Come dance with the Wanderers... Circulation: 179,088,154 Issue: 437 | 2nd day of Eating, Y12
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To the Infamous, We Salute You: Part One


by water_glass

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Grapes...

     Breesadd...

     Psfjieach...

     Sweezzzzzzzzz... .

     “What does that say?”

     “Mmhphmm...”

     “That isn’t a food, Tally.”

     “Hmm...?”

     “Tally.”

     “Yes’m?”

     “Were you sleeping in my class AGAIN?!”

     Tally’s head flew up so fast it knocked her back and she fell out of her seat. “Ow...” She moaned, rubbing her head. After coming to, she stood up and brushed herself off, sore and embarrassed from the fall. Looking around, she saw many of her classmates smirking, trying to disguise a laugh. She then looked at the angry Peophin that was her teacher – Mrs. Sleet. “I’m... I’m sorry, Mrs. Sleet, I was writing, but...”

     “But. What.”

     “I... err... got distracted?” Tally shrugged bashfully.

     Mrs. Sleet snatched up Tally’s paper from her desk. Aside from the miniscule amount of writing on it, it was completely covered in doodles. Doodles of Acaras – Faerie, Royal, Fire, Electric, even a small Rainbow one in the bottom right corner. “Huh. Taking notes, I see. We are talking about the variety of foods in Neopia. Contrary to popular belief, various colors of painted Acaras aren’t edible. You are excused from class. I’ll see to it that your owner hears about this.”

     “But Mrs. – ”

     Mrs. Sleet sighed. “Go, Tally.”

     As Tally – a yellow Acara – turned to leave, she heard a snicker behind her. She turned around, glaring. “Who was that? Who laughed at me?” The class looked around, trying to see who broke down and actually laughed. “Well, who did it? I heard you!” Tally cried, still humiliated and upset.

     In the corner of the room sat a blue Lupe, whistling softly, smirking to himself. Tally saw him and pointed. “It was you!” The Lupe stopped whistling.

     “Who... me?”

     “Yeah! Why were to laughing at me?”

     “Laughing, I wasn’t laughing. What are you talking about?” Then, Mrs. Sleet stepped in.

     “I do not want arguing in my class! Take this outside, you two!”

     Tally grunted, stomping out of the class. The Lupe followed, padding slowly behind her with a satisfied smile on his face. Tally stomped all the way outside Neoschool and plunked herself down on the grass. She stared crossly at it, moving her paws back and forth along it. She started to get lost in her own thoughts. Neoschool was stupid, anyway. She was smart enough without it. Her owner read books to her all the time! And really, who cares about the different foods in Neopia? She only cared if it tasted good. She...

     “Why are you petting the grass?” asked a voice. Tally was shaken from her thoughts instantly. She screamed, then jumped. She turned around and saw the grinning, conniving Lupe staring down at her.

     “What’s it to you, what I’m doing? That’s all you seem to be focused on anyway, what I’m doing. Can’t you just leave me alone? You’ve gotten me kicked out of class for today, what else could you possibly want from me?” The Lupe snorted. Then snickered lightly, soon progressing to a full on laugh, throwing his head back, cackling to the sky, almost to the point of being malicious.

     “Are you... honestly...” he tried to say between giggles, “bl-blaming... .me for getting yo... you kicked out of cl... class?”

     “Well, yes. It was your fault.”

     “Oh, right, of course. It was my fault you weren’t taking notes, it was my fault that you were doodling in class, and it was my fault you spoke back to the teacher. Of course, I’m the one to blame. How foolish of me!”

     “Well, if you’re here to mock me, please go away. I don’t want to hear it. Today was supposed to be a good day. I’m getting painted Faerie!” A smile washed over the Acara’s face. “I can’t believe it! I’ll have wings – I can fly! I’ll be able to fly!”

     “Yeah... but that’s it.”

     “Huh? What do you mean that’s it? I’ll be a faerie! That’s exciting, deal with it.”

     “Think about it. You’re yellow already.”

     “Gee, thanks for pointing that out. I’d almost forgotten.”

     “You,” said the Lupe, raising a paw towards Tally “are way too sarcastic for your own good. But hear me out. A faerie Acara is a yellow Acara with some pink wings attached, no? So, basically, you’re asking your owner to spend, what, three million or so Neopoints on some pink wings.”

     “But... flying...”

     “Exactly. Wings.”

     Tally sighed, suddenly feeling cheap and greedy. Her and her owner had spent countless hours restocking, playing games, and auctioning off every scrap of an item they could find in their Safety Deposit Box. For what? For pink wings. Tally looked up from the grass at the Lupe. “You take the fun out of everything. Hey, I just realized. I don’t know your name. What’s your name?”

     “Ah, my name. Well, my name is – ” Just as he was about to say his name, a light Faerie came zooming downwards towards Tally, knocking her over. After a few seconds, both the Faerie and Tally sat up, dazed.

     “Didn’t they ever go over stopping in Faerie Flying School? My gosh, my head hurts.”

     “That’s what you get for doodling in class,” the Lupe said.

     Tally glared at him, then turned to the Light Faerie. Light Faeries... Light Faeries... Tally tried desperately to remember what they needed. Toys? Dark Faeries. Grooming items? Nope, those are the vain air faeries. Oh, right! Neocards! “Hello, Miss Light Faerie. Which Neocard do you need?”

     “Uhh... err... hmm. I can’t even remember,” she said, thinking. She closed her eyes and rubbed her head for a moment. “Oh wait! Malestra! I need Malestra.” She got up, brushed herself off, and began to fly away. But the Lupe grabbed one of her wings with a paw. He looked as if he was reluctant to let go of her at all.

     “Wait a second. I need to ask you a question about this specific Neocard,” said the Lupe, raising an eyebrow.

