Nice Guys Finish First
Aero the Faerie Ixi was a bookworm. He loved learning about new things and how they worked. He was interested in reading about all the lands of Neopia and what it would be like to one day visit them all. Aero was the top of his class at Neoschool and was on his way to being valedictorian. If the other pets needed a tutor, he was the first the teachers would ask. Aero was also the first to be asked to complete the lazy pets homework in exchange for 2k neopoints, which he never agreed to.
One day Aero was glancing at his calendar and saw that Summer had officially began. Hot days,relaxing by the pool with a good book, and also the Altador Cup.
Neopians from all lands compete to become the Altador Champion. Although, Aero knew all about the cup, he never really thought of participating. Everyone was excited, they couldn't wait to choose their teams. Aero, couldn't wait to read the article in the Neopian Times about it.
Then the thought crossed his mind, "What if I played this year?"
After much consideration he decided that he could learn a lot from it. Also, maybe his name would appear in one of those articles!
Aero quickly flew out the door to where sign ups where happening. When he arrived, the line was really long and full of athletic pets.
"I'm joining Krawk Island this year! They are going to make a huge come back!" A pirate Krawk announced.
During all of Aeros excitement, he hadn't given a lot of thought to what team he was going to join.
While standing there, thinking of what team to choose, a yellow Bruce looked at him and started giggling. Finding that kind of rude, Aero decided to ask him what was so funny.
"You are! You're seriously in line for the AC? Shouldn't you be reading or teaching a math class?" The Bruce asked.
Ignoring his questions and rudeness, Aero stepped up to the sign up sheet and glanced over all the teams before deciding upon Faerieland.
"Faerieland?! I can tell you don't keep up with the AC. They NEVER win! They have heart, but don't get very far! Nice guys finish last!" Shouted the yellow Bruce.
"Well, maybe this year that will change." Aero smiled and walked past the Bruce.
"I doubt it!" The Bruce shouted back.
Aero flew back to his home to study more on the AC and what he could provide for the team. He was getting kind of excited when the Bruce words came into his head.
"You're seriously in line for the AC? Shouldn't you be reading or teaching a math class?"
"Who am I kidding? He's right. I don't belong in the AC, I'm not the athletic type. I'm not even sure if I could catch the ball." Aero sighed.
The phone disturbed his thoughts as he reached over to answer.
"Hey there! I'm Cynthia from Faerieland! I hope you wasn't busy or that I didn't intterupt you! I just wanted to welcome you to Team Faerieland!"
"Thank you, but I'm not so sure I will be joining after all." Aero sighed.
"Why not Aero? I'm sorry but you signed onto Faerieland, you can't switch teams."
"It's not that, I'm not very athletic and I feel as if I will only be holding Faerieland back. If you stand any chance of winning this year, I should probably drop out."
"Team Faerieland isn't about winning, as long as you're having fun and trying your best, you're a winner regardless of that trophy!"
Aero hadn't thought about it that way. He thanked her and after they got off the phone he continued his reading. He needed to learn about all the other teams weakness and their strengths, who their main players where and their special moves. Most importantly, he needed to read about his team mates.
Aero found himself actually smiling. It helped that he was feeling more prepared and learned more than he thought about the Altador Cup and the teams.
He was nervous his first game, so nervous in fact he didn't know how he finished the game. But he did and they won!
Aeros confidence was up and he had forgot about the mean things the Bruce had told him. He was enjoying spending time with his team and celebrating their victories.
A few days later it had finally arrived, The Altador Cup championship. Aero was so nervous as they were about to get started. It turns out, Faerieland was playing Haunted Woods, in which the yellow Bruce had signed up for. He couldn't believe it was already the last game.
The score was close and there was only a few seconds left. Haunted Woods was up by 1.
"I told you! You shouldn't have joined! Let's get this over with so my team can collect our trophy and you can go back to doing whatever it is you do."
Faerieland had called a time out and Aero went to the locker room.
"Ok, listen guys and girls, this looks like we aren't going to win again this year. I don't like saying that or having that negative energy, but I also don't want to give a false attitude in thinking we are going to win. I'm proud of you and to me we are all winners because we did our best and we had fun!" Cynthia said.
"Wait, it isn't over! Maybe we can still win!" A Faerie Shoyru shouted.
"I'm sorry team, I really am. There's no way we can possible pull off this win. Their set up is brutal and they have their strongest players ready to score on all sides. We played hard and did out best. I'm very proud of you guys and girls, just wish we could have won this year." Cynthia sighed.
Aero felt sad that Team Faerieland had worked so hard and was going to lose by a simple set up from the Haunted Woods team. Then it hit him. Simple mathematics would win this for his team!
He told Cynthia his idea and drew out the plan explaining in detail to her and the rest of the team Cynthia decided they would go with it and that it was brilliant!
Last second and it was Aero from Faerieland and the Yellow Bruce from The Haunted Woods face to face. The words the Bruce had said to him crossed his mind, but he quickly brushed them away. It was game time and this was it, the championship.
Aero scooped past the Bruce catching him off guard and Faerieland continued with the plan and scored, winning them the AC Championship for the very first time!
"Knowledge and athletic! We're so glad you joined us Aero, not because you helped win us our very first Altador Cup, but because we all have a new friend!" Cynthia said excited.
The Faerieland team lifted Aero up into the air as the crowd cheered and Neopian Times reporters surrounded them awaiting answers to their questions.
After they sat Aero onto the ground, the yellow Bruce came up to Aero and shook his paw.
"I guess last guys don't finish last, they finish first."
Aero just smiled thanked him and congratulated him for a well played game. Then he joined his team and they celebrated while holding their trophy high up into the air!