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Harmless Wishes: Part Seven


by ladyariel32

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"Is the wishdust's power endless?" Chi queried bravely.

      "Not really," the shopkeeper replied with a sad smile.

      "How many wishes can we make before it loses its magic?" Yuki fired at her.

      The Wocky shrugged. "As many as you like," she said. All I have to do is wait.

      "But you just said…" Yannagiba began.

      "It doesn't matter as long as you get what you want," the Wocky interrupted. "Does it make any difference?"

      "I wish you'd just let us know the truth," Yannagiba said furiously with a wave of his paw. A speck of wishdust launched itself into the air and granted his wish…

      "Your thirteen wishes are over, my darlings," the Wocky said quietly to the four neopets. "Now, I shall rule Neopia."

      Before any of them could ask another question, the Wocky and her tent vanished. A broken white sign that said "Th San Sh p" sat on the ground where the tent once had been.

      Yannagiba and his siblings looked around and noticed that everything seemed different. The ground was made of reddish soil. There were no shops or grass or trees. Just tree stumps and broken white billboards spelling former shops' names.

      "Where are we?" Chi asked anxiously.

      "I don't know, I really don't know…" Yannagiba answered, sounding scared.

     A scruffy-looking red Lupe came passing by lugging a battered bag tied closed with a brown rope. He looked around furtively before snatching a few broken signs, opening his sack, and dumping them in.

      "Excuse me," Nadashikoh called.

      The Lupe looked at them with a nervous look in his eyes. He began to run away on his furry legs. But Yannagiba was even faster than the Lupe and he quickly intercepted him.

      "Don't hurt me!" the Lupe howled. "I'm just trying to make a living here."

      "I won't hurt you," Yannagiba said, somewhat confused. "Why would you think that? We just wanted to ask you something."

      "Go on, ask," the Lupe said. "Just don't hurt me, okay?"

      The others came near.

      "What is this place?" Nadashikoh asked.

      The Lupe stared at them disbelievingly. "What is this, a joke? Neopia Central, of course!"

      Stony silence greeted his answer.

      "Oh no," Nadashikoh half-whispered with a groan. Her voice came out sounding like a hiss.

      "Are you absolutely sure this is Neopia Central and not the Meridell Garbage Dump?" asked Yuki, frowning.

      "I said Neopia Central. I don't tell lies," the Lupe replied. "Besides, Meridell is already a ruined city. After Mistress Xenia became the supreme ruler of Neopia, She ordered that all worlds that disobey her would be turned into dust. Did you guys hide in a desolate forest in the past year or so?"

      "Who's Mistress Xenia?" Chi asked, confused.

      "You really did stay in a desolate forest, didn't you? Mistress Xenia is the greatest Neopet ruler in the entire history of Neopia. She destroyed the worlds that aren't really any good," the Lupe explained offhandedly.

      "Which worlds are you talking about?" Yannagiba queried.

      "Oh, the usual. The Lost Desert, Meridell, Faerieland, Tyrannia…wait, come to think of it…only Neopia Central remains standing at present. You see, all the Neopians in those worlds dared to disobey Her," the Lupe said.

      "You mean to say that in this state, you consider that Neopia Central's still standing?" Nadashikoh said with a mirthless laugh.

     The Lupe just shrugged. "All those worlds…they've all turned into dust just like those four Neopets who tried to stop her in the first place," he continued with a rather evil smile. "Man, those Neopets were barmy, weren't they?" He shook his head. "To think that they assumed they could defeat Mistress Xenia!" He laughed again.

      "Four Neopets?" Yuki began nervously. "Four Neo- Thanks for all your help, pal. We have to go now. Goodbye!"

      Yuki gave the red Lupe a cheery wave before dragging his brothers and sister away. The Lupe scratched his head, shrugged, and then rushed off in the opposite direction.

      "What's your problem?" Nadashikoh grumbled, pushing the Halloween Kacheek's paw off hers. "We need to know more about what happened."

      "For the first time, I agree with Nadashikoh. Why did you have to go and do that?" Yannagiba declared.

      "Would you guys stop talking and listen for a minute?" Yuki began. "Don't you understand? Mistress Xenia is the Wocky Shopkeeper!"

      Yannagiba chuckled. "You're being ridiculous."

      "I think Yuki's right," Chi said quietly. "Those four Neopets that turned into dust? I think that was us…"

      "Thank goodness Chi sees things the way I do. Don't you see? You wished that the Wocky let us know the truth. And now, we know the truth! Or at least, part of it. That Wocky is trying to take over Neopia. According to that Lupe, WE tried to stop her and she turned us all into dust," Yuki said.

      "Are you telling us that we're…in the FUTURE?" Nadashikoh asked, eyes wide.

      "Exactly. The future of Neopia Central if it falls into the hands of that evil Wocky," Yuki replied.

      "Why do I have the feeling that this is all my fault?" Yannagiba asked himself bitterly.

      "Uh, because it is?" Nadashikoh said sarcastically. She rolled her eyes.

     "That's probably because we all have a feeling that she became ruler because of the wishdust," Yuki spoke again.

      "All we can do now is try to stop her," Chi said slowly.

