A Child's Pursuit of a Powerful Legend
One sunny day, Walda the Baby Kacheek was playing with her friends at school recess. Walda was going down the slide when the teacher blew the whistle, signaling that the children had to return to class.
“School is BORING!!!” whined Walda, kicking the dirt.
Her friend, a Baby Aisha, had a suggestion. “I don’t want to go in, either,” she agreed. “It’s too nice outside. I have an idea. Last night, my mother was telling me about a legend which is commonly told in Faerieland. There happens to be a faerie who will give a quest to anyone who asks---”
“Jhudora?!” interrupted Walda. “She’s MEAN!!!”
“No, not her. There’s an eccentric old faerie who has had many years to master her magical skills. I forget her name. She demands outrageously rare and expensive items, but if you give her what she asks, she will grant any one wish of yours.”
“Really?!” Walda’s face bore a perky smile. “I wanna be SUPER STRONG!!! If I bring her an item, then maybe my wish will come true!!!”
The Aisha shrugged. “We can try, but chances are that we won’t be able to afford what she asks for.”
“I wanna go!!!”
“Then let’s take off before the teacher sees us.” With that, the two mischievous Neopets snuck off school grounds to begin their journey.
The two arrived in Faerieland and were greeted by enchanting, beautiful rainbows. “I think the faerie lives in that cave over there,” the Aisha told Walda, pointing.
As the two approached the cave, Walda was prancing so excitedly that she wasn’t watching where she was going. She bumped into a faerie, bounced off her knee, and gazed upwards at a glaring, angry face.
“HEY, BRAT!!!” snarled Jhudora. “Watch where you’re going! This is EXACTLY what you did the LAST time we met!!! Silly child!!!” (Issue 768—The Valentine’s Day Which Was Plagued by a Villain)
Fighting back tears, Walda dashed away from Jhudora and toward the cave, figuring it would be better not to answer.
“What a coward!!!” muttered Jhudora.
Meanwhile, the Baby Aisha was sobbing. “S-SCARY!!!” she whined, running in the direction opposite to Walda. “I’m outta here!!!”
Walda paused, turning toward her friend. She shrugged, indifferent to the fact that her friend had chickened out. She figured that she would complete the quest herself.
When she entered the cave, she noticed that the path was fairly straightforward, and torches had been set up to illuminate her way. She eventually reached a dead end, where she saw an elderly faerie with a long grey braid, spectacles, and a plaid lavender dress. Walda wasn’t entirely sure what kind of faerie stood before her, but if she had to guess, she would say that the being was one of darkness.
She had been gazing at her spellbook, chanting incantations which made no sense to Walda, when she noticed that she had a visitor. “Hi,” she greeted the Kacheek. “My name is Helga. What can I do for you today?”
“Could you please grant me one wish?” Walda requested eagerly.
“If you find me a Faerie Caverns Stamp,” answered Helga. “I need that one for my collection.”
“Um, okay.” Thus Walda pranced outside in search of the item. However, she didn’t have a clue where to look, so she figured she’d ask someone. She waited on a nearby bench until she saw a Fire Faerie passing by. “Ma’am,” she began, “where can I find a Faerie Caverns Stamp?”
The faerie laughed. “Another one of Helga’s ridiculous quests, I suppose?”
“Well, you can find one in the Faerie Caverns, of course, if you’re extremely lucky. Otherwise, you can pay an exorbitant price at the Mystery Island Trading Post.”
“I’ll look in the Faerie Caverns. Thanks!”
“If you’re going there...” The faerie paused. “It’s really dark in there, so you’ll need a light to see.” She handed Walda a torch. “This will illuminate your way.”
“You’re welcome, and good luck. You’ll need it!”
When Walda entered the Faerie Caverns, she managed to find her way around thanks to the light she had been given. She eventually stumbled across a treasure chest, but unfortunately, it was locked and too heavy to carry. With no key in sight, she had to think of a solution.
She gazed at the torch and realized that it would burn through the wooden treasure chest, allowing her to access the contents inside. She excitedly lit the chest ablaze, creating a hole in the wood. Once the opening was big enough, she extinguished the fire with her water bottle. Then she peered inside.
She found 10,000 Neopoints, which was a lot of spending money for a small child such as herself. She was wondering what she would buy when she noticed a small box underneath the Neopoints. She opened it and found a colorful stamp. Concluding that it was the Faerie Caverns Stamp she had been searching for, she put it in her bag and walked out of the cave.