     The Light Faerie was terrified. “Let me go! Let me go, you awful Lupe!” There were tears of fright in her eyes. “Pl... please. Please, I need to go home,” she cried. A single tear dripped down her cheek.

     “But it’s just a question,” he protested, still gripping the shiny yellow wing.

     “Let her go, Mr. Lupe!” yelled Tally, whacking him on the arm he held the Light Faerie with. He flinched, but still kept a grip. “We’ll get the card, then go to Faerieland. Let her go already!”

     “Will you hold on a second? Impatience gets no one very far.” The still unnamed Lupe glared. “I just want to ask the Light Faerie a question and she was flying away. I wanted her to stay. So calm down.” He turned to the quivering faerie in his paw. “Now tell me. Why in the world would you want the card Malestra?”

     The Light Faerie had stopped quivering, and suddenly opened her eyes quite wide. “Um... to complete... my... collection of course?”

     “Oh, really? I think you’re lying.”

     “What’s so special or strange about Malestra?” questioned Tally. “It’s just a Neocard.”

     “Ah, really, Tally? There are many Neocards, hundreds, over half a thousand I believe. So out of all the cards available, why would this Light Faerie want Malestra? Malestra is one of two Dark Faerie cards. The other is Jhudora. So, tell me. Why Malestra?”

     Tally was shocked. A Light Faerie? Wanting a Dark Faerie card? What did that mean? Light Faeries hated Dark Faeries. It was a known fact. “Yes, Miss Light Faerie. Why would you want a Dark Faerie card?”

     The Light Faerie sighed. “Alright, I’ll tell you. But you need to promise not to tell anyone. Not anyone at all, okay?” Both the Lupe and Acara nodded. “Well, there are two parts. Firstly, I hate this fighting. It’s nonsense in my opinion, Light Faeries versus Dark Faeries. I mean, we are all Faeries, why fight? The Water Faeries and the Fire Faeries don’t fight, why should we?” The Lupe and Acara nodded again, in agreement. “And secondly, well. I’m not a Light Faerie.” The two Neopets gasped. The ‘Light’ Faerie turned to the Lupe. “By the way, please get me the card ‘A Light Faerie.’”

     “Why should I? You can’t give out Neocard quests if you aren’t a Light Faerie! I don’t even know what kind of faerie you are! Plus, you already told me to get Malestra.”

     “Firstly, I told the Acara to get Malestra. And secondly, why do you think I disguised myself as a Light Faerie? I need these Neocards for my research on the history of Light Faeries and Dark Faeries.”

     “So...” Tally, thought out loud, “If you aren’t a Light Faerie, what are you?”

     “If this furry beast here would let me go, I’ll explain myself!” she exclaimed, swatting at the Lupe. He opened his paw, allowing her freedom. She dusted herself off and combed her elegant fingers through her hair. She shook her long, golden, shiny hair out and made a satisfied ‘hmph.’ Then, she snapped her fingers, and the Lupe and Tally gasped at the sight.

     Purple smoke began rising from the ground, surrounding the faerie, starting at her feet and swirling around her until it covered the top of her head. The smoke contracted into a tiny ball, about the size of the Lupe’s paw, then exploded into millions of pieces of raining purple glitter. Tally reached out to touch the violet vision, but when some fell into her paw, it stung, as if someone had burned her, and she retracted her paw, moaning softly in pain. The Lupe didn’t move an inch, just staring into the purple sparkling sight. They began falling into a pattern, resembling a head, then a body, then wings. And replacing the glitter stood an enchanting, smirking dark Faerie.

     She shook her hair again, but replacing the golden locks was deep purple hair with streaks of lavender highlights. Her skin was very slightly tinted purple and she wore a long, silky dark purple – almost black – dress that reached the floor. Tally gasped. “You’re... so... beautiful,” she managed to get out.

     “So are these,” muttered the Lupe, having walked over to the patch of grass Tally had been sitting at. He began flipping through her doodles she had drawn at school of differently painted Acaras. The dark faerie fluttered over and hovered above the Lupe, looking down at Tally’s drawings as well.

     “Hey! Give me those! Those aren’t yours to look at!” She ran over and tore them out of the Lupe’s paws. Both he and the Dark Faerie blinked; the paper had been ripped away so fast it hadn’t yet hit them. “You can’t just go picking up people’s property and messing with it.” She held the drawings close to her chest protectively.

     The Lupe skulked toward Tally, muttering in her ear. “But I know you can do better.”

     “Better? Oh yeah? How’s that?”

     “Well, these colors,” he said, pointing to the various Acaras on the page, “already exist. It’s been seen before – it’s boring. But if you created something different, something new? That would be stunning.”

     “Like... like a mix of a Faerie, Royal, Rainbow paintbrush! Oh, it would be beautiful. I would be beautiful instead of boring old yellow.”

     “Well, not quite. I was thinking along the lines of something different – something horrible. Something... something evil. Wouldn’t that be fun? Creating an evil character?” Tally looked uneasy. “Come on, just try it. Something entirely un-you.”

     Tally thought. “Well, can she have wings? Can she fly?”

     “Sure.” The Lupe grinned. “As long as they aren’t pink. As a matter of fact, Tally? Can I have a piece of paper? I want to create one as well.”

     The dark faerie came close to the two Neopets. “Yeah! That sounds like fun! Can I draw one too? But I have a catch. Dark Faeries are classified as evil already. So I’m going to draw a good character. A faerie pure of heart and kind of soul.”

     Tally smirked. “Oh, certainly. But before I give any of you any paper, there’s a catch...” The Dark Faerie and the Lupe looked at each other and then back at Tally. What could she possibly want? “I need to know both of your names.”

     The Dark Faerie grinned. “Fair enough, my name is...”

To be continued...

 
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