A Different Kind of Faerie Quest
The day started out normal enough.
We were walking along in Faerieland, and Anna was rolling her eyes because I was begging her to take me to the Faerieland Rainbow Fountain, even though it was never working. Anna seemed to have a really sore spot about that, and I wasn't sure why. It was still fun to look at the Rainbow Fountain even if it didn't work, right?
"Greetings, Neopian," I heard a soft voice say out of nowhere.
I looked up, startled, to see a faerie descending from the clouds. She was beautiful, with blonde hair and a yellow dress, and the brightest blue eyes I'd ever seen. They sparkled like the light reflecting off the fountain's water.
"I need your assistance. Please bring me a The Fontaine Sisters," she said. Before I could reply, she vanished.
I turned to Anna in shock. "What in the world was that about? What is The Fontaine Sisters?" I asked.
Anna gave me a blank expression, but a twinkle in her dark eyes gave away her hidden amusement. "It's nothing, Chili," she said, "you just got a faerie quest."
"What is a faerie quest? What do I do?" I asked.
"You have to find what the faerie wants from you," Anna explained. "Certain faeries give certain rewards. If you complete this faerie's quest, she will raise your level. And I'll save a lot on training." She gave a dry laugh and continued: "All we have to do is go to the Shop Wizard. He can help us find it."
On the way to this so-called "Shop Wizard," I asked Anna to tell me more about him. Apparently, he is a small little JubJub that dresses in funny robes with moons and stars all over it. But even though he's funny looking, he helps out Neopians tremendously. If you want a certain item, he can help you find it. He searches all over shops in Neopia and can provide you with a list of users that sell the item and their asking price.
It all seemed like too much work to be a real thing, but Anna insisted it was possible. And she seemed very amused at my skepticism.
Before long, we reached the spot he was supposed to be at. It was a small hut shaped like a blue wizards hat, with large yellow stars painted all over it. I found myself rolling my eyes – this JubJub was a little too tacky for my tastes.
Looking inside, the hut was in a state of disarray. There were assorted, magical looking bottles everywhere. A large cauldron bubbled in the middle of the room. A rack of strange robes nestled in the corner. A tatty-looking Kadoatie hissed at me from a corner before retreating back to her own little hut.
I was so busy looking around I hadn't even noticed Anna's expression.
"Oh my gosh," Anna said, her voice completely shell-shocked, her eyes wide as saucers. "Chili... the Shop Wizard is gone!"
My first thought was: So what? But judging by the look on Anna's face, that was not the proper reaction.
"Well... so what if he's gone?" I asked timidly.
Anna looked completely affronted, as if I'd just told her that her idol, the Space Faerie, was stupid. "What do you mean 'so what'? He's one of the most important Neopets in all of Neopia!" she exclaimed. "We have to try and find him!"
Looking past her for a moment, I noticed a small piece of paper on a podium. Something about it seemed very significant. I reached past her and took it to examine it more closely.
It was a rolled piece of paper that was slightly tattered. I unfurled it, feeling Anna's curious presence over my shoulder. On the inside was a bunch of random letters: het yoemn etre it said in messy cursive. On the bottom it was signed with an ominous signature: Dr. Frank Sloth.
I was completely perplexed, suspecting a joke, but I saw Anna's mind working fast. "Chili, Dr. Sloth kidnapped the Shop Wizard!" she exclaimed. "This is an anagram. We have to solve it, and go to the place. Then the Shop Wizard will be there!"
She began pacing around furiously, as she always did when she was thinking hard. "We just have to figure out what that anagram is and we can go find him." She looked down repeatedly at the jumbled letters, trying to solve them. Then she picked up a random bottle from a shelf, as if that would help.
"Is it... The Money Tree?" I asked tentatively.
Anna's eyes lit up. "Yes, that must be it!" she said, consulting the paper. "Let's go!"
She grabbed my hand and practically flew with me out of the small hut, making a beeline for The Money Tree, which was very close by. Before long, I saw the telltale giant cluster of assorted junk, which was being picked through by poor-looking Neopets.
However, I didn't see this strange JubJub anywhere. I'd never met him, but there was not a single JubJub near the tree. Anna looked distressed; she kept rolling the multicolored scarf around her neck into little knots, which I knew she did when she was stressed about something.
Her eyes lit up suddenly, as if she had an idea. She approached an elderly Blumaroo with a tattered waistcoat. "Hello, have you seen the Shop Wizard around here? Or maybe Dr. Sloth?"
As if Dr. Sloth just randomly showed his face in Neopia to look for some junk under a tree.
The Blumaroo gave her a suspicious glare. "Yeah I've seen something like that. But that information is going to cost you," he said. He spit slightly as he spoke, and his beady eyes kept darting toward Anna's purse.
With a sigh, Anna reached into her purse and took out 1,000 NP. The Blumaroo took them greedily and cackled softly before pocketing them.
