Thyla's Tale: Part Four
I whipped around. I'd been expecting the pink Uni, but no, it was a dark faerie. She had the short purple hair that was typical for dark faeries to have, and her skin was light purple. However, instead of wearing a purple gown like most dark faeries, she wore a spiky white skirt that almost touched her knees and a white blouse with short, round sleeves, a row of small dark buttons down the front, and a small white pocket. She also wore high heeled white sandals. The white looked so bright on her skin that she would have stood far out in a crowd of dark faeries. Large, dark, glittery blobs of what I supposed must have been magic surrounded her pretty, dark hands. She cackled when I turned around, revealing rather spiky, brilliantly white teeth, and she let the dark, glittery magic vanish.
"Oh, the pound," she said in a rather crackly, but calculated voice after she was done cackling. "I'm surprised how few pets try to escape. I come here sometimes to socialize with an old friend, Dr. Death. Well, not really a friend anymore. See, when I make friends, I'm loyal to them. Believe it or not, I am a nice faerie when I choose to be, as far as dark faeries go. But I have a wild side, as every dark faerie dose. Anyways, Dr. Death used to be a great friend when he was just a small Techo without a home. I took him in as my apprentice because his sad situation touched my heart. But after a couple years of being taught the ways of magic, all he wanted was power. He left. But I think he still has a soft side. Or maybe it's just me. But anyways, I'm probably boring you. Who are you?"
"Thyla," I replied. She floated up into the air, chewing on a nail, looking bored.
"Yes, but that's not who you are," she said impatiently. "I sometimes guard here at night, Thyla. I think I'll take that money away from you," she said, and she snatched the jar away and stuffed it back in the drawer. I was furious. That was my money!
She yawned, and I was hit by a sudden inspiration. Just because I didn't have the money didn't mean I couldn’t get my restaurant!
"Could you help me get a restaurant?" I asked eagerly.
"A restaurant," she said thoughtfully. "It's been a while since I've done something like that. I just might do that."
She floated towards the door, inserted a key in it, and floated back up again.
"I'll meet you tomorrow in Neopia Central," she said. "Be by the Money Tree at 10:00 a.m."
"Okay," I said, and I walked out the door, running into the night, free.
The next day at 10:00, I was at the Money Tree, waiting. But time kept ticking away and Daeda didn't show. I decided to keep waiting. At twelve o' clock, Daeda floated up to me. Today she wore a white skirt that was sleek and went past her knees and a shirt that was similar to the one she had worn the day before, but she had a long-sleeved sleek, tight white shirt on underneath. A tiny Scoach poked its miniscule head out from her pocket.
"Sorry to keep you waiting," she said, not very sorry. "I was thinking. So, it's a restaurant you want?"
"Well, that's simple enough," she said. "I'll give you a building and 100,000 neopoints. If you have a decent restaurant that I like by tomorrow, I'll help you out with it and let you keep it."
I nodded eagerly. A hundred thousand neopoints! My siblings and I hadn't though that it would cost that much to start a restaurant. Daeda clicked her fingers, and before my very eyes, a medium-sized one-story building that was longer than it was wide appeared. She handed me a plump bag of neopoints.
"Get to work," she said sharply, and she floated away.
I had lots to do. I walked into my new building, giddy with excitement. This was such a great start! I began to work very hard. There was so much to do! But through all the hard work, I kept telling myself, this is for your restaurant, Thyla. This is the best opportunity you've had in a long time. Keep working. Keep trying. You've come this far. You can't quit now. Keep trying. Keep working. It doesn’t sound very motivating written down on paper, but it was to me then. I was ready to do whatever it took to get my restaurant, and nothing could stop me.
By the next day, I had four excellent chefs, including me (I wanted to help cook the food, too; otherwise, why would I want a restaurant?), three wonderful waitresses, a fabulous usher, and I had decorated the whole interior with a lovely Meridell theme. I wanted my restaurant to focus on the delicious comfort food and simple pleasures I had experienced in Meridell when I was at Maddell Farm, and I wanted the restaurant to be food for the eyes, too. So the ceiling was painted like the blue sky, with fluffy white clouds and a few flying petpets floating lazily around and cleverly hidden small round lamps providing lots of light. The walls of the restaurant were decorated with a beautiful farm scene that stretched throughout the room. Small neopets chased each other through fields that seemed to stretch on for a long time. Tall trees with rustic swings on them rose high. Petpets peeked out from corners where you wouldn't expect them. A farmer was working the fields off in the distance. A beautiful farm house stood in the middle of the scene, perfectly neat and beautiful, like the one I had lived in for weeks. The tables around the room were wooden and had a rustic charm, like the table in Maddell Farm. I was anxiously waiting for Daeda outside. She soon arrived, floating along and examining the outside of the restaurant.