“Is this what you were looking for?” Walda asked.
“Yes!” exclaimed Helga enthusiastically. She put it in her album, then asked, “What is your wish?”
“To be the strongest pet in all of Neopia,” Walda grinned.
“Very well.” Helga retrieved her spellbook and chanted some magical words. A bright light enveloped Walda, and she felt a sense of empowerment as her stats grew to astronomical proportions.
“I feel stronger already!” she exclaimed. “Thank you!” Then she joyfully pranced out of the cave.
When Walda reached the outside world, she was greeted by two furious Neopets: her sister Chessella, a Pastel Draik, along with the principal, an ordinarily cheerful Yellow Cybunny who was more than just a little peeved at the moment. “THERE YOU ARE!!!” shouted Ella. “We’ve been looking for you for TWO HOURS!!!’”
“This is not the first time you’ve done this!” exclaimed the principal. “You’re suspended!”
Walda tried to hide the excitement she felt upon hearing that she wouldn’t have to go to boring school for a while.
“Do not EVER run away again!” continued the principal. “You could get hurt, and the school could be sued! It’s a disaster waiting to happen! Now go home with your sister. It’s way past school hours!” Then the Cybunny walked away.
Despite her fury, Ella was curious about what Walda had gotten into while she was away. When Ella asked, Walda replied giddily, “I found a Faerie Caverns Stamp, and I gave it to a Faerie, who made me super strong in exchange.”
Ella choked on the Earth Faerie Apple she had been eating. “YOU WHAT?!” she seethed. “THAT THING IS WORTH SIXTY-FIVE MILLION NEOPOINTS...” She clenched her fists.
Walda stared at her blankly. “I... didn’t know that...”
At that moment, the skies were blanketed by ominous black clouds, and an army of Darigan Korbats swooped downward. “It looks like they’re up to no good...” pondered Walda. “I’ll follow them.”
“NO!!!” contradicted Ella, grabbing Walda by the wrist. “You’ll get hurt!”
“No, I won’t!” answered Walda, twisting free. “I’m super strong now!” With that, she dashed toward the chaos.
When Walda caught up with the Korbats, she saw them breaking their way into the Hidden Tower. “Where’s Fyora?!” she overheard someone saying. “Or even Aethia! They could both put a stop to this right away!”
The other Neopet shook his head. “They both left today for some secret meeting. Maybe they’re plotting to take down Sloth.” He frowned. “The Korbats probably knew that they’d be gone, so they picked today to loot the Hidden Tower.”
Walda gritted her teeth and rushed into the tower, where she saw a swarm of Korbats with various artifacts in their talons. She wanted to defeat them more than ever, but she needed a weapon capable of hitting airborne targets. After frantically searching, she grabbed a Slingshot of Fire. Although its power wasn’t great, she figured her strength boost would make up for it.
She began shooting fireballs relentlessly, setting the Korbats ablaze. They screeched in pain, dropping their stolen goods and fleeing for cover. Before long, all of them had flown away. Walda grinned excitedly as she realized she had foiled the burglary.
Just then, Aethia and Queen Fyora dashed inside. Aethia had a Commemorative Battle Faerie Axe in hand, and the Queen was brandishing the legendary Fyora’s Rod, a weapon so powerful that she had always refused to sell it. “What in Neopi—Wait. It’s over?!”
“Yup!” grinned Walda. “I sent them all packing!”
Aethia burst out laughing. “Lying is bad, little kid! Tell us who did it.”
“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” commented Fyora, approaching Walda. After gazing at the Kacheek for a few seconds, she came to a conclusion. “Yes, this child is a force to be reckoned with. I’ve been at this for so long that I can tell.” She turned to Walda. “An aura is emanating from you. You are a true warrior.”
Walda stared at Fyora joyfully.
Fyora smiled warmly. “Thank you for your efforts. You are welcome here any time, my friend.” Then she handed Walda a small ticket. “Here is a discount coupon for any one Hidden Tower item of your choice. You can buy yourself a new weapon.”
“Thank you! I’ll have to convince my owner...”
Fyora laughed. “I wish you the best of luck in your future battles.”
“Thanks, kid!” grinned Aethia. Then the two walked away, leaving Walda in wonder and amazement.
All Walda felt at that moment was sheer delight. She had become super strong, foiled a burglary when no one else could, and met Fyora. On top of that, she didn’t have to go to school for a while. She didn’t care about the sixty-five million Neopoints; the respect of the most powerful monarch in Neopia was something she couldn’t buy.