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Jhudora’s Pride


by eleanor11rulesr

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Honestly, the NERVE of that Malkus Vile!”

     Jhudorah groaned as she leaned back on her purple throne. She wished briefly that she could turn into stone and sleep for a few hundred years like another dark faerie of legend. Thwarting evil was surprisingly tiring, she really had to wonder why anyone bothered. She should have just turned the prattling pests at the festival into Slorgs. That would have been a healthy way to vent her frustrations. Instead, here she sat, venting her thoughts aloud to no one as she sat alone on her bluff. It was funny to think about how all week she had just wished for peace and quiet to brew her potions and now she found herself missing the noise. The trip home from the Haunted Woods had not been too taxing. Not compared to the horrible clean-up that somehow involved sorting more omelettes than she could have thought possible. Then came the handing out of the prizes at the shop. That part was almost fun at the time. It was funny watching unsuspecting neopets try on her cursed ring and then panic when they could not remove it. She had gotten a good laugh over the looks on their faces. However, despite all the free entertainment, the past week still weighed on her.

     The events had been disturbing, even to her. The faerie festival this year had been an utter travesty. Her plans to FINALY one up that stick-in-the-mud earth faerie had been completely upended. She had instead spent the past several days frantically running around thwarting villains that were not only destroying the environment but also sapping the life of her oldest friend. Rival. She definitely meant to say rival.

     “Really, the nerve of him! I’m nothing like that overgrown lizard! My power alone is enough to stick it to that earth faerie! I’m not about to let him or that mangy Balthazar steal my victory!”

     The words of that awful Skeith had made her skin crawl, the way he compared her experiences to his. As if they were ANYTHING alike. The way he assumed she would just stand by and watch Illusen be shoved into a bottle. That idiot didn’t understand the first thing about her. Her grudge was HERS and only SHE would be the one to act on it. She had the power all her own. A power that led countless Neopians to seek her out for quests daily. Begging to get a single ounce of her strength gifted to them.

     Except, she thought, this time her power didn’t seem to have the draw it used to with Neopians. This time the word around neopia was that she was an utter disappointment. The first time she heard whispers of that variety around Faerieland it had felt like a slap in the face. Apparently, her festival HER unique prizes were less valuable. Less desirable. Less exciting. Sure, there were tons of happy freshly painted faerie neopets and petpets buzzing around thanks to her but apparently the rest of her offerings had been lackluster. As a result, she had soundly lost the competition.

     “Oh, boo hoo! Illusens followers got a fancy staff whilst we only got pathetic little stamps!”

     Ungrateful idiots. As if her cursed ring and potions weren't also worthy of Battledome equipment. As if her limited edition cloud stamp wasn’t worth millions to collectors! She had thought long and hard about what from her private collection she could give out as rewards to her loyal followers.

      “It was a worthy prize….”

     If she was being honest, it was one of the few items she felt safe to give out to the hundreds of Neopians who had shown up with junk to trade in.

     The thought of hundreds of Neopians running around with the Wand of the Dark Faerie made her shudder. The combined might and idiocy could have blasted Faerieland back into the sky and maybe up to space. She could almost see the look on Queen Fyora's face now. She would face the look of disappointment from Neopians over THAT horror any day. The Queen was one of the few faeries Jhudora did not wish to cross.

      “Sure, it’s fine and dandy if you have a pretty staff of healing to give out but there’s a REASON I carefully vet who gets my staff as a reward.” she huffed to herself.

     “Imagine if I gave any person with a few omelettes to spare an artefact of THAT power. With the amount of Neopets that ACTUALLY eat the poisoned food I give out instead of using it on their enemies….” she shuddered once again.

     “Do they really? They should come over to my glade for a cupcake if they’re that hungry!”

     A voice like a fresh breeze wafted over. When Jhudora looked up she caught the eye of a beautiful earth faerie with a smug look on her face. Ugh. When did Illusen get here?

     “Or they could like, go to The Soup Faerie, or like eat one of the billions of omelettes they seem to have! Really anything is better than some of your cooking!”

     “How long have you been standing there?” Jhudora croaked out “Also, shut up!! My cooking is FINE! I poison it on purpose!”

     “I’ve been here long enough to hear you moping,” Illusen replied with a smile “For what it’s worth, I do think you made the right call! The safety of neopia is more important than being popular because of your prizes”

     “Pfft as if!” Jhudora spat, her face flushing red with anger “I just have my pride that’s all, neopets need to be WORTHY to earn my staff!”

     Illusen just smiled an awful knowing smirk.

     “Anyways, I just dropped by to bring some cupcakes! I really appreciate all you did last week…you helped so much even after everything we’ve- “

     “Ugh! I told you! I just have my pride, that’s all! I’m going to beat you one day! Fair and square!”

     “Oh? Are you volunteering for the next festival too?”

     “You are INSUFFERABLE “

     “……..”

     “……..”

     “Pass me a cupcake?”

     The two sat side by side, for the first time in ages, just eating cupcakes and chatting. Then bickering. Then a full out screaming match again, then somehow green icing had gotten in Illusen's hair, and Jhudora made a comment asking if this is how she dyed her highlights, which caused the other to burst out into an infectious laugh. Just like that, they were back to chatting. The conversation came so easily, it was so difficult, it was so infuriating. She aches with the knowledge that it used to be like this all the time. Every day before they had that infamous falling out. As always, some of that past hurt leaked back into the conversation and soon they were arguing once more. Eventually, Illusen left and silence settled over the bluff. The quiet that Jhudora both loved and despised.

      Even so, it felt different this time. Like an irrevocable change had occurred outside her notice and now even the quiet felt different. Maybe it was the taste of a cupcake she hadn’t had in decades. Long after Illusen left with her empty plate and Jhudora had eaten the last crumb she muttered aloud,

     “Maybe tomorrow I can send someone on a quest to get that recipe……”

     Perhaps the faerie festival hadn’t been a total loss after all.

     The End.

 
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