There are ants in my Lucky Green Boots Circulation: 197,607,338 Issue: 992 | 22nd day of Gathering, Y25
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Fyora’s Faerie Festival


by black_skull725

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My hands shook slightly as I tried to untangle my hair. I took my brush and tried to brush it out, but it remained.

     “Stubborn little thing, ugh” I muttered.

     “Queen Fyora, it’s almost time!” said a voice. A Gelert poked her head into the tent.

     I sighed and turned around to face her.

     “Celandra, I need your help…” I began, pointing frantically at the exact spot of the knot in my lavender hair.

     “Ah! Here,” she said, grabbing the brush and gently tugging at the hair.

     I clenched my fists as she seemed to brush with increasing strength. Nearly losing my patience, I instead held my tongue and gritted my teeth. Moments later, suddenly the brushing slowed down and I could feel the knot loosen up. Celandra then stopped.

     “All good, Fyora! I didn’t even need to use the magical air spray this time. But how did your hair dry out like that?”

     I shrugged. “I am not sure.”

     “Maybe you’ve spent too much time on this festival,” Celandra replied.

     “Ah, perhaps. It’s just that it’s the first time we’ve invited all Neopians to participate. I also wish for this to be a way for Kaia to get acquainted with more faeries. I hope for a smooth festival.”

     At that moment, sudden screams reverberated through the tent. I rose immediately and went outside. I gasped as I saw dark shadows in the background.

     It couldn’t be, the wraiths? The magic faerie barrier… how did they get past? I turned to see a group of Neopets huddled around me. I took my staff.

     “Seal the deepest depths of evil, protect them from their wrath” I said. A large pink barrier formed around us and directed them to safety. However, there was a Kacheek who seemed to struggle to move.

     “May I help you?” I asked.

     “Oh uh, your majesty-I uhh… “

     Before she could finish, I noticed a large Wraith had appeared and began attacking the barrier. I quickly picked up the Kacheek and whisked her away. The other faeries also followed suit, doing their best to evacuate all the pets. However, as I returned for a second group of pets, many Wraiths swarmed me.

     “Muahuahua! Fyora! I’ve finally got you where I want you,” cackled a sinister voice. I turned and gasped. It was the Darkest Faerie. She seemed to be in command of the Wraith, and I could sense very strong evil magic bearing down. I called for help, but I couldn’t find my voice. The Wraiths inched closer as I began to feel immense pain. They were draining my life force. I attempted to fight off the magic, but my efforts proved futile.

     “You will never be able to rule Faerieland again! It will belong to me! Then all Neopia will too! Your days of being queen are over!” the Darkest Faerie said.

     Suddenly, anger burned inside of me. I could feel a surge of magic welling up.

     “AHHHHHHH!”

     I swung my staff and began taking down each Wraith one by one. After breaking free, I lunged at the Darkest Faerie. I began shooting spell after spell. The Darkest Faerie dodged some of them. When the spells landed though, I could see a large explosion leaving behind a path of destruction.

     “You need to stop! This will destroy Neopia!” a voice in the back of my head said. However, I ignored it as I aimed at the Darkest Faerie. The explosions got bigger and finally hit the home. But I did not feel a sense to stop. Every spell I sent created and large crater in the ground.

     I glanced to see the look of horror on the other Neopian’s faces, but still, that did not faze me.

     “Fyora! Stop! You’ve gone too far!” shouted a familiar voice. Aethia stepped in front of me.

     “This is not you!” she said.

     “Stand aside! I must finish her off!” I shouted.

     “No! Not like this! This isn’t justice. It’s revenge!”

     I did not want to listen anymore. I discharged a spell at Aethia. She dodged at the last moment; eyes wide with shock. Meanwhile the Darkest Faerie was slipping away.

     “Fyora! Please!”

     Boom! Boom! Boom! The spells continued.

     Before I knew it, the entire forest of trees fell from the rampage. But I still felt the need to chase after the Darkest Faerie.

     Boom! Boom! Boom!

     “Noooo! What have you done?!”

     I turned to see that I had reduced an entire Neohome into rubble.

     “Fyora! You’ve got to stop!” Aethia continued to shout. She then ran up time and shook me! I tried to shove her aside.

     “Stop!” she shouted. “Stoooop!”

     Suddenly, the world turned black.

     --

     I sat up, breathing rapidly and heavily. “Fyora! Are you ok? You were tossing and turning,” said a gentle voice.

     I turned to see an extremely concerned Aethia peering at me from the tent opening.

     “It happened again, Aethia. Same nightmare…”

     Aethia stepped closer and looked at me seriously.

