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Fyora's Cooking Class


by ningkov1

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Fyora sighed as she pulled out her burned cookies. She looked down sadly at yet another failed recipe. Why was cooking and baking so hard for her? She was the Faerie Queen after all, capable of anything! Well, except for preparing any kind of food it seemed...

      She had tried using her magic for cooking before, but it never tasted quite right. Cooking needed love and care to taste delicious, and while Fyora wasn't lacking in love she just couldn't give her cooking enough care. She was too busy! She thought she had enough free time today, but then a few Neopians stopped by to discuss some recent troubles, and after that an item from the Hidden Tower went missing! The Smelly Cheese Bomb was still nowhere to be found, though Fyora hoped it was just misplaced during the recent restocking. She was anxious to hear back from her workers who were still searching for it and reviewing sales receipts.

      There was always a matter she needed to attend to; not that she disliked her job or anything! On the contrary, being the Faerie Queen and ensuring the peace around Neopia gave her great pride and joy. She loved helping others and never grew tired of being the leader even after... she didn't want to think about exactly how many years she had ruled. Still, every now and then she wanted some time to herself. She was technically alone now, but her guards were always close by keeping a watchful eye.

      She walked back to her office with her burned cookies and got back to work. She shuffled through the pile of papers and mail on her desk, when suddenly one pamphlet caught her eye.

      “Free Cooking Classes at Faerie Foods every Sunday night at 6! Learn how to make delicious dishes and treats from Faerieland's most skilled chef!”

      Fyora felt a jolt of energy pulse through her body after reading the pamphlet. Today was Sunday! If she worked quickly she could finish before 6! She took a deep breath and began working methodically through each task: writing letters of encouragement to those inflicted with the grey curse; reviewing the recent progress toward finding a cure; Neomailing leaders about the fight against inflation; checking preparations for the upcoming Fyora Day festival; evaluating whether Faerieland needed a new section built; and the list just went on and on.

      After what felt like an eternity, she finally finished her tasks for the day. She went over to her closet to get ready for the cooking class when doubts started to fill her mind. How would it look if she went? Would everyone be too nervous around her to enjoy the event? Would her citizens be embarrassed to know that she had trouble cooking? She always told herself she couldn't cook because she didn't have enough time; though truthfully her dishes didn't turn out well even when she had the time. Last week she had plenty of time to make a burrito, yet she still over seasoned the meat and burned the vegetables...

      That's it! She would go in disguise! She always wore the same style every day, but she did have clothes, makeup, and accessories in all kinds of designs. She threw open the doors to her closet and looked around. Various shades of pink and purple stared back at her, beautiful but too similar to her usual outfits unfortunately. She continued to rummage through her items and eventually found a stylish yellow dress. Hmmm, she could dress herself up as a Light Faerie!

      She stared into the mirror after changing her dress and doing her hair and makeup. She looked just like... herself! There was no mistaking it, the reflection that looked back at her was still Fyora in a yellow dress. She looked at the clock and saw there was only ten minutes left until the class started. Magic it is then! She wanted to avoid draining her magic in her daily life if possible, just in case she needed to use it to help those in need. However, she knew a simple spell that could change her appearance into a Light Faerie for a few hours, which would give her just enough time to enjoy the cooking class without being noticed.

      She opened the doors to Faerie Foods right before six and was surprised to see about a hundred faeries packed into the store. As the clock chimed to signal the new hour the shopkeeper jumped onto the counter and yelled out, “Welcome everyone! There are far more citizens here than I expected, so how about we make this an outdoor cooking class? You all know where the apple tree is outside the city, right? Near the Wheel of Excitement?”

      The crowd nodded and quickly headed toward the area. A small Light Faerie grabbed onto Fyora's arm and smiled. “Hi fellow Light Faerie! I've never seen you before! I'm Milly! What's your name?” Milly had the brightest smile Fyora had ever seen, and she spoke in a song-like manner, with each final syllable lifting into the air.

