The Darkest Day Of Neopia
I entered the Hall of Heroes, dragging my feet along.
"Oh, hello," I mumbled, spotting the janitor cleaning the rubble from the Darkest Faerie's statue, as usual.
"You insufferable girl! How dare you place your filthy feet in this hall! How many times do I have to tell you NOT TO ENTER THIS HALL?!" the janitor raged. "NOW LOOK AT THE EXTRA WORK I HAVE TO DO! LOOK AT THESE PUDDLES OF WATER!!! ARGHHHHHH!!!"
I winced and walked towards the council chamber of Altador on my right, leaving the cursing janitor behind me.
Now, please do not get me wrong. I'm normally a very polite Neopet.
But... just not today.
King Altador smiled at me as I entered. "In continuing memory of your great service to our land, I'd like to present you with a gift. It's only a small token of our appreciation, but we hope you will find it to your liking."
I held out my hoof out and received a Altador Stained Glass Window.
Normally I would have smiled back at the king, but I could only manage a kind of painful grimace.
"Ah, little one. Where is your mother? Is she unwell?" King Altador inquired. "Why are you here alone?"
"Altador," Jerdana cut in. "Didn't you know? It's the transition period. The humans are unable to access Neopia."
"Poor thing! You must be feeling very lonely. Perhaps you'll like another gift?" King Altador suggested, his eyes twinkling.
"Altador," said Jerdana sternly. "That isn't how a king should act."
"Sorry, Jerdana dear. My bad."
I flew to the ground and gently brushed off the sand on my hooves.
The Lost Desert sun was as unforgiving as usual, just thank Fyora that I'm a water pet.
And, no, water pets DON'T MELT.
I made my way to the Coltzan's Shrine.
Or let's say that there wasn't any need to 'make my way'. The whole place was quite deserted, such a contrast to the normally crowded and full-of-life Lost Desert.
Perhaps the merchants took a day off too, knowing that most pets will be in their Neohomes enjoying a parent-free day.
This desert is lifeless and dull without the usual squabbling to get a lower price and the yells like "Fresh Tchea Fruit! Only 825NP!" or "Strong sturdy potteries for your house! Cheapest in town!"
Approaching the shrine...
"I hope this helps... Yanune has gained 1 level(s)!"
Hmm, Coltzan was being exceptionally nice. Perhaps he was feeling sorry for me.
I then flew a short distance to Sakhmet, just to find an equally quiet city waiting for me.
I wandered around. The Sutek's Scroll shop was closed, the Battle Supplies shop was closed too... so was the food stall. Such a shame. The shopkeeper of the food stall - a yellow Grarrl, had a habit of sneaking me some exotic tidbits when I visited Sakhmet. Shh.
If I must say so myself, I'm quite popular with most shopkeepers. Maybe that's a talent, as my siblings quoted.
Ah, thankfully the Fruit Machine was still on, if not I would've came all the way for nothing.
"You get one free spin per day, so what are you waiting for?!"
Hoping for the best, I pushed the button...
Round and round and round they go, where they stop, nobody knows...
"Congratulations!!! You have won 1000 Neopoints!"
I pocketed the Neopoints and set off for my next stop.
Seems like the Fruit Machine was feeling sorry for me too.
I made a stop at Faerieland.
Faerieland looked as majestic as ever, even though it was no longer a city high in the sky. The lush greens waved lazily in the breeze and I spotted a few Pteris soaring gracefully in the blue sky.
I strolled down the cobbled paths, my spirits lifting a little due to the beautiful scenery around me.
But still, how nice if my mum was walking beside me, pointing out some interestingly-shaped clouds or bunches of juicy berries hidden in the hedges. I sighed.
I went to the Healing Spring and couldn't help but admire it. The calm, crystal clear healing water soothed my nerves. The golden statue of Marina - the guardian of the Healing Spring gave out a soft, golden glow under the sun.
There was a steady stream of Neopians lining up to be healed. Marina was sitting on a flat piece of rock, tending to a Blumaroo who seemed to have sustained serious injuries.
Slowly, the line thinned. Finally, it was my turn.
"Hello, Marina. Nice to see you," I greeted.
"Why, hello, Yanune. You're looking great, as usual!" Marina replied with a charming smile.
