request that you remain silent, Illusen. I simply said bring this Lupe to me. I have not yet placed blame on anybody yet,” Fyora stated.
Celandra found Alex hiding in a corner behind the bushes.
“The faerie queen would like to see you. I do not know what she needs you for, but you must go. It’s an order,” Celandra said.
Alex was shaking as Celandra led him to Fyora.
“State your name, please,” commanded Fyora.
“It’s A-Alex, your highness,” Alex stammered nervously.
“Alright, Alex. Bear in mind that I appreciate your honesty. I would like you to tell me your side of the story,” Fyora requested.
“She came up to me and asked me to do a quest and I accepted. I didn’t know she was going to raid Illusen’s house,” Alex blurted hastily.
“Who is 'she'?” inquired Fyora.
Alex pointed at Jhudora, his finger shaking vigorously now.
“I see. Now please, you look like you’re about to faint. I never said you were in trouble. All I wanted was your honesty and your testimony. You may go now. Next time, please don’t be fooled by Jhudora.”
Fyora patted the young Lupe on his back.
“Thank you, your highness,” Alex replied, looking relieved.
“You may address me as ‘Fyora’.”
“Thank you, Fyora.”
Fyora waited until the Lupe was outside of hearing distance.
“You two! Yes, both of you! For many years, I have believed that you both would eventually outgrow your childish ways of bickering and fighting. Inherently, I believed that all faeries would change once they grew up. Unfortunately, I was wrong. I was too naïve to realize that you two would never grow up. To this day, you two continue to fight and bicker over the tiniest things. I guess you both continue to prove me wrong. And don’t even get me started on the quests you guys give. The last time I checked, we gave blessings for completion of quests. Instead, you guys ask for overpriced items that you don’t really need and give out little items. I suppose you equate a faerie blessing to the value of your little Battledome items. Well, I guess there is no point in speaking any more. You two will never change. It’s hopeless. Don’t get me wrong, I still care about you two. However, I’ve moved beyond my emotions. As for this party, I order it wrapped up and canceled for the rest of the day. Faeries, we are heading home!”
There was a loud groan from the crowd, but the faeries followed Fyora’s command.
At the entrance to the glade, Fyora saw many Neopets dropping items they took from Illusen and leaving. Fyora sighed and shook her head.
“What has become of Neopia?” she lamented.
The last group of Neopets exited the glade. Seeing Fyora, they dropped their items in fear and ran. Fyora shrugged and beckoned all the faeries. She waved her scepter and the racers appeared again. The journey home would be a long one... and for Fyora, it would seem endless. She barely spoke to Celandra in the racer while she kept an eye on Jhudora. She had Jhudora’s racer anchored to hers. The faeries could be seen flying east towards the horizon from the entrance of Illusen’s Glade. Illusen gathered up her items and arranged them back into her cabinets. She magically sealed them off and went upstairs. She wiped her eyes but the tears began to fall. It was indeed the worst Illusen Day, and she was part of the problem.
“One day I will prove Fyora wrong, one day,” Illusen sighed.