Voice of the Neopian Pound Circulation: 190,382,103 Issue: 573 | 7th day of Celebrating, Y14
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The Chase


by jarm9

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There was a small little family owned tea shop in the Neopian Bazaar that wasn't as well known as one would expect of such a nice restaurant. It was quaint and small and blended in nicely with the barely cloudy sky that floated above many a Neopian's head that fine Tuesday morning.

      The tea shop sold more than just tea. It sold coffee on good days, and borovan was a must. There were a variety of treats and pastries to choose from as well. A small staff worked from Monday to Friday there, taking the weekend off because everyone needed a break sometime.

      A little blue Shoyru, who worked as a waiter at this little tea shop, was tapping at the counter, almost boredly, as he waited for the order he was supposed to deliver to table six to be done. He adjusted his apron a bit, then sighed.

      "Mom!" he called. "You done yet?"

      A pink Shoyru came over and smiled, tray in hand. "Yes, yes. Calm down, will you? I'm sure they won't mind the wait. We do happen to have the best tea around."

      "So you say," her son said. He took the tray with two cups of tea and two cinnamon rolls and went over to give it to table six, when the pink Shoyru grabbed him by the apron and started licking her hand. "Mom! I gotta go—"

      "You got shmutz on your face—"

      "Please, Mom, I'm not a baby anymore—"

      "There! All gone. Now shoo!"

      He rolled his eyes, though smiled, and walked outside to one of the only outside tables that seemed to lack an umbrella. Probably because it was near the awning in case it rained.

      "Two teas and two cinnamon rolls, right?" he asked the girls sitting there, placing the tray on the table.

      The Aisha nodded. "Yep! Thank you."

      The conversation that they had been having seemed to continue on as the Wocky sitting by her squinted at the sky.

      "Hey, do you see that?" the white Wocky asked, pointing up at something. Her pink Aisha companion looked up and squinted.

      "Is that a weewoo?"

      "No," the Wocky said, "It's too big, I think—"

      And then the three of them screamed and squealed as a rainbow Moehog suddenly jumped over and clambered onto the table, looking around and every which way but down. He inhaled sharply through his nose, nostrils flaring.

      "RAAAAAIN!" he yelled, looking at the object the two girls had been looking at previously.

      "Sir!" the Shoyru shouted, "I'm going to have—have to ask you to leave—"

      "'Sir and or Ma'am, I apologize for my rude behavior.' YEAH GOTTA GO." The Moehog kicked himself off the table, which the Shoyru went to steady with a yelp to prevent it from falling over.

      The Wocky and Aisha stared after him as he jumped onto another table, disrupting a small family of three as he sniffed at the sky again.

      "...Is he trying to smell the rain?"

      "...I think it'd be better if we forgot about this, Lili."

      The Shoyru smiled apologetically. "Ah. Um. Free scones?"

      --

      Rain soared through the sky blissfully, humming a Yes Boy Ice Cream song that she would swear she never knew had anyone been there to recognize it. The pastures of grass had replaced the Neopia Central she had been flying over a short period previously. She hummed and kicked (unnecessarily since she was still gliding peacefully) and had no need to propel herself anywhere.

      She barked a laugh for no apparent reason. Then she heard something.

      "..rrrrRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAINNN!!!"

      Ah. Edge. The sketch Uni—by no means stopping her flight—looked down at the ground to see the rainbow Moehog who had finally caught up with her.

      "Bro!" she chirped, smiling at him in a way that she knew would just get on his nerves. "What's up? Besides me, of course—"

      "RAIN!" he shouted again, "GET DOWN HERE RIGHT NOW!"

      She stuck her tongue out at him. His expression frothed with anger.

      "COME ON!!" he shouted. Hm. He was stumbling behind. He'd run here from the house, right? And chased her all through Neopia Central. Maybe he could use a break.

      Rain rolled her eyes—of course he of all people would get tired—and paused in her flight. She flapped her wings and looked up, spotting a few relatively low-laying clouds. They probably weren't laced with the faerie magic that made them able to hold weight for more than a few seconds, but fake-laying on them might annoy Edge even more.

