Hello Fellow Traveler:Part Four
Later that night, all the Neopians of the growing community came together to put up the festival decorations. Small stalls that sold food, items, and had games appeared all around the area. Dark red ribbons hung from trees and torches were placed down the paths to light the way. Dozens of flowers were placed along the ribbons, letting petals float through the air. Some Neopians carved instruments out of spare wood, and started playing music.
A few children were playing ball out in the nearby fields. Their laughter and yelling filled the cool night air. A fellow Neopian had made up a game called Yooyuball, where one team goes against the other, throwing a petpet called a Yooyu, into the other team’s net. Nera had tried playing it, but she didn't do too well at the game. The ball always went the wrong way, causing havoc.
A sweet small blue Aisha named Emily, assured Nera that she wasn't that bad at the sport, but Nera knew otherwise. The child was only being polite. A orange Gelert named Tom, also offered to help teach her how to play, but Nera decided it was for the best that she just quit.
Altador on the other hand, was an avid player at it, another skill he happened to pick up quickly. He enjoyed playing the sport in his spare time, always winning against the other team.
How could one Neopian be so skilled at everything?
The Xweetok found herself asking that question during the beginning of the festival. She watched as Altador played yooyuball with the children, finding herself smiling at him. The tall Lupe had a big heart and a bigger love for kids. To the children's joy, Altador would keep letting them win, assuring them he would beat them next time. His kindness and compassion for even the smallest of creatures, touched Nera’s heart.
Altador and Nera then walked down the stone pathway, talking to one another. Time always flew by when they held a conversation. Through their past long talks, Altador learned that Nera adored small petpets, so he gifted her a small Altachuck. In the far future, Altador would realize that was a mistake, due to the creature being grouchy and wanting to bite everyone but Nera.
The Lupe and Xweetok continued to discuss how the building of the city was going, which was quite well. The layout of the city had been drawn out by the council, and things were going according to plan. The water system had been designed, and a few shops were planned to be built in the city. The city would be divided by districts, housing a number of buildings and waterways.
“The Hall of Heroes looks really beautiful, Altador.” Nera strolled by his side, glancing at the large building. It towered above everything else, standing tall and proud.
Altador looked over at it. “It is, I'm relieved it's finally finished.”
The Xweetok looked at the Lupe, and noticed that he took her compliment she gave him a few weeks ago seriously. Nera mentioned that Altador would look nice with a beard, and it appeared to her that he was actually growing it out. She wondered why he would take her advice.
Did he care about her opinions that much?
“I can't believe you're wanting to grow your beard out.” Nera then giggled at the Lupe’s furry face. It caught him completely off guard, as he didn't know what to say at first.
He then laughed, running his hand down the top of his head, making his large white ears lay flat for just a moment. “I'm only growing it out because you said I would look nice with a beard!”
“I wasn't expecting you to take me seriously!”
“So... you don't think I should then?”
Nera immediately shook her head, “No, no you should grow it out. I'm only teasing you silly.”
Altador laughed, and held out his right arm to Nera, and she took it, holding onto it as she walked by his side. They kept strolling through the festival in silence, just enjoying each other's company. The world felt like it was at peace for once. Nera wasn't dealing with a dark evil sorcerer, and Altador was finally building the kingdom he wanted.
It seemed almost perfect, except…Altador had a question burning in the back of his mind. He was afraid to ask Nera, but knew he had to eventually. Asking it now and getting it over with was the best idea. Then he would know the answer and not worry over it anymore.
After a few minutes of silence, Altador broke it with the question.
“Do...do you plan on staying here with us?”
The tone of his voice sounded worried, maybe even sad. Altador already knew a few of the Neopians were moving out, wanting to live elsewhere. He worried Nera would do the same. By this time, he had grown attached to the island native.
She shrugged, “I don't know really..some of my people have decided to move on and find a home elsewhere. They love it here, they really do. Just...some of them feel like they don't belong.”
Several of the Moonstone natives wanted to move across the mountains. Many felt like this wasn't their home, and wanted to move on. Others wished to just travel and see what they could find. Nera’s heartbroken a small bit upon hearing that some of her closest friends would soon be leaving. Sadly, it was only for the best. She saved them so they could make their own life choices and be free, they had every right to use that freedom.
“Oh.. ” Altador said, sounding slightly disappointed in her answer. “Well… it'd be a shame if you left as well. I'd be happy if you decided to stay.”
“I'll just have to think about it.” She gave him a sympathetic look, as if she was apologizing.
As much as she loved this place, and possibly Altador as well, she had a duty to keep her people safe. If they wanted her to follow them, she would. Their happiness came before her’s, as much as she wanted to stay, she couldn't.
Altador smiled and patted her hand. “I'll always be here if you ever change your mind.”
Nera smiled, comforted by his words. “Thank you Altador.”
They continued walking, not knowing what would be in store for them in the future. The building of the city would continue throughout the next year. Neopians would could and go, trying to make their place in the world.
Altador could only keep thinking over the question, if Nera would stay, or would she leave with the others? Time could only tell. If she decided to leave, Altador would always be there if she wanted to return to him. The rest of the council called him silly for being so worried over one Neopet leaving, but they didn't know.
They just didn't know how much he truly cared for her.
Over a thousand years later, a young yellow Lupe walked into the kingdom of Altador, the Darkest Faerie had cursed the land, forcing the city into a time bubble. Two young Neopians were called upon to save the city, and the rest of Neopia. The fate of thousands of lives rested in their hands, and they were extremely stressed over the situation.
“Tormund! Come on we gotta go!” Roberta urged her friend to hurry, as they had no time to spare.
Tor shook his head, unsheathing his shiny sword. “Alright... alright I'm coming.”
Before he followed the impatient acara, he felt himself being watched, so he looked up towards a large stone building, and sitting at the window was a light brown Xweetok. She wore a silky purple cape and a white Altadorian dress. Her brown hair was entwined with green ivory. The Xweetok appeared to be a royal figure, or someone of high status in the city. Tormund wasn't really educated yet on all the residents of the city, so she could possibly be a council member or a wealthy Altadorian.
Beside the pretty Xweetok, stood an elderly blue Lenny. His white hair was ruffled and a spectacle rested upon his face.
That same face was flushed with worry, and he kept whispering to the Xweetok.
Tormund only heard the Lenny mention something like ’My queen, they're only children...why would King Altador choose them of all Neopians to save us? Nera...I really don't understand any of this nonsense.’
The queen then shushed the Lenny, turning all her attention towards Tormund once again.
The yellow Lupe was surprised he happened to come across the actual queen of the city. He wasn't even aware that King Altador was married, then again... royals are always private. They seemed to have private lives outside of their royal duty. Tor didn't even know King Hagan had a niece, yet...here was Roberta.
Nera, which Tormund assumed was the Xweetok’s name, gave him a small wave and smiled.
“Hello fellow traveler.”