Third Times the Charm
"What took you so long, Aya? I would think after two fountain faerie quests you could be a little quicker when I ask you to get me something," Reena, the fountain faerie said as she stared at the nervous Faerie Ixi.
"I'm sorry, Reena, the quest was just so unexpected. I got my last quest from you over a year ago," Aya answered nervously, fearing she had upset the powerful faerie.
Reena, aggravated, slowly closed her eyes. "Aya, I'm sure you understand the rarity of my quests. Every pet in Neopia would immediately drop what they were doing if they were as lucky as you. Obviously, I can rely on you getting my item quickly and efficiently; today was not the case.
"But Reena, you don't put a time limit on your quests. If you want your item quickly, then why don't you just give the pets a time limit?"
"Why?" Reena asked, stunned. "Because if I call upon a pet for help, they should sell all of their belongings if they have to, to help me!
"But anyways, I have another quest for you. Seeing how you manage to get me my items in a decent amount of time, you are the perfect pet. This will be your third, and final quest. I would like you to get me, the Darkest Faeri-"
Aya stared at Reena, dumbfounded. "How am I supposed to get the Darkest Faerie! She was so powerful that only Queen Fyora and Jerdana could banish her; how do you expect a little Faerie Ixi to capture her!"
"Well, if you would stop interrupting me, you would've heard the last part of my sentence. I would you like to get me the Darkest Faerie statue that is underwater in Maraqua. More specifically, I need you to get me the amulet that is hung around the statue's neck. That amulet has enough power to keep the Darkest Faerie in stone form for a million years. Unfortunately, that is not the real Darkest Faerie; it is simply a decoy that holds the real amulet. Bring this most important amulet back to me, and I will paint your entire family any colour they desire."
"If that statue in Maraqua is a decoy with the amulet that is supposed to keep the Darkest Faerie in stone form, then how come she isn't flying around Neopia destroying everything in her wake?" Aya asked, confusion written all over her face.
"The real Darkest Faerie resides in Queen Fyora's gardens with a temporary amulet hung around her neck. This amulet keeps the faerie in her current state, but it will only keep her in stone form until midnight, tonight. I'm afraid, Aya, that this quest of mine has a time limit, and if you fail... Neopia is doomed."
"Oh please, Waddles, you must help me! You're the only pet in the family that can breathe underwater. Neopia will be doomed if you don't help me!" Aya pleaded to her brother Waddles, the Bruce.
"Do you expect me to help you by telling me Neopia is doomed? I've got better things to do today, anyways. I was planning on going to Pizzaroo and getting some pizza. Do you want any, Aya?"
"Do I want any!" Aya was completely exasperated. Her brother could be so hardheaded. Didn't he understand that if he didn't help her, there would be no more Pizzaroo anyways!
Waddles could tell that his sister was getting frustrated, so even though his stomach was audibly grumbling he ignored it. "Fine, Aya, I'll help you save Neopia, but I get to be interviewed first when Neopian Times reporters are crawling all around our neohome wanting an interview with the savior of Neopia."
So, Waddles climbed clumsily up Aya's back, and with some effort she managed to take off, heading towards Maraqua.
"Do you see any sign of it yet, Waddles?"
He scanned across the water, and saw a glimmering blue city placed underneath the murky water. A few sharp towers shot up out of the water, confirming that there was a bustling underwater metropolis below.
"Alright, Waddles, we went over the plan. Once you get in the water, swim down to one of the local residents. Ask where you can find the Maraquan ruins, and look for a small stone faerie statue. Just go and grab the amulet, and bring it back to me, got it?" Aya turned around and Waddles was gone. That boy never listens, Aya thought to herself.
After about an hour of Aya hovering above the water, never straying far from Maraqua, a small Bruce's head popped out of the water.
"Well, where's the amulet, Waddles?" Aya stuck her head under the water to look at Waddles's hands; there was no amulet to be found.
"I can't find it, Aya. I found the statue, but there was no amulet around her neck. But I did manage to get this in one of their stores." Waddles held up an iridescent bubble shaped helmet.
"What is that? I need a powerful magical amulet, Waddles, not a bubble."
"It's not a 'normal' bubble, Aya. If you put this on your head, you'll be able to breathe underwater. That way you can come down here and help me look for the amulet."
So with Waddles's help, she slipped the bubble helmet on over her head.
"Hahaha, you look like you stuck a Koi bowl over your head, and you're headed to Kreludor!" Waddles couldn't help himself; he flopped onto the water and laughed until his sides hurt.
"Waddles, I don't have all day to wait around until you're done laughing. I have to find that amulet. Can we go?"
Waddles took a deep breath. "Alright we can go, just one second..." Waddles pulled out an underwater camera and snapped a picture. "I had to get a picture of you; this will be all over neoschool!"
Aya gave her brother the meanest look she could manage, and then plunged into the frigid water below.
Aya was on her knees, pushing over rubble with her hooves, and couldn't find any sign of the amulet. The light that shone in the water started to turn light pink; the sun started sinking lower. Aya knew that she only had a few hours left to find the amulet. There was no turning back now.
Waddles tapped Aya on the shoulder. She turned around and saw an old pink Koi with a gold chain around her neck. Attached to that chain was a bright red stone, about the size of Aya's hoof, that glistened whenever the light hit it.
"Waddles, that's the amulet! How are we supposed to convince that Koi to give it to us?"
Waddles thought about it, and shrugged his shoulders; they had no plan. So Aya decided to just approach the Koi and try to get the amulet back.
"Excuse me, Miss, but where did you happen to get that necklace?"
