Ten Thousand Faeries
The lights were dimmed, yet a thousand tiny spectrums were focused on a single point in the center of the stage. The stars outside the stadium would soon fade away when the sun came out to colour the sky with vibrant shades of crimson; marking the breaking of dawn. The crowd was utterly silent. Caught in the magic of anticipation, they had been waiting all night for this final act.
And then he stepped out, with the slightest smile on his face. Adorned with his Black Fedora and Satin Bow Tie, the handsome grey Kyrii was quite a sight to behold. His Gothic Jacket was made from only the finest material, and it fit him well, swirling elegantly with every move he made. As far as gothic rock stars went, this one had class. An audible sigh rose up from the female population in the audience.
His performance was indescribable. Even the toughest critics were at a loss for words. The grace of the music which flowed from the instruments he touched was simply divine; it was moving.
Dawn broke out as the song reached its finest, and for a moment, the roar of the crowed was silenced, stunned by the phenomenon they were observing. It was as if he had called it just for them.
Trez bowed to the audience once more, and whispered, “I thank you very much.”
Offstage, he arrogantly pushed open the door, and stepped out to the faded light. His manager, a smartly dressed green Skeith was out there already, shaking hands with none other than Hubrid Nox.
“Tettrets,” he called. “How’s my favourite rock star doing? Guess who just extended their tour again.” He hardly paused before telling him. “You’re going to the Haunted Woods!”
A slight frown creased the otherwise perfect features of the Kyrii’s face. “No,” he said firmly. “No, I don’t think so.” Arching his eyebrows, he added; “You’ve already extended it three times. We’re in Neopia Central again. I don’t think that it will work out.”
“So. That’s how it’s going to be eh?” Nox sneered.
“I’m not afraid of you, Nox,” he replied calmly. “You’re fired, Ivan.”
Stomping back to his trailer, he called out, “It’s Trez by the way.”
Shutting the door to his trailer with a little more force than necessary, ‘Trez’ launched himself onto the couch. He sighed. There was just no way he was doing the Haunted Woods tour. It had just simply been too long...
He had absentmindedly been playing with the fedora, twirling it between his hands. Taking one look at its fine structure, he promptly launched it out the window, turning his face angrily to the side.
A moment later it came soaring back at him, in the mouth of a small ball of fur.
“Em,” he sighed, as Empathy – his droolik, curled up on his chest. Gently stroking her soft fur, he began to relax.
“Guess I’d better go apologise to Ivan,” he said after a while. Getting up from the couch, he opened the trailer door.
And was greeted by the jeering face of Nox.
“So, arrogant little rock star won’t do my tour eh?” he spat. “Why don’t we go for a little walk?”
Ignoring him, the Kyrii turned, and promptly strode off in the opposite direction.
“I’ll teach you some manners,” Hubrid said with an evil smirk, appearing right in front of Tettrets. Whipping out his staff, he focused it on a point just above the Kyrii’s shoulder.
Eyes widening in horror, Tettrets spun around to see Empathy running toward him, her tongue lolling to the side, ears pressed back with the speed of her bounces. A pang wrenched his heart; he knew what was going to happen the moment it was too late.
With an evil cackle, a jet of emerald light shot out from the staff, as Nox himself vanished, leaving nothing behind but a thick dense cloud. When it cleared, all that was left where the blast hit was a small crater, which contained the smallest pile of soot.
Tettrets staggered forward. Falling to his knees, he let out a sorrowful moan. “Empathy,” he sobbed.
The fedora slipped from his head as he bowed his head over in mourning.
“What have I done?”
“There has to be a way.”
“I know there is.”
“I’ve already told you, I can’t help you. Just leave; it’s hopeless.”
The old Lenny sighed. He could tell that the Kyrii was determined. “I’m sorry, Tettrets..” The neopet opened his mouth to correct him, but was cut off. “As I’ve said, there is no way to change a petpet back when it has been zapped, save for the lab ray. But in these unusual circumstances, I’m afraid that there is really nothing you can do to bring Empathy back.”
They were walking in the garden just outside the library.
Tettrets kicked the ground angrily. Catching his foot on something, he stumbled, and fell. Biting his lip to avoid cursing out loud, he reached between the roots of the tree to see what had caused it.
“Mercy me, a bottled faerie!” the old librarian exclaimed. “A grey one at that. It won’t help you, though,” he added.
The Kyrii looked at it closely. It was a pitiful creature that rested inside the bottle, a weak little thing. “They say a grey faerie will get her powers back if she’s released on her special day,” he mumbled.
“Yes, they also say the faeries are supposed to be nicer to neopets during the Faerie Festival,” the other added bitterly.
The younger one pondered this. “If I were to please the faeries...” he began.
“You can release a dozen faeries and it won’t do you any good,” Finneus scolded. It would take hundreds, nay, thousands, just to get one powerful enough to look your way. And even if by some miracle they decided to bring her back, they don’t like drooliks. They prefer flouds and faellies. Faeries are stubborn like that.”
