Preparing Neopia for the Meepits Circulation: 197,205,082 Issue: 972 | 4th day of Storing, Y24
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The Royal Thief Unbound

by k3l26


     Author’s Note: “The Royal Thief Unbound” is the sequel to “The Becoming of the Royal Thief” – which can be found in issues NT844-850. For more background and plot, reading the first series is recommended, but not required, to understand this series. Thank you for your support, reader!

      After months of travelling across Neopia, honing her skills as a clandestine thief with Vatalyn, Veifira received a letter.

     It was strange, as she had been moving from place to place with the utmost secrecy, but here a letter was, being handed to her by a Transparent Aisha.

     Veifira had met this Aisha before, briefly, as Rascan. He worked under Vatalyn, but she wasn’t sure what the details were, and she knew better than to ask. But by the way, he was looking at her with contempt, she could tell he was not happy with how she was travelling with Vatalyn even though she lacked formal thievery training.

     “Thanks,” Veifira mumbled, still a little confused as to why Rascan would come all the way from Neovia, where headquarters were, to Mystery Island, where they were now. She accepted the letter, which was of high-quality parchment paper, and nodded towards the inside of the small apartment she was stationed in. “Um, would you like to come in?”

     Rascan scowled. “No,” he said simply, rolling his eyes like she was insane to have asked that. “Letter came from the desert palace; I’ve been intercepting mail there to see if your sister was writing to you. She is, of course, even though she doesn’t even have an address written for you. Most of them are discrete and I’ve kept them at headquarters. That one,” he said, motioning to the letter she was holding, “she addressed with the royal emblem, so I figured it was urgent.”

     “Oh… well, thank you,” Veifira said again. “Best not to have the postmen thinking I’ve gone rogue.”

     “Our leader’s thoughts exactly,” Rascan said, poison lacing his voice. He didn’t bother to hide his dislike of her. “Have a nice day.”

     “You too…” Veifira trailed off, since Rascan was already headed away. When the door closed, Veifira looked down at the letter. The front of the envelope had just her name on it, in her sister Astael’s beautiful calligraphy. Veifira turned it over to see the yellow and blue wax seal of Lost Desert Royalty that held the envelope closed. She lifted it up carefully and withdrew the letter inside.

     It read:

     My dearest sister Veifira,

     I hope this letter finds you, as it seems my letters do not reach you or you do not care to respond. Either way, I write to you in hopes it is the former and I write to you to inform you of the Neopian Leaders Summit that is to take place next week. The council is inviting two representatives from each land and naturally I would like you to accompany me. It would mean the world to me to have you by my side for this. I wait to hear from you with bated breath.

     Yours truly and forever,


      Veifira closed her eyes briefly, taking in the contents of the letter. Of course, she would return home to support her sister. It was the least she could do, after Astael liberated her from her responsibilities as one of the two princesses of the Lost Desert. It didn’t mean that Veifira was pleased, though, as the whole reason she abdicated her position in the first place was because she despised formalities and did not have the temperament for legislation.

     “Letter from your sister?” a Mutant Draik asked, watching her evenly from a beat-up couch pushed against the wall. His name was Thalse, and his reputation spoke for itself.

     “Did you hear all that?” Veifira asked him, pointing to the door. “Between Rascan and I?”

     “No,” he said, removing earplugs from his ears to give further proof. “I was napping. I wasn’t listening in, and I don’t have to.” He gave Veifira a once-over. “The way you’re holding the letter, down with your arm straight, means that its contents are disappointing. You have yet to wrinkle the letter in your hand at all, which is different from your usual style of crumpling every piece of paper you’re handed, showing that you have reverence for where it came from, and your other hand is at your ring finger, which means you’re thinking of your sister, as that is where the most valuable thing she owns is kept. That would be the Ring of the Lost Desert, the very one Vatalyn told you to steal just months ago. Anyway, you’ve been summoned back to the palace by Astael, haven’t you?”

     “I don’t know why I ask,” Veifira said, shaking her head and sitting on the coffee table across from him.