     “Look, whatever you did in the dream, that is not you. But since you’re up, perhaps we could go for a stroll outside so you can shake that nightmare off,” she suggested.

     I shrugged, unsure if a stroll would clear my mind, but it was probably better than dwelling further on my dream. After all, doing one final walk through the festival grounds to double check our preparations wouldn’t hurt.

     “Sure, Aethia, dear. It’ll be my pleasure to join you,” I replied.

     The two of us stepped out of the tent which sat on a small hill overlooking the festival grounds on the outskirts of Faerieland. I gazed out into the distance at the enormous pink floating Ferris wheel, sitting idle, waiting for passengers. The Faerie Uni-Go-Round featured prominently next to it. Various tents and stalls lined the grounds. Unusually, the faeries in charge of them were still there as well.

     “Didn’t I give them the day off so they could be refreshed and ready to go for tomorrow?” I said, giving Aethia a confused look.

     “Yes, you certainly did. A few of them just wanted to be sure. Don’t concern yourself over it. Why don’t we just greet them?”

     The two of us floated down to the festival grounds. Immediately, the smell of warm, delicious Fyora Apple Pie wafted over us.

     “Who’s making Fyora Apple Pie at this hour, Aethia?”

     “Oh, Jo the Faerie Foods shopkeeper must be preparing a test batch; let’s go see her!”

      Aethia seemed suspiciously enthusiastic about the pie, but the smell tempted me. I followed her to the main food stall where indeed, an earth faerie was baking pie.

     “Jo, erm, good morning! I didn’t expect to see you here today,” I began.

     “Oh hello, Queen Fyora. Would you and Aethia like to try some pie?” she asked excitedly, spinning around and brandishing a freshly baked pie made from the finest Fyora Apples.

     “Sure, we would love to!” Aethia said before I could get a word out. I nodded and smiled, sitting down around a circular pink wooden table next to the stall.

     Jo carefully sliced the pie and set it in front of us. I took a bite and immediately felt the perfect balance of sweetness of the pie, and it brought warmth throughout my entire body.

     “This is… perfect!” I said with a chunk of pie in my mouth. Aethia laughed at the sight of some crumbs slipping out.

     “Now Fyora, that’s not very queenly of you! But I get it, the pie is delicious,” she teased as she took a napkin, gently wiping away the crumbs. “Don’t worry, nobody else saw that!”

     Then the giggles overcame the two of us for a bit before we finished off the pie. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Illusen setting up a target practice activity.

     “Huh? That’s odd. She’s setting up a day early.”

     Aethia turned around and waved to Illusen. “Hey, it looks like fun, maybe we should check it out.” She then hopped out of her seat and headed toward the stall.

     “Wait! Won’t she have to set it all up again if we played?” I asked. However, it became clear that Illusen had beckoned us over.

     “Morning to you both! Your timing is impeccable. I need someone to test this out. Grab one of my slingshots over there and see if you can hit my targets! I have prizes!”

     She placed targets at various distances along a long patch of grass next to her stall.

     “Shall we play against each other?” Aethia suggested.

     “Uh sure. We all know who’s winning this though,” I replied.

     Deep down, I knew Aethia was much better at this. However, with Illusen watching, losing certainly was not an option.

     “You first, Aethia!”

     Aethia raised her slingshot and hit four targets. However, on the furthest distance, she missed the bullseye off to the right.

     “Aethia, I thought you were the battle faerie?” I teased. She folded her arms in playful anger.

     “Ok, why don’t you try it? I’m waiting!” she quipped back defiantly.

     I grabbed a slingshot and pulled back. Ping! First bullseye! Ping! Second! Ping! Third! Ping! Fourth! Ping! Fifth!

     “Bravo!” Illusen said, clapping and handing me a Honey Potion.

     “Whew, good thing nobody else was around to see that. Could you imagine the headlines in the Neopian Times? ‘Queen Fyora Bests the Battle Faerie at Her Own Game’ and ‘Should Aethia Retire?’”

     “Oh, come on, I might not be as proficient with a sword, but my eyesight still works.”

     Aethia sighed and shrugged. “What can I say, you won fair and square. Oh, is that Hanso and Brynn?”

     I turned to see the two of them, setting up tables with what seemed to be rare artefacts.

     “Hanso, you’re sure these no longer have the cursed magic on them, right?” I immediately said, walking over to them.

     “Oh hello, your majesty. Of course, I would never endanger any festival attendees!” he boasted.

     I turned to Brynn. “You’re sure right?”

     “Yes, these are all replicas. Have never been cursed or had any other magic.”

     Aethia picked up a shiny bowl. “Oh! Is this a fake Gift of Calabrus? It looks almost real.” Suddenly, the fake artefact slipped out of her hands, and I quickly rushed over to catch it.

