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A Trade's a Trade


by playmobil_is_my_life

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There was nothing more that Wiseguy, a glowing Wocky loved more than Trading Cards. He boasted to his friends that he owned every card and one day would work at the Trading Card Shop in the Neopian Bazaar. That would be the perfect life.

     As a matter-of-fact, Wiseguy was on his way to the Trading Card shop right now, his younger brother Tweetie tagging along. Tweetie was a Pteri, a starry one, so he flew above Wiseguy.

     It was a bright and breezy day in Neopia Central, a perfect day to walk to the Trading Card Shop and purchase a few booster packs.

     "Wiseguy, are we almost there?" Tweetie asked.

     "Yeah, I can see the shop!"

     "Great!" said Tweetie, grinning. Today he was going to buy his first booster pack. He wanted to be just like Wiseguy in every way and Tweetie had finally saved up enough Neopoints to buy a booster pack. He had seen Wiseguy's Neodeck, piling up to the ceiling of his bedroom. It was a very tall tower of cards, since the ceilings were vaulted.

     Tweetie knew that Wiseguy's favorite card was Niten Hiroru, the Ninja Kiko. Wiseguy practically worshipped that card. It was in the front page of his Neodeck, the first card. Tweetie thought that maybe someday he'd be lucky enough to have that card… just like Wiseguy.

     "Here we are," said Wiseguy with a pleasant grin. They reached an odd-looking shop shaped like giant cards stacked together. Wiseguy opened the door for Tweetie, who joyfully soared in.

     The shop was filled with Neopets talking excitedly about all of the new cards that had just arrived. On all of the walls and in the aisles were none other than mint condition Trading Cards. All of them were protected with a light covering, preventing them from harm. But Wiseguy wasn't interested in the single cards, as he owned most of them.

     "Wow, Wiseguy look at this!" Tweetie called to his brother.

     "Solar Fyre," said Wiseguy, tossing the red card back onto the shelf. "Already have it."

     "What about this one?" Tweetie asked, holding up a blue Trading Card. "Malkus Vile?"

     "Have it," said Wiseguy, and he gently pushed his brother away, "why don't we look at the booster packs instead…"

     They stopped in front of a row of silver packages, each glimmering under the lights. Wiseguy casually plucked a few off the shelf and said, "I'll get these. Here's one for you. Let's get home so we can open them!"

     "Wait, I don't want this one," Tweetie put his back on the shelf. A moment later he picked up an identical one and insisted, "I want this one."

     "But it looks the same," Wiseguy stated.

     "Yeah, well… I have a good feeling about this one."

     Wiseguy rolled his green eyes, "whatever."

     He and Tweetie paid nine hundred Neopoints for each booster pack. Wiseguy's total was two thousand seven hundred Neopoints. But he was happy.

     On the way home, Wiseguy let Tweetie ride on his back. Tweetie was in charge of holding the bag, which contained the booster packs.

     The minute they were inside the Neohome, Tweetie dumped the contents of the bag on the living room floor and Wiseguy gathered up his booster packs, and pushed one to Tweetie.

     "Hey, this one's not mine!" Tweetie complained. "You have my booster pack."

     "Which one?"

     "That one."

     "Fiiiine," Wiseguy rolled his eyes again and traded with Tweetie. He exchanged the booster packs and started to open his three.

     Tweetie watched with growing excitement, as Wiseguy would mumble "Oooh "and" Cool and Dang, another double He showed Tweetie his new twenty four cards: Tyran Far, Sir Cheekalot, The Archmagus of Roo, King Roo, another Sir Cheekalot…

     "My turn!" yelled Tweetie, and he slit open his booster pack with a starry wingtip. He carefully pulled out the eight cards and read them out loud, "Underwater Chef, Haiki-Lu, Otona Protector of Seas, Glug Glug Jones, Princess Fernypoo, Siona, Amazonian Kyrii and Lupe Warrior."

     "That's nice…" Wiseguy started to walk away, but then he stopped abruptly. He slowly turned back to Tweetie. "What was that last one?"

     Tweetie shuffled through his new cards, "Lupe Warrior."

     Wiseguy's jaw dropped.

     Tweetie looked at him with round eyes, "Wiseguy, are you okay?"

     "Lupe Warrior?" Wiseguy's voice raised several octaves.

     "Mm-hmm."

     "Don't move. I'll be right back." There was a blur of radioactive fur as Wiseguy raced to his bedroom. Tweetie watched in anticipation when Wiseguy returned and started to remove a card from its sleeve protector. He turned to his brother, "Do you know what this is?"

     "Yeah, Niten Hiroru. Isn't that your favorite card?"

     "Yes," said Wiseguy, still smiling like a maniac, "and I'll trade it to you for your Lupe Warrior."

     "Wow, really?" Tweetie asked, ecstatic.

     Wiseguy nodded, "Lupe Warrior is worth well over one hundred thousand Neopoints!"

     "Really?" Tweetie asked again.

     "Really," echoed Wiseguy, "I'll give you my favorite card for it."

