A Yurble stole my cinnamon roll! Circulation: 191,058,652 Issue: 595 | 17th day of Hunting, Y15
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The Royal Reputation: Part Six


by flames_unleashed

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My feet padded softly on the sands of Mystery Island. Night had fallen not too long ago, and the boat sailed away in the dark, never ending ocean. And with it went my only way back to my real home.

      It was uncomfortably warm on the beach, and I started dripping sweat. My feet sank deep into the sand, and I considered wearing shoes for the first time in my life.

      But I decided against it, and figured I would keep a low profile on Mystery Island. Maybe if I could find a hut, I wouldn't have to go see my cousins, and...

      Who was I kidding? This wasn't my town. There were owners out here, not just Moms and Dads. There were Game Addicts, Lab Zappers, Pound Surfers, and worst of all... the Avatar Hunters. The thoughts of being painted Plushie for an avatar would haunt my dreams. (That's only one of the reasons I don't collect avatars myself.)

      Dally bounded across the sand, enjoying the new experience. I don't think she had ever seen sand before, much less been able to walk on it. She sank in up to her knees, and trudged over to me. She stuck her head in the sand, and got a bunch up her nose. Sneezing, she looked at the sand like it was crazy. I couldn't help it. I laughed at her.

      Dally snorted at me, and turned her head to the forest. She obviously wanted to find her new home faster than I did.

      I walked over to a swaying palm tree and flopped on the ground next to it, leaning against my bark. It reminded me of my cherry tree back at home, which made me think of Ding. I wondered how he was doing.

      Dally hopped out of the sand and landed on my lap. I unbuttoned my cloak and draped it over myself and Dally, as a makeshift blanket. I was really sleep deprived, as was Dally. We needed our sleep, so I figured we would go and find my non-royal cousins in the morning. Sleep came first.

      The stars shone like white dots in a large connect the dots puzzle. That was my favorite kind of puzzle, and I fell asleep to the steady rhythm of the imaginary lines connecting the stars.

      *****

      Morning came all too early.

      Bright reddish-orange sunlight penetrated my eyelids, forcing me to open them. I grumbled and rubbed the bags under my eyes, and whisked the cape off of my lap to find Dally snoozing away. I clicked the cape back around my neck and pulled the hood over my head.

      I gently shook Dally awake, and she grumbled at me. She stamped her hooves hardly on my legs, and I yelped in shock.

      Dally flapped off my lap and flew to the edge of the forest. I don't think she had ever growled before, but that's exactly what she did to me as she stared into the forest.

      I grumbled and stood up, stretching my back. The waves lapped softly on the beach, casting pink rays like strobe lights across the sand.

      I walked over to the forest and shivered. A cold breeze was blowing through the trees, compared to the warm ocean breeze blowing from the waves. I hoped I wasn't about to get caught right in the middle of a tornado.

      Dally tugged my sleeve and I slowly followed her into the trees, mostly because I didn't want her to rip my sleeve. I would do anything right now to not have to go meet my new family. I might even sacrifice myself up to an Avatar Collector to do with me what he would.

      But Dally continued to pull me deeper into the forest. I finally found a dirt patch that wasn't as loose as the sand and dug my feet in.

      Dally halted to a stop, and turned to look at me angrily. But she released my sleeve, and I smiled at her thankfully.

      I pulled a small strip of paper out of a pocket on the inside of my cloak. A few words and a number were scrawled on it.

      41 Tigerfruit Lane, Mystery Island

      It was the address to my new home. I had never eaten Tigerfruit before, but it sounded pretty lame that the road was named after a fruit.

      Dally grabbed my sleeve again and I reluctantly followed along, until I realized she was going the wrong way. "Dally, the street is back that way."

      I didn't think it was possible for a Petpet's cheeks to flush, but Dally's definitely did.

      I dragged the Alabriss back the other way, allowing myself to get out of that creepy forest of horrors and who knows what.

      *****

      I stood on the bamboo doorstep of a small house, but not the hut I had thought it would be. It looked exactly like every other house I had seen. The only thing setting it apart was a brass plaque on the door that shone dully, and very clearly said 42 Tigerfruit Lane.

      I gulped and looked at Dally. The Alabriss scowled at me, which I didn't know Petpets were capable of doing.

