Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 94,333,932 Issue: 184 | 1st day of Eating, Y7
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Jhudaberry Soup: Part Four

by sky___phoenix



     Skylark grinned at the little blue Kacheek, who had just appeared, and was running towards her. After all, what harm can a Kacheek do to a Lupe? she thought, but gasped in anger as he grabbed her around her middle.

     "Let GO!" she tried to shrug him away, and kicked him off her as hard as she could. She gaped as she saw a Zafara and Kiko streak out of the room and into the Kitchen.

     "Yes! Merielfy!" she crowed aloud, jubilant. However, at the same time, the faerie, red faced with rage, pointed a menacing finger at Skylark, who instinctively ducked behind a cauldron. The Neopets in the queue were all staring at the scene, and most were backing away from the Lupe and angry Faerie. Some started hurrying from the building.

          Suddenly the half-open door to the kitchen burst open, and Merielfy and the red Kiko rushed back into the room, breathing hard, overloaded with yellow Neggs.

     "You again!" Jhudora cried, now distracted from Skylark by the two Neopets running towards her. To Skylark's great confusion, they started pelting the Neggs at Jhudora, who dodged most of them with ease.

     Whatever Merielfy's doing, it's not working, Skylark thought with a groan. Had her friend gone mad?

     Just then a burly yellow Kau in a smart, black policemen's uniform pushed through the gaggle of onlookers, shadowed by the green Uni Breezy.

     "Halt!" he cried, clopping forward. At the same time, a yellow negg smashed onto Jhudora's forehead, knocking askew a wig of shoulder-length brown hair, revealing a glimpse of green and purple streaks.

     "Hey!" the Kau. "I said halt!" He pulled out a silver, club-like baton from the various weapons in his belt and brandished it in the air. "No one move." All the Neopets present froze, including the negg throwers.

     Jhudora, however, grimaced sweetly at the policeman. "Oh, thank Fyora you are here, officer," she said in her high-pitched Soup-Faerie voice. "Some vandals have been wrecking my kitchen! Perhaps you could take them away so I can continue with my work?"

     The Kau tilted his head to one side, replaced the baton, and drew out a white ray gun.

     "Please explain why you are wearing that wig, Soup Faerie… or is it Jhudora?"

          The evil faerie quickly opened her mouth, muttered "inssineo" and began to disappear, seemingly dissolving into the air. Immediately a white streak shot out from the officer's gun, and hit the half - vanished faerie, causing her to freeze, as white goo enveloped her form.

     "Faerie paste. Just invented. Great stuff," the Kau remarked casually, but did not relax. "Right. Everyone here - single file, and follow me… or else."

12:15pm NST, Sept 20, Royal Faerie Court.

     Fyora sat at the head of the grand courtroom, speculating on the case that was being presented. To her left sat Jhudora, magically chained to her seat with golden cuffs. On her right sat half a dozen Neopets - a blue Lupe, a Christmas Zafara, a red Kiko, a green Uni, a blue Kacheek and a yellow Kau. Her trusted advisors/bodyguards stood next to her, silently observing, - Lillea, a dark faerie, and Pellea, an earth faerie.

     The Lupe and the Zafara particularly intrigued the Queen. Skylark and Merielfy declared (and they could not lie - only a few knew that the courtroom was spelled to prevent falsehoods) that they witnessed Jhudora performing treason. Of course, that was not the way they put it! But capturing and injuring the poor Soup Faerie!.. well, that was definitely treason of the worst sort. Not to mention the poisoning of soup. The poor Kacheek was proof of that.

     No, she was definitely indebted to those two pets in particular. She was surprised, actually, that Jhudora had used such an obvious method, and hadn't used a more magical disguise… and why would she want so many slaves? Maybe someone was controlling Jhudora herself, using her as a decoy? Fyora put the thought firmly out of her mind. That faerie would never submit to anyone.

     She glanced again at the Soup Faerie, who had been called to give witness. She was still in a shocked state, but recovering quickly from the immobilizing spell Jhudora had performed on her. . .

     One of her advisors coughed, and Fyora nearly started, her usually serene face a little creased at the brow. Of course, the court was waiting for her to give Jhudora's sentence.

     Skylark, seated in a straight backed, golden chair, was watching the Faerie Queen nervously. Since officer Quirk, the yellow Kau, had taken control, she and everyone in the building had been marched to the Neopian Police Headquarters, and soon after that had been escorted to Faerieland Court.

     Since giving her account of what happened, she felt that she had been behaving like an idiot - sneaking away from home was one thing - but breaking into the Soup Kitchen? What if Queen Fyora was angry with her? What would Kibeth, not to mention her owner, say?

     Her conscience gave an uncomfortable jolt when she thought of her older siblings back at home. What was it she had told them - that she was doing an assignment? The small Lupe felt suddenly miserable - they would be so worried… oh, she would be in so much trouble!

     The faerie queen raised her right hand, and Skylark's stomach tightened uncomfortably as the regal faerie began to speak.