     To Tweetie, owning Wiseguy's favorite card in all of Neopia meant more to him than a one hundred thousand-Neopoint card. Wiseguy's going to trade me his favorite card for it! Tweetie mused, That's what I've wanted for such a long time! And now I can finally have it…

     "Okay, I'll trade you." Tweetie handed Wiseguy the Lupe Warrior and Wiseguy handed Tweetie Niten Hiroru.

     Like a lightning bolt zapping through him, Wiseguy felt a pang of guilt. Could he really trade his brother a card that was worth much less than another? Wiseguy took a deep breath and just stared at his new card-Lupe Warrior.

     Oh well, thought Wiseguy, Tweetie seems happy enough.

     "If you want to trade back, just tell me," said Tweetie, "I don't want to feel like I'm ripping you off or anything…"

     Wiseguy felt another pang of guilt. But that was soon replaced by a wave of happiness. "A trade's a trade."

     "Huh?"

     "That means that no matter what, you can't trade me back."

     "Okay," said Tweetie smiling. And wanting to sound just like his brother, he recited, "A trade's a trade."

     ***

     That evening, Wiseguy sat at the kitchen table, flipping through the pages of cards in his Neodeck.

     "Did you get any new cards today?" his owner Sam asked.

     Wiseguy smirked, "Yeah, a few."

     "Good."

     "Tweetie bought his first booster pack today, and I traded him for a card that was worth over one hundred thousand Neopoints!"

     "Tweetie got a card worth that much?" Sam asked, eyebrows meeting her hairline.

     "Yeah, and I traded him my favorite card for it. Niten Hiroru."

     Sam frowned, "I may not know much about trading cards, but isn't Niten Hiroru worth around thirty thousand?"

     "Yeah," said Wiseguy, astonished, "how did you know?"

     "I had to buy it to get the avatar. If you ask me, that didn't sound like a very fair trade on Tweetie's behalf."

     "Oh come on," Wiseguy started to crack his knuckles anxiously, "he seemed happy."

     His owner frowned. Then he shrugged, "Well, if he thought it war fair, then whatever."

     "Great!" said Wiseguy, and he slid the card out of his Neodeck. "I'm taking this to the Trading Card shop before dark. I just want to see what I can get for it."

     "Okay," said Sam, "be home soon."

     ***

     Wiseguy pushed open the door to the Trading Card shop a few minutes later. There was hardly anyone around because of the late hours, except for the blue Buzz who worked there.

     "Excuse me, but I was wondering if you could tell me how much this costs." Wiseguy handed the Lupe Warrior card to the Buzz. He looked at it front and back.

     "If you want to sell it to me, I can give you two hundred Neopoints for it."

     Wiseguy's eyes bugged out farther than the Buzz shopkeeper's. Then he laughed. "You're joking right? Lupe Warrior is worth over one hundred thousand Neopoints!"

     The Buzz frowned then he shook his head. "No joke, this card is worth only two hundred Neopoints."

     "But…but…" Wiseguy stammered.

     "Oh, wait a minute!" The Buzz went to the back shelf and picked up a yellow card, "Did you mean this one? Because I know for a fact this one is worth a ton."

     Wiseguy looked at the card and his stomach dropped to his knees. Draik Warrior. It was Draik Warrior that was worth all the Neopoints, not Lupe Warrior.

     "Oh," said Wiseguy feeling extremely stupid.

     "Do you still want to sell this card?" The shopkeeper waved the Lupe Warrior.

     "No, I'll just take it back… thanks."

     The walk home in the dark was more dreadful than being painted grey. Then a thought popped into Wiseguy's mind, All I have to do is trade Tweetie back. He'll let me, he practically worships me!

     And he sprinted off towards home.

     ***

     Back on Wishing Well Drive, Wiseguy opened the door and cautiously stepped inside. Tweetie was on the living room floor, staring at the Niten Hiroru card. Wiseguy gulped and said,

     "You know, Tweetie, how about we trade back. That old Niten Hiroru is worthless. But check out this Lupe Warrior," he dangled the card in front of Tweetie's eyes, "it's a real winner. So will you trade me back?"

     Tweetie shook his head, "I can't."

     Wiseguy gaped at him, "Why not?"

     "I'm not allowed to." Before Wiseguy could ask why, Tweetie replied, "You said 'A trade's a trade' and that rule means that I can't trade you back. Sorry."

     "Now hang on a minute," Wiseguy stopped Tweetie from heading upstairs, "that rule can be broken if both Neopets want to trade back. Do you want to?"

     Tweetie thought about it. Wiseguy waited anxiously for a reply. Finally, Tweetie said, "Nope."

     "What? Tweetie--"

     "A trade's a trade." With that, Tweetie fled upstairs with his cards tucked under his wing.

     "Well, I guess you aren't such a wise guy after all Wiseguy."

     Sam poked her head around the corner.

     Wiseguy ran over to his owner, a pleading look in his eyes, "Sam, please make him trade me back!"

     "I can't," said the girl with a smirk. "A trade's a trade."

THE END

Author's Note: Hope you enjoyed this short story! It's been a while since I've written one and I've finally got back on track. Feedback is much obliged. :)

 
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