"I saw something strange earlier," the Blumaroo said. "A hooded fellow, very tall, carved something into the back of the tree. He carried a sack on his back that was moving about. I got suspicious, but he paid me a great fee to keep quiet. But you just paid me more." He chuckled again.
Anna quickly went to the other side of the tree, no longer wanting to talk to the Blumaroo. On the other side of the legendary tree was another set of telltale jumbled letters. This one said: sasgl ottomb oatb oturs.
"Glass bottom boat tours!" Anna shouted out instantly. I looked at her, surprised, and she smiled modestly. "I just took you to those last week, don't you remember?" she asked.
Instantly I remembered; it was without a doubt the coolest experience ever. We drove all around Kiko Lake and could see clear to the bottom. I even remembered how to get there, and led the way for Anna.
Before long we were in Kiko Lake, the next step on our wild goose chase. Kikos floated around, chewing on flavored rock sticks and singing merry tunes as if nothing was amiss.
Anna and I jumped on the first boat tour we could find, the only one that happened to be running that day. We looked all over the boat, getting strange looks from the guide and other tourists, and could find no pieces of paper.
Anna sighed sadly, looking down at the transparent glass floor. But then, she started, as if something had scared her. Looking down, I was shocked too.
Below us was a beautiful myriad of kelp and coral in all colors. There were little fish swimming about in all shapes and sizes. Everything looked like it was supposed to... except for one thing.
Somebody had manually arranged some rocks at the bottom of the lake to look like letters. They read: oudngr ouhserawe.
Anna and I looked at each other sharply, instantly understanding. Another clue! Without waiting for the tour guide's permission, we jumped off the boat and back onto the dock.
"It's the Grundo Warehouse," I said quickly.
Anna looked astonished. "How would you know of such a place? I've never even taken you there or talked about it."
"You do make me read a lot, you know," I said with a wry smile.
Anna grinned. "I knew you'd thank me for it later," she said. "Let's go!"
Getting to the Space Station was difficult and took a very long time, and I began to be scared we were wasting time. Who knew what Dr. Sloth had in store for the Shop Wizard?
At long last, we made it. I looked around the Virtupets Space Station in awe, having never been there before. Grundos milled about, the strangest food I've ever seen in their hands. Two blue Grundos were sparring in the corner, holding strange ray guns. Every one in a while, a loud voice boomed over a loudspeaker, saying something about lint inspection.
"The warehouse is this way," Anna said urgently, pointing to a flight of stairs. We flew down the seemingly endless staircase to find an enormous room filled with brown boxes of all sizes.
And not a single sign of the Shop Wizard.
Or another clue.
Anna flopped down on the floor with a heavy sigh. "I don't get it..." she said sadly. "We followed all the clues. He should be here..." she trailed off.
A faint muffled noise made us both look up. A small box in the corner was shaking slightly. Anna looked sharply at me and jumped towards the box, tearing it open.
Sure enough, the Shop Wizard was inside. He looked ragged and tired, but otherwise completely unharmed. He wore strange colored robes just like Anna had described.
"Oh, thank you so much for rescuing me!" he exclaimed gratefully. His voice surprised me; I expected it to be old and wise sounding, but instead it was childlike and playful. It warmed me to him.
Before either of us could respond, there was a loud BOOM as something shot through the ceiling. We all whirled around, expecting something terrible. But what we saw was the opposite of terrible.
The Space Faerie had come to the Shop Wizard's rescue. She was just as stunning as Anna had described, with dark blue hair, caramel colored skin, and glowing red eyes. Her beauty was exotic and otherworldly.
Her gorgeous face jolted in shock when she saw us. It was clear we had beaten her to the rescue.
"Kind Neopians," she said gracefully, her voice melodious and ethereal, "you have done Neopia a grand favor by finding the Shop Wizard." She smiled a wide, dazzling smile.
I recovered enough to glance over at Anna, and stifled a giggle. Her jaw was practically on the ground, and she had a gaze of pure hero worship in her eyes. Seeing the Space Faerie was her dream come true.
"Can I... Can I have your autograph?" Anna asked timidly, her whole body shaking.
The Space Faerie smiled. "Here, just take this," she said, taking a rocket-shaped bracelet from around her neck and putting it around Anna's. The charm was beautiful, all reds and blues with a gold outline.
Anna looked like she was going to faint with delight. Before she could respond, the faerie thanked us one last time and disappeared.
The JubJub turned to us, speaking to us for the first time. "Thank you so much, I owe you my life," he said gratefully. "What was it that you wanted to search for?" he asked, turning to Anna.
Anna was smiling blissfully, holding the charm around her neck, in her own little world. "Hmm yes," she muttered back to him, not listening.
I laughed loudly, a smile on my face as I turned to the JubJub. "Sorry, but she's only got one faerie on her mind right now," I said as Anna continued to gaze at the pendant in wonder.
I eventually got the strange item that the light faerie had wanted from me. But needless to say, that faerie quest got me a lot more than a couple of levels. It earned me an experience I would never forget.