Harmless Wishes: Part Seven
"Is the wishdust's power endless?" Chi queried bravely.
"Not really," the shopkeeper replied with a
"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
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
"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
"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,"
"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
"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
"Besides, we don't have the entire story yet,"
the Faerie Aisha whined.
"Well, then, we have to find out more," Yuki
"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
"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
"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
"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
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
"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?"
"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...