      She lifted up and rolled above them, laughed a bit, then pretended to lay down and glance at Edge, her wings still flapping enough to keep her steady. "So," she said, flopping her hooves over the cloud a smidgen above the puffy thing. "BROOOOO, CAN YOU HEEEEAR MEEEEE?"

      "I CAN HEAR YOU LOUD AND CLEAR, YOU FUDGE BUCKET."

      "Language!" she shouted back, laughing jovially. Gosh, this was so fun.

      The Moehog, who'd stopped running and now stomped madly in circles, lifted his head up and glared at her. "GET DOWN HERE!"

      "Neeeope," she chirped, shaking her head ostentatiously.

      "YOU GOTTA! HOW COULD YOU SAY SUCH A THING—"

      "Only 'cause it was true! Mister Level Fifty-five," she snickered, lowering her head onto her arms.

      Edge fumed even more, his rainbow face turning redder by the second. "IT'S LEVEL TEN! MY HEALTH IS FIFTY-FIVE! GET IT RIGHT!"

      "You and your stats." Rain blew a raspberry at him.

      He looked appalled. "OH. OH NO. YOU DID NOT JUST DO THAT."

      "Maybe I diiiiiid!" she singsonged.

      "YOU—YOU STINKING GIRLY GIRL! GET DOWN HERE!"

      Rain was on her feet (metaphorically) in a millisecond. "I'M NOT A GIRLY GIRL!" she shrieked, all playfulness forgotten.

      "MIGHT AS WELL BE!" he shrieked back, looking smug that he'd gotten the upper hand. "YOU DON'T WANNA GET YOUR HOOVES DIRTY, PRINCESS? KEEP FLYIN', LET ME GET DIRTY ENOUGH FOR THE BOTH OF US!"

      "You—JERK!"

      "OOH, VERY ORIGI—KAH—!"

      Rain had flown straight down and tackled him to the ground, pushing him into it so far that he'd left skid marks in the grass. Dirt was unearthed and covering the both of them—mostly Edge, though.

      "Dang girl," he muttered in a daze. "You hit like a projectile..."

      Rain huffed, snout in the air, as she turned around and used her hind legs to kick more dirt at his face. He spluttered, pushing himself up and spitting any dirt out of his mouth—just in time to catch Rain fly off again.

      "He—HEY! GET BACK HERE!"

      "NYEH-NYEH-NYEH-NYEH-NYEEEH-NYEEEEEH~!" she shouted, as off tune as possible.

      Edge growled, got to his feet, and started running again.

      --

      The Glass Bottom Boat Tour was running for the fourth time that day in Kiko Lake, with six passengers filling up its six plush seats.

      Grev the tour guide was a little bored. Today was just not his day. Four of the six passengers were loud children—loud young children—and the baby Koi had started to whine when his owner wouldn't let him swim in the water 'til someone could go in with him to make sure he would be okay and not get lost.

      So not only were Grev's ears hurting, he was not in a good mood. But the tourists didn't have to know.

      "Okay, we're going to be passing over the village soon!" the yellow Ogrin said happily. "If you have a camera, you are encouraged to take photos! The Kikos living there find it quite amusing."

      And a few flashes sprang into the corner of his vision. Grev tried to keep from cringing too much. Good Fyora, now his eyes were sore...

      The usual background drivel of insects and splashing were drowned out as Grev started the narration of the underwater village. The tourists were enchanted, like they usually tended to be, until the red Techo present looked confused.

      "Is that a rainbow Moehog?" he asked, pointing toward the lake floor below.

      Grev raised his head to glance at whatever it was. "Nnn...? Don't think so. Unless they can breathe underwater—"

      Not even a second later the Moehog was up at the glass and banging on it for what appeared to be dear life, air bubbles floundering around his face.

      The tourists squealed and jumped back. Grev was awfully confused.