     “Aethia, dear. These might be fake, but I’m sure Hanso worked hard to make them look real. Let’s not go smashing them!”

     “Yes, your majesty!” Aethia said, springing into a salute.

     “Now now, there’s no need for that,” I said, trying not to laugh. “It’s been a long time since you’ve called me that.”

     Looking through the items, I became surprised at how close they were to the real thing. Even a perfect replica of the mirror that ultimately did Xandra in was present. I picked up the mirror to give it a better look and shook my head.

     “If only things had turned out differently,” I muttered.

     I then turned to Hanso. “Hanso, how were you able to clone these so easily?”

     “Sorry, but the Thieves Guild must not reveal their secrets,” he responded looking quite seriously.

     “I will pretend nothing happened here then. Just, please don’t try to scam anyone with them, ok? I don’t need a scandal on my hands.”

     “I’ll make sure of that!” Brynn said immediately.

     The two of us then strolled down a cobblestone street to a fountain at the centre of the festival grounds. I then took a seat on a bench there, inviting Aethia to do so as well.

     “Whew, it’s good to take a bit of rest,” I said, reclining a bit on the bench.

     “How do you feel about the festival then?” Aethia asked.

     “Well, it looks good, but I’m still wondering why some of the faeries are here early.”

     Aethia smiled and nodded. “I told them to come by. When I saw that you were stressed out with organizing the festival, I realized something. You’ve never actually been able to participate in any of the festivities.”

     I pondered this for a moment. “You know, you’re right. I can’t remember the last time I actually did that.”

     “Right? Hopefully, you’ve had a decent time.”

     “I have. Thank you for spending time with me. Especially after my bad dream.”

     “Ah, but there’s one more thing we have to do,” Aethia said with a grin. She gestured toward a tent shaped like an arena. Large golden rings hovered in the air at various heights.

     “You want to have a flying race now?”

     “When’s the last time we had one against each other?”

     I shrugged and sighed. “A long time ago, but we are a bit older now. Ack, who cares? Let’s just do it!”

     I zoomed toward the racetrack leaving Aethia trailing behind me.

     “It’s rude to keep the Faerie Queen waiting!” I teased Aethia as she arrived a few seconds after me.

     Before Aethia could respond, a Faerie Shoyru stepped out from the arena.

     “Hello, Fyora! Hi, Aethia! You’re here for a Flying Race aren’t you?”

      “Varia, when did you get here?” I asked.

     “I just so happened to be bringing supplies in for the Faerie Festival and then a passing Weewoo informed me that you two might be interested in a race.”

     “Uh huh, yes. A Weewoo. I guess said Weewoo was right…” Aethia said with a wink.

     “Could you hold onto my staff for me?” Varia nodded and took my staff. The two of us stepped into the arena. The ground of the area was filled with thick grass, on the off chance that someone came tumbling out of the air. Floating golden rings moved around the air. A scoreboard floated at the far end and the arena itself was surrounded by what seemed like thousands of seats.

     Aethia and I floated up to the starting line, a pink floating platform. Varia joined us, holding racing flags.

     “Prepare to lose!” Aethia quipped.

     “Highly improbable,” I fired back.

     “Get ready!”

     I knelt on the platform next to Aethia.

     “3…2…1…GO!” Varia shouted, waving a green flag.

     I zoomed toward the first ring.

     “Not so fast,” Aethia exclaimed.

     She cut me off and formed a cloud behind her, obstructing my path.

     “Classic, I could have predicted that.”

     Waving my arms, I used magic to clear the clouds and zoomed through the first ring, catching back up to Aethia.

     “Clouds huh? Predictable. Try this magic instead!”

     I whispered a quick spell, and a large pink faerie bubble surrounded Aethia.

     “Hehehe,” I giggled and zoomed through the next ring.

     “Ugh, unbelievable!” I overheard her grumbling.

     Of course, I knew the victory would be short-lived because I saw her barreling back towards me with a sword in her hand, presumably one of her weapon-summoning spells.

     “Ahhhhh!” she yelled.

     At the last moment, I put up a barrier of magic around me, shielding me from her sword.

     “Oh no you don’t!” I exclaimed. I then stretched out my right arm and my own staff appeared in it.

     “Wait! Didn’t I just put that thing away?” Varia inquired. She was trailing behind us.

     The two of us took a sharp left and passed through the third ring simultaneously. The fourth ring was tricky as it was intentionally flying around to avoid us.

     “Hiyah!” Aethia said, thrusting her sword at me. I blocked it with my staff.

