The Unlucky One: Part Five
“Well?” Racon tapped impatiently on the counter. “What does it say?”
Dayna continued to polish the now bright silver ankh. “Hold your Peophins. I'm almost done.”
The three adventures had returned the night before with their new treasure. Dayna had to pry it out of Racon's hands, telling him that they would have to wait for tomorrow when it would be light. He had grudgingly gone to bed.
Dayna gave it one last polish and walked over to a window where the sunlight streamed in. “Here we go.”
Her four pets leaned in to listen.
“One you have found but two must make it complete. A dark faerie must accompany you to the city of lava to cast a night spell over a cross dipped in the magma.”
“More?!” Racon groaned. “I thought maybe I would just wear it around my neck.”
“Well.” Dayna gave him back the ankh. “It looks like you'll have to wear it around your neck, find a dark faerie, convince her to go with you to Moltara and have her cast a spell on it after you dip it in the magma.”
Racon rubbed his ankh. “If it means I won't be unlucky anymore, I'll do it! When do we leave?”
Dayna leaned back in her chair. “It's a half day trip and it's already noon. We can wait until tomorrow.” She looked at a calendar on the wall. “And tomorrow is Sirenia's turn to watch the shop.”
“I don't want to go to Moltara anyway; it's too hot,” Sirenia interjected.
Dayna turned back to the calendar. “Tomorrow then. Ash will help Sirenia with the shop; she did very well today.” Dayna scratched Ashalyia behind the ear, who smiled contentedly. “I'll go with Racon and Kanuah to the caves tomorrow.” She hugged Racon. “We're almost there.”
Kanuah fiddled with one of his piercings. “Don't we need to find a dark faerie first?”
Sirenia played with her mane. “We could go buy a bottled one today.”
“Today is restocking day.” Dayna consulted the calendar again. “But I was hoping to get to Faerieland to earn some money racing.”
“Ash and I could run the store while Kanuah and Sirenia went to find a dark faerie,” Racon suggested.
Dayna ran a finger around her metal circlet thoughtfully. “I guess that would be okay. Kanuah, I would go the trading post first; the faeries there are usually cheaper.”
She stood up. “I'll drop all of you on Mystery Island on my way. Come on.”
“What about this one?”
Kanuah leaned in closely to the bottle Sirenia pointed out. “No, she looks too friendly; dark faeries try to trick you into choosing them.
He looked down the line of bottled faeries that were lined up in the trading lot. This person had several lots of individual faeries. One fire faerie was sending wisps of fire around her bottle to amuse herself. Next to her, a water faerie strung bubbles around the sides. A few slept, a few glared. Kanuah looked down at the end. There was one lot that had a bottled cloud of black in it.
“What's this one?” he asked the cloud Kau who ran the booth.
“Oh, that's a dark faerie. She's been here so long that she put out a cloud of darkness so no one could see her.”
Kanuah picked up the bottle. A dark form sat in the middle. “What do you think, Sirenia?”
Sirenia looked over his shoulder. “She's as good as any. What do you want for her?” she asked the Kau.
“I want her gone, so how about 1000 neopoints and some food. I'm getting hungry.”
Kanuah dug out the money and a fresh baguette. “Will this do?”
“Very nicely!” The Kau took a bite out of the bread. “She's yours.”
Kanuah looked at the dark cloud of smoke before putting the bottle in the bag. “Let's hope this works.”
“So, how do we make sure that she doesn't fly away when we release her?” asked Ashalyia.
Dayna looked the bottle over. “I don't know, guess we'll just have to try.” She handed the bottle to Racon. “Open it.”
Racon put his paw over the cork. “Are you sure you want me to open it? I mean, I'm the one with bad luck.”
“Open it!” the rest of the family commanded.
Racon took a deep breath and pulled the cork out.
A dark cloud escaped the opening. Everyone waited, and waited. No faerie came out.
Racon peeped into the bottle. “Did we buy an empty bottle?”
A sharp laugh came from the bottle. Out flew a small, palm-sized, dark faerie.