     Thalse’s reputation spoke for himself, alright. He was known as the one and only mentalist thief. Although he was very capable physically and strategically, his main prowess lay in his mind. His ability of deduction from sheer observation was unmatched and almost unbelievable. But here he was, reading Veifira like an open book.

     Thalse shrugged. “I don’t know why, either. Oh wait, I know that as well. It’s because you really hope that one day, I’ll be wrong, and you can lord it over me for the rest of time. Correct me if I’m mistaken, but I know you can’t.”

     There was a short silence before Veifira opened her mouth to say something, but Thalse spoke up before she could. “Before you ask, no, Rascan doesn’t like you and yes, it is for the reasons you suspect. After all, what did you expect? He’s been running around like Vatalyn’s errand boy for two years and you show up and become his protégé in a week.”

     “This,” Veifira said, gesturing at all of him, “this whole shtick, it’s irritating, you know that?”

     “Yeah, well, you know what they say. It’s annoying to be right all the time.”

     Veifira sighed. “Look, I know I don’t like you and frankly, even without your deduction skills, I know you don’t like me, either. So, why don’t we just agree to stay out of each other’s way?”

     “Ain’t gonna happen,” came a voice by the window. “You still need to heighten your observational skills and Thalse was generous enough to lend a hand with that.”

     Thalse scoffed. “I wouldn’t call asking for repayment on a favour ‘being generous,’ Vatalyn.”

     “You still could’ve said no, like you usually do,” Vatalyn, who perched himself on the windowsill, responded with a slight smile. “For all the time I’ve known you, you’ve never cared about your debts. You were kind enough to help.”

     Thalse turned to Veifira. “You want a lesson?” he asked her sarcastically, before waving a hand over and addressing Vatalyn. “You’ve got that tongue-in-cheek look that really only comes around when it's anything about you having to get involved with politics. There are slight black smudges on your fingers, meaning you’ve just received a letter not unlike our friend Veifira here. But your letter, it was written and sent fairly quickly, which makes sense because Krawk Island is only a stone’s throw away from here, and urgently, which explains the fresh ink. It seems you have also been invited to this meeting of Neopia’s leaders, but because it was surely planned in advance however you were notified quite last minute, I deduce something has happened to one of your parents. Since your shoulders are slightly stiff, it’s about the parent you actually care about, which would be the governess. Lastly, your eyebrows are furrowed, so whatever happened to her was unexpected and you don’t have any concrete solutions at this time. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.”

     Veifira threw her arms up. “This is infuriating to you too right, Vat?”

     Vatalyn ignored her. “My father requested I go to the conference in her place,” he confirmed. “I’ll be leaving shortly to visit my mother and reconvene with my father about Krawk Island’s stance on the policies.”

     “Good luck with the suits,” Thalse said flatly.

     Shaking his head, Vatalyn turned to Veifira. “You should think about heading out soon, as well.”

     Veifira nodded. “What about you?” Veifira asked to Thalse. “Are you going to continue observing the target?”

     Thalse chuckled. “I’m not a part of your little clubhouse. Now that you two are otherwise disposed of, I’m out. I’m only here as a favour to Vat.”

     “Thanks again, Thalse,” Vatalyn said.

     “I do owe you too many favours.” Thalse shrugged. “Plus, it was more out of morbid curiosity,” he added. “I wanted to meet the princess thief. I wanted to see if she really has the potential you seem to believe she has.”

     Veifira flushed. “I’m right here,” she hissed through gritted teeth.

     “That you are,” Thalse replied. “Anyway, I’m sure we’ll run into each other again in the near future,” he said to her. “See ya, Vat.”

     With that, he got up and left through the front door. The other two watched the door close behind him.

     After a beat, Veifira turned to Vatalyn. “What did he mean by that, seeing me later…?”

     Vatalyn laughed. “I’ll leave you to find that one out for yourself. I’m headed out to the docks now, you ready to go?”

     Veifira grabbed a small rucksack of her things off the table and took her cloak off a hook in the wall. “Do I have a choice?”

     After months of travelling across Neopia, Veifira was headed home.

To be continued…

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