     “You’ve lost your edge, dear!” I teased.

     Bam! She summoned a shield and bashed the floating ring away from me and passed through it.

     “Oooo! Nice trick!” Varia commented.

     “Darn!” I exclaimed and sighed. That was going to be a time penalty if I didn’t get the ring. Chasing after it, I finally managed to pass through it.

     Not wanting to be outdone by Aethia. I flew after her and shot stun spells after her. Finally, one of the spells knocked her off her path. Catching up to her, I pushed past her into the fifth ring.

     She then floated alongside me.

     “Look, dear, there are three more rings. I think you’re tired and need a break. Just let me win-“

     “Oh, I appreciate your concern. But I assure you I am-!”

     Swoosh!

     Aethia’s sword appeared in front of me. Instinctively, I knocked it away with my staff.

     “Nice try! But I got a better one!”

     I waved my staff and sent a strong gust of wind, pushing Aethia back, and then I flew backwards into the sixth and seventh rings when they were in perfect alignment.

     “Ughhhhh!” her groan rang out loudly.

     “That was perfection!” a wide-eyed Varia shouted.

     The final ring zoomed all over the arena quickly making it extremely difficult to catch up.

     Aethia caught up to me and grabbed my hand and yanked herself forward.

     “Ouch!” I yelped. “You owe me an apology!”

     She continued to effortlessly deflect my spells with her sword. Finally, I had enough and shot a spell which knocked the sword out of her hand.

     “I still got a shield!” she exclaimed and tried to bash me with it.

     I tried to stop it with my staff, but the force caused us to drop our weapons. The two of us flew close to each other, and then the last ring showed up in front of us.

     “I’m going first!”

     “No, you’re not!”

     I pushed her away and she pushed back. The two of us began hand fighting.

     “Just give up, dearie!” I yelled.

     “No, you give up!” she shot back.

     I ran into her, and she rammed back. The ring appeared right in front of us and the two of us tumbled right through and towards the soft grassy field.

     “Argh!” Using my wings, I slowed down and broke our fall to the ground. The two of us lay next to each other for what seemed like forever. I took a few deep breaths which seemed extra loud for some reason until I realized Aethia was breathing in sync.

     “Are you two alright?” Varia said, zooming toward us, looking concerned.

     The two of us sat up.

     “Yeah, I guess so,” I said.

     “Did I win that?” Aethia asked.

     Varia shrugged.

     “Well, it was hard to tell. But you now have this lovely photo of you two finishing together!”

     Varia had taken a photo at the perfect angle which made it look like the two of us were dancing midair.

     “Oooh, I want this one framed!” I exclaimed.

     Aethia peered at the photo and grinned. “Well, that’ll work great for the postcard we send out for the next festival!”

     “Thanks, Varia! Now we’ll get out of your way now,” I said.

     “Well, there’s only one last thing to do!” Aethia quipped.

     Ten minutes later, we took our seats in a gondola on the giant floating Ferris wheel, each with a bowl of strawberry gelato that Taelia had kindly provided to us from her frozen treat cart. The wheel began to rotate and soon we were high up above the festival grounds. The two of us sat across from each other.

     “Look, I can see the castle and ooo, new Faerieland looks so pretty,” Aethia said, gesturing toward the north. “Oh, and this gelato is delicious!”

     “Oh yes, I can appreciate this view and this gelato.”

     The two of us then looked at each other and I suddenly pulled Aethia into a tight embrace.

     “Today was a great day, and I really enjoyed our time together.”

     “Me too. I just wanted you to know that it’s okay to take some time off occasionally. You’re always running around Faerieland and the rest of Neopia.”

     I leaned back into my seat.

     “Sorry, Aethia. I guess I haven’t done a good job keeping my promise to dedicate some time to spend with others around me.”

     “No need to apologize, Fyora. You kept your promise today!”

     Aethia leaned forward and took out her handkerchief and wiped my mouth.

     “Sorry, I couldn’t let the Faerie Queen have a gelato moustache,” she said, giggling. She then got up and squeezed into the seat next to mine. I put my arm around her and took another glimpse at the castle off into the distance, then back down to the festival grounds below.

     “When we get back down, I’m in the mood to give a few faerie quests,” I said finally.

     “Ah yes, certainly. Let’s give Neopia a taste of faeries in generous moods!” Aethia replied with a huge smile.

     For the rest of you all, welcome to this year’s Faerie Festival! I hope that regardless of whether you are attending this year with someone else or alone, that we faeries have prepared events that you will enjoy. Remember to stop by the Flying Races, the giant Ferris wheel, Illusen’s slingshot target practice and more! I hope to see you all there!

     The End.

 
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