      I rapped my paw quietly on the cheery green and white painted bamboo door. I rocked back and forth on my feet nervously, twiddling my thumbs and bobbing my head. All of them were nervous habits. And boy, was I nervous.

      A click sounded from in the door, and the wood swung open to reveal the bright face of young Green Aisha. She looked about the age of Noliona.

      The Aisha started bouncing up and down on her feet excitedly. She grabbed my paws and made me bounce up and down too. "OH MY GOSH! I love love love your Alabriss, and your hair, and your outfit, and your cloak, and..."

      Then she bounced up and hugged me tightly, which confused me really bad. I thought little kids were supposed to not talk to strangers, much less hug them like your mom.

      "MOM!" the Aisha roared. "THERE'S A CYBUNNY AT OUR DOOR!"

      How loud her voice was astounded me. Then something clicked in my head and made me realize she said Mom, which got my hopes up that this was an all Neopet family.

      My hopes fell like a brick to the ground when I saw a girl walk into the doorway. She was wearing a short-sleeved shirt and shorts, which didn't surprise me considering how hot it was here.

      "Come here, you rascal," the girl said, picking up the Aisha. "Who's this, Pacina?"

      Pacina. I really hoped this wasn't my cousin, and the family had just gone on vacation, and these were just the caretakers.

      "I don't know, Mom, she just showed up at our doorway. She's really pretty though," Pacina remarked.

      Wait, was that girl who she called Mom? Where were the other Aishas, her Mom, Dad, brothers and sisters?

      "I, uhh..."

      I trailed off as they stared at me. The girl put Pacina down, and rubbed her hands through her dark-blonde, sort-of-golden colored braid. Her hair was incredibly long, and reached her lower back even in a braid. It made me wonder how long it was out of a braid.

      A tall Shadow Eyrie walked into the room, staring angrily at Pacina. She looked older than me, and I fully anticipated she was going to be a bully.

      "What's up with the Cybunny, Mom?" she asked, jabbing a finger in my direction. I frowned at her. About ten minutes in, and I already hated one Neopet and got full out embarrassed by another. Could this day get any worse?"

      "Harpier, don't be so quick to judge. I'm not quite sure who she is yet, she seems really nervous to be here," the girl said.

      So, an Eyrie named Harpier, an Aisha named Pacina, and a girl whose name was unknown because both Harpier and Pacina called her 'Mom'. Please let this not be my new family.

      "Sweetie," the girl said, smiling at me. "What's your name?"

      "Al-Al-Aluendi," I stuttered out.

      Pacina grinned at me. "I like that name!"

      The girl turned to Pacina. "I do too. It's really pretty, isn't it?" She turned to me again. "So why are you here, Aluendi?"

      "I... um..."

      "Huh? Huh? Why are you here, Aluendi? Huh? Huh?" Pacina bounced up to me, and started poking my stomach. (My stomach happened to be how tall she was standing on her tippy-toes.)

      I stepped backwards, and nearly crushed Dally under my feet. The Alabriss flew up and saw Pacina poking me, and mistook it, thinking I was being assaulted.

      Dally landed on Pacina's chest, and Pacina's mouth opened wide in shock. She stepped backwards and bumped into Harpier, who gave her a disgusted look and pushed her off. Pacina feel to the ground and dissolved in giggles.

      Pacina grabbed Dally off her chest and threw her in the air, shocking Dally enough so the poor Petpet couldn't move.

      I stepped forward, and reached my arms out. Dally managed to gain enough strength to fly over to me, and I snuggled her close to my chest.

      "Don't touch Dally," I said a little sadly.

      The girl reached out her hand and tickled Dally under the chin. "So your Alabriss' name is Dally? What a cute name," she remarked. Dally nuzzled her hand happily.

      "So, Aluendi," the girl said again. "Can you tell me, Pacina, and Harpier why you're here?"

      I gulped. "I-I'm from a small town near Neopia Central, an-and my family ruled there. We were royalty, and..."

      I hadn't meant to tell the whole story, but the girl's warm smile just made me feel like I was at home. Her smile kind of reminded me of Dad, and the words just flowed out of my mouth. All three of them listened intently, leaning forward and staring at me. They gasped at the intense parts, nearly cried at the sad parts, and smiled at the happy parts. They even laughed at when I fell through the stairs, which reminded me a little bit too much of Mom, more than I really wanted to remember.

