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Illusions of Grandeur
Laillannii is a petite ixi with soft, bright red fur as soft as thistledown. Generally, she is a happy ixi, her life full of many things, but sometimes she felt wistful for some unknown thing.
One of her favorite pastimes is to hunt for ixi collectables with her sisters, Petawphi and Malawikki. She and her Alkenore, Nora, love to hoof around Neopia with her sisters, poking through shops, keeping an eye out for an ixi lunchbox or some morphing potion they didn't yet have in their collection.
On one of these excursions, the girls found themselves nosing through the dusty shelves of The Collectable Card Shop when Laillannii saw a glint of gold. Laillannii didn't normally care to shop for cards. She preferred a good game of Ultimate Bullseye or a rousing round of Shape shifter to any kind of card foolery, but something drew her to the small golden card in the glass case.
As she drew closer, she began to focus on the card. It was one she'd never seen before, and it took her breath away. There was a finely sculpted white ixi in a beautiful gown wielding a sword. Her jewelry and train were exquisite. Laillannii stared at the Medieval Princess card in amazement. Before she could speak, the card was gone; snapped up by another savvy shopper.
"NO!" she cried. "I MUST have that card! Surely you have another in there SOMEWHERE?"
The buzz shopkeeper shook his head. "That's a mighty rare card, Miss. It'll be a long time before we see it's like around here again!" Dismayed, Laillannii scampered off to tell her sisters about what she had seen.
Malawikki is an island ixi, and Petawphi is a desert ixi. They had each made up their minds rather quickly as to what they wanted to be painted when the time came. Laillannii had really struggled with that decision, and until the moment she laid eyes on the Medieval Princess, she didn't think she would ever be really happy with any color the Rainbow Pool might offer. While her sisters were interested in the card as a piece of ixi memorabilia, they didn't seem to really share in Laillannii's excitement.
"I'd really like to get the Ixi Hoof Blade next," said Malawikki. Predictably, Petawphi said, "I really think the next thing we need is the Desert Ixi Plushie." Laillannii furrowed her brow in displeasure. She decided go to eliz1bef with her plea.
"Wow! that sounds like a really beautiful card! Let's see how much that baby is!" smiled eliz1bef. She loved to spoil her little ixi rotten, and tried to indulge them when she could. bef and Laillannii took a stroll to see the Shop Wizard to find out more about the card.
"What are you looking for?" asked the small, robed Jubjub wizard. "I can look near and far for what you desire. Just spell it correctly or I'll come back with junk!"
"Medieval Princess, please sir," asked Laillannii. "It's a rare collectable card!"
"Alakazam!" cried the jubjub mage. Sparks flew, and after a few moments, the wizard looked puzzled. "Er, are you sure you spelled that right? Yes? Well, here, I'll try again." The wizard flicked his wand, but still nothing. He smiled nervously at bef and Malawikki. "This almost never happens," he muttered to himself.
"This is not a good sign," bef whispered to Laillannii. The wizard tried and tried again, to no avail. Finally he found one, single card, but it was simply not for sale. bef and Laillannii thanked the orange, fluffy magician, and continued their search.
After a frustrating hour with Jhuidah and the Trading Post Wizard, they realized that the card was simply beyond reach. "I just LOVE that card!" cried Laillannii. "I want to look like HER!"
"Well, there's currently no way to make you Royal right now," reasoned bef. "We'll just have to bide our time, save for a Paint Brush, and hope. Someday, maybe we can get that card, too. It would be a great addition to that collection you girls have gotten together."
eliz1bef could see that her words were little solace to the crushed little ixi. "I know this isn't a substitute, but here's a little present to take your mind off things." eliz1bef produced a Deluxe Ixi Cracker from her purse and handed it to the mopey little ixi.
Laillannii and Nora slunk back to her room with her present. As she sat on her bed, the ixi pulled the cracker apart.
"POW!" As the package came apart, Laillannii saw tiny dice and a little metal puzzle fly off across the room. Tucked into one side of the cracker was a colorful bit of paper. Laillannii pulled the paper out of the spent cracker and unfolded it. It was a paper crown! A small smile lit up the tiny ixi's face as she put the crown on her head. She trotted over to the mirror and inspected her new prize.
Excited, Laillannii grabbed a blanket off the bed and draped it around her shoulders. she grabbed her Plastic Sword and posed like the Medieval Princess . . .
"I may not be able to be Royal right now, but I can always pretend!"
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