Trading For Fun and Profit
Aevatrist is a fierce and intimidating name. It suits me, for I am a fierce and intimidating Darigan Eyrie.
Surely a fierce, intimidating, and incredibly handsome Eyrie such as myself would be absolutely legendary in the Battledome.
Why, then, am I languishing at low levels with mediocre weaponry while Little Miss Labrat (a.k.a. my beloved sister Sunny) gets the Honey Potion and Ylanas Blaster?
A grave injustice has been done.
Now, despite what Sunny will tell you, I am perfectly capable of being reasonable. So one day I up and asked, very nicely, why Bananas (a.k.a cookybananas324, a.k.a. that strange individual who occasionally visits the Neohome and seems to think she owns it, the bank account, and our safe deposit box--we all try to humor her) could possibly be such an idiot as to think that Sunny could possibly attain the heights of Battledome prowess that a natural-born warrior such as a Darigan Eyrie could.
She pointed out that Sunny happened to have higher stats than I, largely as a result of prolonged Lab Ray exposure. I pointed out that, say, a few hundred codestones could easily remedy that.
She responded by handing me directions to the Faerieland Employment Agency. She thinks she's so funny.
Obviously, I wasn't going to get very far with this approach.
There was only one thing to do.
I went to the kitchen, grabbed some fruit, got out the blender and made a smoothie.
Well, okay, I made two smoothies. Yelling at one's hardheaded "owner" can really build up a thirst.
But the smoothie intended for Bananas had a very special ingredient I got from a friend of mine--extract of Sleeping Blossoms. One sip of this little concoction and she'd be sleeping like a Babyca.
Unfortunately for me, it appeared that she had been thirsty as well. She was currently sipping a Small Islandberry Smoothie while reading the latest issue of the Neopian Times.
Still, it couldn't hurt to give it a shot anyways.
"Here is a delicious smoothie that I made just for you to show that I have no hard feelings," I said in my most convincing voice.
Bananas looked up from the Times, narrowed her eyes, looked at the smoothie, then looked at me. "Oh, come on. It's not like you to be all 'oh, no hard feelings' five minutes after an argument. No, you like to sulk for a while and cook up some sort of unpleasant plan for revenge. It would be worrying if you weren't so darn transparent."
"Oh, gee, you caught me. Curses, I have been foiled again." I turned and headed back for the kitchen.
After stashing the sleep smoothie for possible later use, I headed back to the living room.
Just as expected, she was out cold.
Word to the wise--don't go into ranty monologues. It distracts you from such vital details like the fact that a certain Eyrie has just sprinkled some sleeping powder into your Islandberry Smoothie.
Now for Stage Two of my genius plan for becoming the mightiest Battledomer the world has ever seen.
It was time to trade owners.
I had briefly considered pounding her, but I was pretty sure the Pound only took in Neopets.
So using my considerable strength, I picked Bananas up and lugged her over to a little place I like to call the Pound Chat.
I set up a sign:
Then I sat down and waited.
It wasn't long before I was approached by an Island Eyrie.
"Are you serious?" she asked.
"Why yes, yes I am."
"Hm." She looked thoughtful. "Name?"
"Rather badly named..."
"I just call her Bananas for short."
"Sorry, I'm a bit of a name snob. Good luck trading, though!"
Bananas let out a snore.
I sighed and sat down to wait.
In hopped a Royal Blumaroo.
"Are you serious?"
"Yes. I am indeed serious."
He inspected Bananas briefly.
"She's got a few trophies," I told him.
He looked interested. "What are you looking for?"
"Can't help you there, I'm afraid. Good luck trading, though."
Bananas snored again, louder. I glared at her.
"Yes, I'm serious."
This looked rather promising--it was a Tyrannian Kougra who looked well-muscled, as though she worked out a lot.
"Her name's cookybananas324, she's got some trophies, and I'm looking for a Battledomer who will actually get me training."
The Kougra nodded. "I see. Her avatar count's not so great, though."
"It's not that bad, either."
The Kougra grunted noncommittally. "She's... huh. I'd say she's just a basic, but I don't really know if you can paint humans."