      "But according to the Lupe, we already tried and we FAILED," Nadashikoh said exasperatedly.

     "But, if we did, then how come we're here?" Yannagiba challenged her.

     "Besides, we don't have the entire story yet," the Faerie Aisha whined.

      "Well, then, we have to find out more," Yuki said.

      "And, how will we do that?" Nadashikoh said. She glowered at Yuki. "The Lupe's gone and there doesn't seem to be anyone else around here!"

      "I have an idea," Chi said in a small voice.

      His brothers and sister looked at him. He smiled softly. "Why don't we find the Help Section and ask that helpful Zafara for help?"

      "I can't think of anything else," Yannagiba said, "so I say, let's go!"

      "Only one problem," said Yuki. "How are we going to find the Help Section in this mess?"

      "Let's just walk around aimlessly and see what shows up," Yannagiba said with a shrug.

      The others looked doubtful but reluctantly agreed to the striped Gelert's plan. So, for the next half hour or so, the four of them wandered around aimlessly in Neopia Central.

     Chi was getting particularly hot and sweaty when he spotted a white sign that said "H LP S N" on it. "You guys," he said with mounting excitement. "I think we found it."

     Nadashikoh wrinkled her nose. "Yeah, we found it alright but it's been totally destroyed! Now, what are we going to do?"

     "Well, I wouldn't say 'destroyed' exactly," a cultured voice answered the Aisha. "I would much prefer the term, 'temporarily unavailable'."

     "We're saved!" Yannagiba moaned in relief. He galloped towards the blue Zafara to whom the voice belonged. Said Zafara was wearing a pair of huge wire-rimmed glasses.

     "I would very much appreciate it if you stayed a good distance from me," the Zafara said with a little disgusted sniff.

     The Gelert stopped in mid-gallop. "Okay. So, can you help us?"

     "Of course, I can," the Zafara said with a twinkle in his eye, "but it all depends on whether or not I'd like to help you."

     Nadashikoh grabbed the Zafara by the scruff of his neck and screamed in his ear. "Now, listen here, you! You'd better tell us what we want to know or I'll…I'll really hurt you!" She let go of him.

     The Zafara smoothened his ruffled fur with a shaking paw. "O-okay, I'll help you."

     "Here's the deal, Zaffie," Yuki said conspiratorially. "What do you know about…Mistress Xenia?"

     "Mistress Xenia," the Zafara said automatically. "Master Prankster. Species. Wocky. Description according to the Xenia trading card. With a twinkle in her eye this young witch zooms across Neopia looking for a new target for her mischievous pranks. Snippets from the New and Improved Neopedia article about Mistress Xenia. Mistress Xenia is the beautiful Supreme Ruler of Neopia. She rules over Neopia using wishdust, a most powerful magic artifact that she discovered in the Lost Desert in the vicinity of Coltzan's Shrine years ago. Xenia has destroyed various Neopian worlds and is in the process of thinking up other worlds to replace them."

     "Back up," Yuki said seriously. "What was that about the wishdust?"

     "Bottle of Wishdust," the Zafara continued. "A magical artifact that was buried by a Neopet shaman a long time ago because of its destructive capabilities. The wishdust can grant a Neopet of pure heart thirteen wishes. Whoever holds the bottle of wishdust after the thirteenth wish will become its master, allowing him or her to make as many wishes as he or she wants."

     There was a collective gasp.

     "What?" the Zafara asked.

     "So, that's why she sold me the wishdust," Yannagiba said angrily. "Last bottle of wishdust, my paw! It's her only bottle!"

     "Didn't she say something about 'Your thirteen wishes are over'?" Chi said, biting his lip.

     "Wait a sec," Yannagiba interrupted. "She couldn't have been able to wish for anything. I've got the bottle right here, see?" He placed a paw over the bottle of wishdust around his neck…and found out that it wasn't there. "It's gone!"

     "This is making my head hurt," Nadashikoh said with a groan.

     "Zaffie, where is Mistress Xenia now?" Yuki asked grimly.

     "Mistress Xenia is currently staying at the newly renovated Master Suite over at the Neolodge," the Zafara replied.

     "Come on, guys," Yuki told the others. "We need to get to Mistress Xenia and get this over with!"

     "But, what are we going to do when we get there?" Chi asked.

     "Who cares?" Yannagiba said. "We'll figure it out when we're there."

     The four pets rose to leave.

     "Thanks for all your help," Yuki told the Zafara.

     "I'm glad to be of service," the Zafara said with an ironic smile. He glanced at Nadashikoh and shuddered. "To get to the Neolodge, by the way, turn right at the next corner and continue walking until you spot the black building."

     "Black building?" Nadashikoh echoed.

     "Uh, that's what I said," the Zafara said uncertainly.

     Yannagiba nodded curtly at him and started walking. His siblings followed close behind him.

     "I don't like this one bit…" Nadashikoh muttered under her breath.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Harmless Wishes: Part One
» Harmless Wishes: Part Two
» Harmless Wishes: Part Three
» Harmless Wishes: Part Four
» Harmless Wishes: Part Five
» Harmless Wishes: Part Six
» Harmless Wishes: Part Eight
» Harmless Wishes: Part Nine



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