The Koi touched her necklace and replied, "It was tangled up in some kelp over there."
Aya followed the Koi's pointed flipper, and it lead right to a piece of kelp about three feet away from the faerie's statue.
"Miss, I don't really know how to explain myself, but I really need that amulet; the Fountain Faerie has requested it." Aya hoped that what she said would be a good enough explanation without frightening the old Koi.
"Oh yes, I remember about nine years ago, I got a fountain faerie quest. It was the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me, but I really like this necklace. I might be willing to give it to you if you paid me for it."
"How much do you want for it?"
"One million neopoints."
Waddles stared at the old Koi like she was insane. "You've GOT to be kidding me, for that piece of junk. The most it's worth is one thousand neopoints!"
"Perhaps I'll just sell it, tomorrow at the Neopian auctions. Now if you'll excuse me, I have reservations at Kelp." And with that she swam away.
"What am I supposed to now, Waddles?" Aya glanced up at the clock tower that was in the center plaza. "Oh no, it's already ten. I've got two more hours or we're all done."
"Well, Aya, there seems to only be one more option; we're going to have to steal it."
"Waddles, I can't steal it; besides even if I wanted to, that lady is in a public place now. Everyone would see us do it!"
Waddles pulled out a happy chia mask. "I'm getting that amulet back, Aya. That Koi stole it from the statue; I'm just retrieving it for the Fountain Faerie."
Waddles pulled the mask on over his head and slipped into the back door of Kelp. After about twenty minutes, Waddles triumphantly came out with the amulet hung around his neck.
"Waddles, how did you get the amulet back?" Aya asked him, absolutely stunned that her brother managed to accomplish something.
"I snuck onto one of the dessert carts and hid myself. When they made their way over to that Koi's table, I reached up and snatched the amulet. She didn't even realize what happened until I was out the door!"
"You mean, you just ripped it right off of her neck?"
"NO! She had it on her table; apparently that's how she could afford to eat at Kelp. she was planning on paying the bill by using the amulet," Waddles said, amused.
"Well, let's hurry up and get out of here, before we get in trouble!" Aya said, as she started swimming to the surface.
"I can't believe this, my wings are soaked. I won't even be able to take off!" Aya screamed to no one in particular, as she was bobbing on the surface of the water.
Aya and Waddles had spent almost an hour just drifting wherever the current took them, when suddenly Aya thought she saw something above her.
"I thought I saw some pets in need of assistance." Floating about ten feet above them was Psellia, the Air Faerie.
"But you never help out pets anymore. What are you doing here?" Aya asked the Faerie.
"Well, Reena said to keep my eye out on the waters below, because there might be some pets in need of some help tonight." Psellia smiled, happy that she found them.
So with a flick of her finger, the air faerie blew a giant gust of wind that picked the two pets up out of the water and dried off Aya's wings. Aya gratefully stretched out her wings as far as they would go, and Psellia set Waddles on Aya's back.
"You must hurry, young ones; there's not much time left."
And with that, Aya shot up into the sky, trying to locate the pink clouds above.
After a while, Aya and Waddles found Faerieland, and rushed towards the Rainbow Fountain while fighting the countdown of the clock.
Aya caught sight of Reena, who was nervously swimming back and forth. "Reena, I have the amulet!"
Reena still did not relax upon hearing this news. "There's no time, Aya. You only have a couple minutes left; you must put it around the Darkest Faerie yourself!"
Aya flew down the street to the front of Queen Fyora's castle. Waddles noticed the clock hanging above. "Aya, you only have twenty seconds!"
Aya looked down, darting her eyes back and forth, until she found what she was looking for, the gardens. With the speed of light, Aya angled herself towards the ground aiming for the large grey statue in the corner of the gardens.
"Waddles, get the amulet on her neck!" Aya was rocketing towards the ground now, completely out of control. Waddles ripped the amulet off of his neck and threw it like a horseshoe aiming for the Darkest Faerie's neck.
Aya and Waddles slammed into the ground, knocking them both unconscious.
Aya's eyelids fluttered open, she was staring at a bright pink ceiling with a mural on it... except this mural looked real, too close to the bed that she was lying in.
"I'm glad you're awake, Aya; you and your brother have done a great deed. A deed that took a lot of strength, thought, and courage. I am forever in your debt."
"Queen Fyora?" Within a matter of seconds, memories flooded back to Aya about the day before. "Did we make it? Where's Waddles, is the Darkest Faerie destroying everything right now, am I dreaming?"
"One at a time, dear. Waddles is just fine; I believe he's visiting Reena at the Rainbow Fountain right now. The Darkest Faerie is still in my gardens, and she is still in stone form, thanks to both of you. That was a very courageous thing you did; you could've hurt yourself and your brother a lot more than you did. Luckily a trip to the Healing Springs healed you both right up; all you needed was some rest. I also sent one of my water faerie helpers down to Maraqua. She needed to deliver a new necklace to that Koi you met the other day. It's not quite as nice as that amulet she found, but it's sufficient."
"Hey, Aya, check this out!" Waddles did a giant cannonball right into the Rainbow Fountain, sending a giant wave of water onto Reena.
"Waddles, what did I tell you about that? I don't have to paint you!" Reena yelled to the giggling Bruce. "So nice to see you, Aya. I see you completed my quest just in time. Now it's time to collect your reward; I'll paint you any colour you'd like. After all, you saved Neopia and everyone in it."
Aya glanced over at Waddles, who looked up and smiled. "I didn't save Neopia alone; I had a sidekick!"
Waddles splashed his sister. "Hey, you better not tell the Neopian Times that!"