Only The Good
Swimming through the waters of Maraqua, Emre desperately tried to decipher a friendly face among the ocean dwellers. Word was out: Fidole was seeking a companion Petpet. The fact seemed like almost a lifetime of waiting. As general to King Kelpbeard and witness to the animosity of the insidious pirates and Captain Scarblade, Fidole was among the high ranking Koi. It would be the chance of a lifetime to play companion Petpet.
Emre continued to search through the city and eventually caught sight of a pink tail around Kelp Restaurant.
“Raiden!” Emre called.
The tail whipped back and a purple and white face appeared. Its lavender underbelly reflected the sea floor and blue eyes pierced Emre. The young Belonthiss turned to greet his Dartail friend.
“Emre, you look flustered. What’s the – ?”
Before Raiden could finish his questioning, Emre blurted the news to Raiden.
Raiden was astonished. Every Petpet he knew would be begging for the role, pleading for the opportunity. That was where Raiden’s brilliant confidence came in handy. If he worked Fidole just right...
“Oh, come Raiden! He is looking for us now, let’s go!” Emre said with delight, bringing Raiden out of his reverie.
The two swam off, in the hopes of the chance of a lifetime.
Fidole sat, perched almost like a bird on a ledge, overlooking the city. He opened and closed his fin and rolled a jewel around in it. Thoughts ran through his mind as he anticipated the events of the day. Would they turn out as planned? Would be really find what he hoped for?
Fidole rose from the seat and swam to grasp his pearl Koi staff, reminiscing on the old days. Maybe it was too late for that but it gave him good cheer. His thoughts were broken by the shrill voice of Alvina down the hall.
“And fix those tables, why don’t you?” she yelled, hurrying off to the main room.
Alvina entered, her red eyes wild with commands. Her countenance had always been disturbing. A Darigan Koi – a deep purple creature with wild hair and long black horns and a learned female to boot – living with the calm General Fidole had always been a conundrum. The fact of the matter was she kept things in order and made Maraquan life bearable.
“Fidole,” Alvina said, her eyes shining, “the arrangements have been made and those pesky Petpets will be arriving in due time. I dare say, if you can’t find one, that is all well.”
“Alvina, be more positive for me. I could use company and good entertainment,” Fidole said, laughter in his voice.
She had no response and casually looked around the room. She caught sight of the staff and hastily picked it up.
“Old Koi,” Alvina muttered and silently left the room, smile on her face.
Raiden and Emre reached Palace Way at noon. The sun was blazing through the ocean surface, making the sand sparkle like diamonds near the homes in the city. At the end of the way was a glittering palace – the home of Fidole. It was something out of a dream, make of coral and shells and pearls. The lavishness was astounding. Emre was awe-struck.
“Raiden, I can’t believe it!”
Raiden was cooly checking the area. There seemed to be an absence of any Petpets. It was strange considering the situation. But the two continued on into the drive of the palace, Emre continuing to glorify the view.
Two Koi met the pair at the door and welcomed them into the home. The foyer was beautiful – an sitting room decked in jewels and artifacts dating to the old site of Maraqua. It was quite exquisite but still odd. As the Koi departed from the room, Raiden whispered:
“Emre, this is spooky. Didn’t you say this was big?”
At last, Emre considered his surrounds and frowned, his yellow body ceasing to have the old happy stupor.
From the shadow of the large armchair, a laugh echoed. Out from the dark came a Soreen, its cat like whiskers protruding from its face; its red eyes seeking Raiden’s and Emre’s. This Soreen could only be one Petpet: Kano.
Kano had been a long time nuisance to Raiden. Their friendship had disintegrated as Kano became overly self-centered and blindly ambitious, and a narcissus might not be extreme enough. After that time, Kano had become a hulking figure, his pride had taken him both high and low. It was now no wonder no other Petpets showed up – Kano had probably intimidated them by mentioning it.
