Library of Kindness
”Rangeant, you're late again." Captain Threelegs muttered in front of the class.
"I'm sorry Captain Threelegs. I overslept." I laughed as I walked through the Academy's classroom, walking to my seat. Captain Threelegs continued discussing the lesson while I was busy preparing things.
That was what I called a normal day. Getting scolded by Captain Threelegs was a regular occurrence, no matter how irrational it was. Doesn't he know how far Terror Mountain is from Krawk Island? I wish there was an academy near my home. My parents enrolled me in this school telling me that I would learn a lot from Captain Threelegs.
"I will be handling your homework for today. Make sure you finish your homework when you get home later." Captain Threelegs told the class after the bell rang, before stomping out of the room.
I looked down at the sheet of paper on my desk. Guess the homework wasn't too bad. It might just take up hours of reading books and writing paragraphs. One trip to Faerieland's Library will finish this up. Without wasting time, I quickly left the academy's classroom and headed for Faerieland via ship. It was a pretty sight, even from far away. The Faeries were helping all Neopians in need, healing wounds, colouring pets and even increasing their strength. After several hours of travelling, I arrived. There are a number of libraries in Faerieland, but I always go to the one near Fyora's Tower: Xandra's Library.
"Welcome!" Xandra called as I entered the library. She grinned at me, gently. "How can I help you today?"
"I need some books for my homework, Ms. Xandra. Can I have "Things Skeiths Won't Eat" and "Ineffective Teleportation Spells"?
"Right. Let me find them for you." She muttered something under her breath, pointing at the bookcases around her. Dusty old tomes slid out, magically floating their way onto my desk.
"Thank you, Ms. Xandra" I said, happily. She nodded and went to the back of the reception.
I always come here whenever I need something done. The Finneus Archives and the Main Faerieland Library has more books, but that doesn't matter to me. I didn't care for the books too much--it was Xandra that I came back to, not the books. She was nicer than any other librarian I've met, and has helped me whenever I have problems with my homework. Maybe she learnt it when she was studying with the Faeries? She was, after all, one of the few Neopians to be taught by Queen Fyora herself. Surely their kindness must've rubbed off on her. No, that couldn't be it. She was much kinder than any Faerie. In my eyes, she was more than just a librarian; she was a hero. A friend. A sister I never had.
"It's on the house" Xandra appeared at my side, setting a cup of Islandberry Coffee down. She pulled up the chair beside me, then, eyeing the books on the desk.
"Thank you." I said, smiling as I continued my work.
"Thank you for coming again today. It's been quiet, as of late. Nobody seems to visit my library anymore." She said.
I stopped writing, looking her in the eye. I remembered my friends telling me stories about her, rumours of hatred towards the Faeries, the things she's said about Queen Fyora. I never believed them. How could I? Xandra wouldn't do any of that; not the Xandra I know, at least.
"I was thinking of closing the library." I was stunned. She must've been joking.
"No, please don't, Ms. Xandra. I like your library. I'll miss hanging out with you." I paused for a bit. "Please? Just this once, I beg you, please don't..." I sadly told her.
She chuckled. "I'm kidding." She smiled. "Please, continue doing your homework." There was an unsettling quiet between us, before I returned to my work, attempting to laugh off the conversation.
The clock ticked on, and at some point she told me she had to leave for a while to take care of something. She told me to go home when I was finished with my food, and left. I read some books and looked through the library for a while. There are a lot of things other than books in the library like such as a beautiful goblet of gold, a shiny vase, a funny looking winged scroll and even a mirror-like artifact scattered on the library's floor. It was quiet. No one was inside beside me.
After a little longer, I decided to leave. I walked through the Faerieland's cloudy hallway—
"Ouch!" I cried, falling to the ground. My homework scattered about on the floor, a mess.
"Sorry!" an Ixi hurriedly got up, running in from where I came. I took a look over my shoulder, glaring at him as he disappeared into the hallway. I considered chasing after him, but it was too late in the evening, and instead I got up and fixed my things. ***
Things have happened since then. Faerieland was closed down for a while, and no one was sure what was going on. My parents wouldn't let me near the newspapers in fear that I'd faint or something, but the news was everywhere: the faeries turned to stone, purple globs attacking cities, everything in utter chaos. I was the first one on the ship to Faerieland when it was rebuilding, worried sick. The captain kept blabbering on the 'thief that saved Faerieland' and 'the maniac who brought it to the ground', but I didn't care. All I wanted to know was if Xandra made it out alright.
"Xandra!" I burst into the library. Silence surrounded me. Papers and books scattered across the floor, cobwebs growing in the lower corners of the room. "Xandra?" My voice echoed out, my footsteps resembling earthquakes against the rickety floor. I stepped on a book, looking down at it. 'Ineffective Teleportation Spells'.
"Are you a regular?" I turned around, looking at the Faerie before me. Queen Fyora.
"Yes. I always visit. Ms. Xandra, the owner, she helps me with my homework when I need her to." Silenced filled the room.
"You two must be quite close." she said, her soft eyes flickering in the dark. There was something sad about her smile.
"I'd like to think so. She was very kind and very thoughtful of her customers." I looked down at my shoes, suddenly embarrassed.
"Do you know where I can find her? With all the commotion lately, I'm not sure how she's doing."
Fyora dropped her smile, her shoulders sagging slightly. "She's--I'm afraid she won't be able to talk to you, at this time." I arched a brow. "You might not be able to see her for a while." I cringed. Was she affected by Faerieland's fall? Did she have to leave? The Queen noticed the look on my expression, and smiled. "Would you like to leave a message for her?"
"Yes please." I paused. "I-I really like this library. Can you please tell her to come back so we can have time to talk again? Perhaps today is not the time, but maybe someday soon, when she recovers."
"Certainly. I'll give the message to her." She said. I smiled, hurriedly leaving the library.
The next day came. "Rangeant, you're late. Again." Captain Threelegs muttered.
"I'm sorry, Cap. I overslept again!" I laughed, scratching my head. It was a good day, despite everything.
The library had been taken over by Queen Fyora, and though she didn't help me with my homework, she wasn't too bad of a replacement. I don't know what happened to Xandra, but I'm sure she was happy that her precious library was now in care by her teacher. I'll see her again, one day. We'll talk about how horrible it is how someone decided to crash Faerieland into the ground, laugh at jokes, and work on my homework, like we always do. Maybe not today. But someday, we will.