She chanted a few magical words and handed me a Wet Snowball.
Then, she looked closely at me. "On a second thought, no, you're not looking too great. Why the frown on your beautiful face?"
"Eh... nothing. Just the heat getting to me. You know, it's... hot," I replied hesitantly, not wanting to sound rude to a Faerie I sincerely like.
"Cheer up, Yanune. It's a beautiful day." Marina smiled knowingly.
When I was leaving the spring, I had a sudden thought.
What a lame excuse. It was a very windy day in Faerieland.
I passed by the Rainbow Fountain and saw a knot of Neopets goggling at the fountain.
It is a dream of any pet to be painted.
A lucky Aisha was clutching to her owner's hand. Her owner had just completed a Fountain Faerie quest and had chosen to paint her Desert.
The Aisha lowered herself into the water cautiously, holding her breath.
Her miraculous transformation from Green to Desert gained whoops and claps from the Neopets milling around.
I smiled and walked on. I was perfectly contented and happy with my colour - water. Unlike most, I was not anxious for a dip in the Rainbow Fountain.
I handed 500 Neopoints to the light faerie in charge and had a spin at the Wheel Of Excitement. I left, pocketing 2,500NP from the spin.
It was sure a lucky day. But everything would have been much better with my mum with me.
I flapped my wings and rose into the air. I flew to Faerie City, the magnificent castle getting closer in sight.
Landing gracefully, I stopped briefly outside the Faerieland Bookshop to greet the Library Faerie.
This was another Faerie whom I really admire, for her wisdom and intelligence. She was always calm and helpful and gave the best advice. Normally I would've stopped for a chat, but I wasn't in a chatty mood.
I hurried to the Faerie Foods shop and purchased a Cheese Flower Cracker, as requested by my baby brother.
"That would be 152 Neopoints, thank you very much," the Earth Faerie said.
I handed her the Neopoints and carefully placed the cracker in my bag.
After grabbing some omelette from Tyrannian and *miraculously* obtaining some Smelly Jelly from *nowhere*, I made a detour to Maraqua before returning to Altador.
Maraqua is one of my favourite places in Neopia, with its splendid seashell-shaped buildings and its many interesting underwater creatures. The rich history of Maraqua really fascinates me too. (not to mention... Jacques is so dreamy!)
But... I was just not in the mood. Not in the mood to enjoy this trip.
I smiled half-heartedly as a sign of greeting at a Maraquan Shoyru and swam swiftly to the Ye Olde Fishing Vortex.
I sat on the edge of the jetty and dropped my fishing rod into the water. This fishing rod was a new one, a gift from my mum.
Sigh... Mama, I miss you so much.
I sat dreaming about when my mum was to return, and what goodies would she bring us. Perhaps a new shirt? Or some homemade chocolate muffins? (her baking is horrible though... eat at your own risk!)
However terrible were Mum's baking skills, I still missed her homemade pastries.
I missed everything about her.
Pouting, I counted the time left until I could finally see my beloved mama.
Instead of our mama, we got to see the Down For Maintenance Pteri peeping into our Neohomes about twice in an hour to check if we've ran away or something. What a nice change.
After a while, I reeled in my line and got...
Oh well, nice enough. Better than an old rotten left sandal or a giant green kelp.
I headed back home.
I opened the gate and entered my Neohome. Home sweet home, at last.
Exhausted, I slumped into the house and put down my heavy bag filled with goodies from today's dailies, planning to take a good bubbly bath and have some Z's.
It was a tiring day, my wings were drooping and squeaking in protest.
I turned my head so fast that I cricked my neck. Ouch.
I broke into a wide smile when I saw who it was calling out to me.
"Mama!" I squealed.
I dashed over to hug my mum, who was sitting on the sofa, reading a magazine.
"You're early, Mama!" I said.
"Isn't that a nice surprise, darling! I lied to you about the date where the transition ends." She winked playfully. "And not to forget, I have some delicious homemade chocolate cookies for you all!"
That's my mum, always full of silly little tricks.
And that's my mum, the one that I love.
Even a million neopoints will be meaningless without my mum.
I grabbed a piece of the chocolate cookie and took a bite, enjoying the as-hard-as-a-rock cookie.