      "And that's why I'm standing in your doorway," I finished. They all just stared at me in shock for a moment.

      "Wow," the girl said. "I could write a whole story about that."

      "Are-Are you going to paint me Plushie for the avatar?"

      The girl just blinked at me in surprise. "Gosh, no way," she said quickly. "I don't even collect avatars, I just happen to get them when I get them."

      I don't know why I smiled, but I did. Now I just had to hope she wasn't a Lab Zapper, Game Addict, or Pound Surfer.

      "So, Alu, you were sent here by your parents? There are no owners in your old town?" the girl asked.

      "No."

      Harpier stared at me. "So, you're really our cousin? And you're royalty?"

      "I used to be royalty. My reputation is gone now, so not really."

      "Well, that's quite alright here. We can help you wipe your slate clean, get a new start on life," the girl said. "Oh, and I should probably tell you. Harpier and Pacina just call me 'Mom' all the time, but that might be a little awkward and weird for you. I'm Flames_Unleashed," she said, reaching her hand out.

      I grasped it and shook, thankful she finally told me her name. "So, uh... what do you want me to call you?"

      The girl blinked at me. "Hmm. I never really thought about that. I guess I've just gotten used to Mom."

      I rubbed Dally's head. I hope she wouldn't tell me to call her Mom, too.

      "Just call me Flames," the girl said.

      "Hey Mommy, can we call you Flames now too?" Pacina asked, and then giggled. She hopped around the floor like a prancing Uni. How a young Neopet like that could be so overflowing with energy, I had absolutely no idea at all.

      "Sure, Pac, I don't see why not. Harpier, do you want to call me Flames too?"

      Harpier shrugged. "Sure, as long as you feed me and keep me happy, it doesn't matter what you want me to call you."

      Flames rubbed her forehead worriedly, and then looked at me. "Don't mind Harpier, she tends to complain a lot, and she's uninterested in a lot of stuff we do."

      "Hey!" Harpier shouted, shooting angry looks at Flames. "I like magic, fighting, and above all, EXPLORING! That's why we live on Mystery Island, so I can visit Geraptiku!

      My face fell. "You guys like to explore Geraptiku?" I had heard stories of the creepy old abandoned town. They still called it lost, even though countless people visit it each day.

      "Yeah, it's mostly Harpier that does it. Sometimes Pacina will go with her, but I mostly stay at home doing housework and things. Like cooking, cleaning, and I'll occasionally take Pac and Harpier out somewhere fun," Flames said.

      I shrugged. "That's cool, I mostly like writing and reading, and sometimes I'll draw if I feel like it. I'm pretty crafty and artsy."

      "Cool," Harpier said. "I mean, not what I choose to do, but I read a lot more than Pacina here."

      "Hey!" Pacina shouted. "I still read! But you get to all the new books we get around here before I do, and after you read them, they all disappear in a puff of smoke!"

      "Really?" I asked. "I have a book that I've read over and over and it hasn't disappeared. Does crazy stuff like that happen here?"

      Pacina just stared at me. "Yeah, all the time."

      "Come on, Alu, we can tell you about all the crazy things that have happened to us over some Hot Cakes," Flames said, walking towards the kitchen. Pacina and Harpier followed.

      Flames beckoned me to follow as well. "Pffft. Not nearly as crazy as my last few days," I mumbled to myself.

      "Let's go, Aluendi, hurry it up out there! I want some Hot Cakes soon, slowpoke!" Harpier yelled from the kitchen.

      I walked in, closing the door behind me. The tree weren't as bad as I had originally thought, just weird and not afraid to state their minds. Perhaps living here wouldn't be as bad as what I had anticipated, not as bad as getting laughed at for falling through a broken step and getting banished just because I talked to someone of seemingly lesser value than my royal family.

      This was going to be interesting.

The End

Author's Note: Thank you to my wonderful Cybunny Aluendi for sparking my creativity. Dingari, Noliona, and Jakuliani are not real. Rinsly is a real Neopet, but I wasn't referring to him when I wrote this. He's a Mynci, and is just sitting in the Pound. Perhaps you could pay him a visit? :) And now that the story is over, I hope you enjoyed it! -Flames

 
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Other Episodes


» The Royal Reputation: Part One
» The Royal Reputation: Part Two
» The Royal Reputation: Part Three
» The Royal Reputation: Part Four
» The Royal Reputation: Part Five



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