"I don't think I've ever tried..."
"Wait right here," said the Kougra as she dashed off.
Yeah. Like I was going anywhere.
Another potential trader, this one a Pirate Buzz, fluttered over. "So you're actually trading your owner?"
"Yes, yes I am."
"You can do that?"
"I haven't seen anything in the rules that says I can't."
Looking thoughtful, he asked "Is she any good at art?"
"That really depends on how loosely you define 'art.'"
"Oh. I see. Well, good luck--"
"Yeah, yeah, I know."
A few minutes later, the Tyrannian Kougra returned, a Tyrannian Paint Brush and a jug of water from the Rainbow Pool in her paws.
"I'm curious, and I had a spare paint brush," she explained.
I nodded, though Tyrannian wouldn't have been my first choice of paint brushes--I, for one, wondered how Bananas would look colored Darigan. But I suppose it wouldn't be all that reasonable for a complete stranger to spend more than a million Neopoints for the sake of idle curiosity.
I took the jug and the brush. I knew the water reacted with the paint brush in some way in order to change a Neopet's appearance, but I'd never seen it done away from the Pool itself. I'd just hopped in the Pool, soaked myself with the water, and applied the paint brush.
I dumped the jug of water over Bananas. She jerked a bit in her sleep, but didn't wake up. After a few flicks of the paint brush, I stepped back to examine my handiwork.
Bananas looked exactly the same as she had before, only wetter.
"Mrrr... ugga ugga..." She rolled over and started to snore again.
"Well, that was a waste of Neopoints," said the Kougra.
"Not your fault. At least I know now... hope you find someone to trade with."
Bananas was starting to drool. Ew.
As I searched my pockets for a handkerchief or tissue or something to remove the unsightly saliva, I heard someone approaching.
"Yes, I'm serious, she's up for trade, her name's cookybananas324, she's got some nice trophies and a subpar avatar count, and I'm looking for a Battledoming owner."
"Aevatrist, what in the name of Faerieland do you think you're doing?"
I recognized that voice all too well.
"Hello there, Sunny," I said.
Today she was a Ghost Wocky. Technically, she wasn't currently a "she," but she insisted on being referred to as such nonetheless. I have found that it is generally a bad idea to aggravate the family Battledomer too much.
"Are you seriously trying to trade off Bananas?"
"Did you not hear me earlier?"
"You can't do this!"
"Nothing in the rules against it."
Sunny reached up a paw and massaged her temples. Did ghosts get headaches? Apparently so.
"Aevatrist. You have thirty seconds to pack up and set off for home, or I swear you will not get the honey out of your fur for months."
"Are you threatening me?"
"Yes, Aevi. I am indeed threatening you. Twenty seconds."
"You can't do this to me! I'm a free Eyrie!"
"And she's my owner too. Ten."
"Fine. But I'm doing this under protest!"
"Just as long as you do it."
"...any chance you could lend a paw here? She's kind of heavy."
And wouldn't you know it--Little Miss Ooh Look at My "Legendary" Strength Stat forced me to carry Bananas home all by myself. Sheesh.
That was the end of that little venture.
What was even worse was that Sunny had decided that attempting to trade off Bananas was prime blackmail material. If I stepped out of line even a teensy bit, she said that she'd tell Bananas everything.
I sighed. Dragging Bananas over to her room, I set her down none-too-gently on the bed.
A slip of paper on the nightstand caught my eye.
Written on it was a series of four numbers.
No. No way. She couldn't possibly be that careless...
But when I went to the bank the next day, I discovered that it was, indeed, Bananas' PIN number.
Three days later, I was on a boat to Mystery Island along with several hundred codestones.
Sure, Sunny was going to spill the beans about my attempt at trading as soon as she figured out what I'd done.
Then again, she'd have a difficult time getting her point across now that Bananas apparently couldn't speak or understand anything but Tyrannian.
Oh, she'd find a translator eventually, or perhaps use another paint brush to counteract the effect.
But was this worth it?
When I got back from Mystery Island, I was going to put Sunny's Battledome record to shame.
Life was good.