     "Guilty," the Queen said gravely. "The accused is fined a hundred-thousand Neopoints, for vandalism, poisoning, compulsion, treason, breaking and entering, and above all injuring another faerie, who did her no harm."

     "The accused, Jhudora, will also spend six months in the magical basement of the Soup Faerie Kitchen, scrubbing soup pots, in the hope that it will teach my fellow Faerie better behaviour."

     Then she frowned severely at Jhudora, who was ignoring the proceedings with a look of disgust on her sneering face.

     Fyora continued, "All the Neopets involved are to be considered innocent, and I sincerely thank the Neopian Police Force for their efficient and commendable work."

     The Faerie Queen paused, and Skylark's hopes raced. Is Fyora going to thank Merielfy and me now? And Breezy and Scout the Kiko, too? She thought excitedly.

     "This case is now closed," she concluded, rising in a rustle of purple silk, then departed the room through a golden side door.

     Disappointment coursed through the small Lupe. "So that's the end - I just go home, after practically saving the Soup Kitchen?" she thought bitterly.

     She turned her head left to regard Merielfy, who was watching her, looking almost as glum as Skylark herself.

     "So that's it?" Skylark asked over the bustle, as the other Neopets in the courtroom rose and left. "I go home and… Merielfy, where do you live?"

     "130911 Magical Road, Neopia Central," her friend, staring at her gloomily. "My owner is going to kill me, when he finds out I quit my job."

     "Oh Merielfy, I didn't mean to make you lose your job! I'll make it up to you, I promise!" the Lupe said frantically, then an idea struck her.

     "Hey, you can work at my owners shop! She needs someone to help her at the counter."

     "Hmmm… Maybe… I'll think about it," Merielfy said carefully, brightening. "Can I go home with you? Usually I'm giving tours until three, my owner won't expect me back yet."

     "Sure!" Skylark said enthusiastically, beaming at the Zafara.

     Just then Fyora's earth faerie advisor joined the pair, looking disapproving. "The Queen requests that you join her in the interview room," she said quietly. "Please follow." The faerie moved gracefully towards the door Fyora had passed through.

     The pair of Neopets hurried nervously after the faerie, who led them into a small but grand hallway, then into a room with many luxuriant cream armchairs. Behind an oaken desk sat the Faerie Queen, her hands folded elegantly in front of her.

     "Please have a seat. If you please, Pellea, stand by the door."

     "Yes your Majesty."

     Skylark and Merielfy each half-collapsed into an armchair.

     "I would here your story again, but I have other business to attend to today. Is there any way I can thank you for what you have done?"

     "It's fine, your Majesty, really" murmured Skylark, alarmed at the sight of the Queen putting herself before them.

     "Mmm," Merielfy agreed fervently.

     "Nothing?" Fyora asked, raising a delicate eyebrow, but before Skylark could open her mouth again, the Faerie Queen seemed to pluck two golden objects from the air.

     Fyora opened her palm, and a golden chain with a glowing purple F at the center settled around each of the two Neopets' necks.

     "Wow," sighed Merielfy.

     "If either of you are in that sort of situation again, if you are in need, and I mean TRUE need, show it, and it will be known you are under my protection. Take care of them; they are very precious." She drummed four fingers on the table in thought. "Now. You should leave."

     "Thank you your majesty," the overawed Neopets murmured, then slipped out of the room.

     Twenty minutes later, two Neopets climbed through the window of a Faerieland bedroom. One was particularly disgruntled.

     "Why the window?" grumbled the Christmas Zafara.

     "Shhh. Come with me. If anyone asks, I met you on a walk, and you're going to help my owner in her shop," Skylark whispered back, then prowled into the living room. The room was empty, but she could here the sound of the clanging of metal coming from the kitchen. Her sister Kibeth seemed to be engrossed in washing the dishes at the sink.

     "Kib?" Skylark asked uncertainly.

     The pretty starry Gelert turned around, startled, there was a clang as a spoon dropped from her paw. "Skylark! Where've you been all morning?! Al is about to call the police. And who's that behind you?"

     The small Lupe looked a little guilty. "Aah, Kibby, I just went for a walk. A long walk. Anyway, I found a friend who can help our owner in the shop."

     After brief introductions were made, Kibeth gave Merielfy a warm smile. "Well, you came home just in time. I made something special for lunch."

     "Fantastic!" Merielfy said happily. "Me 'n Skylark are starving."

      The Gelert beamed at the Christmas Zafara.

     "It's a soup, you see I picked up some Purple Shrooms from the auctions on special, and I thought I'd give them a try… Skylark? Are you feeling alright?"

     "Aah, I'm not that hungry, actually," said Skylark faintly. "You go ahead, I think I'll go without!"

The End

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Other Episodes

» Jhudaberry Soup: Part One
» Jhudaberry Soup: Part Two
» Jhudaberry Soup: Part Three

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