      "What the heck!? Kid! Don't you know not to swim under the boat?!" he shouted, not even caring if the Moehog could hear him or not.

      "FFFHHUUUNIIII!" he squealed.

      "...What?" one of the tourists asked.

      And then the Moehog swam out of view. He was climbing onto the boat not a second later, nearly threatening to overturn it as he did.

      "Hey! You! Be careful!" Grev scolded. The Moehog, still hanging to the side, panted frantically.

      "Uni... Sketch... Did you... see it?" he asked, catching his breath.

      "Uhhh... no?"

      And a sketch Uni just had to lightly prance to the center of the glass window from somewhere in the sky—who knew exactly where—and smirk this smirk that just seemed to want to agitate everyone.

      Or perhaps just the Moehog.

      "RAAAAIN!" he roared.

      The Uni giggled, like she was innocent—the green bowl cap almost made Grev think she wasn't—and then she was back in the sky as quickly as she'd arrived.

      The Moehog clambered aboard the boat, which was now dangerously swaying, dripped water everywhere as he crossed to the other side and then dived into the lake after pushing people out of the way like he was in a rush to save all of Neopia.

      It was silent.

      "...Weeeeeird?" the Techo tried.

      Grev had had worse days.

      --

      Edge chased her along the green grass coast until they'd made it to Brightvale. She was floating on and off, bouncing without a care in the world, shaking her tail to entice him as they made their chaotic way through the stores of the well-sized kingdom.

      And suddenly they were at the castle and guards were chasing them out via the bridge with sharp spears and very, very harsh words.

      Edge high tailed it out of there. Rain was somewhere else entirely. Dang it.

      --

      He'd tracked her to the Lost Desert, somehow—he didn't care how, at least he'd found her. Her scent was unique enough for him to, at least.

      He ducked behind a stall in Sakhmet's ever large market, watching her like a predator would stalk his prey. She was talking to a Kyrii vendor of sorts—looked like he was selling native fruit, cheap. Edge decided to strike now that she was distracted, positioned himself to pounce like a Kougra would, and jumped over the stall full well ready to tackle her to the ground.

      Instead she moved out of the way like she'd known he was there the whole time and he hit the fruit stand with a loud smack, shaking it and sending fruit flying.

      "Charge my owner Miss Jarm9 if you need reimbursement," Rain told the Kyrii, while Edge was collecting his bearings. Wood hurt...! "She will probably try to make up for Mister Level Fifty-five here..."

      "TEN! HEALTH IS FIFTY FIVE!" he yelled, on reflex. He shook his head. "Aw man, now I got a headache..."

      "Like I said, guy's a piece of work." Rain chirped some tuneless hum happily and pranced away.

      When Edge finally shook himself aware the Kyrii was glaring daggers at him.

      "Eh heh heh... Tell me where she went and I'll buy ten tchea fruits?"

      The desert Kyrii mulled it over. "She went that way. That'll be two hundred neopoints."

      DANG. IT.

      He silently cursed the day Rain had been adopted, and at that rate his own as well.

      --

      He followed and managed to catch up with her, to match her step for step and lunge for lunge (where flying could be compared to walking, at least) and managed to keep her in the dark, mostly, of him following her until he felt like roaring her name so he could tackle her properly.

      And then she'd get up out of the tree, or move to the left, or twirl around in the air to avoid his jump and he'd fall to the floor and get bruised in one place or another.

      And then she would run or fly and he would chase after her until he almost had her and then—

      She was gone.

      And then he'd have to do everything all over again. Figures.

      --

      Okay, it was this or bust, he decided. He would catch her now or forever live in shame. They had somehow made their way through Faerieland and Brightvale once more (avoiding soldiers, miraculously) and Meridell and Brightvale a third time (with soldiers on their tails) and then skipped all the way to the Haunted Woods.

      The eeriness didn't faze him in the least. He was used to it, or as used to it as one could get, and running through the outskirts at least—which was what they were doing—could let him relax since it was less of a chance of getting lost forever and ever.

