Submit your petpet to the Petpet
Elymera bounces into the Usukiland shop, her feet barely touching the ground.
"I'm looking for a clothes set," she announces cheerfully.
"Your Usuki will look lovely in this outfit," the shop assistant chirps, holding out a ballet set.
But the little blue Shoyru shakes her head. "It's not for an Usuki, it's for my petpet."
"You dress up your petpet? That's so cute!" the shop assistant coos, pulling down an angel outfit for Elymera's inspection. "What sort of petpet is it?"
"Oh, a Donksaur, of course," Elymera replies absently, ignoring the fancy dresses and flipping through a pile of hair sets.
"A... Donksaur?" says the shop assistant, with badly veiled distaste. She puts away the pretty princess set. "Well, that's... nice..."
Elymera's eyes narrow as she turns back to the assistant. "He's the cutest, smartest, most wonderful petpet ever!" she snaps, offended. "I'll take this one, please," she adds, slapping her neopoints down on the counter.
Outside, FireDusk the Donksaur stomps around in the alley between the bazaar shops, shoving away empty boxes with his tusks.
Always the same, he thinks to himself. Noisy-bright market, full of noisy-bright pets. Quieter here. Darker here. Bright pretty pets can't stare with huge, pretty eyes. 'Why a Donksaur, Elymera? Can't you afford a cute petpet?' Think I don't hear. I hear everything.
He backs further into the alley, watching the shoppers out in the main street as he waits for Elymera to return. One Scorchio in particular catches his eye. There's something strange about the pet. The way his face is covered. The way he creeps. The way he heads into the alley instead of going to the main door. There's something about that stripy t-shirt, too.
He sneaks straight past the petpet in the dark alley. FireDusk grins toothily.
The pet pauses at Usukiland's back entrance, looking around furtively before pulling the door open. He disappears inside, slipping out again a moment later with a big box of Usuki merchandise under one arm.
FireDusk roars and charges. He barrels tusks-first into the Scorchio, knocking him off balance, then spins around to kick at the pet's ankle. The box goes flying, spilling rare Usuki dolls around the alley. The thief howls in fright, and tries to escape into the air, but FireDusk is ready, jumping up to snap at a wing with his teeth. His enemy crashes back onto the ground, and FireDusk stomps across his stripy-shirted chest, immobilising him.
The Usukiland back entrance flies open, and the Blumaroo shopkeeper stares out at the mess, stunned. A crowd of customers is already gathering in the mouth of the alley. FireDusk licks his lips, suddenly a little nervous at all the attention.
"Hey, this is the Scorchio that tried to rob the bank yesterday!" someone yells.
"That petpet caught him!" cheers someone else.
"FireDusk!" A third, and far more familiar voice calls. Elymera zooms through the crowd to land beside her petpet. "You foiled him! Way to go!"
"Don't let him eat meee!" wails the Scorchio.
"Donksaurs are herbivores," says Elymera. "And they don't like big crowds," she adds, turning to the onlookers. "Go on, scoot. You're ruining his Zen!"
A Defender of Neopia collects the thief, and the crowd reluctantly dissipates, leaving FireDusk alone with his owner.
"You're a big hero!" she tells him, scratching his ears.
That's all it takes to be a hero? She's got to be joking. That thief didn't even fight back!
"Trarr," he grumbles.
"Hey, wanna go to the Petpet Battledome again?"
FireDusk brightens up instantly.
Ooh, and tear strips off that cocky little Kookith? And the Angelpuss that won't stop smirking its 'I'm-so-cute-and-you're-soooo-not' smirk? That's more like it!
"Rarg!" he agrees enthusiastically.
"Cool! You're the best. You should be in the Petpet Spotlight or something."
She can't be serious. Ugly green-brown, beside all the pretty pastel-painteds? Donksaurs never win the Petpet Spotlight.
"Merog gah," FireDusk roars, and snaps at her wingtips playfully.
"No?" laughs Elymera. "You're probably right, FireDusk. It wouldn't be fair. None of them could ever compete with the coolness of you! Oh! I bought you a present!"
Elymera pulls a black and white outfit out of the Usukiland wrapping, holding it up for her petpet to see.
A Black Belt, huh? Yeah. That's me.
FireDusk roars and stamps his feet in approval while his little owner dresses him up in the karate costume. It doesn't matter
what the rest of Neopia thinks of him. His owner loves him. And he doesn't need a trophy to tell him that.
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