      Fyora wasn't used to being so close to her citizens like this. She spoke with faeries daily, but they always kept a certain distance from her, obviously acutely aware they were speaking to their Queen. She felt happy to walk arm in arm with another faerie without any levels of formality, just like two friends.

      “I'm Rynn! Nice to meet you!” The two new friends chatted happily as they made their way to the apple tree. It was a beautiful sunny day, perfect for cooking outside with friends, Fyora, no Rynn for the next few hours, thought cheerfully.

      They reached the area and saw that the Faerie Foods shopkeeper was already there with everything set up at various tables. Fyora-Rynn chuckled at the sight before her, for it was simple times like this when she felt particularly grateful for magic.

      “Everyone, please head to a table. Three Faeries to a table and put on your aprons! Thank you again for coming to my cooking class! Today we are going to cook... The Faerie Queen Burrito! A personal favorite of our beautiful Queen Fyora!”

      She felt her cheeks turn slightly pink after the announcement, though she was glad she would learn how to make her favorite burrito. The shopkeeper had truly made a masterpiece with the savory grilled vegetables; the juicy meat seasoned to perfection; the warm toasted tortilla; and everything topped with her favorite chervil! Eating a Faerie Queen Burrito was one of the highlights of her days, besides interacting with her citizens, of course.

      “Alright everyone! First, we need to chop the...” a foul smell and a thick cloud of smoke cut her off as faeries began screaming. So, this is where the missing Smelly Cheese Bomb went from the Hidden Tower, Fyora thought guiltily. She did not expect someone to use it against them, in a place like this with so many faeries out in the open...

      Suddenly she knew who the culprit was, a beast hiding in the shadows waiting to pounce and bottle up her faeries.

      She did not panic and thought only of protecting her faeries. “Everyone stand back, toward the wheel!” She quickly set up a defense spell as faeries flocked behind her. Milly's eyes grew wide at the sight of Fyora, no longer hidden under her disguise spell.

      The smoke began to dissipate, revealing Balthazar with a bag filled with a few faeries already. He sneered and growled until he noticed Queen Fyora. For a split second he looked scared before he asked, “What is the Queen doing at a silly little event like this?”

      "Balthazar, you will return the faeries you have in your possession and leave Faerieland. You will never return here, or you will face my wrath. Do you understand? I have ways to monitor your every move in Neopia.” Balthazar laughed and growled, “You know, one of my associates got into your Hidden Tower without being noticed. Can you really monitor my every move?” Balthazar barred his claws and readied to attack, though he was no match for Fyora. She conjured a blast of energy, which sent him hurtling back through a portal.

      He quickly vanished from sight as Fyora released the faeries from the bottles. She assured everyone that Balthazar was now locked up far away, before apologizing from the bottom of her heart. She explained everything – the missing Hidden Tower item, her lack of cooking skills, and her embarrassment leading her to come in disguise. She also vowed to increase security around the Hidden Tower as soon as she got home tonight.

      Fyora looked at the crowd and saw nothing but smiles, not the angry and disappointed faces she was expecting. The Faerie Foods shopkeeper ran up to her and shook her hand with tears running down her face. “Without you here things would have been far worse! You saved all of us! You are always welcome in my cooking classes! There is no shame in learning new things and trying to better yourself!” The rest of the crowd came up to her and shook her hand as well, all while professing their gratitude for saving them from Balthazar.

      Milly was the last faerie to speak with Fyora. Surprisingly, her demeanor did not change at all, even though she knew she was talking with the Faerie Queen. Milly locked arms with Fyora and smiled, “Let's cook together every week, okay?”

      She felt a wave of relief wash over her as she helped everyone fix and clean the cooking supplies. She no longer had to hide or feel ashamed about her skills. The cooking class continued, and she was finally able to make a delicious burrito. She was happy to know that even as Faerie Queen she could still make friends and learn new things. She looked forward to her weekly cooking classes from now on.

     The End.

 
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