      Rain was flying from perch to perch in the dark barked trees as Edge meandered between them, shouting along the way.

      "Come on! Slow down! Get back here! Get...! Get...!"

      "Runnin' out of material?" she asked, pausing and looking back at him with a devious smile. "You could always give up."

      "Never!" he shouted, trying to not let his exhaustion show. His panting wasn't helping any.

      She shrugged. "Suit yourself." And then flew five trees ahead.

      Edge groaned like a pet in complete misery.

      Forget giving up in shame. He was chasing after her until he caught her, no matter how tired he was.

      --

      The sky was starting to turn pink when Edge realized he'd been running all day. Rain must have been getting tired of flying too, as she was now trotting a ways ahead of him, stretching her wings like one would stiff leg muscles.

      The green grass beneath his hoofs almost beckoned him to fall over and just rest. So he did.

      Rain heard his body's collision with the ground and jumped, turning around to find her brother lying on the ground, breathing deeply and looking exhausted.

      Her heart went out to him. Somewhat. As much as it could, him being Edge and all. He could be really annoying when he wanted to be.

      She stood where she was for a moment, just staring at him, before trotting over easily and staring down at him. He was still breathing deeply, though not as much as a minute ago, and had his eyes closed.

      "Give up?" she asked, tilting her head to the side as she watched him.

      His eyes snapped open and he smiled mischievously, and Rain just realized the fatal mistake she had made.

      He jumped up and immediately wrapped his hooves around her, using his strength to push her to the ground. She struggled, got a good kick to his stomach in there, but he just sat on her as she kept on struggling and struggling. He used his hooves and shoulders to keep her upper body down, and used one of his legs to keep the rest on the ground. A battledome strategy of his.

      "Admit it!" he shouted, quite plainly. Rain had stopped struggling for the moment, breathing deeply, and instead huffed in annoyance.

      "No!"

      "Come on! You were totally untrue when you said that!"

      Rain felt her hat sliding off her head. Shoot. She tried to move her head to keep it from falling but it wasn't really working. "Dude, leggo."

      "Admit it!"

      And Rain was struggling again. She nearly got free too, but Edge used his battledome knowledge, though limited in the smart department, to keep her on the ground.

      "Admit it!" he said, keeping his grip on her firm. "Admit I'm not weak just 'cause I lost to the Tiki Tack Man! You know that guy is tough!"

      "Alright! Alright! Fyora—cough—fine. You are not weak because you lost to the Tiki Tack Man, the guy who gives cruddy prizes and thus easily should not prove a challenge."

      Edge immediately let go of her, nodding curtly as he sat back. "There. Now, was that such a hard thing to do?"

      Rain coughed, sitting up and leaning on her elbow while giving him an incredulous look. "You are a vain creature, aren't you?"

      "No!" he said, puffing out his chest. His pout did nothing to deter her accusation. "I just don't like being underestimated. I'm strong, done deal."

      "And that isn't vanity talking...?"

      "None at all."

      "Sure."

      "Y'know, that's rich, coming from a Uni."

      She raised a brow at that. "You want to start up another chase there, bro?"

      "No!" he said, smiling brightly and snickering. "Dude, Rain, I am so tired, I just want to sleep."

      "Gotta make it home first," she said, standing up. "Mama's probably starting to notice we're gone."

      "Just now," Edge pitched in, chuckling.

      "Aaas usual," Rain hummed. "So scatterbrained." And then the two devolved into giggles.

      Edge got up and walked beside her as they headed in the direction they hoped was Neopia Central. Rain elbowed him, causing him to stumble, which made him snort and headbutt her playfully.

      Then she started flying. Edge gaped at her.

      "Come on. Really? REALLY? I don't have wings—come on! That's not fair!"

      "That's whatcha get for bein' a Moehog, sonny boy!"

      "Raaaain! Fly me back!"

      "Nope!"

      "Pleeeease?"

      "Noooope."

      "NO FAIR!"

      "Khe-heh-heh!"

      And all was right with the world.

The End

 
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