"So this is your restaurant?" she said. "Let me see."
She floated around inside and examined every inch, from the lights on the ceiling to the bottom of the fridge. Finally she floated outside and stared at it again.
"It's very quaint," she said. "Quaint is just not my style. Well, you tried your best."
She flicked her hand once at my beloved restaurant. Nothing appeared to happen.
"The pets you hired are now back where they would have been now had you not hired them," she said lazily. "They have forgotten all about it."
"You're an immensely powerful faerie, aren't you?" I said, fighting back tears, hoping that maybe, somehow, complimenting her might make her change her mind.
"Almost all faeries are as powerful as I am. Okay, so I'm a touch more powerful than the rest. But most other faeries choose not to use their powers much, or at least not to show the majority of their powers to neopets. Even I have more power than I show to neopets. But I like to mingle among neopets, and I use my powers among them when I like. There's no faerie law preventing me."
She flicked her hand once more at the restaurant. It burst into black flames. I screamed and wailed.
"Oh come on, you are way too sensitive," she drawled. "I gave you a challenge and you failed. This was never your restaurant. I let you use my building for a trial period. If I liked what you did, I let you keep it. If I didn't, you didn't get it anymore and I did as I liked with it. And I happen to particularly like setting things on fire."
I glared at her, enraged.
"But you didn't tell me what you wanted!" I yelled.
"You didn't ask, and I didn't have to."
"YOU ARE A—A—A CRUEL, ANNOYING—" I began.
Daeda actually looked slightly hurt.
"Child, I didn't say I wasn't going to help you anymore," she said, and she actually sounded a little compassionate. "Dark faeries are pranksters, and yes, we can be cruel and like stirring up mischief, but really, we get a bad rep. It's just that is easier for us to ACTUALLY get bad than it is for other faeries. But for the most at, we're not really evil. Anyways, if you become my apprentice and helper for three years, I will give you your restaurant back, as well as the workers, and two million neopoints to do as you like with. If you won't, then I leave you, and you'll have to fend for yourself."
What choice did I have? My restaurant was all that I really had now, and it was just a dream. Here was a chance to have a real restaurant, what I'd always wanted, as well as two million neopoints which I could split up: some for my restaurant and some to buy a neohome and use on myself. I couldn't resist the chance. Besides, I was actually starting to like Daeda, and it would surely be interesting. I swallowed hard. Maybe instead I should look for my siblings. But how could I find them among so many other users and pets? I had to go on with my life. Hopefully I'd find them someday soon, but if not, I just had to accept it. I had to start fresh and not dwell on the past anymore. I took a deep breath.
"Daeda, I will be your apprentice," I said slowly.
She smiled, a true smile, a smile I wouldn't have thought she could have on her face.
"I'm starting to like you, Thyla," she said. "You have lots to learn."
"Like what?" I asked.
"Well, neopets may not have their own magical powers, but they can do magic with things that have their own magic," Daeda said, and I noted that she was sounding more animated than usual. "So when you are my apprentice, you will learn how to make potions, how to use magical artifacts, how to cast spells with staffs, and other magical things."
I was beginning to get excited.
"Where do you live?" I asked.
"I own a private island," she said, not sounding at all bored anymore. "It's a ways off the coast of Krawk Island, but that's its nearest landmark. And no, it's not a charred island with a huge, menacing dark castle looming over it. It's a rather wild, overgrown place with a big old mansion in the middle which I fixed up and is now my home. It's a nice place. You'll like it. But our first stop isn't there. We're going to the Rainbow Pool, and we are choosing you a color."
"And, um, what's with the Scoach?"
"Oh, that's Rikyo. I used magic on him so that he is almost invincible and can think not quite as well as a neopet, but certainly as well as a well-trained neopet. He's a fun way of spying on people, and besides, he keeps me company."
I grinned. I could tell that I was in for a very interesting three years. I pushed my siblings to the back of my mind. I'd worry about them later. For now, I was just going to enjoy being Daeda's apprentice.
To be continued...