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Pet Name: Fumanya
“I don’t remember Neopia Central being that busy,” Fumanya muttered. Last time he had been here, the streets had been almost empty. Now, though, on a Saturday afternoon, with the sun shining brightly, everyone seemed to have seized the opportunity to get out and go shopping. People pushed in all directions, walking from one shop to the next. Others stopped in the middle of the path to greet a friend or look at the wares displayed in the windows.
Amidst these crowds, a skunk Shoyru tried to balance a cup of hot chocolate. Carefully, he made his way through the mass of pets. His wings folded together closely to his body, he narrowly avoided colliding with a particularly large green Eyrie.
“Hey, watch where you’re going,” the pet shouted after him, but Fumanya didn’t pay much attention. He had finally reached his destination – the Alstaf Poogle statue.
“I need a break,” he mumbled and plopped down on a bench next to the statue. His red Karren Eliza joined him on his shoulder.
But a break was not what he would get there. The Shoyru had not even taken a sip from his hot chocolate yet when a Rainbow Ixi appeared.
“Hello,” she said and sat down next to him.
“Err... hello.” Fumanya watched her curiously. Did he know her? He couldn’t remember having met any rainbow Ixi before, but maybe he had just forgotten about her. Hopefully not, as that would be very embarrassing to admit.
The Ixi pulled out a notebook and a pen from her handbag. “I’m Malia Suns and I work for the Neopian Times. I’m currently looking for someone to feature in our weekly Pet Spotlight. Tell me, why should you become Pet of the Week?”
Fumanya’s mouth dropped open. “Me? Pet of the Week?”
“Yes, you,” Malia replied, tapping her pen on her notebook. “I need to have that article in by tomorrow morning, so could you please tell me why I should feature you in the Pet Spotlight?”
The winged petpet on his shoulder let out something resembling laughter as Fumanya opened and closed his mouth several times. Why should he win the Pet Spotlight? “I don’t know,” he answered. “Surely, there are other pets you could ask?”
The Ixi looked at him, her eyes wide. “Nobody has ever refused to win the Pet Spotlight before and you’re not going to be the first one. Look, I don’t have the time to search someone else, so could you please give me a few reasons why you should win?”
Fumanya shrugged. “There’s nothing really special about me as far as I know.” He took a sip from his hot chocolate, wishing he had not chosen this day to visit Neopia Central. Why couldn’t he have come tomorrow, when the crazy reporter had already handed in her article?
Malia sighed. “Alright, if you’re not going to tell me about you, I’ll have to find out myself. Are there any sports you’re good at?”
The skunk Shoyru shook his head. He liked flying, but as it was the easiest way of getting from one place to another, he doubted that it counted as a sport. Besides, he wasn’t really good at it. After all, you couldn’t really say that you’re good at walking either.
“Nothing? Maybe you just forgot that you’ve participated in the Annual Gormball Championship once?” Malia asked hopefully. “Or you’re a Yooyuball player and hoping to compete in the Altador Cup?”
Fumanya shook his head. “No, sorry. But if it helps, I’ve seen the finals of the Gormball Championship last year. My brother bought tickets for the two of us.”
The Ixi scribbled down a few sentences in her notebook. “Well, that’s better than nothing. But still not what I’m looking for. Let me see, what else could you be good at. Oh, I know. The Battledome. Have you ever defeated the Qasalan Mummy?”
Fumanya quickly shook his head. The Mummy was more than just scary and he avoided her as good as he could when he came into the Battledome. “No. But I won against that the Meerca Brothers once.”
Malia’s eyes lit up. “Now we’re getting something. A more than average fighter in the Battledome. That’s good. Of course, the Mummy would be better, or at least the Drenched, but winning against the Meerca Henchmen is not bad. Not bad at all.”
Her pen scratched over the lined paper of her notebook. “So, let’s see. We have a Gormball fan-”
“Not really a fan,” Fumanya quickly interrupted the reporter. “I just went there because my brother had bought the tickets.”
“A Gormball fan,” Malia continued, ignoring the Shoyru’s protest, “and a fighter with skills above average. Anything else you’re good at? What do you like doing in your free time? And please don’t tell me you enjoy cross-stitching or anything similarly boring.”
Fumanya decided that now was probably not the moment to tell the reporter that he found cross-stitching very relaxing. “I like watching the stars.”
“Oh, the stars. That’s very interesting. How many constellations have been named after you?”
“How many?” Fumanya’s eyes widened. He had not even found all the known constellations yet, much less tried to discover new ones. “Err... none, yet.” As he saw the reporter’s face fall, he quickly added, “But I’m working on discovering unknown constellations. With so many stars out there, some only visible at certain times of the day, there are bound to be constellations not yet marked by the astrologers.”
Malia narrowed her eyes, as if considering whether or not she liked the Shoyru’s answer. Finally, she nodded and her lips curled up into a smile. “Great. So this week’s Pet Spotlight will be about... What’s your name again?”
“Fumanya, a skunk Shoyru and a huge Gormball fan who dreams of one day playing in the Championship. His fighting skills are far above average and the only reason he hasn’t beaten the Qasalan Mummy yet is because he has not fought against it. Fumanya spends a lot of his time watching the stars and discovering new constellations. Keep checking back with us to hear more about which ones he has already found.”
The reporter looked up from her notebook and grinned. “Sounds perfect. Thanks for the interview.”
Fumanya opened and closed his mouth. “But that’s completely exaggerated,” he squeaked. “That’s not me.”
Malia just smiled and patted his arm. “Of course it is. That’s what’s hidden deep inside of you. Plus, I have to make this article interesting, otherwise nobody would read it. Now if you’d excuse me, I have a deadline and need to get this article written.”
With those words she stood up and disappeared in the crowd. Fumanya took a sip from his hot chocolate and turned to his Karren Eliza. “Well, that was definitely interesting,” he muttered. “Let’s hope that nobody actually reads that article. How embarrassing.” He shook his head. “Although, maybe she was right about Gormball. It’s not that bad a sport, now that I think about it. Playing in the Championship one day would be nice.”
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