“Let's get this over with.” The dark faerie sighed as she stretched out her bat-like wings. “I grant your pet...”
“Wait!” Racon shouted. “We need something from you.”
“A blessing; that's what you got me for, now...”
“No, no, no! We need you to help relieve a curse that's on me.”
The dark faerie crossed her gloved arms. “Look, I've been in that stupid bottle for five weeks. I'm hungry, grumpy, and I really don't have time for side trips.”
“Please!” Racon begged her. “I've been unlucky my whole life and we figured out a way to dispel the curse, and the last step is to take you to Moltara.”
“Moltara!?” the dark faerie barked. “Moltara.” She stroked her chin thoughtfully. “I haven't been there yet.” Everyone held their breath as she hovered in the air.
“Alright!” she declared. “First, you feed me, then you tell me what in Neopia is going on, then I decide if I will help you.”
“And so that's why we need to take you to Moltara,” Dayna finished the story.
The unusual group sat in the living room. They had all taken turns telling the dark faerie the story of Racon's quest. She sat on a small stood sucking idly on a wooden popsicle stick.
“Seems simple enough,” she said.
“It wouldn't take up too much of your time,” Ashalyia added.
The faerie glanced down at the small Aisha. “No, I suppose not.”
“Do you have a name?” Ashalyia asked out of the blue.
The dark faerie looked startled. “Yes, it's Narona.” She stood up. “Alright! Here are my conditions if I help you.” She held up one long pointed finger. “One, I don't have any obligation to you during the trip to protect or help you. Second...” Her pointed teeth showed as she smiled. “I picked up a trick of markings while I was in the bottle. A dark faerie who was in a bottle next to me showed me how and I want to try it out on someone; one of you needs to volunteer.”
“Like the body art they sell?” asked Sirenia.
“Just like it, but mine stays.”
“I don't know...” Dayna started.
“I'll do it,” Kanuah volunteered.
“You sure?” asked Dayna.
“Why not?” replied Kanuah. “But,” he addressed the faerie, “I won't do it until you hold up your end of the deal.”
The faerie held out a gloved hand to Racon. “Deal.”
“Curse my bad luck,” Racon thought. He dodged a rock as he ran across the rocky ground towards the door that lead to Moltara.
Dayna had parked the racer on the only flat land two miles away from the entrance. As soon as all four of the adventurers were outside, a band of lava ghouls had jumped out from behind a hill and raced towards them.
“Ambush! Run!” Dayna had yelled as she drew her katana.
At the moment she was running along side her two pets and fending off the ghouls. Kanuah almost menaced the ghouls with his teeth. “I can see the mountain!” he yelled.
“This sounded so simple,” sighed Narona. She didn't contribute to the fight; she wasn't under an obligation to.
“Almost there!” Dayna picked up Racon and sprinted the last hundred yards to the door in the mountain side. Kanuah was already there. “Where's the key?”
Dayna took the key she had found during the Atlas of the Ancient's quest from around her neck on a chain. “Catch!” She tossed it to Kanuah.
Kanuah caught it and tried to fit it into the lock. “Come on, come on.”
They had all breathlessly made it to the door. “What's the hold up, Kanuah?” Dayna asked nervously.
“The lock is jammed,” he grunted as he fiddled with the key.
The lava ghouls where getting closer.
“Kanuah!” Dayna held up her katana in a menacing manner against the ghouls.
“I'm trying!' he snapped.
One ghoul formed a fireball on his hand. He was too far for Dayna to reach with her sword. He raised a fiery hand to strike when a ball of darkness hit him and he disappeared in a puff of fire.
Dayna and her pets turned to look at Narona.
She blew on her smoking hand. “What?”
“Got it!” Kanuah turned the key and the doors swung open. They all scrambled in and slammed the door in the ghouls' faces.
“Thanks, Narona.” Racon sighed.
“Don't know what you're talking about,” she replied. “Let's get going. I don't have all day.”
To be continued...