“Then I’ll do that,” the Kyrii whispered. “I’ll release Ten Thousand faeries if that’s what it takes.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me. Do you have any idea how much a single faerie costs?” The shrill voice of the royal Aisha pierced the air. “A single faerie costs at least 3,000 NP. Food for a week won’t cost you that much. But TEN THOUSAND? Do you HAVE forty million to spend? For Fyora’s sake, Trez, buy another droolik!”
Tettrets sat with his head low, cradling the small pile of soot. Surely he had never been this miserable, not even before he met Empathy... “You don’t understand,” he cried.
The Aisha’s face softened. “Well then, I guess... I guess we have to start calling in some favours.”
“I have about 600 in stock,” Kayla said pleasantly. “They’ve been here for a while, though; Balthazar has been hoarding them all. Go talk to him. And seeing as you’ve already spent the million or so your friends have pooled in, I’ll give you these for free. I owe you, Trez.”
The Aisha smiled, but the Kyrii remained impassive. “Cheer up, Trez, that’s nearly a thousand now.”
His plans for getting Empathy back had been sinking with their profits. The faerie festival was in nine days, and he still had barely ten percent of what he needed.
“Whatever, let’s go see if I can get the old trapper to give me some.”
As it turned out, Balthazar was a pretty big fan of “The Trez Meister” as he called him. Letting out a shriek worthy of a BKG fangirl, he quickly pressed three thousand of his finest faeries on them.
“Maybe the situation isn’t hopeless after all,” Tettrets thought to himself. “Maybe it’s possible...”
The next few days were uneventful enough, with the exception of the arrival of Lidaei, who politely forced herself into the situation, whether Tettrets wanted her to or not. Yet she proved to be an invaluable source of support, coming to the Kyrii’s side immediately.
Though she had invited herself in, Tettrets would have begged her to come into it anyway, if he hadn’t been sure that his plan was hopeless. For Lidaei was a Draik equal to no other.
She was fearless, she was euphoric, she was radiant; she was simply divine. She had traveled to many places and seen many things, touched the hearts of many. She was truly a kindred spirit. She was like an ever changing storm, majestic and awe inspiring, always shifting, always going whichever fate took her. And at the moment, it had led her to him.
“The festival is in two days, Trez,” she reminded him. “You’re never going to make it if you sit there all day, cradling your soot.”
“What’s the point?” he moaned. “I’m still five thousand short.”
“Actually...” At this point a sly smile appeared upon her angelic face, which at the moment was a lovely shade of faerie turquoise. “You really don’t realize how many fans you have, Trez, do you? According to my calculations, you’re only about twenty two short.”
At this the Kyrii spun around, nearly dropping his beloved pile of ashes. “What?”
“Well, you see, it seems that somehow word got out that the amazing Trez was collecting faeries, and several of your fans decided to... contribute to the cause.”
A smile of hope appeared on the Kyrii’s face for the first time in a while. “You’re amazing, you know.”
You haven’t truly lived until you’ve basked in the glory of the light coming from ten thousand bottled faeries, shining under a gorgeous full moon that reflected a million times off the transparent surface of the bottles. That’s where Tettrets was now, carefully aligning each and every bottle in the smooth grass of the empty meadow. It would have been pitch black otherwise, but the dazzling array of colours could be seen from the sky.
Lidaei stood just behind him, silently counting. “You’re one short,” she whispered.
With the slightest hint of a smile, he pulled out the grey faerie. The first one he had found; his first inspiration. It gave off a faint light even now. Placing it next to the others, he began to wait.
The excitement in the clearing mounted with the rising sun. Tettrets had periodically been napping in the shade beside his pile of soot, waiting silently for the sun to reach its peak. When the time came, he would simultaneously release all ten thousand faeries. After that, he could do no more.
To say the least, you will never see a sight more spectacular as the one witnessed in the meadow that day.
How can you describe the feeling of witnessing ten thousand beautiful faeries fly out in perfect harmony, their dazzling wings sparkling and reflecting the light of the blinding sun? How can you possibly begin to depict the way that their faces shone with happiness as they returned to their normal size, and began to swirl in graceful patterns in midair?
Tettrets sank to his knees in front of them, and stared pleadingly into their eyes. A small figure suddenly rose from the crowd.
The grey faerie smiled at him. Her wings were changing colour, indefinite though, as she had not yet chosen which type she wanted to be. “Tettrets,” she whispered, as she felt her power coming to her from the faeries swirling above her. “Thank you...”
The faeries disappeared then, as suddenly as if the wind had picked up and blown them away. An ominous rustling filled the air. Lowering his head, Tettrets let out a low sigh.
It had been too much to hope for. Not even ten thousand faeries could help him now.
He began to walk away, when he noticed something out of the corner of his eye. Sitting among the pile of ashes was a frightened little petpet. A grey faellie to be exact.
Running over, he scooped the terrified creature into his arms.
Immediately it relaxed, and gave him a look that only one being had ever given him before.
“Empathy,” he sighed.
“It’s nice to have you back.”