Raiden and Kano continued to stare at each other, until suddenly a bell rang. A Darigan Koi appeared, her black horns overtaking her features.
“Well, this is the turnout of the century,” Alvina muttered, motioning the three Petpets to enter the other room.
As the Petpets entered, Fidole rose and placed a warm smile on his face. The three were reverent to the situation, and Fidole noticed this. He was deeply disappointed at the turnout. Maybe his time had extinguished.
Raiden eyed Kano, who plastered a false expression of awe on this face. Whatever his motives, Raiden was not comfortable with knowing Kano would work three times as fierce.
“Petpets,” Fidole began, “it is my honor to welcome you to my humble home. I do recognize this is something that I have not done and I do not expect perfection. When I was a young general, his Majesty, King Kelpbeard, enjoyed teasing my tenacity for going along without help. ‘Warriors,’ he said, ‘always seek help and are not afraid to show it.’ So today I extend my fin to companionship and help.
“My ever lovely Alvina is my only source of help but I could use another, less fierce force,” he joked, making Alvira eye the Petpets even more than she had been.
Emre shuddered beside Raiden. Raiden extended a fin to calm Emre and tried to keep calm himself. Kano stayed silent, motionless.
“I have no impossible task,” Fidole continued. “I only ask for your character to show. You cannot speak like we, but actions speak louder than words.”
After a brief pause, Fidole reached for a book and placed it in Emre’s trembling fin.
“Take that down to the cellar, to Rini,” he said. Emre quickly swam off.
Fidole then handed Kano a large rose and said, “Find Wick and hand him this.”
Raiden received a small clock with the instructions: “Take this to Dom, and tell him thank you.”
Raiden departed from the room, Alvira watching him all the while. He searched through many rooms calling: “Dom!” until a kitchen manager came and thanked him, bowing deeply and grasping to the clock for dear life.
As Raiden was returning to the main room, he heard a loud thud, then a bang. He quickly swam and hid behind a cabinet. Kano and Alvira were hovering over a rug, Alvira’s head bent toward Kano.
“...For if you win, we will be richer than Kelpbeard himself! I can make that old fool move left or right if I so chose,” she cackled.
Kano’s eyes shone and he swam in circles to show his agreement.
Raiden was stunned. He quickly swam back to the main room and stayed at attention as Fidole praised his good timing.
“You know, I quite like your speed. You have great color as well; what fun we would have!”
Kano re-entered, Alvira trailing close behind. She approached Fidole and whispered something, her red eyes piercing Raiden.
Emre entered, panting and looking petrified. He stayed close behind Raiden.
“Well,” Fidole said, clearing his voice, “I think I have a new companion.”
Fidole threw an apologetic glance at Kano and said, “The Soreen.”
Kano flipped in the air and hurried to Alvira’s side, gloating at Raiden and Emre, a victory poorly won.
Alvira escorted Emre and Raiden out of the palace, muttering under her breath. It was a day wasted, a day for ambition, not quality.
Months had passed since the event. Raiden went back to working at Kelp and helping Emre at the week's end. Nothing had changed except for the fact that Kano now had a seat in victory.
As Raiden finished his shift at Kelp, a thunderous noise boomed across the Maraquan lanes. A carriage drove rapidly toward the center of the city. It halted before a shop, the Maraquan Aisha shopkeeper hid behind the store from the noise.
Fidole stepped out of the carriage, an oversized coat draped around his shoulders. He looked weary. He caught sight of Raiden at once and hurried toward him.
“Oh, young Belonthiss, hear me. Alvira and that Soreen were no good. A week after you and the good Dartail left, I caught Alvira making plans to steal my jewels and home. The Soreen was paid well to be her partner – her Petpet. Can you believe it? The one who made fun of me for wanting a Petpet has her own. Oh, Belonthiss, I should have chosen you. Come join me on Palace Way?”
Raiden turned in delight, his blue eye shining. At last, the good have prevailed and the bad foiled once more.